Duane: I started in the fall of '81 with the intention of writing a simple magazine article about the local native Indians - and well, it grew over the years into, as you said, a very complicated story book. The title was chosen in about '84 and the first printing in '88.
Reporter 2: Why did you want to write about the local Indians - and how did you link the subject of Atlantis with these local Indians?
Duane: I was curious as to what had happened to the native inhabitants of southern Florida and had the time to research several books on local history. The link to the subject of Atlantis came only after I became aware of a lost binary alphabet once used by some Native American Indians and how this ancient method of communicating could have evolved into the modern Latin Alphabet of Western Civilization over many generations.
Reporter 1: You said you had the time to research several books - what was your vocation while you were doing this timely research?
Duane: At the time I was living very economically aboard a 37' Chesapeake skipjack sailboat anchored offshore Key Largo and, as an artist, painted marine scenes on driftwood boards for income. Some artwork for the family water sports business also helped me buy an Atari home computer which allowed this research to be published.
Reporter 1: Do you have a college degree or any other educational background that would help others believe your work is based on serious research?
Duane: I did receive an Associate in Arts Degree from Miami Dade Community College in '74 - and I did take a class at Florida International University entitled "Inventing the Future", but came to believe that true education lies in the basic attitude of curiosity. A good library can be like a good university if one has the proper attitude and the time.
Reporter 2: Could you elaborate as to how and when your research jumped from a simple local story about Native Indians to the more complicated legend of Atlantis?
Duane: Well, as I said, when I realized how the Native American Indians once used a lost binary alphabet which predated the use of the Latin alphabet - and that this lost method of communication could be found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, that's when my research jumped into the more complicated legendary idea of a lost intercontinental maritime civilization known as Atlantis.
Reporter 2: Are you suggesting that the alphabet of the Atlanteans was some sort of binary alphabet?
Duane: Yes, that's exactly my suggestion. The binary Ogamic alphabet, which is found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean was the alphabet of the Atlanteans. It was superseded by the Latin alphabet because it was too repetitious and Latin was graphically easier to memorize. Moreover, just like the graphic user interface has replaced the repetitious alphanumerical interface on modern computers, the Atlantean/Ogamic alphabet was lost because graphical images are easier to memorize.
Reporter 2: Why are you saying that this lost binary alphabet was ever used by the Atlanteans?
Duane: Because if you read what Plato writes about the ten kingdoms of the Atlantic realm, and link his views with a common maritime language necessary for such a lost society, the idea that this lost society was once the Atlanteans makes sense. As I state in my book, there also exist the maritime culture of the North Atlantic called the Armoricans - and that they may have been related to the Atlanteans because their alphabet was the same dot-dash code of communication known as Ogam. Evidence of the Armoricans first appeared in western literature when the Roman general Caesar encountered them just before the birth of Christ.
Reporter 3: Speaking about the date of Christ, in your book project you suggest that the conventional calendrical time-line of Western Civilization is incorrect. Why would you make such a radical historical suggestion?
Duane: Perhaps the most complicated and controversial aspect of my book project is that I suggest the conventional dating system of Western Civilization is not true - at least the dates from before the Renaissance. What makes my suggestion so radical is that the historical research data I have collected advocates not some small error in time keeping - but several huge errors were made by historians and publishers during the early Renaissance.
Reporter 3: What historical research data have you collected that would suggest all conventional history from before the Renaissance is substantially incorrect?
Duane: First, let me say that the historical data that convinced me to question the annual dates of conventional history came by accident. I had no intention to challenge every dated entry in every history book from before the Renaissance - it just unfolded that way. Second, this historical discovery did not happen overnight - in fact, the calendrical details are not yet clear and more research is necessary to verify the basic historical outline of Western Civilization. And third, the historical research data only challenges the conventional annual dates of Biblical, Greco-Roman and Medieval times - not the historical sequence of important people and events from these time periods. I use certain calendrical compression formulas to "shrink" conventional history into a smaller time-line.
Reporter 3: Why would you want to compress or "shrink" the time-line of conventional history?
Duane: Because after trying to place the date of when Atlantis existed, I discovered how conventional history itself could have been mistakenly "packaged" and "published" during the early Renaissance - thus excluding the truth of when and where Western Civilization came into being. By realigning historical time, I placed the Atlantean age - or at least the end of that age, to just prior to the first Olympiad and the beginning of the Greco-Roman age.
Reporter 3: If you believe conventional history was mistakenly "packaged" and "published" during the early Renaissance, then by how many years do you think conventional history is incorrect?
