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 of 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 thousand 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 wrote since there are not any other testimonies from ancient authors. All the other dialogues have left traces in ancient literature.”
>Flambas has produced a trilogy of videos to augment his book. Part 1 is now available on the academia.edu website(c).<
Thomas J. Krupa (1930- ) is the author of Biblical Flood, Noah’s Ark and the Star of David  , in which he makes a number of startling claims. The book begins with an attack on the theory of plate tectonics. He then moves on to the opening of Drake Passage(a), conventionally considered to have taken place around 40 million years, but dated by Krupa to just 29,000 years ago, eventually leading to the ending of the Ice Age.
He also proposes the existence of an isthmus or landbridge between Sicily and North Africa and that the limestone structure was weakened by the rising Atlantic and rain erosion and finally fractured by an earthquake, which led to the flooding of the Black Sea and further afield. He then contends that a backwash from this flooding created the Strait of Messina.
He believes that this Sicilian isthmus “is a stronger contender for the location of Atlantis than every other place that I am aware of.”
Krupa then moves on to discuss Noah’s* Ark, which he claims had a keel shaped like the Star of David and furthermore that the ‘Star’ was incorporated in the design of Stonehenge! Coincidentally, Robert John Langdon has also linked the hexagram or Star of David with the layout of Stonehenge(b).
Advancing to even more contentious matters he maintains that the Kaaba in Mecca is intended as a replica of the Ark and to crown it all that Alexander the Great is buried within the Kaaba!!!
The Expanding Earth Hypothesis.
For thousands of years, it was accepted that the surface of the earth was in a static state. This belief persisted until the discovery of America in 1492 and the cartographic improvements during the following century before Abraham Ortelius in his 1596 Thesaurus Geographicus proposed that the Americas had once been joined to Europe and Africa. It is often claimed that in 1620 Francis Bacon commented on the close fit of eastern South America with the west coast of Africa, however, this, according to G.L. Herries Davies, is an exaggerated interpretation of what he actually said(o).
A number of others concurred with the jig-saw suggestion until 1858 when the French geographer Antonio Snider-Pellegrini offered a theory of crustal movement that was more fully developed in 1912 by Alfred Wegener, which he came to label ‘continental drift’(e). Snider-Pellegrini also thought that the Earth had been much smaller at the time of the biblical Genesis(ac)! The big objection to the theory was a lack of a convincing mechanism to explain it(f).
A number of writers have attempted to bring the theory of Continental Drift (CD) into the Atlantis debate. They seem to overlook the fact CD was proposed as a very very slow process, while Plato describes the demise of Atlantis as occurring in a single day and a night.
Wegener’s theory was debated until the late 1950’s when it morphed into the theory of Plate Tectonics (PT) following new developments in earth sciences in particular the recognition of seafloor spreading at mid-ocean ridges. However, PT as we know it demands subduction(z), which in itself has created new problems(aa)(ab).
The theory divides the lithosphere into a number of plates that are constantly moving in various directions at rates of a few centimetres a year. Competing with PT in the early years was the theory of Earth Crustal Displacement advocated by Charles Hapgood which claims that the entire crust of the earth moved as a unit. Endorsed by Albert Einstein it is fundamental to the theory of an Antarctic location for Atlantis proposed by Rose & Rand Flem-Ath.
Unfortunately, Plate Tectonics does not explain everything and ever since it gained the pre-eminence it currently enjoys, various writers have questioned what they perceive as its shortcomings(g)(h)(i).
A totally different proposal is that the earth is expanding. Although the concept did not get much attention until the 1980’s there are antecedents stretching back to 1888(a), when the earliest suggestion was made by the Russian, Ivan Yarkovsky (1844-1902). A year later the Italian geologist (and violinist) Roberto Montovani (1854-1933) proposed(I) a similar mechanism. In 1933, Ott Christoph
Hilgenberg(t) published Vom wachsenden Erdbal (The Expanding Earth) .
In 1963, a Russian lady, Kamilla Abaturova, wrote to Egerton Sykes expressing the view that although her theory of an expanding Earth involved a ‘slow’ process, she proposed that at the time of Atlantis’ the radius of the Earth was 600 km shorter(af). In geological terms, this is far from ‘slow’!
