In fact, it is only in recent times that modern man has been able to map this coastline using sub-surface surveying techniques that can penetrate the ice sheet that lies on top of it.
Ohlmeyer had no idea how a map existing in the 16th century could have got hold of such knowledge.
Of The Gods_
"Dear Professor Hapgood,
"Your request for evaluation of certain unusual features of the Piri Reis World Map... by this organization has been reviewed.
"The claim that the lower part of the map portrays the Princess Martha Coast of Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, and the Palmer Peninsula, is reasonable. We find this is the most logical and in all probability the correct interpretation of the map.
"The geographical detail shown in the lower part of the map agrees very remarkably with the results of the seismic profile made across the top of the ice-cap by the Swedish-British Antarctic Expedition of 1949.
"This indicates the coastline had been mapped before it was covered by the ice-cap.
"The ice-cap in this region is now about a mile thick
"We have no idea how the data on this map can be reconciled with the supposed state of geographical knowledge in 1513.
"Harold Z. Ohlmeyer, Lt. Colonel, USAF, Commander."
1. The Piri Reis Map of 1513,
is a genuine document, not a hoax.
2. Antarctica was discovered in 1818, 300 years after Reis drew the map.
3. Geological evidence confirms that the latest date Queen Maud Land could have been charted in an ice-free state is 4000 BC.
The puzzle however is not so much how Piri Reis managed to draw such an accurate map of the Antarctic region 300 years before it was discovered. The Turkish admiral admits in a series of notes on the map that he compiled and copied the data from a large number of source maps, some of which dated back to the fourth century BC or earlier.
Prof. Charles Hapgood maintained that the source maps were themselves based on earlier maps, compilations of which were made at the Great Library of Alexandria (Egypt).
He also claimed there was ample evidence ancient peoples explored Antarctica when its coasts were free of ice, and that they had instruments of navigation (which therefore must have included accurate chronometers - Ed) for determining longitudes that was far superior to anything possessed by the peoples of ancient, medieval or modern times until the second half of the eighteenth century.
Hapgood, however, was cold shouldered by his peers.
But it is worthy to note the following foreword (paraphrased here) to one of Hapgood's books in 1953:
"... the very first communication from Mr. Hapgood electrified me. His idea is original, of great simplicity, and - if it continues to prove itself - of great importance to everything that is related to the history of the Earth's surface"
The "idea" expressed in Hapgood's 1953 book explains how and why Antarctica could have remained ice-free until 4000 BC. And the concept that an accumulation of ice at the polar regions could have tilted the earth, with devastating consequences.
Recent discoveries suggest, however, that there was a catastrophic incident around 12,500 BC, with mass extinctions (elephants and mammoths in Siberia and America for example), consistent with a huge ice-melt and volcanic activity.
Current polar areas would have been temperate regions prior to such a tilt.
This suggests the source maps on which the Piri
Reis and others are based might have been compiled over 14,000 years ago.