An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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Sargasso Sea

Selwyn-Brown, Arthur

Arthur Selwyn-Brown was a physician and an author, best known for The Physician Throughout the Ages. In 1925, Dr. Brown wrote an article in the New York Herald, which was relayed around the world(a) in which he supported the Sargasso-Atlantis theory, an idea that had gained some support at the time.

(a) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/185182972?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

Mijatovich, Chedomille

Chedomille Mijatovich (1842-1932) was a Serbian politician, economist and historian. He was one of the first in modern times to suggest that the Sargasso Sea may have been the maritime hazard described by Plato as a ‘shoal of mud’, which resulted from the submergence of Atlantis. This idea was conveyed to and recorded by Hyde Clarke(a).

(a) https://www.forgottenbooks.org/readbook/Transactions_of_the_Royal_Historical_Society_v3_1000379094#21 (p.14)

Honorius Augustodunensis

Honorius Augustodunensis (fl.1107-1140) was a popular German  theologian and a prolific writer. The Catholic Encyclopaedia quotes the view that Honorius was one of the most mysterious personages in all the medieval period. In what is arguably his best known work, Imago Mundi(c), he expressed the view that Atlantis had been an island in the Atlantic (35. Sardinia). He wrote that that the ‘curdled sea’, assumed by Andrew Collins to be a reference to the Sargasso Sea[0072.91], “adjoins the Hesperides and covers the site of lost Atlantis, which lay west from Gibraltar.”

His Imago Mundi contained a world map, which has become known as The Sawley Map(b).

Sawley Map

The Sawley Map

(a) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20171219025200/https://blog.metmuseum.org/penandparchment/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/sawley_map_with_overlay.jpg

(b) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20180324045356/https://cartographic-images.net/Cartographic_Images/215_The_Sawley_Map.html

*(c) https://12koerbe.de/arche/imago.htm

 

 

Sargasso Sea

The Sargasso Sea is a region of the North Atlantic surrounded by ocean currents. Its limits are roughly 70-40° W and 25-35° N. It has a number of remarkable features, (i) it is very salty, (ii) it contains masses of seaweed of the genus ‘Sargassum’, giving the region Sargassoits name, and (iii) it is the place where the European eel migrates to, in order lay their eggs. The spawning habits of the European eel are indeed a mystery!

>Wikipedia notes(b) that “The Sargasso Sea may have been known to earlier mariners, as a poem by the late 4th-century author Rufus Festus Avienus describes a portion of the Atlantic as being covered with seaweed, citing a now-lost account by the 5th-century BC Carthaginian Himilco the Navigator.” This early reference is used by supporters of the idea of the possibility of very early visits by Phoenicians or Greeks to America.<

Chedomille Mijatovich, the Serbian politician, was probably one of the first to associate the Sargasso Sea with Plato’s ‘shoal of mud’ in a letter to Hyde Clarke.

In 2000, Andrew Collins in an effort to justify his Cuban location for Atlantis needed to find Plato’s ‘shoals of mud’ in the Atlantic and for me, in what seems to have been an act of desperation he decided that the Sargasso Sea fitted the bill [072.42]. However, he does not explain how anyone can mistake seaweed for mud!

In 1925, Dr A. Selwyn Brown wrote an article in the New York Herald, which was relayed around the world(a) in which he supported the Sargasso Atlantis theory. Around the same period the American naturalist, William Beebe, following an intensive study of the Sargasso was also reported(b) to have subscribed to the idea of the Sargasso as the location of Atlantis.

It is obvious that the Sargasso Sea is centred to the west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and not over it as implied by some writers, particularly those who want to link it with an Atlantis situated on the MAR. Clearly, Plato’s account of the aftermath of the sinking of Atlantis describes impassable waters due to mud, not seaweed. Contrary to popular belief the Sargasso Sea is not a hindrance to navigation.

(a) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/185182972?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

(b) https://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/118446581?searchTerm=Atlantis discovered&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc

(c) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Phoenician_discovery_of_the_Americas *

Cerne

Cerne was an island mentioned in the Pseudo-Scylax as being twelve days sail from the Pillars of Heracles. It adds that parts beyond the isle of Cerne are no longer navigable because of shoals, mud and seaweed. Although some have seen this as a reference to the Sargasso Sea, mud and shoals are not characteristics of the Sargasso, which is a mile or more deep.

