Baalbek, situated in the Bekka Valley in Lebanon, undoubtedly presents us with what I consider to be one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world. It was the site of a most impressive Roman temple complex dedicated to Jupiter. However, the very name Baalbek suggests an earlier connection with the Caananite/Phoenician god Baal.
Peter Mungo Jupp has suggested that the original temple at Baalbek had involved Holy Prostitution in the service of Baal(z), while another commentator has even suggested a link with Indian yogis!(t)
Although the Roman remains are still impressive, it is some blocks in the lower and presumably earlier courses(d), that have continued to stump archaeologists, three of which are of cut limestone and are estimated to weigh up to 800 tons(c). (compare with the content of the link(k))
An article(q) by Gian J. Quasara regarding this strange masonry is worth a read.
Even more disturbing is a block still lying in a nearby quarry, where it was cut, and which has been calculated to exceed 1000 tons and named The Stone of the Pregnant Woman. Another block, in the same quarry, was only discovered in the 1990’s and is thought to be even heavier at 1200 tons(g).
In 1997, Andrew Collins ventured to suggest that Baalbek because of its high elevation “hints at the fact that it once served as some kind of platform for the observation of celestial and stellar events”(v). Collins expanded on his views in two later papers on his website(w)(x).
While the Baalbek monoliths are astoundingly impressive, they would appear to be outshone by the unfinished stele in the quarry at Yangshan in eastern China. Its estimated weight has been put as high as over 6,000 tons. Its creation is attributed to the reign of the Yongle Emperor in the early 15th century. However, others claim a much greater antiquity, insisting that “although it is a limestone quarry, the stones were not cut and shaped with hammer and chisel, as you will see. They were machined.(y)!
Hugh Newman, a self-described ‘megalithomaniac’(r), has produced a paper(s) on the enormous Baalbek monoliths, in which he cites Graham Hancock speculatively dating the age of Baalbek megaliths at 12,000 years or more .
In March 2014, it was widely reported(e) that even heavier megaliths had been identified on Siberia’s Mount Shoria. However, the images I have seen suggest to me a natural origin(f). A short video clip is available(j).
We do not know how such huge objects were made or moved in ancient times. I often think that the bigger question is why did they bother to cut such large blocks! An online article(b) tells how the ingenuity of our ancestors produced the most powerful hand crane in history which multiplied the force of its operator 632 times. However, just because we do not yet know precisely how the Baalbek blocks were manipulated, does not justify wild claims that they were moved by high-tech Atlanteans or extraterrestrials. I may not know how stage magicians saw ladies in half, but that does not compel me to label them Atlantean or alien.
The most persistent question relating to all megalithic structures is “how did they manage to build them using such large heavy rocks and blocks”? Many ingenious solutions are on offer, but perhaps the most remarkable is that proposed by W. T. Wallington who has demonstrated that using basic materials, which were available to the Egyptians, one individual can manipulate a 4500kg stone block. His website includes a remarkable video clip of his method. A review(n) of this video is worth a read. Another or comparable technology may have been used by Edward Leedskainin when he single-handedly built Coral Castle in Florida City(o). What is certain is that Leedskainin had no help from intergalactic visitors.
The late Alan Alford wrote an extensive paper on Baalbek(a). Immanuel Velikovsky and others have supported the idea that Baakbek was in fact the location of the biblical city of Dan, recorded as the most northern city of ancient Israel. Furthermore, the earlier notes on the subject by Velikovsky are also available online(i) in which he suggested that Baalbek was the temple built by Jeroboam in the north of the former Kingdom of Israel to compete with Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem in the south.
December 2014 found the latest estimate for the weight of the largest dressed stone found at Baalbek calculated to be 1650 tons(h). It is clear that some explanation is required, hopefully, something better than the implication of extraterrestrial intervention. I would like to think that if we had alien visitors that their technology would be in advance of the ‘stone’ age. Surely they would have something better to produce than enormous foundation stones, which to my puny mind does not smack of the best that a civilisation capable of travelling across the cosmos would have to offer! I find the claims of Graham Hancock or Erich von Dániken equally unconvincing in this instance.
