The Piri Reis map shows that the northern part of that continent had been mapped before the ice did cover it. The last period of ice-free condition in the Antarctic ended about 6000 years ago. There are still doubts about the beginning of this ice-free period, which has been put by different researchers between year 13000 and 9000 BC. The question is: Who mapped the Queen Maud Land of Antarctic 6000 years ago? Which unknown civilization had the technology or the need to do that? It is well-known that the first civilization, according to traditional history, developed in the Mideast around year 3000 BC, soon to be followed within a millennium by the Indus Valley and the Chinese ones. Accordingly, none of the known civilizations could have done such a job. Who was here 4000 years BC, able to do things that only NOW are possible with modern technologies?
"6, July, 1960
Subject: Admiral Piri Reis Map
TO: Prof. Charles H. Hapgood
Keene College, Keene, New Hampshire
Dear Professor Hapgood,
Your request of evaluation of certain unusual features of the Piri Reis map of 1513 by this organization has been reviewed. The claim that the lower part of the map portrays the Princess Martha Coast of Queen Maud Land, Antarctic, and the Palmer Peninsular, is reasonable. We find that this is the most logical and in all probability the correct interpretation of the map. The geographical detail shown in the lower part of the map agrees very remarkably with the results of the seismic profile made across the top of the ice-cap by the Swedish-British Antarctic Expedition of 1949. This indicates the coastline had been mapped before it was covered by the ice-cap. The ice-cap in this region is now about a mile thick. We have no idea how the data on this map can be reconciled with the supposed state of geographical knowledge in 1513.
Harold Z. Ohlmeyer, Lt. Colonel, USAF Commander"
All through the Middle Ages were circulating a number of sailing charts called "portolani", which were accurate maps of the most common sailing routes, showing coastlines, harbors, straits, bays, etc. Most of those portolani focused on the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas, and other known routes, just as the sailing book which Piri Reis himself had written. But a few reported of still unknown lands, and were circulating among few sailors who seemingly kept their knowledge of those special maps as hidden as they could. Columbus is supposed to have been one of those who knew these special sailing charts.
To draw his map, Piri Reis used several different sources, collected here and there along his journeys. He himself has written notes on the map that give us a picture of the work he had been doing on the map. He says he had been not responsible for the original surveying and cartography. His role was merely that of a compiler who used a large number of source-maps. He says then that some of the source-maps had been drawn by contemporary sailors, while others were instead charts of great antiquity, dating back up to the 4th century BC or earlier.
Dr. Charles Hapgood, in his book "Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings" (Turnstone books, London 1979, preface), said that: "It appears that accurate information has been passed down from people to people. It appears that the charts must have originated with a people unknown and they were passed on, perhaps by the Minoans and the Phoenicians, who were, for a thousand years and more, the greatest sailors of the ancient world. We have evidence that they were collected and studied in the great library of Alexandria (Egypt) and the compilations of them were made by the geographers who worked there.
Piri Reis had probably come into possession of charts once located in the Library of Alexandria, the well-known most important library of the ancient times. According to Hapgood's reconstruction, copies of these documents and some of the original source charts were transferred to other centers of learning, and among them to Constantinople. Then in 1204, the year of the fourth crusade, when the Venetians entered Constantinople, those maps begun to circulate among the European sailors. Most of these maps were of the Mediterranean and the Black sea. But maps of other areas survived. These included maps of the Americas and maps of the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. It becomes clear that the ancient voyagers travelled from pole to pole. Unbelievably, the evidence nevertheless indicates that some ancient people explored Antarctic when its coasts were free of ice. It is clear too, that they had an instrument of navigation for accurately determining the longitudes that was far superior to anything possessed by the peoples of ancient, medieval or modern times until the second half of the 18th century.
In 1953, a Turkish naval officer sent the Piri Reis map to the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Bureau. To evaluate it, M.I. Walters, the Chief Engineer of the Bureau, called for help Arlington H. Mallery, an authority on ancient maps, who had previously worked with him. After a long study, Mallery discovered the projection method used. To check the accuracy of the map, he made a grid and transferred the Piri Reis map onto a globe: the map was totally accurate. He stated that the only way to draw a map of such accuracy was aerial surveying: but who, 6000 years ago, could have used airplanes to map the earth?
