I have been surveying for Gavin Menzies, Author of "1421 The Year China Discovered the World" since 2003.

I have carried out four surveys for 1421, following the Chinese trail in New Zealand, from 2003 to 2006.  Also one survey, following the Chinese trail on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia in 2005.  The surveys showed that the Chinese had occupied both New Zealand and Nova Scotia.  Carbon dating in New Zealand has showed that the Chinese occupation was for at least 1,700 years before the Europeans arrived.

These surveys located the remains of the concrete lining and a little timber of the first "Treasure Ship" Baochuan, arced across a cliff at Moeraki, South Island, New Zealand.  This was the first such junk to be located in the world, above ground and provided the first indication that they were actually composite jvesels, ie wood hulls lined with concrete.  These junks, in their day, were the largest wooden vessels ever built in the world.  They were 120m x 50m (390ft x 162ft).  A further 24 of these "Treasure" junks have been located by magnetic anomaly scan, covered in sand, on the beaches of New Zealand.

We consider that these vessels were destroyed as a result of a comet passing over New Zealand, possibly in 1446, the junk’s hulls and all civilization being virtually incinerated.  The splash down of the comet created an enormous Tsunami, this washed the remains of the hulls either ashore or out of their harbours, these harbours have also been located.

I consider that the multi-masted Baochuan (junk) paintings by Michael Boss are a faithful representation of what we know about these amazing vessels.  Mike, besides being a supporter of "1421", has also provided 1421 with valuable information into other facets of Chinese Maritime History.

Cedric Bell C.Eng MIMarEST

(Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology. UK.) 
February 2008