Arysio Nunes dos Santos
Frank Joseph Hoff is a qualified American business administrator. He developed an ealy interest in ancient mysteries including Atlantis. So when he encountered the theories of the Brazilian professor, Arysio Nunes dos Santos, who had concluded that Atlantis and the biblical Eden were the same and more controversially that it had been located in the South China Sea. Hoff was intrigued. So in 1998, he established contact with Santos and eventually became his ‘understudy’ assisting with research and promotion. He encouraged the professor to publish his work in English, which was done in 2005. Unfortunately, just two months later Santos died(a).
Following the death, Hoff continued to promote the work of Santos and carry out further research himself. He has featured on many of the American ‘fringe’ radio programs.
Ian Lawton (1959- ) is an English researcher focused on ancient history and spiritual philosophy. He is probably best known as the co-author with Chris Ogilvie-Herald of Giza: The Truth , which offers a sober forensic review of all the many and widely varied theories relating to the ancient structures on the Giza Plateau.>In it, Lawton was highly critical of Robert Bauval‘s Orion Correlation Theory (OCT) both in the book (chapter 9)(d) and in open correspondence between them.<
>However, Lawton was at the receiving end of criticism from the late John Anthony West in 2000, when West published an article in Atlantis Rising magazine that ended with a scornful “The point is that the facile assurances given by Ogilvie-Herald/Lawton endorsing the orthodox view are illegitimate, their exclusion of contrary, genuinely informed opinion is typical of their selective bogus scholarship, and their long-winded acoustic levitation hypothesis is pure speculation and self-contradictory besides. We still don’t know how the pyramids were built/ Period. Full stop.”(e)<
Lawton’s second book, Genesis Unveiled , has been described as containing “remarkable new insights into the spirituality of the pre-flood human race”. Chapter 13 takes a somewhat generous view of Blavatsky and Theosophy(c).
He subsequently made changes(a) to the content and, in my opinion, opportunistically re-titled it as Atlantis: The Truth! In it Lawton has focused on prediluvian races, citing, with reservations, the work of Stephen Oppenheimer, Arysio dos Santos and Frank Joseph, which when added to Lawton’s research, he concludes that “it’s nevertheless interesting that all four of us have independently arrived at the same conclusion about the broad whereabouts of any forgotten race.” He argues that the location of such a race was in the general region of Sunda and Sahul Shelves.
(e) Atlantis Rising magazine #23 http://www.pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At *
Gunung Padang is a megalithic site on the Indonesian island of Java, which was first surveyed in 1914 by the Dutch colonial authorities and published as Rapporten van de Oudheidkundige Dienst (Report of the Department of Antiquities). A post-war Australian investigation concluded that the site was much older than previously believed. Now, with presidential support, local archaeologists are carrying out an extensive investigation of the site.
The site has recently been claimed as part of Atlantis. Evidence that the site contains hidden chambers prompted Graham Hancock to speculate whether it “Could it be the fabled “Hall of Records” of Atlantis?”(k).
A few years ago the late Arysio dos Santos was the leading proponent of Sundaland, which included Indonesia, being Atlantis. Then Danny Hilman Natawidjaja (DHN) an Indonesian geologist has made a similar claim in his Kindle ebook, Plato Never Lied: Atlantis Is in Indonesia. In it, Gunung Padang plays an important role. Mount Padang has also been claimed as the world’s oldest pyramid! Although I do not support the idea of an Indonesian Atlantis, I am forced to admit that a far more interesting case for it has been made by Dhani Irwanto.
In his review of Hancock’s Magicians of the Gods, Jason Colavito refers to “Danny Hilman Natawidjaja, the Indonesian geologist who declared the site of Gunung Padang on Sumatra to be ten or twenty thousand years old, and thus making Indonesia the cradle of civilization. Natawidjaja is a true believer in fringe history and suspects that Plato was speaking of Gunung Padang when writing of Atlantis. His opinions are noteworthy only because the previous government of Indonesia gave him the money and resources to excavate the site in search of proof of Indonesian primacy in history before the current government shut down the investigation for becoming an international laughingstock. Like Semir Osmanogich in Bosnia, Natawidjaja sees artificial layers of construction in the deepest layers of what his colleagues in Indonesia and archaeologists around the world believe to be a natural hill crowned with later ruins.” (n).
Nevertheless, a recent (May 2017) assault on Natawidjaja’s theories in an open letter(i) from Rebecca Bradley has laid bare the weaknesses in his claims.
