BBC Horizon Scandal

BBC Horizon: Atlantis Uncovered and Altantis Reborn, 28 October & 4 November 1999

Comments About Episode 1

Subject: Horizon programme
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 14:48:49 GMT
From: "pat sexton" <>

Hi Graham,

I saw the Horizon programme on Thursday last. I felt it was very one-sided and was very selective with the evidence. It did nothing to explain the Astronomy or mathematical precision of the ancient monuments or why the Flood myth is so pervasive in most cultures' mythology. I look forward to next Thursday and the counter argument from yourself.

Yours Sincerely

Pat Sexton

Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 23:18:59 -0400
From: "Cynthia Bowers Dougherty" <>
To: <>

October 30, 1999

After reading the transcript of Horizon I, I was appalled at the simplistic dismissal of a most complex issue, the lost civilization theory. The equally simplistic dialogue is reminiscent of Zahi Hawass's third rate TV documentaries meant to acquiesce those who question orthodox Egyptology. The Horizon I program is an insult to anyone who has followed the sophisticated research of Graham and his contemporaries over the past few years. Is that the best they could do?

First of all, there is a common legacy of all these world wide ancient civilizations that they do not even address. This legacy lies not in the 'modern' myth of Atlantis, but in the myths and legends of each of these civilizations which make common reference to cataclysms, especially floods, similar gods or god experiences, and precessional and other astronomically significant numbers, etc, etc. The writing, architecture, and agriculture of these ancients are by products of their development which had its roots in a lost civilization of 12000 years ago. Who today remembers his great grandfather much less thousands of years ago, yet we are subtly influenced by him in ways unknown to us. We have built our lives on the legacy of our ancestors.

A survivor of some cataclysm, say a flood, who barely escapes with his life, lands on an island that was a mountain top with little or nothing left of his former life but the knowledge and resourcefulness of how to survive. He may have used a computer or driven a car, but he can't build one nor does he have the materials. He may have organizational skills, however, and be able to bring order to a confused more primitive people who have become cannibalistic as well as chaotic as they crowd together on the top of this mountain. Although he , of course, can read and write, there is nothing to read and no one can read what he writes, so he draws pictures to communicate where language does not work. Others copy his pictures and add their own personality to them until after many millennia a system of picture writing has been established. A system used to record the memory of 'he' who taught them in the beginning.

Likewise,the use of certain building techniques spring from those first shelters that 'he' helped them build. Certain architectural styles stem from 'his' own architectural background. These are modified to fit the materials and function of their civilization.

Though 'he' probably was not keeping seeds on board 'his' boat at the time of 'his' escape, 'he' knows enough about planting to make use of the indigenous plant life in order to introduce agriculture. Most people today have a basic understanding of growing food which they could use in a time of crisis. Again 'his' agriculture would be in keeping with the resources at hand. As the years went by, everything 'he' taught them would appear as if it were developed by the people themselves.

The legacy of the ancients of the lost civilization lies in their knowledge and know-how. They imparted this to those lesser informed, then died. Some of the knowledge was retained and passed on either in myths or in functionality as in the development of structures, agriculture, and picture writing. Around the world this development would be similar, but appropriate to the area that each ancient influenced. And there was a universal symbol left by the ancients, which even school children know, --the serpent, with or without feathers.

The Horizon I program seemed a pathetic attempt to justify someone's thesis in the eyes of his/her grantors and an insult to those forward thinking people who continue to follow the research of Graham and his contemporaries. The Horizon narrator did make one comment worth merit. He begins a statement, "From Plato to Hancock, there's a common element...". I suppose you could be in worse company. Go get 'em Graham!!

Cindy Dougherty, Brunswick, Maine, USA

Subject: Horizon Transcript
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 10:15:12 +1100
From: "Terry Alexiou" <>
To: <>

To the editor,

It's nice to know that as complex as the whole issue is on past civilisations, the writers for these television shows can summarise thousands of years of history in just a handful of minutes, with some commercials thrown in between. Those who are familiar with all the ancient texts and all the great work some writers have produced this century, that make reference to a forgotten part of human history know that it would take a television show that lasted for months to get through all the evidence that exists out there. These Horizon producers managed to "de-bunk" the theory with only a handful of examples, and even they crumble under close scrutiny.

To Graham and all the other writers out there, who have their feet on the ground and are working slowly and cautiously, keep up the excellent work because with everyday these people are finding it harder to disprove you, no matter how elaborate their shows are.


Terry Alexiou

Subject: Horizon comments
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 23:41:00 +0100
From: "Alan Tickhill" <>
To: <>


Having watched the Horizon programme I must first of all express my astonishment at how desperately the "scientists" featured in the programme clutched at the straws of their tattered belief systems. To equate contemporary "Atlantean" investigation with Nazi belief in an Aryan super race.... 'boy are they desperate.

The 'saving grace' of it all is that only those already convinced of the validity of what was expressed in the programme would continue to consider that position to be valid -- and "convictions make convicts". Let the prisoners remain in their cells if that's where they choose to be.

best wishes,

Alan Tickhill.

Subject: Transcript Comments.
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 18:22:57 -0000
From: "Peter or Kathy VanderZwet" <>
To: <>

Hello all.

