Honduras or more correctly the islands of Roatan and nearby Helene, part of the Bay Islands> were brought to wider attention over a century ago by Broughton Brandenburg, an American magazine writer. In the April 1906 edition of Appleton’s Booklovers Magazine, he suggested that a discovery of submerged artefacts near Islas de Bahia (Bay Islands) off the coast of Honduras might be remnants of Atlantis.<
>Three decades later, in 1936, F.A. Mitchell-Hedges also claimed that the Bay Islands to have had a possible Atlantean connection(a). Specifically, he announced that on the island of Helene that “we unearthed an ancient city of considerable size. He said that he came to the conclusion that in Helene he had found the highlands of a vast continent which was submerged by the Flood.” <
Mitchell-Hedges and his daughter are best known for the claimed discovery there of the most perfect crystal skull ever found.>However, question marks still hang over the provenance of the skull and Brandenburg appears to have been something of a fraudster!<
Ahnenerbe-SS or to give it its full title, Ahnenerbe Forschungs und Lehrgemeinschaft (The Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Society), was founded by Heinrich Himmler in 1935 but did not become part of the SS until 1940. It was one of the more bizarre aspects of the Nazi regime, as it attempted to give legitimacy to the notion of German supremacy by claiming that they were direct descendants from an original perfect race, the Atlanteans.
When you add this to the Nazi support for Hans Hoerbiger’s crazy cosmology(i), strange expeditions to Tibet, and SS agents attempting to steal Crystal Skulls in South America, you cannot help wondering how such eccentric activities could have been accepted by the higher echelons of the Nazi establishment. It is contended that the Germans maintained strong links with Tibet and it is reported that when the Russians entered Berlin in 1945 they found many Tibetan corpses in SS uniforms, apparently after committing ritual suicide. This frequently quoted account is more than suspect.
The Ahnenerbe also studied the occult, a matter that has been investigated by a number of writers, including an early work by Herbie Brennan, whose book is complemented by The Occult History of the Third Reich website(a). The same site reviews the place of Atlantis in Nazi thinking(g) as well as an overview of the Ahnenerbe(h).
The attitude towards occultism in Nazi Germany seems to have been ambivalent, as represented in a paper(j) by Eric Kurlander who noted that “In her groundbreaking work on German esotericsm, Corinna Treitel represents the views of much recent scholarship when she concludes, ‘Occultism ceased its highly public presence as part of Germany’s refomist milieu of cultural experimentation only after 1937, when the Nazi regime suppressed occultism as one of its many ideological enemies.’
The evidence in this chapter, while not entirely incompatible with this statement, suggests a more complex picture. First and most importantly, the Nazi regime was much more selective in its suppression of occult and other border sciences than Treitel and other revisionist accounts suggest.”
The quest for the Holy Grail was also high on the Ahnenerbe agenda, which was led by one Otto Rahn(k). He eventually fell from favour and as punishment was assigned to work in the SS-run Dachau concentration camp(a)(l).
The Ahnenerbe attracted many seeking to avoid military service, as its work was considered essential to the war effort. It had fifty different research branches known as ‘Institutes’ and also ran a large publishing operation. It had Institutes dealing with Celtic Studies, Musicology and Norse Gods, but its most abhorrent activities were the carrying out of experiments on live humans, mainly from the concentration camps.
The unbelievable ideas, including an Atlantean ancestry for the Nazis that were peddled by the Ahnenerbe are extensively covered in the recent ‘must read’ book(m), The Master Plan by Heather Pringle. Her fascinating book includes an account of Himmler’s bizarre plan to exploit the mandatory use of bicycle reflectors to fund the activities of the Ahnenerbe!
Incidentally, the reflectors was invented in 1936 by one of Hitler’s chauffeurs, Anton Loibl, who formed a limited company (Anton Loibl GmbH)(e) with the SS(b) which channelled part of the royalty income to the Ahnenerbe, to fund their expeditions around the world seeking evidence for the origins of the Aryan ‘master race’.
However, Pringle also exposes the involvement of the Ahnenerbe in the plundering of museums in occupied countries and, more seriously, the painful and often fatal medical ‘experiments’ carried out on concentration camp inmates.
Film clips, in German, relating to the Anenerbe are available on the Internet(c).
Another site offers further insights into Nazi archaeology(d).
(d) http://alfrye04.wix.com/nazi-archaeology#! (link broken)
Frederick Albert Mitchell-Hedges (1882-1959) is famous for a number of matters, including the alleged discovery of the most perfect of crystal skulls ever found and the removal without permission of three boxes of pirate booty from Roatan Island, off Honduras, and its sale in New York for $6,000,000(a).
Mitchell-Hedges promoted the idea that Roatan Island or more specifically the smaller island, Helene, at its eastern end, which he described as “the highlands of a vast continent submerged by the Flood”(d) and was a remnant of Atlantis and that its original inhabitants were survivors of its destruction.
The Milwaukee Sentinel of February 10, 1935, regaled the world with the claim by Mitchell-Hedges that “I found the cradle of civilization in Central America.” He also speculated that it might be “possible that the light of civilization did not travel west but east – and from that supposedly mythical land ‘Atlantis’?” He added that “I hesitate to estimate the age of this civilization. My own “speculations” – I call them that, even though certain bases for a calculation exist – lead me to the view, certainly no later than 15,000 BC. flourished, or that they may have flourished beyond 25,000 B.C.”
His daughter Anna (1907-2007), went even further, with a claim that the crystal skull, which she owned until her death in 2007, had an extraterrestrial origin from where it was brought to Atlantis and from there to Belize where it was finally unearthed. In 1970, Anna was reported, in Sykes’ Atlantis magazine(f), to have written that her father had discovered the skull in a Maya temple in Lubaantun in what was then British Honduras, now Belize!
Therefore, it is obvious that the provenance of the skull is not clear-cut, with claims that it was in fact purchased by Mitchell-Hedges in the 1940s at a Sotheby’s auction in London(b).
Another reasonably objective article on the subject can also be accessed on the internet(c).
Apart from all this, in 2008, an investigation led by the Smithsonian Institute concluded that all 13 life-size skulls, including the Mitchell-Hedges one, were Victorian fakes(e). A 2010 article in Archaeology magazine by anthropologist Jane MacLaren Walsh concluded that “The Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull is not ancient; not even very old.”(g)
(f) Atlantis, Vol. 24, No. 1/2, Jan-March, 1971.