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  • I like the true story behind official story of Christopher Columbus discovering America.

    You know the official story about Columbus stumbling with his three ships on shores of Bahamas in 1492 when he tried to find the route to Asia. “I’m first!” he shouted full of joy as he raised the flag on sandy beach.

    There was another Genovese sailor and explorer, Giovanni Caboto, who had hoped to get money for that same sea voyage. Five years later Caboto succeeded in getting his own funding from King Henry VII of England.

    He set sail westwards from Bristol, western coast of England, in 1497 and was certain that he would find the Asian route Columbus had missed. After one month at sea, land ho! Caboto found unknown coast. He named it New Found Land (later Newfoundland).

    His explorer’s ecstasy was somehow dimmed by one thousand Basque fishing boats who filled the sea by coast of New Found Land. Basques from Northern Spain had fished cod on the shores of America already during several hundreds of years, they had made acquaintance with Native Americans inland and dried their cods on spruce branches all over the coast.

    Basques had just kept the secret for centuries. No true fisherman reveals his best spots.

    PS. I was somehow disappointed when I first heard the truth behind discovery of America. Like I should doubt all the history learned in school. My friend laughed at me and asked: "Do you really believe Columbus would have ever get the funding for some utopistic sea voyage if the funder wouldn’t have already known that there was some continent in the west?"

    PPS. In Britain they have discovered a letter sent to Columbus by Bristol merchants (1490s) while Columbus was taking the bows for his unique discovery of America. Merchants alleged in letter that Mister Columbus knew perfectly well that they had been to America already, long before Mister Columbus. Columbus never answered the letter.

    PPPS. As I said. Fishermen keep their secrets, while explorers shout loudly, raise the flag and take all the glory.

    PPPPS. That's how the world spins around. But should it spin around like that?
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