P. Philip Flambas is the Australian author of Plato’s Caribbean Atlantis. The self-explanatory title makes Dr. Flambas’ objective clear. The book was published in Australia and is a hefty 932 pages and is also available as a Kindle ebook. The book is so enormous that a full critique would require another book.>He outlined his theories on the Ancient Origins website(b).<
In my opinion, the book has many flaws and is just a case of quantity masquerading as quality. One of my first gripes is that the author places Atlantis in the 10th millennium BC, a period during which there is NO archaeological evidence for any structured societies in either Egypt or Athens.
Even more ridiculous, is his suggestion that the Atlantean Empire was centred in the Caribbean and included what are now the U.S. states around the Gulf of Mexico, all of MesoAmerica and all the countries along the northern coast of South America. Then realising that Plato had also described Atlantean territory that included parts of Europe and North Africa, Flambas added them as well for good measure. Flambas accepts that the Atlantean territory included parts of Europe and North Africa but that, apparently unknown to Plato, the capital of this empire was in the Caribbean! I don’t find that credible, but readers will have to decide for themselves.
Eleven millennia later, Europe could not keep control of its American colonies even with improved navigation, vessels and weaponry, so how did his Caribbean Atlantis manage the control its European territory?
Furthermore, Flambas is incorrect in saying that Plato noted that part of Atlantean territory extended as far as the Tyrrhenian Sea, in fact, he said that they controlled as far as Tyrrhenia (Timaeus 25b & Critias 114c), in other words they held part of southern Italy. Even without that, if parts of the Western Mediterranean had been occupied by Atlanteans from the Caribbean, it is hard to believe that some knowledge of the existence of the Americas was not well known throughout the whole Mediterranean region, sailors not being known as the most tight-lipped people. But Flambas claims that this knowledge was not available to Europeans until Columbus, eleven thousands years.
Flambas has a large section on empires and their development through the occupation of contiguous territory, which I fully agree with, yet he proposes that these ancient Atlanteans preferred to expand across the wild Atlantic to colonise the Mediterranean rather than the easier option of pushing either north into North America or south into the equally valuable South America with shorter supply lines. Expansion across the Atlantic makes no sense.
On a more positive note, as a layman, I think that Dr. Flambas has done creditable original work with his “Hydraulic Hypothesis” which relates to a modification of our view of Plate Tectonics. The extensive geological research carried out by him is admirable, but for me, his attempt to link it with Plato’s story of Atlantis is just a speculation too far.
Finally, his book is well illustrated, but to produce a volume of this size without an index is unforgivable. I was also disappointed to find that much of Flambas’ Chronology of Atlantis Theories was copied from this site, including errors, without any attribution!
>Flambas has also written on the debate surrounding the abrupt ending of Plato’s Critias(a) . He concluded that “rather than Plato leaving the Critias unfinished, a more likely explanation for its abrupt ending is that it was once complete and the remainder was lost, as were thousands of other Ancient Greek literary works. That loss may also include the Hermocrates dialogue, which was possibly the first or final part of a trilogy, or yet another dialogue that would have created four related dialogues.”
In a subsequent online discussion(a) about Flambas’ paper, the most salient opposing comment came from Thorwald C.Franke who proposed that Critias was never finished and “the Hermocrates never written, since there are not any other testimonies from ancient authors. All the other dialogues have left traces in ancient literature.”
Meltwater Pulses (MWP) is the term used to describe accelerated discharges of meltwater at different periods during the deglaciation that occurred as the last Ice Age ended. Each such event, which probably last hundreds of years have been given designations such as 1A, 1A0, 1B 1C and 1D.
MWP1a saw sea levels rise between 50 and 80 feet over a 500-year period around 13,000 BC and seems to be the least disputed of the postglacial discharges. A 2017 paper(a) has provided further data relating to this time, in particular the collapse of the European ice sheet.
MWP1b is of particular interest to the study of Atlantis as it coincides with Plato’s date of circa 9,600 BC for the Atlantean attack on eastern Mediterranean. However, this creates one major problem, namely that Athens and Egypt did not exist as structured societies at such an early date! In order to explain this coincidence Massimo Rapisarda has speculated that in writing the Atlantis tale, Plato had incorporated an ancient myth “linked to the memory of that ancient cataclysm,” which occurred at the end of the last Ice Age.
