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

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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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Calypso

Delisle de Sales, Jean-Baptiste Izouard

Jean-Baptiste Izouard Delisle de Sales (1741-1816) was a French philosopher who ventured into the dangerous waters of speculative atlantology with the idea that Atlantis had been originally situated in the Delisle_de_SalesCaucasus. In volume 3[1013] of his multi-volume work, Histoire nouvelle de tous les peuples du monde ou Histoire des homes, he hypothesized  that following a catastrophic flood in that region, refugees migrated east and west. Some ended up in the Atlas Mountains from where they got their name. Delisle de Sales believed that the Atlantis of Plato was situated between Italy and Carthage. This view was a consequence of identifying Homer’s Ogygia, the island of Calypso, with Atlantis. He then assumed that Sardinia was a remnant of this island.This led to his identification of the Gulf of Tunis as the location of the Pillars of Heracles. The original French text of Book III, which relates to Atlantis can be read online(a)

Delisle de Sales, writing in the 18th century cited an anonymous source who placed Atlantis in Taprobane, considered at the time to be a reference to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), not Dhani Irwanto’s Indonesian Kilmantan.

Michael Hissmann (1752-1784) who translated the first book of Delisle de Sales’ Histoire into German added his own commentary that supported an Atlantic location for Atlantis.

It is worth noting that Delisle de Sales included Fabre d’Olivet, the occultist, in his social circle.

(a) http://books.google.ie/books?id=NatGgw0_gBoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Histoire++nouvelle+de+tous+les+peuples+du+monde+ou+Histoire+des+homes&source=bl&ots=6U1LrS9FGJ&sig=nWR6&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Histoire%20%20nouvelle%20de%20tous%20les%20peuples%20du%20monde%20ou%20Histoire%20des%20homes&f=false

Malta

Malta is a small densely populated archipelago, strategically situated in the Central Mediterranean between Sicily and Tunisia. There is a claim that early Maltese were Phoenicians who came from Lebanon around 3000 BC(i).

Malta’s name is generally accepted to be derived from the Greek word for honey meli and was later known to the Romans as Melita the Latin equivalent. Malta was renowned in ancient times for the quality of its honey, which may explain why the light-fingered, 1st century BC Roman governor, Verres, stole 400 amphorae of it (about 2800 gallons) over a three-year period.

Today, Malta is a stepping-stone between North Africa and Europe. At the time of the last Ice Age it was probably joined to Sicily but whether it was also joined to North Africa is a matter for debate. This possibility depends on the extent to which the level of the Mediterranean was lowered by the Malta_svggrowth of the Ice Age glaciers and whether that lowering was exacerbated by the existence of a land bridge between Southern Spain and Morocco. Vittorio Castellani offers[224] a possible map of the enlarged Sicily extending to include the Maltese Islands, leaving a narrow strait between the expanded Malta and the coast of Tunisia. Dr. Anton Mifsud has researched ancient maps of the Central Mediterranean region and demonstrated that the early cartographers knew the Maltese archipelago as having a much larger area than at present. G.N. Godwin expressed similar views regarding an earlier enlarged Maltese landmass in his Guide to the Maltese Islands [1592].

The Greek text describes Atlantis as being ‘pro’ in front of or before the Pillars of Heracles rather than ‘meta’ beyond them, which would fit a description of Malta being in front of (east of) Pillars, if as suggested, they were located at the Strait of Sicily.

Commenting on this preposition, J. Warren Wells points out that “Plato uses ‘pro’ seven times in Timaeus and twice in Critias. In eight of these cases, it is used in relation to ‘time before’ rather than ‘place before.’It is used only one time in relation to place or position. That single occurrence is where he refers to the island of Atlantis being before (pro) the straits at the Pillars of Heracles.” He concludes that at the very least, close proximity is implied[783].

W.K.C.Guthrie in A History of Greek Philosophy (Vol.5, p245)[946] comments similarly – “’before the entrance’ I take to mean that it was at no great distance, but the volcanic Azores have a better geographical claim to be the remains of Atlantis than any spot within the Mediterranean.”

Dr. Anton Mifsud

Guthrie recognised that Plato was describing the island of Atlantis being near the Pillars of Heracles, but based on the assumption that the Pillars were situated at Gibraltar, he was forced to opt for the Azores as the location of Atlantis, in spite of the fact that at a distance of 1,100 miles they cannot in any way be described as being “at no great distance” from the ‘Pillars’. Consideration of other know locations,  particularly in the Central Mediterranean, that were also, at different times, designated as the Pillars of Heracles, show a number of islands, including Malta, in close proximity to each nominated site.

