Edward Forbes was one of the first, in 1846 , to hypothesise the existence of a continent in the Atlantic linking Ireland, the Azores and the Iberian Peninsula, which was popularly called ‘Atlantis’. Charles Darwin described his idea as ‘speculative’.
This would appear to conflict with Marco Ciardi, who claimed that Darwin had accepted the existence of Atlantis, I presume later, but did so “under the influence of, among others, the botanist J. D. Hooker” and “reverted to the hypothesis of a lost continent to which the Atlantic islands testified since they constituted the tips of its highest mountains.” This information was cited by Pierre Vidal-Naquet in The Atlantis Story [580.xxii].
Ignatius Donnelly sent a copy of his Atlantis to Darwin, but received a less than enthusiastic response(b).
Domingos Leite de Castro (1846-1916) was a Portuguese commentator who identified the Atlantic seaboard of Europe as Atlantean. The following is a poor machine translation of his original 1912 Portuguese article;
[“A Atlântida era apenas o litoral atlântico da Europa desde o Atlas até à Irlanda; “Atlantis was only the Atlantic coast of Europe from the Atlas to Ireland; O reino de Atlas, um The kingdom of Atlas, a dos dez reinos da Atlântida, foi o primeiro, o mais importante do grupo, e o que lhe deu o nome; of the ten kingdoms of Atlantis, was the first, the most important of the group, and what gave it the name; Os the outros eram: Cádis, Cartara ( Cartaya ?), o Sacrum (compreendendo S. Vicente e Santa Maria), os others were: Cadiz, Cartara ( Cartaya ?), The Sacrum (comprising S. Vicente and Santa Maria), the Saefes e Cempses ao sul da Arrábida, Oliusippo , Brigância, Grã-Bretanha e Irlanda; Saefes and Cempses to the south of the Arrábida, Oliusippo , Brigance, Great Britain and Ireland; A Grande Ilha da The Big Island of Atlântida não era nada mais que a Grã-Bretanha, isto é, um dos dez povos que ocupavam esse litoral; Atlantis was nothing more than Great Britain, that is to say, one of the ten peoples who occupied this coast; As Dez Ilhas Cassitérides eram muito provavelmente o mesmo que os Dez Reinos da Atlântida, The Ten Cassitérides Islands were very probably the same as the Ten Realms of Atlantis considered the tin entire market.”
There is an Irish tradition that names Murias as one of the four cities of the Tuatha dé Danaan(b), who came to Ireland a thousand years before the Celts.
The pre-Hellenic Greeks were known as the Danai and were, according to an Egyptian source, the descendants of Danaus. Furthermore, the Danai have been linked with the legendary Tuatha dé Danaan of Ireland as well as the Shardana of Sardinia.
(a) Atlantis, A New Concept. Pt.1, Atlantis May-June, 1974
National Geographic or Nat Geo are registered trademarks of the National Geographic Society and are now, sadly, part of the Murdoch communications empire. Its magazine and TV channel enjoy global recognition. Undoubtedly, NG has enhanced our view of the world around us. One piece of NG trivia is that the word ‘tsunami’ first appeared in an English language publication in the September 1896 edition of National Geographic Magazine.
Generally, NG has avoided controversy, but not always(a) , so it will be interesting to see how its new chief James Murdoch, a climate change denier(b), will deal with the NG views on the subject up ’til now(c) . However, for me, it was something of a surprise when NG tackled the subject of Atlantis.
In 2004 NG News published a short article(d) highlighting the theories of Ulf Erlingsson and Rainer Kühne, who, respectively, were advocates for Ireland and Spain as Atlantis locations. Also in 2004, Zeilitsky and Weinzweig claimed to have found submerged man-made structures near Cuba and subsequently sought US government funding for further research there. It has been suggested that NG objected and further exploration did not take place! In 2006 NG gave the Atlantis in America theory of Zapp & Erikson an airing(e).
However, in 2012, Andrew Collins offered a different account of the Zelitsky funding difficulties(m).
In a short 2011 article(l)., NG trotted out the now generally abandoned idea that Atlantis had been a continent. The idea was obviously later dumped by NG as well, when James Cameron et al. went looking for Atlantis in Malta, Sardinia and Santorini in 2016.
December 2012 saw NG publish an article on Doggerland, without any reference to the suggestion that there might be an Atlantis connection. NG has also voiced the scepticism of well-known commentators, such as Robert Ballard and Charles E. Orser jnr(f).
However, I find that the NG treatment of Atlantis inconsistent. In October 2011 an anonymous article(k) on one of their sites, entitled The Truth Behind Atlantis: Facts, declared that Atlantis was continental in size (and so must have been located in an Ocean?) This is based on a misinterpretation of the Greek word meison. Nevertheless last year NG had Simcha Jacobovici, remotely guided by James Cameron, scouring the Mediterranean, from Spain to Sardinia, Malta, and Crete for evidence of Atlantis. This attention-seeking exercise found nothing a few stone anchors that proved nothing and inflicted on viewers an overdose of speculation!
NatGeo TV aired a documentary(g) in 2015 relating to earlier excavations in the Doñana Marshes of Southern Spain by a Spanish team and partly hijacked by Richard Freund. A new NG documentary, hyped with the involvement of James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici, was filmed in 2016, and later broadcast at the end of January 2017. Initially, it was thought by Robert Ishoy to be in support of his Atlantis location of Sardinia, but at the same time Diaz-Montexano was convinced that his Afro-Iberian theory was to be the focus of the film. To coincide with the airing of the new documentary D-M has published a new book, NG National Geographic and the scientific search for Atlantis with both English and Spanish editions.
