You Are Here:  HOME >> GUEST AUTHORS >> Frank Joseph



Guest Writers - Frank Joseph

About Frank Joseph

Frank Joseph is the editor in chief of Ancient American magazine and the author of Atlantis and 2012, The Destruction of Atlantis, The Lost Civilization of Lemuria, Survivors of Atlantis, and The Lost Treasure of King Juba. He lives in Minnesota.

   Books by Frank Joseph Widgets

Frank Joseph's Books on 

Guest Articles by the Author

The Destruction of Atlantis  |  Opening the Ark of the Covenant | Where is the Ark of the Covenant?  |  Atlantis and 2012

The Lost Treasure of King Juba   |  EUP radio interview with Frank Joseph (MP3)

Atlantis and 2012

Atlantis and 2012: The Science of the Lost Civilization and the Prophecies of the Maya traces Maya astronomy back to Atlantis

  • Shows that the Mayan Calendar was brought to Mexico by survivors of Atlantis
  • Correlates scientific studies with the Mayan Calendar to reveal that 2012 
    could be the start of a new ice age
  • Reveals the link between Atlantis and Lemuria discovered by Edgar Cayce

Based on more than 25 years of research around the globe and statements from Edgar Cayce about Atlantis and its Pacific sister civilization of Lemuria, Frank Joseph reveals that the Mayan Calendar was brought to Mexico by survivors of Atlantis. Uncovering the Atlantean influences in both ancient Mesoamerican culture and ancient Egyptian culture, he links the demise of Atlantis with the birth of the Olmec civilization in Mexico (the progenitors of the Maya), the beginning of the first Egyptian dynasty, and the start of the Mayan Calendar.

Joseph explains that the Mayan Calendar was invented by the combined genius of Atlantis and Lemuria and describes how it predicts an eternal cycle of global creation, destruction, and renewal. Correlating this recurring cycle with scientific studies on glacial ice cores and predictions from the Hopi, the Incas, and the Scandinavian Norse, Joseph reveals that 2012 could be the start of a new ice age and the advent of a massive solar storm. However, Joseph shows that the Maya knew the way to reestablish civilization’s cosmic balance before time runs out.

Atlantis and 2012: The Science of the Lost Civilization and the Prophecies of the Maya

Book Reviews

“Once again Frank Joseph has shown that when it comes to Atlantis and related subjects, no one else knows as much. In this case he has taken on two very difficult subjects but has succeeded in extracting some of the most fascinating history anyone has seen in a long time.”
(J. Douglas Kenyon, editor of Forbidden History and Atlantis Rising )

“I have reviewed dozens of books on the year 2012 and its meaning and consequences, but Frank Joseph’s Atlantis and 2012 presents us with many facts and research ignored by most of the other guides. I have especially high regard for Frank Joseph’s courage to question what the majority of academia, government, and media around the world have concluded about global warming. They have ignored the research showing global warming is actually the precursor to a new ice age. In addition to all the other fascinating bits to be found in Atlantis and 2012, I find the most important is Joseph’s emphasis on the reminder that global warming may just be the trigger for an oncoming ice age, which we now know can manifest in as little as 20 years!

“The Mayan civilization gave a gift to future humanity in the form of their Mayan calendar. Having witnessed periodic extinctions, they documented these cycles in the hopes of preparing and maybe even preventing what they could not: a dark end for our age. Their message is one of balancing the material and spiritual dimensions, because an imbalance brings on social decay and physical annihilation. Vested interests and the domination of the corporate world, which enforces its status quo, have brought us to the edge of extinction. Although humankind may be vastly diminished, the planet will survive.

“The Atlanteans were much like us--in fact, they are us if you consider reincarnation. Their insatiable appetite for material prosperity and military might mirror the world governments of today. Frank Joseph has used the works of two great seers, Plato and Edgar Cayce, to guide us through our past and future. Thanks to the Atlantis code (which we know as the Mayan calendar), he shows that we still have hope that we might be able to avoid what the Atlanteans failed to avoid. You must read this book--today!”
(Robert R. Hieronimus, Ph.D., author of United Symbolism of America and host of 21st Century Radio )

"Mr. Joseph has assembled an impressive array of details, some of which have been drawn from almost forgotten sources. . . . [He] is, without doubt, one of the foremost writers on lost civilizations, and makes it easy to follow and understand his reasoning. Whether or not you believe in these continents; whether or not you believe we are living in 'end times'; you can find something of interest within these covers. Pick up a copy."
(Michael Gleason, reviewer, May 2010 )

"Joseph points to global cataclysms that affected our planet in c.3100 BC, 2200BC, 1600 BC, and 1200 BC. The next cataclysm could coincide with a solar superstorm and a reversal of the Earth's magnetic field, bringing on a new ice age. He cautions that our civilization could well be equally as fragile as those that rose and fell before it under the influence of massive cosmic and terrestrial forces."
(Nexus New Times Magazine, Vol. 17, No. 4, June/July 2010 )

"New age libraries will relish the unusually concrete approach!"
(James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review, June 2010 )

"Much has been written over the years about the so-called "Legend of Atlantis." More recently, a number of books have appeared anticipating what will happen to the earth in December 2012. . . for the first time we have in this new book by Frank Joseph the most well researched link between these two subjects."
(Alan Glassman, New Dawn Magazine, September 2010 )

The Destruction of Atlantis

By Frank Joseph

Although some Atlantologists concluded that the Great Flood was caused by a celestial event,
not until 1997 did the scientific community generally concede that a killer-comet was responsible for the demise of Bronze Age Civilization. During a three-day symposium in July, leading astronomers, geologists and climatologists met in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, England, at an international conference of the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies. Speakers included such notables as astrophysicist Mark E. Bailey, Director of the Armagh Observatory, in Northern Ireland; Marie-Agnes Courty, a geologist from the French Center for Scientific Research; and Bas Van Geel, a paleo-ecologist at the University of Amsterdam. Many of the one hundred participants came from as far afield as Japan, North America and Australia.