A sober well-referenced article outlining the arguments in favour of identifying the megaliths as Roman is available online(k) as well as supportive blogs from Frank Dörnenburg(m).
A UNESCO-sponsored hitech survey of the Baalbek site as part of a Risk Preparedness Strategy is now proposed so that the most appropriate remedial action can be taken in the event of natural deterioration or even war damage(l).
Brian Foerster’s website(p) has some remarkable images of the Baalbek masonry.
There are a number of YouTube videos featuring the Baalbek ruins(u).
(a) See: Archive 3414
(k) See: Archive 2653
(s) See: Archive 3409
Astromythology (Astrotheology) is the study of the astronomical origins of religion; how gods, goddesses, and devils are personifications of astronomical phenomena such as lunar eclipses, cometary appearances and planetary alignments, Christianity(c), Islam(d), Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, and the ancient Egyptian(b) faith systems are examples of religions that have been influenced by astronomical observations. A series of videos on the subject is available on YouTube(a).
Claude Gétaz, a Swiss researcher, has gone further and claimed that the Atlantis story is an interpretation of celestial events. Alan E. Alford similarly suggests that Plato’s Atlantis story is a recounting of a very ancient and dramatic astronomical event, namely the explosion of a planetary body, witnessed by humans.
Claude Gétaz is a Swiss researcher who offers a celestial interpretation of the Atlantis story employing astromythology. He contends that Atlantis is the Milky Way and in his words “gods and men were planets, stars or constellations”. This is comparable with the last theory proposed by Alan Alford.
Gétaz’s Atlantis ideas are available in a twenty-page 2009 paper on the Internet, translated from the French.
The totality of his work is available in 14 pdf files(a).
>Gétaz is now retired and living in Brazil.<
Robert K. G. Temple (1945- ) is the American bestselling author of The Sirius Mystery . In it he supports the idea of extraterrestrial influence on human cultural development, citing as evidence, the ‘knowledge’ of the Dogon people regarding the Sirius star system before verification by modern astronomy.
Temple’s claims were, in the main, based on the work of Marcel Griaule (1898-1956) and Germaine Dieterlen (1903-1999), published in The Pale Fox .
>Temple published a response to some of his critics, particularly Carl Sagan, with an open letter in 1997(l).<
However, Temple’s ideas ha now come under further attack with the claim that Sirius C does not even exist(c). The controversy is still raging as the Bad Archaeology website demonstrates(d) as well as an article from the Armagh Planetarium website(e). The refutation of the Sirius ‘mystery’ was achieved through the fieldwork of anthropologist, Walter E. A. van Beek, among the Dogon, which produced no evidence to support Temple’s claims(h). He published his findings in a 1991 paper  and it is worth noting that van Beek’s criticisms were aimed at fellow anthropologist, Griaule, rather than Temple.
The late Philip Coppens wrote two highly critical articles(i)(j) denouncing the Dogon story as ‘false mythology’. He cites the work of Van Beek and The Stargate Conspiracy  by Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince, which he felt completely demolished Temple’s claims. Over twenty years later the book has again been reviewed in an audio format(k).
Temple contends that this interaction took place between 5000 and 3000 BC and refers to that era as the ‘Contact Period’. He goes further and claims that these ‘visitors’ were responsible for the building of the Sphinx and the pyramids and that later efforts by the Egyptians to build other pyramids on the same scale failed. However, some of the Mayan pyramids are equally impressive although built later than the magnificent Giza monuments, but Temple does not explain the source of the Mesoamerican structures.
In 2000, Temple published The Crystal Sun in which he outlined the evidence for early optical science, including its possible use in the lighthouse at Pharos(f). The matter of ancient lenses is discussed online(g). 2013 saw the publication of Ancient Glass by Prof. Julian Henderson in which he pushes back the earliest production of crude glass to the middle of the third millennium BC. Temple has a degree in Oriental Studies and Sanskrit from the University of Pennsylvania. He has written a number of sometimes controversial books on various historical subjects(a). Jason Colavito has cast doubt on Temple’s academic credentials in a September 2012 blog(b). However, it was not until his 2010 book, Egyptian Dawn, that he touched on the subject of Atlantis. In it declared that the “true ‘Atlantis’ was the Atlantic Coastal civilisation of the megalith builders.” He further proposes that the story of Atlantis was concocted by those megalith builders “for consumption by the people of the Mediterranean, as a kind of disinformation campaign.” Temple has hinted that he may devote an entire book to the subject of Atlantis sometime in the future!
