Frank Joseph's New Book Claims Mermaids Are Real and Dolphins Are Ancient Astronauts
Ancient astronaut theorist Zecharia Sitchin died in October of 2010, right after the publication of There Were Giants Upon the Earth, which he called his “crowning oeuvre.” This year Inner Traditions is releasing a new paperback edition of Sitchin’s culminating work, and they made galley proofs available for review. There is a sort of touching level of retro charm to the book, particularly when old twentieth century ancient astronaut chestnuts come out to play. Sitchin, for example, claims that aliens (specifically the Mesopotamian death god Nergal) nuked Sodom and Gomorrah and that the contaminated cloud of radiation that resulted from the blast poisoned Sumer. None of the material is particularly fresh or new; a good deal is recycled, sometimes verbatim, from some of Sitchin’s earlier books.
There is a quaint air of the ridiculous as Sitchin builds toward his conclusion. He argues that sixteen opulent 6,000-year-old tombs uncovered at Ur in the 1920s and 1930s are so different from the other tombs of the period that they could not be merely the tombs of kings and queens but rather those of space aliens or their offspring, for “the abundant use of gold, the extraordinary artistic and technologically advanced aspects of the objects, and other features that we have pointed out, lead us to conclude that demigods, and even gods, were buried there …” (emphasis in original). His evidence, as always, is backward: he notes a similarity between burial rituals and Mesopotamian myths and legends; rather than concluding that the myths and legends are connected to the burials through religious belief, he instead concludes that the burials prove the legends true and thus the gods real.
But this goofiness is nothing compared to Inner Traditions’ big new release for 2016, the newest book from former American Nazi leader Frank Joseph: Our Dolphin Ancestors: Keepers of Lost Knowledge and Healing Wisdom, which the company made available for review. Yes, he wrote a book about human-dolphin relations in ancient history. This book is a step beyond his usual pseudo-historical drivel and leans heavily on New Age mysticism about telepathy, astral projection, and other imaginary ways of communicating with undersea creatures. The warrant for this is the so-called aquatic ape hypothesis, which has never been proved but which suggests that humans evolved in an aquatic environment and therefore have some semi-amphibious traits. According to Joseph, this semi-aquatic ape diverged into two species, us and the Deep Ones—er, mermen.
The first eighteen chapters of the book are dedicated to a New Age exploration of dolphin science and dolphin mysticism, including the aforementioned psychical communication methods. After that, Joseph speculates whether the aquatic ape hypothesis and/or “dolphin people” can explain mermaid sightings. (I’ll be honest: I didn’t read the whole thing to find out how he thinks dolphin people came about; I believe it’s his name for the aquatic apes.) There is a disturbing part of the book where Joseph, who was convicted of sexually assaulting boys and served prison time for the same, devotes a chapter to “Dolphins and Children” and explains that the dolphins have a preference for young boys. In doing so, he rhapsodizes about the innocence, beauty, and openness of these children, calling them “innocent creatures without guile, naturally harmless and friendly …” It’s only weird, though, if you know Joseph’s background; the next chapter is about how dolphins communicate psychically with cats. Perhaps unsurprisingly Joseph shares much personal history about himself and his cat, but nothing about his relationship with children.
Only in the last few chapters does Joseph turn his attention to the areas of our concern: ancient history and civilization. He, of course, introduces Oannes into evidence and the promptly distorts the text to make him into a merman, eliminating references to the creature having a fish body conjoined to his human body rather than being, as Joseph claims, half fish and half man. He compares this to global myths of mermen and serpent-people and concludes that the myths must represent reality rather than mere fantasy. “From observations of mermen over hundreds of years, the descriptions of the animals reveal that there may have been, and perhaps still is, an aquatic species of hominid.” He’s not one to accept that sightings of mermaids, like that of Columbus, might really have been manatees.
I feel almost like he’s trolling his readers when he alleges that mermaids and mermen once ruled the seas until humans hunted them nearly to extinction, leaving a small remnant population around New Guinea. Since he makes mention of the Animal Planet hoax Mermaids: The Body Found, it almost seems as if he wrote this book as a printed counterpart to that lie.
