Truth, Understanding, Insight

Ambassadors in Reed Boats

26th December 2016, hej


6) The Modern Reed Boat Ambassadors

Thor Heyerdahl was already famous from his work with the Kon Tiki expedition where he built a balsa raft to prove ancient migrations from South America to Polynesia, when he felt constrained from 1965 to begin to prove a connection between the sun worshipping culture of the Nile, and the sun worshippers of Peru, South America. He noticed the strikingly similarity of reed boats drawn on walls in the Valley of the kings and those he had seen on ceramic pots in North Peru. Heyerdahl saw his first papyrus boat on Lake Chad, and it was similar to those on Lake Titicaca.

But to build the boat he used Papyrus reeds from Lake Tana, Ethiopia (as at the time the Papyrus reed had disappeared in Egypt) and brought via the Red Sea, reed boat builders from Lake Chad and he built it near the pyramids in Egypt. He gained permission to build it so prominently as Egypt had just lost the Six Day War and was keen to be seen as peaceful. In the end, due to timing, the boat that was made was transported on the back of a Swedish cargo ship to Moroccan port of Safi to sail the Atlantic.

But the most remarkable thing was that the crew to sail the boat was not a bunch of six Norwegians and Swedes, but as Thor himself writes he was,

“tempted to many nations as space would allow..I myself from the northernmost part of Europe, the southernmost.. Italy. It would be logical to take one of the Papyrus experts with us... Since the experiment was meant to demonstrate the contact between the ancient civilization of Africa and America, it would be symbolic to take an Egyptian and a Mexican on board. And in order to have contrasting from the USA and one from the Soviet Union. All the other nations..could be symbolise by the flag of the United Nations.”

In a time of tension, when Thor himself had seen military jets over the Sphinx, Thor wished to show people could work together. He managed to include a Jew in his American representative. They sailed from Safi in Morocco on 25 May 1969. Pictures show that the 7 flags of the crew on the boat were bookended by two blue flags of the UN. Thor noticed how polluted the surface of the Atlantic ocean was. They also found by experience that the ship they had copied from tomb paintings was designed for the open sea, not the Nile, as they had left off a tie detail which caused the boat to sag in the deep ocean swells. So the voyage ended closer to America than Africa.

But Thor did not give up, he built another reed boat in Morocco using Papyrus reeds from Lake Tana but builders from Lake Titicaca. The multi national crew was the same but Abdullah from Chad was replaced with a Berber, and a Japanese cameraman joined. On 17 May 1970 the papyrus boat again left Safi, Morocco. In 57 days they had crossed the polluted Atlantic to Barbados. A photo near the end of the voyage shows they were flying the UN flag, and Thor Heyerdahl notes that when a pigeon landed on the mast it did so below the “blue flag of the United Nations” (The Ra Expeditions p327) indicating the reed boat RaII sailed the voyage under that flag.

During the first Ra voyage, Heyerdahl wrote his first letter to the UN about the fact that the oceans of the world were becoming polluted. He was asked, or pressed, by the Secretary-General of the UN to make daily pollution observations during the RA II voyage. Heyerdahl presented reports about the pollution problem to the UN’s first conference on oceanic law.

In effect, Thor Heyerdahl sought to embody the ideals of the UN in the first voyage of the Ra. The Ra II voyage was then made with the men aboard acting as ambassadors of the UN. Significantly, as they approached Barbados the ship sent to find them could not, and they were first found by a UN ship.

“The big fast trawler came close and saluted us by lowering and raising the blue flag of the United Nations...Norman hurried over ..and replied with out own UN flag. Only two thirds of it were left: the rest had ripped away in a storm....yelled in Swedish: 'Welcome to the American side of the ocean”
There was something unreal about the whole meeting: that a UN boat should actually be first to meet us on the other side. I had never seen a boat flying the UN flag before, apart from the Ra.” (The Ra Expeditions p352)

When they reached Bridgetown, in the Americas the whole city appears to have welcomed them.

