Lake Izabal is the largest lake in Guatemala and nominated by at least two ‘researchers’ as the location of Atlantis. Duane K. McCullough has been a supporter of the Guatemalan site for a number of years(a). His views(b) are contained in his book, Spirit of Atlantis.
An even more colourful advocate is the retired German schoolteacher, Joachim Rittstieg. On March 1st 2011 it was reported(c) that an expedition, sponsored by the German tabloid newspaper, Bild, and led by Rittstieg headed for Guatemala in search of the gold. Unfortunately all they found was a pot(e), following which Rittstieg managed to declare the expedition a ‘success’(d). Rittstieg has combined information he has gleaned from the Icelandic Eddas, Plato, Mayan calendars as well as oral sources and concluded that the capital of Atlan can be found submerged in Lake Izabal in Guatemala along with over 2,000 gold tablets(f).
The indefatigable Erich von Däniken(g) has added some support for Rittsteig’s claim of a sunken city in Lake Izabal although commenting that the treasure there is not gold, “just engraved messages from the past”!
(b) See: (a)
(d) http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2011/03/30/search-mayan-gold-bild-findsa-pot-stirs-outrage/ (offline April 2015)
Atlantis and 2012. Some years ago there was a widespread rumour that an impending global disaster that was about to befall us in December, 2012, supposedly based on a particular reading of Mayan inscriptions. However, this interpretation was hotly disputed and of course, nothing happened, apart from the usual assortment of disasters which is the lot of the inhabitants of this cosmic speck that we live on.
A number of commentators attempted to link this ‘promised’ catastrophe with the story of Atlantis. One of the better known is Frank Joseph who has earned a comfortable living over recent years with his output of books on the subject of Atlantis. Not wishing that particular revenue stream dry up added Atlantis and 2012, in which he claimed that the Mayan calendar was developed by Atlanteans and Lemurians. He suggests that we may be nearing the beginning of a new Ice Age invoking Hopi, Inca and Norse mythologies in support of his claims. Joseph’s credibility should now be clear. When the world did not end, Joseph revised his book and republished it as Atlantis and the Coming Ice Age in 2015!
We were then told to forget 2012, in fact, we had only days left. Harold Camping a then ninety year old American fundamentalist Christian decreed that May 21st 2011 was the date of the ‘Rapture’ and the end of the world as we know it and when that passed uneventfully, he then declared October 21st as the date. He had previously suggested May 21st 1988, then Sept. 6th 1994 as the date of the Second Coming of Christ. Understandably, Camping’s biblical interpretation has been heavily criticised by scriptural authorities and lay people alike(a). Camping died December 2013.
Camping had spending large amounts of money publicising his daft ideas. As usual there were fools prepared to believe all this 2011 or 2012 nonsense. For my part I planned a special holiday in 2013 to celebrate my 70th birthday. Which did occur.
Nevertheless the spirit of Camping lived on in the person of Chris McCann (left) who announced that October 7th 2015 would be the Earth’s last day. It seems that this silliness is unending(h).
In 2010 a British service entitled Post Rapture Pet Care, run by atheists, offered to look after the pets of fundamentalist Christians when they are taken up to Heaven in the Rapture, for a fee of £69.99. A similar service is on offer in the US named Eternal Earth-Bound Pets.
National Geographic offers a rational explanation(d) of the reality behind this whole 2012 cynical scaremongering exercise. However, a somewhat less restrained view of the 2012 con job is provided by a ‘must read’ website(e)that highlights the harm being done to young and vulnerable people by this nonsense.
A recent discovery in Guatemala, reported in June 2012(f), has provided further evidence that the 2012 alarmist claims are unfounded and no more credible than the prognostications of Harold Camping. Let me spell it out, the latest find simply records that December 2012 will bring a Mayan time cycle (a baktun) to an end while another one will begin, in the same way that we make a fuss at the end of a year, century or millennium.
