Rens Van Der Sluijs
Myths along with legends and nursery thymes are part of a culture’s folklore. The word is given a primary meaning in dictionaries of “a traditional story of unknown authorship, serving usually to explain some phenomenon of nature, the origin of man, or the customs, religious rites etc. of a people. Mythological ‘gods’ were frequently personifications of those natural phenomena. A secondary meaning is ‘fictitious story’ which is the usual dismissive and derogatory application of the term to the Atlantis story. Time and time again, various ‘myths’ across a wide range of cultures have been shown to have a factual basis. These myths were generated to explain something that is important but incomprehensible. Sometimes myths are imported from other cultures and languages, leading to possible distortion of the original tale.
J. V. Luce, the Irish classics scholar, has highlighted[0120.14] how various Greek myths and legends have been proven to contain historical elements and that Plato’s Atlantis story should be studied with this in mind.
Alexander Braghine quotes the French historian, Gustave Glotz (1862-1935), who wrote in his History of Greece, that “it is a well-known fact that legend comes before history, but an attentive and rigorous analysis of any myth gives us the opportunity to detect historical data even in a myth. The comparative method is very useful in these cases.”
Luce has also pointed out that Plato also uses ‘logos’ or truth rather than ‘muthos’ or legend when referring to the Atlantis story.
Euhemerus (circa 300 BC) was one of the first to propose that the ‘gods’ of Greek myth were in fact ancient heroes that were, by convention, posthumously ‘deified’ by their bardic biographers.
It is perfectly reasonable to assume that the older a myth is the less specific detail it may retain regarding any underlying truth. I would suggest that Plato’s story has at least two elements; (i) an ancient and powerful civilisation was destroyed through inundation hundreds if not thousands of years earlier and (ii) the detailed description of an expansionist Bronze Age alliance that was also destroyed. The first, because of its antiquity, is of necessity vague; the second is incredibly detailed in the manner of an eyewitness account.
The ancient Greeks were apparently not conscious of the last Ice Age and the consequent effects of the melting of the retreating glaciers. Today we are aware of these events and find it interesting that Plato’s description of the flooding of Atlantis and its date appears compatible with real prehistoric facts, although the melting of the glaciers was a relatively slow process and is highly unlikely to have submerged Atlantis in ‘a day and a night’. The second element in Plato’s story is too detailed to be considered as fact but could be accepted as a reasonable embellishment by Plato who in order to emphasise the might of the earlier civilisation, ascribed to it all the trappings of contemporary imperial nations such as the Persians.
Robert Bowie Johnson, Jnr has promoted(c) the idea that the Adam and Eve in Genesis are the counterparts of Zeus and Hera in Greek mythology.
Before writing was developed our ancestors artfully used the rhyme and rhythm (meter) of poetry as a vehicle to ensure the faithful conveyance of their legends and traditions over countless generations. However, the details are often misunderstood or corrupted when such traditions are translated into different languages and the aide memoire value of the original poetry is lost. Even when writing was available but known only to an elite few, the value of verse as a transmission vehicle continued for thousands of years.
The value of traditional stories was highlighted by a recent paper presented at a conference in Japan which resulted from a study of Aboriginal stories from around the Australian coast(d). The details in those stories, relating to the rising sea levels at the end of the last Ice Age, coincide with remarkable accuracy to what has already been demonstrated scientifically. The conclusion is that these oral traditions can reliably span at least ten millennia and raise questions regarding the value traditional tales in other parts of the globe.
The Internet provides useful access to various mythological resources. One of those is Mythopedia(a) which has a valuable collection of articles and images dealing with mythologies and religions and the possible influence of ancient celestial sights on some aspects of them.
A paper(b) available on the internet by R. Cedric Leonard discusses with his usual thoroughness, various traditions and mythologies that may have contained details of the Atlantis story before Plato wrote his Timaeus and Critias dialogues.
