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Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt
Herewith are the 14 points of Niven Sinclair's "Beyond a Shadow of a
Doubt" that I said I would publish on the list if I were asked to do so
- I was asked and Niven has granted me the privilege of sharing these
with all. If you are interested at all, I suggest that you read them
carefully - they may be an eye opener. Anyone not interested can simply
hit the delete button.
Following the 14 points are additional appropriate comments by Niven -
you will note that he has no love for Christopher Columbus.
Regards to all, Neil St.
Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt - Niven Sinclair
"I would like to turn to the "proofs" of the Sinclair Voyage of 1398 to
Fourteen points will be offered, each based upon facts which I have
1. Contingency Plans - Before Henry left on his voyage he made certain
dispositions of his lands to his brothers John and David. He assigned
the lands of Pentland to his brother John whilst transferring the lands
of Auchdale and Newburgh in Aberdeenshire to his brother David.
To his eldest daughter Elizabeth, who married Sir John Drummond of
Cargill, he left his lands in Norway provided he died without a male
heir. This would suggest that he took his three sons with him on the
voyage as they were alive at the time and of an age when they would have
been considered able to accompany a military or naval force.
2. The Zeno Map - A map of the North Atlantic was drawn up by the Zeno
brothers. In 1393 Henry Sinclair sent Nicolo Zeno to carry out a survey
of Greenland. Nicolo returned to Orkney in 1395 where he died from
prolonged exposure to the Arctic weather. He was succeeded as his
Admiral by his brother Antonio Zeno.
3. Accuracy Attested and Confirmed - For the next several centuries the
Zeno map was used by such well-known cartographers as Ruscelli (in
1561), Mercator (in 1569) and Ortelius (in 1574). And even subsequent
maps made by Hondius (in 1597), Danckwertz, Cornielle and Taverneir (in
1628) and Bellini (in 1765) were, save for the orientation , inferior
to the Zeno Map. The authority for this statement is from Professor
Hobbs of Michigan University.
The so-called Zeno Map has been compared by Professor Hapgood to an
aerial survey of Greenland, carried out recently by the United States
Airforce. Professor Hapgood found 37 points of identity with the Zeno
4. The Zeno Narrative - In the words of Professor Taylor of London
University "The authenticity of the [Zeno Narrative] account has been
challenged but on very flimsy grounds. It appears to the present writer
(Professor Taylor) that it would be quite out of the question for any
author to invent a story which in every detail reflects facts about
which it would be quite impossible that he could have been aware. Such
is the story of Markland which Antonio Zeno, then in the Feroes, sent
back to his brother Carlo in Venice and which a descendant edited and
published in 1558. The later Zeno was personally known to Ramuso, the
great authority of his day on voyages and discoveries, whom he could
hardly have deceived".
5. Zeno had never been to Rosslyn - The Zeno Narrative speaks of "the
spring of pitch" which the reconnaissance party of 100 soldiers found at
Stellarton and which they reported back to Prince Henry at Guysborough,
both places in Nova Scotia. On hearing this, Prince Henry considered it
was a "good omen" because there was a similar "spring of pitch" at his
home at Rosslyn in Scotland. The "pitch" had been used as a medicine
against the Black Death. It is reputed to have saved the Sinclairs from
the scourges of that particular plague, so much so that they erected a
shrine over its site.
Now this story is faithfully recounted in the Zeno Narrative, although
Antonio had never been to Rosslyn. In other words, he could only have
heard of the "spring of pitch" of Rosslyn from Henry as they both stood
listening to the report of the returning soldiers in Nova Scotia.
Incidentally, Henry sent out a reconnaissance party of 100 men. Those
of us whop have been in the army that if you can afford to send out a
reconnaissance of this size, then the base camp must have comprised many
times that number.
6. My personal inspection - I have visited all these places where
Prince Henry is understood to have visited. You could too. If I had to
describe the places visited, my description would have been almost
identical to the words used in the Zeno Narrative.
