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Atlantis: Concealed and Revealed

by Jesse Neel

Atlantis . . . just the mention of the word conjures images of magical crystals, laser beams, undersea ships, and ancient flying machines. A mystical land of Eden-like qualities populated by a Utopian society where all needs are provided and all wants fulfilled. A place where fantasy and reality are blurred by the imagination of man.

Yet, we continue to pursue the dream as a tangible fact. We have chased the island continent to the four corners of the globe and across the seven seas, all the while, questioning our reason and our sanity in the pursuit of what may or may not be.

This conception has been our folly, and our failure. We have been seeking an illusion in a dreamlike state. Searching for what we know to be fleeting and unobtainable, but unable in our nature to release the false ideals that lurk in the corridors of our minds. We have abandoned that sensible place in our conscience that tells us we are gathering bouquets of clouds.

In our rush to reveal to ourselves that which we crave most, we have lost our way. Eden is a faded photo and Utopia is but a wishful wisp. We have been charging our quest with vapors and driving our efforts in a vacuum. Atlantis is not a warm summer’s eve or a soft-spoken sonnet. Nor does it exist on that ethereal plain where all is ease and comfort.

Atlantis is not an ideal or an emotion, but a concrete and factual location. A place where men and women toiled and tilled, gathered and ground, and forged a life for themselves and a future just as you or I do today. A place where generations of humanity planned and built on the labors and knowledge of those who came before them. A civilization that carried trade and original thought across the entire globe. A culture, by virtue of its ancient origins, that has affected the history and destiny of planet Earth.

How is this possible? More to the point, I think, is where was this possible. I will not take you to all the probabilities. I will not drag you through all the peradventures of previous thought, or tease you through a tale of tedious information and then leave you to come to your own conclusions. I am going to take you to there. I am going to show you the elephant, not the footprint. I will lead you from the alpha to the omega, from the genesis of the geology to the revelation of the reality. In the beginning, there was an end. The end of the world as it was known . . . 65 million years ago.

Plato, in his dialogue Critias, gives us a description of our long lost ancestors, their country, and their capital city. This description, as he relates it to us, was given to the Greeks by priests of Egypt. This point is of note as Egypt will play a significant role in our discovery.

Of the formation of the capital city, Plato writes:

“In the days of old the gods had the whole earth distributed among them by allotment. And Poseidon, receiving for his lot the island of Atlantis . . . an island greater in extent than Libya and Asia. . . . Looking towards the sea, but in the center of the whole island, there was a plain which is said to have been the fairest of all plains and very fertile. Near the plain again, and also in the center of the island . . . there was a mountain not very high on any side. . . . Poseidon . . . breaking the ground, enclosed the hill . . . making alternate zones of sea and land larger and smaller, encircling one another; there were two of land and three of water, which he turned as with a lathe, each having its circumference equidistant every way from the center . . . and gave the impression that a work of such extent, in addition to so many others, could never have been artificial.”

Plato has given us a description of a prehistoric island of continental proportions with an enormous geological feature attributed not to the physical efforts of man, but to the natural act of a God. There is only one event that could be considered an act of God (Nature) that would cause the formation of immense concentric rings on the Earth and at the same moment produce a mound or hill, known as central uplift, at its center - the impact of a comet or asteroid. The impact crater must be located at or near sea level since Atlantis is referred to as an island that allows the depressed zones to be filled with sea water. Keeping in mind that the story Plato is recounting took place during the last ice age when sea levels were dramatically lower, we are seeking a crater that is completely or partially covered by an ocean or sea, and has endured 11,000 years of sedimentary buildup and/or wind and rain erosion since the destruction of Atlantis. Before that, depending on the actual age of the impact, the crater may have endured thousands or even millions of years of the same.

But, Plato doesn’t stop there, he gives us a further description of the land:

“. . . very lofty and precipitous on the side of the sea, but the country immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plain, itself surrounded by mountains which descended towards the sea; it was smooth and even, and of an oblong shape. . . .”

This information assists in narrowing the search. We now know that the crater is submerged, or at least partially, and sets on a large, level, and oblong plain, surrounded by mountains. Considering the levels of the seas at that time, we are almost certainly to find what we are looking for on a continental shelf. But where in the world is crater incognito?

The final clues imparted to us by the ancient philosopher are those which will lead us to our objective, albeit indirectly:

“He (Poseidon) also begat and brought up five pairs of twin male children . . . the eldest, who was the first king, he named Atlas, and after him the whole island and the ocean were called Atlantic. . . . All these (twins) and their descendants for many generations were the inhabitants and rulers of diverse islands in the open sea . . . they held sway . . . as far as Egypt. . . .”

