Marco M. Vigato is an Italian researcher based in Mexico City with a passionate interest in the ruins of ancient civilisations around the world.
In 2021, he involved himself in the long-running debate regarding whether Khufu was responsible for the building of Giza’s Great Pyramid. Following a ten-point argument supporting Khufu as the builder of the GP by Matt Sibson, whom we’ve met before in these pages, Vigato responded by producing a list of fifteen reasons why Khufu was NOT the builder of the GP(a).
In January 2022, Vigato had his new book, The Empires of Atlantis  published, in which he offers a hyperdiffusionist view of Atlantis. He “traces the course of Atlantean civilization through its three empires, as well as the colonies and outposts formed by its survivors in Egypt, Göbekli Tepe, India, Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean, and North and South America” and “reveals how the first Atlantean civilization lasted from 432,000 to 33,335 BCE, the second one from 21,142 to 10,961 BCE, and the third Atlantis civilization–the one celebrated by Plato–collapsed in 9600 BCE, after the Younger Dryas cataclysm.”(b).
I always thought, that if you are going to speculate – speculate big. Vigato has certainly done so.
Jason Colavito has produced a lengthy critique of the book and to say the least of it, he offers a withering review of ‘Empires’(c) and its author. He denounces Vigato’s thesis as fundamentally flawed noting that “?Vigato’s exploration of Atlantis hits all the usual notes, but he claims to have a radically different idea about how to prove the reality of Atlantis; namely, to absolve himself of the need for scientific evidence. “This is a nonconventional book that combines two radically different approaches: that of modern science and that of the Western esoteric tradition. The product is an entirely new picture of the true origins of civilization.” When material evidence fails, he gives himself permission to suggest esoteric and occult explanations, thus removing the argument from the realm of the provable.” For good measure, Colavito also throws in an accusation of racism.
Another harsh critique has come from Carl Feagans, an enthusiastic Atlantis sceptic who ended with “Vigato began his book with a conclusion. He tried to support that conclusion with pseudoscientific and fictional accounts he apparently gathered for 15 years.”(d)
>Vigato was chosen as Author of the Month for April 2022 on Graham Hancock’s website. His article(e) offers a synopsis of the main themes of his book. My principal gripe is with his proposed early date for the demise of Atlantis at 9500 BCE. Although this date is supported by a number of commentators, none have explained how Atlantis at that early period could have launched an attack on Athens and/or Egypt that did not even exist as functioning societies at that time or for some millennia afterwards.<
Rev. Joseph Cook was a late 19th century American lecturer who endeavoured to support religious teaching with science! He had studied in Germany and at Harvard and lectured in New England and old England. Although popular, he did have his critics(a).
Jason Colavito has drawn attention(b) to Cook’s 1883 book Advanced Thought in Europe, Asia, Australia, etc., in which he broadly follows Donnelly and sees the Azores as the remnants of Atlantis, which in turn was the hyperdiffusionist source for the world’s great cultures.
>Hyperdiffusion is defined by Wikipedia(n) as “a pseudoarchaeological hypothesis suggesting that certain historical technologies or ideas originated with a single people or civilization before their adoption by other cultures. Thus, all great civilizations that share similar cultural practices, such as construction of pyramids, derived them from a single common progenitor. According to its proponents, examples of hyperdiffusion can be found in religious practices, cultural technologies, megalithic monuments, and lost ancient civilizations.”<
Hyperdiffusion with Atlantis at its centre was argued at great length by Ignatius Donnelly when he proposed Atlantis as the mother culture, located in the Atlantic. Through colonisation and migration, their civilisation was brought to the Americas and the Mediterranean, particularly Egypt. The idea received widespread support at the time and has persisted until today(a),>with Graham Hancock being currently the best-known proponent of hyperdiffusion. In 2022, Marco Vigato also advocated Atlantis as a hyperdiffusionist hub.<
Angelo Mazzoldi expressed support for a form of regional hyperdiffusion that had his Italian Atlantis as the mother culture which seeded all the great civilisations of the eastern Mediterranean region.
