An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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Joseph, Frank

Frank Joseph (1944- ) or more correctly Francis Joseph Collin, was born in Chicago. His father was Max Simon Cohen who is said  to have spent time in Dachau concentration camp. Incredibly, in the late seventies Frank Joseph was leader of the American Nazi Party.In 1981 Joseph was arrested and convicted of molesting young boys. He was released after serving three of a seven year sentence (a)(b).

Since his release, he has established himself as an author, writing a Frank Josephnumber of books on Atlantis and Diffusionism[102108] . He has emphasised at length the enormous quantities of copper mined in ancient times in North America that he maintains were brought to Europe to feed the demand there for bronze making. He maintains that this is clear evidence of trading contacts between the Old and New Worlds in prehistoric times. Among his more unusual claims are that Noah was an Atlantean and that the Trojan War just part of the conflict with the Sea Peoples.

One of Joseph’s early  books, Edgar Cayce’s Atlantis and Lemuria[106], was heavily criticised in some quarters(e)including an accusation of including in the book a ‘heavily retouched’ photo of the underwater Yonaguni site.

In Joseph’s The Destruction of Atlantis he dates that event to 1198 BC quoting such sources as the Ipuwer Papyrus and temple inscriptions at Medinet Habu.

*He then claims that eight years later the Atlanteans re-emerged as the Meshwesh, one of the Sea Peoples, attacked Egypt and were defeated by Ramses III [1535]. The authoratative D’Amato & Salimbeti have identified the Meshwesh as possibly being a tribe related to the Libyans [1152.8].*

The author concurs with others that the catastrophe was triggered by an impact from a comet/asteroid in the region of the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Joseph supports an Atlantis located in the Atlantic of which the Canary Islands  and Azores(g) among its remnants. He draws attention to the fact that The Laws by Plato also refers to the ‘Great Deluge’. In the same book Joseph returns to his hobbyhorse of the huge amounts of copper mined in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in prehistoric times. He is convinced that Atlanteans carried out this massive extraction and transported it to the east to feed the emerging Bronze Age. This book is useful for someone coming to the subject for the first time but it contains little that new and is really just a reworking of existing material.

His next offering was promoted as an encyclopaedia of Atlantis related references, yet it omits any mention of many of the leading theories and their promoters, which is not what you would expect from a serious work on the subject. He followed this with Survivors of Atlantis, a sequel to The Destruction of Atlantis, which focuses on four global catastrophes linked to the cyclical return of a comet, which led to the destruction of Atlantis and the subsequent dispersal of its survivors and their influence on the cultures of their adopted homelands. As usual he returns to the mystery of the Michigan copper mines, but covers a wide range of global prehistory speculating on possible links with Atlantis. Unlike its prequel, ‘Survivors’ does not include an index.

For a number of years, Joseph was editor-in-chief of Ancient American magazine(c), owned by Wayne May, a Mormon, whose church has a vested interest in demonstrating the existence of early, advanced pre-Columbian peoples in America. A one-hour lecture given by Joseph in 1997 is available on YouTube(h), in which he outlines a number of very early pre-Columbian contacts between West Africa, particularly Mali and the Americas that led to the giant stone heads being carved by the Olmecs.

In 2008 Joseph published Unearthing Ancient America in which he revisits the pre-Columbian remains of North America. As usual he denounces orthodox archaeologists as a means to bolster his own extreme ideas. For example “Louisiana’s Poverty Point, the ‘oldest city in North America’, is a dead-ringer for Plato’s description of Atlantis…[108.178]

With his book The Opening of the Ark of the Covenant[670] Joseph moved into slightly different territory, linking the Ark with Atlantis and the Templars. Joseph co-authored this book with Laura Beaudoin who claims to be a descendant of the founder of the Knights Templar in Jerusalem.

Not one to miss an opportunity, the prolific Mr. Joseph then jumped on the 2012 bandwagon with the publication of Atlantis and 2012[694]. As the world did not end, Joseph revised this book and republished it as Atlantis and the Coming Ice Age[1074] in 2015. An excerpt is available online(i).

April 2012 saw Joseph editor of Lost Worlds of Ancient America[824]  which is an anthology of articles describing various pre-Columbian visitors from both east and west. It also includes a suggestion that the Bahamas had the landmass to match Plato’s description of Atlantis. Jason Colavito, a well known sceptic, has written an extensive and highly critical review(f) of this collection of articles culled from the Ancient American magazine.   While the book has little to do with Atlantis, Colavito’s comments cast doubts on Joseph’s credibility as well as that of the other contributors.

Before Atlantis[1459]  was published by Joseph in 2013, in it he focuses on the ‘aquatic ape theory’(k) and the existence of ‘pre-human cultures’ going back 20 million years. Atlantis plays a minor part in this offering and it is probable that it is only in the title to assist sales! In May 2017, we have a report(l) of pre-human remains dated to 7.2 million years ago being discovered in the Balkans. How Joseph can apply the term ‘culture’ to such primitive creatures is hard to understand.