>Rapisarda also notes that the beginning and ending of the Younger Dryas period coincide with MWP1a and MWP1b respectively!(b)<
The last Pulse, MWP1c, took place around 6000 BC and should have left some evidence in historical records. Recently P.P. Flambas suggested that either MWP1b or MWP1c may have led to inundations known to the Greeks as the Flood of Ogyges.
The Population of Atlantis has been estimated by a number of Atlantologists, based on the data provided by Plato.
Otto Muck considered the population of Atlantis to have been at least 20 million.
“Let us begin with the allegedly excessive numbers of inhabitants. This can be roughly calculated from the details Plato gives of the organisation of the Atlantean armed forces: 480,000 foot soldiers, 120,000 horsemen, 160,000 manning the 10,000 heavy chariots and 60,000 light chariots, and 240,000 sailors. These add up to approximately one million men under arms.” From this, Muck extrapolated a total population of between twenty and forty millions for Atlantis.
Wolter Smit estimates(a) the Atlantean population figure to be between 28 and 155 millions. Constantin Benetatos suggests(b) a lower figure of between 6 and 10 millions but also considers Plato’s data to be exaggerated.
The total population of the entire world in 10,000 BC has been estimated at somewhere between one and ten millions(c)(d)(e)(f). Even if we accept the somewhat questionable higher figure, we can see that this is only a half or a quarter of the population of Atlantis on its own. Consequently, we are forced to conclude that either Plato’s dating is wrong or the Atlantean military manpower is exaggerated or, as I suspect, both are incorrect. Therefore, once again we are forced to view Plato’s numbers with some suspicion.
Recently, P.P. Flambas in his oversized Plato’s Caribbean Atlantis has suggested that the world population at 11,000 BC was stable at around three million people, although there is a greater consensus that the figure was one million. However, Plato’s total for the Atlantean military alone is one million, which forces us to either consider that his date for the Atlantean War and/or the size of the Atlantean army seriously wrong.I consider both to be exaggerated by a similar factor. The fact that the Athenians defeated the Atlanteans suggests much smaller armies and a lack of any archaeological evidence on Greek territory of more than a handful of troglodytes in the 10th millenium BC contradicts the date.
(b) https://www.atlantishistory.net/page8.htm (Offline March 2015)
Critias is the title of one of the two dialogues of Plato that gave the world its first unambiguous mention of Atlantis. Benjamin Jowett’s English translation of 1871 is widely available on the Internet(a) as it is now out of copyright.
The Critias dialogue ends in the middle of a sentence while on the point of revealing more about Atlantis. This fact has generated regular comment over the centuries and some have concluded that Plato grew tired of the Atlantis story, while others suggest that he was at the end of his writing career and old age or illness prevented him from finishing the dialogue. However, since it is accepted that Plato’s Laws, which also ends abruptly, was written later than Critias the idea that death prevented its completion does not hold up.
Perhaps relevant to the incomplete Critias, is the suggestion that there is an entire intended dialogue missing, apparently with the possible title of Hermocrates. This would appear to be confirmed by Critias 108 which twice mentions, in the same passage, that Hermocrates is due to make a contribution of some substance, which the repetition implies!
H. S. Bellamy in his book The Atlantis Myth points out that there is no evidence of any classical writer commenting on the unfinished nature of Critias until Plutarch, at the beginning of the second century AD. The implication of this is that the original manuscript was completed but somehow over the centuries the final part of Critias was lost. It is easier to believe that the final incomplete sentence was originally at the end of a line of text at the bottom of a page that became separated from the following leaves than imagine that a person of Plato’s literary stature was incapable of finishing a sentence. I am tempted to subscribe to this theory and hope that somehow a copy of the ‘missing’ pages turn up in some obscure library.
>P. P. Flambas recently published a paper in which he argues that the Critias dialogue had been completed, but that the ending had been lost. In a subsequent online discussion(g), the most salient opposing comment, for me, came from Thorwald C. Franke who proposed that the Critias was never finished and “the Hermocrates never written, since there are not any other testimonies from ancient authors. All the other dialogues have left traces in ancient literature.”<
George Sarantitis offers a novel explanation for the sudden ending of Critias. He proposes that Plato finished his narrative where Zeus was about to speak in the expectation that his audience would have been guided by the earlier content of Timaeus to complete the text with an utterance by Zeus in Homer’s Odyssey (1.32-34) “O alas, the manner in which the mortals put the blame on the gods. For they claim that from us do derive their misfortunes, yet often they themselves with their wicked deeds (hubristically behaviour) fall into grief beyond what can be written.” (Sarantitis’ translation).
