‘Modern explorer’ Adam Shoalts’ waterfalls discovery disputed by aboriginal leaders
The “modern explorer” who traveled alone to the Hudson Bay lowlands to collect data on a series of previously undocumented waterfalls returned home last week to the applause of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, which has celebrated Adam Shoalts for his rare accomplishment of changing the Canadian map.
But since news of his discovery catapulted him into the national spotlight late last month, a small chorus of aboriginal leaders and elderly canoe enthusiasts have been dissecting his claim, suggesting they had traversed the 107-kilometre Again River that straddles the northern border between Ontario and Quebec long before Mr. Shoalts was born.
The 27-year-old had expected as much.
“Every single explorer I’ve studied in history faces claims that someone else found it first,” said Mr. Shoalts, a PhD candidate in history at McMaster University. “That’s why, to me, documentation is so crucial that I was willing to do the river twice.” (Photos: Courtesy: Adam Shoalts)
The maps lie: Australian scientists discover Manhattan-sized island doesn’t actually exist
According to Google Maps and several other nautical charts, Sandy Island is about 25 kilometres long and sits between Australia to the West and New Caledonia and Vanuatu to the West. According to Dr. Maria Seton and her scientific research team, it does not now, nor ever has, existed at all.
“We were out in the Eastern Coral Sea, conducting a scientific research expedition, and when we were approaching the area of this supposed island,” Seton told the BBC. “We saw that our scientific maps showed there was an island there and yet the navigation charts on board the vessel showed that we had a water depth of 14,000 metres. That’s when we started getting suspicious.” (Google Maps; AFP PHOTO-/AFP/Getty Images)