The Bermuda Triangle: The ARES search for Atlantis
Bermuda Triangle Yields SecretsNote: The background to the ARE's Search For Atlantis Project can be found in the books, The ARE's Search For Atlantis, Edgar Cayce's Atlantis, and Secrets of the Ancient World.
The "Bermuda Triangle" is a vast expanse of islands and ocean covering nearly 500,000 square miles. The term is typically applied to the area enclosed by a triangle starting from Miami, Florida, to Puerto Rico, to Bermuda, and back to Miami. The Bermuda Triangle Organization lists 125 incidents of disappearances (until 2002) of planes and the disappearance of 94 ships/boats within the Triangle, with the first ship report from 1780. A large portion of the Bahamas lies within the Triangle.
The small Bahamas island of Bimini, lying only 50 miles from Miami, has been the location of several ship and plane disappearances and has also received intense scrutiny for possible archaeological remains.
But Andros Island, the largest of the Bahamas islands lying 100 miles from Bimini, has been given little attention by archaeologists or Bermuda Triangle researchers. Bimini lies in what many consider to be the "focal point" of the Bermuda Triangle, but Andros, especially North Andros, is also within the Triangle and has been the location of numerous disappearances.
This report, the first of three, focuses on the unexpected discovery of planes linked to the Bermuda Triangle mystery.
The Association For Research & Enlightenment's Search For AtlantisBeginning in 1968, intense exploration in the Bahamas was conducted by members of the ARE (Association For Research & Enlightenment) following reports made by Dr. J. Manson Valentine of the discovery of an underwater structure found off Andros and then another stone formation at Bimini.
Exhaustive investigations made in recent years by archaeologist William Donato, Dr. Lora Little, and the present author have conclusively shown that the underwater stone structure lying off Bimini is the remains of a ancient harbor. In addition, a similar structure was found at Andros and another harbor was found about a mile from the first Bimini formation in 2006.
In late 2006 and in May and June 2007, a series of expeditions were conducted in the Bahamas, which performed extensive side-scan sonar at Bimini as well as near Andros and several areas on the Great Bahamas Bank. Results from the side-scan sonar are more fully presented in an August 1, 2007 article. However, the most interesting finds from the sonar and subsequent follow-ups revealed rectangular formations lying in 100 feet of water off Bimini, several unusual stone formations 20+ miles out on the Great Bahamas Bank, and the "rediscovery" of an underwater "mass" of fully dressed marble beams, an exquisite marble building apex, marble columns, and numerous huge, rectangular flat slabs of white marble.
The most puzzling results included the discovery of an underwater wall off a small, uninhabited island North of Andros. This wall was constructed from huge blocks and slabs of limestone. One section of the wall remains partially intact and consists of three-to-five layers of stone blocks. While this research has been conducted under the title of "The ARE's Search For Atlantis," two facts should be noted.
First, nothing has been found in the Bahamas that is linked to the "historical" Atlantis. But some archaeological evidence has been found, which leads to the second point. That is, there is genuine evidence pointing to the existence of an unknown, somewhat sophisticated maritime culture operating in the Bahamas during ancient times.
Finding more definitive evidence of this maritime culture is our primary focus.
Planes & Boat RemainsAn aerial survey performed over the Great Bahamas Bank in June 2007 by Drs. Lora and Greg Little was designed to identify the precise location of previously photographed dark, underwater formations. Many writers, including Charles Berlitz, had published a few photos of these seemingly enigmatic formations suggesting they could be the ruins of buildings. Our aerial survey identified approximately 20 of these formations in an area bounded by the upper 10 miles of Northern Andros extending 45-miles (west) onto the Great Bahama Bank.
With the help of Eslie & Krista Brown, Bahamas boat and dive operators, we managed to directly visit all but one of these as well as several others. In addition, we explored a host of small islands and a wide area of North Andros. (An August 1 and September 1 report will detail all of the finds not reported herein. We are awaiting a variety of test results.)
