After his death, Cook and his claim fell into obscurity.  The focus of The Polar Controversy shifted to the question of Peary’s claim, which was attacked on various fronts.  Then, in 1951, one of the books Cook had written in prison was published as Return from the Pole   The favorable impression of Cook’s text, along with an extensive introduction by Frederick A. Pohl, inspired a vigorous campaign by Cook’s daughter which  resulted in the establishment in 1957 of The Frederick A. Cook Society as a non-profit in the State of New York.   The society’s purpose was to gain official recognition for Cook and his accomplishments.
    In 1961, Andrew Freeman’s pioneering biography of Cook, The Case for Dr. Cook, was released, raising still more interest.  Other books on Cook followed, but none equaled Freeman’s effort, though they kept Cook’s story alive.
    For years, the doings of the Cook Society were very low key, though it did establish a small museum in Hurleyville, New York.  Things changed in 1983, when a blatantly pro-Cook made-for-TV film got wide attention.  Then, when Cook’s granddaughter, Janet Vetter, suddenly died in 1989, her will bequeathed a significant trust to the society’s purposes. With its generous trust, Cook Society officers expanded their efforts and managed to arrange a credible symposium examining Cook’s career at Ohio State University, though it added no new evidence that Cook had reached the Pole.

     Even more important, Janet Vetter’s will had donated Cook’s personal papers and diaries to the Library of Congress, allowing free access by scholars for the first time. In 1997 the first book based on these papers was released.  Robert Bryce’s Cook and Peary, the Polar Controversy, Resolved, found that the evidence in Cook’s papers showed that Cook’s claims of climbing Mt. McKinley and reaching the North Pole were fabrications.  Although the Cook Society worked cooperatively with Bryce and gave him permission to quote from Cook’s papers, which they control, they attacked the book’s conclusions as false and written to a planned agenda.  The openness the society seemed to be moving toward with its symposium quickly degenerated to an unwillingness to discuss any unpleasant facts contained in Cook’s papers, and actually resulted in a suppression of anti-Cook evidence controlled by the society, such as key photographs and negatives taken by Cook on his 1906 McKinley attempt, including a very sharp original of his picture of Ed Barrill on "McKinley’s summit.”   The uncropped picture proved that it was instead taken atop “Fake Peak,”  a tiny hillock by comparison, just as Belmore Browne had said in 1910.  The publication of another, inferior quality version, of this picture in the New York Times in 1998 put an end to many of Cook’s pretensions in the general public’s mind. 
     The publication of Cook and Peary set off a flurry of interest in The Polar Controversy.  Two documentary films produced between 1998 and 2000 took a negative view of Cook’s polar claim, and another on Mount McKinley dismissed Cook’s climb as fraudulent.  Nevertheless, despite the overwhelming documentary evidence that Cook lied about McKinley and the Pole, the Polar Controversy will no doubt simmer on forever, because, in the end, people believe what they want to believe and what they wish to believe, no matter what the evidence says to the contrary. 
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