John Murray (1841-1914) was born in Canada of Scottish parents and renowned as an oceanographer and marine biologist, sometimes referred to as ‘the father of modern oceanography’, a term he also coined. He is also credited with being the first to recognise the existence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and of marine or oceanic trenches.
In 1933 it was reported(a) that an expedition named after Murray had discovered ‘traces’ of Lemuria in the Indian Ocean. However, this was the Lemuria hypothesised by Sclater rather than the total fantasy promoted by Blavatsky.
The Mascarene Islands are a group of volcanic islands in the Indian Ocean that includes Mauritius, Réunion, and Rodrigues. The archipelago is at the southern end of the submerged Mascarene Sea Plateau, which has now been claimed as the location of Plato’s sunken continent of Atlantis.
This contention has been made on a website(a), entitled Atlantic Consequence: The Final Solution. In a three-part document, the anonymous author offers a spirited defence of this novel claim.
The author begins with the statement that “There is only one scientifically certified sunken continent in the World” namely the Mascarene Sea Plateau and therefore that is where Atlantis! This, of course, ignores the fact that Plato never referred to Atlantis as a continent and that many areas of the world, such as Sundaland, Doggerland and the Celtic Shelf, contain vast areas of submerged continental landmasses.
(a) See Archive 2624
Lemuria was a name invented in 1864 by the English zoologist Philip Lutley Sclater (1829-1913) to describe a hypothetical landmass in the Indian Ocean that was used to explain the isolation of lemurs on Madagascar while related fossils were spread across Africa and South-East Asia.The name has also been credited to the English geologist, William Thomas Blanford (1832-1905). It is further claimed that Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (1834-1919), the German professor of zoology and ardent supporter of Darwin, had made a similar suggestion regarding a sunken continent before Sclater without attributing a particular name to it.
Sir John Murray (1841-1914), a renowned British oceanographer, claimed(d) to have identified traces of this lost continent in the Indian Ocean.
Mu on the other hand is the name given to a fictional continent that was supposed to have existed in the Mid-to-Southern Pacific Ocean and given popular recognition by the writings of James Churchward who promoted it as the Atlantis of the Pacific. However, many writers continue to use the two words interchangeably. Frank Joseph links the destruction of ‘Lemuria’ with the Plagues of Egypt.
Madame Blavatsky claimed Lemuria as a pre-Atlantis source of Ancient Wisdom. She ‘revealed’ that the Lemurians had four armed egg-laying hermaphrodites with a third eye. Unfortunately, Blavatsky’s esoteric bosh is still touted widely today in books and the Internet(a).
>It is disturbing that presumably intelligent people such as Egerton Sykes could have dared to describe the inhabitants of a non-existent country in the following terms – “The Lemurians were short, squat, with square faces and large ears, relatively ugly to Western eyes”(e).<
“Several Atlantologists have claimed that Lemuria was none other than the lost island of Atlantis, and although their theory has generally considered to be fanciful, it may well be based on true facts. The word Lemuria is a bastardization of the Arab word ‘al amur’ which means ‘the West’, or ‘the western land’, and one may surmise that this was the name given by medieval Arab scholars to the ‘western land’ mentioned in the surviving Egyptian archives in Alexandria, which was stated to have disappeared under the sea. When Arabia lost its cultural predominance at the end of the Middle Ages, ‘al Amur’ became distorted into ‘Lemur’, and later into ‘Lemuria’, but the land this inaccurate name designated was in all probability the same as that described by the Egyptian priest of Sais to Solon, the ‘western land’ of Atlantis.”
Even more bizarre was a report in the 30th October 1955 edition of the San Francisco Examiner, which linked the American ‘Bigfoot’ or Sasquatch with a sunken Lemuria, suggesting that he was a highly developed survivor of that lost continent!
On a more serious note February 2013 saw the report(b) of the discovery of an ancient continent in the Indian Ocean. At first sight fans of the Mu/Lemuria concept must have been quite excited until it was realised that this sunken landmass was dated as being many hundreds of millions of years old.
