The vanishing island of Hy’Brasil is one that has driven researchers and explorer crazy with the lack of answers and the developing mysteries over the centuries.
Also called Bracile, Hy’Brazil, Brazir, Hy’Breasil and Hy-Breasal (which means ”High King of the World” in tales of Irish folklore), Hy’Brasil is a phantom island that was also given the name ”The Promise Land”. Though there is far more evidence and reports surrounding it than there was for Atlantis, it seems to have fallen into the realm of Irish myth, despite many people finding, seeing, and even visiting the island over the centuries.
Hy’Brasil was said to be located about 200 miles off the west coast of Ireland in the Atlantic ocean. It was described as two face to face islands with a narrow channel of water running through the middle. Many people visited the island and it was present on maps from 1325 to the late 1800s when it was removed because its location couldn’t be verified.
Multiple stories have circulated throughout Europe for centuries. Some saying it was the home to an advanced culture or civilization, while others claim it was a promise land for saints.
Others say the only resident there was a strange old man, described as a ”magician” or ”wizard” who lived in a large stone castle and the only other inhabitants being large black rabbits. There are other claims of a civilization who were able to move objects with music and Irish folklore claims that the island was shrouded in fog and was only visible for one day every seven years.
Saint Barrind and Saint Brendan were reported to be the first to find the island on their respective voyages. Both have a matching description of Hy’Brasil as well as its location. It was given the nickname ”The Promise Land” afterwards, likely because of the two Saints who founded it.
Half a century later it appeared in the Catalan Atlas in 1375 which showed it as two separate islands of the same name, ”Illa de brasil”.
Again in 1436, it appeared on the Venetian map by cartographer Andrea Bianco, where it was given the name ”Sola De Brasil”.
With all the mystery and the confusion of its actual location, subsequent voyages set off in the 1480s to try and locate it so they could verify and mark down its exact location for mapping. This failed and the island couldn’t be found despite multiple efforts.
In 1497, a Venetian explorer by the name of John Cabot reported finding the island on his voyage, there’s not much information on what happened afterwards, but it was the last reported sighting of Hy’Brasil for years.
In 1674, a man named John Nisbet claimed to have spotted Hy’Brasil on his voyage from France to Ireland. He reported sailing through a thick fog before realizing his ship was dangerously close to rocks that were bordering the island. They anchored the boat and Nisbet sent some of his men off in a row boat, who spent the whole day exploring the island.
There’s two conflicting stories about his origin and how many men rowed to the island. One story claims that Nisbet sent three men to the island while another says it was four, though this may have just been a confusion of him joining the three men to become the fourth. There are also articles that claim he was an Irish explorer, but he was in fact a Scottish explorer on a voyage to Ireland.
The men returned with gold and silver that they claimed to have been given by a ”wise old man” that lived on the island. It was said that he lived alone on the island in a large stone castle and was described as a ”mysterious magician”. The only other inhabitants on the island were large black rabbits.
A follow-up expedition was led by captain Alexander Johnson who also claimed to have found the mysterious island, verifying all of Nisbet’s claims.
Following Nisbet and Johnson’s expeditions, the island would become a ghost again and map-makers started leaving it off of most nautical maps. Its last map inclusion was in 1865 when it was simply noted ”Brazil rock”.
Allegedly, Robert O’Flaherty and T.J Westropp found the phantom island in 1872 and Westropp claimed he had visited the island on three previous occasions. Captivated, he decided to take his family to get a first- hand look at it on another trip. Upon arriving in the area, they sailed into a thick fog, when it cleared, the island revealed itself from behind the fog, but as they sail towards it, the fog brushed over the image of the island and when it cleared, the island had completely vanished.
No one has seen the island since 1872 and as of 2020, that hasn’t changed. After a century of silence, the resurrection of Hy’Brasil began, when in 1994, Sergeant Jim Penniston’s decoded the binary from the best documented UFO case of all time that he claims burned binary-encoded in his mind in 1980. When decoded by an expert, the binary code included the exact coordinates of Hy’Brasil’s suspected location. Since then it has become one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of our time and has captured the imagination of many mystery and UFO enthusiasts and researchers.
Today, Hy’brasil isn’t included on any maps, nor is there anything but ocean when you search for it on Google Earth. Now it just lives on as one of the biggest mysteries of earth.
Hy’Brasil was one of the inspirations for a 2018 novel titled The New England Vampire, where a line of powerful witches banished the vampire population there after a tuberculosis outbreak in New England was used to cover up the truth of a plague of vampires. Cade, the main character, who’s fiancee is suffering from tuberculosis in hospital, has to navigate his way to the island through a higher dimension in search of a cure from a community of hostile vampires who have been imprisoned for centuries.
The novel presents the phantom island in a way of detail that has never been done before.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and theories on Hy’Brasil. Join the discussion and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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