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Thread: Did the Irish Discover America?

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    Did the Irish Discover America?

    The argument has gone on for years: Did Christopher Columbus discover America in 1492, or was it Leif Eriksson some 400 years earlier? The translation of petroglyphs (carvings or line-drawings on a rock) found in West Virginia indicates that Columbus and Erikson may have both been Johnny-come-latelies. According to these astounding revelations, the first Europeans to visit America came from Ireland. And they landed on our pristine shores 500 years before Erikson and his Norsemen first set foot on Vinland in the year 1000.

    Some of the people living in Wyoming County, where three of the petroglyphs were found, had known about them for years. But the carvings were assumed to be the "hens' tracks" made by American Indians. When archaeologist Robert Pyle was shown them by a friend a few years ago, Pyle, thinking the inscriptions might be runes--a kind of writing used by Norsemen-immediately became interested. Making careful impressions of the carvings, he sent them off for deciphering to Dr. Barry Fell, professor emeritus at Harvard University. In addition to being a world-recognized authority on marine biology and president of the Epigraphic Society, Dr Fell is editor and co-author of eight volumes of decipherments of ancient inscriptions.

    Dr. Fell's findings became a series of surprises.

    First, the carvings were not runic, but ogham, an Old Irish alphabet used from about the fifth to the tenth centuries A.D. Moreover, translations of the three stones proved to be Christian. And the astonishing inscriptions were translated:

    "At the time of sunrise a ray grazes the notch on the left side on Christmas Day. A Feast-day of the Church, the first season of the [Christian] year. The season of the Blessed Advent of the Savior, Lord Christ Saluatoris Domini Christi]. Behold, he is born of Mary, a woman."

    The question arises, of course: Could these carvings be a hoax? Although possible, it seems unlikely. The prankster would not only have had to possess a knowledge of ogham, but who would have undertaken the extremely difficult task of carving the stones just for a joke?

    If the carvings are not a hoax, we are left to speculate about who made the markings--and why. An extensive knowledge of the legends of pre-Columbian discoveries of America is not needed to come up with some plausible answers--beginning with the narrative of an Irish abbot named St. Brendan.

    Late in the sixth century A.D., Irish monks having trouble finding the isolation required for their lifestyles began looking for places to live where the flesh would escape temptation. One of the men reputed to have traveled the Atlantic looking for such a protective spot was St. Brendan. The story of his exploits has no doubt been enhanced over the years. Still, it's a story grounded in fact. St. Brendan was not a fictitious character, he was an abbot and he did go on sailing expeditions. It is also quite possible he journeyed as far from Ireland as the coast of North America.

    In any case, other monks, following his lead, sailed to the Faeroe and Shetland islands and on to Iceland. Then, in A.D. 870, the Norsemen who landed in Iceland brought with them--women! Too much temptation--the weaker-willed monks moved on. But where?

    Some may have gone back to Ireland or the other islands. Others may have headed west, as did St. Brendan, in search of the Promised Land of the saints. (Norse sagas tell of Icelanders exploring the East Coast of North America and encountering people who spoke Irish.) From the East Coast they may well have followed rivers or existing Indian trails on their way to West Virginia--and along the route made their rock carvings. Unfortunately, many of those carvings may have fallen victim to excavations for skyscrapers, housing developments and shopping malls. But thanks to the unspoiled nature of much of West Virginia's countryside, these important inscriptions by early American inhabitants have survived.

    Some have said it is racist to assume that the rock carvings were not made by the Indians. True, the Indians could have left these marks. Indians did leave behind many rock carvings and other artifacts, but it seems extremely unlikely that American Indians circa A.D. 600 to 800 would be leaving Christian messages in Irish ogham.

    Dr. Fell's translation leaves no doubt that the carver of the inscriptions was a Christian. Even a novice can recognize one piece of evidence, the Chi-Rho--written "XP"--an ancient symbol of Christian piety. The writer may have been a traveling missionary spreading the Gospel to the Indians. His missionary work would not preclude the possibility that he also was a trader and an explorer. Thus he and his people would not stay in one place very long, a scenario that answers why no other artifacts have been found. The missionary group would have met with an Indian tribe, traded, shared their religion and then moved on to the next tribe.

