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The first sighting by Europeans of Aua island was by the Spanish navigator Iñigo Órtiz de Retes on 27 July 1545 when on board of the carrack San Juan tried to return from Tidore to New Spain. He charted this island together with the nearby islands, Wuvulu and Manu, as La Barbada (the bearded island in Spanish).
- Coello, Francisco "Conflicto hispano-alemán" Boletín de Sociedad Geográfica de Madrid, t.XIX. 2º semestre 1885, Madrid, p.317.
- Sharp, Andrew The discovery of the Pacific Islands Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1960, p.31.
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