Their consensus was that an abundance of physical and cultural evidence confirmed that periodic close encounters of a large comet from the 5th Millennium B.C. to the early 11th Century B.C. were responsible for several eras of wide-spread destruction on the Earth's surface, including the forced end of the Bronze Age. Swedish physicist, Lars Franzen (University of Goeteborg) and archaeologist Thomas B. Larsson (University of Umea) pointed out that general cooling, extreme precipitation, followed by catastrophic flooding before 1000 B.C. were earmarks of a celestial cataclysm. They concluded, "it is obvious that these events were sudden and occurred world-wide". They mentioned a particularly sharp change in climate, a steep drop in temperatures and simultaneous rise in wet conditions, noticeable in Europe, the Americas, the Near East, as far north as Alaska and south to the Antarctic, circa 1,200 B.C. Lake levels increased drastically, in some cases (Turkey's Lake Van) as much as 240 feet. Larsson said the abrupt rise in lake levels has been verified in Sweden (Federsee), Ireland (Loughnashade), the United States (Great Salt Lake), Canada (Wald sea Basin), Bolivia (Titicaca) and Argentina (Lago Cardiel). Franzen told how Swedish, English and Irish oak bog preserve a record of extreme and sudden rainfall around 1,000 B.C. At Steng Moss, in Northumberland, there was a six-fold increase in peat moss accumulation.

While such finds are generally unknown to the public, they have long been recognized by climatologists as leading conditions of the Plenard Period, from 1250 to 1000 B.C., when Earth's climate sharply deteriorated. World temperatures suddenly fell nearly two degrees Centigrade and rainfall was prodigious. British anthropologist, Richard Desborough, said of the Plenard Period, "the changes that came about were little short of fantastic. The craftsmen and artists seem to have vanished almost without a trace: there is little new stone construction of any sort, far less any massive edifices; the metal workers' techniques revert to primitive, and the potter, except in the early stages, loses his purpose and inspiration; and the art of writing is forgotten. But the outstanding feature is that by the end of the 12th Century B.C., the population appears to have dwindled to about one-tenth of what it had been little over a century before. This is no normal decline, and the circumstances and events obviously have a considerable bearing on the nature of the subsequent Dark ages, and must be in part at least a cause of its existence". Franzen and Larsson locate the focus of the Bronze Age catastrophe in the the vicinity of Atlantis itself. "We even suggest that relatively large asteroids or comets (c. 0.5 km diameter) hit somewhere in the eastern Atlantic, possibly at the shelf of the Atlantic west coast of Africa/Europe ... mainly affecting the Mediterranean parts of Africa and Europe, but also globally". As our planet turned on its axis, the proto-Encke Comet, Oljato, bombarded every region in a world-wide swath from above the Equator to below the Arctic Circle, according to the comet's inclining angle to the Earth. Passing over the Caribbean, it fired down an object one mile across. Moving a hundred times the velocity of a 9 m.m. bullet, the asteroid plunged through the water to explode on the sea floor with an explosive force equal to one million megatons of TNT, excavating a crater on the submarine bottom 900 feet deep. The resulting 1,000-foot wall of water swept inland as far as Alabama killing every living thing in its path and set off volcanoes from the Antilles to El Salvador.

Over North America, the comet let loose a barrage that blasted a nuclear-like event in the Ohio Valley and triggered off a hellish series of volcanic outbursts in Washington, Oregon and Wyoming. Cosmic bomb-loads falling across the Pacific Ocean raised roaring walls of water to obliterate whole island populations. In the Hawaiian Islands of Lanai, Maui, Molokai and Oahu, deposits of unconsolidated coral were placed nearly a thousand feet above the coast by a monstrous wall of water. Tsunamis are gigantic waves set in motion by submarine earthquakes, but they never begin to approach the 1,000-foot high swell that was necessary to over-top the Hawaiian Islands. Only a wave caused by the plunge of a large meteorite or asteroid could have attained such enormous proportions.

Approaching Asia, Oljato conjured volcanic and seismic devastation throughout Japan and eastern Russia. The face of China was obscured by catastrophic storms of corrosive ash-fall, as nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere combined with nitric acid released by the relentless impacts of celestial debris thousands of miles away. India and the Middle East were tormented with geologic violence from the merciless onslaught high overhead. But Europe and the Near East, the cradle of Western Civilization, were the special targets of Comet Oljato. As it passed over Anatolia, the moment of "the Fire from Heaven" had arrived. A veritable deluge of flame descended in waves of thunder from out of the sky.

Hattusas, capital of the mighty Hittite Empire, erupted in a fiery holocaust. Hundreds of cities and towns with hundreds of thousands of their residents all across Asia Minor were abruptly incinerated. Burned in great flashes of flame were the commercial centers of Palestine and the Syrian fortresses. Unrelenting earthquakes smashed Pharaoh's monumental temples to smoking ruin, while the divine wrath threatened Lower Egypt with death by fire. Libya, her once-fertile neighbor, was seared into a barren desert.