The Sea of Kronos (Cronos), according to modern researchers such as Alan Alford and Frank Joseph as well as Immanuel Velikovsky, is a name frequently applied to the Atlantic Ocean by ancient writers. Velikovsky cites Plutarch, Clement of Alexandria and Aristotle in support of this contention(a). If Plato believed that Atlantis had been located in the Atlantic why did he not simply say that it was situated in the Okeanos or the Sea of Kronos?
The 1624 Argonautica Map by Abraham Ortelius has the Adriatic Sea designated as ‘Cronivm Mare’. Eratosthenes in his Map of the Oecumene referred to the frozen Cronian Sea as being seven days north of Britain. Diodorus Siculus (Bk.III 61.3) describes Kronos as lord of Sicily, Libya and Italy!
Until it can be shown otherwise, I am inclined to think that Plato did not know precisely where Atlantis had been located but used the term ‘beyond the Pillars of Herakles’ as indicative of a place outside the ambit of what was common Greek maritime knowledge at that time!
>However, Plato was aware that Atlantean territory included part of North Africa, Southern Italy and some of the islands in that region (Tim 25a). Not only does this imply that, according to Diodorus, Atlantis was ruled by Kronos, but that the Pilllars were east of that realm!<
Creation Myths of an almost infinite variety are to be found around the globe. They were invented to explain the existence of the cosmos and our place in it. The Greeks were no exception and had their oral mythologies committed to writing from around the 8th century BC.
Plato, wrote the Atlantis dialogues in the 4th century BC and it is only now, over two millennia later that two books have been published, which claim that the tale of Atlantis is in fact a creation myth. Alan Alford in his 2001 book, The Atlantis Secret and Driscoll & Kurtz’s Atlantis: Egyptian Genesis have all arrived at the same conclusion. I find their reasoning convoluted but even more difficult to accept is the idea that the established Greek mythology was replaced by Plato’s ‘new’ mythology, without any explanation to his audience
The Atlantis Secret , by Alan F. Alford, has been reasonably well received if only because it has introduced new thinking into the subject, with a radical reappraisal of Greek mythology. Alford has daringly suggested that their gods were personifications of cataclysmic events in the history of earlier civilisation from whom they borrowed and modified the resulting myths. Alford endeavours to persuade readers that the Greek pantheon was an expression of an exploded planet. In the author’s view, Atlantis was a fragment of this planet that fell to earth landing and sinking into the Atlantic in accordance with Plato’s location.
Alford has publicly changed his views before and quite frankly I think he should have to do so again. Apart from the fact that this book is somewhat difficult to read, it manipulates Plato’s text even more than those who have used it to locate Atlantis in the Andes, the Baltic Sea or Indonesia. In fact any of those locations are far more credible than Alford’s celestial suggestion.
The Sphinx (at Giza) is considered by many to be considerably older than the usually accepted 3rd millennium BC. Its construction has been generally attributed to the Fourth Dynasty ruler Khafre, circa 2500 BC, whose head is believed to be currently represented on the Sphinx.
The controversial French scholar Rene Schwaller de Lubicz investigated several of Egypt’s ancient monuments. He was probably the first to remark on the apparent water erosion, on the Sphinx, as evidence of an earlier date for its construction than was previously accepted. He first voiced his views in 1949 and expanded his theories in 1957 . His work has now been translated into English(a).
