Ancient Seafaring is a controversial subject owing principally to a dearth of physical evidence. The earliest known boat is the Pesse
Canoe (see right) which was discovered in The Netherlands and thought to be around 10,000 years old. The second oldest boat was also a canoe, found in Malawi and dated to about 8,000 years ago(g). Wikipedia lists all the surviving boats, which shows that until the third millennium BC all that have been found are canoes.
Seafaring and Atlantis are inextricably linked. In Critias 117d Plato anachronistically refers to the shipyards of Atlantis being full of triremes, which were not developed until the 7th century BC, long after the demise of Atlantis. However, the term ‘trireme’ was probably employed by Plato to make his narrative more relevant to his audience. He credits the Atlantean navy with 1200 ships, which for me seems like borrowing and rounding the numbers of either the Achaean fleet of 1186 vessels in Homer’s Iliad or that of the 1207 ships of the later Persian invaders. That ships were used in the war with Athens can be inferred from the fact that Atlantis, or at least its capital, was situated on an island.
Professor Seán McGrail (1928-2021) wrote in his monumental work, Boats of the World “There is no direct evidence for water transport until the Mesolithic even in the most favoured regions, and it is not until the Bronze Age that vessels other than logboats are known” [1949.10]. For those that adhere to a 10th millennium BC date for the Atlantean War with Athens, this lack of naval evidence to support such an early date undermines the idea. An invasion fleet of canoes travelling from beyond the Pillars of Herakles to attack Athens seems rather unlikely!
Apart from the flimsy Solar Boats of the Egyptians, such as the Khufu Boat (see left), the first seagoing vessel listed by Wikipedia does not appear until around 1500 BC.
Seldom referred to, but perhaps even more interesting is to be found earlier in Critias 113e which describes the mythological beginnings of Atlantis and reads “for at that time neither ships nor sailing were as yet in existence”. However, we are given little information to bridge the time up to its development as a major trading entity. It is reasonable to assume a gap of several thousand years.
Recent studies(a) have suggested that primitive seafaring took place in the Mediterranean thousands of years earlier than originally thought and may even have been engaged in by Homo Erectus and Neanderthals in the form of island hopping and coastal-hugging, the latter continuing into historical times.
Plato describes an advanced maritime trading nation with a powerful naval capacity. How much was part of the original story brought from Egypt by Solon or whether it was in any way embellished by Plato is unclear. The earliest known trading empire is that of the Minoans which began in the 3rd millennium BC and has led to many identifying them with the Atlanteans. However, there are very many other details in Plato’s narrative that seriously conflict with this hypothesis.
The limitations of ancient seafaring raise many questions regarding the navigation supports available to these early sailors(b). Initially, sailing, probably for fishing, would have been confined to daytime travel and keeping within the sight of land. With the development of maritime trade, the demand for improved navigation methods also grew.
In time sailors acquired a familiarity with the night sky that enabled them to use the stars as navigational aids, given clear skies. Gradually, as nighttime travel became more common, the use of beacons and later lighthouses also expanded. The lighthouse at Pharos near Alexandria came to be counted as one of the wonders of the Old World. Similarly, it is thought that the Colossus at Rhodes performed a similar function.
Different navigation skills have been identified in different parts of the world. In the Pacific, the navigational capabilities of the Polynesians are legendary(c). The ancient Chinese employed magnetism(e) and in the cloudy North Atlantic, the Vikings used their ‘sunstones’(d).
In their book, Atlantis in America  Ivar Zapp & George Erikson claimed that the stone spheres of Costa Rica had a navigational function [p34] as Zapp discovered that the sightlines of all the stones remaining in their original positions, did point to important ancient sites such as Giza, Stonehenge and Easter Island!
A most imaginative proposal has come from Crichton E.M. Miller who proposed  that the ubiquitous Celtic Cross is an image of an ancient navigational device. He further claims that “This instrument can tell the time, find latitude and longitude, measure the angles of the stars, predict the solstices and equinoxes and measure the precession of the equinoxes. It can also find the ecliptic pole as well as the north and south poles; it can make maps and charts, design pyramids and henges and—used in combination with these sites—can record and predict the cycles of nature and time(f) “. Then for good measure, he proceeded to patent the device.
