An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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    Joining The Dots

    I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato’s own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.Read More »
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Göbekli Tepe

Sweatman. Martin B.

Martin B. Sweatman is a geochemist at the University of Edinburgh who gained wider recognition with the publication of PreHistory Decoded [1621] in 2019. In it, he discusses many subjects dealt with in this compilation, such as Göbekli Tepe, Younger Dryas, and the Sphinx offering what the book’s subtitle describes as “a science odyssey unifying astronomy, geochemistry and archaeology.”

Building on the work of Clube & Napier he believes that around 10,900 BC an encounter with a fragment of Comet Encke led to catastrophic climate change of the Younger Dryas and kick-started the Neolithic Revolution. After an in-depth study of the carvings at Göbekli Tepe, he believes that they record astronomical events and in a 2017 joint paper with Dimitrios Tsikritsis, published in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, (Vol.. 17, No 1) they offer an illustrated outline of this theory(a).

>In 2021, Sweatman published two papers on the Researchgate website about the Younger Dryas Impact theory(e)(f).

He has also published a paper also on the Researchgate website in which he argues that knowledge of the precession of the equinoxes was known as far back as palaeolithic times(d).<

Sweatman had previously used his scientific training to decode an early zodiacal system found across western Eurasia, from European Palaeolithic caves to sites in Turkey, Egypt and Mesopotamia. He has now gone one step further by linking Pictish symbols to this system.(b)

For balance, I offer a link to a critical review of Sweatman’s theories(c).

(a) The_Younger_Dryas_impact_hypothesis_MBS.pdf (ed.ac.uk)

(b) https://www.eng.ed.ac.uk/about/news/20190715/dr-martin-sweatman-decodes-ancient-pictish-symbols

(c) Martin Sweatman’s Decoding of Prehistory: Incoherent Catastrophe • The Lateral Truth (skepticink.com)

(d) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325543926_Decoding_European_Palaeolithic_art_Extremely_ancient_knowledge_of_precession_of_the_equinoxes *

(e) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/351721338_The_Younger_Dryas_impact_hypothesis_Review_of_the_impact_evidence *

(f) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/357089634_Response_to_a_comment_by_Jorgeson_Breslawski_and_Fisher_on_The_Younger_Dryas_impact_hypothesis_Review_of_the_impact_evidence_by_Sweatman *

Natawidjaja, Danny Hilman

Danny Hilman Natawidjaja is an Indonesian geologist who is no stranger danny-hilman-natawidjajato media interest, as he is regularly wheeled out for comment after the all-too-frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in his country.

In 2013 he garnered further attention with two dramatic claims. The first was a declaration that the huge megalithic site at Gunung Padang on Java was also home to the oldest pyramid in the world(a). Not content with that, he has also stated that the same site is evidence for Atlantis in Indonesia(b). Apart from the media attention he also received support from the Indonesian president. Graham Hancock and Robert Schoch have both visited the site along with Danny Hilman(c).

>National pride would appear to drive the current claims for the great antiquity of Gunung Padang, where Göbekli Tepe, in Turkey, is seen to have garnered the lion’s share of attention as the world’s oldest verified megalithic site(g).<

Natawidjaja published his Atlantis theory in a Kindle ebook, Plato Never Lied: Atlantis Is in Indonesia[961].>To be candid, I found the Atlantis in Indonesia theory[1093] by Dhani Irwanto to be far superior.<

>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.”(f)<

November 2016 saw a further incredible claim coming from Natawidjaja, namely that a 2500-year-old ‘electrical device’ had been found on Gunung Padang, which is claimed to be some form of a capacitor and has been compared with the design of the biblical Ark of the Covenant. The report(d) that I’ve seen does not include any images, but until more concrete information is available, my scepticism is on ‘red alert’.

In May 2017, Rebecca Bradley, in an open letter, wrote(e) an extensive attack on Natawidjaja’s Gunung Padang claims.

