Baalbek, situated in the Bekka Valley in Lebanon, undoubtedly presents us with what I consider to be one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world. It was the site of a most impressive Roman temple complex dedicated to Jupiter. However, the very name Baalbek suggests an earlier connection with the Caananite/Phoenician god Baal.
Velikovsky(i) and others have supported the idea that Baakbek was in fact the location of the biblical Dan, recorded as the most northern city of ancient Israel.
One commentator has suggested a link with Indian yogis!(t)
Although the Roman remains are still impressive, it is some blocks in the lower and presumably earlier courses(d), that have continued to stump archaeologists, three of which are of cut limestone and are estimated to weigh up to 800 tons(c). (compare with content of link(k))
An article(q) by Gian J. Quasara regarding this strange masonry is worth a read.
Even more disturbing is a block still lying in a nearby quarry, where it was cut, and which has been calculated to exceed 1000 tons and named The Stone of the Pregnant Woman. Another block, in the same quarry, was only discovered in the 1990’s and is thought to be even heavier at 1200 tons(g).
Hugh Newman, a self-described ‘megalithomaniac’(r), has produced a paper(s) on the enormous Baalbek monoliths, in which he cites Graham Hancock speculatively dating the Baalbek megaliths at 12,000 years or more old.
In March 2014, it was widely reported(e) that even heavier megaliths had been identified on Siberia’s Mount Shoria. However, the images I have seen suggest to me a natural origin(f). A short video clip is available(j).
We do not know how such huge objects were made or moved in ancient times. I often think that the bigger question is why did they bother to cut such large blocks! An online article(b) tells how the ingenuity of our ancestors produced the most powerful hand crane in history which multiplied the force of its operator 632 times. However, just because we do not yet know precisely how the Baalbek blocks were manipulated, does not justify wild claims that they were moved by high-tech Atlanteans or extraterrestrials. I may not know how stage magicians saw ladies in half, but that does not compel me to label them Atlantean or alien.
The most persistent question relating to all megalithic structures is “how did they manage to build them using such large heavy rocks and blocks”? Many ingenious solutions are on offer, but perhaps the most remarkable is that proposed by W. T. Wallington who has demonstrated that using basic materials, which were available to the Egyptians, one individual can manipulate a 4500kg stone block. His website includes a remarkable video clip of his method. A review(n) of this video is worth a read. Another or comparable technology may have been used by Edward Leedskainin when he single-handedly built Coral Castle in Florida City(o). What is certain is that Leedskainin had no help from intergalactic visitors.
December 2014 found the latest estimate for the weight of the largest dressed stone found at Baalbek calculated to be 1650 tons(h).It is clear that some explanation is required, hopefully, something better than the implication of extraterrestrial intervention. I would like to think that if we had alien visitors that their technology would be in advance of the ‘stone’ age. Surely they would have something better to produce than enormous foundation stones, which to my puny mind does not smack of the best that a civilisation capable of travelling across the cosmos would have to offer! I find the claims of Graham Hancock or Erich von Dániken equally unconvincing in this instance.
A sober well-referenced article outlining the arguments in favour of identifying the megaliths as Roman is available online(k) as well as supportive blogs from Frank Dörnenburg(m).
A UNESCO sponsored hitech survey of the Baalbek site as part of a Risk Preparedness Strategy is now proposed so that the most appropriate remedial action can be taken in the event of natural deterioration or even war damage(l).
Brian Foerster’s website(p) has some remarkable images of the Baalbek masonry.
(a) http://www.eridu.co.uk/Author/Mysteries_of_the_World/Baalbek/baalbek2.html (7 parts) (link broken June 2018) See: Archive 3414
(k) See: Archive 2653
*(s) See: Archive 3409*
Astromythology (Astrotheology) is the study of the astronomical origins of religion; how gods, goddesses, and devils are personifications of astronomical phenomena such as lunar eclipses, cometary appearances and planetary alignments, Christianity(c), Islam(d), Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, and the ancient Egyptian(b) faith systems are examples of religions that have been influenced by astronomical observations. A series of videos on the subject is available on YouTube(a).