The leading proponent of the theory today is arguably the, now retired, geologist Dr James Maxlow(b). A detailed outline of the theory is also offered on his website(c). For laymen like myself, a series of YouTube clips(d) are probably more informative. I have stated elsewhere that I am sympathetic towards the idea of earth expansion finding it somewhat more credible than plate tectonics. The truth of the matter is that since Ortelius first suggested that the continents of our planet had moved, all that has emerged since is a refinement of that basic idea leading to CD which became PT and as the latter still does not answer all the questions it raises, it is clear that further modification will be required.> In December 2021, Maxlow published an overview of his current thinking on Expansion Tectonics(ag).<
The Expanding Earth Hypothesis may, as its proponents claim, supply all those answers. Others do not think so, which brings me to J. Marvin Herndon who has ‘married’ the theory of an expanding earth with the idea of crustal plates(j) , naming his 2005 concept Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics (WEDD).
The Thunderbolts.info website has a three-part article seeking to offer “an alternative to plate and extension tectonics”. The anonymous author suggests that an electrical element is involved in the development of our planet. An extensive look at mountain building is also included(y).
Keith Wilson, an American researcher, has also developed a website(k) devoted to the EEH and linking it to Pole Shift. However, he goes further and introduces Mayan prophecies into the subject, which in my view is unwise in the light of recent events or rather non-events!
In the meanwhile, a number of Atlantis researchers have endorsed the EEH including, Stan Deyo, Georg Lohle and Rosario Vieni. Nicolai Zhirov referred to the growing support both in Russia and elsewhere for the EEH citing a number of its supporters, adding that “the idea of the Earth expanding (within reasonable limits) cannot be ruled out altogether as absurd.”[458.126]
A number of websites have dismissed the EEH as pseudoscience, which is confirmed by satellite measurements.(m)(n).
There is also a variation of the standard expansion theory which proposes(q) that expansion may have occurred in fits and starts. There also seems to be evidence that the Earth is not alone with Venus expanding(r) and Mercury contracting(s).
Another matter that may be related to the claim of an expanding Earth is the question of the size of dinosaurs and other creatures and plants millions of years ago, which is claimed to have been impossible if gravity then was the same as today. A book by Stephen Hurrell has expanded on this idea. There is an interesting website(p) that deals with the enormous size of the dinosaurs as well as other creatures at the same period and the support it may offer the EEH.
Neal Adams, a respected graphic artist(u), is a vocal supporter of the EEH(v), but, he has gone further and has also proposed a growing Moon as well(w). Not content with that, he has extended his expansion investigations to other bodies in our Solar System, such as, Mars, Ganymede & Europa(x). Adams considers the term “Expanding Earth” a misnomer and has named his proposed expansion process ‘pair production’.(ad)
A December 2018 paper by Degezelle Marvin offers some new support for the EEH(ae). The author includes an interesting comparison of the problems of the currently accepted paradigm of plate tectonics with possible solutions offered by EEH. The author concludes with;
“The problems with plate tectonics were presented in this paper. Earth scientists dogmatically follow the plate tectonics theory that is falsified by geological data while Earth expansion is clearly a viable candidate to replace plate tectonics. Analysis map of the age of the oceanic lithosphere showed that the isochrons only ft on a smaller Earth with a calculated radius. Mountain formation has even been presented as a logical result of the Earth’s expansion. The average rate of the growth of the Earth’s radius is 1.22cm/year, obtained by geological methods.”
Finally, I cannot help thinking about those Victorians who thought that they had reached the pinnacle of scientific understanding. They were wrong and, I believe, that so are we, although we are slowly, very slowly, edging towards the truth, which may or may not involve the vindication of the Expanding Earth Hypothesis.
(y) https://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16534 (link broken Oct. 2019) See: https://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-3326/
(af) Atlantis, Volume 16, No. 1, February 1963.
Rosario Vieni (1941- ) is an Italian Professor of History who was born in Messina, Sicily and currently lives in Pistoia in Northern Italy. He has studied the Phaistos Disk and published a calendrical interpretation of that artefact(e)(f).
