Thursday, June 8, 2017

Getting Out of Hand – A Reality Check

No matter how much we discuss this with post after post, page after page, graph after graph, experts comments after experts comments, showing the currents and winds in the area of the Sea of Arabia and north Indian Ocean (north Indian Ocean meaning north of the equator), we have a reader who has written numerous rebuttals and criticisms but can only provide two basic images showing Community “Earth Wind Map” as his support.
This is what he last wrote:
    This article is about the Malay theory, and it makes a claim that is incorrect. Namely, that it is not possible to ride the winds and the currents from Oman to the Malay Archipelago. I have provided sources to show how this is wrong. It is possible to ride the wind and currents from Oman to the Malay Archipelago. But for some reason, you insist it is impossible. I keep hammering away because you keep repeating this untruth. I do read what you write, but that doesn't mean I must agree with it. If you continue to say that the winds and currents lead from Oman to Chile and do not lead to the Malay Peninsula, I will continue to correct your error by posting these two links:”

Now this is very important. His two links are: 
Wind Currents: Keep in mind that in the animated drawing that this Reader refers to, the white lines in the ocean are moving from left to right, bottom to top, in other words, in a northeast direction. It would be impossible for a fixed-sailing vessel “driven forth before the wind” to cross those currents and sail against them to the southeast—we repeat “Impossible” in a drift voyage or wind-driven voyage

Drift Currents. This drawing, again animated with moving lines, shows a west to east movement along the equator, typically known as a counter-current, and like all counter-currents is extremely weak
Now, once again, this is a critical issue here. So let’s take a look at these two supposedly “proof maps” shown immediately above. The first, the “Wind” map, shows what we have said time and again, that these currents flow to the northeast across the Sea of Arabia and slam into the west coast of Pakistan and India. First of all, these currents flow in that direction between the coast of the southern Arabian Peninsula (Oman) to about the 4º north latitude, which is a distance of about 820 miles from the area of southern Oman where the Salalah Plain exists and from which Lehi would have departed by ship.
    That is 820 miles! That is about the distance from Logan, Utah (41.7) N) to the Mexican border  around Nogales (south of Tucson) which is about 31º degrees north latitude.
As can clearly be seen in this blow up of the Reader’s image “Earth.” that the thick dull white lines are arrows that move northeast in animation. One can see, to sail across them to the southwest to pick up currents that circle around the southern tip of India, it would require sailing 820 miles across and against these winds and currents—something Nephi’s ship could not do. The ship couldn’t do it, didn’t matter what expertise was on board. The ship was “driven forth before the wind” not into it, against it, etc.

This means that Lehi would have had to travel against winds and currents for over 800 miles to reach a current and wind that would circle around the tip of India. And then that current would be flowing almost north (north by northeast) into the Bay of Bengal.
    How could a drift voyage, “driven forth before the winds” manage to go where the winds did not go? It could not have done so. The only way it could have managed a movement toward Malay eastward on the counter-current at the equator was to have been launched at the equator around Hybyo in Mudug, Somalia, almost 1100 miles due southwest of Salalah!

 Moving from Oman southward toward the counter-current would be covering a distance of between 1250 and 1500 miles from Oman, depending on how straight a course against the winds and currents you try to take
However, launched from Arabia means sailing between 1250 and 1500 miles against the winds and currents in a southwest direction from Salalah in order to get to the equatorial counter-current which flows weakly eastward toward the center of Sumatra.
It should also be noted that the currents flowing around the southern tip of India and southern extremity of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) where these waters find an outlet, that these currents become formidable on account of their velocity and extent (Alexander George Findley, A Directory for the Navigation of the Indian Ocean with Descriptions of its Coasts, Islands, Etc., Richard Holmes Laurie Publishing, London, 1866, p102; Findlay was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society). This means that any vessel rounding India, between Kanyakumari and Colombo, would be drawn into the 100-mile long Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay and Palk Strait…
…and into the Bay of Begal on a straight line northward directly into the coasts of Bangladesh and Myanmar (Burma), not the Malay Peninsula, or if coming from the south, into Thailand  (not Malay).
Yellow: Around India; White: Around Sri Lanka; Lt Green: Blue: Up from the South; Orange: From west toward south; Dk. Blue: From east to south

Around Sri Lanka (Ceylon) with the current (west to east) would be caught in a very strong current, far stronger than any vessel “driven forth before the wind” could alter, which also means that such a vessel, even if it could get around India, would be caught in this current and swept into the  Bay of Bengal and drawn into the Bangladesh through Upper Thailand shores (Not Malay).
    Now, please, persistent Reader—these are your figures, your map, your directions. Pay attention to where they go and stop telling us that this is a west to east drift voyage for Lehi!

