Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #975 on: September 03, 2007, 04:20:39 PM »

If Menzies is correct and the Chinese were clever enough to build ships of that massive size, you have to wonder, where is the evidence that there were harbors of sufficient size to hold all those vessels? Today, you probably couldn't put all those ships in NYC and London's ports! Therefore, it stands to reason that some evidence would remain available.

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« Reply #976 on: September 03, 2007, 08:50:41 PM »

donotremove re:#1031

I think that Bob confirmed the Center of the World theory although I may have brought it up as their actual name Chung-guo; and it is mentioned again in that really nice link that Dzimas found on the fake map. One of the comments mentioned  in response to the link that even the Japanese still call the PRC that, even as the Chinese themselves do; but, you should hear how they pronounce the name of what they call Japan.

It was also quite interesting what one of the comments said about the use of simplified script revealing the forger to have been educated in the last fifty years (wasn't me; I can't even read the tiny script reproduced on that map; nor did this formatting on this site where we post reproduce the sample of simplified script in my first example of the change post-War of Japanese Imperialism as the Chinese call it, but instead printed that row of smiley and frown faces just above the message board in case anybody was wondering why I would have chosen to put those there or what kind of a mood was that?).

I found the comments to Dzima's forgery link all pretty interesting views or rejections of the others' views misunderstood as dubious. I'm thankful to Dzimas for documenting so much including "a more sober view" by the scholar who did his dissertation on the Ming dynasty at Harvard in 1971.  A very telling piece of information because Mr. Kissinger was then teaching at Harvard (as well as the White House), and that dissertation means that the scholar won the grand price, an opportunity  to do academic research as the travels began, which led to his book on the voyages of Zheng-He.  People wanted to go for the dangedest things. But I was on the mailing list from "Henry the Navigator" as I called him, which his secretary Betsey sent out to keep us all informed.  She translated everything for him and kept him informed.The liaisons between US and the Chinese arranged tours of every kind which were announced in these bulletins.

By the way, donotremove, you are correct, they are still using the remunerative shock and awe tactic of displaying their naval vessels and navy personnel which I seem to remember making headlines a couple of years ago in The New York Times.  It would seem to put them on a par, although I don't recall seeing a full-scale nuclear driven  -- I mean this is like teenagers cruising down the boulevard in their hot-rods -- anyway until I saw a post-card of what my son was on; what I'm trying to say is that this makes them capable of the perpetual motion world tour such as he was doing and got as far as Oman(Straits of...), as he always says, thank god, in Peace time, until about, since thanatopsy alludes to it, "when the big ships came into New York Harbor" which I seem to vaguely recall on tv and on the front pages of the paper, all the big sailing ships arrived in port, and my cousin had come from Le Mans to repair the flame on the torch of the statue of Liberty.

Ps. thanatopsy, unless the British or the Portuguese dredged it, the harbor between Hong Kong and Macau should have been able; likewise, the harbor between Vietnam and Hainan(where poets went in their exile for displeasing Emperors) may have been capable, as I was reminded by the contents of that book link from Dzimas, that's right, the Ming came from Nam which is how you say South in Chinese. (and those other so-called provinces not yet developed, according to the information on the map forgery, but which bear names that indicate that they are part of the South,Yunnan,Hunan,Honan,etc.).

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thanatopsy
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« Reply #977 on: September 03, 2007, 10:07:52 PM »

... seems like a good starting point for finding proof of those claims.  Hopefully, some day they will have a look.
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« Reply #978 on: September 03, 2007, 10:46:56 PM »

Oh, you are referring to looking into the harbors there for remains of ships?

So, Thanatopsy,  what year was that exactly that they had the big festival of sailing ships in NYC, I was thinking it was between 1984-1985? Maybe, a year later, I'm losing track of time in the past tense. It's just the details that come back such as that I watched on two tv sets. One for the picture, and one for the sound.

I know that the Challenger disaster (or, the Feynman challenge, to my mind) took place end of Jan.1986; so, all these events are visual memories to me and connected together visually as taking place while I lived in one particular house that I can see as if it were yesterday.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #979 on: September 04, 2007, 02:05:13 AM »

Who needs proof when you got a large segment of the public who will buy these stories lock, stock and barrel.  Chinese joinery was excellent, but I doubt they had the means to build ships of this enormous scale.  Technologically, it is virtually impossible to build a wooden boat over 400 feet in length.  As the Nova article noted, the largest of the Victorian ships, which measured around 300 feet, were often reinforced with iron to handle the buckling that would have occurred on the high seas.  A boat the size of those purported Chinese treasure ships would have been made into kindling in the first major storm on the high seas.  As yet, no one has found any archeological evidence to confirm ships of this size, or as thanatopsy noted a historic port that could have accomodated such large ships.  Until something materializes other than a second Menzies book, I'm afraid I can't accept such theories. 

