James Churchward (1851-1936), was a British occult writer, inventor, engineer, and fisherman. He was the elder brother of the Masonic author Albert Churchward (1852–1925). Churchward is most notable for proposing the existence of a lost continent, called "Mu," in the Pacific Ocean. His writings on Mu are considered to be pseudoscience.
Churchward claimed to have gained his knowledge of this lost land after befriending an Indian priest, who taught him to read an ancient dead language (spoken by only three people in all of India). The priest disclosed the existence of several ancient tablets, written by the Naacals, and Churchward gained access to these records after overcoming the priest's initial reluctance. His knowledge remained incomplete, as the available tablets were mere fragments of a larger text, but Churchward claimed to have found verification and further information in the records of other ancient peoples.
According to Churchward, Mu "extended from somewhere north of Hawaii to the south as far as the Fijis and Easter Island." He claimed Mu was the site of the Garden of Eden and the home of 64,000,000 inhabitants- known as the Naacals. Its civilization, which flourished 50,000 years before Churchward's day, was technologically more advanced than his own, and the ancient civilizations of India, Babylon, Persia, Egypt and the Mayas were merely the decayed remnants of its colonies.
In 1926, at the age of 75, he published The Lost Continent of Mu: Motherland of Man. His writings attempt to describe the civilization of Mu, its history, inhabitants, and influence on subsequent history and civilization. Churchward claimed that the ancient Egyptian sun-god Ra originated with the Mu; he claimed that "Rah" was the word which the Naacals used for "sun" as well as for their god and rulers.