These two projects took their name from the word “Nord”, which in several languages means “north.” Nord is also the name of a Danish weather station in northeast Greenland just 580 miles from the North Pole.
Project Nord-1968, which was based at Station Nord, was a project which investigated suspected errors in the maps and air navigation charts of the Peary Land region of north Greenland. It found map discrepancies that dated back to Robert Peary in 1900. Errors in excess of 15 nautical miles were documented, leading to the conclusion that Greenland was approximately 2500 square nautical miles larger than shown on existing maps and charts.
Project Nord found most of the mapping errors were in longitude (east-west) rather than in latitude (north-south). A longitude error is primarily due to an inaccurate chronometer, and when it is recalled that many of these expeditions were in the field for several years the source of the error becomes evident.
Project Nord-1969, building on mapping done by its predecessor in 1968, established the fact that Kaffeklubben Island was farther north than Cape Morris Jesup. This was the first time that an “on the ground” latitude of the island had been determined. Thus Kaffeklubben Island became the world’s most northern point of land, a title the cape had held since 1900 when Robert Peary first reached it.
My book Beyond the Edge book tells the full story of both Project Nord-1968 and Project Nord-1969, and the role they played in bringing recognition to Kaffeklubben Island as the world’s northern most bit of land.
Interested in learning more about Project Nord? Get your copy of Beyond the Edge today!