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Is catastrophism becoming more acceptable to mainstream science?


Two important things to remember if you read Atlantis of the West today:  a) first published 1995; b) revised 2002. It contains updated references in the notes but significant research and events after that date were still unknown. The book is not necessarily as one might write it today but based on the best knowledge of the day.


In the 1980s and 1990s it was still necessary to justify that impact events, or other interventions from space, were valid science. There was a ‘giggle factor’. The Yucatan impact that brought about the demise of the dinosaurs was still not fully accepted. The impact of Shoemaker-Levy-9 on Jupiter was yet to occur. Comets from beyond the solar system were unknown; and geophysics papers still used inconsistent and confusing terminology. Radiocarbon dates were still being published without reliable correction factors. There were no television views of a tsunami until 2004! All these were pseudo-science in their time.


On the other side it was also necessary to address the expectations of non-academic Atlantis readers and the pseudo-science market. Catastrophist geology was still in the hands of Velikovsky enthusiasts. Some books still pushed Charles Hapgood’s 1950’s ideas of crustal slippage. Many of these enthusiasts did not even accept the modern theory of plate tectonics. In promoting a new theory for pole-shifts it was necessary to fight ‘a war on two fronts’; with assaults from academia on the one side and the outmoded science on the other.


With hindsight, the maxim ‘less is more’ might apply. The book could today contain fewer chapters to establish the basic science. There is enough material to make two books! Nevertheless, it remains what it is! It lays the groundwork for anyone seeking a modern theory for the Great Flood and of Atlantis; and the nature of the ancient catastrophe that hid it from us.




Viatcheslav Koudriavtsev?


This Russian writer’s theory came out on the internet in 1996 just after my own first edition and too late to be discussed. It is certainly worth reading and someone is paying for it to still be on the internet! I am not aware of any traditionally published version.


I noted the destructive 2016 review paper by Sheila Hallerton, published in an academic journal and was moved to revisit Koudriavtsev (which I had not read since printing it out in 1996). Frankly I don’t see the point of such a negative review of well-intended research. The reviewer seems to be far more interested in researching the author’s academic background than in investigating his sources. She could make her principal point about ‘micronations’ on the internet without trashing either Koudriavtsev or the ancient folklore. It is disappointing that such negative papers can so easily find a home in a refereed journal, when a writer making a positive case for folklore would find it far more difficult to get even a conservative rationalisation into such media.


The case made by the reviewer is that Lyonesse, Atlantis, etc are ‘crypto-history’ that ‘only exists on the internet’. In other words, the ancient writers and folklore sources have left behind all these fanciful stories about things that are not true; and therefore we should dismiss our ancestors experience as if they were untutored simpletons; those who write about the folklore on the internet are therefore just perpetuating these same unlikely tales.


Frankly, it does not concern me who Mr Koudriavtsev is, or where he is now. Perhaps he has found more profitable things to do than to write about Atlantis? Another Russian academic who regularly corresponds with me also said he did not know of him, or the institute that he mentioned. It does not matter at all. I correspond with many people who can state their case succinctly without academic associations or titles. So is there actually anything positive in Mr Koudriavtsev’s hypothesis, for those with a more positive attitude towards ancient myths and legends?


The first thing to note in the Koudriavtsev case is that he has clearly done an awful lot of real research. For example, he includes the references to Diodorus Siculus, who is completely omitted by many enthusiasts. He also understands the conventional theory of ice ages and sea level change and approaches his subject from contemporary scientific research rather than the 1950s science.


Koudriavtsev was making a case for Atlantis being located in the Celtic Sea, at the conventional date around the close of the ice age. He seems to favour a more gradual submergence than the drowning in a single day that Plato gives. His case is therefore much closer to standard theory than it is to catastrophism. He tries to defend how Plato could have transformed the gradual submergence of the continental shelf at the end of the Ice Age into a cataclysmic event.


Clearly, this is not the usual marketing hype written by someone trying to make money by promoting himself or by propagating bogus information. The writer believes what he has written. I am not going to criticise him for that!


