Jean-Pierre Hallet (1927-2004) was a Belgian ethnologist who was born and grew up in Africa. During the Second World War he fought as a teenager with the Belgian Resistance. After the war he returned to the Congo and over time he developed an intimate knowledge of the local cultures, learning a variety of their languages. During an adventurous life(a) he frequently came close to death.
In his fascinating book, Pygmy Kitabu, Hallet recounts his experiences with the Efé pygmies of the Ituri Forest in what is now part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. What is quite interesting is that Hallet has identified aspects of Efé mythology that closely parallel details in the Book of Genesis. In addition, he has also found that pygmies have a place in Egyptian traditions exemplified by their god Bes. Throughout the book he refers to Plato’s Atlantis and suggests that elements of that story can also be found in the traditions of the Efé. His contention has a very tenuous basis but it does highlight how people can be tempted to build an Atlantis theory on the basis of a small number of similarities between Plato’s account and their presumed location. If Plato’s narrative is taken as accurate, all the details must match.
Pygmy Kitabu should be required reading for anyone interested in the history of man.
The Cherokee Indians of the southwestern states of America have an oral tradition which tells of ‘star people’ coming to earth from the Pleiades and settling on five islands in the Atlantic known as Elohi Mona. Following the destruction of these islands the survivors migrated to the Americas. A Cherokee contributor to an online forum relates(a) how he always understood Elohi Mona to be a reference to Atlantis.
I occurs to me that if the survivors were migrating after a catastrophe they would in all probability head for the nearest landmass, suggesting that Elohi Mona was located in the western Atlantic and could conceivably have been the then more extensive Caribbean lands that were flooded by the rising sea levels following the end of the last Ice Age.
Charla Jean Morris, a journalist of Cherokee and Choctaw extraction has written From the First Rising Sun which deals with the traditions of the Cherokee people regarding their origins. They claim to have come to mainland America from those islands in the Atlantic off the coast of South America. Morris identifies these with Atlantis. She also discusses the Cherokee Flood Myths and compares them with the Genesis accounts.
(a) http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Atlantis_Mysteries/message/940 (offline 1/8/14)
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.
Genesis, the first book of the Bible, with its account of the antediluvian world has been compared with the description of Atlantis prior to its inundation. Joseph Robert Jochmans has offered a comparison of the two accounts and concluded that their similarities suggest a common source with the usual distortions encountered when an original story is transmitted orally over long periods of time and frequently translated via a number of languages before being put in writing and so enduring the perils of transcription errors, not to mention the risk deliberate falsification.
In Atlantis: The Antediluvian World,a chapter entitled Genesis Contains a History of Atlantis, Ignatius Donnelly unconvincingly attempted to link Atlantis with Genesis.
Atlantis was named after the Titan Atlas, whose father Iapetus has been identified with Japheth (Genesis 9.25-27), the son of Noah, a subject which is investigated at length by Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld y de la Torre(a).Frank Joseph has suggested that Noah was an Atlantean[108.85].
Another suggested link with Genesis has been to identify Atlantis with the Garden of Eden. However, most of the wide range of proposed locations for Eden are on land and rarely coincide with any of the equally varied proposed locations for Atlantis. One exception was the late Professor Arysio dos Santos who located Eden in the South China Sea.
John Nichols wrote a long article(b) identifying Atlantis with the Garden of Eden and placing it on the Celtic Shelf about a hundred miles off the coast of France west of Brest.
Enoch was the seventh patriarch in the book of Genesis. However there appears to be two Enochs in the Bible(d), one fathered by Cain, the other by Jared! He is also regarded as the inventor of astrology, while Eusebius considered Atlas its originator, suggesting that the two were the same person. Lewis Spence in The Occult Sciences in Atlantis frequently touched on the subject of Enoch, equating him with Atlas and telling us that in Arabic and Welsh, Enoch is known as Edris.
