Thursday, October 3, 2013


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Is there a Book of Mormon connection to the legends of the indigenous people of Polynesia who claim white ancestors; also, to the white rulers of Easter Island who built the giant statues? Did the islanders originally come from the Americas where archaeology confirms the presence of white Indians in pre-Columbian Central and South America? Mormons claim they did. Their belief is that the original Polynesian island people descended from the Book of Mormon followers of Hagoth, descendent of the Hebrew Lehi and a white Nephite ship builder in Alma 63:5-8, who sailed off in 55 BC and were never heard of again. They also believe that any tribal tradition or archaeological evidence of whites being on any of the South Pacific islands, including Easter Island, New Zealand (also, Japan), is proof they came from America and were Lehi or Jaredite stock. (Any dark-skinned islanders came from Lamanite stock)

Last month, in Part 1, pictures were included of the white Indians of Darien discovered in Central America’s Amazon jungle, some of whom were brought to the U.S. in the 1920s and examined. Mormons were sure they would prove to be Hebrew descendants of Lehi. However, they were declared to be of Nordic composition, not Hebrew as Book of Mormon fans would have hoped. Even their language had Nordic ties.

Nevertheless, Mormons have continued to believe that the white Indians of ancient America were Nephites and/or Jaredite survivors (not Norsemen); that Hagoth settled the Polynesian islands, specifically Hawaii and New Zealand, and that any traditions or archaeological evidence of white tribes in the islands means that they were white Nephite Indians that came from the Americas. 

The objective of this article is to present material on the:
  • White Gaunche Indians of the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands, showing a Nordic connection to the Americas.
  • White Indians in early Polynesia
  • White Indians on Easter Island
          and determine:
  • If the early Polynesians and Easter Islanders are the same stock as the white Indians in the Americas.
  • Determine where those original white settlers came from.
  • If a Nordic presence has been found in the islands.
  • Check the historical settlement dates of Polynesia and Easter Island  (as well as New Zealand and Japan), to see if any coincide with the Book of Mormon date of Hagoth’s sailors’ 55 BC travels.
  • See what connection, if any, the islands have to the white Indians of the Americas.
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This article will cover
  • The white Gaunche Indians of the Canary Islands (3,000 BC to 1496 AD), in particular, the Island of Tenerife:
Their Nordic features and connection to the Nordic-descended Berbers of Northern Morocco in NW Africa;

Cultural similarities between the Gaunche and Central and South America in pyramid-building, mummification, trepanation (skull surgery);

Language transference of Gaunche words to South America. 
  • The settlers of ancient Polynesia:
The Mormon claim of connection to Hagoth’s sailors arriving in Polynesia, specifically Hawaii, New Zealand and Japan; 
Two explanations on how the sweet potato, unique only to the Americas, arrived in Polynesia;
The continued belief by the LDS Church in the Hagoth myth; 
Quotes of LDS Church leaders on the Polynesia/New Zealand/Japanese connection to the Book of Mormon people. 
  • The white race on Easter Island:
The building of the colossal statues.
The “long-eared” Easter Island statues’ link to the “long-eared” pre-Incas of Peru.
The “red hats” of the statues. Do they represent Nordic red hair, or feathered headdresses? 
  • World explorers before the Europeans.

The Nordic Connection

Statue of Gaunche at Tenerife

Three hundred miles Northwest of Africa off the coast of Spain is a group of islands called the Canaries consisting of 7 islands, one of which is Tenerife. The indigenous white, blonde-haired people of Tenerife were called the Gaunches.(1) As cave-dwelling Caucasians living in Stone Age conditions, they first settled in Tenerife about 3,000 BC and survived for at least 2,000 years in a primitive aboriginal state until they were discovered by Spanish conquistadors in 1496. Many Gaunches were killed or sold into slavery.

Why cover the Gaunches?
Since the Gaunche Indians of the Canary Islands are in an eastern geographical location distant from the west coast of the three Americas, you might be wondering why they enter into the picture.

In Part I we saw that there was a Nordic connection to the white Indians of Darien and the correlating possibility that the ancient white Indians who ruled the indigenous people of the Americas were also of Nordic descent. Therefore, the point of including the Gaunches in this subject is to point out that (1) the Gaunches were of Nordic descent, (2) Guanche words were found in South America and later brought to the West Indies by Native Americans,  and (3) that the ocean current the Nordics sailed, which brought the people to the Canary Islands, is the same current that flows on to Mexico, which reinforces the Nordic connection to the white Indians of the Americas.

The following are pictures of the Ganche. However, since the camera (daguerreotype) was only invented in 1836, no photos are available, but paintings were made.

Watercolor by Leonardo Torriani from 1590, showing 2 Guanche Indians on Gran Canary involved in an athletic contest of throwing, dodging and catching darts and stones. This painting proves that even nearly 100 years after the conquest, there were still a few of the old Guanches left, and they looked just like the chroniclers had described them; large, blond, bearded and powerful. (Source:
George Catlin’s (1832-1839) painting of a white Native American woman in traditional dress, near the Missouri River. (Source:

