In her book, The Secret History of the World, she argues against an Egyptian source for the Atlantis story, claiming that it is unlikely that an Egyptian priest would have described the Athenians as “the fairest and noblest race of men”, nor give greater antiquity to the Greeks than the Egyptians. Others have countered these sentiments with the suggestion that they were nothing more than diplomatic flattery on the part of the Egyptians.
Her bizarre views on the Maltese cart ruts should be read in that entry.
The Cart-Ruts of Malta are one of the many remarkable archaeological features of the archipelago. Unfortunately the local authorities have not done all they could to ensure their preservation. Cart-ruts are also found in other countries but in nothing like the numbers found on Malta.
An article written in 1904(h) describes a visit to the Madeiras where the writer travelled on a sled drawn by oxen, while Alexander Braghine describes how Paul le Cour visited the Azores and noted that the natives there used ‘sledges’ rather than wheeled vehicles and greased the runners to assist movement, similar to the practice on the Madeiras.*A more recent paper(s) by Félix Rodrigues of Azores University discusses in detail cartruts found on Terceira Island in the Azores.*
Dr. David Trump (1931-2016) who has done much to advance Maltese archaeology, published a booklet on the cart-ruts in 2008. Trump nicknamed the complex collection of ruts at Misrah Ghar il-Kbir “Clapham Junction” after the London railway station, where several railway services interchange. A 1998 paper(d) by Joseph Magro Conti and Paul C. Saliba focused on “Clapham Junction” and concluded that the ruts had a clear connection with the transportation of material from adjacent quarries.
A connection between the cart-ruts and Atlantis has been suggested by Anton Mifsud and adopted by the late Axel Hausmann, who both claim that the ruts were the irrigation channels referred to by Plato (Critias 118c-e).
Another prominent archaeologist, Claudia Sagona, has also suggested(f)(j) that the ruts were used for irrigation, although she has not associated them with Plato’s text. While this linkage fits nicely with the theory of Atlantis having been in the region of Malta, it does not stand up to close examination.
First of all the cart-ruts follow the natural undulations of the Maltese landscape and so to function as irrigation channels would require water to flow uphill for parts of its journey, Trump has mentioned how some of the ruts can be seen sloping as much as 45°.
Secondly, the fact that the ruts are always found in pairs would suggest a degree of unnecessary and wasteful duplication found in no other irrigation system in the world. Because; if the ruts were intended to carry water, for the same labour they could have been cut as a single channel at twice the depth cutting losses through evaporation by half.
As well as that, the ground between each pair of tracks could provide an extra acre of arable land for every two miles of length. Furthermore, the multiplicity of tracks at the ‘Clapham Junction’ site is incompatible with an irrigation system.
All of which is compounded by the absence of controlling sluicegates anywhere at the remaining 100+ sites, and emphasised by Trump’s observation that “no association of ruts with water sources has been demonstrated.”[870.268]
Compounding all that is the fact that no supporter of the cart ruts as Plato’s irrigation channels has attempted to explain how the dimensions of the ruts can be measured in inches while Plato describes canals measured in feet – tens of feet!
Joseph S. Ellul in his book Malta’s Prediluvian Culture  expressed some controversial unconventional views(t) regarding the cart-ruts, including his assertion that the ruts were created by tools or machinery and were formed during the Stone Age before the biblical Deluge!
By way of comic relief, I thought I should include one theory regarding an explanation(c) for the ruts from Laura Knight-Jadczyk, a noted conspiracy theorist, which I quote in full: “Do I have an idea to propose? Of course I do. I wouldn’t be writing about it if I didn’t. I would like to suggest that these “ruts” look an awful lot like places where lightning has struck, and the electricity has blasted away the dirt and rock as it shoots along some sort of natural earth power grid conductor. The only difference is that the cart ruts are not random. That suggests that there was something present in the ground laid out in a definite grid, which acted as a conductor. Were the cart ruts some sort of networked energy conduction system? Could some sort of element have been placed in the ground by an ancient civilization; something that that conducted power to their homes the way our vulgar power poles and lines criss-cross the landscape? And then, at some point in time, was the earth hit by such a surge of energy from some unknown source that these power “lines” melted the rock in which they were “strung?” Perhaps a surge of some kind of cosmic energy source? Maybe even the Electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear explosion? Maybe it was neither of these, but merely a massive overheating of the surface of the earth so that the conduction element and its insulating covering melted and was swept away?”
One of the more bizarre suggestions has been proposed by Markus Tutsch on the German EFODON website, that the parallel ruts were used in some way to distribute electrical power(q)!!!
