The fictitious pseudohistorical Atlantis of Brasseur de Bourbourg, Augustus Le Plongeon, and Ignatius Donnelly has had a long and ignominious influence on the word. I came across a bizarre argument from 1914 and 1915 that the swastika is proof of the existence of Atlantis and that Atlantis is therefore also the garden of Eden from the Bible, for the four branches of the swastika symbolize the four rivers of Eden. In reality, the swastika is one of the most common shapes used in cultures around the world, due to its simplicity and symmetry. It is almost certainly an independent invention many times over, but Atlantis theorists have speculated that the shape, like the equally obvious pyramid form, could only have been invented by a race of lily-white supermen on a paradisiacal Atlantic island.
Yes, The Curse of Oak Island returned last night, but as it has dragged on, the program has become a reality show more than a documentary series, and the deaths of two cast members make it much less fun to criticize the increasingly rickety program. When and if they uncover anything worth mentioning, I might return to talking about it.
The Daily Mail ran another of its stupid clickbait articles, and it has earned quite a bit of play across the fringe internet for reasons that baffle me. The new article implies, without bothering to explain, that the city of Nan Madol, in the South Pacific, had something to do with the lost continent of Atlantis. The news peg is that the Science Channel took some satellite images of the city, which the internet quickly misunderstood as meaning that Nan Madol had been “newly” discovered. This, in turn, prompted the Daily Mail to write about the online speculation as though it had substance.
Chapman University Survey Finds Majority of Americans Now Believe in Ancient Advanced Civilization, While a Third Believe in Ancient Astronauts
Something bad is going on in America, and I’m not entirely sure whom to blame. For the past few years Chapman University has conducted a Halloween-themed study of paranormal and superstitious beliefs tied to Americans’ worst fears. Included in the survey questions were items related to subjects of interest to us: ancient astronauts, lost advanced civilizations, etc. The latest survey was released this week, and for the first time a clear majority of American now professes to believe in a lost Ice Age civilization similar to Atlantis. Across the board, fringe history beliefs reached new heights. People write to me all the time to ask why I bother to talk about “crazy” topics like aliens and Atlantis. I am flabbergasted to report now that it is because more Americans now believe in Atlantis than do not.
Today I thought I would share some historical material about a controversy that blew up over Atlantis in 1911. Regular readers will remember that a New York newspaper published a hoax in 1912 claiming that Heinrich Schliemann’s descendant had uncovered a trail of clues leading to Atlantis. One reason that the hoax seemed superficially convincing is that the previous year the New York Times had published a serious article announcing that another German, Leo Frobenius, had indeed discovered Atlantis, in Africa.
I saw on the Ancient Origins Facebook page a series of photographs depicting what are claimed to be “Paleo-Sanskrit” inscriptions on broken tablets recovered from the geological formation known as the Yonaguni Monument because lost civilization believers think the underwater rock is the remains of an Ice Age temple. The pictures were new to me, but apparently they have been in circulation online for at least two years as part of a Hindu supremacist effort to argue that Yonaguni is a Vedic site.
In Major New Article, Graham Hancock Repeats Previous Anti-Scientist Claims, Defends the Search for Atlantis
I will confess that I am not a regular visitor to Graham Hancock’s website, so I am sometimes a few days behind on his latest postings. The last time he wrote an article for his site was in December, and frankly he had sort of fallen off of my radar so that I didn’t realize until now that he published a monumentally long new diatribe on April 30. In the new article, Hancock alleges that scientists “consistently suppress and marginalise new knowledge that conflicts with established positions.” The proximate cause of the article was the appearance of news pieces on the websites of National Geographic and Smithsonian Magazine, which Hancock takes as proof that science is a conspiracy to impose dogma.
I’m sure everyone reading this is familiar with the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas. I’ve never been to it, or thought much about it, but I knew that it was a vaguely Atlantis-themed waterpark and hotel with rides and attractions decorated in ersatz ancient motifs. What I did not know is that the resort apparently promotes bizarre pseudoscience and fringe history rather than just treating Atlantis as a fantasy like Disney World or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. According to an article published yesterday in The Australian, the staff at Atlantis indoctrinate visitors in some of the very worst fringe history claims about the lost continent.
Meet the Russian Political Scientist Who Wants to Restore Proto-Indo-European Social Castes and Is a Darling of the Alt-Right
In a case of some fake chickens coming home to roost, the author of the 1980 book The Demonologist, a supposedly true-life account of Ed and Lorraine Warren’s paranormal investigations, is suing Warner Bros. for almost $1 billion, claiming that the Warrens had signed over their rights to the author in 1978 and Warner did not have legal permission to use their tales in The Conjuring and its sequels. Attorneys for the author, Gerald Brittle, further claim that Warner is wrong to alleged that the movies are exempt from copyright infringement because they are based on true events rather than the book about them since the Warrens made up their stories, which Brittle claims to have added to and embellished for the book. In short, the court case will include efforts to expose yet another long-running set of fringe claims as a big scam designed to fool audiences. There are no winners here. Brittle was, by his own account, complicit in what he admits to be the promotion of false claims (which he continues to advertise as real for profit), and his moral problem is that he wasn’t paid enough for lying.
In this day and age, some 135 years after Ignatius Donnelly wrote Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, it is strange to see someone actually accepting Donnelly’s claims as factual, much less working from Donnelly’s book to propose a research program to find Hell. Yes, you read that right: Brad Yoon of Ancient Origins actually claims that using insights from Donnelly’s Atlantis, we can find the real-life inspiration for Hell, which he places in the Caribbean Sea. The argument is one of the odder ones I’ve heard in a while. “I shall extend Donnelly’s thesis and undertake an in-depth analysis of the underworld and where it may have been, and how a real and physical place might have become transformed into the final resting place of souls departed both in the physical and the mythological planes.”
David Wilcock on the Nephilim of Atlantis; Plus: Right-Wing German Politician Cites Atlantis in Anti-Globalization Article
Before we begin today, I thought I’d mention that this weekend David Wilcock released a more than two hour long free YouTube video that was putatively on the topic of Atlantis in Antarctica but was mostly a rehash of his recent conspiracy theories about government and alien cooperation, and also a commercial for the full-price nine-hour video on the same subject he’s been promoting for months. As the accompanying article explains, “A civilization of ‘Pre-Adamite’ giants with elongated skulls appears to have crash-landed on a continent we now call Antarctica some 55,000 years ago. This is the apparent origin of what we are now calling the Cabal, Illuminati or New World Order.” It’s a mishmash of Donnelly’s Nephilim of Atlantis, ancient astronaut theories, and alt-right conspiracy theories. How can one even begin to engage in a rational conversation with someone who uncritically accepts that his friend Corey Goode was taken by good conservative Trump-voting aliens in a five-seat alien transport craft to a secret lunar base as part of a battle plan against evil liberal cone-headed Democrat aliens, all while no one noticed his abduction or absence, even though this took place in “my backyard”?
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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