Is there evidence to link the Gaunches with the Norsemen?
The Gaunches were predominantly white-skinned, bearded, with blonde or reddish hair and blue eyes.(16) In ensuing years, the Canary Islands were visited by Phoenician, Greek and Roman mariners, all of whom wrote about the Gaunches indicating that they were not of Spanish descent because of their “skin complexion like snow” and “golden-like blonde hair.” (The White Indians of Nivaria by Gordon Kennedy p. 27; [Nivario is the name the Romans gave Tenerife])
Their cutting tools and pottery are similar to artifacts found on the African continent, notably in Northern Morocco where the Nordic-descended Berbers are more concentrated. Mitrochrondrial DNA evidence, as well as analysis of the 1,000-year-old remains on the Canary Island show that the Gaunches have an ancestral tie to the Scandinavian-descended Moroccan Riffian Berbers and the Sami people of Scandinavia dating about 9,000 years ago. Once the Nordic Berbers were established in Morocco, sailing vessels transported many to the Canary Islands and left a group there. The Riffians Berbers of the Atlas Mountains, like the Gaunches have a large number of both blonde-headed and redheaded people comparable to that of the Celtic people of Western Europe and Ireland. Today, white Berbers still exist:

North Moroccan Berber girl

How did the Norsemen arrive in NW Africa and thereafter to the Canary Islands?
The Norsemen, in 3,000 BC, sailed to the west coast of Africa on the natural current (now referred to as the Canary Current) that flows down from Norway. (This is the same ocean current used by Columbus who stopped in the Canary Islands to restock.) And, by the way, in 1970 Thor Heyerdahl, with his raft Ra II, crossed the Atlantic from Morocco and successfully reached Barbados, “demonstrating that mariners could have dealt with trans-Atlantic voyages by sailing with the Canary Current. (See   

When the Nordics arrived in NW Africa, and transported some to the Canary Islands, it doesn’t mean that the all  the Norsemen stayed in either place because the same current that flows west from the coast of Africa through the Canary Islands also flows to the jungles of Mexico. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to suppose that the same stock who settled in Morocco and the Canary Islands continued on, using the same sailing route that Columbus later took to the Americas. It is already documented that Norsemen were in North America and settled in the Great Lakes region. Many probably went farther on. Author, Gordon Kennedy said with reference to Phoenicians, that navigators “would have had no difficulty crossing the Atlantic from the deserts of North Africa to the jungles of Yucatan, Mexico, on the Canary current.” (Kennedy, op cit., p. 42) This would also apply to the Norsemen. (The reason the Phoenicians aren’t covered in this article is because they are descendants of Noah through Ham’s son, Canaan and would have had a darker complexion than the pure white of the Nordics.)

And before you picture the image of violent, war-like savages for the Vikings (Norsemen), remember that while being warriors, they were also international business traders. Recent research has proved that their societal image conflicts with the stereotypical image. (See

With the currents taking the Norsemen down the east coast of America, down, around the continent and up to Mexico, they more logically would have been the legendary bearded white rulers who were noted for their blonde and red hair who ruled the dark-skinned indigenous people of the Americas and taught them civilization skills, including pyramid-building, mummification and trepanation (skull surgery). The Nords, in their wide travels, could certainly have picked up all that in Egypt.(10) The white Indians of Darien were apparently throwbacks to them. The same civilization skills were also found in Tenerife. 
The Gaunches’ step-pyramids 
Gaunche pyramid ruin
Compare with the Central American pyramid below.
Central America pyramid at Chichen Itza
Like the pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas they also used mummification and trepanation. Between 600 and 1000 embalmed mummies were found on Tenerife and are now displayed in the Canary Island’s National Museum. Both the mummies found in Peru and the Canaries are similar to Egypt’s mummification methods. 

Picture of Gaunche mummy with white skin and red hair
Regarding the examination of Gaunche mummification, Alexander Humboldt (1799) said:
The conformation of the skull has some slight resemblance to that of the white race of the ancient Egyptians: and the incisive teeth of the Gaunches are blunted, like those mummies found on the banks of the Nile. (p. 33)
The Gaunche language
The Guanches, famous for their whistled language that alerted them to arriving ships, is still practiced on the Canary Island of Gomera. But they also had a spoken language.(14) Niccolosso da Recco, a 14th century Italian navigator from Genoa visited the Island in 1341 and is credited with providing the first reliable account of the Guanche language. Linguists have definitely made correlations of the Gaunche to the language of the Nordic-descended Berbers of North Morocco, with the Gaunche language considered an older form of Berber speech. 
The Gaunche/Nordic language connection to South America
Interestingly, a language affinity between the Gaunches, the Americas and later to the West Indies has been found on the western side of the Atlantic Ocean with the use of the word “Guan.” In Gaunche language it is a prefix that has reference to a person of a particular geographic region. As we will see, it was transferred  from the Americas to the West Indies. For example, in the West Indies it can be found in place names in Cuba, Guantanamo and Guanabacoa, Havana; In Mexico, Guanajuato; in Honduras, Guanaja Island, and in Brazil, Guanabara. Obviously, there is a language connection of the Gaunche people to the Americas.

How were Gaunche words transferred to the West Indies?
The “Tainos” were the indigenous people of the West Indies. Previously, they were one of the Arawak peoples of South America who diffused from the Andes to the Amazon basin and then migrated to the West Indies islands of the Caribbean. Their language was called “Maipurean,” a language family that developed among ancient indigenous peoples in South America. Therefore, if the Tainos of the West Indies originally acquired the word when they were in South America … and it is a Gaunche word … and the Gaunches are of Nordic descent … all evidence points to the dark-skinned indigenous people of South America originally acquiring the word from the pre-Columbian white Nordic race who came to the Americas. Recall that “Aztec, Mayan, Chibcha and Inca nations give credit to their origin of culture, religion, monuments not to themselves, but ‘foreign intruders’ remembered as having lighter skins than themselves, long beards.” (American Indians In The Pacific Thor Heyerdahl, p. 286)

Because evidence points to Norsemen settling in the Americas, we turn our attention to Polynesia because Mormons claim those islands were originally settled by white Indians from America.