My name is Peter Vanderzwet, I have read all of Graham's books and find them very interesting. I have also read many mainstream Egyptological books and find them equally interesting.

I found the special fairly convincing but not nearly enough factual data to offset many of the puzzling questions raised about our past. As usual, when the media addresses a specific issue, whether pro or con, the media will focus only on data which proves their thesis and not venture into the facts which support the opposing side.

It should be noted that Graham Hancock does not dispute the origins of pyramids in Egypt with Egyptologists and has even gone as far as writing to Dr. Zahi Hawass to provide him with documented evidence of his beliefs. Yet the special ventured into the area of pyramids in an attempt to debunk the validity of Graham Hancock's theory. What was not mentioned were any facts which support his theory. It would have been utterly convincing if the special focused on the actual facts which support the theory instead of numbingly debunking theories which have not been raised by any logical individual for decades.

Why do the astronomical alignments occur? How did Edgar Cayce "receive" such factual medical information about his client's health, and would it not be logical to assume that since any issue which is scientifically provable with Cayce has been proven correct, that the issues which are yet to be proven and yet to be disprove, are factual as well? Such supportive factual evidence is not addressed and is avoided by "mainstream" archaeologists.

Archaeologists seek clues to support the theory of Atlantis, yet fail to educate themselves regarding Atlantis itself. Would one trust an individual who is educated in Egyptian history, to identify and date artifacts from the Yamato? The logical answer is no.

Until scientists indulge themselves in Atlantean history, they will fail to recognize clues which validate the existence of a lost epoch of our past.

Warmest Regards to you and yours,

Peter Vanderzwet

Subject: Fw: [2012-Theories] BBC2 Horizon Program - "Atlantis Uncovered". 9.30pm this evening.
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 22:23:08 +0100
From: "squirrel" <>
To: <>

New scientific retort to theories on Ancient Civilizations broadcast this evening.

"Romance takes on Science . . . " (introduction voice-over) to "Belief in Atlantis is the top of a slippery slope to Genocide" paraphrasing of Dr Ken Feder, Central Connecticut State University.

Fuller response being written offline, but I can tell you, I'm not much into being called a Nazi.

Subject: Fw: Atlantis Uncovered - update.
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 22:23:37 +0100
From: "squirrel" <>
To: <>

Extract from "Legend-The Genesis of Civilisation" by David Rohl. Pp 355-6. An excellent book I'm reading that's well worth recommending, but by coincidence or more I happened to be up to this section the night after the "Atlantis Uncovered" programme. My comments are preceded by asterisks:

The Horus Kings of Abydos

Behind the temples of Seti I and Ramesses II at Abydos is a vast desert necropolis pitted with thousands of tombs dating from all periods of Egyptian history. They are here because of Abydos' association with Osiris. It is the place where the Egyptians believed the head of the great god was buried.

. . . It is currently being re-examined and restored by a German team under the direction Gunter Dreyer and new discoveries are being made every season.

. . . Scores of ivory labels from the site of Umm el-Gaab show the kings celebrating religious rites, including what may be the first depictions of the sed-festival or Royal Jubilee. The German team has recently recovered approximately 150 new labels, which appear to have once been attached to storage jars. These tiny dockets contain early hieroglyphs representing the grave goods and their numerical qualities. These are the first examples of hieroglyphs in Egypt and yet they appear for

the first time in their fully developed form with some signs actually representing phonetic symbols rather than objects.

Scholars have often observed how remarkable this sudden appearance of writing is in Upper Egypt, without any precedence in earlier periods. This has led many to suggest that an outside influence must have been at work ? an influence that could only have come from Mesopotamia.

** Well, that certainly contradicts the programmes assertion that the labels prove a slow and steady development of hieroglyphs. OK so maybe David interprets that as Mesopotamia rather than Atlantis, but he is saying that scholars agree on a sudden appearance -- exactly what the presenters said the Lost Civilisation theory needed, i.e. a "marked moment of introduction".

. . . But perhaps the most astonishing discovery to have been made at Abydos in recent years was made by David O?Connor and his American team from Yale and Pennsylvania Universities.

Between the cultivation zone and the 1st Dynasty tombs, stands the mudbrick enclosure of the Shunet el-Zebib (?Fortress of Dates?). These ruins, still standing to a height of eleven metres, represent what remains of the fortified funerary temple of King Khasekhemwy of the 2nd Dynasty. The Shunet el-Zebib is, in effect, the forerunner of the pyramid complex of the Old Kingdom and the immediate predecessor of the Step Pyramid complex of Pharaoh Djoser.

O'Connor's careful re-excavations have revealed two new and startling discoveries. First, within the wall of the court he uncovered a surface of mudbricks gradually sloping up towards the centre of the open space. It would appear to be an artificial mound, which represented the 'mound of creation'. The second find was a row of twelve enormous boat pits containing the remains of wooden boats, which measure 22m in length.

** The boats were never mentioned in the programme, but they do support Rohl's assertion in the book that the Egyptians developed from Mesopotamian invaders. It does describe the ruins which the programme argued were the forerunners of the Great Pyramid complex at Giza. Well, eleven metres of remaining wall does sound impressive, but to equate that with a couple of Dynasties practice to achieve the Giza complex to me still suggests the effect of a guiding influence or the use of well-studied techniques.


