Nicholas Caspary published Plato’s Atlantis: On the Origin of Religion in March 2023 , which according to the author is “intended as an update, a sequel, or a reboot if you wish, of Ignatius Donnelly’s 1882 work, and will as such be restating many of the same pertinent arguments as well as adding to his information that from our modern day.” For me, Donnelly’s ideas are now ‘old hat’ with little to offer modern Atlantis research and beyond resuscitation..
Nevertheless, Caspary spent the first half of his book reviewing Donnelly’s theories and then moved on to adding what he believes are more recent discoveries that support Donnelly. These include a change to the ice age cycle, the origin of our Moon as well as encounters with wandering extraterrestrial bodies.
Not content with a look at the evolutionary tree of humans, he then moves on to ancient astronauts, crystal skulls, Edgar Cayce, Orion Correlation Theory, etc, etc. He ends with a section on quantum physics, about which I and, I’m sure, most of my readers know very little. I was left with the feeling that I had just encountered a weird mixture of Däniken blended with Sitchin and Hancock that overall did little to justify Donnelly’s 19th-century speculations.
The Moon and its origin have been the subject of speculation for centuries, examples of which are reviewed below. Professor Robert M. Hazen of George Mason University tells us in The Origin and Evolution of the Earth(ad) that “three competing theories—the fission theory, the capture theory, and the co-accretion theory—were all in contention prior to 1969, but the treasure trove of Apollo Moon rocks provided the answer: None of the pre-1969 theories worked……….The Moon is now thought to have formed as the result of an epic impact with a Mars-sized planet that was competing for the same solar system real estate as Earth. Earth was bigger and won, but the Moon was formed from the debris of the impact.”
The impact theory received a boost from the results of a study carried out at Durham University involving the use of a supercomputer for modelling(ag).
The Moon has little connection with Plato’s Atlantis story apart from the more extreme speculations of some writers. One of the wildest is that the Atlanteans had established a research facility on the Moon(a), an idea rivalled by that of Alan Butler & Christopher Knight in their book, Who Built the Moon, in which they propose that the Moon was ‘constructed’! This idea has now been revived by Rob Shelsky. In 1965, the Umland brothers proposed that the Moon was a communications relay station for the Maya to make contact with their home planet!
In his recent book, Dead Men’s Secrets [1910.299], Jonathon Gray suggested that ancient texts support the idea that man has visited the Moon in the distant past! This is available as a pdf file(ac).
In 1970, Michael Vasin and Alexander Shcherbakov, of what was then the Soviet Academy of Sciences, advanced a hypothesis that the Moon is a spaceship created by unknown beings.(k) These ideas inspired the title of Don Wilson’s 1976 book, Our Mysterious Spaceship Moon . Two years later Arnold L. Lieber published The Lunar Effect  in which he put forward his theory of ‘biological tides’ that proposes that the Moon affects human behaviour. This seemed to reinforce the popular belief that aggression and even suicides were affected by the phases of the Moon. Commenting on Lieber’s theory at the time, astronomer Dr Nicholas Sanduleak debunked his claims(aa).
The idea that the Moon was to some extent hollow was given impetus in the 1970s when a study of moonquakes revealed that the Moon ‘rang like a bell’ (i). Now, nearly half a century later, Wallace Thornhill, a leading Electric Universe proponent, has endorsed the hollow Moon idea and seems sympathetic to the idea of a hollow earth. This was expressed at a recent EU conference and be viewed at the 40-minute mark of a YouTube video.(j)
Neal Adams, a respected graphic artist(s), is probably best known for his work on the DC Comics characters Batman and Green Arrow. He is a vocal supporter of the Expanding Earth Hypothesis(t), but, he has gone further and also proposed a growing Moon as well(u)(r). Not content with that, he has extended his expansion investigations to other bodies in our Solar System, such as Mars, Ganymede & Europa(v). Adams considers the term “Expanding Earth” a misnomer and has named his proposed expansion process ‘pair production’!
