Drake in British Columbia?

The Turbid Theories of Samuel Bawlf

Above: This newly discovered painting, probably by Richard Hakluyt (who, by the way, also wrote most of Shakespeare's plays), of the Golden Hind in British Columbia in July of 1579, demonstrates just how extensive the conspiracy of silence surrounding Drake's voyage to the shores of Western Canada really was, and explains why no contemporary painting of the Golden Hind has ever before surfaced. It also means that all aspects whatsoever of world maritime history are now proven invalid. Here we see that the Golden Hind was actually steam-powered. This experiment, suggested by John Dee (a master of vapors), was kept so quiet that the results were lost to the English when the 8,537 persons who knew about it had died, not to be rediscovered until little Jimmy Watt, at the age of seven, stumbled across a vague reference, written in invisible ink on the margins of a forgotten map, hand drawn by Drake's butler's grandson's second cousin's personal astrologer, whose mother once had a dream about Drake. The heretofore unrealized steam-power of the Golden Hind proves that the circumnavigation itself could not have taken more than a fortnight, thus leaving almost three years of Drake's time unaccounted for - time he clearly spent founding Victoria, Vancouver and Seattle (his reference to a "great post" is of course to the Space Needle). Also seen in the painting is an antenna, far left, probably part of another historic and "forgotten" experiment by Drake, the first attempt to use radar to map a coastline. (Radar, it will be remembered, returned to view later on - in England!) Other suppressed innovations in the painting include concrete, PolarTec (tm) snow-suits and the steel-truss railroad bridge (bits of which are now often found in excavations of native sites, cobbled into knives, swords, anchors and Ford pickup trucks.)

Once again a lonely wail of Eureka! echoes along the Pacific American coast as yet another overheated enthusiast has convinced himself and the ever-credulous popular press that he has solved the mystery of Drake's exact whereabouts during the Golden Hind's visit in the summer of 1579. As sometimes happens, the echo has been incorporated into something of an out-of-tune chorus by a chirping choir of those few who have something to gain - personal, professional or even financial - by promoting it. This usually occurs when the "discoverer" is well-connected and/or well-heeled, regardless of the validity of his claims, and when he has included in his presentation subtle and not-so-subtle appeals to provincial patriotism and to the finely-tuned sensibilities of bureaucrats in the business of establishing parks, monuments and such, who often are indiscriminately receptive to any speculations that might justify the expansion of their bailiwicks, and to prowling academics, who often have barely heard of Drake - let alone have spent the years necessary to gain a decent overview of the issues - but who hope to see their names somewhere other than on the dusty shelves of their own departments' little libraries.

In this instance, Mr. Samuel Bawlf, a prominant ("When Sam phones, one returns his call, " says one informant) Canadian politician and Drake enthusiast, has convinced himself and local journalist Stephen Hume that Francis Drake visited their corner of the world, British Columbia (B.C.), during his famous voyage of circumnavigation in 1579. Mr. Hume in turn apparently convinced his editors that Drake is still capable of selling newspapers and so on August 5 and 7, 2000 four pieces appeared in major B.C. area daily papers. This barrage was followed on August 27 by another exposition of the claims in a major Seattle daily newspaper. In keeping with the academic setting he has established for discussion, Mr. Bawlf has also appeared on a Canadian television morning "news" program. The five daily-newspaper pieces include:

1. Saturday, August 5, 2000 Vancouver Sun, section A, pages 1- 2: Under the large primary front-page headline "'Compelling' discovery rewrites B.C. history" and next to a gigantic 7 by 10 inch color portrait of Drake begins an approximately 2000-word article, written in breathless tabloid style by reporter Hume, that outlines Mr. Bawlf's assertions, in the process presenting them as though they were fact. The article continues on page 2, under the full-width headline "Historians hail 'groundbreaking' work," accompanied by another portrait, almost as large as the one of Drake, of politician Bawlf. The online version is here; please use your "back button to return to this page (also please advise me if this link fails).

2. Saturday, August 5, 2000 Vancouver Sun, section B, pages 1-6: A type size normally reserved for declarations of war screams "Secret Voyage to B.C." over yet another colorful acre of so of Drake's face on the front page of this section. Below and to the side are slightly smaller headlines including the term "stunning research." The following five pages contain about two dozen graphics and, at a guess, around 10,000 words under Mr. Bawlf's byline. There does not appear to be an online version available.

