Ep 13: Nazis & UFOs [Pt 3]: Antarctica, Atlantis & Alien Bases
Welcome back to The UFO Rabbit Hole Podcast. I’m your host, Kelly Chase.
Today we’re diving into part 3 of our series on Nazi UFO lore. This episode was supposed to complete the trilogy, but once I started writing it immediately became clear that that wasn’t going to happen. That’s because today we’re going to be talking about one of my favorite topics in UFO lore—Antarctica.
As you’ll see, some of the most outlandish and bizarre stories come out of Antarctica. And as if a remote, frozen continent at the bottom of the world wasn’t enough on its own to create an air of mystique and intrigue, the lore around Antarctica is especially compelling because of the ways in which it bumps up against real historical people and events, making it hard to tell where history ends and fantasy begins.
And there’s so much to dig into. Even after giving Antarctica a full episode—and the longest episode to date—I feel like we’ll barely scratch the surface of all that’s there.
So let’s not waste any more time and just get to it. I hope you enjoy this journey as much as I have.
There is perhaps no region on Earth more remote and more mysterious than Antarctica. Covered in a layer of ice with an average thickness of 1.2 miles, the fifth largest continent sits at the southern pole in the middle of the equally enigmatic Southern Ocean.
The Southern Ocean is different from the other oceans on Earth in a few distinct ways. Perhaps the most notable is that it’s the only ocean that is surrounded on all sides by water. It’s defined by a swift undertow called the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) that flows from west to east around Antarctica. The current extends out to 60 degrees south latitude, and acts as an invisible wall separating the freezing Southern Ocean from the warmer, saltier Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. This separation makes both the continent and the Southern Ocean ecologically distinct, hosting countless diverse organisms—many of which have likely not yet been discovered.
The reason for the mystery surrounding the southernmost continent, beyond its remoteness, is that it has what is undoubtedly the least hospitable climate on Earth. With high temperatures on the coasts peaking at just 50 °F (10 °C) and lows at the interior of the continent plummeting to -112 °F (-80 °C), Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, and driest place in the world.
So what was it about Antarctica that drew both the attention and the resources of Nazi Germany down to the very bottom of the world in the critical years leading up to WWII? What were they looking for? And more importantly, what did they actually find?
And most intriguingly, could what was left of the Third Reich have escaped to secret bases in Antarctica at the end of WWII?
We’ll spend the next two episodes attempting to answer those questions.
Is Antarctica Really Atlantis?
So let’s begin by talking through the various theories about what Nazi Germany may have found during their expedition to Antarctica in 1938.
One of the most notorious of these theories is that they discovered that Antarctica was the site of the lost city of Atlantis and the highly advanced civilization from which it sprang. But how could Antarctica be Atlantis? Does that even make sense?
Was Atlantis Real?
First, we need to take a step back.
Before we can determine if Antarctica could really be the lost civilization of Atlantis, we first have to determine if Atlantis was real in the first place. And, as you might imagine, that’s a matter of some significant debate, with most mainstream scholars falling on the side that says that Atlantis is nothing more than a myth. And considering how little direct evidence we have of the existence of Atlantis, it’s easy to understand why.
The closest thing that we have to a primary source regarding the existence and history of Atlantis appears in the works of Plato from the fourth century B.C.—specifically in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias. All other known references to Atlantis are based on the limited amount of information that can be found in those two texts. (1)(2)
But if Atlantis was real, and if its history was known to the ancient Greeks, how could this be all that remains of this mighty civilization?
One explanation—and the one that is most commonly accepted among mainstream scholars—is that the story of Atlantis is just an allegory. It’s a literary device employed by Plato to tell a story about the dangers of greed, hubris, and moral bankruptcy and how those vices can destroy a civilization. In other words, it’s just a story and it was never meant to be taken literally.
But there is actually another explanation that is given in Timaeus for why this might be the case. And given everything that we explored in the Rational Approach To Ancient Aliens series, I found this explanation to be particularly compelling.
Plato’s dialogue Timaeus is primarily focused on the nature of both the physical world and of human beings, and dives into topics such as the purpose and properties of the Universe. And in the midst of all this, there is the first mention of Atlantis through a story about the Athenian statesman and poet, Solon, and his travels to Egypt.
In this story, Solon goes to an ancient Egyptian city in the Western Nile Delta called Sais. The founder of the city was said to be a goddess whose name is Neith in the Egyptian tongue, but the people of the city recognize that this is the same goddess who is called Athena by the Greeks. Because of this connection, the citizens of Sais are big fans of Athenian culture and believe themselves to be in some way related to them.
Solon is received with great honor by the local priests. Being a scholar of history and antiquity himself, he tries to get the priests to speak with him on these topics. He starts by laying out his own understanding of history, thinking this will draw them into the conversation, but it becomes clear very quickly that they are not impressed.
The priests tell him that he and all of his countrymen are basically like children, without an old man among them. Solon asks what they mean by this, and they tell him that his people only remember one great flood, but that, in fact, there have been many destructions of mankind. The most catastrophic of these events have been caused by water, as with the Great Flood, or by fire—and that there have been innumerable other smaller catastrophes that have come about due to other causes, as well.
The priests tell Solon that some of these catastrophes are recorded in what the Athenians believe to be myths, but that these myths actually point to real events. The example is given of the story of “Paethon, the son of Helios, who having yoked the steeds in his father’s chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt”. They tell Solon that although this story has the form of a myth that it describes real events that involve things falling from the skies that cause massive, wide-spread, catastrophic fires, and that this happens at regular intervals over long periods of time.
The priests say to him:
“The fact is, that wherever the extremity of winter frost or of summer does not prevent, mankind exists, sometimes in greater, sometimes in lesser numbers. And whatever happened either in your country or in ours, or in any other region of which we are informed-if there were any actions noble or great or in any other way remarkable, they have all been written down by us of old, and are preserved in our temples. Whereas just when you and other nations are beginning to be provided with letters and the other requisites of civilized life, after the usual interval, the stream from heaven, like a pestilence, comes pouring down, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters and education; and so you have to begin all over again like children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us or among yourselves.”
There are a couple of things here that jumped out at me. The first is that the cycles of catastrophic events that occur at regular intervals and serve as a sort of “reset” on human civilization by knocking most of the people on the planet back to the Stone Age sounds a lot like what has been proposed by proponents of catastrophism in more modern times.
As you’ll recall, catastrophism is a geological theory that the Earth has largely been shaped by sudden, short-lived, violent events that were worldwide in scope—much like Noah’s flood in the Bible.
In episode 10, we talked about the works of Charles Hapgood and Chan Thomas, who each believed in some version of catastrophism that involved the Earth’s crust periodically slipping on the mantle, dramatically changing and resurfacing the Earth through devastating global fires and flooding. And though these theories can sound a little far-fetched, particularly given that we’re generally taught in school that major geological changes happen slowly over millions of years, the ideas of these men were taken seriously by notables ranging from Albert Einstein to the CIA.
These men were all writing about their theories in the mid-20th century. And while the roots of catastrophism are traditionally traced back to the works of French scientist Georges Cuvier in the early 18th century, this account in Timaeus—which was written in 360 B.C.— suggests that this idea has its roots in the distant past.