His full argument can be read online(c).
A few years ago a Greek by the name of Keramidas produced what he claimed was the missing ending to Critias(b). It was an unconvincing piece that was quickly dismissed as spurious. On which subject, I note that two commentators from the Sorbonne, Marwan Rashed & Thomas Auffret published a paper(d) in 2017 in which they claim that Plato’s Critias was spurious. Their claim was refuted by Harold Tarrant and Thorwald C. Franke(e).
This questioning of the authenticity of some of Plato’s works is not new(f). Joseph Socher, writing in the early 19th century , rejected as spurious Hipparchus, Minos, Kleitophon, Alkibiades II., Eraste, Epinomis, Epistole, Parmenides, Sophistes, Politikus, Kritias: also Charmides, and Lysis, these two last however not quite so decisively. He puts Protagoras into the second period, and Phaedrus into the third. But the most peculiar feature in his theory is, that he rejects as spurious Parmenides, Sophistes, Politikus, Kritias.
Others who wrote in a similar manner were G.F.W. Suckow and more recently Victor Tejera (1922-2018) .
(c) https://platoproject.gr/mom-1/ (section 5)
Plate Tectonics is the name given to the widely accepted geological theory that explains the observable fact of continental drift. Abraham Ortelius, a 16th century cartographer was one of the first to suggest that Africa, Europe and the Americas had at one time been joined together. In the 17th century Sir Francis Bacon is claimed to have been similarly struck by the complementary profiles of South America and Africa, but this, according to G.L. Herries Davies, is an exaggeration of what Bacon actually wrote(j). Alexander von Humboldt writing at the end of the 18th century, also commented that the ”lands bordering the Atlantic Ocean had once been joined.” Decades later Snider-Pellegrini expressed similar ideas that eventually led to the theories of ‘continental drift’ and plate tectonics.
In 1912, Alfred Wegener and Frank Taylor first outlined the concept of continental drift, which proposed that the surface of the Earth is in motion albeit very slowly. At first the idea was considered preposterous by the scientific community but gradually gained acceptance as evidence in its favour accumulated. In the early 1960’s the theory of ‘sea-floor spreading’ was developed and gradually the idea that the Earth’s surface consists of a number of plates that move relative to each other gained acceptance and evolved into the theory of plate tectonics that we have today. However, there are some anomalies that the present theory does not explain so that further revision is probably required.
These anomalies together with the geographical match between the two continents led to the formulation of the Expanding Earth Hypothesis(b).
When sea-floor spreading was identified in the Atlantic, some writers investigated where it might fit into the drama of Atlantis. It is not surprising that plate tectonics have been claimed by some, such as Frank Joseph, to support the existence of Atlantis, while others, including sceptic Paul Jordan, maintain that it makes the existence of Atlantis in the Atlantic an impossibility.
A further sceptical view of Atlantis in the Atlantic, by Benjamin Radford, claims(k) that “plate tectonics demonstrate that Atlantis is impossible; as the continents have drifted, the seafloor has spread over time, not contracted. There would simply be no place for Atlantis to sink into. As Ken Feder notes, ‘The geology is clear; there could have been no large land surface that then sank in the area where Plato places Atlantis. Together, modern archaeology and geology provide an unambiguous verdict: There was no Atlantic continent; there was no great civilization called Atlantis.'” This, of course, is perfectly true, except that Plato placed Atlantis in the Atlantic Sea, which many believe was a reference at that particular time to the Western Mediterranean!
An interesting website on the subject of the problems associated with the theory of plate tectonics by David Pratt is worth a read(a)(d). Equally critical is the opening chapter of Thomas J. Krupa’s book Biblical Flood, Noah’s Ark and the Star of David. Sustained opposition to the theory has found expression in the NCGT Journal(e) since 1996.
Robert Bauval has written a paper on the possible effect that plate tectonics may have had on the accuracy of the orientation of the Giza pyramids(m).
