Heather Pringle “is a Canadian science writer who specializes in archaeology.” She has written many articles as well as a number of books and has her own website(a). Among her work is the prize-winning The Master Plan, in which she charts the work of the Nazi Ahnenerbe, founded by Himmler, “whose mission was to search for the lost civilization of an ancient master race.” Included in this fascinating book is an interesting account of the Hermann Wirth’s obsession with Atlantis in the North Atlantic as well as Edmund Kiss’ work at Tiwanaku in Bolivia.
*[A recent paper(b) by Pringle and Krista Langlois offers evidence that the Bering Strait during the last Ice Age was in fact a vast area of land the size of Australia and that it provided a crossing point, for humans and animals earlier and for longer than previously believed.
Pringle has also turned her attention to the Vikings in an interesting National Geographic article(c).]*
(c) National Geographic, March 2017 p.34]*
Julius Evola (1898-1974) was an Italian philosopher and although he was politically right-wing in his views, he did not formally join the National Fascist Party. However, when Italy surrendered to the Allies in September 1943, he moved to Germany where he worked as a researcher for the SS Ahnenerbe.
According to Evola in his Rivolta contro il mondo modern, , he claimed that the Atlanteans were Hyperboreans, Nordic supermen, who originated at the North Pole. It has been noted that many of his ideas regarding prehistory are closely related to Theosophy(b). This book has been translated into English and is available online.
According to Evola in his Revolt Against the Modern World (1934), he claimed that the Atlanteans were Hyperboreans, Nordic supermen, who originated at the North Pole.
The New York Times of February 10th 2017(c) has, worryingly, identified racist Evola as a possible influence on the thinking of Stephen K. Bannon, one of Donald Trump’s top advisors.
There is a website dedicated to his work(a).
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 more than a mere nazi ‘sympathiser’ and consequently 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) https://www.vho.org/VffG/2001/4/Czeppan374-381.html (German)
Karl Georg Zschaetzsch (1870- ?) was a German who, in 1920, placed Atlantis in the Atlantic and identified its people with the Aryans. He considered the Atlanteans to have had blonde hair and blue eyes, which sounds sadly familiar. His views were adopted by the Nazi Ahnenerbe. Zschaetzsch also supported the idea of a cometary impact being involved in the destruction of Atlantis.
Zschaetzsch suggested that Atlantis was situated in the Azores and published a map illustrating this.
For those who can read German and are interested in the madness of that period, Zschaetzsch’s book Atlantis – die Urheimat der Arier (Atlantis: The Original Home of the Aryans) can be downloaded from the Internet(a) for €5. As a bonus, Zschaetzsch eventually reveals that he is descended from Jupiter and that his unpronounceable name is really just a corruption of Zeus!
Thule is the name given in ancient Greek and Roman literature for the most northerly part of the world. Around 300 BC the Greek navigator Pytheas claimed to have visited Thule, six days travel beyond Northern Britain. This may have been Iceland and in support of this idea a paper was submitted to the 2008 Atlantis Conferencein Athens by two Italian researchers, G. Giancarlo and M. Stucchi. In Germanic and Scandinavian traditions the name is applied to a long lost continent in the North Atlantic. Another candidate is the Estonian island of Saaremaa, which is also home to the (700BC (d) or 2000BC(b)) Kaali meteor crater field.
Just over a century ago, an extreme nationalistic German secret society called Germanenorden was founded and after a few years a schism in its ranks led to the Munich branch adopting the cover name of Thule-Gesellschaft. Some of its members sought to link Thule with Atlantis and the Aryans with the Atlanteans using some of the ideas of Helena Blavatsky and Jean-Silvain Bailly(a).
Karl Harrer, a member of the Thule Society along with the far-right politician Anton Drexler were founders of the German Workers Party (DAP) in 1919, two years later it changed its name to Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, better known as the Nazi Party. The Thule Society faded with the establishment of the DAP, although there was a failed attempt to revive it in 1933.
