by David Hatcher Childress


from AtlantisRising Website

recovered through WayBackMachine Website


The settlement of the Pacific remains a mystery to this day.


The vastness of the Pacific as well as the lack of concern by historians has made tracing the origin of the Polynesians, at best, difficult. While anthropologists agree that there are at least three races in the Pacific region, they have not agreed on where they came from or when the Pacific was settled.

Evidence now suggests that man may have ventured out into the Pacific over 30,000 years ago. New discoveries in partially submerged caves in New Ireland, a long narrow island east of New Guinea, are proving that man reached these islands tens of thousands of years ago.

In his book The Fragile South Pacific, Andrew Mitchell says,

"Until recently archaeologists who worked in the Bismarcks and the Solomons were unable to find any evidence of occupation by man older than 4,500 years.


This seems odd, for man appears to have been in mainland New Guinea for at least 40,000 years; indeed, some believe that agriculture originated in the highlands of New Guinea so old are the cultures that have been discovered there.


What took man so long to reach these nearest major islands?... In 1985, Jim Allen and Chris Gosden from La Trobe University in Melbourne, excavated Matenkupkum cave in New Ireland and found human artifacts 33,000 years old deep in the earth deposits.


These finds are set to revolutionize theories about the movement of man into the Pacific."

According to Maori tradition, the first Maori to come to New Zealand was the warrior Kupe, a powerful man and a legendary navigator of Pacific.


Kupe was fishing near his island home Hawai’iki, when a great storm arose and blew him far down to the south, where he sighted Aotearoa,

"the land of the long white cloud."

The legend says that Kupe eventually made the return voyage to his homeland, and told them of his discovery. Many researchers believe that this happened as late as 950 A.D. but other theories place it much longer ago than that.

It is generally accepted that Maoris are Polynesians. But the location of Hawai’iki is open to considerable interpretation. Most anthropologists who write about the Maori do not believe that Hawai’iki is the same as modern-day Hawaii. Rather, accepted belief usually places Hawai’iki at either Tahiti or in the Marquesas Islands east of Tahiti.

Carbon dating in New Zealand places settlements there at least about the ninth century A.D. In addition, according to tradition, New Zealand was already inhabited by another race of people before the Maoris. a group of people called the Moriori.


The Moriori were driven out of New Zealand and lived only on the remote Chatham Islands, which are more than 500 miles to the east of New Zealand.

Early observers to New Zealand considered the Maoris and Morioris to be different ethnic groups, though today prevailing theory is that they were part of different waves of "Polynesian" migration, the Morioris being part of the earliest migratory waves. Today, with the discovery of the Kaimanawa Wall in the Taupo district of the North Island, there are indications of even earlier settlers in New Zealand than the Morioris.

Since archaeologists admit that nearby islands to New Zealand such as Tonga, Fiji and New Caledonia were colonized at least 3000 years ago, it seems that these same navigators would have reached New Zealand as well.


The history of New Zealand, and many Pacific islands, would seem to need some radical revision.




The origin of the Polynesians perplexed early explorers in the Pacific from the very start.


The Dutch Navigator Jacob Roggeveen said that the Polynesians were descended from Adam though "human understanding was powerless to comprehend by what means they could have been transported to the Pacific." Such doubts also afflicted James Cook and his men.

Prior to the publication of Darwin’s The Origin of the Species, it was generally believed (by Europeans anyway) that the races of man were descended from the sons of Noah, Shem, Japheth and Ham. Darker races were considered the sons of Ham, while lighter races, such as American Indians and Polynesians, were considered the sons of Shem.

Early on, a Malaysian origin for the Polynesians was speculated. The second edition of pioneer anthropologist J.F. Blumenback’s book Natural Varieties of Mankind (1781) added a fifth race to his originally speculated four of Caucasian, Asiatic, American and Ethiopian. This fifth race was Malaysian, which included the Polynesians.

With the arrival of missionaries in the Pacific came other theories, such as that the Maoris "had sprung from some dispersed Jews," thereby making them one of the lost tribes of Israel. We now have the notion that Maoris, and Polynesians in general, are Semites. The Book of Mormon also follows this theory, stating that the Polynesians were descended from American Indian Semites who first landed in Hawaii in 58 B.C. after voyaging in Mexico and South America.


