Nicolas Brian Fenning has been promoting an underwater feature south of Cyprus shaped like a scarab, at 33°N 33°E, as the location of Atlantis. In a rather convoluted blog(a) he draws on Freemasonry, Renaissance and Egyptian art, as well as Chinese characters to support his theories.
Robert L. Gielow is a retired American aeronautical engineer and a fundamentalist Christian. In his latter capacity he has written Noah’s Flood, which is an attempt to offer a technical justification for accepting the literal reality of the biblical seven days of creation and Noah’s Ark. Not content with advocating one lost cause he devotes a chapter to Atlantis in which he jumps on the slowing bandwagon of Robert Sarmast’s ‘Atlantis off the coast Cyprus’ theory. He fails to apply any critical thinking to Sarmast’s ideas and accepts them in the same unquestioning manner with which he embraces a literal interpretation of Genesis.
Mining as a human activity dates back many thousands of years in various parts of the world Recently, the earliest example of mining in the Americas was an iron oxide mine in Chile dating back to around 10,000 BC(a). However, metals, such as gold, silver, copper and tin were not the only material extracted in this way, pigments, flint and salt were also mined in ancient times. The silver mines of Lavrio in Greece employed 29,000 slaves at its peak.
In the Mediterranean itself, Cyprus was an important source of copper, giving the island its name. However, the most important mineral source was probably Sardinia, which for the Romans was one of the three most important sources of metals, along with Spain and Brittany. Although there was a limited amount of tin mined in the Mediterranean region, most came from Spain, Brittany as well as Devon and Cornwall.
Mining in Atlantis is recorded by Plato in Critias 114e where he states that there were many mines producing orichalcum as well as other metals. Mrs. Whishaw contended that the pre-Roman copper mines of Southern Spain was the source of the Atlantean orichalcum.
However, the most extensive ancient mines were probably those of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where copper mining was carried on between 3000 and 1200 BC. It has been guesstimated that up to 1.5 billion pounds of the metal was extracted. It is further speculated that much of this was used to feed the Bronze Age needs of Europe and the Mediterranean(b)(c). This is hotly disputed by local archaeologists(d).
(d) http://www.ramtops.co.uk/copper.html (offline Sept. 2017) (see Archive 2102)
Meizon is given the sole meaning of ‘greater’ in the respected Greek Lexicon of Liddell & Scott . Furthermore, in Bury’s translation of sections 20e -26a of Timaeus there are eleven instances of Plato using megas (great) meizon (greater) or megistos (greatest). In all cases great or greatest is employed except just one, 24e, which uses the comparative meizon, which Bury translated as ‘larger’! J.Warren Wells concluded that Bury’s translation in this single instance is inconsistent with his other treatments of the word and it does not fit comfortably with the context[787.85]. This inconsistency is difficult to accept, so although meizon can have a secondary meaning of ‘larger’ it is quite reasonable to assume that the primary meaning of ‘greater’ was intended.
*In 2006, on a now defunct website of his, Wells noted that “Greater can mean larger, but this meaning is by no means the only possible meaning here; his overall usage of the word may show he meant greater in some other way.”*
It is also worth considering that Alexander the Great, (Aléxandros ho Mégas) was so called, not because of his physical size, apparently he was short of stature, but because he was a powerful leader.
The word has entered Atlantis debates in relation to its use in Timaeus 24e ’, where Plato describes Atlantis as ‘greater’ than Libya and Asia together and until recently has been most frequently interpreted to mean greater ‘in size’, an idea that I previously endorsed. However, some researchers have suggested that he intended to mean greater ‘in power’.
Other commentators do not seem to be fully aware that ‘Libya’ and ‘Asia’ had completely different meanings at the time of Plato. ‘Libya’ referred to part or all of North Africa, west of Egypt, while ‘Asia’ was sometimes applied to Lydia, a small kingdom in what is today Turkey. Incidentally, Plato’s statement also demonstrates that Atlantis could not have existed in either of these territories as ‘a part cannot be greater than the whole.’
