Psychic Australian January 1977

Alexander's Lost Fleet

By Rex Gilroy

Crates Of Mallus

Forgotten History contradicts the traditional teachings that European explorers were first to discover Australia. In 150 BC Crates of Mallus in Asia Minor constructed a world globe 10 ft. in diameter and probably the first of its kind, upon which he depicted the known world of his time. Africa, Europe and Asia depicted as a single continent, "Oecumene". Crates then drew in "Perioeci", which we know call North America. In the vicinity of Panama and south of it, but seperated by his east-west ocean, he placed "Antipodes" which now is South America. His fourth land mass balancing out the other continents and situated far below what we now call the Indian Ocean he described "Antoeci" now known as Australia. Even the writings of Confucius indicate that Chinese were exploring and mapping Australia between 592 and 553 BC.

Maps of Antiquity

In Taipeh University Taiwan, a map depicts the south coast of New Guinea and the east coast of Australia as far south as Victoria and the north coast of Tasmania. other Chinese maps of that period also show if crudely the entire continent of Australia. The writings of the ancient Greeks and their neighbours have lately thrown considerable new light on the "unwritten" history of Australia. To the Greeks of Homer's time (about 800 BC) the great land beyond the Indian Ocean was known as "Ausio" meaning "Great South Land of Milk and Honey".


Men like Aristotle (384-322 BC) had proved that the earth was round, and that they were certain also that it was vastly bigger than the lands and oceans which they actually knew. It seemed reasonable to think that the unknown regions of the world would be partly land-and partly sea, like those which were known. Moreover, their scientists knew that there was a temperature zone in the south corresponding to that which they knew in the north. it followed that there might well be a great southern continent.


Herodotus writes that Aristagoras, ruler of Miletus (500 BC) possessed a bronze tablet on which lands and seas were engraved. This might have been one of the earliest maps excepting the clay tablets of the Babylonians. Not only do the ancient Greeks appear to have had knowledge of Australia waters in the centuries before Captain Cook, their writings of the American continent (and also Atlantis) are a further indication of the extent of their maritime explorations in antiquity.


Plutarch, in his "Life of Solon", says that when the famed Greek legislator visited Egypt 600 years before the christian era, Sonchis, a priest of Sais, and also Psenophis, a priest of Heliopolis, told him that 900 years since, the relations of the Egyptians with inhabitants of the "Lands of the West" had been interupted because of the mud that had made the sea impassable after the destruction of Atlantis by earthquakes. That the western continent (America) was visited by Carthaginians a few years before the inundation of Plato's "Atlantis" is born witness in the portraits of men with long beards and Phoenician features discovered by le Plongeion in 1875 sculptured on the columns and Antae of the castle Chichen Itza.


Diodorus Siculus attributed the discovery of the western continent to the Phoenicians and describes it as "a country where the landscape is varied by very lofty mountains and the temperature is always soft and equable". Theopompus of Quiro (400 BC) wrote of its magnitude, "Compared with it, our world is but a small island".


Aristotle called it "a very large and fertile country, well watered by abundant streams" and he refers to the decree enacted by the senate of Carthage towards the year 509 BC intended to stem the current of emigration that had set towards the western lands, as they feared it might prove detrimental to the prosperityof their city.

Archaeological Finds

Actual archaeological finds exist not only throughout America but also in Australia waters to prove that the writings of the Greek philosophers and geographers were based upon more than just mere speculation. Rock inscriptions found on the Brazilian coast include not only Phoneican, Egyptian, and Babylonian symbols but also those of the Greeks.


Pottery of these and other ancient civilisations has also came to light as well as coins and other relics, and under such conditions as to discount any suggestions that these items might have been dropped by recent European inhabitants. Archaeological excavations have been going on for years on the islands of New Caledonia where a particular culture of earthenware lapita pottery has come to light of a style reminiscent of the ancient Mediterranean region. The pottery covers three stratified occupation deposits. The earliest (bottom) deposits reveal an entirely alien pottery of Mediterranean style.

The second (middle) show that over a period that style had undergone some change and was manufactured from local materials. The third (surface) deposits show a completely degenerated Melanesian style but still carrying on the basic designs of the original culture. The implications are that a large number of colonists had occupied the islands thereabouts, passing on their methods of pottery manufacture and decorative features to the primitive natives who in time continued these styles long after the disappearance of the visitors but in a more degenearated form.

