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

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    Joining The Dots

    I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato’s own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.Read More »
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Arysio dos Santos

Irwanto, Dhani

Dhani Irwanto (1962- ) is an Indonesian hydraulic engineer, who is the latest proponent of the IrwantoSundaland location for Atlantis, in his April 2015 book, Atlantis: The lost city is in Java Sea[1093]. A review of his book online(a), shows quite clearly that the author has made a serious effort to match Plato’s narrative with his chosen location for Atlantis, namely off the southern coast of the island of Kalimantan in the Java Sea. Irwanto also uses his professional expertise to analyse Plato’s many references to the waterways of the Atlantean capital and it extensive plain. The review also includes a number of maps and video clips used to support Irwanto’s views.

Irwanto has also adopted(c) the 32-point checklist of dos Santos and expanded it to 60 points.(d)

Irwanto also claims that the biblical Garden of Eden and the legendary island of Taprobane were situated on the island of Kilimantan. In an extensive online(b) article in November 2015, he identified the Indonesian island of Sumatra as the land of Punt, >which he thinks was also known as the Ophir referred to in the Old Testament (1 Kings 9.26 & 10.11).

In June 2017, Irwanto published an illustrated paper(e) on Aurea Chersonesus, referred to by Ptolemy in his 2nd century Geographia . Irwanto has matched details in Ptolemy’s description with a place in western Sumatra called Tanjungemas renowned for its gold mines in the ancient times.

(a) https://ahmadsamantho.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/a-new-theory-of-atlantis-disclosed/

(b) https://atlantisjavasea.com/2015/11/14/land-of-punt-is-sumatera/

(c) https://atlantisjavasea.com/2015/10/28/professor-arysio-nunes-dos-santos-initiator-of-indonesian-atlantis-theory/

(d) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT23A12-tDc&feature=youtu.be

(e) https://atlantisjavasea.com/2017/06/08/aurea-chersonesus-is-in-sumatera/

Sarmast, (Robert) Behzad

(Robert) Behzad Sarmast is an Iranian-American and an architect by profession. He abandoned his career to pursue his lifelong passion for ancient history. He is the author of a book[535], in which he controversially places Atlantis near Cyprus. His website(a) has an interesting collection of maps and diagrams. Coincidentally, the Urantia Book had previously identified a site in the Eastern Mediterranean as the location of Atlantis. Their description matches closely the underwater topography of Sarmast’s site and the

However, a 2016 sermon by Sarmast on the Urantia religion was published online

RobertSarmast_smUrantians have not been slow to exploit this coincidence(b). However, the link between Sarmast and the Urantians has not been actively admitted, although Sarmast’s publisher, Byron Belitsos, revealedthat Urantian funding had been used to obtain the 3D computer modelling of the underwater topography of the seafloor off Cyprus where Sarmast claims Atlantis was located. In October and November 2008 a number of blogs appeared under the name of Robert Sarmast(c). The content of these is religious in tone, although they make some references to Atlantis.However, a 2016 sermon by Sarmast on the Urantia religion was published online.

In 2003 Sarmast compiled a list of similarities between Plato’s description of Atlantis and the Urantia Book’s ‘Garden of Eden’(d).

Sarmast organised an expedition in late 2004 that produced ‘evidence’ of manmade structures, including two ‘walls’ over 3 km long. The site is about seventy miles east of Cyprus towards Syria. At a press conference to announce his discoveries Sarmast was challenged by, Michel Morrisseau, a French geologist who lives on Cyprus, to prove that the Mediterranean had been inundated more recently than the conventionally accepted five million years.  Sarmast had no convincing response. However, subsequent to that he attempted to support his views with the unsupported assertion that earliest geographers knew of the breaching of the Gibraltar Dam and that ancient traditions had it that Hercules used his giant mace to smash open the Dam and allow the Atlantic to flood the Mediterranean and so led to the association of Hercules with Gibraltar.

Much more work must be done before Sarmast can rightfully claim that he has discovered Atlantis. In the meanwhile, in an effort to raise funds for the next expedition, his website sought to charge a monthly fee to provide interested ‘members’ with addition information on the preparations for the second expedition. This took place in 2006 with inconclusive results.

Sarmast returned to Cyprus in June 2011 to film a documentary in support of his theory. He had support from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation as well as the History Channel together with some private investors. Filming took place during the Kataklysmos Festival which interestingly celebrates the Deluge and/or Flood of Deucalion.

Since 2013, almost nothing further has been  heard from Sarmast, his blogspot(c) is empty and there are no updates on the Discovery of Atlantis website(a)! It is informative to contrast today’s silence with the rhetoric of the initial 2003 press release(e).

