L. Sprague deCamp (1907-2000) is probably better known as a science fiction writer with over 120 books to his credit, including two non-fiction titles, Citadels of Mystery (First ed.: Ancient Ruins and Archaeology)  and Lost Continents , in which he was extremely sceptical of the reality of the Atlantis described by Plato. He offers the blunt declaration that Plato concocted the whole story, basing the tale on a mixture of the wealth of Tartessos in Spain, the destruction of the Greek island of Atalanta all intermingled with the mythology of Atlas. Although his criticism is harsh, it should be said that deCamp does display a reasonable degree of objectivity. It is probably because of his perceived integrity that other Atlantis sceptics continually trot out his views in support of their own position.
>A few years after Lost Continents was published, Nikolai Zhirov wrote a critique of the book(c), rejecting both its style and content. He notes that “the work shows a bad one-sided knowledge of geology and oceanography which is not counterbalanced by a critical examination of the published geological and oceanographical facts, although it is only by a study of these last that the Atlantis problem can be fully resolved.” Personally, I think that Zhirov’s comments are a reflection of his own bias towards an Atlantic location for Atlantis and ignore many other aspects of the Atlantis question, such as the date when Atlantis existed, as well as the identity of the Atlanteans.<
One of deCamp’s most quoted extracts is that “you cannot change all the details of Plato’s story and still claim to have Plato’s story.” While I fully endorse this comment, I must point out that there is a difference between changing and interpreting. For example when Plato refers to Asia or Libya, even deCamp accepted that in Plato’s day ‘Asia’ was not the landmass we know, stretching from the Urals to Japan, but a much smaller territory [0194.27]. In fact the term ‘Asia’ at one point was just applied to a small region of modern Turkey. Similarly, ‘Libya’ was not the country we know by that name today, but the term was often employed to designate all of North Africa west of Egypt. There are a number of other details in Plato’s narrative that require explanation or interpretation and so as long as any such elucidation is based on evidence and reason they cannot be glibly dismissed as substantive ‘changes’.
He scathingly refutes the more outlandish Atlantis theories that have deviated dramatically from Plato’s narrative, commenting that without matching the “date, location, size and island character” with the text we do not have Atlantis.
DeCamp also considered Alfred Wegner’s theory of continental drift as “very doubtful”, but corrected this statement in a 1970 edition of his book. Immanuel Velikovsky also received the sharp end of deCamp’s pen, describing his catastrophic theories as ‘mad’. Further information on deCamp can be found on the internet(a) where excerpts from his Lost Continents are also available(b).
Henry Eichner drew attention  to the fact that in three books relating to Atlantis authored by deCamp he describes a ring found by Adolf Schulten at the site of Tartessos, but slightly differently in all three! In Lost Continents it is plain, in Lands Beyond it is copper, while in Ancient Ruins and Archaeology it became gold!
Frank Joseph incorrectly claimed in the July/August 2011 issue of AtlantisRising magazine that DeCamp “formerly a staunch disbeliever in Atlantis, was later convinced it did indeed exist in south-coastal Iberia.”
(a) https://www.lspraguedecamp.com/ (offline August 2016)
>(c) Atlantis, Volume 11, No.5, July/August 1958<
Sodom & Gomorrah along wth Zoar, Admah and Zeboim constituted the Cities of the Plain referred to in the Bible and believed to have been situated in the Jordan Valley before their obliteration (apart from Zoar) in a catastrophic episode during the 2nd millennium BC. Explanations, religious and rational have been offered to explain the event. My preferred explanation is that an encounter with an extraterrestrial body such as a comet or asteroid caused the devastation(d).
>In 2008, a Sumerian clay tablet, known as the ‘Planisphere’ in the British Museum, was, after 150 years, translated and claimed to record an encounter with an asteroid ‘suspected of being behind the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.(e)<
In October 2015, there were reports that the sites of Sodom and Gomorrah had been finally located(a). November 2018 saw a further claim(b) that Sodom and possibly other the ‘cities of the plain’ had been destroyed by a meteoric airburst, similar to the Tunguska or the more recent Chelyabinsk events. This catastrophe took place north of the Red Sea in what is now Jordan according to archaeologist Phillip Silvia of Trinity Southwest University in Albuquerque.
