St Brendan and His Irish Monks Got to America 800 Years before the Famous Christopher Columbus; GOODBYE COLUMBUS: PROF HAS PROOF THAT WE HAD ALREADY FOUND NEW WORLD EXCLUSIVE

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Byline: TOM PRENDEVILLE

EARTH-shattering new research shows Irish monks discovered America 800 years before Columbus even set sail.

A top university professor in Massachusetts says there is now a huge volume of evidence pointing to a deep Irish influence on Native Americans.

He tells us today:

Thousands of words forged from Gaelic are in early American languages

The original inhabitants of north America built dwellings using ancient Irish systems

They even smoked clay pipes and distilled whiskey like the Irishmen of yesteryear

And even their slanted writing methods are just like that of old Ireland.

Dr Frank Faulkner, director of Irish Studies, at Holyoke Community College in Springfield told us: "The Algoquin Indians in North Eastern USA and East Canada have more Irish in their language than any other native Indian languages."

Now, after years of painstaking detective-like archaeological research, it's been found that not only are there similar words, but that even the way they were written was the same.

Faulkner said the mysterious ogham writing - carved script on stones - used by what the settlers called the Red Indians has been clearly identified as old Irish script.

The writing consists of slanted groups of lines which correspond to 20 individual letters of the alphabet chiselled along the edges of a standing stone.

Those stones had been there 800 years before English colonists found them.

Also clochauns - stone 'beehive' huts unique to West Kerry - are found in the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, WestVirginia, the Ohio River Valley and as far south as Texas.

Prior to the discovery, baffled American archaeologists - with no knowledge of Gaelic - overlooked what is perhaps one of the most amazing archaeological discoveries of all time.

Intriguingly, Irish monk St Brendan and a band of hardy missionaries are recorded as having set sail from the tip of the Dingle Peninsula in the sixth century en route to the mythical Western land of Hy Brasil (America).

The boat he sailed in was an animal hide and wicker curach and he returned seven years later.

The journal he wrote about the perilous ocean voyage was later used by Italian Columbus to successfully navigate his way across the Atlantic in 1492.

St Brendan noted the white frozen crystal islands (icebergs) the whaling grounds where he encountered 'huge black floating monsters the size of oak trees', and the islands en route.

In honour of his expedition Brazil was so-named by Columbus: Hy Brasil, meaning Blessed Place.

In 1977 British explorer Tim Severin made the exact same cross-Atlantic voyage in a simple hide skin canvas and wooden lattice boat.

The question now is, did hundreds of other missionary monks set sail for the New World after St Brendan discovered that a mythical land existed?

The new discoveries would indicate that this is probably what did happen and that they may have later inter-bred with the native Indians they encountered.

Says Faulkner: "The archaeological evidence found in America supports the concept of St Brendan's travels. …