David Winder is the author of Mysterien der Bronzezeit (Mysteries of the Bronze Age) . He is in some agreement with the Atlantis theories of Paul Borchardt, Albert Herrmann and Ulrich Hofmann, who all placed Atlantis in the northwest region of Africa. However, Winder’s views are somewhat tainted by an over-dependence on the possibly dubious Oera Linda Book.
The atlantisforschung.de website offers a critical review of Winder’s book that ends up looking into the murky waters of racism. Atlantisforschung ends up describing Winder’s offering as ‘Just Disgusting’!(a)
>However, I note that Winder was subsequently invited to write a paper for Atlantisforschung, outlining his theories! Regarding the location of Atlantis, he insists that “It should now be clear to everyone that this can only be the Chott el Djerid(b).<
(b) Atlantis: Vom Mythos zur Realität – Atlantisforschung.de (German) *
Marco M. Vigato is an Italian researcher based in Mexico City with a passionate interest in the ruins of ancient civilisations around the world.
In 2021, he involved himself in the long-running debate regarding whether Khufu was responsible for the building of Giza’s Great Pyramid. Following a ten-point argument supporting Khufu as the builder of the GP by Matt Sibson, whom we’ve met before in these pages, Vigato responded by producing a list of fifteen reasons why Khufu was NOT the builder of the GP(a).
In January 2022, Vigato had his new book, The Empires of Atlantis  published, in which he offers a hyperdiffusionist view of Atlantis. He “traces the course of Atlantean civilization through its three empires, as well as the colonies and outposts formed by its survivors in Egypt, Göbekli Tepe, India, Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean, and North and South America” and “reveals how the first Atlantean civilization lasted from 432,000 to 33,335 BCE, the second one from 21,142 to 10,961 BCE, and the third Atlantis civilization–the one celebrated by Plato–collapsed in 9600 BCE, after the Younger Dryas cataclysm.”(b).
I always thought, that if you are going to speculate – speculate big. Vigato has certainly done so.
Jason Colavito has produced a lengthy critique of the book and to say the least of it, he offers a withering review of ‘Empires’(c) and its author. He denounces Vigato’s thesis as fundamentally flawed noting that “?Vigato’s exploration of Atlantis hits all the usual notes, but he claims to have a radically different idea about how to prove the reality of Atlantis; namely, to absolve himself of the need for scientific evidence. “This is a nonconventional book that combines two radically different approaches: that of modern science and that of the Western esoteric tradition. The product is an entirely new picture of the true origins of civilization.” When material evidence fails, he gives himself permission to suggest esoteric and occult explanations, thus removing the argument from the realm of the provable.” For good measure, Colavito also throws in an accusation of racism.
Another harsh critique has come from Carl Feagans, an enthusiastic Atlantis sceptic who ended with “Vigato began his book with a conclusion. He tried to support that conclusion with pseudoscientific and fictional accounts he apparently gathered for 15 years.”(d)
>Vigato was chosen as Author of the Month for April 2022 on Graham Hancock’s website. His article(e) offers a synopsis of the main themes of his book. My principal gripe is with his proposed early date for the demise of Atlantis at 9500 BCE. Although this date is supported by a number of commentators, none have explained how Atlantis at that early period could have launched an attack on Athens and/or Egypt that did not even exist as functioning societies at that time or for some millennia afterwards.<
Josiah Priest (1788-1851) was a well-known American non-fiction writer of the early 19th century. Much of what he wrote is considered pseudo-scientific. Today he is probably best known for his racism and particularly his fundamentalist use of the Bible to justify slavery.
In his 1835 book American Antiquities+ he refers a number of times to ‘Atalantis’, a spelling variant frequently used at that time. Apart from Plato, Priest also believed that the philosopher Euclid of Megara (435-365 BC) alluded to Atlantis when in a conversation with Anacharsis, the Scythian philosopher, about the ‘convulsions of the globe’ he spoke of the catastrophic separation of Sicily from Italy, Euboea from Boetia “and a number of other islands from the continent of Europe.” Similarly, in the Atlantic, “there existed, according to ancient traditions, an island as large as Africa, which, with all its wretched inhabitants was swallowed up by an earthquake.”
Priest then refers to Euclid again [p.83] claiming that “here, then, is another witness, besides Solon, who lived 300 years before the time of Euclid, who testifies to the past existence of the island of Atalantis.”
