City of the Golden Gates and Airships – Atlantis

These are excerpted from:

The Story of Atlantis

A Geographical, Historical and Ethnological Sketch

by W. Scott-Elliot

[1896]

At Sacred Texts

Agriculture

In such an empire as the Toltec, agriculture naturally received much attention. Not only were the labourers taught their duties in technical schools, but colleges were established in which the knowledge necessary for carrying out experiments in the crossing both of animals and plants, was taught to fitting students.

It is said that wheat was not evolved on this planet at all. It was the gift of the Manu who brought it from another globe outside our chain of worlds. But oats and some of our other cereals are the results of crosses between wheat and the wild grasses of the earth. Now the experiments which gave these results were carried out in the agricultural schools of Atlantis. Of course such experiments were guided by high knowledge. But the most notable achievement to be recorded of the Atlantean agriculturists was the evolution of the plantain or banana. In the original wild state it was like an elongated melon with scarcely any pulp, but full of seeds as a melon is. It was of course only by centuries (if not thousands of years) of continuous selection and elimination that the present almost seedless plant was evolved.

Among the domesticated animals of the Toltec days were creatures that looked like very small tapirs. They naturally fed upon roots or herbage, but like the pigs of to-day, which they resembled in more than one particular, they were not over cleanly, and ate whatever came in their way. Large cat-like animals and the wolf-like ancestors of the dog might also be met about human habitations. The Toltec carts appear to have been drawn by creatures somewhat resembling small camels. The Peruvian llamas of today are probably their descendants. The ancestors of the Irish elk, too, roamed in herds about the hill sides in much the same way as our Highland cattle do now–too wild to allow of easy approach, but still under the control of man.

Constant experiments were made in breeding and cross-breeding different kinds of animals, and, curious though it may seem to us, artificial heat was largely used to force their development, so that the results of crossing and interbreeding might be more quickly apparent. The use, too, of different coloured lights in the chambers where such experiments were carried on were adopted in order to obtain varying results.

This control and moulding at will by man of the animal forms brings us to a rather startling and very mysterious subject. Reference has been made above to the work done by the Manus. Now it is in the mind of the Manu that originates all improvements in type and the potentialities latent in every form of being. In order to work out in detail the improvements in the animal forms, the help and co-operation of man were required. The amphibian and reptile forms which then abounded had about run their course, and were ready to assume the more advanced type of bird or mammal. These forms constituted the inchoate material placed at man’s disposal, and the clay was ready to assume whatever shape the potter’s hands might mould it into. It was specially with animals in the intermediate stage that so many of the experiments above referred to were tried, and doubtless the domesticated animals like the horse, which are now of such service to man, are the result of these experiments in which the men of those days acted in co-operation with the Manu and his ministers. But the co-operation was too soon withdrawn. Selfishness obtained the upper hand, and war and discord brought the Golden Age of the Toltecs to a close. When instead of working loyally for a common end, under the guidance of their Initiate kings, men began to prey upon each other, the beasts which might gradually have assumed, under the care of man, more and more useful and domesticated forms, being left to the guidance of their own instincts naturally followed the example of their monarch, and began to prey more and more upon each other. Some indeed had actually already been trained and used by men in their hunting expeditions, and thus the semi-domesticated cat-like animals above referred to naturally became the ancestors of the leopards and jaguars.

City of the Golden Gates

The “City of the Golden Gates” and its surroundings must be described before we come to consider the remarkable system by which its inhabitants were supplied with water. It lay, as we have seen, on the east coast of the continent close to the sea, and about 15º north of the equator. A beautifully wooded park-like country surrounded the city. Scattered over a large area of this were the villa residences of the wealthier classes. To the west lay a range of mountains, from which the water supply of the city was drawn. The city itself was built on the slopes of a hill, which rose from the plain about 500 feet. On the summit of this hill lay the emperor’s palace and gardens, in the centre of which welled up from the earth a never-ending stream of water, supplying first the palace and the fountains in the gardens, thence flowing in the four directions and falling in cascades into a canal or moat which encompassed the palace grounds, and thus separated them from the city which lay below on every side. From this canal four channels led the water through four quarters of the city to cascades which in their turn supplied another encircling canal at a lower level. There were three such canals forming concentric circles, the outermost and lowest of which was still above the level of the plain. A fourth canal at this lowest level, but on a rectangular plan, received the constantly flowing waters, and in its turn discharged them into the sea. The city extended over part of the plain, up to the edge of this great outermost moat, which surrounded and defended it with a line of waterways extending about twelve miles by ten miles square.

