However, in Underworld (2002), Hancock changed his tune. At that point he had decided that he was no longer in support of the idea that the earth’s crust periodically slips out of position. Obviously, he also stopped predicting doom for May 2000. In Underworld, Hancock tried to go mainstream, especially after the scandals and debunkings of the early 2000s had laid bare the lack of support for his various early claims. In this book, the periodic catastrophism was minimized, and instead Hancock proposed that the lost civilization had drowned beneath rising sea levels at the end of the Younger Dryas, around 9500 BCE.
Now, in his newest book Magicians of the Gods (2015), Hancock is trying to have it both ways by resurrecting the periodic catastrophism of Fingerprints by attributing it to separate and discrete catastrophic events, starting with the comet impact of 10,800 BCE:
The impacts, from comet fragments a mile wide approaching at more than 60,000 miles an hour, generated huge amounts of heat which instantly liquidized millions of square kilometers of ice, destabilizing the Earth’s crust and causing the global Deluge that is remembered in myths all around the world.
A second series of impacts, equally devastating, causing further cataclysmic flooding, occurred 11,600 years ago, the exact date that Plato gives for the destruction and submergence of Atlantis.
The evidence revealed in this book shows beyond reasonable doubt that an advanced civilization that flourished during the Ice Age was destroyed in the global cataclysms between 12,800 and 11,600 years ago.
Beyond this, there is pretty clear evidence that Plato meant the destruction of Atlantis to occur during the Great Flood. Plato, to start with, knows very well the Near Eastern tradition of the twin destructions of fire and flood which Berossus describes (Seneca, Natural Questions 3.29) and which appear in Jewish apocalyptic literature (Josephus, Antiquities 1.70, Latin Life of Adam and Eve 50.2, etc.). He talks of the periodic conflagration in Timaeus 22d and the flood in 23a. Indeed, the frame story in this text—which is also his account of Atlantis—has the Egyptian priests specify that these cataclysms destroy high civilizations, e.g. Atlantis. But that’s not all. In the Critias, the unfinished dialogue that offers more details on Atlantis, Plato seems to be recounting the Near East Flood myth, paralleling the familiar text of Genesis 6-7 right before the text cuts off:
For many generations, as long as the divine nature lasted in them, they were obedient to the laws, and well-affectioned towards the god, whose seed they were; for they possessed true and in every way great spirits, uniting gentleness with wisdom in the various chances of life, and in their intercourse with one another. They despised everything but virtue, caring little for their present state of life, and thinking lightly of the possession of gold and other property, which seemed only a burden to them; neither were they intoxicated by luxury; nor did wealth deprive them of their self-control; but they were sober, and saw clearly that all these goods are increased by virtue and friendship with one another, whereas by too great regard and respect for them, they are lost and friendship with them. By such reflections and by the continuance in them of a divine nature, the qualities which we have described grew and increased among them; but when the divine portion began to fade away, and became diluted too often and too much with the mortal admixture, and the human nature got the upper hand, they then, being unable to bear their fortune, behaved unseemly, and to him who had an eye to see grew visibly debased, for they were losing the fairest of their precious gifts; but to those who had no eye to see the true happiness, they appeared glorious and blessed at the very time when they were full of avarice and unrighteous power. Zeus, the god of gods, who rules according to law, and is able to see into such things, perceiving that an honourable race was in a woeful plight, and wanting to inflict punishment on them, that they might be chastened and improve, collected all the gods into their most holy habitation, which, being placed in the centre of the world, beholds all created things. And when he had called them together, he spake as follows-- [text breaks off] (trans. Benjamin Jowett)
In the Greek myth, Zeus floods the world under the pretense of saving it from the conflagration Phaeton started by crashing the sun chariot (Hyginus, Fabula 153), probably a reflection of the Near Eastern twin cataclysms of fire and flood. Plato’s account is very close to Lucian’s hybrid Greek-Near Eastern flood myth from De dea Syria 12:
Of the men of the original creation they tell this tale: they were rebellious, and wilful, and performed unholy deeds, disregarding the sanctity of oaths and hospitality, and behaving cruelly to suppliants; and it was for these misdeeds that the great destruction fell upon them. Straightway the earth discharged a vast volume of water, and the rivers of heaven came down in streams and the sea mounted high. Thus everything became water, and all men perished… (trans. Herbert A. Strong and John Garstang)
Oh, and in case that wasn’t clear enough: Hancock also says that these Sons of God built pillars of wisdom in which they encoded their sciences to preserve them form the flood and warn us about the return of cosmic doom from a part of that returning comet. Yes, just like the Watchers and Sethitesm with “God” swapped out for a different cosmic judge. And what are these pillars? Göbekli Tepe and the Giza pyramids, the latter being the place where knowledge was preserved in Arabic versions of the Hermetic flood myth. It isn’t clear how much Hancock knows about this, though, since he seems to be borrowing his views from Andrew Collins, whose Nephilim-centric version of the history of Göbekli Tepe appears to be Hancock’s starting point.
On another note: For the first time since about 1999 or 2000 Graham Hancock has redesigned his website! It’s not particularly well done or innovative (something about the kerning of his name in his logo bothers me), but it’s a big step up for him. I don’t like having “Graham” centered over “Hancock” with a circular Sphinx logo to the left. It looks like “Graham” should have been left justified as well to integrate the logo into the word mark. All in all, though, it is a welcome improvement over his seriously dated old site.