The Magellan Effect (cont.)
By Doug Fisher
Schöner 1524 - Scaling Old to New
If Atka Bay and Queen Maud Land, Antarctica can be deemed the primary point matched to Magellan's newfound strait, then we have confirmed a possible repeat of Steps 1 and 2 of Schöner's methodology: 1) The referencing of an ancient source map, and 2) The reconciling of the new discovery to the ancient source map via Atka Bay. This leads us to a determination of Step 3, establishing if Schöner referenced a secondary point for scaling and aligning the continent to his globe. On Schöner's previous maps, the secondary point was the center of Agrippa's concentric design aligned to the South Pole, but centering a portion of his 1524 map over the South Pole was apparently not an option since the pole sits off center on Schöner’s Eastern Antarctica. This may be a subtle argument undermining to a degree the idea that Schöner was creating his design from scratch, seeing that the pole played such a pivotal role in the design of his previous maps, but was suddenly abandoned and ignored entirely on his most recent. If Schöner were creating this new design from scratch he could have easily centered all or a portion of the continent around the South Pole even doing so by altering the design a bit, after all there would be no harm in making this sort of aesthetic alteration to a design that was entirely a product of his imagination.
There might be the temptation to conclude that the source map identified and marked the South Pole and Schöner aligned the map accordingly, and in fact Hapgood in his book Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, does conclude exactly that. But there are significant difficulties with this. First the pole is not accurately positioned, although given the accuracy of ancient maps it is not the worst approximation, but more importantly if the source map had somehow marked the location of the South Pole, one would expect other latitudes to have been recognized and delineated as well, but had this been the case Schöner would have had no reason for overscaling the continent.
So if Schöner neither centered any portion of the continental mass over the South Pole nor found the pole marked on his ancient source map to allow alignment of the poles, then we have to look elsewhere for a secondary scaling point, likely a coastal feature such as a peninsula or even a bay like our primary point, Atka Bay.
Yet in reviewing the three main maps which carry this common design of the continent—Schöner's 1524 globe, Finé's 1531, and Mercator's 1538 world map—there is no single shared coastal feature that sets itself apart as a clear secondary scaling point. There is one feature that does offer a bit of intrigue, a pair of small islands that are found on Schöner and Mercator's maps, but not on Finé's 1531 map. Finé does include the pair of islands on his 1534 cordiform map designating them deserted islands, but they are aligned vertically whereas Schöner and Mercator align them horizontally. Initially therefore, they do not appear to have any real tangible connection to the continent.
The islands seem to be locked onto the Tropic of Cancer while the renderings of Western Antarctica hover between 200 and 250 miles below the islands on Schöner's 1524 globe and Finé's 1534 map, and Mercator's map distances Western Antarctica twice that at some 500 miles south of the islands. The omission of the islands on one map, realignment on another and varied distancing off the coast of Western Antarctica initially argue against this being associated with the continent and therefore diminishes its potential as a secondary scaling point.
However, due to the fact that these are detached geographical features, it is conceivable that Finé and Mercator chose to omit, realign or separate the islands from the southern landmass without discerning their significance in relation to the continent. If this were the case then Finé and Mercator gave little regard to Schöner’s depictions of the islands and merely referenced Schöner's continental mass to align and size their maps of the continent. This places the burden of proof squarely on Schöner. If somehow these islands were the key to scaling and aligning the continent then we would expect that Schöner, the man who introduced the world to this overscaled design, would have a very good reason for referencing these islands as the second scaling point. To resolve this we will need to delve into the history surrounding these islands. An inscription placed just below Mercator's depiction of the mysterious island set provides us the name. The inscription is Latin and reads, "Insulas Infortunatas": The Unfortunate Islands.