Thunderstone Phenomena

This account appeared in the March 14, 1912, issue of the august British scientific journal Nature:

“During a heavy thunderstorm which ensued on Monday, March 4, between 2.30 p.m. and 4.15 p.m., an aerolite was observed to fall at Colney Heath, near St. Albans [Hertfordshire]. The observer [H. L. G. Andrews], who has placed the specimen in my hands for examination, stated that the stone fell within a few feet from where he was standing, and that it entered the ground for a distance of about 3 ft. Its fall was accompanied by an unusually heavy clap of thunder. The example weighs 5 lb. 14 ½ oz., and measures 6 3/4 in. x 5-5/8 in. at its great length and breadth respectively. The mass is irregularly ovate on the one side, and broken in outline on the other. The actual surface throughout is fairly deeply pitted, and under magnification exhibits the usual chondritic structure of the crystalline matter with interspersed particles of what appears to be nickeliferous iron.”

The following week, in the March 21 issue, the correspondent, G. E. Bullen, wrote, “I have now submitted the stone for examination by Dr. George T. Prior, of the British Museum (Natural History),who informs me that it is not of meteoritic origin.” If this is an authentic case, it is indeed a remarkable one: a rare modern, Western report of a thunderstone. Rejected by nearly all learned commentators as a misperception or absurd superstition, thunderstones are the subject of many folk traditions and fewer documented, firsthand sightings. They are said to be aerial objects that crash to Earth during intense storms, usually in the wake of lightning and a heavy peal of thunder.

Often, though not always, they are alleged to be shaped like manufactured artifacts. The thunderstone tradition is part of the history of meteorites. Charles Fort, the great anomaly collector, summarized that history thus: “Peasants believed in meteorites. Scientists excluded meteorites. Peasants believe in ‘thunderstones.’ Scientists exclude ‘thunderstones.’”

Until the early nineteenth century most scientists denied that such things as meteorites could exist — no prevailing theory concerning the causes of atmospheric phenomena could accommodate the notion of stones falling from the sky — and they “explained” meteorite falls as an illusion. They held that lightning had merely struck stones already on the ground, and observers mistakenly deduced that the stones had arrived with the lightning.

Meteorites,we know now, are not associated with lightning, though there is nothing to stop a fall of one, coincidentally, with an electric storm. In any event, it looks very much as if what eighteenth-century scientists were explaining were thunderstone, not meteorite, manifestations. Moreover, lightning was hitting ground objects. As historian of science John G. Burke notes, thunderstone traditions worked to hinder scholarly recognition of the reality of meteorites. He remarks that the “studies of early paleontologists, archaeologists, and mineralogists . . . tended to prove that the stones alleged to have fallen during thunderstorms were either fossils, ancient stone implements, or crystal masses of a common mineral.”

Nonetheless, according to widespread and often credible reports, non-meteoritic stones do fall anomalously out of the sky (see Falls from the sky [inorganic matter], earlier in this chapter). If thunderstones are seen in this context, a generous interpretation of an admittedly thin body of evidence permits us to declare them one variety of enigmatic, so far unexplained — but probably not extraordinary to the point of paranormality — occurrence.

The thinness of the evidence, incidentally, does not necessarily mean the absence of any potential abundance of evidence. All it tells us is that resistance to the idea of thunderstones has discouraged serious investigators from seeking such evidence. One need only read nineteenth-century scientific journals for examples of the intense ridicule attached to the subject.

The hostility was so extreme that an 1884 writer for the American Journal of Science, referring to an article just published in Cornhill Magazine, expressed astonishment that “any man of ordinary reasoning powers should write a paper to prove that thunderstones do not exist” (emphasis added). Even so, the Cornhill contributor could not have been more contemptuous of the subject, deriding the testimony of native peoples in a way that today would be considered racist; moreover, as William R. Corliss would observe nearly a century later, “it seems to be the writer’s intent to assert that all who did not subscribe to the science of 1884 were also savages.”