In 2009, a paper(e) on the reliability of orally transmitted myths by Rens Van der Sluijs was published on the thunderbolts website. The same is said of the accuracy of nursery rhymes and other folk tales(f) some of which were of a more secular and sometimes subversive nature(g).
A groundbreaking overview of mythology is on offer from E. J. Michael Witzel (1943- ) who has traced the origins of many our myths to origins in Africa 100.000 years ago with the understandable revisions and accretions as humans spread throughout our planet, producing both new and local variations of the same themes. His influence today is seen by some, but not all, as comparable to that of James Frazer (1854-1941) and Eliade Mircea (1907-1986).
(b) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20170113172919/https://www.atlantisquest.com/Myth.html
Ice Ages *
Ice Ages have been a fact of life on Earth for aeons, according to conventional ice age theory. There is now evidence that during the very early existence of our planet, the entire Earth was completely glaciated, possibly twice!(w)
However, the exact cause of the onset of any ice age is still a matter of active debate(ab). Ralph Ellis has now proposed a new theory based on a cyclical alteration of polar albedo by atmospheric dust(n).
Over the last three million years, a period referred to by geologists as the Pleistocene Epoch, at least thirty Ice Ages have been ‘identified’. The exact extent of the polar ice caps during the last Ice Age is the subject of some debate with new evidence from northern Sweden and Norway, suggesting a less extensive cap than previously believed. However, there is evidence that Mauna Kea in Hawaii, which is now 13,803 feet above sea level,” had a large glacial ice cap of about 70 square kilometres until 14,500 years ago.”(ag)
Various theories have been proposed to explain the onset and the ending of these Ice Ages ranging from changes in the earth’s orbit(g) around the sun to the effects of the Earth’s passage through the spiral arms of the Milky Way.
Over recent decades we have been consistently told that global warming is underway with a constant threat of rising sea levels. Consequently, it was no surprise when, in April 2018, The Guardian had a headline declaring that Glacier loss is accelerating because of global warming(r). However, an equally up-to-date website(s) claims that most of the world’s glaciers are actually growing and makes the comparable assertion that sea levels have stopped rising(t). Over a decade ago the well-known botanist David Bellamy made similar claims, that were refuted in a revealing article by George Monbiot, also in The Guardian(u).
Emilio Spedicato has proposed(a) that glaciations are started by asteroidal or cometary impacts on land and terminated by impacts with an ocean. The late Sir Fred Hoyle and his equally radical colleague Chandra Wickramasinghe concurred with this view. They believe that an impact of sufficient size would have vaporised and ejected billions of gallons of water into the upper atmosphere creating an immediate ‘greenhouse effect’ that then led to the melting of the glaciers. In a 1999 paper, Hoyle & Wickramasinghe wrote of the positive effect of greenhouse gases in staving off the next ice age(aa).
Another recent theory suggests that a severe reduction in sunspot activity may herald the imminent return of another ‘little ice age’ such as was experienced in the 17th century and known as the Maunder Minimum. During that period only 50 sunspots were recorded instead of the usual 40-50 thousand(ah). NASA has denied that there is any such impending cooling and that the possible effect of any reduced solar activity would be more than offset by the warming caused by human activity(ai).
Spedicato contends(z) that circa 9,600 BC, an impact in the Atlantic by an Apollo Object led to the demise of Atlantis, an idea similar to the earlier contention of Otto Muck.
In 2003, scientists at Kansas University drew a lot of attention with their claim that gamma-ray bursts can cause an ice age and mass extinctions. However, the suggested frequency of a gamma-ray explosion that might affect the Earth, every few hundred million years runs counter to conventional ice age theory which proposes that the frequency of ice ages runs to hundreds of thousands of years(ad).
The last Ice Age reached what is known as the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) around 25,000 -15,000 BP, according to Ray & Adams(q). LGM describes the time when the glaciers reached their maximum extension.
