Henry Beckles Willson (1869-1942) was a Canadian soldier, journalist and historian. Part of his prolific output was a 1902 booklet entitled Lost England: The Story of Our Submerged Coasts , which was reprinted in 1986 as Lost Lyonesse: Evidence, Records and Traditions of England’s Atlantis with an introduction by John Michell. In the original book, Willson refers to the land, now lost, which stretched from Land’s End to the Scilly Isles without any mention of Atlantis. That reference was only used in the title of the more recent reprint.
Scylla and Charybidis were a sea monster and a whirlpool in Greek mythology who according to Homer and other writers were located opposite each other across a narrow strait. This led to the idiomatic phrase “between Scylla and Charybidis” similar to our more modern phrase of being “between the devil and the deep blue sea” describing being caught between two opposing forces.
Many, such as Heinrich Schliemann, assume the original to have been located between Sicily and the Italian mainland at the strait of Messina.>Arthur R. Weir in a 1959 article(d) refers to ancient documents, which state that Scylla and Charybdis lie between the Pillars of Hercules(c) .<
A minority have opted for the Scylla being Calpe (The Rock of Gibraltar) and Charybdis being Mt. Abyla across the strait in North Africa or in other words the Pillars of Heracles(a) . However, Professor Arysio Santos promoting his Atlantis in Indonesia theory suggested that the ‘original’ Pillars of Heracles were in at Sunda Strait and later brought to ancient Greece where it was included by Homer in his Odysseus as Scylla and Charybdis!(b)
Writers who have located the wanderings of Ulysses in the North Atlantic have gone further afield in their search for Scylla and Charybdis with the west coast of Scotland (Pillot and Nyland), the Orkneys (Sora) southwest Cornwall near the Scilly Isles (Wilkens) .
(d) Atlantis – A New Theory, Science Fantasy #35, June 1959 pp 89-96
The Scilly Isles are located south west of Cornwall’s Land’s End in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands were more extensive before the ending of the last Ice Age and their inundation following the melting of the glaciers undoubtedly produced the numerous legends in the region of sunken cities and lost civilisations. Apparently there was once a paved causeway joining some of the islands and according to an 18th century report, it was then under 8 feet of water. Even earlier in the 3rd century AD, Solinus referred to the Scillies in the singular as insulam Siluram.
O.G.S. Crawford, who was the first Archaeology Officer with the British Ordnance Survey, was also the founder in 1927 of Antiquity which continues today. In its first edition(c) he wrote of the earlier Scillies as a single landmass and its relationship to the legend of Lyonesse(b).
Some writers have identified the Scillies as the Cassiterides (Isles of Tin) referred to by Pliny the Elder. However, there are no known tin deposits on the islands, although it is possible that before the ocean levels rose ore deposits were accessible, similar to those in nearby Devon and Cornwall, but this inundation probably occurred before the technology existed to exploit its use.
In more recent times the Russian Scientist Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev was convinced that Atlantis was located on the Celtic Shelf near the Scilly Isles. He specifically identified an underwater feature know as the Little Sole Bank, whose highest point is just 75 metres beneath the ocean’s surface. He had been promoting his theory since 1995 and eventually obtained official government permission to carry out explorations in the area, but he was unable to raise the necessary funds to carry out the operation.
In 2009, excavations on St. Agnes in the Scillies revealed a remarkable Bronze Age pottery sherd which seems to depict the earliest know image of a sailing boat ever found in the United Kingdom(a).
In 1651, the Netherlands declared war on the Scillies, a little detail that was forgotten until 1986, when a peace treaty was finally signed(d) !
(c) http://antiquity.ac.uk/archive (Jan. 2019 access restricted)
Russian Atlantology was quite unknown to the general reader in the West until the fall of communism. This was mainly due to a combination of the strictures of the communist regime and the language barrier. A recent submission to Wikipedia on the subject of Russian Atlantology was rejected but can be read here(i).
It is accepted that Russian Atlantology began in the 18th century with brief references in a number of technical and poetic works. However it was not until the 19th century that Avraam Norov attempted the first serious scientific attempt to locate Atlantis. Following a study of Greek and Arabic sources, Norov was convinced that Plato’s lost civilisation had been situated in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Later in the same century a new element was introduced to the subject with the ‘revelations’ of Elena Blavatsky and the creation of Theosophy. To this day her esoteric waffle is quoted and accepted unthinkingly by many otherwise rational beings. The renowned Russian novelist Alexei Tolstoy devoted an episode in his novel Aelita to the subject of Atlantis.
