Robert Rengifo was a little known Chilean professor who flourished in the early decades of the 20th century. He had an intense interest in the prehistory of America and presented his views in the Proceedings of the prestigious Societe Scientifique du Chili(The Scientific Society of Chile) from 1904 until 1935. He focussed on the aboriginal peoples of Chile and in particular Patagonia in the extreme south. His attention was drawn even further south to Antarctica where he controversially concluded that man had originated (rather than Africa). Then following a catastrophic axial pole shift that destroyed Atlantis, which was located there, people were forced to migrate, populating the rest of the Americas and then the world.
Rafael Videla Eissmann, who has championed Rengifo’s work has drawn attention to an excerpt from the epic poem, La Araucana, by Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga (1533-1594) which translates from the original Castilian as
“Chile, fertile and known land
in the famous Antarctic region
from ancient nations respected
because of being strong, important and powerful”.
Eissmann believes that this suggests knowledge of an ancient Antarctic polar civilisation!
While many of his conclusions may now appear purely speculative, in fact, Rengifo thought his views would eventually be vindicated by archaeology. The Monte Verde site in southern Chile has since been dated to around 11,000 BC. In addition, the enormous dressed stone blocks of El Enladrillado, also in Chile, raise questions about the technological capabilities of the region’s early inhabitants.
This apparent movement of peoples from south to north was endorsed by Arthur Posnansky in his 1919 book La Hora Futura. The ensuing half century saw more of his conclusions echoed by researchers such as Charles Hapgood, the Flem-Aths, Hugh Auchincloss Brown and Robert Argod.
His work has recently been highlighted in a 2008 book by Rafael Videla Eissmann as well as in a series of papers on his website(a). Another overview of Rengifo’s theories is available online(b).
(a) http://obrasrafaelvidelaeissmann.blogspot.com/ (Spanish) [use search facility]
Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1904-1982) was born in New York. He graduated from Harvard and became Professor of the History of Science at Keene State College of the University of New Hampshire.
He has written a number of books of which his work on medieval maps is probably the best known. Hapgood had built on the valuable collection of ancient maps assembled by the Swedish scholar A.E. Nordenskiöld. Hapgood’s book was the result of years of research in collaboration with his students that determined that the maps had been compiled from much earlier sources that included details of an ice-free coast of Antarctica. His conclusion, as the sub-title of his book states, was that these maps were evidence for the existence of an advanced Ice Age civilisation and have been seen as further support for the early date for Atlantis given to Solon. A review(a) of The Maps of the Ancient Sea-Kings on the Internet is worth a read.
According to Rand Flem-Ath and Colin Wilson[063.27], around 1958, Hapgood identified a location 1000 miles off the mouth of the Orinoco River, in South America, known as the Rocks of St. Peter & St. Paul as the site of Atlantis. These islets lie above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and according to Hapgood are the remnants of a large island, now submerged. He attempted to persuade President Kennedy to assist with a US Navy exploration of the area around the Rocks of St. Peter and Paul, but the assassination of Kennedy put paid to any possibility of any help from the White House.
Hapgood’s second controversial offering was his belief that the earth’s crust had shifted, although over time he appears to have altered his view on the precise mechanism that caused this movement. Recently, Kyle Bennett has claimed that the idea of crustal displacement was proposed as early as 1866 by Sir John Evans. Bennett has reprinted Evans’ paper in support of his accusation of plagiarism(b).
Hapgood also involved himself in the controversy surrounding the figurines discovered in Acámbaro, Mexico, which creationists offer as evidence that man lived at the time of the dinosaurs. The 32,000 figurines have been denounced as a hoax(e). Hapgood’s stance supporting their authenticity does little, in my opinion, to enhance the value of his judgement.
In 1953 Albert Einstein wrote to Hapgood offering support for his theory and subsequently expressed similar views in a foreword for Hapgood’s book.
Some of Hapgood’s ideas have been supported in a well-illustrated book by the late Robert Argod, who uses both the Piri Reis and the Oronteus Finaeus maps to support his idea that the Polynesians originated in Antarctica and that their influence can be found elsewhere in the world.
Hapgood corresponded with Rand Flem-Ath who subsequently published his theory that Atlantis had existed in the Antarctic. Argod’s book combined with the work of the Flem-Aths does offer a credible case for considering the possibility of an Atlantis-Antarctic connection. This idea was bolstered further when Graham Hancock gave the Antarctica theory additional exposure in one of his popular books, Fingerprints of the Gods
An independent overview of both Hapgood’s theory and Hancock’s comments by Steve Krause can be read online(d).