Vieni also presented a paper(a) to the 2005 Atlantis Conference on Melos entitled “11,500 years ago….” He proposes that prior to the ending of the last Ice Age; the Mediterranean was 150-200 metres lower than at present. He also suggests that the Strait of Messina was closed and that a landmass extended south to encompass the Maltese Islands.
Consequently, Vieni opted for a then narrower Strait of Sicily as the location for the Pillars of Heracles and provided strong documentary evidence for this view.
He was greatly annoyed that Sergio Frau has claimed to have been the first to make this assertion a couple of years after he did(g). Which explains why, when Vieni subsequently published his theories in book form in 2011, he entitled it Atlantide e le Colonne d’Ercole (Atlantis and the Pillars of Hercules).
Although Vieni does not opt for any particular location for Atlantis, the focus of his paper is on the matching of Plato’s description with the Central Mediterranean. The title of his 2005 paper clearly indicates his support for the very early date for Plato’s Atlantis.
Not content with the Atlantis controversy, Vieni ventured into even more heretical territory when he indicated support for the Expanding Earth Hypothesis. James Maxlow, a leading proponent of this theory claims that the concept, sometimes referred to as Earth Expansion Tectonics, explains all existing physical geological data better than Plate Tectonics(b).
Obviously Vieni came to realise that Plato’s mention of 9,000 years could not be taken as a reference to solar years and therefore to suggest that Atlantis was destroyed 11,500 years ago was no longer tenable. Consequently, when he addressed the 2008 Atlantis Conference he revised the title of his paper to “about 5,600 years ago….” in which he offered strong arguments in support of the idea that when Plato wrote of 9,000 years he was referring to ‘seasons’ of which there were three in the Egyptian solar year. This idea is not new having been suggested by the naturalist C. S. Rafinesque in 1836, referring to even earlier sources[896.231]. These included Giovanni Carli who dated Atlantis at 3890 BC.
He also suggests volcanic activity as the probable cause of Atlantis’ demise, pointing to the ongoing volcanic activity in the Central Mediterranean. A website dealing briefly with this region’s volcanology is worth a visit(c) as well as the Wikipedia article on Italian volcanoes(d).
>(a) See: Archive 3424
(f) http://www.antikitera.net/articoli.asp?ID=85 (Italian)
(g) http://www.antikitera.net/articoli.asp?ID=28 (Italian)<
Antonio Snider–Pellegrini (1802-1885), was a French geographer, who, in 1858, offered a theory(a) that has been seen as a precursor to that of Alfred Wegner’s concept of Continental Drift, which developed into today’s widely accepted model of plate tectonics. It also appears that he,>along with Roberto Montovani(c),<thought that the Earth had been much smaller at the time of the biblical Genesis(c), anticipating the Expanding Earth Hypothesis!
>Snider-Pellegrini published his theories in La Création et ses mystères dévoilés, where he is credited with creating the first representation of the Americas joined to Europe and Africa. This is shown below with the ‘before’ image marked ‘Atlantide’ where Brazil is.<
However, it is claimed that as early as 1620, Francis Bacon was one of the first to note the close fit between eastern South America and the west coast of Africa. Half a century ago, this attribution was heavily criticised by G. L. Herries Davies(b), who claimed that the idea came from a ”careless reading of the text.”
Snider-Pellegrini also added the suggestion that Brazil had been the location of Atlantis.
Sceptics regarding the existence of Atlantis have been around since the time of Plato. The first such critic was assumed to be Aristotle, a pupil of Plato’s, who apparently denounced the Atlantis tale as an invention. However, this presumed scepticism of Aristotle has now been seriously challenged by Thorwald C. Franke in a 2012 book, Aristotle and Atlantis specifically dealing with the subject. Nevertheless, Aristotle does record the existence of a large island in the Atlantic known to the Phoenicians as Antilia, inadvertently supporting Plato’s story(i).
Franke has recently outlined the extensive support for the existence of Atlantis from the earliest times in his recent German-language book. He has followed that with a YouTube video(j) in which he relates how scepticism became more extensive in the 19th century.
>Sprague deCamp was probably the most quoted Atlantis sceptic of the second half of the 20th century. He offered the blunt declaration that Plato concocted the whole story, basing the tale on a mixture of the wealth of Tartessos in Spain, and the destruction of the Greek island of Atalanta all intermingled with the mythology of Atlas.
