Duane: The decision was based on the idea that my historical and scientific discoveries need maximum public exposure at a time when the subject of Atlantis may reach a new wave of media publicity during the summer release of Disney's animated movie "ATLANTIS / The Lost Empire". Although the subject of Atlantis appears from time to time in the general media - and usually fades from view after a week or so, the publicity surrounding the fame of a new movie release should inspire many historians to take the time and review the conventional misconceptions of the Atlantean subject. And perhaps while these historians are reviewing the Atlantean subject, they may discover my discoveries I have posted at my SOA website. If they do, and if they take the time to understand just how radical - yet not impossible, my historical views are, then perhaps the subject of Atlantis, and my SPIRIT OF ATLANTIS book project should earn some notoriety by modern historians. This notoriety, if publicized properly, could lead to a better public understanding of the true events within ancient history - which is, after all, one of the primary purposes of my book project..
Reporter 2: So your recent decision to post your entire book project online is based on the timing idea of "surfing the publicity" generated by a major entertainment corporation who has the advertising power to reach the general media with the legendary subject of Atlantis. Is this view correct?
Duane: Well, yes - though I should also add the view that the decision to post on the internet twenty years of research work without direct compensation was base on a more simplistic way of making available my work to the public. The latest versions of my book project can still be mail-ordered on CD and paperback - I'm not giving up my publishing copyrights just because I release an online version of my work as "shareware".
Reporter 2: The concept of computer program shareware is based on free viewing of the product - however, if one uses the product in some fashion, the user is "expected" to pay the author of the shareware program some payment. If you are posting your entire book project online as shareware, how do you expect payment from online readers? Moreover, how much payment do you expect if someone uses your historical discoveries in their historical or scientific work?
Duane: Expected payment for use of my historical or scientific discoveries in any other publication could range from simply mentioning my name and SOA website address during republication to, depending on the volume of republication, a negotiated price that would go towards my research cost. As you can imagine, trying to assign a fair copyright price to new historical or scientific discoveries - some of which are still theoretical, can be difficult.
Reporter 2: So, just reading your book project online at your website is free, but republishing your work anywhere else may cost the user. Ok, say for example, I wanted to write and publish an article about the theoretical discovery of the lost seaport of Atlantis in Central America based on your research work - I would be expected to mention the source of the information and/or negotiate a user fee price before republication. Are these views correct?
Duane: Yes - however, if you wanted to write and publish an article about the theoretical discovery of the Atlantean seaport in Central America NOT based on my research work, then feel free to publish any view you want. Copyrighting theoretical views can be, as I said, difficult - but I do have a "virtual claim" on the idea that the lost seaport of Atlantis once existed near Lake Izabal in Central America. In over twenty years of research, I have never come across any piece of literature that suggest the lost Atlantean seaport may be found in the area I believe it can be found. While other historians have theorized that Atlantis may be found in such places as in Mexico or South America, and even in Antarctica - not to mention a few conventional site areas like the Aegean Sea or in the mind of Plato himself, I believe the elusive Atlantean seaport still remains buried in the mud swamps near the Guatemalan town now called El Estor.
Reporter 3: Your theory about how the Atlantean seaport was lost in Central America during the Biblical Flood event some nine centuries ago is a radical concept that many will refuse to understand. Those that even halfway believe in the Atlantean subject would rather believe the lost seaport is underwater somewhere in the middle Atlantic - complete with fallen pillars from Greek-like temples, than to try to understand how the city disappeared under tons of swamp mud in Central America. Apparently, it may be more entertaining to glorify the belief that Atlantis was an island that, according to Plato, "disappeared into the depths of the sea". Have you seen the views that Disney's new Atlantean movie have portrayed regarding what and where Atlantis was? And if you have, do you have a statement regarding their views?
Duane: Disney is a very reputable entertainment corporation that has attempted to create a set of inspiring views about the Atlantean subject in their movie ATLANTIS / The Lost Empire. On one hand, the movie is another layer of fictional misinformation that will further bury the truth as to what and where Atlantis was - yet on the other hand, any major story that can inspire new interest in the Atlantean subject is worth seeing. At the time of this interview, I look forward to seeing Disney's movie - however, I would have rather seen newer theories about Atlantis than the rehashing of Donnelly's 120 year-old concept that Atlantis lies at the bottom of the middle Atlantic as portrayed in the movie.
