The other night we were watching a rerun of the History Channel’s report on “Japan’s Underwater Pyramids” (History’s Mysteries). An investigation of recent discoveries near Okinawa, which some believe to be artifacts from a lost civilization and others think are natural formations, the program offered interviews with Atlantis Rising favorites Graham Hancock, Robert Schoch and John Anthony West. It is, of course, great fun to watch the mainstream media wrestle with the shocking possibility that the standard historical paradigm—which says, for one thing, civilization is only about 5,000 years old—might have some holes. Certainly these pages have suggested—or should we say proclaimed?—as much. But lest anyone get the idea that the History Channel and similar outlets have finally begun to see the light, we say, ‘not so fast.’
The truth, as we see it, is that while HC, et al has awakened to the audience-building possibilities in reporting on matters such as Yonaguni’s anomalous structures, they persist in so many shallow distortions of crucial detail that only the most avid students of the subject (i.e., Atlantis Rising readers) can hope to assemble anything like a reliable picture of the state of current research.
One of the most annoying comments offered was a reference to the Bimini Road—the underwater structure found in the Bahamas in the 1960s by the late Manson Valentine. The suggestion was that Yonaguni should be considered comparable. The narrator then added that, of course, the Bimini Road had been declared to be ordinary beach-rock and nothing more. The implication was that Yonaguni could be headed for a similar fate. However, as readers of these pages well know from several articles (most recently, archaeologist Dr. Greg Little’s piece in issue #51), the Bimini Road and other nearby sites, primarily at Andros Island, have now been virtually authenticated as pre-historic port facilities, and the so-called research which was used to discredit the original discovery has, itself, been thoroughly discredited (for more information on this go to http://www.edgarcayce.org/am/bimini2005report.html). What does that portend for Yonaguni? You won’t find out from the History Channel.
The Bimini Road reference seems more illustrative of the “big lie” phenomena long understood by propagandists of all sorts. If a falsehood is told often and loudly enough it will eventually come to be accepted as truth. At that point undoing the damage can require something like a revolution. The situation seems particularly difficult in an age when simply getting people to pay attention is difficult, to say the least.
Columnist Ellen Goodman recently quoted “former Microsoft techie” Linda Stone that ours is an era of “continuous partial attention.” Says Goodman, “At the extreme end are teenagers instant-messaging while they are talking on the cell phone, downloading music, and doing homework. But adults too live with all systems go, interrupted and distracted, scanning everything, multi-technological-tasking everywhere.”
In such a time, Goodman thinks that only the printed word as it might appear in a personal note can truly command an individual’s full attention. Such communication, she thinks, may become the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Imagine what a sonnet could do.
The printed pages of Atlantis Rising may not qualify as an aphrodisiac yet, but we hope they continue to offer the kind of calm reliability and depth that, amidst today’s ever-increasing tumult, a growing number of us find to be indispensable.