>Wikipedia has also noted criticism coming from local scientists(i)  “Thirty-four Indonesian scientists signed a petition questioning the motives and methods of the Hilman-Arif team. Vulcanologist Sutikno Bronto states that the site is the neck of an ancient volcano and not a man-made pyramid. An archaeologist who did not wish to be named due to the involvement of the country’s president who had set up a task force said that: ‘In archaeology, we usually find the ‘culture’ first … Then, after we find out the artefact’s age we’ll seek out historical references to any civilisation which existed around that period. Only then will we be able to explain the artefact historically. In this case, they ‘found’ something, carbon-dated it, then it looks like they created a civilisation around the period to explain their finding.'” (h)<

(a) https://beforeitsnews.com/beyond-science/2013/08/indonesian-pyramid-is-20000-years-old-claims-archaeologist-discovery-may-rewrite-history-2442948.html

(b) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20140306231657/https://ksj.mit.edu/tracker/2013/05/indonesian-geologist-says-region-perfect

(c) https://www.shiftfrequency.com/graham-hancock-gunung-padang-the-mountain-of-light-west-java-indonesia/

(d) https://web.archive.org/web/20170811003647/https://mysteriousearth.net/2016/05/11/amazing-2500-year-old-electrical-device-found-at-gunung-padang/

(e) https://www.skepticink.com/lateraltruth/2017/05/14/gunung-padang-open-letter-danny/

(f) Magicians of the Gods Review – JASON COLAVITO *

(g) The Pyramid of Gunung Padang – Asian Geographic Magazines *

(h) Digging for the truth at controversial megalithic site (smh.com.au) *

(i) Gunung Padang Megalithic Site – Wikipedia *

Schoch, Robert M.

Robert M. Schoch is a Yale scholar, geologist and palaeontologist. At the invitation of John Anthony West, he agreed to inspect robert schochthe Sphinx and offer an opinion of the nature of the erosion to be seen on it. He found that the cause of this erosion was precipitation rather than windblown sand. As Egypt has had an arid climate for many thousands of years, Dr Schoch reached the conclusion that at least the front of the Sphinx had been carved between 7000 and 5000 BC, when the climate had been considerably wetter.

In the same book, Voices of the Rocks[454], he endorsed (p.123) the conclusions of Mary Settegast[545] who claimed that Plato’s Atlantis story was a reference to the Magdalenian culture that inhabited the coastal regions of the Western Mediterranean during the 9th millennium BC. Schoch devotes a chapter to the subject of Atlantis and interestingly lists a number of sites to which the Greeks applied the appellation ‘Pillars of Heracles‘ apart from the Strait of Gibraltar.

The Greeks, however, used the name Pillars of Herakles to mark other sites besides Gibraltar, some outside the Mediterranean – namely, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic and the Strait of Kerch dividing the Black Sea from the Sea of Azov – and even more inside – specifically, the Strait of Bonafacio between Corsica and Sardinia, the Strait of Messina between mainland Italy and Sicily, the Greek Peloponnese, the mountainous coast of Tunisia, and the Nile Delta.” [p.87] A highly critical review of Schoch’s ‘Voices’ can be read online(n).

In his Voyages of the Pyramid Builders [455], he reiterates his conviction “that Plato’s story is, at least in part, a fictionalized account of a great Mediterranean war at a time of intense climatic change between the tenth and eighth millennia BC.”  A critique by William P Eigles tackles ‘Voyages’ in Atlantis Rising magazine # 37, where Schoch endeavours to link the global presence of pyramids as a possible expression of hyperdiffusion. Eigles comments that Schoch “may simply be trying to prove too much here. Many of the motivations, reasons and interpretations he offers for the various activities and actions on the part of the ancients are clearly speculative in nature.(ad)” 

This 1990 declaration regarding the Sphinx generated an international reputation for Schoch. Such a controversial conclusion was obviously greeted warmly by the supporters of the 9,000-year-old date for Atlantis allegedly given by the Egyptian priests to Solon. This accidental intervention by Schoch in the debate regarding the dating of Atlantis has unfortunately done nothing to resolve the issue. Fierce debate continues regarding the date of the Sphinx. However, there appears to be a gradual acceptance of Schoch’s views by other professional geologists such as David Coxhill. Another geologist, Colin Reader, while not accepting all of Schoch’s conclusions, believes that the Sphinx predates King Khufu, the father of Khafre, who has been traditionally accepted as the builder of the Sphinx, with the monument bearing his image(v)(w)(x).

>Schoch subsequently pushed the date of the Sphinx as far back as circa 10,000 BCE and he now suggests that the monument was carved in the shape of a lioness.(ae)<

It appears that Schoch’s experiences regarding the Sphinx have whetted Schoch’s appetite for prehistory as he has now written a further book[455], again with R.A. McNally about the origins of the pyramid builders. Unfortunately, he includes a reference to Ireland’s Newgrange as a form of ‘pyramid building’, an idea I reject, since it shares neither form nor function with the Egyptian pyramids. Dr Greg Little has written a very critical review of this book.