DHN in an address to the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in 2018, said that radiocarbon dating suggests the top layer of the site could be up to 3,500 old years old, the second layer somewhere around 8,000 years old, and the third layer anywhere in the vicinity of 9,500 to 28,000 years old(j).
One report that I thought rather interesting was that “aside from its age, is that during coring it was found that much of the buried structure was reinforced with a type of cement. This bonding agent, which has been used as a mortar and sort of glue in certain parts of the site, consists of 45% iron ore, 41% silica and 14% clay. It’s said that this mixture provides for a very strong and durable mortar base, and is surprising evidence of the level of sophistication of the building technique.”(l)
Andrew Collins has now added an article(h). to his website that examines the preliminary claim that the lower levels at the site could be 12,000 years older than Gobekli Tepe. If confirmed, it will undoubtedly require some rewriting of history books. Do not lose sight of the fact that radiocarbon dating has limitations, being accurate for up to around 6,000 years with increasing unreliability up to perhaps 50,000 BC after which it is generally useless.
We now (Nov. ’14) have a report(e) that some type of ‘electrical device’ has been discovered at the site ‘made out of gold and copper and seems to resemble a primitive electrical capacitor.’ Until further information is available this claim must be treated with caution.
There are, however, dissenting voices as reported by journalist, Michael Bachelard(g), such as vulcanologist Sutikno Bronto, who says “Gunung Padang is simply the neck of a nearby volcano, not an ancient pyramid. Danny Hilman is not a vulcanologist. I am.” As for the carbon-dated cement between the stones, on which Hilman relies for his claims about the age of the site, Sutikno believes it is simply the byproduct of a natural weathering process, ”not man-made”. Other sceptics are even tougher. One archaeologist, who does not wish to be named since the President took such an interest, says the presidential taskforce is deluding itself. ”In the Pawon cave in Padalarang [about 45 kilometres from Gunung Padang], we found some human bones and tools made of bones about 9500 years ago, or about 7000 BCE. So, if at 7000 BCE our technology was only producing tools of bones, how can people from 20,000 BCE obtain the technology to build a pyramid?” the archaeologist asks.
In October 2023, Danny Hilman endeavoured to return to the limelight with a paper in the journal Archaeological Prospection(o), published by Wiley, in which he recycled some of his earlier claims identifying Gunung Padang as an Ice Age pyramid. Jason Colavito commented briefly(p) on this latest feeble offering from Hilman and cites a more forensic article by Carl Feagans(q) as an effective rebuttal.>It was subsequently revealed(r) that the journal and its publisher have launched an ethics investigation into the flawed paper, according to a report in Nature!<
Tripura is the name of a triple city in Hindu mythology that was famed for its architecture and rich adornments. Its inhabitants are reputed to have become greedy over time and were destroyed by Shiva (Mahabharata, Bk7, Drona Parva, Sec.XI). The story is almost the same as that of Atlantis and its demise. Since 1997 until his death in 2005 the late Arysio Nunes dos Santos has championed the idea that Plato’s Atlantis narrative regarding a submerged civilisation had been borrowed from the east. He also linked Atlantis with Tripura(a).
2005 not only saw the death of dos Santos shortly after the publication of his theory in book form, while in Moscow, Sergey Teleguin had his book, Anatomy of a Myth, published in Russian, in which he also identified Tripura with Atlantis. An English translation of part of his book has now been provided by Teleguin(c).
R. Cedric Leonard has also linked Atlantis with Tripura, the capital of the island of Atala(b). However, Leonard has chosen the Azores as the most likely location for Atlantis and dos Santos opted for Sundaland, a large landmass, now partly submerged encompassing, among others, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia!
Troy is believed to have been founded by Ilus, son of Troas, giving it the names of both Troy and Ilios (Ilium) with some minor variants.
“According to new evidence obtained from excavations, archaeologists say that the ancient city of Troy in northwestern Turkey may have been more than six centuries older than previously thought. Rüstem Aslan, who is from the Archaeology Department of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University (ÇOMU), said that because of fires, earthquakes, and wars, the ancient city of Troy had been destroyed and re-established numerous times throughout the years.” This report pushes the origins of this famous city back to around 3500 BC(s).
