An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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North Sea

Paulsen, Peter

Peter Paulsen (1902-1985) was a German professor of archaeology, who belonged to the Ahnenerbe-SS and was heavily involved in the plundering of museums and libraries in Poland after the German invasion. Heather Pringle records his wartime activities in great detail in The Master Plan[0032.196].

He had a keen interest in Norse mythology, which led to the publication of Axt und Kreutz in 1939[1364]. So it is not surprising that after the war when Jürgen Spanuth published his theory of a North Sea Atlantis and identified the Sea Peoples as the ‘North Sea Peoples’, Paulsen was quick to describe Spanuth’s work as “very significant and valuable research which should in every way be supported.” Another former member of Ahnenerbe, Professor Otto Huth is also recorded[1339.217] by Felix R. Paturi as supporting Spanuth’s work.

Elsewhere(a) we are told After the war Peter Paulsen did his best to bury his past and in 1981 landed a prestigious job as a medieval expert in Würtemberg”.


Moreau, Alain

alain_moreauAlain Moreau is a French writer who has written a series of articles debunking a number of the suggested locations for Atlantis including, the North Sea(a), Antarctica & Spartel Island(b), Socotra(c) and Santorini(d). Throughout his criticisms he loses no opportunity to promote his own preferred Atlantis location. in the Atlantic Ocean.





Horned Helmets

Horned Helmets have been worn by various warrior groups from ancient times but , in spite of popular belief, not by the Vikings. Jürgen Spanuth, the leading proponent of a North Sea Atlantis, has identified the Sea Peoples who attacked the Egyptians as North Sea Peoples. The attack was recorded by the Egyptians on the walls of Medinet Habu and where they depicted some of the invaders with horned helmets. Spanuth claimed that “The only known Bronze Age horned helmets come from north Europe”[0015.55]. The illustrations from the Danish National Museum used by Spanuth[0015.31] were more likely to have been for ceremonial use and show no signs of having been used in battle.*A January 2018 article highlights a horned figure on the so-called Oseberg Tapestry, who appears to be leading a religious procession, contributing to the theory that the few horned helmets found so far were probably used for ceremonial purposes(e). Another textile fragment found at the same site also depicts a horned person, which to my mind is more reminiscent of a nordic shaman than a warrior.*

It is noteworthy that the ‘Gjermundbu Helmet’, discovered in 1943 in Nazi-occupied Norway, is the only helmet documented to have existed during the Viking period and is clearly hornless(d).

Furthermore, he was incorrect in claiming that horned helmets were only used in northern Europe during the Bronze Age. Archaeologist Roger Grosjean (1920-1975) has demonstrated(a) that the Torreans of Corsica did use such helmets during that period. The Sherden/Shardana, considered to be one of the Sea Peoples depicted at Medinet Habu are shown as wearing horned helmets and in every instance, except three, they include a round additional piece on the crest. The Shardana are generally accepted to be from Sardinia and are possibly related to the Torreans on neighbouring Corsica. However, the Sardinian examples do not appear to have the accoutrement at the helmets’ crest depicted at Medinet Habu.

Andrea Salimbeti’s website(b) devoted to the Greek Bronze Age has a section on the helmets used in the Aegean during that period, which depicts some horned helmets used by the Mycenaeans(c).

In conclusion, I think Spanuth’s horned helmet evidence is flawed but also that the Sardinian theory is not watertight. Furthermore, his core claim of an invasion from the North Sea into the Eastern Mediterranean is equally untenable. Bronze Age territorial expansion was always into adjacent or nearby territory. A journey of over 4,000 miles from Heligoland to attack Egypt makes no sense.



(c) (Also see helmets2 & helmets3)



Lock, John (L)

John Lock is presented as the ‘author’ of The Mystery of Atlantis[1089]. The book is very badly presented with strange formatting, many page numbers missing, no title page etc, etc. It was published by CreateSpace, an Amazon company.

As I read through the book, there small hints that it was written decades before the publication date of 2015. The content of the book supported the North Sea as the location of Atlantis, a concept given great exposure in the 1950’s by Jürgen Spanuth (1907-1998). Further investigation revealed that the text was word for word taken from Spanuth’s Atlantis:The Mystery Unravelled[0017] which in turn was the English translation of Das Entraselte Atlantis (Atlantis Revealed)[0016]. It is obvious that the text was just badly scanned, resulting in the poor formatting, numerous typos and missing images.