However, even earlier, in the seventeenth century, Olof Rudbeck “purported to prove that Sweden was Atlantis, the cradle of civilization, and Swedish the original language of Adam from which Latin and Hebrew had evolved.”(i)
Since Atlantis in the Atlantic is considered by many to be highly improbable and Mu only existed in Churchward’s imagination, a more likely explanation is that diverse ideas emerged independently in different locations, possibly around the same time. These developments then diffused through trade and migration in various directions, sometimes returning in an improved format. The result is that today we are finding that most ancient civilisations show evidence of cultural influences from more than one source.
Lawrence Freeman is the American author of Beyond The Pillars: a search for Antediluvian civilizations(l) in which he reviews almost every civilisation and prehistoric mystery that you ever heard of. He refers to Atlantis throughout the book, but in rather sceptical tones, with the nearest to a conclusion being that – “Atlantis may well have never existed, but if it did exist, then it was likely only as part of a worldwide antediluvian civilization that is now coming to light.”
Richard Cassaro and Jim Allen have both published online large collections of images(b)(c)(d) that clearly demonstrate widespread diffusion. This is particularly so in the case of South America where influences from both east and west are clearly evident. While it is regularly claimed that Egypt influenced South American civilisations it is obvious that Asian inspiration was equally, if not solely, at work. The existence of pyramids in both Egypt and Mesoamerica is put forward as evidence of contact between them. However, the problem is that the American pyramids were constructed hundreds if not thousands of years later than the Egyptian ones. However, in spite of this separation by time and distance, the Egyptians and the Aztecs also shared feathered-serpent deities(g)! What appears to be overlooked is the fact that the Chinese pyramids are more like Mesoamerican examples and are dated to the second half of the first millennium BC, again closer to the development of pyramids in Mesoamerica.
Christian O’Brien contended that global cultural hyperdiffusion was centred in Southern Lebanon (the Garden of Eden) and was spread from there by ‘The Shining Ones’ leading to the establishment of some of the great civilisations of our ancient past!(m)
An even more unusual hyperdiffusionist opinion was expressed by the Argentine palaeontologist, Florintino Ameghino (1854-1911), who thought that mankind originated in South America(h) and spread globally from there!
In 2020, Anthony Woods  attempted to prove that Atlantis was Ireland and also the source of the mother culture for the entire world. As an Irishman, when reading this, I did not know whether to laugh or cry.
In March 2021, Hugh Newman published a paper drawing attention to the similarity of megalithic building techniques, using polygonal stones, found in America, Asia, Europe and Africa. He goes further, noting that “Peruvian relief carvings match those at Göbekli Tepe.” How much of this might be the result of coincidence or hyperdiffusion is a matter of opinion.(k)
Carl Feagans offers a paper that is highly critical of hyperdiffusion and its promoters, denouncing them as “willfully ignorant and grossly racist. Though they don’t say it directly, the message is still the same: “white people did it, not savages.”(j)
A 1986 paper(f) by Ben Urish entitled Cultural Diffusion should be read in this connection.
(g) See: Archive 2827
Even more extreme are his ideas regarding a hollow or partially hollow Earth as expressed in his, Gods with Amnesia. Apart from promoting this silly idea, Sepehr’s book is claimed to contain an amount of plagiarised material(b).
He is harshly critical of the ‘out-of-Africa’ theory as evidenced by blogs on his Atlantean Gardens website(a). Sepehr takes a hyperdiffusionist position and proposes that an ‘out-of-Atlantis’ hypothesis would be more appropriate, although he seems to be overly influenced by the writings of Blavatsky in this regard. For me, his site is unreliable, containing too much pseudoscience and speculation.