Another comical suggestion is offered by Dr. Cornelius Niels Kopf who has proposed that “The Bronze Age traces on Malta and Gozo and many other parts of the then populated world, known as cart ruts, were sports facilities, and the area designated as ‘Clapham Junction’ was apparently the ‘stadium’ of Malta.” (r)
In 2010, the most comprehensive work on the ruts was published by Gordon E. Weston.*Weston now has a website(g) where he discusses the ‘ruts’ further and provides additional links. Weston also publshed Clapham Junction: 3000 Years of Maltese Heritage, in 2015 .*
There are also a number of websites devoted to the investigation of these enigmatic features(a). One of them(m) offers a fine collection of images, including the one above, as well as a discussion on the origin, use and questions raised by the Maltese cart ruts.
A study of the ruts by geomorphologists published in Antiquity is a valuable addition to the literature on the subject(b).
Uwe Topper has written an extensive paper on cart-ruts around the Mediterranean and beyond(i). He controversially theorised that that the ruts were created when the limestone on which they were cut was ‘softer’!!!
A short April 2015 video clip(l) demonstrates how even a 20kg quarter-scale slidecar, can with one pass cut a 1mm groove into the soft Maltese limestone, near Sliema. A full scale slidecar would be carrying 320 Kg.
Amateur archaeologists, Ronnie Gallagher and Abbas Islamov, have highlighted the existence of cart-ruts in the Gobustan peninsula of Azerbijan(e), while André Kramer has written an article on the cart-ruts of Mallorca(k).
*Evidence exists for cart ruts in other countries in Europe, such as Switzerland and much further afield including South America(u). The same site makes two interesting points, (1) since the earliest carts probably lacked brakes, the repeated use of the ruts gave some small degree of control and (2) without any obvious passing points the ruts seem to indicate that they were limited to one-way traffic.*
In 2015, Russian geologist Alexander Koltypin drew much media attention(o) when he claimed that comparable tracks in the Phrygian Valley of Turkey were dated to 14 million years ago and were created by an unknown civilisation. He also implied that the cart ruts of Malta had similar origin! However a quick look at his website(p) revealed him to have travelled well beyond the lunatic fringe.
*I find it interesting that much more investigation of the Maltese cart ruts has been carried out by foreigners than by natives of the islands. A recent example is the inventory of ruts recently published by Monika I. Trinkler, a Swiss photographer. She has listed 652 pairs on Malta and 42 on Gozo. Her interested in the Maltese ruts has now expanded into the identification of ruts throughout Central Europe.(v)*
(f) Oxford Journal of Archaeology (Vol.23, Issue 1, p.45-60)
(g) http://cartrutanswers.com/index.html (offline 15/07/14)
(h) http://www.oldandsold.com/articles09/travel-45.shtml (offline August ’15) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20110616093830/http://www.oldandsold.com/articles09/travel-45.shtml
(i) http://www.ilya.it/chrono/pages/gleisedt.htm (german)
Bolivia has most of its western half situated in the central Andes which includes the Altiplano (High Plateau). Jim Allen, a Scot, has promoted this region(a) as the true home of Plato’s Atlantis. Allen claims that ‘Andes’ is a corruption of Antis, a local word that means copper and that the same language uses Atl to denote water. He has identified a site known as Pampa Aullagas as the most likely location of Atlantis. The radical nature of this idea has ensured it widespread attention and sometimes scathing criticism.
Although I cannot subscribe to Jim Allen’s Bolivian location for Atlantis, there is little doubt that Bolivia has yet to reveal all its secrets. For example, there are the little known Sajama lines in western Bolivia near the border with Chile and Peru. These straight Sajama Lines ”average between one and three meters wide, and run from a few meters to several kilometers. The longest of them are about twenty kilometers in length.”(m) Unlike the Nazca lines those at Sajama do not represent any creatures.
Very little research has been carried out on these lines, but I note that Evan Hadingham touched on the subject in Lines to the Mountain Gods noting that Tony Morrison, who had previously filmed the lines at Nasca, stumbled on those at Sajama, and was told by locals that the lines joined sacred shrines. This was similar to what was told to the noted French anthropologist, Alfred Métraux in the 1930’s.
Returning to the subject of Atlantis, I continue to ask both why or how a mountainous kingdom on the west of South America would attack Athens on the eastern extremity of the Mediterranean is not clear! Allen’s theory concentrates on comparing the topography on the Altiplano with Plato’s description. He compared the physical features described by Plato with the site on the Altiplano and found that there was a very close match except that all the dimensions were out by a factor of two. This he explains by pointing out that unlike the Greeks, the pre-Columbian South Americans used a base 20 for counting. Allen also points to a naturally occurring alloy of copper and gold that is to be found in the Andes as the origin of the Orichalcum mentioned by Plato.
