Lost Civilization & Alternative History

It was 2001, I went to my local bookstore to find something to read. At that time I was interested in Space travelling related topics. I eventually stumbled upon this book, The Mars Mystery by Graham Hancock. It proposed a theory that there was an advanced civilization on Mars that vanished after a cataclysmic event. But what fascinated me more was the idea of a connection between the Martian civilization and our own past civilization (notably the Egyptian civilization). Little did I know that this book was just part of a series of books by the author who championed the so called ‘lost civilization theory’. Thus, my journey through genres of alternative history, paranormal, conspiracy and general mysteries of the universe began.

“An advanced civilization could indeed have arisen during the last Ice Age – only to be destroyed by the global flood that brought the Ice Age to an end.”

That quote from the ‘Mars Mystery’ (yes, I went to my dusty bookshelf and opened the book to look for that passage) sums up the theory of lost civilization. I came to same conclusion by myself before and reading a book that confirms it made me happy. I was into mythology when I was a kid and noticed the similar flood myths and the lost of paradise-like lands. I began searching for Hancock’s Fingerprints of the Gods, the book where he backs up the lost civilization theory with a list of evidence from South America and Egypt. I didn’t find the book until few years later but by then I had read many different books that were related to the topic.

One of my favourite of these ‘lost civilization’ or ‘alternative history’ books was Atlantis Blueprintby Colin Wilson and Rand Flem-Ath. It was the perfect introductory book for those of you who just started on the whole ‘alternative history’ genre. That book introduced me to West’s and Schoch’s breakthrough on the dating of the Sphinx, the mysterious Templars (this was before the whole Da Vinci Code craze fest), advance engineering of the Giza Pyramids, the ‘Hall of Records’, Percy Fawcett, Crystal Skulls (before Indiana Jones), Book of Enoch, etc. For a 13 year old, reading all those stuff was like a sledgehammer into the head.

I became obsessed with it and always write about it in my school essays (eg. While everybody chose volcanic eruption or earthquakes for their natural disaster project, I wrote about Hapgood’s Crustal Displacement theory). I even wrote a story outline for an epic trilogy involving the stuff I’ve read about.

I’m no longer into the alternative history anymore. Although, I still believe that human civilization is far older and that the ancients knew more than we think. Here’s my current stance on the theory:

Atlantis did not exist. The problem with most people is that they try to search for a specific lost civilization literally called Atlantis. Some say it was in South America, the Caribbeans, Southeast Asia and even Antarctica. For me, Plato’s story of Atlantis is just another incarnation of flood myths and sunken kingdoms stories. As for the inclusion of the heroic army Athens in the story of Atlantis? Nationalistic reason of course.

Same goes with other sunken civilizations like Mu, Lemuria, Kumari Kandam, Thule, etc. All of those stories derived from actual civilizations flooded during the end of the last Ice Age. For example, Mu is a mythological super continent with an advance civilization in the Pacific Ocean. A super continent in the Pacific Ocean is impossible yet the story of Mu was probably inspired by possible civilization in Maui Nui (greater Hawaii) or the former landmass that attached Taiwan and Japan (see the picture below).

Yonaguni structure

Another thing is that these Atlantis/lost civilization theory tend to be hyperdiffusionist, a single civilization (Atlantis or Mu) seeding knowledge to all the corners of the earth. I don’t believe in that anymore. I don’t think that the antediluvian civilization in India (eg.the one off the coast of Dwarka or another civilization that inspired the stories of ‘Rama Empire’) would have anything to do with a civilization in the Sundaland (now the islands of Southeast Asia). They may have contacted with each other but one didn’t create the other.

World map during the Ice Age (click to enlarge)

This talk about lost civilization makes me wonder about what some of the authors have been up to:

Graham Hancock
The guy who popularize the lost civilization theory in the 90s
What’s he up to recently:
His new book, Supernatural, is about the use of Hallucinogenic by the ancients to spark a cultural revolution (the birth of art and the power of imagination that sets us apart from animals). Haven’t read it yet but it sounds intriguing. Coincidentally, I had a talk with an old friend of mine recently about the mind being like radio that can change frequency.

Robert Bauval
The creator of the Orion Correlation Theory (the three pyramids align with Orion’s belt)
What’s he up to recently
He seems to be refining and expanding his theory on the correlation between Egyptian monuments and the stars. 

Robert Schoch
His conclusion that the Sphinx was eroded by water – rain water to be exact – sent shockwave to the archaeological world. This put the date of the Sphinx back to 7000BC (far older than generally accepted date) when the climate was more wet.
What’s he up to recently:
His latest book, Parapsychology Revolution, veers away from his usual work on Geology.

