One of the most significant parts of Rost’s analysis had to do with Cook’s astronomical observations' errors. He called attention to suspicious revisions done to them between the first edition of My Attainment of the Pole and subsequent ones, which could not be explained away as typographical.  The revisions as presented in the third edition gave the same, required results as those in the first, while neatly correcting a fatal internal mathematical error the originals contained that would have brought into question the observer's basic competence with navigational instruments.  Rost deduced from this that Cook had intentionally adjusted the observations to correct this fatal error.
    The astronomer Dennis Rawlins has concluded that the mistake of making the difference between the semi-diameter of the sun in a double-limb reading half what it should have been indicates that Cook’s ability with a sextant was negligible.
    Many other curiosities result from a close examination of the technical aspects of Cook’s narrative.  To mention just one, Cook tried to prove he knew he was at the Pole by the constancy of the length of a man’s shadow throughout any given day.  He illustrated this concept by a “shadow dial.” A sharp-eyed reviewer noticed his mistake: that the diagram shows the shadow coming back to the same position after twelve hours, not twenty-four.
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