3. Saturday, August 5, 2000, National Post, section B, pages 1-2: Under a more sedate heading, "Did Francis Drake Discover B.C.?" reporter Hume's piece begins, in a shorter version than in the Sun, next to yet another huge (and particularly unattractive) mug-shot of Drake in which an excess of red ink makes him appear either sunburned (unlikely in B.C.) or angry (quite possible, considering the liberties taken with him on those pages). On the second page the article continues under the again sedate heading "Exploring Drake's place in history." Perhaps the editors at the Post were still rolling the bait around rather than having swallowed it as did their cousins at the Sun - this may account for the perhaps mischievous placing of an adjacent unrelated article with the heading "Their jubilation is premature." The online version is here; please use your "back button to return to this page (also please advise me if this link fails).

4. Monday, August 7, 2000, Vancouver Sun, section A, page 1: Perhaps not wanting to be outdone by the Post juxtaposition, the Sun editors placed this front-page Hume piece, "Honour historic Drake mission: expert," next to a large photo of a garishly lush marijuana garden. The essentials of the earlier articles are repeated (and again presented as facts) but the thrust now, two days after the tabloid-like first publication of Bawlf's "stunning research," is towards justifying the establishment of a string of international (Canadian and U.S.) parks. Various park-type bureaucrats (all of course experts on Drake) are depicted leaping onto Bawlf's unseaworthy and top-heavy ferry. The online version is here; please use your "back button to return to this page (also please advise me if this link fails).

5. Sunday, August 27, Seattle Times, Local News: Here a new passenger, reporter Ross Anderson, climbs up Bawlf's shaky gangway with an article, "Did Sir Francis Drake discover Puget Sound?" This piece is largely a rehash of the earlier ones, but contains enough fresh malarkey to let us know that this journalist hasn't a clue about the circumnavigation and is thus easy prey for Bawlf (and in this case also fellow conspiracy buff Bob Ward). For example, Anderson makes the following statement:

"Two [of Drake's] ships were lost in the treacherous Strait of Magellan ...."

No they weren't, Drake had no trouble at all in that strait, as is fully documented. Then Anderson blunders on with this:

"By the time he reached the coast of Mexico, he'd filled his ship with loot, establishing his reputation as the Scourge of the Spanish Main."

Here Anderson is confused about which ocean Drake was in, or perhaps he's holding one of Bawlf's maps upside down. Drake made no forays into the Spanish Main during the circumnavigation. Perhaps made to feel secure by such fundamental ignorance, Bawlf and Ward play this poor reporter for a fool and get away with it, resulting in a series of unchallenged statements appearing in the article. For example, Anderson blithely presents this:

"Accounts of the Lost Harbor describe Indians living in "earth lodges," partially underground - houses not typical of California Indians but "used extensively by the Salish Indians" of the Northwest, Ward says."

This is a gross misrepresentation of what the "accounts" say, one that Bob Ward has been attempting to pass off for years and that simply does not even begin to scratch the surface of the gigantic problems he (and now Bawlf) face in trying to force-fit the genuine highly detailed and extensive descriptions of the natives at Drake's landing site to any culture north of mid-Mendocino County, California. The online version of the Seattle Times article is here; please use your "back button to return to this page (also please advise me if this link fails).

Soon after the initial fanfares, I was contacted by a highly regarded British Columbia author and journalist, Terry Glavin, who was aghast at both the tone and content of much he had read in the previous days, and who was preparing an answer to at least some of it for publication in his regular column in The Georgia Straight, a weekly B.C. newspaper. Glavin has studied and written extensively on coastal Pacific Canadian history, but did not claim any particular expertise about Drake - a subject usually of greater interest to those with more southerly concerns - though he knew enough to be highly skeptical of what he'd seen. His article appeared on August 17; early on, Glavin makes his position clear:

"But after a close reading of all the Vancouver Sun coverage and after interviews with Bawlf, Hume, and "experts" in these matters, it is not unfair to say a shadow of a doubt remains. Sadly, it is a shadow big enough to blanket the entire coast, from California to Alaska."

From there, Glavin addresses - and devastates - Bawlf's selective and illogical use of apocryphal tales in support of his theories. There is no online version of the Georgia Straight, but I am attempting to secure permission to reproduce here the entire essay. In the meantime, here is an excerpt dealing with some of the mythology upon which Bawlf's premises rest:

"According to Bawlf's account, excerpted in the Vancouver Sun, Juan de Fuca really was here, but the strait he claimed to have entered was actually Clarence Strait, which separates Prince of Wales Island from the Alaskan panhandle. This might make sense if one accepts Bawlf's proposed ten-degree coverup rule, and also if one accepts that Lok's Juan de Fuca story was doctored in this way to conceal the strait's true location. But why anyone would go to such lengths to conceal something that never happened in a place that never existed is a question that leads to a point in Bawlf's arguments where things start to unravel just a bit.