Subject: BBC's Horizon - epsiode 1
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 14:18:56 +0100
From: rprutten <>
Organization: Tilburg University

Dear Mr Hancock,

I watched "Atlantis Uncoverd" on BBC's Horizon last night and I was appalled by the quality and the tone of this programme. Your opponents accuse you of being unscientific. The first thing that one would expect from them, then, is to retaliate with scientific arguments. They failed to

do so. I am a (social) scientist myself, so I feel I am qualified to discuss the methods of your opponent.

One of your basic arguments is that traditional archaeology alone will not solve the riddles. These people answer by yet more archeology. Instead of attacking the stellular alignment thesis they dig up more dirt. They argue that the ancient civilizations have different characteristics (architecture, writing, agriculture) which contradicts the "Atlantis hypothesis". Of course these civilizations were different and of course that does NOT contradict the "Atlantis hypothesis". You are not talking about similar artefacts, but about similar myths, similar stellar allignments, etc. These are not mentioned by your opponents. They have only expressed their unwillingness to think beyond existing paths. Questioning that is lesson one for science. And then to go as far as suggesting a link between the search for a lost civilization and nazism, that is simply disgusting. It places them, not your work, beyond intellectual respectability.


Roel Rutten.

Sent: 29 October 1999 23:06
Subject: None

Just watched-HORIZON EPISODE 1 28/10/99 -Graham




Subject: Fw: CC: of letter sent to Dr Ken Feder
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 22:10:42 -0000
From: "squirrel" <>
To: <>, <>, <>,


Came across Dr Feder's email address and decided to drop him a line.

----- Original Message -----

From: squirrel

To: Ken Feder

Sent: Sunday, October 31, 1999 10:07 PM

Re: Atlantis Uncovered BBC2 Horizon - Broadcast 28th October 1999

Dear Dr Ken Feder,

Thank you first and foremost for a very informative and interesting programme. I have only recently been able to shake off the way history was taught to me at school and rediscover it as the truly fascinating and worthwhile of pursuits that it is. At this point I should confess that I have read a number of the "Atlantis" books, and found them highly enjoyable. I should also state that at University I studied Psychology, which was full of disputes between many different "theories" and "approaches".

Despite this, evidence was still uncovered and each discipline drew support from the findings, and spent their efforts applying their learning to the common good. I was therefore very much looking forward to seeing a BBC documentary covering the response to the "new alternative" and getting the other side of the story.

It was therefore disappointing to see your programme steadily proceed from lampooning to slander. The beauty of Archaeology is surely that it is a study, not a science. Nobody can go back and study exactly what happened when, no more than they can recreate the environment and situations that have long passed to run experiments. All we have is clues and artefacts, and we must try and interpret them as openly and as fully as possible, not merely decide whether they fit what we "know" or not.

Every day you can learn more, every day there are new discoveries - some of the sites visited in the show sounded fascinating in their own right, and yet any interest they might have had was merely passed over to illustrate simply another quick "nail in the coffin". The beauty of Graham Hancock's series "Search for the Lost Civilisation", was that whether you believed him or not, he imparted so much respect and awe for the places he visited, that you came across as casual in the footage of your excavations. There seems in general to be a greater respect felt for ancient civilisations by

people these days, and you reflected none of this with your concentration on debunking a threat.

The ending of the programme was a real mistake. I appreciate that this was probably the series producers finished article and not yours, but the suggestion that a belief in Atlantis was the first step to Supremacism was not so much ridiculous as frightening. Do you really get the feeling from reading these "new alternative" books that they are trying to make the world worse ? Do you honestly imagine that belief in a previous historical island is dangerous ? What about the belief in Troy ?

what about a belief that the Sun goes around the Earth ? - those people really were a threat to order, and were treated accordingly. Hitler believed in Atlantis, he was also a vegetarian. Should I get Paul McCartney to eat meat in case he ends up ordering a holocaust ?

You're a scientist for goodness sake, you shouldn't be making ridiculous inferences like that.

How on earth can racists argue the idea of Atlantis enabling the peoples of Egypt and Mesoamerica to erect monumentous buildings proves their point ? Surely the idea that the people on Earth had at one stage been co-operative, learned and skilled argues against that. Surely the scenario where all races developed individually and slowly is more of a neccessity to your "better than or smarter than" accusations.

I am and always have been a scientist at heart, but in the end I have no problem in the idea that we are still learning about things. I find it more rewarding being part of the process of discovery , than needing to know everything for definite and arguing correspondingly. People could have assumed that they knew all they needed about Egyptology before the Rosetta Stone was discovered, and if something comes along tomorrow you need to be able to assimilate it, not reject it.

In the end the programme seemed to me to portray you as simply wanting to debunk the Atlantis theorists because they sold a lot more books than you. This again was maybe a responsibility of the series producer. If this is the case then have you thought of trying a more positive and structured approach. People with simply a general interest in ancient history would have learned nothing of the accepted system and theories by this series of put-downs and accusations. I fear you may have

succeeded only in alienating those viewers that don't believe in a lost civilisation and personally offended those that do. Most of the readers of "new alternative" books never read anything by established academics, mainly due to their style of writing. You had the opportunity to draw more people into how you understand the evidence, and I felt you failed miserably.