A few elements can be taken from this. Isaiah specifically speaks of beyond the rivers of Cush, a 'vessel' “apparatus/thing/ weapon/tool/ vessel” made of the absorbent 'gome' גמא, specifically the papyrus. The papyrus was from Lake Tana, Ethiopia or Cush, the source of the Blue Nile. According to Thor from the beginning of his Ra expedition to the end all commented on how absorbent the papyrus was. The vessel was not a ship, and barely a boat. It was a 'thing'. Thor observed,

“some were laughing themselves silly, shouting and asking if we had really come from Morocco on “that thing”. Seen from outside we were just a wickerwork cabin floating on the water behind a majestic Egyptian sail with two shorn-off tufts of reed sticking out of the water at either end”. (The Ra Expeditions p357)

They were floating on the face of the waters (unlike displacement ships), taking samples of pollution literally on the face of the waters. And because of this activity and Thor's desire to promote the ideal of nations working together, they were ambassadors for an entity. They flew the flag of the UN.

The name 'United Nations', is a very poor description, and to the ancients it would not make sense. It makes no sense even today. There is nothing united about the nations of the UN. But the 'UN', whatever its name, has a presence, has bodies of governance, a flag and a land (the significance of which we will return to), and it has a land its headquarters sit upon.

But there is more.

The other Cush – the Tigris & Euphrates

These expeditions had made Thor famous in 1970/1, but Thor had more ideas about migration to test. In 1977 Thor turned to the Tigris and Euphrates, the rivers of the other Cush that became Nineveh. He moved into the Garden of Eden Resthouse on the banks of the Tigris, Iraq and began interviewing Marsh Arabs to build a new reed boat. He admits he wasn't sure why or where, but was hoping a theory would emerge. He noticed first that the moon was like a reed ship. The new reed ship was called 'Tigris'. They were first to dock in new facilities in Bahrain and the pictures show once again they were flying the UN flag. They were greeted by a British archaeologist. From there they voted to go to Oman. They docked even though forbidden. Thor wrote,

“So much for their United Nations Flag”

From there chance was to take him to the Indus Valley and then across the Indian Ocean to Africa. They had intended to sail up to Egypt, connecting three reed buildings civilizations together. The Israelites called the Red Sea the sea 'yam suph' the sea of reeds. But there was war between Somalia and Ethiopia and in Yemen, so the expeditions London backers sent a message telling them they had no co-operation and the course was hazardous. They navigated into the island of Djibouti 28 March 1978. There Thor hoped to go to North Yemen, but they were banned 'for security reasons'. This prevented the journey. The commentator notes that the “frail little reed boat had taken on the semblance of an armed warship”

But Thor had a comment to make, and he made it to the UN,

“Tigris will have a proud end, as a torch that will call men to reason...” and
'Tigris was towed to a safe anchorage outside the harbour but well within sight of the town. Before lowering the United Nations flag, a telegram was despatched to the Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim....”Today we are burning our proud ship with full sails, and the rigging and hull in perfect condition, as a protest against the inhuman elements of the 1978 world of ours..” ' Kon Tiki Man p280

Thor Heyerdahl felt pressed as a hinge, as an ambassador to make a point to a leader, the secretary of the ambassadors of nations, to the nations. The Tigris expedition’s members also sent a unanimous appeal to the UN asking it to stop arms deliveries.

The events were not hidden in obscure journals. Everyone could know about it who might be even remotely interested, as each was filmed. The resulting film from the RA voyages was nominated for an Oscar, and the voyage of the Tigris was to be filmed to be televised in six different countries. Nobody could miss it as is well known,

The work of Heyerdahl first came to worldwide attention in 1947 with his Kon-Tiki expedition.
The film won an Oscar for best documentary. Thor’s popular book The Kon-Tiki Expedition was later translated into 70 languages.

Following the voyage of the Tigris

A popular book and four TV programmes resulted from the expedition.

Isaiah's prophecy was literally fulfilled in every particular in these events. Heyerdahl took the precise papyrus reed from the lake beyond the rivers of Cush, or Ethiopia, and in vessel/thing on the face of the polluted waters was blown to British America (Barbados), where he was met by a UN boat. Then in a reed vessel from beyond the rivers of the other of Cush of Nineveh, the Tigris in Iraq he sails on the face of the polluted waters to the Indus Valley also once part of Britain's empire and back to the Red Sea, where he burns the reeds in a message to the UN.

