Navigation:  Documents > A >

Atlantis Enigma

Previous pageReturn to chapter overviewNext page

Atlantis Enigma - Chapter 1


These are a few Chapters from Herbie Brennans' newly published book called: "THE ATLANTIS ENIGMA"

Submitted by: Roger [ ]



Herbie Brennan's lively and fascinating book dares to go beyond the understanding of orthodox archaeology to leave you convinced that Atlantis must once have existed. And what his evidence reveals will change your understanding of the evolution of mankind.


Herbie Brennan is the author of almost seventy works of fact and fiction, with combined sales now well in excess of seven million. As a writer, he has never been afraid to handle controversial subject matter. His books include "Astral Doorways", a study of out-of-body experiences, and "Time Travel", "A New Perspective", which explored some incredible developments in the realm of quantum physics.


His first Piatkus title, "Martian Genesis", tackled the evolution of the human race and argued that our earliest ancestors may have come from another planet.


Herbie Brennan has broadcast and lectured throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe and America. He lives in the Republic of Ireland.



For June, who sent me searching for Atlantis years ago . . .

... and for the team at Freeverse Software whose fine computer games kept me sane while I was doing the research.







Recent fossil discoveries have shown that humans lived on Earth much earlier than experts previously thought. Pyramids and other extraordinary structures around the world point to the early development of a sophisticated society. Modern and well--respected underwater archaeologists have found evidence of lost nations deep beneath the oceans of the world. Bible stories and legends speak of an immense flood.


Could all this relate to Atlantis?


The legend of the 'lost' world of Atlantis has been intriguing people for centuries - ever since 400 BC, when Plato first wrote his description of a cultured society able to build great cities, mine and use metal, grow crops and brew wine, inscribe written records, build ships and sail the oceans to the farthest corners of the earth. Since Plato, there have been many different theories as to where Atlantis was located and when and how it disappeared.


"The Atlantis Enigma" is a fully-documented, deeply-researched examination of the latest archaeological and scientific findings.


Findings that will totally uproot your preconceptions of prehistory.



All measurements used in this book are imperial. To find the metric equivalent use the table below:

1 inch    =  2.54 centimeters

1 foot    =  0.3048 meter

1 yard    =  0.9144 meter

1 mile    =  1.6903 kilometers

1 acre    =  0.4047 hectare

1 square mile  =  2.59 square kilometers

1 cubic yard  =  0.7646 cubic meter

1 ton (metric)  =  1,000 kilograms


























This is a Chapter from Herbie Brennans' newly published book called: "THE ATLANTIS ENIGMA"


Submitted by: Roger [ ]



Chapter One








In December 1997, the Russian scholar Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev applied to the UK Foreign Office for permission to conduct an underwater archaeological survey of Little Sole Bank, a site 165 feet deep, some 100 miles off the Cornish coast of south-west Britain. Koudriavtsev, who planned to lead a twenty-strong expedition of divers, marine cartographers and engineers, was supported by the prestigious Russian Academy of Sciences. His interest in Little Sole was unusual for a well-respected academic. He believed it used to be the capital of Atlantis.


As Koudriavtsev finalized his plans for Little Sole, the English explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell prepared his own expedition to Atlantis. He was convinced it had been sited on an island destroyed millennia ago by volcanic action, in Bolivia's Lake Poopo.


This sort of disagreement is by no means unusual. The American scholar Ignatius Donnelly placed Atlantis in the Atlantic, as did Madame H. P. Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, whose Secret Masters told her that it sank in stages. The official Guide to Kerry mentions blandly that the Aran Islands, off Ireland's west coast, once formed part of Atlantis. Other traditions suggest it actually encompassed the whole of Ireland, but not the remainder of the British Isles, which were then attached to Europe.


Journalist and author Lewis Spence tended to believe it lay off the coast of Africa, and may even have been attached to it at one time. Architect H. R. Stahel illustrated it as a chain of islands stretching from Newfoundland in a more or less straight line towards Spain.


Dr John Dee, the Court Astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I, was convinced the newly discovered North American continent was Atlantis, and labeled it as such on one of his maps. This view was shared by Francis Bacon - who saw South America as a possibility as well - and several other scholars of the time.


