Ryan & Pitman
Petko & Dimitar Dimitrov are a Bulgarian father and son team, who have written about the pre-flood Varna civilisation which they claim existed on the then exposed Black Sea plain, however, they do not call it Atlantis by name. Their book is available, in English, online(a) as a pdf file.
Their book, The Black Sea, the Flood and the Ancient Myths, which supported much of Ryan & Pitman’s work. Unlike them, who based many of their conclusions on a study of molluscs, the Dimitrovs focused on sedimentation evidence. They also suggest that the Holocene influx into the Black Sea also triggered the Vedic Aryan migration to India(b).
André Capart (1914-1991) was a former head of the Belgian Royal Institute of Natural Sciences and has also directed oceanographic research for NATO. Professor Capart and his anthropologist wife Denise (1918-2011) believed that the Atlanteans originally came from Libya and invaded the Aegean setting up their colonial capital on Thera(a). Capart and his wife were planning an expedition to Santorini in the late 1980’s, but it appears that no report of their findings has been published.
In 1986 the Caparts published L’ homme et les déluges which deals with the recurring cycles of ice ages, changing sea levels and the associated floods. They linked Noah’s Flood with the Black Sea(b) over a decade before Ryan & Pitman published their better known book, Noah’s Flood.?
Bulgaria has not been totally excluded from the search for Atlantis. In 2012 it was announced that the oldest European town had been discovered in Bulgaria(a), near the town of Provadia and dated to about 4500 BC. Recently there were metal beads discovered in Bulgaria tentatively dated to 6000 BC. Along with recent discoveries of hoards of Thracian gold it is obvious that Bulgaria was no backwater, although identifying it with Atlantis is not a runner. Nevertheless, some have attempted(e) to link Atlantis with the ancient region of Thrace, which today would occupy a section of Bulgaria along with parts of Greece and Turkey.
In the mid-20th century the noted Bulgarian astronomer Nikola Bonev placed Atlantis in the Atlantic. However, the flooding of the Black Sea as revealed by Ryan & Pitman triggered the imagination of a number of people. The Schoppe father and son team who favour a Black Sea location for Atlantis have broken with the generally held view that Gadeiros, the twin brother of Atlas, gave his name to the city of Gades, now Cadiz in southwest Spain and proposed the more radical view that he gave his name to the Getae who occupied parts of today’s Bulgaria and Romania(b).
In 2012, Hristo Smolenov went further and suggested a closer connection between Bulgaria and Atlantis on his website(c), a video(c) and a book, Zagora – Varna: The Hidden Superculture.
Javier Recuenco Andrés (1973- ) is an IT engineer from Cadiz in Spain. He has a passion for chess, history and mythology. His interest in the latter has led to his publication of a heavily illustrated The Historical Reality of Atlantis in Spanish and English (Kindle only).
He begins with an in-depth examination of a ‘Tartessian’ gold disk that led on to an etymological investigation of the ‘K-N’ inscription on it, which he believes referred to the Conii people who settled in what is now southern Portugal. He speculates that the design of the disk reflects the layout of the acropolis of Atlantis! He has suggested that this acropolis was probably located in the vicinity of the Canary Islands.
In 2013, Recuenco Andrés and Diaz-Montexano jointly published a paper(a) on the academia.edu website offering comparable interpretations of the disk with the same conclusion that it was connected with Atlantis.
Javier dates the foundation of Atlantis to a period between 21,000 and 12,000 BC. Andrés has a hyperdiffusionist view of Atlantis showing rock carvings in North Africa, America, Australia, China and of course his native Iberia as evidence for their global influence. The fall of the Atlantean ‘Empire’ he suggests was between 12,000 and 9,000 BC, as the last Ice Age was ending.
He subscribes to the idea that there was a Gibraltar landbridge, which was breached around 5,500 BC that eventually led to the linking of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, an event originally revealed by Ryan & Pitman.
Javier also believes that Egypt was occupied by Atlanteans from 7000–5500 BC, but that their influence led to the building of the pyramids! In fact, he attributes the pyramids of China and America to Atlantean influence. He identifies Knossos in Crete as an Atlantean colony in the eastern Mediterranean.
In my opinion, Javier has produced an original work, unlike the regurgitated offerings of so many others. Nevertheless, I think his work has too many assumptions based on excusable subjectivity.