So is this story in Timaeus really just an allegory? Or could it be that we are like the Athenians whose history has been washed away, burned, and buried by a series of cataclysms?
The second thing that jumped out at me, is this line that begins: “Whereas just when you and other nations are beginning to be provided with letters and the other requisites of civilized life”. The word “provided” here is definitely interesting, though perhaps not surprising. After all, we know that basically all ancient peoples had stories of wisdom and knowledge—including things like the use of fire and the development of written language—being given to humans by the gods.
The ancients didn’t believe, as we do now, that the development of civilization was the result of a long, slow, linear progression. Rather they believed that the sparks of civilization were lit within groups of early humans by the gods themselves causing massive quantum leaps forward in the areas of language, mathematics, astronomy, geometry, architecture, and other cornerstones of human civilization. And as we explored in the Rational Approach to Ancient Aliens series, there is some significant evidence to suggest that human civilization did, in fact, emerge in rapid, surprising, and non-linear ways for which we don’t have any good explanation.
And when we also consider what we learned in episode 7, this becomes even more intriguing. Because, as you’ll recall, Tom Delonge has said that the thing that got his high-level government advisors to take him seriously on the topic of UFOs was the idea that the phenomenon represents multiple “gods with a little ‘g’” that have played a major role in shaping human history.
I don’t know what I was expecting to find when I went back to read Plato’s dialogues looking for information about Atlantis, but it wasn’t all of that. And while none of this is enough to really prove anything decisively—about Atlantis, the UFO phenomenon, massive cataclysms, or anything else—it’s hard not to be intrigued by the congruency between these different stories. Or to wonder about the extent to which they might be true.
The History Of Atlantis
So getting back to the matter at hand, what else do we know about Atlantis?
While the idea of Atlantis is first introduced in Timaeus, most of the details of the history and location of Atlantis are found in another of Plato’s dialogues, Critias. Critias is the primary speaker in this dialogue and he conveys the story of Atlantis that he claims was told to his great-grandfather by Solon.
Combining the details contained in Timaeus with the accounts in Critias, this is the story of Atlantis that emerges:
The tale begins 9000 years before the dialogues were written, so approximately 9500 B.C. At this time the whole region surrounding what we now know as the Mediterranean Sea was ruled over by the ancestors of the Athenians, who were a great and noble civilization. The world beyond what the Ancient Greeks knew as the Pillars of Hercules, and what we call the Strait of Gibraltar which connects the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean, was ruled over by the Atlanteans.
The Atlanteans launched a war of aggression in an attempt to conquer and enslave the people living around the Mediterranean, but the ancestors of the Athenians managed to defeat them and secure the freedom of the entire region. However, following their victory there occurred violent earthquakes and floods, “and in a single day and night of misfortune” the lands belonging to both the victors and the defeated Atlanteans sank into the sea.
So we know how the story ends, but what else do we know about Atlantis?
According to the story conveyed to Solon, in the early days of man the Earth was presided over by the gods, who divided up the world into different allotments over which they ruled. The god Poseidon was given the island of Atlantis.
The island was long and almost perfectly oval-shaped, and was located just beyond the Pillars of Hercules in the Atlantic Ocean. At the center of the island was a large, flat, fertile plain which was ringed by towering mountains that were said to be taller and more magnificent than any mountains known today.
There were primitive humans living on the island, and Poseidon fell in love with a young woman named Cleito. And because they were in love they did what adult people do when they love each other very much—which, obviously, is to ask each other what you want to eat for dinner forever until one of you dies. Just kidding. They had sex.
From this union came 5 sets of twins, all male, who became the 10 kings of Atlantis, and the kingdom was divided up among them. The first born of the oldest set of twins, Atlas, was given the beautiful capital city which Poseidon had built for Cleito.
The city was laid out in a set of concentric rings, three of water and and two of land, with the main palace sitting at the center. Bridges connected each of the rings, and a wide canal was dug from the center of the city out to the sea. The entire city was built from the red, black, and white rocks that were quarried from the surrounding mountains, and the walls and temples were covered with silver and gold.
The kingdom was wealthy and prosperous. The surrounding land was fertile and provided everything the people could need, and their mighty kingdom drew traders from around the world who brought what little else they might desire. They even had a bunch of free-roaming elephants, which I think we all can agree is a luxury. And the descendents of Atlas were a strong and honorable family that maintained the kingdom through generations of relative peace.
However, over many generations as they became further and further removed from their celestial progenitors, the divine nature of the Atlanteans began to fade. They became greedy, materialistic, and power-hungry. This drew the attention of Zeus, the god of gods, who decided that he needed to punish the Atlanteans. So he gathered all of the gods together, and he said—
Aaaand that’s where it ends. The rest of Critias was lost and no known record of it remains. We don’t know what Zeus said to the gods, or how this all relates to the war that preceded their ultimate sinking into the sea, or even exactly what caused it to sink in the first place. All of those details are lost to the sands of time.
What Evidence Is There That Atlantis Was Real?
So now that we know what remains of the story of Atlantis, what evidence is there that Atlantis was actually real?
Evidence Of Ancient, Pre-Ice Age Civilizations
First of all, while direct evidence of Atlantis itself may be scarce, I’d argue that there is considerable evidence for the existence of pockets of highly advanced civilization before the last Ice Age around 12,000 years ago. In fact, I have made that argument across the three episodes in the Rational Approach to Ancient Aliens series, and so I won’t spend too much time on that here.
But suffice it to say that whether or not Atlantis literally existed or not, the myth of an ancient advanced civilization that was destroyed in a massive cataclysm seems to point to something real in our remote past—a secret history that we have forgotten. And the evidence of this startling reality can be found in virtually every far-flung corner of the globe.
The Richat Structure
However, if one wants to look for evidence of the literal existence of Atlantis, the ultimate proof would be finding the sunken capital city itself. And given the precise details given in Plato’s work and the unusual layout of the city with its concentric rings of canals, if it was ever found it would hypothetically be easy to identify.
And some believe that we actually have found it.
In the western Sahara Desert in Mauritania there is a large geological anomaly called “The Eye of the Sahara” or, more commonly, the “Richat structure”. First discovered in 1965 when it was spotted from space, this large, circular structure consists of a series of concentric rings. At 25 miles across, it bears what some have argued is a striking resemblance to the lost city of Atlantis. (3)(4)
Originally thought to be an impact crater, it’s now believed that it was created by underground volcanic activity that made a dome of molten rock around 100 million years ago. As the layers of the dome eroded over time at different rates it created the concentric circles that we see today.
But regardless of how it was created, could this possibly be the fabled sunken city? Though there are some interesting similarities between the Richat structure and Atlantis, I’d argue that there is more than enough evidence to debunk this idea.
First of all, Atlantis is described as an island in the Atlantic lying somewhere just beyond the Pillars of Hercules. So for the Richat structure to possibly be Atlantis, the Sahara would have needed to be underwater 10,000 years ago. Some have argued for this scenario and point to a gradual rise of the land of 2.5 cm per year in the area as proof.