(f) Atlantis Rising magazine #35 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At
The Akashic Records in theosophy and anthroposophy, is defined by Wikipedia as “a compendium of all human events, thoughts, words, emotions, and intent ever to have occurred in the past, present, or future. They are believed by theosophists to be encoded in a non-physical plane of existence known as the etheric plane. There are anecdotal accounts but there is no scientific evidence for the existence of the Akashic records.”
Edgar Cayce claimed to have access to the Akashic Records(a).
Edward Forbes was one of the first, in 1846 , to hypothesise the existence of a continent in the Atlantic linking Ireland, the Azores and the Iberian Peninsula, which was popularly called ‘Atlantis’. Charles Darwin described his idea as ‘speculative’.
This would appear to conflict with Marco Ciardi, who claimed that Darwin had accepted the existence of Atlantis, I presume later, but did so “under the influence of, among others, the botanist J. D. Hooker” and “reverted to the hypothesis of a lost continent to which the Atlantic islands testified since they constituted the tips of its highest mountains.” This information was cited by Pierre Vidal-Naquet in The Atlantis Story [580.xxii].
Ignatius Donnelly sent a copy of his Atlantis to Darwin, but received a less than enthusiastic response(b).
>Hyperdiffusion is defined by Wikipedia(n) as “a pseudoarchaeological hypothesis suggesting that certain historical technologies or ideas originated with a single people or civilization before their adoption by other cultures. Thus, all great civilizations that share similar cultural practices, such as construction of pyramids, derived them from a single common progenitor. According to its proponents, examples of hyperdiffusion can be found in religious practices, cultural technologies, megalithic monuments, and lost ancient civilizations.”<
Hyperdiffusion with Atlantis at its centre was argued at great length by Ignatius Donnelly when he proposed Atlantis as the mother culture, located in the Atlantic. Through colonisation and migration, their civilisation was brought to the Americas and the Mediterranean, particularly Egypt. The idea received widespread support at the time and has persisted until today(a),>with Graham Hancock being currently the best-known proponent of hyperdiffusion. In 2022, Marco Vigato also advocated Atlantis as a hyperdiffusionist hub.<
Angelo Mazzoldi expressed support for a form of regional hyperdiffusion that had his Italian Atlantis as the mother culture which seeded all the great civilisations of the eastern Mediterranean region.
However, even earlier, in the seventeenth century, Olof Rudbeck “purported to prove that Sweden was Atlantis, the cradle of civilization, and Swedish the original language of Adam from which Latin and Hebrew had evolved.”(i)
Since Atlantis in the Atlantic is considered by many to be highly improbable and Mu only existed in Churchward’s imagination, a more likely explanation is that diverse ideas emerged independently in different locations, possibly around the same time. These developments then diffused through trade and migration in various directions, sometimes returning in an improved format. The result is that today we are finding that most ancient civilisations show evidence of cultural influences from more than one source.
Lawrence Freeman is the American author of Beyond The Pillars: a search for Antediluvian civilizations(l) in which he reviews almost every civilisation and prehistoric mystery that you ever heard of. He refers to Atlantis throughout the book, but in rather sceptical tones, with the nearest to a conclusion being that – “Atlantis may well have never existed, but if it did exist, then it was likely only as part of a worldwide antediluvian civilization that is now coming to light.”
Richard Cassaro and Jim Allen have both published online large collections of images(b)(c)(d) that clearly demonstrate widespread diffusion. This is particularly so in the case of South America where influences from both east and west are clearly evident. While it is regularly claimed that Egypt influenced South American civilisations it is obvious that Asian inspiration was equally, if not solely, at work. The existence of pyramids in both Egypt and Mesoamerica is put forward as evidence of contact between them. However, the problem is that the American pyramids were constructed hundreds if not thousands of years later than the Egyptian ones. However, in spite of this separation by time and distance, the Egyptians and the Aztecs also shared feathered-serpent deities(g)! What appears to be overlooked is the fact that the Chinese pyramids are more like Mesoamerican examples and are dated to the second half of the first millennium BC, again closer to the development of pyramids in Mesoamerica.