Diffusion is the anthropological term used to describe how similar customs, beliefs and artefact designs are spread between cultures through migration, invasion or trade. Diffusion is not just a ‘one-way street’ as history has shown that ideas have travelled in all directions, while in fact most ancient civilisations can be demonstrated to have absorbed cultural elements from a multiplicity of foreign societies. Today, globalisation has increased exponentially the variety of influences that all societies now experience. Not only is the number of these influences greater but the rate of increase is apparently accelerating. The ubiquity of Coca-Cola, T-shirts, Irish pubs, Japanese cameras, German cars, English language, Guinness, Chinese toys, ABBA, AK-47s etc., etc., etc., are indicative of the global reach of commercial ‘empires’ today. In older civilisations trade was more concerned with commodities such as metals, olive oil, wine, amber, obsidian, or timber, so the technologies involved in their production or exploitation were also exchanged.
The development of agriculture also saw techniques spread, which had to be modified to suit different climates, although recent studies indicate that agriculture started around the same time in a number of centres(I).
In the Fertile Crescent as far north as the Zagros Mountains and further north, on the steppes of Russia, horses were domesticated and apparently there also the use of chariots originated. A book by David W. Anthony also attributes the region as being the source of what is known as the Proto-Indo-European family of languages.
Societal concepts, religious or legal were no different as their geographical spread can also be tracked over time. Consider the different strands of the Abrahamic faiths, beginning with Judaism, which spawned Christianity and later was joined by Islam through Muhammad, who claimed to be a descendant of Abraham. Similarly, democracy has slowly evolved and spread over time and still has a long way to go.
Since early man left Africa, he has had ample time to settle all over our planet and exploit its resources, moving from being a hunter-gatherer to becoming a settled farmer, developing urban centres (city-states), then empires and the inevitable wars. Wars, then like today, led to the development of new technologies, chariots, longbows, and armour, to be copied and if possible improved upon, by each side.
My view is that initially, technology and techniques were freely exchanged between peoples, until gradually the idea of monopoly entered the human psyche, eventually leading to the paranoia and greed associated with the ownership of ‘intellectual property’ today. I would speculate that a freer and possibly gentler diffusion of ideas lasted until, at the earliest, the first millennium BC.
In 2014, the University of Connecticut published the result of studies that demonstrated that human technological innovation occurred intermittently throughout the Old World, rather than spreading from a single point of origin, as previously thought(j).
Egerton Sykes, a leading 20th-century Atlantologist, was a committed diffusionist, describing it as “the lifeblood of civilisation”(h).>Atlantisforschung has published a 1967 paper by Sykes supporting diffusionism with particular reference to pyramid building on both sides of the Atlantic(ad).<
>Andrew Cutler published a paper on cultural diffusion in August 2023 that should be studied by anyone interested in the subject. He discusses themes such as the Pleiades, Snakes, Finger Removal and Linguistics among others. He expresses the opinion that while many assume that such common features can be traced back to before the 100,000 BC Out of Africa migration, Cutler suggests a much later time circa 40,000-30,000 BC(ae).<
A more extreme view is the concept of ‘hyperdiffusion’, which is the idea that there was a single ‘mother culture’ that led to the development of all major civilisations. Ignatius Donnelly was a hyperdiffusionist, advocating Atlantis as the mother culture. His ‘heretical’ views were highlighted by the range of similarities between structures around the world in apparently unrelated cultures, which seem to greatly exceed what could be expected by mere coincidence alone. This is explored further in a recent illustrated article on the Malagabay website(v).
Similarly, James Churchward proposed his invention, Mu, as an alternative hyperdiffusion centre. Perhaps better known is the work of W. J. Perry who was convinced  that an archaic civilisation had begun in Egypt and gradually spread eastward through Asia and Polynesia, eventually reaching the Americas. Ben Urish published a paper(d) in 1986 that offers a critical overview of hyperdiffusion.
Konrad Kulczyk promotes a hyperdiffusionist theory that places his proto-civilisation, New Atlantis, just south of the Aral Sea(e).