This is the most blatant case of printed plagiarism that I have encountered, which may also be a breach of copyright.

Faroe Islands (N)

The Faroe Islands are a small archipelago in the North Atlantic between Norway and Iceland. It has been proposed that they contained the island of Ogygia, the home of Atlas’ daughter Calypso. Plutarch recorded that Ogygia was five days sailing from Britain and has been incorporated into the theories of a number of writers supporting a North Sea Atlantis, such as Felice Vinci and later John Esse Larsen.

Larsen, John Esse (L)

John Esse Larsen is an independent Danish researcher who has expressed similar KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAviews to Felice Vinci regarding the Baltic origins of Homer’s epic tales, Iliad and Odyssey, in his 2012 book, Odysseus: Isse fra Od[1048]. He identifies many of the placenames recorded by Homer with Baltic and North Sea locations.

Larsen has an English language website(a) where many of his ideas are outlined, including an identification of the Pillars of Heracles with the Faroe Islands and Atlantis with the Wadden Sea region of the North Sea(b), Kirsten Bang had suggested the same location for Atlantis a few years ago[679].

Larsen Map



Trojan War

The Trojan War, at first sight, may appear to have little to do with the story of Atlantis except that some recent commentators have endeavoured to claim that the war with Atlantis was just a retelling of the Trojan War. The leading proponent of the idea is Eberhard Zangger in his 1992 book The Flood from Heaven[483]. He also argues that survivors of the War became the Sea Peoples, while Frank Joseph contends that conflict between the Egyptians and the Sea Peoples was part of the Trojan War[108.11]. Steven Sora asserts that the Atlantean war recorded by Plato is a distortion of the Trojan War and he contentiously claims that Troy was located on the Iberian Peninsula rather than the more generally accepted Hissarlik in Turkey. Others have located the War in the North Sea or the Baltic.

However. controversy has surrounded various aspects of the War since earliest times. Strabo(a) tells us that Aristotle dismissed the matter of the Achaean wall as an invention, a matter that is treated at length by Classics Professor Timothy W. Boyd(b). In fact the entire account has been the subject of continual criticism.

The reality of the Trojan War as related by Homer has been debated for well over a century. There is a view that much of what he wrote was fictional, but that the ancient Greeks accepted this, but at the same time they possessed an historical account of the war that varied considerably from Homer’s account(f). 

Over 130 quotations from the Illiad and Odyssey have been identified in Plato’s writings, suggesting the possibility of him having adopted some of Homer’s nautical data, which may account for Plato’s Atlantean fleet having 1200 ships which might have been a rounding up of Homer’s 1186 ships in the Achaean fleet!

Like so many other early historical events, the Trojan War has also generated its fair share of nutty ideas, such as Hans-Peny Hirmenech’s wild suggestion that the rows of standing stones at Carnac marked the tombs of Atlantean soldiers who fought in the Trojan War! Arthur Louis Joquel II, proposed that the War was fought between two groups of refugees from the Gobi desert, while Jacques de Mahieu maintained that refugees from Troy fled to America after the War where they are now identified as the Olmecs!*In November 2017, an Italian naval archaeologist, Francesco Tiboni, claimed(h). that the Trojan Horse was in fact a ship. This is blamed on the mistranslation of one word in Homer.*

Various attempts have been made to determine the exact date of the War, with astronomical dating relating to eclipses noted by Homer. In the 1920’s astronomers Carl Schoch and Paul Neugebauer put the sack of Troy at close to 1190 BC. In 2008, Constantino Baikouzis and Marcelo O. Magnasco proposed 1178 BC as the date of the eclipse that coincided with the return Odysseus, ten years after the War.*Stuart Harris published a paper on the Migration & Diffusion website in 2017(g) , in which he endorsed the 1190 BC date for the end of the Trojan War.*

A new dating of the end of the Trojan War has been presented by Stavros Papamarinopoulos et al. in a paper(c) now available on the website. Working with astronomical data relating to eclipses in the 2nd millennium BC, they have calculated the ending of the War to have taken place in 1218 BC and Odysseus’ return as 1207 BC.