I was hoping to have had a similarly interesting and wonderful documentary to Graham Hancock's to watch, but alas it was not to be.

Yours sincerely


Subject: Horizon BBC2 28/10/99
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 18:00:42 -0000
From: "Kevin Leitch" <>
To: <>

Hi there,

I watched the program with a growing feeling of disbelief that eventually turned to amused contempt.

I thought the program was seriously flawed both academically and in its general approach. Academically as it totally ignored anything to do with either Sphinx dating or Giza pyramid/Orion alignments, both of which are strong supporters of the 'Atlantis as reality' hypothesis. It also totally ignored the work of Charles Hapgood and Professor Santillana and their various endorsements (ranging from Einstein to the US Navy). I also thought that the section on the Zapotecs was seriously misleading and somehow gave the impression that the Zapotecs predated the Olmecs. The reason became clear when the narrator asserted that there was no artefacts indicating cultural contamination in the Central Americas, thus neatly sidestepping the Olmec 'heads' which distinctly show racial types not native to Central America.

I thought the whole programme was fairly typical of the scientific establishment and the comments by the scientific community were, frankly, laughable. How the fact that languages (both written and spoken) are different in Egypt and Central America proves that there was no Atlantean culture is beyond me. To me its like saying that if the UK was the source of Atlantean culure and South America spoke Welsh and Egypt spoke English then these scientists would rule out the UK as the source for Atlantis. Ridiculous!


Kevin Leitch

Subject: Freedom to debunk
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 07:51:17 +0000
From: (D C Hammonds)

Dear Mr. Hancock,

I was disappointed by the first Horizon documentary. Like any mainstream program exploring challenges to the new 'Medieval Christianity' of Establishment science, the sole purpose was to debunk. I wouldn't expect anything else. After all, the BBC is the mouthpiece of various dominant ideologies.

Still, Horizon revealed the desperation involved in Establishment Science's monopolisation of human history. Not only were alternative views dismissed as fantasy, but it was suggested that those receptive to such views were somehow on the way to outright Nazism! They neglect to mention that the Nazi-regime was as much involved with the exploitation of insidious forms of 'pure science' - eugenics, vile human experimentation - as they were influenced by mythology and the occult. Have we reached a point where Establishment Science is not content with simply exploring 'pure science', but is increasingly involved in spiritual politics? Are they on a slippery slope to Nazism themselves?

David Hammonds....

Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 21:09:09 -0000
From: "renzo corallini" <>
To: <>

Although I admire Graham Hancock's work and books, something is still puzzling me. Call it a Super-Race,or a lost civilisation, Mr Hancock never states where He thinks these super humans would have acquired their technology from -- to have built marvels such as Giza? There are, for sure, too many mysteries, and I certainly agree with Mr Hancock that 12 thousand BC was a magical time.Could the Super-Race had been in contact with the "NINE"? I look forward to next weeks programme, but whatever happens,if Mr Hancock continues to search for the truth,and does not sell out,he will always be admired by us.

regards AOR.

Re: Horizon Transcripts
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 00:25:37 +0300
From: "Vladimir Pakhomov" <>
Organization: Alpha&Omega
To: <>
CC: <>


Excuse me for my english. Translation did the computer. On page write:


> When archaeologists study the greatest symbols of civilisation what do
> they find? ...

I answer this question. That we search, we and find. The archaeologists search for pottery and they find pottery. If you speak of high development of civilization of Atlantis, it is necessary to search for the certificates of high development.

What possible say about our civilizations, considering our pottery?


More useful to find microcircuit.

> NARRATOR: And there is one final enigma. There is no symbol for Atlantis
> in any of these ancient writings. The first person to mention, or
> perhaps invent, this word is Plato over 9,000 years after Atlantis was
> supposed to have existed.

I has found such certificate. The New certificate. The absolute fact. And my discovery possible to check. This not mysticism. That could not do the archaeology, has done the mathematics.

Graham Hancock writes - archaeologists do not take into account the astronomy data. This truth. The data of astronomy must take into account the astronomers. The development of a modern civilization should be estimated by the different experts. The physicists, mathematicians, astronomers,... and archaeologists. Similarly, different specialists must understand the civilization of Atlantis.

I am mathematician, I has done part of this work. The archeologists can not do this.

Best Regards,

Vladimir Pakhomov


Alternate E-Mail:



Why I do not publish the book? Now in Russia very bad time.

The average wages make 40$ per one month. The pensioners receive 20$ per one month. You can publish the book having 40 $ per one month?

Learn me, if can.

Subject: It's a 2-part programme
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 10:03:24 -0000
From: "Jacobs, Tim" <>
To: "''" <>

I've got my opinions, but rather than express them at this juncture, I prefer to wait until I've seen the evidence in the second part of the programme before responding.

To quote The Daily Grail "(Sigh), everyone wants black and white...nobody wants to find the middle-ground." I think that's a fair comment!


Tim Jacobs

Subject: Atlantis #1
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 22:13:14 +0000
From: Andy Toms <>

Some where along the way, the 'experts' have seemed to have missed the point. Where does anyone suggest that a Lost Civilisation comes from one place. If our current society collapsed for what ever reason, sure we could pass on ideas, maybe technologies, but there are many languages, cultures and peoples in today's world. We would not all pass on the same language, is English the accepted 'international' language, French, Spanish or since there are so many more Chinese speakers, Chinese? Of course there wouldn't be a single language passed on to a new society. Many crops are also grown, so yet again crops would differ, but the techniques would be basically the same.