Dating Homer’s Troy has produced many problems. Immanuel Velikovsky has drawn attention to some of these difficulties(aa). Ralph S. Pacini endorsed Velikovsky’s conclusion that the matter could only be resolved through a revised chronology. Pacini noted that “the proposed correction of Egyptian chronology produces a veritable flood of synchronisms in the ancient middle east, affirming many of the statements by ancient authors which had been discarded by historians as anachronisms.”(z)
The city is generally accepted by modern scholars to have been situated at Hissarlik in what is now northwest Turkey. Confusion over identifying the site as Troy can be traced back to the 1st century AD geographer Strabo, who claimed that Ilion and Troy were two different cities!(t) In the 18th century, many scholars consider the village of Pinarbasi, 10 km south of Hissarlik, as a more likely location for Troy.
The Hisarlik “theory had first been put forward in 1821 by Charles Maclaren, a Scottish newspaper publisher and amateur geologist. Maclaren identified Hisarlik as the Homeric Troy without having visited the region. His theory was based to an extent on observations by the Cambridge professor of mineralogy Edward Daniel Clarke and his assistant John Martin Cripps. In 1801, those gentlemen were the first to have linked the archaeological site at Hisarlik with historic Troy.”(m)
The earliest excavations at Hissarlik began in 1856 by a British naval officer, John Burton. His work was continued in 1863 until 1865 by an amateur researcher, Frank Calvert. It was Calvert who directed Schliemann to Hissarlik and the rest is history(j).
However, some high-profile authorities, such as Sir Moses Finley (1912-1986), have denounced the whole idea of a Trojan War as fiction in his book, The World of Odysseus . Predating Finley, in 1909, Albert Gruhn argued against Hissarlik as Troy’s location(i).
Not only do details such as the location of Troy or the date of the Trojan War continue to be matters for debate, but surprisingly, whether the immediate cause of the Trojan War, Helen of Troy was ever in Troy or not, is another source of controversy. A paper(ab) by Guy Smoot discusses some of the difficulties. “Odysseus’, Nestor’s and Menelaos’ failures to mention that they saw or found Helen at Troy, combined with the fact that the only two witnesses of her presence are highly untrustworthy and problematic, warrant the conclusion that the Homeric Odyssey casts serious doubts on the version attested in the Homeric Iliad whereby the daughter of Zeus was detained in Troy.”
The Swedish scholar, Martin P. Nilsson (1874-1967) who argued for a Scandinavian origin for the Mycenaeans , also considered the identification of Hissarlik with Homer’s Troy as unproven.
>A less dramatic relocation of Troy has been proposed by John Chaple who placed it inland from Hissarlik. This “theory suggests that Hisarlik was part of the first defences of a Trojan homeland that stretched far further inland than is fully appreciated now and probably included the entire valley of the Scamander and its plains (with their distinctive ‘Celtic’ field patterns). That doesn’t mean to say that most of the battles did not take place on the Plain of Troy near Hisarlik as tradition has it but this was only the Trojans ‘front garden’ as it were, yet the main Trojan territory was behind the defensive line of hills and was vastly bigger with the modern town of Ezine its capital – the real Troy.” (af)<
Troy as Atlantis is not a commonly held idea, although Strabo, suggested such a link. So it was quite understandable that when Swiss geo-archaeologist, Eberhard Zangger, expressed this view  it caused quite a stir. In essence, Zangger proposed(g) that Plato’s story of Atlantis was a retelling of the Trojan War.
For me, the Trojan Atlantis theory makes little sense as Troy was to the northeast of Athens and Plato clearly states that the Atlantean invasion came from the west. In fact, what Plato said was that the invasion came from the ‘Atlantic Sea’ (pelagos). Although there is some disagreement about the location of this Atlantic Sea, all candidates proposed so far are west of both Athens and Egypt.(Tim.24e & Crit. 114c)
Troy would have been well known to Plato, so why did he not simply name them? Furthermore, Plato tells us that the Atlanteans had control of the Mediterranean as far as Libya and Tyrrhenia, which is not a claim that can be made for the Trojans. What about the elephants, the two crops a year or in this scenario, where were the Pillars of Heracles?
A very unusual theory explaining the fall of Troy as a consequence of a plasma discharge is offered by Peter Mungo Jupp on The Thunderbolts Project website(d) together with a video(e).
