Getting to the Bottom of Atlantis – Maurice Chatelain – 1978
Around 580 B.C., when the Athenian statesman, Solon, had finished the code of law that made him immortal, he took a long vacation and went to Sais, the capital city of Egypt. Sais was the center of culture at that time, and people of fame and talent used to congregate there to hone their intellects.
It was there that Solon met the high priest of Egypt, Sonchis, who very generously showed him the greatest part of the famed Egyptian archives, dating back many thousands of years, and also told him a fascinating story about a terrible disaster that had occurred 9,000 years before. It was the story of the sunken continent of Atlantis.
This legend, which is still considered pure mythology by many, was retold by Solon to his nephew Dropides, who in turn transmitted it to his descendants, one of whom gave it to the philosopher Plato. Two of Plato’s most famous works, the “Timeus” and “Critias,” have preserved most of the legend of Atlantis with its passionate and tragic greatness.
I am convinced that the story of Atlantis, as Solon heard it from Sonchis, and as Plato has given it to us, is true from beginning to end, and that someday the ruins of Atlantis will be found just as, one after another, we found the once legendary Troy, Mycenes, Tirynthe, or Knossos.
Meanwhile, we can look at the information that has been assembled about Atlantis and the catastrophe that made it disappear.
According to Sonchis, 9,000 years before his time there was an immense island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, right in line with the columns of Hercules, now called the Strait of Gibraltar. This island was bigger than all of North Africa and the Near East put together. The name of the land was Atlantis, and it was inhabited by very advanced people of unknown origin who were great mathematicians, astronomers, land cultivators, and masters in metallurgy.
Their capital city, Poseidonis, was named after the god of the sea, Poseidon, and was built in the middle of a vast plain, protected by mountain chains and connected with the ocean by a manmade waterway 600 feet wide and 100 feet deep. The canal ringed the entire city and served not only for local transportation, but also carried ocean-going vessels.
The fields around Poseidonis were rich with crops, and horses, cattle, and elephants grazed there. Atlantis was protected both from east and west by a maze of small islands which had to be carefully navigated before entering the fabled place.
Atlantis had lived many thousands of years in peace and prosperity until one day, the leadership of the land was taken over by a military clique that decided to conquer all the people who lived around the Mediterranean. The generals of Atlantis raised an army of 750,000 men, and easily conquered both sides of the Mediterranean, all of southern Europe except Greece, and all of North Africa, except Egypt. Then they decided to push forward and make their victory total by smashing Greece and Egypt as well.
At that time, the highly cultured Egyptians were no match for the invader, but the best warriors of that era, the Greeks, saved the Egyptians by decisive victories over the invaders. Then they liberated all the conquered lands. When the invader fled, the Greeks sent an expeditionary army to Poseidonis to make sure that there would be no new invasions.
It was while the Greeks were in Poseidonis that, within one day and one night, powerful earthquakes and devastating tides destroyed Atlantis. The prospering continent sank in the Atlantic Ocean. Both armies and all the people perished. And, according to the description that Sonchis gave Solon, all that was left, where once plains and mountains stretched to the horizon, was a huge morass and swamp, something like today’s Sargasso Sea.
This dramatic story is probably one of the greatest collective recollections of mankind, but until recently it was very hard to take it for anything but legend. Today, however, we know that human beings have been around for much more than 100,000 years, and that highly civilized people have existed for at least 12,000 years.
We know that our continents move, that the poles shift, that the levels of the oceans change, and that islands emerge and sink. It is no longer possible to say the legend of Atlantis is plain myth because the events it describes were impossible. To the contrary, the disappearance of Atlantis is quite possible, geologically as well as historically.
But there is still serious argument as to where Atlantis was located before it disappeared, and for a while it was even believed that Atlantis was not Atlantis but the Aegean island of Thera, now called Santorin, and that the great earthquake that made Atlantis disappear was actually the eruption, in 1521 B.C., of the volcano on Thera.
The Santorin theory is impossible for several reasons. First, if Atlantis really disappeared in 1521 B.C., how come the Bible doesn’t say anything about it? This was 700 years after the death of Abraham and about 100 years before the birth of Moses, when the Hebrews undoubtedly had mastered the art of keeping written records.