Silvia’s conclusions have been confirmed by Dr. Steven Collins(c) who has excavated at the Tell el-Hammam site and describes his findings in his book co-authored with Dr. Latayne C. Scott, Discovering the City of Sodom .
In Atlantis and other Lost Worlds , Frank Joseph claims that Comet Encke in 1198 BC “scores a number of meteoric hits along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and possibly on Atlantis itself, which perishes ‘in a single day and night’, according to Plato. The catastrophe is global, encompassing the destruction of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah” Joseph bases this on the studies of two Swedish geologists, Thomas B. Larsson and Lars Franzén.
This linkage of Sodom with Atlantis is not new. In the 18th century, Carl Friedrich Baër (1719-1797) who was pastor at the Lutheran chapel in the Swedish Embassy in Paris, was possibly the first to propose a connection between the demise of Atlantis and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
A similar theory was proposed by Roger M. Pearlman in a 2018 booklet , . In this small, difficult to read, book the author also suggests, a linkage between the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah and Atlantis, placeing Atlantis in the Jordan Valley and equating Abraham with Atlas – “If Atlas as described in Plato’s work was based on a historic figure, Abraham alone meets key criteria.”
On a lighter note, in 1948, William Comyns Beaumont published an extraordinary book, Britain – The Key to World History , in which he claimed among other things, that Edinburgh was the original Jerusalem, London was Damascus and rather worryingly, that Bristol was Sodom.
See: Köfels Impact
Robert Catesby Taliaferro (1907-1989) was an American mathematician, philosopher and classical philologist. In his latter capacity he wrote a foreword to a 1944 reprint of Thomas Taylor‘s translation of Timaeus and Critias . From it Frank Joseph has quoted [802.140] the following; “it appears to me to be as least as well attested as any other narration in any ancient historian. Indeed, he [Plato] who proclaims that ‘truth is the source of every good both to gods and men,’ and the whole of whose works consist in detecting error and exploring certainty, can never be supposed to have wilfully deceived mankind by publishing an extravagant romance as matter of fact, with all the precision of historical detail.”
*However, shortly after I posted the above, I was contacted by Thorwald C. Franke, who kindly pointed out that Frank Joseph’s quotation was from Thomas Taylor’s own introduction not Taliaferro’s later addition in 1944. This is just another example of sloppy research by Joseph.*
Civilisation Collapse has occurred many times over past millennia in all parts of the world. The American anthropologist, Joseph A. Tainter defines collapse as “a rapid shift to a lower level of complexity(a) .” Societal disintegration immediately brings to mind the Maya, the Indus Valley and in what are relatively more modern times, the Western Roman Empire.
The causes are usually a combination of factors, such as, climate change, warfare, disease or excessive expansionism. Global catastrophes such as encounters with comets or asteroids are rare, while more local events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tsunamis can also be thrown into the mix. These have all been encountered from time to time, but have rarely been blamed for the collapse of a society; recovery from such limited regional events is usually possible.
The Mediterranean has seen its share of all these catastrophic events. A major tsunami on Sardinia, volcanic eruptions in Italy, earthquakes in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Close encounters with extraterrestrial bodies have also been proposed in that region.
Perhaps the best documented civilisation collapse is that which occurred around 1200 BC and affected many societies, particularly in the Middle East(b) . Israel Finkelstein, a leading Israeli archaeologist, has attributed this event to climate change and is of the view that this disruption was global in extent.
Inevitably, Atlantis has been cited as an example of civilisation collapse, particularly supporters of the Minoan Hypothesis, who link the 2nd millennium BC eruptions of Thera with the demise of the Minoans on Crete. Also popular is the idea that Atlantis had been a large island in the Atlantic Ocean destroyed by a cometary impact or the rising sea levels as the glaciers melted at the end of the last Ice Age.
A variety of other theories have associated Atlantis with the collapse of a civilisation. For example, Frank Joseph claims that 40,000 years ago “sudden sea-level rises triggers migration from Mu around. The Pacific motherlanders settle on a large, fertile island about 380 kilometers due west from the Straits of Gibraltar. There, the newcomers merge with the native Cro-Magnon inhabitants, resulting in a new, hybrid culture – Atlantis.”
