Evidence of lost civilisation?

by Andrew Collins



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The Bahaman Islands
The Status Quo
Conventional archaeological opinion contends that the Bahaman archipelago was unoccupied before the Lucayan Amerindians arrived in AD 600-700 and that the Greater Antilles as a whole were unoccupied before 6000- 5000 BC. The Great Bahama Bank on which the Bimini islands are situated disappeared between 6000-3000 BC, this was caused by the rise in sea level after the Last Ice Age. This inundation process however, could have started as early as 8000 BC.

Family Footprints
In 1993, Donnie Fields (volunteer with 'Project Alta') was investigating a remote area of shore of North Bimini in the Bahamas, when she discovered, in exposed mud-rock, human footprints.

Twenty-four impressions were found belonging to three seperate individuals, probably a family unit. Vital to the discovery was their direction - they led directly out into the channel that lies between the north and south Bimini Islands. Casts made of some of the prints revealed that they belonged to an individual of 1.63 metres in height and it was considered that the shape of the feet was like those associated with Cro-Magnon humans and some Amerindian peoples.

Dr. John Gifford of the University of Miami, who'd previously contested antedeluvian occupation of the Great Bahama Bank, had no hesitation in accepting the footprints as genuine and proposed an age of 7,000 years old. Such an admission from an academic of Dr. Gifford's calibre goes completely against conventional theory, and his proposed age, based on the orthodox view on occupation of the Greater Antilles, mean that the prints are probably much older. This, along with their path into the sea, makes it possible that their creators occupied the Great Bahama Bank before the sea submerged the landmass around 8000 BC.

So who were they?

Ancestors of the Yuchi tribe of Oklahoma, who believe that they inhabited the former Bahaman landmass before it was torn apart 'by fires and clouds of different colours'? Or the Quiche-Maya and Cakchiquel, who left their mythical homeland in the east during a period of darkness?

Cayce's Poseidia
Edgar Cayce (1877-1945), America's most noted psychic, famous for diagnosis of ailments and prescribing treatments, was asked in 1927 to visit Bimini by an unknown American millionaire who'd worked with him on discovering oilfields and mineral deposits in the US in exchange for financing a hospital Cayce built at Virginia Beach.

Edgar Cayce

His first reading regarding Bimini took place while he was still at Virginia Beach where he confirmed that the island indeed contained 'gold, bullion, silver and...plateware' (the presence of Spanish treasure was long rumoured). More pertinently, he spoke of Bimini as being 'the highest portion left above the waves of once a great continent'.

On his one and only trip to the island, he confirmed that the earlier readings were correct, but when nothing was found, told his sponsors that there was nothing wrong with the information, but that 'we know sin lies at the door, ...the house must be set in order' before anything could be found. In other words, his psychic powers could not be exploited in such an apparently selfish manner and he went on to offer more spiritually sound enterprises, including a holiday resort and hydroelectric power from the sea. All were ignored.

Over the next 17 years, he focused on the island's past, identifying it as part of Atlantis' central island which he refered to as Poseidia. In 1933, he spoke of three locations where the 'records' pertaining to the arts and sciences of the Atlantean civilisation would be found and revealed that one was:

' ....in the sunken portion of Atlantis, or Poseidia, where a portion of the temples may yet be discovered, under the slime of ages of swa water - near what is known as bimini, off the coast of Florida'.
Cayce's extraordinary talent for diagnosing illness as well as his visions of world history won him a huge following which led to the formation of the Edgar Cayce Foundation, a global organisation dedicated to preserving and confirmation of his 'readings' - largely undertaken by their research devision - the A.R.E.

Fulfilling the Prophecy
Like all psychics, many of Cayce's prophecies have not come to pass. Bimini however, is different. It is true that most of the discoveries made were by Cayce followers, but does it really matter that his is a self-fulfilling prophecy? If hard evidence is uncovered, does it matter that the Cayce's readings inspired the search?

In 1940, Cayce delivered a reading that 'Poseidia will be among the first portions of Atlantis to rise again. Expect it in sixty-eight and sixty-nine; not so far away!'