Where thunderstones — as well as many other of the phenomena this book describes — are concerned, perhaps we would all do well to remember that a century from now the science of the 1990s will seem as antique as that of the 1880s. Thunderstones may or may not exist.What is more certain is that we do not know everything, and it ill behooves us to pretend otherwise.

Unexplained: “Strange Sightings, Incredible Occurences & Puzzling Physical Phenomena” by Jerome Clark
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Cthulhu the Bat-Winged Squid God

Some myths are born of modern minds. Horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft invented one terrifying sea-beast with the somewhat unpronounceable name of Cthulhu (Keh-THOO-loo) in the first half of the twentieth century. The sea monster Cthulhu lived in a jumble of massive stone ruins somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, and his hideous appearance combined a squid-like, tentacled head with a green, dragon’s body and scaled, batlike wings. Cthulhu’s earthly home, wrote Lovecraft in 1928 in “The Call of Cthulhu,” lay in the submerged, “nightmare, corpse-like city of R’lyeh, that was built in measureless eons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars. There lay Cthulhu and his hordes . . .”

These vast, loathsome shapes included other huge, alien beings that ranged from fairly pleasant “Elder Gods” to the evil “Great Ones” or “Ancient Ones” like Cthulhu. The creatures inhabited earth in its early, formative years, when the strange “star-spawn” built giant stone cities that now lie in ruins in the unexplored corners of the earth.

Cthulhu sketch by Lovecraft
In The Call of Cthulhu, Lovecraft describes Cthulhu as "A monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind." Cthulhu has been described as a mix between a giant human, an octopus and a dragon, and is depicted as being hundreds of meters tall, with human-looking arms and legs and a pair of rudimentary wings on its back. Cthulhu's head is depicted as similar to the entirety of a giant octopus, with an unknown number of tentacles surrounding its supposed mouth. Cthulhu is described as being able to change the shape of its body at will, extending and retracting limbs and tentacles as it sees fit.

Lovecraft returned to his uneasy universe over and over in a group of stories written between 1928 and 1936. His fantasy world was so compelling that other writers such as Robert Bloch, Colin Wilson, and Lovecraft’s publisher August Derleth wrote their own stories based on what Derleth called “the Cthulhu Mythos,” a fictional mythology with its own gods, cities, and even ancient texts.

The Necronomicon, an imaginary book Lovecraft referred to and quoted in some of his tales, has taken on a life of its own. Supposedly written by a worshipper of Cthulhu with instructions on summoning “The Old Ones,” Lovecraft’s invented codex has appeared outside his tales in hoaxed library catalogs and in full, fictional books purporting to be the original Necronomicon.

Although Lovecraft never intended his stories to be read as other than fiction, author Joyce Carol Oates says in a preface to one collection of his tales that some Lovecraft fans believe Cthulhu to be entirely real. They argue, Oates said, “that . . . Lovecraft was in fact transcribing history, or prehistory.” Whether or not Cthulhu’s fan base accepts him as ancient reality, Cthulhu enthusiasts support a wide range of tentacled Cthulhu merchandise from T-shirts to cuddly, plush Cthulhu dolls.

Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena: "Mythical Creatures" by Linda S. Godfrey;

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Phantom Hitchhiker of Route 44

For more than three decades, a mysterious redheaded man has been seen walking down Route 44, waiting to be picked up, local people called him the Redheaded Hitchhiker of Route 44. He is one of the most popular and most notorious phantoms in Massachusetts walks along a dark stretch of road in the town of Rehoboth. At times he has been seen hitchhiking, and other times he has been seen walking into the woods or in the middle of the road, not moving as a car passes through him. At least once he was seen outside the window of a car that was moving at more than 40 miles per hour. Who the man was is still a mystery. Several people have died along that stretch of road, including a man matching the phantom’s description, but no one can say for sure who the man is or when the haunting started. He is described as being more than 6 feet tall, well-built, and having red hair and a red beard. He is often seen wearing jeans or work pants, but he is always described as wearing a red flannel shirt, sometimes tucked in and sometimes left out. Some travelers see him with his characteristic red hair disheveled and dirty.