Jason Colavito has added that “Schwaller de Lubicz got it from Gaston Maspero, who adopted it from Auguste Mariette, who came up with it because he mistook a Ptolemaic stela for an Old Kingdom one and therefore mistook a myth on the Inventory Stela(t) for a historical account.”(s)
However, in an extensive 2018 paper by Manu Seyfzadeh and Robert Schoch, they argue for the historical value of the Stele noting in the paper’s abstract that; “The Inventory Stele tells a story about Khufu and the Great Sphinx which contradicts the current mainstream narrative of when the Sphinx was carved. The story’s historical relevance has long been challenged based on its mention of names and certain details which are believed to be anachronistic to the time of Khufu. Here, we address the elements commonly cited by the critics one by one and find that they are largely based on misconceptions in part due to errors and oversights contained in the two commonly referenced translations and based on a missing context which relates to the economics and symbolism of supplying provisions to the royal house.”(z)
A recent article(h) on the Giza for Humanity website reveals the work of Shérif El Morsi, an Egyptian researcher, who has documented evidence of a ‘relatively recent’ incursion by seawater onto the Giza Plateau.
Michael Baigent has pointed out[141.167] that Dr Zahi Hawass in 1992 ‘reported that analysis of the rear leg of the Sphinx proved the earliest level of masonry around the body dated instead from the Old Kingdom period, that is from about 2700 BC to 2160 BC. The pyramids were constructed in the middle part of this period…….. For if Khafre had built the Sphinx along with his pyramid around 2500 BC, and if repairs to its heavily eroded body were made before 2160 BC, then this severe erosion covered up by the facing stones must have occurred in only 340 years – perhaps less: an extremely unlikely event. In practical terms, given the extent and depth of the erosion, it seems impossible.’
John Anthony West was inspired by the writings of de Lubicz and enticed the American geologist Robert Schoch to inspect the Sphinx and give his professional assessment of the age of the monument. Schoch concluded that the Sphinx had suffered extensive water erosion and should be dated no later than 7000 to 5000 BC. On a second trip to the Sphinx Schoch and West brought Thomas Dobecki, a geophysicist, to carry out additional tests. The results reinforced Schoch’s initial conclusions.
In 1996 Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval published The Message of the Sphinx  in which they endorse Schoch’s water erosion theory. but considered his date to be too conservative. Instead, they proposed that around 10,500 BC was more appropriate! However, Colin Reader, an English geologist, disputes Schoch’s conclusion(I) and explains why in an extensive 1997/9 paper(j).
When Schoch announced his findings they were greeted with hostile criticism from conventional Egyptologists. A. Harrell, a Professor of Geology at Ohio’s University of Toledo, was probably the first geologist to challenge Schoch’s geological arguments in 1994(v).
However, experts in Schoch’s discipline have agreed in growing numbers with his published views, but the debate is far from over. For an overview of the case for an early date follow this link(b).
One Egyptologist who postulated an early date for the Sphinx was Cairo-born Moustafa Gadalla, who concluded that “there is no other rational answer except that the water erosion occurred at the end of the last Ice Age c.15,000-10,000 BCE”(e). Concerning the traditional attribution of the building of the Sphinx to Khafre, Gadalla refers to the ‘Inventory Stela’ and notes that “This stela describes events during the reign of Khufu, Khafra’s predecessor and indicates that Khufu ordered the building of a monument alongside the Sphinx. This means that the Sphinx was already there before Khufu and therefore could not have been built by his successor, Khafra. The stela was dismissed by some because its stylistic features appeared to be from the New Kingdom. This is not a sufficient cause to dismiss it, since there are numerous stelae and texts from the Old Kingdom that were later copied in the New Kingdom and no one dismissed their authenticity.”(y)
The German researcher Klaus Aschenbrenner has added his support for an early date for the Sphinx. He claims that the water erosion was caused by acid rain resulting from a 7600BC asteroid impact postulated by Alexander Tollman.
These proposed early dates pale into insignificance when contrasted with the claims made by two Ukrainian researchers at a conference in Sofia in 2008 when they proposed a date of 800,000 years ago(n), an approximate date which their paper(u) explains is also based on a study of water erosion, but unlike Schoch, who investigated the effects of rainwater on the Sphinx, Manichev & Parkhomenko focussed their attention on horizontal wave-cut hollows that correspond to a time of higher sea-levels and greater intrusion into the Nile Valley.
