Sykes' Contemporary Atlantologists
Who Was Hans Hoerbiger?
Hoerbiger was born in Atzgersdorf, a suburb in Vienna on November 29, 1860. He studied engineering at the Technical College; was a machine builder in 1881 (mainly of blast furnaces); and in 1894, he took out patents on various types of valves, manufactured them, and grew wealthy. From 1894, he took a deep interest in cosmological problems and tried to interpret the cosmic courses of development from an engineer’s point of view. He studied cosmological problems and investigated riddles of our Solar System, the universe, and our Moon. In 1898, Hoerbiger made the acquaintance of Philipp Fauth, and collaborated with Fauth, to write and publish the 722-pages of Glazialkosmogonie in 1912. The English translation is the Cosmic Ice Theory but it is generally known as the Moon Capture Theory. Hoerbiger died in Mauer, a suburb of Vienna, on October 11, 1931.
The Hoerbiger Institute
In January 1949 in Atlantis, Dr. Manfred Reiffenstein wrote The Hoerbiger Institute at Vienna From 1938 to 1948. Manfred Reiffenstein was an engineer, President of the Hoerbiger Institute in Vienna, and a colleague of Hans Hoerbiger during his lifetime. He was the inventor of the Reiffenstein Water Turbine. He wrote,
"In March 1938, at the time of the Nazi occupation of Austria, two organizations existed in Vienna concerned with the Hoerbiger Theory. These were the Kosmotechnische Gesellschaft and the Hoerbiger Institute. The first of these societies had been formed in 1921 by a group of enthusiastic adherents of the Hoerbiger Theory; engineers, physicians, civil servants, and businessmen. Most of them were personally acquainted with Hoerbiger, and had attended the many interesting lectures he gave before his death in 1931...
"This organization, which was only interested in pure research, was liquidated by the Nazis on their arrival, and its funds were seized. All appeals against this decision failed. The Hoerbiger Institute, which was only a small association engaged in the collecting of funds for research, was left in possession of all the scientific material left by Hoerbiger, a fine library, and a large collection of valuable drawings, covering the whole range of astronomy, meteorology, and geology, as they affected the Hoerbiger Theory... The Nazis wanted to close this down also, but thanks to the energetic intervention of Alfred Hoerbiger and the Chairman, this was obviated by the appointment of a Nazi Commission. Another danger, that the archives should be moved to Berlin and absorbed in Himmler’s Ahnererbe organization, was also averted after lengthy negotiations, which established the fact that the Institute was the private property of the three sons of Hoerbiger; Hans, Alfred, and Hans Robert...
"The problem of maintaining correct relations without becoming dependent on the Nazis was difficult, but was still possible until the outbreak of war. Although we realized that the war would bring our activities to a standstill, nevertheless Alfred Hoerbiger managed to continue publishing Proceedings, in spite of being cut off from all foreign publications and correspondents. Our registers showed more and more blanks as it became impossible to check up on changes of address.... One day we were rung up by the Propaganda Ministry, who said they considered these publications constituted high treason... and we were ordered to stop circulating our reports.
"By 1944, the Allied air raids became more and more frequent with increasing violence. In one of these raids, our printers were burnt out, and all our blocks and drawings were destroyed. In February 1945, the Hoerbiger engineering factory was completely burnt out and on the 12th March of the same year, the premises of the Institute were also hit... within a month we had managed to get the premises boarded up, in fact, this was just finished before the Soviet troops arrived. The battle for Vienna lasted five days, during most of which time we were obliged to shelter in the cellar, together with poultry, goats, and other domestic livestock. Gradually we put things in order and restarted work, but were seriously hampered by lack of funds. The members were scattered and not to be traced... Alfred Hoerbiger died in August 1945... With the aid of the archives which have escaped destruction, we hope to be able to restart publications of Proceedings, and we anticipate that the year 1949 should bring us still further on our way towards recovery."
Sykes was a member of the Hoerbiger Institute until 1942 when it finally closed down, but managed to resume contact with Georg Hinzpeter, who had been the secretary of the organization, until Hinzpeter died.
Sykes founded the Hoerbiger Institute in 1945 in Cairo on a temporary basis (during the last years of the war he was in the Near East), and then in 1947 in England on a permanent basis, in order to keep Hoerbiger’s ideas alive. By 1948, The Austrian Hoerbiger Society in Vienna had become practically dormant owing to the difficulties caused by the German occupation as well as the more direct consequences of the war. Sykes found it difficult to get into touch with members since his own records were destroyed in Poland during the war; however, Sykes did manage to secure a complete set of the journal of the Zeitschrift zum Welteislehre from its first issue in 1926 to the final one in 1942. In 1963, two new groups in Holland and West Germany, with three-hundred to five-hundred members between them, had been up and running for almost a year.
On September 30, 1962, Dr. M. Reiffenstein gave a lecture in Vienna on the Hoerbiger Theory — for the first time since the war.
In 1969 in Atlantis, Sykes wrote Rebirth In Vienna announcing that after twenty years out of action, the Hoerbiger Institute in Vienna had been started up again under the direction of Dr. Eng. Manfred Reiffenstein.
In 1972 in Atlantis, Sykes wrote Cosmic Disaster Conference in which he announced that on October 16 and 17, 1972, the Hoerbiger Institute of Vienna would be holding a conference on the relationships between the new concepts on meteor strikes and cosmic disasters and the Hoerbiger Theory itself.
