Michael Jaye is Associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, California. He is a confirmed catastrophist focused on cometary impacts. In a lecture to the Geological Society of America in 2011(a) he describes two major events in the Earths history that had profound effects on the earth and the life one. The first was a double impact 65 million years ago and generally accepted to have led to the demise of the dinosaurs and the second 460,000 years ago.
In an April 2015 lecture entitled Resolving the Problem of Atlantis he expands on his original ideas(b) introducing a third event 13,000 years ago when another cometary impact brought an enormous amount of water to earth, which linked together previously disconnected seas and oceans.
At this point he introduces Atlantis or more correctly the alleged Google image of Atlantis in the Atlantic Ocean that now Jaye claims was the Plain of Atlantis. As I have previously stated, the image in question shows lines that would have been kilometers in width and could not have been streets and so are also too wide to have been the irrigation ditches described by Plato.*The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has also debunked the silly Atlantis claims generated by these images(e). However the problem remains, that some people believe what they want to believe not what can be demonstrated.*
Jaye does not accept the explanation for these anomalous lines given by Google, joining conspiracy theorists in the process. I personally think that he should stick to geology and leave the subject of Atlantis to others.
Jaye has also given me a link(c) to a video of one of his lectures. In it, one of his claims is that most of the Earth’s water is the result of a collision with an icy comet around 12,800 years ago. However, the widespread distribution of fossil fish far exceeds the areas occupied by original unconnected bodies of water suggested by Jaye. This is just one of many inaccuracies offered by him. His ideas can be read on Graham Hancock’s website(d) and his 2017 book, The Worldwide Flood .
Jaye has failed to explain how his claim of a relatively recent acquisition by the Earth of most of its water, can account for the recurring Ice Ages that our planet has endured over many millions of years. Ice Age theory is well established, but according to him, the Earth would not have had enough water over that timespan to produce the glaciers that enveloped large areas of the globe, sometimes to a depth of 3 or 4 km, leading to the measurable isostatic rebound we still experience today.
Philippe Buache (1700-1773) was a French royal geographer who produced a map of Antarctica, apparently ice free, showing the landmass being composed of two separate islands. In 1958 a seismic survey of Antarctica seemed to confirm that configuration. This begged a number of questions. How could Buache have known this, without having earlier maps available to him? How could man have drawn maps of territory covered by ice for hundreds of thousands of years? Some felt that this complemented the evidence for an ice-free Antarctica provided by the Piri Reis Map. In turn, this gave some further support to those that advocate an Antarctic location for Atlantis. However, the two maps contradict each other, which should not be the case if they were based on surveys carried out by an advanced prehistoric civilisation.
However, the weight of the present ice cap has depressed the land to such an extent that if removed, it has been calculated that the isostatic rebound would be as much as 500 metres, which would give us a single landmass. This casts doubt on the possibility that a two-island ice-free Antarctica ever existed and consequently that the Buache Map is only speculative.
This is reinforced by the fact that “the French legends that cover the Buache Map also provide a clue as to the way the map may be read and understood. For example, the words conjecturée (conjectured) and soupçonnée (suspected) can be found on parts of the southern continent, indicating that this landmass was not copied from some ancient map, but was a hypothesis by Buache.”(b)
Another critical review of the Buache Antarctic map is to be found on the bad archaeology website(a).
Sea Level Changes. Recent years have seen the production of ever more detailed data relating to sea level changes following the last Ice Age. In 2006 researchers discovered that the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska was created around 9000 BC, a thousand years earlier than previously thought.
Such changes could have had a direct bearing on the Atlantis mystery, particularly if Plato’s assertion that its inundation took place 9600 BC is true, as this would place the event at the end of the last Ice Age and the melting of the glaciers with the consequent raising of level of the oceans. Although we are usually given the impression that this deglaciation progressed steadily it would appear that in reality the process continued at different rates and was at times temporarily reversed.
Recent studies(f) have clearly indicated that aboriginal Australians have preserved memories of the rising sea level at the end of the last Ice Age.
A 2000 report(c) from Dr. Robert Baker and Professor Peter G.Flood from the University of New England in New South Wales, suggests that 4,000 years ago sea levels “may have been up to two metres higher than at present, and that sea levels have risen and fallen like a roller coaster over the last 6,000 years.” I would expect that sea levels two metres higher around 2000 BC would have left archaeological evidence on a global scale. Until that is forthcoming, I would treat this claim with caution.
Estimates of the total change in sea levels vary between 300 and 500 ft. The most recent studies have estimated the rate of sea level rise at an average of one metre per century punctuated by occasional increased rates of 2.5 metres per century(a). To complicate the picture further, many areas in northern latitudes that had been depressed by the weight of the enormous ice sheets of the last Ice Age, rose considerably as a result of isostatic rebound when the glaciers melted.
There is general agreement that the raising of the sea levels had dramatic consequences worldwide. Vast landmasses, such as Sundaland, the Celtic Shelf, and in the Caribbean were totally or partially submerged, leaving many of today’s islands as remnants. Communities that had flourished in these regions during the last Ice Age must have been devastated and naturally led to the generation of myths recalling their former glory. Atlantis is assumed to be one such legend with a firm basis in reality.
Other, more controversial effects have also been proposed, such as the breaching of a landbridge that had existed between Spain and North Africa at Gibraltar and/or a similar isthmus between Sicily and Tunisia. James Bramwell reports that in the 1930’s geologists spoke freely of the breaching of a Gibraltar dam around 15,000 years ago. More recently, writers such as Joseph S. Ellul, Sergio Frau and Paulino Zamarro have convincingly based their Atlantis theories on this concept. The Mediterranean sea level is discussed elsewhere.