In an effort to strengthen his theory Allen suggests that the bull sacrifice on Atlantis, recorded by Plato, was in fact a reference to llama sacrifices(b)practiced in the Andes for thousands of years right up to the present! He argues that since the Egyptians would have had no word for llama they substituted ‘bull’ for it instead. Although llamas are camelids, I would have thought that they were closer in appearance to goats than bulls. Goat sacrifice is commonplace in the Southern Mediterranean and across much of Asia and has been for millennia. I consider Allen’s suggestion overly speculative and highly improbable.
Atlantisrevealed.com is a website(d), in English and Italian, which supports Jim Allens’s theory of Atlantis on the Altiplano of Bolivia. Unfortunately, it adds little new to the debate. Contrasting that is a lengthy and balanced critique of Allen’s ideas on Timothy Stephany’s website(e). He concludes that there is currently insufficient evidence to justify Allen’s claims.
Advocates of a South American Atlantis have pointed to the discovery of cocaine traces, derived exclusively from the South American coca plant, found in Egyptian mummies as evidence of ancient trans-Atlantic links and a possible channel for the spread of story of the destruction of Atlantis.
David Antelo, a Bolivian engineer, has also proposed a plain, in the Beni region just north of Allen’s site, as the location of Atlantis. In January 2011, Allen’s website included an extensive selection of aerial photos(c) of topographical features in Beni which suggest the pre-existence of an advanced civilisation in the region.
The oldest settlements so far found in Bolivia’s Amazon region are dated at 10,400 years old(f). A recent report(g) has shown numerous large circular earthworks throughout the Bolivian and Brazilian Amazon region. It also reported that the same territory, until recently forest, was savannah as recently as 2000 or 3000 thousand years ago.
In 2003 Jay Weidner & Vincent Bridges published a book supporting an Andean location for Atlantis in neighbouring Peru. Weidner & Bridges subsequently fell out(i) and Bridges has been accused of organising a scam by Laura Knight-Jadczyk(j).
(d) http://www.atlantisrevealed.com/pages/section1/page1.asp?language_=en&pageid=1 (offline 17/07/14)
*(e) http://timothystephany.com/atlantis.html (link broken Sept. 2018) See: Archive 2237*
(h) http://foro.univision.com/t5/Comunidad-de-Futbol/El-jardin-del-Eden-estaba-en-COCHABAMBA/td-p/394821201o (Offline Mar. 2016) see (l)
Colin Wilson (1931-2013) was born in Leicester, England. He has been a most prolific author with around a hundred titles to his credit. The range of subjects that he has covered is breathtaking; from Jack the Ripper to Sex to Atlantis. A 2004 article in The Observer described him as a self-declared genius and knicker fetishist!
Initially he was a supporter of the Minoan Hypothesis, then in 1996 he linked the controversial redating of the Sphinx by Robert Schoch, with the influence of earlier sophisticated Atlanteans. It is revealing to note that the original title of Wilson’s book was Before the Sphinx but this was altered at the insistence of his publishers(d) in order to include ‘Atlantis’ on the cover!
A few years later he was co-author with Rand Flem-Ath, the promoter of the Atlantis in Antarctica theory, of The Atlantis Blueprint again promoting the idea of the Atlantean civilisation having spread to other parts of the world that is now visible in the remains of so many megalithic cultures around our planet. Wilson revealed later, in a 2007 edition of From Atlantis to the Sphinx (p381), that he was unhappy with the final content of The Atlantis Blueprint stating that “it did not represent his views” and wrote an account in the Fortean Times(b), of how that book evolved.
Wilson joined the Sarmast expedition of October 2004, as he had then shifted his preference(d) to the Cyprus region as the location of Atlantis. He eventually found the idea of Atlantis in the Antarctic waging war against Athens, a distance of * many thousands of miles, untenable. Unfortunately, this brief display of critical thinking was short-lived as he shifted his support to Cyprus as Atlantis’ location. I believe that he might have revised his position again if he had just given some consideration to Plato’s report of how the flooded Atlantis was still a hazard to shipping centuries later. Sarmast’s Cyprus site is in water over a mile deep and could never have been a shipping hazard!*
In 2006 Wilson continued his support for Sarmast but added a new dimension with the claim on the cover notes that ‘the Neanderthals had been the civilising force behind Atlantis’. However in his earlier book[335.390] he stated clearly that he was “not suggesting there was some connection between Atlantis and Neanderthal man”. Perhaps the cover notes were just a concoction of Wilson’s publisher.
At best, Wilson’s book, Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals, can be described as disappointing. Laura Knight-Jadczyk goes further, classifying it as ’embarassing’(c).
(b) http://www.forteantimes.com/features/articles/5167/a_100000yearold_civilisation.html (offline November 2015)
(d) http://www.wingtv.net/forbidden.html (Offline August 2016) See Archive 2719)