Claims that most leading Nazis had been members of the Thule Society seems to be a gross exaggeration, having only had Rudolf Hess a member for a brief period.
Dr Jürgen Spanuth (1907-1998) was born in Austria and studied theology and archaeology at university. He became pastor of Bordelum in Northern Germany. His first book Das Entraselte Atlantis was published in 1953, following excavations near Heligoland. It was later published in English and is now available to read on the Internet(a). His basic thesis was that following a major catastrophe in the North Sea around 1250 BC, the Mediterranean experienced an invasion of Scandinavians, whom he referred to as the ‘North Sea Peoples’. Part of the physical evidence he produced was the horn-helmeted Sea Peoples depicted at Medinet Habu. Since we are all used to seeing Vikings depicted with horned helmets, many are surprised to find that it is a late 19th-century invention(e)(f).
Spanuth’s theory implies that such helmets had been a standard army issue in the region for over a millennium. In fact the Vikings used rather plain helmets which they did not manufacture themselves but traded for them from other Germanic peoples on mainland Europe(d). On the other hand, one of the Sea Peoples, the Shardana, generally believed to have come from Sardinia, did use horn-helmets. However, there are aspects of this claim that are the subject of continuing debate, but the suggestion of a North Sea connection has weakened considerably.
Spanuth considered Basileia, the royal island of Atlantis, to have been located near Heligoland. He produced a mass of evidence to support his views but found his book under severe attack by many academics, which, in general, had the support of the public. After being publicly labelled, among other things, a liar, Spanuth was forced to challenge his detractors in the courts. After some six years, he was vindicated when ten professors withdrew their plea, admitting that their arguments against the pastor were untenable. Felix R. Paturi has more information[1339.215] on this disgraceful episode, as well as a note of scientists who supported Spanuth.
A study of Spanuth’s references would suggest that he had access to the prehistoric research archives of the Ahnenerbe and has successfully collated and analysed a lot of this extensive material in his books. Vidal-Naquet bluntly labels him a Nazi[580.124], although his publisher, Wolfram Zeller, denied it. It may be relevant to mention that in the 1930s, Heinrich Pudor an avowed German anti-Semite also proposed Helgoland as Atlantis, but I have been unable to find any reference to Pudor by Spanuth!
The German Wikipedia claims that Spanuth was a member of the NSDAP (Nazi Party) from 1933 until 1945. Similar claims that he had been in the SS have also been refuted(c). In 2002, Frank Doenenburg, on his website(b)discussed Spanuth’s politics at length. In my view, all these matters, however unsavoury, risk distracting us today from discussing dispassionately the merits or otherwise of Spanuth’s Atlantis theories.
Spanuth’s second book had a much better reception. His final offering was Die Atlanter(1976), which was also published in English, however, this is really just a revised and expanded version of his 1965 book.
Spanuth has still a lot of supporters and is constantly referred to, particularly by German investigators such as Arn Strohmeyer and Gerhard Herm. Felice Vinci, who strongly favours a Northern European origin for Homer’s epic tales, also places Atlantis in a northern context. The Danish writer, Kirsten Bang, published a short book in which she also placed Atlantis in the Wadden Sea where Helgoland is located. She also supports a date of 1300 BC for its destruction.
Another recent supporter of Spanuth’s Atlantis theory is Holger Kalweit who has written a trilogy, the first of which is Irrstern über Atlantis. This initial volume is concerned with the destruction of Atlantis by a comet (Phaeton) in 1222 BC, leaving Helgoland as a remnant. Refugees fled south to the Eastern Mediterranean leaving their cultural imprint on the region. Unfortunately. this huge 700-page book is to be followed by two more in which the author moves on to expand on the subject of ‘lizard people’, which for me has him as a fully paid-up member of the lunatic fringe.
(b) https://www.fdoernenburg.de/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=1213 (page closed, July 2017)
Edmund Kiss (1886-1960) was a German architectural student with an interest in archaeology. After the First World War he wrote a number of adventure novels. In the 1920’s he began his foray into the world of ‘alternative archaeology’. Later in that decade he made his first visit to Tiahuanaco.