One of the many odd details regarding Enoch is that while the patriarchs that preceded and succeeded him are recorded as having lived eight and nine hundred years, he was only given 365 years before being ‘taken by god’ without dying. He has been cited by many as the inventor of alchemy. Enoch is also identified with Atlas by Pseudo-Eupolemus, attributed to a Samaritan source around 300 BC. This suggestion is comparable with the idea of equating the Egyptian god Shu with Atlas.
In Genesis 4:16-17 it is recorded that Cain was building a city and that he named it after his son Enoch. One commentator suggested that Enoch, the city, was the archetype for Atlantis the city(e).
Rather oddly, Philip Ochieng, an African writer, contends that Cain was in fact Enoch(a). Equally bizarre is the claim by Zia Abbas in Chapter 8 of his magnus opus that Enoch established Atlantis! Of course he offers no evidence to support this notion.
It is quite clear that the interesting but mysterious Enoch has done little but generate wide-ranging speculation including a completely unsubstantiated link with Plato’s Atlantis(b). Eusebius the 4th century bishop of Caesarea wrote that Enoch was Atlas, king of Atlantis (Praep. Ev., ix, 17).
The Book of Enoch, also known as 1 Enoch, is a 2nd century BC Jewish religious document whose content is traditionally attributed to Enoch, the great grandfather of Noah. It was lost for centuries but rediscovered in the 19th century and brought from Ethiopia, then known as Abyssinia and translated into English by Archbishop Richard Laurence. This can now be read on or downloaded from the Internet(c).
(b) http://www.fbrt.org.uk/pages/essays/essay-enoch.html (offline 26/12/15)
(d) http://www.timelessmyths.com/mirrors/enoch.php (offline)
(e) http://genesisfacts.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-city-of-enoch/ (offline, 01/08/14)
Sumeria was unknown until the middle of the 19th century. With the discovery and the decipherment of the Sumerian cuneiform tablets the sophistication of their culture prompted the idea that Sumer had been ‘the cradle of civilisation.’ Subsequent discoveries, such as the those in the Indus Valley and more recently Göbekli Tepe have now somewhat diluted that idea.
*The origin of the Sumerians is still something of a mystery as is their language which seems to be an ‘isolate’, unrelated to any known language group. Ronnie Gallagher has suggested that migrants from the Caucasus had provided the impetus that led to the development of the Sumerian civilisation. Gallagher’s theory is supported by Jerald Jack Starr on his Sumerian Shakespeare website, who emphatically attributes a Caucasian origin to the Sumerians(l).*
Sumeria has now been proposed as a possible source of the Atlantis story. Dr. Ashok Malhotra, a professor of Engineering, has suggested(a) that that ‘the likelihood of the Atlantis stories being of Sumerian origin is strengthened by the fact that the submergence of ancient cities was a strong part of the Sumerian mythology. It dominates their historical tradition. The destruction of the ancient city as a result of sin was also part of their beliefs.’ Malhotra then proposes that these Sumerian stories reflected actual flooding events in the Indus Valley region that were brought first to Sumeria and then were later transferred to Egypt and from thence via Solon to Plato to us.
George Michanowsky went much further and claimed that the Sumerians had known Atlantis under the name of NI-DUK-KI, known today as Dilmun[282.66]. The renowned Henry Rawlinson interpreted this name to mean ‘blessed hill’ or ‘blessed isle’. While Michanowsky’s suggestion is highly speculative, if correct, it would be the earliest known reference to Atlantis.
The Sumerian king list(e) from Larsa records eight kings (some versions note ten) before the Deluge, which may have been reflected, in a distorted fashion, in the ten patriarchs of Genesis and/or the ten kings of Atlantis! Another suggested link is with the eight generations between Adam and Noah recorded in Genesis chapter 5.
John Sassoon would seem to support Malhotra’s thesis in his book, which proposes a Sumerian origin for the Jews with possible earlier links with the Indus valley. He is not concerned with Atlantis, just the ancestry of the Jewish people of whom Abraham was born in Sumeria around 2000-1800 BC. Sassoon’s views offer a possible transmission route for Eastern traditions and myths to have reached Egypt and subsequently through Solon to Athens.