However, in 2014, Sarmast had the more than dubious honour of being included in the online Encyclopedia of American Loons(h).

The Arysio dos Santos website offers a critical review of Sarmast’s book(g). Benny Peiser was even more disparaging, describing Sarmast’s claim as The Great Atlantis Hoax(i) on his CCNT network in 2004.

(a) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20180417053508/https://discoveryofatlantis.com/

(b) https://www.religioustolerance.org/urantia.htm

(c)https://robertsarmast.blogspot.com/2008_10_01_archive.html

(d) https://web.archive.org/web/20180710105515/https://www.squarecircles.com/articles/atlantiseden.htm

(e) https://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/09/30/1064819881656.html

>(f) https://urantiareligion.com/transcript-for-urantia-religion-video/ {link broken May 2020}<

(g) https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&sl=es&sp=nmt4&u=https://atlan.org/articles/sarmast/&usg=ALkJrhhH1EGZNAlgEz3WZX0GubdtdG43HQ

(h) https://americanloons.blogspot.ie/2014/07/1109-robert-sarmast.html

>(i) https://www.livescience.com/amp/91-claimed-discovery-atlantis-called-completely-bogus.html<

Mahabharata

The Mahabharata and The Puranas are two of the ancient epics of Hinduism that refer to events dated between 1500 and 1000 BC and probably developed into their present form between 400 BC and 200 AD. They make mention of Attala, the white island, a continent located in the western ocean. This vague similarity with the name of Atlantis may be purely coincidental, but it is regularly  produced as ‘evidence’ of pre-Platonic reference to Plato’s flooded island.

A brief, but highly speculative attempt to link Atlantis with Mahabharata is offered by Santosh Kumar(c).

A quite radical suggestion has come from the Italian writer, Michele Manher, who has proposed(a) that Homer’s Iliad originated in India where elements of it can be identified in the Mahabharata!

The website(b) supporting the ‘Atlantis in Indonesia’ theory of Arysio dos Santos has an extensive article with the self explanatory title of The Hindu Origin of the Myth of Atlantis.

(a) https://www.migration-diffusion.info/article.php?id=100

(b) https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&prev=search&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&sl=es&sp=nmt4&u=https://atlan.org/articles/the-hindu-origin-of-the-myth-of-atlantis/&usg=ALkJrhgksygCoEt6znDCboyfM8HjIjcSwg

(c)  See: https://web.archive.org/web/20170912013243/https://www.speakingtree.in/allslides/atlantis-in-the-mahabharata

Cyprus

Cyprus has now been shown to have had an agricultural settlement as early as 9000 BC(c). In 2005, it was claimed that flints found on Cyprus and dated to a possible 10,000 BC, offered evidence of the earliest long-distance sea travel in contrast to earlier shore-hugging(g). I would question this, since twelve thousand years ago sea levels were much lower and landmasses in the eastern Mediterranean were more extensive removing the need for lengthy sea travel. Cyprus would have been much more easily accessible and what is now the Aegean consisted of more land than water.

Cyprus was also  added to the list of possible Atlantis sites with the publication of Discovery of Atlantis[535 in 2003, which offered a radical new theory by Robert Sarmast. This theory is based principally on 3-D images of a section of the present seafloor near Cyprus. Sarmast has compiled an impressive list of similarities between Plato’s description of Atlantis and the underwater topography. He also claims to have identified a wall 3km long wall that intersects with another. A YouTube clip centred on Sarmast’s 2004 expedition is available online(i).

The late Philip Coppens wrote a short article(h) on Sarmast’s theory, without arriving at any firm conclusions.

Although it is true to say that this is a radical theory, it is not a completely new idea as the Urantia Book(a) had already suggested an Atlantis/ Eden off the coast of Cyprus. The Urantia Book specifically claims that this Eden was a long narrow peninsula almost an island projecting westward from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea (Paper 73). This detail coincides remarkably with Sarmast’s claim.

Atlantis-Cyprus355I must point out, that in order to uncover this putative site, the sea level would have to be dropped 5,250 feet. Now, the only explanation for this would be the existence of at least one archaeoastronomer in the Mediterranean, probably at Gibraltar within the memory of man, a suggestion advocated by Sarmast but without any supporting evidence. This is quite feasible, as it has been shown that the Mediterranean has dried out on a number of occasions in the past. Current orthodoxy places the last inundation of the Mediterranean by the Atlantic around five million years ago. However, Paulino Zamarro, among others, has postulated the existence of the Gibraltar Dam within human prehistory, which, if true, would add to the credibility of Sarmast’s theory. However, if the Mediterranean had dried out the result would have left Sarmast’s location with a thick salty deposit, a far cry from the fertile land described by Plato.