Diodorus Siculus (iii.54) wrote of the Amazons fighting the Atlantoi in the city of Cerne. Some commentators have identified Cerne with the islands of Kerkenna off the east coast of Tunisia, where on the other hand Egerton Sykes linked the Cerne referred to in Pseudo-Scylax with Lixus on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.

Frank Joseph erroneously claims[108.117] that the only known ‘Cerne’ was Cerne Abbas in England, the site of the famous naked giant carved into the chalk. There is certainly no suggestion of any Amazon invasion there and the physique of the giant was certainly never matched by even the most butch Amazons. Not for the first time, Joseph is blatantly wrong. As in the case of so many other places mentioned in connection with Atlantis story there were a number of ancient towns named Cerne. The most famous such reference is in the record of Hanno’s voyage(b), generally accepted to be along the Atlantic coast of Morocco, where south of Lixus, he settled  and named an island Cerne(a).

*(a) https://www.ancient.eu/article/913/hanno-carthaginian-explorer/*

(b) http://www.metrum.org/mapping/hanno.htm

Carolina Bays

The Carolina Bays are named after the bay trees found growing in many of the 500,000 mysterious oval-shaped depressions, principally located in the eastern states of North America. In Maryland, the bays are called Maryland basins. In Mississippi and Alabama, they’re called Grady ponds. In Kansas and Nebraska, they’re called Rainwater basins. In Texas, they’re called Salinas (because they often contain salty water).

Carolinas

Their characteristics have been presented as evidence of impact damage from a comet or asteroid.

As early as 1933 Edna Muldrow published a seven-page article in Harper’s Monthly(r) putting forward the idea of a comet colliding with our planet and creating the ‘Bays’. This was probably inspired by a paper by geology professor Frank A. Melton and physics professor William Schiever presented at the 1932 Annual Conference of the Geological Society of America(s).

This view is hotly disputed, as is the idea that they are of relatively recent origin at the beginning of the Holocene. Emilio Spedicato is one proponent who considers that a relatively recent impact to have been a contributory fact to the ending of the last Ice Age leading to the demise of Atlantis.

In 1976, Otto Muck was probably the first to suggest a link between the Carolina bays and Atlantis [098.154-158].

A more mundane explanation has been recently offered by Jon Pelletier, assistant professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has just published a paper on a series of uniformly shaped and oriented lakes on the North Slope of Alaska. Pelletier has offered a credible ‘thaw slumping’ rationalisation for their annual growth. However, I have not seen his explanation for their existence in the first place. Pelletier’s explanation(a) for the Carolinas is based on the dissolving of the underlying limestone in a manner that generated lakes with a uniform orientation. Although he admitted that at that time (2005) his solution is “very speculative”.

In 1997 George A. Howard concluded a paper(x) on the Bays with the following “Given a confident belief that the answers are indeed out there in the sand, we come then to the true shame of the Carolina Bay story: the willingness of the current geophysical research community to tolerate and admit such a profound “mystery” in their midst. I’ve known respected professional earth scientists to brush off questions about Carolina Bays origin with references to “alien landings” and “giant fish.” With prodding, they generally elicit a thin collage of wind and wave theory faintly recalled from their student years. One gets the distinct feeling that the study of Carolina Bay origin is the ‘crazy aunt in the attic’ of the Coastal Plain researcher. And that visiting his dear relative is hardly worth the disturbing consequences.”

The cometary explanation was given additional support in 2007, when a team of researchers from Oregon University outlined evidence that included the Carolinas, for the disintegration of a comet over Eastern Canada around 10900 BC. They claim that apart from the initiation of the Younger Dryas period, it caused widespread destruction across North America and also led to the disappearance of the Clovis culture. Further evidence supporting this view(b) was advanced by other academics in 2008.

A paper by Jennifer Marion completely denies that there was any Holocene Impact that “caused a significant abrupt climate change, extinction event, and termination of the Clovis culture at 12.9 ka.” (v)

Nevertheless, there is also evidence from optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating that the bays were formed 80,000 -100,000 years BP, which conflicts with the YD date! My layman’s view is that after 80,000 years I would expect the bays to be much more eroded than they appear to be.

A more recent paper(e) by Antonio Zamora offers an important new concept, namely that the ‘bays’ were created by a meteorite striking the Laurentide Ice Sheet that existed in the Great Lakes region, during the last Ice Age, which in turn produced an enormous hail of ice ejecta which rained down on the eastern seaboard of what is now the United States. In his conclusion, he claims “that  the new model of slow-velocity impacts from ice ejecta resulting from a meteorite impact on the Laurentide ice sheet explains many of the characteristics of the Carolina Bays, including the lack of shock metamorphism and meteorite fragments.” Zamora has also published an impressive LiDAR image of a section of the bays, which is best viewed on a large screen(o).

