William Ryan & Walter Pitman published evidence, in 1997, that extensive flooding of the Black Sea occurred through the Bosphorus around 5600 BC. Controversy still surrounds various aspects of their
theory, some even claiming that the Black Sea broke into the Aegean, an idea that may be partially true(d)(e).
Nevertheless, their conclusions were challenged in a paper(c) by Yanko, Gilbert and Dolukhanov, who offered evidence that the flooding of the Black Sea was not the rapid event claimed, but was spread over millennia, initially in the form of freshwater from the Caspian Sea via the Manych Spillway(d) as the glaciers retreated and later with seawater from the Mediterranean. The same paper concludes with the following; “The public perception that ‘Noah’s Flood’ happened there is not supported by any scientific evidence.”
Ryan & Pitman later published their theories in book form as Noah’s Flood and was understandably seized upon by many as proof of the veracity of the Bible. In fact a year before Ryan & Pitman launched their book, René & Denise Capart published l homme et les déluges, in which they linked the Black Sea with the the Deluge of Noah. A Bulgarian father and son team, Petko & Dimitar Dimitrov, refer to the pre-flood Varna civilisation existing on the Black Sea plain, but not calling it Atlantis by name. Their book is available online(a).
Inevitably, I suppose, Atlantis has been more firmly linked with this event by a number of commentators, particularly, Christian & Siegfried Schoppe(b). However, Hristo Smolenov also claimed that swathes of the Varna civilisation were inundated by the rising waters of the Black Sea but had no hesitation identifying it with Atlantis.
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.
Hristo Smolenov (1954- ) was born in Bulgaria’s second largest city, Plovdiv. He is a recognised expert in counterterrorism and mathematics and is also the latest advocate of a Black Sea Atlantis, which he identifies with what he calls the Aurolithic Varna Civilisation that existed 3,000 years before the pyramids. Varna today is situated in the Bulgarian province of Stara Zagora on the Black Sea coast. He has publicised his views through a website(a), video(b) and a book, Zagora – Varna: The Hidden Superculture.