Ivar Zapp proposes the existence of a global seafaring civilisation thousands of years before the Greeks, Egyptians or Sumerians(k) in an as-yet-unpublished book, Babel Deciphered.
Hyperdiffusion is clearly a seductive theory that has attracted the attention of researchers such as Richard Cassaro, who has produced an impressive collection of visual cultural similarities between ancient Egypt and pre-Columbian America(a). While the idea is not new, Cassaro’s images highlight the concept of diffusion very effectively, although he has, in my opinion, overinterpreted the evidence in order to support hyperdiffusion.
Cassaro published The Missing Link in 2016 in which he expands on the widespread distribution of what he refers to as the ‘godself icon’. Although he clearly demonstrates that the motif has an extensive geographical spread it is equally obvious that the appearance of the icon is spread over a vast period of time apparently coinciding with the emergence of civilisation in different places at very different times, which, in my view, is not fully compatible with the concept of hyperdiffusion, as I would have expected a ‘mother-culture’, if such existed, to have spread its global influence far more rapidly.
A comparable discovery has been made by Ozgür Baris Etli, who has drawn attention(o) to carved hands at Göbekli Tepe that have counterparts in many other parts of the world where hands meet at the navel are similarly depicted. I recently came across an image of(q) a megalithic statue in the Indonesian Bada Valley(u) showing its hands in a similar position. Also in Göbekli Tepe, we encounter what has become known as ‘the handbag of the gods’(y) which has been found depicted in many locations such as Turkey (Göbekli), Iraq (Assyria), Mesoamerica (Olmecs)(w), Egypt and New Zealand(x). These images are not only spread over thousands of miles but thousands of years.
However, Andrew Gough is the only researcher who seems to have come anywhere near to explaining the purpose of the ‘handbag’. In a lengthy article on his website, he explains how a British Museum guide confirmed that the bag was a pollen carrier(ac). This dovetailed with Gough’s view of his belief regarding the importance of the bee in ancient cultures.
Having mentioned Indonesia, I must draw your attention to a recent book by Dhani Irwanto, entitled Sundaland: Tracing the Cradle of Civilizations (1618), in which he makes a strong case for considering his native land as an ancient diffusionist centre, which experienced waves of emigration at the end of the Younger Dryas period that influenced the great civilisations of the Indus Valley, Egypt and Greece. Irwanto also claims that their cultural impact included the transference of the story of Atlantis from its original home in Sundaland.
Equally intriguing is the ‘Three Hares’ motif, found across Europe, the Middle East and as far as China(p) and now the subject of a book by Greeves, Andrew & Chapman. Another stylised symbol is that of the rosette found in the Mediterranean and spread as far as India(r)(s).
In a similar vein, Jim Allen has devoted chapter three of his latest book to outlining what he entitled Bolivia and the Sumerian Connection(b). Arguably even more impressive is the array of images presented by Allen(c) suggesting that the civilisations of America were greatly influenced by ancient cultures in both the East and the West. It is obvious that a number of artefacts can be developed independently, but at some point, the number of similar items produced by two separate cultures can exceed the number that can be reasonably put down to coincidence. The number of similarities presented by Allen alone clearly exceeds that threshold, demonstrating that the Americas were influenced by different sources, ruling out the Americas as the home of a mother culture.
>Similarly, Gary A. David proposed that Votan was a diffusionist deity with counterparts known by other names such as Kukulkan, Quetzalcoatl or Viracocha in the different American civilisations. However, he goes further placing Votan’s origins in the Old World suggesting that he may have been Phoenician or Hebrew, citing Adrian Gilbert and Andrew Collins in support of this(af).<
An extensive website managed by Erich Fred Legner offers a wide range of evidence to support the view that the Americas had been visited and settled by people from both Asia & Europe before Columbus(aa).
The whole subject of diffusion is wide-ranging and complex and well beyond my competence to do it justice in this short entry. However, for those interested in pursuing the subject further, I would like to recommend a 1997 paper(l) by David H. Kelley (1924-2011), available on Dale Drinnon’s website.