However, there is simply no evidence that the Sahara was underwater 10,000 years ago. In fact it’s been a desert for at least the last several million years. So that alone should disqualify the Richat structure as the possible site of Atlantis.
There are other issues with this theory, as well. For example, there appears to be 4 rings where water would have been as opposed to the 3 rings described in Critias. And there is no evidence of a giant canal that would have connected the center of the city to the sea. So we’ll have to look for evidence of Atlantis elsewhere.
Clues About The Location Of Atlantis
There have been many different theories about where Atlantis may have been located ranging from the Black Sea to the Caribbean to the North Atlantic. However, I’d argue that the most obvious place to look for Atlantis would be exactly where Plato says it was, which is just beyond what is now the Strait of Gibraltar somewhere in the mid-Atlantic.
This description isn’t ambiguous and is described in detail in both Timaeus and Critias. And in Timaeus we find this particularly interesting passage giving details about the location of Atlantis:
“For these histories tell of a mighty power which unprovoked made an expedition against the whole of Europe and Asia, and to which your city put an end. 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.”
And then after describing the details of the war, it goes on to say:
“But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.”
I find this passage to be really interesting for a few reasons.
Did The Ancient Greeks Discover America First?
First of all, the description of the Atlantic Ocean being surrounded by a “boundless continent” was surprising because it seems to suggest that Ancient Greeks were aware of America. Most of us were taught in school that Christopher Columbus was the first European to discover what lies on the other side of the Atlantic in 1492, so to find a casual mention of its existence in this text from more than 1800 years earlier was unexpected.
But, then again, maybe I’m just reading too much into this. Maybe my interpretation of the text is being colored by the fact that I know what lies on the other side of the Atlantic and so I’m assuming that Plato is referring to the thing that is familiar to me. I recognize that’s a distinct possibility. After all, it’s not like it would be impossible to guess that there might be a continent on the other side of the ocean. Of all the possible things that could be over there, “more land” is probably the most intuitive and logical guess.
And if the Ancient Greeks knew about the Americas, it feels like we should have more evidence than this casual mention in a story that may not even have been meant to be taken literally. So does this evidence exist?
It actually does. And though it’s far from definitive, it’s worth mentioning because this evidence has a startling connection to the mysterious, icy realm that got us here in the first place—Antarctica.
The Piri Reis Map
And no discussion of Antarctica would be complete without discussing the Piri Reis map.
Compiled in 1513 by the Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis, the one-third of the map that still remains shows the western coasts of Europe and North Africa and the coast of Brazil with reasonable accuracy. Various Atlantic islands, including the Azores and Canary Islands, are depicted, as well. (5)
Having been created two decades after Columbus first sailed to America, it’s not particularly surprising that the details of North America, the Caribbean and the northern portion of South America have a few anomalies, but they are more or less correct.
So why do I bring this map up? The Piri Reis map is significant for a couple of different reasons.
The first is that, despite showing the coastlines of the other continents with a relatively high degree of accuracy for the time period, there is a large and peculiar flaw in the map. Although the northern portion of South America is accurately represented, the Piri Reis map shows the horn of South America turning sharply eastwards, almost at a 90-degree angle, as if South America wraps around the Atlantic at the bottom of the map.
So that is definitely weird, but what does this have to do with Antarctica?
Arlington H. Mallery, a civil engineer and amateur archaeologist who was a supporter of a pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact hypotheses was the first to notice the striking similarities between this puzzling section of the map and the Queen Maud Land coast of Antarctica. And they do, indeed, look very similar, except that instead of being covered in ice, the map suggests a much more temperate climate with flowing rivers and forests.
Although Mallery’s ideas were not well-received, they were given new life by our old friend Charles Hapgood, the author of Earth’s Shifting Crust, in his 1966 book, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings. Based on his analysis of this and other ancient and late-medieval maps, his book proposed a theory of global exploration by a pre-classical undiscovered civilization. Even more controversially, these claims were repeated in Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods—a classic in the genre of ancient astronaut theory. And unsurprisingly, von Däniken attributed this seeming knowledge of the Antarctic coast to extraterrestrials. (6)(7)(8)
We’ll come back to what all of this has to do with Atlantis in just a minute.
But the other reason that the Piri Reis map is notable is because of claims that it was compiled using sources dating back to the 4th century B.C., right around the same time that Plato was writing his dialogues. The argument is basically that although the map was compiled 20 years after Columbus sailed to America, that really wasn’t enough time for the coastline of the Americas to be recorded as accurately as they were with the technology of the time. Therefore, the accuracy of the map must be due to other, much older sources that were also consulted, and therefore, there must have been ancient seafaring civilizations who had already discovered these lands.
So could it be that the ancient Greeks really did know about the Americas? And had they perhaps even ventured as far as Antarctica? Or could those maps from the 4th century B.C. have been based on even older maps from an even more remote past?
It’s certainly interesting to consider. However, the whole thing hinges on the idea that Piri Reis consulted maps from the 4th century B.C., and I had a very hard time finding anything beyond anecdotal evidence to back that up as none of the original source maps still remain. And the claim that these maps came from the famed Library of Alexandria—which would lend some credence to their antiquity—has been called into question by scholars.
Some have made the case that Piri Reis made the common mistake of confusing Ptolemy I, who ruled Alexandria in the 4th century BC, and Claudius Ptolemy, the Greek geographer and cartographer who lived in Alexandria during the 2nd century AD. I mean, who hasn’t made that mistake? And this would mean that the original maps would have been made at least six centuries later than initially claimed.
And further doubt was cast on the 4th century origins of the Piri Reis source maps in an analysis by Gregory McIntosh, a historian of cartography, who examined the map in depth in his book The Piri Reis Map of 1513. In it, McIntosh outlined how he was able to find sources for much of the map in Columbus’s detailed writings, making the inclusion of ancient more accurate maps unnecessary to explain the Piri Reis map’s accuracy. (9)
So while the Piri Reis map is extremely interesting, I don’t personally don’t think that it rises to the level of definitive proof that the Ancient Greeks knew about the Americas—or of anything really.
An Unnavigable Sea & The Mid-Atlantic Ridge
So going back to that passage in Timaeus about the location of Atlantis, there was something else there that struck me as being particularly interesting—the idea that after Atlantis sank the waters that covered it were still shallow enough to make a large region of the Atlantic Ocean muddy and unnavigable.
This fact is mentioned very casually within this passage which is meant to explain the reason for something that seems to be common knowledge. And if the fact that the Atlantic was unnavigable because of a giant muddy shoal was common knowledge to Plato and his contemporaries, we should be able to find evidence for that right? And if we had that, it might not be definitive proof of the existence of Atlantis, but it would at least give us some idea of where that myth may have come from.
However, I was unable to find anything that would confirm that this was actually the case. If this was, in fact, something that was common knowledge among the Ancient Greeks, it appears to have been lost to the sands of time.
Although there is some evidence that this muddy shoal in the Atlantic could have once existed.
According to Christopher Columbus’s own accounts, when his ships reached the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, he and his men were surprised to find themselves almost impossibly tangled in seaweed and floating algae. The vegetation was so dense that they had assumed that they must be close to shore. It took them a week to finally break through to the other side, and when they did they were surprised to find only more open ocean.