The earliest formal written record of the occurrence was set down by Charles Turek Robinson in his 1994 book New England Ghost Files. In it he describes several encounters in detail. In one, the hitchhiker is seen outside the window of a fast moving car. Another person picked him up, only to have him vanish from the car. The most disturbing story in his book tells of a couple who broke down at about 10:00 PM. The woman stayed in the car while the man went to get help. They both suffered separate experiences. The man saw him on the side of the road and tried to talk to him. The red headed man began yelling at him and then disappeared, laughing from all directions as the man made his way back to the car. The woman heard his voice come over the radio, taunting her until she ran from the car.

People who come into contact with him can tell he is not human by his eyes, which are often described as lifeless. Most of the encounters follow a similar pattern: Someone is driving along, usually alone, when they see a man in or alongside the road. They may either hit him or stop to pick him up. The hitchhiker will interact with the person and then eventually vanish before their eyes or will no longer be there when they turn to look. This is followed by some type of audio finale where he laughs, yells at them, or taunts them.

A woman once reported stopping to pick the man up. He disappeared as he went to grab the door handle. Her car battery then died, and then she heard a man laughing at her, although he could no longer be seen. Ten minutes later, the car started, but not before the woman broke down in fright. One man had been driving alone when he saw the redheaded man on the side of the road. He stopped and called out to the man, who started to walk toward him. As he got closer, the ghost slowly faded until he completely disappeared.

Another witness had the hitchhiker appear in the backseat of his car through the rearview mirror. The radio started to scan the stations and then became so loud it shook the car. The phantom disappeared and began to laugh on the radio.

Local legend says that if three people are driving in the same car on Route 44, the redheaded hitchhiker will appear in the empty seat.

Encyclopedia of Haunted Places: "Ghostly Locales From Around The World" by Jeff Belanger;
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Coso Geode

In February 1961, three rock hunters, Wallace Lane, Virginia Maxey and Mike Mikesell found what appeared to be a fossil-encrusted geode near Olancha, California. It reportedly sat around for a while, and when it was finally cut open it severely damaged a new diamond saw blade. Unlike a normal geode, the exterior was primarily of hardened clay with a mixture of organic matter. Within the crust were also found objects that appear to be a washer and a nail. In fact, the object was not like a real geode, it was of a different composition, and it did not have a hollow center like most common geodes. Instead there was a nearly perfect cylindrical core of a hard white ceramic that had a 2-mm shiny metal shaft running down the center. In addition, when the core was removed it left a partial hexagonal cavity in the shell of the rock.

A fragment of copper still remaining between the ceramic material and the petrified wood indicates that possibly the two may have been separated by a copper sleeve. X-rays of the objects were taken and examined by Paul Willis show that it has many features of the copper and porcelain spark plugs used in early gasoline engine, then editor of INFO Journal who noticed a startling similarity between it and a modern spark plug. However, testing has revealed that some of the fossils in the outer crust may be as much as 500,000 years old. There are a number of what appear to be abandoned mines in the area, though none that are known to have been worked since the white man arrived in the area.

The origin of the artifact has been the cause of much speculation. Pseudoscientific suggestions for the artifact's origin have included:
  • An ancient advanced civilization (such as Atlantis);
  • Prehistoric extraterrestrial visitors to Earth;
  • Human time-travellers from the future leaving or losing the artifact during a visit to the past.
However recent analysis of this interesting artifact seems to indicate it may have been a hoax, though it is uncertain how the hoaxers profited from it.

