Thor Heyerdahl

Usually it is artists who are recognised and honoured posthumously. In this case, it is a deceased scientist who is being paid homage to almost 20 years after his death. With the title Thor Heyerdahl was right after all (Bild der Wissenschaft 2020) or The Trail of the Ancestors (SZ 2020), Thor Heyerdahl’s hypotheses and theories are now finally accepted. Thor Heyerdahl, born in Norway in 1914, died in Italy in 2002, attracted worldwide attention as an explorer, archaeologist, anthropologist, ethnologist and environmental activist.

He became famous through numerous expeditions, which he meticulously documented in books. Thor Heyerdahl was a pioneer of experimental archaeology. His most famous expedition Kon-Tiki (1947) was even made into a film ten years after his death.

Less well known is Heyerdahl’s involvement as Vice-President with the World Federalists. His fellow campaigners with the World Federalist Movement for many decades included Peter Ustinov (President) and Yehudi Menuhin (Vice-President). Both were supporters of Equilibrism, mentioned in detail on our website.

Equilibrismus e.V. also made contact with Thor Heyerdahl in 1998. As the internet was still in its infancy, unfortunately only a letter or a reply by fax has survived. In this fax he promised us his support, like his colleagues Ustinov and Menuhin before him. Other testimonies of our exchange as well as invitations to and from him have been lost.

A planned meeting in Tenerife at the end of 2002 did not happen, as Heyerdahl unfortunately passed away in April of this year. Nevertheless, we made the trip to Tenerife to visit his information centre and the pyramids of Güimar. For Heyerdahl, these pyramids were the link between the pyramids in Egypt and Central America. A daring thesis that attracted a lot of attention.

Thor Heyerdahl and Equilibrism have one more thing in common. In 1956, Heyerdahl undertook an expedition to explore the island of Rapa Iti, located in the south-eastern Pacific, where he carried out excavations on Mount Morongo Uta. His aim was to prove the connection between Easter Island (Rapa Nui) and Rapa Iti. The topography of the 40 km² island is extraordinary. On most of the highest peaks were fortified villages (so-called fortresses) made of stone, which could be well defended with only a few fighters.

Equilibrism, for its part, had chosen the island of Rapa Iti as one of the settings for its model project. It is the southernmost inhabited island of the Austral archipelago of French Polynesia. The approximately 500 locals wanted to make the Angairao valley (4 km²) available to us. In 2013, the project was abandoned due to a lack of support from the government in French Polynesia and the poor condition of the ferries. These ships were supposed to cover a distance of no less than 1,200 km.
In the second volume of our Maeva trilogy, Rapa Iti plays a very important role and is described in detail.

Thor Heyerdahl, Aku-Aku – The Secret of Easter Island