    Thus, to any intelligent being, these two maps show exactly what we have been saying in this blog since its inception and our first article about the so-called Malay Theory—a false theory from the beginning, fostered on an unsuspecting membership, who is either unfamiliar with the area or not interested in looking into the possibilities that Nephi tells us in the capability of his ship. As stated in an earlier post, every General Authority and President of the Church who has spoken on the subject in this and the past century have stated quite clearly that Lehi landed in the Western Hemisphere, which precludes Malay! All the evidence to that fact is so overwhelming that to continue to argue the point is either ignorance or obstinance.
So let’s be realistic about this and just give it a rest!


  1. OK, nevermind Malay. This is going nowehere. Could you please provide a route that leads through those same currents and winds to Chile?

    It just seems to me that you are scrutinizing every wave, gust and current if it might lead to the east but you have not explained how Lehi's ship could be blown 14,000 miles to Chile.

    It just seems to me that if a boat could not be blown to Malay, then how could it be blown to Chile? I've looked at the data and the winds and currents and I don't see a path. For example:

  2. Del has done so numerous times Jay. His book documents the route to Chile that Lehi took as FG Williams wrote in his journal. Something that you've completely ignored. How about buying Del's excellent book and read the evidence for yourself.

  3. Unknown. You claim you read what we've written, however, you then come back with a question, comment or statement that shows you did not, or, if you did read it, made no attempt to understand it. As stated earlier, and with examples, the works you are looking at are major fields, and by their own admission, tell you that only a portion of the data is displayed because of space and clarification. You act like every wave, every current, every wind is detailed on the computer display and they are not. The Lord created the patters, knew them well, sent Lehi along those that led where he designed them to go, which charts from the U.S. Naval logs, etc., have shown for a hundred years or more which we have displayed and discussed, sourced, and referenced, in the past to outlines all of this. If you want to know about it, look it up and toss those computer generated patterns designed and programmed by computer people and find the ones that were listed by sea captains who sailed the routes since the early days of sailing. The course we have laid out in our blog goes along those routes and has been detailed quite a bit in the past. Either accept our word for it, or read over our past 8 years of posts, and two books on the subject, but please do not ask us to do your research for you. We have done it and posted it and, as Ira states above, "done so numerous times."

  4. I've read your posts and once accepted the arguments as plausible. But now it seems you are requiring a finer attention to detail by insisting that a 4000 mile trip due east is impossible. So I'm forced to rethink your claims that a boat could be driven by the wind 14,000 miles east.

    You suggest I look for charts drawn by sailors who made these trips, but there are none for what you propose. I don't know of a single instance where a sailboat (without a motor) left Oman and landed in Chile. I suspect if you asked any experienced sea captain if it such a trip was possible without a steering mechanism, he would surely say no.

    So really I'm just pointing out the double standard. On one hand you say that the voyage to Malay is impossible, even though is has been done tens of thousands of times over the past 2600 years. On the other hand you say a voyage to Chile is possible, even though I don't know of a single pre-modern sea captain that would dare.

    1. I should clarify that by pre-modern I mean before Columbus of the Age of Sail. I believe trans-Pacific voyages were possible before than, but were completed only by Polynesians and pacific Islanders.

