Pseudoscience: Paul Chiasson and the Island of Seven Cities

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Pseudoscience: Paul Chiasson and the Island of Seven Cities

It seems that Gavin Menzies is not the only person who claims that the Chinese discovered the Americas before Columbus.

Paul Chiasson, a Toronto architect and amateur archeologist, claims that some ruins at Cape Breton are indeed due to Chinese navigators who circumnavigated around Africa and came to Cape Breton and settled there. He claims that Mi'kmaq natives were culturally influenced by those alleged Chinese navigators too.

He published a book called The Island of the Seven Cities: Where the Chinese settled when they discovered America furthering his claim. Here is the Amazon summary and reviews.

A web site for the book is here.

What is ironic is that Chiasson has contacted Gavin Menzies and worries that his work is lumped with Menzies and both being described as fiction, just like Geoff Wade did for both.

More rebuttal of the book can be found in the 1421 Exposed web site by various experts.

Five provincial archeologists have refuted Chiasson's claims in this CBC article agreeing that there is no evidence of human settlement in the area, Chinese or otherwise.

Pseudoscience: Paul Chiasson and the Island of Seven Cities

Why is it that these nuts always seem pick the Atlantic coast. You could make a far more plausible, if unprovable, theory that they got to the much closer Pacific coast.

Anyway the main point is that the Muslim-led Chinese fleets were not so much on "voyages of discovery" as in the later European sense but were more about seeking to dominate the spice and slave routes between the straits of Malacca and the African ("Zanj" or "Kunlun") coast.

Given that context, you'd think that the Americas would have seemed very uninteresting to them (just as the Portuguese used to boast to the Spanish about the comparative worth of their respective empires).

Definately something up there.

I'm sure this will get laughed off the page here but here goes.

My family is actually from Cape Dauphin... having lived there off and on for about 250 years, though now we don't live there year round. It is cottage country to us now.

Our family, with a couple exceptions, is obviously quite skeptical of Chaisson's theory regarding the Chinese.

However, IMO, there is definately something up there. We're not talking about a couple piles of rocks, we're talking about dozens of these sites. Some really do resemble platform foundations. The site has been a topic of conversation for about as long as we have lived there... my great grandfather always used to say it was a 'failed scottish settlement'. Something along the lines of letting go of common sense in exchange for a good view (which believe me, the views from the site are fantastic).

There are roads to nowhere in the middle of the forest back up on Kelly's mountain, sometimes they last only 20 meters. But they are there.

Anyone with eyes who spends time up on the site (time being more than one afternoon, as it's spread out over kilometers) comes to a similar conclusion. There is definately something up there.

There was something there. A

There was something there. A mining company named Kelly Rock limited did some drill work up there. They were the ones that cleared the so called court yards. They did this about 15 years before Paul ever hiked there. What is disturbing is that this author can't tell the difference between something that is 15 years old and 500 years old.

Rest assured there is no basis for this book and it was written for personal gain.

Anyone who bothered to check the Nova Scotia mining dept would be able to find that out in seconds.

Paul Chiasson is not a charlatan but an honest academic

Many hitorical discoveries are by chance as a farmer discovered the terra cotta soldiers so many centuries later. I travelled to visit the burial grounds of my Chinese ancestors which are exactly as described by Paul Chiasson and was fortunate I took films and videos of this event in 1999. Paul Chiasson was right to feel protective about his discovery because when the public gets a hold of it they will dismantle and destroy the evidence!
Before you judge someone's study you must ask yourself whether you qualified to make this judgement?
The mention of his health condition was probably what motivated him to make his journeys back to his roots (often people faced with death want to return to their homeland). His Acadian roots he is obviously proud of and why should he not mention his family; they came from the same roots and helped him with his study.

It is probably true that Chiasson and Menzies supposed the Chinese came to mine Gold. The comment about European fleets making discoveries instead of economic ventures is the most hypocritical remark I ever heard! Why are you afraid of the truth?

Pseudoscience: Paul Chiasson and the Island of Seven Cities

Yes, John is right

Paul Chiasson's misuse of aerial photographs

Having visited Chiasson's site, and read commentary from a local geologist, I conclude that there are no cultural features apart from 20th-century heavy equipment work associated with a 1947 forest fire and a well-documented and controversial 1990s quarry proposal. Most of the features consist of natural glacial till and bedrock formations.

On pages 184 and 186, Chiasson shows an air photo which he attributes to 1929, showing a Chinese road, wall and rectangular town site. It is in fact from 1953, and shows a fire road and fire break. On page 258, Chiasson shows air photos "taken in the 1990s," which indeed they were. The features are more sharply defined here and now inculde a set of roads terminating in courtyards surrounded by Chinese hamlets. In fact, they show the road redeveloped for the proposed quarry site, with test sites at the end of the shorter roads. On the following page, he shows a 1931 air photo with vague shapes, digitally enhanced and outlined with heavy black lines which he claims shows Chinese "platforms and courtyards." They are likely either bedrock or exposed rocky till. Without the added lines their regularity is less apparent. The full set of these 1931 photos shows no road, no wall, no townsite and no courtyards surrounded by hamlets, all of which begin to appear in the later 20th century.

The confusing and inconsistent use of air photos is typical of the way Chiasson creates his evidence for the city on the mountain. But there is no denying that the early 1931 air photos do not show any of the clearly defined features Chiasson attributes to the Chinese.

Miq Maq culture

What puzzles me about his work is the influences on Miq Maq language, clothing, religious practices and stories of pacifistic people who had dcome before the Europeans.

Mi'kmaq Culture

actually.. i have never read the book, but i know my own culture and history. Paul states that Mi'kmaq culture adopted from the chinese, i beg to differ. The top cap that women wore (whihc paul said resembles a chinese version) wasn't a part of Mi'kmaq clothing until AFTER european contact. same with the clothes you may see today in pictures.

mikmak clothing

actually the 'pointy' hats you mention are worn not only mikmak people ,the Abenaki ,ojibwa,cree people wore them also .i'm surprised by your lack of cultural knowledge.

No one Native person can know

No one Native person can know every cultural facet of other First Nations. It's not like you can walk up to a Mi'qmak or Lakota and have them tell you about every detail of other nations.