It will thus be seen that the city was divided into three great belts, each hemmed in by its canals. The characteristic feature of the upper belt that lay Just below the palace grounds, was a circular racecourse and large public gardens. Most of the houses of the court officials also lay on this belt, and here also was an institution of which we have no parallel in modern times. The term “Strangers’ Home” amongst us suggests a mean appearance and sordid surroundings, but this was a palace where all strangers who might come to the city were entertained as long as they might choose to stay–being treated all the time as guests of the Government. The detached houses of the inhabitants and the various temples scattered throughout the city occupied the other two belts. In the days of the Toltec greatness there seems to have been no real poverty–even the retinue of slaves attached to most houses being well fed and clothed–but there were a number of comparatively poor houses in the lowest belt to the north, as well as outside the outermost canal towards the sea. The inhabitants of this part were mostly connected with the shipping, and their houses, though detached, were built closer together than in other districts.

It will be seen from the above that the inhabitants had thus a never-failing supply of pure clear water constantly coursing through the city, while the upper belts and the emperor’s palace were protected by lines of moats, each one at a higher level as the centre was approached. It was from a lake which lay among the mountains to the west of the city, at an elevation of about 2,600 feet, that the supply was drawn.

Now it does not require much mechanical knowledge in order to realise how stupendous must have been the works needed to provide this supply, for in the days of its greatness the “City of the Golden Gates” embraced within its four circles of moats over two million inhabitants. No such system of water supply has ever been attempted in Greek, Roman or modern times–indeed it is very doubtful whether our ablest engineers, even at the expenditure of untold wealth, could produce such a result.

Air-Ships

If the system of water supply in the “City of the Golden Gates” was wonderful, the Atlantean methods of locomotion must be recognised as still more marvellous, for the air-ship or flying-machine which Keely in America, and Maxim in this country are now attempting to produce, was then a realised fact. It was not at any time a common means of transport. The slaves, the servants, and the masses who laboured with their hands, had to trudge along the country tracks, or travel in rude carts with solid wheels drawn by uncouth animals. The air-boats may be considered as the private carriages of those days, or rather the private yachts, if we regard the relative number of those who possessed them, for they must have been at all times difficult and costly to produce. They were not as a rule built to accommodate many persons. Numbers were constructed for only two, some allowed for six or eight passengers. In the later days when war and strife had brought the Golden Age to an end, battle ships that could navigate the air had to a great extent replaced the battle ships at sea–having naturally proved far more powerful engines of destruction. These were constructed to carry as many as fifty, and in some cases even up to a hundred fighting men.

The material of which the air-boats were constructed was either wood or metal. The earlier ones were built of wood-the boards used being exceedingly thin, but the injection of some substance which did not add materially to the weight, while it gave leather-like toughness, provided the necessary combination of lightness and strength. When metal was used it was generally an alloy–two white-coloured metals and one red one entering into its composition. The resultant was white-coloured, like aluminium {sic}, and even lighter in weight. Over the rough framework of the air-boat was extended a large sheet of this metal, which was then beaten into shape, and electrically welded where necessary. But whether built of metal or wood their outside surface was apparently seamless and perfectly smooth, and they shone in the dark as if coated with luminous paint.

“In 1800, Sir Humphry Davy discovered the short-pulse electrical arc and presented his results in 1801. In 1802, Russian scientist Vasily Petrov created the continuous electric arc, and subsequently published “News of Galvanic-Voltaic Experiments” in 1803, in which he described experiments carried out in 1802. Of great importance in this work was the description of a stable arc discharge and the indication of its possible use for many applications, one being melting metals. In 1808, Davy, who was unaware of Petrov’s work, rediscovered the continuous electric arc. In 1881–82 inventors Nikolai Benardos (Russian) and Stanisław Olszewski (Polish) created the first electric arc welding method known as carbon arc welding using carbon electrodes. The advances in arc welding continued with the invention of metal electrodes in the late 1800s by a Russian, Nikolai Slavyanov (1888), and an American, C. L. Coffin (1890). Around 1900, A. P. Strohmenger released a coated metal electrode in Britain, which gave a more stable arc. In 1905, Russian scientist Vladimir Mitkevich proposed using a three-phase electric arc for welding. Alternating current welding was invented by C. J. Holslag in 1919, but did not become popular for another decade.”