Grecian Artifacts

Other finds have been made on the Australian mainland, including the Grecian artifacts recovered on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula a few years ago. And also the strange hand-forged bronze plate bearing three Grecian maidens in dancing pose and holding aloft their heads a long serpent, which was unearthed eight years ago at Campsie, N.S.W., near Sydney, and which antiquarians who examined the relic have identified as ancient Greek.

However, it is the lapita pottery culture of the New Caledonian island group which has largely drawn the attention of archaeologists throughout the world. The bottom most layer of the pottery has been tentatively dated to a period 300-400 BC. And since the utensils bear Grecian features it is contended by some that the culture could bear some ghostly link with one of the greatest maritime mysteries of antiquity...the fate of the lost fleet of Alexander the Great.

Traders And Sea-Farers

In those times the Greek traders, having learnt from the Phonecians how to navigate on the seasonal drift currents, sailed their ships on the monsoonal winds directly from the east coast of Africa to the west coast of India in the summer and back again in winter without touching at South Arab ports at all. In later centuries the Romans also took this route which the Egyptians and Phonecians had done for thosand of years previously. As early as 400 BC the famous Greek mariner Iamboulus, as told by Diodorus Siculus, sailed from the Somaliland coast in search of "the happy land to the south".

After a voyage of about four months Iamboulus and his crew are said to have reached this land, which was near the equator and had a temperate climate. Eventually Iamboulus left this strange shore and sailed in the direction of India from where, after his arrival, he travelled overland back to Greece. Argument persists among historians whether Iamboulus actually laned somewhere on the Western Australian coast or even Java, Sumatra or Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Nonetheless, the account of Diodorus Siculus implies the extent of maritime knowledge of the southern hemispher in ancient times.

Alexander The Great

American Proffesor Dixon believes that the fleet asembled by Alexander the Great for tthe invasion of India, which was at the time of his death in 323 BC, moored in the Indus Delta, sailed at least in part Australian waters. Such a maritime feat was highly likely. These vessels consisted not only of huge troop carriers but also merchantmen containing live-stock, equipment and food supplies. These ships like many others built by the peoples of the ancient world were far larger than anything constructed in lateer centuries by our early European explorers, and capable of carrying crews of up to 600 passengers.

The Fleet {Ships}

Alexander's fleet included not only Triremes which had three banks of oars, or the Quadriremes containing four banks of oars(fifteen oars to a side) but also Quinqueremens and Triakonters that held as many as five banks of oars, fifteen to each row. Vessels which were anything from 250 to 600 ft. long and up to 60 ft. in width. Admiral Nearchus reported to Alexander that the fleet was ready and waiting with equipment and supplies on board. And then, just as the stage was set, Alexander came down with a fever, grew rapidly worse and died on 13th june, 323 BC. The fleet comprised the greeatest seamen of their day. Phonecians, Greeks, Cyprians, Cretans, Egyptians, all manned his fleet. Where did they alll go? Their fate is a mystery.

Possible Destinations

Some may have sailed for home, but of course no written records survive to prove this. Others, especially the traders amongst them, may have wished to " do a little business" so as not to make the whole enterprise unprofitable. And as the tradewinds were right at that time of the year they may have decided to sail further a field to trade off thier goods. Some may of left for Africa, others for India. The southwest monsoon begins in June in these latitudes and blows steadily from the west until November, when it shifts to the northeast from Deceember to May. It would have been a governing influence upon such an enterprise.

A second and very important factor is that the south east monsoon brings the rains of June to September to southern Asia. whereas to the west the best that Aden can show is a rainfall of only three inches during the winter. Some may have chosen to stay and settle down, but would not have done so with people they had recently been at war with a year or two earlier. The majority probably decided to sail down the west coast of India. To fill spaces at oars they may have shanghaied natives to accompany them, and of course included their women on the voayge. The course they took probably went between Ceylon and the mainland, north past Madras and up the east coast into the Bay of Bengal, past the mouths of the Ganges , and so to Burma, the coast of Siam along the west coast of the Malay Peninsula, to the Straits of Malacca, and out to the Indies.


