Gerd von Hassler (1928-1989) was a German author of radio plays for children, who also had an interest in music and ancient history. In 1976 he published Noahs Weg zum Amazonas (Noah’s way to the Amazon), which was translated into English by Martin Ebon and republished as Lost Survivors of the Deluge. In it he links the biblical deluge with the destruction of Atlantis. He also identifies Sumerian flood of Gilgamesh with that of Noah*. In fact he suggests that Gilgamesh voyaged from Lixus to South America . However, overall he seems happy to follow the ideas of Otto Muck who placed Atlantis in the Atlantic and destroyed by an asteroid impact. Von Hassler further identifies Atlantis with the Garden of Eden. His idea that Noah sailed the Atlantic is to say the least wildly speculative, but no doubt broadly welcomed by the Mormons.
Maxine Klein Asher (1930-2015) was the author of two short books related to Atlantis. Asher announced that on July 18th 1973 her divers had found a sunken city with streets and columns off the coast at Cadiz(a). This discovery she modestly described as ‘the greatest discovery in the history of the world’. Unfortunately, a student claimed that he had seen the press release two days before the alleged discovery. The Spanish authorities began an enquiry and Asher & Co headed for Ireland.
>Martin Ebon [286.90] relates how Asher planned to take along 200 students @ $1,995 and other interested parties @ $3,000 each. In the end, only 45 students took part, with a similar number of non-students. Asher also revealed that she used psychic vibrations to assist the expedition, claiming to be ‘very clairvoyant’ herself. However, in Spain, Asher clashed with both the civil authorities and academics and eventually had to flee the country.<
An interesting selection of pictures and newspaper clippings relating to this 1973 expedition to Cadiz was compiled by Corby James Waste and is available online(c). I found that the press comments were often misleading if not conflicting.
Nevertheless, after this 1973 expedition to Spain in search of Atlantis, she has been frequently interviewed and quoted extensively, but in spite of a claimed forty visits to Spain, she has really added little to the Atlantis debate.
The Ancient Mediterranean Research Association (AMRA) seems to have been founded simply to promote the modest Atlantis related output of Dr Asher. A few years ago its website had the following odd headline:
Dr Maxine Asher has now legally claimed
her 1973 discovery of Atlantis in Cadiz, Spain.”
What is that supposed to mean? What discovery? Why wait over 30 years?
In recent years Asher has moved into more esoteric circles when she co-authored a book with her old pal, the late Ann Miller. She claims to possess psychic powers that enabled her to write in this tome about psychic energies, among other exotic subjects. As Asher’s own AMRA website, now closed, curiously stated “Together the two writers are a fountain of information about psychic subjects, since both seek to give validity to a field with half-truths”. Like many others, I suspect that Dr Asher is an expert in the field of half-truths. For those that wish to believe otherwise, it should be noted that Asher has promised that her definitive book on Atlantis was due in 2002, 2004 and 2007!
Asher’s credibility cannot be completely divorced from her academic activities. The American World University(a), based in Iowa City, whose president is one Maxine Asher, was forced to move to Rapid City, South Dakota and then to its present location in Mississippi after allegations that it was providing sub-standard degrees to mainly gullible foreign students. This whole sorry tale was told on the web pages of the Daily Iowan and the Sun Herald and the details are related on numerous websites(b).
In 2007, Asher began promoting a six-week course on Atlantis. For $400 written material was sent each week, after which examinations were conducted on the Internet and a certificate granted not surprisingly, through the American World University International. Caveat emptor was definitely advised.
The Identity of the Atlanteans has produced a range of speculative suggestions nearly as extensive as that of the proposed locations for Plato’s lost island. However, it is highly probable that we already know who the Atlanteans were, but under a different name.
The list below includes some of the more popular suggestions and as such is not necessarily exhaustive. While researchers have proposed particular locations for Atlantis, not all have identified an archaeologically identified culture to go with their chosen location. The problem is that most of the places suggested have endured successive invasions over the millennia by different peoples.
