there exists yet another strong possibility: that Plato entirely made Atlantis
up himself.Regardless, his story of the sunken continent went on to
captivate the generations that followed. Other Greek thinkers, such as Aristotle
and Pliny, disputed the existence of Atlantis, while Plutarch and Herodotus
wrote of it as historical fact. Atlantis became entrenched in folklore all
around the world, charted on ocean maps and sought by explorers.In 1882,
Ignatius Donnelly, a U.S. congressman from Minnesota, brought the legend into
the American consciousness with his book,
Atlantis: The Antediluvian
Edgar Cayce(1877-1945) became the U.S.'s most prominent advocate of a factual
Atlantis. Widely known as
The Sleeping Prophet, Cayce claimed the ability
to see the future and to communicate with long-dead spirits from the past. He
identified hundreds of people -- including himself -- as reincarnated
Atlanteans.Cayce said that Atlantis had been situated near the Bermuda
island of Bimini. He believed that Atlanteans possessed remarkable technologies,
including supremely powerful "fire-crystals" which they harnessed for energy. A
disaster in which the fire-crystals went out of control was responsible for
Atlantis's sinking, he said, in what sounds very much like a cautionary fable on
the dangers of nuclear power. Remaining active beneath the ocean waves, damaged
fire-crystals send out energy fields that interfere with passing ships and
aircraft -- which is how Cayce accounted for the Bermuda Triangle.Cayce
prophesied that part of Atlantis would rise again to the surface in "1968 or
1969." It didn't, and no one has yet found hard evidence that it was ever there.
With sonar tracing and modern knowledge of plate tectonics, it appears
impossible that a mid-Atlantic continent could have once existed. Still, many
argue that there must have been an Atlantis, because of the many cultural
similarities on either side of the ocean which could not have developed
independently, making Atlantis quite literally a "missing link" -- the
topographical equivalent of Bigfoot.In more ways than one.
By K.T. Frost
Frost suggested that instead of being west of the Pillars of Hercules
Atlantis was east. He also thought that the catastrophic end of the island had
come not 9000 years before Plato's time, but only 900. If this was true the land
of Atlantis might already be a well-known place even in Plato's time: The Island
Crete is now a part of modern Greece and lies just south of the Athens across
part of the Mediterranean Sea. Before 1500 B.C. it was the seat of the Minoan
Empire. The Minoans dominated the eastern Mediterranean with a powerful navy and
probably extracted tribute from other surrounding nations. Archaeological
excavations have shown the Minoan Crete was probably one of the most
sophisticated cultures of its time. It had splendid architecture, and art. A
code of laws gave women equal legal status as men. Agriculture was highly
developed and an extensive irrigation system existed.
Then, seemingly in a blink of an eye, the Minoan Civilization disappeared.
Geological studies have shown that on an island we now know as Santorinas,
located just ten miles to the north of Crete, a disaster occurred that was very
capable of toppling the Minoan state.
Santorinas today is a lush Mediterranean paradise consisting of several
islands in a ring shape. Twenty-five hundred years ago, though, it was a single
large island with a volcano in the center. The volcano blew itself apart in a
massive explosion around 1500 B.C.
To understand the effect of such an explosion, scientists have compared it
with the most powerful volcanic explosion in historic times. This occurred on
the Island of Krakatoa in 1883. There a giant wave, or tsunami, 120 feet high
raced across the sea and hit neighboring islands killing 36,000 people. Ash
thrown up into the air blackened the skies for three days. The sound of the
explosion was heard as far away as 3,000 miles.
The explosion at Santorinas was four times as powerful as Krakatoa.
The tsunami that hit Crete must have traveled inland for over half a mile
destroying any coastal towns or cities. The great Minoan fleet of ships was sunk
in a few seconds. Overnight the powerful Minoan Empire was crushed and Crete
changed to a political backwater. One can hardly imagine a catastrophe more like
Plato's description of Atlantis' fate than the destruction of Crete.
Many of the details of the Atlantis story fit with what is now known about
Crete. Women had a relatively high political status, both cultures were
peaceful, and both enjoyed the unusual sport of ritualistic bullfighting (where
an unarmed man wrestled and jumped over an uninjured bull).
Galanopoulos suggested there was a mistake during translation of some of the
figures from Egyptian to Greek and an extra zero added. This would mean 900
years ago became 9000, and the distance from Egypt to "Atlantis" went from 250
miles to 2,500. If this were true, Plato, knowing the layout of the
Mediterranean Sea, would have been forced to assume the location of island
continent was squarely in the Atlantic Ocean.
The exact location of Atlantis is not known as the continent split into many
sections that moved in different directions.
Many researchers believe that Atlantis is near the Azores Islands. The Azores
are a group of islands belonging to Portugal located about 900 miles (1500 km)
west of the Portuguese coast. Some people believe the islands are the
mountaintops of the sunken continent of Atlantis.