Hapgood died in a tragic motor accident, which led at least one writer, Kyle Bennett, to suggest that it was murder,. in an article now removed from his website.
In 1998, J.Bowles published his The Gods, Gemini and the Great Pyramid which he wrote with the encouragement of Beth Hapgood, a cousin of Charles. His intention was to expand on the work of Hapgood relating to the shifting poles. He refers to Antarctica as alternating between being Atlantis in the Atlantic and Moo in the Pacific. A fanciful idea, as both were reportedly submerged and at least one is totally imaginary.
Oronteus Finaeus (1494-1555) was a celebrated cartographer who produced a map in 1531 which is claimed by some that, like the Piri Reis Map, it depicts the coast of an ice-free Antarctica. Charles Hapgood rediscovered it in 1959(a) in the Library of Congress. This idea is then used to support the concept of the existence of a very early civilisation that was capable of sophisticated map making. It is then just a short step to name this civilisation ‘Atlantis’. Some, such as the Flem-Aths went further and actually nominated Antarctica as the home of Atlantis.
Robert Argod has used the Oronteus Finaeus Map to support his contention that the Polynesians had originated in Antarctica.
A more recent website(b), although not endorsing an Antarctic Atlantis, discusses some of these old maps in very great detail. The site is based on a number of chapters from a work-in-progress, The Atlantis Maps: The Rise of Atlantis and the Fall of a Paradigm by Doug Fisher. He identifies the Plain of Mesopotamia in Northern Argentina as the location of Atlantis.
Catastrophism today is the name given to a school of thought that supports the idea that the history of the Earth has been punctuated by events such as floods, fires and asteroid strikes that have caused widespread if not global devastation and that some of these events occurred within the memory of man and are recorded in worldwide mythologies. Worryingly, it is now more generally accepted that further catastrophes will occur as a result of future cometary/asteroidal strikes.
Some readers may think that the subject has no direct connection with Plato’s Atlantis, however, his text refers to a number of catastrophic events that clearly brought devastation to Athens, Atlantis and beyond. The Flood of Deucalion and earlier inundations, Phaeton and other cosmic encounters, plus conflagrations and earthquakes all point to periods of great instability in the early prehistory of the Aegean region and quite probably much further afield.
Jürgen Spanuth devotes chapter 4 of his Atlantis of the North to an examination of “the natural catastrophes of the 13th century BC” that deals with Phaeton and the blizzard of floods, earthquakes and eruptions that beset the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Some of these matters have been recently expanded upon by Nur & Cline(f)(g) and endorsed by Stavros Papamarinopoulos[750.73].
Claude Schaeffer, a celebrated French archaeologist, declared in 1948 that on at least five occasions during the Bronze Age the Middle East had been subjected to widespread catastrophic destruction as a result of natural events rather than human activity.
Immanuel Velikovsky is arguably the best know of the 20th century catastrophists, who published two books in the 1950’s that provoked widespread controversy that continues today. In 1964, the Belgian mathematician René Gallant (1908-1985) published Bombarded Earth which dealt in great detail with the consequences of meterorite impacts with the earth. Gallant, perhaps because of his amateur status as a geologist, never received the attention he deserved.
More recently Allan & Delair produced another book that identified 9500 BC as the date of a global catastrophe following an encounter with a comet. Their conclusions are at variance with Velikovsky’s, particularly regarding dates. Professor Mike Baillie of Queens University, Belfast is a well-known dendrochronologist who has recently entered the debate with a book that adds evidence from his discipline to support the theory of cometary or asteroidal impacts with the Earth. Unfortunately his work is confined to the last 4,500 years and so casts no further light on the 9,500 BC date apart from offering support for the possibility of extraterrestrial impacts.
However, Richard Firestone and his co-authors have researched  an impact ‘Event’ the occurred 13,000 years ago and caused devastation in North America including the creation of the hundreds of thousands of Carolina Bays and some of the outbursts of Lake Missoula. Like Baillie they claim that a memory of this event has been preserved in the folktales of many of the North American Indians. This book is must-read for anyone interested in the latest developments in catastrophist research.
The destruction of Atlantis has been linked to a number of possible catastrophic events including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and asteroid strikes. Plato’s account cites a flood as the immediate cause of the disappearance of Atlantis. In the 18th century Giovanni Carli was probably the first to link a cometary encounter with the Earth as the cause of Atlantis’ demise. This idea has been supported by numerous writers ever since with Emilio Spedicato being one of its leading exponents today.