Egypt is frequently mentioned in this regard being seen as the influence behind Neolithic megalith building AND the pyramids of Central America, in spite of the fact that Newgrange was constructed before the Egyptian Pyramids and the New World pyramids were built thousands of years after those in Egypt. Atlantis is regularly suggested as another mother culture but without a single piece of evidence to support this speculative contention. For decades the idea that the pyramids of Egypt and those in the Americas were the consequence of diffusion from a common source, namely Atlantis situated in the Atlantic was heavily promoted. However, we can now more closely identify the pyramids of America with the step pyramids of China!
Consequently, for me, hyperdiffusion is not convincing. History has clearly shown that inventions have frequently been independently developed at the same time in different countries, while even in prehistoric times it has been demonstrated(f) that the evolution of stone tools took place as a result of the innovative abilities of local populations, addressing the same needs.
A word of warning; “recent research published in Nature by a team led by Tomos Proffitt at the University of Oxford shows that capuchin monkeys regularly produce sharp-edged flakes indistinguishable from those made by early hominins.”(t)
Even today technologies are developed independently throughout the world, but not in complete isolation, because of the instant worldwide communications available.
As a result of global marketing, in Ireland now we drive German, British and Japanese cars, use US computer technology and play with Chinese toys. However, being generous by nature, we gave the world the Irish pub, Riverdance and Guinness.
A two-part blog(m)(n) highlighting the many weaknesses in the concept of hyperdiffusion should be required reading for anyone interested in the subject.
Although Donnelly and his contemporaries, focused on the possibility of Old World influences in the New World, today, there is less of a Mediterranean-centred or Eurocentric approach to diffusionism. Instead, there is greater acceptance that the Americas have also had extensive cultural influences from Asia.
In March 2021, Hugh Newman published a paper drawing attention to the similarity of megalithic building techniques, using polygonal stones, in America, Asia, Europe and Africa. He goes further noting that “Peruvian relief carvings match those at Göbekli Tepe.” How much might be the result of coincidence is a matter of opinion.(ab) In January 2022, Marco M. Vigato published a new book, The Empires of Atlantis , in which he offers a hyperdiffusionist view of Atlantis. He “traces the course of Atlantean civilization through its three empires, as well as the colonies and outposts formed by its survivors in Egypt, Göbekli Tepe, India, Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean, and North and South America” and “reveals how the first Atlantean civilization lasted from 432,000 to 33,335 BCE, the second one from 21,142 to 10,961 BCE, and the third Atlantis civilization–the one celebrated by Plato–collapsed in 9600 BCE, after the Younger Dryas cataclysm.”(z).
(l) See: Archive 3563
(u) Atlantis Rising No.110 March/April 2015 p.41
Younger Dryas is also known as Dryas III was a mini Ice Age that lasted from around 10,700 BC until around 9600 BC. It is named after a wildflower called Dryas octopetala that flourished during this relatively short period. In Ireland, the period is known as the Nahanagan Stadial and in Britain as the Loch Lomond Stadial. For about thirteen hundred years the glaciers had been slowly retreating until within a short timespan temperature dropped and they began to advance again. The cause of this cooling is not entirely clear. One view is that a sudden release into the North Atlantic of vast quantities of freshwater that had been contained by huge ice dams is assumed to have closed down the Gulf Stream, resulting in a twelve-hundred-year lowering of global temperatures. There is evidence that the change only took one or two decades. The same threat is said to exist today with the possibility of the melting of the Greenland ice cap. It also seems that this YD cooling ended with the same rapidity.
In 2011 a paper by Nicholas Pinter et al offered a critical review of the evidence available at that time which, from their perspective, did not fully support the YDIH(z).
