The Atlantis Blueprint: Unlocking the Ancient Mysteries of a Long-Lost Civilization

The Atlantis Blueprint: Unlocking the Ancient Mysteries of a Long-Lost Civilization

by Colin Wilson and Rand Flem-Ath
New York: Random House, Delacorte Press, 2001. Hardback, xxvi + 415 pages.

How well does the content of this book reflect its title and subtitle?

Not well. Imagine a book advertised as describing restaurants within your city. The book actually dwells heavily on the restaurants of one ethnic group, ignores most others, describes only one meal out of each menu, includes a small number of restaurants long since dosed down, and sneaks in a restaurant from another city. Not a useful book for most diners. Something similar can be said about this book, which is generally a retelling of mysteries already examined at greater length in other books.

A thread running throughout this book is spelled out in the preface (xxiv) by Flem-Ath:

Today we assume that sacred sites such as the Egyptian, Chinese and South American pyramids were built by local people (or local reasons, but The Atlantis Blueprint will reveal that there is a single global pattern that ties these monuments together. This in turn implies the existence of an advanced civilization that existed before the flood and managed to communicate important geodesic, geological and geometric information to people who became ancient mariners and recharted the globe.

The two authors have each independently written several books. The collaboration of these two experienced and skilled authors does not save this book from flaws, however. It is a work that satisfies one of the definitions of fiction: that it contains just enough facts to be believable.

One of the book's flaws is that it presents the stone spheres of Central America as a mystery, indicative of a previous civilization that worshiped the form of a sphere, making hundreds of them, some quite large, scattering them at random over the landscape, and then most inconveniently disappearing, leaving no trace of their tools, their intents, or their culture. This "mystery," however, was solved long ago by the National Geographic Society, when it commissioned a forensic geologist" to explore the situation. After his visit, he described quite clearly the geologic processes that created the stone spheres totally without the help of human hands or civilization: "Solving the Mystery of Mexico's Great Stone Spheres," National Geographic (August 1969), pp. 295-300.

Another flaw is the concept that the megalithic monuments of western Europe were all made more than 20,000 years ago and are due to the precocious abilities of the Atlanteans. The fact is that some of the megalithic monuments have been dated, using the carbon-14 method on bits of plant matter found beneath or within the constructions. The evidence so far indicates that the megalithic walls, tombs, temples, and pyramids were all constructed during the time period of 4000 to 2000 years ago and, furthermore, that the earliest ones are found in Great Britain and Brittany, on the coast of France facing Great Britain. If the megalithic construction is to be attributed to Atlantis, then it would appear that Atlantis was in the English Channel, 4000 years ago.

The treatment of the magnetic poles and their frequent shifts in recent ages fails to make a clear distinction between the magnetic poles and the physical poles of the earth. A movement of the physical poles would prove a disaster to much of earth's life, whereas a similar movement of the magnetic poles is invisible to all but a few animals, and is never harmful to any. The discussion for the evidence of pole shift shifts back and forth between the magnetic and the physical poles without dearly differentiating between them.

Charles Hapgood's discussion of ancient maps and his contention that they indicate an early and advanced culture are well represented in this book. But no attention is given to several telling criticisms of Hapgood's thesis. A clear discussion of those criticisms would do much to establish the credibility of this book and possibly to support Hapgood's arguments.

Much space is given to a contrived geography by which the ancients are said to have determined where they would place their holy sites. With no clear reason given for why the ancients should find it desirable to place their holy sites at these locations and not others, the reasoning is less than compelling. A remarkably long list has been compiled of the ancient holy places that meet the criteria. However, there is an equally large number of holy places that are not on the list. A reader may wonder why the authors cite the ones that fit and ignore the ones that don't. Of some interest to Theosophists, however, is that one of the holy places is Ojai, California (342): “Although there are no megalithic structures here, Ojai joins a select number of sites around the world that are linked by Golden Section divisions of the earth's dimensions."

An entire chapter is a retelling of the story of the Templars. This interesting story, fairly well though too briefly told here, has its own unsolved mystery. The authors provide a novel solution, which will he appreciated by fans of the Templar story. But this chapter has nothing to do with the rest of the book. Furthermore, the story of the Templars is told better and more completely elsewhere.

Readers who have read widely in the field of crypto-archaeology will appreciate the stories of introductions, chance meetings, and serendipitous discoveries. In this sense the book is an entertaining travelogue and autobiography. This book by two experienced and skilled authors is entertaining but not up to the authors' normally high standard of work.


March/April 2002