Atlantean World - Chapter 5
At Last, Atlantis
Just as man has gazed fascinated into the sea, atavistically peering into his past, so has he engaged in a restless quest for Atlantis. In the ocean, said naturalist Rachel Carson, he found from whence he had sprung, and in Atlantis, a dream of a superior culture, prefacing the brief few thousand years of recorded history with which he measures his meager progress.
Since Plato first described the Lost Continent of the Atlantic twenty-five hundred years ago, more than two thousand books have been written about a legendary land that nobody has seen. There have been books to prove Atlantis, books to disprove it. Some have been by erudite scientists, others by dreamers in search of a Shangri-La.
While oceanographers, geologists, and ordinary sea-divers have been fanning out over the Atlantic for centuries in the underwater quest, Edgar Cayce merely went to sleep, and saw visions of a magic continent which went through three periods of breakup, the last some eleven or twelve thousand years ago.
Waking, Cayce didn’t know anything about lost continents and when his first mention of Atlantis was called to his attention, he rubbed his eyes and said in that gentle way of his,
“Now I wonder where that came from, and if there’s anything to it?”
At various times, Cayce’s Atlantis, just like Plato’s Atlantis, boasted a technical culture, which eventually deteriorated to a point where the last denizens were victims of their own destructiveness. Cayce’s readings on Atlantis, continuing for a span of twenty years, were given before the first atom bomb was touched off, before it was known that man finally did have the power to blast himself back to the Dark Ages, or turn the clock back to the Stone Age and life in a cave by bleak campfire.
Could it be that it had all happened before?
“If we believe in evolution,” the Geologist pointed out, “then we must believe in some sort of superior society existing before our skimpy recorded history, since obviously we haven’t come very far since the time of Moses, Plato, Aristotle, or Christ.”
There was an anthropological gap, from about seven thousand to thirty thousand years ago, when anything could have been possible for all we know. Whole cities and successions of cities had been buried before, as many different layers of Troy revealed—so why not a whole country or continent? From magnetic grains, from fossil remains, from layers of earth crust, we know the earth goes back millions of years, and yet we have no certain knowledge of what happened only yesterday, geologically.
Had some cataclysm, destroying most or nearly all of humanity, also destroyed the records of that humanity?
And could it not happen again, at presumably any time, now that man had the weapons of his own destruction at hand?
Or perhaps the tilt of the global axis, sending billions of tons of melting glacial ice down on us from the Pole, would suffice?
Cayce’s and Plato’s Atlantis corresponded in many details, though Cayce had never read the two dialogues, in which the greatest mind of antiquity passed on the story of the island empire beyond the Pillars of Hercules.
Cayce had seen three periods of destruction, the first two about 15,600 B.C., when the mainland was divided into islands, and the last about 10,000 B.C., when a group of three large islands, along with some lesser, were swallowed up overnight, as Plato had suggested. Though the precise outlines of Atlantis, before its breakup into the islands mentioned by Plato, were never given in a Cayce reading, he indicated that it extended from what is now the Sargasso Sea area in the west to the Azores in the east, and compared its size to “that of Europe, including Asia in Europe; not Asia, but Asia in Europe.”
Before the last holocaust, waves of Atlanteans had, according to Cayce, dispersed in all directions, accounting for the superior, and often strangely familiar cultures, in such diverse areas as Egypt, Peru, Mexico, Central America, and in our New Mexico and Colorado, where they presumably became a colony of mound-dwellers.
Before the final breakup, which centered near the Bahamas, the culture of this superior people, eroded by greed and lust, had disintegrated to a point, Cayce said, where their destruction, like that of Sodom and Gomorrah after them, was inevitable.
Cayce even gives us a picture of the destruction, which Plato doesn’t.
“With the continued disregard of those that were keeping all those laws as applicable to the Sons of God, man brought in the destructive forces that combined with those natural resources of the gases, of the electrical forces, that made the first of the eruptions that awoke from the depth of the slow-cooling earth, and that portion now near what would be termed the Sargasso Sea first went into the depths.”
