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Scientist: We've found Atlantis (maybe)

University of Hartford scientist says he and his research team may have found the lost city of Atlantis beneath Spain. They'll present their findings on the National Geographic Channel tomorrow.

This is it. No, really. I know you might have been temporarily fooled two years ago when it seemed as if the Lost City of Atlantis had turned up on Google Earth.

But this time it's serious. Really serious. How do I know? Well, it's on the National Geographic Channel.

According to Reuters, tomorrow night the channel will reveal the work of Richard Freund, a professor at the University of Hartford, Conn., and his international team of Atlantis-seekers.

You will be wondering where Atlantis truly is. Throughout history there has been speculation that it was somewhere near Southern Spain. The Google Earth rumor placed it 600 miles west of the Canary Islands--off the west coast of Africa.

Using satellite photos, Professor Freunds and his freunds say they've found the remains of a city, just north of Cadiz in Spain. They say that it has the multiringed characteristics that many associate with the legendary Atlantis. And they say that it was wiped out by a tsunami.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The researchers spent two years using a variety of technological tools--deep-ground radar and digital mapping, for example--to locate their nirvana.

Freund told Reuters that, though he can't know for sure (yet) whether this is the lost city, there is some hope. "We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archeology, that makes a lot more sense," he said.

Freund believes that the residents of Atlantis managed to escape the tsunami's worst and created more Atlantis-type settlements in the central regions of Spain. He bases this on his discovery of several more so-called memorial cities 150 miles inland from what he now believes might be the original Atlantis.

Of course, much of this research team's claim to fame will depend on whether it can match its discovery of these geological formations with descriptions that Plato left behind some 2,600 years ago.

Plato, you'll recall, described Atlantis as having been wiped out overnight. He also called it a naval power and "an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Hercules." These pillars are believed to have referred to the Straits of Gibraltar, a place where, these days, if you land by plane, it then has to cross a car-lined street before taking you to the gate.

Personally, I'm not sure how much we can trust Plato. We tend to glorify writers of the distant past. But these people were entertainers just as much as writers today. Who knows what traditions he was leaning on when writing his own literature?

Still, everyone wants legends to become realities, so that those realities can become even bigger legends.

And there's no reason that the channel which brings you beast hunters and shark stalkers shouldn't bring you the finders of the Lost City of Atlantis, is there?