Are the Misty Peaks of the Azores Remnants of the Legendary Atlantis?
Jutting from the deep briny mists of the mid-Atlantic, some 800 miles (1287 km) due west of Portugal, the Azores strike one as bejeweled, fern and flower-encrusted baubles in a vast expanse of blue oblivion. Largely a dormant volcanic archipelago today, to most, the region is a popular exotic getaway, but to some, these verdant islands represent the best case for a present-day fragment of the famed sunken landmass of Atlantis.
In a summary of a 2014 keynote speech given by legendary ocean explorer Thor Heyerdahl and Dr. Dominique Görlitz in Oslo, Norway, event planners state;
“In the last three years, the president of the Portuguese Association of Archaeological Research, Nuno Ribeiro, has been claiming that archeological remains of structures discovered on several Azorean islands are of pre-Portuguese origin. Together with the Portuguese archaeologist Anabela Joaquinito, he has identified dozens of similar pyramidal structures in the Madalena area of Pico Island. Artifacts were also found on site which may predate the Portuguese settlement on the island. They believe the structures may have been built according to an oriented plan, aligned with the summer solstices, which suggests they were built with an intended purpose. They also believe that the Madalena pyramidal structures are analogous to similar prehistoric structures found in Sicily, North Africa and the Canary Islands which are known to have served ritual purposes.”
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This is quite interesting in and of itself, but consider that if one takes Plato's account as detailed in Critias and Timaeus at face value, then geographically, the primary Atlantean landmass from which sprang its sprawling seaborne empire would have been situated almost directly where the modern Azores island chain currently peeks out of the deep Atlantic. That is, directly “in front of the Pillars of Hercules,” i.e., Straits of Gibraltar. Ignatius Donnelly, the U.S. Congressman and dear friend of Abraham Lincoln who wrote the iconic 1882 book Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, was among the first to note this, as were the crew of the survey ship H.M.S. Challenger, whose 1877 article in Scientific American, entitled “Glimpses of Atlantis,” stated;
“While the new America was thus forming, the ancient Atlantis was no doubt sinking as well as washing away. When its final disappearance occurred remains to be determined; quite recently however, two or three lines of research seem to converge in support of the truth of the ancient story, long considered mythical, in regard to the geologically recent occurrence of that wonderful catastrophe. Archaeo-geology has sufficiently demonstrated that the memory of man runs back vastly farther than history has been willing to admit; so that there remains no inherent improbability in the story the Egyptian priests told to Solon.”
Sao Jorge island in the Azores. Could it be that the Azores are actually the location of the legendary Atlantis? (dudlajzov / Adobe Stock)
Quite a conclusion from some of the most respected oceanographic pioneers, and one whose honest and open tone struck me as fundamentally different from the snide and condescending assessments of many mainstream discussions today, who in the ever-evolving debate surrounding Atlantis that we have thus explored, largely preclude a serious discussion of its historical or geographic reality before the conversation even begins. Yet until quite recently, historically speaking, this was not necessarily the case.
In a lighthearted Washington Post article from 1988 entitled “São Miguel, the Azores: Misty Fragments of Atlantis,” for example, travel correspondent David Yeadon flew to the Azores to meet with a local tour guide in São Miguel to catalog some choice sightseeing spots, only to find himself debating Atlantis over drinks with his host, something I can certainly relate to as this book was taking shape over the years. In the article he writes;
“Most Azoreans have no doubts on the matter at all.
‘Of course, this is Atlantis!’ Antonio Pinero insisted.
We sat sipping coffee and aguardiente (Azorean firewater made from the remnants of grape pressings) in an outdoor café overlooking the broad harbor at Ponta Delgada, capital of São Miguel Island and largest town in the nine-island archipelago of the Azores.
Antonio had been a modest, soft-spoken companion during my first hours in this little outpost of Portugal, 800 miles due west of Lisbon in the North Atlantic Ocean. But about this particular subject he tolerated no ambiguity whatsoever. From inside his worn wool jacket, he pulled a much-thumbed book titled Plato's History of Atlantis.
‘Was Plato a wise man?’ he challenged, obviously preparing for an extended semantic foray.
‘Yes, he certainly was,’ he responded. ‘Now please listen to what he wrote.’
He turned the grubby pages with solemnity.
‘For in those days,’ he began, ‘the Atlantis (sic) was navigable from an island situated to the west of the straits, which you call the Pillars of Hercules.’
He paused. ‘That's Gibraltar - the way out from the Mediterranean.’