One of the largest and most interesting forms visited on the Great Bahamas Bank was approximately 35 miles off Andros lying in 20 feet of water. Taking the shape of a dark "eye" with white sand outlining it, the center of the formation showed a round white spot. From the air, it is a stunning view and the formation is nearly 500-feet long. In the white center spot of the formation we found a plane, turned upside down. The plane was completely buried under the sand, but a retractable front landing gear was sticking out from the bottom. It was removed and brought to the surface by Eslie Brown. The "Electrol" gear was subsequently investigated and was probably used on a Cessna 210-J. (Final verification is pending.)
Another massive dark spot that was investigated, about 30-miles off Andros and measured at over 500-feet, also takes on the appearance of an eye with a center white spot. The remains of a wooden boat were found in the center with the outline of small, well-polished ballast stone found in the sandy center. A few long pieces of decayed and rotted wood were found in the sand.
Because of the discovery of the underwater plane, we subsequently investigated three more crashed plane remains on land on Andros. One, a DC-3, required a several hour trek through dense and muddy mangrove swamps. The plane, as it turned out, was local in origin and its history is known.
More wreckage?a tail assembly of a small plane?was found at Red Bays. Locals pulled the remains out of the water many years ago after it came ashore, but no one recalls any investigation of the wreck whatsoever. Several of the plane's ID numbers (N-number) partly remain on the tail. These were: N148xF. The only portion of the "x" that was visible could well have been a "3" and the number "1" was only partly visible.
The most intriguing plane found on land was found at Morgan's Bluff. Investigation eventually led us directly to the individual who first recovered it. This man was using a dredge at Morgan's Bluff in 1989 to deepen a channel where a large tanker comes daily to ship water from Andros to Nassau. The man recalled that when he dragged the plane up, there were no human remains in it, so they simply pulled it to the bank (out of the way) and then used a bulldozer to push it into the nearby jungle.
No one knew its origin, however, several locals believed that it had crashed into the deep Tongue of the Ocean between Andros and Nassau and gradually drifted until a storm moved it to the Morgan's Bluff area. All outer ID numbers on the plane were gone, destroyed when the aluminum was literally torn to pieces by all of the violent actions subjected on it. However, we managed to find a manufacturer's ID plate on an internal part showing the part was made in 1960.
The plane was a 2-engine Beech, similar to Beechcraft made in the 1950s.
Preliminary SpeculationsIt must be stressed that a tentative ID has been made on only one of the planes found and we have no idea whatsoever about the identity of the wooden ship remains. The plane found on the Great Bahamas Bank appears to be a Cessna and the landing gear is consistent with those used in a Cessna 210-J. The location of the plane's remains is on a line between the "Andros Town" airport and numerous East coast Florida airports.
Examination of the master list of plane disappearances published by the Bermuda Triangle Organization shows that a Cessna 210-J disappeared on October 4, 1983 after it left Andros Town for Ft. Pierce, Florida. However, only a positive identification, by uncovering the tail to reveal the plane's N-number, would prove whether this is that plane or not.
The N number on the remains of the plane at Red Bays creates an intriguing problem. The clearly visible numbers Nx48xF, added to those that were less clear (N1483F), match a plane reported missing in 1968. On May 29, 1968 a single engine Cessna 172 radioed to Grand Turks that it was low on fuel and then the pilot reported that the engine had stopped.
The plane was assumed to have crashed into the water and both the 30-year old pilot and his passenger were missing. Nothing was ever discovered from the plane nor were any bodies found. The wreckage we found at Red Bays, consisting only of the tail section, is consistent with that of a 1966 Cessna 172, the same model that disappeared in 1968. But Grand Turks is more than 400 miles from where we found the plane wreckage. Yet, the northwesterly movement of water through the Old Bahama Channel, to the Santaren Channel, to the Gulf Stream makes this seemingly unlikely event plausible.
In addition, no other planes on the list of planes disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle match the numbers we found.
The exact identity of the 2-engine Beech plane found at Morgan's Bluff is as yet unknown. Unfortunately, there are at least three disappearances of 2-engine Beech planes in that area that could fit the information we presently have.
However, we have two different metal ID tags from parts in the plane wreckage that we are using to base our search upon.
More Planes?More BoatsA 1980 report on the area near Bimini where the marble was found on the bottom describes three wrecks as present there. However, we cannot find an official record of these in the registries of wrecks kept by the Bahamas.