Could this strange account of shallow waters in the middle of the Atlantic be describing the last remnants of the muddy shoal referred to by Plato?
Some have argued that what Columbus and his men ran into was what we now call the Sargasso Sea.
The Sargasso Sea is a region of the Atlantic Ocean. And similar to the Southern Ocean, it is surrounded by water on all sides. But whereas the Southern Ocean is bordered on all sides by other oceans, the boundaries of the Sargasso Sea are formed by four currents in the Atlantic. (10)
The reason that people believe that this is what Columbus’s ships encountered is that this is a region that’s known for having a lot of seaweed and calm waters. And this could be the case, though generally the seaweed in this area isn’t known to be so dense as to tangle up a ship. But who knows what it was like in 1492? So that’s one possibility.
But could there really have been a shallow spot in the middle of the Atlantic in the time of Plato—one that could have made the waters of the Atlantic Ocean unnavigable to ships coming from the Mediterranean?
It’s impossible to know for sure. But if there were, there should still be some evidence of it under the water, right? And I’d argue that the best candidate for this, if it is in fact the case, is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
Lying 1-2 miles below the waters of the Atlantic, and running lengthwise north to south down its center is the longest mountain range in the world, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. These massive mountains are the place where tectonic plates come together. In the South Atlantic, it separates the African and South American plates.
And in the North Atlantic, almost precisely due west from the Strait of Gibraltar, is a massive elevated area called the Azores Triple Junction where the boundaries of three tectonic plates intersect: the North American Plate, the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate. And right at this junction there is an archipelago of nine islands called the Azores.
To me, this area is by far the most likely location for the mythical Atlantis, if it did exist. It’s exactly in the right spot that if this region had been much closer to the surface of the Ocean in the distant past, it would have made much of the Atlantic inaccessible to any ships coming from the Mediterranean. And considering that the places where tectonic plates come together are some of the most geologically active places in the world, it’s not unthinkable that this part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge could have at been above sea level in the past—and that something very much like the earthquake described in Plato’s dialogues could have plunged this entire region into the sea.
I’ll link to the coordinates on Google Earth in the episode brief so that you can look at it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
And this brings us back to our original question that got us here—is Atlantis real? And I gotta tell you, when I started down this rabbit hole I didn’t think that there was any way in hell that I was going to answer that question in the affirmative. I mean, everyone knows that Atlantis is just a myth—and a silly one at that.
But having looked at the evidence it suddenly doesn’t seem so far-fetched to think that the story of Atlantis might point to real events. I don’t know about Poseidon or the ringed city or its temples with golden walls, but it seems reasonable to believe that there could have been more of what is now the Azores above the water in the distant past. And if that region was plunged into the ocean by the shifting of tectonic plates, whether in a single day and night as described in Plato or over a longer period of time, that is something that likely would have been remembered in our myths. And if there were pockets of high civilization before the last Ice Age as the evidence increasingly suggests, perhaps the Atlanteans were one of them.
To say that I believe in Atlantis would be too strong of a word, but I no longer think it’s crazy.
And there’s one more piece of evidence that points to the possibility that Atlantis once existed in what is now the Azores.
Underwater Pyramid In The Azores
In 2013, a sailor using a bathymetric navigation system—which shows the depth of subsurface objects—while fishing on his yacht, discovered a perfect 4-sided pyramid under the water between the islands of Sao Miguel and Terceira in the Azores. The pyramid is 40 m deep and has a base larger than a football field. And strikingly, it is oriented exactly to the cardinal directions north and south, just like the pyramids at Giza and elsewhere around the world. (11)(12)
I’ll link to images and news footage in the episode brief so you can check it out for yourself.
However, as stunning as this discovery was, it quickly fell out of the news, and there has been seemingly very little interest from the Portuguese government in investigating this pyramid further. Much like the pyramid and other structures found off the western tip of Cuba that we discussed in episode 9, mainstream scientists and academics have largely dismissed the possibility that the pyramid could have been man-made.
Their reasoning? The last time the area where the pyramid was found was above sea level was 20,000 years ago.
Could Antarctica Be Atlantis?
So, we’ve more or less come to an answer about whether or not Atlantis could have been real, but in doing so, we’ve seemingly also answered our next question—could Atlantis actually have been in Antarctica?
And having looked at the evidence, the answer is pretty clearly no. It doesn’t make sense for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s nowhere near the place where Atlantis was said to have been. Add to that the fact that most of Antarctica is covered by a layer of ice up to three miles deep—and that it has been so for almost 100 million years, and you might be wondering why anyone would have ever thought that Antarctica could be Atlantis in the first place.
So how did we get here?
The arguments for the idea that Antarctica is actually Atlantis are primarily based on two things with which we’re already familiar—the Piri Reis map and the work of Charles Hapgood.
As we discussed, the Piri Reis map shows a landmass that extends off the horn of South America at an almost 90 degree angle. And this landmass bears a striking resemblance to the coastline of Antarctica. And to be clear, I do think that’s significant, even if we don’t know exactly what it signifies.
According to our current understanding of history, Antarctica wasn’t discovered until 1819, so finding something that looks so much like the coastline of Antarctica in a map from 300 years earlier is interesting—even if it’s in completely the wrong place. At the very least, it suggests that we’re missing a piece of the puzzle somewhere.
However, some have taken the Piri Reis map as proof, not only that Antarctica was known to humans much earlier than we previously thought, but that it was actually once located much farther north near the equator between South America and Africa. And the fact that the Piri Reis map shows it as a land with rivers and other suggestions of a much more temperate climate is used as further evidence that Antarctica must have once been much further north.
And that’s where the work of Charles Hapgood comes in. You’ll recall that Hapgood proposed in his book, Earth’s Shifting Crust, that the crust of the Earth can slip dramatically on the mantle—almost like the peel of an orange if it could move independently of the fruit inside it. And so the argument is basically that due to a dramatic shift in the Earth’s crust, what is now Antarctica was relocated to the South Pole. And the stories of Atlantis sinking were just a misunderstanding of events. It didn’t disappear under the waves, but rather, it was yanked thousands of miles south.
But there are a couple of reasons why I think this theory is untenable.
The first, which I’ve already mentioned, is that Antarctica has been buried under miles of ice for almost 100 million years—or 35 million years before the extinction of the dinosaurs. Scientists are able to date the ice by taking core samples, so the timing on that is something that we’re pretty sure about. And although scientists actually do believe that the climate in Antarctica was once as warm as Italy and was covered in a rich rainforest, it was so long ago as to be utterly irrelevant to any discussion of Atlantis.
The second reason that I don’t think Antarctica could be Atlantis can be found by looking at the Mid-Atlantic ridge.
The coastlines of South America and Africa are interesting because of the fact that there is almost nowhere else on Earth where the effects of plate tectonics are more obvious. Even before elementary school students learn about plate tectonics, it’s not usual for them to notice after years of staring at the world map on their classroom wall that the coastlines of these two continents fit together almost like puzzle pieces, despite the fact that they are separated by 5000 miles of ocean.