Claude Gétaz, a Swiss researcher, has gone further and claimed that the Atlantis story is an interpretation of celestial events. Alan E. Alford similarly suggests that Plato’s Atlantis story is a recounting of a very ancient and dramatic astronomical event, namely the explosion of a planetary body, witnessed by humans.
(c) http://infinite712.hubpages.com/hub/Astromythology-in-the-Bible (offline)
The Sea of Kronos (Cronos), according to modern researchers such as Alan Alford and Frank Joseph as well as Immanuel Velikovsky, is a name frequently applied to the Atlantic Ocean by ancient writers. Velikovsky cites Plutarch, Clement of Alexandria and Aristotle in support of this contention(a). If Plato believed that Atlantis had been located in the Atlantic why did he not simply say that it was situated in the Okeanos or the Sea of Kronos?
The 1624 Argonautica Map by Abraham Ortelius has the Adriatic Sea designated as ‘Cronivm Mare’. Eratosthenes in his Map of the Oecumene referred to the frozen Cronian Sea as being seven days north of Britain. Diodorus Siculus (Bk.III 61.3) describes Kronos as lord of Sicily, Libya and Italy!
Until it can be shown otherwise, I am inclined to think that Plato did not know precisely where Atlantis had been located but used the term ‘beyond the Pillars of Herakles’ as indicative of a place outside the ambit of what was then current Greek maritime knowledge!
Creation Myths of an almost infinite variety are to be found around the globe. They were invented to explain the existence of the cosmos and our place in it. The Greeks were no exception and had their oral mythologies committed to writing from around the 8th century BC.
Plato, wrote the Atlantis dialogues in the 4th century BC and it is only now, over two millennia later that two books have been published, which claim that the tale of Atlantis is in fact a creation myth. Alan Alford in his 2001 book, The Atlantis Secret and Driscoll & Kurtz’s Atlantis: Egyptian Genesis have all arrived at the same conclusion. I find their reasoning convoluted but even more difficult to accept is the idea that the established Greek mythology was replaced by Plato’s ‘new’ mythology, without any explanation to his audience
The Atlantis Secret , by Alan F. Alford, has been reasonably well received if only because it has introduced new thinking into the subject, with a radical reappraisal of Greek mythology. Alford has daringly suggested that their gods were personifications of cataclysmic events in the history of earlier civilisation from whom they borrowed and modified the resulting myths. Alford endeavours to persuade readers that the Greek pantheon was an expression of an exploded planet. In the author’s view, Atlantis was a fragment of this planet that fell to earth landing and sinking into the Atlantic in accordance with Plato’s location.
Alford has publicly changed his views before and quite frankly I think he will have to do so again. Apart from the fact that this book is somewhat difficult to read, it manipulates Plato’s text even more than those who have used it to locate Atlantis in the Andes, the Baltic Sea or Indonesia. In fact any of those locations are far more credible than Alford’s celestial suggestion.
The Sphinx (at Giza) is considered by many to be considerably older than the usually accepted 3rd millennium BC. Its construction has been generally attributed to the Fourth Dynasty ruler Khafre, circa 2500 BC, whose head is believed to be currently represented on the Sphinx.
The controversial French scholar Rene Schwaller de Lubicz carried out an investigation of a number of Egypt’s ancient monuments. He was probably the first to remark on the apparent water erosion, on the Sphinx, as evidence of an earlier date for its construction than was previously accepted. He first voiced his views in 1949 and expanded his theories in 1957 . His work has now been translated into English(a).
A recent article(h) on the Giza for Humanity website reveals the work of Shérif El Morsi, an Egyptian researcher, who has documented evidence of ‘relatively recent’ incursion by seawater onto the Giza Plateau.