Nor can we find any information on the wooden boat remains on the Bahamas Bank. We have had contact with an underwater archaeologist residing in Europe who has expressed an interest in working with the ship wrecks and we will notify Bahamas officials of the precise location and the nature of the find.
In 2003, we made an extensive aerial survey of all of Western Andros and filmed (from the air) plane wreckage of at least 4 other aircraft either in shallow water or inland in uninhabited and remote mangroves or mud flats. Locals immediately attribute such planes to drug runners and that may well be the case with some of them.
While identifying anything that would remotely relate to Bermuda Triangle disappearances was never our intention, we believe that identifying the planes we have filmed on Western Andros might solve the fates of a few aircraft that have been reported to be lost and may bring some emotional closure to some families who suffered losses. An expedition to these planes is in planning for the near future.
One of the major reasons for issuing this article (with the focus on the planes) is a hope that someone else might be able to use the specific pieces of information we have accumulated to identify the aircraft. We have many detailed photographs of all the planes (including numbered parts). If you have such expertise or know of someone who does, contact me. Photos for researchers are here.
Note: Drs. Greg & Lora Little will be presenting the full results of the 2006-2007 Bimini and Andros expeditions at the Annual Ancient Mysteries Conference in Virginia Beach, VA on October 6, 2007. Film and photos of all the finds will be shown.
The next expedition, designed to visit wrecks on West Andros and investigate more formations on the Bahamas Bank, will take place in early 2008.
Discoveries at BiminiColumns, Marble Building Ruins, and Possible Building Foundations in 100-Feet of Water
In part 1 of these reports, the discovery of planes reportedly missing in the "Bermuda Triangle" was detailed. This article describes the finds at Bimini. Part 3, scheduled for posting on September 1, 2007, will detail the 2007 archaeological research at Andros, including the discovery of a huge underwater wall off a small island north of Andros as well as results from land expeditions on Andros and more investigations on the Great Bahamas Bank.
Bimini?The small Bahamas island of Bimini, lying only 50 miles from Miami, has been the focal point of intense investigations by the Edgar Cayce organization?the Association for Research & Enlightenment (ARE), headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. ARE members began explorations at Bimini in the 1950s, following clues given in the Cayce readings.
However, the earliest expeditions at Bimini were fruitless attempts to discover gold that Cayce related was at the small island. Several 1920s readings stated that 120,000 gold coins were hidden on Bimini and a huge gold vein was about 15-feet below the surface at the inlet between North and South Bimini islands.
A series of drilling samples were taken on Bimini in an attempt to discover the gold and other mineral deposits in the inlet area and surprisingly, attempts to "verify" the gold continue to the present. No gold has been reportedly found, however, it is probably questionable whether such a report would be made even if it had been found.
The A.R.E.'s Search For Atlantis Project is not related to the search to verify Cayce's Bimini gold.
The present thinking in the ARE's Search For Atlantis Project is that evidence of an ancient maritime culture has been found at Bimini, Andros, and Cay Sal Bank in the Bahamas. The project has widened its scope in an effort to find definitive evidence of this culture.
With the 1968 announcement of the discovery of the Bimini Road, which is a 1900-foot long J-shaped formation of stone in shallow water off Bimini, interest in Bimini intensified. While early researchers enthusiastically accepted the Bimini Road as ruins from Atlantis, a few skeptics, most claiming backgrounds as geologists, have made a contrary assertion. They claimed that the Bimini Road is the natural remains of a massive slab of beachrock that simply fractured in place and eventually settled to the bottom.
Their "proof" was the following:
1. That there are no slabs of stone sitting squarely on top of each other. Our 2005 research proved this was untrue, finding and photographing numerous huge slabs squarely placed into multiple tiers.
2. That there are no tool marks on any stones. Research by archaeologists Bill Donato and a subsequent verification in 2005 also showed that this was not true. There are numerous mortise stones present at the site.
3. That there are no prop stones or leveling blocks under any of the huge blocks. Research in 2005 and 2006 also showed this to be false. Under the watchful cameras of an NBC News film crew making a documentary, we removed numerous rectangular slabs of stone from under the large blocks as well as a large wedge stone, which was used as a leveling block. These were later brought to the surface for examination.