Zamora has also published in 2012 an ebook entitled Meteorite Cluster Impacts[1120](f), and in his 2015 book, Solving the Mystery of the Carolina Bays[1121], he expands on his theory that the ‘Bays’ were created as a result of an extraterrestrial impact with the Laurentide Ice Sheet. He describes in great detail the mathematical basis for his views.

Zamora has now had a new paper on the ‘Bays’ published in the peer-reviewed journal, Geomorphology(i), which may help to rekindle discussion on the subject. Although, in my opinion, they are not directly related to the Atlantis narrative, the existence of the Carolina Bays provides very obvious evidence of our catastrophic past.

Ralph Ellis believes that Zamora’s ‘blocks of ice’ ejecta created by the impact should be thought of instead as being more akin to softer ‘slushballs’(g)(h). Ellis noted that the inspiration for his papers relating to the Bays came from the work of geologist Michael Davias(t). Davias and his friend Tim Harris have been advocating the idea that Michigan’s Saginaw Bay holds evidence of an impact(u).

Robert W. Felix, an American architect totally rejects the ice ejecta theory, principally because the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) should have disappeared before the creation of the Carolina Bays(l). However, conventional wisdom dates the decline of the LIS to around 9,600 BC(m), coincidental with the arrival of the Carolina Bats! Felix contends in one of his books [1688] that the Bays were formed by millions of gigantic explosions in the sky, explosions triggered by a magnetic reversal!

The serial sceptic, Paul Heinrich, claims(d) that there is dating evidence, which indicates varying dates for the creation of different Carolinas. The most recent popular work to discuss comprehensively, the origin as well as the conflicting dating evidence for the Carolinas, is The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes by Firestone, West and Warwick-Smith. This is an important book that is primarily concerned with a cosmic catastrophe that wiped out the North American mammoth along with other large animals at the same time that the Clovis People disappeared 13,000 years ago. This was also the time of the colder Younger Dryas period.

tunguska3

When the Russian investigator Leonard Kulik studied the Tunguska River area, over which a meteor/asteroid exploded in 1908, he discovered several neat oval bog holes that might offer support for either the impact theory or more improbably the theories of Pelletier.

Now, over a century after the Tunguska event, an Italian research team have concluded that it was an asteroid that struck the earth and that nearby Lake Cheko is the impact crater(c).

In 2013 Gernot Spielvogel co-authored Sonnenbomben[1582] in which it is suggested that the Tunguska event was caused by a solar plasma ‘bomb’! Even Nikola Tesla was blamed by some as the perpetrator of the Tunguska event(n).

However, although the impact theory does appear to have widespread support, there appears to be a move to look at a natural earthbound explanation. The U.S. Geological Survey is now identifying the Bays as ‘relict thermokarst lakes’(q).

>Such suggestions have been excluded by Paul-Jürgen Hahn who is adamant that the bays were the result of a cometary impact with the Sargasso Sea and was also linked to the Atlantis story and the Pyramids and Sphinx! He gives the date of the impact as “12 March 9,337 BC (Greg.), 10:19 true local time in South Carolina, respectively 09:27 Bahamas time.”(y)<

A 2020 article reviews the theories relating to the origin of the bays as well as the extraordinary biodiversity to be found within the bays(p).

Nevertheless, various other theories are still under investigation, including serious consideration of the possibility of an alien spaceship explosion!(j)

Charles O’Dale, a Canadian researcher who has studied impact craters across Canada also ventured south to investigate the Carolina Bays. In a 2022 paper, he includes a number of excerpts from a range of other commentators that highlight the principal details relating to the Bays that are still in contention ninety years after their first discovery(w).