Across the Aegean Sea, the people of Crete fled for their lives into the high mountains to escape the flaming, quaking doom of their cities and towns below. In mainland Greece, the light of civilization went out, replaced by a worse glow from the hundreds of her settlements, citadels, palaces and temples girdled in high flames. Coastal cities and harbors had their conflagrations quenched by over-powering floods scarcely less devastating. The same sea which nourished their inhabitants for a thousand years had become their murderer.

Several large rivers which converge in the Hungarian Plain, suddenly spilled over their banks to deluged this vast area of low-lying land. The entire region was inundated with the ferocious flood that wiped out a prosperous Bronze Age culture. It had come, in the words of Swedish archaeologist, Adolf Aberg, to "an unexpected end, after which the country is without any discoverable sign of occupation and seems deserted".

Europe's largest fire consumed the Black Forest down to the Swiss Alps. A counterpart to the ash-fall inundating China fell on Britain, killing the majority of all living things there. The worst was yet to come. Leaving the continent in flames, Comet Oljato dispatched a salvo of cosmic bombs hurtling at 20,000 miles per hour toward the ocean.

Breaking the sound-barrier each in turn, they filled the vast chambers of the sky with reverberating thunders. At least one meteorite hit the geologically sensitive Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It suddenly awoke like the enraged Midgaard Serpent of Norse myth. Sea-quakes rose in 500-foot tsunamis crashing 150 miles per hour across the face of the deep. Volcanos roared in furious choruses of streaming magma and piling cloud-banks of ash from Ascension and Candlemas in the South Atlantic to Hekla in Iceland. Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote in the Canaries exploded with flames to rival heaven's, as the nearby coast of North Africa writhed in seismic anguish. Stabbing like sharp pain through a raw nerve, geologic violence shot along the length of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and across the fault boundary separating the Eurasian from African plates to which it was connected and on which the island of Atlantis was situated.
A trembler moving close to the speed of sound struck the submarine foundations of Atlantis, detonating the sacred mountain. Unable to vent the sudden force of so much erupting magma, one wall of the volcano blasted out laterally. An inconceivable rush of sea rushed into the gaping wound, where the extremes of water and fire combined to implode the entire island. The opulent, powerful, corrupt capital, with most of its screaming inhabitants, sank to the bottom of the ocean it dominated for centuries --- the same ocean to which it had given its own name.

Copyright by Frank Joseph
All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Copies of "The Destruction of Atlantis" (264 pgs, color photograph section) are available from

The Destruction of Atlantis

The Destruction of Atlantis: Compelling Evidence of the Sudden Fall of the Legendary Civilization (Paperback) by Frank Joseph


Robert G. Bauval, author of The Orion Mystery and Message of the Sphinx
Definitely a can't-put-downer and must-read book for the enthusiast of ancient mysteries.

Robert G. Bauval, author of The Orion Mystery and Message of the Sphinx : "Intrepid globetrotter, researcher, and writer extraordinaire, Frank Joseph takes the reader on a tour in search of Atlantis. Enjoy with him the alchemical thrill of transforming dramatic legend into historical reality and experience his passion and dedication as he unravels this age-old story. Definitely a cant-put-downer and must-read book for the enthusiast of ancient mysteries."

Andrew Collins, author of From the Ashes of Angels and Gateway to Atlantis : A valuable addition to the study of lost civilizations and ancient maritime exploration. Essential reading for all true Atlantologists.

J. Douglas Kenyon, editor, Atlantis Rising magazine : "Like a hot new detective story surrounded by dusty tomes, The Destruction of Atlantis shines brightly amid the dim and dull fare from the cloistered towers of academe and elsewhere."

Dr. Robert R. Hieronimus, Host of 21st-Century Radio, author of Founding Fathers, Secret Societies : "'Where will it all end?' people wonder. For the answer, let them look to Atlantis. On a scale of one to ten, I give this book a 9.95. This book should be a standard-issue text in all high school and college history courses. It will stand the test of time."

David Hatcher Childress, author of Atlantis & the Power System of the Gods and the Lost Cities series : "The Destruction of Atlantis is an extensively researched volume that takes on the reality of Atlantis in a conservative and well-reasoned approach. It deserves to be part of every Atlantis library."

Opening the Ark of the Covenant

By Frank Joseph and Laura Beaudoin

It is remarkable that the Ark of the Covenant should have such an enduring, popular allure, when so little is known about it. In my research, I did “follow the bread-crumbs,” and they led me to many of the places described in my book—Tenerife, Delos, Delphi, Ilios, Giza, Cuzco, Teotihuacan, Nara, and dozens more besides—largely unfamiliar names spread around the globe, but all known at one time or another as "the Navel of the World."

The term surfaced early during my research (a cover word for "obsession") into the lost civilization of Atlantis, beginning spring 1980. At that time, few believed the place had actually existed, and I was not entirely sure myself. In the years since then, my four books on the subject were published in a dozen foreign editions, joining more material released about Plato's sunken city since he first spoke of it twenty three hundred years ago. These numerous volumes, compact discs, magazines, lectures, television productions, and feature films reflect unprecedented, international interest in Atlantis.

During late 2006, sociologists at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion, in Waco, Texas, conducted “by far the most comprehensive national religion survey to date,” according to Cathy Lynn Grossman, a writer for USA Today. Their survey revealed that 40 percent of Americans now believe Atlantis actually existed before the dawn of recorded history.