Zangger proceeded to re-interpret Plato’s text to accommodate a location in North-West Turkey. He contends that the original Atlantis story contains many words that have been critically mistranslated. The Bronze Age Atlantis of Plato matches the Bronze Age Troy. He points out that Plato’s reference to Atlantis as an island is misleading, since, at that time in Egypt where the story originated, they frequently referred to any foreign land as an island. He also compares the position of the bull in the culture of Ancient Anatolia with that of Plato’s Atlantis. He also identifies the plain mentioned in the Atlantis narrative, which is more distant from the sea now, due to silting. Zangger considers these Atlantean/Trojans to have been one of the Sea Peoples who he believes were the Greek-speaking city-states of the Aegean.
Rather strangely, Zangger admits (p.220) that “Troy does not match the description of Atlantis in terms of date, location, size and island character…..”, so the reader can be forgiven for wondering why he wrote his book in the first place. Elsewhere(f), another interesting comment from Zangger was that “One thing is clear, however: the site of Hisarlik has more similarities with Atlantis than with Troy.”
An American researcher, J. D. Brady, in a somewhat complicated theory, places Atlantis in the Bay of Troy.
In January 2022, Oliver D. Smith who is unhappy with Hisarlik as the location of Troy and dissatisfied with alternatives offered by others, proposed a Bronze Age site, Yenibademli Höyük, on the Aegean island of Imbros(v). His paper was published in the Athens Journal of History (AJH).
To confuse matters further Prof. Arysio Nunes dos Santos, a leading proponent of Atlantis in the South China Sea places Troy in that same region of Asia(b).
Furthermore, the late Philip Coppens reviewed(h) the question marks that still hang over our traditional view of Troy.
Felice Vinci has placed Troy in the Baltic and his views have been endorsed by the American researcher Stuart L. Harris in a number of articles on the excellent Migration and Diffusion website(c). Harris specifically identifies Finland as the location of Troy, which he claims fell in 1283 BC although he subsequently revised this to 1190 BC, which is more in line with conventional thinking. The dating of the Trojan War has spawned its own collection of controversies.
However, the idea of a northern source for Homeric material is not new. In 1918, an English translation of a paper by Carus Sterne (Dr Ernst Ludwig Krause)(1839-1903) was published under the title of The Northern Origin of the Story of Troy(n). Iman Wilkens is arguably the best-known proponent of a North Atlantic Troy, which he places in Britain. Another scholar, who argues strongly for Homer’s geography being identifiable in the Atlantic, is Gerard Janssen of the University of Leiden, who has published a number of papers on the subject(u). Robert John Langdon has endorsed the idea of a northern European location for Troy citing Wilkens and Felice Vinci (w). However, John Esse Larsen is convinced that Homer’s Troy had been situated where the town Bergen on the German island of Rügen(x) is today.
Most recently (May 2019) historian Bernard Jones(q) has joined the ranks of those advocating a Northern European location for Troy in his book, The Discovery of Troy and Its Lost History . He has also written an article supporting his ideas in the Ancient Origins website(o). For some balance, I suggest that you also read Jason Colavito’s comments(p).
Steven Sora in an article(k) in Atlantis Rising Magazine suggested a site near Lisbon called ‘Troia’ as just possibly the original Troy, as part of his theory that Homer’s epics were based on events that took place in the Atlantic. Two years later, in the same publication, Sora investigated the claim for an Italian Odyssey(l). In the Introduction to The Triumph of the Sea Gods , he offers a number of incompatibilities in Homer’s account of the Trojan War with a Mediterranean backdrop.
Roberto Salinas Price (1938-2012) was a Mexican Homeric scholar who caused quite a stir in 1985 in Yugoslavia, as it was then when he claimed that the village of Gabela 15 miles from the Adriatic’s Dalmatian coast in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina, was the ‘real’ location of Troy in his Homeric Whispers .
More recently another Adriatic location theory has come from the Croatian historian, Vedran Sinožic in his book Naša Troja (Our Troy). “After many years of research and exhaustive work on collecting all available information and knowledge, Sinožic provides numerous arguments that prove that the legendary Homer Troy is not located in Hisarlik in Turkey, but is located in the Republic of Croatia – today’s town of Motovun in Istria.” Sinožic who has been developing his theory over the past 30 years has also identified a connection between his Troy and the Celtic world.
Fernando Fernández Díaz is a Spanish writer, who has moved Troy to Iberia in his Cómo encontramos la verdadera Troya (y su Cultura material) en Iberia  (How we find the real Troy (and its material Culture) in Iberia.).
