Mid Atlantic Ridge
Sodom & Gomorrah along with Zoar, Admah and Zeboim constituted the Cities of the Plain referred to in the Bible and believed to have been situated in the Jordan Valley before their obliteration (apart from Zoar) in a catastrophic episode during the 2nd millennium BC. Explanations, religious and rational have been offered to explain the event. My preferred explanation is that an encounter with an extraterrestrial body such as a comet or asteroid caused the devastation(d).
In 2008, a Sumerian clay tablet, known as the ‘Planisphere’ in the British Museum, was, after 150 years, translated and claimed to record an encounter with an asteroid ‘suspected of being behind the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah(e). The late Bernhard Beier has written an interesting article on the Atlantisforschung website about this asteroid.
“Interdisciplinary findings by scientists at the University of Bristol in 2008 suggest that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah described in the Old Testament may have been the result of a serious impact event.
The British researchers had studied an Assyrian clay planisphere that has puzzled science for some 150 years and has now been identified as the transcript of an eyewitness account of an asteroid impact that is believed to have also destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. This clay tablet had already been discovered by Austen Henry Layard in the ruins of the library of the royal palace at Nineveh in the mid-19th century. It is generally assumed that this specimen dates to around 700 B.C. It is a copy of a much older tablet on which a Sumerian astronomer wrote down his extraordinary observations of the sky. An ‘approaching, white stone ball’ is described there, which is said to have ‘rushed past violently.'”(l)
For most Christians, Sodom in the Bible has been associated with homosexuality, however, this idea does not stand up to any careful scrutiny as explained in a detailed paper by Roger Farnworth, a retired Church of England minister(q).
In October 2015, there were reports that the sites of Sodom and Gomorrah had been finally located(a). November 2018 saw a further claim(b) that Sodom and possibly other the ‘cities of the plain’ had been destroyed by a meteoric airburst, similar to the Tunguska or the more recent Chelyabinsk events. This catastrophe took place north of the Red Sea in what is now Jordan, according to archaeologist Phillip Silvia of Trinity Southwest University in Albuquerque(g).
Silvia’s conclusions have been confirmed by Dr Steven Collins, dean of the College of Archaeology at Trinity Southwest University, who has excavated at the Tell el-Hammam site over sixteen seasons(n). He describes his findings in his book co-authored with Dr Latayne C. Scott, Discovering the City of Sodom . Collins offered the following interesting observation(c), “the Tall el-Hammam site has twenty-five geographical indicators that align it with the description in Genesis. Compare this with something well-known—like Jerusalem—that has only sixteen. Most other sites have only five or six, or less. So, the site has many more geographical ‘signs’ than any other Old Testament city. That’s truly amazing.”
A September 2021 paper(h)(r)* outlines interesting new evidence that the destruction of the Tell el-Hammam site was probably caused by a Tunguska-type airburst and further suggests that “about a minute later, 14 miles (22 km) to the west of Tall el-Hammam, winds from the blast hit the biblical city of Jericho. Jericho’s walls came tumbling down and the city burned to the ground.”
Jason Colavito added some further comments on the authors and background to this paper and concluded that “In short: The claim Tell El-Hammam was destroyed by an airburst is disputable. Its identification with Sodom is unproved and dubious, and no one has provided any evidence that an event supposedly transpiring in 1600 BCE was preserved accurately down to the composition of the first written account of Sodom in the surviving Genesis narrative, typically ascribed to the period around 500 BCE or later. If we can’t agree whether the Greeks preserved any real history from the Mycenaeans after only five centuries, we should be very careful in imagining the preservation of stories for two or three times that long with no evidence of intermediary versions.”(j)
The original report appeared on the Nature website and so far over a quarter of a million people have accessed it. This lengthy document can also be read on the cosmictusk.com website(k).
Andis Kaulins has suggested that the destruction of the cities of the plain was a consequence of the eruption of Thera(p). David Rohl in The Lost Testament [231.180] has dated the destruction of Sodom to circa 1830 BC following a period of unheeded seismic warnings that eventually led to the rupturing of the earth and the violent ejection of deadly sulphur.>Rohl also proposed that Sodom is located “a little over 100 metres beneath the surface of the Dead Sea,” a few kilometers south-by-southeast from En-Gedi.<
More imaginative commentators, such as Dan Sewell Ward (1940-2019) have proposed(f) that the destruction of S & G was the result of atomic warfare!
In Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds , Frank Joseph claims that Comet Encke in 1198 BC “scores a number of meteoric hits along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and possibly on Atlantis itself, which perishes ‘in a single day and night’, according to Plato. The catastrophe is global, encompassing the destruction of the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah” Joseph bases this on the studies of two Swedish geologists, Thomas B. Larsson and Lars Franzén.
