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

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  • NEWS September 2023

    NEWS September 2023

    September 2023. Hi Atlantipedes, At present I am in Sardinia for a short visit. Later we move to Sicily and Malta. The trip is purely vacational. Unfortunately, I am writing this in a dreadful apartment, sitting on a bed, with access to just one useable socket and a small Notebook. Consequently, I possibly will not […]Read More »
  • Joining The Dots

    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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Holger Kalweit

Kalweit, Holger

Holger Kalweit is a German psychotherapist and ethnologist and something of a conspiracy theorist. In his Irrstern über Atlantis[1024] (Inferno over Atlantis) he follows Spanuth in identifying Heligoland as a remnant of Atlantis, which he claims was destroyed in 1222 BC by the comet Phaëton.

He sees Atlantis as the home of the white Nordic people. After the catastrophe he believes that the survivors fled en masse south to the Mediterranean, where they settled in what was later known as the Levant and Greece. According to Kalweit they were responsible for the Hellenic culture, whose influence is still felt today.

At this point most people would think that his ideas were questionable enough, but unfortunately there was worse to come. He goes on to claim that the Nordic gods were also brought to Greece, “but, unfortunately, their gods were not human beings, but reptiloid aliens.” Anyone for therapy?

Spanuth, Dr Jürgen

Spanuth-1Dr Jürgen Spanuth (1907-1998) was born in Austria and studied theology and archaeology at university. He became the pastor of Bordelum in Northern Germany.

According to Life magazine of Sept. 8, 1952(g), after twenty years of research, he organised a dive around Heligoland and found extensive underwater structures. These explorations led to his book Das Entraselte Atlantis [0016] being published in 1953.  It was later translated into English and published as Atlantis of the North [0015] and is now available to read on the internet(a).

Spanuth’s basic thesis was that following a major catastrophe in the North Sea around 1250 BC, the Mediterranean experienced an invasion of Scandinavians, whom he referred to as the ‘North Sea Peoples’. Part of the physical evidence he produced was the horn-helmeted Sea Peoples depicted at Medinet Habu. Since we are all used to seeing Vikings depicted with horned helmets, many are surprised to find that it is a late 19th-century invention(e)(f).

Spanuth’s theory implies that such helmets had been a standard army issue in the region for over a millennium. In fact, the Vikings used rather plain helmets which they did not manufacture themselves but traded for them from other Germanic peoples in mainland Europe(d). On the other hand, one of the Sea Peoples, the Shardana, generally believed to have come from Sardinia, did use horned-helmets. However, there are aspects of this claim that are the subject of continuing debate, but the suggestion of a North Sea connection has weakened considerably.

Spanuth considered Basileia, the royal island of Atlantis, to have been located near Heligoland. He produced a mass of evidence to support his views but found his book under severe attack by many academics, which, in general, had the support of the public. After being publicly labelled, among other things, a liar, Spanuth was forced to challenge his detractors in the courts. After some six years, he was vindicated when ten professors withdrew their plea, admitting that their arguments against the pastor were untenable. Felix R. Paturi has more information[1339.215] on this disgraceful episode, as well as a note of scientists who supported Spanuth.

>The late Bernhard Beier expanded on the list of academics who did endorse Spanuth(i)(j) and in some ways more interesting is an article he wrote giving an account of the efforts of many academics to silence Spanuth completely. Coincidentally, around the same time, Immanuel Velikovsky was under a similar attack in the USA.<

A study of Spanuth’s references would suggest that he had access to the prehistoric research archives of the Ahnenerbe and has successfully collated and analysed a lot of this extensive material in his books. Vidal-Naquet bluntly labels him a Nazi[580.124], although his publisher, Wolfram Zeller, denied it. It may be relevant to mention that in the 1930s, Heinrich Pudor an avowed German anti-Semite also proposed Helgoland as Atlantis, but I have been unable to find any reference to Pudor by Spanuth!

The German Wikipedia claims that Spanuth was a member of the NSDAP (Nazi Party) from 1933 until 1945. Similar claims that he had been in the SS have also been refuted(c). In 2002, Frank Doenenburg, on his website(b) discussed Spanuth’s politics at length. In my view, all these matters, however unsavoury, risk distracting us today from discussing dispassionately the merits or otherwise of Spanuth’s Atlantis theories.