The Pleiades in Greek mythology is the collective name for the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, while in astronomy, it is one of the nearest star clusters to Earth and the most obvious to the naked eye in the Taurus constellation. They were identified among the famous prehistoric paintings on the walls of the Lascaux Cave (16,500 BC).
>Pushing back much further, we now have a claim from Australia by astrophysicist Richard Norris who purports to have evidence that the Pleiades were known as ‘the seven sisters’ as far back as 100,000 years ago before Aboriginal Australians reached Australia according to their traditions!(g)<
The Danish independent researcher, Ove Von Spaeth, has a wide-ranging article on cultural references to the Pleiades including the Nebra Sky Disc(a). He also touches on the subject of Atlantis.
David Zink in his search for Atlantis in the Bahamas recounts in The Stones of Alantis [0178,130] that he used the services of psychic, Carol Huffstickler, who was happy to inform him that around 28,000 BC, the Gods came to Earth from the Pleiades(d)!
However, Jack Countryman has devoted his book, Atlantis and the Seven Stars, to the idea that extraterrestrials from the Pleiades “had initiated human civilisation through Atlantis and the Mediterranean.” A comparable idea has been proposed by Semir Osmanagic, promoter of the Bosnian pyramids, who has suggested that the Maya were descendents of the Atlanteans who in turn arrived on Earth from the Pleiades(b)!
Frank Joseph claims that the Pleiades, ”like the kings (of Atlantis) listed by Plato, they correspond, through their individual myths, to actual places within the Atlantean sphere of influence, and thereby help to illustrate the story of that vanished empire.” Joseph, concludes by associating each with particular realms within that empire, including the Azores, Morocco. Troy, Yucatan, Italy and the Canaries.[104.227]
The Cherokee Indians also have have an oral tradition which tells of ‘star people’ coming to Earth from the Pleiades and settling on five islands in the Atlantic known as Elohi Mona. Following the destruction of these islands the survivors migrated to the Americas. A Cherokee contributor to a, now offline, forum related how he always understood Elohi Mona to be a reference to Atlantis. Another site offering further ‘insights’ into the Atlantean and Cherokee linkage to the Pleiades is available(c).
Edward Alexander, in a slight twist to the tale, also claims to have been reincarnated many times on Earth, over the past 9,000 years since his arrival from his distant origins in the Pleiades.
In 2018, Frederick Dodson revealed that he had encountered blue-skinned beings from the Pleiades in his book, The Pleiades and our Secret Destiny  ! It would be interesting to hear Dodson and Alexander exchange notes.
William Henry, in a 2006 NatGeo documentary about Atlantis delighted us with revelation that ancient aliens from the Pleiades has helped the Egyptians to build the pyramids! The incredible amount of utter b.s. that people continue to generate, ostensibly linking exterrestrials to Atlantis or the Pyramids is, for me, quite remarkable(e). A recent episode (S15E07)of the American TV series Ancient Aliens returned to the subject of the Pleiades and visitors from there. Jason Colavito has reviewed it ‘appropriately’(f).
The Pleiades are known as Subaru in Japanese, giving its name to the car brand and inspiring their logo design.
(a) See: Archive 3363
(d) https://www.tulsaworld.com/archives/legend-of-atlantis-lives-in-bimini/article_d5552245-820b-510a-bb96-c295f7947300.html (June 2018-Not available in Europe because of the GDPR)
Wilhelm Geiger (1856-1943) was a highly-regarded German orientalist specialising in Indo-Iranian history and languages. Frank Joseph has tried to attribute[0104.123] a belief in Atlantis to this important scholar with a rather ambiguous quotation from his comments[0597.86] regarding Alcibiades I.
*“Quite unique stands the statement:- ‘He was a Greek, or one of those who came forth from the Continent on the other side of the great sea.’ This last expression is very obscure; it sounds too mysterious to designate the Greeks of Asia Minor. Is it perhaps some reminiscence of the passage of the primitive man to the six ‘keshvars’, which took place under Tahmurap? Or of the Atlantis?”