The origins of the Moon have also been the subject of extensive controversy with one side claiming that it had been ‘captured’ by the earth, while the other extreme argues that it had been ‘expelled’ from our planet. The expulsion theory posits(b) that a collision with another celestial body tore material from the Earth, which in time became our Moon(h). Nils Olof Bergquist writing in the 1940s supported the expulsion scenario and had his original Swedish book on the subject translated into English as The Moon Puzzle.
Aloys Eiling (1952- ) is a German researcher who has offered a variation on the Moon capture theory, suggesting that it took place when our planet was already populated – somewhere between 40,000 and 13,000 BC. He notes(ab) that “the capture of the Moon caused worse than a flood; it changed the geography of the world. Earth’s surface was devastated, millions died, and life in total was brought to the brink of extinction. In the collective memory of mankind, the event indelibly remained in the myths about a Deluge.”
The most radical of the captured moon school was Hanns Hörbiger, who proposed that there had been a series of Moon captures. Many of his ideas were adopted by H.S. Bellamy, who added that the capture of our current satellite had destroyed Atlantis. Kurt Bilau has also proposed a moon capture theory that incorporates two near encounters before finally becoming our current satellite(ah)(ai).
Nikolay Bonev, the astronomer, caused a stir in 1961 when he expressed the view that our Moon had once been an independent planet(d) that had experienced violent volcanic eruptions that were powerful enough to have produced a ‘recoil’ effect, which nudged it towards our Earth’s orbit and was eventually captured as our satellite.
In 1948, an amateur astronomer, L.C. Suggars, endorsed the idea of the Moon as a captured planet, based on its diameter/density ratio, which was consistent with that of the other minor planets (Mercury, Mars, Venus & Earth).(w)
More recently Emilio Spedicato expressed similar ideas(c) and in another paper(aj) he wrote “we consider the Sumerian tradition of a planet, called Nibiru, claimed to approach Earth every 3600 years. We argue that the real period was 20 years and that a close passage of that body near Earth around 9500 BC ended the last Ice Age and the Atlantis civilization. Moreover Earth a satellite of Nibiru became our Moon, in addition to the previous satellite, that was Mars. We discuss ancient statements that Moon originally looked bigger and brighter than now and that the period of about 2400 years when there were two satellites explains the myth of Isis and Osiris. We argue that Nibiru around 6900 BC disappeared in a giant impact on Jupiter.“
Stuart L. Harris has proposed(m) that the planet Nibiru had a close encounter with our Earth in 9577 BC that destroyed Atlantis, followed by another visit in 9417 BC during which it lost one of its satellites, which became our Moon!
Immanuel Velikovsky wrote a short paper(af) reviewing the three most popular theories regarding the origins of our satellite and concluded that “Since mankind on both sides of the Atlantic preserved the memory of a time when the Earth was without the Moon, the first hypothesis, namely, of the Moon originating simultaneously with the Earth and in its vicinity, is to be excluded, leaving the other two hypotheses to compete between themselves.” I think it noteworthy that Velikovsky makes no reference to the theories of Hörbiger in this paper. In 2020, Velikovsky’s unfinished book, In the Beginning , promoted as a prequel to Worlds in Collision, was finally published, where he returns to the matter of the Earth without its Moon.
John Ackerman, a keen follower of Immanuel Velikovsky claimed that there were two catastrophic events related to “the capture of the Moon into its current orbit,” marking both the beginning and the end of the Younger Dryas period(p). Although Ackerman was an admirer of Velikovsky’s work, he was also critical of some of his conclusions(x).
The Moon controversies continue with the recent suggestion by Erik Asphaug, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who claims that originally the Earth had two moons that coalesced into a single satellite (n)! A few years earlier, Dr Martin Jutzi from the University of Bern, Switzerland put forward a similar theory involving a smaller second moon that had a slow-motion collision with the larger satellite. He proposed that this event explains “why the near side of the Moon – the one visible from Earth – is flat and cratered while the rarely-seen far side is heavily cratered and has mountain ranges higher than 3,000m.”(z) Jutzi thought that samples from the far side of the Moon might confirm the theory.