Priest clearly considered Atlantis to have been a large island in the Atlantic that provided a stepping-stone to the Americas. “This occurrence, if the tradition be true, happened about twelve hundred years before Christ, three hundred years before the time of Job, and seven hundred and fifty years after the flood. At the period, therefore, of the existence of this island, a land passage to America, from Europe and Africa, was practicable; also by other islands, some of which are still s This occurrence, if the tradition be true, happened about twelve hundred years before Christ, three hundred years before the time of Job, and seven hundred and fifty years after the flood. At the period, therefore, of the existence of this island, a land passage to America, from Europe and Africa, was practicable ; also by other islands, some of which are still situated in the same direction—the Azores, Madeiras, and TenerifTe islands, about twenty in number.”[p.82]
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) was a follower of Madame Blavatsky and rose to become head of the German Theosophists. However, in 1913, he developed his own brand of Theosophy, which he called Anthroposophy. This movement was based on the idea that the human intellect has the ability to contact spirit worlds. He designed and built a temple, the Goetheanum, for his burgeoning movement. The Goetheanum was burned down by people assumed to have been Nazis.
Steiner, who was born in Austria, was a keen supporter of the pan-German cause and consorted with known racists, although he was not overtly racist himself. However, Waldorf schools initially founded by Steiner in the 1920’s are still operating today in the United States and Europe and are still dogged by accusations of racism(b). A colouring book designed for young Waldorf pupils, based on Steiner’s writings, can be viewed online(a). It includes Atlantean flying machines and power sources. His strange cosmology included a flat Earth and his medical advice was equally weird(d).
Steiner, with the aid of ‘spirit guides’, has offered some bizarre descriptions of Atlantis, which he claimed gradually sank in the>western Atlantic around 10,000 BC, citing Scott-Elliot as a source. Steiner clearly identified the eastern portions of both the Americas as formerly Atlantean territory and in a lecture advised that “If one wished to find remnants of Atlantis, one could dig down beneath Montreal, Tennessee, or Brazil instead of the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.” (e)<
A large amount of Steiner’s work is now available in pdf format(c).
(a) https://www.openwaldorf.com/atlantis.pdf (offline Feb.2018)
Graham Hancock the well-known investigator of prehistoric mysteries has never discussed the Atlantis enigma in depth. In fact, he once remarked on BBC Television that he avoids using the word ‘Atlantis’ in his books “because most people when they hear the word Atlantis immediately think that they’re dealing with the lunatic fringe”.
Furthermore, he emphasises the potential value of myths as transmitters of historical facts, albeit distorted.
In his 1995 tome on civilisations submerged at the end of the last Ice Age, Fingerprints of the Gods [275.462] he briefly discusses the subject of Atlantis. He accepted that the Atlantic was not harbouring any lost continent, although he was seeking a continental-sized home for his vanished civilisation. Paul Heinrich has posted a review(v) of ‘Fingerprints’.
Similarly, in his earlier work, The Sign and the Seal [678.319], Hancock had clearly discounted the Atlantic as the home of Atlantis. At this point, he appeared to be considering the Antarctic location proposed by the Flem-Aths.
His book, Underworld  was published in 2002 and was followed by a TV programme, Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age, which was based on it. The latter evoked a highly critical review(s) from N.C. Flemming, who has written widely on maritime matters including sea-level changes and sunken cities . Hancock wrote an equally strong response(r) to this.
Hancock maintains an interesting website(a) that is regularly updated with contributions from a wide range of contributors. His bestselling Fingerprints of the Gods is now available online(b).
The other side of the coin is that Hancock’s evidence supporting his theories has been heavily criticised as flawed(g) and misleadingly presented(h).
Hancock “ regularly draws attention to what he considers mystical relationships between the Great Pyramid of Giza and the radius, circumference, and axial precession of the earth…….. Proponents of these “mystical” relationships contend, in addition to existing in the first place, that the relationships must be purposeful and therefore provide direct evidence of advanced capabilities in technology, mathematics, and precise astronomical observing techniques that scholars have long asserted were not available to humans when the pyramids were constructed.” These are among the opening remarks by Thomas W. Schroeder, who published two papers in 2019 criticising Hancock’s scholarship.(y-z)
Further criticism of his scholarship has come from Garrett Fagan, particularly in relation to his comments regarding Antarctica.(aa)
Jason Colavito has written(c) a critical review of Hancock’s work and his recent advocacy “for ayahuasca, a South American hallucinogen. Since taking the drug for his 2005 book Supernatural, Hancock has supported the concept that mind-altering substances give their users access to a spirit world where one can commune directly with the ‘gods’.”