Punt is the name given to a land with which the ancient Egyptians traded. The leading theory is that it was located to the southeast of Egypt, roughly occupying what is now called ‘the Horn of Africa, although there is also a popular view that it was situated on the Arabian Peninsula. Others suggest that a combination of parts of both regions might be nearer the truth. An article of November 2016 elaborates on the claim for this identification(e).
>Along with the many luxury goods that Punt supplied to Egypt were baboons, so it was interesting to read in 2020 that “a new study tracing the geographic origins of Egyptian mummified baboons finds that they were sourced from an area that includes the modern-day countries of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Dijbouti, Somalia, and Yemen, providing new insight into Punt’s location.”(i). The investigation centred on the strontium levels found in the ancient remains.<
In 2013, a short book by Ahmed Ibrahim Awale, placed Punt in the same region, namely, in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland. A favourable and well illustrated review(f) of Awale’s book is worth a read.>The worldhistory.org website has pointed out that the name of the Puntland State of Somalia may preserve a memory of the original mythical Punt(h).<
Frank Joseph in his Atlantis Encyclopedia[0104.37] claims that “the Lands of Punt (are) often associated with the islands of Atlantis.” Joseph expands on this in an Atlantis Rising article(a) where he refers to an ancient Egyptian story of “The Shipwrecked Sailor” in which the ‘Serpent King’ is identified as master of the island of Punt, which again Joseph claims to be Atlantis.
More recently, a small number commentators have identified Punt/Atlantis with Indonesia(b)(c). Dhani Irwanto, who is a leading advocate of an Indonesian Atlantis published in November, 2015 an extensive article online(d) in which he specifically names the Indonesian island of Sumatera (Sumatra) as the land of Punt. He has now expanded this into a book, Land of Punt: In Search of the Divine Land of the Egyptians . Irwanto goes further and also identifies the mysterious land of Ophir in the Bible as Punt.
(a) See: Archive 2790
The Balearic Islands in the Western Mediterranean were not occupied until around 2200 BC. Although the two larger islands of Majorca and Minorca have many megalithic monuments, principally taulas and talayots, they have not, so far, been part of any Atlantis location theory. The only mention that I can find is the unsubstantiated claim by Frank Joseph[0104.66] that the early settlers were invaders from Atlantis.
*Steven Sora noted(d) that “From the Bible we know the Tartessians were ruled by kings and mentioned with princes of the isles—very likely islands like Corsica and the Balearics.” I mention this as Tartessos is frequently linked with Atlantis.*
The island of Es Vedra off the west coast of Ibiza, the third largest of the Balearics, has had a number of imaginative myths, old and new, associated with it, including that it is supposed to be the birthplace of the goddess Tanit and the limestone on the island is alleged to have been used to build the Egyptian Pyramids. Then, for good measure, Es Vedra is also claimed to be a peak of the mountains of Atlantis!(c)
In 1911, Albert Gruhn proposed that Atlantis may have lain between the Balearics and Sardinia(a), while a century later the American nuclear engineer, Robert J. Tuttle, suggested[1148.301] the Balearics as a possible location when sea levels were lower and the archipelago was more extensive,*explaining that “For Atlantis, we must relocate the ‘Pillars of Herakles’ to somewhere between Tunisia (the Roman ‘Africa’), Sicily and the toe of Italy”*
The most recent discovery of a prehistoric stone structure on Menorca was reported in the Spring 2016 edition of Popular Archaeology magazine(b).
*(d) https://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/article/in-search-of-tarshish/ (offline May 2019)*
The Trojan War, at first sight, may appear to have little to do with the story of Atlantis except that some recent commentators have endeavoured to claim that the war with Atlantis was just a retelling of the Trojan War. The leading proponent of the idea is Eberhard Zangger in his 1992 book The Flood from Heaven and later in a paper(l) published in Oxford Journal of Archaeology. He also argues that survivors of the War became the Sea Peoples, while Frank Joseph contends that conflict between the Egyptians and the Sea Peoples was part of the Trojan War[108.11]. Steven Sora asserts that the Atlantean war recorded by Plato is a distortion of the Trojan War and he contentiously claims that Troy was located on the Iberian Peninsula rather than the more generally accepted Hissarlik in Turkey. Others have located the War in the North Sea or the Baltic. Of these, Iman Wilkens is arguably the best known advocate of an English location for Troy since 1990. In 2018, Gerard Janssen has added further support for Wilkens theory(k).