Robert Ballard (1942- ) is probably best known for his discovery of the Titanic in 1985. His discoveries in the Black Sea reinforced the idea put forward earlier by Ryan & Pitman that the breaching of a landbridge at the Bosporus circa 5600BC had turned it from a much smaller freshwater lake into a saltwater sea. Speculation followed that this event was the source of the biblical tale of Noah’s Deluge! In a follow-up to that, a TV special(b) aired by ABC before Christmas 2012 saw further evidence from Ballard linking Noah’s nautical adventure with the Black Sea.
Ballard, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, has described the story of Atlantis as ‘logical’ as it is compatible with the catastrophic floods and volcanic eruptions recorded throughout history. However, he rules out Santorini as Atlantis because the eruption there conflicts with the date given by Plato(a).
However, he is not inclined to accept the existence of Atlantis because “no Nobel laureates” have said that what Plato wrote about Atlantis is true. This is a totally specious argument as Nobel Prizes are only awarded for Literature, Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Peace, and Economics and not for History, Archaeology or Classical Studies. Nevertheless, over the past century quite a number of modern classical scholars have expressed their acceptance of some or all of Plato’s Atlantis details as having a real historical basis.
Apart from that, what many scientists think as opposed to what they say is often quite different, as research grants are not normally given to mavericks. It’s little consolation that the worst a nonconformist faces today is penury rather than pyre.
Vrilology is defined by the Church of Vrilology website(a) as “the practice of harnessing the Life Force that we share with the Gods, which we call, Vril, through the practice of Seither and Galdor sciences.” This cult claims to trace its origins back to the old Norse religion which they describe as a pan-European religion and which they claim will have most meaning for people of European ancestry. They also claim that they trace their philosophy back even further to around 10,000 BC when the ‘Gods’ visited a group of Caucasian people living around the Black Sea imparting to them the secrets of Vrilology which enabled the group to develop into ‘supermen’ which led to the development we call Atlantis!
The only reason that I have included any mention of this silly pseudo-religion is that their website has a lengthy article(b) about the Black Sea Atlantis including material from Ryan & Pitman and the Schoppes.
Reading through the Vrilology website and despite its frequent protestations I could not help feeling that that there was a neo-Nazi undertone to the entire cult. My feelings appeared justified by an American site criticising certain the cult members in New Jersey. Another site confirmed my misgivings(d).
Another site(e), heavily laced with bovine manure, offers a way into our hollow earth using a ‘vril generator’, which of course can be bought through the site.
An account(f) of Vril, mediums, Nazis and the link to the Aldebaran solar system will provide you with some light relief. Equally entertaining are the pathetic attempts by some New Age nutters to try and associate Nikola Tesla with vril(g).
Nevertheless, this vril nonsense has now been expanded by Xavier Séguin, who suggests that megalithic dolmens and menhirs can generate vril energy, which can be used to expedite the maturing of wine(i)!
Michael A. Cahill (1961- ) is an Australian Lecturer in Biochemistry & Cell Biology, author of multiple patents, and scientific cofounder of the biotechnology company ProteoSys AG. He is also the author of an extensively researched two-volume work(b)(c), published in 2012, entitled Paradise Rediscovered: The Roots of Civilisation[818/9]. This offering of over 1100 pages is, by the author’s own admission, controversial. In it he puts forward the radical idea that “the long forgotten high society of Atlantis existed in the pre-Diluvian Stone Age at the mouth of the Black Sea [the location of present day Istanbul] and that its legends have come down to us in Indo-European and Middle Eastern mythologies (including the biblical Genesis account)”(d).
However Atlantis is only a tangent to main theme of this book, which opens with Solon in the Temple of Neith at Sais from Plato. Cahill recognised that the myth of Phaeton related by the old Egyptian priest actually referred to a supernova in the constellation of Cygnus. This was confirmation that the Atlantis account referred to the transmission of actual historical information by Plato, rather than fictional imagination, inspired further investigation.
For Cahill the inundation of Atlantis would have corresponded to the biblical Deluge, which Ryan and Pitman’s Noah’s Flood equated with the Black Sea Flood, dated at 6400 BC(e) after the breaching of the Bosporus. This date is around 1,200 years earlier than that suggested by Christian & Siegfried Schoppe, while Cahill’s proposed location for Atlantis, namely in the vicinity of modern Istanbul, is south of the Schoppe’s proposed Snake Island in the Black Sea. This location has, understandably, some local support from Adrian Bucurescu(g) and more recently from George K. Weller (h).
