A Second Mushrow Astrolabe?

What are the chances that lightening will strike the same spot twice? Wayne Mushrow moved into the history books when he discovered the first Astrolabe dated 1628. Discovering an artifact more than three hundred and fifty years after it was produced and used is certainly an unlikely feat. It seems even more unlikely that the same man in the same part of the world could find a second artifact of such historical importance.

It is believed that in the summer of 1991 Wayne Mushrow did indeed find a second Astrolabe. It is hard to imagine such a striking event could repeat itself in approximately a decade. It seemed that Mushrow was willing to confirm to government in Sept. 1991 that he had in his possession another astrolabe. It would appear he changed his mind after a forceful letter from the minister responsible at the time. Maybe the warnings sounded too much like the last government he had to deal with. Consequently he decided not to put anything in writing saying he had another astrolabe. The government decided that without proof of another astrolabe they would assume that Mr. Mushrow did not have a second such item.

Several attempts were made by Mr. Mushrow to come to an agreement with the powers that be, but success has eluded him until the present day. Lets hope that the future will change that.

March 2001 Update...
This information comes from very good sources... In June 1990 local MHA William Ramsey was asked to make arrangements for the turnover of a second astrolabe on the tenth anniversary of the first discovery. Two months later a letter was written to town council asking for their support to ensure that it would be called the Mushrow Astrolabe and be kept in Port aux Basques every summer at the local museum.

Well believe it or not, eleven years later on Feb. 09, 2001 an agreement was finally signed ensuring that Mr. Mushrow would protect his historical find in the interest of the local tourism. Government will be making formal announcements later in the year. A media event will bring all the details to light at the launch of the tourist season. Follow up celebrations will be sure to take place in Port aux Basques. Some of the details of the agreement are as follows:

  • Astrolabes are now officially named Mushrow Astrolabe I and Mushrow Astrolabe II.
  • They are to be displayed in Port aux Basques every summer from May to September.
  • They will be made Provincial Treasures (only the second time in NFLD history this will be done)
  • The Minister of Tourism will assist the South West Coast Historical Society in the display and security of this valuable treasure.
  • Government, Town Council, The Historical Society, Town of Isle aux Morts and Mr. Mushrow were all in agreement and the contract was signed on Feb. 09, 2001 at the Turnover Ceremony.

This Mushrow Astrolabe II is dated 1617. It is graduated 360 degrees, believed to be of Spanish origin, and was made by Adrian Holland. The Mushrow Astorlabe I was made in Portugal by o/y Dyas. It is an historical event to find one such treasure. It is almost unbelievable that the same man could find two of such great quality. They are both in excellent condition. It is noteworthy that both astrolabes will be displayed together as a unit at the same place and time. The historical significance of such a find is astronomical. This should be a great boost for tourism in the local area and an enormous attraction for the Gulf Museum.

Mr. Mushrow will be receiving a plaque for his efforts during the June celebrations. He is very pleased that what he wanted to happen with the astrolabes will indeed be happening.

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