Enigmatic Mysteries and Anomalous Artifacts of North America by Tedd St. Rain;;;

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Enigmatic Mysteries and Anomalous Artifacts of North America by Tedd St. Rain page 53
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Baltic Sea Mystery

Since its discovery at the bottom of the Baltic Sea in 2011, the anomaly has fascinated observers. Theories have ranged over its purpose since the Ocean X Team discovered the object on sonar scans. Some thought it might be a UFO that crashed into the waters between Sweden and Finland, The 'Roswell of the Ocean', while others speculate that it is a Nazi anti-submarine defence, or a plug to the underworld. and at the very least, the reportedly 200-foot-wide circular object made headlines because it looked like the fictitious Millennium Falcon spacecraft from "Star Wars."

This entire Baltic Sea drama started back in June 2011 when Peter Lindberg, captain of the Ocean Explorer, and his co-researcher Dennis Asberg, using side-scan sonar found something unusual 300 feet below the surface of the water.

Lindberg and Asberg returned to the submerged site this past June to take a closer look at the object that had caused a viral stir, which speculated the anomaly could be anything from sonar glitches, a sunken Russian ship, stone outcroppings, or an alien spaceship.

Lindberg discusses various possibilities for what the object might be: "It has these very strange stair formations, and if it is constructed, it must be constructed tens of thousands of years ago before the Ice Age," he said in the radio interview. (The peak of the most recent Ice Age occurred some 20,000 years ago.)

"If this is Atlantis, that would be quite amazing," he said. Atlantis is a mythical underwater city referred to in ancient legends.

Lindberg acknowledges that the object could instead be a natural formation, such as a meteorite that penetrated the ice during the Ice Age, or an underwater volcano; however, he gives the impression that scientists are baffled by it. Geologists, for example, have supposedly told him the object "cannot be a volcano." Also adding titillation, Lindberg says a documentary is being made about the seafloor anomaly — the location of which he has not disclosed — and he's saving some juicy details for the footage. "We're not telling everything," he said. "We will reveal some quite interesting things in the documentary."

The divers recently gave samples of stone from the object to Volker Brüchert, an associate professor of geology at Stockholm University. Swedish tabloids quote Brüchert as saying: "I was surprised when I researched the material I found a great black stone that could be a volcanic rock. My hypothesis is that this object, this structure was formed during the Ice Age many thousands of years ago."

In other words, an expert appears to back up their claims that this seafloor object is unexplained, and perhaps is an Atlantis-like ancient building complex. To double check, Life's Little Mysteries consulted that expert. Turns out, neither he, nor any of the other experts contacted about the Baltic Sea object, think there is anything mysterious about it.

"It's good to hear critical voices about this 'Baltic Sea mystery,'" Brüchert wrote in an email. "What has been generously ignored by the Ocean-X team is that most of the samples they have brought up from the sea bottom are granites and gneisses and sandstones."

These, he explains, are exactly what one would expect to see in a glacial basin, which is what the Baltic Sea is — a region carved out by glacial ice long ago.

Along with the mundane rocks, the divers also gave him a single loose piece of basaltic rock, a type of rock that forms from hardened lava. This is out of place on the seafloor, but not unusual. "Because the whole northern Baltic region is so heavily influenced by glacial thawing processes, both the feature and the rock samples are likely to have formed in connection with glacial and postglacial processes," he wrote. "Possibly these rocks were transported there by glaciers."

Glaciers often have rocks embedded in them. At the end of the Ice Age, when glaciers across Northern Europe melted, the rocks inside them dropped to the Earth's surface, leaving rocky deposits all over the place. These are sometimes called glacial erratics or balancing rocks.

Lindberg and the Ocean X Team did not respond to a request for comment on the glacial deposit theory.

Aside from a widely-reproduced illustration recently created by a graphics artist in which the Baltic seafloor object is rendered as a beautiful, Atlantis-like archaeological site, there has only ever been one actual image of the Baltic Sea object: the original sonar scan image captured by the divers last summer, in which the object resembles a crashed UFO spaceship. But experts told us that sonar image should be disregarded.