A more radical, but less credible, interpretation of Plato’s use of ‘meizon’ came from the historian P.B.S. Andrews, who suggested that the quotation has been the result of a misreading of Solon’s notes. He maintained that the text should be read as ’midway between Libya and Asia’ since in the original Greek there is only a difference on one letter between the words for midway (meson) and larger than (meizon). This suggestion was supported by the classical scholar J.V. Luce and more recently on Marilyn Luongo’s website(a). This interpretation is quite interesting, particularly if the Lydian explanation of ‘Asia’ mentioned above is correct. Viewed from either Athens or Egypt we find that Crete is located ‘midway’ between Lydia and Libya.
In relation to all this , Felice Vinci has explained that ancient mariners measured territory by the length of its coastal perimeter, a method that was in use up to the time of Columbus. This would imply that the island of Atlantis was relatively modest in extent – I would speculate somewhere between the size of Cyprus and Sardinia. An area of such an extent has never been known to have been destroyed by an earthquake.
Until the 21st century, it was thought by many that meizon must have referred to the physical size of Atlantis rather than its military power. However, having read a paper[750.173] delivered by Thorwald C. Franke to the 2008 Atlantis Conference, I was persuaded otherwise. His explanation is that “for Egyptians the world of their ‘traditional’ enemies was divided in two: To the west there were the Libyans, to the east there were the Asians. If an Egyptian scribe wanted to say, that an enemy was more dangerous than the ‘usual’ enemies, which was the case with the Sea Peoples’ invasion, then he would have most probably said, that this enemy was “more powerful than Libya and Asia put together”.
This is a far more elegant and credible explanation than any reference to physical size, which forced researchers to seek lost continental sized land masses and apparently justified the negativity of sceptics. Furthermore, it reinforces the Egyptian origin of the Atlantis story, demolishing any claim that Plato concocted the whole tale. If it had been invented by Plato he would probably have compared Atlantis to enemy territories nearer to home, such as the Persians.
(b) http://lost-origins.com/atlantis-no-lost-continent/ (offline Jan. 2018) See: Archive 2349
(Robert) Behzad Sarmast is an Iranian-American and an architect by profession. He abandoned his career to pursue his lifelong passion for ancient history. He is the author of a book, in which he controversially places Atlantis near Cyprus. His website(a) has an interesting collection of maps and diagrams. Coincidentally, the Urantia Book had previously identified a site in the Eastern Mediterranean as the location of Atlantis. Their description matches closely the underwater topography of Sarmast’s site and the
However, a 2016 sermon by Sarmast on the Urantia religion was published online
Urantians have not been slow to exploit this coincidence(b). However, the link between Sarmast and the Urantians has not been actively admitted, although Sarmast’s publisher, Byron Belitsos, revealedthat Urantian funding had been used to obtain the 3D computer modelling of the underwater topography of the seafloor off Cyprus where Sarmast claims Atlantis was located. In October and November 2008 a number of blogs appeared under the name of Robert Sarmast(c). The content of these is religious in tone, although they make some references to Atlantis.However, a 2016 sermon by Sarmast on the Urantia religion was published online.
In 2003 Sarmast compiled a list of similarities between Plato’s description of Atlantis and the Urantia Book’s ‘Garden of Eden’(d).
Sarmast organised an expedition in late 2004 that produced ‘evidence’ of manmade structures, including two ‘walls’ over 3 km long. The site is about seventy miles east of Cyprus towards Syria. At a press conference to announce his discoveries Sarmast was challenged by, Michel Morrisseau, a French geologist who lives on Cyprus, to prove that the Mediterranean had been inundated more recently than the conventionally accepted five million years. Sarmast had no convincing response. However, subsequent to that he attempted to support his views with the unsupported assertion that earliest geographers knew of the breaching of the Gibraltar Dam and that ancient traditions had it that Hercules used his giant mace to smash open the Dam and allow the Atlantic to flood the Mediterranean and so led to the association of Hercules with Gibraltar.