Cayce says cryptically that archives dealing with the existence of Atlantis, concealed in three areas of the world, will eventually be revealed: one of these areas is Egypt, where the ancient Egyptian priests assured the Greek lawmaker Solon, the source of the Plato tale, that they had the account fully preserved.
Of course, since Plato’s story has been discounted through the centuries, even his reference to a continent—clearly North America—beyond the Atlantean islands being disregarded as part of an allegorical myth, it is hardly likely that the same breed of historians and scientists would heed an unlettered clairvoyant dipping into his subconscious to elaborate on one of the most engrossing tales ever told.
Even the Geologist, gradually committed to Cayce and his wonders, found it hard to swallow Atlantis at first. But after delving into the scientific research of others, he began his own research, taking him at one point to the waters around Bimini, where Cayce forecast that the first of the sunken remnants of Atlantis would dramatically reappear. As the Geologist investigated, the scientific evidence began piling up.
If Cayce was right in his clairvoyant medical cures, why shouldn’t he be right about other things? The information was certainly coming out of the same bottle, so to speak. Cayce had observed that the lowlands of the Continent of Atlantis, before this presumed breakup into islands, paralleled the present Atlantic seaboard, and the Geologist pointed out that ocean troughs parallel to New England, seventy to a hundred miles at sea, showed from their ancient sedimentation that they had once been above surface.
And what of the mid-Atlantic submarine ridge, spectacularly rising in spots, as it may once have dropped?
“Sedimentary material from a depth of two miles on the ridge, revealed the exclusive presence of fresh water plants,” the Geologist noted, “evidence that this section of the ridge was once above sea level.”
Curiously, as recently as 1966, there was some confirmation of a gently sloping plane extending into the North Atlantic, and scientists at the Oceanographic Institute at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, theorized it was a likely abode of the earliest humans in this continental area some twenty thousand years ago. However, oriented as they were, they visualized this slope as easternmost North America, not westernmost Atlantis.
To some, the Azores, eight hundred miles due west of Portugal, represent the eastern marches of the last of the Atlantean islands. And they have been acting up lately, just as their counterparts may have once before.
Recent activity in the nine islands of the Azores is a striking reflection of the instability that may have dropped Atlantis in the Atlantic thousands of years ago. Quiet for centuries, the Azores began erupting in 1957, curiously close to the year 1958, which Cayce saw as the forty-year beginning of large-scale breakups around the globe.
As perhaps with Atlantis, the 1957 quakes and volcanic eruptions created migratory waves, as they broke up islands and destroyed thousands of homes. In February of 1964, there was another four days of nightmare quakes, and thousands of refugees fled the isle of Sao Jorge, hard hit by a thousand tremors.
The ‘57 quake recalled early scenes described by Cayce. The Geologist picked up a report by one of the refugees, Bernadette Vieira, who with her family fled Sao Jorge and settled in Santa Clara, California.
Bernadette’s experience was most graphic:
“She ran screaming down the village street as a volcanic island arose from the sea between Sao Jorge and nearby Fayal Island.“
On that day the earth shook, and stone-walled houses toppled. Hundreds of persons were killed. Hot ashes fell like rain. Crops were ruined, and livestock was killed.
“The volcanic island sank back into the sea as quickly as it had risen.”
In the ‘64 quake, panicky residents feared the tremors might activate two dormant volcanoes on either tip of Sao Jorge.
“The ground is trembling almost continuously,” a Portuguese news agency reported, “the people of Sao Jorge feel like shipwrecks on a raft.”
In one community of thousands, only three houses were left standing. Telephone and telegraph communications were cut. The air smoldered with sulphur fumes. A hastily assembled flotilla carried doctors, ambulances and blood plasma to the stricken island in response to the SOS:
“Important damages. Many ruins. Request all navigation available in proximity proceed southern coast this island render assistance.”
There was more:
“If the volcanoes erupt,” the Geologist read aloud, “they could split the island and cause it to crumple into the sea.”
The Geologist brought out a map, showing how the Azores archipelago, strangely scattered in mid-ocean, stretched for four hundred miles, with its chain of craggy coastlines, volcanic mountains, crystal-clear crater lakes and lush subtropical vegetation. Whatever a mainland had in fresh water, fauna and flora, these islands surrounded by seawater, also had, plus a legacy of volcanic instability.