Michael Baigent has pointed out[141.167] that Dr. Zahi Hawass in 1992 ‘reported that analysis of the rear leg of the Sphinx proved the earliest level of masonry around the body dated instead from the Old Kingdom period , that is from about 2700 BC to 2160 BC. The pyramids were constructed in the middle part of this period…….. For if Khafre had built the Sphinx along with his pyramid around 2500 BC, and if repairs to its heavily eroded body were made before 2160 BC, then this severe erosion covered up by the facing stones must have occurred in only 340 years – perhaps less: an extremely unlikely event. In practical terms, given the extent and depth of the erosion, it seems impossible.’
John Anthony West was inspired by the writings of de Lubicz and enticed the American geologist Robert Schoch to inspect the Sphinx and give his professional assessment of the age of the monument. Schoch‘s conclusion was that the Sphinx had suffered extensive water erosion and should be dated no later than 7000 to 5000 BC. On a second trip to the Sphinx Schoch and West brought Thomas Dobecki, a geophysicist, to carry out additional tests. The results reinforced Schoch’s initial conclusions. However, Colin Reader, an English geologist, disputes Schoch’s conclusion(I) and explains why in an extensive 1997/9 paper(j).
When Schoch announced his findings they were greeted with hostile criticism from conventional Egyptologists. However, experts in Schoch’s discipline have agreed in growing numbers with his published views, but the debate is far from over. For an overview of the case for an early date follow this link(b).
One Egyptologist who postulated an early date for the Sphinx was Cairo-born Moustafa Gadalla, who concluded that “there is no other rational answer except that the water erosion occurred at the end of the last Ice Age c.15,000-10,000 BCE”(e).
The German researcher Klaus Aschenbrenner has added his support for an early date for the Sphinx. He claims that the water erosion was caused by acid rain resulting from a 7600BC asteroid impact postulated by Alexander Tollman.
These proposed early dates pale into insignificance when contrasted with the claims made by two Ukrainian researchers at a conference in Sofia in 2008, when they proposed a date of 800,000 years ago(n).
There is by now little doubt that the head of the Sphinx that we see today is quite different from its original size and shape. West had a New York City police artist compare the head of the Sphinx with a known head of Khafre and demonstrated that they had totally different facial structures. Comparative photographs are to be found in one of West’s books. A further anomaly is the fact that the head of the Sphinx is disproportionately smaller than the rest of the body suggesting a radical recarving of a larger head in antiquity. Robert Schoch has an interesting article(c) on his website, written by his colleague, Dr. Colette Dowell, regarding the shape of the Sphinx’s head. Colin Reader, who disagrees with Schoch’s dating of the Sphinx does, however, share his view regarding the size of the Sphinx’s head(l), an opinion that is also held by historical architect, Dr Jonathan Foyle(k).
The late Alan Alford argued that the commonly accepted idea that the Sphinx represents a lion may be incorrect and that in fact it is a model of a dog, possibly intended as an image of Anubis the divine guardian of the Earth and the Underworld. This idea was recently endorsed and investigated extensively in a fascinating book by Robert Temple, who has also pointed out(m) other anomalies with the shape of the Sphinx apart from the size of the head.
Bassam el Shamma, an Egyptian Egyptologist, has recently promoted the idea of the previous existence of a second sphinx on the Giza Plateau. His theory, based on a range of evidence, is outlined on the Atlantis Online website(d). The idea of a second Sphink is also supported by Gerry Cannon and Joseph P. J. Westlake in a paper also available online(f).
Robert Bauval whose book, Secret Chamber, delves deeply into the subject of hidden chambers on the Giza Plateau and has excerpts available on the internet(p).
It should also be kept in mind that sphinxes were found in a number of other cultures particularly Mesopotamia (see image right). Further east in India we have the Purushamriga(q), while in Burma the sphinx is known as a Manussiha. Back in the Mediterranean many images of sphinxes have been found in Greece, where lately (2014) two sphinxes were recently found in a 300 BC tomb(g), each weighing about 1.5 tons. However, in my opinion, the claim(o) of a huge sphinx in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains is nothing more than a case of mistaken identity, an example of pareidolia.