Much more work must be done before Sarmast can rightfully claim that he has discovered Atlantis. In the meanwhile, in an effort to raise funds for the next expedition, his website sought to charge a monthly fee to provide interested ‘members’ with addition information on the preparations for the second expedition. This took place in 2006 with inconclusive results.
Sarmast returned to Cyprus in June 2011 to film a documentary in support of his theory. He had support from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation as well as the History Channel together with some private investors. Filming took place during the Kataklysmos Festival which interestingly celebrates the Deluge and/or Flood of Deucalion.
Since 2013, almost nothing further has been heard from Sarmast, his blogspot(c) is empty and there are no updates on the Discovery of Atlantis website(a)! It is informative to contrast today’s silence with the rhetoric of the initial 2003 press release(e).
However, in 2014, Sarmast had the more than dubious honour of being included in the online Encyclopedia of American Loons(h).
The Arysio dos Santos website offers a critical review of Sarmast’s book(g).
(a) www.discoveryofatlantis.com (link broken June 2018)
*(d) http://www.squarecircles.com/articles/atlantiseden.htm (link broken July 2018)*
(f) http://urantiareligion.com/transcript-for-urantia-religion-video/ (offline April 2017)
Keftiu and biblical Caphtor, which means ‘pillar’ in Hebrew, are usually considered to refer to the same place. It is implied in Jeremiah 47.4 that Caphtor was an island. There is also a number of commentators, including a Bruce Wayne(d) and Alex Hawk(e), who take Keftiu to be another name for Minoan Crete and equate it with Atlantis. Robert Ishoy considers nuragic Sardinia as Keftiu/Atlantis(b).
Some others have been in favour of identifying Keftiu with Cyprus among whom Immanuel Velikovsky argued that if Cyprus was not Keftiu, then it is the only island of any importance in the eastern Mediterranean not mentioned by the Egyptians. However, the corollary of that is that if Crete was not Keftiu, then it is the only large island in the Eastern Mediterranean not mentioned by the Egyptians!
Caphtor/Keftiu: A New Investigation by John Strange also supports this identification with Cyprus.
Walter Baucum claimed that “Keftiu was the coastline from Tyre northwards to Anatolia, and included the islands of Crete and Cyprus[183.107]. Manuel Robbins has concluded[856.336] that the most likely location for Keftiu was either Cyprus, Syria or Eastern Anatolia, but that it is essentially a mystery.
Although Plato was the first to use the term “Atlantis”, there are antecedents to his legend of a drowned civilisation. There is an Egyptian legend, which Solon probably heard while travelling in Egypt, and was passed down to Plato years later. It concerns the island nation of Keftiu, home to one of the four pillars that held up the sky. It was said to be a glorious advanced civilization, which was destroyed and sank beneath the ocean. It has been suggested that Plato embellished Solon’s story from “the land of the four pillars that held up the sky” into “the land of the Titan, Atlas, who held up the sky”. The Egyptian legend refers to an island west of Egypt, but not necessarily west of the Mediterranean. It may be relevant to point here that Crete is more northerly of Egypt whereas some of the suggested Atlantis locations such as the Maltese Islands or Sardinia are in fact located westward.
It seems that the debate(a)(c) regarding the identification of Keftiu is set to continue for some time.
(c) http://www.oocities.org/sunkenciv/keftiu.html (offline May 2017)
(d) http://mysteria3000.de/diskussion/thema/keftiu-atlantis/ (offline Mar. 2016)
Rand and Rose Flem-Ath live in British Columbia, Canada. Both are librarians and have spent several years in the British Museum assembling evidence that they believe supports their contention that Antarctica was the home of Plato’s Atlantis. Together they wrote a highly controversial book, When the Sky Fell , promoting the Antarctic location, which included an Introduction by Colin Wilson.
