The Real Columbus Story
By James Donahue
We celebrate Columbus Day every
year. This needs to be stopped. The day honors Christopher Columbus who our history books falsely tell us was the European
that discovered America.
Indeed, the discovery
of the North and South American continents by Europeans occurred sometime about 600 years ago but the record of just exactly
what happened, and who did what is deeply shrouded in faded national and international propaganda.
A couple of Italians
seem to have helped in creating the maze.
are named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci who supposedly made numerous trips to the Americas from 1497 to 1504.
The story is that Vespucci explored from North American south to the Falkland Islands and helped European map-makers define
the newly discovered continents. Apparently the map makers were not aware of the exploits of Columbus and named the new land
the Americas, after Vespucci.
School books say
Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492, five years before Vespucci. But even this may not be true, according Ruggero
Marino, Italian historian.
Marino says the
late Alessandro Bausani, professor of Islamic studies at University of Venice, discovered evidence in an early 16th Century
Ottoman map that Columbus went to America on a secret mission for the Pope in 1485.
He claims the Columbus
story as told in contemporary textbooks is filled with misinformation generated by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.
The map, a somewhat
controversial document known as Piri Reis after an admiral of the Ottoman fleet who supposedly drew it in 1513, is allegedly
based on an original chart used by Columbus. It contains an annotation that states: "these shores were discovered in the year
890 of the Arab era by an infidel from Genoa named Columbus." In the Arab calendar, the year 890 is 1485.
While the authenticity
of the Piri Reis map remains in question, Marino says a Latin inscription in St. Peter's Basilica on the tomb of the pope
who reportedly financed the Columbus trip, Innocent VIII, gives supporting evidence. It says that during the pope's pontificate
"the glory of the discovery of the New World" occurred. Innocent died July 25, 1492, before the official story says Columbus
How did this story
According to Marino,
Innocent VIII, an Italian, dispatched Columbus on his voyage hoping he would find gold to help finance the Crusades. But the
pope's death in 1492 set the stage for a big change in the Vatican. The succeeding pope, Alexander VI, a Spaniard, covered
up the story and allowed the Spanish throne to take the credit.
Marino was expected
to publish a book on his findings.
Of course the controversy
over Columbus doesn't stop with the Marino story. The unnamed writer of a paper published on the Pace University website gives
a good outline of the rest of the story.
discover anything. There is clear evidence that people traveled to the Western Hemisphere as far back as 70,000 BC. and from
Europe and Africa to America beginning in 500 BC" the paper reads. The writer added that there was no regular contact
with this side of the Atlantic, but it was not a New World either.
"Columbus . . .
discovered nothing. Some historians suggest that the modern-day Bahamas (where Columbus was thought to have landed) were inhabited
by a couple of million Indians and Hispano (the island where Columbus spent most of his time had as many as 6 million residents).
The Americas had thriving populations when Columbus was said to have discovered the New World," the paper says.
Columbus was reportedly
sent to the New World to find gold, but he found slaves instead.
in his log that the Arawak people on the islands "are well-built, with good bodies and handsome features . . . they will make
fine servants. With 50 men we could subjugate them."
Not only did the
crew "subjugate" the natives, they enslaved, raped, and plundered their world. The women were forced to become sex slaves.
Executions were common for any natives that disobeyed.
people rebelled, but they were not skilled in warfare and were no match for the muskets, armor and weaponry aboard the Spanish
ships. Killings and mass suicides occurred. It was literal genocide. By 1508 there were only 60,000 native Arawaks left on
Hispano and 125,000 on Haiti. There had been a death rate of more than 95 percent.
"But our history
books record none of this," the article says. "We have a National Holiday for a discoverer, and adventurer, and a hero who
was, in reality, a mass-murderer, a rapist, and a greedy miser who was out to become rich."