Supporters of Sarmast’s theory have drawn attention to the annual Festival of the Flood, an event unique to Cyprus, when people in coastal towns sprinkle each other with water to commemorate the salvation of Noah.*

Nevertheless Sarmast’s mile deep location contradicts Plato’s description of the sunken capital of Atlantis that even in Solon’s or Plato’s time was described as existing in unnavigable shallows.

Professor Arysio dos Santos who wrote Atlantis: The Lost Continent Finally Found[320] in which he proclaimed his idea that Atlantis was located on the huge swathes of territory around Indonesia that were inundated at the end of the last Ice Age, has also written(b) a paper denouncing the claims of Robert Sarmast as “an obvious hoax and a possible scam”[0320.189]

However, Colin Wilson, who previously supported the idea of Atlantis in Antarctica[063] switched his support to the Cyprus location, which led to him writing the foreword to the 2006 expanded edition of Sarmast’s book. In 2009, Robert L. Gielow, a fundamentalist creationist, also added his endorsement to Sarmast’s theory in another book[808].

A further claim placing Atlantis south of Cyprus on a scarab shaped underwater feature (33°N-33°E), has been made by blogger Nicolas Fenning. He has also suggested that Freemasonry, Macedonia and the Pharos Lighthouse, all have links with Atlantis. He also maintains that clues to its location were contained in DaVinci’s Last Supper(d)!

Although little has been heard from Sarmast in recent years, the idea of Atlantis near Cyprus was apparently given a boost in early 2018 when it was reported that Atlantis had been discovered off Paphos. However, any euphoria was quickly dissipated when the last lines of the report(j) were reached. *This news article was compiled from a press release issued by the CTO on April 1, which celebrates April Fool’s Day – a day where practical jokes and hoaxes are spread.”

(a) https://urantiabook.org/

(b) https://atlan.org/articles/sarmast/

(c)https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2012/05/15/Oldest-Mediterranean-island-farm-uncovered/UPI-66221337120492/ 

(d) https://atlantisrediscovered.weebly.com/atlantis-re-discovered.html

(e) https://atlantisrediscovered.weebly.com/atlantis-re-discovered-part-ii.html

(f) https://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=2146412391 

(g) https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Dp8xBgAAQBAJ&pg=PT33&lpg=PT33&dq=flints+on+cyprus+10,000bc&source=bl&ots=EowAYLhDa1&sig=pMQMogJeph_aR93mcXeREPBXy6A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiT7aHHwurJAhWDMhoKHceDDmcQ6AEIMDAC#v=onepage&q=flints%20on%20cyprus%2010%2C000bc&f=false

(h) See: Archive 2934)

(i) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcI7Zg0lxzA 

(j) https://cyprustraveller.com/atlantis-paphos-6828-2/  (link broken)

Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden, like Atlantis, has excited the imagination of many over the centuries. Its location has been the subject of what was sometimes wild speculation that offered a range of locations comparable with the variety of sites proposed for Atlantis.

The traditional belief was that the ‘Garden’ had been situated in Mesopotamia between the Euphrates and Tigris as noted in the Bible. Athanasius Kircher, who is better known to many for his speculative map of Atlantis located in the Atlantic Ocean also produced a plan of the Garden of Eden in what is now southern Iraq. David J. Gibson (1904-1966) arrived at a similar conclusion placing ‘Eden’ just south of Baghdad in his book, The Land of Eden Located, now available online(t).

More recently, Robert McRoberts in an article about the rivers of Eden included a map by Arianna Ravenswood, who placed Eden northwest of Babylon in what is now the Iraqi Province of Diyala(u).

Within the same region is a submerged location at the head of the Persian Gulf promoted by Juris Zarins (1945- )(w) . In his theory, the Bible’s Gihon River would correspond with the Karun River in Iran, and the Pishon River would match the Wadi Batin river system that had drained the now dry, but once quite fertile central part of the Arabian Peninsula. His suggestion about the Pishon River is supported by James A. Sauer (1945–1999) formerly of the American Center of Oriental Research although strongly criticized by the archaeological community(x).

garden-eden-kircher1

Kircher’s Garden of Eden

The conventional idea has been enhanced in the opinion of some by the discoveries of the German archaeologist, Klaus Schmidt, who believed that his excavations at Göbekli Tepe in Turkey have unearthed artefacts dating to 8000 BC when the people there changed from hunting and gathering to agriculture. This region also contains Ur and Harran, mentioned in the Old Testament and as Göblekli Tepe is located between the Tigris and Euphrates and is within view of the Taurus Mountains, it conforms remarkably to the topographical description of Eden in the Bible. Tom Knox speculated on this in an article on the UK’s Daily Mail Online(aa).