Linguistics analysis had suggested the origin of the Indo-European languages in Anatolia (i.e. next to the Black Sea) around 6400 BC. Cahill looked for and found otherwise unlikely traces of Indo-European words in flood accounts, such as Genesis, The Book of Enoch, and The Epic of Gilgamesh. He has published a summary of the arguments in a poster presented at the 2011 Atlantis Conference in Santorini, Greece. Based upon the society reconstructed from the written flood accounts, from Indo-European comparative mythology, and from a host of other sources, the book concludes that this society was dominated by god-kings who commanded secret scientific Neolithic knowledge, possibly including an elixir which extended the life-span of the elite(f).From the Stonehenge-like circular Atlantis complex at the Bosporus the “gods” exerted a monopoly on power until 200 of them defected, revealing secret knowledge to “the daughters of man” to start a new farming culture that spread across Europe with its Indo-European languages. Paradise Rediscovered certainly poses challenging questions for many established social and archaeological paradigms. Whether or not this shadowy reconstruction is correct, and even Cahill does not insist that it is(d), it is well researched and its elaborate arguments are surprisingly plausible. (The above synopsis was written by Cahill at my request. TO’C)
Cahill has had problems with selling his books through Amazon and offers an alternative source for purchasers(h).
*(g) https://sfinxredivivus.wordpress.com/tag/etnograful-adrian0-bucurescu/ (Link broken)*
Christian & Siegfried Schoppe are a father and son team of German researchers, who firmly assert that Atlantis was located in the Black Sea. More specifically they suggest that Snake Island(b) situated 35 km east of the Danube Delta, was the location of the Atlantean capital. Snake Island has also been referred to in a Russian website(c) that discusses a Black Sea Atlantis. It includes a number of videoclips with Russian dialogue.
Snake Island has also been adopted by George K. Weller as the location of Atlantis(h).
Their contention is that before 5500 BC there was a great plain in the north-west of the area, now occupied by the Black Sea, which was then a much smaller freshwater-lake. Atlantis in their view was situated on what was formerly the shore of this lake. The Schoppe’s echo the
view of Ryan and Pitman who were probably the first in 1998, to advance the idea that around 5500 BC the barrier at today’s Bosporus broke open due to the rising world sea levels and raised the level of the Black Sea, flooding a huge area of cultivated land, an event that lay behind the story of Noah’s Flood.
The Schoppes, on the other hand, identify this flooding of the Black Sea with the flooding of Atlantis and maintain that the Pillars of Heracles are located at the Strait of Bosporus. They further suggest that the Orichalcum mentioned by Plato was in fact obsidian that used to be a cash-equivalent at that time and was replaced by the spondylus shell around 5500 BC. This geocatastrophic event, according to the Schoppes, led to the Neolithic diaspora in Europe that also began around 5500 BC.
They also claim to have identified the location of the ten kingdoms of the Atlantean empire through an investigation of placenames for both meaning and sound. The theories of the Schoppe’s are contained in their book, Atlantis und die Sintflut  and outlined on their website(a).
In 2005, the Schoppes offered their theory to the Atlantis Conference on Milos and have published their presentation online(g).
In June 2015, Siegfried Schoppe offered the latest paper in support of their Black Sea location for Atlantis(d) for publication on the Atlantipedia.ie website, as well as a shorter note, also in support of their theory(e).
In a short paper(f), the Schoppes also compared the effects of the fall of Rome with the consequences of the demise of Atlantis.
The Atlantis theory of the Schoppes, along with many others matches many of the clues offered by Plato, but for me, I find it difficult to understand how an Atlantis situated east of Athens and north of Egypt in the Black Sea could attack them from the west! In fact what Plato said was that the invasion came from the Atlantic Sea (pelagos). Although there is some disagreement about the location of this Atlantic Sea, all candidates proposed so far are west of both Athens and Egypt (Tim.24e & Crit.114c).
(d) See: Archive 5098 (German)
(e) See: Archive 5099 (English)
(f) See: Archive 2873 (German/English)
Werner E. Friedrich is a German researcher who published a booklet in 2006 in which he firmly located Atlantis in the Black Sea circa 10,000 BC on a plain west and east around today’s Crimean peninsula. In contrast to Ryan and Pitman, who claim that the Black Sea was inundated from the Aegean, Friedrich proposes that the opposite occurred when a much smaller Black Sea was flooded with water from the melting ice sheets at the end of the last Ice Age. He claims that prior to the creation of the Bosporus that the Sea of Marmara was connected to the Black Sea through the Sakarya River. He places the Pillars of Heracles on the Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara and supports his thesis with quotations from the Athenian astronomer, Euctemon (fl 430 BC) and the Greek historian, Ephorus (c. 400-330 BC). Friedrich has a bilingual German/English website(a) promoting his theory of Atlantis in the Black Sea, which he will add to from time to time. In order to understand the complexities of Friedrich’s ideas I recommend that interested readers study his booklet and its supportive website.
