Returning to our holiday theme of avoiding current events, the Posse would like to take you an excursion to find the lost continent of Atlantis.
Atlantis has long been a hobby of ours, dating back to our college days.
While the Posse can no longer call upon world-class collegiate libraries, the Internet is our willing servant.
First, we must examine the evidence our earlier research produced.
One of the more intriguing books we have found is Secret of Atlantis. It is out of print, but we were lucky enough to come across a copy by sheer accident.
The author, WW II German rocket scientist Otto Muck, makes a pretty compelling case that Atlantis can be found under the Azores Islands, and that the Dolphin Plateau was formed after an asteroid strike some 11,000 years ago.
While visiting the geology library, we stumbled across two working papers by R. Cedric Leonard.
His web site offers similar evidence and to our knowledge, none of it has been refuted.
Unfortunately, like many who study Atlantis, Leonard damages his reputation by offering speculation about ancient Indian flying machines.
We're not sure what it is about the study of Atlantis that causes people to go from solid scientific examination of the evidence into strange UFO-related theories.
It is clear that more research is needed - and it needs to be clear-eyed and open, not blinded by current academic dogma.
Otherwise, this fascinating field will remain the domain of occultists and other assorted weirdos.
If one is going to take Plato's accounts as anyway informative, one must first take them as accurate. Arguing that the fellow didn't know geography and mistook 900 years for 9,000 years or was making the whole thing up isn't helpful.
A rational mind would first see if Plato could be proven false, not come up with reasons to believe him wrong to advance a pet theory.
This passage is fascinating:
This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles; the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbour, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent.
One of the striking things about this is how it accurately describes the Atlantic Ocean.
If there were a major island beyond the Straits of Gibraltar, the geography fits perfectly.
This is one of the big sticking points with "Oh the fellow got his directions wrong" schools of thought. The Greeks knew where Crete was, and they damn well knew where Asia was - Persia had only invaded them from it twice.
The thing is, Plato wasn't alone. Other authors also noted legends surrounding the eastern Atlantic, and Wikipedia offers a nice overview.
Yet even then, Wikipedia can't resist throwing in the usual fantasy/science fiction garbage and this topic always attracts.
Thus far, no conclusive archeological evidence has surfaced linking the Azores to an ancient culture in Atlantis. This is often held as proof that Atlantis has to be somewhere else - somewhere ruins can be found.
There is a problem with this logic, of course. No major research has yet been undertaken there. We speak not of core samples or shallow dives, but a systematic, large-scale search similar to that which located the Bismarck and Titanic.
Until then, the scholarly obsession with "finding" Atlantis in the middle of prime Greek tourist destinations will only obscure the search for the truth.