A recent application of archaeoastronomy by Martin Sweatman and Dimitrios Tsikritsis led them to conclude that the carved symbols at Göbekli Tepe recorded an encounter involving the explosion or impact of part of Encke’s Comet around 13,000 years ago, which triggered the Younger Dryas Event that provided the impetus for the Neolithic Revolution. Sweatman later expanded their work in his book Prehistory Decoded  and an article on the Ancient Origins website(k). In June 2021, Sweatman had a paper entitled ‘The Younger Dryas impact hypothesis: a review of the impact evidence’ published in the journal ‘Earth Science Review’ of the University of Edinburgh(u).
Kevin A. & Patrick J. Casey maintain that a globally catastrophic event occurred 13,000 years ago(j). The kernel of their theory is that originally the Earth had two moons that at some later point collided, producing our current Moon, while the remnant of the second one eventually exploded over North America kick-starting what we refer to as the cooler Younger Dryas period. They are adamant that it was not a comet or asteroid that caused the devastation, and so clash with the conclusions of Richard Firestone and his colleagues.
A completely different view is expressed in Rod (Carl) Martin’s latest book , where he proposes that the Younger Dryas ended as a result of a catastrophic event. Is it possible that there were two cataclysmic episodes? John Ackerman, a keen follower of Immanuel Velikovsky claims that there were two such events related to “the capture of the Moon into its current orbit,” marking the beginning and the end of the Younger Dryas period(q).
A somewhat technical paper, published in July 2020, challenges the comet impact theory because of geochemical anomalies, Instead, they argue that the YD event was a consequence of volcanic activity(s), rather than an impact! Martin Sweatman refutes this in a paper on Graham Hancock’s website(i).
In 2015, a paper constraining the impact date to within 100 years using Bayesian statistical analyses, now proposed as 12,835 -12,735 years ago(h).
Coincidentally, Emilio Spedicato independently concluded that it was a cometary impact in the North Atlantic that was responsible for the Younger Dryas. Subsequently, when temperatures rose again it resulted in the flooding of vast areas of low-lying landmasses that in Spedicato’s opinion included Atlantis, which he locates in Hispaniola.
Conflicting evidence regarding the possibility of the Younger Dryas being caused by such an impact is impartially outlined on the internet(a).
The November 2013 issue of the BBC Focus magazine (p.30) had a brief article on the impact theory, noting that the northern hemisphere saw a drop of as much as 15°C around 11,000BC. In the absence of a suitable impact crater of the right age, there is still much scientific scepticism(b).
However, in early 2017, further possible evidence of an impact at the start of the Younger Dryas was offered by a team led by Christopher Moore of the University of South Carolina, when they identified a distinct layer of platinum in the soil that coincided with the start of YD. Commenting on this anomaly Moore noted that “Platinum is very rare in the Earth’s crust, but it is common in asteroids and comets.”(e) In 2019, Moore published further data(m) supporting the extraterrestrial impact theory, based on studies carried out on sediments, which date back 20,000 years, from White Pond Lake, situated in southern Kershaw County, South Carolina. “Other examples of excessive platinum grains have been found across Europe, western Asia, Chile, South Africa(r) and North America.” (n)
In early 2018, two papers were published online(i), reinforcing the YD impact theory and adding evidence that the event resulted in a conflagration that “may have consumed ~10 million km2, or ~9% of Earth’s terrestrial biomass.” Related to this is a paper by Andrew Collins that draws attention to the ‘Usselo horizon’, a charcoal-rich layer of between 1 and 8 inches, found on all continents, indicating widespread fires, now dated to 12,900 years ago(l).>An additional paper by Hans Kloosterman offers additional background information on the charcoal-rich layer(ab).<
Ice cores from Greenland indicate a further cooling period circa 6200 BC that may be related to the abandonment of many Neolithic settlements during this period. Other periods of abrupt climate change have been identified from 3800 BC to 3500 BC and 2800 BC to 2000 BC.