Legends of the Hawaiian islanders describe their early people “nearly as white as Europeans.”(17) While some may discount Thor Heyerdahl’s assertion that his 1947 reed boat, the Kon-Tiki,  proved that Polynesians sailed on the natural currents from Peru, and that Peruvians were the original settlers of the Polynesian Islands, those who may discount his claim nevertheless admit that his research on the history and legends of the Polynesians are valid, along with his research on Easter Island.

Mormons became excited over Heyerdahl’s reed boat travels using natural currents. They felt it validated the Book of Mormon story of Nephites who used Hagoth’s ships to sail away from the Americas 56 BC. The following is the passage:

5 And it came to pass that Hagoth, he being an exceedingly curious man, therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly large ship, on the borders of the land Bountiful, by the land Desolation, and launched it forth into the west sea, by the narrow neck which led into the land northward.
 6 And behold, there were many of the Nephites who did enter therein and did sail forth with much provisions, and also many women and children; and they took their course northward. And thus ended the thirty and seventh year.
 7 And in the thirty and eighth year, this man built other ships. And the first ship did also return, and many more people did enter into it; and they also took much provisions, and set out again to the land northward.
 8 And it came to pass that they were never heard of more. And we suppose that they were drowned in the depths of the sea. And it came to pass that one other ship also did sail forth; and whither she did go we know not. (Alma 63:5-8)

There is one, if not more, major problem with the myth of Hagoth. Archaeology has shown that the Hawaiian Islands were established by the Polynesians whose immigrants came, not in the Book of Mormon time frame of 53-56 BC, but much later in 200-500 AD. But, despite that evidence, Mormons insist they have another “proof” that Hagoth’s followers founded Hawaii—the existence of the sweet potato on the island. It is only found in America, therefore it had to be transported from there.

How did the sweet potato really get to Polynesia?
Some have speculated that the seeds could have hitched a ride on seaweed or gotten lodged in the wing of a bird; but that has since been dismissed.

There are two plausible theories:

1.  Travel between Peru and Polynesia.
Scholars believe that the sweet potato was brought to central Polynesia circa 700 AD; possibly by Polynesians who traveled to Peru and back and transported the plant. Pat Kirch, an archeologist at the University of Berkeley, California, thinks the Polynesians were well-equipped to sail right across the Pacific to South America and pick up a potato:

“There’s a lot of evidence accumulating over the last 10 years that the Polynesians made landfall in South America,” he says. “We think they had sophisticated, double-hulled canoes — like very large catamarans — which could carry 80 or more people and be out to sea for months.” (

On the Cook Islands in particular, the remains of the sweet potato plant were radiocarbon dated to 1000 AD, long after the Hagoth 55 BC time frame.

2.  The Continental Drift of Pangaea.
The presence on land of certain plant life believed to have originated only on another continent can be answered by the Continental Drift, an obsolete name for “Plate Tectonics” which has now been established as true. ( Even if radiocarbon dating of the sweet potato in the Cook Islands dated to 1,000 AD, the presence of the sweet potato in Hawaii could have a history further back than that—even before the Book of Mormon story of 601 BC.

Since the subject of plate tectonics and the continental drift is such a fascinating subject—and also may be new to some readers—I thought I would present a little on the subject, which I have paraphrased in my own words:

Two hundred fifty million years ago in the late Paleozoic period (ca 541 to 252.2 million years ago) and the Mesozoic period (ca 252 to 66 million years ago), all the continents were jammed together in one great super continent that geologists have named “Pangaea.” It eventually broke into seams, via plate tectonics and intense seismic activity; then about 180 million years ago gradually separated into continents. People who lived on the single continent of Pangaea migrated over the seams and then later, when the seams fully split, it left them (as well as plant life and fauna) isolated on a continent of their own. This would explain why plants on the 3 Americas have the same plants on other continents without someone having brought them there. (11)   
To see moving maps of the evolution of the continents, see National Geographic’s gallery at

We will have to wait and see if archaeologists and paleontologists make future discoveries about the sweet potato in Polynesia that will shed more light. Both of the above are plausible.

But . . . the real point that needs to be made is whether any of the dates of the original settlers of Polynesia coincide with Hagoth’s 55 BC travels in the Book of Mormon.

The radiocarbon dated settling of the islands
Below are some radiocarbon dates for Eastern Polynesia, including Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand. These dates are not agreed upon by all scholars, nevertheless are close enough to make the point that it was well after Hagoth’s time. (Notice that they are all in AD time, not BC)
Eastern Polynesia: There were 2 migrations into French Polynesia (e.g., Tahiti, Bora Bora and others), at 1025-1120 AD and 1190-1290 AD.
Easter Island:  Settled about 1200 AD. Others have speculated 300 to 500 AD, or 800 AD.
Hawaii:           Settled in 500 AD.
New Zealand:  Settled in 1250–1300 AD by other Polynesians.
Hagoth’s supposed sailings in 55 BC from the Americas to Polynesia (even if the sailors supposedly took along sweet potatoes and other plant life unique to the Americas), could not have happened, since the original settling of the islands were way, way later—in the ADs, not the BCs.

Productions like the Book of Mormon usually fail to prove themselves scientifically. On the other hand, the history of the Bible has been verified by ancient manuscripts. Today’s science also verifies the Old Testament statements about the universe and order of creation, and archaeologically finds corroborated it. (See my article, “Is the Bible Reliable?” at

In spite of the archaeological and radiocarbon dating, does the LDS Church still believe the Hagoth myth?
Yes. While the LDS Church has made no official statement about Hagoth, statements by various church leaders strongly verify the continued belief that Hagoth sailed into the Pacific Ocean from the Americas, and peopled the Pacific Islands (Hawaii, Polynesia, Easter Island, New Zealand; also Japan, mentioned further below). Members of the LDS Church in Polynesia believe that Hagoth is their ancestor,(2) and Patriarchal blessings also state Polynesian members are from Lehi’s genealogy.(5)

Because the islanders of our day our dark-skinned, church leaders more often refer to them as the descendants of Laman and his brother Lemuel but at the same time connect them to the original stock of Nephi.

