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

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  • NEWS September 2023

    NEWS September 2023

    September 2023. Hi Atlantipedes, At present I am in Sardinia for a short visit. Later we move to Sicily and Malta. The trip is purely vacational. Unfortunately, I am writing this in a dreadful apartment, sitting on a bed, with access to just one useable socket and a small Notebook. Consequently, I possibly will not […]Read More »
  • Joining The Dots

    Joining The Dots

    I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato’s own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.Read More »
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W. G. Wood-Martin

Hi-Brasil or Hy-Brasil

HiBrasil or HyBrasil is sometimes referred to as the Irish Atlantis and is a name given to a legendary island to the west of Ireland. It is frequently referred to as the Fortunate Island, which has obvious resonances with the Hesperides. Another appellation in Irish is Tir fo-Thuin or Land under the Wave. A further explanation offered for the origin of the name is that it is derived from an ancient term ‘brazil’ that refers to the source of a rare dye, which is reminiscent of the expensive purple dye extracted from the Murex snail, traded by the Phoenicians.

One theory is that in the dim and distant past a part of what is now known as the Porcupine Bank, just west of Ireland, was exposed when the sea levels were lower as a result of the last Ice Age. When the feature was submerged by the rising seas it was probably eroded further by the ocean currents. The claim is that a memory of the exposed land lingered in the folk memory of the inhabitants of the west coast of Ireland.

>Marin, Minella & Schievenin in The Three Ages of Atlantis [972.375]  propose that the island of Thule described by Pytheas was the legendary Hi-Brasil, which, they further claim, was part of the Porcupine Bank that they describe as ‘recently submerged’.<

The Genoese cartographer, Angellino de Dalorto (fl.1339), placed Hy-Brasil west of Ireland on a map as early as 1325. However, on some 15th-century maps, the islands of the Azores appear as Isola de Brazil, or Insulla de Brazil. Apparently, it was not until as late as 1865 that Hy-Brasil was finally removed from official naval charts. Also found on medieval maps was another mystery island south of Brasil, sometimes appearing as Mayda, Asmaidas or Brazir(d).

Phantom islands have been shown on maps for hundreds of years and some as recently as the 20th century(f).

Mercator’s Brasil

One of the most famous visits to Hy-Brasil was in 1674 by Captain John Nisbet of Killybegs, Co. Donegal, Ireland. He and his crew were in familiar waters west of Ireland, when a fog came up. As the fog lifted, the ship was dangerously close to rocks. While getting their bearings, the ship anchored in three fathoms of water, and four crew members rowed ashore to visit Hy-Brasil. They spent a day on the island and returned with silver and gold were given to them by an old man who lived there. Upon the return of the crew to Ireland, a second ship set out under the command of Alexander Johnson. They, too, found the hospitable island of Hy-Brasil and returned to Ireland to confirm the tales of Captain Nisbet and crew.

The last documented sighting of Hy-Brasil was in 1872 when author T. J. Westropp and several companions saw the island appear and then vanish. This was  Westropp’s third view of Hy-Brasil, but on this voyage, he had brought his mother and some friends to verify its existence.

The Irish historian, W.G.Wood-Martin, also wrote[388.1.212] about Hi-Brazil over a hundred years ago.

Donald S. Johnson has also written an illustrated and more extensive account of the ‘history’ of Hi-Brazil in chapter six of his Phantom Islands of the Atlantic [652].

A modern twist on the story arose in connection with the Rendelsham UFO(b) mystery/hoax(c) of 1980 when coordinates that correspond to one of the Hy-Brasil locations were allegedly conveyed to one Sgt. Jim Penniston who kept it secret for thirty years(a)!

In 2010, the September 11th edition of the London Daily Mail (and its sister paper, the Irish Daily Mail) ran an article with the adventurous headline “The Atlantis of Connemara” that included the accounts of 20th-century witnesses to unexplained visions off the west coast of Galway. Included was a potted history of recorded sightings since 1460.

In 2013 Barbara Freitag published a valuable in-depth study[1331] of Hy-Brasil dealing with its cartography, history and mythology.