Like most high-profile ancient sites, Troy has developed its own mystique, inviting the more imaginative among us to speculate on its associations, including a possible link with Atlantis. Recently, a British genealogist, Anthony Adolph, has proposed that the ancestry of the British can be traced back to Troy in his book Brutus of Troy. Petros Koutoupis has written a short review of Adolph’s book(ad).
Caleb Howells, a content writer for the Greek Reporter website, among others, has written The Trojan Kings of Britain  due for release in 2024. In it he contends that the legend of Brutus is based on historical facts. However, Adolph came to the conclusion that the story of Brutus is just a myth(ae), whereas Howells supports the opposite viewpoint.
Iman Wilkens delivered a lecture(y) in 1992 titled ‘The Trojan Kings of England’.
It is thought that Schliemann has some doubts about the size of the Troy that he unearthed, as it seemed to fall short of the powerful and prestigious city described by Homer. His misgivings were justified when many decades later the German archaeologist, Manfred Korfmann (1942-2005), resumed excavations at Hissarlik and eventually exposed a Troy that was perhaps ten times greater in extent than Schliemann’s Troy(r).
(k) Atlantis Rising Magazine #64 July/Aug 2007 See: Archive 3275
(l) Atlantis Rising Magazine #74 March/April 2009 See: Archive 3276
(n) The Open Court magazine. Vol.XXXII (No.8) August 1918. No. 747 See: https://archive.org/stream/opencourt_aug1918caru/opencourt_aug1918caru_djvu.txt
(z) http://www.mikamar.biz/rainbow11/mikamar/articles/troy.htm (Link broken)
(aa) Troy (varchive.org)
Sundaland is the name of a large biogeographical region of South East Asia, a large portion of which had been above sea level during the last Ice Age and later inundated as the glaciers retreated. The term was apparently first used in 1949 by R.W. van Bemmelen (1868-1941) and later by other authorities.
It is worth noting that it is now generally accepted that South East Asia was probably the entry point of modern humans from Africa. Human traces have been found in Papua New Guinea that have been dated to around 40,000 BC.
Some authors have specifically claimed a clear link between Sundaland and Plato’s Atlantis. The Sunda Sub-Oceanic Plain is large enough to match Plato’s description of Atlantis. Its topography, climate, flora and fauna together with aspects of local mythologies, all permit a convincing case to be made to support this idea.
C.W. Leadbeater (1854-1934) who was a prominent theosophist was perhaps the first to suggest a link between Atlantis and Indonesia in his book, The Occult History of Java , which is now available online(f).
Other investigators have written on the prehistory of the region of whom the best known is probably Stephen Oppenheimer who firmly locates the Garden of Eden in this region, although he makes little reference to Atlantis. More recently, Robert Schoch, in collaboration with Robert Aquinas McNally, wrote a book in which they suggest that pyramid building may have had its origins in a civilisation that flourished on parts of Sundaland that are now submerged.
The first book to specifically identify Sundaland with Atlantis was written by Zia Abbas. However, prior to its publication, the Internet offered at least two sites that discussed in detail the case for Atlantis in South East Asia. William Lauritzen(a) and the late Professor Arysio Nunes dos Santos(b) developed extensive websites. Lauritzen has also written an e-book that is available from his site, while Santos developed his views on an Asian Atlantis in another recent book. Dr Sunil Prasannan has an interesting essay on Graham Hancock’s website(c). A more esoteric site(d) also offers support for the Sundaland theory.
An Indonesian researcher, Panji R. Hadinoto, has published on his website(e) a 32 point checklist purporting to ‘prove’ that Atlantis was located on Sundaland. Unfortunately, this checklist is not original but copied from the work of Professor dos Santos.
April 2015 saw further support for an Indonesian Atlantis with the publication of a book by a hydraulic engineer, Dhani Irwanto, who endeavours to identify features of the lost city with details in Plato’s account with a site in the Java Sea off the coast of the island of Kilmantan. He has now published a YouTube video in support of his theory(h).
In 2019, Irwanto published two new books, the first, Sundaland: Tracing the Cradle of Civilisations , in which he offers a compelling case for considering emigrants from a submerging Sundaland as bringers of embryonic civilisation to other lands, where it flourished and developed local variants. It crossed my mind that Irwanto’s contention might explain the origins of the likes of the Sumerian civilisation, among others, which have never been satisfactorily settled!
