An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis


Joining The Dots

Joining The Dots

I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato's own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.

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Brasseur de Bourbourg

Landa, Diego de

Diego de Landa (1524- 1579) was the Franciscan bishop of Yucatán who played a significant part in promoting the idea that the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel had migrated to the Americas, citing local Mayan legends that their ancestors had come from the East, aided by divine intervention! Others, such as Brasseur de Bourbourg, seized on this idea and expanded it to link the Maya with Atlantis.

Landa was ‘a nasty piece of work’, showing great cruelty towards the indigenous people and little respect for their culture. He is also considered to have produced a truly dreadful decipherment of the Mayan script. Later attempts by Brasseur de Bourbourg and Augustus le Plongeon were equally unsuccessful.

Fontaine, Edward

Fontaine EdRev. Edward Fontaine (1814-1884) was a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, a politician and the author of How the World was Peopled[1277] in which he favoured the opinions of Brasseur de Bourbourg, who had identified the land of the Toltecs, in Central America, as the home of Atlantis, citing a comparison of Plato’s description of Atlantis with that of the mythical kingdom of Xibalba, similar to Donnelly’s later suggestion.

Fontaine adds quotations from classical writers as well as Humboldt in support of this Toltec theory[p.136-140]. However, most of the ideas in the book are now long outdated.

Churchward, Jack E.

Jack E. Churchward is the great-grandson of James Churchward, the creator jack e. churchward_pictof Mu. In 2011 Jack republished what he describes as the definitive edition[773] of  James’ 1926 The Lost Continent of Mu which includes a new index and added appendices. It is still just the concoction of a fertile mind. My scepticism and that of many others is reflected in a recent blog from Dale Drinnon(a).

Jack has also a promotional website(b), where he candidly wrote(c) that “the Troano Manuscript, as a reference for the sinking of Mu, must be removed from the list, if there is to be any legitimacy accorded to an evaluation of Churchward’s theories on Mu.” Jack was highlighting the unreliability of James’ translation of the Troano Manuscript, influenced as it was by the earlier seriously flawed attempts by Bishop Diego De Landa (1524-1579), Brasseur de Bourbourg and LePlongeon. Jason Colavito has added further comments(d) regarding Jack’s blog.

*Jack continues to exploit his great-grandfather’s misguided ideas with the publication of The Stone Tablets of Mu[1577] in August 2018.

(a) (link broken August 2018) See:*





Manzi, Michel

Michel Manzi (1849-1915) was a close friend of the celebrated painter Edgar Degas. With regard to Atlantis he followed the ideas of Ignatius Donnelly and the Theosophist, Scott-Elliot, and is sometimes referred to as an occultist. He was also influenced by the work of Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg. It was not until a few years after his death, in 1922, that his book, Le Livre de l’Atlantide[731] (The Book of Atlantis) was published and is now available online(a).

After reading a translation of chapter five(b), I can confidently denounce this book as a collection of nonsense, heavily influenced by Blavatsky‘s drivel, with references to atlantean flying machines and vril power.

(a) (French)


Pole Shift

Pole Shift is a term used to describe a range of theories that includes an alteration to or even the complete reversal of the magnetic poles, a change to the axis of rotation of the entire planet as well as a possible sudden movement of the outer crust of the Earth relative to its axis.

The magnetic poles are always on the move and well documented, while their complete reversal is a much slower process, previous reversals have left us geological ‘fingerprints’. It is suggested that another reversal is imminent, while some ‘prophets of doom’ have nominated late 2013 for the event, with dire consequences for mankind(f).

The latest data shows drift of about 40 miles a year, with a recent movement of 161 miles in just six months, creating navigation problems and the re-designation of airport runways which are named after their compass orientation(i).

Jason Colavito has unearthed an early reference to some form of axial pole shift, proposed as early 1883 in a book [1595] by the somewhat eccentric Australian, John Wood Beilby (1818-1903)(q). However, according to Colavito there was an even earlier reference to a Pole Shift by Brasseur de Bourbourg in his Historical Chronology of the Mexicans of 1873 (r) . He also linked this event to the destruction of Atlantis(n).*

The idea of wandering (magnetic) Poles was first proposed by the German priest Damian Kreichgauer(1859-1940)(g) in 1902[513], although at the time he found little support for the concept. The late Terrence Aym was of the opinion(l) that a magnetic pole reversal was a sign that the next Ice Age was beginning! Today, NASA provides us with a more sober view of the phenomenon of magnetic pole shifts.(k).

