One of the great horror stories from the age of exploration is that of the Wreck of the Batavia, which is Australia’s most famous shipwreck. The Dutch East India ship foundered off the coast of West Australia and most of those on board survived, in 1629, but when some of the officers went off to get help, the group descended into chaos, when about a dozen of the sailors took charge and massacred over 100 of the men women and children.
When help arrived, the criminals were put on trial and mostly massacred, but a few were set ashore. Some years ago a cave painting was found in Central Australia showing a European galleon, which may have been drawn by these men.
In yesterday’s I paper, was a small report of a skeleton found on Beacon Island. A mass grave was found in 1999 but this is the first single grave.