“In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” begins the old fable and while he is hated by the angry left, as one who is of mixed blood, 1/4 Amer-Indian legally, but 1/8th genetically in a confusion only government can make, I am glad Christopher showed up. If he had not I would not exist or should I would now be sitting on pointy rocks eating roast rodent, the staple of Amer-Indian’s diet. Nonetheless, I doubt that I could ever develop a taste for rat.
Columbus did not “discover America.” In 6000 BC the Phoenicians left coins in Duluth, Minnesota I saw as a boy in a local museum in the 1940’s. The Upper Mongolians came here in 14,000 BC to found colonies and people of Stone Age Europe came here no later than 7,000 BC bringing the “Clovis Point” stone craft culture that spread through the nation over 1,000 years as a superior design for arrowheads. Chinese mariners found our shores no later than 4,000 BC and likely earlier. Leif Erickson of Norway was here in 1100 AD. In truth, North America was a doormat for the world for 140 centuries before Christopher Columbus arrived.
That we honor him as we do and have him in our history as our discoverer is more a monument to economics than history as it documents Europe was “open for business,” but we honor the event as a great moment in history. So much for the Ph.D.’s who write our textbooks. I know them well having grown up on a college campus the son of two college professors who had morphed in from “show biz.”
The story that Columbus was “the great navigator” is as false as any of our myths. It is known that his helmsman had “portolan” charts he had obtained from Portuguese cartographers who had in turn gotten them from Istanbul, Turkey map makers who were in the process of compiling the Piri Reis map of 1513 that was the only to show the outlines of the Antarctic continent which dated it to 6000 BC when it was last seen. Since then it has been under a mile of ice and not confirmed until the 1957 IGY land sonar soundings.
Portolan charts show only locations of ports. The continental outlines are fanciful with only the occasional river or cliff located thus they have been the source of much ridiculous speculation. While latitude is easy to determine as the height of the sun at noon on equinoxes, longitude was difficult before the invention of the chronometer that told the time at the home base. The local time difference in hours time 15 would be the longitudinal difference.
The method in Columbus time was the simultaneous timing of an eclipse and where they could be predicted much preparation went into documenting local time at two locations the base and the target, but there was an inherent error in the process and while the Phoenicians apparently found it, the people of the 15th century did not.
In antiquity zero longitude was Alexandria, in Columbus time it was Salamanca, Spain and now it is Greenwich, England. While the early eclipse using cartographers thought they were looking at a simultaneous event they were not and it took them some time to learn to account for the time difference. As a result, Columbus made two such determinations and fumbled both by 800 miles due to this error. It should have been obvious and from my work it appears the Phoenicians made that correction in 6000 BC. I also discovered a way longitude could be determined any time by using the positions of the sun and moon as “hands of a clock” in space.
I sent my method to Dr. Charles Hapgood, a noted authority on ancient maps and he included a note on it in the seventh edition of “Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings.” Smithsonian Magazine editors saw it and asked if I could examine the work of Captain Cook who had a secret method of locating islands in the South Pacific in the 18th century and took it to the grave. I reviewed Cook’s work and applied my method confirming it with variations in the gravity constant as it varies from island to island. The Phoenicians used free pendula to count time while Cook used pendula timed clocks so the gravity constant variation affected both. Cook’s positions verified my assumptions so the Smithsonian credited me with solving both mysteries.
They say Christopher Columbus was the first Democrat:
When he sailed away from Spain to discover America, he didn’t know where he was going. When he got there he didn’t know where he was and it was all done on a government grant. That has a familiar ring.