Church leaders’ statements about Hawaii
At Laie, Elder Matthew Cowley (in the 1930-1940s) said to them: “Brothers and sisters, you are God’s children—you are Israel. You have in your veins the blood of Nephi”(4) 
Fact: The consensus among experts is that the early settlement of Hawaii came from the Marquesas Islands in 290 AD.
Church leaders’ statements about Polynesia
In a very revealing conference speech concerning origin, Apostle Spencer W. Kimball said:

The Lord calls you "Lamanites," a name which has a pleasant ring, for many of the grandest people ever to live upon the earth were so called. In a limited sense, the name signifies the descendants of Laman and Lemuel, sons of your first American parent, Lehi; but you undoubtedly possess also the blood of the other sons, Sam, Nephi, and Jacob. And you likely have some Jewish blood from Mulek, son of Zedekiah, king of Judah (Hel. 6:10). The name "Lamanite" distinguishes you from other peoples. It is not a name of derision or embarrassment, but one of which to be very proud.(18)

Elder Mark E. Petersen, in his conference message of 1962 about Polynesia:

The Polynesian Saints are characterized by a tremendous faith. Why do they have this great faith? It is because these people are of the blood of Israel. They are heirs to the promises of the Book of Mormon. God is now awakening them to their great destiny. As Latter-day Saints we have always believed that the Polynesians are descendants of Lehi and blood relatives of the American Indians, despite the contrary theories of other men.(4) (underlining mine)

Church Leaders’ statements about New Zealand’s Maoris
Elder Hugh B. Brown’s prayer when laying the cornerstone for the New Zealand temple:

We thank Thee, O God, for revealing to us the Book of Mormon, the story of the ancient inhabitants of America. We thank Thee that from among those inhabitants, the ancestors of these whose heads are bowed before Thee here, came from the western shores of America into the South Seas pursuant to Thy plan and now their descendants humbly raise their voices in grateful acknowledgement of Thy kindness, Thy mercy, and Thy love for them and those who went before them.  We humbly thank Thee that this building is erected in this land, so that those faithful Maoris who came here in early days, descendants of Father Lehi, may be remembered by their descendants and saved through the ordinances that will, in this House, be performed in their behalf(4) 

President Spencer W. Kimball, quoting former President Joseph F. Smith at a Samoa Conference:

I would like to say to you brethren and sisters from New Zealand, you are some of Hagoth’s people, and there is No Perhaps about it! He (Pres. Smith) didn’t want any arguments about it. That was definite. So you are of Israel. You have been scattered. Now you are being gathered.(19) 
Fact: New Zealand was originally settled by Eastern Polynesians who arrived 1250-1300 AD, although some researchers suggest as early as 50-150 AD. Still too late for Hagoth.

Church Leaders’ statements about Japan
Besides the Book of Mormon American connection to the Polynesian islands, church leaders also believe Hagoth’s parties sailed to Japan because Heber J. Grant said the following in his prayer in 1901 when dedicating Japan to receive the Mormon gospel:

 . . . that the blood of Lehi and Nephi [and of all Israel] had been transmitted unto the people of this land, many of whom have the features and manners of the American Indians, [and he] asked the Lord that if this were true that He would not forget the integrity of His servants Lehi and Nephi and would verify the promises made unto them concerning their descendants in the last days upon this [the Japanese] people for we felt that they were a worthy nation.(3)  
Fact: The first arrival of humans in Japan occurred about 35,000 years ago from the Asian mainland. According to DNA analysis, a second wave of settlement occurred around 400 BC from Korea. In view of this, the Mormon claim that the Polynesians, or Hagoth’s sailors, settled Japan cannot be seriously taken.Text of other statements by more recent church leaders, see endnote 5. 
(aka “Rapa Nui,” a Spanish name given to Easter Island by the Europeans in 1680)

Red-hatted statues

Is there any evidence that Easter Island, was ruled by a Peruvian white race?
Easter Island, part of Polynesia, is a 14x7 mile volcanic island situated 2,500 miles off the coast of Chile. This is the island famous for its 40-foot monolithic statues. Since the statue-builders were white, Mormons believe they came from the Americas and were Nephites.

In 1955-56, Thor Heyerdahl organized the “Norwegian Archaeological Expedition” to Easter Island consisting of professional archaeologists. In his book, “The Mystery Solved,” he provided information based on native testimony and archaeological research, claiming that the island was originally colonized by Hanau eepe (Long Ears) from South America and that Hanau momoko Polynesians (Short Ears) arrived only in the mid-16th century and may have been imported as workers or came independently.(20) (The subject of the Long Ears and Short Ears people is covered further below.)

But first, let’s look at the dates to see if they jibe with the Hagoth time period of 55 BC:

Theories on when Easter Island was settled. The below dates for settlement are debatable so are expressed as theories; therefore below are the guesstimates.

