We’ve all heard these stories since we were youths, and have wondered if they are true. Did a legendary island sometimes referred to as the ‘lost city of Atlantis’ really exist some 11000 years ago? Who really was the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper, and what about the prehistoric village Skara Brae. Countless books, articles, and documentaries have featured these very subjects, yet are we any closer to an answer?
Interestingly enough, new books on all of these subjects were recently released. As experts and investigators learn new clues and glean more insight, they openly share this information with us. Perhaps they will be able to answer some of the probing questions asked so long ago.
Atlantis in the Caribbean
And the Comet That Changed the World
The legend of Atlantis is one of the most intriguing mysteries of all time. Disproving many well-known Atlantis theories and providing a new hypothesis, the evidence for which continues to build, Andrew Collins shows that what Plato recounts is the memory of a major cataclysm at the end of the last Ice Age 13,000 years ago, when a comet devastated the island of Cuba and submerged part of the Bahaman landmass in the Caribbean. He parallels Plato’s account with corroborating ancient myths and legends from the indigenous people of North and South America, such as the Maya of Mesoamerica, the Quiché of Peru, the Yuchi of Oklahoma, the islanders of the Antilles, and the native peoples of Brazil.
The author explains how the comet that destroyed Atlantis in the Caribbean was the same comet that formed the mysterious and numerous elliptical depressions, known as the Carolina Bays, found across the mid-Atlantic United States. He reveals evidence of sunken ruins off the coasts of both Cuba and the Bahamas, ancient complexes spanning more than 10 acres that clearly suggest urban development and meticulously planned road systems.
The Mystery of Spring-Heeled Jack
From Victorian Legend to Steampunk Hero
Spring-Heeled Jack–a tall, thin, bounding figure with bat-like wings, clawed hands, wheels of fire for eyes, and breath of blue flames–first leapt to public attention in Victorian London in 1838, springing over hedges and walls, from dark lanes and dank graveyards, to frighten and sometimes physically attack women. News of this strange and terrifying character quickly spread, but despite numerous sightings through 1904 he was never captured or identified.
Exploring the vast urban legend surrounding this enigmatic figure, John Matthews explains how the Victorian fascination with strange phenomena and sinister figures paired with hysterical reports enabled Spring-Heeled Jack to be conjured into existence. Sharing original 19th-century newspaper accounts of Spring-Heeled Jack sightings and encounters, he also examines recent 20th and 21st-century reports, including a 1953 UFO-related sighting from Houston, Texas, and disturbing accounts of the Slender Man, who displays notable similarities with Jack. He traces Spring-Heeled Jack’s origins to earlier mythical beings from folklore, such as fairy creatures and land spirits, and explores the theory that Jack is an alien marooned on Earth whose leaping prowess is attributed to his home planet having far stronger gravity than ours.
The Mystery of Skara Brae
Neolithic Scotland and the Origins of Ancient Egypt
In 3200 BC, Orkney Island off the coast of Northern Scotland was home to a small farming village called Skara Brae. For reasons unknown, after nearly six centuries of continuous habitation, the village was abandoned around 2600 BC and its stone structures covered over–perhaps deliberately, like the structures at Gobekli Tepe. Although now well-excavated, very little is known about the peaceful people who lived at Skara Brae or their origins. Who were they and where did they go?
Drawing on his in-depth knowledge of the connections between the cosmology and linguistics of Egyptian, Dogon, Chinese, and Vedic traditions, Laird Scranton reveals the striking similarities between Skara Brae and the Dogon of Mali, who still practice the same cosmology and traditions they once shared with pre-dynastic Egypt. He shows how the earliest Skara Brae houses match the typical Dogon stone house as well as Schwaller de Lubicz’s interpretation of the Egyptian Temple of Man at Luxor. He explains how megalithic stone sites near Skara Brae conform to Dogon cosmology, each representing sequential stages of creation as described by Dogon priests, and he details how the houses at Skara Brae also represent a concept of creation. Citing a linguistic phenomenon known as “ultraconserved words,” the author compares words of the Faroese language at Skara Brae, a language with no known origin, with important cosmological words from Dogon and ancient Egyptian traditions, finding obvious connections and similarities.