(a) Hy Brasil (archive.org)

(b) The Rendlesham Forest UFO case – Ian Ridpath (archive.org)

(c) https://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/east/series3/rendlesham_ufos.shtml

(d) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayda

(e) Archive 2272

(f) https://en.protothema.gr/a-list-of-various-phantom-islands-recorded-throughout-history/

Guanches

Guanches and Canarios were the names given to the natives of the Canary Islands when conquered by the Spanish in the 15th century following a hundred-year campaign. They are generally considered to be of Cro-Magnon origin having fair or red hair and blue/grey eyes, characteristics that are still to be seen today. Many writers have been convinced that the Guanches were the remnants of the Atlantean civilisation, a belief noted by W.G. Wood-Martin over a century ago [388.1.212]+. Recent DNA studies(j) reveal a diversity of origins for the descendants of Guanches, comparable with the general Canarian population today.

However, a number of recent genetic studies(l)(m) have established a clear relationship with the Berbers of North Africa, probably mountain Berbers(z). Furthermore, it is claimed that the aboriginal language of the Guanches is related to one of the Berber dialects(n). Further evidence favouring a Berber connection was provided in 2017(o). A 2018 paper develops this further with particular reference to the Lybico-Berber script(p).

>A review of our current knowledge of the early Canarians was published in February 2024 on the science.org website(aa) “European archaeologists were fascinated with the early Canarians. The French thought the first settlers were Cro-Magnon, like prehistoric people in France; German archaeologists thought they must have been Aryan; the Spanish thought they were Stone Age relatives of the same North Africans who settled the Iberian Peninsula.

By analyzing ancient DNA from radiocarbon-dated bones, archaeologists in the past 15 to 20 years have found that the first islanders had the strongest genetic ties to the Amazigh cultures of northwestern Africa, also known as Berbers. Rock inscriptions on the islands also echo Amazigh alphabets.”<

Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, it is claimed that the population numbered over 20,000. It is not commonly known that in the 15th century many of the Guanches were abducted and brought to the Madeiras to work as slaves(g).

The Guanches were reported to have had no boats or maritime heritage. If they were all that was left following a catastrophic event, the Guanches were probably the descendants of mountain people who had no seagoing heritage. This view was queried by Henry Eichner who claims that this idea was generated by the faulty assumptions of one of the first Spaniards to visit the island, Nicoloso de Recceo. In 2013, Sergio Navio decided to disprove this notion with a practical demonstration. The plan is to use a basic raft-like boat, named ‘Ursa Minor’ to sail from Lanzarote to La Palma, a distance of 250 miles(f).      

The Spanish conquerors of the Canary Islands may have been able to shed more light on the subject, had they been more interested in history than in territory. According to these early explorers, the natives were surprised to learn that other people had survived the disaster that had flooded their world and submerged much of their homeland. They excitedly asked the conquistadors for help translating ancient inscriptions left by their ancestors that they could no longer read, but unfortunately – for the natives and for history – the Spanish exterminated their tribe before any more information was learned about their history and legends. Their inscriptions remain undeciphered.

The Guanches have been linked with both ancient Egypt and America on a number of grounds including similar methods of mummification(i) and the step pyramids found at both locations(d). In a 2020 documentary(y)and subsequent review(x) the mummification procedures of the Guanches was investigated in minute detail.

Perhaps the most radical idea to emerge in recent times from Jonah G. Lissner was the suggestion that the Guanches or more correctly their ancestors were the founders of predynastic Egypt(q). In a similar vein, Helene E. Hagan wrote The Shining Ones[660], in which she identified the Tamazigh, related to the Guanches, as the founders of Egyptian civilisation.

Reinhard Prahl has published a paper(k) on the Migration & Diffusion website in which he also highlights cultural similarities of the Guanches and ancient Egyptians.

