Cuba is a Caribbean island favoured by some as a serious contender for the location of Atlantis.
” A two-page article appeared in the February 1952 edition of the magazine ECOS entitled ’Formó Cuba Parte de la Atlándida?’. Written by Francisco Garcia-Juarez, the press secretary of the Instituto Cubano de Arqueologia (Institute of Cuban Archaeology, or ICA) it posed the question: did Cuba once form part of Atlantis? He explained how members of the Institute were investigating the idea that traces of an Atlantean culture might be found in Cuba and Hispaniola.” This study had been prompted by a suggestion from Egerton Sykes(e).
Some years ago, Leicester Hemingway, the brother of Ernest, claimed to have spotted off the northern coast of Cuba “an expanse of stone ruins, several acres in area”.
In more recent years, it was reported that Paulina Zelitsky and her team of underwater explorers found formations, in 2000 feet of water off the western tip of Cuba that resembled submerged cities. Although further explorations were planned it is reported that U.S. government applied pressure to have any further funding denied. May 2013 had Zelitsky trying to revive interest in her theories in an interview with Luis Mariano Fernandez(d).*However, in 2012, Andrew Collins offered a different account of the Zelitsky funding difficulties(g).*
Andrew Collins is probably the best-known supporter of a Cuban Atlantis. His book and website(a) list eleven points in favour of this theory. He contends that Cuba’s western plain, which stretches from Havana westwards to Pinar del Rio was the great Plain of Atlantis described by Plato. He believes that the main city was located near the present Isle of Youth (Isla de la Juventud) situated in the south of the island. In 2009 Norman Frey wrote a paper(b) supporting the Gulf of Batabanó which lies north of the Isle of Youth as Atlantis’ location at the end of the last Ice Age. He supports his contention with satellite images and the work of Dr. Christine Pellech.
A.R.E. is also a supporter of Cuba as a possible location for the capital of Atlantis. They have suggested an underwater ‘island’ at Zapata, located on the southern side of Cuba, north of the Isle of Youth and just to the west of the infamous Bay of Pigs. This ‘island’ is surrounded by a small ring of water and is about 7 miles in diameter, consistent with Plato’s description of the outer ring of Atlantis. A.R.E.’s Greg Little obtained old depth and bottom contour charts of the site and found that the island was comprised of a series of rings. Little also identified other features in the locality that match Plato’s story; ancient manmade canals north of the underwater island. These canals have been attributed to the Taino Culture, a mound builder culture present in Cuba about 3,000 years ago that became extinct shortly after the Spanish conquest. Further north there is a mountain range enclosing the area with a wide river running at its base — a further match with Plato. Little also found that the centre of the underwater island is not only the tallest portion, but also has several springs on it.
One completely off-the-wall suggestion has been that the Cuban Missile Crisis was instigated to prevent the soviets from finding Atlantis(f)!!
A project to compile an archaeological Atlas of Cuba has so far identified over 3,000 pre-Columbian sites. Cuba’s westernmost province, Pinar del Rio and the central region of Villa Clara have the highest density of sites, with 500 each(c).
(f) http://www.geekation.com/atlantis-found-aka-the-cuban-atlantis-crisis/ (link broken May 2018) See: Archive 2462
The Caribbean Region with the many islands of the West Indies is favoured by a number of authors who find in the writings of classical writers evidence of very early knowledge of the islands in the western Atlantic by the peoples of the Mediterranean. As a source, these ancient authors have to be treated with great care, as so much of the historical and geographical details are at best second-hand and sometimes just conjectural if not fictional. This is compounded by the fact that so many of these early writers borrowed from each other so that an early ‘fact’ that is erroneous could be transmitted unchecked for centuries if not permanently.
The seas around many of the Caribbean Islands are quite shallow indicating that during the last Ice Age the exposed land area must have been considerably larger. If Atlantis existed in this region there are many candidate locations.
An American researcher, Amy Smith, has produced a website(a) claiming that Atlantis had been located on a now demolished landbridge linking Cuba with the Yucatan Peninsula, in the Caribbean and was destroyed at the end of the last Ice Age when the Mississippi was dramatically swollen by meltwater from the retreating glaciers and poured into the Gulf of Mexico, which was then an enclosed sea. This in turn led to the breaching of the landbridge linking Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula and the destruction of Atlantis in its vicinity. Smith has recently expanded on the events leading to the destruction of Atlantis(b).