Theory 1: The first settlers came from the Marquesas Islands (French Polynesia, aka Society Islands) between 300 and 500 AD, or alternatively 800 AD. A 2010 study, using carbon dating, suggested that the colonization of Eastern Polynesia (including Hawaii and New Zealand) proceeded in two short episodes from 1025–1120 AD, and further afield from 1190–1290 AD, with Easter Island being settled around 1200 AD.(6)

Theory 2: The first settlers came from India. Professor Benon Z. Szalek of the University of Szezecin believes the Tamils from India brought their civilization to Easter Island. He says: “The anthropological studies of the old skulls from megalithic graves indicate an amazing fact, namely that around 60 percent of Easter Island’s population was of Europoidal (Caucasoid) origin.”(12)

Theory 3: According to Thor Heyerdahl’s team, they divided Easter Island’s prehistory into 3 racially distinct periods:
(1)   Early Period (AD 400-1100)
(2)   Middle Period (1100-1680)
(3)   “Decadent” Late Period (1680-1868).

He believed that white, long-eared Caucasian settlers created the statues during the Middle period. Then the dark-skinned Polynesian migrants came later during that period. Eventually conflict ensued between the two races and the white long ears were killed off in 1680 shortly before the Europeans arrived.

Theory 4: Based on the legends, some believe, with Heyerdahl, that Polynesia was settled by Peruvian people during the early Tiahuanaco II period of pre-Inca times when the bearded white Viracocha ruled. (That period II rose about 500 AD). According to Peruvian traditions, their white rulers had Caucasian features, light skin, were bearded and had red hair, and tht Vicacocha and all of the white rulers left via the sea and were known as the “foam people.” Even the Northwest Indians have a tradition that remembers the foam people.

Theory 5: DNA extracts from skeletons have confirmed that the original inhabitants of Easter Island are of Polynesian stock. Therefore, orthodox archaeologists believe the island was settled in 318 AD by a group of Polynesians lost in the ocean sea, and that they most probably came from the Marquesas or Society islands.

Theory 6: They came from Asia.

There are no dates that coincide with Hagoth. As far as which theory to go with, I guess it’s up for grabs. However, I am more influenced by Heyerdahl’s theory (No. 4) because the Easter Island statues show the long ears, and islander tradition says there was another tribe having short ears on the island. This is addressed in the next section:

Was there, at one time, a white tribe of Long Ears and a dark tribe of Short Ears?
Was there a different race that came to the island before the later dating of migrations from other Polynesian islands? In an 1868 book by J.L. Palmer, a naval surgeon who had an interest in natural history and ethnography, he gives an account of his conversation with missionaries that revealed that tradition said that the giant sculptures “were the work of a former race; the present one came here more recently.”(7)

A two-tribe presence is also confirmed by Dutch Admiral Jacobs Roggeveen (1772) who arrived on the island:

There were two tribes on the island. The first was the Ha-nau-aa-epe, which was distinct because of their long ears. They were tall, white-skinned with red hair and ca. two metres tall. (6-1/2 feet) The other tribe was the Ha-nau-mo-moko, which had short ears. Though it is assumed that the statues were created by the short-eared tribe, under the command of the long-eared people, there was also a massacre of the long-eared people in 1760; apparently only three of them survived. The massacre is normally interpreted as a revolt of the short-eared people against their oppressive elite of the long ears.(13)

While the dates mentioned in the above 6 theories disprove the Mormon idea that the island was originally peopled in 55 BC by Hagoth’s sailors, this doesn’t negate the idea that much later, white visitors (the Long-Ears) did not come from Peru around 1,000 AD (not, of course, as Nephite descendants but as descendants of the original Norsemen who infiltrated the Americas.

Easter Island’s statues:
There are 887 plus statues that were carved between 1,000-1,680 AD, some with red hats. Some scholars note that initially none of the statues had hats but was incorporated later. The statues weigh up to 82 tons, with the largest one about 30 feet tall, although unfinished ones, still in the quarry, would have been 69 feet tall and 270 tons.(9)  (To see demonstration of how the statues were moved from their quarry by “walking” them with ropes, see video at

The Long-Eared race
Above, we read Palmer and Roggeveen’s account of the tradition that the Polynesian’s ancestors of Easter Island, were white “Long Ears” who came from over the sea and had red hair and beards. Tradition also says that Easter Island’s first king had long ears when he reached the island in a sea going vessel.

The statues on Easter Island have Caucasian-like features, comparable to the description in Peruvian traditions of the white visitors who came to the Americas. It is believed they made the statues in their own image. The statues’ notable long ears suggest a strong link to Peru. Peruvian legends say that Con-Ticci Viracocha had long ears when he sailed off west across the sea and was “remembered as the chief of a ‘large-eared’ people that were the first inhabitants of Titicaca Island” in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia. (Heyerdahl, op cit., p. 233) When Pizarro arrived in Peru during the conquest, he commented on the natives “who had ears so large that they came down to the shoulders. He who had the largest ears was held to be the finest gentleman among them.” (Heyerdahl, op cit., p. 234)

Con-Tici Viracocha’s last lesson to his successors in pre-Inca Peru—before he departed into the Pacific—was the art of enlarging their earlobes, thus to remain “long-ears” after he had gone. (Thor Heyerdahl,op cit., p 234.)

The white-bearded leaders were thought to be gods when they arrived to the Americas and were called by various names: In Mexico, their white leader was called Quetzalcoatl; in Yucatan, Kukulcan; in Columbia, Bochica; in the Andes, Viracocha; in Polynesia, Urekehu, or Pahana,.” (Kennedy, op cit., 70)

Mormons would like to believe that Quetzalcoatl was the resurrected Jesus who appeared to the Nephite and Lamanite people in the Book of Mormon. However, Indian legends all state that Quetzalcoatl (Viracocha and the others as well) arrived by boat and left by boat. In fact, they were called the “Foam people” because they used the sea. If Quetzalcoatl, or the other white-bearded Gods, were the resurrected Jesus he obviously wouldn’t have had to use a boat. Actually, there were many Quetzalcoatls. Virachochas. and Kukulcans because it was a “hereditary title for the successive line of leading priests.” (Heyerdahl, op cit., 233).