Next, if the disappearance of Atlantis had taken place in the Aegean Sea only 940 years before Solon lived, everybody in Greece would have known it – especially Solon, who was a very learned man. He would have known it, just like every schoolboy today knows that England was invaded by the Normans in 1066.
Equally improbable is the possibility that Atlantis, being larger than all of North Africa and the Near East together, could have been anywhere in the Mediterranean. And certainly a small island like Thera, or Santorin, could never have mobilized three quarters of a million men. Nor have any remnants of elephants been found in Santorin.
And finally, we know that Atlantis disappeared after a series of earthquakes, not in a volcanic eruption, which is very different.
Another, much more likely theory says the whole continent of North and South America together constituted the fabled Atlantis. Now, this territory is indeed as big as all of North Africa and the Near East together, and indeed there were elephants roaming the plains in America 12,000 years ago.
Also, both Americas are rich in metal ores, like Atlantis was, and there are many islands along both coasts.
Finally, this new theory is partially based on recent discoveries that Hindus and Phoenicians had agricultural colonies in eastern Mexico, where cotton and jute were cultivated 2,900 years ago, and there are even older Sumerian and Phoenician copper and tin mines in Peru and Bolivia, which may also have produced gold and silver as long as 4,300 years ago.
Inscriptions resembling Cretan linear writing have been found in cliffs of the Upper Amazon, indicating that sailors from the Aegean passed that way on regular trade routes.
However, even these finds don’t seem quite old enough to fit the mystery of Atlantis. They go back to only about 1,700 years before Solon, which is not the time of the disappearance of the fabled island. Therefore, it seems much more likely that, instead of covering both Americas, Atlantis was located only in the central part from Florida to the estuary of the Amazon – a location southwest of Gibraltar or the Columns of Hercules.
The Tibetan bible, the Book of Dzyan, which goes back to the very deepest past, records that in the year 9564 B.C., a very large part of the earth sank in the ocean in what is now the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
History does not tell us how the Tibetans of that time, on the other side of the world, learned about this cataclysmic event, but it is possible that they got it from the best source – refugees from Atlantis, who went all the way to Tibet to make sure they were on firm ground that wouldn’t disappear in the waves again.
The main thing, though, is that the date of the disaster was precisely recorded and preserved, and the Tibetan record of Atlantis dovetails with Solon’s account, so we have no reason to doubt it. And, if one studies an underwater map of the American continents, no location could be more probable.
It is easy to trace the east coast of the sunken Atlantis along the line drawn from Florida to the Bahamas, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, the Antilles, Trinidad, and the north coast of South America, from the estuary of the Orinoco to that of the Amazon. And now, new discoveries made at the center of this region may provide final evidence that Atlantis really existed.
It is possible that the actual rediscovery of Atlantis began in 1967 when Robert Brush, an American pilot and archaeologist, flying at low altitude near Bimini in the Bahamas, noticed a huge rectangular form a few feet below the water. He photographed it.
Now, the first law of underwater archaeology states that water and waves can create all kinds of strange forms out of the sand and rocks on the bottom, but never a rectangle or a square with four straight angles. The second law says such a form invariably belongs to an ancient temple, and usually is surrounded by smaller rectangles or circles that were the habitats of the priests and servants, or pilgrims.
Brush called in Dimitri Rebikoff, a professional diver and archaeologist, who had spent 20 years in underwater archaeology in the Mediterranean, and was considered the most experienced and qualified scientist in the field. He recognized the importance of the discovery right away.
Rebikoff himself had photographed, from a plane, an immense submerged rectangle 1,300 feet long, off the Grand Bank of Bermuda, as well as other remnants of human construction along a straight line, or grouped in circles, in an area covering over 30 miles between Orange Cay and Bimini.
Rebikoff asked Professor Manson Valentine, who had discovered important Mayan ruins in the Yucatan, to join in an expedition to Bimini and the surrounding islands.
In August 1968, this expedition discovered a 75 by 90-foot temple, of very old age, off the coast of Andros, the largest of the Bahama islands. But the most important discovery came on September 2, 1968, when at the northwest extremity of North Bimini, under only 15 feet of water, Professor Valentine found a vast expanse of pavement made of flat, rectangular, and polygonal stone slabs. All were hand cut and, without a doubt, manmade.