There are a number of variations on the basic concept of an axial change and an array of suggestions for the date of the last displacement. Generally speaking the mechanism required to cause such a catastrophe is believed to be an impact by or close encounter with a large asteroid or comet. The continuing discovery of huge impact craters around the globe reinforces this possibility. However, recent studies have identified other processes that may have led to polar changes in the past(e).

The suggestion of an Antarctic location for Atlantis, as proposed by Rose and Rand Flem-Ath[062], is totally dependent on a pole shift. The Flem-Aths have interpreted the characteristics of our present icecaps as strong evidence for a number of previous pole shifts. This idea was inspired by the work of Charles Hapgood[369], who was convinced by such evidence as the Piri Reis Map and other ancient maps that seemed indicated the existence of an Ice Age civilisation now partly covered by the Antarctic icecap. Hapgood has noted[1494.71] that in the 1950’s Karl A. Pauly[1496 and George W. Bain[1498 also supported a form of crustal shift, the former building on the work of A. S. Eddington[1497 of some decades earlier.

‘Project Atlantis’ is the title of an assignment(p) given to first-year geology students at Malaspina University-College in British Columbia. It was set by lecturer Professor Steven Earle with intention of developing the critical thinking of his students. The objective of the task is to investigate the Crustal Displacement theory of the Flem-Aths, whose ‘Atlantis in the Antarctic’ hypothesis is totally dependent on the occurrence of a pole shift.

Pole Shift[0795] by John White, frequently associates the destruction of Atlantis with a pole shift and anticipates another one in the near future, but unfortuntely, most of the ‘evidence’ he offers in support of this contention comes from psychic sources, which cannot be accept as reliable. However, it seems that some years later White completely revised his opinions according to a 1996 report(m).

Although the majority opinion is that pole shifts occurred as a result of encounters with extraterrestrial bodies, Hapgood contended that only the outer crust of the earth shifted and that this was the result of a build-up of ice at the Poles causing instability. However, it has since been calculated that the polar ice constitutes such a small percentage of the mass of the crust that it could not possibly have caused the slippage proposed by Hapgood. This idea and others are discussed on the Pole Shift Forum(o).

Another researcher, S.F.Wells, was prompted by Flem-Ath’s work to examine the Avebury stone circle to see if there was any evidence of a pole shift there. To his surprise he did discover at Avebury and at other ancient monuments in the locality clear evidence of a pole change of up to 30° in the past. In 2003 he wrote a paper outlining his observations(c).

A number of facts are proposed to support the idea of a pole shift. One of the most popular is the extermination of the mammoth, which once again was central to a recent book by Charles Ginenthal, The Extinction of the Mammoth[0514], who dates the last pole shift to around 1500 BC. Perhaps the most impressive evidence came from Sweden in November 2009(b) when settlements dated to 9000 BC were discovered in the north of the country in a region that according to accepted theory should have been covered by ice at that time.

Wolter Smit points out that the orientation of some Mayan Temples is apparently out by around 17 degrees from what would be expected. A structural feature at the 4,000 year old temple of Saar in Bahrain is believed to have been used to record the summer solstice is now out by 10 degrees. Similar anomalies were noted by G.F. Dodwell during his study of ancient gnomons. A further indication that our present knowledge of polar changes may be flawed is highlighted by the fact that on April 15th 136 BC we have a record of an eclipse that completely darkened Babylon that should have had its zone of totality over the Balearic Islands in the Western Mediterranean. This is a difference of nearly 50 degrees and implies that either the Earth has slowed or the polar axis has shifted.

*The idea that Pole Shift(s) can be linked to the location and orientation of many ancient sites is explored by Mark Carlotto in his new book, Before Atlantis [1600].*

Amy Smith also claims that the Earth ‘tilted’ around 10,000 BC(d) referring to two ancient quotations that may support the reality of this Pole Shift – one from Plato (Tim.22d) and the other from the Book of Enoch/Noah (65.1).

The Hutton Commentaries(a) contain many articles relating to an impending pole shift based on the readings of Edgar Cayce.

In October 2004, Alexander Chechelnitsky, a Russian astrophysicist claimed that Atlantis was located in the Yukon River valley in Alaska[515]. This, he believes, was the result of a pole shift although he admits that scientific evidence is lacking for this theory!

A recent overview of the Pole Shift theory was published in July 2014(h).