4. That cores from the blocks showed that the stones had been part of the same massive natural formation, specifically that the internal structure of the stones could be traced from one stone to the next. This aspect was not directly investigated by our group. However, inspection of the actual published reports by the skeptics showed that this was not the actual finding.
The initial report clearly indicated that there were great differences between areas of the cores and that they were not, in fact, matched from one stone to the next. We found that the subsequent reports, all of which were supposedly based on the first one, simply altered the description of the findings to fit the idea that all the stones matched.
Two years ago we exposed this hoax.
5. That all the Bimini Road stones were beachrock, a naturally developing coarse limestone. The idea that all of the literally thousands of stone blocks at Bimini are beachrock comes from a few stone samples, but has been conclusively disproven by a host of researchers. However, the geologists claiming that all the stones are beachrock implied that beachrock would not have been used as harbor construction material.
In the Mediterranean, dozens of ancient harbor formations have been found and virtually all of them used beachrock to construct breakwaters, quays, and jetties. In fact, beachrock is the most likely construction material that would have been used. It is at or near the shoreline, easy to cut, and plentiful.
The skeptics did not compare any of the ancient harbors in the Mediterranean to the Bimini Road.
In essence, our research showed that the Bimini Road was actually the remains of an ancient harbor with the stone formation serving as a breakwater and quay. The discovery of dozens of stone anchors there, with obvious rope grooves on them, has verified that there were ancient harbor formations in use.
In 2006, an additional harbor works was found about a mile from the Bimini Road. (It was cleared of sand and exposed by a 2006 hurricane.) Dubbed the "Paradise Point Pier," it appeared to be elevated off the bottom and was constructed from piled stone blocks and also seemed to have numerous "columns" on its surface.
While the ARE's Search For Atlantis Project had expanded well beyond Bimini, there were several areas around Bimini that merited more investigation.
The findings are summarized below.
2006-2007 Bimini ExpeditionsIn late 2006 and in June 2007, two expeditions were conducted at Bimini. The first was an extensive high-tech project conducted by Bill Donato in November 2006. Both sub-bottom profiling and side-scan sonar were utilized at several areas. A final report has yet to be issued. However, Donato has released some of the findings from the side-scan sonar results in deeper water to the west of Bimini.
Donato's project found a line of intriguing bottom structures a few miles west off Bimini at a depth of 100-feet. The computer assisted sonar revealed numerous rectangular features on the bottom. These formations were all aligned the same way, oriented as if they were small buildings sitting by a shoreline. An immediate effort was made to dive to the features using the GPS obtained by the sonar scan images.
However, as this is near the Gulf Stream, there were strong bottom currents that constantly pushed Donato and Krista Brown off the area. After receiving the images from the commercial underwater exploration company he utilized, Donato sent us the relevant images with the GPS locations. Our findings at the site are detailed in the next section.
Donato's Bimini exploration also devoted a day to exploring the Paradise Point Pier area. He found numerous stone anchors on the breakwater formation?exactly as should be found on an ancient harbor formation. In addition, we believe that there may be columns there, identical to the columns reported at the inlet between North and South Bimini islands. (The earlier columns found at Bimini were of two types: fluted marble and cement.)
There may be many of these columns present at the Paradise Point formation as they appear on our film of the formation.
The importance of these columns is directly related to their use at ancient Mediterranean harbors. For example, the Roman harbor at Cosa had a long breakwater constructed from large slabs of beachrock and other rubble. Littered on the surface of the breakwater are dozens of cement and fluted marble cylinders identical to those at Bimini.
It is not being suggested here that the Bimini formation was a Roman harbor, only that the construction techniques used at Bimini were also employed in the construction of ancient Mediterranean harbors.
...IMAGE ABOVE: Column or stone cylinder lying on the top of the Paradise Point Pier breakwater.
Beyond that link, the identity of the builders remains speculative. The columns appear to have been added to the breakwater top as rubble to rebuild the structure as it deteriorated over time.