They held sway as far as Egypt. Atlantis came to and end approximately 11,000 years ago, but for generations before that the Atlantians held sway over Egypt. The significance of this one line that was not lost to the ages, this one tiny bit of information that came to Greece directly from Egypt, will change the history of the world. How many hundreds or thousands of years did these seafaring people carry on trade with the citizens of the Mediterranean? And where is the evidence of their rule? They were also “rulers of diverse islands in the open sea.” Which Islands?

We should begin where they held sway . . . Egypt. The Egyptians began recording their own history about 3200 B.C.E., and they wrote on everything. They wrote on skins, they wrote on papyrus, and they wrote on stone. They wrote on their walls, their buildings, their monuments and their tombs. With all this information written all across Egypt, there should be some mention of a civilization that controlled two continents and the largest ocean on the planet. But there isn’t. Not a word, not a whisper. When it comes to Atlantis, we run into a blank wall - literally. What we have missed is what is missing.

There is one place in Egypt where the walls do not speak and the temples have no voice. No inscriptions of any kind are found here; no carving, no painting, not even graffiti. Ironically, these structures surround, and are related to, the most famous testament to silence in the world - The Sphinx. The statue is an anomaly in itself. All the other representations of gods, or pharaohs as gods, are shown as human bodies with animal heads. The Sphinx is the only presentation of an animal’s body with a human head. And, the head is terribly out of proportion to what would have been the original body. The original body having been worn away by thousands of years of rainfall and repaired numerous times. There is one more small piece of information about the great mute monstrosity. It faces the rising of the constellation Leo, as it appeared some 15,000 years ago during the last ice age, when Atlantis ruled Egypt. So here we have a complex that is out of place and out of time with the ancient Egyptian culture. Does this give us the location of the lost capital city of our ancestors? No, but it shows us the way.

Egypt is our weigh station. It is our connection from the writings of Plato to the next clue in our quest. Though no written proof of Atlantis remains in Egypt today, at one time, Egypt was the intellectual and artistic capital of the ancient world. In 332 B.C.E. Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and founded his namesake metropolis Alexandria. On the death of Alexander in 323 B.C.E. his empire was divided among his generals and Ptolemy was appointed governor of Egypt. Alexandria became a center of Hellenistic culture and contained a great library founded by Ptolemy I that was said, by the time of its destruction in the 3rd century C.E., to have contained 700,000 volumes. Scholars, scientists, and artisans from across the known world made pilgrimages to the great city to learn and return to their respective realms. The information was copied and carried to and from every nation and country for six centuries. The loss of the library at Alexandria was the single greatest tragedy in history. The collective mind of all humanity was erased forever, including Egypt’s Atlantian heritage. Or was it?

Egyptian priests managed to save a few scraps and scrolls, but nothing pertaining to Atlantis. We must look elsewhere. Surely somewhere on the planet something of the original library exists. Some document, or diagram, or perhaps a map exists that will give us some hint of that which we seek.

Istanbul (Constantinople) is a seaport at the entrance to the Black Sea and Turkey’s largest city. Founded by Greek colonists in the 7th century B.C.E. as the capital of the Byzantine Empire it still exists today. In 334 B.C.E. the city accepted Macedonian rule and, when Alexander died, became a part of the Hellenistic culture along with Egypt. In 330 C.E. Constantine I chose Byzantium as the site of New Rome and renamed the city Constantinople. The city was sacked by the armies of the 4th Crusade in 1204 and the Latin Empire of Constantinople was created. But, in 1261 Michael VIII reclaimed the city for the Byzantines. In 1453, after a long siege, Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks and became the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