Jason Colavito was promised a screener but had the offer subsequently withdrawn. One wonders why?
Once again NG promotes the region of the Doñana Marshes as a possible location for Atlantis(i), based on rather flimsy evidence, such as six ancient anchors found just outside the Strait of Gibraltar. They estimate the age of the anchors at 3,000-4,000 years old but. unfortunately, they are not marked ‘made in Atlantis’. Rabbi Richard Freund, never afraid to blow his own shofar, makes another NG appearance. Jacobovici throws in the extraordinary claim that the Jewish menorah represents the concentric circles of the Atlantis capital cut in half, a daft idea, already suggested by Prof. Yahya Ababni(k).
What I cannot understand is why this documentary spends time dismissing Santorini and Malta as possible locations for Plato’s Atlantis and at the same time ignoring the only unambiguous geographical clue that he left us, namely that the Atlantis alliance occupied part of North Africa and in Europe as far as Tyrrhenia (Tuscany) and presumably some of the islands between the two.
Overall, I think the NG documentaries have done little to advance the search for Atlantis as they seem to be driven by TV ratings ahead of truth. Perhaps, more revealing is that Cameron is not fully convinced by the speculative conclusions of this documentary.
Jason Colavito, an arch-sceptic regarding Atlantis has now published a lengthy scathing review(j) of NG’s Atlantis Rising, which is well worth a read. While I do not agree with Colavito’s dismissal of the existence of Atlantis, I do endorse the litany of shortcomings he identified in this documentary.
(d) See: Archive 3582
Pabhat Rainjan Sarkar (1921-1990) was an Indian philosopher and spiritual leader with followers in over 130 countries. I am reliably informed that he expressed a number of beliefs regarding Atlantis, the core of which was that it was a huge continent that existed in the Atlantic. He also believed that Atlantis joined Africa and Iberia with a landbridge at Gibraltar. The destruction of Atlantis by an extensive earthquake separated Europe from Africa and also led to the creation of the Sahara.
In the book, Travels with the Mystic Master(a) by Dada Dharmavedananda, Sarkar is quoted as saying that ” The old Atlantis is now underwater except for parts of Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Iceland.”[1209.208]
Philip Runggaldier (1963- ) “is a geography graduate with a keen interest in ancient archaeology, mythology and ancient texts.” He is also the author of Atlantis and the Biblical Flood in which he offers evidence of a megaflood around 14,700 years ago which devastated southwest Britain and southeast Ireland. He believes that this disasterous event caused the destruction of Atlantis and was the source of the biblical story of the Deluge.
He attributes this megadeluge to the breaching, on two occasions, of an ice dam that had contained a vast lake where the Irish Sea Basin now exists. This caused the catastrophic inundation of the plain on the then exposed Celtic Shelf to the south as well as the land east and west in Britain and Ireland.
Runggaldier should have stopped at this point as his research had possibly revealed new important information deserving of further investigation.
However, he went on to suggest, without any great enthusiasm, that Atlantis may have been situated on that Celtic Plain. In fact, I suspect that the introduction of Atlantis was just a marketing ploy – ‘Atlantis’ in a book title will always inflate sales!
Francis J. Ward (1922- ) & Francis P. Ward (1951- ) are an American father and son team who have taken up the idea of Ireland being Plato’s Atlantis(a). They quote from Ulf Erlingsson, Cedric R. Leonard and the eccentric Conor MacDari in support of their view, which is that “Atlantis was a global, maritime empire based in Ireland”. They also modestly claim that “Among other ancient mysteries, we have solved the hidden message of the Great Pyramid(b), and the riddles of King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable, the Fisher King, Pahana—the Lost White Brother, the Kalki incarnation of Vishnu, and the fulfillments of the Star, Branch, and World Ruler Prophecies.”
Their first book, The Truth Against the World-Red Phoenix Rising & the Return of the Thunder Gods, but their supporting website(c) is currently offline, which may not be a bad thing!
Conor MacDari was an early 20th century writer who expressed a number of bizarre ideas that invited comparison with Comyns Beaumont. Among the delights offered by MacDari were:
Adam and Eve were both born in Ireland.
The Bible was originally written in Irish, not Hebrew.
The events of the Old Testament took place in Ireland.
The so-called Hebrew is but an artificial sacerdotal dialect of an ancient Irish priesthood.
The most ancient code of laws on earth were established in Ireland.
The origin of the pope traces back to the Irish Druids.
Ancient Greek history is mostly fiction and her classical personages are merely mythical characters taken from Irish culture.
The Irish built the Great Pyramid of Giza.
All the ancient British kings derived from Ireland.
And of course, that Atlantis was based in Ireland.
Charles Frédéric Martins (1806-1889) was French botanist and geologist who was so intrigued by the similarity of geology as well as plant species on the Azores, Spain and Ireland that he suggested in his 1866 book, Du Spitzberg Au Sahara, that these were physically linked in the the distant past and that they may have been part of Atlantis(a).
Bramwell was mistaken, referring to a land-under-the-waves (Tir fo thuinn) which is a term sometimes applied to Hy-Brasil a mythical sunken land to the west of Ireland.