“Could it really be,” I asked, dubiously pointing to the loop of rocky isles, “that this was once Atlantis?”
The Geologist shrugged.
“Why not? What’s left is due west of the Pillars of Hercules, where Plato fixed the original islands. Geologically, where any phenomenon occurs in the present, it also occurred in the past, as part of normal evolutionary change. All that had to vary was the degree of change. Instability is an obvious feature of that area.”
The Azores have caught the fancy of even the Russians.
“In 1963,” the Geologist pointed out, “a leading Russian geologist, Dr. Maria Klionova, reported to the Academy of Science of the USSR that rocks had been dredged up from depths of 6600 feet, sixty miles north of the Azores, which gave evidence of having been exposed to the atmosphere at approximately 15,000 B.C. — just about the time Cayce fixed for the breakup of the Atlantean mainland.”
Similar evidence had turned up long before.
“In 1898,” the Geologist said solemnly, “the crew of a ship laying underwater cable near the Azores was grappling for a line in water two miles deep. As the grappling hooks scraped the ocean bottom, they turned up unfamiliar particles of lava, which from its peculiar glassy structure could only have solidified in the open air.”
Reflecting the instability of the ocean bed in this area, a British freighter reported sighting a steaming volcanic island just south of the Azores before the turn of the century, but the island had disappeared before geologists could get back to it.
On a smaller scale than Atlantis, land has dramatically vanished in various parts of the world.
“In 1883,” the Geologist noted, “the island of Krakatoa, near Sumatra, blew up with a loss of thousands of lives. In 1916, Falcon Island, east of Australia, disappeared without a trace, reappeared in 1923, then disappeared in 1949.”
The floor of the ocean often rears up violently.
“After a 1960 earthquake had leveled the Moroccan town of Agadir,” the Geologist noted, “soundings revealed that nine miles offshore the sea bottom had buckled up 3300 feet in one great convulsive thrust.”
In August 1923 the Western Union Company, searching for a displaced cable, discovered that the Atlantic floor had risen two miles at one point since the last soundings twenty-five years before.
Cayce’s Atlantis broke up into five islands, the three largest being Poseidia, Aryan, and Og. His most striking prediction concerned Poseidia. For in June 1940, as noted by the Geologist, he made a forecast that should soon materialize, if he was clairvoyantly on the beam.
“And Poseidia,” he said, “will be among the first portions of Atlantis to rise again. Expect it in sixty-eight and sixty-nine [’68 and ‘69]. Not so far away.”
And where to expect it? The Geologist had the clue in still another Cayce reading.
“There are some protruding portions that must have at one time or another been a portion of this great Atlantean continent The British West Indies or the Bahamas, and a portion of the same that may be seen in the present, if a geological survey would be made, notably in the Gulf Stream through this vicinity, these [portions] may yet be determined.”
Eagerly the Geologist combed through scientific literature on the geology beneath the Gulf Stream. Rather wide-eyed, he read of a submerged stream valley 2400 feet below the waves between Florida and the Bahamas, of giant sinkholes submerged six hundred to nine hundred feet off the tip of Florida, of mysterious bumps picked up by depth sounders in the Straits of Florida. The bumps appeared about the size of homes; only these “houses,” if they may be called that, are two thousand feet below on the ocean floor.
Geology appeared to be getting ready for Atlantis.
“Before Cayce’s death in 1945,” the Geologist said, “the scientific assumption was that the ocean basins were huge bathtubs into which detritus [debris from disintegrating rock] was sluiced for many eons. However, through a new instrument, a sub-bottom depth profiler, it has been discovered that in great areas, the accumulation of sediment is remarkably small, especially on portions of the ridges, as would happen if there had been continents very recently where the ocean floor is now.”
Current research confirms relatively recent sinkings of large land areas near Florida and the Bahamas. The National Fisherman featured an article, “Huge Sunken Piece of Florida Identified South of the Keys,” referring to a 1300 square mile plateau submerged south of the Florida Keys. Geologist L.S. Kornicker described a submerged chain of islands and lagoonal basin ten miles south of Bimini in the Bahamas, at depths of forty to fifty feet
Whatever happened occurred at the approximate time of the Atlantis debacle.