One of deCamp’s most quoted extracts is that “you cannot change all the details of Plato’s story and still claim to have Plato’s story.” While I fully endorse this comment, I must point out that there is a difference between changing and interpreting details. For example, when Plato refers to Asia or Libya, even deCamp accepted that in Plato’s day ‘Asia’ was not the landmass we know, stretching from the Urals to Japan, but interpreted Plato’s ‘Asia’ as a reference to a much smaller territory [0194.27].<
Many modern commentators believe that in the interests of dramatic effect Plato heavily embellished the core truth underlying the story, namely that of an ancient submerged civilisation.
A claim frequently put forward by sceptics was echoed by Ian Alex Blaise, who wrote(l) that “we can summarise the ‘Timaeus and Critias’ as a parable of good (ancient Athens) triumphing over evil (Atlantis).” This, however, would appear to run counter to Plato’s narrative that records that both vanquished and victorious armies were destroyed!
Another critic, Joe Garcia, offers a paper attacking both the Minoan and Spanish location theories(m).
However, when we consider modern sceptics we find that they have been provided with unlimited ammunition by the poor scholarship of many Atlantis supporters and the outright ravings of the likes of Blavatsky, Steiner, Cayce, and a profusion of other authors, who claim to have channelled information regarding Atlantis.
Edwin Ramage, in his essay on Atlantis, makes the interesting comment that “believers tend to overshadow the sceptics for the simple reason that a positive theory, whether it is simple or elaborate, tends to be more attractive and to make better reading than any attempt at refutation, no matter how well taken it may be.” This is probably akin to referenda questions being framed by governments in a manner that favours a Yes vote that will provide the outcome that they want. This is because most people prefer to say Yes rather than No.
However, if the Atlantis narrative has any truth in it, the legitimate criticisms of sceptics must be given due consideration. One such sceptic is Paul Jordan who has produced a highly critical work on the subject. Jason Colavito is another vocal non-believer and has written a considerable amount on the subject(d). Several other websites(b)(c)(e) can also be recommended, in particular, a seven-part offering by Pat Linse(b).
I recently came across a sceptic review of Atlantis theories by Justin Spring which I thought contained some novel views and although I totally disagree with his conclusions, I feel it should be given a reading(g).
While I expect that few sceptics will be reading this entry, I would recommend to anyone a paper by Karla Mclaren, a former New Age ‘believer’ who developed into a sceptic(f).
A 2015 survey by the Chapman University of California was repeated in 2016, which suggested that nearly 40% of Americans believe that an advanced prehistoric civilisation, such as Atlantis, existed, causing consternation among sceptics(h). Why they found it so depressing is hard to understand since popular belief is no guarantee that it is supported by reality. After all, it was once commonly thought that the sun revolved around the earth!
There are times when I regret that I have not had a university education and then along comes a qualified academic who manages to remove any such feeling. One of those is Seth Stein, a professor at Northwestern University, who specialises in plate tectonics, who was reported in early 2018(k) to have proposed that “one of the strongest reasons to dispel Atlantis as a true ancient civilization is the fact that we haven’t found it.” This asinine comment shows a total abandonment of critical thinking because he seems to think that because something has not been found, proves that it does not exist. For example, before Heinrich Schliemann, Troy did exist but had yet to be located. Professor Stein’s stupid statement is also built on a flawed understanding of what Plato said or more correctly, did not say. Plato never described Atlantis as a continent, as assumed by Stein and it can be reasonably argued that our Atlantic Ocean where he sought Atlantis was not the Atlantic ‘Sea’ referred to by Plato. I suggest that Stein sticks to earth sciences and leave Atlantis to others.
In October 2021, Franke published an essay on what he calls the ‘dark side’ of Atlantis scepticism, which offers an interesting overview of anti-Platonism since the time of the philosopher(n).
(i) Strabo, II, 102 and XII, 598. Cf. Proclus In Timaeum 61a (Diehl I, p. 197).
