Search for the Lost City of Atlantis Part 3: The Continues

About the search for the lost city of Atlantis, information about the history and background of search.

The Continuing Search for . . . Atlantis

Scottish mythologist Lewis Spence felt that Atlantis really existed 10,000 years ago and was inhabited by Cro-Magnon men.

At the turn of the century, the Krupps spent a half-million dollars of their steel fortune on an expedition to the Mato Grosso in Brazil to look for forgotten Atlantis. They found nothing.

According to most experts, it is possible that there was a kind of "Atlantis" at Tartessus (or Tarshish) in southwest Spain. Tartessus had so much silver, legend says, that the hogs ate from silver troughs and the Phoenicians, who traded there, made anchors of silver so that they could transport even more of the precious metal home. The Greeks learned of Tartessus in about 631 B.C., and it disappeared in about 500 B.C.; no one knows why. In the 1920s, Professor Adolph Schulten of Erlangen dug up the site of Tartessus, but the high water table kept him from finding much except artifacts from later civilizations.

In 1925, a retired British army officer, Percy H. Fawcett, set out for what he thought was the lost Atlantis in a remote part of Brazil. He and his party, which included his son, mysteriously disappeared. Then in 1951, the Calapalo Indians of the upper Xingu basin admitted they had killed the British explorers because the explorers had treated them badly.

Angelos Galanopoulos, a Greek scientist, thinks that Atlantis may have been Crete. Not far from Crete is a group of volcanic islands in the Aegean Sea, the remnants of a larger land mass blown up by a volcano around 1000 B.C. The theory goes that the eruption caused a tidal wave, which may have wiped out Minoan culture on Crete. Excavations on Thera, one of these islands, revealed a Minoan city dating from 1500 B.C. hidden under a blanket of volcanic material.

In 1972 the Unesco Courier told of the sensational find by a French diver, Dimitri Rebikoff, and an American Archaeologist, Manson Valentine, off the island of Bimini. Their aerial photographs showed walls 250' long, 20' below the water surface, which were made of 25-ton, 16'-square blocks. These walls spread over an area of 38 sq. mi. Scholars from the University of Miami dated the settlement at between 7,000 and 10,000 B.C., before the building of the Egyptian pyramids. Atlantis?

In the summer of 1973, Maxine Asher, a mystic with an intense interest in Atlantis, inveigled Pepperdine University, in California, to sponsor--and give college credits for--a trip to Spain to find the fabled island. Spain was the spot, she said, because "for me vibrations are strongest there." Nearly 50 people signed up for the trip at a cost of from $2,000 to $2,800 each. Shortly after they arrived, Ms. Asher announced that on the morning of July 18, 3 divers had found a sunken city with streets and columns 14 mi. off the coast of Cadiz. In her press release, she said that the city was at least 6,000 years old and that the find was the "greatest discovery in the history of the world." The Spanish Government began an inquiry which revealed that Asher's story was a hoax. A student revealed that he had seen the press release 2 days before the historic dive had allegedly been made, and Asher disappeared. Later, reporters tracked her down to find that she was unabashedly leading another expedition, this time to Ireland, to continue the search for Atlantis.

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