Heather Pringle “is a Canadian science writer who specializes in archaeology.” She has written many articles as well as a number of books and has her own website(a). Among her work is the prize-winning The Master Plan, in which she charts the work of the Nazi Ahnenerbe, founded by Himmler, “whose mission was to search for the lost civilization of an ancient master race.” Included in this fascinating book is an interesting account of the Hermann Wirth’s obsession with Atlantis in the North Atlantic as well as Edmund Kiss’ work at Tiwanaku in Bolivia.
*[A recent paper(b) by Pringle and Krista Langlois offers evidence that the Bering Strait during the last Ice Age was in fact a vast area of land the size of Australia and that it provided a crossing point, for humans and animals earlier and for longer than previously believed.
Pringle has also turned her attention to the Vikings in an interesting National Geographic article(c).]*
(c) National Geographic, March 2017 p.34]*
Belisario Díaz Romero (1870-1940) was a Bolivian businessman and polymath from La Paz. He had some ideas regarding race and evolution(a). that today would be considered odd, if not offensive. He believed that Tiwanaku had been built by a race of people he calls Homo atlanticus, who had come to America from Atlantis, situated in the Atlantic, over a landbridge from the east, over two hundred million years ago! (a)
His 1906 book Tiahuanacu is now freely available online(b).
(b) https://archive.org/details/tiahuanacuestud00romegoog (Spanish)
Rafael Videla Eissmann is a Chilean historian and lecturer(a). He has published two books (in Spanish) on Atlantis based on conversations with the Chilean nazi Miguel Serrano. The theories of Hanns Hörbiger are investigated and supported. Eissmann has also lectured on Hörbiger and other heroes and supporters of the Third Reich such as Edmund Kiss.
Eissmann’s most important contribution to Atlantean studies was arguably his resurrection of the work of Robert Rengifo who along with Arthur Posnansky were possibly the first people to suggest Antarctica as the location of Atlantis.
Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) is an ancient city whose remains are located over two miles above sea level near the southern end of Lake Titicaca on the Altiplano of Bolivia. It was first encountered by Spanish conquistadors in 1549. Tiwanaku has all the features of a harbour, which has led some to describe it as the seaport of nearby Puma Punku another remarkable ancient site(o).
The ruins are scattered over a number of square miles through which the Guayqui-La Paz railway was constructed, which was responsible for the breaking up of many monuments to provide ballast. Prior to that, stone from the site was used in the construction of nearby homes and a church.
Belisario Díaz Romero believed that Tiwanaku had been built by a race of people he calls Homo atlanticus, who had come to America from Atlantis over a landbridge from the east, outlined in his 1906 book Tiahuanacu. Heather Pringle notes(t) that before Romero, “Francis de Castelnau (1810-1880), for example, proposed in the mid-19th century that Tiwanaku was the work of wandering Egyptian pharaohs, as opposed to the ‘imbicilic race that inhabits the country today’.”
The controversial Arthur Posnansky, who linked Tiahuanaco with Aztlan, the mythical “white” island homeland of the Aztecs investigated them in the early 20th century. The similarity of Aztlan with the name of Plato’s city has excited some straw clutching Atlantis seekers into claiming a definite connection between the two.
Posnansky also noted that the expected alignments of structures at Tiwanaku were offset by an amount which suggested their construction at a time when they would have been correctly aligned with respect to the cardinal points. He, after many years of study, was convinced that Tiahuanaco was the oldest civilisation on Earth dating it to around 15,000 BC. Charles Orser jnr. debunked Posnansky’s dating in a 2001 article(k) as did Paul Heinrich(n).>However, R. Cedric Leonard believes that Posnansky’s date addressed all of the mysteries associated with the site and “Thus I think it likely that Tiahuanaco was built at sea level c.15,000 B.C. as an Atlantean port.”(z)<
Some researchers, including Jim Allen, have studied Tiwanaku’s remarkable Gate of the Sun and identified the figures carved on it as a sophisticated calendar(v) . Ashley Cowie has recently proposed that Tiwanaku was located on an ancient Prime Meridian(w).
In the 1920’s, Edmund Kiss studied the ruins of Tiwanaku and concluded that it had been constructed by Nordic refugees from Atlantis which had been destroyed by a falling moon! His ideas were enthusiastically received back in Nazi Germany. A further expedition was planned, but never materialised because of the start of World War II.(u)
In sharp contrast is the claim(l) by Roger Elefant that later construction at Tiwanaku was carried out by the Vikings!