Malta is home to some of the earliest and most spectacular megalithic monuments in Europe. Unfortunately many more have been lost, Lenie Reedijk in her recent book, Sirius – the Star of the Maltese Temples [1631], she lists 100 megalithic sites on Malta & Gozo, of which two-thirds have been lost [p.14/15]. She also contends that the temple building in Malta was spread over a much longer period than generally accepted, beginning as early as 9150 BC and last until 4250 BC.

A number of attempts have been made to link the orientation of the temples with various astronomical bodies. A limited study by John Cox proposed a connection with moonrise (t) . Mario Vassallo favours an association with the winter solstice sunrise(u) . Klaus Albrecht also identifies[1632] the winter solstice sunrise as his preferred orientation(v) . Reedijk offers a far more radical explanation for the alignment of all the temples, namely that they directed at Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky at that time. However, precession slowly broke that alignment. Reedijk noted that “a star whose rising and setting point was aligned with a temple axis of a given monument at a given time will have moved out of its line of sight in the course of several centuries. When this happened the need would have been felt to build another monument with a slightly different orientation of its main axis, in order to be in line with the star again.”

What I do not understand is why, according to Reedjik, the Maltese temple builders continued to build their re-aligned monuments for over five millennia without simply modifying existing temples rather than engaging in the immense work involved in starting from scratch after every failure of orientation.

Malta is home to some the earliest and most spectacular megalithic monuments in Europe. Dr. Mifsud has pointed out that the size and number of these ancient monuments is greater than an island of Malta’s present extent could be expected to produce. This view when combined with the mysterious ‘cart-ruts’[ that run straight off cliffs, and then reappear on the opposite side of a bay or across open sea, all point to Malta having been a much larger landmass within the experience of man, namely, not earlier than 5000 BC. The cartruts.com website shows(d) the possible shoreline of Malta at 5000 BC and 8000 BC. The same site has a page on ‘torba’ an alleged prehistoric Maltese cement.The tiny island of Filfla three miles off the south coast of Malta had cart ruts visible on it before it was used for target practice by British military(g). The clear implication being that it had been connected to the main island while it was inhabited. Furthermore, three miles offshore from Sliema on the north site of Malta submerged ruins of what is thought to be a temple (now named ‘Gebel Gol-Bahar’)(h) were discovered in 1999.

It is quite possible that further discoveries will be made, but as it is, there is sufficient evidence to prove that when it was initially settled and certainly as late as some of the Temple Period, the archipelago had been considerably greater in extent than today. A short history of Filfla is worth a read.(o)

In 2010, a former co-author of Mifsud’s, Charles Savona-Ventura, rather strangely, independently published a fourteen-page booklet, In Search of Atlantis[1332],  in which he reiterated his support for Malta as Atlantis!

In 2014, it was reported(k) in the Times of Malta that a huge canyon, previously unknown, with an area eight times the size of the Maltese Islands, had been discovered in an area known as the Malta Escarpment. It was also found that the canyon had been active recently, highlighting the geological instability in the region. (The link below includes a short video clip).

In 1923, R. M. Gattefossé commented[314] that many of Malta’s ancient monuments were “Atlantean” in character, although he believed that Atlantis had been located in the Atlantic. Dr Mifsud attributes the earliest linking of Malta with Atlantis to the 16th century writer, Bibischok. However, it was over three hundred years before the suggestion was made again, when in 1854, Giorgio Grongnet de Vasse, the renowned Maltese architect, proposed that the Maltese Islands were remnants of Atlantis. In 1910 the celebrated Maltese botanist, John Borg offered the opinion that Atlantis had been situated on the submerged land between Malta and North Africa[1132].

D. H. Childress reports that in 1922, the archaeologist, Joseph Bosco also supported this idea. Another three quarters of a century passed before that the idea of a Maltese connection with Atlantis was again revived, in particular by the publication of two books, one by Anton Mifsud[209and the other Francis Galea[308], in English and Maltese respectively. Both of these books are the result of extensive investigation and have inspired others to continue the study. Graham Hancock was prompted to visit the island and gained material there for his popular book[274]  on ancient flooded cities.

Two other contributors to the study and literature of the island’s prehistoric origins that should be mentioned are the late Joseph S. Ellul and Hubert Zeitlmair. Ellul was Maltese and the author of a work, Malta’s Prediluvian Culture,[289] that links the submergence of some of Malta’s monuments with Noah’s Flood, which he identified with the controversial idea of the breaching of a land bridge between Spain and Morocco.