(b) (offline July 2015) See:



(e)  (offline July 2016) see Archive 3029




(i) (link broken Nov. 2016) See {2268} 













The Maya of ancient Mexico and Guatemala have generated much controversy regarding their origins. Recent studies indicate that the story of the development of this remarkable civilisation may be more complex than previously thought(k). The demise of the Mayan cultural (800-950 AD) has now been definitively shown to be the result of persistent drought, particularly in the southern lowlands(o).


Maya Area of Occupation

Inevitably the Maya have been linked with Atlantis by a number of writers such as Lewis Spence and E.H. Thompson who claimed that the Maya were descendants of Atlanteans. The maverick, Augustus Le Plongeon was alone in identifying Atlantis as a colony of the Maya and that their language was in fact Greek!   Others, such as Jean-Frédérick Waldeck, included an Egyptian linkage as well. However, trumping all that is a recent claim that the Maya had contact with extraterrestrials and that a documentary providing evidence is planned(b). In a similar vein is the latest English language publication from Erich von Däniken entitled: Astronaut Gods of the Maya[1422].  Semir Osmanagic, of Bosnian pyramid fame, added a twist to this proposed linkage, when he claimed[0519]  that the Maya had come from Atlantis, which in turn had been founded by visitors from the Pleiades!

For some comic relief, I can suggest a 1976 book[833] by brothers Eric & Craig Umland which ‘reveals’ that the Maya ‘are remnants of space explorers whose attempts to colonise our solar system went awry more than 40,000 years ago.’ Nearly every page is full of hilarious nonsense and nearly worth the £0.01 currently quoted on A website(i) dealing with ‘unreason’ uses extracts from the Umlands as good examples! If you wish to read about the Maya in Antarctica, the Canaries as well as the Moon, this is the book for you.

July 2012 saw a report(j) on the discovery of the largest Mayan manmade dam at Tikal in Guatemala, which was 33ft high and 260ft long and included sand filters.

The Maya had a sophisticated writing system that occupied the attention of a number of 19th century writers including Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg and Le Plongeon. Unfortunately, de Bourbourg followed the work of the 16th century bishop of Yucatán, Diego de Landa whose interpretation was seriously erroneous.

A report in 2013(l) indicated that substantial progress has been made in the decipherment of any outstanding difficulties in the translation of the Mayan script through internet co-operation.

July 2012 saw a report(j) on the discovery of the largest Mayan man-made dam at Tikal in Guatemala, which was 33ft high and 260ft long and included sand filters.

James O’Kon, an engineer, has investigated Mayan technology for decades, including the discovery of a suspension bridge at the ancient Mayan city of Yaxchilan in Mexico in 1995, which is believed to be the longest bridge of the ancient world(r). This and other aspects of Mayan technology he explores in his book, The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology[1490].  More recently, Lorraine Stobbart has written Utopia: Fact or Fiction[0476], which suggests that the ‘Utopia’ of Sir Thomas More was inspired by the Mayan culture although his text was written before Mexico was ‘officially’ discovered. Stobbart recently revealed that she is now revising her views.

However, a more serious claim relates to the idea that Mayan inscriptions revealed that a global catastrophe was to occur in 2012. This nonsense(g) turned into a minor publishing industry.  Some even tried to link this daft idea to Atlantis. Fortunately, May 2012 saw evidence from excavations in Guatemala that shows the Mayan calendar extending well beyond 2012(h).

The late David H. Kelley, a Harvard-educated archaeologist and epigrapher at Canada’s University of Calgary, had been investigating ancient links between Asia and pre-Columbian America. In that regard he published a paper outlining similarities between the Mayan and ancient Chinese calendars that were apparently too numerous to be explained by independent development(p). A more sceptical view is offered(q) by Jason Colavito, who traces the idea back to Alexander von Humboldt.

The work of Teobert Maler at the end of the 19thcentury was invaluable in the advancement of Mayan studies. Subsequent researchers have seized upon his discovery of a frieze at Tikal, which he interpreted as a depiction of the destruction of Atlantis, as evidence of the existence of Atlantis in the Atlantic.  Apart from Maler’s conjectural ideas, no tangible link has been found between the Maya and Atlantis apart from the use in their glyphs of elephants, an animal that features in Plato’s narrative.

The authenticity of photo of the frieze has been called into question by Jason Colavito and his related blog(n) is worthy of consideration.