Gary Gilligan, a catastrophist, also supports the concept of moon capture but dated this event to as recent as 2000 BC(f) and then later advanced it to 1200 BC(g). He claims that he can “show that the moon could not have existed during prehistory as evidenced by the absence of the moon in Neolithic artwork and artefacts.” A comment that ignores the maxim ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.’
Researcher, Mark Andrew commenting on Gilligan’s claims wrote that “Although Gilligan promises more evidence to come, his theory has to contend with the varied evidence of an earlier Moon, including the earliest known written myth of the Moon’s death and rebirth, the epic poem Descent of Inanna (dating from 1750 BC), and also the oldest known map of the moon (dating from 2800 BC).”(l)
Ticleanu, Constantin & Nicolescu in their paper delivered to the 2008 Atlantis Conference very briefly touched on the origin of the Moon. They claim that our Moon, a former planet, was captured by our Earth sometime within the last 40,000 years [750.368].
Two American commentators, Kevin A. & Patrick J. Casey maintain that a globally catastrophic event occurred 13,000 years ago(ae). The kernel of their theory is that originally the Earth had two moons that at some later point collided, producing our current Moon, while the remnant of the second one eventually exploded over North America kick-starting what we refer to as the cooler Younger Dryas period. They are adamant that it was not a comet or asteroid that caused the devastation, and so clash with the conclusions of Richard Firestone and his colleagues. They refer to this as the 13K Event, which is also known as the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis (YDIH).
>The moon could have formed immediately after a cataclysmic impact that tore off a chunk of Earth and hurled it into space, a new study has suggested. Since the mid-1970s, astronomers have thought that the moon could have been made by a collision between Earth and an ancient Mars-size protoplanet called Theia; the colossal impact would have created an enormous debris field from which our lunar companion slowly formed over thousands of years.
But a new hypothesis, based on supercomputer simulations made at a higher resolution than ever before, suggests that the moon’s formation might not have been a slow and gradual process after all, but one that instead took place within just a few hours. The scientists published their findings on October 4, 2022, in the journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters(al).<
Unexpectedly, the orbital speed of the Moon appears to vary on its trip around the Earth(e).
Some of the ideas above regarding the origin of the Moon are extremist and are far more radical than a recent theory regarding the Sun proposed by Ev Cochrane, a comparative mythologist, in a YouTube clip(o), where he offers evidence that the Sun as observed in ancient times seemed quite different to how we see it today. This is borne out by the related mythologies and petroglyphs from our ancient past and shows a global consistency that cannot be explained by imagination.
Professor Neil F. Comins of the University of Maine challenged his students with the question ‘what if the Moon didn’t exist?’ The responses were interesting (no eclipses) and amusing (a new word for ‘lunatic would be required), but not always correct (no tides). One important consequence would be an eight-hour day(q).
>Even more challenging are recent comments from Randall Carlson in an exchange between Carlson and Jesse Michels(ak).
JM “Do you believe that there are survivors of ancient Atlantis among us, perhaps with underwater bases or bases on the Moon and advanced technology!”
RC “Now there’s a loaded question, Jesse.” [pause] “I would say, a very provisional – Yes!”