    But why did our Irish missionary carve his message in stone, and why in this particular spot in Wyoming County? The first line of the translation provides the clue: "At the time of sunrise a ray grazes the notch on the left side on Christmas Day." The petroglyph is meant to serve as a calendar.

    An expedition to the site on the winter solstice, organized by Wonderful West virginia magazine, confirmed the fact. Journalist and history buff Ida Jane Gallagher described the occasion as the sun broke over the mountain ridge at 9:05. "A glimmer of pale sunlight struck the sun symbol on the left side of the petroglyph, and the rising sun soon bathed the entire panel in warm sunlight ... the sunlight was funneling through a three-sided notch formed by the rock overhang ... a shadow cast by the left wall of the shelter fell to the left of the sun symbol and its adjacent markings. As the group watched, the shadow inched from left to right."

    On the Julian calendar, used in the days when the inscription was presumably carved, the winter solstice and Christmas fell on the same day. So, our Irish missionary created an observatory that could be used to adjust the calendar; while he was at it, he sent along an enduring Christmas message.

    Two other petroglyphs have also been investigated by Robert Pyle and translated by Dr. Fell. One, in Boone County, West Virginia, is known as the Horse Creek Petroglyph. Dr. Fell has translated it:

    "A happy season is Christmas, a time of joy and good will to all people.

    A virgin was with child; God ordained her to conceive and be fruitful. Ah, behold, a miracle!

    She gave birth to a son in a cave. The name of the cave was the Cave of Bethelehem. His foster-father gave him the name Jesus, the Christ, Alpha and Omega. Festive season of Prayer."

    While making this translation, Dr. Fell became interested in the use of the word "cave." He had been taught that Jesus was born in a stable. Fell traced the word to the Vulgate (Latin) version of the Bible, completed in the fourth century, and discovered that the word used in the Vulgate could be translated either way. So, Fell concludes, the Christian who made the marks in Wyoming County, West Virginia, was using the Latin rather than the Greek rite.

    A third petroglyph, discovered in Fayette County, West Virginia, also carries a religious message. To date, Dr. Fell has deciphered only one line:

    "This is a Holy Place on a Day of Worship."

    Why the area was a holy place awaits Dr. Fell's complete translation of the inscription. But it, like the other petrolyphs, constitutes a new concept of West Virginia's ancient history and together the inscriptions furnish convincing evidence that Columbus and Leif Eriksson were latecomers.


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    Did the Irish discover America ?

    There is a book titled "They All Discovered America" which lists many possible claimants to the title of Discoveror of America, among them, of course, St. Brendan the Navigator. Though Bishop Brendan's narrative MAY be based on
    fact, there is precious little fact in it as it stands.

    In common with many Mediaeval tales of travels to exotic places, it is full of fantastic details which soon lead one to wonder whether there is ANY truth in it. Evidence can be cited for the discovery of North America by the Carthaginians about 1000 years before St. Brendan. And so it goes.

    My God ! BARRY FELL is president of the Epigraphic Society ? ! Dr. Fell finds Ogham inscriptions EVERYWHERE, many of which have been identified as natural cracks in rocks and others as scratches made on rocks by plowshares.
    Archeologists regard Barry Fell as a crackpot and charlatan, a competent marine biologist who has NO qualifications in archeology or epigraphy. His translations of "Ogham" inscriptions have mostly been dismissed as sheer fantasy.

    If Ireland's claim to the discovery of North America stands or falls on Dr. Fell's translations of alleged Ogham inscriptions, it has already fallen.

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    Did the Irish Discover America ?

    AHAH ! The mystery is the of the late Dr. Barry Fell's presidency of the Epigraphic Society is solved. The Epigraphic Society was FOUNDED by Barry Fell, no doubt to lend a cachet of scholarly authority to his "translations".

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    Was an Irish Monk the first to find America?

