As many readers know, the modern ancient astronaut and alternative history craze can be traced back to the work Ignatius Donnelly, whose influential Atlantis: The Antediluvian World (1882) was the foundational text for alternative interpretations of history. But Donnelly was following in a long tradition of scholars who speculated about alternative origins for civilization.
The very earliest attempt to connect the Old and New Worlds via the lost continent of Atlantis occurred in 1552, when Spanish historian Francisco López de Gómara wrote in his Historia general de las Indias that America was Atlantis, and the proof could be found in the use of the syllable "atl" in both the works of Plato and ancient Mexico.
So far as I can tell, this ur-source for the Atlantis-in-America myth has never been translated. Here is the passage and a rough translation. My Spanish is not terribly great, so anyone who is fluent in sixteenth-century Spanish, please do let me know how better to translate this passage. [Update: Thanks to Felipe for correcting my translation! The corrected translation is below.]
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