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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

on the point of view of

and its author Thorwald C. Franke

What sets you apart from other Atlantis searchers?
Most Atlantis searchers have a lack of education on the topic. They just ignore what academia says on Plato's Atlantis. They simply do not understand how ancient philosophy, philology and historiography really work. They prefer natural sciences and neglect the humanities. Their hypotheses run totally contrary to the generally accepted history and are pseudo-scientific.
       My approach is to show that academia could accept Plato's Atlantis as a real place on the basis of its very own methods (such as philology or historical criticism). Some academic statements on Plato's Atlantis can be disproved. Many academic statements are true indeed, but do not speak against the existence of Atlantis but rather can help us to find the real place! This real place will then play a relatively unspectacular role within the already known history – surely not a "lost continent" and not a "mega city" and not 10.000 years old.

What is so fascinating about Atlantis?
There are several reasons, why you can be fascinated about Atlantis. In my case it is the awareness, that science does not hold Atlantis for a serious topic and so science hasn't produced too much knowledge about it. Therefore it is possible for interested and educated hobby researchers to make serious contributions to Atlantis research. Moreover, Plato was a brilliant thinker, and it is exciting to understand his thoughts.

Do you believe in Atlantis?
First of all the word "believe" is the wrong word when dealing with Atlantis. Either you know, or you know, that you don't know. Or you are "convinced" on the basis of sound arguments. But you should not "believe" anything in connection with Atlantis. And in no other connection, too. "To believe" is a generally misdirected category of perception.

Do you consider Atlantis to be an open question?
Basically, yes. So far, nobody has been able to present a truly compelling solution to the problem. All proposed interpretations have their faults. The invention hypotheses are indeed more sophisticated, but they, too, suffer from serious shortcomings.

Do you want to find Atlantis?
What has to be found is not necessarily Atlantis as a real place, but the correct interpretation of Plato's Atlantis; this does not exclude Atlantis as a real place. The search is still exciting. From the beginning I tended towards an existence of Atlantis, but only since 2008 I am convinced of it.

Are you a scientist?
With a "Diplom" in computer science from the University of Karlsruhe (today better known as KIT) the world of science is not alien to me, but I am not a "Dr" or "PhD" and I do not have academic degrees in subjects with reference to Plato's Atlantis such as Greek philology or ancient history.
       I see myself as an aficionado of the Atlantis-theme in the best sense, with a broad educational background, partially very good knowledge of the Latin, ancient Greek and the Middle Egyptian language (hieroglyphics), and partially very good knowledge of four modern languages. By this, by many years of extensive reading of scientific literature in various languages, and by many years of thinking and writing about Atlantis, I am able to work at a scientific level.

Is it possible, that Atlantis had been a small continent in the Atlantic ocean around 9500 BC, as Plato wrote?
Definitively not. Place, age and size of Atlantis are either inventions by Plato or a distorted tradition of real facts. Such a distortion may not seem to be credible for non-scientists, but in fact it's very plausible if you compare the distortions of known facts by other ancient authors.

Have there been energy crystals, flight machines and reincarnation on Atlantis, and did exist two further continents: Mu and Lemuria?
No. Those are biased phantasies of later times, which have nothing to do with the original Atlantis described by Plato. Instead you can imagine Atlantis as a usual bronze age city, possibly similar to the city of Troy.

Why do you follow Jürgen Spanuth's Sea Peoples theory?
This is not true. The Sea Peoples hypothesis is not from Jürgen Spanuth, but from Wilhelm Christ 1886. Jürgen Spanuth only helped to popularize this hypothesis. Furthermore, I do not think that the Sea Peoples came from Europe's northern parts, but from the Mediterranean Sea.

Do you know what is a "Platonic Myth?"
Of course, since Atlantis is regarded as "Platonic Myth". But with a poorly defined concept such as the "Platonic Myth" little can be demonstrated; it is rather that the Atlantis story calls us to redefine the concept of "Platonic Myth" more precisely. The key idea is, that a "Platonic Myth" is not a myth.

What does Sicily have to do with Atlantis?
This is one of the big questions. Surely it has in some ways to do with the fact that Plato tried in Sicily to put his political theories into action.

You know, that many Atlantis searchers work in a non-scientific way?
It is unfortunately true that almost all Atlantis searchers do not work on a scientific level. Everybody who wants can call himself an Atlantis researcher. In order to establish a sound basis for Atlantis research I initiated the Atlantis Research charter. This charter proved to be a challenge for Atlantis searchers: Do they accept it? Do they understand what they pretend to accept?

What is your relation to other Atlantis searchers?
It was always my principle that in a free world even nonsense has a certain right to exist, as long as it is no extremism. In the same way it was always my principle that silencing errors is no appropriate way of defence against errors. But I am not obliged to respect nonsense or errors or to abstain from criticism. A distinction must be drawn between the human being and his errors; this I expect from the other side, too. A certain sympathy for Atlantis searchers has its roots in the fact that academia often rejects alternative ideas in an arrogant and dogmatic way, but this sympathy fades away when realizing the ignorance of many Atlantis searchers. This often means to be caught between two sides.

Do you know of the abuse of Atlantis by extremist ideologies?
Of course. But the Atlantis account has been written more than two millenia before our time, and therefore it is nonsense to place the emphasis on this abuse when dealing with Atlantis. Somebody who is enthusiastic for Goethe also does not have to answer again and again the question, whether Goethe – how ridiculous! – has to be blamed for Auschwitz. I deny a "nordic" Atlantis as well as a socialist Atlantis. Besides the fact, that Atlantis in Plato's account plays the role of the bad guy, so it is difficult to find a positive identification with Atlantis. But anti-democratic misinterpretations of Plato's ideal state have to be rejected, too.

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