The stone plates had been submerged for many thousands of years, as evidenced by their rounded corners, caused by the movement of sand over a very long time. The biggest plates were nine to 15 feet long, and formed the whole width of the paved avenues. In some spots, more than one layer of stones had been used.
The size and form of these slabs, as well as the precise cuts and joints, reminded one of the stone slab ruins on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean – the Giza and Baalbek monuments, and the temples of Cuzco and Tiahuanaco.
As of this writing, it is still too early to judge the precise age of the underwater ruins, but the work of Jacques Cousteau and his team may soon reveal not only the age of the submerged buildings, but also tell us who built them.
Along the coast of Andros, at a depth of 150 feet, Cousteau has recently found a huge stalactite and stalagmite cave, a type of cave that could only have been formed by drops of lime water falling over long periods of time in free air, not underwater. And the sediment in this cave is about 12,000 years old.
During the same expedition, Cousteau explored the Blue Hole, a deep abyss near the coast of British Honduras, where he discovered a labyrinth of stalagmite and stalactite caves, all at an angle, which is contrary to the way these formations can grow. The only explanation is that a strong earthquake tilted these caves and their formations of calcite deposits. And, again, the analysis of the stalactites showed their age to be about 12,000 years.
This is clear evidence that some 12,000 years ago, a large part of the American continent, now under the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, was inundated during a seismic catastrophe so that only the highest mountains remained above water. These are, of course, the islands of today.
All this sounds strangely similar to what the Book of Dzyan tells us about Atlantis. Everything is there, including the right date (9564 B.C.) and the right location: the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean Sea.
Is it still possible to assume that the authors of the Tibetan bible invented it? I do not think so. I sincerely believe the ruins of human habitations on the submerged plateau off the Bahamas are offering us the first indisputable evidence that Atlantis really existed.
If Atlantis had never existed, we would have to invent it to explain the many mysteries that are totally unexplainable otherwise. First there is the mythological mystery. Why have the gods of nearly all civilizations around the world come from the sea after they had descended from the skies? The sarcophagus of Kukulkan, for instance, comes in the shape of a fish.
The god Oannes emerged every day from the deep sea to teach the Sumerians assembled on the shore. We could also ask why the gods arriving on the American continent always came from the east, while the gods coming to Europe always arrived from the west – indications of one central Atlantic origin long since forgotten.
Then we have the mystery of the Atlantic dialects comparable to the dialects of the Mediterranean: a group of rough, guttural dialects still spoken, from the Guanche dialect of the Azores and the Canary Islands to the many tongues spoken between Morocco and Ireland.
And then we have the impossible-sounding names, even more difficult to write in our Greek-Latin alphabet, found in places inhabited by the Basques, the Gaels, the Andalusians, the Berbers and along the coast in Ireland, Brittany, and Portugal. All of these mysterious languages are related to the Guanche dialect, and dialects that stretch all the way across the Azores and the Canary Islands to the Mayan lands of the Yucatan, and ancient religious centers like Chichen Itza, Izamal, Tzebtun, Dzibilchaltun, Uxul, and Yaxuna.
There is the story of the Basque missionary, who arrived to plow the field of the Lord in Yucatan, and who discovered that the best way to make himself clear to the local Indians was to talk to them in his native tongue! Someday, when we decipher the mysterious ancient inscriptions found in the Azores and the Canary Islands, we might learn more about these languages, too. Even the Basques themselves are an unsolved enigma. Tall and strong, they have all the characteristics of the Cro-Magnon people who emerged suddenly about 65,000 years ago, while the Neanderthal man continued to exist for a while longer.
Could the Cro-Magnon men have been colonists from Atlantis, who established new homes in Europe, and so survived the destruction of their land of origin, continuing the culture that they had brought along?
Further, the Basques have a blood type and rhesus factor combination that is extremely rare, and can be found only along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean in people speaking the guttural dialects. The same blood types are found in Egyptian and Inca mummies. That could explain why the Incas and the Pharaohs cultivated marriages between brothers and sisters – in order to preserve the rare blood that was not of this world, so it seems, because no other humans have it in such pure form.
