Probably because i was brought up with the idea that the Amazon was 'virgin' land and had never really experienced much impact from human activity, it was fascinating to learn that within the last 600 years (but for at least the last 2000) there is strong evidence for an extremely large and organized civilization having lived there. This became particularly apparent in the deforested areas where geoglyphs can be seen all over the place, especially from the air, but there's even evidence, as Hancock mentions, in the unusual predominance of some trees (brazil nut and the ice cream bean - who can blame them ).
Yes, Hancock also suggests that most of what we commonly think of as "pristine virgin natural lands, plants and forests and so on" in the Amazon were probably quite profoundly shaped and even created and cultivated by humans that lived there until pretty recently. Hancock also dives into the early accounts of Europeans that crossed that land in his book and how everything seems to have been gone just a couple of decades/centuries later and how most people to this day think that all that was just made up by those explorers, perhaps understandably so, given that it is hard to believe that something like this existed in the Amazon. As it turns out though, latest findings in the region including satellite imagery has substantiated many of the claims those early explorers made of what they saw there. In the book he also mentions quite some details from what the explorers said about the then existing civilization there, which indeed sounds pretty huge and sophisticated including pottery that was "the best they have seen anywhere".
All this kind of reminded me also of the many accounts that are for example brought up in the great book "A COLD WELCOME: The Little Ice Age and Europe’s Encounter with North America" by Sam White, discussed on the forum in some places, in which the early explorers of North America also told stories about great, mysteries things they saw or expected there and fertile lands and so on.
Usually there is also the idea and notion, which I think might play into all this, that early European colonizers of the continent, exaggerated what they saw greatly and even made up things out of thin air to either impress people back home and/or tempting them to also "colonize the great fertile lands" there, maybe encouraged by the imperial states at the time. As I was reading "Cold Welcome" though, I kept thinking about this abundance of curious mentionings of those early explorers and if we can really put all this material spanning decades and even centuries all just down to wishful thinking, exaggerations and plain lies, as seems to be suggested in "A Cold Welcome", given the many accounts of that sort? I mean, the extent of those "false statements" about "the lands and its inhabitants" was quite extensive and persistent spanning over many reports and decades/centuries. So I was thinking back then maybe some of it was not wishful thinking and fairy tales but actually based on what they saw there? And if so, what factors have made this all disappear quite mysteriously other than "diseases from the old world" and the colonization itself? Indeed, nature might have played a much bigger role than expected and maybe even other factors as well.
It was also surprising to learn that because of the climate and other conditions, Amazon soil isn't actually that fertile. It can support 2-3 growing seasons at most, and some of the current tribes get around this by simply moving on to fresh land and starting over again. However some tribes seem to have retained (or maybe relearned) the technique of how to cultivate 'terre preta' which, if i remember correctly, also has some special properties whereby it can even confer increased fertility, due to its unique make up, to any soil. In the documentary one tribe apparently still create their own (although his description sounded more like simple composting). Hancock talks about some special technique where the vegetation is burnt but isn't aflame and doesn't get very hot, instead it smoulders. Finding a way to make this stuff could be critical in our troubled times...
The mystery of how exactly 'terre preta' was created and the fact that to this day people can't quite replicate it and explain its contents is also explored in Hancocks new book. It is a established fact, that it is a human made soil, created thousands of years ago. This incredibly fertile soil might have been one of the means, as Hancock seems to suggest, that enabled/supported that civilization to thrive there with so many people and such large cities. I agree with Hancock that this is an interesting puzzle that needs further investigation.
Another idea he mentions is that the origin story of one tribe is that their ancestors were brought to the Amazon by a group of "supernaturals" for some settlement mission, gifted certain knowledge (like hallucinogens) and then they left. I thought this was interesting in how it correlated with some things the C's had said about races being placed in areas particularly suited to their make up. There's also the issue of there being some DNA connection with people from the Amazon and those in Papua New Guinea and others in the Amazon to Native Australians.
That is a pretty intriguing part of the book that raises a lot of questions. Even one of the leading researchers of that DNA found in the Amazon states quite clearly in the book, given the current dogma/model (that America was first visited by humans crossing the land bridge from Eurasia through the ice free corridor during the ice age, from top to bottom) that the most logical explanation of this "out of place DNA" is not this model but maybe a ship transfer of those people from the Australian region. An idea the scientist than dismiss "because it doesn't make any sense" since so far back in time no such thing as sophisticated sailings should have existed crossing countries according to Archeologists. Indeed, the peculiar features of this "out-of-place DNA" also made me think about the C's suggestion that some people where seeded here or there on the planet at some points.
Another intriguing fact (which Hancock brings up and doesn't seem to directly connect in that regard) is the DNA signature of the Denesovians, found in Siberia, which doesn't correlate with the people living there today but most closely with Melanesians, Aboriginal Australians and Papuans!