Well, what has all that got to do with the Ark of the Covenant? Atlantis is one of the “bread-crumbs,” an unsuspected clue to the mystery, like so many others—a Jesuit priest, the Great Pyramid, a deformed pharaoh, Canada, a Japanese scuba diver, a thousand-year-old tree, a famous Russian painter, a famous French painter, an infamous French cardinal, American Indians, secret societies, an Illinois woodworker. Individually incongruous, they nevertheless comprise a vast mosaic spanning not only the world, but the entire history of man. The image emerging from their combined inter-relationship is wonderful and horrible, filled with transfiguration, heroism, genius and beauty contrasted by deceit, terror, madness, and mass-murder. It is an unexpected picture I did not paint. I only found it after twenty six years of continuous investigation.

This book is the summary and outcome of that long labor of love. I was aided in its discovery by someone without whom my work would have been woefully incomplete. If there is such a thing as destiny, her appearance was perfectly timed. While in the midst of researching the man who established the Order of the Knights Templar in Jerusalem, both Laura Beaudoin, co-author of Opening the Ark of the Covenant, and I learned that she is his linear descendant. We then found that she is directly related to several other key players in the Ark drama, from a figure in the Old Testament to what may have been the sacred object's 17th Century steward. Never interested in genealogy, and emotionally incapable of boasting about her family tree, she provided absolutely unique insight into the darkest corners of medieval politics.

Laura Beaudoin, co-author of  Opening the Ark of the Covenant.
Despite the implications of this photograph, her new book is
a non-religious investigation of the controversial artifact.

Laura also owned a rare document, a privately published Beaudoin family history, preserved by her mother, Dolores. Thanks to this one-of-a-kind manuscript, we may read a hitherto unknown chapter in the lost history of the Ark of the Covenant. That, in essence, is the result of our combined effort: the first history of this supremely enigmatic artifact, its pre-biblical origins, true identity, and impact on the world.

  Opening the Ark of the Covenant:  Frank Joseph 
Opening the Ark of the Covenant

by Frank Joseph and Laura Beaudoin

Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

During the quarter of a century I spent researching "Opening the Ark of the Covenant", I was continually pestered by the problem of its whereabouts. I felt reasonably sure I knew what it contained --- a specimen of solid-state technology far in advance of the ancient times in which it was created. And its application as a conscience-altering electronic quartz crystal seemed credible. As the Aron ha Berit, it had passed to the Israelites from Egypt, where it had been known as the Ben-Ben, Bennu Stone, or "Phoenix Stone" for its random outbursts of static electricity. In brief, the Ark was a gold-lined, wooden box housing a kind of capacitor that accumulated, amplified and discharged various forms of energy in its immediate vicinity.

Looking down on a recreation of the ark of the Covenant reveals the so called
"Mercy Seat", a kind of platter where Yahweh appeared as a static-electrical
discharge between the positively and negatively polarized "cherubim".

Like the ancient Hebrews, the Egyptians falsely claimed the "Stone of Destiny" as their own. Instead, its origins stretch back into the mists of prehistory and myth. Edgar Cayce, the Sleeping Prophet of the 20th Century, said it was earlier known as the Tuoai, or "Fire Stone", it its own tower at the center of Atlantis. With the cataclysmic destruction of that civilization, its custodians brought it to the Nile Delta, where it was placed atop a tall obelisk in An, referred by the Greeks as Heliopolis, the City of the Sun.

The famous Luxor Pyramid of Las Vegas, Nevada in a laser-light display
that resembles its Egyptian counterpart during the ancient past whenever
Giza's Great Pyramid transduced seismic energy into a beam of

During a period of foreign wars and civil upheaval, the refugee Israelites escaped with Ben-Ben inside their traveling Ark, until Solomon installed it in Jerusalem's holy-of-holies. There it sparked Israel's Golden Age, until Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar II conquered the city in 587 B.C., and laid the Temple flat in his fruitless search for the Ark of the Covenant. Just before his conquest, the Levite priests lowered it into a vertical shaft 150 feet through solid limestone. There it remained hidden for the next seventeen centuries, until it was excavated by the Knights Templar in 1127. They removed it in secret to France, handing it over to another religious order, the Cathars. In his effort to seize the Ark, Pope Innocent III launched a crusade that eventually pushed the Cathars to their ultimate stronghold, the mountain fortress of Montsegur, in the Pyrenees. In March, 1244, it fell to a French Catholic army, but not before a quartet of Cathars smuggled the Ark of the Covenant --- now known as the Holy Grail --- out of the doomed castle. From that moment, its trail splits into every direction of the compass.

Some investigators believe the four Cathars traveled by Templar ship to Scotland, where the Ark-Grail was set up Rosslyn Chapel, under the protection of Henry Sinclair, the Earl of Orkney.

Author Graham Phillips wonders if the sacred object went to the so-called "Grail Chapel" at Whittington Castle, in Shropshire, England. Former journalist, Graham Hancock, believes the Ark is still attended by the single caretaker of a small church in Axum, Ethiopia.

A strangely credible version of events has them bringing the Ark of the Covenant to distant Japan, specifically, to the top of Tsurgi, or "Sword Mountain", an oral tradition still preserved by local people.