Christian O’Brien contended that global cultural hyperdiffusion was centred in Southern Lebanon (the Garden of Eden) and was spread from there by ‘The Shining Ones’ leading to the establishment of some of the great civilisations of our ancient past!(m)
An even more unusual hyperdiffusionist opinion was expressed by the Argentine palaeontologist, Florintino Ameghino (1854-1911), who thought that mankind originated in South America(h) and spread globally from there!
In 2020, Anthony Woods  attempted to prove that Atlantis was Ireland and also the source of the mother culture for the entire world. As an Irishman, when reading this, I did not know whether to laugh or cry.
In March 2021, Hugh Newman published a paper drawing attention to the similarity of megalithic building techniques, using polygonal stones, found in America, Asia, Europe and Africa. He goes further, noting that “Peruvian relief carvings match those at Göbekli Tepe.” How much of this might be the result of coincidence or hyperdiffusion is a matter of opinion.(k)
Carl Feagans offers a paper that is highly critical of hyperdiffusion and its promoters, denouncing them as “willfully ignorant and grossly racist. Though they don’t say it directly, the message is still the same: “white people did it, not savages.”(j)
A 1986 paper(f) by Ben Urish entitled Cultural Diffusion should be read in this connection.
(g) See: Archive 2827
The Ica Stones are named after a town south of Lima in Peru. They are a collection of many thousands of andesite stones that are allegedly of great antiquity that depict images of extinct animal species including dinosaurs. These ancient stones are also claimed to show the execution of advanced medical procedures. The late Dr. Javier Cabrera Darque, usually referred to as Dr. Cabrera, built up a huge collection of these stones. This remarkable collection is quoted by many as ‘proof’ of advanced technology co-existing with dinosaurs.
>Extensive excerpts from Cabrera’s book, The Message of the Stones, are available online(e).<
Dennis Swift has written Secrets of the Ica Stones and Nazca Lines in which he supports the authenticity of the stones(f), but then, Swift is a ‘young earth’ creationist and has a vested interest in claiming the co-existence of man and dinosaurs. As Carl Sagan famously said “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”, so Swift will need more than artefacts denounced as fakes by so many if he wishes to overthrow long-established scientific evidence regarding the millions of years that elapsed between the time of the dinosaurs and the evolution of man.
Unfortunately, a series of claims and retractions regarding the possible forging of these stones has cast such a cloud over their authenticity that they are no longer acceptable as proof of anything. Some early-date Atlantis seekers used to quote the Ica stones to support the idea of the advanced technology related by Plato existing as early as 9600 BC. Unfortunately, the questionable antiquity of the stones has barred their use in this regard.
A balanced account of the stones can be found on the Wikipedia site(a) as well as another site(b) that has a considerable number of links.
The German-language Wikipedia(d) states in this connection: ” Archaeologist Neil Steede examined some of the Ica stones for the film The Mysterious Origins of Man, which was intended to show that mankind existed much longer, as assumed by science. Steede claims to have discovered patina on the stones, but not on the engravings. He concludes that the engravings of the specimens he examined must be much younger than the stones.”
In 1998, Vincente Paris, a Spanish investigator offered further evidence(c) condemning the stones as a hoax.>There are numerous sites offering a sceptical view of the Ica Stones(g), but there there are also commentators offering a more sympathetic view of their authenticity(h)(i).<
(g) Ica stones (archive.org) *
The Burckle Abyssal Impact Crater is named after Dr Lloyd Burckle of Columbia University in the United States. It is a 30km wide underwater crater around 1500km southeast of Madagascar, considered by some to have been the result of a cometary impact less than 6,000 years ago. Wikipedia describes it as a hypothetical underwater feature(a) founded on a study of chevron dune formations in Madagascar and Australia. The Holocene Impact Working Group has an interesting article on the global extent of these dunes(b).
The chevron-tsunami linkage is disputed by University of Washington geologist and tsunami expert Jody Bourgeois(e), among others.
>A paper(l) presented by Burkle et al<at the 2005 Atlantis Conference explored the possibility that this impact resulted in one of the inundations referred to by Plato that preceded the flood of Deucalion. Acceptance of this view would add weight to the claim that Plato’s Atlantis story contains some historically factual details. However, if Plato’s floods were localised in the Mediterranean, it is difficult to understand how an impact in the middle of the Indian Ocean could have caused them.