7. The Westford Knight in Massachusetts - There is an effigy of a
medieval knight carved in a rock ledge. It was "discovered: by an
amateur geologist by the name of Frank Glynn. I now quote from a report
by Professor Lethbridge of Cambridge University. "The sword carved on
the rock can hardly be anything but a medieval sword. The whole hilt
looks about AD 1200-1300. The significance of this is considerable. I
do not see how this particular form of sword could be anything but
European and pre-Columbian.
9. Opinion of noted expert on heraldry - Sir Iain Montcrieffe, the
Albany Herald (one of Scotland's most noted authorities on heraldry)
writes, "There is, of course, nothing remarkable in the idea that the
"Jarl" of Orkney, a Scotsman, but also the premier noble of Norway,
should sail to America in the 14th century for Norsemen had been
crossing the Atlantic Ocean since at least four centuries before and the
great Scandinavian houses were all inter-related. Henry Sinclair was
also related to the Gunns, at that time perhaps the most important
family on the Pentland Firth to the Sinclairs themselves. So the
discovery at Westford of what apparently is an effigy of a fourteenth
century knight in bascinet, camail, and surcoat with heater shaped
shield bearing devices of a Norse - Scottish character such as might
have been expected of a knight in Jarl Henry's entourage and a pummelled
sword of the period, is hardly likely to be a coincidence. I rather
think that the mighty "Jarl" stayed a while, possibly wintered in
10. Newport Tower - In Rhode Island the Newport Tower is perhaps the
oldest stone building (as compared to monuments, such as tumuli or
dolmens) in America. It is based on the plan of the Church of the Holy
Sepulchre in Jerusalem which has the octagon within the circle. Its
stone construction is similar in style to the Norse/Scottish buildings
of the Western and Northern Isles. More important, to allay any doubt
as to the identity of the builders, every single measurement within
Newport Tower is based on the Scottish ell which equals three Norse
It was customary for knights returning from a crusade or from a
pilgrimage to the Holy Land to build a church on the design of the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We find these round churches all over
Europe. Henry was certainly familiar with them. He had two of them in
his island principality at Orphir and Egilsay in Orkney. He would have
seen the round church at Northampton when he travelled to London in 1392
because he would have stayed with his Sinclair kin in Northampton Castle
which is close by. He also knew of he round churches in Norway at
Nidaros (now Tronheim) because he visited both places with some
regularity. And he would have know of the five round churches on the
island of Bornholm in Denmark where he stayed between 1363 and 1365. In
Greenland, at Karotok, there is also the remains of a church which has
all the characteristics of the Newport Tower.
Another aspect of the Newport Tower which identifies its origin as
Norse/Scottish is the fireplace on the first floor above ground level.
The majority of fireplaces in Scandinavia (18 out of 27) have this
feature. The door is also on the first floor. People gained access by
a ladder which was lowered from the upper floor.
11. Indian Language - Most historians of early European settlement in
America pay scant regard to Indian legend and language from which we
can learn much. An exception is Professor Roger McLeod of Lowell
University in Massachusetts who compiled a huge dictionary of Norse and
Gaelic words which have been assimilated into the language of the
indigenous people, more particularly the Algonquin group of tribes along
the eastern seaboard of America. Reider T. Sherwin in his book "The
Viking and the Redman" also writes about the Norse origin of the
Algonquin language. Similarly, Arlington Mallery's book "The
Rediscovery of America" has an appendix showing the similarity between
Norse and the language of the East Coast tribes.
Whenever and where ever there is trade there must be an assimilation of
words by both sides in the transaction to facilitate that trade. The
very scale of the infiltration of Norse words into the language of the
indigenous population establishes (beyond all shadow of a doubt) that
trade had been taking place for centuries before Columbus. There was
even an Indian chieftainess with the name Magnus. (There is no
distinction between male and female names in some tribes).