In June 2007, Drs. Greg and Lora Little conducted an expedition to Bimini accompanied by Krista and Eslie Brown. The purpose of the trip was to conduct side-scan sonar of the Bimini Road, the Paradise Point Pier, and the line of stones known as Proctor's Road. In addition, we planned to investigate the site of Donato's underwater rectangles and a stone formation 7-miles north of Bimini.
We have obtained our own side-scan sonar unit, built it into a fully portable model, and utilized it to identify and examine a host of underwater features.
Proctor's Road is a mile-long line of stones to the west of the Bimini Road, near the North Bimini shoreline. Previous research had shown that there were five complete or partial stone circles there, formed from huge stone blocks arranged into circular patterns. These are perhaps mooring circles, a method of ship mooring utilized at several ancient Mediterranean harbors, including the previously mentioned Cosa harbor.
The side-scan sonar was used to measure and analyze the circles. We were able to identify several of these with the side-scan. In addition, the side-scan sonar was used to obtain a complete image of both the Bimini Road and the Paradise Point Pier.
When the images were obtained, sand had covered wide portions of the Bimini Road.
Discovery of Marble "Ruins"Several years ago the Browns learned of an area about 7-miles north of Bimini, which had some interesting stone blocks on the bottom. Reaching this area, we saw a few dark, coral encrusted beams of stone and several small piles covered with sand. The side-scan sonar revealed that the area was actually widely littered with apparently stone forms hidden under sand.
Focusing our efforts on the one small exposed area, we were astonished to see a triangular, well-polished slab of stone that appeared exactly like the apex at the top tip of a roof on a temple. It was about 7-feet long and its thickness is unknown. The triangular stone was embedded in sand but we were able to confirm that it was at least three feet thick. After cleaning this stone of sand and debris, a beautiful, somewhat ornate slab was revealed.
Several small pieces off the edge of this apex were removed and brought to the surface. It was white marble, gleaming like quartz in the sun. Several beams, some as long as 15-feet were found, with one end disappearing into the sand.
In addition, columns, polished building slabs, and many smaller blocks were found. Small samples revealed that these were of the same type of white marble.
...ABOVE PICS: Marble beams and slabs with the marble building apex found 7 miles north of Bimini.
Knowing that the site had been previously known, we then scoured records to see what had been written about it. We found that in 1970, Richard Wingate and a group of researchers had investigated the marble. Using an underwater sand blower, Wingate found that the marble was widely scattered and had at least three layers of slabs before it reached the bedrock seabed. Under the bottom layer of marble, Wingate found the wooden ribs of an old ship.
According to Wingate's group, not far from this site there are massive areas covered with granite slabs, supposedly from two other shipwrecks.
We had previously visited Moselle Shoals, only a few miles away and found shipwrecks and hundreds of granite blocks. Unfortunately, the entire area is literally littered with shipwrecks and such cargo. In his 1980 book, "Lost Outpost of Atlantis," Wingate related that at some future date an archaeologist would rediscover the marble and wonder what it was.
Donato's Underwater Rectangles: Building Foundations?Using the GPS obtained from Donato's side scan sonar image, we arrived at the area of the underwater rectangles. We then utilized our own side-scan sonar and found them within 5 minutes. We used a setting that yields a bottom image 700-feet wide and could see that there were numerous rectangular formations on the bottom lying in what looked like a nearly straight line.
The rectangular forms sat at the top of a 10-foot drop-off, which led to a narrow flat area. Then it descended quickly toward the deep Gulf Stream. Intrigued, we dropped a lead weight buoy as we passed over one of the larger rectangular forms. We later found that the weight fell directly into the rectangle and, surprisingly, the boat's anchor fell into another one nearby.
The sizes of the rectangular formations vary somewhat with the largest about 15 x 30 feet, however, most of them are smaller, 8 x 10-feet, about the size of small buildings. Their depth (100-feet) is actually just above the sea level at 10,000 B.C. It is known that in 10,000 B.C. the sea levels were about 110-feet lower than today, meaning that these structures were once elevated just above the ancient shoreline.
Eslie and Krista Brown, both of whom are Master Divers, dived the site and took a series of photographs in the cloudy water near the Gulf Stream. When they reached the surface, they reported that the structures were formed out of coral encrusted stone. The photos revealed that the sides of some of the formations seemed to be made from small stone blocks, some of which sat squarely on top of each other.
