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Re: Henry's alleged shipbuilding and related matters.
The nonsensical idea that Henry St Clair sent all his seagoing ships home,
yet stayed in North America without naval support, flies in the face of
reality. No commander, much less one with the experience of Henry, would do
such a thing.
This whole farrago of codswallop was concocted by Frederic Pohl, a landsman
not a seaman, who mistranslated the Italian for oared galleys as rowing
boats. Not perhaps the most accurate of translations. The Zeno Narrative
recounts how Henry sent Zeno and most of the expedition back to Orkney and
stayed and explored further with the aid of his galleys. i.e. he was using
the foiurteenth century equivilant of the Viking ship to continue his
The sad, sorry saga of Pohl's misconception has had serious repercussions
which have hindered every serious student of the voyages to this day. Pohl
created from his own imagination a long, tedious and wholly imaginary
scenario of exploration of the rivers of Nova Scotia without one single
shred of evidence to substantiate it. Furthermore he again hi-jacked the
Glooscap creation mytholgy to give spurious backing to the ridiculous idea
that Henry st Clair built a ship, out of green wood in the depth of a
Canadian winter. These non-existant and imaginary wanderings gave the
fantasists such as Bradley and others, free rein to create absolutely
spurious attributions of St Clair origin to any pile of rocks that took
their fancy - again citing no credible evidence, but only too eager to cry
'foul' if any historian had the temerity to question their statements.
No wonder the world knows so little of the St Clair voyages exploring the
Americas. The whole subject has been smothered in myth, shrouded in legend
and then gift-wrapped in fantasy. It is no wonder that those of us who have
tried so long and so hard to bring the light of truth to bear on this area
have had such a damnably difficult job.
No Holy Grail across the Atalantic, no long-dead Templar knights in Henry's
ships, no Cistercian monks on board, certainly no treasure as ballast, no
trip to Oak Island and no exploring the rivers and creeks of Nova Scotia in
'rowing boats'. Just two voyages across the Atlantic, the Zeno Narrative,
the Westford Knight, the Newport Tower and several carvings in Rosslyn
Chapel. Is the truth not enough for you?
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