Wow, that's an inflammatory title, and we must be very wary here. Who could be promoting such an idea? The perpetrator is J. Forbes, a professor of Native American Studies at the University of California-Davis. The title above is, in fact, the title of Forbes' forthcoming book. Forbes recently gave a talk on his thesis in Berkeley, and the evidence below is based on a newspaper account of his talk. The account began with:
"It is a common perception, and one which is taught in most history classes, that the Europeans 'discovered' America. Some scholars, however, postulate that it may be quite the opposite: Native Americans went across the Atlantic and 'found' their European counterparts first." Now for the claimed evidence:
Carribean people were the Polynesians of the Americas. Excellent mariners, they built sophisticated sailing vessels 80-feet long, carrying up to 80 people. With the favorable winds and currents, they had the capabilities of reaching Europe.
There are tales of "redmen" arriving on the west coast of Portugal during the Middle Ages.
Columbus himself, during a visit to Ireland, noted the presence of people resembling North Americans.
Columbus also made notes on Indians in canoes wrecked off the coast of Germany in 1410.
Inuits (Eskimos) are said to have landed in the Orkneys, off Scotland. Old Inuit harpoon heads have been dug up in Ireland and Scotland.
(Kluepfel, Brian; "Native Americans May Have Found Europe, Says Scholar," Berkeley Voice, January 28, 1993. Cr. P.F. Young.
Comment. Obviously, stronger evidence will be required to convince most archeologists. And what about all the purported claims for early contacts with the Americas by Celts, Phonecians, Hebrews, Romans, Africans, etc,?
French archeologists (not American) have established to the satisfaction of most European archeologists (not American) that humans were present in Brazil at least 50,000 years ago. F. Parenti, with N. Guidon, presented their data at a recent Paris meeting. The main site studied was the sandstone rock shelter of Pedra Furada, which is one of several hundred painted rock shelters discovered in northeastern Brazil. Guidon began her work in 1978; Parenti, in 1984. The fourvolume, 7-kilogram report (actually Parenti's doctoral thesis) concentrates on three lines of evidence:
A coherent series of 54 radiocarbon dates ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 years.
Crudely flaked stones, some 6,000 of which are deemed of human manufacture, even when the most stringent criteria are applied. Many of these came from Pleistocene strata 50,000 years old or older.
Some 50 Pleistocene "structures" consisting of artificial arrangements of stones, some burned, some accompanied by charcoal. These are likely ancient hearths.
(Bahn, Paul G.; "50,000-Year-Old Americans of Pedra Furada," Nature, 362:114, 1993.)
Comment. With the Brazil and Chile (Monte Verde) sites looking more and more convincing, it is reasonable to ask why even older sites have not been found in North America, which is nearer the famous Bering Land Bridge. As a matter of fact, controverted human artifacts have been found at such sites as Calico Hills, California, which are claimed to be much older than 50,000 years. It will be interesting to see how the Pedra Furada data are received in the States.
I just want to add here, for the sake of conversation, that customarily Caucasian, "white" people can and do become quite "red" in skin color after prolonged exposure to the sun, particularly in the middle of North America. I've seen it happen to nearly all male Swedes, for instance, after they've farmed many years.
However, brown hair will turn far more blond in prolonged sun exposure unless there is a head covering worn, in which case brown hair turns darker.
Just saying, could be...that the "red" man is "red" because the lifestyles are mostly, predominantly outside for full day-hours. "Red" is what happens to the skin if you're initially Caucasian (other than people like me who are redhaired and nearly opaquely white skinned, in which case we just burn and stay colorless).