Thor Heyerdahl has sought to provide some evidence of this hypothesis in a number of his expeditions.


Heyerdahl is not a Mormon, but does believe that there was contact between Polynesia and the Americas. Heyerdahl has stated that voyagers in the Pacific came from both the shores of Asia and the Americas. Many critics of Heyerdahl have believed that he advocates the American contact theory exclusively, which is wrong.

Archaeologists admit that there is evidence that the Polynesians were in contact with North and South America, especially such islands or groups as the Marquesas, Rapa Nui and Hawaii. The sweet potato plant, or yam, is originally from South America and was known to have been cultivated on many Pacific islands before European discovery. The South American sweet potato was cultivated in ancient New Zealand and the Maoris called it Kumara.

However, contact with the Americas does not necessarily mean that the Polynesians originated there and the prevailing theory of the late 1800s and early l900s was that the Polynesians were actually an Indo-European group who came to the Pacific via India. Linguistic evidence was usually cited, such as the detection of Sanskrit words in Polynesian vocabularies.


In the days when racism was a common fact of life, one reason for such a theory was partly political: to prove that a fellowship existed between Maoris and Europeans. The main contributor to this theory was a book entitled The Aryan Maori, by Edward Tregear, published in 1885.

A more important scholar who supported Aryan Maoris was John Macmillan Brown who had studied at Glasgow and Oxford before taking up the Chair of English, History, and Political Economy at Canterbury University College in 1874.


Brown retired from his chair in 1895 and spent much of the remaining forty years of his life traveling the Pacific in pursuit of his intellectual hobbies, including the origin of the Maori. Brown settled in New Zealand and published his first book Maori and Polynesian in 1907.

A leading philologist of his day, Brown stressed that the "true classification of linguistic affinities is not by their grammar, but by the phonology." Unlike earlier philologists, Brown admitted that the phonology of the Polynesian dialects differs by a whole world from that of all the languages to the west of it-that is, the language of Melanesia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. How then did the Aryan forbears of the Polynesians come into the Pacific?

Brown believed that they had come by several routes from the Asian mainland. Some had come through South East Asia, having been driven on by a Mongol influx, others had come in a northern arc through Micronesia. This northern migration had passed over the Bering Strait into the Americas before doubling back to colonize eastern Pacific islands like Easter Island.


The Polynesian language that eventually emerged was a combination of several primitive Aryan tongues. In Maori and Polynesian, Brown suggested that the amalgam was formed in Indonesia, but later he shifted his ground. In his 1920 thesis,


The Languages of the Pacific, Brown argued that "the linguistic attitude" of the Polynesians faced "north towards Japanese and Ainu."


What had induced Brown to change his mind was the discovery of Tocharish, a "primeval" Aryan language, as Brown called it, in a manuscript found at Dunhuang in the Gobi Desert in 1911.


This famous cache of ancient texts, some written in unknown languages that have never been deciphered, was to provide a gold mine for those scholars who took interest in them.

Said Brown.

"The main features of the Polynesian tongue... go back to the old stone age in Europe....We must conclude that the Aryan language started on its career from twenty to twenty-five thousand years ago, and that philological students of Latin and Greek and the modern European languages must study Polynesian in order to see the type from which these sprung."

Brown went on become Chancellor of the University of New Zealand, and enthusiastically championed unorthodox theories on the origin of the Polynesians, even to the point of advocating a lost continent in the Pacific which a few years later was called "Mu" by Colonel James Churchward.


Brown found Greek, Celtic, and especially Scandinavian models for Polynesian gods.

Brown had traveled widely throughout the Pacific, something most anthropologists and historians had not done, and was awed by the many megalithic remains he had seen. He believed that he could trace the footsteps of the Aryans into and through the Pacific from their megaliths. Brown claimed that the megalithic remains at Coworker and Atiamuri in New Zealand were evidence of Aryan occupation.

Brown’s magnum opus on the Pacific startled many people. His final book, The Riddle of the Pacific, published in 1924, claimed that there was once a continent in the Pacific that was now mostly submerged.


This continent, of which most Pacific islands were the last remnants, had been founded by Aryans from America. Here was the Chancellor of the University of New Zealand advocating a sunken civilization in the Pacific and not without reason. Brown may have first become convinced of a lost Pacific continent when he was introduced to the ancient texts at Dunhuang.