In 2010 a South African writer, Alewyn J. Raubenheimer, published Survivors of the Great Tsunami , in which he linked the Burckle Impact with the inundation described in the widely discredited Oera Linda Book. He placed his megatsunami in 2193 BC, borrowing the date from the Oera Linda Book. Raubenheimer’s defence of the OLB has generated widespread support(c)(d).
The suggestion that Burckle impact was the possible cause of a global deluge was given due consideration in a paper(h) by a team of prominent scientists, including Lloyd Burckle, which concluded that “We have strong evidence for at least one large oceanic impact event during Holocene time. This event produced the Burckle crater and its ejecta layer. It may also have produced numerous subsidiary craters that are too small to see with our present data. We infer that the Burckle impact was part of a Shoemaker-Levy-type impact of a comet, which vaporized enough seawater to produce a global deluge. It also produced megatsunamis in many parts of the world. An expanded sample of deluge myths, additional study of the Burckle crater site, studies of potential megatsunami locations, and the search for contemporaneous craters in the Pacific will help refine and validate our inferences.”
Raubenheimer’s dating of the megatsunami is rather different from that of Kevin Curran in his Fall of a Thousand Suns, in which he offers more compelling evidence for a date of 3067 BC. Readers may find it useful to read Curran’s book along with the work of Dallas Abbott who has dated the Burckle Event to 2870 BC and sees the impact as just one of a number generated by a fragmented comet(f).
Dallas Abbott is described by Wikipedia(j) as “a research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and is part of the Holocene Impact Working Group. The primary focus of her present research is on submarine impact craters and their contribution to climate change and megatsunamis. She also has presented research regarding a large impact crater in the Gulf of Maine.” Abbott has dedicated years to the study of the Burckle Crater and the gathering of evidence that will convince her more sceptical colleagues of the reality of the impact theory(i).
>In 2020 Indian astronomy site had an article(k) by Dr Manish Pandit supporting this idea, dating the event to some time between 2800 and 3050 BC and speculating that the impact was caused by the Comet Soho which was seen in Feb. 3030 BC and may have led to the destruction of Dwarka.<
A recent paper by Bibhu Dev Misra on Graham Hancock’s website has also proposed that the comet or cometary fragment that created the Burckle Crater generated a megatsunami that submerged the legendary city of Dwarka. Drawing on the Mahabharata, archaeology and geology, the author has deduced that the impact event took place around 3700 BC(g). However, I have some difficulty with this as tsunami floodwaters eventually return to the sea!
Alan F. Alford (1961 – 2011) like many others, including your compiler, was fascinated by the ‘ancient astronaut’ theories of Erich von Däniken and Zechariah Sitchin(e). This led to a compulsive interest in the mysteries of mankind’s early history.
Following extensive travel and study Alford wrote several books on this subject, beginning with Gods of the New Millennium, which offered full-blooded support for Sitchin’s gods from Nibiru (Planet X)! This is now available to be read online(d).
His second book The Phoenix Solution , saw Alford begin a softening of his view of Sitchin’s ‘ancient astronaut’ concepts [p.396] and publish a partial retraction of his earlier views on the Internet. It was in ‘Phoenix’ that his interest in the theory of an exploded planet developed. In the same book, his evolving ideas regarding Atlantis brought him to consider more intently an exploded planet solution [p.391].
In his third book, When the Gods Came Down, Alford appears to advocate the Exploded Planet Hypothesis as the underlying inspiration behind the ancient religions of mankind including Judaism and Christianity. This view might be compared with a book by Graham Phillips which proposes a close encounter with a large comet as the stimulant for the introduction of a range of monotheistic religions.
In The Atlantis Secret Alford expounded the view that the whole Platonic tale is firmly grounded in mythology alone(f). Alford has suggested that the Greek gods were personifications of cataclysmic events. The renowned classical Greek scholar Prof. Christopher Gill of Exeter University, who wrote the foreword to the book, supports some of Alford’s views on the Atlantis story(i).