However, for those that might be disappointed when 2013 arrives uneventfully, I can now reveal that in 2016 we shall at last have our catastrophe or so says Sylwester Kornowski(g). In a 94-page stew of religion and ‘science’, we are assured that April 2nd 2016 will bring on the cataclysm!
But don’t despair if 2016 fails to destroy us, because a newer prognostication is certain that 2027 will finally finish us off. Nevertheless, before getting too excited, it may be no harm to recall the words of Albert Einstein……“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
(b) See: Archive 2739
(g) http://www.cosmology-particles.pl/files/GtoG.pdf (Mercifully now offline)
Joachim Rittstieg (1937- ) was born in Berlin and is now a retired schoolmaster, although that bastion of truth and accuracy, Fox News Latino, describe him as a professor emeritus at Dresden University.
He has spent six years with his family in Central America and after decades of study he claims to have decoded all the Mayan calendars and published the results in 1999 in ABC der Maya.Rittstieg has combined information he has gleaned from The Icelandic Eddas, Plato, Mayan calendars as well as oral sources and concluded that the capital of Atlan, which he equates with Atlantis, can be found submerged in Lake Izabal in Guatemala. He also reveals that the sinking of the city took place on 30th October 666 BC. But there is more(a) the sunken city also has a cache of over 2,000 gold tablets on which the ‘Laws of Atlan’ are inscribed. Rittstieg wants someone to invest €3,000,000 in the recovery of this booty! I would expect the Guatemalan government would have something to say about such an operation.
*He also claimed that the Maya and the Vikings had contact for nearly 500 years (754-1224 AD)(f).*
A rather critical review of Rittsteig’s ideas by Swedish commentator can be read online(d) as well as another that is slightly more technical(e).
Coincidentally, Duane McCullough has also identified Lake Izabal as the location of Atlantis.
On March 1st 2011 it was reported(b) that an expedition, sponsored by the German tabloid newspaper Bild, led by Rittstieg had headed for Guatemala in search of the gold. Unfortunately all they found was a pot, following which Rittstieg managed to declare the expedition a ‘success’(c)!
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).
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. Semir Osmanagic, of Bosnian pyramid fame, added a twist to this proposed linkage, when he claimed 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 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 Amazon.uk. 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. *It was Constantine Rafinesque who partially deciphered some of the Mayan numerals in 1832.*
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. More recently, Lorraine Stobbart has written Utopia: Fact or Fiction, 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.
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 their 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. The number of additional Mayan sites identified through the use of LiDAR continues to grow at an incredible rate(u).
Muddying the waters further is an Islamic site that claims that the Maya were Atlantean(m).
(c) http://www.examiner.com/architecture-design-in-national/massive-1-100-year-old-maya-site-discovered-georgia-s-mountains?render=print#print (link broken)
(g) http://www.2012hoax.org/ (offline Oct. ’14)
(m) http://mashiyah.blogspot.ie/ (offline 1/8/14)
Duane Kent McCullough is the author of Spirit of Atlantis, which places the seaport of Atlantis at the western end of Lake Izabal in Guatemala. The first version of his work is available on the Internet. His rambling website includes references to the Star of Bethlehem, The Golden Fleece, Biblical genealogies and Native American traditions. To add further confusion he has included support for the controversial views of A. T. Fomenko regarding the falsification of history and in that spirit places the end of the Atlantean Age to just prior to the first Olympiad (circa 776 BC). Incidentally, McCullough claims that the Games were held annually and consequently Graeco-Roman history is exaggerated in length by a factor of four! He further claims that the Atlantean seaport mentioned above probably existed less than a thousand years ago!
In 2014 he sought to regenerate interest in his theories(b).
To conclude this poorly focused magnum opus McCullough delights us with recollections of his carefree sailing experiences off Key Largo in Florida. If that were not enough we are treated to Duane’s poetry in which he daringly rhymes ‘paradise’ with ‘Christ’.
For those that require further enlightenment, his website(a) will reveal all.