In 2000, Rand published his second book, co-authored with the late Colin Wilson on the subject of ancient civilisations including Atlantis. However, Wilson subsequently changed his views and switched his support to Robert Sarmast’s theory of Atlantis being located off Cyprus. Wilson revealed later, in a 2007 edition of From Atlantis to the Sphinx [p381], that he was unhappy with the final content of The Atlantis Blueprint stating that “it did not represent his views” and wrote an account in Fortean Times(f) of how that book evolved.
In 2014, the Flem-Aths published Killing Moses, which is a speculative account of the life and particularly the death of Moses, even identifying his killer(e). Their narrative builds on ideas originally expressed by Sigmund Freud . In 2017, they published From Atlantis to the Promised Land 1594], which is a recycling of a variety of material published by them over the past forty years.
Rose Flem-Ath is also a thriller writer.
The Flem-Aths used to maintain an interesting and well illustrated website(a). It recently included a paper on their theory of crustal displacement written over twenty years ago(d).
Professor Steven Earle at the Geology Department of Malaspina University in British Columbia uses the Flem-Ath’s Crustal Displacement hypothesis as the basis for his students to write an essay on its inconsistency with our current understanding of crustal and mantle processes(b).
Further criticism of the Flem-Ath’s work is offered by David L. Mohn(c), a Christian writer.
A new revised and expanded hardcopy edition of When the Sky Fell, entitled Atlantis Beneath the Ice, was published in 2012.
To put the Flem-Ath theory in historical context see my Antarctica entry, where I show that they were not the first to suggest the southern pole as the location of Atlantis, a distinction that belongs to Roberto Rengifo, nearly a century ago.
(b) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20190502052353/http://serc.carleton.edu/files/nagt/jge/abstracts/Earle_v51n3p290.pdf
(c) See Archive 2858
(d) See Archive 2893
Georgeos Diaz–Montexano (1966- ) is the nom de plume of Cuban born Jorge Diaz Sanchez. He has been exploring off the coast of southern Spain and Gibraltar for evidence of Atlantis. He is the founder of the Civilisations Origins Scientific Society and is a leading advocate for the Afro-Iberian location theory. He contends that Atlantis was only partially submerged and that parts of it, which remained above water, are now to be found in south west Spain and northern Morocco.
Jacques Collina-Girard who, the following year also opted for the Strait of Gibraltar and more specifically Spartel Island mirrored Montexano’s theory on the location of Atlantis, first expressed publicly in April 2000. Intense rivalry exists between the two men as is evident from the content of Diaz-Montexano’s websites.
More recently Diaz-Montexano has also accused Dr. Rainer W. Kühne of plagiarism(a) and for good measure threw in a few unkind words about Robert Sarmast and his identification of Cyprus as the location of Atlantis. His online debates in various forums with other writers have been frequently marred by acrimony.
Diaz-Montexano has studied the earliest versions of the Atlantis story and published a considerable amount of controversial material on the Internet relating to the accuracy of the Platonic texts that we use today. Unfortunately, the English version of this work has been poorly translated from the Spanish leaving a monolingual such as myself unable to clearly understand what has been written. One of the most interesting comments(b) from Diaz-Montexano relate to his study of a 16th century translation of Critias that in his view indicate that 9,000 was NOT the number of years recorded by Solon. His firm conclusion is that Atlantis was destroyed between 1500BC and 1300BC.
Diaz-Montexano has also unearthed a number of ancient Spanish works including a Chronicle of Zaragoza that he maintains includes a number of obvious references to a Spanish connection with Atlantis(c) . Unfortunately, once again, the quality of his English makes any clear reading very difficult. The only ‘Chronicle of Zaragoza’ that I could locate was a two-page document covering the period 450–568 AD that is totally unrelated to the Atlantis question. Nevertheless, it does appear that he has discovered information that may have an important bearing on the resolution of the Atlantis mystery.
Without wishing to detract from any work that Diaz-Montexano has done, it may be no harm to point out that while he has been free with his accusations of plagiarism, he himself has been accused of fraudulently misleading the public regarding his academic qualifications(d).