In shape they were boat-like, but they were invariably decked over, for when at full speed it could not have been convenient, even if safe, for any on board to remain on the upper deck. Their propelling and steering gear could be brought into use at either end.

But the all-interesting question is that relating to the power by which they were propelled. In the earlier times it seems to have been personal vril that supplied the motive power–whether used in conjunction with any mechanical contrivance matters not much–but in the later days this was replaced by a force which, though generated in what is to us an unknown manner, operated nevertheless through definite mechanical arrangements. This force, though not yet discovered by science, more nearly approached that which Keely in America used to handle than the electric power used by Maxim. It was in fact of an etheric nature, but though we are no nearer to the solution of this problem, its method of operation can be described. The mechanical arrangements no doubt differed somewhat in different vessels. The following description is taken from an air-boat in which on one occasion three ambassadors from the king who ruled over the northern part of Poseidonis made the journey to the court of the southern kingdom. A strong heavy metal chest which lay in the centre of the boat was the generator. Thence the force flowed through two large flexible tubes to either end of the vessel, as well as through eight subsidiary tubes fixed fore and aft to the bulwarks. These had double openings pointing vertically both up and down. When the journey was about to begin the valves of the eight bulwark tubes which pointed downwards were opened–all the other valves being closed. The current rushing through these impinged on the earth with such force as to drive the boat upwards, while the air itself continued to supply the necessary fulcrum. When a sufficient elevation was reached the flexible tube at that end of the vessel which pointed away from the desired destination, was brought into action, while by the partial closing of the valves the current rushing through the eight vertical tubes was reduced to the small amount required to maintain the elevation reached. The great volume of current, being now directed through the large tube pointing downwards from the stern at an angle of about forty-five degrees, while helping to maintain the elevation, provided also the great motive power to propel the vessel through the air. The steering was accomplished by the discharge of the current through this tube, for the slightest change in its direction at once caused an alteration in the vessel’s course. But constant supervision was not required. When a long journey had to be taken the tube could be fixed so as to need no handling till the destination was almost reached. The maximum speed attained was about one hundred miles an hour, the course of flight never being a straight line, but always in the form of long waves, now approaching and now receding from the earth. The elevation at which the vessels travelled was only a few hundred feet–indeed, when high mountains lay in the line of their track it was necessary to change their course and go round them–the more rarefied air no longer supplying the necessary fulcrum. Hills of about one thousand feet were the highest they could cross. The means by which the vessel was brought to a stop on reaching its destination–and this could be done equally well in mid-air–was to give escape to some of the current force through the tube at that end of the boat which pointed towards its destination, and the current impinging on the land or air in front, acted as a drag, while the propelling force behind was gradually reduced by the closing of the valve. The reason has still to be given for the existence of the eight tubes pointing upwards from the bulwarks. This had more especially to do with the aerial warfare. Having so powerful a force at their disposal, the warships naturally directed the current against each other. Now this was apt to destroy the equilibrium of the ship so struck and to turn it upside down–a situation sure to be taken advantage of by the enemy’s vessel to make an attack with her ram. There was also the further danger of being precipitated to the ground, unless the shutting and opening of the necessary valves were quickly attended to. In whatever position the vessel might be, the tubes pointing towards the earth were naturally those through which the current should be rushing, while the tubes pointing upwards should be closed. The means by which a vessel turned upside down, might be righted and placed again on a level keel, was accomplished by using the four tubes pointing downwards at one side of the vessel only, while the four at the other side were kept closed.

The Atlanteans had also sea-going vessels which were propelled by some power analogous to that above mentioned, but the current force which was eventually found to be most effective in this case was denser than that used in the air-boats.