What is noteworthy is that virtually all the recent studies of the eclipse data are in agreement that the Trojan War ended near the end of the 13th century BC, which in turn can be linked to archaeological evidence at the Hissarlik site. Perhaps even more important is the 1218 BC date for the Trojan War recorded on the Parian Marble, reinforcing the Papamarinoupolos date.

However, even more radical redating has been strongly advocated by a number of commentators(d)(e) and not without good reason.

(a)Geographica XIII.1.36



(d) (offline) see Archive 2401





Högbom, Arvid Gustaf (L)

Arvid Gustaf Högbom (1857-1940) was a leading Swedish professor of geology, who was reported by Gunnar Rudberg[881.25]  to have located Atlantis in the North Sea.   This presaged the work of Jürgen Spanuth which received much attention in the 1960’s and 70’s, although I’m not aware of Spanuth referring to his work, apart from an inclusion of his paper(a) in the bibliography of Das enträtselte Atlantis

(a) Die Atlantisliteratur unserer Zeit, in: Bulletin of the Geol.Institution of University of Upsala. Upsala, 1941

Czeppan, Rudolf (L)

Rudolf  Czeppan (1923-2003) was an ardent supporter of Jürgen Spanuth’s theory of Atlantis in the North Sea(a). Czeppan proposed that an impact by an extraterrestrial body south of Heligoland caused the sinking of Atlantis.

There have suggestions that Spanuth was a nazi ‘sympathiser’ and had access to Ahnenerbe files relating to their Atlantis research. This might partly explain why Czeppan,  a convicted neo-nazi, was so enthusiastic in his endorsement of Spanuth.

(a) (German)


Elephants are specifically mentioned by Plato as being indigenous to Atlantis. This must have significance for anyone trying to arrive at a credible location for Atlantis. For example, supporters of the Theran Atlantis School cannot show where such large animals could have lived on the small volcanic island. There are no physical remains, no frescos and no historical references. Rodney Castleden who supports the Minoan Hypothesis admits that “no raw elephant ivory has been found (on Thera) and very little in the way of worked ivory”[225.70]. He later speaks of the importation of ivory into Crete[p.172] having bravely denounced Plato’s description (Critias 115a) of herds of elephants on Atlantis as “false”[p.136].

Similarly, Spanuth’s Heligoland location would have been climatically unsuited to elephants. Spanuth himself admits that the elephant reference “is hard to explain“. Nevertheless, Felice Vinci who champions a Northern European origin for Greek mythology is of the opinion that Plato’s elephant reference may be a lingering memory of the woolly mammoths that inhabited Arctic regions as recently as 1700 BC. In the late 17th century Olof Rudbeck, recognising the problem that Plato’s reference to elephants presented for his Swedish Atlantis, argued that Plato had been speaking figuratively when describing the large voracious animals and had in fact been referring to wolves, the Swedish word for wolf being ‘ulf’, which sounds like the beginning of ‘elephant’!!

Elephants in Western Europe were undoubtedly represented by mammoths, remains of which have been recovered from the North Sea – Doggerland and dated to around 40,000 years ago. Coincidentally, a tool made of mammoth bone, used for making rope, has also been dated to 40,000 years ago(i)(n). Ashley Cowie recently published an interesting book[1454] on the history of rope-making. Further information on string, ropes and knots was published in March 2017(o).

Allied to the demise of the Siberian mammoths is the often repeated fib that when the remains were first discovered, their flesh was still fresh enough to eat, has recently been debunked by Jason Colavito(j). He has also unearthed the truth behind that other canard relating to a Siberian mammoth, namely that fresh buttercups were found in its mouth(j).

Eckart Kahlhofer, in a forthcoming book[715] advocates a North-West European location for Atlantis, suggests that where Plato referred to elephants he really meant deer! Kahlhofer offers, as a simple explanation for this seemingly daft contention, the fact that the Greek for elephant, elephas, is very similar to the Greek elaphos which means deer. A simple transcription error by a scribe could have caused the mix-up. The elk was the largest species of deer to be found in the northern hemisphere and are still to be found in Scandinavia. The Great Irish Deer which died out around 5500 BC had an antler span of 11ft and a maximum height of 10ft. 