In April 2015, Hancock was due to engage in a debate with Zahi Hawass on the subject of their conflicting views of ancient history. However, when Hawass saw that Hancock included an image of Robert Bauval in his presentation, he refused to continue with the arranged format(d)(t).
In September 2015, Hancock published his, Magicians of the Gods , which worryingly sounds like a von Däniken book title! Already, he is trailing this publication with teasers, such as a claim that he has finally identified the ‘smoking gun’ that demonstrates that a cometary impact destroyed an advanced civilisation in the Antarctic 12,800 years ago(e) Shortly after the initial report was published, Hancock had to correct errors in it(f), the principal one being that the impact site was the North American ice cap NOT Antarctica. An interview with Hancock shortly before the publication of ‘Magicians’(n) is online as is also a review of the book itself(o). A full-length video lecture based on the book is available online(x).
Hancock also climbed aboard the Gobekli Tepe bandwagon, incorporating it along with Noah’s Ark and Atlantis into one narrative(p).
Hancock’s book also engages in scaremongering, with a sales-boosting prediction that an asteroid impact is possible in 2030 when the Earth once again enters the orbit of the remains of Encke’s Comet!
Jason Colavito’s critical review of ‘Magicians‘ is now online(j). A more favourable evaluation of his book is now available from Dr Jon Epstein of Greensboro College, who expresses some interesting views on the closed-mindedness of many academics(k). Epstein’s review prompted further comments from Colavito(l). Following correspondence between Epstein and Colavito, additional claims of academic conspiracy to block Hancock have emerged.
Michael Shermer, a professional sceptic, attacked Hancock’s ‘Magicians’ in a Scientific American article arguing first of all that, “no matter how devastating an extraterrestrial impact might be, are we to believe that after centuries of flourishing, every last tool, potsherd, article of clothing, and, presumably from an advanced civilization, writing, metallurgy and other technologies—not to mention trash—was erased? Inconceivable.” (ab)
Hancock recently received the endorsement of the South African Professor of Philosophy, Bert Olivier, which swiftly produced a response from Colavito(q).
Hancock’s next book, America Before, published in April 2019, proposes that North America was inhabited 130,000 years ago and was home to an advanced civilisation that was destroyed by a cometary impact at the end of the Younger Dryas period, around 10,000 BC. The fact that this is contradicted by Plato does not seem to bother him. Hancock proposed cometary impact damage as the cause of Atlantis’ demise, Plato says flooding. I would prefer Plato’s account as he was nearly two and a half millennia nearer the event. Hancock claims that Atlantean survivors spread their alleged high-tech civilisation around the world. Plato does not describe Atlantis as any more advanced than any other culture. Hancock offers no tangible evidence for his claim.
When asked what he meant by ‘advanced’ Hancock revealed(u) that “I think we’re talking about a civilization – more than 12,000 years ago – which was as advanced as our civilization was, say in the late 18th century or early 19th century. In other words, they could navigate the world, they could explore the world, they could measure the world accurately, they had precise astronomy, they could create beautiful maps that were accurate in terms of latitude and longitude. That kind of level of civilization.”
In late 2022, Hancock had a TV series entitled Ancient Apocalypse transmitted on Netflix. It was, of course, joyously greeted by his fans, but received more muted reviews in other quarters(ad). Not unexpectedly Jason Colavito(af) and Thorwald C. Franke (Newsletter 206)(ae). Murdoch’s The Sun tabloids offered a voice(ac) for the cries of protest from academics. It appears that the series has been used as a multi-episode aggressive rant against conventional archaeology. Perhaps it was just the ayahuasca speaking.
In response, this week (Dec.2, 2022), the Society for American Archaeology published an open letter(ah) to Netflix and the television production house ITN requesting that they re-classify its new series Ancient Apocalypse as a work of fiction rather than a docuseries(ag).
The uproar over the Hancock-Netflix series continues unabated with Colavito offering the following addition to his website(ai) and a longer piece on The New Republic website(aj); “It has also sparked unparalleled outrage from archaeologists and journalists, resulting in dozens of think pieces decrying the show’s many false claims and illogical arguments, analyzing its racist implications, and declaring the series everything from “fishy” to the “most dangerous” show on Netflix. “Why has this been allowed?” asked Britain’s The Guardian. The answer to that seemed pretty obvious: Hancock’s son, Sean Hancock, is Netflix’s senior manager for unscripted originals.”