However. controversy has surrounded various aspects of the War since earliest times. Strabo(a) tells us that Aristotle dismissed the matter of the Achaean wall as an invention, a matter that is treated at length by Classics Professor Timothy W. Boyd(b). In fact the entire account has been the subject of continual criticism. A more nuanced approach to the reality or otherwise of the ‘War’ is offered by Petros Koutoupis(j).
The reality of the Trojan War as related by Homer has been debated for well over a century. There is a view that much of what he wrote was fictional, but that the ancient Greeks accepted this, but at the same time they possessed an historical account of the war that varied considerably from Homer’s account(f).
Over 130 quotations from the Illiad and Odyssey have been identified in Plato’s writings, suggesting the possibility of him having adopted some of Homer’s nautical data, which may account for Plato’s Atlantean fleet having 1200 ships which might have been a rounding up of Homer’s 1186 ships in the Achaean fleet!
Like so many other early historical events, the Trojan War has also generated its fair share of nutty ideas, such as Hans-Peny Hirmenech’s wild suggestion that the rows of standing stones at Carnac marked the tombs of Atlantean soldiers who fought in the Trojan War! Arthur Louis Joquel II, proposed that the War was fought between two groups of refugees from the Gobi desert, while Jacques de Mahieu maintained that refugees from Troy fled to America after the War where they are now identified as the Olmecs! In November 2017, an Italian naval archaeologist, Francesco Tiboni, claimed(h). that the Trojan Horse was in fact a ship. This is blamed on the mistranslation of one word in Homer.
Various attempts have been made to determine the exact date of the ten-year War, using astronomical dating relating to eclipses noted by Homer. In the 1920’s, astronomers Carl Schoch and Paul Neugebauer put the sack of Troy at close to 1190 BC. According to Eratosthenes the conflict lasted from 1193 to 1184 BC(m).
In 2008, Constantino Baikouzis and Marcelo O. Magnasco proposed 1178 BC as the date of the eclipse that coincided with the return Odysseus, ten years after the War(a). Stuart L. Harris published a paper on the Migration & Diffusion website in 2017(g), in which he endorsed the 1190 BC date for the end of the Trojan War.
A new dating of the end of the Trojan War has been presented by Stavros Papamarinopoulos et al. in a paper(c) now available on the Academia.edu website. Working with astronomical data relating to eclipses in the 2nd millennium BC, they have calculated the ending of the War to have taken place in 1218 BC and Odysseus’ return as 1207 BC.
What is noteworthy is that virtually all the recent studies of the eclipse data are in agreement that the Trojan War ended near the end of the 13th century BC, which in turn can be linked to archaeological evidence at the Hissarlik site. Perhaps even more important is the 1218 BC date for the Trojan War recorded on the Parian Marble, reinforcing the Papamarinoupolos date.
Eric Cline has suggested that an earlier date is a possibility, as “scholars are now agreed that even within Homer’s Iliad there are accounts of warriors and events from centuries predating the traditional setting of the Trojan War in 1250 BC” [1005.40].
However, even more radical redating has been strongly advocated by a number of commentators(d)(e) and not without good reason.
(d) https://www.mikamar.biz/rainbow11/mikamar/articles/troy.htm (offline) see Archive 2401
>(n) Atlantis, Volume 10 No. 3, March 1957<
Mary Sutherland is a shaman, researcher and author, who has advocated an Appalacian location for Atlantis over a number of years on her Burlington News website(a). In fact, she claims that the ancient name for Atlantis was Appalacia! She has now published a new book The Red-Haired Giants: Atlantis in America with a foreword by Frank Joseph.
After skimming through a synopsis of the book’s chapters I could only conclude that Sutherland’s Atlantis could not be sunken land that Plato wrote about. There is no doubt that America holds many historical mysteries, but being part of Atlantis is not one of them.