There is by now little doubt that the head of the Sphinx that we see today is quite different from its original size and shape. West had a New York City police artist,>Lieutenant Frank Domingo,<compare the head of the Sphinx with a known head of Khafre and demonstrated that they had distinctly different facial structures(ac). Comparative photographs are to be found in one of West’s books. A further anomaly is the fact that the head of the Sphinx is disproportionately smaller than the rest of the body suggesting a radical recarving of a larger head in antiquity. Robert Schoch has an interesting article(c) on his website, written by his colleague, Dr Colette Dowell, regarding the shape of the Sphinx’s head. Colin Reader, who disagrees with Schoch’s dating of the Sphinx does, however, share his view regarding the size of the Sphinx’s head(l), an opinion that is also held by architectural historian, Dr Jonathan Foyle(k).>Not only is the identity of the Sphinx disputed, but even its race and gender are questioned(ad).<
The late Alan Alford argued that the commonly accepted idea that the Sphinx represents a lion may be incorrect and that it is a model of a dog, possibly intended as an image of Anubis the divine guardian of the Earth and the Underworld. This idea was recently endorsed and investigated extensively in a fascinating book by Robert Temple, who has also pointed out(m) other anomalies with the shape of the Sphinx apart from the size of the head.
Bassam el Shamma, an Egyptian Egyptologist, has recently promoted the idea of the previous existence of a second sphinx on the Giza Plateau. His theory, based on a range of evidence, is outlined on the Atlantis Online website(d). The idea of a second Sphink is also supported by Gerry Cannon and Joseph P. J. Westlake in a paper also available online(f). Cannon has co-authored a book(r) with Malcolm Hutton, entitled The Giza Plateau Secrets and a Second Sphinx Location Revealed, in which they expand on this idea.
Antoine Gigal, the French researcher, has posted a two-part paper offering the evidence that originally there had been two sphinxes(w)(x).
It should also be kept in mind that sphinxes were found in several other cultures particularly Mesopotamia (see image right). Further east in India we have the Purushamriga(q), while in Burma the sphinx is known as a Manussiha. Back in the Mediterranean, many images of sphinxes have been discovered in Greece, where lately (2014) two sphinxes were recently found in a 300 BC tomb(g), each weighing about 1.5 tons. However, in my opinion, the claim(o) of a huge sphinx in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains is nothing more than a case of mistaken identity, a good example of pareidolia.
Closer to home the Welsh Griffon (Gryphon) is a local form of a sphinx. Lee R. Kerr is the author of Griffin Quest – Investigating Atlantis, in which he sought support for the Minoan Hypothesis based on his pre-supposed link between griffons and Atlantis or as he puts it “whatever the Griffins mythological meaning, the Griffin also appears to tie Santorini to Crete, to Avaris, to Plato, and thus to Atlantis, more than any other single symbol.” I don’t see it.
The Atlantic magazine published an interesting collection of photos of the Sphinx dating from 1849 until the present.(aa)
(e) See: Archive 2937
(h) See: Archive 2635
(j) See: Archive 2646
(o) See: Archive 3003
(p) See: Archive 3598
(x) An Undiscovered Sphinx of Giza, Part I (gigalresearch.com) (Despite the URL this is Pt.2)
(y) 1996 – Historical Deception (archive.org) (Chapter 19)
Professor Christopher Gill is a classical Greek scholar who has published many works including a volume on Plato’s Atlantis story. Professor Gill supports a totally mythological basis for the tale of Atlantis. He has also written the foreword to The Atlantis Secret by Alan Alford, which is available on the Internet(a).
On April Fools’ Day, 2017, Gill published an updated and revised version of his Atlantis book, entitled Plato’s Atlantis Story – Text, Translation and Commentary . Thorwald C. Franke has written a highly critical review of this latest offering from Gill(b).
Franke has also taken issue with the level of Gill’s support for the sceptical views of Sarah Broadie relating to Plato’s Atlantis, who wrote that “the Athens-Atlantis story is fiction, and clearly intended as such.” In his Newsletter No.102 (Sept.2017), Franke describes Broadie’s hypothesis as “an orgy of errors”(c).