Piri Reis was an Admiral in the Navy of the Ottoman Turks, and was involved, often on the winning side, in numerous sea battles of the mid-16th century. He was, in addition, a cartographer and considered to be an expert on the area around the Mediterranean Sea. He was the author of a famous nautical book, known as the Kitabi Bahriye, which provided a comprehensive description of the coasts, harbors, currents, shallows, landing places, bays and straits of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. 
In Constantinople, sometime in 1513, the Admiral produced a map of the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America, the Gulf of Mexico and the northern coast of Antarctica. Admiral Reis could not have acquired the information on this latter region from contemporary explorers because Antarctica remained undiscovered until 1818 C.E., more than 300 years after he drew the map. 
The ice-free coast of Antarctica shown on the map is a puzzle because the geological evidence confirms that the latest probable date that the antarctic could have been surveyed and charted in an ice-free condition is 4000 B.C.E. In other words, the true enigma of this 1513 map is not its inclusion of a continent that was not discovered until 1818 but rather its depiction of the coastline of that continent under ice-free conditions that came to an end 6,000 years ago and have not since recurred. 
This profile remained completely hidden from view from 4000 B.C.E. (when the advancing ice-sheet covered it) until it was revealed again during a seismic survey of Antarctica (Queen Maud Land) that was carried out in 1949 by a joint British-Swedish scientific team. Additionally, the Falkland Islands appear on the 1513 map at their correct latitude although they remained undiscovered until 1592. 
The Turkish Admiral gives no clue as to the identity of the cartographers who had produced the earlier maps, but in a series handwritten notes on the map itself, he honestly admits that his role was merely that of the compiler and copyist and his own map was derived from a large number of source maps. 
Some of these had been drawn by contemporary or near-contemporary explorers (including Christopher Columbus), who had by then reached South America and the Caribbean, but others were documents of great antiquity. Some of the source maps the Admiral had made use of were based on even older sources, which in turn had been based on sources originating in the farthest antiquity. They must have been collected and studied in the great library of Alexandria, compiled by the geographers who worked there, then transferred to other centers of learning - notably Constantinople. Unbelievable as it may appear, the evidence indicates that ancient people explored Antarctica when its coasts were free of ice. The source maps that Piri Reis used to draw his 1513 map were lodged in either the library at the University of Istanbul (founded 1453) or the Imperial Library at Constantinople, both of which the Admiral is known to have enjoyed privileged access. These source maps no longer exist or have yet to be rediscovered. It was, however, in the library of the old Imperial Palace at Constantinople that the Piri Reis map was found, painted on a gazelle skin and rolled up on a dusty shelf. The Piri Reis Map also portrays a large island in the Atlantic Ocean to the east of the South American coast where no such island now exists. It is not coincidence that this "imaginary" island turns out to be located right over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where the Rocks of St. Peter and St. Paul now jut above the waves. This relevant source map was drawn from a library of ancient sources, compiled deep in the last Ice Age, when sea levels were far lower than they are today and a large island would have been exposed at this spot. In fact, the Admiral’s map is peppered with “diverse islands in the open sea.” Most of them tending toward the Gulf of Mexico.

A grid map of the Piri Reis map has been produced to show the approximate latitudes and longitudes of the islands and land masses. Also, the features of the original map have been numbered and labeled on the grid for reference and shows the Gulf of Mexico has been swung through an arc of about 78 degrees to fit on the medium. This is the section with which we are most concerned.

On the grid there is an island that lies between 17 and 22 degrees north latitude, and 82 and 92 degrees west longitude. This Island is numbered 25 and identified as Cuba. This island is not Cuba. This island is the Yucatan Peninsula. While Cuba and the Yucatan do lie in about the same latitude (17 to 22 degrees), it is the Yucatan that lies in the proper longitude. During the last ice age the Yucatan Peninsula was much larger (east to west), due to the lower water levels, and would have covered the area approximately 82 to 92 degrees west longitudes. Cuba would not have been much larger (east to west) and would lie approximately where it does now, 75 to 85 degrees west longitude. What does this correction mean to us? The most astonishing and exciting scientific finds of the new millennia.

On the Turkish Admiral’s original map, north of the supposed island of Cuba, there are three rectangular figures. At a glance these three figures would appear to be nothing more than another cluster of islands. But, when placed in context with the words of Plato, they take on a whole new meaning.

“The entire circuit of the wall, which went round the outermost zone, they covered with a coating of brass, and the circuit of the next wall they coated with tin, and the third, which encompassed the citadel, flashed with the red light of orichalcum.”

These three small figures; one silver (tin), one gold (brass), and one red (orichalcum) are the walls of the capital city of Atlantis. Each of the walls has a gate notch in its top and when a straight line is passed through these notches, the line points directly at the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. And, we all know what lies at the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula - the Chicxulub Impact Crater.

Sixty-five million years ago a comet or asteroid struck the Peninsula and caused deep ripples on the planet similar to a drop of rain in a puddle. The resultant blast brought an end to the reign of the dinosaurs, and changed the course of evolution. Despite the millions of years of climatic erosion and tectonic shifts - or perhaps because of it - our ancestors came across the circular channels and made them their home. These ripples remain today partially covered by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and filled with sediments.

There sits the lost capital city of Atlantis, half concealed and half revealed, waiting for thousands of years . . . waiting for us.

Evidence of Atlantis has already been found. Cuban archeologists in 1966 excavated a land-based megalithic structure on the western coast said to date from 4000 BC. The mysterious megalithic structures discovered in the 1960s and 1970s in the sound between the Bahamas islands of North and South Bimini. Megalithic structures reminiscent of pyramids, streets and buildings were discovered in 2001on a great underwater plateau off the Guanahacabibes Peninsula on Cuba's western tip. Three well-preserved skeletons were discovered in underwater caves off the Caribbean coast of Yucatan during dives in 2001 and 2002. A charcoal sample found with one of the skeletons was carbon-dated to more than 13,000 years ago - 11,000 B.C. This find represents the oldest carbon date associated with any human bone remains found in the Americas. We are getting close now, and it is only a matter of time.

© 2008 Jesse JB Neel   

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Atlantis. Explore recent speculations about this lost continent based on dialogues of Plato and recent discoveries.