It seems to me, the 'experts' are quick to dismiss any thing that rocks their little boat. What expert can face being out smarted by some one outside their 'profession'. I say let them stand out from their pride and look at the facts, rather than huddle in an intellectual corner.

And as for the final summary about believing in a Lost Civilisation will lead us all into Neo Nazism -- ridiculous, scare mongering tactics by people obviously on the ropes!

I now stand down from my soap box. Thank you


Andy Toms

Subject: Soap Box II
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 12:52:01 +0000
From: Andy Toms <>

I've just watched the Horizon programme again. Most of the evidence it uses about the building of various pyramids is 'Carbon Dating'. How do you carbon date stone, I thought it can only be done on items that were once alive. Carbon Dating items found in and around a building cannot be that accurate, for instance, our society still uses buildings built by the Romans, over 2000 years ago. So if carbon dating is done in the future looking at our rubbish and deposits, then they could be thousands of years out. Horizon used too much of the phrase 'when the building was carbon dated' without explaining, what actually was carbon dated! Very sloppy!

Yet again I stand down from my soap box



Andy Toms

Subject: horizon comments
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 14:03:17 -0000
From: "Jonathan" <>
To: <>


I only watched the programme once, I'll have to rerun the video to catch the full impact of it's thrust. My main reaction is one of shock, I usually respect Horizon for its judgement and impartiality but this was pure propaganda of the worst kind. The gist was to lump all "alternative" researchers together, find the worst examples and use it to damn the best. The most offensive part was at the end when by implication we were all condemmed as nazis. This completely took away any of valid criticisms made by the programme.

I await with trepidation part 2



Subject: Nazi nonsense and blind ignorance
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 14:35:16 -0400
From: "Paul de Freitas" <>
To: <>

Ken Feder and the others are missing the point! Crustal shifting probably moved the world's most advanced civilisation of its time into catastrophe and destruction, leaving few survivors and eventually burying it beneath Antarctic ice. These few survivors were not necessarily the intelligencia of their time but they survived. They would have left the now inhospitable shores of their country for warmer

climes - sailing in all directions as the wind took them from their central island in the world ocean - thence to share with whomsoever they met, (if they survived their first meeting with these other survivors) such trappings of their civilisation as they could explain and reproduce. Not the least of these would be sky knowledge, mathematical function and written communication. They would also have been determined to share what remained of their knowledge of the earth's geography, bringing with them such maps and charts as they could find in the aftermath.

The destruction from crustal shift would be worldwide and traumatic - all peoples everywhere would be decimated and instantly reduced to being "hunter-gatherers". These small pockets of technologically-advanced survivors would provide an inspiration and an impetus to

restart these "hunter gathers" along the path to renewal or reconstruction of civilisation.

It has been estimated where the canal-ringed city of Atlantis can be found - and so one also knows where to look by drilling through the ice. When do we start?

Subject: Horizion
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 21:23:18 -0000
To: <>

I was amazed at the level of ignorance shown by the makers of the recent Horizion programme. Clearly Jacqueline Smith has not understood (perhaps not even read) your work. At one point I found myself actully feeling sorry for Ms Smith who apparently was oblivious to the theories behind your research. Later I howled with laughter as she said while in Egypt, "No Atlantis here then!"

The whole thing would be funny if it were not for the fact that programmes like these cast doubts in so many minds. Minds that could one day help solve this enduring mystery.


Pauline Mills - Archaeology student

Subject: The Horizon programme
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 23:48:24 -0000
From: "Richard Bagnall" <>
To: <>

Dear Graham,

It is not very often that I am moved to write about a television programme, but I have decided to take you up on your offer to e-mail my comments to you about the aforementioned programme. I sat down to watch it with an open mind and the hope that it would inspire a healthy debate. I am afraid that what I saw and heard seemed to be a poor excuse for a defence from a group of people frightened to accept that what they believe to be true may be incorrect.

The impression I got from the main interviewees was that the reason that there was no earlier civilisations than those generally accepted was that there was no evidence, and there was no point looking for the evidence for there was no earlier civilisation. A circular argument and the kind of logic that you can not argue with. It seems that a lot of the 'facts' that the programme relied on were open to conjecture. The pyramid of Giza was a tomb!

How do you carbon date a building? My understanding of carbon dating is that it relies on the radioactive decay of the isotope carbon 14. Carbon is the basis of life on earth and carbon exchange continues throughout the lifetime of the living tissue. Carbon 14 being an isotope of carbon occurs as a certain percentage of the total amount of carbon (which may fluctuate depending upon the levels of ultraviolet radiation, as carbon 14 is formed when neutrons ejected from nuclei in the atmosphere collide with atmospheric nitrogen). However when the living tissue dies no fresh carbon is taken in and the carbon 14 begins to decay by beta emission with a half-life of 5700 years. How do you date a building with such a method? Surely you can only date the last of the living matter that was left there.