While most researchers have focused on the extraordinary number of ancient monuments on the small archipelago, it might be worth considering what is not found on the islands, namely, anything to do with military action. There are no obvious defensive structures and no depiction of warriors or their weaponry. Everything seems to indicate a peaceful society, perhaps, as I, and others have already speculated, it was originally a place of pilgrimage(m)(n) or some form of sanctuary!

Zeitlmair, a retired German real estate investor, who is fascinated by the Megalithic remains on Malta, but unfortunately he ascribes their existence to the intervention of alien visitors a la Zechariah Sitchin. He has outlined his views in a book[465], written in German with an English version promised in the future. Zeitlmair expands on a number of his outlandish claims on his website(f), UFOs, Nibiru as well as the Atlantean ‘Cold Fire Fusion’ Power house in Malta that still generates Non-lethal High Frequency Active Auroral Energy.” Similar waffle has been published in the first two books[783][947] of a trilogy by Francis Xavier Aloisio, who claims that the Maltese temples “are a Reservoir of Consciousness, so we need to start to look at the structures in a very different way. They were ‘charge compressors’, ‘energy generators’ and ‘power houses.’  In a word, they were ‘energy centres’ for planet Earth.” Quite recently, Aloisio’s wife, Christine, also joined the ‘lunatic fringe’ and plans to publish The Crystal City of Atlantis, which she claims is under Malta!

 Casey Terry notes[1542.36] that Pavel Smutny, a Slovakian researcher, who is an ardent promoter of the idea of ancient advanced technology, has proposed that the Maltese temple complexes “were used probably as generators of high frequency acoustic waves. Purpose were (maybe) to arrange a communication channel between various islands”!

The most recent and more rational support for a Maltese location has come from Albert Nikas, a computer engineer, who submitted a paper(b) to the 2008 Atlantis Conference. Sunday November 19th 2017 saw the publication of an article(l) by Nikas in Malta’s Sunday Independent, in which he describes his recent visit to many temples in the archipelago. He goes on to claim that he has located the ruins of an ancient city, just offshore, which he believes to have been the capital of Atlantis, not far from Valletta, the modern capital.

Massimo Rapisarda  submitted another paper to the same conference suggesting that Atlantis had been located in Sicily in the vicinity of the seaport of Marsala. That conference also heard Axel Hausmann identify a region that included part of North Africa and the area between Libya and Sicily as the home of Atlantis.

Alberto Arecchi, who also advocates a Central Mediterranean Atlantis noted that “We can identify in this system the “Heracles’ columns” of the ancient mythology (one of the two “columns” appears identifiable with the island of Malta).” (s)

I do not know what future investigations will reveal, but I am certain that they will demonstrate that Malta had a Atlantis winemore important part to play in the Atlantis story than is generally accepted today. The megalithic heritage of Malta predates that of Egypt by a millennium, considerably enhancing its candidacy as the location of Atlantis. A wonderful panoramic view of some the temples can be seen on the Internet(c).

The second largest of the Maltese archipelago, Gozo, is claimed by some to have been Ogygia the home of the mythical Calypso.

A number of websites discuss the prehistory of Malta(a). One well-illustrated site(e) concentrates on the evidence of catastrophic events affecting the landscape of the archipelago in the distant past. A newspaper report of June 2016(j) pushes back the prehistory of Malta by 30,000 years with the claim that Neanderthals may have  lived on the island, assuming that it was an island then!*In 2016, Mifsud published Dossier Malta – Neanderthal [1587] in which he outlines the evidence for the existence of Neanderthal Man on Malta.*

Malta also produces a Cabernet Sauvignon wine in the town of Marsaxlokk appropriately, but not uniquely, called Atlantis.

On Sunday January 13th 2019. the UK’s Sunday Express delighted its readers with TWO Atlantis stories(q)(r). The online edition of the paper offered a video clip of the Maltese island of Filfla, while the commentator told us that Plato had said that a devastating earthquake had destroyed Atlantis it was finished off by an eruption. This is factually incorrect as Plato never mentioned an eruption. Then, as if that was not enough, the same edition of the same newspaper has another story by the same ‘reporter’, with an ‘Atlantis Discovered’ headline claims that the remains of an ancient 8,000-year-old city, home to ‘tens of thousands’ of people, had been discovered in the North Sea, in a huge region sometimes referred to as Doggerland. The reporter cites Dr.Richard Bates in support of this account. Unfortunately, the 2012 comments by Dr. Bates never mentioned ‘a city’, only a vast area occupied by ‘tens of thousands’ of people, presumably early farmers(p). These two accounts are a sad reflection on the quality of media reporting today. 