“Kornicker suggests,” the Geologist said in a bemused voice, “that the features of the submerged area were formed eight thousand or more years ago when sea-level was about forty-eight feet below its present level.”
With some excitement the Geologist stumbled upon an obscure Cayce reading discussing how the Atlanteans constructed giant laser-like crystals for power plants.
“The records of the manners of the construction of same,” he read, “are in the sunken portions of Atlantis, where a portion of the temples may yet be discovered, under the slime of ages of seawater, near what is known as Bimini, off the coast of Florida.”
Columbus reading about the continent beyond the Pillars of Hercules could not have been more excited than the Geologist reading about Bimini, presumably a residual of the western perimeter of Atlantis. There was no rest now, until the Geologist could organize an underwater party to make soundings off Bimini. After extensive preparation, he found himself flying sixty miles due east from Miami to Bimini. The pilot of his seaplane, learning of the mission, excitedly told him of large clumps of rock visible on his daily run at a certain angle.
From the pilot, the expedition got the general location of two of the more conspicuous clumps. Scuba diving in the crystal, azure-blue waters north of Bimini they came upon a scattered pile of limeen-crusted granite boulders, each about five to fifteen tons. Their spirits soared, but they fell again. The rocks were rough-hewn and looked as though they had come from a quarry. And they had. A ship carrying granite ballast had been driven on the shoals and wrecked thirty years before. But our scientists weren’t that easily discouraged.
They changed course, tacking in thirty-five-foot depths southeast of Bimini, and after two fruitless days, they saw on its side in the coral sea a beautiful round white pillar about sixteen feet long. Could this be one of the pillars of the sunken temples of Atlantis, suddenly exposed in relatively shallow water by an upward thrust of the seafloor? Examination of a pillar fragment revealed that it was of purest marble. But it still could have been washed off the hulk of a battered freighter.
The Geologist realized—reluctantly—that it would take another expedition, armed with heavy salvage equipment, to raise the column and determine its origin. Still, the party made a number of depth-borings, which the Geologist tantalizingly refuses to discuss until their message can be clarified, perhaps in the very near future, when Poseidia, or some part of it, would rise again—Cayceites hoped. Meanwhile, what evidence was there that a highly civilized man lived from 7500 to 30,000 years ago, dispersing over wide areas from a central base?
In the Pueblo Valley, southeast of Mexico City, the Mexican anthropologist Juan Armenia Camacho turned up pieces of bone decorated with carved figures, estimated at thirty thousand years.
“These bits of bone,” the Geologist stressed, “indicate that civilized man was in the New World much before anybody believed, except for Cayce, who put the flesh where Camacho put the bones.”
Mexico is alive with a tradition of age-old visitations by a gifted people from the East; this led the pyramid-building Aztecs to be on the lookout for a returning White God, and made them vulnerable to the blandishments of Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez and his rapacious horde. Almost every native group in Central and North America have inherited stories of ancient floods, with formidable landing parties arriving from the East.
In Mexican lore, the Geologist pointed out,
“there is a record of an early landing from a land called Aztlan, apparently an ancient variation of Atlantis. The Mayan Book of Chilan Balam, a record of this advanced culture, gives a detailed account of a great catastrophe to the East.
The Delaware, Sioux, and Iroquois tribes have a legacy of a great flood, and the almost extinct Mandan Indian of Missouri held special memorial services about a great war canoe, symbolizing the ark which traditionally brought their forebears from the East during a Great Flood.”
The press was always from the East.
“Curiously,” the Geologist said, “none of these visitors or invaders were from the West, always the East, always the Atlantic.”
He looked over at me innocently.
“Have you heard of the Welsh legend in which a small bird rides on the back of a larger one as it attains great height, and then flies higher when the larger bird becomes tired?”
I shook my head.
“Well, the Iroquois have exactly the same folk tale.”
The Geologist had assembled many indications of a central source of civilization on both sides of the Atlantic—and Atlantis.