Christopher Columbus believed that the source of the Orinoco River, in what is now known as Venezuela had been the location of Eden. Antonio de León Pinelo (1590-1660) was a Spanish chronicler who spent some years in South America and was also convinced that the Garden of Eden had been situated between the great rivers of South America(k)!

The imaginative Augustus Le Plongeon claimed the Yucatan as the location of the ‘Garden’(s).

General Gordon of Khartoum fame was so impressed by the island of Preslin in the Seychelles that he declared it to be the Garden of Eden and its famed Coco de Mer and breadfruit plants to be the Tree of Life and the Tree of Good and Evil. Science writer, Karl Shuker, has written an extensive article, Forbidden Fruit, for the January 2016 edition of Fortean Times, in which he gives the background to Gordon’s obsession and his inability to garner any serious support for it.

At the beginning of the 20th century, it was reported(r) that G. F. Becker (1847-1919) a geologist with the USGS nominated Luzon in the Philippines as the site of the biblical ‘Garden’, while Sven Hedin (1865-1952) a much-decorated Swedish geographer chose Janaidar a mythical city in Central Asia.

George H. Cooper, the American writer, identified Salisbury Plain[0236.111] as the Garden of Eden along with its Wiltshire river system matching the Euphrates and Tigris in the Genesis story. W. Comyns Beaumont chose Britain’s Glastonbury as the site of the original Garden.

In the middle of the last century, a Baptist preacher, Elvy E. Callaway, announced that the Garden had been located in the vicinity of Bristol, Florida(j).

David Rohl has studied the matter in great detail[230] and located the ‘Garden’ in the northern Iranian province of East Azerbaijan near the city of Tabriz. Rohl’s reasoning is worthy of study and perhaps comparison with the views of Emilio Spedicato, who offers his reasoning for placing Eden in Pakistan’s Hunza Valley in two papers on the Internet(b)(y). Rohl was partly inspired by the work of Reginald A. Walker[1388/9]

Andrew Collins claims[073] that the original Mesopotamian name for Eden was Kharsag, a view echoed by the late Christian O’Brien(q).  O’Brien’s nephew, Edmund Marriage, identifies the Bekka Valley in Lebanon as the location of Eden of Genesis. A new Lebanese location site is the subject of a website and forum(h)(i).    An excerpt from O’Brien’s book, relating to Eden,  can be read online(v). 

The Sabbah brothers, Roger and Messod, controversially place Eden in Egypt[310] and offer a range of evidence to support this contention. Ralph Ellis has also opted for Egypt in his book, Eden in Egypt[0951] and claims that Adam and Eve were in reality, Akhenaton and Nefertiti! Ellis also supports his theory with two online papers providing excerpts from his books(o)(p).

>A Christian website, logoschristian.org, used to also claim that Eden had been located in the eastern Nile Delta, specifically naming Al Mansura. In 1933, John G.Jackson wrote a paper advocating an African origin for the legend of the Garden of Eden. Jackson’s extreme Afrocentric views may have coloured his view of this subject!<

Further to the west is the Tunisian town of Oudna, which has been nominated as Eden by one Patrick Archer on his somewhat sparse website(d).

Another African location was put forward by Georg Hinzpeter over half a century ago when he suggested that the Ethiopian plateau had been the home of Adam & Eve before their eviction(z).

What may appear just as implausible to many is the claim by Felice Vinci[019], that the Eden story was imported from northern Europe, specifically from Finnish Lappland. Even more incredible is the assertion by the likes of William C. Chappell that the Garden of Eden was in fact situated in the United States. His Mormon inspired views are available as a free eBook(c) on the Internet.> In fact, Jackson County, Missouri was apparently the location revealed by Joseph Smith(ac). the founder of Mormonism and well-known collector of wives.<

A more ‘commercial’ suggestion has been that Tarpon Springs, Florida, was originally the location of the Garden of Eden and furthermore that Tampa Bay contained the port of Atlantis.

The Urantia Book promotes the idea of two Edens, one near Cyprus and a second further east! In 2003, Robert Sarmast compiled a list of similarities between Plato’s account of Atlantis and the description of the Garden of Eden in the Urantia Book(l).