Long eared statue. (All had long ears)
The Long Ears called the dark-skinned natives, they either already found on Easter Island or who came later, “Short Ears” and used them as slaves until the latter rebelled and killed them off.
The fact that Easter Island’s rulers were white, of Nordic composition and had long ears, and Peru also had white Nordic-featured rulers with long ears, cannot help but convince one of a South American connection.

If there is a connection, one would also expect to find language similarities between the two cultures. Are there any? Yes.

Language similarities
Here are “only a few” I listed from Thor Heyerdahl’s book:

Now we come to the most fascinating of all … the “red hats” on the statues.

The Long Ears ordered separate hunks to be cut out of red scoria, a pumic-like volcanic rock, to place on the heads of the statues, each hat weighing several tons. Some believe this was to validate their red hair color, while others believe it may be have been a feathered headdress (red, signifying power). But if these white rulers did indeed arrive from Peru with its traditions of blonde and red-haired white rulers, then it would not be unreasonable to assume that the red hats could represent hair. In the next picture you’ll notice something else. On top of the hat is what appears to be a smaller hat. But is it a hat, or a top-knot?

Dr. Sue Hamilton, of University College, London believes the hats “could represent a plait or top knot worn by the elite chieftains who were fighting for power and pride.”(8)  Some say they could be headdresses representing red feathers, often worn by chiefs throughout Polynesia. Perhaps the latter was done in honor of the redheaded Long-ears, or to replicate their red-feathered headdresses. But the shape of the smaller hat does not look like feathers. As talented as those sculptors were in carving face, nose and mouth features, they certainly could have made a hat with carved points on the top to represent feathers if that was their aim.

That they had red and light colored hair, along with brown, is of no debate, as the next picture shows:

Through the kind cooperation of Dr. R. Carion Cachot and Dr. L.F. Galvez of Museo National de Anthropologica y Arqueologia in Lima, Peru, and Dr. P. Pawlik of Instituto de Estudios Etnologicos, Thor Heyerdahl was able to obtain these photos of pre-Inca mummy heads from Makat Tampu, Paracas Peninsula and Nazca, Peru, clearly showing their blond, red and brown hair. These white Indians of South America were descendants of the Viracocha, an ancient Caucasian tribe who entered into the culture-complex of pre-Inca Peru.(Source:
We may be left with questions about when the white Long Ears actually arrived, but there remains no question that the white visitors to the island were not Hebrew as Mormons would like to believe. Also, that they probably came from Peru sounds plausible since the majority of evidence points directly to ancient Norsemen in America. 
Earlier world explorers before Columbus
Besides the Norse, we already know of many other world explorers who used the natural ocean currents: The Greeks (Pytheas circumnavigated Britain and possibly Norway in 325 BC); the Romans (who had the capacity to cross the Atlantic and back); the Carthaginians who explored the coasts of Africa and Europe (500 BC) and Egypt in 600 BC; Norwegian and Danish Vikings, Erik the Red, the Phoenicians also circumnavigated Africa 20 centuries before Columbus, and there have probably been many others who came to the Americas decades and centuries before Columbus that so far we know nothing about. It shows that explorers used the oceanic currents. The Norsemen certainly couldn’t have been the only explorers who used the currents. Although not mentioned much, Chinese explorers also came to the American continent, although much later. 
A 340 year old Chinese coin was found in the Yukon in North Canada, evidence of trade possibly as early as the 15th century. Scientists also unearthed a 600-year-old Chinese coin on Manda, an island off the northern coast of Kenya, that shows trade existed between China and east Africa decades before European explorers set sail and changed the map of the world. The coin was issued by Emperor Yongle who reigned from 1403-1425 AD during the Ming Dynasty. But, how about earlier? Just because we have no physical evidence of Chinese or Japanese travels before the 15th century certainly doesn’t mean there were none.

We also can’t leave out the Japanese. Remember, in Part 1, Alexander Hamilton Rice’s witness published in the New York Times in 1925, that the Eastern Paraguay Indians “looked Japanese, showing no evidence of any European or African admixture.”

That many races indeed “discovered” America can be suggested when the Spaniards discovered the New World in the early sixteenth century. There were about fifty million inhabitants living in the Western Hemisphere at that time, speaking over 900 languages. Why such diversity in language unless the reason is a diversity of origins. 
 The Canary Island Gaunches
  • The Gaunche Indians were DNA-tested descendants of the Nordic-descended Riffian Berbers of Africa’s Northern Morocco, verifying the Gaunche’s ancestry of Norsemen. The Gaunche’s language is also similar to the Berbers, although an older form. 
  • The Guanche’s method of mummification, like Egypt’s, along with their building of step-pyramids, suggests that the Norsemen in their travels must have learned them in Egypt. The mummies also confirmed their white skin and red hair. 
  • The very same ocean current that brought the Nordics to Morocco, and eventually to the Canary Islands, also flows to Mexico. This suggests that many Nordics journeyed on to South and Central America. This strongly implies that the white Indians of the Americas were not related to Lehi’s Hebrew stock but to Norsemen. 
  • One of the words, “Guan,” used by the Gaunche’s can be found among the indigenous people of South America. From there, “Guan” spread to the West Indies by immigrants from South America. The language connection to the indigenous people of South America suggests that the white race that came to the Americas was Nordic, not Hebrew. 
The fact that (1) the Gaunche Indians relate to the Berbers of Northern Morocco who are of Nordic descent, and (2) the same ocean current that brought the Norsemen to that area could also take them to Mexico, shows that the white Indians of the Americas, described as ‘foreign intruders,’ are not Hebrew, nor are related to Lehi’s stock in the Book of Mormon. Therefore, the Mormon belief that the bearded white rulers of the Americas were Hebrews can be dismissed. (Besides, Lehi’s descendants would have had a Mediterranean complexion, certainly not as extremely fair-skinned as the white Darien Indians of Central America exhibited.)