Spanuth’s second book[017] had a much better reception. His final offering was Die Atlanter(1976), which was also published in English[015], however, this is just a revised and expanded version of his 1965 book[048].

Atlantisforschung has highlighted Spanuth’s opposition to the Minoan Hypothesis in a discussion paper on its website. I have published here a translation of a short excerpt from Die Atlanter that shows his disdain for the idea of an Aegean Atlantis.

“Neither Thera nor Crete lay in the ‘Atlantic Sea’, but in the Aegean Sea, which is expressly mentioned in Crit. 111a and contrasted with the Atlantic Sea. Neither of the islands lay at the mouth of great rivers, nor did they “sink into the sea and disappear from sight.” ( Tim. 25d) The Aegean Sea never became “impassable and unsearchable because of the very shallow mud”. Neither Solon nor Plato could have said of the Aegean Sea that it was ‘still impassable and unsearchable’                                     

or that ‘even today … an impenetrable and muddy shoal’ ‘blocks the way to the opposite sea’ ( Crit. 108e). Both had often sailed the Aegean Sea, and their contemporaries would have laughed at them for telling such follies.”(h)

Spanuth has still a lot of supporters and is constantly referred to, particularly by German investigators such as Arn Strohmeyer[557] and Gerhard Herm[382]. Felice Vinci, who strongly favours a Northern European origin for Homer’s epic tales, also places Atlantis in a northern context. The Danish writer, Kirsten Bang, published a short book [679] in which she also placed Atlantis in the Wadden Sea where Helgoland is located. She also supports a date of 1300 BC for its destruction.

Another recent supporter of Spanuth’s Atlantis theory is Holger Kalweit who has written a trilogy, the first of which is Irrstern über Atlantis [1024]. This initial volume is concerned with the destruction of Atlantis by a comet (Phaeton) in 1222 BC, leaving Helgoland as a remnant. Refugees fled south to the Eastern Mediterranean leaving their cultural imprint on the region. Unfortunately. this huge 700-page book is to be followed by two more in which the author moves on to expand on the subject of ‘lizard people’, which for me has him as a fully paid-up member of the lunatic fringe.

(a) Read Only

(b) (page closed, July 2017)





(g) Atlantis placed at the island of Heligoland, off the coast of Germany in the North Sea. From LIFE magazine, Sep 8, 1952. : HighStrangeness (

(h) Jürgen Spanuth über ‘Atlantis in der Ägäis’ – 

(i) An “illustrious society” – ( *

(j) An “illustrious society” (II) – ( *



Phaëton in Greek mythology was the son of Helios the Greek sun god. Phaëton was also the name given to a comet that impacted or had a close encounter with the Earth in the 13th century BC. The Egyptians knew this comet as Sekhmet. Ancient inscriptions record that some of the consequences of this dramatic encounter were the drying up of the Nile and the desertification of Libya.

Michel-Alain Combes has noted(j)  that Phaëton has also been associated “with Anat in Syria, the star of Baal in Canaan (Palestine and Phenicia), Absinthe, The star of the Apocalypse) among the Hebrews, Surt in the countries of the north.” He also suggests that the legends of Typhon (Hesiod) and Phaeton (Ovid), although usually thought to refer to separate events, are just different versions of the same encounter with a comet in the late 13th century BC.

Günter Bischoff has published two lengthy articles(n)(o) on the Atlantisforschung website which includes a comment that might account for the number of locations where apparent sightings of the comet were reported. Now it is easy to explain why Phaethon should have been sighted over Greece, Egypt, Syria, India and other countries. During its orbits lasting several days, it will have flown over many inhabited areas on its elliptical orbit. Some observers may even have seen it several times and from different directions.” 

A 2012 paper by Peter James and M.A, van der Sluijs entitled ”Silver’: A Hurrian Phaethon’ (l) concluded that “there is an attractive pattern of correspondences between the well-known Greek myth of Phaethon and the Hurrian myth of Silver.” Silver was a character in Hurrian mythology, also known as Ushu.

Interestingly, Plato records in Timaeus how Phaëton caused immense devastation but does not link it directly with the destruction of Atlantis but the context implies an event that was in the distant past, considerably earlier than Solon. Some ancient authorities, such as Eusebius and Isidore of Seville, have associated Phaëton with the time of Moses.

The poet Goethe considered the story of Phaëton to have had a real astronomical origin.