Reporter 3: What about Plato's statement that the island of Atlantis "disappeared into the depths of the sea"? Central America is hardly an island that has disappeared into the depths of the sea. How do you explain the mismatch of Plato's statement and your theory that the American continents was the "island of Atlantis" which has not disappeared under any sea - let alone the Atlantic Ocean?
Duane: I believe I have explained this view several times before at my SOA website - but I'll explain it again because perhaps some new readers of this interview have not read my earlier essays. Once again, according to many years of historical research into Plato's story, Atlantis was at least three things - a continental island now known as the American continents, a unique capital seaport in the middle of that continental island now buried under tons of Central American swamp mud, and a remarkable Trans-Atlantic maritime kingdom that once controlled their European and Middle eastern colonies before the Biblical Flood. It was the capital seaport of Atlantis that disappeared during the Biblical Flood - not the "island". The maritime trade links - and the necessary seafaring technology that once united the Atlantean Maritime Kingdom, also disappeared during the Biblical Flood. And because Plato also suggest the idea, in the very next entry after he states Atlantis disappeared "into the depths of the sea", that the sea in the area of the lost island has a "shoal of mud" which makes sea travel in the area impassible, Atlantis - the capital seaport, sounds more like a place in Central America than a place in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Look at a map of the Gulf of Honduras in Central America and study the geological makeup of the area and a plausible view should reveal itself in suggesting that the antediluvian capital seaport of Atlantis once existed as a major trade center in what is now Central America.
Reporter 2: It is interesting to note that, according to Disney's promotional film excerpts, one aspect of the movie suggest the idea in which the Atlanteans once used a forgotten alphabet to communicate messages between outpost of the "lost empire". Your book project also suggest somewhat the same idea in which the Atlantean Maritime Kingdom once used the ogamic alphabet in Neolithic times. Do you have a comment regarding these similar ideas in which our antediluvian ancestors once used a lost alphabet?
Duane: Unlike the graphical symbols portrayed in Disney's movie, understanding the geometrically progressive and numerical base format of the ogam alphabet, which is found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, is a major key to understanding the reality of Atlantis. Many theories exist regarding the origin of the ogamic alphabet. Early theories ranged from the idea that early Irish monks invented a coded tally system to send simple messages - to a form of musical literature once used by the Vikings. Newer studies suggests word links to the Basque language of the Iberian Peninsula of continental Europe. However, since ogamic writings can also be found at certain sites throughout the western Atlantic realm - from the West Indies to West Virginia, it represents a method of communication once used by a lost Trans-Atlantic culture. Although some have made theoretical translations of ogamic statements, many scholars would agree that not one ogamic statement has been fully translated because the language is subject to a wide rage of interpretation. My research book project is still exploring the origins of the ogamic alphabet - and if anyone is curious about this lost method of communication, just enter the word ogam into any major search engine and visit the many websites devoted to the subject.
Reporter 2: At your website and within the first links of the ATLANTEAN COMMUNICATIONS web page, you have proposed that a scientific expedition called PROJECT EUREKA, under the direction of a proposed institution called the ATLANTEAN ACADEMY, be created which would further investigate the reality of the Atlantean seaport in Central America. What is the status of these proposals?
Duane: At this time, they are just that - proposals. And until which time I receive some financial help - or other scientific institutions get involved, they will probably remain proposals. I am considering a visit to the Lake Izabal region to document the area when the timing presents itself. I should mention at this time that while studying the history of the site area in question, I did come across a disturbing story when, several decades ago, a Canadian mining company began to create a factory to process nickel within the nearby mountains near El Estor, the value of property speculation generated a violent conflict between the citizenry in the area. I just hope that any historical discoveries - theoretical or otherwise, I have suggested in my research work does not result in a similar conflict. Moreover, I'm also concerned that publicity of the area in question will probably result in treasure hunters who may bring with them unfriendly hunting and living habits to the area and destroy the unique biosphere of Lake Izabal. I hope the local government does what it needs to do to protect the environment from those who would show little or no respect to the local plants and animals without overly restricting the freedom to safely explore the area.
Reporter 1: So, you are planning to visit the Lake Izabal area when the opportunity presents itself. Could that opportunity be later this year or next?
Duane: I hope so - perhaps soon. A personal expedition to the lost realm of the Atlantean seaport should be fun. In the meantime, a week or so cruising Florida Bay aboard my 20' sailboat before the large summer thunderstorms begin should occupy my time in the near future.
END 14th INTERVIEW 5/01
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