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Images of Franklin and HMS Erebus (or HMS Terror) - 10 April 2011

📷 📷 A lot of people who have read my book on James Fitzjames have been intrigued by reflections which can be seen in the peak of Fitzjames' cap in the two famous Daguerreotypes taken of him. It was Peter Carney who pointed out to me that if the two images are merged side by side, they appear to show a panorama of the scene Fitzjames saw as the two Daguerreotypes were exposed. In Peter's words "I was looking at the two versions of Fitzjames's hat (lower picture) when I noticed that there is a slight change of angle between them. The changes to his posture are so minor that I would say it's fair to assume there was only a short interval between them. That made me think it might be worth compositing the two hat brim reflections together. The result (upper picture) is something of a Rorschach inkblot test. What I see is, from left to right, Sir John Franklin in his cocked hat, the mast of a ship, and one leg of a camera tripod. The buckle on the cap's strap is about where the camera would be." Peter's two pictures are shown in this posting. I think Peter's explanation makes sense so here we have a dim and hazy image of Sir John Franklin and one of the lost ships. If you have a look at the high quality reproductions of the Daguerreotypes from the Franklin Expedition held at the Scott Polar Research Institute (available here) you can see that the following details can also be seen in the reflections of different officers' caps:What appears to be a pennant or flag, possibly flying from one of the mastheads of one of the ships (Osmer).Rigging, a mast and possibly a flag or sail (Gore and Fairholme).I'd be interested to see what you all think.

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