Alford then turned his attention to the Pyramids and in his later books Alford promoted a theory “that the Great Pyramid’s King’s Chamber had been designed to capture Earth resonance and generate low-frequency sound, which it then broadcast via its ‘airshafts’ in order to celebrate the myth of creation.” (g)
His earlier views regarding the Garden of Eden in a 1997 article(b) are worth a read as was his official website(a) which covered his ideas extensively.
Wikipedia also has a useful entry for Alford(c).
His untimely death in November 2011 came as a shock as he was just 50 years old.
(b) See Archive 2224
(e) https://www.eridu.co.uk/Author/human_origins/AAS_Intro2/Sitchin_Message/sitchin_message.html (link broken July 2018) (See Archive 3489)
Copper was obviously a vital commodity for the Bronze Age Atlantis described by Plato. The source of this copper has led to frequent speculation among Atlantologists. Frank Joseph proposed that copper was the foundation for the wealth of Atlantis. He is convinced that there is evidence of enormous copper mining activities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula around 1000 BC. He refers to these miners as Atlanteans  and maintains that the extracted copper was brought to the Mediterranean, claiming that there is no trace of it in North America!
Joseph’s wild claim runs counter to the evidence offered by one of the leading mining engineers of his day, T.A. Rickard (1864-1953)(m). In 1934, Rickard published an extensive paper in The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland entitled The Use of Native Copper by the Indigenes of North America(n). Rickard notes how early European colonists observed the native Americans using copper for tools and ornaments. A more recent entry(o) in Wikipedia offers further details reinforcing Rickard’s contention. Similarly, a March 2021 article in Archaeology offers evidence that native Americans were producing artefacts from copper as early as the 7th millennium BC and were probably the world’s first coppersmiths(r)(s).
In another article in Atlantis Rising magazine, Joseph proposed that the exploitation of the Michigan copper began in the sixth millennium BC with the arrival of the Red Paint People from Europe!(i)
Frank Joseph and Gavin Menzies are late with their claims regarding the exploitation of the Michigan copper by Atlanteans. In 1928, it was Giacinto Perrone in his book L’Atlantide  who was an early promoter of the idea of Atlantean involvement in the ancient Michigan copper mining(t).
J.S. Wakefield has written an extensive article(j) linking the Michigan mines with Poverty Point in Louisiana, where, he contends that the copper was cast into oxhide ingots. In the same article, he identified the Sea Peoples as the Atlanteans and their allies. In another paper(q) he presents a case for identifying the copper oxhide ingots discovered in the Late Bronze Age Uluburun shipwreck found off Turkey as originating in Michigan. He bases his claim on the unusual 99.5% purity of these copper ingots, which he claims is only to be found in the Great Lakes mines. Wakefield is a co-author with Reinoud de Jonge of Rocks & Rows: Sailing Routes Across the Atlantic and the Copper Trade .
Roger Jewell has written an important book  on this same historical mystery but dates the early mining to 2500 BC and estimates the quantity of copper mined at 20 million pounds. Jewell offers a range of evidence that points to Minoan traders, an idea taken up recently by Gavin Menzies, who quotes estimates of between three and five hundred million pounds, while others have suggested as much as 1.5 billion pounds have been extracted. These wild speculations have been derided by commentators such as Jason Colavito(b).
Dale Drinnon has an extensive entry on the Michigan copper mines on his wide-ranging website(c).
Philip Coppens also wrote a speculative article on the possible part that Michigan’s copper plated in global trade around 3000 BC(g). Commenting on the possible market for the Michigan copper, he wrote that it is remarkable, “that Bronze Age Europe ended in 1200 BC, which coincides with the end of the mining activities in America. Coincidence? The mining technique in America is also identical to those used on the British Isles, where the other component, tin, originated from.”
The America Unearthed TV series, presented by Scott Wolter, also examined the idea of Minoans mining in Michigan (S1 E3). Jason Colavito wrote a highly critical review of the episode(k), while an even more extensive critique can be found on the Archyfantasies.com website(l).
Ilias D. Mariolakos is a Professor Emeritus of Geology and Paleontology at the University of Athens. In 2010 he presented a paper to the 12th International Congress of the Geological Society of Greece stating that the prehistoric Greeks were familiar with the Atlantic Ocean and its Gulf Stream. He also claims that they exploited the Michigan copper mines to meet the needs of their bronze industry.