"The sonar image has numerous artifacts in it that make it difficult to interpret, and I would not place too much confidence in any interpretation until a better processing is done and the details of the type of sonar and particulars are provided," said seabed sonar-scanning expert Dan Fornari, a marine geologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. "I'm saying the data are lacking in resolution, detail and quantification."


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Prajnaparamita Sutra

There is an image comes from the 10th Century Tibetan translation of the Sanskrit text "Prajnaparamita Sutra", held at a Japanese museum, which showed two disc-shaped object that look like hats floating in midair, also one of them appears to have port holes on it. Indian Vedic texts are full of descriptions of Vimanas. The Ramayana describes Vimanas as a double decked, circular or cylindrical aircraft with portholes and a dome. It flew with "the speed of the wind" and gave forth a "melodious sound". Sutras are equally the word of the Buddha, more or less abbreviated according to the faculty of understanding of the people and their zeal and spiritual maturity. In its language our Sutra is almost pure Sanskrit. The date of its composition can be inferred to some extend from the Chinese translations.

Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra manuscript

The word Prajñāpāramitā combines the Sanskrit words prajñā ("wisdom") with pāramitā ("perfection"). Prajñāpāramitā is a central concept in Mahāyāna Buddhism and its practice and understanding are taken to be indispensable elements of the Bodhisattva Path.

Ancient alien theory grew out of the centuries-old idea that life exists on other planets, and that humans and extraterrestrials have crossed paths before. Most ancient alien theorists, including von Däniken, point to two types of evidence to support their ideas. The first is ancient religious texts in which humans witness and interact with gods or other heavenly beings who descend from the sky—sometimes in vehicles resembling spaceships—and possess spectacular powers. The second is physical specimens such as artwork depicting alien-like figures and ancient architectural marvels like Stonehenge and the pyramids of Egypt. The Tibetan books, Tantyua and Kantyua, mention prehistoric flying machines several times. They called these odd aircraft "pearls in the sky" and declared the information garnered from the 'pearls', secret and not for publication to the masses.

Airships whose "tails spouted fire and quicksilver' are described in chapter after chapter in the Samarangaua Sutradhara. Sanskrit Vedas speak of the "lords of light". The books of Dzyan teach that the first men on Earth were the progeny of the Pitris who were celestial men. These books describe ancient dynasties as "the kings of light" that occupied "celestial thrones". Could this be describing something we know as an ET and a UFO?

According to some theories, these space creatures lived on earth for a long time and are often associated with the lost continents Atlantis and Mu/Lemuria. Humans came to call them gods—gods who came from heaven and who could work miracles—though in fact they were simply using an advanced technology that human beings could not understand.

Ancient UFO Artworks In a Religious Context (Anonymous);
Chariots of the Gods? By Erich Von Daniken;
UFOs and Popular Culture: “An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Myth” by James R. Lewis;;

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Ancient UFO Artworks In a Religious Context (Anonymous) page 10
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One of the most influential books to appear in the fourteenth century was ostensibly written by Sir John Mandeville, who compiled an account of his “travels” throughout Turkey, Armenia, Tartary. It is likely that “John Mandeville” was the pen name of a Liege physician, Jean de Bourgogne, or Jehan a la Barbe. The book—in fact a compilation drawn from a number of other travel accounts—first appeared in French about 1356; it is known in English as The Voyages and Travels of Sir John Mandeville, Knight. One of Mandeville’s accounts concerns the “anthills of gold-dust,” a story that created enormous interest among adventurers anxious not so much to see the ants (they were said to be as large and as ferocious as ill-treated dogs) but rather to view the anthills and, if at all possible, secure a number of them for further study.

The anthills, Mandeville reports, were to be found on the island of Taprobane (the name used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for Ceylon, modern Sri Lanka, shown on some old maps as Taprobana and Taprobane). The island is also called Zeilon, Serendip, or Taprobane (from the Sanskrit word tamraparni, meaning copper-leaved.) Early Greeks also called it Palaesimundum.

