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Customer Review

24 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A New View Full of Romantic Speculation, 31 Dec. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The New View over Atlantis (Paperback)
I read this book many years ago and shortly after I went on to study Archaeology and History at the University of London.
Looking back on it now, I can honestly say the book is absolute nonsense that completely ignores the work of some the greatest academics, archaeologists and historians of the last 150 years. For the reader with little or no background on some of the subjects he covers, Michell makes a convincing case. However, once further study is undertaken it soon becomes evident that the book is chock full of New Age 'Hippy-Dippy' fantasy, that has little if no evidence to back-up some it's more outragous claims.
The reader needs to ask themselves one question, if Michell's claims are so fantastic and revolutionary, how come in the 20 odd years since it was first published everyone in the academic world still ignores it ?.
Avoid - find yourself a more worthy book to read, a book that deals in facts and evidence, not romantic speculation.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Apr 2012 11:31:15 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Apr 2012 11:33:03 BDT
J. Lindley says:

So what is history?? and whose history is it anyway? What is put down in history is the view of the surviving or conquering parties who will naturally record their version of events and/or rubbish the idealogies of those they have cut down. Archaeology relies on 'facts' and one has to question just whose facts those are. I have little time for people who dismiss out of hand anything that cannot be 'scientifically proven' or that might just pertain to something outside of their own five inadequate senses. Sadly those people are blessed with little or no imagination and even less sensitivity. Just because you're too short-sighted to see it, don't mean it ain't there. Academia can be a dangerous god to worship.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2012 13:15:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Apr 2012 17:41:14 BDT
Mr Chairman says:
Academia is a dangerous god to worship, I wouldn't argue with that.....but it's a lot less dangerous than believing Michell's theories which will only get you laughed at by anyone with an education, as there is not an ounce of factual evidence to back the vast majority of them up.

Michell puts forward nothing but theories, most of which have been rubbished by science and archaeology.

Oh yes, my friend, I've read them all, Alfred Watkins, "The Old Straight Track", anything on Stone Circles and Neolithic tombs and have visited most of them too, even in France using Aubrey Burl's wonderful books as my ref tools. I've also studied it at university and l can assure you most of what Michell talks about is nothing but commercial hippy-dippy twaddle. All credit to the man though as through his crack-pot theories he managed to make a career out of it.

God rest his soul, he will be remembered, but sadly it will only be by those who've done too much LSD, and not enough following up and truly educating themselves on some of his fanciful theories and claims.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2014 09:54:57 GMT
James Reed says:
Aside from your academic qualifications, your language: 'hippy-dippy', 'LSD', 'crackpot', demonstrates a clear cultural bias, which prevents rational discussion of the subject. I think the facts are in the monuments themselves which demonstrate an advanced knowledge of astronomy and earth sciences, but which an exclusively archaeological approach tends to overlook. The more ancient sites have been studied, the more Michel's work has been validated, not the opposite. This is worth bearing in mind before resorting to this tired, cultural stereotyping, which as a rebuttal of Michel's ideas is entirely inadequate.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2014 12:40:18 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Jan 2014 12:50:08 GMT
Mr Chairman says:
Absolute twaddle and I somehow suspect you totally subscribe to all this nonsense peddled by Michell.

There is a sound reason for what I have written, because any academic worth his weight would not touch Michell's theories, and this is why NONE of his work is never ever mentioned in academic circles or ever quoted in academic papers. The reason for this is because most of it is rubbish with no evidence whatsoever but pure fantasy and conjecture. Could have, would have, might have possibly, the book is littered with it and little if any hard evidence to back his theories.

As mentioned, there are far better books to be reading on this subject if it's astronomical alignments you are interested in, written by people far more qualified to talk about them like Professor Alexander Thom or Aubrey Burl for starters from Michell's era, and that's not even mentioning all the latest 'young gun' academics.

Michell has his roots and the book was written and aimed at the New Age Culture fantasists, and in believing much of what he has written is akin to thinking that the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were factual events in history.

The Telegraph says:

"John Michell, who died on April 24 aged 76, was a charismatic Old Etonian mystic often championed as a counter-culture seer for his fascination with alien life, geomancy, the countryside and crop circles; his most famous book, The View Over Atlantis (1969), is arguably the most influential tome in the hippie underground movement, and is credited with placing the Somerset town of Glastonbury as the capital of the New Age."

No more needs to be said.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2014 16:17:51 GMT
James Reed says:
I somehow suspect you subscribe to the worldview of the The Telegraph. It would appear that a lot more needs to be said and is being said by swathes of new researchers, inspired by the pioneering work of Mitchell, and continuing that work in the nascent fields of archaeoastronomy, and archaeoacoustics. But it was Mitchell's knowledge of geometry which made his contribution to the study of ancient sites so important and of lasting value. Rather than being relegated to New Age fantasy, evidence continues to build towards the case for a developed civilisation at the end of the last ice age. It's a pity that this work is left to so many independent researchers, while tenured academics have often rubbished or remained silent about this emerging evidence, for example the geological dating of the sphinx or Gobeckli Tepe. I do take your point about New Age nostalgia but I think romantic notions aside, a multi-disciplined scientific approach will vindicate Mitchell's ideas rather than render them obsolete. Perhaps it's time for the Telegraph and your good self to move with the times?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2014 18:52:37 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Jan 2014 18:55:27 GMT
Mr Chairman says:
"I somehow suspect you subscribe to the worldview of the The Telegraph."

Then you couldn't be more wrong, I could count the times I have actually purchased that newspaper during my entire life on one hand, but they were pretty much spot-on in what they said.

Regarding Michell's work on geometry, much of this was taken from Professor Thom's earlier and unsurpassed work on ancient alignments regarding Neolithic stone circles and burial chambers with the stars and constellations, covering years of academic study. All Michell has done is ripped of Thom's work with his Megalithic Yard and used it to suit his agenda, which is not in any way academic especially when he starts banging on about Ley Lines and Aliens.

Even Thom has been seriously challenged on his Megalithic Yard measurement which he claims is accurate to 1mm in calculations for alignments, I'll sit on the fence here as I find his theory on this quite compelling, but what you can't take away from him is the outstanding accuracy of his work which deals in fact, not fantasy like Michell.

The more you go on insisting Michell's work is pioneering, the more stupid you are starting to look.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2014 20:25:32 GMT
James Reed says:
The Telegraph comment was a joke but thanks for clarifying. I'll treat the ad hominem with the disdain it deserves. It doesn't matter how stupid you think I am for saying it, 'Sacred Center' and Dimensions of Paradise' will continue to inspire with their Platonic perspectives. Archaeology does not only deal in facts but also in interpretive narratives, and is occasionally as prone to fantasy as those radically dangerous, LSD imbibing, hippy ne'er-do-wells you seem to despise so much. If not The Telegraph, then perhaps the Daily Mail?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2014 20:40:19 GMT
Mr Chairman says:
"If not The Telegraph, then perhaps the Daily Mail?"

Please, you really are insulting me now......and also rather boring me too with your so-called "Dimensions of paradise" and "platonic perspectives", along with all your other Michell-type nonsense.

This is not a chat board but a medium to comment on the book, I have given my very valid reasons for my review and more. So I thank you for your comment but I do not wish to discuss this nonsense, conjecture and pure fantasy anymore.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2014 00:07:45 GMT
James Reed says:
Signed, Mr Chairman of Tunbridge Wells. A reader.
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