The fact that Plato’s apparent date for the demise of Atlantis, circa 9600 BC, roughly corresponds with the current, best estimate for the date of the Younger Dryas is interesting but unfortunately not conclusive proof of any direct connection. In the absence of any supportive archaeological evidence, a linkage between Atlantis and the Younger Dryas will have to remain a matter of faith rather than fact. Interesting but inconclusive.
In 2017, Graham Hancock reviewed the Younger Dryas debate over the previous decade in a lengthy essay(v). This was prior to the publication of America Before. He finished with the following comment. “Perhaps the lost civilization that I have spent the last quarter of a century trying to track down had its most significant outpost, possibly even its heartland, in North America in the period BEFORE the Younger Dryas cataclysms of 12,800 to 11,600 years ago?” Hancock is inferring here that there was a single global civilisation, a hyperdiffusionist stance that I consider indefensible.
A short paper by John Patrick Hill offers a theory that requires more than faith to accept it; he wrote “Just over 12 thousand years ago, the world was struck by an immense meteor group. It destroyed all of North America and much of Europe and went weIl beyond……… I found proof to support that the creators of the Giza Three and Stonehenge used the Barringer Crater in Arizona as part of the geometry for their massive structures.” Later he reveals that at “Giza, when one takes the distance between the outside corners of the three large pyramids there, that distance is equal to 0.72 miles, the exact distance (diameter) at Barringer.” An expanded version of his paper is available online(t).
In another paper Hill(aa) says that “the Younger Dryas Meteor Event struck 12.8 thousand years ago and it was so large, it is wrote down not only in geologic records but also in holy books, as Noah’s Flood.”
Recent discoveries in northern Sudan of dozens of skeletons, the majority of whom were killed by flint-tipped arrows, have led to the suggestion(c) they were the result of food shortages resulting from the Younger Dryas that in turn led to warfare over diminished food availability.
I note that Robert Schoch claims that there is no evidence to support the Younger Dryas impact theory, instead, he believes that “it was most likely due to reduced solar activity at that time, a solar shut-down.”(o) Schoch’s wide-ranging critique has been refuted by the Comet Research Group.(p)
In 2020, James Lawrence Powell (1936- ), a noted geologist, author, former college president and museum director entered the Younger Dryas debate with the publication of Deadly Voyager . In it, Powell offers wholehearted support to the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis (YDIH), understandably generating a favourable review from Graham Hancock(w).
Even more important, is that Powell’s book induced a number of heavy-duty critics of YDIH, including Michael Shermer to change their opinion(x).
Powell offered a further review of the YD debates in a 2022 paper(y).
(v) The Younger Dryas Impact research since 2007 – The Cosmic Tusk
Russian Atlantology was quite unknown to the general reader in the West until the fall of communism. This was mainly due to a combination of the strictures of the communist regime and the language barrier. A recent submission to Wikipedia on the subject of Russian Atlantology was rejected but can be read here(i).
It is accepted that Russian Atlantology began in the 18th century with brief references in a number of technical and poetic works. However, it was not until the 19th century that Avraam Norov attempted the first serious scientific attempt to locate Atlantis. Following a study of Greek and Arabic sources, Norov was convinced that Plato’s lost civilisation had been situated in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Later in the same century, a new element was introduced to the subject with the ‘revelations’ of Elena Blavatsky and the creation of Theosophy. To this day her esoteric waffle is quoted and accepted unthinkingly by many otherwise rational beings. The renowned Russian novelist Alexei Tolstoy devoted an episode in his novel Aelita to the subject of Atlantis.
In 1912, Vladimir Bogachev, a noted geologist published a short work on the geology of Atlantis entitled Atlantida. Bogachev lectured at the University of Dorpat in Estonia and is often labelled ‘the father of Russian Atlantology’. A few years later, the poet and historian, Valery Bryusov, wrote of Atlantis flourishing at the end of the last Ice Age. In 1923 the geographer, Boris Bobrynin, identified the Guanches of the Canaries as the descendants of the Atlanteans.