Remarkably, the very existence of an Ice Age was only first conceived just over 150 years ago when Louis Agassiz first published his theory. It took another century before it was fully realised that some of the consequences of the melting of the glaciers at the end of each Ice Age, would have been the flooding of continental shelves and the breaching of low-lying land bridges.
An example of such events would have been the submergence of the majority of the Celtic Shelf separating Britain and Ireland from mainland Europe. In the South China Sea, large chunks of what is known as Sundaland were also flooded. At the eastern end of the Mediterranean, the Bosporus was breached flooding the Black Sea, and more controversially some claim that there had been a breach of a landbridge at the Strait of Gibraltar.
Prompted by the fact that the date given by Solon/Plato for the destruction, 9600 BC coincides with the retreating of the glaciers of the last Ice Age, all the above submergences and breaches have been included in the Atlantis debate.
New studies have shown interesting confirmation of the ‘Out of Africa‘ theory, which had recently come under attack. The effects of the last Ice Age on the population of Europe were quite dramatic(l). In 2013, journalist, Paul Salopek set out on a 21,000-mile walking journey from East Africa, across Asia, and down the west coast of the Americas in an attempt to emulate mankind’s long odyssey as he (mankind not Saklopek) populated the planet(v).
The most recent genetic studies suggest that “a vast inland oasis in present-day northern Botswana was once home to the founder population of all modern humans.” (x)
A first-rate work  by Steven Mithen on the aftermath of the last Ice Age was recently published.
Fundamentalist Christians who believe in a literal seven days of creation have great difficulty with modern Ice Age theory(b) and some propose that an ice age occurred after the biblical Deluge(f). For some fundamentalists the (only) Ice Age lasted from around 2500 BC until 1500 BC(o), otherwise, it will not fit into Archbishop Ussher’s 4004 BC date for the creation of the world!
Furthermore, it would be dishonest if I did not record that there have been more credible attempts to debunk the ‘conventional’ Ice Age Theory. The late Peter K. Bros (1939-2007) expressed such views in J. Douglas Kenyon’s Forbidden History[802.44] and in Atlantis Rising magazine(ae).
Dr. Horst Friedrich (1931-2015) was strongly opposed to Ice Age Theory and in one of the many papers that he published on the subject, he invoked the earlier work of C.G.S. Sandberg in support of his views(aj).
Furthermore, Allan & Delair offer similar views in Chapter 12 of Part One of their acclaimed book Cataclysm as does Richard E.Mooney [0842.87]. An essay by Kurt Johmann entitled “Debunking Ice Age” is also worth a read. The Thunderbolts website has a forum(h) dealing with whether Ice Ages occurred at all! Those interested in this particular controversy will find some worthwhile comments there. The same site has linked to an article that offers further challenges to conventional Ice Age and global warming theories. This report(j) concerns the discovery of the remains of a 4,000-year-old forest in the Alps at the edge of a retreating glacier, which added further evidence that warmer climates than at present were experienced since the last Ice Age. A regular Thunderbolts contributor, Rens Van Der Sluijs, also deals with global warming during the last Ice Age as revealed through mythology(k). However, Thunderbolts ‘Electric Universe’ concept has also received some highly critical reviews(m).
An interesting side issue is the work of Genevieve von Petzinger(y) who has collated recurring geometric symbols found in the Ice Age caves and rock carvings, not only across Europe but in Asia and less frequently in Africa and the Americas.
The University of Sheffield has now produced a set of maps showing the shrinkage of the last glacial ice sheet that covered most of the British Isles at the end of the last Ice Age(d). That particular ice sheet contained enough water to raise the world’s oceans by 2.5 metres when melted. Further maps have been published on Don Hitchcock’s website(i).
The retreating ice sheets also produced drumlins, with as many as 20,000 to be found in Ireland, with many of these and other Ice Age creations featuring in the placenames of my country(p).