"In Bawlf's version of Lok's memoir, 'being entred thus farre into the Said strait. . .hee [Juan de Fuca] therefore set sayle and returned homewards againe to Nova Spania, where he arrived at Acapulco, Anno 1592.'

"But in the original text, between the words 'Said strait' and 'hee therefore set sayle', Lok's memoir actually has Juan de Fuca journeying through the continent for 20 days until he comes out, apparently, in the North Atlantic. Turning around, he sails back through the strait to the Pacific and south to Mexico again.

"Juan de Fuca is not exactly a credible witness for Bawlf's case. One might ask why Bawlf called him to the stand at all. Bawlf's answer is that Lok's story about Juan de Fuca (except for the part about sailing through North America and back) actually describes Drake's voyage to the Alaska panhandle. 'Clearly,' writes Bawlf, 'de Fuca's story was based on Drake's secret explorations.'

"Bawlf explains his startling discovery this way. Juan de Fuca knew of Drake's voyage because he was privy to the testimony of a certain 'Morera' (who, incidentally, may not have even existed). Bawlf says Morera travelled with Drake all the way to Clarence Strait, in Alaska. At some point Morera became ill and Drake put him ashore, leaving him for dead, but Morera got better and walked all the way back to Mexico, where he arrived four years later. Morera reports to the authorities, Juan de Fuca reads the report, and hey presto, Juan de Fuca's yarn is based on Drake's secret explorations. In other words, some guy tells a patently fraudulent story which nevertheless contains a legitimate description of the B.C. and Alaskan coast because it comes third-hand or fourth-hand from another guy who may or may not have existed, who walked all the way from either Alaska or B.C. to Mexico, 400 years ago.

" 'The ultimate pedestrian' is the way California researcher Oliver Seeler, himself an avocational historian and the author of an expansive, yet-to-be-published manuscript about Drake, with 700 footnotes, describes the Morera story, a yarn that has been making the rounds for centuries. 'A nebulous fourth-hand tale, apocryphal and completely undocumented. . .to have walked from California to Mexico would have been one thing. But from B.C.?'

"Stephen Hume, meanwhile, says he cares whether Bawlf's story is 'real' and he believes it is. Hume says he'd like to see an independent academic assessment of Bawlf's claims, as well as some better public understanding about Drake and his real accomplishments. No quarrel there: In Victoria, a legislative library web page describes a statue of Drake outside the legislature by claiming Drake was 'the first Briton in the North Pole'."

[end of excerpt from Terry Galvin's August 17, 2000 column in The Georgia Straight; copyright 2000, The Georgia Straight and/or Terry Glavin]

A Synopsis of Further Objections:

Terry Glavin was constrained by the space available to him; I suffer no such limitations here (for better or worse), but am myself constrained by the time demanded by other projects, and by a desire to reply to the chaotic presentations of Bawlf's theories without completely confusing my own readers. Because of copyright laws I am unable to reproduce in full the texts of the various Canadian (and now additionally one U.S.) newspaper articles. The main one, under Bawlf's own byline, does not appear on-line. Following is a brief synopsis of some of my preliminary objections to various of Bawlf's statements and contentions. I may add to these comments as I have time, so an update notice appears at the end of the synopsis.

Matters of Fact

Each of the five batches of newsprint contains outright errors (see for example item number 5, above) and/or speculations presented as though they were documentable facts. Some of these are made under the bylines of reporters Humes and Anderson, and some under Bawlf's own name. To anyone who considers it unfair to lay the mistakes of the former two at the feet of the latter, it is pointed out that it was Bawlf who permitted his work to be published in this way, and any violence done to history as a result is his responsibility.

In the first three introductory paragraphs of the main text under Bawlf's name we are told that the Golden Hind carried 18 guns, that she returned home with 59 men, that their captain (Drake) was 38 years old, that he was called "el Dragon," and that he had seized "26 tonnes of gold and silver" from "treasure galleons on the coasts of Chile and Peru."