 Otto Muck overstated it somewhat when he wrote “If Atlantis had not existed there would be no way of explaining the origins of the Maya civilisation”[098.243]

In late 2011 controversy erupted when it was claimed that the Itza Maya had migrated to North America, more specifically Georgia(c)(d). It was also suggested that earthen pyramids in Georgia and Florida can be attributed to the Maya(e).*Among the other accomplishments is the claim that the Maya were capable of predicting meteor showers(s).*

Gene Matlock, the well-known advocate of Atlantis in Mexico, is certain that the Maya were originally Tamils from Sri Lanka(a)!

A recent article(f) gives an interesting firsthand account of encountering the important Mayan city of Calakmul deep in the Yucatan jungle.*Potentially even more important are recent LIDAR surveys carried out in Guatemala that have revealed an astounding number of previously unknown Mayan structures.*

Muddying the waters further is an Islamic site that claims that the Maya were Atlantean(m).







(g) (offline Oct. ’14)






(m) (offline 1/8/14)










Linguistic Connections (t)

Linguistic Connections have been frequently advanced between Europe and the Americas as evidence of either an ancient sea link between the two or an intermediate landmass, Atlantis. Some of these supposed connections have been demonstrated as being totally without substance and merely coincidences resulting from the limited number of sounds that can be produced by human speech. Unfortunately, many of these purported links are still referred to in some books and even more frequently on websites, as credible evidence for the existence of Atlantis. Quite frankly the whole matter of similarities between languages is a complete red herring in the search for Atlantis. While it is perfectly possible that prehistoric Europeans and Africans travelled to the Americas and brought their languages with them, it does nothing to prove that Plato’s Atlantis existed.

The Basques, frequently linked with Atlantis, call their language, Euskara, which is a seemingly unique tongue, unrelated to any Indo-European speech. Strangely, Euskara shares some affinity with Finno-Urgic Patumnili (allegedly spoken in ancient Troy), Etruscan (belonging to the pre-Roman civilizers of western Italy, traditionally descended from the Trojans), Guanche (spoken by the early, supposedly Atlantean, inhabitants of the Canary Islands) and Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. These long-dead languages are themselves only very imperfectly understood today but the fact that Basque Euskara contains legitimate cognates with the languages of four arguably Atlantean peoples may not be without significance.

To add further confusion, in the middle of the last century, Dr. Yoshitomi drew attention to similarities between the Basque and Japanese languages.

Following the work of Dr. Pierre L. Collignon, Egerton Sykes supported the view that a number of North American place names have a possible Egyptian origin.

Tennessee – Ta-N-Ese meaning ‘Land of Isis’

Kentucky/Quantuck named after the Egyptian Anubis

Missouri – Mesu-Ra meaning ‘Children of the Sun’

Kansas/Arkansas named after the Third Great God of Thebes

Massachusettes –Mesu-Tchesert refers to ‘Children of the Red One’

Niagara – Nga-Ra equates with ‘Bull of Ra’, bull being another title of the Nile.

All that can be said to readers is to tread warily and generally speaking take all that is read on this subject with a grain of proverbial salt. Nevertheless, those interested in recent developments in language studies the website below(a) should be of interest.

Also See: Augustus le Plongeon, Brasseur de Bourbourg, Ignatius Donnelly


le Plongeon, Augustus (L)

Augustus le Plongeon (1826-1909) was born on Jersey in the Channel leplongeonIslands. He was a professional photographer and amateur archaeologist, who was an enthusiastic follower of Ignatius Donnelly’s idea that the alphabets of the Old and New Worlds were derived from a common Phoenician root via Atlantis. He also attempted to build on the efforts of Diego deLanda and Brasseur de Bourbourg to decipher the Mayan hieroglyphics. Both Donnelly’s efforts to link Latin with Mayan glyphs and deLanda’s attempt to identify the Mayan alphabet bore little fruit, reminiscent of Kircher’s equally futile struggle with Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Le Plongeon with comparable wasted dedication, attempted to convince the world that the Mayan language was in fact Greek. It would have been easier to prove that chalk is cheese. His attachment to the Mayan civilisation also inspired him to claim that they were the founders of the culture of Ancient Egypt via a trip westward through Asia and on to the Mediterranean. When it was eventually demonstrated that the Mayan culture was considerably younger than that of ancient Egypt, le Plongeon refused to relinquish his absurd ideas and continued to claim that the Maya were the oldest people on the planet(e).