We should not forget that Mother Nature can still spring weather surprises on us, such as the Great European Freeze of 1709 that led to widespread death of humans and livestock, crop failures and food riots(af).
(a) Wayback Machine (archive.org) *
(d) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20170714171242/https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/geography/staff/clark_chris/britice
(h) Questioning the Ice Ages – Thunderbolts Forum (v2.0) (archive.org)
(m) See: Archive 922
(s) Ice Age Now – The next ice age could begin any day (archive.org)
(t) Sea levels falling Archives – Ice Age Now
(w) Scientists Are Warming Up to the Idea of Snowball Earth (archive.org)
(ad) Scientists have new theory on ice age (freerepublic.com)
(ae) Atlantis Rising No. 41
(af) New Scientist, 07 February 2009
(ag) Ancient Hawaiian glaciers reveal clues to global climate impacts — ScienceDaily
(aj) Ein kompetenter Geologe verreißt die Eiszeitlehre! – Atlantisforschung.de (atlantisforschung-de.translate.goog) (English)
Immanuel Velikovsky (1895-1979) was born in what is now Belarus. He was by profession a doctor of medicine, specialising in psychiatry. However, his fame is based on being arguably the most controversial catastrophist of the 20th century. He daringly proposed that the Earth had several close encounters with other planetary bodies that resulted in catastrophic consequences, including interference with the rotation of our planet. He speculated that Atlantis was probably destroyed during one of these cataclysmic events.
John Kettler is an American writer on alternative science and was a frequent contributor to Atlantis Rising magazine. In issue #30(z) of that publication, he reviewed the disgusting manner in which members of the scientific community endeavoured to prevent the publication of Velikovsky’s books. In order to give you the full flavour of the nastiness of their methods, I add three paragraphs here.
“The scientific and academic reaction to the book (Worlds in Collision) was generally presaged by the extortion practised prior to and after publication against the Macmillan Company. As the book began to garner public and in some circles even scientific interest and acclaim, all pretence of genteel discussion went by the boards. Out came the mailed fists, the naked threats and oceans of mud and offal. The attacks targeted three main groups: the public, the scientific and academic community, and Immanuel Velikovsky himself. Nor were such niceties as actually reading the book before denouncing it and its author employed.
Even before the Macmillan Company published the book, renowned astronomer Harlow Shapley arranged multiple intellectual well poisonings by an astronomer, a geologist, and an archaeologist, not one of whom had read the book, in a learned journal. This was a pattern used over and over again.
Shapley and his minions also engineered the sacking of the veteran senior editor (25 years at the Macmillan Company) who accepted Worlds in Collision for publication and got the director of the famous Hayden Planetarium fired for the high crime of proposing to mount a display there, on Velikovsky’s unique cosmological theory. Meanwhile, Velikovsky was systematically attacked in the scientific journals, via distortion, lies, misrepresentation, incompetence and ad hominem attacks, while there never seemed to be space in which he could reply, in order to defend himself.” J. Douglas Kenyon included Kettler’s revealing essay in Forbidden History [802.53].
Some have seen the influence of Ignatius Donnelly’s Ragnarok, written seventy years earlier, in Velikovsky’s cosmic collision theories. Some commentators have noted how Velikovsky seemed reluctant to credit earlier writers, such as W. C. Beaumont and Johann Radlof (1775-1846)(b), with their contributions to the development of the theory of planetary catastrophism. Rens Van Der Sluijs has written an interesting two-part paper(d)(e) listing the catastrophists who preceded Velikovsky demonstrating a certain lack of originality on his part! Others take a more critical view of his ideas(g). In 1950, he responded to this criticism with a defensive piece(n), but I consider it inadequate as he continued to ignore the work of Radlof and Beaumont. Some years ago Ev Cochrane and Phil ‘Pib’ Burns also discussed Velikovsky’s reluctance to credit earlier writers for ideas used by him, compared with the recognition given by Clube & Napier to the work of Velikovsky(x).