  • The dates of the settling of Polynesia (1025-1190 AD) is long after Hagoth, and long after the settling of the Hawaiian Islands in particular, which has been established as 200-500 AD. Scholars state that the Hawaiian Islands were established by other Polynesian immigrants. 
  • Despite the late dates when Polynesia was settled, LDS Church leaders still believe in the Hagoth 55 BC myth. This is evident in their many talks at conferences and temple dedications on the islands, and includes New Zealand, even Japan. 
  • Mormons believe that the proof that Hagoth’s followers founded Hawaii is because the sweet potato on the island is only found in America, but there are two possible answers: (1) travel between Peru and Polynesia, and (2) the continental drift of Pangaea. 
Archaeological evidence concerning the settling of Polynesia totally dismisses the Book of Mormon’s story and church leaders’ claims. 
Easter Island
  • Six theories about how Easter Island (and other Polynesia islands) was founded were given, all of which makes a wide range of dates for the settlement of parts of Polynesia of 300-800 AD and 1200 AD. The 400 years between 800 and 1200 AD (the latter set for the carving of the statues) causes one to consider that the 300-800 may not include the white, long-eared intruders at all, who may have indeed come from America later in 1200 AD, but only to earlier dark-skinned immigrants who came from French Polynesia. On the other hand, Heyerdahl’s research says that the Long Eared whites arrived first and the dark-skinned Short Ears came later.
  • Easter Island tradition says the giant sculptures “were the work of a former race; the present race having come more recently,” and that they made the statues to reflect their own image. Also, that they came from over the sea, were white with Caucasian-like features, red hair, beards, and had long-ears. The Short Ears (who were either already there or who arrived later) became their slaves but later rebelled and killed off the Long Ears. 
  • The white Long Ears of Easter Island match the Long Ears of the pre-Inca Tiahuanaco II time. If they did in fact come from Peru, it does not mean, however, that they were Nephites, but Norsemen. Language similarities have also been shown between Peru and Easter Island. 
  • The BC dates of the Hagoth sailings conflict with the AD settlements of both Polynesia and Easter Island.

The Hebrew Lehi, and his family, would not have been “white and exceedingly fair and beautiful” (I Nephi 13:15) like the white Indians of Darien proved to be. They would have had a darker, Mediterranean complexion in the BC time period of 601 BC (when Lehi landed). And if, according to LDS leaders’ conference talks, the dark-skinned peoples of the Polynesian islands are descended from Laman and Lemuel, the Lamanites would have had to sail from America to the islands long after the islands were originally settled, so could not have been the founders.

The Book of Mormon story of Hagoth the Nephite has never been proved historically or archaeologically. More importantly, white Nephite sailors cannot be the founding people of Polynesia, Easter Island, or New Zealand (or Japan) because the 55 BC dates don’t jibe.

A white race may have come from Peru to the islands, but this does not verify the Book of Mormon, or that they were Hebrews. Evidence points to that race as being Nordic, based on their white skin, eye color, beards, plus the Darien Indians’ Nordic assessment by experts.

While the Book of Mormon, that claims to be a second witness to Christ, contains inspiring stories, it is not a record of the ancestors of the American Indians, nor does it offer salvation to its readers. The Bible is the only source for God’s truth and witness of Christ. The contents of the Bible can lead one to true salvation, but the Book of Mormon cannot.

No archaeology has confirmed any Book of Mormon artifacts in the Americas. Unlike the Book of Mormon, the Bible has not suffered from any scientific examination. In the last one hundred years much has been found, such as old manuscripts and archaeological digs to confirm Bible history as being reliable, plus verification between today’s scientific knowledge with Genesis’ description of pre-earth conditions and the order of creation. So far, no archaeological or paleoanthropological discoveries have disproved the Bible.

While historical and archaeological discoveries cannot prove to someone that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, nevertheless, scientific discoveries prove whether the people, events and historical locations described in it are accurate and not fictional. (See “Is the Bible Reliable?”

The lack of validation for the Book of Mormon cautions one not to simply accept it because LDS missionaries say that when praying about it, “feeling good” is God’s answer to validate its truthfulness; or, because Elder Mark E. Petersen insisted, “The Polynesians are descendants of Lehi and blood relatives of the American Indians, despite the contrary theories of other men.”(4)
What’s coming up next? I had originally intended my next blog in November to be Part 3 of this series, "Lamanites and the Indigenous People of the Americas"; however, I have decided I need to move on to a Christian subject instead. Therefore, I will still write Part 3 for those interested, but it will not appear on this home page but under the dashboard tab of “Articles.” 

Here is what it will cover:
  • The Bering Strait Land Bridge.
  • The dark-skinned indigenous people of pre-Columbian America.
  • The Clovis and pre-Clovis cultures, when they arrived, where they came from, whether they predate the Jaredites, Nephites and Lamanites.
  • Archaeological evidence from Utah and other North American locations indicating the presence of people on the continent long before the last Ice Age that occurred approximately 110,000 to 12,000 years ago.
  • DNA studies, to see if they verify Lehi, or any of the indigenous people of the Americas, having come from Jerusalem.  And more . . . 
I will again alert you to where it can be found when I post my next article.