In a September 2014 interview(c) Graham Hancock echoed my views regarding Lemuria and Mu when he responded to a question on the subject with, “Well, let’s get Lemuria out of the way first. Lemuria is actually a 19th century idea and there is no ancient text that refers to Lemuria. Lemuria is about the fact that fossils of a species of animal, the lemur, are found on both sides of the Indian Ocean. The suggestion was that there must have been some joining continent at one point between Madagascar and India. At any rate, I repeat, and this is my point – there’s no ancient testimony for the existence of a place called “Lemuria”. The ancient testimony from Mu is also extremely dubious, since it rests on a 19th century mistranslation of a Mayan text popularized by Augustus Le Plongeon and then subsequently elaborated by James Churchward in the 1920’s and 1930’s. But never mind the names, the fact is that we do have genuinely ancient traditions of lost civilisations and lost lands all around the world. That’s why I find Lemuria and Mu a bit of a distraction, because Mu rests on a mistranslation of an ancient text and Lemuria is entirely a 19th century idea.
>(e) Atlantis, Vol.16. No.2, April 1963<
Jacques Hébert is the author of Atlantide: La Solution Oubliee concerning Atlantis. As a former Parisian police chief, he claims to have applied his skills in that field to solving the mystery of Plato’s island. He critically re-examines the original text and offers an interpretation that he believes provides a more rational and harmonious reading of the narrative. His conclusion is that Atlantis lay in the Indian Ocean and that its culture was derived from the Indus valley. He specifically identifies the Yemeni island of Socotra as part of the Atlantean civilisation
Hébert identifies Bab el Mandeb as Plato’s Pillars of Heracles, by assuming that Solon mistook the description of that strait, given to him by the priests of Sais, with the Strait of Gibraltar, which has similar features. The earthquake that destroyed Atlantis is attributed by him to a close encounter with an extraterrestrial body.
A 2004 interview with Hébert can be read online(a).
The Erythraean Sea as referred to by Herodotus (Histories Bk I.202) derives its name from the Greek for ‘red’. To the ancient Greeks ‘Erythraean’ was a term used to refer to the Red Sea as well as the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. There is an ancient Persian tradition(a) that the Phoenicians migrated from the shores of the Erythraean Sea. This view is echoed at the very beginning (I.1) of The Histories of Herodotus.
Even more ‘exotic’ is the claim by W.C. Beaumont (see map) that the English Channel was in fact the Erythraean or Red Sea, along with the relocation of many other places mentioned in Exodus to sites in Britain.
It is claimed by some writers that Erythraean is an alternative name for the ‘Sea of Atlantis’. R. Cedric Leonard offers the following translation “but the Caspian Sea is by itself, not connected to the other sea. For the sea navigated by the Greeks, also that outside the Pillars called the Atlantis Sea and the Erythraean, are one and the same”. Both Leonard and Anton Mifsud claim that this passage demonstrates that Herodotus identified the Erythraean with the Atlantis Sea. However, a careful reading of the context clearly shows that what Herodotus was describing was the extent to which the world’s oceans were connected, even though the Caspian was landlocked. Africa had already been circumnavigated eastward from Egypt on the instruction of Pharaoh Necho II around 600 BC demonstrating the connection between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. Furthermore, the mention of ‘the sea navigated by the Greeks’ is probably a reference to the eastern Mediterranean, placing the Pillars of Heracles in the vicinity of Malta. This would identify the western Mediterranean and/or Tyrrhenian Sea as the ‘Sea of Atlantis’ complementing Plato’s description of Atlantis extending as far as Tyrrhenia and Libya. It is worth noting that Giorgio Grongnet de Vasse envisaged the Island of Atlantis occupying the Gulf of Syrtis off the coast of Libya and designated the sea to the west of Malta as ‘Mare Atlantico Antico’ or the ancient Atlantic Sea.
Louis Jacolliot (1837-1890) was a French barrister, a colonial judge (in southern India and Tahiti) and a writer. He was devoutly anticlerical and saw Christianity as a poor imitation of the more ancient oriental religions. He was the author of The Bible in India in which he traced the Hindu origins of Hebrew and Christian revelation.
He was obsessed with Indian occultism and collected Sanskrit myths and interpreted some of them as telling of a sunken continent, Rutas, in the Indian Ocean. However, he decided to move this lost land to the Pacific and as a consequence, Jacolliot was quoted as an ‘authority’ by Blavatsky when she sought support for her own invention – Lemuria. Later this was embellished even further by William Scott Elliott. Jacolliot presented his sunken land as an echo of Plato’s Atlantis.
