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Tony O'Connell

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Tony O'Connell (1943–) is an Irish pseudohistorian who owns the website Atlantipedia.[1]

Pseudoscientific ideas[edit]

O'Connell argues that Atlantis was a real place and among his other fringe views is the discredited pseudoscientific idea of an expanding Earth. O'Connell claims that he is "sympathetic towards the idea of earth expansion finding it somewhat more credible than plate tectonics."[2]

Atlantipedia is chock full of other pseudohistory and nonsense. For example, O'Connell thinks that there was an ancient African settlement in the Americas based on "negroid" features of Olmec heads, supporting the dubious "research" of Afrocentrist crank Clyde Winters.[3][4] O'Connell also claims the Chinese settled in the Americas (Pre-Columbian era).

Basically, Atlantipedia is an example of crank magnetism at work: If any cranky idea can be used to boost the case for a historical Atlantis, O'Connell will latch onto it, hence the various supportive entries on hyperdiffusionism ('cause Atlanteans came to the Americas, obviously). Thus O'Connell lavishly praises the Haig's Law hyperdiffusionist website Migration & Diffusion[5] and its founder, Christine Pellech,[6] who thinks the Greek tales of Jason and the Argonauts and the Odyssey depict a real life circumnavigation of the globe.[7] Similarly, O'Connell, who believes that Altantis was a very ancient civilization destroyed by a flood, cites with approval the extremely ancient Sphinx nonsense of Robert SchochWikipedia and others,[8] just like O'Connell believes that all the flood myths mean that there must have been a global flood and that indeed the only(!) possible explanations are:

[...] either a close encounter with an extraterrestrial body that created a mega tsunami that was on such a scale that it swept around the globe, perhaps a number of times before dissipating or the melting of the Ice Age glaciers produced the cyclical bursting of ice-dams and landbridges and the inundation of vast areas of low-lying land(a). I believe that the balance of probabilities favours the latter explanation.[9]

Hence, O'Connell supports an extreme and pseudoscientific version of catastrophism[10] involving the usual mangled misunderstandings of such otherwise real phenomena as pole shifts.[11] Likewise, O'Connell seems to be supporting several (mutually exclusive) alternate historical chronologies, citing not only Schoch, but also Immanuel Velikovsky.[12]

Of course, no lexicon on Atlantis would be complete without a fawning entry on the author who really set the tone[13] of modern "Atlantology", Ignatius L. Donnelly, replete with citations alleging that a conspiracy has hushed up exactly how amazing Donnelly's work was and is:

"Modern editions of Atlantis: The Antediluvian World are streamlined and heavily revised; whole sections have been scissored out and dropped. The reason is clear: Donnelly offered many theories as known and established facts that science did not support even then and wholly discredits today.” Some consider aspects of his ideas to be somewhat racist![14]


O'Connell does not have any education or degrees in archaeology, history or classics (three subjects he usually writes about). He previously worked for a small electrical company but is now retired. According to the skeptic Jason Colavito "O’Connell is friendly and personable but clearly fancies himself the arbiter of acceptable evidence."[15]

However, O'Connell is mentioned and his opinions cited in the New York Times bestseller travelogue Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City authored by his friend Mark Adams.[16]

See also[edit]