Without Evidence: Atlantis Theories, Slightly More Left of Centre

Plato has a lot to answer for when he wrote about Atlantis. Its been the inspiration behind TV series and Hollywood films; some even made for reasonable entertainment (think Captain Nemo and Man from Atlantis), and some, well sank (think Kevin Costner in Waterworld). Even James Bond, in The Spy who Loved Me, had an Atlantis element. He saved the earth from arch-villain Karl Stromberg, a powerful shipping magnate whose scheme for world domination was to blow up the land leaving the chosen few living safely beneath the ocean.

Atlantis has it all; an ancient thriving city with ambiguous plans to be a super power which disappeared somewhere into the ocean – perfect fodder for the imaginative theorist.

1. Atlantean Crystals

The renowned psychic Edgar Cayce first mentioned Atlantis in a reading in 1923. He proposed Atlantis was an ancient, now-submerged, highly-evolved civilization with ships and aircraft powered by a mysterious form of energy crystal.

This crystal was an Atlantean power crystal which gathered solar, lunar, stellar, atmospheric and Earth energies as well as unknown elemental forces. Cayce believed the Atlanteans used the crystal initially to rejuvenate their bodies and so had a youthful appearance despite being several hundred years old. He said the energy was also used to power crafts and vehicles which could travel on land, in the sky and under the sea at the speed of sound.

In the early 1970s this theory became popular again, when a naturopathic practitioner from Arizona allegedly found a mysterious crystal in a pyramid when he was separated from friends whilst diving from the edge of a submarine drop-off called The Tongue of the Ocean.

Although he hadnt a torch Dr Ray Brown entered the pyramid as apparently it was well-lit, though there was no direct light source. Inside he found a metallic rod with a red gem and a crystal sphere in a pair of metal bronze-coloured life-sized hands.

As Brown departed, he felt a presence and heard a voice telling him never to return. Dr Brown didnt tell authorities about the find or his experience until 1975 when he exhibited the crystal for the first time.

2. Location, location, location

Edgar Cayce also saw the location of Atlantis, with suggestions varying from the Pyrenees and Morocco to the Yucatan, in Mexico. However he suggested the Bahamas might be the best place to look:

There are some protruding portions… that must have at one time or another been a portion of this great continent. The British West Indies, or the Bahamas, are a portion of same that may be seen in the present. If the geological survey would be made in some of these especially, or notably in Bimini and in the Gulf Stream through this vicinity, these may be even yet determined.

Meanwhile, when the writer Graham Hancock put forward the theory that an unknown advanced civilization had existed on Antarctica, some suggested it was actually the lost city of Atlantis. Another suggestion for Atlantis location is the Celtic Shelf, the continental shelf surrounding much of England.

3. The Egypt connection

In one of Cayces readings, he said the civilization of Atlantis had entrusted their knowledge and technology to the ancient Egyptians, and even predicted that parts of Atlantis would rise in 1969. One of todays experts on the Giza pyramids, Mark Lehner started his Egyptology career as a follower of Edgar Cayce. Lehner first went to Egypt in the 1970s in search of the Atlantian Hall of Records which Cayce believed was buried beneath the right paw of the Sphinx.

Lehner converted to more traditional Egyptology after his initial journey to Egypt and went on to study in the American University in Cairo. He is now involved with projects such as the Giza Mapping Project.

4. The Nazi Quest

The Nazis pretty much touched base with every ancient legend/civilisation in their quest to find the origins of the Aryan race, and dominate the world with supernatural powers. And Atlantis was no exception.

Himmler was a member of the Thule society, named after the mythical land of Hyperborea-Thule. Some of the devotees believed Thule was the remnants of Atlantis. In 1935 the Ahnenerbe Forschungs und Lehrgemeinschaft (Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Society) was formed by Himmler tasked with providing scientific, anthropological and archaeological evidence to support the theories of the Thule Society and in so doing determine the origins of the Aryan race.

The science fiction writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton referred to the Thule in his novel The Coming Race, and inferred would-be world conquerors would receive a psychokinetic power called vril.

The Thule Society believed the mythical land of Thule lay between Greenland and Iceland. However one follower, Karl Haushofer, was convinced that the key to the harnessing of the power of vril lay in Tibet and in 1938 the Nazis led an expedition to study its inhabitants and explore the theory further.

(Author’s note:I think there’s a fifth Indiana Jones film in there somewhere.)


5. Atlantis in space

This list wouldn’t be complete without an alien theory, and the writer Alan Alford makes the case for Atlantis not being of earthly origins. Going back to its Egyptian roots, Alford claims Platos Atlantis was a political allegory or possibly an allegory for the creation of the universe.

He has suggested that Atlantis was in fact a metaphor for the primeval underworld, and was destroyed by a planet which blew up in some ancient era.

He writes: “This example of Atlantis, illustrates how the implications of an exploded planet cult in ancient Egypt extend well beyond the boundaries of Egyptology itself, leading to a radical reappraisal of the so-called ‘gods,’ which came down from heaven to Earth. The identification of these gods (the Anunnaki, the Nephilim, the Builder Gods of Edfu, for example) as meteoric planetary fragments inevitably begs the question whether God, the son of God and the angels of God are echoes of this ancient and profound inter-planetary creation cult.”

I am sure there’s far more theories out there – .But I wonder what Plato would think of all these?

For a more serious look at ‘Atlantis:The Evidence’, catch historian Bettany Hughestonight on BBC Two in the Timewatch Special.