Marvin Herndon has proposed a new theory, which he has entitled ‘Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics’; a subtle combination of plate tectonics and the Expanded Earth Hypothesis(g). The idea of subduction is also challenged by the New Pangaea Theory (NPT)(h).
The starting point of NPT is that “252 million years ago our planet was impacted by a massive comet, a comet far larger than the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. This previous impact was so powerful it fractured the Earth’s crust, began the breakup of Pangaea and wiped out most of the life on the planet.”(o) The author, J. Chris Everett, proposes the comet, 100km in diameter, was absorbed into the body of our planet.
P.P. Flambas, author of Plato’s Caribbean Atlantis in which he has proposed a modification to the current theory of PT, which he has called the ‘Hydraulic Hypothesis’ to explain shortcomings in accepted PT theory and support his Atlantis location.
A July 2016 report was published on the rate of tectonic movement, estimated to be comparable to the speed of fingernail growth(f).
In 2020, it was reported that “scientists are beginning to understand the importance of another characteristic of any planet likely to support life, and it is one that fits squarely into (James) Lovelock’s view of Earth as a dynamic participant rather than a passive backdrop: an active system of drifting continents, otherwise known as plate tectonics. On the face of it, the connection between life, with its relatively brief cycles and dizzying complexity, and plate tectonics, with its much slower cycles and ostensibly simpler interactions, appears tenuous. But on Earth, at least, that connection is direct and deep.” (n).
Evidence of plate tectonics has now been identified on Mars(c)! In October 2019 NASA confirmed that a number of ‘marsquakes’ have been confirmed on the ‘Red Planet’(l). So far, the evidence suggests that our planet is more more moon-like than earth-like.
Ogyges was the founder and king of Thebes in Greece. During his reign a devastating flood ruined the country to such an extent that it remained without kings until the reign of Cecrops.*In a 2002 article(b) in the Times of Malta, Anton Mifsud informed us that “the classical historian Eumalos of Cyrene wrote that the King of Atlantis at the time of the cataclysm was Ogyge whose nephew King Ninus of Babylon lived in the late third millennium BC.”*
Some writers have identified the Flood of Ogyges with the Flood of Deucalion. It is more likely that they were separate events and were part of the series of floods noted by Plato [Tim.22 & Crit.111-112].
Frank Joseph in Survivors of Atlantis points out that Plato in his Laws dated the Ogygean flood to less than two thousand years before his time, a figure compatible with the date of 2136 BC given by Varro the Roman writer.
Oliver D.Smith maintained that it was the flood of Ogyges that destroyed Atlantis and argued that this event occurred long before the Flood of Deucalion(a).
(a) https://www.academia.edu/3507001/Atlantis_as_Sesklo (now offline)
Divine Twins (Dioscurism) occur frequently in many cultures worldwide(c), Greek mythology being no exception, although Plato’s report that five sets of twins were the original rulers of Atlantis, it provides one of the more unusual elements in the account. Could there be any connection between the male twins of the Atlantis and the male twins, Romulus and Remus, who founded Rome or Amphion and Zethos who established Thebes?
Greek and Roman mythologies also shared the twins Castor and Pollux. Furthermore, a Christian reference to them can be found in the Acts of the Apostles (28.11), where St.Paul is said to have left Malta for Rome on a ship displaying the sign of Castor and Pollux.
The idea of Divine twins is also found in the old Slavic pantheon according to Michael Shapiro in a 1982 paper(g) and found across European mythologies(i).
According to Jim Allen, the leading proponent of the idea of Atlantis having existed in the Andes, the Aymara kingdoms which existed on the Andean Altiplano also governed in pairs, so he has no doubt that the story of Atlantis had its origins in a Bolivian legend(a). It is accepted that ‘The Hero Twins’ are part of Mayan mythology in the form of Xbalanque and Hunaphu. The anthropologist Robert L. Hall has detected twins in the native symbolism as far north as the Mississippi. The existence of twin rulers also existed in Bronze Age Scandinavia – one being the chief of war, the other the chief of rituals.
A recent paper by Alastair Coombs entitled The Atlantis Twins offered further thoughts on possible prehistoric references, including a suggested link with Göbekli Tepe. This article was expanded and retitled Göbekli Tepe & the Atlantis Twins and was later published on Graham Hancock’s website(d).