The doyen of Russian atlantologists in the latter half of the 20th century was undoubtedly Nikolai Zhirov whose studies over many years were published in English in 1970 and again in 2001. It is a work of great erudition although it is a little dated as most of the material was originally published in Russian in the 1950s. Zhirov uncompromisingly determined to promote the Atlantic as the original location of Atlantis. He wrote a short overview of Russian Atlantology for Egerton Sykes‘ Atlantis journal in 1959(j).
More recently Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev published his thesis regarding the location of Atlantis on the Internet(a). He is convinced that it was located on the Celtic Shelf near the Scilly Isles. Vladimir Pakhomov is another supporter of the ‘Atlantis in the Atlantic’ school of thought and also promotes his views on the Internet(b).
In 1994 Vlaceslav Jurikov proposed that Atlantis had been located near the Lipari Islands and its refugees fled to Ukraine resulting in the modern symbol of Ukraine being the trident of Poseidon. Coincidentally, the Ukrainian connection has also received support from non-Russians, the exotic-sounding Flying Eagle and Whispering Wind(c) and the Schoppes(d).
The late Alexander Voronin was the president of the Russian Society for Studying the Problem of Atlantis [ROIPA], which has held three congresses on the subject. At the last congress, Alexander Gorodnitsky, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, spoke controversially of the existence of highly advanced civilisations in the distant past. Voronin was also the chief editor of Atlantis: Problems, Searches, Hypotheses.
Konstantin Dukarev has written a review of scientific Atlantology with particular reference to Russian studies(e). Although the paper is in Russian it translates well, but without paragraphs, making it more difficult to read.
A hyperdiffusionist view of Russia as the world’s mother culture, employing a level of hyperbole not endured since the days of Stalin, can be now read(f) online for your added enjoyment.
There are aspects of modern Russian nationalism that seem to employ some of the rhetoric of the Nazi regime as well as their ideas of an Arctic homeland and even more worryingly, anti-Semitism(g). The linkage of Atlantis with this Arctic homeland was highlighted a few years ago on the Pravda website(h).
(g) See: Archive 2415
(i) See: Archive 3918
(j) Atlantis Vol.13 No.1 Dec 1959
Christian O’Brien, (1915-2001) was a geologist and head of the Iranian oil industry until his retirement in 1970. He was convinced that Atlantis had been located in the Azores and has suggested a possible geographical outline of Atlantis based on the bathymetric data available for the region(c).
The O’Briens supported hyperdiffusion and proposed that ‘the Shining Ones’ better known as the Elohim(d) in the Bible were responsible for the sudden development of agriculture, city-states and monumental building sometime before 8000 BC. Eventually, they developed colonies, spreading their knowledge which in due course was responsible for the great civilisations of Egypt, Asia and America.
In The Megalithic Odyssey  O’Brien offers an overview of the many megalithic stone circles and cairns on Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor. However, from chapter 6 until the end, he takes his hobby-horse for a ride, offering a convoluted account involving an order of Sumerian ‘Sages’ who brought advanced knowledge to Egypt, Britain and Ireland and further afield. Along the way, they or their leaders are remembered by different names, Osiris, Tuatha dé Danann, Druids or in Mexico as Quetzalcoatl. O’Brien attributes the megaliths of Bodmin Moor to the influence of some of these Sages, probably the Tuatha dé Danann on their way to or from Ireland!
Included in O’Brien’s contention was the idea that the biblical Garden of Eden, designated by him as ‘Kharsag’, had been located in what is now the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. A paper(b) outlining this idea includes criticism of Zechariah Sitchin’s translation of Sumerian texts.
The Cretan Phaistos Disk was also studied by O’Brien, who concluded that the pictograms had been derived from ancient Sumerian scripts, which enabled him to offer a complete translation of the Disk(e).
One would have thought that O’Brien has ruffled enough feathers with his range of controversial issues, but went further with his support for the claim that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had been married and blessed with three children(f).
O’Brien’s work is now carried on by Edmund Marriage, his nephew, through an extensive website(a).