James Lewis Thomas Chalmers Spence (1874-1955) attended Edinburgh University, after which he began a career in journalism that included a stint as sub-editor of The Scotsman. His book publishing began in 1908 with the first English translation of the sacred Mayan book Popul Vuh, followed by A Dictionary of Mythology, so that eventually he had over forty works to his name. He was a keen Scottish Nationalist and stood for parliament in 1929. He was a founder member of the political movement that later evolved into today’s Scottish National Party (SNP).
Among his literary output, which included mythology, occultism and poetry, were five books relating to Atlantis[256,258,259,260 262]. In 1932 he was editor of the Atlantis Quarterly magazine. He corresponded with Percy Fawcett and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, advising the latter on the subject of Atlantis preceding the writing of The Maracot Deep and recently republished as Atlantis – Discovering the Lost City , another example of cynical publishing!
Spence at one point became the Chosen Chief of British Druidism and there is a claim that he was a member of at least one continental Rosicrucian organisation, although this report may be the result of confusion with H. Spencer Lewis, an American Rosicrucian. In 1941 he wrote about the occult and the war, then raging in Europe. In that book he argued that the war was the result of a satanic conspiracy centred in Munich and the Baltic States. The following year he wrote of his view that Atlantis had been destroyed as a form of divine retribution and that Europe was in danger of a similar fate.
His books were very popular with the general public but scorned by the scientific establishment, whom Spence mockingly referred to as “The Tape Measure School”. In truth his theories relating to Atlantis were highly speculative and often based on rather tenuous links. Spence believed that Atlantis was situated in the Atlantic and linked by a land bridge with the Yucatan Peninsula and that after the destruction of Atlantis, 13,000 years ago, the Atlantean refugees fled across this landbridge and are now recognised as the ancient Maya. A recent website(d) supports the idea of a landbridge from Cuba to the Yucatan Peninsula.
*In The Problem of Atlantis[258.205] Spence quoted a report that allegedly came from the Western Union Telegraph Company, which claimed that while searching in the Atlantic for a lost cable in 1923 that when taking soundings at the exact same spot where it had been laid twenty-five years before they found that the ocean bed had risen nearly two and a quarter miles. The account was quoted widely; however, not long afterwards, Robert B. Stacy-Judd made direct enquiries of his own to Western Union and the U.S. Navy, who denied knowledge of any such report[607.47]! It would be interesting to know the source of this ‘fake news’.*
Spence’s The History of Atlantis can now be downloaded or read online(c). In this book Spence offers his own composite translation of the Atlantis texts based on the English and French translation of Jowett, Archer-Hind, Jolibois and Negris.
A 2005 edition of the book from Barnes & Noble has an introduction by Professor Trevor Palmer.
It appears that among others Spence’s work inspired the backdrop to the a number of works by the pulp fiction writer, Robert E. Howard(e), who is perhaps best known as the creator of Conan the Barbarian.
Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg (1814-1874) was born in Bourbourg, near Dunkirk, France. He entered the priesthood and in 1845 he left for Canada and was for a short time professor of ecclesiastical history at Quebec. He worked as a missionary in Mexico and Central America where he developed an intense interest in the native South Americans and their origins. In 1859 he published a history of the Aztecs.
Hubert H. Bancroft (1832-1918), the American historian, noted[1319.125-132] that initially Brasseur was highly sceptical of the reality of Atlantis, but as his studies deepened he became an enthusiastic believer.
Brasseur de Bourbourg’s ability to track down rare manuscripts was legendary. He studied the thoroughly flawed interpretation of Mayan hieroglyphics by Bishop Diego de Landa, produced in the 16th century. He concluded that the Maya were originally from Atlantis, based on Plato’s description of Atlantean culture. This view was expressed in his 1868 book, Quatre Lettres sur le Méxique.
Brasseur also translated local languages into Roman script and perhaps his most important contribution was a French translation of the Popul Vuh, sacred book of the Quiché branch of the Maya, which was published in 1861. An English translation is now available on the Internet(a).
Nigel Davies has revealed that Brasseur, as well as Lord Kingsborough (1795-1829), concluded that the native Americans were in fact the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. This idea had been suggested by centuries earlier by Diego de Landa (1524- 1579), the Franciscan bishop of Yucatán.