Alan Alford
I didn’t like him at first when he was just one of those ‘humans were too dumb so aliens built everything’  That is until he made a complete U turn and gave this radical theory on explaining the origins of myths centred on an ‘Exploding planet’ and meteorites. I didn’t really buy his theory but ‘When the Gods Came Down’ was one memorable reading experience.
What’s he up to recently:
The Midnight Sun, his interpretation of Egyptian myths. I assume he’s still using the same approach as he did with ‘When the Gods came down’

Andrew Collins
Study on the watchers and Book of Enoch
What’s he up to recently:
Cygnus Mystery, examining how a binary star Cygnus influence the evolution of humans

Rand Flem-Ath
Created the idea that Atlantis was in part of Antarctica that were ice free due to Crustal displacement
What’s he up to recently:
I don’t know

Richard Hoagland
Believed that there was an advanced civilization on Mars and NASA is covering it up.
What’s he up to recently:
Dark Missions, a book about NASA covering up evidence of artificial structures on our Moon 🙄

Basically, all of them are still doing what they’ve been doing best, writing things that are thought provoking. I haven’t read any of their latest books and I’m not as enthusiastic with their theories as before but I like to thank these authors for the way they opened my mind to many possibilities during my younger days.


10 thoughts on “Lost Civilization & Alternative History

  1. Some of the books you cite are reminiscent of Von Daniken’s silly CHARIOTS OF THE GODS but if you’d like something along the same lines that is serious and credible, check out Huston Smith’s CLEANSING THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION.

    That’ll blow your mind…

  2. Chariots of The Gods… I remember that book. I didn’t believe in the whole ‘Aliens built everything in the past or what they call it ‘Ancient Astronaut theory’. Part of the reason why I was drawn into works by Hancock & Colin Wilson was that they didn’t rely on aliens to explain the mysteries of the past.

    Oh and I just checked the book that you recommended on Amazon. Sounds interesting, might give it a try someday. 🙂

  3. I must have a dozen Colin Wilson books–he’s a lot more credible than most, In fact, some of his stuff on the paranormal was invaluable when I was researching my occult thriller, SO DARK THE NIGHT (just posted on my blog in its entirety)…

  4. You’ve summed up what I’ve been rolling around in my head for a while now. Yes, perhaps there WERE main land civilizations on ancient coastal regions. The post ice age floods could have been a global catastrophe that whipped out portion of the population, and stuck in the survivors psyche. Why else are there flood myths in almost every culture in the world? Unfortunately for us, water is not kind to geographic or man made evidence, so we will never know exactly. The underwater sites near Sri Lanka and Japan just don’t give us much.

  5. Here’s an update on Rand & Rose Flem-Ath:

    Available soon on their website will be a revised and expanded second edition to their book When the Sky Fell. This book preceded The Atlantis Blueprint and lays out their theories and research in detail.


  6. Most of these authors had their 15 minutes of fame during the 1990’s, all at about the same time, and just as the web exploded and enabled many people to explore the mysterious alternative explanations of human history that they had been exposed to at some time during their adolescence, when such theories made more sense than they do as we get older. That said, there are gaps in our knowledge that mainstream academia fails to address, and some of what these writers have to say may have a grain of truth to it. What bothers me most though, is that critics are quick to cry “racism” at any alternative explanation. Primitive cultures did accomplish a great deal on their own, but undoubtedly, many are given credit for acheivements that they borrowed or stole from other cultures with which they interacted or just conquered. I’d be surprised if *all* of the alternative theories turned out to be false. Maybe 95% of the alternatives are wacky. Those other 5% (we don’t know which yet) are going to rewrite our history books in a big way.

  7. Don’t you find it interesting that so many of us now are finding all this interesting?
    I would personally like to thank all those who do the field-work so that I can do the arm-chair research.
    Terence McKenna is a favourite of mine – once you get passed the common stigma of drugs, and a presumption that he was just tripping, his level of knowledge was superlative, and I like his theories on Time and evolution: R.I.P.
    Graham Hancock also gets my vote for his tireless personal investment to do his own research – again, incredibly knowledgable and intelligent.
    I have a small library of excellent books collected over 20 years, but I’m very grateful to the online books now available.
    “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” (T S Eliot)

  8. I think there really is a problem with the mainstream views of both human evolution (Modern humans did NOT evolve from apes as per Darwin’s theory) and also a straight line development of science and technology. I certainly think Chris Dunn’s theory of the “Giza Power Plant” is pure hokum, but the evidence he has produced that some kind of advanced technology was required to do what the ancient did is basically undeniable. Just look at the pictures on this part of his website. This was not done with copper chisels and round pounding balls! Here’s the link:

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