In 1952, two British scientists analyzed the blood of five Inca mummies discovered at Cuzco and lent to the British Museum in London. One showed a blood pattern rhesus C-E-c, without trace of D, something nobody had ever seen anywhere in this world before. Another mummy had D-c, without traces of C or E, something very rare among American Indians. Unfortunately, the experiments cannot be repeated or expanded, because all five Inca mummies were destroyed when a water pipe burst in the basement of the British Museum.
But it does look like the Egyptians and the Basques on one side of the Atlantic Ocean, and the Incas on the other, had blood that was different from that of the people living next to them. Was that the blood of the inhabitants of the sunken continent of Atlantis?
Another mystery is the similarity of customs on both sides of the ocean. Sumerians and Egyptians used the same art of mummification that was practiced by the Mayas and the Incas. They did it in the belief of a life after death or reincarnation, and constructed pyramids to preserve and protect the departed.
And now we have scientific proof that, somehow, the shape of the pyramid preserves, dessicates, and sterilizes organic matter, an effect that can be observed even in small pyramid-shaped containers made of plastic or cardboard. On both sides of the Atlantic, pyramids were also constructed, in ancient times, as astronomical observatories, but that probably was not the primary reason for building them.
Above all, the similarity between these cultures is demonstrated by the way they did their astronomical calculations and by the systems of measurement they developed. Obviously, they all observed the same stars and planets. Yet the fact that they made the calculations in exactly the same way, and that from among so many other possible combinations in the movements of the celestial bodies, they chose the very conjunctions of the same planets, is more than striking.
It just could not have happened unless the Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Incas, the Aztecs, and the Mayas had either evolved from one central civilization, or were in constant contact with each other. And if there was a common center, it had to be a land in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean – the sunken continent of Atlantis.
An equally striking similarity was the Sun worship of the Egyptians and the Mayas, both of whom believed that their kings were descendants of the Sun god. Since the Egyptians did not colonize the Mayas, or vice versa, the only logical explanation is that both cultures developed from a Sun cult in a land of common origin, probably an island in the Atlantic.
Finally, on both sides of the Atlantic, we find identical huge stone block edifices, built of cut pieces so heavy that even our present-day equipment cannot move them. If somebody doubts this, let him remember what happened only a few years ago, when an international task force helped to save the gigantic Abu Simbel statues before completion of the Aswan dam in Egypt. The statues had to be cut into pieces for listing and transportation.
On the west side of the Atlantic, such huge blocks were used at Cuzco and Tiahuanaco, and also at the newly discovered underwater constructions near Bimini. On the east side, we have the pyramids of Egypt and the gigantic stone slabs of Baalbek, in Lebanon – a temple of totally unknown origin.
The ruins of Baalbek, at an altitude of more than 3,000 feet, stand on a platform built of enormous stone plates weighing more than 800 tons each. None of today’s machines could move these megaliths, much less lift them. Such blocks must have been put in place either by giants, or by beings of a civilization that knew the secrets of levitation and antigravity.
Three giant slabs from Baalbek now serve as the base for a Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter, and the largest of these measures 21 by 4 by 4 meters, exactly. Two others are 19.50 by 4 by 4 meters. All three together represent 60 meters in length and 960 cubic meters in volume.
These exact measurements make it nearly impossible to believe that the ancients who built Baalbek didn’t know our metric system. Evidently, they did not use our standard meter, but a cubit of 500 millimeters and a foot of 333 millimeters. For them, the length of one degree at the equator was equal to 222.222 cubits, and their one minute of longitude measured 5.555 feet at Baalbek.
For the constructors of this ancient site, the circumference of our globe was 80 million cubits, or 120 million feet, and this unit of length seems to have common ground with the foot of Sakkara, where metric dimensions were discovered, and even a double meter standard found engraved on a wall.
The huge stones of Baalbek were cut out of bedrock 400 meters away from the edifice, and the quarry was set at a much lower level than the building site. It is there that another unfinished block was found, measuring 21.33 meters by 4.66 by 4.33 meters – obviously a slab that would eventually have been cut to the exact size of 21 by 4 by 4 meters, like the largest stone of the temple foundation.
We will probably never know what caused the constructors of Baalbek to leave suddenly without finishing what they had begun, just like the statue carvers of Easter Island did – probably at the same time, and for the same reason.
