Psychic Australian March 1977
Vikings Visited Cairns
By Rex Gilroy
There is growing evidence to suggest that Norse seafarers sailed Australian waters 700 years before the arrival of Captain Cook. This is an exciting development for those interested in the early history of Australia for it is one more link in the chain of data which suggests that mariners from many parts of the ancient world were the true discoverers of our continent. Naturally some people are going to cry absurb to this proposition, but anyone who delves into the subject as much as I have will find a surprising large amount of support for this theory. After all, just because the voyages of Cook, Dampier Hartog and Tasman are well documented-cases does not mean that other less well recorded or unknown journeys to the south seas did not take place.
Megalithic Stone Structures
Take for example the mysterious megalithic stone structures near Bathurst, N.S.W.(See Psychic Australian Nov 1976) and also the equally enigmatic altar stones on the Blue Mountains, relics which imply the hitherto unknown existence on this continent of advanced cultures that flourished thousands of years before the coming of European explorers. These finds alone show that our traditional historic teachings are in error.
So it is also with American history. For generations Americans were taught to believe that their country was discovered by Columbus in 1492. However it is now accepted that he was preceded by the Viking Bjar ni Herjulfsson and his crew, who sailed from Iceland in the summer of 985 AD. Much later, the founder of the Greenland colony, Erik the Red, sent his son Leif Ericson to those shores. This event took place in 1000 AD.
Certain archaeological finds now imply that later norse expeditions followed the American east coast southward even towards Cape Horn. The remains of two apparent Viking longships were discovered some years ago preserved in mud in the Amazon River. They are now in Buenos Aires Museum. The natives of the Amazon region once worshipped a thunder-god called Gutan ( a corruption of the norse Wotan?) and preserved traditions of fair-haired "White Gods" who came among them long ago. Of course, such things are not in keeping with what we have traditionally been taught about the Vikings who according to most historians, were murderous plunderers who kept mainly within the confines of Norwegian waters, occasionally sailing across the channel to raid the coast of the British Isles. This view is however in error.
It is common knowledge that Harold Blue Tooth, King of the Jutes, and Sven Rat-Nose made expeditions to Spain where they traded and were also employed as mercenaries for the Sultan of Spain about the year 1000AD.
It was the Vikings who introduced the first parliament and laws to backward russian peoples. And, around 1100AD they carried their trade around the top of Russia through the Bering Strait.
The Chinese emperors, like the Sultan of Spain, recognised their fighting prowess and also employed the Vikings as mercenary troops. It was the Chinese who directed them further southward into South-East Asia for trade.
Just how far these voyages actually penetrated is a mystery. However with the aid of Chinese maritime charts (which at that time showed the unmistakable outline of Australia among the islands of South-East Asia) they might easily, by following the seasonal drift-currents, have penetrated through Torres Strait even to Polynesia. Some residents will think I have gone to far, but I am going to show that Vikings may very well have sailed Australian waters.
The writings of Confucius indicate that Chinese mariners were visiting Australia between 592 and 553 BC. In Taipeh University, Taiwan, are tow ancient charts. Both date back 2000 years. One map depicts the south coast of New Guinea and the east coast of Australia as far south as Victoria and also some of the northern coastline of Tasmania. The other map, engraved upon a vase, shows the scraggy but undeniable outline of Australia. And yet we are still taught by the "experts" that Australian exploration only began 200 years ago with the arrival of Captain Cook.
Perhaps Chinese mariners familiar with these waters accompanied by the noresmen on their voyages southward as far as Java, and the javanese (who certainly knew of Australia) could also have been responsible for directing them further south.
The Vikings must have possessed maritime information of which little or nothing has come down to us. It cannot be disputed that, even in the 12th century their Icelandic scholars were somehow aware of lands in the southern hemisphere. How could they have known this, unless of course Viking seafarers had sailed these waters? My interest in our ancient past was excited in 1972 with the discovery by natives digging a trench in the mountainous jungle country inland from Port Moresby New Guinea, of a bronze horned helmet. Experts later identified it as a Viking relic at least 900 years old. If indeed a pre Cook deposit, the helmet is surely one of the most important archaeological finds since the unearthing of an Egyptian axe blade near Penrith, N.S.W. in 1969; for it indicates that mariners from northern Europe were in Pacific waters centuries before the earliest Dutch, Spanish , French or Portuguese explorers.
Anthropologists have long been puzzled by apparent "norse" features in the native art of the New Guinea-New Ireland region as well as other areas of the west Pacific. For centuries prior to the coming of the 19th century European settlers the natives of the Solomon Islands constructed clinker-built war canoes which they called the Mon. These craft were identical in every way and size to the longships of the Vikings. The Mon war canoes possessed a tall mast and sail, a high prow and stern surmounted with snake figureheads. The vessel carried up to 40 rowers, 10 on each side and the natives made round shields which, like the Vikings, they hung along the sides of the vessels to keep out the water in choppy seas. The natives also made ceremonial face masks that looked more akin to the winged and horned helmets of the Viking warriors. In such headdresses they sailed the waters of the Pacific, raiding victims for their cannibalistic feasts.
