On the Nephilim of Atlantis
One of the themes that I discuss frequently is the cross-pollination between the various streams of fringe history, notably the swapping of ideas among ancient astronaut, Atlantean, and Nephilim hypotheses. To that end, I’ve pointed more than once to the way Ignatius Donnelly implicitly equated the Nephilim with the denizens of Atlantis in Atlantis: The Antediluvian World (1882), notably when he describes Atlantis as the “antediluvian world” and, explicitly, that in Genesis 6 “the Antediluvian World was none other than Atlantis.”
But I’m always learning things, and it’s interesting to see that Donnelly was but a pale reflection of the first wave of speculation that much more clearly—and much earlier—explicitly made Atlantis into the land of Nephilim and their parents, the Watchers.
Our first piece of testimony comes from Constantine Samuel Rafineseque, who was for a long period of his life a respected if impecunious scientist. But Rafinesque fell on hard times and he started presenting increasingly unhinged claims about ancient history in a desperate bid for cash. A couple of months ago, I mentioned that Rafinesque invented a lost race of white giants called the Atlans (or Atlantes), but it turns out that he had some choice ideas about how these giants got to America. In his book The American Nations (1836), Rafinesque proposed that the Atlantes were the descendants of Cain and populated the Americas when they were sent there after Noah’s Flood:
The Cainites or Cabils have been deemed parents of the Atlantes and Africans. They were skilful, powerful and wicked, inventing agriculture and arts, building cities &c.: while the Sethites invented astronomy, letters and dwelt in tents. If the American Atlantes were antidiluvian, they must have sprung from the Atlantes Cainites, KIN of Moses.
We’ll leave aside the implicit racism that Native Americans are genetically evil. We see here in embryo the later fringe claim that the “underworld” was really the “opposite” world, that Hell is South America! More than one fringe writer currently advocates the idea that when Odysseus went to the Underworld he actually crossed the Atlantic. But it’s also interesting to see the Egregori (the Watchers) appearing in a “science” book, in partially rationalized form. But most interesting of all is Rafinesque’s claim, specifically, that the Giants were cannibals—a claim derived from Jewish apocryphal lore—and that these same giants populated prehistoric America as a consequence of the Flood.
But Rafinesque merely applied to America a claim that was already circulating among scholars and pseudo-scholars that identified Atlanteans with the Nephilim and Atlas with Noah. Ten years earlier, in the fringe mythology tract Nimrod: A Discourse upon Certain Passages of History and Fable, the author, Algernon Herbert, asserted that “the far-flamed Atlantis” was “the residence of the Nephilim or Titans.”
If you want to go all the way down the rabbit hole, it turns out that Algernon Herbert was a crank of the first order. He was also the author of a book called Cyclops Christianus in which he tried to prove that Stonehenge and other megalithic remains were not ancient but rather medieval constructions in Germanic style, built for King Arthur. In that same book he endorsed the view that Native Americans were actually the product of Kublai Khan’s Mongol fleets, and therefore earlier ruins could not be theirs.
Herbert was a younger son of the second Earl of Carnarvon. His brother, Henry, who inherited the earldom, was the grandfather of the fifth Earl of Carnarvon, who financed the excavation of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 and accidentally sparked the legend of the Mummy’s Curse when he died of blood poisoning. It can be weird how these things connect.
5/2/2016 03:25:14 pm
Is it fair to say that the family tree for every modern fringe theory passes at one point through the Bible?
5/2/2016 03:53:03 pm
Yes. Given the predilection of fringe theorists to cherry-pick any and all sources for "evidence", I would honestly be shocked if the Bible *wasn't* one of those sources.
5/2/2016 07:09:50 pm
Simply because the very nature of the Nephilim accounts in the Bible are *easy pickings* for fringe theorists, who also like the Book of Enoch. Totally way-out colourful stuff that fits into their mindsets.
5/2/2016 07:35:45 pm
5/4/2016 01:38:59 am
*tongue in cheek* All THEORIES are equally valid, as these are the things that have been tested and re-tested and been proven to be true under every set of circumstances we can currently conceive of, just shy of "natural laws."
5/4/2016 02:24:49 am
I hate having to use "theory" when it comes to the fringe, instead of "hypothesis". However, I've learned one thing when it comes to science and the fringe:
5/3/2016 03:57:36 am
What I always find interesting is how these guys always leave out Australia, as if it doesn't exist. I suppose it makes sense: American pseudoscientists talked about here are only interested in proving *their* special snowflake country is important/chosen by god/mysterious, and so ignore all other 'new worlds'. Which has interesting connotations all of its own...
5/3/2016 09:17:40 am
Australia needs to get its own fringe people to make fabricated claims about how Australia is Atlantis. You know, it's sort of round, and instead of sinking, as in the myth, it was pushed to its current location by giants who had enough of the Atlantic weather systems and they wanted to make Tasmanian Devils into pets. And the New Zealand girls are cute. Ayers Rock is actually a UFO, that's why it changes color throughout the day. Seriously, all you have to do is unlock your imagination.
5/3/2016 05:27:08 pm
I'll bet if you look hard enough, you could find someone who claims that Australia is actually Mu (which may or may not have founded or been a colony of Atlantis) and weave in some nonsense to explain why Koalas (or any of Australia and New Zealand's other highly specialized wildlife) didn't need to be on Noah's Ark and how the continent's legendarily dangerous wildlife is the result of ancient genetic engineering, or aliens, or alien genetic engineers.
5/3/2016 08:53:47 pm
Oh I have no doubt that out there somewhere are people who do think that way; my point is that those who choose America to be Atlantis/New Israel are more likely to be American, and those who choose Australia as Atlantis are more likely to be Aussie. It's never about their exposure of the 'real' history of their country but rather some sort of need to validate their own personal importance. Just as the Sinclairs etc all really need their ancestry to lead all the way back to Templars; it makes their heritage important/special, which makes them special.
5/4/2016 01:37:14 am
flip, the phenomenon you're talking about stems from two causes. One is that there are only two nations that border the United States; our country is just about as big as all of Europe. Stupid Americans only think America is important because most of them have never been anywhere NEAR American borders, much less across them. Many of them can barely comprehend that their STATE might be different from another. In other words, sheer provincialism.
5/4/2016 04:28:18 am
V, I dispute your hypothesis. :)
5/4/2016 04:42:37 am
Damn I got cut off...
5/3/2016 12:00:18 pm
Perhaps that is because Australia is not mentioned in the Bible.
5/3/2016 08:57:45 pm
:) Or because Australia's history meant that it was a backwater to use as one giant holding prison! No one wants the promised land to be a former jail. ;)
5/3/2016 11:56:41 am
A few notes about Rafinesque -
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