Van Der Sluijs has written a two-part(k)(l) article on Velikovsky’s radical views regarding Venus as a comet-like body and how Aztec sources support some of his contentions.
Carl Sagan (1934-1996), was a well-known American astronomer, author and lecturer. He is considered a leading debunker of Velikovsky’s theories. He devoted much of his Broca’s Brain  to this end. Charles Ginenthal (1934-2017) produced an extensive rebuttal of Sagan’s criticisms in Carl Sagan & Immanuel Velikovsky . However, criticism of Velikovsky continues with varying degrees of ferocity, such as that of Leroy Ellenberger, a former supporter of Velikovsky, who contends that the data from the Greenland ice cores fail to support Velikovsky(s).
Velikovsky and Einstein were acquaintances and as Nathaniel Lloyd wrote in his three-part blog on chronological revisionism(y) that when Velikovsky “asked Einstein to read his work and give an opinion. Einstein suggested that Velikovsky might have a hard time finding a publisher, specifically because “every sensible physicist” would realize that the catastrophes Velikovsky described would have completely destroyed the Earth’s crust. Nevertheless, Einstein was kind about his criticism, and Velikovsky was undeterred. But years later, in Einstein’s very last interview, his opinion was less delicate: ‘It really isn’t a bad book,’ he said, laughing. ‘The only trouble with it is, it is crazy’.”
More recently, Paul Dunbavin, author of Towers of Atlantis , has published a paper(r), entitled Catastrophism without Velikovsky, which is highly critical of Velikovsky’s work.
Velikovsky was initially inclined to link the disappearance of Atlantis with the eruption of Thera but later came to support a location between the Azores and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge(i). He was an early questioner of Plato’s figure of 9,000 years for the age of Atlantis, suggesting that it was exaggerated by a factor of ten[0037.152]. ”Whatever the source of the error, the most probable date of the sinking of Atlantis would be in the middle of the second millennium, 900 years before Solon when the earth twice suffered great catastrophes as a result of ‘the shifting of the heavenly bodies.’ These words of Plato received the least attention, though they deserved the greatest.”
Velikovsky offered intriguing evidence that on at least one occasion the early Egyptians experienced the sun rising in the west and set in the east(q)!
His other major contribution was in his questioning of the accepted Bronze Age chronologies of the eastern Mediterranean. Later writers, such as David Rohl and Peter James have built on his chronology work, while Gary Gilligan has added support for Velikovsky’s planetary theories as well. Others have accused Velikovsky of being over-dependent on his belief in the inerrancy of biblical chronology.
>In a recent (2023) paper(ac). on the Academia.edu website Donald Keith Mills was highly critical of Velikovsky’s research on the Hyksos and Amalakites in Ages in Chaos. Mills had earlier written critically of Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collision(ab).
“In Ages in Chaos, Velikovsky made numerous detailed claims which he supported by footnote references to his sources. Those sources were of two kinds: those that would be easily available to most of his readers, such as the Bible and the works of Josephus; and those that would be difficult or impossible for most readers to access, including technical journals and the works of mediaeval Arabian, Persian, and Egyptian writers.
“Access to such materials began to change in the late 20th Century, and I have been able to download almost all of Velikovsky’s “Arabic” sources from the Internet Archive Digital Library (https://archive.org/ ), together with some he didn’t explicitly use. Those original sources, in the same editions as he cited, revealed that his uses of allusions, references, and quotations often failed to agree with what the sources actually said.”
“Repeatedly, when faced with conflicting accounts of pre-Islamic (and essentially prehistoric) events, Velikovsky selected only those that met his purposes. The damaging aspect of this criticism is the fact that, almost without exception, he did so without discussing the alternatives, without providing reasons for rejecting them, and without even acknowledging their existence.“<
One website(a)provides us with a considerable amount of Velikovsky’s unpublished work, while another offers an encyclopedia of his work(c). A more general German site(f), in English, is also worth a visit.