So, whatever else may or may not have happened to the Earth’s crust in the past, it seems pretty safe to say South America and Africa haven’t moved relative to each other.
For a landmass that was located between South America and Africa to have been shifted approximately 6000 miles south while the continents on either side stayed in the same place relative to each other would require something entirely different than the orange peel type movement described by Hapgood. It would mean that the Earth’s crust was capable of moving more like a Rubix cube where you can rotate the center section while the two side sections stay stationary.
That doesn’t just sound unlikely, but it looks unlikely, as well. If you look at the Mid-Atlantic ridge on Google Earth you can clearly see these two continental plates perfectly butting up against each other to form the towering, underwater mountain range. It’s hard to imagine that an entire other continent could have been positioned between these plates just 10,000-20,000 years ago, and that we wouldn’t be able to see evidence of that massive shift on the ocean floor. But that evidence simply isn’t there.
The Lessons Of Atlantis
And we could say the same for much of the evidence of Atlantis—it simply isn’t there. So why does humanity keep coming back to this story? Why does this myth speak to us?
They say that absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence. But in the case of Atlantis, the evidence is in the absence. Atlantis exists in the holes in our narratives and the gaps in our history. Atlantis is the negative space that we fill with our imagination and our longing. It exists in the place where god stops talking mid-sentence.
And while the story of Atlantis as told in Plato’s dialogues is largely considered to be an allegory and a cautionary tale warning against the dangers of materialism, greed, and hubris, I’d argue that there is another deeper and more poignant warning there, as well.
A warning that, despite all of our scientific mastery, we are still like children in the world with much to learn…
It’s a warning against the dangers of forgetting—not just our history, but ourselves..
That even the mightiest civilizations are delicate and contingent things that can easily slip beneath the waves and be swallowed by the unfathomable depths of time
And that, though we know not the day nor the hour, eventually our time will also come.
Is There A Pyramid In Antarctica?
While it seems pretty clear that Antarctica is not Atlantis, some claim that there is evidence that Antarctica was once the home of an even more ancient civilization from a much more remote chapter of the distant past.
Located at the west side of the Koettlitz Glacier in Antarctica there is a near perfect stone pyramid. Mainstream scientists will tell you that this pyramid is just an unusually shaped mountain, and that its pyramidal appearance is the result of natural, free-thaw erosion. (13)
Freeze-thaw erosion happens when snow or water fills up cracks within a mountain during the day. When night falls and temperatures drop, the snow freezes and expands, turning into ice. The expanding ice causes the cracks to grow. After this happens countless times the cracks get bigger and bigger and can, eventually, cause entire sections of the mountain to break off. And according to scientists, this is how the flat faces of the pyramid were formed.
However, there are those that believe that this pyramid is too perfect to possibly be the result of natural processes, and that it serves as undeniable proof that an advanced civilization once thrived on what is now a desolate continent.
And listen, there is almost nothing that I would like to believe more. I mean, pyramids in Antarctica?? Yes, please. I want to read every Reddit manifesto and watch every sketchy Youtube video on this that there is. I want to buy every poorly written and wonkily formatted ebook I can find on the subject. And honestly, I basically have.
But as objectively awesome and entertaining as I find this topic to be, and as much as I want to believe it, I can’t really say that I was convinced. It’s fun to think about, but there are three main facts that make it hard to accept that this was an intentionally and intelligently built pyramid.
The first is, obviously, that Antarctica has been a frozen wasteland for almost 100 million years, whereas, by the latest estimates, homo sapiens appeared around 300,000 years ago. So if this is a pyramid from a lost civilization, it wasn’t even remotely human. And given the vastness of space and the unfathomable expanse of time between now and 100 million years ago, I’m open-minded enough to consider the possibility that Earth may have been colonized at one time by an advanced species of pyramid builders. But without further proof, that’s just too big of a leap to take, especially if it could just be a mountain.
The second reason I have a hard time believing that this is an intelligently built pyramid is its sheer size. At around 4,150 feet (or 1,265 meters) it would be a very modestly sized mountain, but it would be an absolute monster of a pyramid. At ten times the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza or as tall as 3.3 Empire State Buildings stacked on top of each other, a construction effort of this scale would be virtually unfathomable, even with our current technology.
And the third reason is that, unlike other megalithic pyramids found throughout the world that are constructed from large blocks of quarried stone, this pyramid appears to be made of one solid, relatively uniform piece of stone. And while, conceivably, this could be a mountain that was intentionally shaped to form a pyramid, there’s no reason to automatically assume that given that there are natural processes that could explain this just as easily.
So as much as it saddened me, I had to let go of my dream that the pyramid in Antarctica was actually “a thing”. R.I.P., Antarctic pyramid— we hardly knew thee.
But then something very strange started happening that made me reconsider. And, to be perfectly honest, I hesitate to tell you this. It’s my intention with this podcast to never put anything in front of you that I can’t corroborate—and I can’t prove what I’m about to say. I’ll link up everything that I can find in the episode brief, but none of it is conclusive. There is no smoking gun.
And, as always, I would recommend that you never take anyone’s word for anything—including mine. So take everything that I’m about to say with a big grain of salt. If you find it interesting, you can put it on the shelf and see if something comes of it later.
When I first started to dig into the UFO phenomenon in the summer of 2021, the whole topic of Antarctica was one of the first major rabbit holes I went down, and for a couple of weeks I was obsessed. I got really into looking at Antarctica on Google Earth and would spend hours zooming in on mountain ranges, coastlines, and other features just to see what I could see.
There were lots of other people at the time on Reddit and other places who were doing the same kind of thing and sharing coordinates from what they found. I remember some weird ones—there was a spot that looked like there might be half of a crashed, saucer-shaped craft sticking half out of the snow and another place on the side of a mountain that seemed to have a ufo-shaped hole going into its interior. And, of course, there was the pyramid.
I found all of this endlessly interesting, but I also didn’t put a lot of stock in any particular theories or conclusions. I feel the same way about photos of supposed anomalies or intelligently designed objects on the moon and Mars. It’s all good fun, but I don’t really know what I’m looking at. Our brains are wired to recognize shapes, faces, and patterns in things that aren’t necessarily there—like seeing a cloud shaped like a duck or the Virgin Mary on a burnt piece of toast. And frankly, pyramids and crashed saucers feel a little too “on the nose” to be credible.
And before long, a new topic caught my attention and I moved on.
But then when I began the outline for what would eventually become this episode, I went back to find all of these anomalies—and the pyramid in particular—only to find that they were gone. And while I can’t prove conclusively what it looked like before, if you go to Google Earth there are still some major clues that something strange is going on here.
If you go to Google Earth and type in “pyramid Antarctica” it will take you to a location in Antarctica, but there is nothing there. And not in the sense that it’s Antarctica and there isn’t a Starbucks or a 7/11 to be found. I mean there is nothing—not snow, not ice, no rocks, just the blank white expanse. There are mountains that surround the area that can be seen quite clearly, but in the place where the pyramid used to be—and which Google Earth seems to still recognize as a legitimate location—there is nothing. The landscape is as featureless as a blank Word document.
