Lost on the Atlantic
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Lost on the Atlantic

2008, History  -   22 Comments
Ratings: 8.38/10 from 79 users.

Most of us are fed the same historical narrative that Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. One theory, however, poses a great challenge to this universally accepted recounting of history. Upon examination, American-bred tobacco seeds were discovered inside the mummified remains of Egyptian Pharaohs. Could this indicate that prehistoric Europeans had traveled to America and back thousands of years prior to the conquests of Columbus?

In 2007, an eager group of explorers set out to test this theory, and Lost on the Atlantic serves as a documentation of their efforts.

The argument against such a possibility lies in the turbulent waters of the Atlantic Ocean which have long been thought too perilous to travel across from west to east, particularly in the rudimentary boats that existed in prehistoric times. The expedition at the center of Lost on the Atlantic is led by German archeologist Dominique Gorlitz. Assisted by a team of nine additional crew members consisting of a biologist, skier, diver and student, Gorlitz sets out from a New York harbor on a journey which will encompass 1500 nautical miles.

Their sailing vessel has been meticulously crafted from materials which existed in the Stone Age, and which were likely the ingredients from which these prehistoric explorers would assemble their own craft for a similar expedition.

The crew is well aware of the risks involved, but they are anxious to take part in a potentially history-altering mission. From the beginning of their journey, they are at the mercy of the unpredictable winds. For a full ten days, the ocean remains calm and their boat remains stagnant. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, their expedition becomes endangered as their boat begins to disintegrate. The stern breaks down amongst the crashing waves. Emergency repairs ensure a temporary fix, but additional stressful weather conditions may doom the mission for good.

Will their boat ultimately survive the journey, and will the crew prove successful in their quest to redefine history? In tremendously effective and visceral form, Lost on the Atlantic places a viewer on the boat with the crew through every treacherous setback and incremental victory.

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22 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Glen Hale

    Viking set up homes in USA well be for Columbus before he circumcised the Wolrd.

    1. Ozzie Sollien

      Big operation for one man to do - circumcise the whole world. Is the globe Jewish or is it a metaphor for all the Jews in it??

  2. DustUp

    Unavailable 2018.05.13 also when tried with a proxy. However from the comments I recall seeing this one quite some time ago. Seemed like some people who had their version of fun on somebody's dime; and tried to act serious about it. Adulter version of kids building rafts.

    I can imagine some clever "stone age" fellows made themselves a crude chain saw in which they could mate logs of wood together by sawing between them. Weaving fibers into rope and tying that rope around knobs beat into the top of sharp sided rocks might do it. Or rope through holes or narrow necks beat into or around the center of sharp brittle rocks.

    Some stone age gal may have then decided she could weave smaller sharp rocks right into the rope itself making a dandy "chain saw".

    Easy to see why evidence of such would not exist since the fibers would deteriorate over time. And if there was any remnants, the "discoverers" likely would ascribe it to some silly conjecture like prehistoric barbed wire or ritual thingy; then call it "scientific theory".

  3. Gazzer

    Hmm well I'm sure the layout of the continent's was known to the ancients. We know that people were able to cross from north eastern Asia to North America with dry feet. I'm sure there were some accomplished sailors in ancient history. I seriously doubt that they built large reed boats for transoceanic voyages. Most likely they built wooden craft of some sort. The knowledge of that is lost in time no doubt. Define Stone age? Was that pre-metal tools? Only wood and stone axes and spears? Would they have had the technical savvy to build sea worthy craft? Doubtful. A later period yes. The Egyptian culture was eons later. So what does this voyage demonstrate? Nothing, but a risky adventure. I mean if you want to see if seeds can germinate after weeks or months in the ocean......You don't have to go sailing across it to prove or disprove that theory !

  4. free

    @ it sounds like BigMac is also Greek ;)

  5. Dr. Denmark

    "Greek or Persian sailors made it to the Americas. The Potomac river shows the Greek root for river as does Appomattax river nearby. Same root as Mesopotamia. Potable water...a river." yes and there is an Athens in Georgia and a Syracuse in New York more proof that Ancients Greeks arrived in America!!! lol

  6. Dr. Denmark

    Lot's of people want to believe they are smarter than people who have actually dedicated their lives to the study of history. It's so easy to make snide remarks from your easy chair but how much do you really know?