“We all know about the great pyramids of Egypt,” he said, “but how many know that the archeologists have been digging up even more extensive pyramids of similar design in Mexico?”
He plucked from his bulging files a commentary of ancient civilizations in the Americas, from the New York Times in December 1961, author William Luce noting:
“Thirty-two miles from Mexico City is an archeological site so old that even the Aztecs knew virtually nothing about it. This is Teotihuacan, the site of the Pyramid of the Sun. A ruin five hundred years before the arrival of Cortez, the pyramid has been reconstructed into a structure as tall as a twenty-story skyscraper. The 216-foot climb to its top is a fine way to end a tour of ancient Mexico. ... Never excelled in Mexico as architects and engineers, the Teotihuacans also were master sculptors and painters.”
The author posed the great enigma.
“The ruins raise as many questions as they answer. Who the people were who built them, where they came from, why they built them and what happened to them are questions that will be luring scholars and tourists for some time.”
The Geologist had marshaled his evidence. On both sides of the Atlantic were almost identical calendars more accurate than those developed in Europe for hundreds of years.
“The accuracy of the mathematical calculations, as reflected in both the architecture and astronomy,” the Geologist pointed out, “was equally remarkable in both Egypt and the early Mayan civilizations.”
In the Yucatan, in southern Mexico, in Peru, were landmarks of a culture that was old when the conquering Spaniards arrived.
“Pizarro and his men found two thousand miles of well-paved road in Peru, along which were dotted remains of many fine hotels. Where did they come from?”
There was an amazing similarity of place names; for example, names of five cities in Asia Minor about the time of Christ, and five cities in Central America:
The Geologist frowned as I compared the brief lists.
“The important thing to remember, is that the New World communities were already named when the first European explorers arrived.”
In studying the Cayce readings, the Geologist saw nothing about Atlantis inconsistent with what had been adduced from the ocean floor, common artifacts on both sides of the Atlantic, and the Plato account.
“According to Cayce, Atlantis was one of the oldest land areas, also one of the places where man first made his appearance. The early continent occupied the greater part of what is now the North Atlantic, and our present Eastern seaboard was then the Coastal region, as were parts of Europe. At the time when the poles shifted, and Lemuria in the Pacific was submerged, the Atlanteans were achieving great technological advances.
Several thousand years later, misuse of the laws of natural power caused a stupendous upheaval that split the continent into five islands. The major Atlantean mass plunged into the Sargasso Sea in this first cataclysm. The remaining populace continued to deteriorate until, finally, eleven thousand years ago or so, Nature seemed to rebel at the iniquity, and the remaining islands were swallowed up in the last of the giant cataclysms.”
Cayce mentioned Atlantis originally in November 1923, in an early life reading originally dealing with a previous incarnation.
“Before this,” he said, “the entity was in that fair country of Alta, or Poseidia proper, then this entity [the subject] was in that force that brought the highest civilization and knowledge that has been known to the earth’s plane. This, we find, was nearly ten thousand years before the Prince of Peace came.”
Cayce’s description of the last breakup differed from Plato’s in the implication of what the large-scale mass movements were all about. Plato’s source saw the Atlantean migration as part of a great invasion, repulsed by an Athenean military that could hardly have coped with a major power. More plausibly, the Cayce version implies that the Greeks drove off a group of stragglers, just one of the many homeless contingents island-hopping their way to new homes.
“With this,” said Cayce, “came the first egress of peoples to that of the Pyrenees.”
It was so long ago that all connections with a motherland were gradually eradicated.
“Later, we find the peoples who enter into the black, or the mixed peoples, in what later became the Egyptian dynasty, also those peoples that later became the beginning of the Inca, that built the wall across the mountains, and with the same those of the mound-dwellers.”
Into agrarian Egypt, the newcomers may have carried the arts of medicine, embalming and architecture, and fanning out in the opposite direction, carried the fruits of their culture to Central America and Peru, where the early natives, like the first known Egyptians, mummified their dead.
The first Atlantean disturbances or upheavals came twenty-eight thousand years ago, but not till 17,600 B.P. (Before Present) was the continent actually broken up.