>The Guardian newspaper (UK) took another perceived aspect of the series to accuse “Hancock – who describes himself as a journalist presumably to avoid being called a pseudo-scientist” – of taking “the story to a new controversial level in suggesting that survivors of such a deluge were the instigators of the great works of other civilisations, from Egypt to Mexico and Turkey to Indonesia. As (Flint) Dibble states, such claims reinforce white supremacist ideas. ‘They strip indigenous people of their rich heritage and instead give credit to aliens or white people.’ In short, the series promotes ideas of ‘race science’ that are outdated and long since debunked.”(ak).<
(o) Archive 2904
Leo Frobenius (1873-1938), was a German ethnologist and a leading authority on prehistoric art. He travelled extensively in West Africa and published many books on the cultures of the region. He placed Atlantis in the Yoruba region of Nigeria. Frobenius believed that the Etruscans had an Atlantean culture and were responsible for the establishment of Benin around 1300 BC and that it was a city in this region that had been described by Plato.
Jason Colavito has drawn attention to the racism displayed by Frobenius, an example of which is when he declared that the Atlantean civilisation of Yorubaland had been white(d). A report of his 1912 expedition was published and is now available online.
He reported on his discoveries to the German Kaiser, who showed great interest in his work.
Five expeditions gave him enough information to publish a twelve-volume work entitled Atlantis. During his work there Frobenius wrote to friends complaining that local English officials had confiscated many of his finds(c).
In 1910 he published, in German, Atop the Rubble of Classical Atlantis that filled three large volumes. Much of his work is currently being translated into English and French.
Another site(a) reviewing Frobenius’ work also claims that he linked the ancient Yoruba kingdom with that of the Etruscans and suggests a common Atlantean ancestry. The same site backs a central Atlantic location for Atlantis, citing as ‘evidence’ the 18th century Bauche map(b).
Three papers taken from Frobenius’ work have been published on the Atlantisforschung website, with an English translation here(e)(f)(g).
Erich von Däniken (1935-) is famous for his ancient astronaut theories. However, others, such as W. Raymond Drake preceded him. Similarly, George Hunt Williamson (1926-1986), who also wrote of alien visitors, was irked by Däniken being referred to as “the father of the ‘ancient astronaut’ theory”(g).
As a young man, I was influenced by Däniken’s writings and it took time to develop my critical faculties to the point where I could discount his ideas as ‘pure waffle’. I now see him as a guru for the lunatic fringe who cynically presents distorted collections of historical artefacts and data for financial gain.>One website(a) recounts his claim that the humble banana is evidence of extraterrestrials visitors.<The same source also deals with his lack of truthfulness, which along with one particular blog(c) from Jason Colavito are both well worth a read. Colavito has also reviewed the racism expressed by von Däniken(d).
Von Däniken had seldom touched on the Atlantis story until his Odyssey of the Gods published in English in 2000. He concentrated his discussion on the work of fellow Swiss writer, Eberhard Zangger, who identifies Atlantis with Troy. Von Däniken appears ambiguous about the actual existence of Atlantis, although he seems most reluctant to accept Zangger’s Trojan theory.>“Almost anything is possible where Atlantis is concerned. Only Eberhard’s assumption that Atlantis was nothing other than Troy is hard to sustain.”<
Von Däniken joined the many 2012 opportunists in his 2010 offering Twilight of the Gods. He claims that 2012 will not see the end of the world but in fact, the Mayan ‘prophecies’ relate to the return of the ‘gods’ in the form of alien astronauts. I hope Von Däniken meets them and expresses his gratitude for the good living that they have provided him with for nearly half a century.
Jason Colavito offers an extensive 7-part critique of ‘Twilight’. Colavito is also featured in Issue 8 of the English magazine Explore History which reviews 50 years of ancient aliens a la von Däniken. The article includes a number of references to Colavito’s criticism of Däniken’s theories(f).
E.C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles offers a highly critical review of von Däniken’s astronomical knowledge [1842.247]. However, in a balanced conclusion, Krupp candidly wrote “it would be very difficult to prove that ancient astronauts did not visit the earth. But evidence for their having been here is not convincing.”
Some of Daniken’s books are now available as free pdf files(e).