Wikipedia said:The nuclear genome from this specimen suggested that Denisovans shared a common origin with Neanderthals, that they ranged from Siberia to Southeast Asia, and that they lived among and interbred with the ancestors of some modern humans, with about 3% to 5% of the DNA of Melanesians and Aboriginal Australians and around 6% in Papuans deriving from Denisovans.
The question of what happened to this civilisation came up after watching the documentary. Apparently it is accepted by mainstream researchers that millions of people could have lived in the region, and that habitation could have spanned at least 1,500 years. This massive, interconnected and relatively sophisticated civilisation is supported by the records of a Portugese explorer who, being one of the first Europeans to explore the Amazon river in the 1540's, reported seeing great and thriving cities. However, later explorers found just forest. So what happened? Some archaeologists speculate small pox brought over from Europe wiped them out. But I wonder whether, since this time is coincident with the Little Ice Age, whether there weren't other contributing factors. After all, Europe has been wiped out by by weather shifts and plagues (added: corruption, and the subsequent societal breakdown) before, as have other civilisations in the America's that couldn't have been blamed on European contact, so perhaps something like that occurred here too? I don't know, but that was what came to mind.
Hancock explores this as well. I think the reason for this could be a mixture of several factors, including a very strong prevalence of natural factors, which Hancock misses. 1: The little ice age and other natural calamities, 2: diseases, 3: colonization/genocide, 4: rewriting of history by the imperial European forces (such as deliberately destroying historic and oral remnants of the civilization on a big scale, also in North America itself) probably strongly aided by 4D STS.
Hancock's idea, which I think is reasonable given the facts, is that all this new evidence again points to a lost civilization that existed before the cataclysms of the Younger Drias (probably a global one centered around North America), of which some if not many civilizations on the globe, including those in the Americas, where the descendants of, who had at least in small parts inherited some of the habits and knowledge of that lost civilizations.
He also makes the point, which I think is reasonable as well, that the cataclysm of around 12.800 years ago (set into motion by huge comet intrusions) was the first and most substantial factor that "wiped the slate clean" about what existed not only in the Americas before that point and that the European colonization of america destroyed even more of that knowledge about the past, that might have been preserved there, more or less, by those civilizations. In his opinion, the European intrusions where sort of the "second cataclysm" although on a much smaller scale, that erased most of what was then still left of the memory and remnants of this past civilization.
I also think that his idea that indigenous people not only in America but probably worldwide were the most likely candidates who could have survived the Drias Cataclysms, in stark contrast to most if not all the people of that "lost high civilization" itself, is a reasonable idea. I also think that the idea that some few survivors of that lost civilization might have then "aided" those indigenous people with knowledge and skill of that lost civilization to "recreate" parts of it, is reasonable too. It makes sense. It also makes perfect sense that indigenous people would have viewed people from that civilizations as "gods" and "supernaturals".
What I'm not so sure about though is his assumption/idea that this lost civilization saw what was coming (cataclysms) well ahead before it happened and then made a deliberate plan for what to do in case it will be very severe; namely, his idea that they then deliberately set out to live amongst indigenous people and learn from them, because they knew that they would be the best skilled and able to help them survive what was coming.
I would think that a more likely scenario would be that they didn't really see it coming (at least not in the way it turned out at the end) and didn't really have any such plan but instead some people of that civilization survived by chance and were forced by necessity to live with and amongst indigenous people, who perceived them as "gods", in contrast to a deliberate planning as Hancock suggests.
I think his comparison to our civilization today also might be not too far of the mark in some respects: even though today we live in a global highly connected "evolved" civilization there are still indigenous people and tribes living amongst us (in jungles and islands for example) at the same time who have no clue and are untouched by any of that.
This all reminds me of an idea I had a while back, which might be reasonable:
If we assume that the cataclysms at the end of the last ace age didn't wipe out all remnants of that probably global "high civilization" at once, which I think is reasonable, maybe some small pockets of that civilization survived at some places on the globe, at least for a while, pretty much unaffected? Let's then say, those small pockets still had much if not all the capabilities of that lost civilization at hand, decades or even centuries after much of the rest of the civilization was wiped out on the planet. How then would the survivors on the rest of the globe (most of which were probably indigenous people), even those from that civilization itself, who were directly effected by the cataclysms, view those pockets who probably still had "magical" skills like sailing and even more "high tech" methods we probably can't even imagine today, even just one or two generations after the cataclysm? As "gods" and "supernaturals"? I think that is likely scenario.