With these remarkable events, we see that there need not have been a fulfilment in the ancient past when they used reed boats. The order of the prophecy was that first the land would send out ambassadors on the sea (Hebrew: yam), then even some others on papyrus vessels on the face of the waters (Hebrew: mayim).

But you say, the UN is not a land. The UN is not the nations united either. However, the UN in the negotiations over Israel is given a status equal to Russia and the USA. The UN has a leader, employees and armed forces. In a peculiar way it is an organization that acts like any other country. It is a 'land' made up of 'citizens' who are all ambassadors and envoys. The most important point is that the UN is located in a land, the USA, and that country maintains it.

The ambassadors are sent out, as the Hebrew might be translated, 'on, in, at, by or with the seas'. The 'seas' in Isaiah also refer to the nations. In Isaiah 17:2 the seas are equated to “many people”. The UN does send out ambassadors by or on the ever-changing, often roaring, sea-like, movement of the nations.

The reed boat ambassadors of the modern world, Thor Heyerdahl and his crew, spoke English, then French, just as the UN does. There is another pointer as to who the land is. During World War II, Thor trained as a wireless radio operator in Canada, as the Norwegian government was in exile in London. The RA expedition was documented in 1971 by the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation, but the Tigris expedition became a BBC documentary in 1979. But it is to be noted that the navigator was an American.

There is a powerful symbol in the reed boat, the Egyptian (Cushite) RA ('sun') emblematic of the political power, travelling from the Phoencian port (symbolic of the great ancient sea trading power) in Africa and going to America. Yet they arrived in Barbados a place that had been under British control since 1627 but had negotiated its independence from Britain in June 1966. It was emblematic of the woe of the great sea power of the empire the sun never set on. A symbolic baton of power had travelled across the Atlantic. By the time of the voyage the Americans were dominant, as by 1969-70 most of the nations of the British empire had became independent. The very last voyage, the Tigris acted out how the 'land' overshadowed. Note the route of its voyage.

The intent was to reach Egypt.

We will further investigate the dual British American nature of the 'land' over-shadowing.

But the most amazing point of all is that Thor didn't know he would fulfil Bible prophecy, and had no thought of it, but in his book The RA Expeditions, he quotes his Egyptian crew member, a Coptic Christian, quoting Isaiah 18:2, to which Thor adds that the New KJV had added the note it was papyrus. (Penguin, 1972 p262). There is no doubt these were the reed boat ambassadors. It was 25 May 1969 when with huge fanfare the reed boat leaves Egypt for America under UN flags, but by 1979 much of the world could know of it. Something was to happen we were to take note of.

Shadowing wings

Both Assyria and Egypt were associated with over-shadowing wings, yet beyond but having power over both those lands of Egypt and Assyria there came to be another over shadowing winged world power. A world power that had as its symbol an Eagle. A world power known for it's aircraft.

The word in Hebrew for overshadowing implies also 'whirring' and 'clattering' which makes us think of aircraft. Though many nations were involved in the development of aircraft, two stood out, Britain and the US. Even before Leonardo's ideas for the propeller and parachute in the 13 century Roger Bacon, an English monk, performed studies supporting his idea that air could support a craft.

Also the British Sir George Cayley was first to study the physics of flight. By 1799 he designed a modern looking glider and flew it as a model in 1804. He invented most of basic aerodynamics and introduced such terms as lift and drag. British Francis Herbert Wenham used wind tunnels in his studies and predicted the application of multiple wings placed above each other. John Stringfellow designed a steam-engine powered aircraft which was launched from a wire demonstrating lift. In 1891 Lawrence Hargrave, a British-born Australian inventor, created a rigid-wing aircraft with flapping blades which flew (95m). American Samuel Langley, created the first heavier-than-air, gasoline-powered engine which actually flew in 1903 days before the Orville & Wilbur Wrights' historic flight. Frank Whittle patented a design for a jet engine in 1930 allowing Britain to build jet aircraft by the end of World War II.

In WW2 the output of American planes over the course of the war was extraordinary with 160,070 made with over 50,000 made in 1944 alone.

As we write there is no doubt at all that American and their allies' aircraft have great 'clattering', 'whirring' reach over the ancient lands of Cush, with current action in the area of Ancient Assyria.