Other writers have proposed an asteroidal or cometary impact as the cause of catastrophic flooding, but such inundations would have receded fairly rapidly. In the end we are left with the ending of the last Ice Age as the primary cause of profound changes in the topography of our planet that probably included the submergence of one civilisation that we now refer to as Atlantis.
However, Plato introduces another detail into his Atlantis narrative, namely that following the submergence of Atlantis it created a maritime hazard in the form of shoals. Plato wrote that “wherefore also the ocean at that spot has now become impassable and unsearchable, being blocked up by the shoal of mud which the island created as it settled down.” (Timaeus 25d). The implication of this is that the shoals still existed in either Solon’s or Plato’s lifetime. We must also keep in mind that the draft of ships, such as triremes, at that time was about a metre. The attached chart shows how between 5000 BC and the present, the rate of sea level has been relatively slow. Even allowing for any local seismic, tectonic or isostatic activity I would interpret the data to suggest two important facts; first, the flooding of Atlantis could not have taken place before 5000 BC and still be a hazard in the first millennium BC and secondly if it occurred after 5000 BC Atlantis must be still in shallow water.
Kurt Lambeck has demonstrated from a study of Roman fish pens that the sea level along the Italian coast, 2000 years ago, was 1.35 metres below today’s levels. His investigations also included a study of land elevations along the coast that may have been affected by seismic or tectonic processes and found that they had raised the land by 1.22 metres, indicating that global sea levels had risen by just 13cm over the past two millennia, most of which has occurred over the past century(d)! Lambeck’s conclusions have been severely criticised by Izabol Apulia(e).
Furthermore, if the destruction took place before 5000 BC then either Solon or Plato concocted the description of the shoals, which would have no purpose whatsoever!
Sea level changes in the Gulf of Mexico are discussed in an online pdf file(b). In the same region, there is now claimed to be evidence(g) confirming that sea levels were lower during the last Ice Age and that the Yucatan Peninsula was very much larger.
(e) See: Archive 2566
The Piri Reis Map (1513)(c) was a world map drawn on gazelle skin of which only the left-hand side still exists. It was a composite of detail gleaned from a large collection of maps collected by Piri Ibn Haji Mehmed (1465/70–1553), an admiral or ‘reis’ in the Ottoman navy. It was discovered in 1929 in the Topkapi Palace library in Istanbul by Gustav Deissmann. In 1956 a Turkish naval officer presented the map to the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office. From there, it was first fully investigated by Captain Arlington H. Mallery, who had spent years studying ancient maps. He is now better remembered as a controversial amateur archaeologist. Mallery concluded that the map accurately depicted an ice-free Antarctica.
This map has become one of the controversial elements in the theory of an Antarctic Atlantis so strongly promoted by Rose and Rand Flem-Ath. They followed the views of Charles Hapgood, who, having studied a range of ancient maps, were convinced that they showed parts of Antarctica as ice-free. However, the principal argument against this idea is that the removal of the massive Antarctic ice cap would have had two effects:
(i) The consequent isostatic rebound would have altered the coast line dramatically and unpredictably.
(ii) The melting of the icecap would have raised sea levels, producing further changes to the coastline of the exposed continent.
*However, Jason Colavito has pointed out(h) that “as scholars have known for decades, the segment of the map identified by Hapgood as “Antarctica” was in fact the southern part of South America, bent to fit the shape of the skin on which it was drawn.”!*
Nevertheless, the late Robert Argod supported the antiquity of the original maps upon which the Piri Reis Maps and other medieval charts were based and he also supported the idea of an inhabited ice-free Antarctica.
A view contrary to the Flem-Aths can be found in a recent book by Gregory McIntosh. Professor Steve Dutch of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, offers a paper(b) debunking the value of the Piri Reis map, which should be read in order to get a more balanced view of the controversy. Paul V.Heinrich has also added a highly critical paper with many references(a).
Professor Steven Earle uses an assignment entitled ‘Project Atlantis‘(g) for his geology students in order to hone their critical thinking, which focuses on the Flem-Ath’s preferred variant of Pole Shift Theory known as Crustal Displacement.
What the Piri Reis Map has done for Antarctica, the Nicolo Zeno Map of 1380 has done for Greenland which appears to show a deglaciated landmass. Features, hidden by ice but confirmed by modern seismic soundings, are apparently shown. However, controversy has dogged the Nicolo Zeno Map as much as the Piri Reis chart.
Phillipe Buache the renowned French geographer also published a map of ice-free Antarctica in 1737, long before its recorded discovery and centuries before seismic surveys revealed the topography of the sub-glacial landmass. The source of the data for this map is so far unexplained.
In 2004, Jean-Pierre Lacroix & Robert Bywater presented a paper(d) to the International Piri Reis Symposium in which they made the radical claim that the western part of the Piri Reis map was in fact a depiction of the outline of east and southeast Asia, rather than the Caribbean.
The ancient-origins website(e) has a number of papers relating to the Piri Reis Map.
The most recent studies(f) include a map showing the effects of just a partial retreat of the icesheet, showing exposed coastlines, during the Pliocene era, which again indicates an outline of the landmass at variance with the Piri Reis Map.
Isostatic Rebound (Post-Glacial Rebound) is the term used to describe the ‘springing back’ of the Earth’s crust following deglaciation. Even today, many thousands of years after the last Ice Age we can detect this ‘rebound’ continuing. In parts of North America this has been measured at up to half an inch per year although this must be seen as somewhat exceptional. After the last Ice Age, parts of what is now southern and western Finland were under water but as the crust began to rise land rose above sea level and is still doing so today. Since the rate of rebound is known, archaeologists have been able to use the process to date prehistoric sites in the region. There are a number of useful website that explain the process(a)(b).