In 2001 a book by Radek Brychta was published in the Czech Republic in which he also advocates a Sumerian connection. He identifies Atlantis with the legendary Dilmun of Sumerian legend and locates it on the Indus civilisation island of Dholavira. Excerpts from this fascinating book are available on the Internet and worth a read.
However, the most extreme claims came from Zechariah Sitchin who proposed that the Sumerians had been ‘influenced’ by ancient astronauts from the planet Nibiru, which information is to be found in their cuniform tablets if Sitchin’s translation is to be believed. Similar daft ideas(g) have been put forward by Hermann Burgard but so far have only been foisted on a German-reading public.
As if that was not bad enough, we now (Oct 2016) have the Iraqi Transport Minister claiming, among other matters, that the Sumerians launched spaceships 8,000 years ago(h)!
Jim Allen, the leading advocate of ‘Atlantis in the Andes’ has also claimed(b) a Sumerian connection with South America citing Ruth & Alpheus Hyatt Verrill, who include in their book[838.293] three pages of Sumerian words compared with the language of ancient Peru as well as other cultural aspects there. They also believed that Sargon (2369-2314 BC) was known in Peru as the deity Viracocha! Their fanciful idea stems from an account of Sargon sailing to the west and spending three years there!* Zhirov supported this claim[458.23] describing it as ”a seemingly semi-fantastic theory”.*My reason for considering this claim to be nonsensical, is simply that Sargon was continually engaged in expanding his empire and constantly dealing with rebellions in the various city states that he ruled over. The idea that he took three years out to visit America, 14,000 km away, is in no way credible.
Nevertheless, the idea of Sargon in South America persists with James Bailey repeating it in Sailing to Paradise[0150.66] and more recently by the Afrocentrist, Clyde Winters in an article on the Ancient Origins website(f) in which he quotes Bailey and the Verrills as supporting Lake Titicaca as the Lake Manu of Sumerian tradition. A further article(j) on the same website begins with the forceful claim that “it is becoming increasingly clear that the Sumerians had established a colony in South America called Kuga-Ki.” The paper is based on a series of questionable artifacts, the Fuente Magna Bowl, the Crespi Collection and the Pokoyia monument!
The Fuente Magna Bowl is frequently offered as evidence of a pre-Columbian link with the Sumerians(c), although its provenance is unclear and there are suggestions of a hoax. A sceptical view of the ‘Bowl’ by Carl Feagans(k) is available.
The very existence of Sumerians has recently been attacked in an appendix to The Three Ages of Atlantis by Marin, Minella & Schievenin. They maintain that the Sumerian ‘language’ “could be an artificial construct created by Akkadian priests” to be used for liturgical purposes. These ideas were first expressed at the end of the 19th century by the respected Orientalist, Joseph Halévy. Andi Zeneli has expressed comparable ideas(d) regarding the Sumerian language.
Noah the hero of the Flood story in Genesis and reportedly the first to plant a vineyard has been suggested by Frank Joseph[108 .85] to have been an Atlantean. However, he is not the first to offer this idea. Cosmas Indicopleustes a 6th century AD theologian and geographer from Alexandria wrote of Atlantis as a large island in the western ocean. He also added a twist to the tale by recording an ancient tradition that Noah had resided on Atlantis.
Another identification, by Robert Bowie Johnson Jr., is that Noah is Nereus in Greek mythology and widely depicted in Greek art(c). Confusingly, it has also been suggested(a) that Enoch usually accepted as the grandfather of Noah were in fact one and the same person.
Nevertheless, Plato’s Atlantis was destroyed by the gods as a punishment for their wickedness, while the same reason is given in the Bible for the obliteration of Noah’s people. Coincidentally, both Atlantis and Noah’s homeland, which was probably located in Mesopotamia, were destroyed by water leading to the obvious suggestion that the two stories are related.