Additionally, the late Bernhard Beier published two articles(v)(w) on the debate surrounding the astounding quantity of copper apparently mined in Michigan. It is clear that he, like Peter Marsh and others, was sympathetic to the idea that Old World miners were involved, who were possibly Phoenicians, Berbers or Egyptians.
John Jensen has noted(x) that “curiously, North American Indian mounds have been found to contain copper sheets made in the shape of animal hides. Called “reels,” their function, if any, is unknown. The reels do, however, resemble oddly shaped copper ingots common in European Bronze Age commerce. Their peculiar shape earned these ingots the name “oxhides” and has been found in Bronze Age shipwrecks, and are even said to be portrayed on wall paintings in Egyptian tombs. The standardized hide-like shape, with its four convenient handles, was useful in carrying and stacking heavy ingots. Could the reels from the North American mounds have been copied from the oxhides? It is tempting to speculate that the Copper Culture miners were actually an Atlantic rim colony.“
A further word of caution regarding North American copper oxhide ingots is offered by a report from Andy White outlining his attempts to verify their existence(y).
So far, we have on offer, Native Americans, Red Paint People, Sea Peoples, Greeks, Minoans, Hittites, Atlanteans, Berbers and Phoenicians all allegedly involved in the ancient exploitation of the Michigan copper. Take your pick, but base your choice on evidence, if any, rather than speculation.
It is claimed that the local Indians have folk memories of the mines being worked by ‘light-skinned’ men, suggesting a possible European or Mediterranean connection. Frank Joseph implies that these natives had little interest in copper although one of the cultures in the Great Lakes region was known as the Old Copper Indian because of their extensive use of copper for weapons, tools and ornaments(h). Furthermore as early as 1585 British settlers on Roanoke Island noted that the indigenous people there put a high value on copper.
A more conventional analysis of the Michigan copper mining mystery is presented by local archaeologists. They point out that the views of commentators such as Frank Joseph are very generous with speculation but somewhat mean with evidence. Dr Susan R. Martin of Michigan Technological University has published a point-by-point refutation(a) of the many wild claims that have been made about the Michigan mines in The Michigan Archaeologist [41 (2-3) p119-138. June-September 1995].
Even more extreme was the suggestion made by Reinoud M. de Jonge in a 2009 paper(e) where he boldly claimed “that during the whole period of the (Michigan) copper trade, America was part of the Egyptian Empire” and during the Old Kingdom “this huge empire was known as Atlantis”! De Jonge expanded on this in a 2012 paper, justifying his claims with an incredibly detailed interpretation of the Phaistos Disk, which appears to be highly speculative(p).
In the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus, taking its name from copper, provided much of that metal, which enabled the development of the Bronze Age there. In the central and Western Mediterranean ancient copper mines have been identified in Iberia, Morocco and Sardinia as well as sources of tin. However, a 1982 paper(f) claimed that Laurion in Attica, Greece was equally as important as Cyprus as a source of Bronze Age copper.
The earliest known metal mine in the British Isles was on Ross Island, near Killarney in Ireland. Copper was mined there from 2400 BC until 1900 BC(d) and the site is thought to have been the principal source of the metal for the two islands at that time.
Supporters of an earlier date for Atlantis can point to evidence of worked metal around 9000 BC discovered in Anatolia, Turkey. More recently there were metal beads discovered in Bulgaria tentatively dated to 6000 BC.
(a) See Archive 2547
(c) See: Archive 3597
(g) See Archive 2724
(i) See Archive 3389
Thorwald C. Franke was born in 1971 in Konstanz in southwest Germany. He studied computer science at the University of Karlsruhe and now works as a software developer. Since 1999 he has been promoting the idea of Atlantis having been located in Sicily. He has written a paper, which makes the case for identifying Atlas with king Italos of the Sicels, who was one of the first tribes to inhabit Sicily and gave their name to the island.
In October 2010, Franke announced that a part of his theory has some elements in it that require further research(f).
He believes that the war with the Atlanteans was recorded by the Egyptians as the conflict with the Sea Peoples of whom the Sicilians are generally accepted to have been part.