It would seem therefore that the most fruitful approach to solving the problem of identifying the Atlanteans would be to first focus on trying to determine the date of the demise of Atlantis. This should reduce the number of possible candidates, making it easier to identify the Atlanteans.
A final point to consider is that the historical Atlanteans were a military alliance, and as such may have included more than one or none of those listed here. The mythological Atlanteans, who included the five sets of male twins and their successors would be expected to share a common culture, whereas military coalitions are frequently more disparate.
Basques: William Lewy d’Abartiague, Edward Taylor Fletcher
Maltese: Anton Mifsud, Francis Xavier Aloisio, Kevin Falzon, Bibischok, Joseph Bosco, David Calvert-Orange, Giorgio Grongnet de Vasse, Albert Nikas, Joseph S. Ellul, Francis Galea, Tammam Kisrawi, Charles Savona-Ventura, Hubert Zeitlmair.
Maya: Robert B. Stacy-Judd, Charles Gates Dawes, Colin Wilson, Adrian Gilbert, L. M. Hosea, Augustus le Plongeon, Teobert Maler, Joachim Rittstieg, Lewis Spence, Edward Herbert Thompson, Jean-Frédérick de Waldeck,
Minoans: K.T. Frost, James Baikie, Walter Leaf, Edwin Balch, Donald A. Mackenzie, Ralph Magoffin, Spyridon Marinatos, Georges Poisson, Wilhelm Brandenstein, A. Galanopoulos, J. G. Bennett, Rhys Carpenter, P.B.S. Andrews, Edward Bacon, Willy Ley, J.V. Luce, James W. Mavor, Henry M. Eichner, Prince Michael of Greece, Nicholas Platon, N.W. Tschoegl, Richard Mooney, Rupert Furneaux, Martin Ebon, Francis Hitching, Charles Pellegrino, Rodney Castleden, Graham Phillips, Jacques Lebeau, Luana Monte, Fredrik Bruins, Gavin Menzies, Lee R. Kerr, Daniel P. Buckley.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-1997) the famous oceanographer, was also drawn to the Atlantis mystery. In 1967 he was due to join Spyridon Marinatos and James Mavor in an expedition to Santorini but the onset of the Arab-Israeli war prevented him from bringing his famous ship Calypso through the Suez Canal. He later did explore the eastern Mediterranean and subsequently, in collaboration with Yves Paccalet, wrote his contribution to the Atlantis issue, in which he relates his investigation of the sea around Santorini.
In late 1975 and all through 1976 Cousteau crisscrossed the Eastern Mediterranean in preparation in preparation for a television program ‘In Search of Atlantis – Lost Civilization’. His search for Atlantis also revealed unexpected underwater stone formations off Crete.
A 1976 newspaper report(c) described Cousteau as having ‘debunked’ the reality of Atlantis, after his thirteen months of exploration in the Aegean.
This may be overstating it somewhat, but Martin Ebon is quite clear that Cousteau did not conclude that Atlantis, as such, actually existed [286.36]. While Cousteau may not have believed in the reality of Atlantis, it seems to me that he did believe in the reality of the funding that Atlantis interest provided!>He was also happy to publish A la recherche de L’Atlantide a book about his unsuccessful search for Atlantis.<
A 1978 TV documentary, Calypso’s Search for Atlantis, is widely available, and most of it can be seen on YouTube(a)(b).
Martin Ebon (1917-2006) was born as Hans Martin Schwarz in Hamburg, Germany and later emigrated to the USA. During the Second World War he worked for the U.S. Office of War Information and was also an information officer with the U.S. Department of State.
He is principally known for his anti-communist writing, but he has also ventured into a number of unrelated fields during his long and prolific writing career(b). In 1977 he published, Atlantis: The New Evidence, in which he favoured the Santorini hypotheses. Frankly, this slender 150-page offering is not worth opening. It simply touches on the principal theories of the day and concludes with support for a Minoan Atlantis.
There is an official Martin Ebon website(a), which includes a fascinating bibliography.