However, a more recent, but catastrophic, explanation is offered by Stephen Smith(d) on the Thunderbolts.info website. Perhaps Smith’s ideas might be combined with the studies of George Dodwell to produce a more comprehensive hypothesis. Posnansky’s date is greatly at variance with conventional dating that puts the flourishing of Tiwanaku at 1200 BC until 1200 AD. The latter part of that period roughly coincides with the existence of the Wari Empire, a possible rival of Tiwanaku(e).(e).
The claim of a direct connection between Tiahuanaco and Atlantis is hard to accept on a number of grounds; for example, the idea of an army travelling from the west coast of South America to attack Greece in the east of the Mediterranean is not tenable. That there was an advanced culture in the Andes is undeniable but to link it to Plato’s story is stretching credibility to extremes. Lake Titicaca and Tiahuanaco have plenty of mysteries still to be explained. In 1980 the Bolivian scholar, Hugo Boero Rojo, aided by one of the local natives, Elias Mamani, located underwater ruins off the coast of Puerta Acosta. His discoveries included megalithic temples, flights of stairs and stone roads.
More recently, Dave Truman has written about an alignment known as ‘The Way of Viracocha’ that runs from Cajamarca in the north, through Cuzco and Tiwanaku and finishing at Pukara Grande(p), oriented exactly 45° west of true north. Truman has built on the work of Maria Sholten d’Ebneth (1926-2007), who wrote of the La Ruta de Wiracocha in the 1970’s(q). Others have expanded on her work, but usually in Spanish. Truman has speculated on whether “Viracocha, the great teacher and restorer of civilisation in the Andes, in some way embodied the scientific knowledge of a sophisticated, but long forgotten high culture?” Truman
also discusses the ‘chakana’ or Andean stepped cross and it possible meaning.
It was reported in October 2013(g) (that a team of Belgian and Bolivian archaeologists had found an assortment of ceramics, gems and gold objects at an apparent ceremonial site beneath the waters of Lake Titicaca, which was sacred for the Incas and Tiwanakus. It was not until 2019 that images of some of the artefacts recovered from the lake were widely published(x).
We cannot leave the matter of mysterious Tiahuanaco without referring to the fact that some miles further south is Lake Poopó beside which Jim Allen is convinced that the city of Atlantis was located. Allen claims that the large plain to the west of the lake is the plain mentioned by Plato as being adjacent to the city of Atlantis. In a recent documentary “Atlantis in the Andes” broadcast by ‘Discovery Civilization’, Allen identified Tiahuanaco as one of the ten kingdoms of Atlantis. However, I cannot help noticing that while Tiwanaku, claimed to be 17,000 years old, provides us with an astonishing wealth of structures, Allen’s chosen Atlantis site, Pampa Aullagas, offers little more than rubble!
Another supporter of an Andean Atlantis is Sean Bambrough, who has been developing a theory since 1999 that identifies Tiwanaku as the city of Atlantis(h). In February 2015, Marcelo Ozorio also suggested a link with Plato’s Atlantis and most interesting is the huge number of images included on his site(i). There is also a large collection of related images on a YouTube clip(m).
A number of claims attempting to link Tiahuanaco with Atlantis have been made, with one anonymous blog(y) insisting that it was the capital of Atlantis. James Bailey was an early advocate of a Peruvian Atlantis with its capital at Tiwanaku or Chan Chan, which was probably the largest pre-Colombian city in South America.
In 2008, David E. Flynn brought to public attention an astonishing series of satellite photos(a) that show a vast network of the remains apparently of human structures that extend for many miles around Lake Titicaca. These ‘geoglyphs’ encompass Tiahuanaco.
The most remarkable collection of early photos of the Tiwanku site can be found on the Above Top Secret website(b). The accompanying text makes a strong case for treating the location as archaeologically contaminated and as a consequence that many of the dates proposed for the site should be considered suspect. Other mysteries are the fact that saltwater Lake Titicaca contains known sea life and that old waterlines are slanted(c).
In late March 2015, the Bolivian government announced(j) that ground-penetrating radar had identified what appeared to be a buried pyramid in the Tiwanaku complex as well as other ‘anomalies’ and that excavations may start in May or June.
A mixed Spanish and English website(f) offers a number of interesting papers including a chapter from Posnansky’s book Tiahuanaco: The Cradle of American Man.
Archaeology magazine has an interesting Q & A paper relating to the history and current state of preservation at the Tiwanaku site(s).
A May 2017 report(r) confirmed that the entire Tiwanaku complex is much more extensive than previously thought, covering an area of at least 650 hectares (1,675 acres).