Franke has a well-presented website(a), in English and German, where he cogently outlines his views. He has also written a lengthy, 23-page paper on the need for a classification of Atlantis theories. Even though this item is in German, English readers may find it quite interesting using their browser’s translator. Franke has also compiled an extensive list of Atlantis-related websites(d) that he expanded further in a new format in October 2011.
His paper for the 2nd Atlantis Conference in Athens in 2008 is available on the Internet(c) in which he expanded on his Sicilian location for Atlantis.
Franke has also published a book, in German that focussed on Herodotus’ contribution to the Atlantis question(p). In the same paper, he dealt with the true meaning of the word ‘meizon‘ in Timaeus 24e which tells us that Atlantis was ‘greater’ than Asia and Libya combined, which he clarified as actually referring to their combined power rather than size. However, Franke proposed that the Egyptian word ‘wr’, whose primary meaning is ‘big’ and is sometimes used in a metaphorical sense, may have influenced the wording of the Greek text
Then in a more recent (2010) book regarding Aristotle and Atlantis, he disputes the generally perceived view that Aristotle did not accept the existence of Atlantis. He builds his case on an 1816 misinterpretation by a French mathematician, Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre, of a 1587 commentary on Strabo’s Geographica by Isaac Casaubon. Combined with other evidence he has presented a case that removes the only prominent classical writer alleged to have dismissed the existence of Atlantis. In late 2012 Franke published an English translation with the title of Aristotle and Atlantis. Franke’s views regarding Aristotle have been well received and his book is frequently cited, most recently by Dhani Irwanto in his Atlantis: The Lost City is in the Java Sea[1093.110].
Franke has now augmented his book on Aristotle with a YouTube video in English(l) and German(m). This important book can now be read on the Researchgate website.(ae)
2012 also saw the publication, by Franke, of the first English translation of Gunnar Rudberg’s 1917 monograph Atlantis och Syrakusai, now Atlantis and Syracuse. This is a welcome addition to Atlantis literature in English. Students of the Atlantis mystery owe a debt of gratitude to Herr Franke.
In 2006, Franke published a paper outlining Wilhelm Brandenstein’s contribution to Atlantology which in 2013 he published in English(g). This was followed by a translation(h) of his overview of the work of Massimo Pallattino, who had adopted some of Brandenstein’s approaches to the Atlantis question.
On the 30th of May 2013, Franke announced(i) that his Atlantis Newsletter, which until now was only available in German, in future will also be published in English. Today he discusses the antics of extremist Atlantis sceptics and the abuse of Wikipedia. I encourage everyone to register and congratulate Thorwald on this development.
There is also a video clip available of Franke showing his library of Atlantis-related books(e). 2017 has seen Franke produce a number of 30-minute videos, which readers will find informative. They are available in both German and English, (Just Google Plato’s Atlantis – Thorwald C. Franke – YouTube).
Franke has now (July 2013) revamped his website (https://www.atlantis-scout.de/)
More recently, July 2016 saw the publication, in German, of Kritische Geschichte der Meinungen und Hypothesen zu Platons Atlantis (Critical history of the hypotheses on Plato’s Atlantis). This tome of nearly 600 pages will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to any serious researcher’s library. There is a promotional video, in German, to go with it(j). Hopefully, an English translation of the book will follow. However, Franke does provide an English summary of the book(af). In June 2021, Franke announced the publication of the second edition of this remarkable book, but again, in German only. It is now in two volumes, totalling over 800 pages, which include hundreds of new references(y). Two publications in one week is a record to be proud of.
In June 2018, Franke published a YouTube video in English(r) and German(s) highlighting how Plato’s 9,000 years have been alternatively accepted and then rejected many times over since the time of Plato. Franke proposes that the 9,000 years recorded by Plato were comparable with the accepted age of Egypt in his day, at 11,00 years. However, archaeology has demonstrated that Egypt was only 3,000 years old or less when Plato was alive, suggesting that the 9,000 should be reduced by a comparable amount to arrive at the real-time of Atlantis.
In his Newsletter No.90, Franke has highlighted that a small German right-wing group, ‘Pro Deutschland’, has cited on their website the ‘superior civilisation’ of Atlantis in support of their extremist views.