(aSee: Archive 2042

(b) https://www.uc.edu/news/NR.asp?id=8625

(c) https://phys.org/news/2012-05-team-evidence-lake-cheko-impact.html

(d) See: https://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-2040/

(e) https://www.scientificpsychic.com/etc/carolina-bays/carolina-bays.html

(f) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006X8GU8O/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B006X8GU8O&link_code=as3&tag=scientificpsy-20

(g) https://independent.academia.edu/ralphellis4 see (h)

(h) https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-science-space/carolina-bays-and-destruction-north-america-004458?utm_source=Ancient-Origins+Newsletter&utm_campaign=aefb88ffe1-Top_Trending_Stories_Nov_No1_REAL_09_11_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2dcd13de15-aefb88ffe1-85158329

(i) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169555X16308479?np=y (abstract)

(j) https://www.qconference-athens-2011.grazian-archive.com/aspacekeytotheri/rubtsov-paperx.pdf

(k) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina_bay

(l) Carpet bombing the Carolinas – Ice Age Now (archive.org)

(m) https://study.com/academy/lesson/laurentide-ice-sheet-facts-collapse-timeline.html

(n) https://theunredacted.com/the-tunguska-blast-teslas-death-ray/

(o) https://www.scientificpsychic.com/etc/carolina-bays/carolina-bays-image.html

(p) https://augustamagazine.com/2020/06/30/amazing-carolina-bays/

(q) https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/147904/ice-age-carolinas

(r) The Comet that Struck the Carolinas Harper’s Monthly No.168, 1933. p 87 

(s) https://www.jstor.org/stable/30084930

(t) http://cintos.org/index.html 

(u) Saginaw Bay fingered by gravity data as ice impact feature – The Cosmic Tusk 

(v) (99+) Arguments and Evidence Against a Younger Dryas Impact Event | Jennifer Marlon – Academia.edu 

(w) https://craterexplorer.ca/carolina-bays-structure/ 

(x) https://cosmictusk.com/the-carolina-bays-george-howards-orignal-essay-1997/ 

(y) Die Datierung der Atlantis-Katastrophe (p-j-hahn.de) *

Eel Enigma

The Eel Enigma was first noted by the Danish biologist Johannes Schmidt (1877-1933) at the beginning of the 20th century. The American eel spawns in the western part of the Sargasso Sea and their European relatives in the eastern sector. When the larvae hatch, the European eels are carried on the Gulf Stream towards Europe; a trip that takes about three years. The survivors of this long journey split up when they reach the shores of Europe. The males remain at sea and the females swim up the rivers and remain there for two years. They then rejoin the males and return together to the Sargasso where they mate, after a short journey of only one hundred and forty days.

A number of investigators, such as Otto Muck, have cited this mystery of nature as the result of the eels ’remembering’ a former landmass in the middle of the Atlantic. These writers have equated this landmass with Atlantis. However, a landmass is not what the eels require but the protective cover provided by the seaweed of the Sargasso while mating. I find it hard to accept this eel theory, although many find it credible. Perhaps millions of years ago before the tectonic plates had separated the European and American continents as far as they are today, the eels had originally only a short distance to travel. Over the ages, the journey became longer until it is now close to the physical limitations of the creatures.

A similar observation was made by Henry Eichner who pointed out the existence of shellfish in the Sargasso which is normally found in shallow waters along shorelines. Eichner suggested that this adaptation by the shellfish may be evidence for the existence of an earlier shoreline now lost through inundation!

>More recently, Daniel Schwamm added a related claim in a 2012 paper – There are many animals that are guided by a primal instinct to find their way to where Atlantis is said to have once been. For example, the lobsters of the Azores move unerringly to the west, deeper and deeper into the sea, as if they expected a rise in the seabed there sooner or later.”(b)<

Equally intriguing but unconnected to any Atlantis claim is the migratory path of monarch butterflies(a).

(a) https://io9.com/butterflies-remember-a-mountain-that-hasnt-existed-for-509321799

(b) http://www.daniel-schwamm.de/index.php?pg=texte/atlantis.htm

Shoals of Mud

A Shoal of mud is stated by Plato (Tim.25d) to mark the location of where Atlantis ‘settled’. Plato describes these shallows in the present tense, clearly implying that they were still a maritime hindrance in Plato’s day.

Three of the most popular translations clearly indicate this:

Jowett

….the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.

Bury

…..the ocean at that spot has now become impassable and unsearchable, being blocked up by the shoal of mud which the island created as it settled down.”

Lee

…..the sea in that area is to this day impassible to navigation, which is hindered by mud just below the surface, the remains of the sunken island.

