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No. 46: Jul-Aug 1986

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Early chinese contacts with australia?

Readers of SF will recall three separate articles in recent issues relating to the Australian "pyramids." In the final analysis, these "pyramids" did not seem to be pyramids at all, at least in the archeological sense. All of this pyramid excitement was precipitated by Rex Gilroy, an amateur Australian archeologist. Well, Gilroy is at it again. This time he claims to have evidence of ancient Chinese visits to Australia -- long before the Dutch explorers and Captain Cook. Although our Australian contacts have warned us about Gilroy, and his "pyramid" evidence has been debunked, his latest data should at least be laid open for inspection, with caveats attached of course.

Since China is much closer to Australia than Egypt, and the way is paved with handy islands, early Chinese contacts would not be as anomalous at Egyptian-built pyramids.

Gilroy's latest claims are:

(1) A carved stone head unearthed near Milton, NSW, seems to represent a Chinese goddess. (2) An old Chinese record, Atlas of Foreign Countries, describes the north coast of a great land to the south inhabited by pygmies, evidence for which has been found in Queensland. (3) A 6th. Century copper Chinese scroll includes a crude map of Australia. A 2000-year-old vase also seems to show another crude map of this island continent. (4) In 1948, fragments of Ming porcelain were dug up on Winchelsea Island. Some 35 years ago, a jade Buddah was unearthed near Cooktown, Queensland.

As these data as legitimate and convincing as Gilroy claims? We will await further communications from Down Under.

(Gilroy, Rex; "Were the Chinese First to Discover Australia?" Australasian Post, May 1, 1986. Cr. A.L. Jones.)

From Science Frontiers #46, JUL-AUG 1986. 1986-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987