Archaeologists Angelos Galanopoulos and Spiridon Marinatos concluded that the story of Atlantis represented distorted memories of Minoan Crete. The attraction was their belief that the violent volcanic eruption which destroyed the island of Thera, some time around 1500 BC, caused the collapse of the Minoan civilization. Despite discrepancies with the original tradition (you have to divide by ten to make the dates fit, for example) the theory was championed by the Dublin scholar Professor J. V. Luce.(1)


The habit of juggling the figures to make new theories fit traditional accounts was not confined to Galanopoulos, Marinatos and Luce. The German geographer Albert Hermann divided the supposed size of Atlantis by thirty in order to locate it in the Shott el Djerid, a dried-up marsh in Tunisia.


In 1953, a diving expedition led by the German Jurgen Spanuth, discovered rock walls at a depth of 45 feet near Heligoland, a rocky island in the North Sea, which he promptly claimed were remnants of Atlantis.


Adolf Schulten is among the archaeologists who have suggested an ancient Tartessian culture stretched from southern Spain into Morocco via islands in the Straits of Gibraltar now drowned by the Mediterranean. This culture, they say, was Atlantis - or at least an Atlantean colony.


Atlantis was in Nigeria, according to the archaeologist Leo Frobenius, who was impressed by the similarities between Olokun, the Yoruba god of the ocean) and Poseidon, the divine founder of Atlantis.


In 1925, the explorer Colonel P. H. Fawcett, set off into the Brazilian jungle hoping to find traces of Atlantis there, but never returned to say whether or not he had succeeded.


According to author Charles Berlitz, Atlantis has variously been placed in Portugal, France, England, Sweden, Belgium, Prussia, Italy, Spitsbergen, Iran, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), the Caucasus mountains, Russia's Azov Sea and a submarine location off the coast of Holland.


Even Edgar Cayce, America's famous 'sleeping prophet' got in on the act. Cayce, who died in 1945, achieved a fearsome reputation as a healer, and made diagnoses and prescriptions while in a self-induced hypnotic trance. Eventually he began to prophesy, predicting that Atlantis would rise from the depths in 1968 or 'C9. Enthusiastic followers waited in vain for the lost continent to reappear. Many consoled themselves with the fact that American archaeologist Dr Manson Valentine had discovered an impressive underwater wall, west of Bimini in the Bahamas, during 1968.


More recently, Rand and Rose Flem-Ath published an extraordinarily persuasive hypothesis equating Atlantis with the Antarctic continent. According to this theory, the lost civilization now lies buried under ice - and the land of its birth never sank beneath the waves at all. (2)


The Greek philosopher Plato, who launched the story of Atlantis, placed it 'beyond the Pillars of Hercules', a term generally taken to denote the Straits of Gibraltar. This loose location means it could have been almost anywhere, except in the Mediterranean.


What Plato described was 'a great power which advanced from its base in the Atlantic Ocean to attack the cities of Europe and Asia'. In those days, he wrote, the Atlantic was navigable. Opposite the Straits of Gibraltar was an island larger than Libya and Asia put together. From it, sailors could reach other islands, leading eventually to the 'whole opposite continent which surrounds . . . the ocean'. (3)


This passage isn't entirely clear. First, the term 'larger than Libya and Asia' is deceptive. What was understood as Asia, in Plato's day, is a far cry from the landmass we now call Asia. And 'Libya' wasn't modern Libya either, but rather a loose definition of North Africa excluding Egypt. All the same, the island opposite the Straits was obviously very large and might even deserve the term 'continent' applied to it by so many later writers. The 'whole opposite continent' surrounding the Atlantic Ocean is less easy to understand. If the term refers to anything at all, the most likely candidate is the Americas which don't, of course, surround the Atlantic, but are quite big enough for early sailors to suppose they did.


What you have then, are the Americas on one side of the Atlantic, a huge oceanic island quite close to the Straits of Gibraltar, and a chain of lesser islands between them. It was the huge oceanic island that Plato called Atlantis.


Plato's term 'those days' is easier to interpret, providing we're not too concerned with pinpoint accuracy. The Egyptian priests from whom Plato had the story, via his ancestor Solon, claimed Athens was founded 9,000 years earlier, although elsewhere Plato assigned this date to the Atlantean attack. Since we know the year of Solon's journey to Egypt, we can calculate that Atlantis was still above water and causing trouble sometime around 9600 BC.


The trouble was considerable. Atlantis was ruled by a dynasty of kings whose military prowess had enabled them to take over many of the islands in the trans-Atlantic chain and parts of the American mainland. They also had control of Libya (that is, tracts of North Africa) up to the borders with Egypt, and tracts of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia, a land that once encompassed Corsica, Sardinia and parts of Italy.