The second book, Land of Punt , is another interesting offering in which the author suggests that Punt and the biblical Ophir can be equated with Atlantis, located in Sundaland. However, this idea conflicts with a growing consensus(k) that places Punt in the region of the Horn of Africa or across the Red Sea in Arabia.
A 2016 series of graphics shows the gradual inundation of Sundaland from 18,000 BC onwards(g).
Thorwald C. Franke has drawn attention(j) to a recent controversy in Malaya where historian Zaharah Sulaiman has claimed that the Malay set of mtDNA is 63,000 years old, dating back to a time long before the submergence of Sundaland. It seems that Sulaiman had built her claim on some of Oppenheimer’s writings. This veiled suggestion of some sort of racial superiority, through antiquity, was disputed locally.(i)
Ahmad Yanuana Samantho published Atlantis Nusantara  in 2015, which purports to build on the work of Arysio dos Santos with additional data that the author (or publisher) describes as ‘spectacular’. Unfortunately, the 538-page book is only available in Indonesian. Nusantara is generally used to describe the Indonesian archipelago.
Heracles (Herakles) was a Greek mythical hero(c), later known to the Romans as Hercules. He is one of several mythical heroes who were reportedly abandoned as babies(f).
There is also a claim that the Greek Herakles had a much earlier namesake the patron of Tyre and known as Melqart, which translates as ‘king of the city’. “Melqart was considered by the Phoenicians to represent the monarchy, perhaps the king even represented the god, or vice-versa, so that the two became one and the same. The ruler was known by the similar term mlk-qrt, and the Hebrew prophet Ezekiel criticises the kings of Tyre for considering themselves god on earth”(i).
He has also been identified with the biblical Samson(a) and the Mesopotamian Gilgamesh(b). Dhani Irwanto who claims that Atlantis was situated in Indonesia has tried to link Herakles with the Javanese mythical figure of Kala [1093.118]. However, Dos Santos who also advocated an Atlantis location in the same region decided that Hercules was originally the Hindu hero Vishnu [320.129], quoting Megasthenes (350-290 BC), the Greek geographer, in support of his contention. Others have referred to Megasthenes as identifying Hercules with Krishna(e)(g). The list of associations seems to go on and on, including the Scandanavian Hoder, Akkadian Nergal, Roman Mars and Ireland’s Cú Chulainn(h).
The penitential twelve labours of Hercules have long been associated with the zodiac(j), which is reminiscent of the warriors in the Iliad who have also been associated with the zodiac!(k) Alice A. Bailey was probably the best-known exponent of this back in the 1980s, in The Labours of Hercules .
He is usually portrayed as brandishing a club and wearing a lion’s head as a helmet, probably because he, like Samson, reputedly unarmed, overcame lions and since lions were not part of the fauna of ancient Greece it is reasonable to assume that at least this part of the tale had an Asian or African origin, but the similarities don’t end there(a).
Euhemerists have suggested that he was a real historical figure, possibly a former king of Argos.
A more controversial suggestion has been made by Emmet J. Sweeney, in his 2001 book, Arthur and Stonehenge, in which the blurb for the book claims that “Arthur himself, he was the primitive bear-god “Artos”, the Celtic version of Hercules. Originally portrayed with a bear-skin over his head and shoulders and carrying a great oaken club, he became the prototype of the Greek Hercules when Hellenic traders, braving the wild waters of the Atlantic in search of tin, heard his story from the Britons.” However, Sweeney also identifies Moses “as an alter ego of Hercules.” in his Atlantis: The Evidence of Science[700.198].
There appears to have been a cult of Heracles that may have extended as far as Britain, where the Cerne Abbas chalk figure is sometimes claimed to represent him(d).
The term ‘Pillars of Heracles’ was used by the ancient Greeks to define the outer reaches of their limited seagoing range. This changed over time as their nautical capabilities improved. Some of the earlier ‘Pillars’ were located at the entrance to the Black Sea and the Strait of Sicily and the Strait of Messina. Later the term was applied exclusively to the Strait of Gibraltar.
(a) Archive 3444
Indonesia in recent years has seen an increasing number of supporters for the idea of Atlantis being located in the vicinity of today’s archipelago, prior to the ending of the last Ice Age, on the submerged continental shelf now frequently referred to as Sundaland. The redating of cave paintings on the island of Sulawesi suggests that they are as old as any in Europe(h), possibly stretching back as far as 40,000 years. A 2016 report(j) has now pushed back the earliest human occupation on Sulawesi to 100,000 years ago.