Guatemala in Central America is claimed by Duane K. McCullough as the site of the main city of Atlantis. He states on his website(a) that ‘new scientific research now suggest that the lost Atlantean capital seaport once existed in Central America near a Guatemalan lake named Izabal’ but fails to source the ‘new scientific research’. In his book Spirit of Atlantis he argues his case, matching Plato’s text with the topography of the area. McCullough points out that west of the modern capital, Guatemala City, lies Lake Atitlán whose name has faint echoes of Atlantis.
Lake Izabal has also been identified as the location of Atlantis by Joachim Rittstieg based on his interpretation of the Icelandic Eddas, Plato and oral traditions of local Maya.
America as the home of Atlantis took off as an idea shortly after its discovery (or perhaps more correctly, rediscovery) by Columbus. Initially, reports sent back to Europe designated America as ‘Paradise’
until its identification as Atlantis quickly took hold. John Dee in the time of Elizabeth I was convinced that the newly discovered Americas were in fact Atlantis, an idea endorsed by Francis Bacon. The first time that America was so named on a map was on the 1507(c) Waldseemüller map, sometimes referred to as “America’s birth certificate.” A rare copy of this map was recently found in Germany(e).
As late as 1700, a map of the world by Edward Wells was published in Oxford that highlights the paucity of information regarding the Americas at that time. However in this instance the accompanying text notes that “this continent with the adjoining islands is generally supposed to have been anciently unknown though there are not wanting some, who will have even the continent itself to be no other than the Insula Atlantis of the ancients.”
For over five centuries a variety of commentators have associated Atlantis with America and many of its ancient cultures together with a range of location theories that stretch from Maine through the Caribbean and Central America to Argentina.
Although most proponents of an American Atlantis, particularly following the continent’s discovery, did not specify a location, but were happy to consider the Americas in their entirety as Plato’s lost land. In 2019, Reinoud de Jonge published a paper declaring that from 2500-1200 BC America had been an Egyptian colony. He expanded on this in 2912(l) , when he claimed that the American colonies, North and South had supplied the copper and tin for the Bronze Age of the Mediterranean. For good measure he threw in a wildly speculative translation of the Phaistos Disk to support these contentions.
Over time attention was more focused on Mesoamerica and the northern region of South America, where the impressive remains of the Maya and Incas led many to consider them to be Atlantean.
North America received minimal attention until the 19th century, when an 1873 newspaper report(i) claimed that there was support from unnamed scientists for locating remnants of Atlantis in the Adirondacks and some of the mountains of Maine! More recently Dennis Brooks has advocated Tampa Bay, Florida, while John Saxer supports Tarpon Springs, also in Florida as Atlantean. To confuse matters further, Mary Sutherland locates Atlantis in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky and for good measure suggests that King Solomon’s mines are to be found in the same region!
For example, the discovery of the remains of the remarkable cultures of Mesoamerica generated speculation on the possibility of an Atlantean connection there. This view gained further support with the publication of Ignatius Donnelly’s groundbreaking work on Atlantis.
Some have seen an Atlantic location for Atlantis as a conduit between the culture of ancient Egypt and that of Meso-America(d).
Half a century ago Nicolai Zhirov claimed that Plato had knowledge of America [458.22] indicated by his statement that Atlantis was in a sea with a continent encompassing it. He thought that this was the earliest record of a continent beyond the Atlantic.
However, Plato also said that Atlantis was surrounded ‘on all sides’ by this continent, which is not compatible with the Azores, advocated by Zhirov as the location of Plato’s sunken island. In an effort to strengthen this claim Zhirov also claims that there is evidence that King Sargon of Akkad travelled to America in the middle of the third millennium BC, an idea that has gained little traction.
The idea of Sumerians in America was promoted by A.H. Verrill and his wife Ruth, who claimed  that King Sargon travelled to Peru, where he was known as Viracocha. The Verrills support their contention with a range of cultural, linguistic and architectural similarities between the Sumerians and the Peruvians.