See Also: Mediterranean Sea LevelAxel Hausmann, Kevin Falzon.

(a) http://www.aboutmalta.com/HISTORY/PREHISTORY/ (link broken June 2018)

(b) http://atlantisinmalta.blogspot.ie/

(c) http://www.maltain360.com/#110012638

(d) http://cartruts.com/ (Link broken Mar. 2019) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20190102032648/http://cartruts.com/

(e) http://www.everythingselectric.com/forum/index.php?topic=180.0

(f) http://www.maltadiscovery.org/en/ (link broken 2018) See:  https://web.archive.org/web/20160401190453/http://www.maltadiscovery.org/en/

(g) http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/cartruts.htm

(h) http://dancingfromgenesis.com/?p=27284

(i) http://kadmous.org/wp/malta-and-lebanon/

(j) http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160619/local/could-the-first-maltese-have-been-neanderthals.615901

(k) http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20140914/local/Massive-canyon-found-in-Mediterranean-sea-cliff.535575

(l) http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2017-11-21/newspaper-lifestyleculture/Maltese-temple-builders-and-their-enigmatic-capital-6736181716

(m) http://www.templesofmalta.com/ggantija.htm (Link broken Aug. 2018)  See: https://web.archive.org/web/20160823204054/http://www.templesofmalta.com/ggantija.htm

(n) https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160228/life-features/The-Maltese-Temple-Period-s-unique-religious-significance.604050

(o) https://www.guidememalta.com/en/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-mysterious-islet-of-filfla

(p) https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-18687504

(q) https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/1071594/atlantis-found-malta-island-matches-plato-description-spt

(r) https://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/1070934/atlantis-uncovered-8000-year-old-ancient-city-doggerland-british-spt

(s) https://ancientpatriarchs.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/backward-to-atlantis-an-extraordinary-trip-in-the-ancient-mediterranean-world/

*(t) https://academic.oup.com/astrogeo/article/49/1/1.7/307209

(u) ‘The Location of the Maltese Neolithic Temple Sites’, Sunday Times, 26 August 2007, pp. 44–46.

(v) https://www.geestkunde.net/tabula-smaragdina/malta-tempels-aardgodin.shtml*

  

.

Ogygia

Ogygia is accepted by some as an island in the Mediterranean that was destroyed by an earthquake before the Bronze Age. The Greek writers Euhemerus in the 4th  century BC and Callimachus who flourished in the 3rd century BC,  identified the Maltese archipelago as Ogygia. Others have more specifically named the Maltese island of Gozo as Ogygia. Anton Mifsud has pointed out[209] that Herodotus, Hesiod and Diodorus Siculus have all identified the Maltese Islands with Ogygia. There is now evidence that Isaac Newton concurred with this idea(c) in his book The Original of Monarchies(d).

Strabo declared that Ogygia was to be found in the ‘World Ocean’ or Atlantic. Richard Hennig opted for Madeira following the opinion of von Humboldt. Spanuth argued strongly against either Madeira or the Canaries[0017.149] and gave his support to the Azores as the most likely location of Calypso’s Island.. Not unexpectedly the Azores, in the mid-Atlantic, have also been nominated as Ogygia by other 20th century researchers such as Sykes(e) and Mertz[397]. In a 2019 paper(f), Gerard Janssen also placed Ogygia in the Azores, specifically naming the island of Saõ Miguel as Ogygia, which Spanuth also did.

Homer in his Odyssey identifies Ogygia as the home of Calypso. The Roman poet Catullus writing in the 1st century BC linked Ogygia with Calypso in Malta(g). Mifsud also quotes another Roman of the same period, Albius Tibullus, who identifies Atlantis with Calypso. Other Maltese writers have seen all this as strong evidence for the existence of Atlantis in their region. Delisle de Sales considered Ogygia to be between Italy and Carthage, but opted for Sardinia as the remains of Calypso’s island.

Other researchers such as Geoffrey Ashe and Andrew Collins have opted for the Caribbean as the home of Ogygia.*Another site supports Mesoamerica as the location of Ogygia, which the author believes can be equated with Atlantis(h).* An even more extreme suggestion by Ed Ziomek places Ogygia in the Pacific(b)!

In the Calabria region of southern Italy lies Capo Collone (Cape of Columns). 18th century maps show two islands off the cape named Ogygia and Calypsus offering echoes of Homer’s tale. Additionally, there is a temple to Hera Lacinia at Capo Collone

By way of complete contrast both Felice Vinci and John Esse Larsen have proposed that the Faeroe Islands included Ogygia. In the same region, Iceland was nominated by Gilbert Pillot as the location of Ogygia and Calypso’s home[742]. Ilias D. Mariolakos, a Greek professor of Geology also makes a strong case(a) for identifying Iceland with Ogygia based primarily on the writings of Plutarch. He also supports the idea of Minoans in North America.