(a) https://www.wf-web-features.de/index.html (offline Oct.’14)
The Deluge is the term usually used when referring to the biblical flood of Noah. It might perhaps be more accurate to use the plural, as there is evidence of several large-scale catastrophic inundations within the memory of man. The Noachian deluge has been the subject of continuous debate: was it real or pure fantasy, was it a local, regional or global and is the Ark to be found on Mt. Ararat.
The most recent controversy concerns a Babylonian tablet which, unlike the biblical record, describes an ark 70 metres in width and round in shape(c)(e). This would have been recorded a thousand years before the Genesis story was written down. Understandably, this has caused the knickers of some fundamentalist Christians to be seriously twisted! The discovery has now been expanded on by Irving Finkel in The Ark before Noah. Another eye-catching theory is that of Thomas J. Krupa (1930- ), author of Biblical Flood: Noah’s Ark and the Star of David, in which he claims that the keel of the Ark was shaped like the Star of David! Equally radical is the result of a high-tech study of fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls which suggest that Noah’s Ark was pyramidal in shape(j)! Commenting on this report, Jason Colavito, has pointed out that the concept of a pyramid shaped ark is not new(k).
A sceptical 2019 article has looked critically at many aspects of the story of the Ark, including the most commonly offered Turkish site as the resting place of the Ark – “One of the most famous supposedly-Noah’s-ark sites is the admittedly very boat-looking Durupinar site in the Mount Tendurek area in Turkey. According to Atlas Obscura, the site was exposed in the late 1940s after a series of earthquakes and storms.“(t)
A life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark was due to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Holland in the summer of 2016(i). It was built over a four year period by carpenter, Johan Huibers, completing it in 2012. It is 410 feet long, 95 feet wide and 75 feet tall. It weighs 2,500 tons and is said to hold more than 5,000 people at any one time. However, there is no provision for animals! As of today (July 2019) I can find no recent information on the project.
An interesting overview of traditional as well as modern thinking regarding the possible historical reality behind the Deluge of Genesis is presented(f) by Robert Squillace on the New York University website.
Even more radical is the claim by Hebrew scholar Richard Seary that the Ark never actually existed, but that conventionally accepted understanding of the Genesis text is the result of a number of incorrect translations(d). One example being that there is no such material as gopher-wood and that the word ‘gofer’ means lava!
The Flood of Noah is an echo of the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic, which in turn has a resonance with the deluge story of Manu in Indian mythology. If all three relate to the same event it would be of interest to discover its origin.
Many Atlantologists have sought to link the Deluge with the inundation of Atlantis. Egerton Sykes was a keen supporter of the idea. Joseph S. Ellul has interpreted the biblical story to support the idea of a landbridge at Gibraltar that eventually collapsed when the waters of the Atlantic rose after the last Ice Age.
Ellul maintained that Genesis 7:11 ‘All the springs of the Great Deep broke through’ is a reference to the percolation of the Atlantic waters, through the Gibraltar dam, that eventually led to its collapse as the sea level rose or was shattered by seismic or tectonic movements. I find it hard to accept this, because the pressure that is exerted by the Atlantic, would have rapidly changed any such seepage into a major breach and the subsequent collapse of the dam. Gerhard F. Hasel, Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology offers a more conventional interpretation of “the fountains of the great deep” in a paper with the same name(h).
Alexander and Edith Tollman link the Noachian Deluge with the consequences of a cometary impact in 7552 BC. On the other hand, G. F. Dodwell the Australian astronomer, after studying ancient gnomons, concluded that it was a worldwide catastrophe in 2345 BC that altered the earth’s tilt, leading to the Deluge. This is comparable with the 1696 claim by William Whiston that the earth had an encounter with a comet in 2346 BC, which caused the Flood of Noah. Emilio Spedicato advocates 3161 BC as the date of the biblical deluge(l). which has also been endorsed by Stuart L. Harris(n).