This linkage of Sodom with Atlantis is not new. In the 18th century, Carl Friedrich Baër (1719-1797) who was pastor at the Lutheran chapel in the Swedish Embassy in Paris, was possibly the first to propose a connection between the demise of Atlantis and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
A similar theory was proposed by Roger M. Pearlman in a 2018 booklet . In this small, difficult-to-read, book the author also suggests, a linkage between the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah and Atlantis, placing Atlantis in the Jordan Valley and equating Abraham with Atlas – “If Atlas, as described in Plato’s work, was based on a historic figure, Abraham alone meets key criteria.”
On a lighter note, in 1948, William Comyns Beaumont published an extraordinary book, Britain – The Key to World History , in which he claimed among other things, that Edinburgh was the original Jerusalem, London was Damascus and rather worryingly, that Bristol was Sodom.
However, more recently, some demented soul has suggested that “Atlantis comprised three centers of civilization. The main center of civilization was a very large island stretching through what is now the area of the Azores near the mid-Atlantic, down almost to off-shore Brazil in South America. The present-day Islands of the Azores are mountain tops of the original. The second was along the foot of the Himalayans, now occupied by Nepal and Northern Punjab. The third was the plains, now called North America.” Then for good measure, they claimed that Sodom had been located in Washington State in the United States and Gomorrah could be found offshore Miami!(i)
In 2021, Mauro Biglino & Cinzia Mele published two books  that link a number of biblical episodes with locations in the Baltic region. One was the identification of two places in Finland as Sodom and Gomorrah, which was followed by dozens of similar geographical ‘coincidences’(m)!
It was recently (April 2022) written(o) that “What everyone agrees on is that something unusual happened at Tall el-Hammam, an ancient settlement near the Dead Sea.” Unfortunately, that is as far as any agreement has gone. Even the date for the disaster is hotly disputed.
“What was unlike destruction caused by earthquakes or warfare were pottery shards with their outer surfaces melted into glass, some bubbled as if boiled, “bubbled” and melted building brick and plaster, suggesting some unknown high-temperature event. Objects of daily life, carbonized pieces of wooden beams, charred grain, bones and limestone cobbles were burned to a chalklike consistency.”
“But last month Steven Jaret, a postdoctoral fellow at the American Museum of Natural History, and R. Scott Harris, a space scientist at Atlanta’s Fernbank Science Center, challenged these conclusions of the 21 scholars, also in Nature, basically hinting that Collins’ group confused run-of-the-mill smelting and pottery processes with heat from an airburst.”
I think the mystery of S & G will have a longer run than The Mousetrap in London!
See: Köfels Impact
Atze’s Temple is the focal point of a proposed submarine search for Atlantis near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the Atlantic. The principal drivers behind this project are three Danes, Martin Laungaard, Carsten Skaarup and Jasper Nissen(a). Their inspiration appears to have come from the writings and philosophy of Danish architect Knud Brønnum (1878-1953)(b) as expressed in Wandering Towards the Light (Vandrer mod Lyset or VmL). His ‘revelations’ included an Atlantic location for Atlantis, whose crowning feature was Atze’s Temple, built over a period of 60 years, 600 years before the destruction of Atlantis!(c)
A translation of some of Knud Brønnum’s text as well as a plan of the temple is now available online(d)(e).
The current promoters of this daft idea, apparently respectable educated people, are now seeking investors, having already put $300,000 of their own money into the project! Caveat Emptor.
>The promoters’ website includes a lengthy paper on scientific evidence supporting their claim of a large landmass close to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and home to Atlantis. I note that many of these scientific sources are now somewhat dated(f). However, for me, their attempt to use a channelled source as well as old scientific papers does not improve their credibility<
(a) Who are we? – Atlantis Discovery (archive.org) * (slow to load)
(c) Atze’s Temple – Atlantis Discovery (archive.org) * (slow to load)
The Seven Cities of Antilia are legendary cities reputed to have existed on the island of Antilia situated somewhere in the Atlantic. Medieval cartographers show Antilia (with a variety of spellings) at different locations in that ocean. Belief in its existence was firmly established by the time of Christopher Columbus. His son, Ferdinand, wrote of the many attempts to find it.
In the early 20th century geographer, W. H. Babcock, identified Cuba as Antilia, while later in 2000, Andrew Collins, in his Gateway to Atlantis devoted two chapters to the subject of the Seven Cities and also concluded that Cuba was its most likely location and by extension was also the home of Atlantis.
Landbridges, in biogeography, are described by Wikipedia as “an isthmus or wider land connection between otherwise separate areas, over which animals and plants are able to cross and colonize new lands. A land bridge can be created by marine regression, in which sea levels fall, exposing shallow, previously submerged sections of continental shelf; or when new land is created by plate tectonics; or occasionally when the sea floor rises due to post-glacial rebound after an ice age.”
In the distant past, landbridges are believed to have played a critical part in early human migration. Similarly, landbridges, both real and speculative are important components in many Atlantis theories. There is no doubt that the ending of the last Ice Age and the consequent rising sea levels led to the creation of islands where continuous land has previously existed. The separation of Ireland and Britain from each other and from mainland Europe is just one example, the latter leading to a number of writers identifying ‘Doggerland‘, which lay between Britain and Denmark as the home of Atlantis.