As far as I can ascertain the earliest suggested linkage between Atlantis and Indonesia came from the leading Theosophist, C. W.Leadbeater (1854-1934). In a booklet, The Occult History of Java, published in 1951 he proposed that Java had been an Atlantean colony.
However, it is reported(g) that Sukarno (1901-1970), the first president of Indonesia, spoke of Atlantis nearly half a century ago when he located it in the Atlantic
William Lauritzen was probably the first to advocate this idea of a Sundaland connection on his website, but it seems that the concept was given a huge boost by the publication of the late professor Arysio Nunes dos Santos’ book Atlantis: The Lost Continent Finally Found.
The idea was given a boost in February 2012 when it was reported(a) by a somewhat incredulous Jakarta Post that the Indonesian president had given his support to a search for an ancient sunken civilisation in Indonesian waters following meetings with researchers including British author Stephen Oppenheimer.
May 2013 saw The Jakarta Post report(b) the publication of a book by local geologist, Danny Hilman Natawidjaja in which he claims that Atlantis was part of prehistoric Indonesia. In the book, entitled Penemuan Atlantis Nusantara (The Discovery of Atlantis in the Archipelago) he claims to base his theory on Plato’s text. However, commenting on the book the Indonesian archaeologist Daud Aris Tanudirjo said that Natawidjaja’s claim was ‘premature’, pointing out that the author had only an English translation of Plato’s text to work with and suggesting that Natawidjaja had no knowledge of ancient Greek. Further background information was subsequently made available(c).
Natawidjaja also claims that a site at Gunung Padang, 120 km southwest of Jakarta may be more than 9,000 years old! Graham Hancock has expanded on this idea(e). Nevertheless, a recent assault on Natawidjaja’s theories in an open letter(m) from Rebecca Bradley, has laid bare the weaknesses in his contentions.
In 2015 Dahni Irwanto published Atlantis: The lost city is in Java Sea, in which he located the biblical Garden of Eden and the legendary island of Taprobane on the Indonesian island of Kalimantan* (Borneo) and placed Atlantis off its coast. Irwanto has built on the work of Santos, expanding Santos’ 32-checklist to 60 headings. In his well-illustrated book, Irwanto goes further with the suggestion that Atlantean Indonesia was a cultural centre from which post-diluvian refugees spread throughout the world influencing the great civilisations of Asia, the Mediterranean and the Americas.(p.143) He subsequently published Sundaland: Tracing the Cradle of Civilization (1618) in which he develops his idea that ancient Indonesia was a hyperdiffusionist hub. Although I found this book interesting, I thought it was over speculative.
Coincidentally, Delisle de Sales, writing in the 18th century cited an anonymous source who placed Atlantis in Taprobane, considered at the time to be a reference to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), not Irwanto’s Indonesian Kalimantan*.
A short April 2016 blog(k) suggests that Quranic Archaeology may be used to support the idea of an Indonesian Atlantis, a sentiment expressed again a month later(l).
The ‘Atlantis in Indonesia’ bandwagon became more crowded in 2019 when an entire group climbed aboard. They are known as Turangga Seta, whose founder and spokesman Timmy Hardati claims that Atlantis was submerged in the Java Sea. They also claim that there is a 300-metre-high pyramid inside Bandung’s Mount Lalakon! However, the twist in the tale is that the group has no interest in conventional science preferring to depend on psychic ‘conversations with ancestors’.(o) While Irwanto’s theories may be hard to accept, at least he presents them in a rational coherent manner, the same cannot be said of the Turangga Seta(n).
(a) See: Archive 3629
(k) https://www.islamsejati.com/2016/03/ahli-arkeologi-fakta-dari-al-quran.html (offline Jan. 2017)
Zia Abbas, according to his own blurb, is a computer scientist and works as a freelance software engineer and consultant for many companies. He is the author of Atlantis: The Final Solution in which he claims to prove that Plato’s Atlantis is to be found in the South China Sea. The core proposal of this book is that Atlantis was located on the continental shelf in the South China Sea, known as Sundaland, which was exposed before the end of the last Ice Age, when it was inundated as the glaciers retreated. According to Abbas, this large landmass contained the original Atlantis and was known as Idress. It is quite probable that early urban settlements did exist along the coast and at the river mouths of Sundaland, and were subsequently flooded. However, it is quite improbable that the flooding of these towns and villages were the inspiration for the Atlantis of Plato. Remember that at the same time, similar inundations were taking place much closer to home in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and these events are more likely to have been remembered in the legends and myths familiar to Plato. The prehistoric flooding of the Sundaland region is covered extensively in Stephen Oppenheimer’s Eden in the East .