(l) https://www.oocities.org/debunkinglc/atlantis.html (link broken)
Doug Fisher is the author of a long-awaited book with the intended title of The Atlantis Maps: The Rise of Atlantis and the Fall of a Paradigm in which he identifies Atlantis as North and South America with the Plain described by Plato being the region of Mesopotamia, in northeast Argentina. The book was eventually published in 2018 as Maps, Myths and Paradigms  with details of its contents listed on his website.(c) Four chapters had been available online(a) together with a few additional articles.
Fisher has published an illustrated paper on Graham Hancock’s website with the self-explanatory title of The Walls of Atlantis(b). His suggestion of a huge outer wall encircling the city of Atlantis has been disputed by Jim Allen, provoking further comments(c) from Fisher.
He has also criticised the methodology, which Allen used to place Atlantis on the Altiplano(d), while I question the credibility of both their theories.
When Fisher’s book was finished and due for publication with its new title, he closed his old website and prepared a new site(e) to coincide with the publication of the book.
Fisher has published two other papers(f) on Hancock’s website relating to the maps of Johannes Schöner and Oronteus Finaeus.>In October 2022 he published another paper on the same site challenging the currently accepted theory of plate tectonics highlighting weaknesses in the concept and proposing a fresh look at the expanding earth hypothesis.<
(a) See: Archive 2865 (no images)
(c) http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread646457/pg2 (halfway down the page)
The Atlantic Ocean as defined by modern geography stretches between the Poles and is bounded on the west by the Americas and on the east by Europe and Africa. The word ocean is taken from the Greek ‘Okeanos’ which in turn has been suggested to have a Phoenician origin. Okeanos or ‘ocean river’ is first mentioned in Homer’s Iliad, a term that was employed by many ancient writers to refer to an ocean that they believed encircled the then-known world.
It seems that ‘Atlantic sea’ was a term first used by the poet Stesichorus (630-555 BC)(h), about two hundred years before Timaeus was composed by Plato and coinciding with the time of Solon’s famous visit to Egypt, to describe the seas beyond the Pillars of Heracles (Histories I. 202). If this is correct, then we must ask what term was used prior to Herodotus? If it was Okeanos, what body of water, if any, did the term ‘Atlantic’ apply to at the earlier period?. There have been suggestions that the word referred to the western Mediterranean.
Jacques R. Pauwels in his Beneath the Dust of Time maintains that contrary to popular belief “The Atlantic Ocean does not owe its name to these mountains, as we are often told; on the contrary, they received the name Atlas because they were situated near the Ocean and, like the Okeanos, conjured up the end of the (inhabited) world, the Oikoumene, and separated the earth from the heavens.”
George Sarantitis has proposed that the term used by Plato, Atlantikos Pelagos, can be more legitimately interpreted as ‘Atlantean archipelago’!(d)
However, some researchers, such as Alberto Arecchi(f), have asserted that the name was given to a very large inland sea in what is now North Africa bound by the Atlas Mountains. Jean Gattefosse was a leading exponent of this during the first half of the 20th century.Sarantitis has expanded on this idea, proposing(c) a vast network of huge inland lakes and waterways in what is now the Sahara, which has, in his view, allows a more acceptable interpretation of Hanno’s voyage. Others such as Diodorus (3.38), as late as the 3rd century BC, used the term ‘Atlantic’ to describe the Indian Ocean. It is quite clear that ancient geographical names did not always have the same meanings that they do today.
The confusion does not end there as some ancient writers have identified the Strait of Sicily as the location of the Pillars of Heracles and the waters of the Western Mediterranean as the Atlantic, with some identifying Tyrrhenia as being in the Atlantic.
Most important of all are the comments of Plato himself who refers to the Atlantic in Timaeus (24e) when Atlantis existed noting that ‘in those days the Atlantic was navigable’, implying that in his own time it was not. Consequently, he could not have been referring to the body of water that we know today as the Atlantic. Furthermore, Aristotle seemed to echo Plato when he wrote(e) that “outside the pillars of Heracles the sea is shallow owing to the mud, but calm, for it lies in a hollow.” This is not a description of the Atlantic that we know, which is not shallow, calm or lying in a hollow and which he also refers to as a sea not an ocean. So, what sea was he referring to?
