At a press conference in their Front Street headquarters on Tuesday, the Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) told an assembly of reporters and city officials of plans to raise Atlantis from the bottom of the Mississippi River.
The "continent" of Atlantis, home to an advanced civilization of peaceful citizen-philosophers, was described by Plato in 360 BC as lying “beyond the pillars of Heracleas" and for centuries, that was interpreted to mean the missing landmass was located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. But RDC researchers discovered that Plato’s words were mistranslated. “He really said that Atlantis was just west of Mud Island,” RDC President Benny Lendermon explains. “We were as surprised as anyone.”
Dressed in what he called “full regalia of Atlantean royalty,” Lendermon said the RDC's bold plan was developed after years of careful research by archeologists, engineers, and shamans. Using evidence from geological surveys, satellite imagery, crystal skull phrenology, and dusty tomes of uncertain origin found in the Memphis Room of the Public Library, Lendermon believes the RDC has finally pinpointed the legendary island's exact location in the deepest channel of the Mississippi River.
After determining Atlantis’ location, RDC members made psychic contact with the Atlanteans while in an ayahuasca-induced trance state. “They want to bring peace and prosperity to the Above World,” Lendermon says. “We think this is a great opportunity to connect Memphians and tourists to the riverfront.”
The plans, unveiled today in a polished Keynote pitch deck, require the use of “probably no more than five” small
nuclear explosives in and around the area of the river where this astonishing race of enlightened supermen have been living in secret tranquility for thousands of years.
“We ran our plan past the Atlantean Council of Wisdom, and they’re totally cool with it,” says Lindermon, who expects the disruption to be minimal
Once the glistening jade spires of legend and lore are restored to their rightful place high above the Chickasaw Bluff, the RDC plan calls for a boardwalk with interpretive signs to be built along the riverfront next to a submarine taxi-stand and a rock climbing wall. So far the RDC has offered no response to further requests for clarification regarding a pentagonal section of the architectural rendering marked “Sacrificial Altar Complex."
Mayor Jim Strickland praised the plan, saying the city’s investment in the RDC was finally paying off. “You don’t really think we’ve shoveling money at these people for all these years just for a boat dock and a restaurant, do you?”
At press time, efforts to contact the Atlantean Council of Wisdom had not been successful.