Before he became famous for sailing the Kon-Tiki from Peru to the Raroia in the South Pacific, Norwegian explorer and archaeologist Thor Heyerdahl visited Bella Coola in 1939-1940 to compare petroglyphs at Thorsen Creek with Polynesian art forms. He had theorized that Hawaii could have been settled by people from British Columbia. During his visit, when Germany overran Norway, Heyerdahl was forced to remain in Canada with limited funds. Befriending guide and hunter Clayton Mack, he received help from Mack to visit more pictographs at Kwatna Inlet whereupon Hederdahl asked his resourceful Nuxalk guide if he thought it would be possible for his ancestors to have reached Hawaii in a dugout canoe; Clayton Mack suggested they might have used giant rafts of kelp. In addition to spending time at Bella Coola, Thor Heyerdahl worked at the Trail smelter for about a year, starting in 1940. One of Heyerdahl's children appears in a Sunday school registry held by the local archives.


Paa jakt efter Paradiset. Oslo (1938)

The Kon-Tiki Expedition. (translated into 64 languages), Oslo (1948)

American Indians in the Pacific, The Theory Behind the Kon-Tiki Expedition. Stockholm, London, Chicago (1952)

Archeological Evidence of Pre-Spanish Visits to the Galpagos Islands. (With A. Skjoldsvold). Memoir of the Soc. for American Archeology, N. 12. Salt Lake City (1956)

AKU-AKU. The Secret of Easter Island. (translated into numerous languages). Oslo (1957)

Reports of the Norwegian Archeological Expedition to Easter Island and the East Pacific. (With co-editor: E.N. Ferdon, Jr.). Vol. I: Archeology of Easter Island. Vol. II: Miscellaneous Papers. Monograph of American School of Research, the Musem of New Mexico and the Kon-Tiki Museum. Santa Fe, London, Chicago, Oslo (1961)

Vanished Civilizations. (co-author chapter: Navel of the World). London (Thames Hudson) (1963)

Sea Routes to Polynesia. London, Chicago (1967), (various translations from the original: Indianer und Alt-Asiaten im Pazifik. Vienna 1965)

The Ra Expeditions. (numerous translations), Oslo (1967)

Quest for America. (co-author, chapters: Isolationist and Diffusionist and The Bearded Gods Speak). Pall Mall Press Lts., London (1971)

[BCBW 2009] "Famous Visitor" "First Nations"