In 1912, Vladimir Bogachev, a noted geologist published a short work on the geology of Atlantis entitled Atlantida. Bogachev lectured at the University of Dorpat in Estonia and is often labelled ‘the father of Russian Atlantology’. A few years later, the poet and historian, Valery Bryusov, wrote of Atlantis flourishing at the end of the last Ice Age. In 1923 the geographer, Boris Bobrynin, identified the Guanches of the Canaries as the descendants of the Atlanteans.
The doyen of Russian atlantologists in the latter half of the 20th century was undoubtedly Nikolai Zhirov whose studies over many years were published in English in 1970 and again in 2001. It is a work of great erudition although it is a little dated as most of the material was originally published in Russian in the 1950’s. Zhirov uncompromisingly determined to promote the Atlantic as the original location of Atlantis.>He wrote a short overview of Russian Atlantology for Egerton Sykes‘ Atlantis journal in 1959(j).<
More recently Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev published his thesis regarding the location of Atlantis on the Internet(a). He is convinced that it was located on the Celtic Shelf near the Scilly Isles. Vladimir Pakhomov is another supporter of the ‘Atlantis in the Atlantic’ school of thought and also promotes his views on the Internet(b).
In 1994 Vlaceslav Jurikov proposed that Atlantis had been located near the Lipari Islands and its refugees fled to the Ukraine resulting in the modern symbol of the Ukraine being the trident of Poseidon. Coincidentally, the Ukrainian connection has also received support from non-Russians, the exotic sounding Flying Eagle and Whispering Wind(c) and the Schoppes(d).
The late Alexander Voronin was the president of the Russian Society ror Studying the Problem of Atlantis [ROIPA], which has held three congresses on the subject. At the last congress, Alexander Gorodnitsky, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, spoke controversially of the existence of highly advanced civilisations in the distant past. Voronin was also the chief editor of Atlantis: Problems, Searches, Hypotheses.
Konstantin Dukarev has written a review of scientific Atlantology with particular reference to Russian studies(e). Although the paper is in Russian it translates well, but without paragraphs, making it more difficult to read.
A hyperdiffusionist view of Russia as the world’s mother culture, employing a level of hyperbole not endured since the days of Stalin, can be now read(f) online for your added enjoyment.
There are aspects of modern Russian nationalism that seem to employ some of the rhetoric of the Nazi regime as well as their ideas of an Arctic homeland and even more worryingly, anti-Semitism(g). The linkage of Atlantis with this Arctic homeland was highlighted a few years ago on the Pravda website(h).
(g) See: Archive 2415
(i) See: Archive 3918
>(j) Atlantis Vol.13 No.1 Dec 1959<
Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev is a Russian scientist who is convinced that Atlantis was located on the Celtic Shelf near the Scilly Isles off Land‘s End. He specifically identifies an underwater feature know as the Little Sole Bank, whose highest point is just 75 metres beneath the ocean’s surface. He has been promoting his theory since 1995(a).
During the last Ice Age an extensive portion of the Shelf would have been exposed, as sea levels were significantly lower. Koudriavtsev has published his theory in detail on the Internet, where he discusses the interpretation of Plato’s text with particular emphasis on an Atlantic location for Atlantis. Accepting that Atlantis was a large landmass in accordance with Plato’s figures, he is certain that the Celtic Shelf offers the most likely solution to the location mystery. Apparently there has been no modern bathymetric survey of the area. Consequently he has sought permission from the British authorities to carry out a detailed investigation of the area. He was also seeking finance to fund the venture but apparently was unsuccessful and had to abandon his plans to search in his proposed location near the Scilly Isles.
Koudriavtsev summed up his hypothesis as follows:
“At the time when the last Ice Age ended, the rising level of the world ocean resulted in the submerging of a sizeable territory in the west of Europe (which is now known as the Celtic Shelf) and where the centre of a highly developed civilisation and of a powerful state was situated. This state (or a commonwealth of states) controlled the whole Atlantic coast of Europe (and maybe North Africa), a considerable part of the Mediterranean coast of Europe and Africa and, possibly, could also sail the territories along the Atlantic coasts of North Africa, North and Central America. Along with this state, there existed other states in areas with a mild climate, in particular, “Ancient Athens”, which entered into a coalition with other peoples of the Mediterranean to jointly resist the expansion of Atlantis. All the artefacts of these civilisations have either been irretrievably lost or are now on the bottom of the sea that is why they have never come to the notice of the modern archaeological science. Neither have had written records from that period preserved, and the earliest written recording of the events of that period was made at least a thousand years later, in Egypt, on the basis of the still remaining folk memory, but it was already very general in character and imprecise. It was pure chance that it came to the notice of Plato and was recorded by him in the dialogues Timaeus and Critias. Throughout the whole chain of the passing down of this narrative, distortions and inaccuracies have accumulated, which, coupled with lack of corroborating evidence from other sources and archaeological finds, has determined its present ambiguous status.”