(i) https://documentaries.camera/tiwanacu/ (offline Sept 2015)
Arthur Posnansky (1873-1946) was a self-taught archaeologist who was born in Vienna, although described as Polish. He is best known for his work at Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) in the Bolivian Andes. In 1943, he published his best known ok, Tiahuanaco: The Cradle of American Man, in four volumes. In this huge work he controversially claimed that Tiahuanaco had been built around 10000 BC. He is also remembered in his adopted Bolivia as having introduced the first car into that country. He died in Bolivia’s capital, La Paz.
Posnansky, in two earlier books, proposed a prehistoric Germanic migration to South America, a theory supported by Edmund Kiss. The two men worked together in Bolivia in the 1920’s. During the Third Reich Posnansky wrote about racial science that supported Nordicism, which underpinned a lot of Nazi ideology. In the course of these writings he used the term Nordic-Atlantean implying a belief in Atlantis. Kiss and Posnansky were of the opinion that Tiahuanaco had been built by Nordic survivors from Atlantis. The idea may have gone down well with Himmler but was derided by the scientific community at large.
Jim Allen has included an extensive article on the life and research of Posnansky, including excerpts from his work(a). On the other hand his early dates for Tiwanaku are serious challenged by Orser(b) and Heinrich(c).
Edmund Kiss (1886-1960) was a German architectural student with an interest in archaeology. After the First World War he wrote a number of adventure novels. In the 1920’s he began his foray into the world of ‘alternative archaeology’. Later in that decade he made his first visit to Tiahuanaco.
During this period Kiss worked with Arthur Posnansky and advanced the idea that Tiahuanaco had been built by Nordic refugees from Atlantis (Thule) more than 17,000 years ago. Their work included a search for evidence to support the theories of Hanns Hörbiger.
Matthew Gildner, a professor of Latin American history has written an interesting essay on the background to Kiss’ theories and work in Bolivia(b).
During the Third Reich was requested by Heinrich Himmler to take a team of researchers from the Ahnenerbe to continue his studies at Tiahuanaco but the expedition was called off. Following that he briefly joined the Waffen SS. After the war he continued his interest in Atlantis, writing a book on Plato’s Critias and contributing to Egerton Sykes’ Atlantean Research newsletter in the 1950’s.
Rafael Videla Eissmann is an historian at the Catholic University of Chile, has written a number of articles in Spanish(a) regarding Kiss, as well as a wide range of other historical subjects.
>As late as 1953, Kiss was still defending Hörbiger’s idea of an ice-covered Moon(c).<
>(c) Atlantis, Volume 6, No.1, May 1953<
Hanns Hörbiger (1860-1931) was an Austrian mining engineer by profession and in his spare time was an amateur astronomer. Today, he is probably better known as the father of the actors Paul and Attila Hörbiger.
By gazing at the moon he became convinced that he was looking at a bright outer layer of ice. Hörbiger published his “Doctrine of Eternal Ice” around 1913 in a book co-authored with a schoolteacher named Philip Fauth. Hörbiger proposed an early form of catastrophism that saw the Earth capture a number of moons in succession. Periodically, each of these moons disintegrated and as they spiralled to earth producing enormous ‘ice showers’ followed by meteors of iron. He saw the effects of these impacts as the source of Flood myths and claimed that when our current Moon was captured around 9500 BC it triggered earthquakes that led to the destruction of Atlantis. His theories were hailed in Germany during the 1930’s and 1940’s and officially backed by the Nazis (see Ahnenerbe). Heather Pringle notes[0032.180] Hitler’s personal support for Hörbiger’s theories.
>In 1966, Egerton Sykes wrote that “in addition Hitler requiring a Teutonic cosmology as well as a Germanic Europe, adopted Hoerbiger’s hypothesis, probably one of the few sensible acts that the Nazis ever made”(w).<
There was a Viennese Hörbiger Institute for World Ice Science founded in 1932(p). Their publication Mitteilungen had two volumes published from 1941 to 1944 and a third volume 1971-1976(o).
An interesting 1949 report by Manfred Reiffenstein describes the problems that the Hörbiger Institute had encountered with the Nazis from 1938 onwards. While efforts were made to close the Institute down and transfer its archives to Himmler’s Ahnenerbe organisation, this was prevented by the efforts of Hörbiger’s sons(s), which might be considered an example of postwar revisionism.
A recent paper by Graham Holton explicitly accuses Hörbiger of ‘archaeological racism’, along with Edmund Kiss, Posnansky and others in the Ahnenerbe(t).