I nodded; he nodded.
‘… and from it could be reached other islands and from the islands you might pass through to the opposite continent.’
He paused again. ‘That’s America.’
‘Plato knew about America?’ I laughed (a little).
Tony was not amused.
‘Plato knew everything.’”
Back in Athens, 2,345 years before this little exchange at the São Miguel cafe was unfolding, Plato wrote in his Timaeus, describing a portion of the Atlantean capital city;
“In the next place, they used fountains both of cold and hot springs; these were very abundant, and both kinds wonderfully adapted to use by reason of the sweetness and excellence of their waters. They constructed buildings about them, and planted suitable trees; also, cisterns, some open to the heaven, other which they roofed over, to be used in winter as warm baths, there were the king’s baths, and the baths of private persons, which were kept apart; also, separate baths for women, and others again for horses and cattle, and to them they gave as much adornment as was suitable for them.”
While this may seem like a trivial aspect of our investigation, consider that today, one of the Azores’ main tourist attractions is its numerous healing springs. As a travel guide recently explained, “São Miguel Island is home to an exceptional array of mineral hot springs sure to elevate you to unmatched levels of relaxation. The Azores’ unique volcanic origins make these islands a thermal paradise, featuring steamy, iron-rich pools tucked amid lush green vegetation and tropical trees, and even a natural ocean pool heated by a volcanic vent and cooled by the ebbing tides of the Atlantic.” Sounds pretty nice.
The Azores were also briefly in the spotlight in 2013 when a chance discovery revealed a strange object at the bottom of the ocean. Diocleciano Silva, a Portuguese fisherman, noticed an unusual image on his yacht’s depth-finder while trolling between the islands of São Miguel and Terceira. According to his instruments, the pyramidal structure's base measured a whopping 86,111 square feet (8,000 sqm.), and its apex was submerged only 40 feet (12.2 m) beneath the surface, while the structure itself stood nearly 200 feet tall (61 m) from its base. It was also determined to be directly oriented to the four geophysical cardinal directions.
Reporting the findings to the Portuguese government in short order, they began their own investigation which naturally led to the official pronouncement that Silva had simply been using cheap and inaccurate equipment which gave an artificially sharp contour to what they claimed was a long-known natural volcanic formation in the area despite the iconic image of what is clearly a pyramid, which Portuguese television showed in a live broadcast at the time.
2021 oceanographic chart of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. (Dorokhova, E. V. et. al. / CC BY 4.0)
Geographically, regarding the working hypothesis – and description by Plato – that the region we call the Azorean Archipelago is the true geographical location of a former Atlantean home-island, in final reduced size after the continent´s previous two destructions as detailed by Edgar Cayce and others like Rudolf Steiner and William Scott-Elliott, what is truly astounding to me is that when one views a modern chart of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, one can clearly see the almost identical outline of the remaining Atlantean landmass hand-drawn by a teenage Frederick Oliver around 1886 during his clairaudient dictations of the past life of his muse Phylos in Atlantis in 11,160 BC on the island of Poseid.
This was contained in a loose collection of notes that later became the book A Dweller on Two Planets, privately published by his mother in 1904, years after Oliver’s early death in 1899, and not reaching wider audiences until a second publishing in 1920. Oliver’s channeled sketch is uncannily accurate given that he did not have access to detailed maps of the ocean floor at the time his manuscript was written in 1884-86, as none existed.
To my knowledge the only map he could have seen, had he visited a research library, would have been a basic contour map made by Sir Wyville Thomson in 1877 and released shortly after the H.M.S. Challenger survey, which contains no explicit details of the full boundaries and shape of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Compared to a modern oceanographic or bathythermic chart, there is no comparison regarding the level of detail, making Oliver’s sketch a bizarre and statistically improbable coincidence.
Frederick Oliver’s sketch of Poseid, 1886 (oriented). (Author provided)
Yet if one traces the shape of Oliver’s channeled drawing, the curvature and geographical indentations of the landmass of Poseid are uncannily similar to the actual modern image of the Azorean seabed. In fact, it fits over the modern chart like a puzzle piece if exploded to equal size and oriented. “Pitach Rokh,” the highest point in Poseid according to Frederick Oliver’s book, was an enormous snow-capped active volcano in 11,160 BC.
Now note its location in his hand-drawn map's extreme southeast quadrant. This is very close to where the Azores jut out of the mid-Atlantic, straight “in front of the Pillars of Hercules” as Plato stated. And from Plato’s description of the famed circular capital of Atlantis, whose central feature was a monumental statue of Poseidon surrounded by the Nereids, it would make sense that Oliver and Cayce both refer to the island as Poseid, and the culture as Atlantis.