Le Plongeon was alone in suggesting that Atlantis was a colony of the Maya.

He was also the creator of numerous other bizarre notions regarding such matters as Mu[439] and the last words of Christ. Incidentally, like Abbe Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg, Le Plongeon equated Mu with Plato’s Atlantis(e).  He was convinced that the Mayan inscriptions on the pyramid of Xochicalco told the story of the destruction of Atlantis. It is remarkable that the author of such outlandish notions is quoted so frequently today, since few accept that he has contributed much to the advancement of knowledge. Jörg Dendl offers an extensive critique, in German, of Le Plongeon’s views(c) and worth a read.

Robert Schoch has suggested(a) that Le Plongeon, himself a freemason, had another agenda, namely, to establish links between freemasonry and the ancient Maya. A potted biography of Le Plongeon on the Internet(b) is also to be recommended.

Le Plongeon’s Vestiges of the Maya is available online(d).

*(a) (no longer available) See:(one fifth way down)

(b) (link broken April 2019) See:*



(e) discovered&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

Brasseur de Bourbourg, Charles Etienne

Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg (1814-1874) was born in brasseur de bourbourg_jpgBourbourg, near Dunkirk, France. He entered the priesthood and in 1845 he left for Canada and was for a short time professor of ecclesiastical history at Quebec. He worked as a missionary in Mexico and Central America where he developed an intense interest in the native South Americans and their origins. In 1859 be published a history of the Aztecs.

Hubert H. Bancroft (1832-1918), the American historian, noted[1319.125-132] that initially Brasseur was highly sceptical of the reality of Atlantis, but as his studies deepened he became an enthusiastic believer.

Brasseur de Bourbourg’s ability to track down rare manuscripts was legendary. He studied the thoroughly flawed interpretation of Mayan hieroglyphics by Bishop Diego de Landa, produced in the 16th century. He concluded that the Maya were originally from Atlantis, based on Plato’s description of Atlantean culture. This view was expressed in his 1868 book, Quatre Lettres sur le Méxique[1450].

In an 1866 offering[1506],  he recorded his study of the Mayan monuments, particularly Palenque. The illustrations for this book were executed by Jean-Frédérick de Waldeck.

Brasseur also translated local languages into Roman script and perhaps his most important contribution was a French translation of the Popul Vuh, sacred book of the Quiché branch of the Maya, which was published in 1861. An English translation is now available on the Internet(a).

*Nigel Davies has revealed[1635] that Brasseur, as well as Lord Kingsborough (1795-1829), concluded that the native Americans were in fact the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. This idea had been suggested by centuries earlier by Diego de Landa (1524- 1579), the Franciscan bishop of Yucatán.*

Iin the mid-19th century, Brasseur proposed that Atlantis had existed on a large landmass in the Atlantic of which Hispaniola is a remnant. He believed that this vast peninsula extended to the vicinity of the Canaries. This idea was based on his own, largely incorrect, interpretation of Mayan glyphs. The American Hyde Clarke and the Guatemalan doctor Paul Felix Cabrera shared similar location theories.

Jason Colavito has pointed out that Brasseur was probably the first to suggest the possibility that some form of Pole Shift led to the destruction of Atlantis(b). This idea was published in 1873 and is available in an English translation by Colavito(c).

After what he thought was reference to a flooded land called Mu, one of his last conclusions was that Mu and Atlantis were the same and that Mu was the correct name for the flooded land. This fantasy led Augustus le Plongeon to revise this theory, suggesting that refugees from both Mu and Atlantis were the founders of the Mayan civilisation.



Mackenzie, Donald Alexander

DonaldMackeznieDonald Alexander Mackenzie (1873-1936) was a renowned mythologist of the early 20th century who referred to Atlantis on a number of occasions. He seemed to be inclined to place Plato’s island in the Atlantic and saw the submergence of land around the British Isles at the end of the last Ice Age as the most likely explanation[459.90].

In the same volume he touched on the Atlantic landbridge theories of Scharff, Hull and Brasseur de Bourbourg. However, Mackenzie did accept the previous year’s Paul Schliemann hoax.

In his Myths and Traditions of the South Sea Islands,he dismisses the idea of a lost Pacific continent as existing only “in the imaginations of writers untrained in scientific method.”[1030.5]

One of his many books, Myths of Crete and Prehistoric Europe[460], which contains a chapter on the possibility of a Cretan connection with Atlantis, is available on the internet(a).