There are numerous sites on the Internet relating to catastrophism of which one(a) can be recommended as a good starting point for further study. Andy Blackard has listed(b) events connected with global upheavals around 3200 and 2000 BC. An Australian archaeologist, Peter Jupp, is the creator of the Ancient Destructions website(e) which deals with a number of historical mysteries including, Baalbek and Antarctica.
A more recent book by Robert Argod postulates that many of these historical catastrophes were caused by an irregular series of accelerated tectonic movements, although he does not offer a credible mechanism to explain the triggering of such upheavals. Is it possible that the strikes by or near misses with extraterrestrial objects, proposed by so many, generated the tectonic shifts proposed by Argod?
Professor Trevor Palmer has written a comprehensive history of catastrophes and catastrophism from the earliest times and its relevance today. His Perilous Planet Earth includes a couple of chapters in which he reviews Atlantis theories in the context of catastrophism.
2012 was been promoted as the date of the next worldwide catastrophe based on a highly questionable interpretation of the Mayan calendar. New Age gurus were promising a change in global consciousness, whatever that means. If interested you can read more of this nonsense online(c) or consider a more balanced view(d).
Antarctica takes its name from the Greek Anti Arktos, which means opposite the Arctic. It first entered the Atlantis debate as far back as 1923 when René-Maurice Gattefossé maintained that Atlantis had been located in the Atlantic and culturally influenced by an even earlier civilisation that had existed on Antarctica. In the same year another Frenchman, Dominique Sévriat, published a novel with the backdrop of an Atlantean Antarctic.
However the earliest suggestion of Antarctica as the home of Atlantis seems to have come from a Chilean professor, Roberto Rengifo, who also proposed, in 1920, that Antarctica was the original home of modern man until a catastrophic pole shift forced a migration northward into the Americas and eventually worldwide!
Twenty years later Rand & Rose Flem-Ath, supported by a well designed website(a), published a similar theory that received widespread exposure in the English-speaking world. Subsequently, Rand Flem-Ath co-authored with Colin Wilson a second book that added further background to the theory. Colin Wilson has more recently abandoned his support for Antarctica, as he eventually found the idea of Atlantis based here waging war against Athens, 5,000 miles away, untenable and now supports Robert Sarmast’s idea of Cyprus as the location of Atlantis. Andrew Collins is another writer who was initially attracted to the Antarctica hypothesis, but eventually opted for Cuba as the location of Atlantis. In 2007, David Stewart Jnr., a prominent Mormon writer, offered support for Flem-Ath’s theory in an article on his scripture history website.
The Antarctic theory is dependent on the acceptance of a number of hotly debated fundamentals, among which are: earth crust displacement (Pole Shift), a 10,000 BC date for Atlantis, Posnansky’s dating of Tiahuanaco and the interpretation of the Piri Reis Map.
An ice core, 3km long, which was recently recovered from Antarctica, has shown a continuous record stretching back 740,000 years. This would appear to indicate that the region was never without ice cover during that period, contradicting the Flem-Ath theory of Plato’s Atlantis being in Antarctica. This argument is tackled in Appendix 6 of The Atlantis Blueprint.
Another author who claims that the Antarctic ice sheet is not more than 6,000 years old is the Australian archaeologist Peter ‘Mungo’ Jupp. He has expanded on his views in a DVD(d). His principal claim is that ice core data has been misinterpreted as it is based on a false assumption that there is a layer per year, while there is evidence that a number of layers have been created anually(e). He does not directly enter the Atlantis debate but the evidence he adduces to support his thesis are more usually employed to support the Atlantis in Antarctica viewpoint.
Two German writers Fritz Nestke and Thomas Reimer have also supported the idea of Atlantis in Antarctica with their own 1988 book. Patrick Geryl and Gino Ratinckx have predicted a catastrophic pole reversal in 2012 and are ‘certain’ that an earlier pole change resulted in Atlantis being situated under the ice of the South Pole.
Although not directly connect to the Antarctic-Atlantis debate, the late French mariner Robert Argod has given us a fascinating book that supports the idea that the Polynesians originated in Antarctica and that their influence is to be found further afield.
The French science-fiction writer, René Barjavel, used the Antarctic Atlantis location in his 1968 novel, La Nuit des temps.
Arguments against the idea of ‘Atlantis in Antarctica’, by Paul V. Heinrich, can be found on the Internet(c).
Those that still have the temerity to support the concept of an Antarctican
Atlantis may find this recent (March 2013) image of the continent ice-free(f)
published by Scientific American(f) interesting.