Stephen Oppenheimer has pointed out[004] that Genesis 2:8 reads that “the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden”. He argues (p.409) that this supports the idea of a ‘paradise’ in the Sundaland region. However, Oppenheimer does not equate Eden with Atlantis.

As Monty Python used to say “now for something completely different” – The North Pole. This suggestion has come from Gene Matlock who advocated that ‘Eden was the North Pole’ in a paper of the same name(ab).

According to his well-illustrated website(f) Paulo Riven has located the Garden of Eden just north of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.

The Garden of Eden has been suggested by some as another name for Atlantis, representing as it does a mythical time of peace and abundance. However, Eden is never spoken of in the terms of military might and commercial success attributed to Atlantis.  One of the better-known proponents of this idea of an Atlantean Eden was the late Professor Arysio dos Santos(a) who was convinced that it was located in the South China Sea before the ending of the last Ice Age submerged large areas of Sundaland. Shortly before his death in 2005 he published[320] his theories, expanding on material that he had made available on the Internet for some years. Frank Joseph also claims[106][107] that the Garden of Eden was located on the lost island of ‘Lemuria’ located in the Pacific.

Bill Hanson, who has authored a number of books on ancient ‘mysteries’, has recently written a work[352] that links the Garden of Eden with Atlantis. He identifies five similarities between the two accounts:

  • Both prehistoric locations are regarded as ‘lost paradises’
  • The four rivers of Eden are reflected in the four waterways of Poseidon the island capital of Atlantis.
  • Atlantis started with ten kings and the Bible speaks of ten patriarchs.
  • Zeus destroyed Atlantis because mortals and gods mated, whereas the Bible records the mating of the ‘sons of God’ and human females.
  • Atlantis was flooded just as the Age of the Patriarchs ended with the flood of Noah.

The late Joseph Robert Jochmans identified(g) Atlantis with Eden in a comprehensive article on his website. John Nichols also wrote a long article(e) identifying Atlantis with the Garden of Eden and placing it on the Celtic Shelf about a hundred miles off the coast of France due west of Brest.

Frederick Dodson >in a hefty 523-page book [989]<claims an Atlantis-Garden of Eden connection(n). In 2018, the Catalan researcher, José Luis Espejo also equated Atlantis with the Garden of Eden[1607].

Currently. the sadly benighted Iraq is trying to lure tourists to spend their holidays in ‘the Garden of Eden’(m)!

(a) http://www.lost-civilizations.net/atlantis-corroborating-evidence-page-12.html

(b) https://www.unibg.it/dati/persone/636/419.pdf

(c) http://losttruthfound.com/gardenofedenfound.pdf

(d) https://patrickofatlantis.com/

(e) https://jjswn35.wordpress.com/article/atlantis-eden-how-to-find-2vfxjftuay98o-9/

(f) https://sites.google.com/site/tribesofatlantis/Home/the-garden-of-eden

(g) See: Archive 3602

(h) See: Archive 3182

(i)  https://www.thescienceforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=277321

(j) https://www.weirdus.com/states/florida/fabled_people_and_places/garden_of_eden/index.php

(k) See: Archive 2999

(l See: Archive 3603

(m https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iraqs-new-venture-holidays-in-the-garden-of-eden-882635.html

(n) https://web.archive.org/web/20160409211234/http://www.ancient-atlantis.com:80/eve-on-the-island-of-apples/

(o) https://www.ancient-origins.net/opinion-guest-authors/eden-egypt-part-1-001827

(p) https://www.ancient-origins.net/opinion-guest-authors/eden-egypt-part-2-001831

(q)  https://www.goldenageproject.org.uk/obrienvsitchin.php

(r) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/83084172?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

(s) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/126128214?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

(t) https://nabataea.net/djgibson.html

(u) https://web.archive.org/web/20190916073848/https://theancientneareast.com/the-four-rivers-of-eden/

(v) https://www.ancient-origins.net/artifacts-ancient-writings/what-happened-eden-alternative-translation-tells-very-different-story-021833.

(w) https://www.ldolphin.org/eden/

(x) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juris_Zarins

(y) https://www.emiliospedicato.it/geography-and-numerics-of-eden-kharsag-and-paradise-sumerian-and-enochian-sources-versus-the-genesis-tale/

(z) Atlantis, Vol.17, No. 2/3, April 1964, p.27

(aa) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1157784/Do-mysterious-stones-mark-site-Garden-Eden.html

(ab) http://www.viewzone.com/edenpole.html

>(ac) https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Joseph_Smith/Prophet/Garden_of_Eden_in_Missouri<