When you zoom out far enough that the Pyramid is only just barely visible the detail of the ground reappears. Where else on Google Earth does the landscape become more detailed the further you Zoom out? It’s very strange.
Stranger still is that this lack of ground-level detail the more you Zoom doesn’t occur everywhere. If you Zoom out just a little further, you’ll see McMurdo Station nearby where you can easily Zoom in and see buildings and even vehicles—objects that are much smaller than a 4000 foot pyramid.
Another interesting detail is that, as recently as early April when you looked at the Pyramid on Google Earth, although it showed nothing on the ground, the little summary that pops up about the area you searched for still showed an actual picture of the pyramid and a description of it. But as of the publishing of this episode in July of 2022, the image is of some kind of a hut in what looks to be a tropical location.
Is the Antarctic pyramid being slowly erased? I honestly don’t know.
I think it’s important to note that what I’m describing about how the pyramid looks on Google Earth can be said for most of the continent. From a distance, you can see the details of the landscape, but as you Zoom in, huge areas look like they were sloppily whited out in Microsoft paint. So it would be an overreach to assume that if this was done intentionally that it was done specifically because of the pyramid.
So maybe there is some logical, non-conspiracy reason for why so much of the continent is unviewable when you Zoom in. It’s possible. Maybe the reflection of the snow or its location at the bottom of the globe makes it hard to photograph. Maybe it just isn’t a priority.
But, based on the evidence, it also seems entirely possible that there is something in Antarctica that the powers that be don’t want us to see. What could that be? And could the Nazis have stumbled across whatever it is in the leadup to WWII?
We’ve already discussed some of the possibilities for what they may have found including the remnants of Atlantis or some other advanced civilization in the distant past. But there are other possibilities that have been suggested—and you better strap in because they only get more bizarre.
Is There An Alien Base In Antarctica?
And one of the strangest of these is the idea that there is a secret alien base located under the ice in Antarctica. This is an idea that pops up throughout the UFO Nazi lore, but perhaps the most famous and intriguing source for this has been presented by Emmy award-winning investigative journalist and grande dame of ufology, Linda Moulton Howe.
So let’s start with that story:
Linda Moulton Howe reported in her 2019 documentary, Antarctica: Alien Secrets Beneath The Ice, that she was approached by an alleged whistle-blower within the military about the existence of massive, mysterious structures under the ice in Antarctica. This whistle-blower was a Navy Seal Lieutenant Commander, who asked Moulton Howe to refer to him as Spartan 1 and to not reveal his Seal Team number. (14)
He claimed that in August of 2003 he was sent to Antarctica. His mission was to extract a scientist who was there studying thousands of glyphs that had been found there that he said resembled those of the Egyptians and Mayans, but that were entirely unknown to us. He also alleged that these glyphs resemble those that have been found on the Moon and on Mars by members of the United States’ Secret Space Program.
So yeah—we’re in the deep end of the pool here. Don’t fight it. For now just let it wash over you.
According to Spartan 1, he was sent to the Beardmore glacier region where the scientist was working, and at this location there was a massive, black octagon-shaped structure that protruded 18 feet above the ice made of black basalt. On the front of this structure was a black door 23 feet high and 18 feet thick, which opened easily with a gentle push from just one finger. On this door was carved a star map and an esoteric symbol known as the black sun.
When Spartan 1 stepped inside, he found himself in a huge 9 acre room with ramps leading down other equally massive spaces below. And this structure continued down 1-2 miles deep into the ice.
The story goes on from there and it only gets progressively more wild. But how seriously should we really take any of this? Is Linda Moulton Howe credible?
Is Linda Moulton Howe Credible?
Like everything in ufology, the answer to that question is complicated.
And before we dive into that, I should admit my bias here. I love Linda Moulton Howe, and I think she’s a badass. She’s one of the OG’s of UFO investigative journalism. And in a field where even today men greatly outnumber women, she’s been doing her thing for more than four decades. She’s a trailblazer in every sense of the word. And if you’ve ever seen her holding court on her Youtube channel while stroking her long-haired cats in front of towering stacks of books, just know that is everything that I hope to someday be. What a queen.
However, despite my deep and abiding love for LMH, I can’t deny that she’s a complicated figure. And it’s worth our time to take a minute to talk about why this is the case. And to do so, we need to go back to the very beginning of Linda Moulton Howe’s career.
Linda Moulton Howe: Early Career
Born in Boise, Idaho in 1942, Linda Moulton Howe set herself apart from her peers early on. She was a beauty queen, competing as Miss Idaho in the Miss America Pageant in 1963—and she excelled in intellectual pursuits, as well. She received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado in 1965, after which she was awarded the Stanley Baubaire Scholarship for her master’s degree work at Stanford University, from which she graduated with a master’s in communication in 1968. (14)(15)
By 1978, Howe became the Director of Special Projects at KMGH-TV in Denver, Colorado where her career really began to take off. Her work at the time was primarily focused on environmental issues and she made several documentaries on the subject over the next two years including Poison in the Wind which compared smog pollution in Los Angeles and Denver, Fire In The Water about hydrogen as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels, and A Radioactive Water about uranium contamination of public drinking water in a Denver suburb.
But by 1980, Howe’s focus had shifted and she produced A Strange Harvest, a documentary which explored the phenomenon of cattle mutilation. In it she suggested that the unusual wounds found on cattle are the work of extraterrestrial beings who harvest body parts required for their survival or research. She also leveled a bold accusation against the U.S. government that they both knew about this phenomenon and were complicit in it.
Contract With HBO
This documentary garnered a lot of media attention, and by March of 1983, Linda Moulton Howe was in New York City, in the offices of HBO signing a contract to produce a one-hour film called UFOs: The E.T. Factor. As a seasoned journalist and documentarian, this was the big break that she had been waiting for in her career.
That night after signing the contract she met up with an attorney named Peter Gersten for dinner. Gersten was the attorney who represented Citizens Against UFO Secrecy and was responsible for the first Freedom Of Information Act request filed asking for all UFO-related documents in the possession of U.S. intelligence agencies.
At dinner, Gersten showed Howe documents that had been shared with him by a man named Richard C. Doty who worked at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. These documents were about a UFO landing and alien contact event that had occured at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Gersten said that Doty was willing to share more information about the incident with Howe—including the names of the specific witnesses that were there—but she needed to fly out to Kirtland Air Force Base for a meeting to receive it.
You have to imagine that was one of the best nights of Linda Moulton Howe’s life, right? She was 41 years old, in the prime of her career, and after years of paying her dues she takes a chance on a crazy story that no other credible journalist will touch—and it pays off. She starts getting more recognition, her star begins to rise.
And then she gets a deal with HBO, and on the night that she signs the contract she suddenly gets this invitation to glimpse behind the curtain, to enter the inner-sanctum of UFO secrecy and perhaps finally find the truth, not just for herself, but for all mankind. And, if government insiders like Richard C. Doty were willing to go on the record, she’d be breaking the story of millenia—that our government was in direct contact with extraterrestrial beings.
