Aglooka - Long Strider

Aglooka - Long Strider

The Creative Works of Author David C. Woodman

Aglooka, The Long Strider


Agluukkaq (From Inuktitut ᐊᒡᓘᒃᑲᖅ)

Agluukkaq, translated as “he who takes long strides,” was a common name bestowed on nineteenth-century Arctic explorers, whose own qallunaaq  (European) names were unpronounceable. Generally reserved for officers, who seemed to rush around and direct activities, it was also applied to unseen tall men whose widely-spaced tracks in the snow were distinctive.

The phonetic version of the name – “Aglooka” was given to John Rae, J.C. Ross, and Francis Crozier. As the scholar R.J. Cyriax, remarked, “the mere fact of an explorer’s being called “Aglooka” … affords slender evidence of his identity.” The multiple interactions of Aglooka with the Inuit – they met with him on the march, visited his ships, and sheltered him after their destruction – form the backbone of any effort to illuminate the greatest historical puzzle of Arctic exploration – the tragic fate of the Third Franklin Expedition of 1845.

This website attempts to follow in the footsteps of the various striders, mainly through examination of surviving Inuit traditions. Translational difficulties, cultural misunderstandings, and fantastical elements are complicating factors. Still, Inuit accounts are essential, as demonstrated by their role in the recent discovery of Franklin’s two wrecked ships. My decades-long inquiry into these matters has resulted in published and unpublished work, many expeditions to the Arctic to follow leads and much media interaction. I hope this website offers insight into these matters, answers many questions that commonly arise, furthers debate and fosters new interest in this fascinating subject.

David C. (Dave) Woodman Bio Page | Wikipedia


Target of opportunity (1992)

Target of opportunity (1992) When we descended to commence our magnetic survey the splendid desolation of the Arctic came home. Flying at sixty meters over the white and aquamarine patchwork of the ice-covered ocean, riddled with melt pools as summer breakup quickly approached, we had only the shadow of the aircraft for company. The low islands, little more than gravel... Read More "Target of opportunity (1992)"

100 Holes

21 May 2004 We arrived in Gjoa battered, bruised and beaten just before midnight and proceeded to the Amundsen Hotel. It advertises itself as the #1 hotel in town (it is the only one), and one pays for a bed there, not a full two-person room, so if travelling alone there is the possibility of a new acquaintance in the... Read More "100 Holes"

Unravelling the Franklin Mystery – Inuit Testimony

A classic reconstruction of the mysterious events surrounding the tragic Franklin expedition has taken on new importance in light of the recent discovery of the HMS Erebus wreck, the ship Sir John Franklin sailed on during his doomed 1845 quest to find the Northwest Passage to Asia. First published in 1991, Unravelling the Franklin Mystery boldly challenged standard interpretations and... Read More "Unravelling the Franklin Mystery – Inuit Testimony"

Strangers Among Us

David Woodman re-evaluates the importance of Inuit oral traditions in his search to reconstruct the events surrounding Sir John Franklin’s tragic 1845 expedition. He shows that often-misunderstood tales of white men travelling through Inuit lands may in fact refer to survivors of the Franklin expedition. In 1868 American explorer Charles Francis Hall interviewed several Inuit hunters who spoke of strangers... Read More "Strangers Among Us"

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