They seemed to miss the point of the 'Early Civilisation' theory. They seemed set to prove that similarities were mere coincidences, but only concentrated upon two points: that the Mayans and the Egyptians both built pyramids and that they both wrote in hieroglyphs. They seemed to ignore facts that may have been difficult to incorporate in their sweeping statements. They also ignored other civilisations from around the world. Including the Indus valley where the oldest 'known' writing has just been uncovered.

I thought that it was disgusting that they ended the programme implying that by showing an interest in the idea of a pre-civilisation-civilisation would lead to Nazism. Surely this type of journalism died with the flood. It was irresponsible and I believe showed the documentary in its true colours as a slur on people who stand up and say "Excuse me but that doesn't make sense!" Do they have something to hide? Are they frightened to open their beliefs to investigation?

It is encouraging for people like me that while many experts are still holding onto their Victorian values there is a growing number of people, such as yourself, that are questioning the facts held dear. It is interesting that now people are looking for evidence, that evidence is being found. The stone circles off Malta, the temples off Japan and the Caucasian remains that have been recently found in America that are 18000 years old!

One thought I would like to leave you with is if a natural disaster occurred today and a group of survivors did manage to avoid the inevitable how many of us would be able to rebuild our civilisation? How many of us know how to build a computer, not just from component parts but how to build the component parts from natural resources. How many of us know how to farm? How many of us in our advanced civilisation could -- if it was all taken away -- rebuild it? Would we not revert back to a stone-age type existence? Would we be able to relearn the skills necessary for rebirth of civilisation and how would we be able to pass this knowledge on to our children? Through stories, stories that would eventually become the myths of our descendants. So why are myths dismissed as fantasies? Surely they are important clues in the development of humanity.

Yours sincerely

Richard Bagnall

Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 23:49:07 +0000
From: EMIL <>
To: <>

Just as this program may inspire us (or not) it seems to ignore the sheer essence and details of a civilisation that was so inspired as to build it's dreams. That this inspiration may have come from the remnants of Atlantis who can know? It's thoughts would travel in memory and dreams seeking to rebuild and recover what once lay so precious in it's heart. The sphinx may be the oldest of all, it's very design a deep and significant lesson for mankind. The Great Pyramid nothing less than a temple of initiation designed to serve the sphinx. An empty sarcophagus does not signify a tomb. The other pyramids like -- the step -- seem like poor imitations, not early attempts before the Great pyramid, but like the simple hieroglyphics, like a people inspired, trying to aspire to their great teachers. Logic and timescales can not always be trusted, we think too much as we are now, we compare to what we know now; we do not think like an Atlantean, we do not always realise the source of their dreams. When we see a "Horizon", we always seek what is beyond...

Subject: Atlantis discussion....
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 18:09:26 -0800


I wish to add this comment to what I would guess is a mountain of comments resulting out of the BBC forum. I am in Canada, so I did not see it on TV, but I did read the transcript(s) of the show. My comment is this: There appears to be a rather ignorant point of view that seems to push its way into the limelight, that blatantly shoots holes in the theory of there having been an advanced civilization called, for want of a better name, Atlantis.

I notice also, that the guests were putting forward the idea that if such a civilization were to have actually existed, then the entire known world at that time, would have also benefited. This of course, is ludicrous. I submit that we, in the so-called civilized world, having grown and evolved from those less fortunate souls we refer to as "Hunter-Gatherers," can now count ourselves as somewhat civilized and the argument is that because we are the product of such a world-wide ascent into civilization, then it would follow that the entire world can be considered "civilized.

I draw Dr. Ken Feder's attention to Papua New Guinea! As recently as 1975, the practice of Headhunting and Cannibalism was carried on at the tribal level by a people who we, the so-called civilized society, referred to as "Stone-age Peoples."

Now, is it not possible, indeed fact, that we, the civilized ones, have actually gone into Papua New Guinea and, for the most part, eliminated this Stone-Age Culture in less than 50 years? If you go to Port Moresby, you will find some of these so-called "Stone-Age" tribesmen, and women, operating the computer systems there....if that is not something for Ken Feder to defend, I don't know what is?!

I submit that if an advanced civilization can do it today, then it could be done equally well in any moment in time...throughout history. At least history as we know it, or choose to accept! Modern scholars are forever stuck in their own pervasive attitude(s) that have been taught to them by single minded people who cannot grasp the concept of "multi-civilizational history." By this I mean that it is all too possible for societies to grow, become all-powerful in their development, their growth, their ability to develop and bring about change in those "other" cultures that have not been so fortunate to grow and build themselves into "civilized and higher educated societies."

Now, take for example the fact that an advanced civilization, as we know it today - ours - has changed the lives of "Stone-Age Peoples" and has affected their daily routines to a point where their traditional lives have changed forever, how can anyone even consider that this has not happened to the world many times over many millenia?

I close with this last comment Graham. I suspect that the teachings being given out by a largly advanced society, some 12000 years ago, were interrupted in some violent cataclysm that basically ended their existence, save a few. This would account for the scattering of the survivors to many diferent locations. The accepted resurgence of their knowledge and the sudden appearance of the result of that knowledge in places where nothing like it was ever known. So is it not possible that as a result of this cataclysm, that this knowledge, this sudden appearance of unexplainable things like pyramids and complex structures like Stonehenge would not only occur but also be halted and that the world would never see the like of this again...?