The Hydrographic Office couldn't believe what they saw: they were even able to correct some errors in the present days maps! The precision on determining the longitudinal coordinates, on the other hand, shows that to draw the map it was necessary to use spheroid trigonometry, a process supposedly not know until the middle of 18th century. Hapgood has proved that the Piri Re'is map is plotted out in plane geometry, containing latitudes and longitudes at right angles in a traditional "grid"; yet it is obviously copied from an earlier map that was projected using spherical trigonometry! Not only did the early map makers know that the Earth was round, but they had knowledge of its true circumference to within 50 miles!
Hapgood had sent his collection of ancient maps to Richard Strachan, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hapgood wanted to know exactly the mathematical level needed in order to draw the original source maps. Strachan answered in 1965, saying that the level had to be very high. In fact Strachan said that in order to draw such maps, the authors had to know about spheroid trigonometry, the curvature of the earth, and methods of projection, knowledge that is of a very high level.
The way the Piri Reis map shows the Queen Maud land, its coastlines, its rivers, mountain ranges, plateaus, deserts, bays, has been confirmed by a British-Swedish expedition to Antarctic (as said by Olhmeyer in his letter to Hapgood); the researchers, using sonar and seismic soundings, indicated that those bays and rivers etc, were underneath the ice-cap, which was about one mile thick.
Charles Hapgood, in 1953, wrote a book called "Earth's Shifting Crust: A Key to Basic Problems of Earth Science," wherein he developed a theory explaining that the Antarctic had been ice-free until year 4000 BC. The theory summed up: The reason the Antarctic was ice-free, and therefore much warmer, it is to be found in the fact that, at one time, its location wasn't the south pole. It was located approximately 2000 miles further north. Hapgood says this "would have put it outside the Antarctic Circle in a temperate or cold temperate climate." The reason the continent moved down to its present location is to be found in a mechanism called "earth-crust-displacement". This mechanism, not to be confused with the plate-tectonics or the continental drift, is one whereby the lithosphere, the whole outer crust of the earth "may be displaced at times, moving over the soft inner body, much as the skin of an orange, if it were loose, might shift over the inner part of the orange all in one piece". (Charles Hapgood, "Maps of the Ancient Sea-Kings")
Anyway, whether Hapgood's theory is correct, the mystery still thrills. The Piri Reis map is something which is not supposed to exist. I mean that by no means there was supposed to be anyone that far back in time able to draw a map of such precision; in fact the relative longitudinal coordinates are totally accurate, as stated by Official studies on the map that we saw above. And this is a demonstration of impossible technology: the first instrument to calculate the longitude in a approximately correct way has been invented in 1761 by the Englishman John Harrison. Before there was no way to calculate the longitude in an acceptable way: there could be errors of hundreds kilometers. And the Piri Reis map is just one of several which show supposedly unknown lands, impossible knowledge, precision which still today would surprise.
In fact Piri Reis himself admitted he based his map on much older charts; and those older charts had been used as sources by others who have drawn different maps still of great precision. Impressive is the "Dulcert's Portolano", year 1339, where the latitude of Europe and North Africa is perfect, and the longitudinal coordinates of the Mediterranean and of the Black sea are approximated of half degree.
An even more amazing chart is the "Zeno's chart", year 1380. It shows an area in the north, going up to Greenland; its precision is flabbergasting. "It's impossible" says Hapgood "that someone in the fourteenth century could have found the exact latitudes of these places, not to mention the precision of the longitudes..." Another amazing chart is the one drawn by the Turkish Hadji Ahmed, year 1559, in which he shows a land stripe, about 1600 Km. wide, that joins Alaska and Siberia. Such a natural bridge has been then covered by the water due to the end of the glacial period, which rose up the sea level.
Oronteus Fineus was another one who drew a map of incredible precision. He too represented the Antarctic with no ice-cap, year 1532. There are maps showing Greenland as two separated islands, as it was confirmed by a polar French expedition which found out that there is an ice cap quite thick joining what it is actually two islands.
Hapgood made a disclosure which amazingly lead further: he found out a cartographic document copied by an older source carved on a rock column, China, year 1137. It showed the same high level of technology of the other western charts, the same grid method, the same use of spheroid trigonometry. It has so many common points with the western ones that it makes one think that there had to be a common source: could it be a lost civilization, perhaps the same one which has been speculated about for thousands of years?"