There is another group of stones that are probably related to the catastrophe of Atlantis. These are the megalithic monuments found only near the shores of the Atlantic in Europe and North Africa, in the areas where people still speak the guttural dialect – further support for the theory that they all came from the same race of Atlanteans, at one time spoke the same language, practiced the same Sun cult, and constructed very similar monuments.
It appears now that as a group of refugees survived the sinking of the continent and landed on the North African coast, a majority of them moved north and reached Morocco, then Spain, Portugal, France, and finally England. Others went around Africa to Ceylon and the occidental part of India, where they constructed more than 2,000 megaliths.
Some went further on and reached Tibet, which explains how the authors of the Tibetan bible knew with such certainty the date of the great disaster of Atlantis and all the other precise details.
A very interesting book has been published that registers the distribution of megalithic monuments all around the world, and it tells us that an enormous dolmen with a stone cover plate weighing 600 tons stands in eastern Korea. So, it seems that refugees from the sunken Atlantis may even have gotten as far as East Asia.
Until recently, the general opinion was that the megalithic monuments of Europe were no older than about 3,000 years, so nobody associated them with Atlantis, which disappeared 12,000 years ago. But now, when we have the first proofs that Atlantis really existed, we also have discoveries indicating that some of the dolmens and menhirs (prehistoric monuments) are at least 10,000 years old or more.
The young British archaeologist Colin Renfrew has written a book proving that the megaliths of France, Spain, and Wales are much older than the tombs of Mycene, the ziggurats of Mesopotamia, or even the pyramids of Egypt.
In other words, our civilization was not born in the Middle East, to be brought north into Europe. Just the opposite. It started in Western Europe and went southeast toward Greece, Crete, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and western India.
Those who do not believe that Atlantis ever existed might ask why no artifacts have ever been found from the lost continent – things that could have been brought to Europe or the Mediterranean basin before the destruction of Atlantis. I have asked this question myself, and I think that I have found an answer. Few materials, except solid rock (that is not easily transported) or solid gold can last for 12,000 years. Most other materials oxidize and turn to dust.
Besides, it is quite possible that some objects that fill our museums as primitive art and pagan idols are indeed remnants of Atlantis. The pure gold tablets of the museum in Cuenca are an example. So were the many hieroglyph-covered gold statues and tablets that the conquistadors melted into ingots, destroying forever a great archaeological resource. Much of the evidence we now seek may have been destroyed centuries ago.
Luckily, there is one object that may come from fabled Atlantis. It is the ceramic disc of Phaistos, discovered by Evans in the southern part of Crete, under a thick layer of volcanic ashes. It is thousands of years old. This ceramic disc, about eight inches in diameter, is covered on both sides with hieroglyphs that nobody, so far, has been able to decipher.
The characters are displayed in a spiral form, starting in the center, and turning counterclockwise. The signs are clustered in groups of one to seven, separated by a trait. The traits, as well as the spiral line that encloses the characters, are engraved.
The signs themselves have been impressed in the soft clay by a stamp or a seal. Judging by the fine detail of these seals, they must have been made of metal, and so one is reminded of the mysterious gold tablet of Cuenca, with its 56 hieroglyphs struck in the soft gold (before it solidified, in order not to alter the standard weight).
There are 30 undeciphered sign groups on the disc of Phaistos on one side, and 31 on the other, which suggests that it may be a calendar based on alternating 30 and 31-day months, coming into phase every four years with the solar year. The cycle of such a calendar would be 1,461 days, or 21 months of 30 days each, and 21 months of 31 days each.
The hieroglyphs for each day could represent either the name of the day, or what had to be done on that day. Some scientists even think the disc may have been a navigational table. But so far nobody has been lucky enough to decipher and explain its use and significance. Neither can I, despite my conviction that this artifact stems from the fabled Atlantis, and is proof of its existence, just as are the stone pavements found underwater near Bimini.
This discovery in the Bahamas, incidentally, occurred just as predicted by the famous American seer Edgar Cayce who, in 1923, said that a temple of Atlantis would be found underwater near Bimini in 1968. Even for someone who is no admirer of occult sciences, it is difficult not to believe that Cayce must have made some sort of contact with ancient astronauts, who knew exactly where the vestiges of Atlantis were to be found, and who may therefore, someday, give us all the information about the fabled continent and its lost civilization.
Published with the permission of New Saucerian Publishing via Andrew Colvin