In August 2012 he published the first volume of a large six-volume work, ATLANTIS <> TARTESSOS. AEGYPTIUS CODEX. Epítome de la Atlántida Histórico-Científica, devoted to arguing the case for a Iberian Atlantis. Unfortunately, this huge undertaking is only available, at least initially, in Castilian Spanish. This promises to be an important addition to Atlantean literature and Diaz-Montexano is to be congratulated for his efforts.
The first volume begins with a critical overview of recent Atlantis theories such as those of Robert Sarmast (Cyprus) and Ulf Erlingsson (Ireland) and then proceeds to analyse the texts of ancient writers wherever they refer directly or indirectly to Atlantis. He cites the original Greek texts together with a modern (Spanish) translation. This first volume is also available as an inexpensive (€1.95) Kindle ebook. July 2015 saw the publication of another Kindle book by Diaz-Montexano entitled ATLÁNTIDA Historia y Ciencia (Atlantis: History and Science) together with a synopsis online(e).
Late in 2016 will see the broadcasting of a new documentary by National Geographic concerning Atlantis in the Mediterranean. Diaz-Montexano has already been interviewed in connection with this production as has Robert Ishoy. The exact focus of the show, if there is one, is still unclear, but the involvement of James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici as co-producers has widely publicised.
In conjunction with the filming of the new NG documentary, Diaz-Montexano has decided to publish, in English, the details of his Atlantis studies over the past decades. Available is the introduction and outline of the new book(f), NG National Geographic and the scientific search for Atlantis published in January 2017, in both English and Spanish, to coincide with the airing of the documentary at the end of that month.
*(e) See: Archive 2579 (English & Spanish)
Caphtor (Kaphtor) is a place referred to in the Bible (Jer. 47.4, Amos 9.7) and located by traditional Hebrew sources to have been near Pelusium in the eastern Nile Delta. The late Walter Baucum also identified Caphtor with the Egyptian Kaft-ur in the Delta occupied by the Philistines[183.309]. A. H. Sayce, a respected 19th century Assyriologist, among others, also placed Caphtor in the Delta.
Immanuel Velikovsky pointed out(a), that if Caphtor is not another name for Cyprus, then it is the only large island in the region that has no biblical name. This possible Cyprus connection is discussed on the Internet. John Strange shares this view in a recent book.
While most commentators today equate Caphtor with Crete, the evidence is far from clear. As Manuel Robbins points out[856.316], the identification of Caphtor with Crete “is based on not one but a string of assumptions. If any of these assumptions are wrong, the conclusion fails, and these assumptions are shaky.”
Robbins also disputes the identification of the Egyptian Keftiu with Caphtor. He offers pictorial evidence from tombs on the west bank of the Nile opposite Thebes that might equally suggest Syria as the home of Caphtor, but it is also far from conclusive.
Baucum offers evidence that the Egyptians also used Keftiu when referring to north of the Orontes River (Syria), Cyprus, Cilicia (S.W. Turkey) as well as Crete. He also attributes the exclusive association of Caphtor with Crete to Champollion’s guessed at identification of the Philistines as one of the Sea Peoples!
A chapter in a book by Nissim Raphael Ganor bluntly states that “THE PHILISTINES AND THE ‘SEA PEOPLES’ NOT THE SAME ENTITY” is worth reading for anyone studying this controversy(c).
Another writer, Yair Davidy in his Lost Israelite Identity[1375.208] claims that there was another Keftiu in Northern Europe. Jürgen Spanuth claimed that caphtor and the Norse ‘holmr Asgard’ mean the same[015.94], namely, “the island of the heaven-pillar”. More recent support for a Northern Europe Caphtor is offered by Eckart Kahlhofer who, like Spanuth, also claims it as the location of Atlantis and adds that it was also the home of the Philistines!
Frankly, I find all the competing opinions(b) extremely confusing and unsatisfactory and believe that a solution to these conflicting ideas is far from a resolution.