  5. You misunderstand. First of all, we don't insist on anything. All people are free to think what they want. However, on our blog, dedicated to the scriptural record, we take exception to ideas that are neither practical nor consistent with the scriptural record. Secondly, the charts and info we are talking about has been clearly spelled out in our blog from time to time of the gathering of currents and winds by Matthew Maury used by the U.S. Navy for over some 100 years to sail currents and winds, and frankly, the commercial world eventually adopted the understanding and cut down their travels from Indonesia to South America and then on to Europe considerably, which is the route the tea clippers often took to Europe from the China and Indonesia tea trades, etc. You can argue with us, but not with history on this.
    The only drift voyages we have discussed are modern ones, starting with Thor Heyerdahl onward that showed it could be done and numerous other adventurers since did the same in other areas to repeat this idea and fact. As for impossible, that word has only been connected with the idea of a ship built and sailed like Nephi's "driven forth before the wind" in 600 B.C. with a captain and crew that had never before been to sea (the impossibility of that is such that everyone of any knowledge that has weighed in on the subject keeps wanting to put experienced captain and crew with Lehi to control both building and sailing, thus Lehi could not get to Malay from Oman under those circumstances.

    1. Of course I am familiar with the tea clippers making that journey, but that is nearly 2400 years after Lehi. Centuries before tea clippers (in boats with steering mechanisms) were riding the south-westerlies to Chile, the trade ships were passing from Oman to Malay. You can't ignore the history on this. The question you raise isn't whether European trade ships can make these journeys, it is whether a boat with only a sail and an inexperienced crew can make these journeys. In all honesty, it is highly unlikely that either passage would be possible in a boat steered by wind and currents alone. I feel that I have shown through the maps I have provided that such a journey to Malay could have been possible with a little help from God. I suppose you can also show that such a journey to Chile is also possible, with a little help from God.

      I propose we leave it there. We are both proposing unlikely scenarios, but because God was guiding the winds, the Lehites could have been blown wherever. Is that fair? Can we agree?

  6. (continuing)
    This is not a stand-alone idea, but one that is connected to all these factors, which, for some reason, you continually ignore and hammer away on a single issue that would not be possible under the circumstances outlined that we have shown time and again. You don't have to agree with that--our blog is not meant to change people's minds, let alone force agreement. We have many readers who weigh in from time to time that do not agree with every idea we present and we welcome them and their personal reservations. They just don't try to continually point out that we are wrong in an environment where other people log on from time to time without a knowledge of the background and see a single entry like one of yours countering what we are discussing and then leave thinking we are wrong. That is also not the purpose of our blog. We try to present ideas that are consistent with the scriptural record at all times and maintain that consistency even if we have to debate someone with a different view, such as you, until you give us the right to place on our blog what we believe, not what you believe--for some reason, you seem unwilling to allow us to print on our blog what we choose, claiming you will continue to point out we are wrong simply because you do not agree, which is not the purpose of our blog either. This is not a forum, but a discussion of the scriptural record of the location and means of getting there of the Land of Promise, as well as other scriptural information pertaining to the Book of Mormon.
    Numerous small dhows with maneuverable sails have made that voyage time and time again. Please don't confuse ideas and lump them into one. We are talking about a deep ocean vessel getting to Malay and our documentation of that from so many books, journals and ship's logs that the evidence is overwhelming and it is not my statement or conclusion but that of experts. You keep arguing with me--I didn't invent any of this. I am a researcher, not a speculator. But if the word impossible bothers you, it is not my word generally and certainly not an important word—the likelihood of it ever being done under the cited circumstances have been denied as impossible by experts.
    But for Lehi to have made that trip as you so loosely suggest and ignore all the reasons that experts have listed to show that it would not have happened, including expertise and ability, that the idea is not one we speculate or even discuss as a possibility under the circumstances and in light of the scriptural record not even given any value to the idea since Malay was not Lehi's destination.

    1. In no way am I trying to hijack the content of your blog. You'll notice I only make comments on posts that are about the Malay Model, or the revision I have proposed for it. If I see an error in the way these models are presented on a blog or a forum I will usually point it out in the comments sections. That's why comments sections exist, to discuss the content in the original post. In this post you claime the model I believe in was "a false theory from the beginning, fostered on an unsuspecting membership, who is either unfamiliar with the area or not interested in looking into the possibilities that Nephi tells us in the capability of his ship."

      I disagree, and I hope for opportunities to explain the model without attacking other models so that we can take all the information across all models and hopefully, some day, come to a conclusion.

