SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS
- Don't know how good this will be, but calling it to your attention.
Broadcast tonight in the US on A&E Cable Channel, 8 pm Eastern and again at
10 pm Eastern (make adjustments for Mtn and Central). Here's the blurb for
the video which is also available:
It all started some two and a half thousand years ago, with Plato's
descriptions of a lost continent. Ever since, mankind has been fascinated by
the idea of Atlantis, and countless expeditions have set forth in search of
this land that sank beneath the ocean's waves.
THE SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS is an extraordinary journey into the heart of man's
obsession with the mythical continent. Hosted by Ted Danson, whose
archeologist father told the future star fantastic stories of the fabled
isle, the program visits the most exotic locations in the world on the trail
of the explorations that have sought to place Atlantis on the map. Modern
Atlantis experts reveal the details of past theories and track Atlantis' hold
on the imagination through the centuries, and the grand niece of Ignatius
Donnelly, who captivated the reading public in 1882 with his book Atlantis:
the Antediluvian World, shares her uncle's insights and opinions of the city.
From the Azores to Antarctica, from 19th century occultists to Nazi
propaganda, THE SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS looks not just for a physical location,
but for the truth behind one of civilization's most enduring myths.
I don't think Donnelly had any "insights" to speak of, but the trailers have
suggested that the idea of Atlantis was behind some of the seafaring of
Columbus and others.
- Some lovely visuals, but from the start it was thumbs down on accuracy.
Maybe it was most appropriate that the citadel of Atlantis in the computer
mockup was topped with two enormous horns... as of a lotta Bull.
Part I. treats Plato's account of hearing his uncle's account of Atlantis, as
absolute fact, which is surely dubious.
Then the part about Columbus gave us the popular myth of the Evil Spanish
Inquisition out with torches against anyone who had New Ideas - like
Columbus. Never mind that Columbus was a devout son of the Church, filled
his letters with pious palaver, and used to board at monasteries when he was
in town begging money from Ferdinand and Isabella. (And has even been
proposed for Sainthood, though he hasn't made it.)
If that's the level of accuracy in the rest of the text, oh well...
They had a great computer mockup of a supposed aerial view of Atlantis,
though. Not to forget that the wondrous JRR Tolkien had a great interest in
Atlantis, had a recurrent dream of its drowning, and recreated it as
And I liked the part about one of my favorite weird women, Helena Petrovna
Blavatsky. We saw the great photo of her (those =eyes=!), and saw a wild
impersonation by an actress who was quite good but didn't have the fully
frizzy hair of HPB. Also photos and impersonation of her colleague Col.
Olcott, who had one of the Beards of the Century.
This subject had my attention from an early age. My great-aunt used to send
me copies of THE MAGAZINE OF NATURAL HISTORY, passed along to her by her
boss. It was rather like the SMITHSONIAN today in size, glorious color
illustrations, and level of intellectual interest. One issue included an
article about Atlantis, Mu and Lost Continents in general, by L. Sprague de
Camp, whom I later met as a science fiction writer. It took up Plato,
Donnelly, and Churchward (the guy who invented Mu/Lemuria) and others,
dispatching them with a good deal more skepticism than did the A&E show.
Anyway, I loved it and I think once wrote a paper for school based on it -
and was able to get copies of the Donnelly and Churchward books, I cannot now
imagine from where. Maybe the public library even actually owned them.
Mary Renault used the Santorini volcano/fall of Crete thesis in her wonderful
novel, THE KING MUST DIE.
I'm going to start calling my gold serpent ring bought on Santorini/Thera my
"ring from Atlantis."