This statement initiated a number of expeditions to the Bahamas in the following years, usually by the A.R.E. As 1968 approached, surveillance was stepped up but nothing was found.

Then on a regular flight between Miami and Nassau, two ARE members, Captian Robert Brush and Trigg Adams spotted a well-defined rectangular structure not seen on previous flights over the area in the waters north of Andros - the largest island of the archipelago. They identified it as the foundations of a building, the eastern end of which was sectioned off about a quarter of the way along its length by an interior wall. The site was then visited by two other ARE members, zoologist J. Manson Valentine and oceanographer Dimitri Rebikoff who determined that the structure was approximately 34 x 20 metres and oriented perfectly east-west, and said it was made of perfectly laid limestone blocks a metre thick.

Somewhat prematurely, they released a press statement that 'an ancient temple' and been located in the Bahaman waters that might 'be part of Atlantis'. Not everyone agreed that the Andros 'temple' constituted proof of Atlantis' re-emergence.

In the late 1970's Dr. David Zink investigated the site as part of his annual 'Project Poseidia' expeditions on Bimini. He found that the structure was made not of blocks but of loose rock and brought to light a claim by an islander that it had been biult as a sponge pen in the 1930's.

In spite of this, even Zink did not think that it could have been a modern construction as he points out that it's great distance from the shore would make it's use as a sponge pen unlikely. It's location in just a metre of water would also make it difficult for boats to approach. There was also no evidence that the structure referred to by the islander related to the one found by Brush and Adams.

Anthropologist R. Cedric Leonard also noted that the sponge pens around are built not of stone but wood, and are small with light construction in deeper water. None have perfectly straight lines and 90 degree corners.

Thought the jury is still out on the 'temple', the publicity drew others to the shallows around Andros - ideal for aerial surveillance. It wasn't long before other features came to light.

The Bimini Road
Just days after their 'temple' press release, Valentine and colleagues were taken by a local guide, Bonefish Sam, to a structure which has become known to the world as the Bimini Road.

The islands of Bimini

638 metres long, this feature is made up of a double row of regular shaped blocks, some of which are up to 4 metres square and 60-90cms thick . A few are on top of each other, and generally are seperated by gaps of between 10 and 78cms. Beyond this is a mosaic of much smaller stones up to 2 metres square which curve in a 90 degree turn in the direction of the beach.

Valentine announced that the structructure was artificial in 1969, only to be fiercely criticised. An investigation, including Dr. Gifford (see footprints above), concluded that the structure was infact just 'Pleistocene beach rock'. This is formed over thousands of years by aquatic debris becoming cemented together and then fractured and broken into blocks by the actions of the sea.

Two further similar features were noted at Cay Sal by professional diver & former chairman of the Museum of Science and Archaeology at Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Herb Sawinski. Visiting one of these off Anguilla Island in 1998, I can confirm that it does resemble the Bimini Road, the structures are so similar that a common origin is certain. However, it does not run parallel to the shore, but at a right angle from the coastline. This contradicts the marine geologists' view that beach rock only forms parallel to the shore.

The Bimini Road

Other features found at Cay Sal include an enourmous pair of cut and dressed blocks found inside an underwater cave known as the Quarry and evidence here and in another cave of quarry marks. As these caves have been underwater for thousands of years, the marks and manmade blocks are inexplicable. Cave art and burial chambers and human skeletal reamins have also been found deep within underwater cave systems.

Circles of stone
Robert Brush was also the first to discover a huge ring (approx. 300 metres across and 1 metre thick) which contained within it two concentric rings of similar thickness. 20 metres from the shorline, on-site investigations revealed it's rings were defined by a 'three-tiered' layer of stone covered in seagrass.

Bimini stone circle

It's artificial construction seemed to be confirmed by aerial footage taken, however we cannot be certain as it was covered again by the shifting sands. I myself have seen a similar structure from the air off the coast of Andros in June 1998.

A number examples of cut and dressed stone have been found over the years, many of which are not indigenous to the Bahamas. These include marble and a 'fine grained' granite found only in Vermont, New Hampshire, Washington state and Italy featuring joints, tongues and grooves.

