George Michanowsky (1920-1993) was a science writer and linguist, from New York, who produced a ground-breaking book in 1977, The Once and Future Star, which explored the link between a supernova in the Vela constellation and the development of civilisation as a consequence of its radiation. He has been described as a specialist in Mesopotamanian astronomy, who believed that this spectacular event was witnessed and recorded by the Sumerians around 4000 BC(b).
A refutation of Michanowsky’s views by Duane Hamacher of Missouri University is available online(a). Ian Wilson in The Exodus Enigma refers to further controversy that Michanowsky was involved in when he accused the renowned Egyptologist, Dr. Hans Goedicke of falsifying a translation of hieroglyphics that possibly related to the tsunami that followed the eruption of Thera[0979.137].
His book goes much further and claims that the Sumerians had known Atlantis under the name of NI-DUK-KI, known today as Dilmun. 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.
Nearly twenty years later Allan & Delair published When the Earth Nearly Died (later republished as Cataclysm), in which they also nominate the Vela supernova as the source of ejecta which nearly destroyed our Earth. However, they date the event to 9500 BC and that its encounter with Earth was recorded in mythology, for example known as Phaëton by the Greeks and referred to by Plato. Allan & Delair did not mention Michanowsky’s book.
The Biblical Exodus has been linked by some with the time of the destruction of Atlantis. J. G. Bennett has firmly identified the 2nd millennium BC eruption of Thera with the destruction of Atlantis(f) and in turn the effect of the volcanic fallout on the Egyptian nation generating the Plagues of Egypt recorded in Exodus.
Dr. Hans Goedicke, a leading Austrian Egyptologist, expressed a similar view regarding an Exodus link in a 1981 lecture, leading to quite a media stir(c). Ian Wilson, best known for The Turin Shroud, has calculated that the volcanic plume from the Theran eruption would have been clearly visible from the Nile Delta[979.112].
Riaan Booysen believes(b) that there were two Exodus events that can be linked with three possible Theran eruptions and has identified the Israelites as the Hyksos. Ralph Ellis has also linked the biblical Exodus with the expulsios of the Hyksos and devoted a short book to the idea.
Immanuel Velikovsky and others believed that the controversial Ipuwer Papyrus provides evidence in support of the biblical Exodus as well as the ‘Plagues of Egypt’(d).
Emilio Spedicato links the biblical Exodus with the explosion of Phaëton in 1447 BC, without any reference to the destruction of Atlantis, which, based on his interpretation of Plato’s text, he associates with a much earlier catastrophe(a).
Alfred de Grazia offers a radical interpretation of the Exodus in God’s Fire , in which he saw the Exodus as a highly organised, rather than an opportunistic event. He also attributed some level of electrical knowledge to Moses, whom he credits with the construction of the Ark of the Covenant, if not the ‘invention’ of Yahweh himself!
Perhaps the most extreme Exodus theory has been presented if by Finkelstein & Silberman, who have claimed that “the saga of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt is neither historical truth nor literary fiction” [280.70]. However, the same disbelieving Finkelstein is now going on a search for the Ark of the Covenant(e) !
Flavio Barbiero has now produced an extensive paper(g) in which he precisely dates the Exodus to the night between the 14th and 15th of July of 1208 B.C. (2/3 July of today).