The most recent suggestion has come from Manolis Koutlis[1617] , who, after a forensic examination of various versions of Plutarch’s work, in both Latin and Greek, also placed Ogygia in North America, specifically on what is now the tiny island of St. Paul at the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada, a gulf that was also held the location of Atlantis.

Jean-Silvain Bailly also used the writings of Plutarch to sustain his theory of Ogygia, which he equated with Atlantis having an Arctic location[0926.2.299],  specifically identifying Iceland as Ogygia/Atlantis with the islands of Greenland, Nova Zembla and Spitzbergen as the three islands equally distant from it and each other.

However, Ireland has been linked with Ogygia by mainly Irish writers. In the 17th century historian, Roderick O’Flaherty(1629-1718), wrote a history of Ireland entitled Ogygia[0495], while in the 19th century, Margaret Anne Cusack (1832-1899) also wrote a history in which she claimed[1342] a more explicit connection. This was followed in 1911 by a book[1343] by Marion McMurrough Mulhall in which she also quotes Plutarch to support the linking of Ireland and Ogygia. More recently, in The Origin of Culture[0217Thomas Dietrich promotes the same view, but offers little hard evidence to support it.

This matter would appear to be far from a resolution.

Other suggested locations are:

Lipsi (Greece)    http://www.wiw.gr/english/lipsi_niriedes/

Mljet (Croatia)    http://www.adriagate.com/en/croatia/national_parks.aspx?ID=4

Gavdos (Greece)     http://gavdosgreece.page.tl/

(a)  http://greeceandworld.blogspot.ie/2013_08_01_archive.html

(b) http://www.flickr.com/photos/10749411@N03/5284413003/

(c) See: Archive 3439

(d) http://www.newtonproject.ox.ac.uk/view/texts/normalized/THEM00040

(e) ‘Where Calypso may have Lived’ (Atlantis, 5, 1953, pp 136-137)

(f) http://www.homerusodyssee.nl/id26.htm

(g) Lib. iv, Eleg. 1

*(h) https://cogniarchae.com/2018/06/26/odysseus-mesoamerica-ogygia-atlantis/*

Cousteau, Jacques-Yves (L)

cousteauJacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-1997) the famous oceanographer, was also drawn to the Atlantis mystery. In 1967 he was due to join Spyridon Marinatos and James Mavor in an expedition to Santorini but the onset of the Arab-Israeli war prevented him from bringing his famous ship Calypso through the Suez Canal. He later did explore in the eastern Mediterranean and subsequently, in collaboration with Yves Paccalet, wrote his contribution[246] to the Atlantis issue, in which he relates his investigation of the sea around Santorini.  His search for Atlantis also revealed unexpected underwater stone formations off Crete.

A 1976 newspaper report(c) described Cousteau as having ‘debunked’ the reality of Atlantis, after his thirteen months of exploration in the Aegean.

A 1978 TV documentary, Calypso’s Search for Atlantis, is widely available, while most of it can be seen on YouTube(a)(b).

(a) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZkDjbWuNzA

(b) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gC7EoS0GIpk

(c) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/131797727?searchTerm=Atlantis&searchLimits=

 

 

Fortia d’Urban

Marquis Agricol Joseph François de Fortia d’Urban (1756-1843) was a wealthy French mathematician and archaeologist. He was a member of several academies in western Europe. He wrote a paper identifying Gozo, in the Maltese archipelago, as Ogygia, the abode of Homer’s Calypso. In a massive 10 volume work, Histoire ancienne du globe terrestre[1314], volume 9 has an essay that links the floods of Noah and Ogyges with the sinking of Atlantis.

Fortia d’Urban was a contemporary of Grongnet de Vasse, another early champion of a Maltese Atlantis. They met in Rome and later corresponded on the subject.

Recently, a controversy has arisen regarding Eumelos of Cyrene, which Fortia d’Urban was implicated in. A claim of hoax was made by Thorwald C. Franke in a paper on his website(a). Anton Mifsud wrote a rebuttal (Archive 5145) in which he pointed out errors of fact in Franke’s original article, which has not been responded to. Instead, Franke has, unsatisfactorily, just left it to readers to decide on the truth!

(a) http://www.atlantis-scout.de/atlantis-malta-hoax.htm