Schoch and McNally have recently dared to enter into the highly charged debate regarding the dating of the Great Pyramid at Giza[456][457].

Schoch seems to be venturing further and further from his natural comfort zone of geology. In 2007, he wrote an article on Telepathy(d) and was later due to address the Electric Universe Conference in Las Vegas in 2012(c) and deliver a paper entitled The Catastrophic Termination of the Last Ice Age. In it, he will claim that around 10,000 BC the Earth underwent ‘dramatic catastrophic changes’ as a result of ‘our unstable Sun erupting at the end of the last Ice Age, melting the extensive glaciers and triggering climate warming. The full paper should be an interesting read. He continues to argue against the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis(r).

His retreat from conventional science may be now complete as he delves into the strange world of lycanthropy (the study of werewolves)(o).

Schoch’s work is now promoted through his own website(b), which includes a wide range of articles. On it, both he and his associate, Colette Dowell, have been very critical of the Bosnian pyramid claims of Semir Osmanagic following a visit there in 2006. However, in what appears to be an article(l) written in 2011 or 2012, Osmanagic responds with scathing criticism of Schoch’s work. His attack on Schoch was later added to by an assault from Jock Doubleday in a very lengthy article(y) in which, among other matters, he accuses Schoch of a series of thirteen lies! I should perhaps mention that Doubleday has been featured for some years now in the burgeoning Encyclopedia of American Loons(z). As well as that, elsewhere, a very personal attack has also been made on Collette Dowell(aa). Support for Schoch’s claim of a Bosnian pyramid hoax is also available(ab).

Schoch has now turned his attention to the emergence and demise of very early civilisations, before that of dynastic Egypt or Sumeria. When he combined his early date for the Sphinx with other discoveries such as that of Nabta Playa and Göbekli Tepe and Gunung Padang(m), he concluded that the origins of civilisation go back much further than generally accepted. He then looked at the bigger and perhaps more important question of the cause of their collapse. In a 2009 special edition (N0.8) of New Dawn magazine, he speculated on the possibility that the ending of such early civilisations was caused by the earth’s encounter with one or more asteroids or comets.

In his book(f), Forgotten Civilization[867],  Schoch claims that coronal mass ejections from the sun around 9700 BC devastated our planet with electrical discharges, triggering seismic and volcanic activity as well as ending the Ice Age with its consequent floods. All this ‘eradicated the civilisation of the time and set humanity back thousands of years, only to re-emerge around 3500 BC with scattered memories and nascent abilities.’ In an article written(g) in March 2012, Schoch wrote about the ‘Carrington Event’ of 1859 which resulted from a massive solar event that year.

Schoch’s paper had the somewhat disturbing title of ‘Death Star’ and perhaps even more unsettling was the revelation in March 2019 that evidence of at least three major solar ‘proton attacks’ over the past 3,000 years. The suggestion is that these episodes are to be expected with some degree of regularity, which may create ever-increasing disruption as our dependency on electricity expands. The recent report(q) indicates that the most powerful event identified so far took place around 610 BC. Without power grids to damage at the time, we are unaware of what effect it had on the people of that time and I would hope that a review of the literature of that era might reveal some corroboration.

A video clip is from his recent Las Vegas lecture is now available on YouTube(h). His talk is based on an article(i) in the July-August edition of New Dawn magazine, which is now available online and will play a large part in his Forgotten Civilization. He highlights some fascinating similarities between the Rongorongo script of Easter Island, the Nasca petroglyphs and the plasma figures of Dr Anthony L. Peratt together with their possible association with the ending of the last Ice Age.

For me, the most disturbing aspect of Schoch’s book is his apocalyptic vision of global catastrophes that he anticipates may turn the few survivors back into troglodytes!

However, Jason Colavito has reviewed Schoch’s claims relating to both the Rongorongo script(j) and Göbekli Tepe(k) and has found his ideas wanting. Colavito found further ammunition in the forthcoming book, Origins of the Sphinx[1374] which Schoch co-authored with Robert Bauval, describing it as ‘a virtual rewriting of’ Keeper of Genesis(p). In 2019, Schoch expanded further on his opinions regarding the importance of Göbekli Tepe with a claim that its builders possessed some level of literacy(s), provoking further criticism from Colavito(r). He expanded on this claim in a subsequent post(ac), but for me, I find this proposed literacy at Göbekli Tepe a push too far.