But despite these extensive colonies, the Atlanteans still wanted more. They launched an attack on 'all the territory within the strait', obviously with ambitions to control the entire Mediterranean. They might have managed it too, had it not been for Athens. When the Atlanteans attacked, the city-state of Athens led an alliance of Greeks against them. At first, things went badly for the defenders. The alliance collapsed, but Athens continued to fight alone and eventually pushed back the Atlantean troops, ensuring the freedom of the Mediterranean states.


At some point after this war - if the Egyptians specified how long, Plato does not report it - there came a time of extraordinarily violent earthquakes and floods. Athens took enormous damage: according to Plato, her armies were 'swallowed up by the earth'. Atlantis fared even worse. The entire island was inundated by the sea 'in a single dreadful day and night'.


The story so far has been taken from Plato's Timaeus, but he returned to it again in a later work called Critias, which contains a vivid description of the Atlantean civilization. While recapping on the war and its catastrophic aftermath, he described Atlantis as having been 'overwhelmed by earthquakes' to become the source of the mud that impeded free passage from the Straits of Gibraltar into the open sea. This suggests an Atlantic location of Atlantis, very close to the mouth of the Mediterranean.


But wherever Plato may have put his island continent, modern historians take his story as an allegory or outright myth. Atlantis simply doesn't fit into prehistory as we know it.


The earliest creatures identified as ancestors of modern humanity are known as Australopithecus, a term that means 'southern apes'. They roamed in south and east Africa about 3 million years ago. They were small and decidedly simian, but they walked upright and fashioned simple tools from stone and bone. In short, they had potential.


That potential seems to have resulted in Homo habilis ('Handy Man') and Homo erectus ('Upright Man') around the beginning of the Pleistocene, some 2.5 million years ago.


There is some gentle controversy here. Perhaps Australopithecus evolved into Habilis who evolved into Erectus. Or perhaps Habilis didn't evolve into Erectus. Or perhaps Pithecus didn't directly evolve into either. Perhaps there were several parallel strains. No matter. The important thing is that at a certain stage, Erectus evolved into Homo sapiens ('Wise Man'), the self-congratulatory label scientists have applied to our own species. It happened in Africa and it happened somewhere between 400,000 and 100,000 years ago. Either date places the appearance of humanity in the Ice Age.


In 1856, the remains of several peculiar people were discovered in Germany's Neander Valley. At once the experts began to argue whether these were the bones of early humans, or just the bones of modern humans distorted by disease. The controversy was settled when similar skeletons were unearthed elsewhere. Neanderthals were definitely early humans. It transpired that they had lived throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East and parts of central Asia between about 100,000 and 35,000 years ago.


Nobody quite knows where Neanderthals came from. All we know is that they lived, used tools, buried their dead with flowers, and probably practiced some form of religion. We also know they disappeared.


Cro-Magnon is the name of a rock shelter near Les Eyzies-de--Tayac, in the Dordogne region of France. In 1868, geologist Louis Lartet was digging there when he discovered human remains dating to the Upper Palaeolithic (35,000 to 10,000 years ago). There were the bones of more than ten people in the shelter, but for some reason only five were preserved for archaeological investigation. They were impressive specimens, varying in height from 5 feet 5 inches to 6 feet 3 inches. There was every indication they had been strong-jawed and firm-muscled, and their skulls had the capacity to house large brains.  One of them had attained the age of fifty, a remarkable feat for the time. (4)


In 1882, the French prehistorians, A. de Quatrefages and Ernest Hamy, decided that Cro-Magnons represented a specific branch of the human race. Experts now believe they originated in western Asia.


It's clear that Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals overlapped. It's not clear whether genocide or interbreeding caused the Neanderthal strain to disappear, but it was Cro-Magnon who survived. Cro-Magnons were Homo sapiens sapiens ('Wise, Wise Man'). Cro-Magnons were us. To this day, there are people in Sweden and the Canary Islands who seem to be of almost unadulterated Cro-Magnon stock.


About 13,000 years ago, the world at last began to warm. It didn't warm everywhere and it didn't warm all at once - the final remnants of a great North American ice sheet took a further 5,500 years to thaw - but it was clear at some point in the process that the Ice Age was drawing to a close. Scientists usually put the cut-off date around 8000 BC, a time that marked the final fragmentation of a dwindling Scandinavian ice sheet.


