Comments on The National Geographic "Naked Science-Atlantis" documentary
by Dr. Greg Little
Several people have asked me to comment on the recent airing of a "Naked Science" episode on Atlantis shown by The National Geographic. The hour-long show focused on four locations: Malta, Bimini/Andros, Cuba, and Thera. They used six criteria for "pinpointing" Atlantis with these criteria supposedly derived from Plato. Among the criteria were:
1. It was a supposedly a circular island of 5-6 miles in diameter.
2. It had elephants.
3. It was destroyed suddenly (in one night).
4. It was destroyed circa 9000 BC.
5. It had black, white, and red rocks.
As was stated by a reasonable skeptic on the show, if you ignore the facts, one can make an argument that a rat is a cat. That's precisely what occurred. What has to be realized is that the entire show was produced and put together by a completely British crew under the direction of National Geographic's edicts. The edict was made by "a scientific community" who have long thought that Thera had to be the source of Plato's Atlantis and that Edgar Cayce was a fake. Part of the agenda was clearly to focus attention on the British "walk-around" at Malta and use the show as an opportunity for skeptics to try to discredit Cayce. We knew this when we agreed to participate and are not surprised at the result nor really disheartened. It was simply to be expected.
The most obvious descriptive criteria from Plato's story of Atlantis was never mentioned: Atlantis was an island empire in the Atlantic outside the Mediterranean. The reason this part of Plato's story was ignored by the show is simple: it would make Thera an impossible location for Atlantis and would make the British "researcher" look foolish at Malta. There are many other hints from Plato that were ignored, but it may be interesting to examine the few they did choose to list.
We spent three days with the British film crew in the Bahamas. During the many interviews, we stated the following:
a) The islands of Andros and Bimini were a single land mass in about 10,000 BC. We stated the belief that the Bimini Road and the Andros Platform were possibly harbors for small ports, basically way-stations between Cuba and other islands in the Atlantic. We carefully explained during the filmed interviews that the Center City of Atlantis, described by Plato as a circular formation of about 5-6 miles in diameter, was not what we had found at Andros nor was it at Bimini. In fact, Plato described the main island of Atlantis, with the Center City, as hundreds of miles in length (more precisely 550 km by 370 km). Of course, Plato's dimensions of the island of Atlantis were also ignored in the show. Again, the reason was simple: neither Malta nor Thera were large enough to meet that criteria given by Plato.
We stated that we believed the Center City was at Cuba, in the Zapata Peninsula. I gave them a stunning satellite photo of Zapata showing a circular island that is now underwater, lying about 50 feet under a muddy surface. The island is 6 miles in diameter and has several clearly defined bands encircling it. I also gave them archaeological information on a network of ancient canals that have been found leading into the circular area at Zapata leading from mountains in the north. All of this information was ignored.
We also supplied extensive underwater footage from Andros and took quite a bit while we were there. Some of the images are spectacular and leave little doubt that the formation is manmade. That particular trip to Andros found a set of what appears to be stone steps leading up to the top of the platform where a perfectly aligned row of flat stone blocks, all rectangular and of the same size, was on the summit. Less than 10 seconds of our footage was used, and none of the best was shown. In fact, it seemed that the worst footage was chosen for the show. The remainder of the footage shown was from Bimini, and it was all taken many years ago by a local diver--not us. I did refer them to this group to obtain the footage of Bimini. It is clear footage, but not the best from the Bimini Road. The show also showed several scenes with divers, but only 5-6 seconds of it was of us. I have no idea who was being shown as the narrator described our efforts.
Dr. Schoch's comments on the show were insightful if one carefully listened to them. He stated he had "never been" to either location. He stated he had dived at "similar places" and thought they were all natural. He stated he had read geologist's reports and agreed that they were natural. Yet, Schoch had not seen any of the footage from Andros nor Bimini, and, to our knowledge, the first time he saw any of the Andros footage was at the ARE's Annual Ancient Mysteries Conference held late last year---months after he was interviewed for the show. The location of the "similar places" Schoch stated he had dived was not given. Schoch, as well as other geologists, cite the work by other geologists on the Bimini Road. Interestingly, a little-known fact is that the first geologist to issue a debunking article on Bimini (published in Nature in 1971) has written several supportive books on Cayce. He continues to go to Bimini, searching for gold Cayce stated was there. This geologist also assists another "Atlantis-search" organization in their work around Bimini. This work is done under an alias.
b) We were never asked about elephants by the production crew nor did we know that was going to be one of the issues the show would have addressed. But the British and National Geographic obviously do not consider mastedons to be elephants and seem to imply that no elephants were ever in the Americas. But mastedons are scientifically defined as an extinct form of elephant. Numerous mastedon remains have been recovered in Cuba. They disappeared suddenly around 9000 BC. In the 1800s, mastedon teeth were unexpectedly recovered in the Bahamas, but virtually no excavation work has been done on Bahama islands. One must assume that what was asserted by the show is that Plato meant only modern elephants, not those that were around in 10,000 BC.
c & d) There is definitive proof that a major disaster struck the Bahamas area sometime around 9000-10,000 BC. This information was carefully explained to the show's producers during filmed interviews and the actual articles and references were given them. This evidence includes the FSU discovery of now-underwater forests that had been burned in a flash fire. It also includes extensive research by the US Geological survey from the Bahamas and Florida area showing that the entire region was hit by a massive blast of flash fires followed by an inundation around 10,000 BC. All of this information was simply ignored by the show.