More recently, Andrew Collins has promoted the idea of Atlantis in the Caribbean, specifically Cuba. Followers of Edgar Cayce are still expecting the Bahamas to yield evidence of Plato’s island. Gene Matlock supports the idea of a Mexican location with an Indian connection, while Duane McCullough opts for Guatemala. Ivar Zapp and George Erikson have also chosen Central America for investigation. Further south Jim Allen has argued strongly for Atlantis having been located on the Altiplano of Bolivia. A website entitled American Atlantis Research from Edward Alexander , now offline, was rather weak on content and irritatingly referred to the ‘Andies’.
Although much of what has been written about an American location for Atlantis is the result of serious research, it all falls far short of convincing me that the Atlantis of which Plato wrote is to be found there. No evidence has been produced to even hint that any American culture had control of the Mediterranean as far Tyrrhenia in the north and Libya in the south. No remains or carvings of triremes or chariots have been found in the Americas. How could an ancient civilisation from America launch an attack across the Atlantic and at the furthest end of the Mediterranean 9,000 or even 900 years before Solon? An even more important question is, why would they bother? There is no evidence of either motive, means or opportunity for an attack from that direction.
A number of Plato’s descriptions of Atlantis would seem to rule out America as its location.
(a) As mentioned above, the ‘opposite continent’ referred to by Plato (Timaeus 25a) is described as encompassing the sea in which Atlantis lay. America cannot be described as enclosing the Atlantic.
(b) The Greeks only knew of three continents, Europe, Asia and Libya. Armin Wolf, the German historian, when writing about Scheria relates(f) that “Even today, when people from Sicily go to Calabria (southern Italy) they say they are going to the “continente.” I suggest that Plato used the term in a similar fashion and was quite possibly referring to that same part of Italy which later became known as ‘Magna Graecia’. Robert Fox in The Inner Sea[1168.141] confirms that this long-standing usage of ‘continent’ refers to Italy.
(c) Herodotus described Sardinia as “the biggest island in the world” (Hist.6.2). In fact Sicily is marginally larger but as islands were measured in those days (Felice Vinci)  by the length of their coastal perimeter Herodotus was correct. Consequently, it can be argued that since Cuba and Hispaniola are much more extensive than Sardinia, the Greeks had no knowledge of the Caribbean.
(d) Plato makes frequent reference to horses in Atlantis. The city itself had a track for horseracing (Critias 117c). The Atlanteans had thousands of chariots (Critias 119a). The Atlanteans even had horse baths (Critias 117b). All these references make no sense if Plato was describing an American Atlantis as there were no horses there for over 12,000 years, when they died out, until brought back by the Spaniards millennia later. Furthermore, it makes even less sense if you subscribe to the early date (9600 BC) for Atlantis as it is thousands of years before we have any evidence for the domestication of the horse, anywhere.
A recent study of worldwide DNA patterns suggests that “no more than 70 people inhabited North America 14,000 years ago.”(b) But a more important claim has been offered by Professors Jennifer Raff and Deborah Bolnick who have co-authored a paper offering evidence(J) that the genetic data only supports a migration from Siberia to America. This certainly runs counter to any suggestion of transatlantic migration from Europe.
A 2013 book, L’America dimenticata , by Italian physicist and philologist Lucio Russo, claims that the ancient Greeks had knowledge of America and it was gradually forgotten because of mistakes made by Ptolemy including a 15 degree error for the latitude of the Canaries(g).
While there is extensive debate regarding the Americas being visited by ancient Greeks (Minoans), Phoenicians and even Sumerians, there seems little doubt that America had been visited by various other peoples prior to Columbus such as Welsh, Vikings or Irish. The case for the latter is strengthened by a 500-year-old report(h) of a long-established Irish colony in North America called Duhare.
America as Atlantis and the source of freemasonry knowledge was recently repackaged in a brief article on the Odyssey website(k) quoting Manly P. Hall who in turn cited Plato and Sir Francis Bacon. It then proceeds to speculate on what lessons the story of this original American Atlantis offers the America of today!