In December 2017, Anton Mifsud, the doyen of Maltese Atlantologists, published an intriguing suggestion(f), when he pointed out that on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Neo-Platonist Michelangelo, something odd can be perceived in the central panel, known as The Creation of Adam. There, we find ‘god’ surrounded by five pairs of flightless ‘cherubs’. This is reminiscent of Poseidon’s five pairs of twin sons that ruled Atlantis. However, Christian iconography invariably shows cherubs with wings, so it begs the question; why this departure from the norm? Mifsud contends that together with other aspects of the fresco, this depiction is closer to Plato’s ‘god’, Poseidon, than that of the Mosaic creator in Genesis!
My own view is that the story of the five sets of male twins is just one of the mythological threads in Plato’s Atlantis narrative. P.P. Flambas who has taken a generally literal view of Plato’s account, admits the improbability of happening to one couple through natural means. However, in correspondence, he defensively quotes the somewhat dubious(e) case of “the greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707–c.1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia.”
(g) Michael Shapiro, Neglected Evidence of Dioscurism (Divine Twinning) in the Old Slavic Pantheon, JIES 10 (1982), 137-166.
The Caribbean Region with the many islands of the West Indies is favoured by a number of authors who find in the writings of classical writers evidence of very early knowledge of the islands in the western Atlantic by the peoples of the Mediterranean. As a source, these ancient authors have to be treated with great care, as so much of the historical and geographical details are at best second-hand and sometimes just conjectural if not fictional. This is compounded by the fact that so many of these early writers borrowed from each other so that an early ‘fact’ that is erroneous could be transmitted unchecked for centuries if not permanently.
The seas around many of the Caribbean Islands are quite shallow indicating that during the last Ice Age the exposed land area must have been considerably larger. If Atlantis existed in this region there are many candidate locations.
An American researcher, Amy Smith, has produced a website claiming that Atlantis had been located on a now demolished landbridge linking Cuba with the Yucatan Peninsula, in the Caribbean and was destroyed at the end of the last Ice Age when the Mississippi was dramatically swollen by meltwater from the retreating glaciers and poured into the Gulf of Mexico, which was then an enclosed sea. This in turn led to the breaching of the landbridge linking Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula and the destruction of Atlantis in its vicinity. Smith has recently expanded on the events leading to the destruction of Atlantis(b).
Edgar Cayce’s followers in A.R.E. have focused their attention on the Bimini sector of the Bahamas, although Greg Little opted for a location just north of the Isle of Youth off Cuba. Andrew Collins is also convinced that Atlantis was in located near the Isle of Youth, while, more recently, Norman Frey has added his support to the same locality. Mel Fisher claimed to have found Atlantis in the vicinity of Cuba, but failed to reveal the exact location before his death. The Italian researcher, Emilio Spedicato, has chosen the nearby island of Hispaniola.
Gábor Bihari, the Hungarian researcher, submitted a paper to the 2008 Atlantis Conference outlining his view that Plato’s Alantis story was loosely based on reports of a very ancient empire in the Caribbean brought back to Europe by refugees from there after it was inundated at the end of the last Ice Age.
In December 2009, we were subjected to one of the periodic claims that Atlantis had been ‘found’, this time in the Caribbean. Poor quality images were offered as evidence of a submerged city. While it is understandable that the discoverers might be reluctant to disclose the exact location, it is more difficult to understand why they were equally unwilling to disclose their own identities. They also claimed, without evidence, that the structures predated the pyramids of Egypt. Funds are now being sought for a fully fledged expedition.
Jay/Brad Yoon offered support for a Carribean Atlantis in a short 2012 book, Atlantis Shrugged, in which he claims that a dry Caribbean Basin, 13,000 feet below sea level, was home to Atlantis, but the surrounding ring of mountains retaining the ocean was shattered by an earthquake and flooded Atlantis.
Even more startling is the wild suggestion that Antigua, one of the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands, in an hour-long YouTube video(c) may have been Atlantis. This rambling, often boring, film offers no real evidence apart from some megalithic features, the likes of which have been found around the world.
>In 2019, Eddie Weaver published a short Kindle book, The Antediluvian Signature: Atlantis . In it, he claimed that a site some miles south of Jamaica, known as Pedro Bank, was the location of Atlantis. He endeavours to support his claim with a subjective interpretation of a lot of Google Earth imagery.<