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Re: Re[2]: The Henry Voyage

Dear Friends,
    Once more the arguments rage about the 'proof' of the St Clair/Zeno
Voyages to America. Now lets get real.

    Bear in mind that I have spent over fourteen years studying and writing
about Sincalir history and related themes, as well as more than two years
research here in England, in Edinburgh, Orkney, Nova Scotai and New England
investigating the St Clair/Zeno voyages.

     Having co-authored a book about this trans-Atlantic epic, there should
be no doubt on which side of the fence I am on - namely the side of the
search for truth and undersatnding of history. In my opinion, for what ever
that is worth, the voyages were real, extensive and, ultimately, impotent in
that no discernable difference was made to the course of history by Henry's

    Simple, irrefutable and definitive proof of the voyage or voyages simply
does NOT exist. Nor is there one shred of credible evidence to prove the
contrary. Both sides of the argument are based on circumstantial evidence,
reasoned argument and the application of analysis and logic to the various
facts which are pertinent.

   The whole argument in favour of the voyage has been, perhaps
irretrevably, damaged by well intentioned exageration, fantasy and myth -
and now is weakened still further by citing works of fiction as acceptable
source material.

     To complicate matters further, for every artefact that is germane to
the argument in favour of the voyages reality, there are at least two, often
three or more, alternative explanations on offer. So the question that
naturally arises is 'On what basis did we write the book?'

    Having carefully studied all the arguments both for and against the
voayge as a historical reality, and all the theories of origin for the
Westford Knight and the Newport Tower, we decided to write our account based
on the principle of 'the balance of probabilities'.

    The cumulative effect of weighing all the evidence of European contact
with that part of the American continent rpvided the context in which the
voyage took place and proved, in this case truly beyond all doubt,
thefeasability of the voyage. The other evidence and viewpoints considered,
clearly demonstrated that Henry St Clair made not one, but two voyages
across the Atlantic between 1396-1400.That honest opinion does not blind
either Marilyn or myself to the many very real flies in this particular

1) The acceptance of the Zeno Narrative as a commentary on the work of Henry
St Clair depends for its credibility entirely on the interpretation of the
word Zichmini proposed by Frederic Pohl. His view on this interpretation is
reinforced by the comments of Professor Barbara Crawford. However these are
opinions - logical and persuasive though they may be - THEY ARE NOT FACTS.

2) The clear and unequivocal identification of the landing site at
Guysborough by Profesor Hobbes as being the only possible site in North
America to marry up with that described in the Zeno Narrative, is a highly
convincing piece of this complex jig-saw puzzle, but taken alone it does not
constitute irrefutable proof. Though it certainly adds considerable weight
to the argument for veracity. No opponent of the voyage who has allegd that
the whole Zeno Narrative is a fake, has yet come up with a credible
argument, or any argument whatsoever, to explain how aVenetian 'faker' would
have possessed such accurate geographical knowledge prior to the exploration
of Nova Scotia by the earliest recorded Eropean explorers.

3) The Westford Knight's true import is not universally accepted, in fact it
is a matter of considerable, long-term dispute. The identification of the
coat-of-arms as that of the Gunn family by Sir Ian Montcrieffe of that Ilk,
is particularly important and convincing. To quote his words, it is not a
fake because he doubts if there are three other people in the world who
would have the expertise to recognise that coat-of-arms for what it really
is. However, the tie in with Henry came about simply because of the absence
of any other credible explanation as to how a member of the Gunn family got
to North America at that time. Working from memory, I am not sure at this
time whether or not it was Sir Ian or Lethbridge who made that assumption.
Be that as it may, there is NO documentary evidence linking Sir James Gunn
with Earl Henry in respect of the voyage.

4) The Newport Tower, as mentioned previously, is the most diputed and
controversial building in the entire North American continent. Rivals for
the title of its builder or architect include: Governor Benedict Arnold; the
Portuguese explorer Cortreal; Earl Henry St Clair; Ivor Knutson and Un-named
Vikings  - for some reason (probably blind, racial perjudice) we have
completely discounted St Brendan and Prince Madoc. Having considered all the
evidence, especially the architecture and the method of construction, in the
light of Jim Whittal's prolonged comparative study of the Tower with its
possible rival models in Orkeny, Northern Europe, Tomar et all, we plumped
unhesitatingly for Earl Henry. Others differ - vehemently and vogorously -
as they have every right to do.

    Despite these very real problems, when one views the entire demonstrable
history of trans-Atlantic travel and then judge the various components of
the arguments for and against the Zeno/St Calir voayge on their merits, one
is led by a cumualtive process of evaluation of credible profesional
opinion, visual eveidence and compelling argument to decide that the voyage
described in the Zeno Narrative really took place and was made by Henry St
Clair. However proving that by the standards of a criminal court is, quite
frankly, impossible. Judged by the standards of a civil court howver, i.e.
on the balance of prababilities, the case is convincing well founded and
very real.

    Some weeks ago I challenged Henry Root to a public debate on this
subject as he had criticised our work on the issue, but without putting up
any counter suggestions. He refused, despite having earlier accused me of
poor public presentational skills. Happily, the chalenge was passed on to a
far more worthy opponent, Dr Brian Smith of Shetland. Brian is a good
scholar whose research is meticulous. I was happy to accept his
participation.  Therefore, later this year a debate will take place between
Brian and myself on the following proposition:

'That this house, on the basis of the evidence produced before it this
night, are convinced that the Voyage to America by Earl Henry St Clair is an
historical reality'.

    Dr Brian Smith is a worthy and honest opponent. He will not use fantasy,
exageration or cite works of fiction in support of his arguments.The only
problem I have in organising this debate is to find a reasonable venue and
an audience with sufficient discernement to judge the issue on its merits
and not on the basis of national, family or personal bias. Therefore the
debate will probably take place on mainland Europe beforean audience maily
composed of  historians both amateur and profesional.

    Lets have no more of the myth making please, and, I beg you all, if you
wish your views to be considered as even remotely serious, do not cite works
of fiction as a source unless you are debating literature as your chosen

Best wishes


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