Trevor Palmer (1944- ) is an English Professor of Biology now living in Scotland. Apart from his day-job of enzymology and the study of genetic disorders, which led to an interest in evolution, which in turn brought him to research catastrophism, he has written a number of books on these subjects, including Perilous Planet Earth, which places today’s “concern about the threat to Earth from asteroids and comets within an historical context.” He devotes two chapters of this comprehensive work to the subject of Atlantis, in which he reviews (chap.13) some of the late 19th and early 20th century theories as well as more recent developments (chap.28) exposing many of the weaknesses in the arguments on offer.
While Palmer does not express any personal views on the subject, it is noteworthy that he wrote an introduction to the 2005 Barnes & Noble edition of Lewis Spence’s The History of Atlantis. After a brief look at Spence’s life, Palmer gives an overview of the principal strands of Atlantology today and concluded that many of the issues debated 80 years ago are still unresolved and for that reason Spence’s book continues to be worth studying.
Palmer wrote a short paper(a) in 1987 which he was cautiously sceptical of the Atlantis story, particularly the possibility that it was destroyed during the Late Pleistocene era, with which I concur. He also touched on the subject of the Carolina Bays, apparently adding support to the now discredited idea that they were created by wind action. I expect that he may have modified his views by now.
Palmer addressed the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS) in 2004 on the background to his book, published the previous year(d).
Palmer has written two papers(b)(e) on the history of catastrophism from the time of Velikovsky and the ensuing debates, until the present, when catastrophism has greater acceptance and which now offers a variety of competing of ideas regarding the number, source, date and consequences of specific catastrophes.
Palmer has also written a 2018 review(c) of Perilous Planet Earth in the light of developments since it was first published.
>Palmer and Gunnar Heinsohn have been debating Heinsohn’s claim that our chronology of the 1st millennium AD is deeply flawed, on the Q-Mag website(a). Palmer has also written a lengthy paper supporting his views(a).<
(a) See Archive 3026
The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS) was founded in>1974 to promote discussion and further study of the ideas of Immanuel Velikovsky. He was one of the first to publicise the fact that the ancient chronology of Egypt was, and according to some, still is badly wrong. SIS is “the oldest and most up-to-date Society for information and research into cosmic catastrophes and ancient chronology revision.”
For its Jubilee Conference in 1999, P. John Crowe delivered a lengthy paper(e) on the various attempts to revise ancient chronology, before and after Velikovsky.<
Trevor Palmer who was Chairman of the SIS from 1995-1998 and 2000-2002 has written Perilous Planet Earth, which is a comprehensive history of catastrophism and includes a couple of chapters on Atlantis.
In 1997, the SIS organised a conference entitled Natural Catastrophes During Bronze Age Civilisations: Archaeological, geological, astronomical and cultural perspectives. The background to the conference is worth a read.(c)
A search on their website(a) reveals a number of articles and reviews relating to Atlantis – not all positive. Their Catastrophism CD(b), although expensive, is an absolute must for any serious student of the subject.
S.I.S. has also compiled a valuable collection of web resources on its website(d).
(d) https://www.sis-group.org.uk/resource.htm (2020)
James Lewis Thomas Chalmers Spence (1874-1955) attended Edinburgh University, after which he began a career in journalism that included a stint as sub-editor of The Scotsman. His book publishing began in 1908 with the first English translation of the sacred Mayan book Popul Vuh, followed by A Dictionary of Mythology, so that eventually he had over forty works to his name. He was a keen Scottish Nationalist and stood for parliament in 1929. He was a founder member of the political movement that later evolved into today’s Scottish National Party (SNP).
Among his literary output, which included mythology, occultism and poetry, were five books relating to Atlantis[256,258,259,260 262]. In 1932 he was editor of the Atlantis Quarterly magazine. He corresponded with Percy Fawcett and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, advising the latter on the subject of Atlantis preceding the writing of The Maracot Deep and recently republished as Atlantis – Discovering the Lost City , another example of cynical publishing!