Of course all this is mere speculation on the possible route that could have been taken by the remnants of Alexander's army. You may even think I have gone too far, but I am going to show you that these men actually did reach the Pacific. Natives accompanying the crew would have carried their arts and crafts with them; ie casting metals by the lost-wax process, and other metallurgical tehcniques. Their knowledge of zero and the zodiac, the making of bark cloth and many textile processes, such as gauze weaving and resists dyeing. Some went out through the straits of Malacca, some of thee Greeks and their women may have stayed, Sumatra accounting for thee line of native princesses who claim direct descent from Alexander.

A boatload or two could have stayed in Malaya to explain how the many legends of the so-called Sultan Iskander reached this part of the world. Others stayed in Cambodia, others on the northern shore of Java. Other vessels sailed on from Java to the Celebes, Melanesia (New Guinea). Perhaps some of the settlers stayed in the New Caledonia group, others sailed on to the solomons, New Hebrides and Fiji. The islands of Micronesia-the Carolines, Marhall's and Gilberts and the great arc which touches Polynesia, with Hawaii at the northern end and the rest curving south through the Marquesas and Societies to New Zealand. perhaps this is why natives bearing African Negro, Armenian, Phonecian, Egyptian and Greek facial features among the indigenous populations of these regions today.

Earlier Expeditions

Of course i am not discounting the influences of other, earlier expeditions to these waters by mariners from the Middle, Near-Eastern or Mediterranean ports in ancient times. Nonetheless there exist a great many archaeolgical and other enigmas throughout the Pacific region that need to be explained.

Native Head-Dresses

Throughout these islands when the first European vessels began to arrive during the period covering the 15th to 18th centuries the explorers discovered great similarities among the head-dresses worn by the native chiefs and warriors to the helmets of the classical Greek warriors of Alexander's time. These head-dresses survive today in most Pacific island exhibitions and often include huge hollowed out tree trunk drums bearing at each end small carved figures in the shape of Grecian-type soldiers complete with kilt and helmet.

Carved Wooden Figures

The Bernice P. Bishop museum in Honolulu possesses carved wooden figures depicted in garments resembling breast plates and helmets worn by officers of Alexander's army.


This has led to specualtion among American anthropologists that vessels of Alexander's lost fleet crosseed the Pacific on drift-currents which carried them to Hawaii, which they maintain could help explain the similar features in the early native culture of the area. Pottery of these islands like that of the New Caledonian group, bears unmistakable Greek as well as Palestinian, Phonecian and egyptian-style patterns.

Strange Carvings

Then there are the strange carvings found in recent years in New ireland which depict among other strange symbols a chariot with wheel and hub. As the primitive natives of these islands had no knowledge of thee wheel it would seem certain that these carvings imply the presence of another more advanced culture herabouts.

Australian Trees

European botanists have long pondered how the native Australian olive tree arrived in Greece where it has apparently grown since the days of Homer. A similar mystery surrounds the Australian eucalyptus trees that were found growing in Egypt long before they were imported overseas for the first time in the 1800's. Could the Australian Olive and eucalyptus have been introduced into these lands by Greek and Egyptian mariners in ancient times?

Australian Aboriginal Myths

Ethnologists searching into ancient myths and legends of our Australian aborigines have come up with some striking parallels with he Greek myths. it was from a Tasmanian Negrito last century that a myth beearing the unmistakable "prometheus" fire theme was obtained. Yoola and the senev sisters, a central Australian myth, has its parrallel in the Greek myth of Orion and the Pleiades. Archaeologists working in the same region have recently found ancient rock art bearing many Phonecian and egyptian symbols including the Greek letter Pi.

Greek Traders

Long after thee decline of Athens and the Roman conquests, Greek traders continued to sail the waters of South-east Asia. The Romans appreciated the abilities of the Greek seafarers and employed them to command their merchant ships on exhibitions to Cambodia, India, east Pakistan and China thence to Indonesia and Malaya. The vast number of Roman and Grek coins and artifacts recovered from these lands is conclusive evidence of their presence thereabouts.

Roman And Greeks

In 1962 a Roman helmet came to light in a North-west Kimberleys rock shelter. Large numbers of Roman and Greek coins dating to the period of the Roman conquests have been found throughout central Queensland, possibly carried inland by aborigines who obtained them on the coast. Perhaps the full story of the ancient world-explorers may never be known. However, from the many ancient clues at our disposal it is certain that our history is far older than most Australian realise.

Psychic Australian February 1977

Australia's Marine Colossus

By Rex Gilroy

Australia's Marine Colossus