The melting of the ice brought about a major rise in world sea levels. Although higher than they used to be, by 8000 BC they were still about 110 feet lower than they are today. But they rose until about 4000 BC, at which time they stabilized.


This development changed the geography of the planet. Large tracts of land simply disappeared under water to become what we now call 'continental shelves'. The land bridge across the Bering Strait, from Asia to Alaska, disappeared. So did the connections between the British Isles and Europe, Japan and Siberia, Sri Lanka and India, and Tasmania and Australia. For the first time in millennia, pockets of human population found themselves isolated.


There was a widespread change in vegetation. In western Europe, the sparse growths of the former tundra were first replaced by forests of birch and pine, then of oak, elm, and hazel. Until about 3000 BC, world temperatures were generally 2°C to 3°C higher than the present day. It was a good time to start farming.


There is agreement among scientists that for most of the Pleistocene Ice Age, mankind lived as hunter-gatherers. If we extrapolate from observations of primitive tribal peoples today, this probably meant that the women were responsible for 80 to 85 per cent of the food supply, scavenged from anywhere they could find it, while once every two weeks or so the men would take themselves off to catch a little protein on the hoof.


Somewhere along the evolutionary process, it's likely that a percentage of these hunter-gatherers became nomadic herdsman. A few prey species, like reindeer, were more or less domesticated.


But with the ending of the Ice Age, a major change took place. Humanity began to develop agriculture. As world temperatures rose, the successful cultivation of rice, wheat, barley, potatoes and maize became not only possible, but comparatively easy. Earlier preoccupations, like hunting, for example, diminished. Agriculture provided the food necessary for an increased population and led inevitably to a more settled lifestyle. People began to live in permanent houses. Tools grew more sophisticated. The gradual increase of barter laid the foundations of trade.


By the seventh millennium BC, villages were becoming more numerous in the Near East. Agriculture diversified. In the village of Jarmo, in Iraq, people learned how to domesticate pigs. Elsewhere, the storage of food became, like the tools needed to grow it, more sophisticated. Pit silos and granaries, some of them surprisingly large, were built. Crop irrigation was developed. The benefits of crop rotation were discovered.


Sometime between 4500 and 4000 BC, a non-Semitic people known as the Ubaidians settled in the southernmost part of Mesopotamia, between the two great rivers, Tigris and Euphrates, in what is now part of modern Iraq. They drained the marshes and began to plant crops. They developed trade with neighboring tribes. They established industries such as weaving, leather-work, masonry and pottery. Their presence acted like a magnet. A number of Semitic peoples moved into the territory and a blending of cultures took place. The Sumerians, whose language was eventually adopted throughout the whole region, probably originated in Anatolia, Turkey. Their arrival about 3300 BC gave a name to the most exciting development of all - civilization. By the third millennium BC, at least twelve separate city-states had arisen.


Sumer, with its walled cities, its agricultural hinterland and its increasing prosperity was the first known civilization. Others followed in Egypt, Assyria, Greece and Rome. Humankind had emerged from the dark night of the Ice Age and was now firmly established on the long march to the Industrial Revolution, the internal combustion engine, the global economy, space exploration and the information age.


Scientists see it all as a linear progression, an inevitable evolution from the simple to the complex, from the crude to the sophisticated, from the coarse to the refined, from ignorance to understanding.


You would have to destroy a whole scientific paradigm before you could believe in anything as fanciful as Plato's lost Atlantis.




1) But the idea is less popular than it once was. Recent geological discoveries now suggest the Thera eruption did not coincide with the decline of the Minoan civilization.


2) When the Sky Fell, Orion Books, London, 1996.


3) In his Timeaus. The extracts are from the Desmond Lee translation, Penguin Classics, London, 1971.


4) Even today, fifty remains the life expectancy of the average Egyptian.



This is a Chapter from Herbie Brennans' newly published book called: "THE ATLANTIS ENIGMA"

Submitted by: Roger [ ]



Chapter 1 - - Chapter 2 - - Chapter 3 - - Chapter 4 - - Chapter 5 - - Chapter 6 - - Chapter 7 - - Chapter 8



Page url:
This page was last updated on: 1/21/2011

Website designed and created by TJ Elias - Houston, Texas
Copyright© 1996-2011 - TJ Elias
Contact Us