A couple of things from the Ryan Harris interview on CBC (see previous post) struck me recently.
The things that Ryan Harris said were:
1. He had gone into the ship and brought one "artifact" out.
2. The ship was identified as Erebus after they returned to Ottawa.
Maybe the Erebus was identified by the artifact. It could be something that, after it was cleaned, had Erebus on it or a possession of an officer from Erebus. In which case why not say what the artifact was? Probably because the artifact contains more information that is still being worked on.
Interestingly, Mansbridge didn't ask the obvious question: How do we know it's the Erebus? This also suggests that the artifact has more to tell us.
Finally, Ryan Harris suggested that paper might survive in the cold water.
So, the single artifact:
—was interesting enough to be the only thing removed from the wreck on the first few dives,
—it probably contained information that identified the ship as Erebus,
—it is still being worked on and is revealing more information that has yet to be made public,
—paper might survive on the wreck.
Leap of faith—was the artifact removed from the wreck a notebook, report of scientific findings, a journal or a diary?
Okay, it's speculation, but isn't speculation why we've all been so interested in the Franklin Expedition mystery for 170 years?
Maybe it's the Lost Journal of James Fitzjames