Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian adventurer / gun control advocate?


PDA






grimjaw
April 18, 2006, 08:57 PM
I was digging around today for information about Norway, and ran across this quote from Thor Heyerdahl (deceased). I believe it was written about the burning of his ship, Tigris, in protest of the wars of Africa at the time:

Today we burn our proud ship... to protest against inhuman elements in the world of 1978... Now we are forced to stop at the entrance to the Red Sea. Surrounded by military airplanes and warships from the world's most civilized and developed nations, we have been denied permission by friendly governments, for reasons of security, to land anywhere, but in the tiny, and still neutral, Republic of Djibouti. Elsewhere around us, brothers and neighbors are engaged in homicide with means made available to them by those who lead humanity on our joint road into the third millennium.

To the innocent masses in all industrialized countries, we direct our appeal. We must wake up to the insane reality of our time.... We are all irresponsible, unless we demand from the responsible decision makers that modern armaments must no longer be made available to people whose former battle axes and swords our ancestors condemned.

Our planet is bigger than the reed bundles that have carried us across the seas, and yet small enough to run the same risks unless those of us still alive open our eyes and minds to the desperate need of intelligent collaboration to save ourselves and our common civilization from what we are about to convert into a sinking ship.
Please forgive me ignorance, but I am unfamiliar with Heyerdahl's other work besides his ocean voyages. Was he outspoken on this matter? It's possible I misunderstand his quote or I'm reading it out of context. Perhaps someone else here has thoughts?

jmm

If you enjoyed reading about "Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian adventurer / gun control advocate?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
FPrice
April 18, 2006, 09:13 PM
I found this excerpt from his obituary on the BBC, draw from it what you will:

When, in Djibouti, the Tigris was prevented from entering the Red Sea by local conflicts, Heyerdahl burned it in a poignant protest against war. A committed internationalist, he always travelled with a multinational crew and always flew the flag of the United Nations.

shermacman
April 18, 2006, 09:22 PM
Thor Heyerdahl was, in my opinion, a brilliant and unbelievably courageous man. His short coming was common in the years following the devastation of WWII and the all consuming fear of the beginning of the nuclear age. The mantra of a world government would solve the petty problems of local strife.

Most intellectuals worshipped at the alter of international law. They saw the reverse of "Think globally, act locally." They wanted to act globally, they wanted a device like the UN to think for people locally.

Thor Heyerdahl got it wrong, many others did too. Don't let one little temper tantrum detract from what he did in his life.

Biker
April 18, 2006, 09:27 PM
I agree, Shermacman. The sob clanked when he walked.
Biker

cambeul41
April 18, 2006, 09:33 PM
Youv've got it!

Standing Wolf
April 18, 2006, 11:12 PM
When, in Djibouti, the Tigris was prevented from entering the Red Sea by local conflicts, Heyerdahl burned it in a poignant protest against war.

Some people enjoy cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

mec
April 18, 2006, 11:16 PM
Read Kon Tiki right after he wrote it. Interesting account of sailing a raft from Peru to the pacific islands to bolster the standing theories on how polynesia became inhabited. I was pre-teen at that time and if he was political, I was not aware of it. he did have environmental concerns but it was not particularly a leftist thing at the time.

White Horseradish
April 18, 2006, 11:37 PM
I've never seen anything anti in his books, and I've read them all. Never heard of him being active in that direction, either.

As far as cutting off the nose to spite his face, what would you have done? Let some government jakasses that won't let you through because of their petty squabbles have the ship?

I'd have burned it, too.

Logan5
April 19, 2006, 12:31 AM
I recall a part in Fatu-Hiva where Mr. Heyerdahl, attempting to return to Norway, got hung up in customs because he was trying to bring back a Winchester rifle that he'd picked up. It had belonged to some famous artist (Auguste Rodin?) who had carved the stock and forend before abandoning it in his polynesian hut. IIRC, Heyerdahl was livid, and eventually removed the carved stock and forend, left the barreled action at customs, and felt he had shown them.

GrammatonCleric
April 19, 2006, 12:37 AM
He certainly sounds like a man with the bark on. Any reccommended writings of his?

Biker
April 19, 2006, 12:40 AM
"Kon Tiki".

I read it as a kid and still remember.:)

Biker

Logan5
April 19, 2006, 12:55 AM
He certainly sounds like a man with the bark on. Any reccommended writings of his?

Fatu-Hiva, it was in the 30's and he took his new wife to live on an island populated by kind of barely former cannibals. There were some really hairy parts, apparently elephantitis was still common, and it makes people a bit crazy, so every once in a while someone would chase him with an axe or something. And it's got pictures. (who stops to snap a photo at a time like that?)

LAK
April 19, 2006, 05:08 AM
When, in Djibouti, the Tigris was prevented from entering the Red Sea by local conflicts, Heyerdahl burned it in a poignant protest against war.
What a waste. Rather like setting fire to your own car "in protest" because of riots in the streets stopping you from going somewhere.
A committed internationalist, he always travelled with a multinational crew and always flew the flag of the United Nations.
And now we know where his political heart lies.

-------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Alexey931
April 19, 2006, 06:24 AM
Thor Heyerdahl says that it isn't quite nice when nations lacking in bread, hope and outlook have ample supply of 7.62x39 and other means of cutting their neighbours' throats. An average advocate of the RKBA thinks that Heyerdahl would like to approach the problem by taking the guns out of the hands of law-abiding US citizens first. Looks like totally unrelated subjects which got tied into a knot somehow.

Is there a need to do something about murder as way of life somewhere in Africa? Why not, if there is some ability?

And do it by restricting guns where they are no problem at all? I wouldn't like such views to be attributed to me just because I am not absolutely happy with genocide in Africa.

Best regards, Alexey

Igloodude
April 19, 2006, 07:03 AM
I was introduced to Thor Heyerdahl's writings through his Easter Island book (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0528818104/103-2051362-6876628?v=glance&n=283155) in my early teens, and got ahold of Kon-Tiki soon after that. Kon-Tiki is probably the better book, but they're both very good. I didn't get any anti-gun sense from him (then again, I was in my early teens and not a shooter yet), but the guy does not appear to be lacking in physical courage, if his books are even half-accurate.

Carl N. Brown
April 19, 2006, 05:06 PM
I read Kon-Tiki as a child myself, and loved the spirit of adventure
that Thor Heyerdahl comminicated.

In that era of the 1950s -- duck-and-cover, CD signs over the
basement doors of government buildings (civil defense bomb shelters) --
it was easy to see the UN as the idealistic "best hope of mankind"
rather than what it is -- an uber government bureaucracy.

Heyerdahl was anti-war and anti-(stupid)government, but after
his experience with trying to bring home that Winchester, I doubt
if he would be anti-gun.

mec
April 19, 2006, 05:56 PM
"it was easy to see the UN as the idealistic "best hope of mankind"
rather than what it is -- an uber government bureaucracy."

Well put.

XLMiguel
April 19, 2006, 08:40 PM
I loved reading about his adventures as a kid, but never paid much attention to some of the peripheral prattle. I guess he was a man of peace, and therefore a bit 'idealistic', but I never felt he was particularly anti-self-defense. My $.02

If you enjoyed reading about "Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian adventurer / gun control advocate?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!