Joseph then followed ‘Lost Worlds’ with Lost Colonies of Ancient America in 2014[1124], receiving rave reviews on Amazon, while Larry Zimmermann, an archaeologist from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, offers a different view(j) in a recent (July/Oct 2015) edition of American Antiquity.

*In 2014, Joseph republished Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds[636] as a paperback and a Kindle book. which is just a recycling of some of his earlier material and adds nothing of value. His reliance on speculation rather than evidence has not diminished. While his conjecture is bad enough, his misquoting of Plato is unforgivable. One example is his claim that Atlantis had 14,400 naval personnel, for 1,200 ships, which would mean that each ship had only a crew of just 12! The only ships mentioned by Plato were triremes, which had a crew of 200(m). What Plato actually said (Critias 119a-b) was that in time of war each of the managers of the 60,000 allotments on the plain of Atlantis, had to supply four men for naval duty, which amounts to a total of 240,000 and matches the number of men required for 1200 triremes. This is just one of a number of similar errors in that passage. However, the same book also sets a record for the number of mistakes that Joseph managed to squeeze into a single sentence. At this point, I decided to look back at all my references to Joseph’s work and was shocked to find that he has been consistently guilty of at least sloppy research, if not dishonesty, and for me, must therefore be considered unreliable.

I was recently perusing the Kindle version of Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds and discovered a number of obvious inaccuracies. For example, Joseph refers to a G.R.Corli as a French astronomer, whereas in fact his name was Carli and he was born in Capodistria, formerly Italian, but now part of Slovenia (loc.2511). Joseph claims that Carli believed that a fragment of a comet had hit the Earth, when, in fact, he had only postulated that a close encounter with a comet had occurred.

He added a ‘d’ to Edgerton Sykes name (loc. 2543, 3573) and removed the ‘e’ from that of Arthur C. Clarke (loc.2783).

His section on the Atlantean Army and population(loc.312) is full of numerical errors. He has the whole population of Atlantis at over one million, whereas Plato tells us that on their own, the Atlantean armed forces totalled around a million, including 480,000 foot soldiers, 120,000 horsemen, 160,000 manning the 10,000 heavy chariots and 60,000 light chariots, and 240,000 sailors. From this, Otto Muck extrapolated a total population of between 20 and 40 millions for Atlantis. Joseph proposes that the 1,200 Atlantean ships were serviced and manned by 14,400 men (just twelve each). However, the triremes referred to by Plato, each required a crew of 140 rowers!

Joseph ends the book with a Bibliography, but heads it Biography!

This book was clearly not proof-read and its research slipshod. Unfortunately, this does not appear to have been an isolated example. I therefore decided to review all Atlantipedia entries that referred to Frank Joseph.

Amber is not exclusive to the Baltic and can be found in the Americas, Lebanon, Siberia, Australia and Japan. A highly prized blue amber is to be found in the Dominican Republic. Frank Joseph in an effort to support his speculations regarding mythical Electra claims[0636.109] that the Atlantic islands of the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries are one of the two major sources of amber. This is blatantly untrue, as revealed in a comprehensive website(a) by Susie Ward Aber, a mineralogist at Emporia State University, Kansas. Amber sources worldwide are listed, but nothing in the Atlantic. Mr. Joseph has, once again, some explaining to do.

However, there is also another trend becoming more obvious, which is that there are an increasing number of instances, particularly on the internet, of the Ark of the Covenant being linked to Atlantis. There is, of course, no evidence ever offered to support such speculation. One of the most recent of these is Opening the Ark of the Covenant, co-authored by the inventive Frank Joseph, where he traces the Ark back to Atlantis. There are probably few people that don’t accept that the Ark had been a real artefact, while many doubt the reality of Atlantis. It is possible that by linking the two, the authors hope to achieve credibility transference from one to the other!

In his Atlantis Encyclopedia, Frank Joseph has suggested[104.33] that Atalya or Atalia was, through time, transformed into Italy, adding that Atalia means ‘Land of Atlas’. This entry has been copied on a number of websites. However, the etymology of ‘Italy’ is not clear, but the most common proposal is that  “Latin Italia may derive from Oscan víteliú, meaning “[land] of young cattle” (from Latin vitulus “calf”, Umbrian vitlu), via Greek transmission (evidenced in the loss of initial digamma). The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes”. In passing I should mention that Plato tells us that the Atlanteans who controlled southern Italy as far as Tyrrhenia also had a bull cult.

The following excerpt from a paper entitled Atlantis and the Great Pyramid from the July/August 2006 edition of Atlantis Rising magazine. “They (the Egyptians) somehow foresaw some inevitable celestial catastrophe with a potential for extraordinary destructiveness. As the object’s orbit began to noticeably decay, ground-observers concluded that an impact with our planet was unavoidable, and began to prepare for the event by constructing a device that would bolster earth’s ionosphere, thereby deflecting the course of the falling object. The pyramid builders erected their geo-transducer because they understood that the earth was periodically endangered by recurring cycles of celestial bombardments. The Great Pyramid was built to guard against future collisions from outer space.”