Until next time!
(endnotes are below)


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(1)  On the other 6 of the 7 Canary islands, the tribal people are known by other names. “Canarios” for Gran Canaria; “Gomeros” for La Gomera; “Auaritas” or “Palmeros” for La Palma; “Bimbachos” for El Hierro; “Majos” for Lanzarote and “Majoeros for Fuerteventura. Collectively, however, they are all grouped under the label of Gaunches.
(2) R. Lanier Britsch stated in the New Era, June 1981 (Maori Traditions and the Mormon Church” that, “Since th days of George Q. Cannon in Hawaii (1851-54), the church leaders had more and more frequently alluded to the idea that the Polynesians were descendants of Lehi . . . Although the relationship between the Polynesian peoples and the alleged “adventurer” Hagoth . . is not clear—he being a Nephite and the Polynesians appearing to be Lamanites—Church leaders have time and time again referred to the Polynesians as children of Lehi.” (cited at

(3) (Spencer J. Palmer and Roger R. Keller. Religions of the World: A Latter-day Saint View. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 1989, p. 91. (Cited at BYU Religious Study Center 

(4) Matthew Cowley’s statement re Hawaii: William A. Cole and Edwin W. Jensen. Israel in the Pacific: A Genealogical Text For Polynesia. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961, p. 384.
 Mark E. Petersen re Polynesia: (Mark E. Petersen, “New Evidence for the Book of Mormon,” Improvement Era (June 1962) 65:456–59, p. 457; also in Conference Report (Apr 1962) 111–15.) 
Hugh B. Brown re New Zealand: (David W. Cummings, Mighty Missionary of the Pacific. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1961, p. 63, cited in Paul R. Cheesman and Millie Foster Cheesman.  Early America and the Polynesians. Provo, Utah: Promised Lands Publication, Inc., 1975, p. 14) 
Matthew Cowley re Hawaiians: (Cole, William A., and Edwin W. Jensen. Israel in the Pacific: A Genealogical Text For Polynesia. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1961, p. 384) 
Link to texts to other statements by church leaders:

(5) The remarks by the following individuals can be found at the 2 links at the end of this endnote:
President David O. McKay at the dedication of the New Zealand temple, April 20, 1958
Elder Gordon B. Hinckley at the dedication of the New Zealand temple
President Spencer W. Kimball quotes former President Joseph F. Smith about New Zealand
From: “Hagoth and the Polynesians” BYU Religious Studies Center at

(6)  Hunt, T. L.; Lipo, CP (2006). "Late Colonization of Easter Island". Science311 (5767): 1603. doi:10.1126/science.1121879. PMID 16527931.) fn 19: Hunt, Terry; Lipo, Carl (2011). The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island. Free Press. ISBN 1-4391-5031-1.)

(7) John Linton Palmer Observations on the inhabitants and the antiquities of Easter Island. Enthnological Society London Journal 1, 371-377.

(8) The Telegraph. “Easter Island statues' hats explained by researchers” By Sarah Le Masson 07 Sep 2009.

(10)  The Viking Norsemen were merchant-warriors whose primary business was trade and included the slave trade. Arab writers did not call the tall, blond traders "Vikings," but by the ethnonym Rus (pronounced "Roos'), another name for Vikings. According to the itinerant geographer Ibn Hawkal, writing in 977, the Rus ran a slave trade that flourished "from Spain to Egypt,” and Arab sources also say they reached Greece and Egypt. Consistently, Byzantine and Arab writers referred to the Swedish traders and settlers, as well as the local population among whom they settled and intermarried, as Rus, and this is the source of the modern name of Russia. Other sources say Russia’s name came from a Norsemen named Rurik; others, that it stems from the West Finnic name for Sweden, Ruotsi, which means oarsmen.”(see and

(11) “Some 10,000 years ago all the larger ice caps melted, excepting those in Antarctica and Greenland, and the oceans rose to approximately their present levels, inundating the plains that had connected Australis with New Guinea, and Alaska with Siberia, and isolating the avant-garde of humanity in their new homelands. From that time until the Europeans made a common practice of sailing across the seams of Pangaea, these peoples lived and developed in complete or nearly complete isolation.” (Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe by Alfred W. Crosby, 17)

(14) Guanche is an extinct language that was spoken by the Guanches of the Canary Islands until the 16th or 17th century. It is only known today through a few sentences and individual words recorded by early travellers, supplemented by several place names, as well as some words assimilated into the Canary Islanders’ Spanish. Relationships with other languages have therefore been difficult to determine with certainty; however, it is almost certainly Afro-Asiatic, and many linguists consider Guanche to likely be one of, or to be related to, the Berber languages. ( See also,

(15) Those who witnessed white Indians are as follows:
Cortez found white Indians imprisoned in Montezuma's palace in Mexico City.
George Vancouver saw them on Vancouver Island in 1792.
Commander Stiles of the American Navy claimed to have seen the same group in 1848.
Baron Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, German explorer saw about 100 of them in Columbia in 1801, and an entire tribe of 2600 reddish-haired people who lived along the Humboldt River in Nevada.
White Indians were reported among the Mandan tribe along the banks of the Mississippi River.
A white indigenous Caucasian tribe called "Wa-gas,"  inhabited the northwest region of California prior to the Yurok people;

(16) There are those who believe the Guanches were also related to the Celts of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Medieval Europe.

(17) American Indians in the Pacific by Thor Heyerdahl, 1952.

(18) Conference Report, October 1959, pp. 57-62 cited at

(19) President Spencer W. Kimball in a talk to the Samoan people, as recorded in the “Official Report of the Samoa Area Conference Held in Pago Pago and Apia, Samoa,” February 15, 16, 17, 18, 1976.


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