His ideas were adopted and developed further by Hans Bellamy in a number of his books. During the first half of the 20th century, many beyond the Nazi realm frequently referred to Hörbiger’s moon theory as authoritative.
Hörbiger refused to accept the evidence that his ‘icy’ moon had a daytime temperature of 100°C. Followers of Hörbiger existed in Germany, Britain and France after the war, until an actual landing on the Moon demonstrated that it was composed of neither ice nor cheese.
A number of other writers developed theories that were variations on Hörbiger’s ideas. 1954 saw the publication of The Moon Puzzle by the Swedish engineer, N.O. Bergquist, in which he suggested that earth had a close encounter with a planetoid which caused the ejection of a large amount of matter, which became our Moon leaving a huge scar we call the Pacific. Although many details of Berquist’s theory differ greatly from Hörbiger’s, he never refers to the then widely supported views of Hörbiger.
In 1955, G. Demortier published a theory of cosmic catastrophe that was somewhat similar to Hörbiger’s. However, couple of years earlier, doubts were beginning to emerge regarding aspects of Hörbiger’s theories as our cosmological knowledge advanced(u), nevertheless in the same magazine Edmund Kiss attempted to justify Hörbiger’s idea of an ice-covered Moon!
It is even more astounding that as late as 1964, Egerton Sykes, the leading British atlantologist of the day, was still clinging to the concept of an ice covered lunar surface. In fact re-reading the old editions of Sykes’ Atlantis newsletter, I am amazed at the number of contributors that offered so many articles based on Hörbiger’s flawed ideas. My personal view is that having read Sykes’ newsletters, he can only considered a gullible British gentleman.
Egerton Sykes founded and promoted an English post-war Hoerbiger Institute through his Atlantis magazine(q). In March 1948 Bellamy contributed a short article (Hoerbiger Monograph No. 1. 2nd Edition)(n) to the newsletter, reiterating his support for the idea that the capture of our moon led to the destruction of Atlantis.
>Commander E.H. Nutter, a Royal Navy engineer, who contributed many articles to Sykes’ Atlantis magazine was considered “the leading technical authority on the Hoerbiger Theory in England” in the 1950’s.(v)<
Uwe Topper, the controversial German researcher has continued to support much of Hörbiger’s ideas. Additionally, in 2003, Gary Gilligan, a prominent catastrophist, first proposed that our Moon had been captured around 2000 BC, which he has now revised to 1200 BC(I)!
The August 2010 edition of the BBC’s Focus magazine (p.81), informs us that the Moon is moving away from Earth at a rate of 3.8cm per year, completely destroying the foundation of Hörbiger’s basic theory. The 9th Nov. 2011 issue of New Scientist published further evidence supporting this view(h), with further claims that this recession will reverse in the very distant future as the Earth’s rotation slows(r).
In the 17th century Johannes Kepler demonstrated that when an object’s orbital velocity increases, its orbital radius will expand; thus, the Moon slowly recedes from Earth(d). This idea was discussed further in a BBC documentary broadcast on Feb.1st 2011(b).
Nevertheless, updated Moon capture theories have been developed since Hörbiger. Emilio Spedicato has published a brief overview of recent contributions on the subject as well his own version(c), dating it to around 9450 BC, triggering the end of the Ice Age and the destruction of Atlantis!
It was long accepted wisdom that a moonless earth would have made the development of complex life more difficult because of greater climatic fluctuations. However, a new study challenges this, calculating that Jupiter together with other factors would minimise the effect of not having our satellite(g)
The story of lunar history took an unexpected turn in 2011 when the journal Nature published a paper by planetary scientists Erik Asphaug of the University of Santa Cruz and Martin Jutzi of the University of Berne who proposed that originally the Earth had two moons that later collided and formed our present satellite(e). At the end of 2011 two NASA lunar probes were launched(j) which may resolve this particular question.
In America, the WEL-Institute is dedicated to investigating Hörbiger’s ‘World Ice Theory’(k). I note that the U.S. is also home to associations concerned with both a Hollow Earth(l) and a Flat Earth(m)!
(p) See: Archive 3043
>(q) https://www.amazon.ca/Atlantis-Organ-Hoerbiger-Institute-1965-1974/dp/B00MOKVR2Y (Link broken Sept. 2020)<
(s) Atlantean Research, Volume 1, Number 5, January/February 1949
(u) Atlantis Vol.6, No.1 & 2, May & July 1953
>(v) Atlantis, Vol. 9, No. 2, January 1956, p.39
(w) Atlantis, Vol.19, No.5, September/ October, 1966<