Cyprus has now been shown to have had an agricultural settlement as early as 9000 BC(c). In 2005, it was claimed that flints found on Cyprus and dated to a possible 10,000 BC, offered evidence of the earliest long-distance sea travel in contrast to earlier shore-hugging(g). I would question this, since twelve thousand years ago sea levels were much lower and landmasses in the eastern Mediterranean were more extensive removing the need for lengthy sea travel. Cyprus would have been much more easily accessible and what is now the Aegean consisted of more land than water.
Cyprus was also added to the list of possible Atlantis sites with the publication of Discovery of Atlantis in 2003, which offered a radical new theory by Robert Sarmast. This theory is based principally on 3-D images of a section of the present seafloor near Cyprus. Sarmast has compiled an impressive list of similarities between Plato’s description of Atlantis and the underwater topography. He also claims to have identified a wall 3km long wall that intersects with another. A YouTube clip centred on Sarmast’s 2004 expedition is available online(i).
The late Philip Coppens wrote a short article(h) on Sarmast’s theory, without arriving at any firm conclusions.
Although it is true to say that this is a radical theory, it is not a completely new idea as the Urantia Book(a) had already suggested an Atlantis/ Eden off the coast of Cyprus. The Urantia Book specifically claims that this Eden was a long narrow peninsula almost an island projecting westward from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea (Paper 73). This detail coincides remarkably with Sarmast’s claim.
I must point out, that in order to uncover this putative site, the sea level would have to be dropped 5,250 feet. Now, the only explanation for this would be the existence of at least one archaeoastronomer in the Mediterranean, probably at Gibraltar within the memory of man, a suggestion advocated by Sarmast but without any supporting evidence. This is quite feasible, as it has been shown that the Mediterranean has dried out on a number of occasions in the past. Current orthodoxy places the last inundation of the Mediterranean by the Atlantic around five million years ago. However, Paulino Zamarro, among others, has postulated the existence of the Gibraltar Dam within human prehistory, which, if true, would add to the credibility of Sarmast’s theory. However, if the Mediterranean had dried out the result would have left Sarmast’s location with a thick salty deposit, a far cry from the fertile land described by Plato.
Supporters of Sarmast’s theory have drawn attention to the annual Festival of the Flood, an event unique to Cyprus, when people in coastal towns sprinkle each other with water to commemorate the salvation of Noah.
Nevertheless Sarmast’s mile deep location contradicts Plato’s description of the sunken capital of Atlantis that even in Solon’s or Plato’s time was described as existing in unnavigable shallows.
Professor Arysio dos Santos who wrote Atlantis: The Lost Continent Finally Found in which he proclaimed his idea that Atlantis was located on the huge swathes of territory around Indonesia that were inundated at the end of the last Ice Age, has also written(b) a paper denouncing the claims of Robert Sarmast as “an obvious hoax and a possible scam”[0320.189]
However, Colin Wilson, who previously supported the idea of Atlantis in Antarctica switched his support to the Cyprus location, which led to him writing the foreword to the 2006 expanded edition of Sarmast’s book. In 2009, Robert L. Gielow, a fundamentalist creationist, also added his endorsement to Sarmast’s theory in another book.
A further claim placing Atlantis south of Cyprus on a scarab shaped underwater feature (33°N-33°E), has been made by blogger Nicolas Fenning. He has also suggested that Freemasonry, Macedonia and the Pharos Lighthouse, all have links with Atlantis. He also maintains that clues to its location were contained in DaVinci’s Last Supper(d)!
*Although little has been heard from Sarmast in recent years, the idea of Atlantis near Cyprus was apparently given a boost in early 2018 when it was reported that Atlantis had been discovered off Paphos. However, any euphoria was quickly dissipated when the last lines of the report(j) were reached. “*This news article was compiled from a press release issued by the CTO on April 1, which celebrates April Fool’s Day – a day where practical jokes and hoaxes are spread.”*
(h) http://www.philipcoppens.com/atlantis.html (offline March 2018) See: Archive 2934)