In the decades since Koudriavtsev’s claim first appeared in the media, very little has happened. In fact, recently (Oct.2016), doubt has been cast not only on the credibility of Koudriavtsev, but the very existence of the institute he claimed to be associated with(b).
Also See: Celtic Shelf
Lyonesse is a mythical land between Cornwall and the Scilly Isles that reputedly sank into the sea. Ancient maps indicate that most of the Scillies were united in Roman times(a) noted by Peter Stanier in his book about the region. Legend has it that it contained 140 temples. Mordred, is said to have fought his final battle with King Arthur at Lyonesse. This ancient tale has been regularly linked with the destruction of Atlantis.
There is a parallel Breton legend of Kêr-Is (Ker-Ys in French).
A group of rocks called the “Seven Sisters” lies six miles (10 km) off Land’s End, the southernmost tip of Britain. According to legend, these rocks mark the site of a kingdom that once linked Britain to France. The site description fits in with the Cornish myth of the kingdom of Lyonesse – also known as the City of Lions. In the 5th century A.D., Lyonesse was inundated and disappeared beneath the sea. The legend has it that there was only one survivor. Since then, local fishers have caught pieces of buildings and other remains in their nets. They claim that these come from Lyonesse.
Henry Beckles Willson in a 1902 booklet claimed that land now lost, once extended from Land’s End to the Scilly Isles. Contrast that with a speculative map in Lucile Taylor Hansen’s book The Ancient Atlantic, which shows Lyonesse as a large landmass west of the Scillies. She also informed us that the island of Tresco, which today is roughly 2 miles long and a mile across at its widest, had a circumference of ten miles in 1538.
A team of Russian scientists were hoping to answer the two and a half thousand-year-old mystery regarding Plato’s Atlantis, with an investigation of the underwater ‘Celtic Shelf’ beyond the Scilly Isles. Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev, of the Moscow Institute of Meta-history, has used a re-interpretation of the classical Greek texts to locate the possible position of the fabled ancient lands. It is claimed that in the 1990’s the British authorities were set to issue a six-week licence for the exploration of Little Sole Bank, a conical submerged hill lying only 50m below the surface approximately 100 miles south-west of the mainland, but apparently due to a lack of funding nothing has been heard of the project since.
In 2012 the ‘micronation’ selfstyled as the Principality of Lyonesse declared its ‘independence’(b)(c).
Also see: Micropatrology
The Celtic Shelf in the North Atlantic is accepted as having had large areas, now under water, exposed during the last Ice Age when sea levels were far lower than today due to the enormous amounts of water contained in the glaciers that covered vast swathes of northern Europe and America.
A number of investigators have proposed that these exposed lands were home to Atlantis. Stone Age artefacts have been discovered off the coasts of Britain in recent years demonstrating the man lived on a more extensive landmass at the end of the last Ice Age.
Seventy years ago F. Gidon proposed the Celtic Shelf as a location for Atlantis, but as he ascribed a Bronze Age date to the society, the Celtic Shelf would already have been inundated and since Atlantis had mountains, at least their peaks would have remained visible.
A leading advocate of a Celtic Shelf location for Atlantis is the Russian Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev, who for the past ten years has been promoting his view that a site near to the Scilly Isles was the location of Atlantis. Although he has received government permission to carry out explorations in the area it appears that lack of funding has thwarted his plans to attempt to verify his theory.
Dan Crisp has published(a) a discussion on various location theories and concluded that on balance Koudriavtsev was on the right track when he nominated the Celtic Shelf as the most likely location of Atlantis.
In 2016, Philip Runggaldier added his support for locating Atlantis on the Celtic Shelf, explaining its demise at the end of the last Ice Age being the result of a megadeluge that burst through an ice dam containing a glacial lake in the Irish Sea Basin.