Duane: I truly do not know that answer yet - however, the historical research data I have compiled over the last decade suggest a much smaller annual time-line for Biblical, Greco-Roman and perhaps even the Medieval history. Mathematically compressing conventional calendrical history in search of the truth is a very complicated project - especially when most everybody I meet thinks I'm crazy for even trying.
Reporter 1: Have you ever tried to receive peer review from any reputable university or research institution regarding the views in your book?
Duane: As I've stated in the introduction section of my book project, I did attempt to share my historical data with some reputable research institutions early on in the project, but because the subject of Atlantis is perceived as fictional work, serious historians tend to ignore it. Perhaps I was unprepared at the time and did not catch the attention of anyone who could help in the publication of the research.
Reporter 1: Have you received any help to date from any media agency?
Duane: I did receive a positive book review back in '89 by the editor of a local newspaper - Dave Whitney of the FREE PRESS. Only last year, another local newspaper - the KEYNOTER, mentioned the book. However, I should say that I've never really tried to push the book into the media lime-light because the research never seems finished. The opportunity to publish on "the web" is my first real attempt to share the discovery of Atlantis with the greater public.
Reporter 2: Have you ever been to the site area in Central America that, according to your book project, lies the lost sunken city of Atlantis?
Duane: Not in person, but I have gathered many charts and maps of the area to realize that the area in question is very remote - and no obvious visual clues could be found that would give away the important historical value of the area. This area is truly "Indiana Jones territory". I did visit the Yucatan Peninsula last year and did discover important calendrical data about the Mayan calendar that I describe in the Preface section of my book project.
Reporter 2: Your book project gives information about how the Atlantean maritime kingdom once included not only the American continents, but also the northern European and Mediterranean realm. Where did you get that view from?
Duane: That view came strait from Plato himself. I have talked to nearly a hundred people who are aware of the Atlantis subject - and only a handful have had the time to read what Plato wrote about it. Most people know very little about how big the Atlantean maritime kingdom was. According to Plato, it was greater in size than any ancient civilization ever documented. Read what Plato documented about Atlantis - not some fictional interpretation of what other writers have written, and you will better understand how important the subject should be in the study of Western History. I should add that there exists several translations of his work - the best I have found is the work by A.E. Taylor in THE COLLECTIVE DIALOGUES OF PLATO, edited by Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns from PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS.
Reporter 3: If you believe that all annual dates of conventional history were mistakenly "packaged" and "published" by certain scholars and publishers during the early Renaissance, then who do you think had the publishing power to alter the historical truth of Western Civilization?
Duane: As I state in my book project, during the early Renaissance, just when the printing press was repackaging many hand-written archives - and a new numerical system was replacing the Roman count value system, many scholars and publishers followed the chronological conclusions of the highly illustrated works of THE NUREMBERG CHRONICLE by Hartmann Schedel. This "artwork" was a very detailed rendering that graphically and chronologically described an "outline of Western History" from the creation of the Biblical patriarch named Adam. It was published the year after Columbus discovered the New World and survived the great "book burning" campaign issued by the Papal Bull order of 1501 A.D..
Reporter 3: Are you saying that because some publisher in 1493 published a book with a mistaken time-line of recorded history, all other historians followed it and that's why conventional history is wrong? Isn't that a little presumptuous to assume that every historian within the last five centuries made no effort to verify that history book - or any one history book created during the early Renaissance?
Duane: I will try to answer your two questions as follows; First, yes I believe that recorded conventional history could have been "established" by powerful leaders - with the help of the newly invented printing press, during the early Renaissance. And that while other time-line versions of history may have been also published, perhaps none of them survived the power of the religious leaders during the "book burning" campaign of 1501. Second, like the old maxim suggest, "History repeats itself; historians repeat each other", perhaps it is possible that historians have been following a chronology which was written five centuries ago - when very few scholars had the resources to verify or challenge a time-line of history endorsed by the local church.
Reporter 3: What about all those dated manuscripts from before the Renaissance - surely they contain dates that predate any history book and "outline of Western History" printed in 1493? How do you explain away these manuscripts?
Duane: We have assumed that historians have been keeping time records since, well, Biblical times. Perhaps all those dated manuscripts were following the dated conclusions of other historians - one in particular was Dionysius Exiguus, who, according to conventional history, lived some five centuries after Christ. Dionysius established the "A.D." time-line - and used the Roman numeral value system to count historical values. In my book, I discuss how his work and the work of other historians, like the Greco-Egyptian mathematician named Ptolemy, could have created a time-line that influenced Medieval historians. Any original dated manuscript from before the Renaissance is based on the Roman numeral value system which I explain may be misunderstood because of several reasons. One concept is that the "M" symbol may mean a "thousand" to some, but it could have also marked or represented "the son" symbol - meaning a Christian mark symbol just before a year count of a date related to Biblical times.
