Taylor Hansen, Lucile
Lucile Taylor Hansen (1897-1976) was the daughter of the American geologist Frank Taylor, who suggested a theory of ‘continental drift’ in 1910, before the better known 1912 offering of Alfred Wegener, who cited Taylor. She was a US attorney who published under the name of L. Taylor Hansen. She was one of the earliest female short science fiction writers and had a number of stories published in the late 1920s and 1930s and subsequently wrote a series of articles on scientific mysteries(e). In common with many other female science fiction writers at that time, she denied her gender in order to be taken seriously. She “once titled a letter in Amazing Stories ‘L. Taylor Hansen Defends Himself’ and on another occasion included a photo of a man with one of her stories, claiming it was a photo of herself.”(b) As late as 1963, Egerton Sykes assumed that Taylor-Hansen was male(c).
It was not until later in her life that she privately published her major non-fiction work, The Ancient Atlantic. In this work, she draws on the traditions of the Carib natives of Central America who tell of their ancestors arriving thousands of years earlier from their original island homeland in the east that is now submerged. Some writers have taken this as a reference to Atlantis.
However, we must keep in mind that many islands in the region must have been permanently inundated at the end of the last Ice Age so that unless the tradition also contains references to an abandoned organised urban culture it is unwise to assume any connection with Plato’s tale of Atlantis.
Hansen also discusses, at length (chap. 29), Lake Tritonis (the Triton Sea), which existed in North Africa stretching from the Atlas Mountains to Lake Chad. She relates a story of the discovery in the Middle Ages of a ship near the Drâa Depression in Morocco close to the border with Algeria, which still held the skeletons of its rowers with shackles still on their bones.>If true, it would seem to confirm the existence of a substantial inland sea in Africa during the distant past. However, in ancient times most rowers were free men, so I’m forced to consider this report as dubious. Furthermore, the time when she proposes for the existence of the enlarged Lake Tritonis would been before metals, particularly iron, would have been used to make shackles.<
The Ancient Atlantic is a large-format wide-ranging book and although now out of print is still to be found in second-hand bookshops or your local library.
Hansen also wrote about a prophet who visited the Indians of North and South America with a strong suggestion that it was Jesus visiting the other sheep that were ’not of this fold’.(d) Her work in this regard has been recently revisited by Sean Casteel(a)
(c) Atlantis, Vol.16, No.3, June 1963