Gene Matlock in an attempt to bolster his Mexican location for Atlantis has suggested that Plato’s elephants were in fact the long-snouted tapirs of Meso-America!(c), an idea ‘borrowed’ from Hyde Clarke 

While the elephant issue should not be dealt with in isolation it does serve to illustrate the difficulties involved in analysing Plato’s text. Consider the possibility that the early date of 9600 BC for Atlantis is accepted, then the islands that are too small today to accommodate elephants may have been considerably larger and sometimes connected to each other or a mainland during the Ice Age, when sea levels were lower, and consequently capable of supporting pachyderms. In this regard, Sundaland would have been a most suitable candidate. Not only would to-day’s South China Sea’s archipelagos been a single landmass, but there would have been access to the area from the Asian mainland, home today to large numbers of elephants.

Strangely enough even the Andes, considered by some as the home of Atlantis, reveal the fact that during the last Ice Age a species of elephant called Cuvieronius lived there but became extinct around 8000 BC. These animals are to be found carved on the great Gateway of the Sun in Tiahuanaco suggesting that they were common in the region. Supporters of an Atlantis link with Tiahuanaco have highlighted this fact. James Bailey who supports[149][150] the idea of Atlantis in America believes that Plato’s mention of elephants could be a reference to the American mammoth, generally believed to have died out circa 10,000 BC, although Victor von Hagen, the American explorer, contentiously maintained that they survived as late 2000 BC. A similar idea was presented to the 2005 Atlantis Conference by American researcher, Monique Petersen.

The Schoppes, in support of their theory of Atlantis in the Black Sea region, contend(l) that Indian elephants existed there until 800 BC and support this with a reference to the Egyptian pharoah Thutmosis III who killed 120 elephants ‘there’ around 1200 BC, which is a strange claim as Thutmosis did not venture beyond Syria and he died circa 1426 BC!

Elephas Antiquus (Palaeoloxodon), is a dwarf species whose remains have been found throughout the islands of the Mediterranean from Sardinia to Cyprus. All those found were dated 200,000 BC or earlier!  *In sharp contrast, Simon Davis, in an article in New Scientist (3 Jan.1985), dated Mediterranean dwarf elephants to as recent as 6000 BC(p). A number of writers, such as Roger Coghill, have tried to use the pygmy elephant as an explanation for Plato’s text (Crit. 114e & 115a) where we find that he describes the elephants as being ‘of its nature the largest and most voracious’. This is not a description of pygmy elephants.*

However, Ghar Hasan or Hasan’s Cave on Malta has paleolithic cave paintings that depict elephants, indicating more recent contact with the animals. A small booklet[214] by Dr. Anton Mifsud and Dr. Charles Savona-Ventura describes this cave system.

Nevertheless, if we look again at Plato’s text (Crit.114e & 115a) we find that he describes the elephants as being ‘of its nature the largest and most voracious.’ This is not a description of pygmy elephants and so in all probability is an indication of a North African location or, as some claim, an Asian one! The Atlanteans had control in Europe as far as Tyrrhenia and Egypt, which would have included what is now modern Tunisia, the home of the last recorded wild elephants in that region!

Readers should be aware that there is general acceptance that the North African Elephant inhabited the Atlas Mountains until they became extinct in Roman times(e)(h). In fact the New Scientist magazine of 7th February 1985(d) outlined the evidence that Tunisia had native elephants until at least the end of the Roman Empire.

In Elephant Destiny[1301] Martin Meredith records that one of the earliest references to the African elephant came from Hanno, the 5th century BC Carthaginian explorer, who related how he came across marshes at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, which “were haunted by elephants and multitudes of other grazing beasts.” Meredith also mentions that stables for as many as 300 elephants were to be found within the city of Carthage itself.

Nevertheless,  the species of elephant used by Hannibal has been a source of debate for years(f). The Numidians of North Africa (202 BC–46 BC) also used local elephants in warfare(g). It would seem to me that the North African Elephant, rather than the Asian or African species, would have been more suited to the trek across the Alps. Needless to say, the Atlas Mountains were part of the Atlantean sphere of control (Timaeus 25a-b) and so may be the reason that Plato mentioned them.

The latter half of 2010 saw a new piece of nonsense hit the blogosophere when a claim that the Atlanteans had flying machines made of elephant skins suddenly appeared and before you could say “cut and paste” it was ‘adopted’ by a variety of websites(a)(b). So Dumbo was not the first flying elephant! In fact this daft idea was just a recycling of one of Edgar Cayce’s ‘revelations’ (Reading 364-6)(m).

(a)  (Offline October 2017)