This island, said Mandeville, was large and productive, blessed with a mild climate, and visited by two summers and two winters each year, permitting the inhabitants to harvest two crops instead of the usual one (doubtless this is the narrator’s version of the two different monsoons that annually sweep across Ceylon or Sri Lanka).

One of the best marvel to attract the interest of ordinary people is the one concerning the ants. These ants were said to live on a mountain which, apparently, was composed solely of gold; furthermore, the creatures, rather than gather what food supplies ants of that size might require, instead spent their time refining the gold that their industry extracted daily from the mountain. Unhappily, not only were the ants very large indeed, they were also possessed of a vicious and curmudgeonly nature, such that men were loath to go anywhere near them. One day, however, they discovered that the ants commonly retreated below during the worst of the heat of the day, and it was then but a matter of a few moments to drive all the available beasts of burden up the mountainside and load them with as many sacks of gold as each could carry.

There are many other myths about Taprobana too - that there was a race of men there that had tails, or a 4 - headed snake whose heads would point North, South, East and West.

Seafaring Lore & Legend: “A Miscellany of Maritime Myth, Superstition, Fable and Fact” by Peter D. Jeans;

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Harry the Haunted Head

The Museum of Witchcraft at Boscastle in Cornwall has become something of a national treasure to the Pagan and alternative communities not only in the UK, but also beyond. Since the devastating floods of 2004 which washed away much of the village, the museum has undergone an extensive refurbishment program, utilizing the very latest temperature, humidity and lighting technologies to protect and preserve the curious exhibits in its vast, and unique collection. Among the strangest and most popular items on display is a disturbing tar-covered ‘head’ and old Bible box, which has, for many years, been the subject of much speculation as to its true origin, history and purpose. Its unusual ‘draw’ and ’spirit’ seem to engage a huge number of the museum’s visitors and museum guides describe a certain ‘aura’ around the exhibit, which is difficult to explain, but which seems to effectively draw attention to itself. Not only that but the head has been known to move around unaided by human hands, giving rise to it being considered haunted.

 Harry the Haunted Head

During routine renovation work on winter season 1996/1997 the head was stored out of harm’s way on a bedside table in the bedroom of current museum owner Graham King. Graham believes the relic was responsible for recurrent themes in dreams he experienced during that time: one presenting the name ‘Harry’ for the otherwise unnamed head.

Cecil Williamson, the Museum’s original founder and long-term curator, displayed a short explanation in its box for many years, which read: ‘Please do not dislike this skull. Like you, it once could laugh and maybe cry, but those in authority decided in their self-assumed wisdom to chop his head off and dump it into a cauldron of hot tar, and the head was exposed as a public warning.’

‘At some later date a kind soul, almost certainly a priest, retrieved the much abused head and placed it in this bible-box. Hitler’s bombs blasted the London church where the box was found in the rubble of what had been the east wall directly behind the altar. Rejected by the church as an unwanted relic the head passed through numerous hands and in passing strange tales started to grow up around it.’

Graham King and his team wanted to find out once and for all, and in early 2010 an investigation into the history of the head began. A sample of material was extracted from the exhibit by Martin Smith, lecturer in Forensic and Biological Anthropology at the University of Bournemouth, and was sent to be radiocarbon dated in New Zealand.

The relic has a 95% probability of dating between 360BC and 110BC, meaning that it is far older than Cecil Wiliamson had thought. Far more probable is that of an ancient Egyptian mummy, likely female and the ‘tar’ in which it has been dipped is some sort of wood resin, possibly pine pitch and not bitumen as first thought. This method of preservation would be consistent with the Egyptian mummy theory.

This of course poses further questions: how did the head come to be associated with an old bible box, and where does the story of medieval execution originate?