Take Atlantis or Lyonesse completely out of the Koudriavtsev scenario. Is it not likely that Mesolithic people lived out on the continental shelf at the end of the Ice Age, hunting reindeer or whatever? There were no ‘do-not-enter’ signs at the modern coastline. If archaeologists find their submerged middens in the Celtic Sea would they immediately claim it as evidence of Lyonesse or Atlantis?


As to whether the internet ‘promulgates mythic entities such as Atlantis and Lyonesse’ as Sheila Hallerton would put it, I can only say that I have encountered just as much total rubbish within refereed academic papers as may be found on the internet. You just have to be selective of those that may be relevant and use your own judgement. Further information may be found by following the links:




Since Lewis Spence in the 1920s various commentators have suggested that Atlantis remembers the post ice-age submergence of the Caribbean islands and Bahamas. Publishers have made great mileage over the years of the so-called Bimini Road and other locations in the Bahamas and Americas.


In 2001 a report of a sonar survey offshore off western Cuba appeared in the media, showing submerged pyramid-like structures, with much subsequent discussion that this was part of a ‘lost city’. The ‘structures would be at depths of between 600 and 750 metres. The original press release spoke of blocks built in both ‘pyramid’ and ‘circular’ shapes. The Canadian survey team also believed these formations could have been built ‘more than 6,000 years ago’ though the evidence for this date was not stated. The inevitable comparisons with Atlantis and UFOs duly progressed on the internet.


One surprise is that so many people expect the ruins of a great city to be just standing there on the sea-bed like a recent shipwreck, waiting to be found by some diving expedition. The reality is that it would now be a ruin buried beneath metres of silt, just like an archaeological site on land. One has to be immediately sceptical that such an apparently man-made feature has been found lying quite so deep.


However, I would never dismiss out of hand the possibility of drowned features beneath the sea in this region. Indeed my own theory, based on a pole-shift, would predict that the deepest submergence should have occurred in the Caribbean Sea. So why not expect some Meso-American archaeology waiting to be discovered offshore? Of course, it would not be Atlantis, but isn’t the possibility of drowned pre-Mayan archaeology quite spectacular enough for you?


Even on a conventional glacio-eustatic theory of gradual post-Ice-Age submergence, human occupation on the continental shelves is to be expected. Humans and animals did not halt at the modern coastline; there could be submerged Stone Age archaeology all around North Atlantic coasts. Why are archaeologists not planning their subsea excavations of the continental shelves right now? It is a great shame that discussion of these deep geological features will lead to ridicule of any researcher who might suggest performing archaeology on our continental shelves.


The original press release may be found at:

          [February 2019]


Beneath The Irish Sea

A commentator might say that surely, if there were archaeological remains to be found on the continental-shelf then they would have been found by now. A simple inquiry in a search engine will reveal that this is not so. Very little investigation has been done – and more by the Irish than on the British side. The following quote from an Irish investigation of 2016 is poignant.


 “It is said that we know more about the surface of the Moon, than we do about our own planet’s ocean floors. Globally, the ocean floor has been mapped to a maximum resolution of around 5km, with less than 0.05% of the ocean floor being mapped to a level of detail useful for detecting items such as airplane wreckage or the tops of undersea volcanic vents. Compare this to the entire lunar surface being mapped to a resolution of seven metres, and we see the discrepancy in our knowledge between these two places.  Hidden beneath kilometres of water, until quite recently the seabed has been out of sight and relatively inaccessible to humans. The maps that have been produced have used few measurements with lots of guesswork added!”

          [March 2019]



Copyright: Paul Dunbavin & Third Millennium Publishing, V1.3 March 2019

Tags: Megaliths, Atlantis, Plato, Ancient Astronomy, Celtic Myth, Egyptian myth, Elysian Fields, catastrophism, pole-shift, Irish legends, Welsh legends, Otherworld, Annwn, Irish Sea, Druids

Atlantis of the West book cover
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