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Don’t forget that today, Mount Pico - a dormant stratovolcano and the highest point in the Azores which officially towers over the countryside at almost 7,700 feet (2,347 m) - when measured from its base deep in the ocean where once likely stood dry land some 13,000 years ago, is even taller; in fact, it would be one of the tallest mountains on earth. And so we are left with another interesting clue in our survey of these fragments of Atlantis, another piece of the puzzle as it were. Are Pitach Rokh from A Dweller on Two Planets and Mt. Pico one and the same? Time will tell, I suppose.
Athanasius Kircher's map of Atlantis, turned upside down, which located Atlantis in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. (Public domain)
Even the map the Jesuit polymath Athanasius Kircher claims to have found in the Vatican Library during the Renaissance (above), copied from an alleged original brought to Rome from Egypt during the time of Octavian in the 1st century B.C., when flipped upside down so that Spain is oriented to the right, does, if you pay attention, show a more-similar-than-not, fin-shaped top portion of Atlantis divided by two rivers where the true-north compass symbol was placed.
And Edgar Cayce, one of the most studied clairvoyants in modern history, whose over 500 hypnogogic trance readings on Atlantis we have already explored at length, claimed that after many destructions and disturbances, but before the final separation into the separate islands of Poseid, Aryan and Og, the Atlantean landmass was crisscrossed by said rivers, even giving a date of 28,000 BC for this second of three destructions due to an unintended over-tuning of the massive Tuaoi crystal powering the civilization, which fractured the substrata. Perhaps this is the phase portrayed in Kircher’s map, whose upper portion too encompasses the Azores, and where our oceanographic chart displays that curious triangular seamount beneath the ocean.
At the end of the day, it’s all quite a coincidence if skeptics and debunkers claim unequivocally that Plato’s account of Atlantis was a pure fiction designed to glorify Athens, or at best, simply a fantastical reprise of more mundane Mediterranean disasters like the volcanic eruptions on the island of Thera in historical times, both of which I categorically reject based on the evidence thus presented throughout this book, as well as on Plato’s own frank and specific account from his dialogues which, like it or not, seems to point to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge as the nucleus of the vast and powerful final iteration of the empire of Atlantis, whose imperial ambitions against the peoples of the Mediterranean were checked by its infamous and catastrophic destruction around 9,600 BC according to his seminal account.
But don’t take my word for it; it was Critias himself who explained in Plato’s Timaeus, “Let me tell you this story then, Socrates. It’s a very strange one but even so, every word of it is true. It’s a story that Solon, the wisest of the seven sages once vouched for.”
This article is an extract taken from the book Visions of Atlantis: Reclaiming our Lost Ancient Legacy by Michael Le Flem. View it on Amazon.
Top image: The verdant Azores islands represent the best case for a present-day fragment of the famed sunken landmass of Atlantis. Image depicts Mount Pico in the Azores. Source: rvdschoot / Adobe Stock
By Michael Le Flem
Getaways Azores. No date. “Hot Springs in the Azores: Furnas Village is the Feature Spot” in Getaways Azores. Available at: https://azoresgetaways.com/en-us/destination/azores/why-visit/thermal-waters
Görlitz, D. 16 May 2014. “The Pyramids on the Azores - Lecture by Keynote Speaker Dr. Görlitz” in 5-Star Speakers.
Plato. 360 BC. “Timaeus. Translated from the ancient Greek by Benjamin Jowett” in MIT Internet Classics Archive. Available at: http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/timaeus.html
Portuguese American Journal. 9 October 2013. “Terceira: Pyramidal structure found by amateur sailor not man-made – Azores” in Portuguese American Journal. Available at: https://portuguese-american-journal.com/terceira-pyramidal-structure-found-by-amateur-sailor-not-man-made-azores-2/
Scientific American. 28 July 1877. “Glimpses of Atlantis” in Scientific American, Vol. 37, No.4, pp. 48- 9. Available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/glimpses-of-atlantis/
Thomson, W. No date. “Contour Map of the Atlantic” in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Central Library Historical Collection.
Yeadon, D. 15 August 1988. “São Miguel, the Azores: Misty Fragments of Atlantis” in The Washington Post. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/travel/1988/08/14/sao-miguel-the-azores-misty-fragments-of-atlantis/f0f754aa-3961-451b-8fb5-4563debafdde/