Remarkably, a number of theories place the Ark/Grail in North America. The Cherokee Indians of the Middle West claim the Ark was worshiped by their people for time out of mind, until the Tennessee Valley Authority's dam projects forced them to relocate it to Indiana, where it was venerated at least into the early 1970s. Abundant documentation establishes the efforts of the Villa-Maries, an association of unconventional mystics, who left France in the mid-17th Century for Montreal, Canada, where they attempted to establish what they called the "New Jerusalem", with the Ark of the Covenant at the centerpiece of their religious experiment.

While all of these theories have merit, and are investigated in my book, I tend to conclude that the Ark/Grail did not travel very far from Montsegur in 1244. More likely, the four Cathars who saved it from the clutches of the Pope concealed their sacred charge in one of the innumerable caves that virtually honey-comb the Pyrenees. In this natural hiding place, the holy artifact was preserved against all attempts to possess it. Then, in 1858, Bernarde-Marie Soubirous, a teenage sensitive, happened to stroll in its vicinity just when it was being energized by the seismic pressures which characterize the mountain range separating Spain from France. Her receptive mind responded to the frequency resonance emitted by the Ark/Grail, culturally concretizing her experience in visions of the "White Lady".

Thus was born the curative site at Lourdes, where St. Bernadette unwittingly accessed the mind-altering power of  the Grail. It continues to radiate its healing energies for many millions of sufferers from all over the globe, none of who realize that the singular magic of this place is generated by mankind's oldest, most precious object --- the Ark of the Covenant.

Copyright by Frank Joseph
All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission

  Opening the Ark of the Covenant:  Frank Joseph 
Opening the Ark of the Covenant

by Frank Joseph and Laura Beaudoin

The Lost Treasure of King Juba

By Frank Joseph

There are some disclosures which radically revolutionize long-established conceptions of the world in which we live. The subject of this story is one of them, because it demolishes what Americans have been led to believe since their country was founded; namely, that Christopher Columbus was its Discoverer. An archaeological cave site in southern Illinois reveals instead that tens of thousands of refugees sailing from the murder of their king and the invasion of their homeland preceded him by nearly fifteen centuries. Preferring a perilous transatlantic adventure toslaughter and slavery on land, they entrusted their lives to the sea.

But there is another side to this tale. It tells of the cave's discovery, subsequent twenty years of imposed secrecy, the looting of fabulous treasures, often bitter controversy, and final disclosure. The second story is much older. It describes what was once a splendid kingdom in the ancient Old World, a vital part of the Roman Empire, once culturally rich and economically powerful, but reduced to obscurity by war. Faced with almost certain death at home or escaping over the uncertain open sea, some of its survivors became First Century "boat-people". Most successfully completed the crossing to America only a few years after the death of Jesus.

While the majority of professional archaeologists dismiss such transatlantic voyages as imaginative fantasy, they are contradicted by a vast collection of inscribed and illustrated stone tablets uncovered from a subterranean site in the American Middle West. Often wonderful masterpieces of art, they comprise literally thousands of portraits of men and women from a distant land in ancient times. There are grim-faced soldiers and sagacious priests, sailors, worshippers, kings and queens. They are accompanied by tablets inscribed in several different written languages, some of which have already been partially translated. And there is gold, a treasure trove King Solomon in all his splendor would have envied.

Both stories seem too fantastic for belief. Yet, an abundance of hard and historical evidence supports their credibility. The fabulously rich legacy buried nearly 2,000 years ago was known only to the elders of a particular Indian tribe, whose last chief broke the secret before he passed away. Even then, the whereabouts of the cave were unknown until it was found by accident twenty four years later. The sometimes acrimonious struggle to open the site and unravel its significance has lasted almost as long.

That struggle still goes on. But the time has come for its story to be told. It begins in the remote countryside of southern Illinois, a cultural backwater practically forgotten somewhere between St. Louis, at the western border with Missouri, and the state university, in Carbondale, forty five miles north of Kentucky. The inhabitants would have it no other way. Their numbers are low and disparate. Although general income and educational levels are below national or even state averages, people are hard-working, bible-conscious, gun-owning patriots residing mostly on old, isolated farms or in charming, unprosperous little towns. Folks are friendly to but wary of strangers. They prefer their largely anonymous, unvisited status. Attitudes can be provincial, territorial and rural. Speech patterns echo from below the Mason/Dixon Line. Among land-owners there is a highly developed sense of protective sovereignty regarding the properties they own and on which they grow crops, mostly beans and corn.

Southern Illinois has always been a refuge for rugged individuals. Local history tells of frontier-like lawlessness dating back to gang wars with criminal interlopers, like Tony Accardo or Al Capone, from Chicago, during the 1960s and "Roaring Twenties", respectively, and much earlier, to the Harpe brothers. They murdered some fifty victims at Cave-in-the-Rock, on the Ohio River, before Micajah and Wiley were beheaded in 1799.

Directly across the state from St. Louis, Richland is the next nearest county to the Indiana border, in the east. Beyond its sparsely uninhabited hills and ravines, squares of brown-green farmland spread like pieces in an agricultural puzzle toward the horizon. In the extreme northeast corner of Richland County bends an elbow of the River Embarras, branching into Illinois from its bigger sister, the Wabash. Locals have for generations enjoyed exploring or picnicking in the numerous caves that honeycomb the area. An infrequently visited site, certainly unknown outside its immediate vicinity, was hardly more than a hole in the ground. But the opening, about ten feet wide and eight feet from ceiling to roof, was large enough for visitors to stoop through a kind of natural corridor running about 15 feet into the side of a hill perhaps three-quarters of a mile from the south bank of the Embarras.

