When The Sky Fell is a non-fiction book by Rand and Rose Flem-Ath, in which they expound their theory that Atlantis could have been situated on Antarctica, under the thick cover of ice.
Based around Charles H. Hapgood’s theory of earth crust displacement, they use a readable and highly intriguing blend of mythology and science to argue that in 9600 BC, Atlantis was destroyed by the earthquakes and floods caused the tectonic plates moving collectively as one unit. These global natural disasters not only plunged Antarctica under layers of thick ice, turning it into the ice-continent it is today, covering any remains of Atlantis, but also resulted in various myths being told around the world of a lost island paradise and the sky falling.
The Flem-Aths argue that the mythological similarities in these tales evidence that the destruction of Atlantis actually happened, and that the survivors made it to salvation in other parts of the world. They argue that the introduction of agriculture in two different parts of the world at approximately the same time (after 9600BC) – the land near Lake Titicaca in South America, and the Spirit Cave in the highlands of Thailand – was not an introduction at all, or a coincidence, but a re-introduction by Atlantean survivors, a people that was highly civilised and advanced who had settled in these areas because they were climatically stable, fearing another deluge. Raising the point that the first five known civilisations – Egypt, Crete, Sumeria, India and China – all were formed in areas that after the last earth crust displacement all shared a common climate stability, they argue that Atlantean survivors may have settled in these places of safety and formed the roots of civilisation.
What I find interesting about this book is the use of both mythology and science. The connection of the tales of the destruction of Atlantis and the various narratives of the loss of a great island civilisation, the earth being destroyed by a great flood and the survivors leading the world into a new age, all could tell of real life events.
I am not fully convinced by the Flem-Aths idea of Atlantis being buried like hidden treasure under sheets of ice, but their argument does make it seem possible if anything else. A lot of their ‘evidence’ is actually speculation – arguing that the true location of Atlantis could be hidden in secret old maps, or lost scrolls or kept as closely guarded secrets within ancient schools of knowledge. All these what-ifs render their argument only partly believable and almost entirely unproven due to the lack of concrete support.
Despite these flaws, it was an enjoyable, thought-provoking and compelling book that is easily readable for the non-scientists like myself. The mix of scientific thought and evidence with a range of cultural myths, although not forming solid evidence for their argument, is deeply interesting in terms of aligning the often divided discourses of knowledge: Science and mythology.
It is certainly a good starting-point for anyone fascinated by the tale of Atlantis.