Wednesday, November 17, 2004


German physicist disputes Atlantis discovery claim by American



BERLIN (AFP) - The remains of the lost city of Atlantis which a United States researcher claims to have found off the Mediterranean island of Cyprus are in fact submarine volcanoes, according to a German physicist.

US researcher Robert Sarmast claimed Sunday to have found proof that the mythical lost city of Atlantis actually existed and is located under the Mediterranean seabed between Cyprus and Syria.

But German physicist Christian Huebscher said he had identified the phenomenon as 100,000 year-old volcanoes that spewed mud.

Huebscher, of the Hamburg Centre for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, is quoted in Wednesday's edition of the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as saying he and two Dutch colleagues had sailed in a boat to the same area at which Sarmast claimed to have located Atlantis and made their findings.

Sarmast's team claims to have found man-made structures located about one mile (some 1.5 kilometres) below sea level and 50 miles (80 kilometres) off the southeast coast of Cyprus.

In his book Discovery of Atlantis, Sarmast argued Cyprus was once part of that lost continent -- at its highest peak -- and said his findings matched almost perfectly every clue in the philosopher Plato's description of the legendary city state.

Plato's famed account in Timaeus and Critias is the sole source of the Atlantis myth dating back to 9000 BC.
The privately-funded 200,000-dollar expedition seeks to confound sceptics by bringing back scientific side-scan sonar data which supports evidence revealing man-made structures such as a three-kilometre (two-mile) wall.

Plato said an epochal flood "swallowed up" the mountainous island of Atlantis.

Other theories place the lost civilisation in the South China Sea, the Azores, the Aegean or the Atlantic Ocean. Greek mythology has it Atlantis was destroyed as punishment by Zeus for the greed and corruption that befell the city.

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