Iin the mid-19th century, Brasseur proposed that Atlantis had existed on a large landmass in the Atlantic of which Hispaniola is a remnant. He believed that this vast peninsula extended to the vicinity of the Canaries. This idea was based on his own, largely incorrect, interpretation of Mayan glyphs. The American Hyde Clarke and the Guatemalan doctor Paul Felix Cabrera shared similar location theories.
Jason Colavito has pointed out that Brasseur was probably the first to suggest the possibility that some form of Pole Shift led to the destruction of Atlantis(b). This idea was published in 1873 and is available in an English translation by Colavito(c).
After what he thought was reference to a flooded land called Mu, one of his last conclusions was that Mu and Atlantis were the same and that Mu was the correct name for the flooded land. This fantasy led Augustus le Plongeon to revise this theory, suggesting that refugees from both Mu and Atlantis were the founders of the Mayan civilisation.
The Arctic Region offers evidence of human activity as long as 45,000 years ago, 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a report(f) in 2016.
Of interest to us is that Spitzbergen was proposed as the location of Atlantis by the French astronomer Jean Silvain Bailly in the 18th century. In 1885, Dr. W. F. Warren,a former president of Boston University published a bookthat proposed that the cradle of the human race was situated at the North Pole and had been inundated at the time of the Deluge. Warren’s book can now be accessed on-line(d), while a brief, but caustic, review of his theory was undertaken by Jason Colavito a few years ago(i).
Bal Gangadar Tilak, an Indian independence campaigner, was so impressed by Warren’s ideas that in his own book, Arctic Home in the Vedas , he chose to locate the lost Paradise of Airyana Vaejo in the Arctic(e). The British philosopher, J.G. Bennett was sympathetic to Tilak’s ideas and proposed their further investigation, while being more dismissive of Warren’s reasoning(j).
Modern Russian nationalism seems to have adopted some of the dafter notions of Nazi Germany including the idea of an Aryan master race, from which they claim to be descended, that was formerly located in the Arctic. It was revealed in 2016 that a former Nazi base had been discovered in the Arctic, which had been used to search for ancient artifacts(g).
Such ideas are expounded by the new darling of Russian neo-fascism, Alexander Dugin, who likes to blend nationalism with mysticism. It is rather worrying that some elements of this nationalism have also adopted anti-semitism as part of their rhetoric(b).
More recently Professor Sergey Teleguin has again drawn attention to Tilak’s work in an article which identifies elements in the Mayan Popul Vuh, which suggest that its origins were in the far north, in Ultima Thule. He concludes with the thought that perhaps the Indo-European and Mayan ancestors came from the true North Pole! Teleguin has outlined his ideas further in an article for (Nov/Dec 2013) Issue 102 of Atlantis Rising magazine.
(b) Archive 2415)
Rev. Dr. William Fairfield Warren (1833-1929) was a professor of systematic theology and first president of Boston University and a member of a number of learned societies. In 1885 he published a work in which he advanced the idea of the North Pole having held the cradle of the human race and that it was submerged in The Deluge. His book also touches on the possibility of a Pole Shift.
Warren’s book can now be accessed on-line(a) , where a review of it, is also available(b) .
Incidentally, it is recorded that a Rev. W. F. Warren presided at the wedding of ‘Wild Bill’ Hickock to Agnes Lake between 1869 and 1872!
*Jason Colavito reviewed Warren’s book over a century later, in which he also notes that the British Prime Minister and Homeric scholar, William Gladstone, already a fan of Ignatius Donnelly was supportive of some of Warren’s ideas (c).*
Bal Gangadar Tilak, an Indian independence campaigner, was so impressed by Warren’s ideas that in his own book, Arctic Home in the Vedas, he chose to locate the lost Paradise of Airyana Vaejo in the Arctic.
More recently, Professor Sergey Teleguin has again drawn attention to Tilak’s work that identifies elements in the Mayan Popul Vuh that suggest that its origins were in the far north, in Ultima Thule. He concludes with the thought that perhaps the Indo-European and Mayan ancestors came from the true North Pole. Teleguin’s article although originally in Russian, was published, in Spanish, on an Argentinian website.
Teleguin has written more extensively on a possible Arctic origin for civilisation in his 2011 book, Hyperborea – The Sacred Birthplace of Humanity: Scientific Reference Book (Russian).