Franz Susemihl (1826-1901) was a professor of classical philology at Greifswald University and later became rector there. He was renowned in academic circles for his translations of the works of Plato and Aristotle. His remarks on the Atlantis commentators of his day are as relevant today as over a century ago when he said “The catalogue of statements about Atlantis is a fairly good aid for the study of human madness.” The accuracy of his statement is borne out by the swollen ranks of today’s ‘lunatic fringe’ who claim inspiration from psychics, extraterrestrials or who insist that Atlantis was powered by crystals and possessed flying machines. The publication of such nonsense has continually undermined the credibility of serious Atlantology.
*Susemihl’s German translation of Plato’s Timaeus and Critias is available online.(a)(b). Thorwald C. Franke has also included Susemihl’s translation along with that of Müller, Bury and Jowett and the Greek text of John Burnet, all in a parallel format(c).*
It should be noted that Susemihl was an Atlantis sceptic.
Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) was born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He was reared a Christian and even taught Sunday school. He considered becoming a minister, but a lack of both education and funds prevented him from taking this course. The story goes that at the age of around 20, Cayce (pronounced KC) lost his voice and through self-hypnosis cured himself. He eventually found that he could cure others while in a trance and eventually his fame spread to such an extent that he was reported in the New York Times of 9th October 1910.
In due course Cayce’s trances were producing prophetic utterances or ‘readings’, that produced ideas totally at variance with his Christian upbringing, such as reincarnation and contact with the dead. During his lifetime over 14,000 ‘readings’ were recorded. In 1931 the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) was founded by Cayce to manage a depository of his ‘readings’.
Towards the end of 1944, Cayce became very ill and on New Year’s Day, 1945 he ‘prophesised’ that he would be miraculously healed of his illness. He died three days later. Arguably, an even more disappointing prognostication was his claim that Jesus Christ would come again in 1998. The Cayce Petroleum Company was another failure in the 1920’s when Cayce and his associates unsuccessfully searched for the ‘Mother Pool’ of oil in Texas based on some of his ‘readings’.
Robert Bauval in his Secret Chamber reveals that Cayce seemed to have had a photographic memory and worked for up to fifteen years in a bookstore where, no doubt, he had access to the works of Donnelly, Steiner, Blavatsky and others[p158]. The terminology employed by those writers is frequently used by Cayce in his ‘output’! His Reading 364-1(e) reveals quite clearly that he was acquainted with theosophical literature as well as other works of fiction such as A Dweller on Two Planets. It is, therefore, a clear possibility that this familiarity may have influenced his sub-conscious and his later prognostications.
A number of these ‘readings’ related to Atlantis and have been published in a separate volume, Edgar Cayce on Atlantis. He is most famously known for his claim that Atlantis would rise again in 1968 or 1969. Dr. Mason Valentine discovered the so-called Bimini Road. A suggestion that this underwater feature had been known to members of A.R.E., years before its ‘discovery’, has been made by Picknett & Prince in The Stargate Conspiracy.
John Gribbin, the British science writer has imaginatively suggested[1029.91] that “if Cayce was indeed perceiving the future during his psychic trance, what he ‘received’ was a distorted version of the newspaper accounts of this story, which he duly reported in his own words in 1940.” On a more scientific note Gribbin explains (p.93) that “we can say beyond that Atlantis will not rise again from the Atlantic floor – there is no continental crust there to rise”.
K. Paul Johnson has written Edgar Cayce in Context, a well-balanced book that investigates in detail Cayce and his prognostications. In 1922, Cayce gave a lecture to the Birmingham Theosophical Society. Johnson relates how one Arthur Lammers, a theosophist, stayed with Cayce in 1923, during which sojourn, it appears that Theosophy was extensively discussed. Around the same time Cayce was developing a friendship with one Morton Blumenthal, also an ardent theosophist. Coincidentally, it was in 1923 that some of Cayce’s ‘readings’ began to display great similarities with some of the views expressed in Madame Blavatsky’s ‘revelations’. A further interesting fact is that Alexander Strath-Gordon met Edgar Cayce on a number of occasions in the 1920’s prompting speculation that he may have ‘influenced’ some of Cayce’s Atlantis readings, an idea that must be considered a possibility.
Cayce added that the Atlanteans discovered electricity and also had ships and aircraft powered by a mysterious form of energy crystal. He tells us that these flying machines were made of elephant skins! (Reading 364-6)(f) and that they could also travel through water!
With all this technology at their disposal it is incredible that they could have lost a war with anyone, particularly the relatively primitive Athenians. The 17th century fictional work of Sir Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis, contains many references to advanced technology not realised until the last century. An encounter with this widely available work could easily have coloured any ‘readings’ while in a trance. Therefore, it would appear that there is sufficient evidence to suggest the possibity of ‘contamination’ of Cayce’s subconscious to throw doubt on the possible value of any of his ’readings’, without impugning the honesty of Edgar Cayce himself. Since the much-quoted prophecy of ‘Atlantis rising’ in the late ‘60’s is quite possibly the result of such contamination, it cannot be considered as evidence of anything. The Bimini Road itself is still the subject of controversy.
Cayce was also wrong regarding other historical details(d), such as the date of the biblical Exodus, which he declared to be 5500 BC (reading 470-22)(g), an error of about 4,000 years!