(b) https://robertschoch.com/

(c)  https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/

(d) https://web.archive.org/web/20160805112624/https://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/article/telepathy-a-sympathy-of-souls/

(e) https://web.archive.org/web/20160121150912/https://www.robertschoch.com/articles/schochnewdawnjune2009.pdf

(f) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Civilization-Solar-Outbursts-Future/dp/1594774978

(g) https://dailygrail.com/Guest-Articles/2012/3/Death-Star

(h) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUqdYBxbbck

(i)  https://web.archive.org/web/20160305085118/https://robertschoch.com/articles/schochancientwarningnewdawnjuly2010.pdf

(j) https://robertschoch.com/plasma_iceage.html

(k) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/1/post/2012/08/robert-schochs-wacky-easter-island-gobekli-tepe-theory-the-hypocrisy-of-alternative-dating.html

(l) http://piramidasunca.ba/bs/component/k2/item/3120-how-many-times-has-dr-robert-schoch-been-wrong

(m) https://web.archive.org/web/20140716174346/https://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/2014/03/01/journey-to-gunung-padang/

(n) https://anamericaninbosnia.blogspot.ie/2013/03/witchcraft-cartography-and-clairvoyant.html

(o) https://www.dailygrail.com/Guest-Articles/2016/10/The-Werewolf

(p) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/review-of-the-origin-of-the-sphinx-by-robert-schoch-and-robert-bauval

(q) https://www.livescience.com/64964-huge-ancient-solar-storm-hit-earth.html

(r) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/geologist-robert-schoch-claims-to-be-able-to-translate-alleged-writing-at-gobekli-tepe

(s) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330759548_World’s_First_Known_Written_Word_at_Gobekli_Tepe_on_T-Shaped_Pillar_18_Means_God

(t) New Dawn Magazine -July August 2010

(u) New Dawn Magazine- Special Issue No.8 2009)

(v) https://www.academia.edu/21651229/Giza_Before_The_Fourth_Dynasty

(w) (99+) (PDF) Khufu Knew the Sphinx | Colin Reader – Academia.edu

(x) (99+) (PDF) Further considerations on development at Giza before the 4th Dynasty | Colin Reader – Academia.edu

(y) An American in Bosnia: The Mysterious Anti-Scientific Agenda of Robert Schoch 

(z) https://americanloons.blogspot.com/2015/12/1555-jock-doubleday.html 

(aa) Aliens to Science – Welcome to the official web page of the ‘Archaeological Park: Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun’ Foundation / Dobrodošli na službenu web stranicu Fondacije ‘Arheološki park: Bosanska piramida Sunca’al Park: Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Foundation 

(ab) Heavy Futz: Don’t bother making a pligrimage to the “Bosnian Pyramids” 

(ac) https://www.robertschoch.com/gobekli_tepe_writing.html 

(ad)  Atlantis Rising magazine  #37   http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At 

(ae) https://www.robertschoch.com/sphinx.html * 

 

Ancient Cities and Civilisations

Ancient Cities and Civilisations are continually being unearthed all over the world.

>“In the study of the ancient world, a City is generally defined as a large populated urban center of commerce and administration with a system of laws and, usually, a regulated means of sanitation.” This is not the only definition as there are many other factors that can be used to justify the description of `City’.(c)<

If Plato’s description of Atlantis as an urban centred society is factual and the features of the city, which he has recorded, are not just transferred from his own age, using literary licence, then we must look to the earliest cities for possible clues to the location and nature of Plato’s city of Atlantis. November 2012 saw a report(a) of a previously unknown city unearthed in Jordan at Tall-el-Hammam that may have been the hub of a city-state dated to 1800-1540 BC.

>However, this is ‘small beer’ when compared with the claims of other cities such as Jericho (9000 BC) or Damascus (9000 BC) which claims to be the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city. The discovery of Göbekli Tepe seemed to push the date of human structures back to 9600 BC, but as yet no urban centre that can be linked with the development of that site has been found!<

Of related interest is a recent paper that describes how “ancient human settlements function in much the same way as modern cities.”(b)

(a) https://www.archaeologica.org/NewsPage.htm

(b) www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150220142611.htm

(c) The Ancient City – World History Encyclopedia *