At least two of Jacolliot’s books, Occult Science in India(a) and The Bible in India(b), are now available online(a) in English.
Divine Retribution is the explanation offered by Plato (Crit. 121c) for the destruction of Atlantis in a manner which for us is reminiscent of the biblical tale of Noah and many other flood stories. Some modern writers such as Maxine Asher have promoted this concept of godly reprisal. However, there is one important element missing from Plato’s narrative, namely, the salvation of a chosen few. The idea that the entire story of Atlantis was concocted by Plato as some form of parable is incompatible with the elimination of both (bad) Atlanteans AND (good) Athenians (Tim.25d). Consequently, if Plato was not relating some form of invented morality tale, we are entitled to recondider the probability that he was transmitting a story with a core of historical truth.
The earthquake and tsunami of 1755 that destroyed Lisbon and which killed up to 100,000 people is just another example of how divine retribution has been invoked as the cause of catastrophe. For those that accepted this explanation, all it did was consolidate the power of the church and its clergy. For me, the event was just an example of twisted divine humour, when people were killed in churches and synagogues while the red-light district was left virtually intact(f).
The idea of a god on a punishment spree arose more recently when both Christian(e) and Muslim(d) survivors attributed the tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean on December 2004 to divine retribution for the wickedness of man. Similar comments were expressed following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal(g). This modern knee-jerk reaction may explain the inclusion of similar sentiments in so many ancient flood stories.
William Lauritzen is a leading advocate of Atlantis having been situatedon the Sunda Shelf where Indonesia is located today. He provides a more rational explanation for the tsunami tragedy in a new eBook(a) where he explains that the unstable geology of the area which caused the recent tragedy also destroyed Atlantis.
The following year the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in new Orleans was once again credited to the whims of a bad-tempered divinity.
The 2010 earthquake in Haiti produced a further stream of ‘divine retribution’ claims, among which were those from American evangelist Pat Robertson, who attributed the cause to the ‘satanic’ voodoo beliefs of many Haitians and somewhat surprisingly from the well-known movie actor Danny Glover who claimed that the earthquake was god’s response to the failure of the 2009 climate change conference in Copenhagen!!!
Charles Pellegrino expressed it well, when he wrote in Return to Sodom and Gomorrah[821.120], “when an explanation is sought for evil events in a presumably just universe, history brands the people villains because they became victims, victims because they became villains.”
All these nonsensical claims demonstrate that god has either an appalling sense of justice, executing good and bad with equal vigour or, as is my personal belief, that he/she/it does not exist at all. Tectonic fault lines and their attendant hazards exist irrespective of the moral behaviour of people living in their vicinity. Similarly, hurricanes sweep into the Caribbean and the southern United States every year bringing death and destruction, not because the people in the area are inherently evil, but because particular meteorological conditions exist in the region that cyclically generate hurricanes.
It is fairly clear then that a fault line existed in the vicinity of Atlantis, a fact which should help to identify or at least eliminate some suggested locations. Coincidentally, a BBC documentary How the Earth Made Us, aired today, highlighted the fact that many of the most important ancient cities were sited near fault lines in order to exploit the mineral resources that are frequently to be found associated with them.
Another ‘prophecy of doom’, from the late V.M.Rabolú (1926-2000), is that a planet five or six times the size of Jupiter, is approaching earth to destroy it, because of mankind’s wickedness. Rabolú claims to have travelled in his Astral Body to Venus and Mars and witnessed the inhabitants of those planets. He also points to the destruction of Atlantis being the result of the greed of its inhabitants. All this and more drivel is available in a free booklet, written by Rabolú, from the Alcione Association(b).
The concept of divine retribution was given a further twist in January 2014 when a British politician and member of UKIP, David Silvester, claimed(c) that the recent severe flooding in his country was a consequence of the same-sex marriage policy of the British government. Rain in Ireland seems a little heavier lately, following the referendum vote here in favour same-sex marriage!
My final comment is a reflection on the fact that many western legal systems incorporate the concept of divine intervention with the use of the term ‘Act of God’ to describe catastrophic natural events leading to loss of life or property. Is it not time that such happenings be more accurately redefined as ‘natural but unanticipated’.
In February 2016 a paper was published(h) in Nature magazine with the interesting title of “ Moralistic gods, supernatural punishment and the expansion of human sociality”.