But that is neither here nor there, for Joseph goes on to adopt Robert Temple’s claims about amphibious space frogs from Sirius descending to ancient Mesopotamia, as given in his 1976 bestseller The Sirius Mystery. That claim came straight out of Berossus, whom Joseph has already mangled, and he spends a whole chapter defending the Dogon’s alleged knowledge of the Sirius star system from critics who content that it is a product of wishful Western thinking. The end result is that Joseph becomes an ancient astronaut theorist and begins to wonder, in true Ancient Aliens style, if dolphins and aquatic apes are the amphibious gods of Dogon legend: “Does the story suggest that today’s dolphins are the descendants of extraterrestrial beings?” As evidence, he claims that dolphins gather when Sirius rises, not because their movements are coordinated with the seasons but rather because they are inherently linked to their home planet, as were the Sirius-connected inhabitants of Mu, which he continues to believe was a real continent. He believes—and seriously, this has to be trolling—that the dolphins and the Romans both celebrate the fall of Mu with the festival of Lemuria tied to Sirius. “What else,” he asks, “could account for their [dolphins’] appearance” at the old site of Lemuria in May, the same date as the festival? The Lemuria, better known as Lemuralia, was a mid-May festival for exorcising demons and ghosts.
And to think, Giorgio Tsoukalos only claimed that the space aliens made a peace treaty with coelacanths.
Joseph descends into his typical claims about Lemuria, Mu, and Atlantis, including the allegation that the Bimini Road was part of this lost dolphin-human world and is aligned to Sirius, based on Edgar Cayce’s claims about what life was really like in ancient Atlantis. But, fear not! Joseph says that Cayce isn’t the only source for learning about how Atlantis engaged in human-dolphin genetic manipulation. He also says that an American nurse named Athena Neely claimed that the Soviets collected folklore about dolphin-human hybridization on Atlantis, a claim he cites to an old book by Lana Miller called Call of the Dolphins, a book about tantric sexuality. I can find no evidence that this material exists outside of the book.
He gathers together every possible reference to dolphins and sea creatures in Greek and Roman myths, as well as sea-themed material from Mesopotamian mythology, and despite the differences and contradictions asserts that all of these legends reflect essential truths about a lost race of mer-people from Atlantis. It would be possible, but exhausting, to trace each claim individually and explain why and how he misused it, but let’s let one stand for all: He alleges that the Romans referred to all the peoples of Iberia as the “children of Atlantis.” He cites this not to any Greek or Roman text (there not being one), but to his own 2004 book Survivors of Atlantis, where the claim has no citation whatsoever. It’s probably a corruption of several passages from Ignatius Donnelly’s Atlantis such as these: “Gades is the Cadiz of today, and the dominion of Gadeirus embraced the land of the Iberians or Basques, their chief city taking its name from a king of Atlantis, and they themselves being Atlanteans.” And: “This great race ruled the country for one hundred and ninety-seven years: they were overthrown by an immigration from Spain, probably of Basques, or Iberians, or Atlanteans, ‘the sons of Milidh,’ or Milesius, who ‘possessed a large fleet and a strong army.’” Indeed, in Atlantis and Other Lost Worlds (2008), Joseph himself identifies the Basques as the descendants of the Atlanteans of Iberia, and in this book he specifies that the Iberian Atlanteans are the Milesians—just as Donnelly had made up!
Joseph pays himself the ultimate compliment by claiming that the dolphins have traditions of the fake history he remixed from Ignatius Donnelly and pass along the stories from generation to generation.
He concludes the book with some standard New Age hand-wringing over the destructive power of humanity and our tendency to destroy each other and the environment. Given that Joseph spent so much of his life inciting hate as a Neo-Nazi, I guess he would know.
Overall, the book is a blend of repeat claims from earlier Joseph books, summaries of other fringe books, and a major blast of New Age nonsense. He never quite decides whether dolphins are space aliens or how that does or does not relate to human ancestors evolving into mermen. All he can offer is that Atlantis and magic (sorry … unknown science) is somehow involved. It’s a waste of print, and the evidence is, even by his standards, remarkably thin.
1/17/2016 10:31:11 am
Does anybody buy this rubbish? Are people really that stupid?
1/17/2016 11:46:29 am
I was kind of thinking the same thing.
1/17/2016 04:34:23 pm
Because it's entertainment.
1/17/2016 10:59:45 am
But what does this have to do with the "Roman sword"? That's what I'd like to know about it.
1/18/2016 07:36:52 am
But, Andy, isn't it obvious? The dolphin-mermen-aliens carried the sword to Oak Island and all points beyond. They are, in truth, the grand architects of all diffusion of ancient artifacts, and wile their days away coming up with new and exciting discoveries for brave, history-redefining adventurers to uncover that will shatter our world view, and blah blah woof woof.
1/19/2016 12:27:08 pm
Super intelligent Alien/Hybrid Dolphins would certainly explain how technologies, myths, etc. could be diffused across the ancient world.