Unfortunately, Michels did not pursue the matter in the clip available.<
(a) See: Archive 3334
(e) The Clockwork Moon | MalagaBay (archive.org)
(n) When the Earth Had Two Moons – Issue 74: Networks – Nautilus (archive.org)
(r) Neal Adams: 01 – The Growing Earth | MalagaBay (archive.org)
(u) Neal Adams: 02 – The Growing Moon | MalagaBay (archive.org)
(w) Atlantean Research, Vol.1, No.2, September/October 1948
(x) Velikovsky’s Mistakes | Acksblog (cycliccatastrophism.org)
(z) Earth may once have had two moons – BBC News
(aa) SCIENCE WATCH – The Moon and Lunacy – NYTimes.com (archive.org)
(ac) Dead men’s secrets : tantalising hints of a lost super race : Gray, Jonathan, 1933- author : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
(ad) The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence (archive.org)
(af) The Earth Without the Moon (varchive.org)
(ag) How did the moon form? A supercomputer may have just found the answer | Live Science
(ah) The moon capture report according to Daniel and Johannes – Atlantisforschung.de (atlantisforschung-de.translate.goog)
(ai) The Revelations of John – Atlantisforschung.de (atlantisforschung-de.translate.goog)
(aj) (99+) Nibiru-tiamat rel 6 June 13 | Emilio Spedicato – Academia.edu
(ak) Graham Hancock: Aliens, Atlantis & the Apocalypse – YouTube
(al) How did the moon form? A supercomputer may have just found the answer | Live Science *
Alan Butler is British and an engineer by profession and for the past thirty years has been a full-time researcher and writer with a number of successful books to his credit(a). His area of interest is principally ancient civilisations which led to the publication of Civilization One and Before the Pyramids co-authored with Christopher Knight. A critical review(e) of the former is offered by Jason Colavito, a man who only writes critical reviews.
The sequel to Civilization One was Who Built the Moon  in which Butler and Knight offer evidence that our Moon is artificial!
>In 2023, Shane Leach tried to resuscitate this daft idea. Leach also recycled the suggestion that the Martian satellite, Phobos, was an alien construction. However, neither he nor Butler & Knight can claim originality as this idea of artificial moons was floated decades ago by the Russian I. S. Shklovskii(g).<
Even more extreme is his claim in Intervention that at critical junctures in man’s history, humans from the future have returned to intervene!!
Butler also wrote a book on the Phaistos Disc – The Bronze Age Disc. In it he contends there is support for his 366-degree geometry. The Disc has 30 divisions on one side and 31 on the other, which, with, a calendar alternating 30-day months and 31-day months would result in a 366-day year! Sylvain Tristan supports this idea(d) .
He has only touched briefly on the subject of Atlantis in a number of his books, but this changed with his 2014 book The Dawn of Genius in which he deals more fully with Plato’s island. In chapter nine he expresses the view that Plato’s Atlantis story is probably a conflation of a number of historical tales of which the Minoan Hypothesis provides some of the threads. He rejects an Atlantic location as contrary to geology and Plato’s nine thousand years to be archaeologically unsound.
Guy Gervis wrote a positive review of Civilisation One, while a more critical view of Butler is offered by Jason Colavito(b).
In 1999, Butler published City of the Goddess, which deals with Washington, DC’s direct connection with Freemasonry and its veneration of the Great Goddess! Then in 2015 America: Nation of the Goddess was published. It has been co-authored by Butler and Janet Wolter, wife of TV presenter Scott F. Wolter. We are already informed that among the gems contained in it, is the revelation that “every baseball diamond is actually a temple to the Goddess.” I’m not making this up. Jason Colavito was equally surprised(c).
Butler and Knight teamed up in 2010 to produce an article(f) on Graham Hancock’s website, in which they reprised much of their earlier work on Stone Age metrology, Freemasonry, Sumerians and the design of Washington, DC.
(d) The Golden Lines (archive.org) *
(f) Was our solar system designed to produce humans? – Graham Hancock Official Website
(g) https://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/spaceship-moon-and-soviet-scientific-politics *
Ancient Astronauts and their technology is often promoted as the inspiration behind aspects of many ancient religions such as the vimanas of the Hindus, the flying chariots of Ezekiel as well as the gods of Mesopotamia. The most widely known proponents of these ideas are Erich von Däniken and the late Zecharia Sitchin.