During this period Kiss worked with Arthur Posnansky and advanced the idea that Tiahuanaco had been built by Nordic refugees from Atlantis (Thule) more than 17,000 years ago. Their work included a search for evidence to support the theories of Hanns Hörbiger.
Matthew Gildner, a professor of Latin American history has written an interesting essay on the background to Kiss’ theories and work in Bolivia(b).
During the Third Reich was requested by Heinrich Himmler to take a team of researchers from the Ahnenerbe to continue his studies at Tiahuanaco but the expedition was called off. Following that he briefly joined the Waffen SS. After the war he continued his interest in Atlantis, writing a book on Plato’s Critias and contributing to Egerton Sykes’ Atlantean Research newsletter in the 1950’s.
Rafael Videla Eissmann is an historian at the Catholic University of Chile, has written a number of articles in Spanish(a) regarding Kiss, as well as a wide range of other historical subjects.
>As late as 1953, Kiss was still defending Hörbiger’s idea of an ice-covered Moon(c).<
>(c) Atlantis, Volume 6, No.1, May 1953<
Hanns Hörbiger (1860-1931) was an Austrian mining engineer by profession and in his spare time was an amateur astronomer. Today, he is probably better known as the father of the actors Paul and Attila Hörbiger.
By gazing at the moon he became convinced that he was looking at a bright outer layer of ice. Hörbiger published his “Doctrine of Eternal Ice” around 1913 in a book co-authored with a schoolteacher named Philip Fauth. Hörbiger proposed an early form of catastrophism that saw the Earth capture a number of moons in succession. Periodically, each of these moons disintegrated and as they spiralled to earth producing enormous ‘ice showers’ followed by meteors of iron. He saw the effects of these impacts as the source of Flood myths and claimed that when our current Moon was captured around 9500 BC it triggered earthquakes that led to the destruction of Atlantis. His theories were hailed in Germany during the 1930’s and 1940’s and officially backed by the Nazis (see Ahnenerbe). Heather Pringle notes[0032.180] Hitler’s personal support for Hörbiger’s theories.
>In 1966, Egerton Sykes wrote that “in addition Hitler requiring a Teutonic cosmology as well as a Germanic Europe, adopted Hoerbiger’s hypothesis, probably one of the few sensible acts that the Nazis ever made”(w).<
There was a Viennese Hörbiger Institute for World Ice Science founded in 1932(p). Their publication Mitteilungen had two volumes published from 1941 to 1944 and a third volume 1971-1976(o).
An interesting 1949 report by Manfred Reiffenstein describes the problems that the Hörbiger Institute had encountered with the Nazis from 1938 onwards. While efforts were made to close the Institute down and transfer its archives to Himmler’s Ahnenerbe organisation, this was prevented by the efforts of Hörbiger’s sons(s), which might be considered an example of postwar revisionism.
A recent paper by Graham Holton explicitly accuses Hörbiger of ‘archaeological racism’, along with Edmund Kiss, Posnansky and others in the Ahnenerbe(t).
His ideas were adopted and developed further by Hans Bellamy in a number of his books. During the first half of the 20th century, many beyond the Nazi realm frequently referred to Hörbiger’s moon theory as authoritative.
Hörbiger refused to accept the evidence that his ‘icy’ moon had a daytime temperature of 100°C. Followers of Hörbiger existed in Germany, Britain and France after the war, until an actual landing on the Moon demonstrated that it was composed of neither ice nor cheese.
A number of other writers developed theories that were variations on Hörbiger’s ideas. 1954 saw the publication of The Moon Puzzle by the Swedish engineer, N.O. Bergquist, in which he suggested that earth had a close encounter with a planetoid which caused the ejection of a large amount of matter, which became our Moon leaving a huge scar we call the Pacific. Although many details of Berquist’s theory differ greatly from Hörbiger’s, he never refers to the then widely supported views of Hörbiger.