1/17/2016 12:50:22 pm
What truly creeps me out is the "Dolphins and Children" part. I can't help thinking he used dolphins as a stand-in for himself.
1/17/2016 08:06:07 pm
And then he rhapsodizes about cats.... I'm concerned. Really.
1/17/2016 08:40:31 pm
I'm concerned for the cats.
1/17/2016 08:57:50 pm
Perhaps I should send him a copy of the book "The Cat's Revenge" by Claude Balls.
1/18/2016 07:09:29 pm
Maybe they'll go all Cats of Ulthar on him and we won't have anything to worry about.
1/19/2016 12:34:26 pm
A book written by a racist, pedophile, criminal.
1/17/2016 02:00:23 pm
1/17/2016 02:49:03 pm
If you google ‘dolphins’ and ‘aliens’ you get two basic results immediately: dolphins are aliens, as we’re discussing here, but also serious results like ‘How dolphins could help us communicate with aliens.’ To distinguish between the two requires critical thinking skills that many people just don’t possess. Oh well.
1/17/2016 02:58:44 pm
I visited Sea World once and attempted to communicate with the Dolphins. I uttered a series of squeaks and whistles, but they only looked at me, pretending not to understand. For some reason, that I have never fully understood, the park security hauled me away.
1/17/2016 03:44:33 pm
"I feel like a dolphin who's never tasted melted snow. What does the color blue taste like? Bobo knows? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! I must speak with the dolphins now. Eeeee-eeee-eee-eeeeeee!"
1/17/2016 04:44:03 pm
1/18/2016 06:11:33 pm
"Day of The Dolphin"? Oh wait, that starred Fa and Bea, not Bobo.
1/17/2016 09:39:47 pm
You should have tried Marine Land. The dolphins there were much more communicative.
1/18/2016 12:05:01 am
Oh, so dolphins make you wet? *Growl* ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
1/19/2016 10:48:47 am
I always figured they were saying "May I have the fish, please?" Dolphins are polite, you see.
1/19/2016 11:44:49 am
Only Me, it's that uncomfortable chapter of dolphins and children.
1/18/2016 03:45:19 pm
"but they only looked at me, pretending not to understand"
1/17/2016 04:16:41 pm
According to the English expert on aliens, Doug Adams, the dolphins returned to space, but not before saying, "So long, and thanks for all the fish!"
1/17/2016 05:59:27 pm
I've always found Terry Pratchett's Giant Space Turtle theory a little more convincing, personally.
1/17/2016 05:24:36 pm
Octopussesi are also aliens, or maybe they only have alien DNA. Maybe... all other species on the planet... are aliens... except for US!!!! Actually, the wife is a mind- changing alien too, so maybe it's only me who isn't one. Everybody is different, except me, and I'm ther same.
1/17/2016 08:21:50 pm
At a guess the whole 'dolphin people' thing came from one of those Discovery Channel mocumentaries.
1/18/2016 10:56:55 am
"Yes, he wrote a book about human-dolphin relations in ancient history."
1/18/2016 11:08:55 am
According to the web (http://www.theoi.com/Ther/Delphin.html) DELPHIN was a dolphin in the service of the god Poseidon. When his master was wooing Amphitrite and she fled, Delphin went in search of the nymph and persuaded her to agree to the marriage. For his service Poseidon placed him amongst the stars as the Constellation Delphinus.
1/18/2016 11:43:17 am
One of the most disturbing things about pedophiles is that they think about their deviance ALL the time. So anything they write or say is always overshadowed by that.
1/19/2016 11:53:52 am
I've always thought it must be a terrible life, to be a pedophile. Hear are a bunch of feelings you can't control, and if you act on them you know you're wrong even when you try to convince yourself that you're not, and no matter what, you really can't reach out and get help, because if you try, you're marked for life, even if you've never touched a kid EVER.
1/18/2016 03:52:20 pm
"He also says that an American nurse named Athena Neely claimed that the Soviets collected folklore about dolphin-human hybridization on Atlantis"
1/18/2016 07:10:54 pm
Why do I get the sinking suspicion that Joseph read David Brin's Startide Rising and missed the fact that it was in the fiction section?
1/19/2016 01:00:24 am
Douglass Addams, ha! We must make way for the freeway, sorry ol' chaps. So long, and thanks for all the fish. Cheerio. And Sponge Bob 2, which had a Dophin God traveling through space time.
1/19/2016 02:03:12 am
Here you go, Jason:
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.