Each of these "facts" is no more than a supposition, if not an error: we don't know how many guns the Golden Hind carried (see my article, "Study of Ordnance May Help to Determine Drake's Calif. Harbor," The Artilleryman 11:2 (1990)); we don't know how many men returned with her; we don't know Drake's year of birth; he was never known by a ridiculous multi-lingual nickname (it was "el Drako"); we don't know what the real total weight of the booty was, and he captured only one, not more, treasure galleon off today's Ecuador, not Chile and Peru. So, who cares about a few mistakes and misrepresentations that have nothing to do with the issue at hand? Well, it's an immediate sign of sloppy scholarship and a hasty (and often convenient) assignment of truth to what in fact may be fiction. Once that particular dam is breeched, there's no telling where the rest of the waters will flow.

The Natives Met by Drake

The concept that Drake might have sailed further north than the present U.S. - Canadian border is hardly new, and neither is the idea that he might have landed north of that line. (Others have placed him as far south as Santa Barbara, California, while a tiny minority claims that he was never in North American Pacific waters at all.)

As everyone reading this far surely knows, the major focus has long been on the California coast in the general vicinity of San Francisco. Some of this attention has been the result of intense research, some because of provincial patriotism, some because of political influence and some because of fraud. But all of it is anchored on a single thing - the description of the natives met by Drake, as published in Hakulyt's three chronicles and in The World Encompassed. It is noteworthy that not a single professional anthropologist, archeologist or ethnographer has taken exception to the position expressed by many analysts since the mid 19th century that, in Alfred Kroeber's words, Drake met with Pomo-like people - a group whose relevant historical territory has been placed firmly along about 100 miles, as the crow flies, of the California coast, from the north end of the Golden Gate to a few miles above Ten Mile River in northern Mendocino County.

Any theory placing Drake elsewhere must challenge the source of these descriptions (which is not something even the wildest theorist has attempted), or must challenge basic empirically-derived conclusions about the nature and distribution of native American cultures, or must have Drake stopping in two (or more) places, one of them being in historical Pomo/Coast Miwok territory for a long enough period for the detailed observations to have been made.

This idea of two stops was suggested, without an accompanying landing-site theory, by Dr. Alfred Kroeber (whose published remarks on Drake are invariably presented out-of-context in support of "Drakes Bay" as The Spot) in 1925, and the first such developed theory was published soon thereafter by historian and cartographer Henry Wagner, who placed Drake in Trinity Bay, well north of the usual places, and had him then sailing south to Bodega Bay for his sojourn with the described native people. In the present case, Bawlf's theories (and those of Bob Ward of Whale Cove, Oregon) collapse in large part because of a failure to implement any of these three alternatives.

Bawlf essentially ignores this most crucial of all issues, making only a lame suggestion that the "great post" on which Drake nailed an engraved plaque might have been a totem and mumbling about completely isolated and apocryphal tales of prehistoric white men and winged canoes, stories of a sort that can be assigned to a wide range of physical or spiritual sources and that can be found almost anywhere on the Pacific American coast.

Time is running out ... all over the place...

Much of Bawlf’s theory is supported by supposed missing months of time in the chronicles. Bawlf refers to "... seven-and-a-half months between Huatulco and the date given for his first landfall after crossing the Pacific." Perhaps this reflects a danger of working with journalists and editors who are essentially ignorant about the subject at hand, but the error, as are others, is conveniently in Bawlf’s favor: The "given" dates (which of course don’t appear in the article) are April 16 and Sept 30 - a period fully two months shorter than Bawlf would have us believe! Polite terms fail ...

The World Encompassed

Continuing into the morass, we find Mr. Bawlf conveniently confused (at best), about the origins of the very important and by far most extensive contemporary account of the circumnavigation, The World Encompassed (WE). He would have us believe that it was at least begun by Drake. There is no evidence - not a shred - that Sir Francis Drake the circumnavigator had anything to do with this compilation. The Sir Francis Drake who published the book, in 1628, was the circumnavigator’s nephew and heir to his title. The book's title is misleading (perhaps intentionally): It reads, "The World Encompassed By Sir Francis Drake" - the "by" refers to who "encompassed," not to who wrote the book. The text itself comes largely, but not exclusively, from the notes of Francis Fletcher, preacher on the Golden Hind - as is stated right on the title page.