  7. Pantsy

    This shouldn't have been as exciting as it was. In fact, this was about 10% history / 90% watching a crew of unexperienced novices realize they all made poor life choices when their rotting pile of grass heads right into a tropical storm. That they didn't die testifies either to the existence of God or that our world is left completely to the devices of morons.

  8. Appleseed

    Not forgetting too, Prince Madoc & his tsunami/storm tossed fleet landing in the Mississippi Delta, before navigating up into the Kentuky region in 562 (AD/CE) for at least 7 years..

  9. Fred

    LOL tobacco seeds discovered in mummies? Has it never occurred to anyone that the mummies might be frauds made for the never ending black market in mummies? Like the eucalyptus mummy of Cairo?

  10. bungabunga

    This was a fantastic documentary. Commendations to all involved in this project. It would have taken serious balls to do this. Unfortunately it didn't impress "Ozzie Sollien", the armchair adventurer who knows all the secrets of ancient sailing, but few can compete with his expertise. They should have consulted him - his journey from one side of the bathtub to the other would have been invaluable experience. He also has a wealth of knowledge of ancient ship building techniques that he has mastered after years of building pillow forts in the living room.

    1. Ozie Sollien

      You don't even have to be an armchair adventurer to look through this nonsense. What do they mean, "test this theory"? "This theory" was created in the thirties and tested in 1947, 1972 and 1978 by Thor Heyerdahl, with Kon-Tiki, Ra and Tigris, and it would be a crying shame if they were not aware of that - but looking at how they made their kiddie raft, they probably were not. This is like people today crossing the South Pole, and getting media coverage. Amundsen did that in 1911, and neither Heyerdahl, nor Amundsen, had a snowballs chance in Hell to be rescued, if things did not go according to plan. As a matter of fact, Amundsen's contemporary, Scott, experienced just that - he and his whole crew succumbed while Amundsen succeeded. To set out in a wooden wash basin across the Atlantic today, with all the modern equipment and safety nets - and make a documentary about it - is just childish. Read up on the books written by Heyerdahl, and watch the movies about Kon Tiki and Ra - and may be you can advance from an armchair critic to an armchair adventurer, too.

  11. Ozzie Sollien

    Is there anything on this boat that could have been done with less foresight and worse technical solutions? Basically a heap of rotted reeds bundled together, with a lot of modern, technical equipment brought along to be able to get off it when it all goes down. Why make a film about this? How can the leader of this "expedition"be honored with a historical documentary with absolutely everything going wrong? It is an insult to carefully planning, excellently executing explorers like Thor Heyerdahl to be mentioned in this film, and if I had been the Norwegian aboard this dump - and I am a Norwegian - I would have asked to be cut out of the film. How keen can you be to get your face on the screen, no matter what? What absolute nonsense. If this is not a "cool" comment, you can delete it.

  12. farang

    Greek or Persian sailors made it to the Americas. The Potomac river shows the Greek root for river as does Appomattax river nearby. Same root as Mesopotamia. Potable water...a river.

  13. Mahmoud BouRaad

    Values mater. So does freedom.
    Historical attempt to prove a theory by crossing the Atlantic from west to east by sail boat built similar stone age boats. Was this worth the try?

  14. yvonne bowe

    Great show and well done Dominic and crew. Hope you left a radar reflector on the wreck!

  15. vladimir

    take in accont the probability theory and we"ll see that imitation of ancient ocean voyages can"t give us convincing arguments for the pros and cons supposition to put forward by modern investigations

  16. Tommy

    So were the Chinese

  17. Christian Tintin Johansson

    Vikings were also there before Columbus.

  18. JamesEarlMoans

    Humans have been on this earth of hundreds of thousands of years knowledge of oceanic gyres is not a "recent" discovery.

  19. bungabunga

    the prehistory of our "established history" is infinitely fascinating

  20. Martha Jane Hill

    Historical attempt to cross the Atlantic from west to east in a reed boat, with a side of biology regarding the finding of tobacco in Egyptian mummies. Entertaining!