Britain's History of Overshadowing the two Cush areas

The words of Isaiah 18 are located between a prophecy of Assyria and one of Egypt. Isaiah 19 ends with a powerful prophecy of the future linking Assyria and Egypt.

In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom Yahweh of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance. (Isa 19:23-25)

Isaiah 18 in context by using the world “Cush” כושׁ links Egypt and Assyria.

Not much is said in prophecy about the events in Holy Land over the years of desolation when Israel was not a nation. For example, Daniel 11 jumps from the ancient era to the modern era of 'the time of the end'. The centre of the world from ancient times shifted from the Middle East to Europe for hundreds of years. Then things changed. The great powers of Europe reached far beyond their borders, into the Middle East.

With the drying up of the Ottoman Empire, by 1850 Egypt had revolted, but in so doing fell under British influence, as the Suez opened a way to India.

In 1881 the Mahdi Revolt breaks out in Sudan and Southern Egypt, this brought the British in and by 1885 they control Khartoom. They make Sudan a British protectorate in 1899. In 1914 Egypt also became a British Protectorate.

The most unlikely event of all occurred when the Ottomans chose to side with Germany after the outbreak of WW1. As a result by 1918 the British Commonwealth and Allied forces controlled much of Iraq, and half of the Levant. The map below shows how by the end of WW1 Britain was the overshadowing wings over both areas of Cush.

Dark Pink British Controlled in 1925. Persia was British influenced.

Britain was not there in the role of the 'merchants of Tarshish', as their control was not for the reason of merchandise and trade, as in India, but rather for political 'protection'.

In this role Britain is granted two 'Mandates'. A mandate is an 'overshadowing' or a 'hovering' above. In April 1920 at the San Remo Peace Conference the Mandate for Syria created Syria and Lebanon. But of great interest was that the overshadowing by Britain was formalised in the Mandate for Mesopotamia, which created Iraq and the Mandate for Palestine which created a Jewish 'Homeland'. This brings us to what the Ambassadors were prophesied to do.

The instruction “Go ye to a Nation Scattered”

Isaiah said there was to be an instruction given to the messengers,

Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled! (Isaiah 18:2)

The 'rivers' are the nations who in successive waves overflowed the Holy Land. The Ottomans were symbolised by the Euphrates drying up, having overflowed Israel. But other nations had overflowed including the French with Napoleon, and the crusades had been fought there.

The Hebrews or Jews had been scattered over the world, and, unlike other peoples, had not assimilated and had retained their identity as scattered remnants of the Hebrew nation. The word for 'peeled' in Hebrew means also 'obstinate' and 'independent'. They were terrible or 'awesome' from their beginning due to the plagues on Egypt. Since that time they had brought blessing wherever they were treated well but most often cursing to the nations that ill treated them.

The pogroms in Russia from 1881 had led to an exodus of Jews, notably some to Palestine with many more going to America and Britain. The situation added to thoughts of Jews returning to Zion, which were evident from before 1876 when the mood was captured in a popular novel in Britain called Daniel Deronda. Just as the British were establishing a role in Ethiopian Cush on one hand, while digging the Ninevite sands on the other hand, the Jews as a nation scattered and peeled, established the Zionist Congress under the direction of Herzl in 1897. By so doing, they established they were a 'nation'.

From this point in 1897 the messengers sent out to fulfil the Divine instruction could go to Jews as a 'nation scattered'. The dried bones of Ezekiel had come together as one body as the whole house of Israel. Even though there was some support in Britain for a home for Jews, and the offer of Uganda was made and rejected, the focus of Herzl was the Ottomans, who controlled the Holy Land. But WW1 dramatically changed the situation. By January 1915 Herbert Samuel had support for a memorandum for annexing Palestine and making a Jewish national home. In March 1915 a new memorandum by Herbert Samuel with the support of others of the cabinet including David Lloyd George suggested that Palestine should become a British Protectorate until the Jews became a majority and could self govern.

These suggestions were reliant on British victory, which was not certain in 1915, however after the battle of Beersheva, finally these moves bore fruit as the Balfour declaration was sent from Britain's government on November 2, 1917, in a letter from Balfour to Lord Rothschild, president of the British Zionist Federation. The main body of the letter quoted the decision of the October 31, 1917 British Cabinet meeting.