A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THIS WEB SITE
The basic reasons for its existence
This web site is an outgrowth of two scientific papers as well as a book entitled "Quest for Atlantis," (Manor Books, 1979). These are the result of a life-long personal quest for solid, verifiable evidence in support of the real existence of Plato's famed island.
My thirst for quality data was only intensified by my constant encounters with quasi-archaeological, pseudo-mystical, and psycho-revelatory claims appearing on every hand in the search for the vestiges of Atlantis. Such material flooding the research and communications media only serve to misinform, and discredit the whole subject of Atlantis. Before tackling the scientific aspects of the Atlantis question, I would suggest starting with the literary aspects, such as Plato's narrative, the Ancient Writings, or possibly the Egyptian sources (click on the appropriate place on the title page). I feel it is helpful to familiarize oneself with the Egyptian connections to which Plato clearly alludespresently denied by classical scholars.
Then one is better prepared to peruse the supporting data from the various disciplines of science (anthropology, archaeology, geology, oceanography, paleontology, linguistics and paleography), which utilize data collected by the very scientists who so rigorously oppose the study of Atlantis. Notice the references at the bottom of each page, most of which are scientific papers (or at least from respected scientific journals). I spent a lot of hours in the basements of American and European university libraries (which is where such material is usually relegated), gleaning the facts you see before you.
Not too many years ago any theory or hypothesis tainted with "diffusionism" was automatically (without scientific review) held in utter contempt by professionals (Davies, 1979). But that former attitude may be changing. Just lately (1996) a team of scientists researching the newly discovered mummies of Tarim Basin agreed that the concept of cultural diffusion should be "taken seriously once again".
I also learned early on that to even mention Atlantis in most academic circles tends to invite ridicule and derision. Therefore I've endeavored to keep my researches on the subject clear and acceptable to those who wish to maintain an open and objective mind to evidence which continues to crop up in the archaeological and geological record. To my knowledge none of what I have presented has been disproven in any way.
I credit the departed Scottish mythographer Dr. Lewis Spence for putting me on the right track by suggesting that Cro-Magnon Man was today's representative of the survivors of Atlantis. My years of anthropological research only served to bolster Spence's opinion. Although Ignatius Donnelly's work was a ground-breaker early on, it missed the mark of modern scientific inquiry by a large margin. But even though the latter was not a scientist, his work aroused interest in further research and as a consequence was inspirational to the more serious workers who followed.
I believe I have successfully established that extensive areas of Western Europe, Northwest Africa, and various Atlantic archipelagos were occupied by a type of Modern Man distinguished markedly from other "eastern" groups inhabiting the bulk of Europe, Asia, and the remainder of Africa. This type is known to anthropologists as Cro-Magnon Man.
I have demonstrated that there were four Cro-Magnon "invasions" of the continents from the west during the Upper Paleolithic Age (the last of these "intrusions" being coincident with the sinking of Atlantis), that the cultures and technologies introduced to the mainlands by these people were considerably advanced by comparison, and finally that the above assertions are amply supported by archeological, anthropological, linguistic and ethnographic data.
I have also discovered and identified a language complex, peculiar to the western portions of Europe and Africa only, being markedly different from and unrelated to any other on those continents. Also, that this language dates back to Upper Paleolithic times contemporaneous with the time of Atlantis. Finally, that the area of this language complex corresponds exactly with that occupied by Paleolithic Cro-Magnon Man. This distinctive linguistic artifact I have labeled the Berber-Ibero-Basque Language Complex.
Archaeologists have discovered undeniable evidences indicating the practice of agriculture and the domestication of certain animalseven the possible invention of writingat this extremely early date, all in the very same "western" portions of both continents. All such evidence has been published in reputable science journals and magazines, which I have listed. Such cultural traits are extremely important in any truly scientific consideration of the existence of Atlantis at a time so remote as the last Ice Age.