Spence at one point became the Chosen Chief of British Druidism and there is a claim that he was a member of at least one continental Rosicrucian organisation, although this report may be the result of confusion with H. Spencer Lewis, an American Rosicrucian. In 1941 he wrote about the occult and the war, then raging in Europe. In that book he argued that the war was the result of a satanic conspiracy centred in Munich and the Baltic States. The following year he wrote of his view that Atlantis had been destroyed as a form of divine retribution and that Europe was in danger of a similar fate.
His books were very popular with the general public but scorned by the scientific establishment, whom Spence mockingly referred to as “The Tape Measure School”. In truth his theories relating to Atlantis were highly speculative and often based on rather tenuous links. Spence believed that Atlantis was situated in the Atlantic and linked by a land bridge with the Yucatan Peninsula and that after the destruction of Atlantis, 13,000 years ago, the Atlantean refugees fled across this landbridge and are now recognised as the ancient Maya. A recent website(d) supports the idea of a landbridge from Cuba to the Yucatan Peninsula.
*In The Problem of Atlantis[258.205] Spence quoted a report that allegedly came from the Western Union Telegraph Company, which claimed that while searching in the Atlantic for a lost cable in 1923 that when taking soundings at the exact same spot where it had been laid twenty-five years before they found that the ocean bed had risen nearly two and a quarter miles. The account was quoted widely; however, not long afterwards, Robert B. Stacy-Judd made direct enquiries of his own to Western Union and the U.S. Navy, who denied knowledge of any such report[607.47]! It would be interesting to know the source of this ‘fake news’.*
Spence’s The History of Atlantis can now be downloaded or read online(c). In this book Spence offers his own composite translation of the Atlantis texts based on the English and French translation of Jowett, Archer-Hind, Jolibois and Negris.
A 2005 edition of the book from Barnes & Noble has an introduction by Professor Trevor Palmer.
It appears that among others Spence’s work inspired the backdrop to the a number of works by the pulp fiction writer, Robert E. Howard(e), who is perhaps best known as the creator of Conan the Barbarian.
Catastrophism today is the name given to a school of thought that supports the idea that the history of the Earth has been punctuated by natural events such as floods, fires and asteroid strikes that have caused widespread if not global devastation and that some of these events occurred within the memory of man and are recorded in worldwide mythologies.
Georges Cuvier (1768-1832) is sometimes referred to as ‘the father of paleontology’ and an early exponent of catastrophism.
Worryingly, it is now more generally accepted that further catastrophes will occur as a result of future cometary/asteroidal strikes. Nigel Cawthorne, has decided to cheer us up with his book, Doomsday , which lists 50 possible global catastrophes on the future horizon!
One such close encounter, around 2800 BC, was considered by the Christian catastrophist, Donald W. Patten, to have generated the Deluge of Noah(j) and was the source of the flood legends found around the world! Patten nominates Mars as the intruder(l), an idea also advocated by Elsar Orkan, who, however, proposes a date of around 8000 BC for this encounter.
Some readers may think that the subject has no direct connection with Plato’s Atlantis, however, his text refers to a number of catastrophic events that clearly brought devastation to Athens, Atlantis and beyond. The Flood of Deucalion and earlier inundations, Phaeton and other cosmic encounters, plus conflagrations and earthquakes all point to periods of great instability in the early prehistory of the Aegean region and quite probably much further afield.
Jürgen Spanuth devotes chapter 4 of his Atlantis of the North to an examination of “the natural catastrophes of the 13th century BC” that deals with Phaeton and the blizzard of floods, earthquakes and eruptions that beset the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Some of these matters have been recently expanded upon by Nur & Cline(f)(g) and endorsed by Stavros Papamarinopoulos[0750.73].
August 2013 saw studies published(h) which pointed the finger at climate change as the cause of the widespread political instability in that region during the second millennium BC.