    Christopher Columbus gets the lion’s share of the credit for discovering America in 1492, but the evidence weighs heavily against him being the first one to find the New World. If Columbus had actually discovered America, he'd have found an unpopulated terrain, and of course, he didn’t. Anthropologists and archaeologists estimate that between 40 and 100 million Native Americans lived in the Americas when Columbus arrived, accounting for as much as one-fifth of the global population at the time [source: Mann]. Besides, some believe the Chinese beat Columbus by 80 years.
    While Columbus may have been the first European to reach Central America, it is Giovanni Caboto who is the first to have arrived in North America, landing in Labrador, off the east coast of Canada, in 1497. So now we know, *then: It was Caboto who was the first European to land in North America, right? Wrong again.
    Caboto was beaten to North America by 500 years by the Vikings. Definitive proof of Norse habitation of Newfoundland, near Labrador, can be found at L’Anse aux Meadows, a Viking settlement dating to around 1000 C.E. The Vikings are the earliest group to leave behind tangible evidence of their presence. So were the Vikings the first? Not quite. Another group may have been the first Europeans to arrive in the New World: the Irish.
    In the sixth century, St. Brendan, an Irish monk who was widely reputed as a skilled seafarer, is said to have undertaken an ambitious voyage. Brendan, along with a crew of fellow monks, sailed looking for Paradise, the Land of Promise of the Saints. After seven years exploring mysterious lands, he came upon what he believed to be the fabled paradise. It was an island so vast that he and his crew failed to reach the far shore after 40 days of walking. It contained a river that was too wide to be crossed. It was a wooded land, filled with lush fruits. He and his men filled their boats with gems they found there and returned home to tell of the news.
    It wasn’t until the ninth century that an account of Brendan's voyage surfaced, the Navigatio Sancti Brendani (“Travels of St. Brendan” in Latin). It was an instant hit, translated into several languages. The account talks of Brendan’s experiences, including his being pelted with rock from an island of fire, seeing a pillar of crystal and encountering a moving island before finally coming upon the Promised Land, which came to be referred to as the Fortunate Islands.

    But as time wore on, the Navigatio -- along with St. Brendan himself -- passed into the realm of legend. If Brendan had lived -- as most scholars assume -- surely he couldn’t have traveled across the treacherous North Atlantic with the technology available at the time. Certainly, he couldn’t have beaten the Vikings to North America.
    Ironically, it is Viking lore that lends support to the idea that Brendan was the first European in North America. Read the next page to find out about evidence for and against this idea.
    Read More here

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    Many Roman finds are dotted up the coasts of both North and South America - trans-Atlantic voyages (and beyond) pre-date the Medieval period by a long while.

    The notion instilled of the later 'discovery' (made by mariners who sailed into the unknown with maps - who drew the maps?) is a means of upholding the 'belief in progress' that underpins our current societies: we can't question where we are situated or what we value of worth as we have always progressed towards this point. Everything we have and do now is better than the past etc, etc..

    To admit high civilisation existant in the past that fell, destroys the religion in vogue at present: that of the Church of Progress.

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    I believe it was the original Britons(Welsh) who were said to have been there thousands of years ago(a mining expedition was the motive i believe).

    The American Indians,some tribes at least,are said to have some Welsh dialect in their language which was proven in a docmentary i remember seeing a few years ago.

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    The Norse themselves spoke of a Great Ireland near Vinland. David Kelley supposedly agreed some of Fell's ogham inscriptions were genuine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catterick View Post
    The Norse themselves spoke of a Great Ireland near Vinland. David Kelley supposedly agreed some of Fell's ogham inscriptions were genuine.
    Any sources on this? As a Scandinavian, it's extra interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hersir View Post
    Any sources on this? As a Scandinavian, it's extra interesting.
    Sources on Great Ireland? They're even cited on Wikipedia.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Ireland

    I can't source Kelley on the ogham but he was debunking Fell. This makes it more impressive he verified a minority of Fells epigraphic claims regarding ogham and Libyco-Berber(?).

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    On a possibly related note, there is the cherokee legend about the Moon Eyed People, which some attribute to the "Welsh-Indians." See below:

    http://www.northcarolinaghosts.com/m...yed-people.php
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon-eyed_people
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