There have been extensive linguistic analyses conducted on this text to establish its orgins, notably by Henry Wagner in the 1920s and, while some questions remain about this often misused work, Bawlf is paddling around in a far backwater in attempting to anchor it to Drake. Bawlf’s casual assignment of the WE to Drake, presented as though it was fact, is intended to bolster his claim of a conspiracy within a conspiracy - that Drake, supposedly unhappy with a lack of recognition of his achievements (this from a knighted, newly very wealthy and already nearly deified hero of the English), "leaked" information about the circumnavigation in defiance of the larger conspiracy of silence. That Bawlf feels compelled to resort to mayhem such as this to support his theories is an ominous sign; it also a disservice to history and is insulting to those who have dedicated years to legitimately researching these topics - real experts, not buearocrat-historians employed in the backwaters of government agencies.

The way Bawlf uses the text itself of the WE is typical of the cavalier attitude of many earlier theorists, notably the Drake Navigators Guild. It has already been demonstrated above in the quoted excerpt of Terry Glavin’s Georgia Straight essay how Bawlf’s omissions in relating the Juan de Fuca legend skew his presentation from obvious fantasy to believability - at least for those who have only his words to go by. Here, in another of his distortions of the WE text, Bawlf spins:

"Sailing northward, it says, they had reached latitude 42 degrees on June 3 when suddenly 'we found such alteration of heate, into extreame and nipping cold that our men did grievously complaine thereof ... and the rain which fell was an unnatural congealed and frozen substance, so that we seemed rather to be in the frozen zone...'

"Sailing two degrees farther north, it says, it became so cold that their meat froze soon after it was removed from the fire, and the ropes became so stiff that twice the normal manpower was hardly able to work the ship’s tackle.

"But then the account has them sailing southward past hills covered in snow and abruptly arriving at an anchorage in California. And where the story has the Indians here going mostly naked, it describes some others who 'come shivering to us in their warme furres ... and sheltering close together' to stay warm."

Bawlf’s point here is about the weather, not latitude, so even though the WE has Drake sailing north to 48 degrees, here he keeps him as far south as possible. The only thing "abrupt" about it is Bawlf's truncation, not the account itself, which presents a perfectly reasonable and relatively detailed sequence of events and positions, published in 1628, after Bawlf’s supposed conspirators were long gone.

The Cold Weather

The idea that the unbelievable reports of wintery weather in June indicate that Drake was much further north than otherwise indicated is not new, but it has seldom if ever been raised in any detailed proposals. Usually, the reports are dismissed as fabrications, intended to justify a less-than-vigorous search by Drake for the fabled strait or to discourage the Spanish (who are said to have generally detested cold weather) from usurping the English claims of Nova Albion. Bawlf’s use of the weather reports to place Drake far to the north would seem reasonable enough, as speculations go, but there is a fundamental logical problem - if the idea of Bawlf’s vast and fantastically efficient conspiracy was to shroud the true extent of Drake’s northward probing, why then was this material allowed to remain in the accounts? The world’s climate, in Drake’s time, was viewed as composed of an orderly series of bands - the Frozen Zone, the Burning Zone and so on, and any Spanish analyst of the day would certainly have jumped to the same conclusion as Bawlf. So, Bawlf wants it both ways - extreme censorship, secrecy and modifications regarding the evidence that doesn’t fit his theory, and none regarding that which does.

But logic is not the only problem with respect to the weather reports. As outlined on my web site and detailed in my manuscript, there is physical evidence that the described conditions did in fact occur in the early summer of 1579, in what is now Northern California. The evidence exists in the tree-rings of California’s giant Redwood trees (sequoia giganticus). While questions remain, it has been long-established that the very narrowest growth ring in the 2,000 (or so) year long record is that for 1579 - the same year Drake was in the region. Prior to my pointing out to dendroclimatologists that this narrowest of all rings coincides with the reports of extreme cold from the Golden Hind it was thought that it was an indication of severely dry conditions. On reevaluation, the possibility of severe cold, either in addition to or instead of drought, arises. In any event there is no question that a unique and significant weather event ocurred during the year of Drake’s visit, which makes the application of "normal" conditions in analysis of the chronicles futile.

The Maps and Mappers

Bawlf's fantastic claim that the famous Jodocus Hondius was Drake’s "personal cartographer" is so absurd as to defy rebutal. However, here are a few questions: Why, if as Bawlf claims, Drake was so upset about having been "usurped" by Cavendish (who indeed was apparently no friend to Drake) and his second English circumnavigation, would Drake have "his" cartographer include that worthy’s track on "his commemorative map"? Why is the Golden Hind pictured on "his" map ignomiously grounded on a blue-water reef - an episode Drake would surely rather have forgotten? Why is there no portrait of Drake on "his commemerative map"? Why is Drake’s final stop in New Spain, at Guatulco, omitted from the map (more conspiracy, no doubt)?