Claude Schaeffer, a celebrated French archaeologist, declared in 1948 that on at least five occasions during the Bronze Age the Middle East had been subjected to widespread catastrophic destruction as a result of natural events rather than human activity.
Immanuel Velikovsky is arguably the best know of the 20th century catastrophists, who published two books in the 1950’s that provoked widespread controversy that continues today. There is an interesting albeit a sceptical review of catastrophism in the last century by Patrick Moore & Bob Forrest in Chapter 14 of More Things in Heaven and Earth(k).
Paul Dunbavin, author of Towers of Atlantis , has published a paper(n), highly critical of Velikovsky’s work. Dunbavin has researched the evidence for a number of pole shifts that are not dependent on what he describes as the “naïve astronomy” of Velikovsky.
In 1964, the Belgian mathematician René Gallant (1908-1985) published Bombarded Earth which dealt in great detail with the consequences of meteorite impacts with the earth. Gallant, perhaps because of his amateur status as a geologist, never received the attention he deserved.
More recently Allan & Delair produced another book that identified 9500 BC as the date of a global catastrophe following an encounter with a comet. Their conclusions are at variance with Velikovsky’s, particularly regarding dates. Professor Mike Baillie of Queens University, Belfast is a well-known dendrochronologist who has recently entered the debate with his book, Exodus to Arthur that adds evidence from his discipline to support the theory of cometary or asteroidal impacts with the Earth. Unfortunately his work is confined to the last 4,500 years and so casts no further light on the 9,500 BC date apart from offering support for the possibility of extraterrestrial impacts.
However, Richard Firestone and his co-authors have researched an impact ‘Event’ the occurred 13,000 years ago and caused devastation in North America including the creation of the hundreds of thousands of Carolina Bays and some of the outbursts of Lake Missoula. Like Baillie, they claim that a memory of this event has been preserved in the folktales of many of the North American Indians. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the latest developments in catastrophist research.
The destruction of Atlantis has been linked to a number of possible catastrophic events including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and asteroid strikes. Plato’s account cites a flood as the immediate cause of the disappearance of Atlantis. In the 18th century Giovanni Carli was probably the first to link a cometary encounter with the Earth as the cause of Atlantis’ demise. This idea has been supported by numerous writers ever since, with Emilio Spedicato being one of its leading exponents today.
There are numerous sites on the Internet relating to catastrophism of which one(a) can be recommended as a good starting point for further study. Andy Blackard has listed(b) events connected with global upheavals around 3200 and 2000 BC. An Australian archaeologist, Peter Jupp, is the creator of the Ancient Destructions website(e) which deals with a number of historical mysteries including, Baalbek and Antarctica.
A more recent book by Robert Argod postulates that many of these historical catastrophes were caused by an irregular series of accelerated tectonic movements, although he does not offer a credible mechanism to explain the triggering of such upheavals. Is it possible that the strikes by or near misses with extraterrestrial objects, proposed by so many, generated the tectonic shifts proposed by Argod?
Professor Trevor Palmer has written a comprehensive history of catastrophes and catastrophism from the earliest times and its relevance today. His Perilous Planet Earth includes a couple of chapters in which he reviews Atlantis theories in the context of catastrophism.
Dr Michel-Alain Combes has a PhD in astronomy from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI). He has an extensive website(i) dealing with catastrophism, which translates quite well.
2012 was been promoted as the date of the next worldwide catastrophe based on a highly questionable interpretation of the Mayan calendar. New Age gurus were promising a change in global consciousness, whatever that means. If interested you can read more of this nonsense online(c) or consider a more balanced view(d).
A huge catastrophist bibliography (2010) is available online(m) with a 2020 update now available(o).