Reporter 3: Are you suggesting that the Roman numeral "M", when used by Medieval historians to date Medieval events, does not equal the numerical value of a thousand?
Duane: Yes - but because some late Medieval historians assumed that the letter "M" had a value of a thousand when dating events, other historians followed the practice and eventually many historical dates from that era reflected the habit. I believe there exist several examples of late Medieval dates that "excludes" the Roman numerical "M" symbol in their count. Perhaps these "abbreviated" dates are closer to the true year count of Western History than the "long version" dates from that era. Moreover, another numerical letter symbol may have also been misunderstood during archive translations. Because the Latin symbol of "C" has a value of 100, and the "G" symbol has a value of 1000 - as in the word "Grand", perhaps the value of the two symbols were mistakenly interchanged by some important scholars during translation - thus creating an extra "zero" in certain counting situations. Also, it is important to understand that the true length of the Middle Ages depends on whether certain principal dated Medieval archives are original or copies. If they are copies, then they could have been modified by other historians who assumed a different time-line of Western History.
Reporter 3: If what you say is true, then the Middle Ages did not last a thousand years. How many years then do you believe existed within this time period?
Duane: The time period between ancient history and
modern history - otherwise known as the "Middle" Ages,
is as yet unknown. When I first published my book, I made no
attempt to question the time value of the Middle Ages - however,
in Version 2 of my book project, I did try to "shrink"
the conventional thousand year time-line value down to a much
smaller scale, but have since withheld any conclusions until more
research is done.
[UPDATE 12/97: New astronomical evidence based on the 76-period comet and the "Star of Bethlehem" event suggest that approximately 120 years may be the year count between Christ and the Renaissance.]
Reporter 2: How many years ago do you believe Atlantis existed?
Duane: That answer depends on the true length of the
Middle Ages. And until I find enough conclusive evidence that
gives the true length, I don't know.
[UPDATE 12/97: Based on the previous update statement - and other calendrical data, the capital seaport of Atlantis could have existed less than a thousand years ago.]
Reporter 3: Your book project also attempts to give a smaller time value to the Greco-Roman Era. You claim that because early historians mistakenly dated the original Olympiad time-line to a four-year event, instead of an annual event, all of Greco-Roman history is four times greater than the truth. If that were so, how come no other historian has ever reached the same conclusion?
Duane: Perhaps because no other historian needed to look at conventional history like I have. Most historians have either been content to just repeat history or "fill in the gaps" of conventional history. Perhaps it was easier to write with the momentum of conventional history than to argue with it. Actually, many historians have been true researchers, but five centuries ago the job of the historian was probably more inventive than scientific because of the limited data available to them. The Renaissance may have been the "age of discovery" - but the "age of information" we all now live in also helps in truly understanding historical data.
Reporter 2: Your book project claims that the Atlanteans had knowledge of many treasures. One in particular was some sort of particle-beam technology. Could you elaborate on that view for us a little?
Duane: The Atlanteans - or at least some of the elite members of our ancient ancestors from before the Biblical flood, could have known how to create and focus a strong electro-chemical reaction that was capable of not only cutting objects, but also generating a static field to transmit wireless radio messages.
Reporter 2: If that were so, then why hasn't modern technology rediscovered this lost method of cutting objects and/or sending radio messages?
Duane: I don't know - maybe it has and nobody wants to give away a very powerful tool design. I did see a television program once that tried to explain how, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the range of a particle-beam device could only reach a foot or so. Unlike a LASER device, current particle-beam technology has the "punch" - but not the "range". I myself do not know the exact formula of how such a device could work - however, I believe the design will be rediscovered because I am aware of certain powerful natural chemical elements that are capable of reaching very high temperatures, which when placed in the proper lens container, could be used as a cutting tool. As for creating a static field for sending radio messages, a parabolic crucible beaming a pyro-electricly charged column of ilumenite sand is probably capable of sending wireless information if placed adjacent to a crystal microphone.
Reporter 2: Where do you get these scientific theories?
Duane: They are the end product of many years of reading science books and applying my imagination to ideas that may have value.
Reporter 1: Do you plan to write any other books about Atlantis?
Duane: Someday perhaps. Right now, my research and marketing projects are keeping me busy with the one book title.
END FIRST INTERVIEW 5/97
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