Gavin Menzies

Gavin Menzies ( full name: Rowan Gavin Paton Menzies ) (* 1937 in London ) is a British writer and former commander of the Royal Navy. He put forward the controversial hypothesis that America and other areas of the world were discovered in the years 1421-1423 by the Chinese as part of a circumnavigation. Menzies theses are rejected by professional historians as fiction.


Gavin Menzies arrived in London in 1937 to the world. Information from the blurb of the English edition of his book, according to which he had been born in China, are corrected in subsequent editions. He is the Chinese do not speak.

Menzies joined in 1953, the Royal Navy and served from 1959 to 1970 on submarines. From 1968 to 1970 he was commander of the submarine HMS Rorqual.

In 1969, the commanded HMS Rorqual rammed by Menzies on the U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, Philippines, the mine sweeping vessel USS Endurance of the United States Navy at a jetty. The collision punched a hole in the hull of the USS Endurance, HMS Rorqual remained undamaged. A subsequent official investigation of the accident came to the conclusion that the collision an instruction adverse attitude of the engine telegraph HMS Rorqual was preceded by Menzies.

The following year, Menzies resigned from the naval service and joined the British general election in 1970 unsuccessfully as an independent candidate in the constituency of Wolverhampton South West, where he spoke out for a limitless immigration to Britain and united 0.2 % of the votes.

1996 Menzies was classified in the context of insolvency proceedings by the supreme English Civil Court as "chronic Prozessierender " ( vexatious litigant ), which he may carry no more civil litigation without the consent of a judge in England and Wales.

Menzies lives with his wife Marcella and two daughters currently in London.

The 1421 hypothesis

In his book 1421st Year China Discovered the World Menzies presents the hypothesis that Chinese fleets at the command of Emperor Zhu Di from 1421 to 1423 under the admirals Zheng He, Zhou Wen, Zhou Man and Hong Bao discovered the Americas before Columbus and also the first circumnavigation led by a century before Magellan. This means that not only North and South America, but have been mapped along their shorelines and Australia, the Arctic and the Antarctic. Menzies considers only the knowledge of these cards have made the global Findings of European seafarers in the 15th and 16th centuries possible. He also lists the following examples:

  • On the map of Fra Mauro from 1459 the Cape of Good Hope was already illustrated, which was only achieved in 1488 by Bartolomeu Diaz.
  • On Martin Waldseemüller's world map of 1507, the American continent including Florida was shown, which was first entered in 1513 by Juan Ponce de León.

Meanwhile, Menzies has modified his theory in the direction of an even earlier systematic cartographic collection of the earth and will give this a Chinese map of the world to date from the year 1418, substantiate. The authenticity of the card, which exists only in one version of the eighteenth century, however, disputed by experts. Menzies ' theories are rejected by professional historians due to lack of evidence or even regarded as pure fantasy products.