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Dear Wanderer From The Web

For purposes of your own, unknown to me, of course, you have apparently stumbled into this page in quest of wisdom on the "Piri Reis" map. And, let me speculate further, that you are probably wondering why this minor tidbit of historical trivia has its little nest on a Muskie and Fishing Memories page. But more than likely you arrived here via a search engine and didn't look at the URL, so you wouldn't know you were here. Be that as it may, since I am ultimately the one responsible for the situation, I would be happy to enlighten you on the matter.

Alternatively though, and this is the course I would really advise you to take, you might well be better off forgetting Piri and perusing some of the other literature on this site, perpetrated by my friend Jerry (The Webmaster and Chef) and me (The Author). In particular, my story "No Fuckin' Fish" is a minor classic on the foibles of muskie fishing, and I would also recommend some of Jerry's garlic and spice recipes.

But, if you are determined to chase Piri, let me rattle on for a bit
(historical info & the map will follow).

Before I begin, though, let me note that you are very likely one of two varieties of humanity. First, and this is least likely, you are seriously and scholaristically in search of factual material on Piri. In that case, dear wanderer, you are wasting your time here, and I advise you to follow Plan A, above, relative to some of the other attractions of this Web Site.

Alternatively, and I would guess this is more likely the case, you are a "Paranut" (see definition below), and are looking to prove various matters about Flying Saucers, ancient astronauts, and the like. In this case, you will also find little enlightenment here, but the discussion applies to you much more than the previous folks that I just sent off to visit Muskies or Garlic. You might be interested in reading further, but I hasten to disown and will not be responsible for any effect all this may have on your temper. Caveat etc.

If you fit neither one of the two categories I've noted here, I earnestly implore you to please email me at: grumpy@minn.net. I can't begin to guess why you are here, but would be vary interested in finding out.

Be all that as it may, and in the unlikely event you are still with me, why is Piri also here?

Well, a few years ago when I was younger and dumber than I am now, I regularly mis–spent countless hours of my youth connected to the BBS at ISCA, hosted by uiowa.edu. For reasons I am not prepared to defend, one of the discussion groups I occasionally eavesdropped into was the "Paranormal" section.

It was frequented by a crowd of varying numbers largely consisting of "Paranuts." These mostly gentle souls and owners of many bridges seemed to believe basically anything that was ever presented to them, as long as it was unprovable, irrational, and blatantly preposterous.

And they engaged in interminable "Parababble" on the BBS – devoting their own precious time to matters such as the Roswell UFO crash, the proper techniques for obtaining intelligence from an Ouija board, and the burning issue of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. To be blunt and honest, reading the majority of postings in the discussion group was painful and made one wonder about the mentality of our youth and the future of our society.

Somehow, I managed to restrain myself.

But then – and here we get to the crux of the present matter - the topic got off into the "Piri Reis Map."

There was endless speculation and debate on whether "The Map" was generated by UFO folks, or other ancient astronauts, or whether it was a remnant of some other previous advanced civilization associated with Atlantis, perhaps, or.... Parababble.

And the most striking thing was that by and large hardly any of the ISCA "Paranuts" had even seen the map....

Let me digress for a just a bit. Here's the essence of issue. Piri was a Turkish bon vivant, adventurer, part–time admiral, and scholar, living in the age of exploration. Among many other accomplishments, he drew up a remarkably accurate map of the new world, based on various sources including possibly the charts of C. Columbus. The map, part of which still survives, is a magnificent achievement for his day.

However, the map was poorly done – and understandably so, given the state of exploration at his time – in the area of the lower part of what is now South America. He extended it much too far to the east. (I should observe that latitude was a snap for the navigators of the day, but longitude gave them the greatest trouble. So being off by a substantial distance east/west was not surprising).

The focus of the Parababble on ISCA revolved around how his map showed "Antarctica to the greatest detail," and how could he possibly have done that given that the continent is ice covered, and what Paranormal sources he used, and etc. ad nauseum.

If you look at the map, a moment's observation shows you all that is nonsense. Parababble.

I hunted up a copy of the map, had Jerry place it on his web site, and wrote a posting to the Paracrowd to go look at it for themselves. As I recall, my contribution to their discussion had no effect whatsoever and was ignored. I was clearly violating the rules, for crying out loud.
I was introducing facts – real evidence! – and they could not cope with it. I went away. They did not miss me.

But, the map is still there (File is rather large) so you can go and see for yourself. And Jerry tells me it still gets quite a few "hits".

And so, my friend, if I can call you that given that you have spent so much time with me now, there you have the facts. (Actually, this missive was handed to me by a Little Green Man who materialized in my boudoir the other day, and told me to disseminate it to the world or else he would personally make O.J. go through another trial, but that's really another story.)

Juris Ozols
March, 1998



"PARANUT"

Paranuts are mostly gentle souls and owners of many bridges seemed to believe basically anything that was ever presented to them, as long as it was unprovable, irrational, and blatantly preposterous.

They engage in "Parababble" with anyone and especially their like kind – devoting their own precious time to matters such as the Roswell UFO crash, the proper techniques for obtaining intelligence from an Ouija board, and the burning issue of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

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Date Created: March 8, 1998
Last Modified: April 6, 2004
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