>(i) http://www.astrosurf.com/macombes/index.html (French)<
Hans Schindler Bellamy (1888-1970), appears to be one of the pseudonyms of Rudolf Elmayer von Vestenbrugg, a.k.a. Elmar Brugg. H. S. Bellamy, with one exception, was the pen name used on English language books. He was probably Austrian, or Anglo-Austrian as Trevor Palmer designates him[0888.127]. Furthermore, there is no clear agreement regarding the exact year or place of either his birth (sometimes 1901)(b) or death (sometimes 1982). Atlantisforschung.de records(c) his life as (1901-1982) and refers to a lecture that Bellamy gave in 1975 to the World Congress of the Ancient Astronaut Society in Zurich, which presumably he delivered while still alive. Until now, I have also been unable to locate any photos of Bellamy.
During the Nazi reign he wrote a number of regime friendly works under the name of Elmar Vinibert von Rudolf with the SA rank of Obersturmführer including a volume of SA stories covering the war years 1939/40. After the war he was usually published in the German language as Elmar Brugg.
Bellamy is probably best known for his adoption of some of the strange cosmological ideas of Hanns Hoerbiger, with whom he developed a friendship and has written about these theories in both English and German. He gathered an extensive collection of worldwide myths to support the view that the Earth had lost a previous moon and captured our present satellite within the last 50,000 years. He developed his views in his first book, Moons, Myths and Man which was published shortly before the Second World War. After the war Bellamy was instrumental in establishing the British Hoerbiger Institute which contributed to Egerton Sykes’ bi-monthly Atlantis magazine.
Bellamy wrote a short monograph for the Hoerbiger Institute’s newsletter in March 1948, in which he reiterated his belief that the capture of our Moon caused the destruction of Atlantis(d).
In 1949 Bellamy was invited by Sykes to visit Britain, presumably from Austria, and give lectures on Hörbiger’s theories. In Vol.1 No.6 of Atlantean Research there is an article(a) written by Bellamy, he seems to be ingratiating himself with the British with glowing references to the Pound Sterling. This could be interpreted as part of a process of rehabilitation following his wartime activities.
He directly dissects the Atlantis story in his book, The Atlantis Myth, in which he never misses an opportunity to link the details of the Plato’s narrative with the ‘captured Moon’ theory of Hoerbiger. He also refers (p.78) to classical writers such as Strato and Seneca who wrote, “that originally the Straits of the Pillars (Straits of Gibraltar) did not exist, but the rock was eventually broken through in a cataclysm.” Bellamy logically comments that such an event could only be known if there were witnesses to it.
He also produced a volume, The Book of Revelation is History, devoted to demonstrating that the last book of the New Testament is in fact a coded description of the catastrophes that accompanied the capture of our moon. He claimed that the reference to the ten horns is an allusion to the ten Atlantean kings. He also interpreted the Book of Jeremiah I & II as well as Ezekiel as containing references to aspects of the Atlantis story.
Bellamy devoted a lot of his energies to the study of Tiahuanaco and co-authored two books with Peter Allan (1898-1974) on the subject. Both Bellamy and Allan were awarded honorary professorships in the University of La Paz in recognition of their work at Tiahuanaco.
He believed that he had found evidence of a shorter year of 290 days in ancient times but within the memory of man. Bellamy studied the calendar on the Sun Gate of Tiahuanaco and believed that he had found evidence of a shorter year of 290 days in ancient times but within the memory of man. He subscribed to the theory that a pre-lunar satellite orbited our planet 100,000 years ago and that it rotated so close to the Earth, eventually crashing into it, that it caused a more rapid rotation of our planet!
What appears to have been his last book was published in German shortly after his death and once again he wrote of the possibility and consequences of cosmic collisions. Unusually, this book was published with the authorship credited jointly to both Rudolf Elmayer von Vestenbrugg and H.S. Bellamy.
(d) https://www.theflatearthsociety.org/home/index.php/flat-earth-library/pamphlets-and-journals (Hoerbiger Monograph No. 1. 2nd Edition. March, 1948)