However, I must also include Josef Blumrich who proposed that the biblical Ezekiel had encountered an alien spaceship in his 1973 book . It is worth noting that a decade earlier Arthur W. Orton wrote The Four-Faced Visitors of Ezekiel which was recently republished  and offers similar ideas to Blumrich. Ulrich Magin has written a critical review of Bloomrich’s interpretation of Ezekiel’s visions(m).
Before von Däniken, Harold T. Wilkins was already suggesting prehistoric extraterrestrial visitors in the 1950s. He also wrote a couple of books about Atlantis. Not long after that, Egerton Sykes wrote some short articles for his Atlantis magazine(i) that were sympathetic to the idea of ancient astronauts.
R. Cedric Leonard is another Atlantis researcher who has written about Atlantis and ancient technology(aliens). The most recent attempt to link Atlantis with ancient astronauts is Kevin Falzon, who closely follows Sitchin while locating Atlantis in his native Malta. Richard Mooney speculated on a connection between Atlantis and ancient aliens four decades ago.
Nevertheless, the idea of visitors from other worlds is often traced back to the 18th century and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772)(e), who not only argued that extraterrestrial beings had visited our planet, but that he had met them! Greg Little has also recently(g) credited Swedenborg as the originator of the alien visitors’ idea, but Jason Colavito has rubbished Little’s article(f) and traced the concept of extraterrestrial encounters back to Lucian (125-180 AD) together with a few others before Swedenborg. Colavito and Little are not ‘best friends’, so I can only conclude that Colavito simply wished to undermine Little’s credibility as a researcher.
Jason Colavito has also drawn attention(a) to an exhibition to be held in Beijing in July 2012, which purports to offer evidence of these ancient visitors, and has published(b) the official U.S. Government view on ancient astronauts. He also offers an overview of alien theories and scathingly criticises their proponents(c). In 2011 Colavito published a free ebook with the self-explanatory title of The Origins of the Space Gods(j).
Colavito has also an interesting blog for 29/08/14 which quotes from a 1977 magazine that has an article suggesting that Jesus was an American astronaut who came back from the future, no doubt inspired by Planet of the Apes!(d)
Perhaps even more disconcerting is the results of a survey(h) carried out by Chapman University that show 20% of Americans believe in ancient astronauts!
In 2020, we had a bizarre tweet from the billionaire, Elon Musk, claiming that “aliens built the pyramids”(l), I hope that this was a tongue-in-cheek comment!
Nevertheless, there are still (2021) attempts to promote the ancient astronaut idea using the same material that has failed to convince in the past(k).
>An example of this is the 2023 book, Prehistory Explained  by Shane Leach, who recycled some of the ideas of von Däniken and Sitchin and then for good measure threw in the old suggestion that our Moon and the Martian moon Phobos are artificial. Of course, Atlantis was not ignored, which he placed in Antarctica and deemed that Stonehenge had been laid out like the Pleiades constellation!<
More depressing is the study by Graham E.L.Holton, which surveyed the ancient astronaut literature and found nothing but superior white blond ‘gods’, usually male, such as Quetzalcoatl(n). This theme was continued in later UFO reports. Erich von Däniken is arguably the best known of the ancient astronaut proponents, but he was not the first and certainly not the last(n). Jason Colavito has reviewed the racism expressed by von Däniken(o). Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews was equally critical of Däniken’s racist views(p).
Also See: Extraterrestrials
(e) https://web.archive.org/web/20200731011955/https://www.swedenborgproject.org/2007/09/08/the-life-on-other-planets-question/ or See: Archive 2262
(i) Atlantis, Volume 20, No.3, May/June 1967.
(k) Evidence of Aliens and Ancient Astronauts – Strange Unexplained Mysteries (coolinterestingstuff.com)
(l) Weekend Omnibus: Younger Dryas Volcano, Elon Musk’s Ancient Astronaut Tweet, Steve Quayle’s Plagiarism, and More! – Jason Colavito
(m) Spaceship or God’s apparition? The Visions of Ezekiel – Mysteria3000 (link broken) *