• To boldly go … into the blue

    By James Sved on June 25, 2017

    WASHINGTON, DC (Herald de Paris) —  I never expected to revisit this.  Nearly eight years have past since we first introduced you to a small group of off-road bicycle tourists, who started pedaling in Alaska.  When we caught up with them, they were in year three of their adventure, and they had made it all the way to Peru.  “We came to accept that good beer no longer exists,” these intrepid adventurers wrote in 2009, “There is only one type of cheese: queso fresco, and that sadly, tortillas become extinct in South America.  Yet, culinary sacrifices are easy in light of being separated from friends and family for so long; we become uncles, relatives pass away, and our friends have adventures of their own.”  Nevertheless they rode on, intent on “Riding the Spine” of the Americas all the way to Chile.

    I don’t know if they ever made it.  A recent search revealed that their website and their Paypal donation site, one of the earliest forms of crowd funding, were no longer operational.  So why am I revisiting the “Riding the Spine” story at all?

    In recent years, I have been engaged in independent research.  It began with a submerged site in the western Caribbean, and has evolved into an odyssey of sorts, tracing the possible origins of the first humans to reach the Americas.  An architectural historian and archaeologist by training, I never fully subscribed to the Clovis Paradigm, the theory that claims that nomadic Siberians first crossed the Bering land bridge across the ice sheets of the North American Glacier 12,000 years ago, and chased the Woolly Mammoth all the way to New Mexico.  Instead, my research into ancient stone architectural ruins and construction methods was revealing another path – that the first humans may have arrived in Chile, and then rode, or walked, the same spine of the Americas all the way to … you guessed it, New Mexico.

    I wrote about this recently in an article titled, “First Americans probably did not come from Siberia.”  It is not without controversy, as my path could add as much as 6,500-12,000 years to the known record of humans in the Americas.  Nevertheless, that article has been generally well received.  Now the tough research begins.  I need to get out and Ride the Spine from the tip of South America to the American Southwest, to prove my hypothesis.

    People don’t like change, at least, people don’t like to think that what they learned in history books as children isn’t still true.  But so much has changed.  We were certain that the dinosaurs went completely extinct until a paleontologist named Jack Horner proved, only recently, that some dinosaurs evolved, and live on today as some of our bird species’.  We were told without question that the smallest things in the universe were protons, neutrons, and electrons.  That was incorrect, too.  The history books say that sometime in the last 10,000 years, humans inexplicably went through a period of immense development, from being nomadic hunter-gatherers to living in planned cities, complete with a knowledge of engineering, mathematics, and astronomy.  This would suggest a rapid acceleration of human evolution not recorded before, and not seen since.  It does not fit.

    The truth is, we actually know very little about the universe we live in, about the history of our very species, and about the planet we live upon.  There are vast gaps in the human record that can only be filled with theories.  More and more, we are finding those theories were limited to the knowledge of the time and they, like everything else, need to evolve.  The goal of my research is simple:  to fill in as many of the gaps in our own human history as possible.

    “But how did they get to South America?” is a common question I receive.  It’s all explained in the previous article, but suffice to say that by extending that arrival date to the last glacial maximum lowers the sea level 120m (Approximately 360 feet), and provides our planet with more than 25 million square miles of additional dry land.  At that level, the Pacific island chain extending eastward from Australia and the South China Sea before it has many more islands, allowing ancient seafaring adventurers a clear path to pick up the currents of the South Pacific which deposited them on the Chilean coast.

    It all comes back to our oceans, which makes a lot of sense as 70% of our planet is covered by water.  We barely know anything about 7% of our own sea floor.  We know more about the surface of Mars than we know about the bottom of our oceans, where many of the gaps in our human history can be answered.  But that is changing.  Technological advances are allowing companies like Doer Marine to build both manned and remotely operated vessels to map and explore our sea floors like never before.  Companies like Google profess to be mapping our seas but have really barely scratched the surface (Pun intended) in their efforts.

    My search for the truth about the origins of the arrival of humans on the American continents I hope will only be the beginning.  If we are able to solve this one question, it opens the door to better understanding how much more advanced our predecessors were, and for how long; It establishes a better baseline for the true coastlines of the ancient world and, with the technical advances in sea floor mapping, allows us to find more of our lost ancient ports and cities which then allows us to fill in more and gaps in the records of human history.

    But history is not the only reason to undertake this work.  The more we understand about the last great melting of the polar caps, how it affected human civilizations and their infrastructure, the better we can anticipate how the current changes in our climate will affect our species.

    I think this research is so important that I am even willing to sell this publication, which I founded a decade ago, to help fund it.  Add the Herald de Paris to your growing stable of media companies, Jeff Bezos, and help fund filling in the gaps in the history of our species.  Quit only looking to outer space, Richard Branson and Elon Musk – all life on this planet sprung from the sea.  If we ruin this planet and seek another to live on before we learn all we can from our oceans, our true history will be lost forever.  It isn’t a coincidence that the French word for the sea, Mer, is almost the same word for mother, Mère.  The ocean is mother to us all, and we know so little about her.  Help me build the infrastructure to map our sea floors once and for all, Larry Page, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg.  You have it in your means to do so.

    “All of us have in our veins,” said President John F. Kennedy, “The exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean.”  There are things in our oceans that could end suffering; cure diseases, for the ocean is us, and we are her.  I challenge you all to make this happen.

    It’s time to ride the spine and boldly go where no one has gone before – Into blue.  Make it happen.  I’ll be waiting to hear from you.

    James Sved, Publisher
    Herald de Paris

    Help fund this important research:  https://experiment.com/projects/did-the-first-humans-arrive-in-the-americas-by-sea-in-southern-chile-and-not-across-the-bering-straits



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