Posted on: December 29, 2013

Most people have heard of the legend of Atlantis, the beautiful land of plenty and harmony, which was allegedly destroyed in some terrible cataclsym thousands and thousands of years ago. Lesser-known, but to me far more intriguing, is the legend of the island of Hy Brasil, which is supposedly situated far out in the Atlantic Ocean, off the west coast of Ireland.

Irish mythology has it that the island is cloaked in mist, and only appears visible every 7 years. It is also known as O’Breasuil, Insula Fortunatae (Fortunate Island), and like Atlantis, was a land of plenty of happiness. This sounds simply like a ripping old yarn, but the island was featured on maps as far back as 1375, and was even recorded on British Admiralty charts in 1865.

In 1674 Captain John Nisbet claimed to have accidentally visited the island when sailing from France to Ireland. He said he and his crew had landed on the beach in a thick fog, and had found the island a home to black rabbits, and a magician, who spoke with a Scottish accent, and gave them a gift of gold and silver. He called the island O Brazile. Which all has a marvellously fairy tale qaulity to it, but whether it was anything more than that is debatable. Nevertheless in 1872 author T J Westropp claimed to have seen the island appear and then vanish again.

On 7 July 1876, it is said that the inhabitants of the Irish seaside town of Ballycotton, in Co Cork, were “surprised and astounded” by the sudden appearance of an island that had not been seen in the ocean before. Sightseeers gathered to see the island, and could plainly make out woods, fields and deep valleys on it. A number of fishermen set out in their boats to reach it, only to find the entire island “whisked out of existence”, leaving them understandably “amazed and wondering”.

There is a school of thought that the island is really the Porcupine Ridge, near Rockall, a natural formation of rocks in the ocean.

The mysterious island has had a bit of a resurgence of interest in recent years, and all because of the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident. This is largely counted as the British equivalent of Roswell. Over Christmas 1980, a US airforce base at RAF Bentwaters, in the east of England, claimed to have picked up a strange light on radar, and had seen a UFO land in the forest. Sgt Jim Penniston also claimed to have touched the landed craft, and telepathically received a message in binary code. Jim recorded the message in a notebook, and over 30 years later an Internet programmer decoded it as


Jim underwent hypnosis, where he recounted how there are 7 portals on the Earth which lead into another dimension. These portals are:

. Sedona, Arizona
. the Nazca lines in Peru
. Greece
. Egypt
. the northern mountains of China
. Australia
. and … Hy Brasil

Naturally, this has all opened up the legend of Hy Brasil once more, and I’ve read some very entertaining theories about the island in recent times. There are legends of Irish fishermen who claim to have glimpsed strange structures seen beneath the sea in that area. One person claimed that the Catholic Church in Ireland knows of its existence, and that it is a resting-place of Lucifer/Satan. I’ll leave out the one who believes unicorns are to be found there. I think the intriguing legend of Hy Brasil is already quite fantastic enough. It doesn’t need embellishments.



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