In 1955, G. Demortier published a theory of cosmic catastrophe that was somewhat similar to Hörbiger’s. However, couple of years earlier, doubts were beginning to emerge regarding aspects of Hörbiger’s theories as our cosmological knowledge advanced(u), nevertheless in the same magazine Edmund Kiss attempted to justify Hörbiger’s idea of an ice-covered Moon!
It is even more astounding that as late as 1964, Egerton Sykes, the leading British atlantologist of the day, was still clinging to the concept of an ice covered lunar surface. In fact re-reading the old editions of Sykes’ Atlantis newsletter, I am amazed at the number of contributors that offered so many articles based on Hörbiger’s flawed ideas. My personal view is that having read Sykes’ newsletters, he can only considered a gullible British gentleman.
Egerton Sykes founded and promoted an English post-war Hoerbiger Institute through his Atlantis magazine(q). In March 1948 Bellamy contributed a short article (Hoerbiger Monograph No. 1. 2nd Edition)(n) to the newsletter, reiterating his support for the idea that the capture of our moon led to the destruction of Atlantis.
>Commander E.H. Nutter, a Royal Navy engineer, who contributed many articles to Sykes’ Atlantis magazine was considered “the leading technical authority on the Hoerbiger Theory in England” in the 1950’s.(v)<
Uwe Topper, the controversial German researcher has continued to support much of Hörbiger’s ideas. Additionally, in 2003, Gary Gilligan, a prominent catastrophist, first proposed that our Moon had been captured around 2000 BC, which he has now revised to 1200 BC(I)!
The August 2010 edition of the BBC’s Focus magazine (p.81), informs us that the Moon is moving away from Earth at a rate of 3.8cm per year, completely destroying the foundation of Hörbiger’s basic theory. The 9th Nov. 2011 issue of New Scientist published further evidence supporting this view(h), with further claims that this recession will reverse in the very distant future as the Earth’s rotation slows(r).
In the 17th century Johannes Kepler demonstrated that when an object’s orbital velocity increases, its orbital radius will expand; thus, the Moon slowly recedes from Earth(d). This idea was discussed further in a BBC documentary broadcast on Feb.1st 2011(b).
Nevertheless, updated Moon capture theories have been developed since Hörbiger. Emilio Spedicato has published a brief overview of recent contributions on the subject as well his own version(c), dating it to around 9450 BC, triggering the end of the Ice Age and the destruction of Atlantis!
It was long accepted wisdom that a moonless earth would have made the development of complex life more difficult because of greater climatic fluctuations. However, a new study challenges this, calculating that Jupiter together with other factors would minimise the effect of not having our satellite(g)
The story of lunar history took an unexpected turn in 2011 when the journal Nature published a paper by planetary scientists Erik Asphaug of the University of Santa Cruz and Martin Jutzi of the University of Berne who proposed that originally the Earth had two moons that later collided and formed our present satellite(e). At the end of 2011 two NASA lunar probes were launched(j) which may resolve this particular question.
In America, the WEL-Institute is dedicated to investigating Hörbiger’s ‘World Ice Theory’(k). I note that the U.S. is also home to associations concerned with both a Hollow Earth(l) and a Flat Earth(m)!
(p) See: Archive 3043
>(q) https://www.amazon.ca/Atlantis-Organ-Hoerbiger-Institute-1965-1974/dp/B00MOKVR2Y (Link broken Sept. 2020)<
(s) Atlantean Research, Volume 1, Number 5, January/February 1949
(u) Atlantis Vol.6, No.1 & 2, May & July 1953
>(v) Atlantis, Vol. 9, No. 2, January 1956, p.39
(w) Atlantis, Vol.19, No.5, September/ October, 1966<
The Canary Islands are situated in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco. They were (re)discovered in 1402 by Jean de Béthencourt (1362-1425). He found the fair skinned Guanches living on some of the islands. He described them as cave-dwellers. After overthrowing the local chiefs, de Béthancourt became King of the Canaries under King Henry III of Castile.
