As we all sit agog with the Roland Emmerich-scaled destruction left in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the NatGeo channel is running a documentary tonight that couldn't be more appropriately-timed:
NORTHAMPTON, Mass (Reuters) – A U.S.-led research team may have finally located the lost city of Atlantis, the legendary metropolis believed swamped by a tsunami thousands of years ago in mud flats in southern Spain.
"This is the power of tsunamis," head researcher Richard Freund told Reuters.
"It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that's pretty much what we're talking about," said Freund, a University of Hartford, Connecticut, professor who lead an international team searching for the true site of Atlantis.
To solve the age-old mystery, the team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site just north of Cadiz, Spain. There, buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, they believe that they pinpointed the ancient, multi-ringed dominion known as Atlantis.
The team of archeologists and geologists in 2009 and 2010 used a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology to survey the site.
Freund's discovery in central Spain of a strange series of "memorial cities," built in Atlantis' image by its refugees after the city's likely destruction by a tsunami, gave researchers added proof and confidence, he said.
Atlantis residents who did not perish in the tsunami fled inland and built new cities there, he added.
The team's findings will be unveiled on Sunday in "Finding Atlantis," a new National Geographic Channel special.
We've been conditioned for years to believe that Atlantis was a myth, much like our ancestors believed that Troy was a myth. If these finds turn out to be true, none of the Atlantis-mythicists will be even slightly inconvenienced for their unfounded beliefs. Only those who hold unpopular -- or unsanctioned-- beliefs can be held into account. But no historian worth his tenure should dismiss the possibility of Atlantis - certainly no geologist would. This is a incredibly dangerous planet, and this relatively placid period we are presently enjoying is only a whisper in the night of geological time. Even in our own history, there are earthquakes, volcanoes and countless other disasters that have brought entire civilizations to their knees.
The Japanese are a brave, clever and resourceful people -- in fact, their cultural influence is in the very lifeblood of this blog. There's no doubt in my mind that this disaster will bring them together and bring the best out of this powerful race, in fact it may be one of those moments of crisis in which a people rediscover themselves after a period of uncertainty. They have a lot of experience with this sort of thing -- orthodox (read: government) scientists try their best to wish it all away, but there's powerful evidence of an earlier super-civilization off the coast of Japan, well-documented by Graham Hancock, among others. Now that we are seeing the fury of our wicked stepmother Earth, all of a sudden we reach a point in which only the most willfully-ignorant refuse to believe that everything can be taken away from us literally overnight.
An uncommonly benign armistice in Stepmother Earth's war upon her children has conditioned many of us to become inhuman and inhumane. Surplus economies have created an overclass of bloated parasites, who differ from outright gangsters only in their shrewdness. In fact it's becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate so-called legitimate and illegitimate economic enterprises. But without warning the snake can bite them as well, as Poseidon can claim their opulent waterfront palaces for his own domain. There's no doubt in my mind that a lot of rich and powerful people who see themselves as gods believe they can escape the Sun's wrath, or the Ocean's, or that of the tectonic plates. The violence of nature -- like its companion, Death -- is a great equalizer.
Or maybe they think the gods themselves will return to save them. Maybe that's the enigmatic message of the Dubai Atlantis ritual, and several others. I wouldn't count on it. When you look at the parade of carnage of history and prehistory, it becomes abundantly clear that any race with say a 500-year technological head-start on us would steer clear of this violent planet, orbiting the Sun in a particularly violent cosmic neighborhood. This is what farsighted scientists have been telling us -- there have been five great extinctions on this planet already and no sign that this process is over. If someone else -- the Anunnaki or whomever -- was here and left, it's a good chance that one of Stepmother's temper tantrums (say, the Minoan eruption) scared them off.
For the time being, we have the capacity to cope with our fragile state. We can (and must) prepare but more importantly, we can care. Care about people who are suffering (and not look at the footage of other people's misery as some kind of sick pornography), because there's a very good chance that we're all waiting in line for the snake's bite. We need to ask ourselves if the 1950s suburbia model is still meaningful or desirable, or if the "socialism for the rich, social Darwinism for the rest of us" economic model will do anything to improve the human condition or ensure it's survival and success.
We could be at the very start of a long period of crisis and calamity -- a crisis that will act as our crucible. The survival of the human family may be at stake. Strangely enough, those of us who cut our teeth on sci-fi and comics and the rest saw all of this rehearsed a thousand times. The question is do we act like the heroes of those stories or head for the hills while everyone but a tiny handful of over-privileged sociopaths carry on with only the slightest inconvenience in their Rocky Mountain tunnel cities.
It's beginning to stir -- a spark that's fueled by every calamity will become a bonfire that will change the course of our evolution. The ability to experience the suffering that our brothers and sisters are going through and the constant stream of communication is only fanning the flames. Everything will be different, everything is about to change. Change is never pretty -- true change, that is -- it's always painful. But we've been dithering for far too long; rudderless, uninspired, self-absorbed. All that's going to change. Childhood is nearing its end and it's none too soon. Destiny is calling.