By September 16, 2013 5 Comments

Why can’t we find Atlantis?

Atlantis1500pxIt would help if we had some idea where to start looking. It’s been claimed to be off the coast of Ireland, in the Bermuda Triangle, and I’ve even heard of it being in the Andes.

This much I can however say with some certainty: if it’s here, we will one day find it. We have sonar that’s getting more powerful by the day and high resolution imaging from space, so there are ever-decreasing amounts of Earth that we haven’t studied.

I wonder if Plato knew what he was doing when he first described it. It made him famous, after all. He was a bit vague about the exact location, although to his peers it was probably perfectly obvious where he was talking about. Unfortunately the Pillars of Hercules isn’t on any modern map.

Maybe it was simply Plato ‘doodling’, like many writers do when they get writer’s block. Maybe Atlantis never existed other than in his own magnificent mind. We may never know, because even if we find an ancient lost city, if it doesn’t have Welcome to Atlantis over the gate we won’t be certain.

We find ancient ruins under the seas frequently, notably off the coast of Japan, such as Yonaguni Jima. Already it’s being called the Japanese Atlantis. It’s actually a stepped pyramid. Very interesting in its own right, but Atlantis it ain’t. Unfortunately the sensationalist press don’t worry too much about details when it comes to selling papers.

I’m far more interested in the idea of a pyramid in Japan than rumours of a lost city. It’s starting to look as if there have been pyramids in every country of the world, and they were built way before the people of the day were able to cross oceans. So how did they get the idea to build a pyramid? A pyramid isn’t something you throw together on a whim, it takes years and huge amounts of labour.

Naturally I look into every new announcement about someone finding Atlantis. Most of them, after very little reading, turn out to be nothing but nonsense. Today was another one. Someone claiming that he’d found not only Atlantis, but the Garden of Eden, the Island of Avalon, New Jerusalem, the Holy Land and Paradise. Naturally the details are only available if you buy his new book. Yeah, right, and I found the city of Troy behind my garden shed.

It’s another example of the sort of madness that overcomes people when they start to search for lost civilisations. They spend years of their lives, and heaps of money, wandering around rain forests and every out-of-the-way place they can think of. Occasionally someone finds something they weren’t looking for that turns out to be significant to archaeologists but not to them.

For the searchers, often searching at the expense of a private backer, the pressure’s on to produce results, and that’s when the problems start and the mad claims come out, with all sorts of dubious evidence in support.

Considering that Plato said Atlantis sank under the sea after what today we interpret as a volcano and earthquake, it may have been utterly destroyed and will never be found. Alternatively it may have been swamped by a tsunami, killing everyone but leaving evidence of its existence in the ruins.

For an ancient Greek to describe Atlantis as being more advanced than his own country is pretty strong evidence that there was something special going on there. However, had they been a race of ancient aliens, as is so often claimed, I think Plato would have mentioned it. It’s not something he’d have overlooked. He’d have said something like ‘Hey, check out the little weirdos on Atlantis. They have these really big eyes and big heads but tiny mouths. Oh, and they also have ships that can fly’.

Sure, the Atlanteans were advanced, compared to the Greeks, but they weren’t so advanced that they couldn’t prevent their own demise, and aliens would have been. I do love the theory that Atlantis was a huge alien ship floating on the sea that simply took off and went elsewhere, but what little we know about the place doesn’t support it.

It still remains to understand why they were so advanced, relatively speaking. Plato claims that they invaded their neighbours, yet if they had, those neighbours would have been dragged along and become advanced too, like when the Romans invaded Britain. After Romanisation, Britain had underfloor heating and nice cobbled roads, for example, whereas before Rome we had dirt tracks and and a small fire in the middle of the house. Pretty smoky as the chimney hadn’t been invented yet.

Probably the most popular Atlantis myth is that it’s submerged in the Bermuda Triangle and that’s also why we lose so many sea and air craft there. Nice theory, but not a single piece of evidence to support it. The Triangle is by now probably the most explored area of the planet, and no ruins, alien space ships or sunken cities have been found.

Not found doesn’t, of course, mean there’s nothing there. It simply means we haven’t found it. There are plenty of witnesses who claim to have seen UFOs leaving and entering the sea. Hell, even Columbus saw a USO and recorded it in his ship’s log. How many times have we had mass sightings of UFOs near airports that didn’t show up on radar? Not surprising, we have our own planes that don’t show up on radar.

Clearly if the aliens have set up a base under the sea in the Triangle, they don’t want us discovering them, so they hide. It makes perfect sense. If we discovered that they were there they wouldn’t get a minute’s peace. The sea above would be full of ships and subs within a couple of days and they’d have to move on.

Of course, when I say ‘aliens’ that my be incorrect. If they’ve been here since before Plato’s time then they may not qualify as aliens because they’ve been here longer than us.

John SimsAbout: John Sims (25 Posts)

Former field archaeologist, retired on health grounds. Writer mostly of short stories and magazine features. Born and bred in Wales and still here. After much travelling of the world it's still the best place to be.

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5 Comments on "Why can’t we find Atlantis?"

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  1. Chumlee says:

    We can’t find Atlantis because we wouldn’t be able to put together great movies and TV shows about looking for it. That’s my answer. The government probably knows far more than we do, right? 😉 -chum

  2. John Sims John Sims says:

    Oh, Chumlee, Chumlee, Chumlee, of course the Government knows more than we do 😉
    I think individual politicians know as much about Atlantis as my imaginary housekeeper does. As a Government they take advice from experts, and as there are no experts on where Atlantis is, they can know nothing. Speaking of TV programs about Atlantis, the BBC has started airing one. They obviously also have no idea about anything at all to do with Atlantis.

  3. piere says:

    atlantis has not been found because it sunk before jesus was born

  4. Chinney says:

    Oh please,atlantis does not even exist its a myth

  5. IonutRO says:

    Because it always has and always will be fictional. Not saying it’s a myth, I’m saying it’s FICTION, it was written as AN ALLEGORY in pieces of PROSE.

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