      I really do appreciate your model, and it is my preferred model in the New World. But it has the same problems all the other New World models have, In particular, there were no domesticated elephants in South America in 2500 BC. There was no silk, or silkworms. There were no domesticated horses, and no chariots. We cannot say that these New World models agree with the scriptural record until we find evidence that these things existed in the right time period. As of yet, we don't have that proof. I know you've written about these so-called anachronisms elsewhere, so no need to discuss here.

  7. You wrote: “It just seems to me that you are scrutinizing every wave, gust and current if it might lead to the east but you have not explained how Lehi's ship could be blown 14,000 miles to Chile.”
    Actually, it is the charts you show that go into such fine detail. We stay with gyre’s and overall flowing currents that have been mapped for at least a hundred years now, many of which were known during the Age of Sail and Benjamin Franklin spent time charting one in the Atlantic (Gulf Stream), which was observed in 1513 by Ponce de Leon. Franklin’s charts are from the 1760s, publishing his findings in 1769 with the U.S. Coast Survey (NOAA’s earliest ancestor) setting out the study in 1843 in greater detail—they wanted to determine the depth and the temperature (at different depths) of the water, the characteristics of the ocean bottom, the direction and velocity of the currents at different depths, and the extent of plant and animal life. Their early observations led them to discover features such as cool and warm water banding, as well as the Charleston Bump.
    At first called a “river in the ocean,” the stream turned out to be a major fast and intense sea current flowing up the east coast of Florida, along the U.S. to Maine and then Newfoundland before turning outward across the Atlantic toward Spain—this northern boundary was the route upon which Columbus returned to Europe after discovering the Bahamas. It has been learned that the wind drags the surface sea waters into a similar gyre (as the wind) of which the Gulf Stream is a part and overall called the North Equatorial Current which flows clockwise in a rotating system around the Atlantic north of the equator.
    Much of what Ben Franklin learned was from whalers, i.e., captains of whaling ships and it proved almost perfect as time and additional research unfolded.
    It is these major gyres of wind and ocean currents that determine drift voyages—not solely wind. Thor Heyerdahl learned that when he left the coast of Peru, he needed to sail northwest to pick up the South Equatorial Current in the Pacific. According to a personal discussion with him in the earlyh 1950s, as well as what you will find in his autobiography, he said he became anxious after several days of not picking up the current and turning westward in order to swing down into Polynesia with the short-side currents falling off the gyre. However, it happened, of course, and from then on it was a piece of cake for him to reach the Tuamotu islands in French Polynesia, though his raft crashed into an atoll since it was subject to winds and currents.
    The point is that when traveling in such “drift” voyages, the vessel is subject to the “drift” facilities, i.e., wind and currents, and cannot just make this or that turn, avoid this or that object—which means when the currents take you into Sumatra, you can’t just bend around them and go past to Malay. You go where the current itself goes.

  8. The Indian Ocean Gyre pushes most everything immediately towards the Bay of Bengal and the Malay Peninsula. Here's a website that plots drift patterns of ocean plastics around the world. If you placed thousands of rubber ducks just off the coast of Salalah it would take about one year for most of them to reach the Bay of Bengal. After about 1.5 years they begin to beat against the Malay Peninsula and after an extended float there is a strong probability that one of the highest concentrations of duckies would make land fall right at the location I have identified as the Mulekite landing point.

    1. Forgot the link to the website:

  9. Hijacking content. You are trying to make this blog site your own personal battleground for your personal view and that of Olsens about Malay. Since we have shown time and again the silliness of that from Moroni's comment, to General Authorities and Presidents of the Church today, you have not a leg to stand on on any of this. You have a tendency to ignore all that you disagree with and center on those points you know, which is not a discussion, but a one-sided attempt to change a narrative.

  10. The gyre in the Indian Ocean south of the equator does not such thing -- it is what we have labeled the counter-clockwise gyre. Do not confuse or answer our comments with your own points, which would be separate.

    1. What are your thoughts on the video and website I linked to above showing drift in the Indian Ocean?

  11. It is amazing to me that in all the information we have found on Qumra being Madagascar, not a single mention of it originating in Malay occurs, though the articles all discuss people from Indonesia being the settlers of most of Madagascar,which can only mean that even if you have a source to that point, it is not one that is well accepted within the historian culture.

    1. Just in case you missed this in the other thread:

      And this explains how Madagascar and Malay are both considered as Qumr or Komr.