Which brings me to Hancock's idea which he for the first time expressed in this book on paper, which also relates to this:
It's notable that in the interview they discuss these hallucinogens, how they were a 'gift from the gods', as a way to achieve other states of consciousness. When asked whether there were other ways of doing so, he talks about fire gazing and drumming, and he does seem to acknowledge that perhaps some people don't need any of those things, although he skips over it quite quickly, which i think is rather telling. Perhaps he accepts that it is possible but, for him, he wants to do it anyway and doesn't want to wait till he can do it without them...
Anyway, while, as has been mentioned, Hancock has his blind spots and doesn't have the whole banana,[...]
He proposes that this lost civilization [which was maybe pretty "far ahead" compared to ours (my assumption based on what the C's said comparing us to Neanderthals compared to the "Atlantians")], was centered not around the kind of technology, ideas and thinking our civilization is based on at all but something completely different that we can't make sense of today and that this might explain partially why scientists still have such a hard time seeing anything "civilized", and god forbid, globally connected and "highly evolved, maybe even more than we are" in the structures and remnants we see today, because they assume that such a civilization must be similar to how a global civilization looks like today. In other words, they can't see or find anything that suggest to them anything like that because they expect to find plastic bags, pipes, electricity and the like, and other things characteristic of our civilization. Therefore, they (and we all for that matter) could be staring those remnants/facts right in the face and might not be able to see anything of that because it is not a part of their frame of mind. He gives examples of how we can't imagine and see things, that do in reality exists because it is not in our frame of mind, and we have never seen/experienced it.
Then he suggests that this inability to see the "hard proof" of this civilization today might point to the fact that this civilization indeed operated quite differently than ours. Which I think is a reasonable idea as well. He then suggests, by not only drawing on all the mysteries structures and megaliths all around the globe, but also on ancient traditions and Myths and on the handed down stories and tales of indigenous people (which all seem to have a common core in ideas about death and the life beyond it) that this civilization might have been centered around psychic abilities like Telepathy, Telekinesis, Remote Viewing, "other realms" and other "paranormal" stuff beyond the purely materialistic existence and approach to life.
Wow! He must have thought long and hard if he should put that idea in the book. Though interestingly, he might be onto something with this idea in my opinion. Then he makes the assumption that is IMO based on pretty flimsy evidence (like how indigenous people use medicine plants today) that part of that culture in that civilization was based on altered states of consciousness which we have forgotten about and/or don't operate on today, that were reached maybe partly by using hallucinogenic brews and plants. Although he states in the interview above that there are other methods "to reach those states" that don't involve drugs like this, he seems to assume that they primarily used those methods. We can't know that of course, but I think the idea in itself isn't such an unlikely one and might indeed a have played an important role.
But the crux of the matter seems to escape Hancock and other proponents of such "plant helper" ideas in the past; the fact that the civilizations was wiped of the planet by a cataclysm very thoroughly and violently. If we assume that there was a higher reason for the demise of that civilization, which might be partly explored in the book "Earthchanges and the Human Cosmic Connection" (namely that something was very rotten in the state of Denmark in that civilization) then that hypothetical fixation of this civilization on non material "powers" and "abilities" and interaction with death and "other realms" might have been the primary reason for its destruction?
What I'm getting at here is, what if this "global lost civilization" went to the other extreme? Instead of being totally fixated and obsessed by the materialistic/physical existence, like we are today, they went to the other extreme by embracing and obsessively focusing on "psychic" things, realms and abilities, which then attracted a devastating cataclysm?
I'm very much reminded about Don Juan stories in Carlos Castaneda's books about the mistakes of old Indian "seers" in America who essentially brought on their own destruction by fixating on "unknowable realms" and forgetting about very real dangerous like "petty tyrants" in this reality. Don Juan essentially said that you can't face or withstand anything in unknowable realms if you can't truly manage and face our reality. And to approach it the other way around, is fatal:
Don Juan has explained what he called a “three-phase progression.” This is the mode of approach to becoming a warrior who is free. This three-step program consists of:
1. Holding your own in facing petty tyrants.
2. Facing the unknown with courage.
3. Standing in the presence of the unknowable.
“The average man’s reaction is to think that the order … should be reversed,” he went on. “A seer who can hold his own in the face of the unknown can certainly face petty tyrants. But that’s not so. What destroyed the superb seers of ancient times was that assumption. We know better now. We know that nothing can temper the spirit of a warrior as much as the challenge of dealing with impossible people in positions of power. Only under those conditions can warriors acquire the sobriety and serenity to stand the pressure of the unknowable.”
Maybe the "old seers" Don Juan talked about were people of that lost civilization and/or their descendants who were fatally mistaken by delving into unknowable realms and neglecting the real world?
Which brings me back to Hancock who seems to see no connection whatsoever there and essentially now supports the idea to bring our civilization back to the other extreme of the spectrum mentioned above by using "psychedelics" which will "solve everything".