Since other seas have been called Atlantic, we are therefore forced to consider possible alternatives that are also compatible with the other known features of Atlantis. The three leading candidates are
(i) the Western Mediterranean,
(ii) the Tyrrhenian Sea (which is part of the Western Mediterranean) and
(iii) the inland sea in North Africa, sometimes referred to as Lake Tritonis, favoured by Arecchi, Sarantitis and others.
I am personally inclined towards the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Pliny the Elder writing in the first century AD mentions a number of islands in what we now accept as the Atlantic Ocean. These include the Cassiterides (Britain), the Fortunate Isles (the Canaries), the Hesperides, the Gorgades and an island ‘off Mount Atlas’ named Atlantis. Understandably, Pliny’s comments have led to extensive controversy, particularly the identification of the island off Mount Atlas.
In fact, there is even some dispute about the location of the Mount Atlas in question, as there were a number of peaks known by that name in ancient times. Richard Hennig is cited by Zhirov[458.58] as describing the ‘utter confusion’ among ancient authors regarding the location of Mount Atlas.
Ignatius Donnelly was convinced that Atlantis had been situated in the Atlantic opposite the entrance to the Mediterranean. His theories predominated for over half a century and are still popular today. The late Gerry Forster, a British writer, has a 50-page paper supporting Donnelly’s contention posted on his website entitled The Lost Continent Rediscovered(a).
In order to add scientific credibility to Donnelly’s views the discovery of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge was offered as confirmation of the existence of Atlantis as parts of the ‘ridge’ would have been exposed when ocean levels were hundreds of feet lower during the last Ice Age. Today, the Canaries and the Azores are just remnants of what were once larger landmasses.
When Alfred Wegener advanced the theory of Continental Drift, later replaced by that of Plate Tectonics, was first presented, some atlantologists assumed that a mechanism for the disappearance of Atlantis in the Atlantic had been found. However, when the slow rate of movement was fully realised, the theory also sank as an explanation for the demise of Atlantis.
In April 2009 the media burst into one of its occasional ‘Atlantis found’ phases, when it was reported that evidence of an underwater city had been identified 600 miles west of the Canary Islands using Google Earth. The co-ordinates were given as 31 15’15.53N and 24 15’30.53W.
The site appeared to show a grid-like street system, which was estimated to be the size of Wales – a highly improbable, if not impossible size for a Bronze Age city. Apart from which, what appeared to be ‘streets’ would have been kilometers in width. Google responded with the following explanatory statement:
“what users are seeing is an artifact of the data collection process. Bathymetric (sea-floor) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea-floor. The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data.” It did not take long before one commentator suggested that this statement was a cover-up.
By early February 2012 Google had corrected what they called ‘blunders’ contained in the original data, which in turn removed the anomalous image(b). No doubt conspiracy theorists will have their appetites whetted by this development.
Nine years later, on April 3, 2018(g), the UK’s Express regurgitated the same story!
As usual, people will believe what they want to believe.
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 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 has 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 moon-like than earth-like.
Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) was a Flemish cartographer who produced the first modern atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, which at the time was reputed to have been the most expensive book ever printed.
It is interesting that he included the mythical island of Hi-Brasil (Brasil) off the coast of Ireland as well as the equally mysterious Frisland (Frieslant). Both can be clearly seen on his map using the link below(a).
In 1596 Ortelius was struck by the possibility that America, Europe and Africa had at one time been joined together but had over time become separated, an idea expressed in his Thesaurus Geographicus. Ortelius also included a speculative southern landmass, Terra Australis, which he designated as a “land of parrots”.
In 1597, Ortelius was the first to map(d) the travels of Homer’s Odysseus, notably locating all his adventures in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean, which was probably just a reflection of the limits of Greek maritime knowledge at the time that the narrative originated!
Ortelius suggested that Atlantis had been located in North America but that they had separated in the very distant past! Before modern theories of Continental Drift and its successor, Plate Tectonics, the idea of landbridges between continents was popular as an explanation for the spread of animals and people around the world. Some suggested as an alternative, the existence of lost continents such as Atlantis in the Atlantic, which acted as a stepping-stone between the continents(c).
A purpose-built polar exploration ship, m.v. Ortelius, was named after the geographer.
(b) https://atlantismaps.com/chapter_7.html (link broken Oct. 2018) New website in development. (https://www.copheetheory.com/)