The three of Velikovsky’s most popular books as well as some of his lesser-known papers are available as pdf files(j)(m).
Jan Sammer was an assistant to Velikovsky (1976-1978) and an archivist and editor for the Velikovsky Estate (1980-1983). He advises us that he was involved in the completion of Velikovsky’s unpublished book, In the Beginning(h), which was eventually published in 2020 <. The book’s contents were originally intended to be part of Worlds in Collision. In it, you will find more details of Velikovsky’s claim that within the memory of man, there was a time when we had no Moon, which he claimed was subsequently ‘captured’ by the Earth.>He wrote a short paper in 1973 entitled Earth without a Moon and published by the editors of Pensée in Velikovsky Reconsidered [1877.86], but without any reference to Hanns Hörbiger.
According to Velikovsky, Venus was a relatively recent newcomer to our Solar System and the orbit of Mars had been disturbed, which would suggest that before the arrival of Venus, Bode’s Law would have been invalidated! C.J. Ransom tackled this head-on in The Age of Velikovsky [1880.90]. However, his defence of Bode and Velikovsky was rejected by Dr M. M. Nieto(t).
In 2012, Laird Scranton, published The Velikovsky Heresies, in which he reviews Velikovsky’s controversial theories in the light of scientific discoveries since his death. Not unexpectedly, Scranton does find evidence that supports some of Velikovsky’s contentions.
Ralph E. Juergens, an American engineer, supported Velikovsky with the idea that electromagnetic and electrostatic forces and not conventional celestial mechanics alone were responsible for the cosmic encounters witnessed and recorded by our ancestors(u).
In the late 1990s Sean Mewhinney (1944-2016), a Canadian researcher published a series of papers(w) that was highly critical of Velikovsky’s theories. Much of his criticism was focused on ice-core data. Once again, Charles Ginenthal took up the challenge, responding with an extensive paper entitled Minds in Denial, later the title of an ebook  that include the original paper. Ginenthal also published a book on the Electro-Gravitic Theory of Celestial Motion and Cosmology and its possible application to Velikovsky’s theories(v).
In 2021, Bob Forrest(aa), a British retired mathematics teacher had re-published a book of over 700 pages entitled Velikovsky’s Sources, which deals with Worlds in Collision. It had been originally issued as a series of seven booklets between 1981 and 1985. These have now been combined in one volume and edited by Donald Keith Mills and available on the Academia.edu website(ab). The content is a critique of Velikovsky’s work and now forty years later Forrest still believes “that Velikovsky was spectacularly wrong.”
Some readers may wish to see a video by Wallace Thornhill, of Electric Universe fame, in which he discusses Velikovsky’s Astrophysics(o). There are several related papers and books, including some Velikovskian material, freely available online(p).
(e) https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2013/01/23/on-the-shoulders-of-suppressed-giants-part-two-2/ (f) http://www.velikovsky.de/en/velikovsky.html
(g) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20180305142157/https://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/velidelu.html
(p) Free Electric Universe theory ebooks and related research papers (archive.org)
(q) The Sun rose in the west? Egyptian evidence? (archive.org)
(t) The Titius-Bode Law (archive.org)
(v) TheElectroGraviticTheoryofCelestialMotionandCosmology.pdf (rogerswebsite.com)
(x) How much do Clube and Napier owe Velikovsky? (pibburns.com)
(y) The Chronological Revision Chronicles, Part One: The Fomenko Timeline — Historical Blindness (Part 2)
(z) Atlantis Rising magazine #30 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
(aa) Home Page (bobforrestweb.co.uk)
(ab) (82) [Forrest 2021] Velikovsky’s Sources: Worlds in Collision | Donald Keith Mills – Academia.edu
(ac) (99+) VELIKOVSKY AND THE AMALEKITES | Donald Keith Mills – Academia.edu *