At the far end of this seemingly insignificant cave was a small chamber, natural or man-made, it was difficult to determine. Its walls were decorated with what visitors assumed were "Indian signs"---apparently old carvings of  bizarre animals, inscrutable glyphs, and strangely costumed men, all rendered in faded, primitive stick-form.

Obviously, the cave had been used by Kickapoo or Shawnee tribes, who inhabited the Richland County region into the early 1800s. No one gave the place a second thought until 1982. Certainly, professional archaeologists, if they even knew it existed, never declared the site off-limits to public entry, nor forbade anyone from doing what they pleased there.

On April 2, a 47-year-old "caver" entered its dark recesses out-fitted with flashlight, pick-hammer and knapsack. He had come from his home in Olney, a small town about 15 miles away. Born in West Virginia, Russell E. Burrows moved after a stint in the U.S. Army during the Korean War to southern Illinois, where he developed an interest in local history, and began amassing everyday objects from the past.

Over time, he found ox shoes, square nails, iron pots, lanterns, and other19th or early 20th Century artifacts for his growing collection. A wood-worker by vocation, he could appreciate these hand-made items of yesteryear. Perhaps something of the kind might be found in the curious little cave he heard tell of. Finding it deserted, as it usually was, he paused momentarily to scan an uncertain sky, as muted thunder boomed ominously in the distance. He found the interior as described, a small, unimpressive natural enclosure like others he knew. Proceeding to its apparent termination, Burrows stepped into the close confines of the chamber. Perhaps it was artificial, but why anyone would go to the bother of carving it out made no sense. Then again, the Indians did things no modern white man could figure out. The glare of his flashlight passed over a series of their crude drawings adorning the walls here and there. They might make colorful additions to his rather lackluster collection of common pioneer nick-nacks.

Clearly, there were no 19th Century hob-nails laying about. With the first taps of his hammer, however, he noticed something strange. The impacts did not make quite the solid sound he expected. They produced a lighter reverberation, as though a hollow space lay on the other side. Curious to learn if a cavity did indeed lie just beyond, he swung his pick against the face of the wall. As he labored with a will, he was encouraged by what seemed like the echoes of his hammer blows coming from some place deeper in the hill.

The work was difficult, but Burrows was a strong man, and after perhaps fifteen minutes of sweated effort, the stones in the wall began to give. Suddenly, they tumbled heavily away, thudding to the ground, and disclosed another small chamber, this one unquestionably artificial. It was the opening to a flight of stone steps leading down into the earth. He played his flashlight over them, then carefully followed its illumination into the otherwise impenetrable darkness. The flight of stairs was steep, and he descended cautiously, side-ways, eventually reaching bottom. He estimated it was about thirty feet from the entrance above. A long, dead-straight corridor disappeared into the darkness before him. His bright flashlight lit up its still, dank interior, as Burrows carefully entered.

The tunnel was perfectly hewn, and hung with very old-fashioned oil lamps at regular intervals. They looked like something out of a movie he may have seen once about ancient Rome. He proceeded cautiously. The atmosphere was heavy with mystery, and snakes, especially deadly copper-heads, were known to favor such subterranean environments. But he encountered no serpents. The muted sound of his footfalls in the almost stifling confines was all he heard. The tunnel went on and on, as he passed dozens of dead oil lamps on either wall.

Turning the beam of his flashlight at the low ceiling, he saw that its entire length was covered with black smudges, the residue, apparently, of innumerable torches that once passed this way, how long ago, he could not guess. After Burrows had walked about 500 feet, the corridor seemed to come to an abrupt end. Instead, it made a sharp right turn, as his flashlight pointed the way. It illuminated another great length, running straight ahead beyond the white reach of its flickering bulb.

He proceeded a few paces, when a low, open portal, minus a door, appeared unexpectedly on his left. Ducking down under its low lintel, he entered a small chamber, then almost at once staggered backward in surprise. Gleaming in the harsh beam of his flashlight stood the five-foot-tall statue of a man wrought in solid gold. Nor was this just the representation of any man. Its beneficent pose and holes in the wrists of the outstretched arms clearly identified the figure. A few feet behind the statue, to its left, was a raised platform perhaps three feet high. On it had been laid a full-size sarcophagus, likewise executed in gold.

Recovering from the shock of his discovery, Burrows breathlessly admired the spectacular craftsmanship of  both objects, but refrained from touching them. He could hardly believe what he saw. Leaving the chamber, he found several more in quick succession.

Across the floor of one were stacked edged weapons---a metal sword with shield and battle-ax, together with a set of bronze spears individually ranging from three to six feet in length. There was copper or bronze armor---breast-plates and greaves, even helmets. Nearby, stood stone statuettes of noble-looking men and women dressed in strange garb suggestive of the ancient Nile Valley or Carthage. Stone and clay-fired jars or urns, some of them half as tall as a man, were positioned in two corners at the far end of the room. A number had long ago fallen over and broken open to reveal their contents---leather or hide scrolls covered with an inscrutable written language. Scattered among these jars were smaller oil lamps, like those attached to the walls of the corridor, and paint pots.

A recessed shelf, cut into the stone cave wall, and supporting the sculpted images of Egyptian-like deities, ran around the whole interior of the enclosure. Against one wall were piles of perhaps 100 flat, black stones, each one engraved with a human profile and unreadable inscription.