Henry Sinclair called the indigenous people of Nova Scotia "his beloved
sons" or "Micmac" in Gaelic. Can it be coincidence that they are known
as such to the present day or that there is another tribe known as the
"Penikuk" which is the title of the District in Scotland (Penicuik)
where Henry's lands were!
Incidentally, the Micmac Indians were not savages. They had a written
language which closely resembles the hieroglyphics of Egypt. In fact,
so closely are they similar that they are almost indistinguishable. See
the works of Professor Fell, who died recently while I was visiting
America. Furthermore, skeletons have been found in America dated back
to 37,000 BC. It is abundantly clear that the American Continent was
visited by many people before Columbus.
It is an ongoing fact of life that language becomes assimilated when
populations contact one another. For example, we are well aware that
the English language owes much to French, Greek and Latin. We are not
so aware of the Arabic words which we use every day such as alcohol,
coffee, summit, zenith and cotton. Many other words are being absorbed
all the time, especially as we eat at Chinese, Japanese or Indian
restaurants. When I was a boy I had never heard if a pizza! Now it is
a part of every child's vocabulary, if not their diet!
12. Indian Legends - Let us examine some of the legends of the
Amerindians. When Henry began to build a ship from local materials the
Micmacs tell of how "He built himself an island, planted trees on it
and sailed away in his stone canoe". The word "trees" refers to the
masts. The word "stone" obviously refers to the hard deck of Henry's
ship, as opposed to the open canoes of the Micmacs.
When the Narragansett Indians were asked who built the Newport Tower
they replied "They were fire-haired men with green eyes who sailed up a
river in a ship like a gull with a broken wing". The "broken wing" is a
reference to a flapping sail. Notice that they used "fire-haired"- not
In his book "Prince Henry Sinclair" Frederick Pohl said that the Micmacs
thought of Henry Sinclair as their God Gluskap who taught them many
things. I suspect they likened him to their God rather than assuming
that their God had returned. It is interesting to note that all the
Amerindians have similar stories about their Gods "appearing from the
East on a column of spray" and that they were all tall, fair and
13. Rosslyn Chapel - Far across the ocean in Scotland at the Rosslyn
Chapel there are stone carvings of Indian maize, the American aloe
cactii and sassafras, carved before Columbus was born. This proves
quite conclusively that someone from the Sinclair family had travelled
to America and had returned with sample or drawings of the plants which
they had found in the New World.
14. The Hakluyt Society - From the Boston Herald in 1892 one can read:
"Leif came to the land of North America, built houses, made friends
with the natives and explored the land, giving names to places some of
which exist to the present day. These names were placed on the charts
and are the same which Henry St. Clair used, affixed to his maps, now in
possession of the Hakluyt Society in London, a reproduction of which may
be found in Redpath's History of America".
>From all of the foregoing, it is clear that the proof of Henry
Sinclair's voyage is indelibly hewn in stone on both sides of the
Atlantic Ocean. It is recorded in the stories of the Amerindians and
has been authenticated by historians in Europe and America.
Whilst the crews of Christopher Columbus were on the point of mutiny,
we find that Henry Sinclair's admiral, Antonio Zeno, could write in a
letter to his brother Carlo in Venice:
"If ever here was a man who was worthy of immortal
it is this man because of his great bravery
Henry's treatment of the indigenous people was impeccable by
he standards of his day..
Columbus was a mercenary with all the greed and brutality of that breed
of man. And yet it is Columbus who is credited with beginning the Great
Age of Exploration and Discovery. It would be truer to say that he
heralded The Great Age of Exploitation and Extermination.
It is incumbent upon us all to ensure that Prince Henry Sinclair gets
his rightful place in history because, whether you are an indigenous or
immigrant American, you have every reason to be proud of this noble Scot
who followed in the wake of his Viking forbears (almost 100 years before
The story of Prince Henry's voyage to America is part of our past, part
of our inheritance. Henry combined courage with vision, humility with
greatness, and vision with action. He was a true Prince of Men who
espoused the Templar ideal of chivalry and fraternity.