This doesn't surprise me in the least. By now, there are all sorts of contenders from the Old World visiting the New before the Spanish got here - Phoenicians, West Africans, Cathaginians, English, Welsh, Irish, and of course, the Norsemen. Storms would account for some, and wanderlust or delusion for others. And a few probably were able to set up at least a minor and temporary home here, perhaps even some (extremely) limited trade. But that is the important part - only the Spanish had the political will, organization and technology to stay forever and expand. The rest faded away. So, unlike many of the more conservative historians, I've got no beef with claims for other contenders in the "who got here first" sweepstakes. Because it almost doesn't matter. For me, it's who made the Atlantic a permanent trade route, with the resulting colonization and conquest.