On a more controversial level, Donald Patten and Samuel Windsor present evidence for a series of close encounters between Mars and the Earth during the 1st millennium BC. David Rohl, the Egyptologist, dates Noah’s Flood at 3114 BC and links it with the climatic consequences of a major catastrophe in the Aleutian Islands.
Ancient flood stories are to be found around the world with a remarkable similarity of detail. It is worth pointing out that none of these legends ever recount the ‘hero’ of their particular tale returning to his former home. One simple explanation for this might be that the original homelands no longer existed. This would not normally be the case if the floods in question were tidal, storm driven or even giant tsunamis. However, if the inundations were the result of rising sea levels, resulting from the melting of Ice Age glaciers, we could expect two principal effects. The first would have been the gradual submergence of all low-lying flood plains that are now identified as continental shelves. Two of the best known of these would be the Sunda Shelf (Sundaland) and the area stretching from the west coast of mainland Europe across the North Sea encompassing the British Isles and into the Atlantic beyond Ireland. The second effect would have been the dramatic inundation of valleys and basins protected by low land bridges or dams. Again, we have examples, some debatable, such as, the Baltic, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and perhaps the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Sea of Japan.
When Ryan & Pitman(r) published their 1997 theory that around 5600 BC, the Black Sea had been flooded by water from the Aegean breaching the Bosporus, it did not take long before it was speculated that the event was reflected in the story of Noah’s Deluge. It also did not take long before strong objections to the idea were raised by many(s). Perhaps relevant to the subject is the claim that the flow of water was instead from the Black Sea into the Aegean, a view expressed by Nick Thom in The Black Sea Flood .
It is very interesting that so many of the deluge stories include a scenario where the ’hero’ is warned beforehand of the impending doom. To me, this would make sense that where a land bridge was threatened by gradually rising waters on one side, simple observation would have provided adequate time to warn those at risk on the other side.
The flooding of all these worldwide locations would have occurred quite slowly over an extended period following the last Ice Age, possibly providing the basis for the widespread existence of these flood myths.
Nevertheless, there is one rather disturbing element to be found alongside some of the flood myths, namely that the deluge event was concurrent with the sun seemingly standing still and in some cases it is recorded that the Moon also appeared to stop(o)(p)! One explanation on offer is that it is a reference to an eclipse(q). This might be acceptable if it was compatible with other myths from different parts of the world, which does not appear to be the case. Furthermore, it does not explain the association of the stopping of the sun with the global deluge. A very close encounter between the Earth and another large celestial body might.
Nick Thom, an Engineering lecturer at Nottingham University, has written The Great Flood which gives an overview of Flood myths, but more importantly identifies the emptying of glacial Lake Agassiz around 6250 BC as the mechanism which caused a tilting of the Earth, which in turn generated a global deluge remembered by the survivors in myth and later recorded in scriptures.
A website with a huge collection of worldwide flood myths is available online(b). However, one omission from all such collections is a contribution from Egypt who inexplicably has no such tradition, apart from the predictable annual flooding of the Nile.
Greek mythlogy includes reference to three major floods affecting Geece, those of Ogyges, Deucalion and Dardanus(o). Plato’s story of Atlantis makes mention of a number of major floods during the ‘9,000’ years following the war with Atlantis, one of these being the flood of Deucalion. However, it may be worth mentioning that with so many ancient cultures having recorded flood myths, Egypt is notable by having none!
Stephen Oppenheimer mentions three sudden ice-melts, 14,000, 11,500 and 8,000 years ago that would have had a global effect. It should be noted that the earliest date is close to the date given by Plato for the destruction of Atlantis.
As I see it, we are left with two explanations for the global flood myths, either a close encounter with an extraterrestrial body that created a mega tsunami that was on such a scale that it swept around the globe, perhaps a number of times before dissipating or the melting of the Ice Age glaciers produced the cyclical bursting of ice-dams and landbridges and the inundation of vast areas of low-lying land. I’m inclined to believe that the balance of probabilities favours the latter explanation, although I find it difficult to accept that gradual deglaciation would have generated floods that ‘covered mountains’ (Gen. vii.19)!
Kirk Kirchev in a recent (April 2018) two-part article(m) “offers a unifying scientific hypothesis that connects diverse ancient flood myths with mainstream scientific fact.”
T. R. Holme has an interesting article(g) on the flooding of the Black Sea and the migration from the region that resulted. He also links that event with the work of the late Marija Gimbutas.
(d) Fortean Times, April 2014, p.55