Dr.Bob Curran: Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms
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Author of the outstanding book "Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms", Dr.Bob Curran joins us, direct from Northern Ireland, for a discussion on the historical background and cultural significance of a number of esoteric places, including The Otherworld, Green Island, Atlantis, Lemuria, Davy Jones Locker and the Flying Dutchman, Shangri-La, Shambala, The Kingdom of Prestor John, El Dorado, The Kingdom of Prince Madoc, The Fountain of Youth, The Green Children, the Library of Alexandria, and tons more.
This captivating conversation provides an enlightening look at many famous, infamous, and forgotten esoteric locations, while also providing insight into what factors helped shape these locations and gave rise to their prominence in our collective lore.
Full Preview: We start out with the standard bio / background on Dr.Bob Curran and how he became interested in the esoteric. Before delving into specific locations, Bob gives us a thumbnail look at what "Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms" is about.
Kicking off this mystical tour, Bob first tells us about "The Otherworld," which he describes as a "realm from Celtic mythology," unattainable by all but the greatest of people and where time stood still. He also shares some stories from the 1800's where people in European coastal towns would see cloud formations appearing to look like "The Otherworld," creating a frenzy in the area.
We discuss the unique situation from past eras where some of these mythical locations were actually put on maps of the time and Bob explains how that situation came about. This segues into Bob telling us about the "Green Island" which was seen on many maps and was claimed to only appear once every seven years.
Next we take a look at Madam Blavatsky, who played a key role in repopularizing many of the "Lost Lands" profiled in the book and was integral to introducing them to the popular culture we enjoy today. This leads to a discussion on Atlantis, which remains perhaps the most famous and discussed "lost land." He contrasts what the early writers told us about Atlantis with what many people think of it as today. He shares where Atlantis probably existed, if it existed at all. After that, we talk about the strange evolution of the story of Lemuria, which began as a theory to explain the spread of the Lemur and turned into a tale of a fantastic lost civilization.
Looking at a newly popular "lost land, forgotten realm," we discuss "Davy Jones's Locker" and Bob gives us some background on if Davy Jones was a real person and, if not, what influences may have helped to create the name. He talks about the era of impressment in the British Navy and how that may have contributed to the Davy Jones legend as well. This leads into a discussion on the "Flying Dutchman" and Bob clears up the modern day confusion by explaining the origins of the legend and how the "Flying Dutchman" was actually a person and not a ship.
We then cover the famous Shangri-La and Bob talks about how likely it was that it existed and, if it did, how closely it resembled the Shangri-La of lore. He also talks about why the concept of Shangri-La has such resonance in contemporary times. This segues into Bob detailing the expeditions by the Nazis in the 1930's to locate Shambala and how that ties into the popular ideas that early man came from these "lost lands."
"The Kingdom of Prestor John" is our next stop in examining lost lands. Bob explains the surprising political and religious implications that surrounded it. He talks about all the various permutations and areas that the Kingdom of Prestor John was ascribed to, including a fallen Christian outpost, part of the emerging Mongol Empire, a sect of Nestorian Christians, or in Ethiopia and somehow tied to Rastafarianism.
Bringing things closer to home, Bob tells us about the "Kingdom of Prince Madoc" that was purportedly located in the state of Alabama. He explains why he thinks that of all the places detailed in the book, the Kingdom of Prince Madoc is perhaps most likely to have existed. He shares a story of the Dutch missionary who's story lends credence to the Kingdom of Prince Madoc story.
Following that, we cover Coronado's infamous failed search for "El Dorado" and Bob explains how "El Dorado" was really a person and not a place, but at some point turned into a place. He talks about how El Dorado ties into the Legend of the Seven Cities and how the whole legend was renewed with the discovery of Angkor Wat, which was believed to be a "lost city" of the Khmer people.
Bob reveals the true, political, motives behind Ponce De Leon's search for the Fountain of Youth, which lead him to discover Florida. He also details some of the timeless aspects of the search for immortality. From there, Bob discusses the legends of Bimini as a site of a great civilization. Continuing the theme of lost cities and forgotten places in America, we find out what Bob knows about the purported lost city in the Grand Canyon.
We discuss one of the most intriguing cases covered in the book: The Green Children. Bob recounts the story in great detail. He also talks about how a strikingly similar story of the Green Children emerged seven hundred years later in Spain. We also talk about one location that isn't discussed in the book, The Library of Alexandria.
Looking back at American stories from the book, Bob tells us about the disappearance of the Shepard of the Hills, which ties into tales of underground worlds in North Carolina. Bob also has some warnings for binnall about places in Massachusetts that may be entrances to other worlds.
Bob explains the origins of the amazing illustrations contained in "Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms", which were done by a friend of his. Looking at some of his additional research, Bob tells us about his other books, which deal with vampires and the undead. He tells us about some of the vampires that have been reported all over the world including Vietnam, the Philippines, and Albania. He also previews his next book on Zombies and Voodoo.
We briefly touch on Hollow Earth theory and get Bob's thoughts on that as well. We find out if he's ever watched "Lost." And, wrapping it all up, we find out what's next for Dr.Bob Curran.
Dr. Bob Curran Bio
Psychologist and historian Dr. Bob Curran has traveled the world in the study of mythology and folklore, which he has also extensively written and lectured about. He is the author of Vampires, Encyclopedia of the Undead, Celtic Lore & Legend, and Walking With the Green Men. He lives in Northern Ireland with his wife and family.
He can be reached at drbobcurran(at)yahoo.co.uk