The faces portrayed a bewildering variety of men and women (mostly men depicted as soldiers in Roman-style helmets, or priests in robes) with European or Semitic facial features, but wearing the togas and uniforms of civilizations long since past into history. Stepping into an adjacent chamber of similar dimensions, Burrows noticed a vault cut into the rock face of the cave. It flared in the glare of his flashlight with numerous piles of gold coins---what was later to prove more than a ton's worth. This same vault contained a quart-sized stone bowl filled with uncut diamonds.

Nearly faint with these discoveries, he played the flashlight in his trembling hand over the far wall of the chamber, and saw at once that it opened to another. It was much larger, about twenty by twenty five feet, at the center of which lay a large stone sarcophagus. Inside was a gold coffin of superb workmanship. Like the smaller compartments, enormous piles of black stones emblazoned with lengthy, peculiar inscriptions, strange symbols, and the images of  both human beings and animals filled the crypt. The persons portrayed were an impossible mix of apparent Romans, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Christians, American Indians, even black Africans. Some of the animals depicted on the stones, such as lions, elephants and camels, were not native to America, at least before the last Ice Age, 12,000 years ago. Yet, here they were, depicted in all their incongruity.

The unreality of this subterranean site was making him dizzy. He needed fresh air, to get back into the upper world. The atmosphere was stiflingly close with some nameless presence. Returning to the third chamber, he availed himself of as much bounty as he could carry, then hurried at all speed, his bulging knap-sack and sagging pockets clanking with gold coins and several dozen diamonds.

In moments, he was scrambling through the broken down wall, back into the little chamber at the back of the cave. Burrows was elated by his incredible good fortune. It was the find of a lifetime. Clearly, whatever this place was, he thought, its importance and wealth were too great to leave unguarded. He tried to reassemble the old wall hammered down to gain entrance, but anyone who happened to see the re-positioned stones would know they were recently dislodged. The cave, while rarely visited, was now especially vulnerable to inquisitive persons like himself.

Others might find the break-in and loot the rest of the treasures. Re-emerging into the open air, he was relieved to find himself still alone. Since he could not hope to restore the collapsed wall to the aged condition in which he found it, Burrows concealed the cave opening itself. His Korean War experience in the Army had not been forgotten. He dragged shrubs and tree limbs over the gaping hole to camouflage its appearance, then re-aligned large stones to alter the face in the immediate surroundings. Within an hour, the cave was so thoroughly disguised, anyone not intimately familiar with its vicinity would never relocate the opening. Satisfied that his find was safely hidden under the subtly tampered environment, he returned to his pick-up truck perhaps 200 feet away. Afternoon declined toward evening. Deep shadows were already filling in gullies and ravines. They obscured the location even more effectively than his natural concealment of foliage and rocks.

The fabulous find was his by right of discovery, regardless who happened to presently own the property on which it was found. And it would remain his so long as he preserved the secrecy of its whereabouts. No matter who may someday try to claim it, he mused to himself as he trudged through the lengthening twilight toward his home, the site would hereafter and forever be known as "Burrows Cave".

Nineteen years later, Russell Burrows publicly presented a detailed description of the events of April 2 before an international archaeology conference in the Vienna Art Center, Austria. "The cave itself is 535 feet deep to its terminal breakdown," he said. "The down-angle is six degrees. The artifacts which I recovered were located in the silt on the most part. However, some were recovered from niches and shelves along the walls. Also to be seen are lamps cut out of knobs of rock on the walls. There are several of these lamps, since they seem to be positioned every fifteen or twenty feet." Remarkably, these dimensions and features are similar to the Kubr-er-Roumia, King Juba II's mausoleum from which his mummified body and treasure trove were removed ahead of the Roman invasion of 44 A.D. The first professional investigators of his tomb "found themselves in a long gallery about eight feet high and 6.5 feet broad.

There were niches along the walls which seemed as if they had been made to hold lamps", according to historian, A. MacCallum Scott (p.173). Like its southern Illinois counterpart, the royal Mauretanian sepulchral corridor "was about 500 feet long". "The area above these lamps is blackened by smoke from the lamps, which most likely burned animal fat or oil of some kind. I once lit ten candles at some of the lamp positions, and then turned off my lights, and was surprised that the area was well illuminated. In the largest area of the cave are five statues made of the same black material as are the artifacts displayed here. These statues are arranged in a semi-circle, and they are in appearance on the order of Egyptian figures: the left foot forward and the left arm forward. Held in left hand is a staff. Since these statues are some eight or more feet tall, and are made of the black material, I will estimate their weight to be four to six tons, this, since the black material is very dense and heavy.

"I also discovered that there are thirteen doorways cut into the walls of the cave. These doorways are closed by cut and well-fitted blocks of stone, the seams of which are sealed with a pitch or bees' wax. I removed one of the blocks, and was amazed to discover that the sealed doorways were the entrance into a burial crypt, which was about twelve feet square, with a stone bier in the center. In this crypt, I found the skeleton of a male; this was determined by the pelvic bone. On his skeleton was copper, gold and jewels, and lying on the bier with him was his sword, ax and shield. There was, and still is, large jars, one of which has fallen and broken. Inside the broken jar was to be seen twenty or so rolled-up scrolls. I did not touch them, knowing full well that by doing such, I could destroy them. They are still as I left them.