Kind regards Graham,

Ron Arnold.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Subject: a
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 1999 18:22:05 +1100
From: Lyn Willmott <>

Have read the transcript and would have laughed it off if it wasn't for Graham's request to comment.

Why don't they mention the weathering (water) on the sphinx? Why don't they mention the precision of the placement of those huge stones blocks - all over the ancient world - a task that we, with our technology, could not accomplish today?

Why did they need to use Hitler's Germany to discredit the idea of lost civilization? ( A very ugly comparison)

Why do they believe there cannot be earlier civilizations, wiped out in a moment by the impact of a meteor - such terrible impacts are now being shown to have happened more than once in the Earth's past. Just a comment. Historically this type of mentality must be expected from those with a little power who hold tightly to what is 'known' because within that framework exists their understanding of who they are, and what is real! Challenge that and you are challenging the basis of their whole belief system; their whole existence, and its scary stuff for them. Don't be angry, pity them because they are unable to break out of the mould they are set in.

I am so thankful for people like Graham Hancock. We have always had men like Graham leading the way, and they have always been in danger from the 'jellies' in the moulds.

"Be careful Graham, but keep on going because we need you to show the way. We love what you are doing and the freedom of mind that you represent"

Many regards

Lyn Willmott

Fw: Reply from Dr Ken Feder
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 15:45:08 -0000
From: "squirrel" <>
To: <

----- Original Message -----
From: Feder, Kenneth (Anthro) <>
To: 'squirrel ' <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 1999 3:18 AM
Subject: RE:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: squirrel
> To:
> Sent: 10/31/99 5:07 PM
> Re: Atlantis Uncovered BBC2 Horizon - Broadcast 28th October 1999
> Dear Squirrel:
> First, let me thank you for your very thoughtful e-mail regarding the
> Atlantis show. These days, any correspondence without expletives is greatly
> appreciated so it was extremely nice to read a message so thoughtfully composed.
> Let me also say that you have me at a disadvantage; they have not broadcast
> the program here in the states yet, and BBC has yet to send me a videotape,
> so I have not seen the show, not even segments.
> Be that as it may, I appreciate your concerns about the tone of the show,
> or the direction it takes, but, you must understand that, at least in this
> regard, you are talking to the wrong person. I did not write, direct, or
> produce the program. I have nothing to do with BBC or Horizon. I was merely
> one of several "experts" consulted and merely asked to provide my perspective
> as forthrightly as possible. The folks from Horizon
> interviewed me for two days, both in the classroom and in the field. They sought
> out my opinion after obtaining a copy of my book specifically on the basis of the
> Atlantis chapter. Of course they must have taped several hours of my
> lecturing and my answers to a series of questions the producer posed to
> me. Although, again of course, the words that came out of my mouth on the
> program were certainly spoken by me, I had no control over how the show
> was organized, which of my comments were used and which were eliminated, or
> the style or slant of the program.
> That being said, I guess we part company right from the outset when you
> state that "the beauty of Archaeology is surely that it is a study, not a
> science. Nobody can go back and study exactly what happened when, no more
> than they can recreate the environment and situations that have long passed
> to run experiments." If I am interpreting that correctly, in one fell swoop,
> you have eliminated all of the historical sciences from the fellowship of
> science. The other sciences besides archaeology that are eliminated based on
> your exclusionary definition: historical geology, paleontology (including
> paleobotany and paleozoology), paleoanthropology. These folks can't go back
> in time either and run experiments. So what? Their inclusion in science
> refers to the way in which they conduct their analyses; they collect data,
> propose explanations for their observations, and (and here is the place
> where they and I split from Erich von Daniken, Hancock et al) they devise
> and carry out explicit tests of their hyptheses. You are exactly right
> that experimental sciences (like physics and chemistry), indeed, test their
> hypotheses with experiments. In the historical sciences, instead, we test
> hypotheses by predicting what data we must find in the future if our
> proposed explanations are correct, and then we go out and search for data
> that either ends up confirming or refuting our hypotheses. If Atlantis is
> the font of all civilization on either side of the Atlantic, then there are
> a vast number of specific predictions we can make about what we must find
> in the archaeological record to support such a claim. The Atlantis
> explanation fails for the simple reason that the data that would be-must be-there
> simply are not found. Truly, I am not trying to sell books, but this is all very
> clearly ( I hope) presented in my book Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries.
> You go on to complain: "some of the sites visited in the show sounded
> fascinating in their own right, and yet any interest they might have had
> was merely passed over to illustrate simply another quick "nail in the coffin".
> Again, I don't know what you are supposing my role was in producing the program
> or in directing the other
> scientists who were given an opportunity to share their expertise, but
> again I must simply say in this you are complaining to the wrong guy. I had
> nothing to do with the tone and, if you are correct (not having seen the
> program) then that really is too bad. The scientists included in the
> program are all known to me and have an abiding awe and genuine respect for the
> accomplishments of ancient people. If anything, I am criticized by my
> colleagues for being too "breathless" and over the top in my writing about
> the wonderous achievements of ancient people. I pay them no mind.
> "The ending of the programme was a real mistake. I appreciate that this
> was probably the series producers finished article and not yours, but the
> suggestion that a belief in Atlantis was the first step to Supremacism was
> not so much ridiculous as frightening. Do you really get the feeling from
> reading these "new alternative" books that they are trying to make the
> world worse ? Do you honestly imagine that belief in a previous historical
> island is dangerous?" It is difficult for me to respond without seeing the
> program; I do not know how much of what I said on this issue ended up on
> the cutting room floor. I do know that I said quite explicitly that no, a
> belief in Atlantis was not about to lead to a holocaust but, as I went on, it is
> disheartening to see the achievements of people like Native Americans (who
> developed agriculture, built cities, devised intricate mathematical systems,
> possessed astronomical knowledge, all by the sweat of their own brows),
> ascribed to outsiders. And you must understand, in the particular case of
> Amerindians and sub-Saharan Africans and certainly others, there is a long
> and ignoble tradition of attempting to steal their histories from them and
> to attempt to divorce them from the achievements of their ancestors. It must
> indeed feel like a slippery slope if you are Maya, to see the spectacular
> achievements of your ancestors written off as the product of Atlanteans,
> ancient astronauts, or whatever. Native Americans did experience their own
> holocaust, justified by the "primitiveness" of their cultures. Every effort
> was made to ascribe the ancient civilizations their ancestors produced to
> some other group. Are you familiar with the Moundbuilders of North America?
> It's a perfect example.
> "I am and always have been a scientist at heart, but in the end I have no
> problem in the idea that we are still learning about things. I find it more
> rewarding being part of the process of discovery , than needing to know
> everything for definite and arguing correspondingly. People could have
> assumed that they knew all they needed about Egyptology before the Rosetta
> Stone was discovered, and if something comes along tomorrow you need to be
> able to assimilate it, not reject it."
> And that is exactly what happens everyday in the science of archaeology. Yes
> it is good to have an open mind, but it is equally important to know what
> is rubbish and what is of value.
> Science is our filter in this regard.
> "You had the opportunity to draw more people into how you understand the
> evidence, and I felt you failed miserably."
> I would have failed miserably had I not explained why, as an archaeologist,
> I reject the Atlantis (and ancient astronaut, etc) explanation. We deserve
> better than a fantastic past; the veritable past is far more interesting that
> any that could be concocted by the mythmakers. If that was not presented in the
> Horizon program, write the producers; I had no control over that and it is a pity
> if that was the case.
> I have taken up far too much of your time and I apologize for this rant. I
> hope to see the program soon and can better comment on the overall tone of
> the show. I am genuinely sorry that you were let down by the program and I
> encourage you to contact the producers to let them know.
> Sincerely,
> Ken Feder