While the account of the biblical Deluge does not stand up to detailed scrutiny(j), the global ubiquity of Flood stories is seldom adequately explained. Some possibilities that occur to me are related to the ending of the last Ice Age, which had watery consequences around the world. While the rising sea level took place in fits and starts, there were more dramatic events during this period such as the huge melt water lake discharges and Heinrich Events that occurred across North America and Eurasia. The effect in the southern hemisphere was less spectacular. Survivors would have been forced to migrate in all directions, bringing their account of these floods with them. Another explanation, but in my view, a less likely cause of global floods would have been a close encounter with a large extraterrestrial body such a promoted by Emilio Spedicato.
A further development in the Flood story came on January 1st 2010 when it was revealed(b) that a 3,700-year-old Babylonian tablet revealed that the ark was circular in design and made of reeds.
This claim was made by Irving Finkel, a cuneiform specialist at the British Museum, in his recent book The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood. Jason Colavito offers an interesting review of the book(d).
There is an unexpectedly large number of books written over the last century on the subject of Noah’s Ark that are listed on a specialist website(e).
One such offering, resurrected by Jason Colavito(f), provides some comic relief with the claim in 1922 by C. E. Getsinger, who wrote that Noah’s Ark was in fact the Great Pyramid(g)!*Even earlier, John Taylor (1781-1864) claimed that Noah had built the Great Pyramid!*Nevertheless, a recently deciphered fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls has suggested that the Ark was shaped like a pyramid!(h)(i)
*Barry Warmkessel also entered the fray with the suggestion that aliens had been involved in the design and construction of the Ark(r)!*
Nevertheless, 2017 finished with renewed interest in Noah’s Ark being generated by media reports(k) of statements emanating from The Geoscience Research Institute, which is sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which claims that a 2010 expedition to Mount Ararat in Turkey, carbon dated timbers found there to 4,800 years ago.
The late David Allen Deal was another investigator to propose the Ararat region as the landing place of the ark, with Mt. Judi as the specific location(o). A more recent article supports his ideas(p). The precise location of the biblical Ararat is a matter of continuing and intense debate(q).
The UK’s Daily Mail added, that talking after the initial claims in 2010, Mike Pitt, a British archaeologist, said the evangelical explorers had yet to produce compelling evidence. He said: ‘If there had been a flood capable of lifting a huge ship 2.5 miles [4km] up the side of a mountain 4,800 years ago, I think there would be substantial geological evidence for this flood around the world. And there isn’t.’
2018 began with matters really hitting rock-bottom when an English language newspaper offered the following headline(l) “Turkish academic claims Prophet Noah used cell phone to call his son before flood.” Unsurprisingly, Jason Colavito has covered this story with an interesting blog(m).
A light-hearted look at the story of Noah is worth a read(n).
(g) The Thomson Review, Thomson, Illinois, July 19th, 1922 – p.3
D(onald) Bridgman–Metchim had a book published at the beginning of the last century, in which he gave what has been described as an Atlantean interpretation of the Book of Genesis. It is written in the form of a novel and has little to do with either Genesis or Atlantis. It was reprinted in 2004 and quite frankly; I don’t know why they bothered. For those with nothing better to do, the full text is available on-line(a).
Little is recorded of the author’s life, except that he wrote a second book about the First World War and also appears to have laboured as an artist.
Winfried Huf is from the southern Tyrol. He contends that the centre of Atlantis lay in the region of the Lipari Islands north east of Sicily. He maintains that the Atlantean Empire was divided into five principal sectors; The Lipari Islands, mainland Italy, Malta, Syrtis Major and Fezzan in south-east Libya. Huf identified the nearby Strait of Messina as the location of the Pillars of Heracles.
Huf has accepted Plato’s 9,000 ‘years’ as being literally solar years rather than the competing and more credible theory of them being a reference to lunar cycles. He traces evidence of Atlantis in Homer, the Persephone myth, Genesis and the Norse Eddas.
Huf’s views are available on the Internet(a), although in German, they can be read in English with a good translator. Huf has written a similar paper(b) about Homer’s Odyssey.
(a) www.psilog.info/Atlantis.html (offline October ’14)
(b) http://www.psilog.info/Odyssee.html (offline October ’14)