Closer to home the Welsh Griffon (Gryphon) is clearly a local form of sphinx. Lee R. Kerr is the author of Griffin Quest – Investigating Atlantis, in which he sought support for the Minoan Hypothesis based on his pre-supposed link between griffins and Atlantis or as he puts it “whatever the Griffins mythological meaning, the Griffin also appears to tie Santorini to Crete, to Avaris, to Plato, and thus to Atlantis, more than any other single symbol.” I don’t see it.
(e) See: Archive 2937
(h) See: Archive 2635
(j) See: Archive 2646
(o) See: Archive 3003
(p) See: Archive 3598
Professor Christopher Gill is a classical Greek scholar who has published many works including a volume on Plato’s Atlantis story. Professor Gill supports a totally mythological basis for the tale of Atlantis. He has also written the foreword to The Atlantis Secret by Alan Alford, which is available on the Internet(a).
On April Fools’ Day, 2017, Gill published an updated and revised version of his Atlantis book, entitled Plato’s Atlantis Story – Text, Translation and Commentary . Thorwald C. Franke has written a highly critical review of this latest offering from Gill(b).
*Franke has also taken issue with the level of Gill’s support for the sceptical views of Sarah Broadie relating to Plato’s Atlantis, who wrote that “the Athens-Atlantis story is fiction, and clearly intended as such.” In his Newsletter No.102 (Sept.2017), Franke describes Broadie’s hypothesis as “an orgy of errors”(c).*
(a) http://www.eridu.co.uk/Author/Bookshop/book4/Foreword4/foreword4.html (offline 1/8/14)
The Exploded Planet Hypothesis (EPH) has its origins in the 18th century when the regular spacing of the orbits of the then known six planets, with the glaring exception of the apparently empty theoretical position between Mars and Jupiter, led to the formulation of the Titius-Bode Law. The discovery of Neptune in 1846 in a position that did not conform to the rule of Titius-Bode, led to its gradual abandonment. However, the discovery of Pluto in the 1930’s brought the ‘Law’ back into consideration as Pluto was in the position that should have been occupied by Neptune. The exceptions to the Titius-Bode law are the lack of a planet where the Asteroid Belt is and the position of Neptune. In 2003, a further planet, Sedna, was discovered at a distance of 8 billion miles from the sun, as predicted by Doug Yurchey on the Internet in 2002(a). Since then, further bodies have been discovered in the outer region of our solar system, one of which was larger than Pluto.
As you will see below, a credible explanation for the Asteroid Belt is on offer and if correct, it means that now ten of the eleven planetary orbits in our Solar System correspond with the prediction of Titius-Bode. Statistically, this must have some significance. Therefore, in order to reinstate the Titius-Bode ‘law’ back on the statute book it is important to find an acceptable explanation for Neptune’s orbit.
Particular planets with satellite systems also confirm Titius-Bode, such as the principal satellites of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. Furthermore, even at this early stage in our investigation of extrasolar planetary systems, one, 55 Cancri, has at least four planets whose orbits appear to follow a similar pattern(c).
The 19th century saw the discovery of more asteroids in the orbit where a planet would have been expected. As early as 1802 the suggestion that an exploded planet had originally occupied this position was considered. As more asteroids were discovered the idea gained support. However, there remained one major problem with the theory, namely, that the total mass of the known asteroids would not constitute one thousandth of our earth. So where did all the matter go?
Tom Van Flandern (1940-2009), the leading exponent of the EPH, explained; ‘Consider what would happen if the Earth exploded today. Surface and crustal rock would shatter and fragment, but remain rocks. However, rocks from depths greater than 40 km are under so much pressure at high temperature that if suddenly released into a vacuum, such rocks would vaporise. As a consequence, over 99% of the Earth’s total mass would vaporise in an explosion, with only its low-pressure crustal and upper mantle layers surviving’. This explanation would clearly account for the low total mass of the objects in the Asteroid Belt. Van Flandern has expanded on his theory in what many consider a landmark book, Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets.