In The Atlantis Encyclopedia [104.130], Frank Joseph wrote, “In 45 A.D., he (Marcellus) recorded that “the inhabitants of the Atlantic island of Poseidon preserve a tradition handed down to them by their ancestors of the existence of an Atlantic island of immense size, of not less than a thousand stadia [about 115 miles], which had really existed in those seas, and which, during a long period of time, governed all the islands of the Atlantic Ocean.” Pliny the Elder seconded Marcellus, writing that the Guanches were in fact the direct descendants of the disaster that sank Atlantis. Proclus reported that they still told the story of Atlantis in his day, circa 410 A.D.” Joseph expanded on some of this in an article in issue #34 of Atlantis Rising(u).

José Luis Concepción (1948- ), a Canarian, has written a number of books with a local theme including The Guanches, Survivors and their Descendant [825], a booklet providing a brief history of the islands. He concurs with the view that the Guanches have an African Cro-Magnon ancestry and are related to modern Berbers. The author also claims that the Guanches are still the dominant race on the Canaries. The booklet has been translated into a number of languages and includes an extensive Spanish bibliography.

A website(a) discussing the Guanches has some interesting if controversial suggestions regarding their origins. Another site highlights a possible connection with the Dravidians of Southern India(c). This Dravidian connection is supported by the late Edo Nyland(e) in his Linguistic Archaeology[1190]Some time ago, Arysio dos Santos wrote a paper, claiming that “we provide linguistic evidence that the Guanche language is very likely of Dravidian derivation, and not indeed Hamito-Semitic, as usually stated(v). The present article is intended to be read in connection with the one entitled: The Mysterious Origin of the Guanches(w).”

Two Russian writers, B.F. Dobrynin[347] and B. L. Bogaevsky[182] in the first quarter of the 20th century wrote articles that supported the idea that there were links between the Guanches and the original Atlanteans.

A 2020 article(t) on the BBC website reiterates the Guanche – Berber connection but adds that “They adapted caves and grottoes to be used as silos and temples. Some of those structures have been preserved to this day and indicate the Guanches’ sophisticated astronomical knowledge: holes on the caves’ walls allowed sunlight in at certain positions during different times of the year, marking solstices and equinoxes.”

[388.1.212]+ https://archive.org/details/traceselderfait00martgoog

(a) https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_guanches_1.htm

(c) https://ositorojo.blogspot.com/2009/12/mystery-of-guanches.html

(d) https://www.google.ie/search?q=%22the+origin+of+the+guanches%22+prahl&rls=com.microsoft:en-gb:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLS_en

(e) https://web.archive.org/web/20190605101058/https://faculty.ucr.edu/~legneref/bronze/guanche.htm

(f) https://www.abc.es/local-canarias/20131110/abci-navegar-guanches-lanzarote-lapalma-201311091742.html

(g) https://menceymacro.blogspot.ie/2013/08/la-punta-del-sol-la-historia-de-los.html (Spanish)

(i) See Archive 2617

(j) https://web.archive.org/web/20190620152221/https://www.nature.com/articles/5201075

(k) https://www.migration-diffusion.info/article.php?id=96

(l) https://phys.org/news/2017-10-guanches-north-africa-dna-study.html

(m) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171026135349.htm

(n) https://web.archive.org/web/20161028034438/https://www.aulaorientalis.org/AuOr%20escaneado/AuOr%206-1988/Volumen%20VI/N_2/4.pdf

(o) https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evolution-human-origins/researchers-get-closer-finding-origins-enigmatic-guanches-and-no-they-021687

(p) https://journals.openedition.org/corpus/2641

(q) https://joe3998.tripod.com/guanches/ (link broken)

(r) The Mysterious Origin of the Guanches | Atlantis (archive.org)

(s) http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/39792/Abstract (Link Broken)

(t) https://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20200528-the-guanches-spains-mysterious-mummies

(u) Atlantis Rising magazine #34  http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At

(v) Guanche language derived from Dravida? | (archive.org)

(w) The Mysterious Origin of the Guanches | (archive.org)

(x) https://www.ancient-origins.net/history/guanche-mummies-0015257 

(y) “Las mumias guanches”, a documentary that reveals all the secrets of mummification in the Canary Islands – | Ministry of Culture and Sport (man.es)

(z) https://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/arid-20228475.html

(aa)  How did humans survive alone for 1000 years on desert islands off Africa? | Science | AAAS *