>The two most discussed landbridges were at the Bering Strait, where it is thought that it provided the gateway for humans to enter the Americas from Asia and an Atlantic landbridge, which was proposed as early as the 17th century when Francois Placet, a French abbot, who, in 1668, wrote “The break up of large and small world’s, as being demonstrated that America was connected before the flood with the other parts of the world.” A Scientific American article relates how “He argued that the two continents were once connected by the lost continent of “Atlantis” and the flood of the bible separated them.” (d)<
Later by John B. Newman in 1849 [488.8], who wrote that “in former times an island of enormous dimensions, named Atlantis, stretched from the north-western coast of Africa across the Atlantic ocean and that over this continental tract both man and beast migrated westward.“
>Charles Frédéric Martins was a French botanist and geologist who was so intrigued by the similarity of geology as well as plant species on the Azores, Spain and Ireland that he suggested in his 1866 book, Du Spitzberg Au Sahara ,that these were physically linked in the distant past and that they may have been part of Atlantis(c).
Martins also said, in the Revue des Deux Mondes for March 1, 1867, “Now, hydrography, geology, and botany agree in teaching us that the Azores, the Canaries, and Madeira are the remains of a great continent which formerly united Europe to North America.”<
The Atlantic landbridge idea became quite popular by the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and even as late as the 1970s when espoused by Rene Malaise(a), but is now completely abandoned. Ignatius Donnelly referred to such a landbridge as a ‘connecting plateau’ linking Europe, Africa and America that allowed plants and animals to cross in both directions.
Although there was only one suggestion that the Bering Strait was in any way connected with Plato’s Atlantis, several commentators identified an Atlantic landbridge as the ideal location for Plato’s Atlantis, particularly as he placed it in the Atlantic Sea. However, this should not be confused with the Atlantic Ocean, a word that had an entirely different meaning for the ancient Greeks.
The idea was initially put forward in order to explain the floral and faunal similarities shared by the Old World and the New World of the Americas. The hypothetical Atlantic landbridges or a series of steppingstone islands. also offered possible routes for the peopling of the Americas by Europeans and/or Africans. It was not long before the discovery of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge(b) seemed to confirm this idea. Then it was suggested that Atlantis existed on this landbridge, which was destroyed by rising sea levels after the last Ice Age, leaving just the Azores, Madeira and a few other islands as remnants.
A number of landbridges have been proposed for the Mediterranean and linked to a variety of Atlantis theories, the most notable being proposed for the straits of Gibraltar, Sicily, Messina and Bonifacio. Although it is evident that landbridges existed at most of these locations, to associate them with any particular Atlantis theory requires that the date of their existence is compatible with Plato’s narrative.
(a) Atlantis, Vol.27, No.1, Jan-Feb 1974.
John Thomas Short (1850-1883) was the American author of The North Americans of Antiquity written two years before Donnelly’s ground-breaking publication. He draws on some of the same material as Donnelly, such as the similarity of flora and fauna on both sides of the Atlantic as well as the then newly discovered Mid-Atlantic Ridge and concluded (chap.XI) that Atlantis had been located on the MAR.
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.
Wilhelm Pilgram (1934- ) is a German doctor of medicine by profession, but he is also a keen student of catastrophism. This led him to follow the views of the Tollmanns and consequently he supports the idea of Atlantis situated on the Mid Atlantic Ridge and destroyed around 10,000 years ago by the impact of a comet(a).
Erskine was the author of A Bit of Atlantis which although a novel, the author wrote an extensive 49-page Introduction that includes much of the Atlantis text written by Plato. He also follows Ignatius Donnelly’s views regarding the location of Atlantis, who situated it on part of the Mid Atlantic Ridge, which was then known as ‘Dolphin’s Ridge’ incorporating the Azores. Erskine’s book which can be read online(a) includes Donnelly’s map of Dolphin’s Ridge.
Santiago Martínez Concha is a Colombian author who published in March 2012 an English Kindle version of his Spanish language book with the title The Discovery of Atlantis .>He has published over a dozen other books, also in Spanish(a), including a series, CODEX, which deals with the antediluvian world.<
‘Discovery’ is poorly translated and includes four, apparently important, checklists all in Spanish! He places Atlantis in the region of the Azores which sits on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) and considers all other proposed locations as mere colonies of Atlantis. He refers erroneously to the MAR as a subduction zone, but that is a minor matter compared to his insistence on a connection between Atlantis and features on Mars! He also includes the claim that Atlantis was destroyed by the Earth-Mars Orbital exchange, based on the ideas of creationist Donald Patten (not Alan Patten).
Martinez would also appear to suffer from chronic pareidolia, seeing giant heads in rock outcrops, guardian animals and a view of a queen about to give birth at Machu Picchu. You could not make this up unless you were experimenting with Colombia’s biggest export.