“What would be considered one large continent,” Cayce said, “until the first eruptions brought those changes, producing more of the nature of large islands, with the intervening canals or ravines, gulfs, bays, or streams.”
Structurally speaking, it wouldn’t have taken much to change the face of the Atlantic. Only a slight warping of the earth’s crust—barely one-eight thousandth of its diameter— could have caused large portions of the ocean floor to rock to the surface, while larger portions sank. The upheaval affecting the continental land mass was visualized as the unhappy result of a merger of destructive man-made forces with those of nature, as might happen if a powerful nuclear bomb were to upset the equilibrium of the earth in the area of a major fault. By current standards, it must have been indeed an advanced civilization that could blow itself up.
If one is to believe Cayce, the misuse of solar energy brought about the debacle. And there is evidence, the Geologist reported, to support the idea that man was sufficiently advanced technically to utilize the etheric or cosmic rays of the sun as a primary source of power.
“Very ancient maps of Greenland and Antarctica have been found, showing these areas in an unglaciated state,” the Geologist pointed out, “and the experts think that ancient cartographers, from the subtle rise and fall of its mountain topography, might have mapped the area from the air.”
As a factor in harnessing the power of the sun, Cayce mentioned a firestone whose magical power apparently resembles the laser beam, which was not produced for some thirty years after the Cayce reference. The sleeping Cayce’s description of the stone reminded the Geologist of the power generated by filtering the rays of the sun through the ruby.
The concept would have been dismissed as fanciful until recently.
“The activity of the stone was received from the sun’s rays,” Cayce said. “The concentration through the prisms or glass acted upon the instruments that were connected with the various modes of travel [trains, ships, etc.], as the remote control through radio vibrations or directions would in the present day.”
The firestone, or ruby of its time, was housed in a dome-covered building with a sliding top. Its powerful rays could penetrate anywhere; just as the laser beam, it could be either a death ray or a constructive energy source.
It was hard to conceive that which Cayce put into words:
“The influences of the radiation that arose in the form of the rays were invisible to the eye but acted upon the stones themselves as set in the motivating forces, whether aircraft lifted by gases or guiding pleasure vehicles that might pass along close to earth, or the crafts on or under the water.”
All over Atlantis, stations were set up to produce this power, then something inadvertently went wrong and the breakup followed.
“These, not intentionally, were tuned too high and brought the second period of destructive forces, and broke up the land into the isles where later there were further destructive forces.”
Cayce gave a detailed description of the stone source of all this energy:
“A large cylindrical glass, cut with facets in such a manner that the capstone made for the centralizing of the power that concentrated between the end of the cylinder and the capstone itself.”
As Plato suggested, the collapse came with a disintegration of moral values.
Cayce describes the last days:
“As cities were built, more and more rare became those abilities to call upon the forces in nature to supply the needs of bodily adornment, or to supply the replenishing of physical beings as hunger arose. There was a ‘wasting-away’ in the mountains, the valleys, then the sea itself, and the fast disintegration of the lands, as well as of the peoples, save those that had escaped into those distant lands.”
It seemed incredible that so advanced a people could go hungry and lack for clothes. The Geologist smiled wryly.
“Think of the millions starving today all over the world—India, China, Russia.” He mused a moment. “And if our population keeps up at the present rate, we may have our own food problems in another fifty years. As it is, our big deal, domestically, is the anti-poverty program, and we’re the richest country in the world.”
In one of Cayce’s trance recalls, the Geologist saw not only indications of Atlantis, but of Cayce’s gift of prophecy. Cayce had picturesquely described a meeting in 50,000 B.C. of many nations on Atlantis to deal with hordes of huge beasts then overrunning the earth. These beasts, said Cayce, were ultimately coped with by “sending out super-cosmic rays from various central plants.” It sounded like the sheerest fantasy.
But Cayce had made one tangible statement subject to scrutiny, in 1932:
“These rays will be discovered within the next twenty-five years.”
Marking time, in 1958 the Geologist turned to the Encyclopaedia Brittanica and found two references to recent discoveries of potential death rays.
Only the year before, experimental physicists at the University of California had reported a successful effort to produce anti-neutrons.