William B. Stoecker has written an article, which is highly critical of Cayce’s work(b). Nevertheless, it must be conceded that in one respect Cayce did offer one remarkable suggestion which claims that the Atlantean survivors fled to a number of locations (i) The Pyrenees – Home to the Basques (ii) Morocco – Berber country (iii) Egypt and (iv) North America – forming the Iroquois Nation. Coincidentally, the Berbers, Basques and Iroquois all share a specific DNA type(a).
In 2001, A.R.E. published Edgar Cayce’s Atlantis and Lemuria  by Frank Joseph. In turn, William Hutton wrote a review of Cayce’s offering, in which he concluded that “The foregoing review, while not comprehensive, shows that there is enough material in the book that is contentious, confusing or downright erroneous that almost anyone familiar with the relevant Cayce readings is prompted to ask, ‘How did this book come to be printed under the A.R.E.’s imprimatur?’ Why wasn’t the manuscript sent out to one or more competent reviewers for critical evaluation prior to being edited?”
Unfortunately, Plato is hardly mentioned at all by Cayce except for a brief reference to “the few lines given by Plato.” (Reading 364-1)(g).
There is also the report that David Wilcock, the conspiracy theorist, claimed to be the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce and wished to have a position in A.R.E., where he would also offering ‘readings’. He was questioned by Cayce’s son and grandson “for a little over an hour and quickly realized that he couldn’t answer a single question. They felt he was full of crap within minutes but to give him a fair chance they entertained him by asking him the questions that Cayce prepared while still alive to test the people who would come forward claiming to be his reincarnation.”(i) This daft idea was given further promotion by Wynn Free in The Reincarnation of Edgar Cayce? , which was written with Wilcock.
Another communication with the deceased Cayce is claimed by Leonard Farra(j).
>Forty years ago, in an article in Nature magazine Eugene A. Shinn and Marshall McKusick described Cayce followers as members of ‘a cult’!(k)<
(g) See: Archive 2913
Wolter Smit was born in Wanneperveen, Holland in 1945 and after a period of work in Switzerland, he now lives in France. He has worked as a freelance computer engineer, but currently concentrates on his research and writing.
He runs a website, in French and English(a) that investigates the Atlantis story, based on his book, Était – elle l’Atlantide? (Was this Atlantis?) , in which he generally supports Otto Muck’s theory that an asteroid impact in the Atlantic led to the destruction of Atlantis.
In 2011 Smit published an English translation of his book.
He develops the idea that this impact altered the earth’s axis and rate of rotation. Smit agrees with the date of 9792 BC for the destruction of Atlantis as proposed by Albert Slosman.
Smit has a valuable section entitled, Population and Size, in which he calculates the size of the Atlantean army as 1,200,000.
Nevertheless, I feel that Smit undermines any claim to scientific objectivity by the introduction of the readings of Edgar Cayce into his dissertation. This is all the more inexplicable as Smit in his Foreword states that he does “not want to consider things about magic crystals” and then devotes so much of his book to the ramblings of Cayce who attributed a crystal power source to the Atlanteans.
Although there are a number of inaccuracies in Smit’s book, there are also some interesting sections that should be studied.
Crystals and crystals skulls have been associated by numerous ‘fringe’ writers with the Atlantis mystery. Edgar Cayce started the ball rolling with his claim that the Atlanteans used crystals as a power source and weaponry. It must be pointed out that Plato never mentioned crystals in relation to Atlantis – a strange omission if they played such an important part in Atlantean technology and even more so if in spite of having this technology, they were defeated by the Athenians.
This twaddle has been compounded by F. A. Mitchell-Hedges, the alleged discoverer of the most perfect of the crystal skulls, when he wrote a couple of articles identifying Central America with Atlantis. His daughter, Anna Mitchell-Hedges (1907-2007), while owner of the skull, went further and claimed that the skull has an extraterrestrial origin and was brought to Atlantis and then to its place of eventual discovery in Belize. A recent study of the Mitchell-Hedges skull indicate that it was manufactured using high-speed rotary equipment developed in the 19th century for jewellers. Studies of other skulls have produced similar results(f). Jane MacLaren Walsh, a Smithsonian anthropologist, has written a full account of tests carried out and the conclusions reached(h)(i). Her research revealed that “It appears that in 1936, nine to 12 years after the Mitchell-Hedges family claimed to have discovered the crystal skull, a London art dealer named Sydney Burney owned it. Further research showed that Burney sold his crystal skull to Frederick Mitchell-Hedges in an auction at Sotheby’s. With no record of the skull found before 1934, it appears the supposed discovery at Lubaantun was a fraud.”(k)
Another sophisticated crystal skull, named ‘Compassion’ has recently surfaced with an apparently African origin. The late Philip Coppens had written an article on its possible implication(d). A second piece(g) by Coppens offered further information. A website(e) dedicated to exploiting this skull has all the hallmarks of New Age nonsense starting with the name of the site itself – Atlanteanskull.com.
The nonsense written about Atlantis and crystals is epitomised by the drivel peddled by Zarin inter alia. Also far out on the lunatic fringe, we have Deanna Jaxine Stinson, who, among a collection of daft ideas, claims that “the ancient lost city of Atlantis is believed to have been destroyed by crystal skulls.”(j)
I must be blunt and state that crystals have as much to do with Plato’s Atlantis as the price of turnips in Bhutan. The internet offers many examples(a)(b) of the rubbish written on the subject. Fortunately, they are countered by more objective articles(c).
In late 2020, Discover magazine published an informative article about fake Aztec crystal skulls(l).
(g) See Archive 2135