Abas was no trailblazer, as the idea of Atlantis in this region has been advocated since 1997 by investigators such as the late Professor Arysio Nunes dos Santos(a) and William Lauritzen(b). Abbas’ claims are just a poor rehash of their ideas and his particular book has done little to advance their acceptance. Around the same time, Dr. Sunil Prasannan published a paper on Graham Hancock‘s website that also endorsed the Atlantis in Sundaland theory(e). Since then, Dhani Irwanto has developed the Sundaland theory further, expanding Santos’ 32-point checklist to 60 points(d).
On the first page, Abbas claims that Atlantis was a republic, which seems rather strange for a confederation ruled by ten kings. He states that Athena was a ‘god’ of Atlantis, a claim that would have surprised Plato. Abbas also asserts that Atlantis is to be found in the Old Testament under the name of Enoch!
Further incongruity is encountered when we find that Abbas’ website includes a technical paper on Gravitation and Special Relativity.
This book is high on speculation and low on science. For many, the author’s credibility will completely vanish as soon as they encounter references to reptilian aliens a la David Icke, artificial structures on Mars or a hollow Earth. This is all a far cry from the Dialogues of Plato and probably explains the poor reviews that the book has received.
In a short paper entitled Atlantis in a Nutshell(c), Abbas offers a brief overview of Atlantis as he sees it.
Little has been heard from Abbas in recent years, during which the Atlantis in Sundaland theory has been advocated more convincingly by dos Santos and Irwanto.
Arysio Nunes dos Santos (1937-2005), was a highly qualified engineer with many patents to his credit. He was a Professor of Nuclear Engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil and had also worked as a geologist and climatologist. He was also an amateur linguist who had mastered Greek and Sanskrit among others. Apart from his professional interests, Santos has written on a diverse range of subjects including Symbolism, Alchemy, the Holy Grail and Comparative Mythology and Religion. His studies led him to conclude that Atlantis and the biblical Eden were the same and more controversially that it had been located in the South China Sea. An even more contentious idea of Santos was his claim that the seven sacraments of Christianity have an Atlantean origin(a). There is an interesting website(b) promoting his theories and in 2005 his ideas were published in book form, but sadly, Professor Santos passed away just weeks after it was launched. Since then his work has been championed by his son Bernado and Frank Joseph Hoff, who had done research for Santos over a number of years(c). Hoff has promoted dos Santos’ work in a number of radio interviews that can be heard online(g)(h).
>In a short article(i) on the Santos website, it is claimed that the Americas were peopled by visitors from an Asian Atlantis – “The New World is perhaps the region where the civilizing impact of Atlantis is easiest to observe. In contrast with the establishment doctrine that claims the Americas were peopled via the Bering Strait and developed an autochthonous civilization, we argue that civilization, — along with a substantial component of the population of the Amerindian nations — came to the Americas via the Pacific Ocean. This is particularly the case of the more advanced cultures such as those of the Incas of Peru and the Mayas and Aztecs of Mexico.
Amerindian contacts with the Far Orient were both regular and intensive throughout antiquity. White Civilizing Heroes such as Bochica, Quetzalcoatl and Kukulkan are indeed the Nagas or Minas, the fabled Serpent Peoples of the Eastern Indies. Our arguments are based on the solid evidence afforded by the domesticated plants and animals that exist on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, and on the cultural and linguistic parallels that make of pre-Columbian America the perfect dual of the ancient Indies, and a replica of Atlantis.”<
In 2014, three Kindle books by dos Santos were published posthumously with some rather peripheral Atlantis themes, Atlantis and the Pillars of Hercules, Atlantis and the Holy Grail and Atlantis and the Drug Cults.
An extensive two-part document by dos Santos, entitled The Atlantean Symbolism of the Egyptian Temple can be read online(e)(f).
Understandably, Santos’ basic theory has received considerable support from Asian commentators.
Nevertheless, some of the geological aspects of his theories were criticised by the Indonesian geologist Dr. Awang Harun Satyana(d).
(d) See: Archive 2794