Since it is probable that Atlantis was destroyed around a thousand years or more before Solon’s Egyptian sojourn, to have continued as a hazard for such a period suggests a location that was little affected by currents or tides. The latter would seem to offer support for a Mediterranean Atlantis as that sea enjoys negligible tidal changes, as can be seen from the chart below. The darkest shade of blue indicates the areas of minimal tidal effect.

med_tidesIf Plato was correct in stating that Atlantis was submerged in a single day and that it was still close to the water’s surface in his own day, its destruction must have taken place a relatively short time before since the slowly rising sea levels would eventually have deepened the waters covering the remains of Atlantis to the point where they would not pose any danger to shipping. The triremes of Plato’s time had an estimated draught of about a metre so the shallows must have had a depth that was less than that.

The reference to mud shoals resulting from an earthquake brings to mind the possibility of liquefaction. This is perhaps what happened to the two submerged ancient cities close to modern Alexandria. Their remains lie nine metres under the surface of the Mediterranean.

Post-Glacial_Sea_LevelOur knowledge of sea-level changes over the past two and a half millennia should enable us to roughly estimate all possible locations in the Mediterranean where the depth of water of any submerged remains would have been a metre or less in the time of Plato.

>Some supporters of a Black Sea Atlantis have suggested the shallow Strait of Kerch between Crimea and Russia as the location of Plato’s ‘shoals’(e) .<

The tidal map above offers two areas west of Athens and Egypt that do appear to be credible location regions, namely, (1) from the Balearic Islands, south to North Africa and (2), a more credible straddling the Strait of Sicily. This region offers additional features, making it much more compatible with Plato’s account.

By contrast, just over a hundred miles south of that Strait, lies the Gulf of Gabés, which boasts the greatest tidal range (max 8 ft) within the Mediterranean.

The Gulf of Gabes formerly known as Syrtis Minor and the larger Gulf of Sidra to the east, previously known as Syrtis Major, was greatly feared by ancient mariners and continue to be very dangerous today because of the shifting sandbanks created by tides in the area.

There are two principal ancient texts that possibly support the gulfs of Syrtis as the location of Plato’s ‘shoal’. The first is from Apollonius of Rhodes who was a 3rd-century BC librarian at Alexandria. In his Argonautica (Bk IV ii 1228-1250)(a) he unequivocally speaks of the dangerous shoals in the Gulf of Syrtis. The second source is the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 27 13-18) written three centuries later, which describes how St. Paul on his way to Rome was blown off course and feared that they would run aground on “Syrtis sands.” However, good fortune was with them and after fourteen days they landed on Malta. The Maltese claim regarding St. Paul is rivalled by that of the Croatian island of Mljet as well Argostoli on the Greek island of Cephalonia. Even more radical is the convincing evidence offered by Kenneth Humphreys to demonstrate that the Pauline story is an invention(b).

Both the Strait of Sicily and the Gulf of Gabes have been included in a number of Atlantis theories. The Strait and the Gulf were seen as part of a larger landmass that included Sicily according to Butavand, Arecchi and Sarantitis who named the Gulf of Gabes as the location of the Pillars of Heracles. Many commentators such as Frau, Rapisarda and Lilliu have designated the Strait of Sicily as the ‘Pillars’, while in the centre of the Strait we have Malta with its own Atlantis claims.

Zhirov[458.25] tried to explain away the ‘shoals’ as just pumice stone, frequently found in large quantities after volcanic eruptions. However, Plato records an earthquake, not an eruption and Zhirov did not explain how the pumice stone was still a hazard many hundreds of years after the event. Although pumice can float for years, it will eventually sink(c). It was reported that pumice rafts associated with the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa were found floating up to 20 years after that event. Zhirov’s theory does not hold water (no pun intended) apart from which, Atlantis was destroyed as a result of an earthquake. not a volcanic eruption and I think that the shoals described by Plato were more likely to have been created by liquefaction and could not have endured for centuries.

Nevertheless, a lengthy 2020 paper(d) by Ulrich Johann offers additional information about pumice and in a surprising conclusion proposes that it was pumice rafts that inspired Plato’s reference to shoals!

Andrew Collins in an effort to justify his Cuban location for Atlantis needed to find Plato’s ‘shoals of mud’ in the Atlantic and for me, in what seems to have been an act of desperation he decided that the Sargasso Sea fitted the bill [072.42]. However, he does not explain how anyone can mistake seaweed for mud!

(a)  https://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/argo/argo53.htm

(b) https://www.jesusneverexisted.com/shipwreck.html

(c) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170523144110.htm

(d) (99+) (PDF) Resurrection of Atlantis Minoica: A new localization of the Akrotiri (Santorini, Greece) West House room 5 frescos in view of current geological findings. Part 2 | Ulrich Johann – Academia.edu