Monday, 6 September 2010

6 September 1492 - A Fatal Voyage

Nobody can say for sure what happened to the Spanish-funded expedition led by Genoese sailor Cristopher Columbus. What is known is that the three ships that set out from Gomera in the Canary Islands on 6 September 1492 were never seen again.

The initial theory that Columbus and his crew died of starvation after drastically underestimating the circumference of the earth seems unlikely since, as those following after the discoveries of John Cabot and William Weston three years later eventually discovered, while the Columbus was indeed wrong about the circumference of the world, the route he took should have brought him into contact with the Antilles or the Isthmus of Darien.

It is of course possible that Columbus did reach the continent of Brazil only to encounter hostile natives but with the exception of the Mesobrazilian Quetzalcoatl Prophecy, there is even less evidence of Columbus' voyage than that of a Malian Sultan a hundred years earlier, to which Haroun ibn Battuta alludes in his own writings.

My theory is that Columbus simply pocketed the cash provided by the Spanish dual Monarchy and set sail from Gomera only to circle round and land in Morocco, where he was able to live comfortably. Indeed many remarked on the physical resemblance between the Moroccan leader, Abdul Kadir, who established the Islamic colony at Pernambuco, and the wily Genoese trickster.

The truth is, we will never know whether Columbus reached the continent of Brazil some three years earlier than Cabot.

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