The Exploded Planet Hypothesis (EPH) has its origins in the 18th century when the regular spacing of the orbits of the then known six planets, with the glaring exception of the apparently empty theoretical position between Mars and Jupiter, led to the formulation of the Titius-Bode Law. The discovery of Neptune in 1846 in a position that did not conform to the rule of Titius-Bode, led to its gradual abandonment. However, the discovery of Pluto in the 1930’s brought the ‘Law’ back into consideration as Pluto was in the position that should have been occupied by Neptune. The exceptions to the Titius-Bode law are the lack of a planet where the Asteroid Belt is and the position of Neptune. In 2003, a further planet, Sedna, was discovered at a distance of 8 billion miles from the sun, as predicted by Doug Yurchey on the Internet in 2002. Since then, further bodies have been discovered in the outer region of our solar system, one of which was larger than Pluto.
As you will see below, a credible explanation for the Asteroid Belt is on offer and if correct, it means that now ten of the eleven planetary orbits in our Solar System correspond with the prediction of Titius-Bode. Statistically, this must have some significance. Therefore, in order to reinstate the Titius-Bode ‘law’ back on the statute book it is important to find an acceptable explanation for Neptune’s orbit.
Particular planets with satellite systems also confirm Titius-Bode, such as the principal satellites of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. Furthermore, even at this early stage in our investigation of extrasolar planetary systems, one, 55 Cancri, has at least four planets whose orbits appear to follow a similar pattern(c).
The 19th century saw the discovery of more asteroids in the orbit where a planet would have been expected. As early as 1802 the suggestion that an exploded planet had originally occupied this position was considered. As more asteroids were discovered the idea gained support. However, there remained one major problem with the theory, namely, that the total mass of the known asteroids would not constitute one thousandth of our earth. So where did all the matter go?
Donald W. Patten (1929-2014) has made a study of Martian craters and discovered a number of anomalies. One such detail is that 93% of all craters 20 miles or greater in diameter are in one hemisphere, which led Patten to conclude that “Mars received about 86% of its craters in one catastrophic day”(e)(f) and that the other 14% are spread equally on both hemispheres and over all other time. The suggestion being that these craters were possibly caused by the disintegration of large asteroid or small planet!
Tom Van Flandern (1940-2009), the leading exponent of the EPH, explained; ‘Consider what would happen if the Earth exploded today. Surface and crustal rock would shatter and fragment, but remain rocks. However, rocks from depths greater than 40 km are under so much pressure at high temperature that if suddenly released into a vacuum, such rocks would vaporise. As a consequence, over 99% of the Earth’s total mass would vaporise in an explosion, with only its low-pressure crustal and upper mantle layers surviving’. This explanation would clearly account for the low total mass of the objects in the Asteroid Belt. Van Flandern has expanded on his theory in what many consider a landmark book, Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets.
Van Flandern ascribes a date for this planetary explosion that is well before man existed on Earth. However, many of our ancient myths have been interpreted as describing celestial events in the vicinity of Earth that had a direct physical effect on our planet. Immanuel Velikovsky wrote extensively on these ancient tales and concluded that they referred to close encounters between Earth and Mars and separately with Venus.
The date of the Asteroid Belt collision or explosion was estimated in 2015 to be 470 million years ago after the identification of twin impact craters in Sweden(d).
If Titius-Bode is valid and Velikovsky’s planetary encounters real, we need to explain how they left their orbits in the first place and then must explain how they returned to their original positions. Ralph E. Juergens, an American engineer, supports Velikovsky with the idea that electromagnetic and electrostatic forces and not conventional celestial mechanics alone were responsible for the cosmic encounters witnessed and recorded by our ancestors(b). My personal hunch is that Van Flandern is correct about the explosion of a planet but wrong about the date of the occurrence.
The EPH may have a bearing on the demise of Atlantis in the shape of an asteroidal collision with Earth that in turn precipitated the ending of the last Ice Age and the consequential flooding of large areas of exposed land.
Alan Alford has a different view in The Atlantis Secret  in which he attempts to prove that Atlantis originated in an ancient myth concerning an exploding planet. However, this would require an event that occurred within the experience of speaking man for it to have been passed on in the form of myth.
(c) BBC Focus magazine (No. 169, October 2006 p.58-63)