A book like this makes mockery of all the things the Chinese actually did accomplish during the Ming Dynasty.  Certainly one of the most impressive periods in human civilization.  I suppose it is hard for guys like Menzies to believe the Chinese weren't interested in circumnavigating the globe, and discovering all the hidden recesses of the world, but it seems that the Chinese were perfectly content with their well established trade routes because they provided them what they needed to keep their imperial society satisfied.  I'm sure the Chinese reached Australia and New Zealand, and some wayward ship may have even found its way to the Pacific Northwest, but there is simply no way a fleet as large as that of Zheng He's could have made it around the world in two years and mapped out the territories Menzies claims he did.  Don't forget that Magellan had to travel through Tierra del Fuego not around it, because the water around Cape Horn was the most treacherous in the world and had claimed previous attempts to circumnavigate the world.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #980 on: September 04, 2007, 02:11:30 AM »

Probably one of the most amusing pieces in Menzies' book was his contention that the Chinese actually made it up the Mississippi River all the way to the Missouri,

http://www.1421.tv/pages/evidence/content.asp?EvidenceID=406

I don't know if anyone has read Twain's Life on the Mississippi, but unless the Chinese had dredgers leading the way, it would have been impossible to make it up the Mississippi in even the smallest of Zheng He's ships.  You simply can't make statements like this and expect anyone to take your book seriously.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #981 on: September 04, 2007, 02:58:07 AM »

The interesting thing about that 1418 integrated map, maddie, is that it predates the time Zheng He supposedly discovered America, 1421, mapping it extensively.  So how is one to assume the Chinese collected the information for the earlier map?
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Dzimas
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« Reply #982 on: September 04, 2007, 03:08:11 AM »

If Menzies is correct and the Chinese were clever enough to build ships of that massive size, you have to wonder, where is the evidence that there were harbors of sufficient size to hold all those vessels? Today, you probably couldn't put all those ships in NYC and London's ports! Therefore, it stands to reason that some evidence would remain available.

The Spanish and Portuguese had a difficult time finding harbors in the New World for their puny Caravels, so one is pretty hard pressed to imagine the Chinese could have found any harbors for their massive junks.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #983 on: September 04, 2007, 06:55:42 AM »

Shipping hazards on rounding Cape Horn

Several factors combine to make the passage around Cape Horn one of the most hazardous shipping routes in the world: the fierce sailing conditions prevalent in the Southern Ocean generally; the geography of the passage south of the Horn; and the extreme southern latitude of the Horn, at 56° south. (For comparison, Cape Agulhas at the southern tip of Africa is at 35° south; Stewart Island at the south end of New Zealand is 47° south.)

The prevailing winds in latitudes below 40° south can blow from west to east around the world almost uninterrupted by land, giving rise to the "roaring forties" and the even more wild "furious fifties" and "screaming sixties". These winds are hazardous enough in themselves that ships traveling east would tend to stay in the northern part of the forties (i.e. not far below 40° south latitude); however, rounding Cape Horn requires ships to press south to 56° south latitude, well into the zone of fiercest winds.[17] These winds are further exacerbated at the Horn by the funneling effect of the Andes and the Antarctic peninsula, which channel the winds into the relatively narrow Drake Passage.

The strong winds of the Southern Ocean give rise to correspondingly large waves; these waves can attain enormous size as they roll around the Southern Ocean, free of any interruption from land. At the Horn, however, these waves encounter an area of shallow water to the south of the Horn, which has the effect of making the waves shorter and steeper, greatly increasing the hazard to ships. If the strong eastward current through the Drake Passage encounters an opposing east wind, this can have the effect of further building up the waves.[18] In addition to these "normal" waves, the area west of the Horn is particularly notorious for rogue waves, which can attain heights of up to 30 metres (100 ft).[19]

The prevailing winds and currents create particular problems for vessels attempting to round the Horn against them, i.e. from east to west. Although this affects all vessels to some extent, it was a particularly serious problem for traditional sailing ships, which could make very little headway against the wind at the best of times;[20] modern sailing boats are significantly more efficient to windward and can more reliably make a westward passage of the Horn, as they do in the Global Challenge race. In recent times, only two small yachts have taken this route, John Kershmere did so on his 32 footer in the early 80s. Lin and Larry Pardey sailed west around the Cape in 2003 on an engineless 29 footer.