Van Flandern ascribes a date for this planetary explosion that is well before man existed on Earth. However, many of our ancient myths have been interpreted as describing celestial events in the vicinity of Earth that had a direct physical effect on our planet. Immanuel Velikovsky wrote extensively on these ancient tales and concluded that they referred to close encounters between Earth and Mars and separately with Venus.
The date of the Asteroid Belt collision or explosion was estimated in 2015 to be 470 million years ago after the identification of twin impact craters in Sweden(d).
If Titius-Bode is valid and Velikovsky’s planetary encounters real, we need to explain how they left their orbits in the first place and then must explain how they returned to their original positions. Ralph E. Juergens, an American engineer, supports Velikovsky with the idea that electromagnetic and electrostatic forces and not conventional celestial mechanics alone were responsible for the cosmic encounters witnessed and recorded by our ancestors(b). My personal hunch is that Van Flandern is correct about the explosion of a planet but wrong about the date of the occurrence.
The EPH may have a bearing on the demise of Atlantis in the shape of an asteroidal collision with Earth that in turn precipitated the ending of the last Ice Age and the consequential flooding of large areas of exposed land.
Alan Alford has a different view in his recent book in which he attempts to prove that Atlantis originated in ancient myth concerning an exploding planet. However, this would require an event that occurred within the experience of speaking man for it to have been passed on in the form of myth.
(c) BBC Focus magazine (No. 169, October 2006 p.58-63)
Nigel Appleby (a.k.a. Major Niall Arden) is the ‘author’ of Hall of the Gods, which purported to identify the location, in Egypt, of the Hall of Records that is supposed to contain the accumulated knowledge of an advanced worldwide civilisation that preceded the ancient Egyptians.
The author wrote of ‘Atlantis’ being “really just a symbolic name for the previous worldwide civilisation that existed prior to the last reversal of the Sun and Earth’s magnetic fields and the subsequent cataclysm that followed.” He then added that most of this civilisation still exists, virtually intact, beneath the Antarctic ice (p.363).*He also claimed to have identified Nibiru in Sumerian texts independently of Zechariah Sitchin and to have deduced that it is “about the size of Earth and nearer than anticipated.”*
He also announced the establishment of ‘Operation Hermes’, which had the objective of locating the Hall of Records at Giza as well as other expeditions to Central & South America, China and Antarctica (p.378). Operation Hermes was abandoned when the Egyptian authorities refused permission for the expedition.
Shortly after the publication of the book in 1998, the publishers had to withdraw it from sale following claims of plagiarism by a number of other authors(a). Picknett & Prince reveal some of the details of this episode in their Stargate Conspiracy [705.97]. The whole matter was further confused when Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval along with Colin Wilson, Andrew Collins, Christopher Knight, Robert Lomas, Simon Cox and Alan Alford issued An Official Statement Regarding Operation Hermes(a) declaring that they were unaffiliated with Operation Hermes, then and in the future.
Lightening struck twice when a second book of Appleby’s, Desert Fire, was also withdrawn from sale within days of publication in 2006!
An Allegory is the most common description of Plato’s Atlantis story offered by sceptics, eager to deny any historical value in the narrative. Parallels have been drawn with the Persian wars; Plato’s experiences in Syracuse and even more opaquely by Alan Alford, who proposed that “Atlantis – was an allegory for the myth of the creation of the Universe.”
Rand Flem-Ath quite reasonably argues that the idea of Atlantis as an allegory makes sense only if there is no realistic geographic explanation for Plato’s description of the site of the lost land. Consequently if an interpretation of the story can indicate a credible location and time for the destruction of Atlantis then the allegory theory is considerably weakened.
If the Atlantis mystery is ever finally resolved, I am inclined to think that it will be found that Plato used the prehistoric destruction of a powerful civilisation as a core to his story and wrapped it in the details of events closer to his own time presenting the entire account as a morality tale.
Nevertheless, it is interesting that Plato’s ‘ideal state’ of Atlantis is claimed as the inspiration for both Sir Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’ and St. Augustine’s ‘City of God’ among many others.