Franke’s Newsletter No. 103 has now provided us with five parallel versions of the Atlantis texts(n), Two English; Jowett & Bury and Two German; Susemihl & Müller as well as a Greek text from the Scottish classicist John Burnet (1863 – 1928).
Franke’s Newsletter No.104 offers an overview of the difficulties involved in accepting Plato’s writings too literally(o). He gives particular attention to the 9,000 years claimed to have elapsed between the Atlantean War and Solon’s visit to Egypt.
Franke has now published two new videos(t), in both German and English, in which he reviews a number of Atlantis-related books, both supportive and sceptical. He does so in his usual balanced manner and also exhorts students of Atlantology to learn German to have access to important works only available in that language.
The difficulty of independent researchers getting their work published in academic journals was highlighted by Franke some time ago(a). However, he has had some academic recognition(a) and has modified his view on the function of the academic press vis-á-vis independent writers(a).
In June 2021, Franke announced the publication of his latest book(x). Platonische Mythen (Platonic Myths), currently in German only. In May 2022 a favourable review, also in German, of Franke’s book was published on the atlantisforschung.de website(ag). I have archived an English translation in atlantipedia.ie(ah).
The following month, Franke published Newsletter No.175 in which he accuses the Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR) of scientific bias and inconsistency(z). The full Newsletter should be read but in particular his conclusions below.
“Let us sum up what we have: BMCR claims to accept no self-published books, but it did review such a book [mine-AO’C]. BMCR claims that it accepts only peer-reviewed books, but besides the question, of what this exactly means, they do indeed review books that were not peer-reviewed. BMCR claims to accept translations but did not accept the translation of Gunnar Rudberg [Franke’s]. BMCR claims to review bad Atlantis books of a certain intelligence in order to debunk them, but at the same time, they avoided a review of a bad book by an Atlantis sceptical Oxford scholar. They claim to treat every author with respect but failed to do so in my case, and not only once. And the same scholar who admits that his scientific view was impacted (!) by one of my books writes BMCR reviews about other Atlantis books, but my books are not reviewed. Long story short: BMCR acts in an arbitrary way and damages its credibility. They screwed up everything that can be screwed up. And it was not me who lead them up the garden path. They did that all by themselves.”
In Franke’s Newsletter No.158 published in early 2021, he reviewed a lecture, previously unknown to him, given by Heinz-Günther Nesselrath, in Bologna, a few years ago(aa) during which he apparently misrepresented Franke’s Atlantis theories. Shortly afterward Nesselrath issued a rather intemperate reply to Franke’s criticisms.(ab) A further document(ac) from Franke detailed his continuing annoyance with what he perceives as ‘a breach of trust’ on the part of Nesselrath. Now in August 2021, Nesselrath has reignited matters again with a further assault on Franke’s views(ad), many of which I share. In a further postscript dated 20.08.21(ab) Franke fired off a few more salvos. I think it’s time for an armistice?
However, in April 2023, Franke issued his Newsletter No. 212(ao), with the following introduction;
“Professor Heinz-Günther Nesselrath has once again written and published two PDF articles(ak)(al) to defend his Atlantis scepticism against the arguments brought up by me. One is directed against my internet article “The Dark Side of Atlantis Scepticism” from 2021, based on my book about the reception history of Plato’s Atlantis story from 2016/2021. The other one makes the attempt to undermine especially the literary arguments of Wilhelm Brandenstein, which I cultivated and will cultivate even more in my next publication.”
Franke responded with two papers(am)(an) that should be read in their entirety.
Franke’s Newsletter #193 reviews an interview with sceptic Flint Dibble(ai). He followed that in July 2022 (#194) with a critique of an article ‘Not Exactly Atlantis’ by Professor Carolina López-Ruiz that Franke identifies as over-dependent on the arguments of promoters of the ‘invention hypothesis’ particularly those of Pierre Vidal-Naquet and Diskin Clay. Franke then proceeded to offer a list of her many errors(aj).
(l) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inWb6IVNWFQ (English)
(m) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDG7a09xkZE (German)
(aa) Review of: Heinz-Günther Nesselrath, News from Atlantis? 2017. (atlantis-scout.de) (See first half)
(ab) Review of: Heinz-Günther Nesselrath, News from Atlantis? 2017. (atlantis-scout.de) (See last half)