Meeting Richard Doty
A few short weeks later, on April 9, 1983, Linda Moulton Howe is met by Doty at Kirtland Air Force Base. He takes her into an office that he says belongs to his boss, a Colonel, and closes the door. Howe thinks that she is there to learn the names of the Ellsworth landing witnesses, but instead Doty says to her that her documentary on cattle mutilation had broad-sided the U.S. government, and that they’d never thought a serious journalist would take this subject seriously and actually investigate it.
At this point, Linda Moulton Howe is reeling. Doty asks her to move from her chair to another chair across the room and he hands her a folder full of documents. He tells her that the higher ups want her to see what’s inside the folder, but that she’s not allowed to take them with her or to take notes.
Howe opens the folder and the very first document on the top is a briefing for the President of the United States on “unidentified aerial craft”. Woah. So she starts reading, doing her best to commit every word to memory. The first few pages are all historical context—things that Howe was already familiar with given her investigations like early UFO crashes and other UFO sightings and incidents. But here was what appeared to be confirmation by the U.S. government that these things had actually occurred.
But on the third page was something entirely different, and on it Linda Moulton Howe read the words that she has said changed her life forever. The document read, “these biological extraterrestrial entities manipulated DNA in already evolving primates to create homo sapien.”
And on the final page there was mention of a secret project called Project Garnet—something that jumped out at Howe because garnet is her birthstone. A description of Project Garnet concluded, “all questions and mysteries about the evolution of homo sapiens on this planet have been answered and this investigation is closed.”
Linda Moulton Howe is thunderstruck by what she’s read. She flies back to Colorado and when she gets home she calls HBO. She tells them everything that has just happened to her and suggests a new direction for her documentary. They tell her that she should come back to New York City so they can have another meeting.
It All Falls Apart
Two weeks later, she’s back in the HBO offices. And they basically tell her that they aren’t moving forward with any version of the documentary at all unless she can get the President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense, or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to go on the record corroborating her claims.
Now to me, what this sounds like is that HBO got spooked. They brought on this respected investigative journalist who could add an air of legitimacy to a documentary on UFOs. And then a couple weeks after signing a contract she’s calling them talking about meeting with shadowy government officials and that humans are genetically engineered hominids created by biological extraterrestrial beings who are in contact with our government. And, of course, she has nothing to prove any of this.
I’m sure when that happened everyone involved at HBO felt like they had made a huge and potentially very embarrassing mistake in taking on this project and I’m sure that they couldn’t hit that “abort” button fast enough. And I’m betting that giving Howe an impossible hurdle to jump in order to move forward with the project was their way of wiggling out of following through on a contract they’d already signed.
But that didn’t stop Linda Moulton Howe. She was so close. And now she not only had a contact on the inside, but she had enough of the big picture to know what she was looking for. So for the next two years, she worked tirelessly, self-funding all of her work, trying to put together more of the story and the evidence to corroborate it. However, her contract with HBO ran out in 1985 and the documentary was never made.
Those of you who are already familiar with Richard Doty already know how this story goes, but for those of you who don’t:
Richard Doty was a special agent for the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, specializing in counterintelligence. He later admitted to feeding disinformation to Linda Moulton Howe and others in the UFO community in order to discredit them and their work. Among these others was Paul Bennewitz, a businessman and physicist who had recorded strange lights in the sky from his home across from Kirtland Air Force Base.
While virtually anyone who had contact with Doty had their reputations and careers irreparably tarnished, if not utterly destroyed, the Bennewitz case was particularly tragic. As a result of what he was told and shown by Doty, Bennewitz’s mental health began to deteriorate rapidly. In 1988 his sons took over his business and his family committed him to a mental hospital.
We don’t have time to go down that particular rabbit hole today, because it’s one that is exceedingly dark and seemingly bottomless. But I’ll do an episode on government disinformation campaigns in the UFO community at some point in the future. And, in the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about what happened, I highly recommend a documentary called the Mirage Men. I’ll link to that in the episode brief.
“A Fractured Hall Of Mirrors With A Quicksand Floor”
However, it’s exactly this kind of intentional and targeted disinformation on the subject of UFOs that can make it very difficult to establish the credibility of anyone who’s been caught up in it.
In the case of Linda Moulton Howe, she says that what she saw in that file folder at Kirtland Air Force base made it impossible for her to pursue anything else, and she spent the rest of her career investigating the government’s involvement with UFOs, E.T.’s, and the origins of the human species.
But wait—does she not realize that Doty fed her misinformation? Or does she not believe that he did? Or is she just hedging to avoid the embarrassment of having been misled? One again, there are no easy answers here.
Counterintelligence & The UFO Community
First let’s take a minute to talk about counterintelligence and how it works. Counterintelligence is an activity aimed at protecting an agency’s intelligence program from an opposition’s intelligence service. So basically, just like we’re trying to get intelligence on what our adversaries are doing, they are trying to get intelligence on what we are doing, so we run counterintelligence to try to protect the secrets we don’t want them to have. This usually involves things like leaking disinformation, secretly infiltrating groups and communities, trying to turn agents on the other side into double agents, and other sneaky spy shit.
But many countries, including the United States, don’t just run counterintelligence on foreign threats, but on domestic ones, as well. As in they spy on, lie to, and manipulate their own citizens to protect state secrets. And the fall out from these efforts can be absolutely devastating to the people who are targeted. Most of these counterintelligence efforts are meant to undermine people’s credibility, to alienate them from those they would otherwise influence, to manipulate them into doing things that they wouldn’t otherwise do, to destroy their reputations, and even to make them question reality and their own sanity. As a result of these actions, the lives, careers, and families of innocent, ordinary people have been utterly destroyed.
For those who have been in the UFO community for a long time, and those who are scholars of the history of modern ufology, the specter of government meddling and misinformation is always there in the background. They are rightfully on guard against it, and can be very suspicious of anyone in the community who has any kind of an intelligence background.
This is the main source of the considerable division in the community over Luis Elizondo, the former director of AATIP. Despite being the driving force and face behind the current push for disclosure that has thus far resulted in the public admission that the UFO phenomenon is real, the acknowledgement of videos and actual incidents involving the military, legislation being passed to improve transparency and reporting around UAPs, and the first hearings in Congress on UFOs in 50 years—there are those that still don’t trust Elizondo due to his counterintelligence background. And while I don’t necessarily agree with them, I can totally see where they are coming from—and I actually think it makes a lot of sense to be skeptical.
For his part, when confronted with questions about his background in counterintelligence, Lue’s response has been to emphatically deny that the United States runs counterintelligence on its own citizens. He admits that it’s been done in the past, and that it has done massive damage to members of the UFO community. However, he claims that the government has learned its lesson and that we don’t do that sort of thing anymore.
And, listen, I truly have nothing but respect for Lue Elizondo—but I simply don’t believe that, and I don’t believe that he believes it either. I’d argue that we have really nothing but evidence that that is not the case. But even if that weren’t true, any thinking person would still have questions. That’s why we call it “breaking trust”—once it’s broken, it’s broken. And even if you manage to rebuild it and glue the pieces back together over time, you’ll always see the cracks.
Which is exactly what makes it so difficult to make any kind of judgment with regards to the truth of anything that has been touched by the corrosive influence of Richard Doty.