Finally, ice is a hazard to sailors venturing far below 40° south. Although the ice limit dips south around the horn, icebergs are a significant hazard for vessels in the area. In the South Pacific in February (summer in Southern Hemisphere), icebergs are generally confined to below 50° south; but in August the iceberg hazard can extend north of 40° south. Even in February, though, the Horn is well below the latitude of the iceberg limit.[21] These hazards have made the Horn notorious as perhaps the most dangerous ship passage in the world; many ships were wrecked, and many sailors died, attempting to round the Cape.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Horn

This is assuming the Chinese had time to map Antarctica to the degree which Menzies believes they did.  Otherwise, I assume they would have wisely passed through the Straits of Patagonia, that is if those incredibly large junks could have fit through the often narrow passages, which frustrated not only Magellan, but the captain of the Beagle as well, which Darwin recounts in his ventures some 300 years later, in much smaller ships.
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #984 on: September 04, 2007, 07:44:10 AM »

Four hundred foot long vessels on the Mighty Mississippi?  I cross that river every day to get to work and it is quite flat. The hulls of ocean going vessels need sheer in order to keep from tilting over into oblivion. By contrast, boats that travel the Mississippi need to be flat bottomed in order to span its largely flat range.  Boats of that size and weight simply could not make it beyond the Pontchartrain. For what is purported to be an experienced mariner, Menzies should know better than to make such an outrageous claim.

Who knows?  Perhaps Menzies will uncover evidence that the vessels were also amphibious or that the Chinese invented steamboats and were clever enough to find a way to land them on the moon!
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Dzimas
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« Reply #985 on: September 04, 2007, 07:58:38 AM »

Thanatopsy, I think it reached the point where Menzies simply didn't care anymore whether he had evidence or not.  He was having too much fun writing the book.  It has been fun surfing his website, where one preposterous piece of "evidence" contradicts another.  The 1418 map being perhaps the most flagrant example.  But, then the map shows no ice in the Arctic region so maybe Zheng He found the mythical Northwest Passage while exploring Greenland and Newfoundland.  Something akin to "Davy Jones locker."  His evidence for Chinese being on the Mississippi were some scaly dragons painted on some rocks that could only be Ming Dynasty in origin, or some such thing.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #986 on: September 04, 2007, 08:03:36 AM »

I fear that like the Da Vinci Code, there will be expressed tour groups going around the Americas visiting these sites, which Menzies feels provide evidence to his claims.  DK might even publish a travel guide if Menzies is so fortunate, but then he can always publish one of his own along the same illustrated lines.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #987 on: September 04, 2007, 08:40:50 AM »

As my Dad loved to say, the guy is laughing all the way to the bank.
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caclark
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« Reply #988 on: September 04, 2007, 11:17:12 AM »

".....Menzies has taken the history he could find and has created a scenerio he believes is true, inviting people to "talk" about it, add to it, await further information."

If that is the best he has on which to pin his hopes at this point, it bespeaks a lack of a strong argument on which to rest his case for such a controversial thesis.

Anyone has a right to write and publish a book and there’s nothing requiring any of them to adhere to generally accepted practices in research and scholarship. But there’s also nothing stopping academics from applying the same rigorous standards which they adhere to themselves to a work of pop literature that has been presented to the public as a historical study and is receiving a wide reading.

It would be easy to dis Menzies as a crackpot. But it would be letting him off the hook if he is something worse such as an unscrupulous attention-seeker who is out to fleece a gullible reading public with highfalutin hokum masquerading as history. Anyway, the guy chose to publish a book and now he and his book are fair game.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2007, 11:43:12 AM by caclark » Logged
weezo
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« Reply #989 on: September 04, 2007, 12:46:33 PM »

Dzimas,

I really don't remember the part of the book where Menzies asserted the Chinese went up the Mississippi. But, they would have shown poor sense to have tried to take the huge junks up the river. They could have taken smaller boats into that river.

As for harbors, Menzies states where the large junks made landfall, and it is at deep harbors. Smaller boats would have been used to explore the shortline, if indeed he did explore North America which I find somewhat doubtful.

I think it has been well established that the treasure ships were the size Menzies states, from other books and web links. You seem to dwell on this point with a disbelief that it could be done. You remind of the Thomas Jefferson apologists who insist the man was too "moral" to have made babies with Sally Hemmings - a disingenious argument, considering the alternative is that he gave free license to do so to his nephew, a hardly more moral stance!

The existance of a painted dragon on a rock could indicate that an artistic Chinese passed by there. It does not suggest that a major fleet did so. Menzies tells us that the fleets dispatched small groups for closer observations. Why do you persist in a supposition that all the ships traveled at all places all the time?


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