From: []
Sent: 30 October 1999 11:01
Subject: Re: Forthcoming BBC Horizon programmes

Dear Mr Graham Hancock,

I am truly one of your greatest fans as I admire your clarity, Brilliance and ability to seamlessly combine fascinating facts with wonderful narrative In all of your books. I also admire your courage in defying conservative views And in challenging the blinkered views of many so-called 'experts' and 'historians'. You are one of my role models and I have always held the views expressed in your books in high regard. In regard to the BBC programme and those stiff-collared academics - if you will excuse my wording - Knock 'em dead!

Yours sincerely

Wendy J Fung

Subject: Hatchet Jobs
Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999 05:34:09 -0500
From: "Hay,Colin" <>
To: "''" <>

I don't subscribe to any of the conspiracy theories flying around the Net these days. I assumed that the archaeological establishment was just slow to take up new ideas due to a few vain, pompous people that had comfy Oxbridge (or UCLA or wherever) seats, and didn't want to rock the boat. But watching the Horizon programme made me feel differently -- this was a concerted debunking effort, a hatchet job to make out that everyone who believed something different to the established 'facts' was at best a nut and at worst a Nazi. Why do people in power want to force their view of the world on everyone? Because the alternative, true or not, scares them.

I'm sure other people will provide point by point analyses, and the argument will rage on for years, but there is one fundamental question that has not been answered:


Even if Atlantis is all pure invention, today our civilisation is in just as much danger of being swallowed up - maybe literally, maybe not. As more of our information becomes digital, there are fewer 'things' that we can preserve if the electricity disappears. As more of our population becomes specialised, there are fewer people who know how to 'do' things (could you build a boat out of some logs and rope, and navigate by the sun and the stars?) Interestingly, a recent Sunday Times article on making millennium time capsules stated that writing on paper would fade too quickly to be of any use to future readers - if you want to preserve your words for posterity, they said, better write it on stone tablets.

It is the most arrogant conceit that the world revolves for the benefit of us humans. True or not, the fate of Atlantis should serve as a warning to us all. One day the world will stop turning, just as it may have done for other civilizations in the past, and all we will have to show for it is a few scraps of stone and bodies. That scares me.

Colin Hay

Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 20:33:07 -0000
To: <>

I have read all the books that Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval have written. I find their theories and ideas have an undeniable truth about them. The "scholars" of our age seem to be so blinkered when they are faced with hard facts it makes me wonder if they are hiding priceless information from the masses. The Horizon program, once again, leant far too much in favour of the tried and tested theories of the "old school" and completely trashed the new ideas that Graham and others put foward.

I await the second installment of Horizon when they try to "lay the beast" ( as, I think, they see it) of Graham Hancock, finally to rest!! But,of course, they never will .

Keep up the work Graham! (If only I could do what he was doing!!)

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