I have also found that one can draw a solid line starting at Plato's date for the sinking of Atlantis, straight through the end of all Upper Paleolithic cultures, a major worldwide extinction of animal species, a significant global reduction in human population, and the close of a major geological period known colloquially as the Ice Age. Can this be mere coincidence?
For the serious and open-minded scientist, I believe I have laid some well-documented groundwork toward further study in favor of the possible existence of Atlantis. To those who are seemingly discovering "Atlantis" all over the world I have this to say. First of all, that during the Ice Age the ocean levels were lower all over the world, therefore shelves and seamounts were exposed as dry land and islands, and prehistoric men undoubtedly lived and built on them. This does not make them Atlantis. Furthermore, it is likely that Atlantis was a world empire of sorts, and had outposts scattered all over as well. Ruins of "circular cities" are often discovered under water as well as on present-day dry land. Just because a city is circular does not make it Atlantis, whether it be on dry land or underwater.
For those who are interested in the Egyptian background for Plato's story of Atlantis, which he alleges is the case in his Timaeus, I have provided a section on Egyptian writings and other information incorporating a possible Egyptian connection regarding the subject of Atlantis. It almost provides us a "story" (somewhat similar to Plato's account) of the famous submerged Atlantic archipelago (the lost "Lands of the West" comprised of seven islands), given some license for the differences in culture and terminology. Just click on the Egyptian Story selection on the Index page.
Now a word or two about controversial writings concerning ancient aeronautics. For everyone who has enjoyed the presentation, I am happy. For those who feel I have "damaged my reputation" by mentioning such things as vimanas and UFOs I feel sorry. I have "damaged my reputation" because of interest in a mystery? Mysteries are what makes life worth living! Mysteries are the spice of life, and Atlantis, UFOs and vimanas are all mysteries! To be frank, I have done no more than present existing literary expressions dealing with ancient aircraft, and they do resemble the modern UFO phenomenon in some ways.
After spending grueling hours studying the Sanskrit language, one deserves some reward! And to find such an exciting mystery scattered throughout the ancient literature of the Near East was exhilarating. So why did I include such a subject on my "Atlantis" web site? What is the connection, if any?
Well, it so happens that one of the explanations for the destruction of Atlantis is found in the Sanskrit epic literature. It seems that during the war between the Gods and Asuras several battles occurred involving vimanas which failed to accomplish the goal to end a ten year-long war. Finally an extremely large vimana is built, and armed with a weapon very similar in its stated effects to our present-day nuclear weapons. The vimana flew toward Atlantis (called Atala, in the account) and launched it directly at the capital city, Tripura. The war ended with cities and inhabitants being destroyed and sent, burning, to the bottom of the Western Ocean. So says the Mahabharata. You can argue with it, but you can't change it. I simply present all sides to the question.
Describing the final battle in what I believe to be the same war, the Greek writer Hesiod says that the Ocean (Okeanos, west of Europe and Libya) "seethed and boiled" and that mountains "heaved and shook" as the Titans were suffering their ignominious defeat. They were finally imprisoned (they were considered to be immortal, and thus could not die) in "Tartaros" beneath the Western Ocean. For full details click on the Mythology page; or click on the icon labeled "Ancient Aircraft" and then the "War of the Gods" button. The similarities between these stories are striking, and unlikely to be mere coincidence. Even the Bible makes reference (although somewhat obscure) to this event.
I wish to thank my wife for being patient and supportive. Also the few professors who have supported me and my researches with their benevolent attitude in the sharing of ideas. Finally, the Rev. Thomas Nowlin Harrison for his contributions of software expertise in making my hand-drawn maps more presentable and the extensive preparation required to make the publication of this web site possible in the form of a bookQuest for Atlantis IIwhich with time has gotten out of date.
R. Cedric Leonard - 1 May 2005
REF: Davies, Nigel, "Voyages to the New World," William Morrow & Co., Inc., New York, 1979.