Dr. N. Th. Zhirov
Dr. N. Th. Zhirov was a personal friend of Sykes for over twenty years. Unfortunately, Zhirov suffered from injuries received in World War II and never got out of Russia actually to see the Atlantic Ocean about which he wrote so much. Zhirov quoted early Russian classical sources; thus, he was an outstanding contributor to the study of Atlantis. He was very scientific and absolutely objective, and set a standard for Russian Atlantology. Zhirov died in December 1970 in Moscow. His obituary was published in the January 1971 issue of Atlantis.
Russians and Atlantis
The earliest original work on Atlantis was written by A.S. Norov and published in 1854 in Russian and German. In 1917, appeared one of the most serious works by V. Bryusov, the famous Russian poet, who was engaged in the scientific study of the problem until his death. He gave all of the data available as evidence that Atlantis was the cradle of the majority of subsequent civilizations. In the 1930’s, there was considerable interest in the problem with articles in small popular science brochures and the publication of B.L. Bogaevsky, a prominent Soviet historian, who dismissed the lost continent. Almost twenty-five years followed, in which not a single work on the subject appeared in the USSR. Impetus was given in 1954 by E. Andreeva’s most popular science book about Atlantis, Easter Island, and Sannikov’s land, in which she used scientific geological and oceanographic data to demonstrate the undoubted reality of Atlantis.
In 1963, Sykes received a Christmas card from Zhirov which had postage stamps issued in Russia commemorating two well known scientists who were also famous Atlantologists — Vladimir Obzuchev, Member of the Academy 1863-1956, and Valery Brussov, the famous poet and Atlantologist.
In 1957, Zhirov published Atlantis in Moscow, a most informative book on Atlantis with a bibliography that included no fewer than eighty references in Russian, plus sixty references in other languages. The book was only available in Russian. Zhirov was an active contributor to Atlantis journal. In the November 1957 issue of Atlantis, Sykes published A Letter From Dr. Zhirov & A Short Contents Of The Book Atlantis, and in the September 1958 issue of Atlantis, An Open Letter From Dr. Zhirov To All Atlantologists was published.
In January 1962 in Atlantis, Zhirov, who was always looking for evidence that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge was once above sea level, reported in An Indisputable Demonstration Of The Great Subsidence Of The Mid-Atlantic Ridge,that N.N. Gorskiy’s book The Secrets of the Ocean, Moscow, 1960, showed two photographs of shallow water corals grown on rock, dredged up from the Mid Atlantic ridge from a depth of twenty-five-hundred meters by the Soviet oceanographic expedition ship Mikhail Lomonossov. No Carbon-14 dates available.
In January 1962 in Atlantis, Zhirov wrote A Critical Analysis Of The Material Culture Of Plato’s Atlantis in which Plato mentions iron, gold, silver, copper, tin, orichalcum (a copper alloy?), and the antiseismic architecture of Egypt and Mesopotamia.
On April 22, 1964, Dr. Zhirov’s The Existence and Destruction of Atlantis was read to the Leningrad House of the Scientists Geological-Geographical Section. The report gathered more than one-hundred-and-fifty scientists and students for two-and-a-half hours. The event was reported in the October 1964 issue of Atlantis in an article titled Atlantological News From The USSR.
Zhirov’s Atlantida was published in 1964 by the State Publishing House of Moscow. The preface was written by the editor, Professor Demetrius G. Panow, Doctor of Geological Sciences. The book was published in Romanian in 1967, while Sykes ranted impatiently that no copies were available in French and English. In the book, Zhirov painstakingly reviewed the latest knowledge of the formation of continents, structure of mountains and submarine ridges, seismic processes, cosmological influences, tectonic origins, and the effects of glaciations on the distribution of flora and fauna, and changes produced by the Gulf Stream. The accumulated evidence indicated that a land mass could have existed in the Atlantic. If this view could be proved, it would lead to a complete reversal of the views generally held concerning the migration and development of man.
Atlantis, Atlantology: Basic Problems was published in Moscow in 1970. At the time, this book was the most extensive attempt to produce geological and geographical proof that Atlantis really existed. The great complexity of the geology of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is discussed. There was a thirty-five page bibliography of eight-hundred references. Sykes owned this book in three languages. The book was reviewed in the November 1971 issue of New World Antiquity.
In The Problem Of Atlantis, published in 1924, Lewis Spence said,
"Men of insight have written of strange visions, and of stranger supernatural communications they have been vouchsafed regarding her (Atlantis') pristine life. In many quarters, these have been received with scorn. In some cases, their content and testimony appear to me as highly improbable, having regard to the proven facts of science. But for my own part, I would hasten to say that I am too ignorant of the powers of the human soul to weigh the evidence they present with justice and impartiality. Imagination, vision, if rightly interpreted and utilized, is one of the most powerful aids to historical and archaeological understanding; and the ability to cast an eagle glance down the avenues of the ages is, it seems to me, but one of the first steps in psychic progress."
Spence's obituary was published in the May 1955 issue of Atlantis.
In September 1954 in Atlantis, Sykes wrote an obituary for Paul Le Cour in which he stated,
"Although the paths of the two Atlantis organizations, the French and the English, had tended, with the years, to draw somewhat apart, this fact did not in any way diminish the great admiration which your editor had for Paul Le Cour and his work, which had resulted in the paths of many people being led to a wider appreciation of the beauty of the mystical approach. On the one occasion on which they both met, shortly after the end of the war, your editor was much moved by the serenity of outlook of Le Cour and his deep seated certainty as to the advent of a period of spiritual and moral uplift. Let us hope that his courageous optimism will be justified in the not too distant future..."