Edgar Cayce’s followers in A.R.E. have focused their attention on the Bimini sector of the Bahamas, although Greg Little opted for a location just north of the Isle of Youth off Cuba. Andrew Collins is also convinced that Atlantis was in located near the Isle of Youth, while, more recently, Norman Frey has added his support to the same locality. Mel Fisher claimed to have found Atlantis in the vicinity of Cuba, but failed to reveal the exact location before his death. The Italian researcher, Emilio Spedicato, has chosen the nearby island of Hispaniola.
Gábor Bihari, the Hungarian researcher, submitted a paper to the 2008 Atlantis Conference outlining his view that Plato’s Alantis story was loosely based on reports of a very ancient empire in the Caribbean brought back to Europe by refugees from there after it was inundated at the end of the last Ice Age.
In December 2009, we were subjected to one of the periodic claims that Atlantis had been ‘found’, this time in the Caribbean. Poor quality images were offered as evidence of a submerged city. While it is understandable that the discoverers might be reluctant to disclose the exact location, it is more difficult to understand why they were equally unwilling to disclose their own identities. They also claimed, without evidence, that the structures predated the pyramids of Egypt. Funds are now being sought for a fully fledged expedition.
Jay/Brad Yoon offered support for a Carribean Atlantis in a short 2012 book, Atlantis Shrugged, in which he claims that a dry Caribbean Basin, 13,000 feet below sea level, was home to Atlantis, but the surrounding ring of mountains retaining the ocean was shattered by an earthquake and flooded Atlantis.
*Even more startling is the wild suggestion that Antigua, one of the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands, in an hour-long YouTube video(c) may have been Atlantis. This rambling, often boring, film offers no real evidence apart from some megalithic features, the likes of which have been found around the world.*
(a) http://www.losthistorypublishing.com/Catastrophy.html (offline 05/09/15)
Christine Pellech (1947- ) attained her Ph.D. at the University of Vienna in 1974. She is a trained ethnologist and an ardent diffusionist. She was inspired by the work of Henriette Mertz, who bravely suggested in Dark Wine Sea that Homer’s Odyssey was a description of a very early voyage from the Mediterranean to America. Pellech expanded on Mertz’s theory in a book of her own, in which she claims that the core narrative in Homer’s Odyssey is a description of the circumnavigation of the globe in a westerly direction.
Unfortunately, the book was only published in German, as are her other books on the subject. She has written a synopsis of her theory on the Atlantisforschung.de website, which can be easily translated(c).
Pellech has published Die Entdeckung von Amerika(The Discovery of America) in which she “deals with the discovery of the Americas starting from Egypt via Asia across land and sea.”(d)
However, Pellech has established an English language journal, Migration & Diffusion, together with an associated website(a).
Pellech’s starting point are prehistoric maps drawn on cave walls in Spain and France(b) that have been dated to 12,000 BC, which she interprets as an indication of early sea links between Europe and America. I am unaware that Pellech refers directly to Atlantis, but she does claim that the Caribbean had been the centre of an extensive maritime trading culture, millennia before Columbus. This idea has been used by Norman Frey to underpin his theory of Atlantis having been located off the coast of Cuba at the end of the Ice Age.*In a joint paper(b) by Pellech and Frey they offer support for America as the location of Plato’s Atlantis.*
Norman Frey, a German researcher, published a paper in 2009 entitled Atlantis Rediscovered in which he identified the Gulf of Batabanó off the southwest coast of Cuba as the location of Atlantis. He bases his claim on his interpretation of Plato’s text, the topography of the area as revealed by satellite imagery, all reinforced by the views of the Austrian ethnologist, Dr.Christine Pellech who identified Central America as the centre of a maritime economic power at the end of the last Ice Age.
Unfortunately, Frey’s chosen locality has already been claimed by the Greg Little as the home of Atlantis on behalf of A.R.E. Additionally, Andrew Collins in his acclaimed book also situated Plato’s lost city, north of the Isle of Youth (Isla de la Juventud) where the Gulf of Batabanó lies.
Frey’s views are expressed in a joint paper with Pellech(a).