"The next crypt which I opened and examined was much the same as the first in size and structure. However, the skeletal remains was that of a female and two children. In the area of the heart of the woman's was embedded through the rib a golden blade large enough to have penetrated the heart. It appeared to me that since the blade, which was shaped like a large spear-point or blade, had become 'locked' in place by bone, so that, when the effort to remove it was made, it was pulled loose from its shaft, and was left in place. The children each had a large hole in their foreheads. Lying on the bier with the remains was two ax-heads made of pure white marble. One of these axes fit the holes in the children's' heads perfectly.

Also to be seen in this crypt is more of the large jars, but none are broken, so I cannot report what is included in them. There is also much burial finery on all of these skeletons.

"Further back and in a lower level of the cave is another burial crypt, which is much larger and different, in that there is a sarcophagus in the center which has a stone lid closing it. Inside is to be found a fine golden coffin much like those seen in Egyptian burials. Inside the coffin is another, what appears to be, mummy. I cannot state for certain that that is the case, because I did not disturb the decaying cloth around the body. In this crypt, which was closed by a round, rock, wheel-like device, which when the final cut was made, dropped into a trough and rolled downward, closing the crypt, is a shelf cut out of the stone walls. "There are many statues of what appears to be Amen-Ra, the Egyptian god. There is also to be seen in this crypt many other artifacts, such as what appears to be bronze spears of all sizes. Bronze swords and shields, as well as other personal items. None of this material was disturbed by me, and the coffin was closed, as well as the sarcophagus, and the crypt itself."

Listening to his matter-of-fact presentation delivered in a steady, West Virginian drawl, the continental scientists assembled in Vienna's meeting hall were stunned. Such a tale was utterly beyond belief. But there was more than narrative to Burrows' fantastic story. Much more.

Article Related Photos


One of the 7,000 or more portrait stones removed from the
southern Illinois cave. This one appears to represent a military officer.

The exceptionally well-executed likeness of a high-ranking officer
from the southern Illinois cave.

The profile of a Semitic priest, as indicated by his ritual pony-tail and Hebrew
inscription at left, although the inscription at bottom is Numidian,
a North African written language.

This Christ-like profile from the southern Illinois cave features the Hebrew word for Yahweh at the top; a foliated cross at left, and, beneath it, the glyph for Alexander Helios, the son of Queen Cleopatra who may have led North African refugees to North America
 in 41 A.D.

A gold coin from the southern Illinois cave features Cleopatra's elephantine
emblem and a Numidian inscription.

This portrait of a soldier from the southern Illinois cave features the representation
of a comet or meteor at the top. Bottom-right is the Phoenician numeral for "27",
 perhaps the age of the man depicted on the stone.

Judging from his helmet, this warrior portrayed on a stone from the southern
Illinois cave belonged to the Roman Era equivalent of a "special forces" unit.


Copyright by Frank Joseph
All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

"The Lost Treasure of King Juba" --- with 115 photos and illistrations of the Cave's artifacts --- is available from

The Lost Treasure of King Juba: The Evidence of Africans in America before Columbus

The Lost Treasure of King Juba: The Evidence of Africans in America before Columbus (Paperback)

by Frank Joseph


Book Description

The story of a mysterious southern Illinois treasure cave and its proof of the presence of Africans in North America long before Columbus.

  • Includes over 100 photographs of the artifacts discovered.

  • Re-creates the historic voyage of King Juba and his Mauretanian sailors across the Atlantic to rebuild their society in the New World.

  • Explains the mystery of the Washitaws, a tribal group of African origin, first encountered by the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

In 1982 Russell E. Burrows, a treasure hunter in southern Illinois, stumbled on a cache of ancient weapons, jewels, and gold sarcophagi in a remote cave. There also were stone tablets inscribed with illustrations of Roman-like soldiers, Jews, early Christians, and West African sailors. These relics fueled a bitter controversy in the archaeological community regarding their authenticity, leading Burrows to destroy the entrance to the cave.

Researching more than 7,000 artifacts removed from the cave before it was sealed, Frank Joseph explains how these objects came to be buried in the middle of the United States. It started with Cleopatra, whose daughter was made queen of the semi-independent realm of Mauretania, present-day Morocco, which she ruled with her husband, King Juba II. Following the execution of their son, Ptolemy, by Emperor Caligula, the Mauretanians rebelled against their Roman overlords and made their way into what is now Ghana. There they constructed a fleet of ships for a transatlantic voyage to a land where they hoped to rebuild their kingdom safe from Roman rule. They took with them a great prize unsuccessfully sought by two Roman emperors: Cleopatra's golden treasure and King Juba's encyclopedic library of ancient wisdom.

Fully illustrated with many previously unpublished photographs of artifacts retrieved from the southern Illinois site, The Lost Treasure of King Juba is a compelling story that could force us to rethink the early history of our nation and the possibility that Africans arrived on our continent nearly fifteen centuries before Columbus.

EUP radio interview (18MB - MP3)

Full podcast with Frank Joseph at

Related Links

Related Articles


Scientific American National Geographic  

 Find Any Book 
and have it delivered to your doorstep

Search for related Books and Videos:  

All Products
Search by keywords:
In Association with



Recommended: 1920x1200+ display, CSS and Java Script support : : : Hosted by Lunarpages
© 2002-2010,, All Rights Reserved.

Popular Authors dealing with alternative theories, esoteric subjects, mysticism, alchemy, aliens, Atlantis, ancient astronauts, parapsychology: 
KEYWORDS: Frank Joseph, Atlantis, 2012, books, ancient civilizations, Ark of the Covenant, Solomon, Temple, King Juba, treasure, Serpent, holy, grail, king Arthur, gnosis, secret societies