One aspect of the "Thera-was-Atlantis" idea that has always bothered me, yet has never been addressed, was what Plato stated about the circular Center City of Atlantis. At the very center of the city, which was ringed by three canals, and on a basically flat plain, was a "high hill" with a flat top. It had two large temples erected on it, had several springs, and had trees. I've never understood how a volcano's cone, one that was more like a mountain, could possibly be construed as anything like Plato described. But when you are making an argument that "a rat is identical to a cat," you have to overlook most details.
e) The criteria of Atlantis having different color rocks wasn't explained at all to us during filming. But Cuba has black, white, and red rocks. Andros has black, white, and red rocks. The film crew actually filmed quite a few during our visit to Andros. This was all ignored also. Interestingly, when the documentary discussed Thera's "red rocks" what they showed was a white rock with a red stain measuring a few inches in size.
The mainstream scientific community, for whatever reasons, seeks to completely discredit Cayce, discredit those who disagree with the Atlantis-in-the-Mediterranean idea, and discredit those who suspect Plato's story might have been true. The National Geographic certainly supported the mainstream idea. In sum, if you ignore almost everything Plato stated, Thera fits Atlantis almost perfectly. If you ignore all the evidence from Bimini and Andros, show the worst footage you can get from the two locations, and ask a geologist who has never been to either place for an opinion, you can assert that both formations are natural. So, to those who have asked me about it, that's the shortest answer I can give. I'm neither surprised nor disappointed by what they did.
In truth, The National Geographic documentary isn't the first that trashed Cayce, nor will it be the last. For example, The History Channel's "Search for Atlantis" documentary, narrated by Ted Danson, stated that Cayce first talked about Atlantis in the Bahamas while he was under the employ of wealthy businessmen who wanted Cayce to tell them about gold or oil at Bimini. Since Cayce couldn't actually do that because he'd be exposed as a fraud, he decided to divert their attention from oil and gold by telling them that Bimini had been Atlantis. In the documentary, an elderly Cayce is depicted sitting in a chair, with eyes repeatedly opening and closing, complete with a burning cigar and glass of whiskey. According to the narration, Cayce told the businessmen that Atlantis would be found at Bimini in 1967 or 1968. The documentary explained the Bimini Road as made from ballast stones dumped by early European trading ships entering the Caribbean. But these were no ordinary ballast stones. The ballast stones were shown as beautifully carved marble lintels and statues from the Roman period. As the documentary explained, the ships used the stones as needed weight, so they gathered statues and other building materials from Roman and Greek architecture. When they got to the Caribbean, the statues and carved building materials were dumped. Those who are familiar with Cayce and the Bimini Road should find all of this quite humorous.
The underlying reality about television documentaries is that they aren't reality. They are made to entertain viewers. They are made to promote agendas and promote the ideas of the sponsoring agency. They are made by producers and filmcrews who know absolutely nothing about the subject matter and who usually don't care about the subject matter. They are deliberately put together in a way that promotes the sponsoring agency's ideas and casts doubt on those with opposing ideas. The narrator reads the script provided by the producer--after the sponsoring agency approves what the producer has put together.
None of this should be a surprise. But if it is, consider this: Definitive, irrefutable evidence has been discovered and confirmed by mainstream archaeologists showing that the Americas were settled well before 9500 BC. In fact, the evidence is overwhelming that people were here by 50,000-years-ago. But history textbooks in America's elementary schools, high schools, and colleges continue to assert that the ancient Americans first entered in 9500 BC from Siberia. Some texts acknowledge that "controversial" evidence has suggested that people were here before 9500 BC, but it is weak evidence that is yet to be proved. That, of course, is far from the truth, but those who control the textbooks won't acknowledge it. Why would anyone think that The National Geographic, or a British production company under their control, would do anything different?
For those who are interested, we have posted a 16-minute Quicktime movie showing underwater footage of The Bimini Road and Andros Platform. Watch the movie and compare the footage shown on the NatG show. Consider if these remarkable structures are "completely natural" or manmade. To watch the movie, click here.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Native American Mounds & Earthworks — by Dr. Greg Little