Doty admits to intentionally feeding disinformation to people in the UFO community. He admits to going to elaborate lengths to make his targets believe this disinformation was real by doing things like staging fake UFO crashes. He admits to turning certain members of the community including author of the first major book on Roswell, Bill Moore, into an asset who both intentionally lied to and informed on other members of the community.
And he admits all of this completely unself-consciously and with an unnerving lack of remorse. He talks about how he became friends with Bennewitz and tells the story that at one point he went to Bennewitz “as a friend” and told him that all this crazy UFO stuff was destroying him and he needed to let it go. Bennewitz refused, and Doty continued to terrorize him despite his rapidly deteriorating physical and mental health.
Any normal human being finds this story to be chilling and even repugnant, but Doty seemingly feels no regret and takes zero accountability for the very real harm that his actions inflicted upon someone that he calls a friend. As he tells it, he was just doing what he was told.
And what he was told to do was to lie and to discredit and to muddy the waters so completely as to utterly compromise his targets. To do that, he says that some of what he fed his targets was true. This is a common counterintelligence tactic. And according to Doty, one of the smartest ways to do this is to make it so that some of the most unbelievable details included in the disinformation are the ones that are actually true.
Do you see how complicated this gets?
What are we to make of the fact that Doty admits to all this? What parts should we believe? All of it? None of it?
And it’s all made more complicated by the fact that Doty continues to involve himself in the UFO community. He attends conferences and participates in television shows and documentaries. where he openly talks about his misinformation campaigns within the community. And weirder still, he now also claims that he’s seen proof that the United States has contact with E.T.’s, that we’re in possession of non-human technology, and more.
So he’s now profiting off the very community in which he wreaked so much havoc—havoc that had real and lasting consequences in real people’s lives. The whole thing isn’t just ethically fucked, but it creates even more questions. Is he still lying? Is this just the next phase of the deception? Or is what he says now true? Does he even know what’s true?
There’s a scene near the end of Mirage Men that I found particularly compelling where Richard Doty is describing how he was read into the government’s involvement with UFOs and extraterrestrial beings. He says that he was shown documents and photographs about these secretive government programs and even saw a video of an alien being talking in front of a camera.
And as he’s talking and saying all of these fantastical things you can’t help but notice the similarities between this alleged “reading in” and the meeting that he had with Linda Moulton Howe at Kirtland Air Force Base. Let’s assume that this actually happened, which with someone like Doty you can never assume—but let’s say it’s true. How do we know that what Doty was told was even the truth? Could the US be running counterintelligence on its own counterintelligence people? If you’re going to embed a counterintelligence agent within a community that you’re hoping to surveil, wouldn’t it make sense for that person to also be misinformed? That seems like a pretty smart failsafe.
So how could anyone hope to find the truth in any of this? As Linda Moulton Howe poignantly said in Mirage Men, “It’s a fractured hall of mirrors, with a quicksand floor.”
The Question Of Linda Moulton Howe’s Credibility
So let’s back to our original question that brought us down this tangential rabbit hole—is Linda Moulton Howe credible?
In her defense, the fact that she was targeted by Doty suggests that she was getting close to something. It seems likely that the timing of his first contact with her coinciding with her signing the contract with HBO was not coincidental. So whether she actually had, as Doty said to her, “blind-sided” the government with her documentary on cattle mutilation or whether they were just trying to dissuade mainstream media outlets from reporting on any of this seriously—something that she did ruffled some feathers.
However, 40 years later, her credibility continues to be called into question largely because she continues to present information that she got from Doty as fact, without any sort of caveat about the provenance of this information. It’s very strange because she admits to talking to Doty, she admits to getting this information from him, she admits that he was a counterintelligence agent, but there is this weird sort of cognitive dissonance that seems to prevent her from accepting the full impact of what that all means.
In January of 2022, Linda Moulton Howe was interviewed by Curt Jaimungal on Theories Of Everything and there was this very strange exchange that happened near the end. She first is asked about her relationship with Richard Doty, and she goes on to tell basically the whole story that I just told you about the deal with HBO, her meeting with Doty, and the deal falling apart.
But in telling this story, she doesn’t really seem to factor in—or even to really acknowledge—the fact that Doty is a known counterintelligence agent who has famously and publicly admitted to lying to her.
And then this happens. Listen—
[Video is set to play at this question]
Weird, right? And shortly thereafter, Curt asks her another question from a listener about whether or not she’s ever had to redact a story at which point she stormed out of the interview. As always, I’ll have that all linked up in the episode brief so you can check it out for yourself.
I have a lot of empathy for Linda Moulton Howe. She’s clearly intelligent, hard-working, and driven. And like I said, she’s a trailblazer in many respects, and a seemingly fearless one. And I also think it’s important to recognize the human element in all of this.
She wasn’t just intentionally lied to and misled—she was personally and professionally torpedoed by what Doty did to her. At the height of her career—a career that she had built out of her own sweat, passion, and talent—she had the biggest opportunity she’d ever had taken from her and had her name dragged through the mud. She was ruined in the sphere of mainstream journalism, and although she’s made quite the career in the UFO space, her name will always have an asterisk next to it.
I think it’s hard to judge unless you’ve walked a mile in those shoes. But even I have a hard time understanding her stance on Doty and her seeming refusal to grapple with the reality and impact of what’s happened—at least publicly.
So how should we approach her work now? What do we make of stories of alien bases in Antarctica and a secret space program in cooperation with extraterrestrials and ancient civilizations on Mars and all the rest of it?
I’ll simply say this—Howe’s work is undoubtedly significant, but the truth of it still lies somewhere in that fractured hall of mirrors.
Is The Entrance To Hollow Earth In Antarctica?
And finally we come to our final theory as to what the Germans may have found in Antarctica in 1938. And despite the deeply weird path that we’ve taken to get here, this theory is perhaps the most bizarre of all—the entrance to Hollow Earth. And there’s a lot more to this theory than you might think. And at the center of this incredible tale is one man—a famed explorer and real American hero—Admiral Richard E. Byrd.
And that’s where we’ll pick it up next time.
I’ll see you then.
- Timaeus | Plato
- Critias | Plato
- Could the ‘Eye of the Sahara’ Be the Lost City of Atlantis? | Earthly Mission
- Secret Files on The Eye of The Sahara & The Lost Ancient City of Atlantis: Richat Structure Africa [Video] | Bright Insight
- Did the Ancient Greeks Discover America? | The National Harold
- Earth’s Shifting Crust | Charles H. Hapgood
- Maps Of The Ancient Sea Kings | Charles H. Hapgood
- Chariots Of The Gods | Erich Von Daniken
- The Piri Reis Map of 1513 | Gregory C. McIntosh
- The Sargasso Sea | Smithsonian
- Is There a 20,000-Year-Old Underwater Pyramid in the Atlantic Ocean? | Curiosmos
- Giant Underwater Pyramid Found Near Azores Island [Video]
- New Pyramid In Antarctica? Not Quite, Say Geologists | CBS News
- Mirage Men
- Linda Moulton Howe Interview | Theories Of Everything With Curt Jaimungal