Paranormal Magazine Issue 36, February 2010: “Harry the Haunted Head” written by Jason Karl

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Paranormal Magazine Issue 36, February 2010: “Harry the Haunted Head” written by Jason Karl page 18
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Lost City of Tartessus

Adolph Schulten, a German archaeologist thought that Tartessus (Tartessos) was the historical Atlantis and set about searching for the ruins. The discoveries published by Schulten in 1922 first drew attention to Tartessus and shifted its study from classical philologists and antiquarians, to investigations based on archaeology, though attempts at localizing a capital for what was conceived as a complicated culture in the nature of a centrally controlled kingdom ancestral to Spain were inconclusively debated. Subsequent discoveries were widely reported: in September 1923 archaeologists discovered a Phoenician necropolis in which human remains were unearthed and stones found with illegible characters. It may have been colonized by the Phoenicians for trade because of its richness in metals. If there ever was a real Atlantis, Tartessus comes closest to fitting all of the various criteria. The Old Testament is replete with references to that old city. Take II Chronicles 9:21 as an example: “For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, apes and peacocks.”

Huram was, of course, the world renowned King Hiram of Tyre, a city in Phoenicia, just north of ancient Israel. Most people think of Hiram as a great Phoenician king, though scholars think that the name was the title of all Tyrian kings. Such as the name Inca was the name of all Quechuan (or Incan) Empire leaders in South America. This quote from the Old Testament took place in the time of Hiram and King Solomon. No other Phoenician city is mentioned here; just Tyre by implication, and mention of Hiram’s name. This trade had obviously been going on for quite some time. To get the “ivory, apes and peacocks” the ships of Tarshish would have had to journey down the northwest coast of the African continent, past the Sahara desert to central Africa, in order to procure these exotic objects.

Then again, perhaps not. Even during the time of the Romans, much later, north Africa, north of the Sahara desert, that is, was the home of lions, elephants, giraffe and other exotic, now sub-Saharan species. The apes are either real apes, or a not-so-pleasant reference to black African humans: for even the Portuguese of the 15th century refer to black Africans as “apes.” It is an unpleasant side of history, but there are many of those, unfortunately. Getting back to a more pleasant vein of thought, Atlantis was supposed to have been a fabulously wealthy country. Again there is a match with Tartessus. Tarshish possessed “gold, and silver, ivory, apes and peacocks.”

Tarshish was in a perfect geographical position to obtain gold and silver from the nearby Sierra Morena mountains in southern Spain, if that is indeed where it was located. Ivory, apes and peacocks could have come from the nearby northern and western African coast.

Doing research into the lost city of Tartessus or Tarshish, the conclusion is that the city was formerly located in southwestern Spain, very near the modern city of Cadiz, which was called Gades in ancient times. The ships of Tarshish were said to be located on the Atlantic side of the Pillars of Hercules, this last being identified with modern Gibraltar. Gades was later the most important Phoenician city on the Atlantic Ocean.

Another Biblical reference to Tarshish is from Isaiah 23:1. “The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.” This is an extremely interesting quotation for several reasons. One, it says that Tarshish was destroyed, just like the semi-mythical Atlantis it is supposed to have been. Second, it refers to Chittim, which Biblical scholars identify with the isle of Crete, south of the Greek mainland. Third, “the burden of Tyre” ties it in with that Phoenician city, either as a colony or as an independent trading ally of some sort.

Then we come to a quote from Psalms 48:7, which says: “Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.” Obviously the destruction of Tarshish came from the east. Some natural calamity, perhaps? Again a tie-in with Atlantis.

Genesis 10:4 tries to give a racial history of Tarshish. “And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.” It ties Tarshish with the Greeks or Cretans (Kittim) somehow. This could possibly be a reference to the island of Santorini or Thera, which blew up about 1500 B.C. Some scholars think that this explosion led to the legend of Atlantis. It is possible that ancient lore combined what happened at Thera with what happened to Tarshish, to form the legend of Atlantis. Javan refers to Caucasians or Europeans. So Tarshish must be located in or near Europe, such as in southwestern Spain.