Franz Xavier Kugler was a Jesuit priest who spent over thirty years studying ancient astronomical texts written in cuneiform. In 1927, he published a paper in which he concluded that an asteroidal impact in the Mediterranean inspired the story of Phaëton(r)*.

More recently, Bob Kobres has written a number of articles on the subject of Phaëton having a cometary origin(k).  Some of these papers can be found on the Internet(a). Kobres dates this Phaëton event to around 1200 BC.

Stavros Papamarinopoulos from the University of Patras in Greece presented a paper to the 2005 Atlantis Conference held on Melos in which he linked Plato’s Phaëton with an encounter between the earth and cometary fragments around 1200 BC.

Emilio Spedicato opted for 1447 BC as the likely date of the Phaëton explosion. He describes this as a super-Tunguska event, which exploded over southern Denmark(m). He further contends that the after-effects assisted the Israelite Exodus from Egypt.

Spedicato’s identification is comparable with Jürgen Spanuth’s idea that Phaëton was a fragment of Halley’s Comet. Two other followers of Spanuth, Günter Bischoff and Walter Stender have written extensive papers, in German, on a meteorite impact with Northern Europe around 1220 BC, which they identify as Phaëton(c). The same interpretation has been applied specifically to Lake Chiemgau in S.E. Bavaria and is expanded on in papers by Barbara Rappenglück among many others(d)(f).

The late Bernhard Beier published an article on the Atlantisforschung website regarding Spanuth’s Phaeton theory that proposes a North Sea impact around 4.5km south of Helgoland with the consequent destruction of Atlantis. Beier concludes his comments with Spanuth’s assumption that the Phaethon legend represents a mythical representation of catastrophic events from pre-Hellenic times corresponds exactly to Plato’s view of things and can therefore still be regarded as open to discussion. His chronological assignment of these events to the end of the ‘Bronze Age’ still seems worthy of discussion. On the other hand, the equation of the assumed Phaethon impact with the Atlantis catastrophe, which he made quite naturally and without further ado, lacks any exegetical basis, even if it may initially appear quite logical in the context of Spanuth ‘s theory.”(p) There are aspects of the Phaëton story that are still debated. Was the Phaëton of Greek mythology inspired by a close encounter with a comet? Did it destroy Atlantis? Are we dealing with an impact or just a very close encounter? What was the flight path of the comet? One suggested route is shown here, where it was given different names along the way.

Holger Kalweit, who also follows Spanuth in identifying Heligoland as a remnant of Atlantis, claims it was destroyed in 1222 BC by Phaëton.

Clube & Napier [0290]  have proposed a slightly later date of  1369 BC for the encounter with Phaëton.

Dale Drinnon has argued(g) against any connection between Phaeton and the destruction of Atlantis saying “There are two different kinds of catastrophes being described and distinguished from one another and the Phaethon event is categorically differentiated from the Destruction of Atlantis in the Atlantis dialogues of Plato. There is no good reason to equate the two and certainly no textual justification for doing so.”

Allan & Delair refer to the central cause of the catastrophe described in their book[014] as Phaëton, which they claim was cosmic ejecta from a supernova in the Vela constellation.>Maurice A. Williams in his review(q)  of their book noted how the authors deduced that ancient Mesopotamian observers named this cosmic intruder Marduk as it caused great disruption in the Solar System, including the destruction of the planet ‘Tiamat’ creating the Asteroid Belt and capturing Tiamat’s satellite ‘Kingu’, which in turn disintegrated near Earth causing the biblical Deluge. This deadly journey was also seen by the Greeks and called Phaëton by them.<

Amanda Laoupi offers an extensive article on the history of the Phaëton myth and its interpretation in both ancient and modern times.

Phaëton was also the name given by Johann Gottlieb Radlof (1775-1829) to a planet that he believed disintegrated after a collision with a comet, within human memory, resulting in the asteroid belt.

>Today, we have an asteroid called 3200 Phaeton that is source of the annual Geminid meteor shower(s).<

(a) Comet Phaethon’s Ride (  





(g)  Archive 3605



(j),_Phaeton,_Surt_et_les_autres.htm (French)

(k) Archive 3365.



(n) Phaethon’s Fall and the Fall of Atlantis (Part I) – (

(o) Phaéthons Sturz und der Untergang von Atlantis (Teil II) – ( 

(p) On the discussion about Spanuth’s Phaethon thesis – (

(q) *

(r) *

(s) *