One of the ancient papers allegedly contained a fragment of a map which showed a sunken continent. Brown had also been to Easter Island where the local tradition has it that natives are from a sunken land called Hiva. He was convinced that an advanced culture once existed throughout the Pacific and that sudden cataclysms had submerged most of the land causing a collapse of the civilization.

Despite the fact that geologists of his time discounted any rapid geological change in the Pacific it is a fact that the flat-topped guyots throughout the Pacific must have been formed above the water.


These wind-blown mesas, similar to those in the American southwest, need thousands of years of blowing sand to flatten their tops. Similarly, large atoll archipelagos such as the Tuamotus, Kiribati or the Ha’apai group of Tonga would become mini-continents if the ocean levels were dropped only a few hundred feet. Today, geology remains divided as to slow geological change and sudden geological catastrophes that occasionally take place.


Most geologists now favor both theories and admit that occasional catastrophes do take place, just how often is the usual question.




The late Professor Barry Fell, a former Harvard Professor and native New Zealander popularized the theory that the Pacific was settled in second millennium B.C. by the Egyptians.


He is well known for advocating Egyptian, Libyan, Celtic and Phoenician ancestry for American Indians, and applies his epigraphic (the study of ancient writing) research to Polynesians.

Fell believed that the Polynesians were descended from Libyans in the service of Egypt, working as sailors to Egyptian gold mines in Sumatra, and even Australia and elsewhere.


He also believes that many Melanesians are the descendants of Negro slaves used as workers in the gold mines. Fell even goes on to call the dialect used by the Zuni Indians of the American south-west as Mauri script and maintains that the Maoris may be related to the Zuni Indians and their "Mauri" language.

Phoenician and Libyan rock inscriptions have been discovered in Indonesia. A letter in the January 21, 1875 issue of the magazine Nature spoke of Phoenician script in Sumatra.


Writes the author J. Park Harrison:

"In a short communication to the Anthropological Institute in December last (Nature, Vol. XI. p. 199), Phoenician characters were stated by me to be still in use in South Sumatra.


As many of your readers may be glad to have more information of the subject, I write to say that the district above alluded to includes Rejang, Lemba, and Passamah, between the second and fifth parallels of south latitude.

One clear link between Australia and Egypt is that the Torres Straits Islanders, between New Guinea and Northern Queensland, use the curious practice of mummification of the dead.


The Macleay Museum at Sydney University has a mummified corpse of a Darnley Islander (Torres Strait), prepared in a fashion that has been compared to that practiced in Egypt between 1090 and 945 B.C.

It was reported in Australian newspapers circa 1990 that a team of Marine archaeologists from the Queensland Museum had discovered extensive cave drawings on many of the Torres Straits Islands. Some of the cave drawings, on isolated Booby Island, were of a Macassan prau which is a unique vessel with telltale double rudders and triangular sails used by beche de mer (sea cucumber) fishermen out of the Indonesian island of Sulewesi.


The archaeologists declared the Torres Islands the "crossroads of civilizations" and were quoted as saying,

"Now it’s a new ball game in an archaeological sense."

In 1875 the Shevert Expedition found similarities in Darnley Island boats and ancient trans-Nile boats.


Island boats were used to row corpses to sea and leave on a coral reef. Egyptian practice was to ferry corpses across or down the Nile for desert burial.

Similarly, it was pointed out by the Kenneth Gordon McIntyre in his book The Secret Discovery of Australia (Picador, 1977) that the island of Mir in the Torres Strait was similar to the Egyptian word for pyramid, "mir" and even that the name for Egypt is "Misr."


Another similarity with the Torres Strait Islanders, as well as in the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Polynesia, a wooden headrest was used. This carved headrest was used to slightly elevate the head, while the subject slept on his back. It is unusual to ancient Egypt and certain Pacific Islands around New Guinea that these headrests are used.

Curiously, on the island of Pohnpei (formerly called Ponape), the new capital of the Federated States of Micronesia. an ancient Egyptian word is important in the government. Pohnpei island is divided into five districts and the governor of a district is called a Nan marche in the language of Pohnpei.


Similarly, in ancient Egypt, a district was known as a nome, and a district governor was known as a nome-marche. Here we have the exact same word meaning the exact same thing in ancient Egyptian and modern Pohnpei dialect.


A coincidence?