The Balearic Islands of the Western Mediterranean were not occupied until around 2200 BC. Although the two larger islands of Majorca and Minorca have many megalithic monuments, principally taulas and talayots, they have not, so far, been part of any Atlantis location theory. The only mention that I can find is the unsubstantiated claim by Frank Joseph[0104.66] that the early settlers were invaders from Atlantis.

Frank Joseph erroneously claims[0108.117] that the only known ‘Cerne’ was Cerne Abbas in England, the site of the famous naked giant carved into the chalk. There is certainly no suggestion of any Amazon invasion there and the physique of the giant was certainly never matched by even the most butch Amazon. There is also the island of Cerne of the west coast of Africa and mentioned in the voyage of Hanno. Furthermore, Cerne is mentioned by Diodorus Siculus (iii.54) and considered by some to be the Tunisian island of Kerkennah. Clearly, there was more than one Cerne known in ancient and so, not for the first time, Joseph is blatantly wrong.

Joseph also proposed that copper was the foundation for the wealth of Atlantis. He is convinced that there is evidence of enormous copper mining activities in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula around 1000 BC. He refers to these miners as Atlanteans[0102] and maintains that the extracted copper was brought to the Mediterranean, as he claims that there is no trace of it in North America. Joseph offers no real evidence.

Frank Joseph incorrectly claimed in the July/August 2011 issue of Atlantis Rising magazine that DeCamp “formerly a staunch disbeliever in Atlantis, was later convinced it did indeed exist in south-coastal Iberia.”  No evidence offered for this wild claim.

Frank Joseph echoed others with the idea that “the Etruscans were themselves nothing more than the late Atlanteans who colonised western Italy, so their surviving material culture offers us a glimpse of Atlantis at is cultural height.”[0636.21]  This is an odd claim as Plato twice, unambiguously, placed Tuscany (Tyrhennia) beyond Atlantean control (Tim.25b & Crit.114c).

Evaemon (Euaemon) is the name of one of the fourth pair (with Ampheres) of twins who became the first kings of Atlantis. Frank Joseph[0104] identifies Euaemon with the ‘pre-Celtic’ king of Ireland, Eremon! This is somewhat incorrect as the Milesians are generally accepted as having been Celtic, with Eremon being one of eight Milesian brothers who invaded Ireland from Spain and defeated the Tuatha dé Danaan.

I found more of Joseph’s entries relating to Ireland that were, for me, particularly annoying. The first was his entry in his Encyclopedia for ‘crannóg’ where he attempts to link it with a sunken city. Crannógs are small artificial islands built in lakes for defensive purposes. When abandoned they usually became covered in small trees. The word is derived from the Irish word crann that means a tree, while óg means young or small. There are many such crannógs to be found among the numerous lakes of County Leitrim where I live. My second gripe is the entry ‘Tir-nan-Og’, which should in fact be ‘Tir na nÓg’ which means Land of Youth, implying land of perpetual youth. There is no connection with Og or Ogygia. I respectfully suggest that Frank Joseph and anyone else should tread more warily when trying to link similar sounding words from different languages.

Frank Joseph has related speculative ideas claiming that “the early date for New Grange, its circular construction, sophisticated solar orientation and mythic tradition all point to Atlantean origins.” [0636.70] A nonsensical conclusion based on nothing but his fertile imagination

Frank Joseph erroneously claims that Plato could not have been influenced by the Helike disaster, because according to Joseph the Atlantis dialogues were written 25 years before the obliteration of Helike[1074.14], when in fact Plato wrote his last dialogues about 25 years after the demise of Helike.

Lemmings are small rodents that primarily live in northern regions. Early zoologists and the more gullible readers assumed that the creatures have been seen committing mass suicide in an attempt to find their ancient homeland, Atlantis. Unfortunately, Frank Joseph[0102.51], among others, has chosen to perpetuate this canard. It should be obvious that if Atlantis had been destroyed 12,000 years ago, as Joseph claims, the lemmings should have all died out millennia ago due to their alleged destructive homing instinct.

Frank Joseph links the destruction of ‘Lemuria’ with the Plagues of Egypt [0106][0107]!

Frank Joseph contends[0636.42] that the Phaistos Disk was ‘a sophisticated astrological chart’ and ‘is an example of Atlantean Bronze Age technology’.

Frank Joseph contends that conflict between the Egyptians and the Sea Peoples was part of the Trojan War[0108.11] and has identified the Meshwesh, one of the Sea Peoples, as Atlantean [1535].

Christopher Volpe records that in 1906, Alexander Strath-Gordon founded the Atlantean Research Society, in East Orange, New Jersey. This date conflicts with the foundation date of 1928 proposed by Frank Joseph. A book published by Strath-Gordon in 1934 confirms the 1906 date on its cover and records him as the founder and life president of the Atlantean Research Society.

In view of the above, it quite reasonable to classify Frank Joseph as unreliable.*


(b) (offline July 2015)



(f)   (and subsequent blogs)