However, there has been widespread acceptance of the idea that the Berbers of North Africa has established the first populations on the islands. Recently (2019) published DNA studies have reinforced this concept, putting the arrival of the Berbers at around 1000 AD(h).
Pliny the Elder is frequently quoted to provide the etymology of the name, where he claims that it is derived from a species of large dog – canis in Latin – found there in ancient times. This derivation is disputed by the historian and arabist, Paul Lunde, who prefers the idea that the islands were named after an ancient people who lived on the opposite mainland and who now inhabit north-eastern Nigeria and are known today as the Kanuri. Pliny also records that the islands were uninhabited but had ancient ruined buildings when visited by the Carthaginians. Centuries later they were inhabited by a Berber people known as the Guanches who were finally conquered by the Spanish in the 15th century. When sea levels were lower during the last Ice Age, the land area of the islands would have been more extensive and possible claimant as the location of some or part of Plato’s empire of Atlantis.
Frank Joseph noted how the islands conform in many ways to Plato’s description of Atlantis. Natural hot and cold springs are to be found there, as are red, white and black rock, a combination also observed on the Azores and elsewhere. In the past the Canaries have been densely forested and also contain rivers and fertile plains that produce a variety of fruit.
In 1939 the Ahnenerbe, led by theologian turned archaeologist Otto Huth, planned to visit the Canaries to study Guanche mummies as part of their efforts to find the Aryan homeland and locate Atlantis. However, the outbreak of war postponed the trip, but the Spanish dictator, General Franco, at the behest of his Nazi mentors appointed his archaeologist friend Julio Martinez Santa Olalla to carry out investigations on their behalf. A paper(c) by Professor Francisco Gracia Alonso and a recent book by author and journalist Jaime Rubio Rosales explore the whole subject of the Spanish links with the Ahnenerbe.
In the 2nd century AD, the Greek astronomer and geographer Ptolemy suggested that the prime meridian should be located through the Canaries, then known as the Fortunate Islands.
The earliest suggestion of a connection between the Canaries and Atlantis was proposed by Athanasius Kircher in 1664, referring to the Guanches as the last Atlanteans and the islands as the remains of Plato’s lost land.
Ignatius Donnelly, who did so much to kick-start modern interest in Atlantis, considered that the Canaries, Madeira, the Azores and Cape Verde Islands were its remnants. However, a newspaper report from 1899(g) refers back to a local cleric and historian, José Viera y Claviejo, who proposed around the beginning of 19th century that the Canaries, the Azores and Madeira were remnants of Atlantis, nearly a century before Donnelly.
Gilbert De Jong is a Dutch landscape designer with an interest in investigating the mysteries of our ancient past. His contention is that Atlantis was located at El Fuerte – in the Canary Islands.
A website dealing with a variety of British and World mysteries(d) has a series of papers on Atlantis and reluctantly considers the Canaries as the most likely location of Plato’s lost land.
Thor Heyerdahl inspected the pyramids at Guimar and was convinced of their ceremonial use in ancient times(b). The late Philip Coppens also wrote an article(e) on these structures. A 2015 article(f) can now be added to this list.
>(d) https://www.aquiziam.com/where-is-atlantis/ OR See Archive 3028<
(e) Archive 2142)
Hermann Wirth (1885-1981) was a Dutch historian who became one of the co-founders of Himmler’s Ahnenerbe-SS. He was obsessed with Atlantis and sought to prove that it had existed in the North Atlantic where he believed that it had stretched from Iceland to the Azores. He thought that the only parts of Atlantis to remain above water after its submergence were Cape Verde and the Canary Islands. Wirth named this North Atlantic Atlantis, Thule after the ancient writer Pytheas. He also concluded that a pure monotheistic religion had originated in a common homeland, possibly Plato’s Atlantis(a).
The Nazis who came to believe that the Aryan race had originated on Thule adopted the idea. Wirth also translated the controversial Oera Linda Book, using it to support the party line on Germanic origins(b).