One possiblilty is that they could be widely scattered ship's ballasts (stone used to stabilise trading ships) from the many ships wrecked in the Bahaman shallows. However, some of the samples found seem unlikely to have been made for use as discarded masonary.

Fallen Monoliths?

Other artefacts found near the Road are large hexagonal slabs a metre in diameter and just a few centimetres deep, and large stones which slope towards one end and have been identified as fallen monoliths.

The Moselle Shoal Structure
5 km north of Bimini is a reef which runs north-south. In the mid-1970s, Valentine and colleague Jim Richardson identified a cluster of structures which when photographed showed precisely regular 'cell-like structures' as well as a system of squares, rectangles and divided circles.

Other structures they found around the Great Bahama Bank include many rectangles, triangle, a 33 metre long 'arrow' made of huge blocks, a second much larger 'arrow' and parallel tracks that ran for nearly 7 miles in the direction of an islet named Russell Light House. Here they converged on a huge star-shaped enclosure, focused on three polygonal holes. On-site inspection of these revealed that the main hole was stopped by a loose pile of gigantic stones.

The Mother Lode?
The former Bahaman landmass is seperated from Cuba in the south by the Old Bahama Channel, a deep waterway. Flying along this edge of the Great Bahama Bank in 1972, Valentine and Richardson saw below them, in the shallows off the tiny island of Cay Guinchos, a large number of lines which were 'not unlike that produced by terracing since the avenues are more or less parallel'.

Continuing south-eastwards for about 60 kms, they reached Cay Lobos which is also on the edge of the channel. Now only 20 kms off Cuba in an American aircraft, they'd already broken US federal law and Castro's exclusion of US aircraft from cuban airspace, so they contined on. Here they saw 'algal growth patterns of such obviously planned regularity.. they could not have been created by random proliferation of the flora'. The features lay on the very edge of the sea-cliff, facing out across the channel towards the island of Cayo Romano on the northern coast of Cuba.

They contined on to see so many more features that Valentine described them as 'an architects plan for an exceedingly complex urban development'. They circled for a while, taking photographs and coordinates. There cn be no easy explanation for such well-defined underwater features in the clear blue waters.

Anomalies identified in the shallows of the Great Bahama Bank are repeatedly dismissed as delusions of gullible believers in the mysteries of Atlantis. By the time of his death in 1994, J. Manson Valentine had put together a dossier of no less than 60 sites warranting further investigation.

Though many may turn out to be natural, it would be foolhardy to dismiss them all.

Donnie Field's prehistoric footprints and art in underwater caves proove that there was human occupation on the Great Bahama Bank prior to the aftermath of the Carolina bays comet impact c. 8600-8500 BC. If just one of the features found were of artificial construction, it could open the debate on the possibility that a previously unknown culture had also occupied the Great Bahama Bank. It would also imply that this veritable Atlanean race reached a level of sophistication comparable to the Neolithic peoples of the Near East.

Is it possible that these people were displaced onto the mainland by the earthquakes and tidal waves resulting from the impact to become the known cultures of Mesoamerica?
Did later voyagers learm of the resulting legends and myths, taking them back to the ancient world where they came to the attention of a Greek philosopher and poet?
Were these the real inhabitants of Plato's Atlantis?

Does this mean that Plato's highly developed culture of Atlantis did not exist? Not necessarily. It may still lie undiscvovered. In 1998, world-reknowned treasure salvor Mel Fisher, discoverer of the Spanish treasure galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, made it clear to close friends that he'd found Atlantis near Cuba, but would not reveal it's location till relations were better between Cuba and the US. Such a claim from arguably one of the world's greatest treasure hunters was not to be taken lightly.

I was able to speak to Mel by phone in 1998 and he confirmed the rumours, saying the site had been detected first by satellite and then verified by sonar. He was convinced that what he'd found matched 'exactly' Plato's Atlantis. Unfortunately, Mel died in Decmber 1998 and possibly took the secret with him.

The search continues.......