Differences in Natives
To this day the islanders point to the differences of the men of Malaita Island compared to the other Solomon natives in terms of intelligence and bearing, also in colour. These natives possess red hair and blue eyes and are quite fair in complexion to the others.
The Malaita islanders claim to be direct descendants of the "White Gods" who came in great ships shaped like the Mon. The Mon style of war canoe appears widespread in the Pacific Islands. Variations occur in New Guinea, especially in the Sepik district, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, even in some of the water craft of the old New Zealand Maoris.
Ceremonial Masks And Wood Carvings
Likewise, Viking-style ceremonial face masks and helmets exist in New Guinea, New Ireland, the Solomons and elsewhere thereabouts. A strikingly similar bark helmet, complete with kangaroo rib bones for "horns" was once used by the formely fierce aboriginal tribes of Cape York in far north Queensland. Some of these tribespeople possessed remarkable European-style features and pale skins .nearby on the coast in recent times the remains of an ancient wooden shipwreck displaying norse features in its structure has been found.
Further norse-type features exist in the human figure wood carvings of these regions, figures clad often in strange garments with heads surmounted with the familiar horned or winged helmets. The wood, stone and chalk figures of the Malagan region of north-western New Ireland include often anthropomorphic beings with horned heads. The natives of New Ireland even worshipped a Wotan-like deity who "pushed back the doors of darkness each morning". He is depicted in carvings as a bearded loin-clothed figure wearing a Viking-type helmet.
The clay pottery of the Massim and Huon gulfs of northern New Guinea are unlike anything known to the traditional culture of this region, displaying European-style pattern work which has persisted for centuries.
Wooden spatulas made by the natives of Trobriand Island bear, among other symbols, the old norse swastika. I have seen this symbol elsewhere in Pacific Islands wood and stone art, identical swastikas have also been found in Java, Malaya, Cambodia, Vietnam and even Japan. Places where perhaps Viking traders sailed long ago, leaving elements of their culture behind them.
Similar curious features are to be found among the culture of the aborigines, particularly in northern Australia. Here the coastline is washed by the South-East Asian drift currents, currents upon which the ancient mariners of the Middle-East and Asia must have sailed thousands of years before the Vikings. Thus there is every possibility that, as with these earlier explorers, Viking expeditions could have been blown to the shores of Darwin or Cape York. Evidence of such visits and also long-time occupation could be seen in certain myths and legends of the aboriginal tribes of the far north. As with the natives of the Sepik district of New guinea and elsewhere in the Pacific, the aborigines of northern Australia believed in fairies, water spirits and other elemental beings familiar to the mythology of northern Europe.
The aborigines, like the Vikings, believed the rainbow was the road to the afterlife. The tribes of Arnhem, Land believed in a thunder god whose features were similar to the nordic Wotan. He is depicted in cave art as a human figure with axes tied to his arms and legs with which he created thunder and lightning. They also believed in the Murinbungo, strange "water Lubras" who, like the Lorelei or Rhine Maidens of northern Europe mythology, lured unsuspecting tribesmen to their deaths in the swamps and water courses of the Gulf country; and also the "Sky Sisters" who, in the manner of the nordic Valkyrie, carried off dead aborigines slain in battle to the sky world.
Here as with the peoples of the Sepik district in New Guinea, New Ireland, the Solomons and elsewhere, we find pale skinned, European featured natives with fair or red hair and blue eyes; and we ask ourselves again, could these natives be descendants of Viking seafarers who came here a long time ago? The aborigines of Arnhem Land and Cape York, like their Pacific island counterparts, preserve traditions of a race of red-haired blue-eyed "White Gods" who arrived on the coast in the dream-time, journeying far inland giving the tribes elements of their culture.
The aborigines in their rock art have in some areas preserved a record of visits by these, and also other equally mysterious visitors in the dim past. A human figure painted by early aborigines in a Cairns shelter is depicted dressed in horned helmet and garments reminiscent of the old norsemen. Other equally mystifying aboriginal rock art exists on the New South Wales coast, North of Sydney the vertical cliffside carvings of two horn-headed human figures have been found in the vicinity of a strange ship carving reminiscent of a Viking craft.
Similarities Amongst Natives
If the foregoing evidence does not suggest hitherto unknown voyages to the southern hemisphere by norse seafarers, then how else does it explain the discovery of the bronze horned helmet in the New Guinea highlands, the apparent norse features in the sailing craft of the Solomon Islands and elsewhere. And how else, in a region where horned animals did not exist prior to the coming of European settlement in the 1800's, did the natives of the Pacific region obtain the idea of horned helmets? Perhaps the answers to these and many more enigmas of our ancient past may never be known. One fact however emerges, and that is that the history of Australian discovery and exploration will have to be rewritten to include a great many ancient seafaring races who were here long before Captain Cook.
Psychic Australian June 1977
Fantastic Gorilla-Giants Of Katoomba
By Rex Gilroy
Fantastic Gorilla-Giants Of Katoomba