II Kings 10:22 says: “For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory and apes, and peacocks.” Again the references to African natural products. Tharshish is just a variant spelling of Tarshish in the Bible. Carthaginian coins have been found in the Azore Islands, proof that the ancient mariners had the ability to travel great distances from the shore.

There is a further mention of silver in the Bible in Jeremiah 10:9. “Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of workmen, and the hands of the founder; blue and purple their clothing; they are all the work of cunning men.”

II Chronicles 20:36 says: “And he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish: and they make the ships at Ezion-Geber.” Now Ezion-Geber was an ancient city located on the Gulf of Aquaba, which is itself an arm of the Red Sea. Look at a map of that area.

Ships built there would either have to be transported to the Mediterranean Sea overland through ancient Israel, or circumnavigate the entire continent of Africa. For the Suez Canal was far in the future. Perhaps that is why it took the ships of Tarshish so long to reach her European and west Asian ports of call. There is literary proof that the Phoenicians sailed from Ezion-Geber, around Africa, and through the Mediterranean Sea, back to Phoenicia, in ancient times.

II Chronicles 20:37 says: “Then Eliezer the son of Dodovah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat saying, because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath broken thy works. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish.” Again an allusion to a naval disaster of some sort for Tarshish.

The area where Tarshish was supposedly located, the area of the Guadalquivir River in southwestern Spain, has a long history.

In 1923 there was a late Bronze Age hoard of bronzes discovered off the coast of a city called Huelva. There were, among the many discoveries, an Irish lunate spearhead and some Cypriote finds. That there were Irish finds in this area is not really surprising. In the area of northern Brittany lived a Celtic tribe, which the ancients called the Oestrymians. This tribe was supposedly associated with the Tartessians, and were said to have helped those people mine the Scilly Islands off the southwest coast of Britain. That Celtic tribes as far apart as the Oestrymians and the Irish traded with one another is not surprising.

There is also an ancient tradition in Ireland that the Irish from northern Spain invaded that island. This was the group that tradition terms the Milesians. It was often thought that the Phoenicians themselves mined the Scilly Islands. However, this new information tells us that the Tartessians, with the help of the local Oestrymians, actually mined the islands for tin. It makes sense, because in more historically recorded times, none other than Julius Caesar recorded how the Veneti, a Gaulish Celtic tribe in the same area of Brittany, were accomplished mariners.

It is perhaps possible that the Oestrymians and the Veneti were even one and the same tribe, or closely related to one another. There is also a direct tie-in between the Tartessians and Celtic tribes in the Iberian peninsula itself. That there were so-called Celt-Iberian tribes in what is now Spain and Portugal has long been known. There has been found bits and pieces of various Celtic deities, such as one called Endovellicus. This deity was supposedly worshiped over a large area of southwestern Spain back then. Endovellicus was associated with the underworld or Otherworld.

Endovellicus was an oracular deity and had only one temple, surrounded by minor shrines. Endovellicus was also associated with the boar, which was an extremely popular animal with the ancient Celts. Boars figured prominently in surviving Celtic tales. Laurel and pine were also associated with this god, which represented immortality. It has also been speculated that Endovellicus was associated with several other Celtic deities such as Succelos (Dis Pater) and Cernunnos, the last being a horned or antlered god of fertility and plenty.

The “Anacreon” by Strabo also links Tartessus with the popular demi-god Heracles. The first king of Tartessus was supposed to have been named Habis, who made laws to unite the people. The Tartessians also had close ties to the eastern Greeks, especially the lost Greek colony called Mainake in southwestern Spain.

Wherever ancient Tartessus is located, it was important in the ancient world. Perhaps one day someone will find this important, but little-known world. Then the legacy of Adolph Schulten will be remembered.

Atlantis Rising Magazine Vol. 36: "The Lost City of Tartessus" written by Steven A. Arts;

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