Bawlf may have discovered this or that feature on contemporary maps that fits his theories - it's hard to tell from only the newspaper articles - but just about every proponent of a landing site in the last 150 years has done the same. To date, every such contention has proven to be wishful thinking. Aside from the Hondius fantasy, Bawlf invokes Robert Dudley - not a good sign, as was more than adequately pointed out, repeatedly, in the 19th century. Mr. Bawlf's refusal to provide specifics in this regard does not help relieve a sense of deep suspicion in this analyst.


Mr. Bawlf says, "What you wind up with is an incredible secret enterprise that was covered up so effectively for 15 years [after Drake's voyage] that when the principals died [Walsingham in 1590, Drake in 1596, Philip in 1598 and Elizabeth in 1603], it was forgotten for 400 years."

The idea that all of this exploratory activity could have been kept secret - or "forgotten" - during the ensuing years of intense English exploration and expansion is highly problematical. It is perhaps reasonable to speculate that the English, especially before the defeat of the Spanish Armada, would have been unable to take advantage of the Northwest Passage themselves and would not have wanted information leading to it to fall into Spanish hands. However, Drake was not alone on the Golden Hind - there were perhaps eighty others along, including seasoned sailors and "gentlemen" (a few of them intensely hostile towards Drake). As the existence of the Madox Diary and of the Anonymous Narrative demonstrate, not all of them kept their mouths shut. Most dramatically, Drake's young nephew John Drake was captured not long after the circumnavigation and interrogated by the Spanish, and his still-existing depositions (unearthed by Zelia Nuttall and published in 1914) are most interesting. John Drake was a demonstrably inaccurate witness, and was apparently telling the Spanish what he thought they wanted to hear. However, while he places the landing latitude to the north, he describes the natives of the south. Was he covering up a great northern discovery, risking his life by lying to his captors (with whom, it seems, he spent the rest of his life)? Or did he reveal Mr. Bawlf's monumental "truth" only to have the Spanish shrug it off? (The Spanish were indeed curious about what Drake had found, and later did a little sniffing around (expensively, at the cost of the galleon San Agustin), but never far to the north.) In any event, he mentions the high latitude but assigns no geographical significance to it.

The capture of John Drake by the Spanish in 1584, in South America, during the Fenton expedition, itself raises some serious problems for any theories of a "vast conspiracy." Are we to believe that the same incredibly efficient apparatus that supposedly enforced complete silence by 80 or so participants, that deflected all efforts by the highly effective Spanish intelligence operatives and that drew up maps only now revealed as "cryptograms" would allow John Drake and other circumnavigators to place themselves at high risk of being taken by the Spanish, just because a group of merchants wanted someone with Pacific experience along with landlubber Fenton? Or that landlubber Fenton would have been chosen to lead a second expedition to the fabled strait, if that's what it was? John Drake's journey with Fenton was approved from the highest levels; either the persons approving it weren't as concerned with secrecy as Bawlf's fevered imagination would have it, or they were incompetent - either way is not so good for Bawlf.

The above criticisms of Mr. Bawlf's theories barely scratch the surface. The pattern encountered in Bawlf's presentations is one very familiar to this analyst and ultimately differs little from many, many others encountered and dissected during the past dozen or so years. Suppostions presented as facts, omissions of contradictory evidence, convenient speculative assignments of motives, distortions of known facts and documents, invocations of secrecy and conspiracy, claims of special knowledge by this or that player, a complete lack of any physical evidence, misrepresentations of sources, use of the confusing nature of the historical record to mislead, involvement of unqualified and/or self-serving entities and "experts," reliance on social position to be heard, support from over-eager and naive reporters, outright errors and last but not least frequent severe lapses of logic are elements common to such proposals. Whether in this instance the resulting crazy quilt of obfuscation is delusional or intentional remains to be seen.

As mentioned, pressing matters have kept me from posting this rebuttal earlier, and from going into more detail. Additional material will be added as I find the necessary time. ~ Oliver Seeler, October 6, 2000

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Author's Note: Some of this material is adapted from or relates to my yet-unpublished book Francis Drake in Nova Albion - The Mystery Restored, in which these and neighboring thickets are explored much more deeply than on these few web pages. Thus there may be references here not fully explained, or answers missing their questions. Also lacking here is documentation, provided in the book by 782 endnotes. - Oliver Seeler

Nova Albion Research
Copyright 1996-2003 by Oliver Seeler
Please feel free to send your comments to oseeler@mcn.org
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