‘Vikings Visited Cairns’, Rex Gilroy, Psychic Australia
This article from ‘Psychic Australia’ in March 1977 by Rex Gilroy claims that Norse/Scandinavian sailors visited the South Pacific and northern Australia. The article, ‘Vikings Visited Cairns’’, is now freely available online on the Mysterious Australia website. The article includes various arguments for a Norse presence in the south Pacific, including swastika symbols found in rock and wood art in Java, Cambodia, Malaya, and Vietnam, the shape of war canoes in Fiji, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Tonga, and the physical appearance of some of the native inhabitants of New Guinea. Similar arguments are then applied to northern Australia, augmented by a comparison between northern-Australian Aboriginal religious beliefs and those of the Norse, such as the existence of a rainbow bridge (Bifröst in Old Norse texts) in both cultures, and spirits, or Valkyries, carrying off the dead after a battle. Gilroy also considers rock art near Cairns, Queensland, to show warriors dressed as Vikings in horned helmets. The author’s belief that Vikings wore horned and winged helmets, both of which became popularly associated with Vikings through the costumes used in Richard Wagner’s (1813-1883) Ring Cycle operas (although there is evidence for the ceremonial use of horned helmets in pre-Viking age Scandinavia), and the confusion in calling Wotan/Oðin/Odin the thunder god instead of Þorr/Thor, allows for little confidence in the assertions of the article.
The article can be found at http://www.mysteriousaustralia.com/strangephenomenonh.html