Columbus detailed the sinking as taking place at midnight during calm seas and blames the Ship’s Master, Juan de La Cosa, for both, going to sleep instead of staying on watch, and then refusing to follow his orders to take an anchor off the stern so the ship could be pulled free. Thus, the Santa Maria was slowly pushed up onto the bank, turned onto its side and, after the crew offloaded every last bit of the supplies, equipment, munitions and even planks, was left to its watery grave.
However, Manuel Rosa, author of “Columbus-The Untold Story,” has spent over two decades investigating the life of Columbus and declares that the details of the sinking given by Columbus do not jive with the reality of the events that took place.
“The most important thing to understand is that Columbus’s Diario, or Ship Log, was written only as a tactical prop to present to Queen Isabella a whitewashed version of the 1492 Voyage,“ says Rosa.
By carefully dissecting Columbus’s Diario, Rosa attempts to reveal the truth that escaped so many historians before him. Is there any substance to this? Rosa presents the following details for consideration:
- First of all, in the Diario’s account of the sinking, the sea was calm as water in a bowl, highly unlikely that a ship would sink in calm waters, even if it had been pushed gently up onto a bank. The overriding propensity for ships is to float not sink. Furthermore, a ship resting on top of a bank will have a hard time sinking.
- Second, Juan de La Cosa was the owner of the Santa Maria and a seasoned man of the sea who sailed the Portuguese Guinea Trade routes. No mariner with such experience would refuse to try and save his own ship with as simple a task as putting an anchor off the stern.
“Having been born on the island of Pico in the Azores and witnessing life at sea first hand, it was Columbus’s very unrealistic account of the sinking that intrigued me to investigate this incident further. After careful review it became apparent to me that the flagship never sank and that Juan de La Cosa was in cahoots with Columbus. I needed to find solid proof of this and luckily, Columbus gave us that proof in his own writings just one week later,” says Rosa.
What Rosa is referring to is an entry from the Diario on January 2, 1493, where Columbus clearly states that the flagship was resting on dry land at the Haitian beach and not on those banks six miles offshore. That is where Columbus ordered his flagship shot with a cannonball that perforated it side to side.
“Reading the January 2 entry left me astounded,” he says, “I was so certain that Columbus had lied about the sinking, but I didn’t think I’d find the evidence right there in his own words.”
What Rosa presents in his book, Columbus-The Untold Story, which has been published in four languages so far and is seeking a US publisher, is that the Santa Maria was intentionally marooned on today’s Caracol beach, rechristened Fort Natividad, and disabled with a cannon to serve as housing for those men that Columbus left behind, utilizing the Santa Maria’s food and supplies to survive on until Columbus returned.
While Columbus was in Spain, the natives slowly got up the courage to confront the European occupiers, killing them one by one and setting fire to the Santa Maria in what can be considered as the natives first concerted Act of War against the European occupiers.
Still the question remains, why would Columbus fake the sinking?
Rosa gives us these tantalizing clues; the Santa Maria was a bad sailing ship and would have been hazardous to sail through the rough wintery Azorean Sea; that leaving men behind would force Queen Isabella to send him on a second voyage; and that by intentionally leaving behind the fleet’s Master at Arms, the Comptroller and the Secretary, Isabella’s overseers, Columbus purposely avoided being contradicted in court when he declared that he had conquered a town in the famous “India.”
Everyone on the voyage, especially Columbus, knew they had not sailed to the real India.
Columbus-The Untold Story is described by Miltiades Varvounis, distinguished Greek-Polish historian, researcher and author as a “magnum opus that would make Sherlock Holmes jealous” and is successfully calling into question everything that we thought we knew about Columbus and his 1492 voyage.
Manuel Rosa has agreed to terms with film & television production company Chelsea Multimedia Corporation for the rights to Columbus - The Untold Story.
“Perhaps through kismet or destiny, Manuel Rosa's manuscript has landed in our hands. We are grateful. It's a brilliant work,” says CMC President John Lage, “we see a multitude of ways to tell the story; from documentaries to full-length feature film. We're confident its truth will change history as we know it.”
"Mr. Rosa's tenacity as an investigative journalist results in an undeniable case for Columbus being a highly skilled, international spy whose real identity and mission is, only now, coming to light," said Thom MacNamara, production executive, who is adapting the script for Chelsea Multi-Media. "We believe this will be a blockbuster, thriller film that will reveal the surprisingly sophisticated world of fifteenth century, geopolitical espionage."