Several square or rectangular stones appeared to be embedded into the bottom, especially at the corners of the rectangular structures. In addition, several photos show intriguing artifacts, which could be pots or amphorae. However, only a more detailed investigation can prove the actual identity of the artifacts and the structures.
In sum, the preliminary investigation of these rectangular forms shows that they may well be building foundations, perhaps as old as 12,000-years.
Plans are now being made for a more thorough investigation of this site.
Note: Drs. Greg & Lora Little will be presenting the full results of the 2006-2007 Bimini and Andros expeditions at the Annual Ancient Mysteries Conference in Virginia Beach, VA on October 6, 2007. Film and photos of all the finds will be shown.
Explorations at Andros Discover Underwater Stone WallOrigin & Purpose of Wall is Unknown
Greg Little on front edge of first tier of structure. Below: back portion of second tier looking toward its front edge. Photos © 2003 by G. & L. Little, reproduction prohibited. In May and June of 2007, three separate expeditions were carried out in the Bahamas as part of the ARE's Search For Atlantis Project.
The initial report from these expeditions, issued in July, detailed the discovery of several crashed planes, at least one of which was reported missing in the Bermuda Triangle. The second report, issued in August, summarized several unexpected discoveries at Bimini, which included what appear to be rectangular building foundations in 100-feet of water and the remains of a temple consisting of white marble materials.
This report summarizes the finds made on and around Andros.
Andros is the largest and most unexplored island in all of the Bahamas. North Andros lies about 150 miles East of Miami. The island is about 105-miles long and 35 miles wide at it widest point. As reported earlier, several land explorations were made on Andros along with numerous water explorations.
Weeklong trips were made to Andros by Drs. Greg & Lora Little in both May and June 2007, both of which began with aerial surveys on portions of the Great Bahamas Bank (GBB). The GBB is a massive expanse of a largely flat and shallow bottom extending for nearly 300 miles beginning north of Bimini to some distance south of Andros?just north of Cuba. In general, the water depth of this area averages about 25 feet.
During the last Ice Age, the entire GBB was well above sea level. The aerial surveys identified over 30 unusual, dark formations in shallow water on the GBB and the GPS locations were taken on each from the air. All but one of these formations was then visited on water with North Andros serving as our base of operations.
In addition, side-scan sonar was employed to explore wide areas around Andros and in other areas a remote underwater video camera was used to examine the bottom. (Map showing general areas discussed in articles.)
Findings at Underwater Dark Features on the Great Bahamas BankThirty dark features (underwater formations) were visited on the Great Bahamas Bank, some of which were nearly 50 miles offshore onto the GBB. Ship and plane remains found at some of these sites were detailed earlier.
In general, about 75% of all the dark formations are associated with a variety of dumped materials as well as more curious artifacts. For example, one perfectly round white spot in the middle of a dark formation showed what appeared to be a portion of a huge metal anchor sticking up from the bottom. This piece could not be moved by hand.
Is the actual ship also buried there? We don't know, but the formation around the anchor is over 500-feet long.
At other dark features we discovered dumped bombs, propane gas cylinders, appliances, and other debris. Bahamas fishermen often enhance a good fishing site by dumping materials to the bottom, thus increasing fish cover.
But these formations were of marginal interest to us because our prime interest is in archaeological remains. It has been suggested that these "good fishing spots" may have formed initially because of "something buried under the sand" that allowed the grass to form, however, without extensive excavations, this cannot be determined.
After the first dark features we visited on the GBB proved to be ship, plane, or dumped materials, we expected all of them to be similar. However, about 25% of the formations Bimini Road Map proved to be made from stone blocks. Several of these appeared to be huge piles of blocks covered by sand and turtle grass. In some spots, blocks were widely scattered in long, fairly straight lines. The stone blocks were far too large to be ship ballast but could have been cargo.
On the other hand, they could be ruins of buildings that were erected on the Great Bahamas Bank when it was above sea level.
However, since none of these were clearly definitive?as building ruins?it was decided to spend our time examining as many sites as possible.
Andros Shoreline InvestigationsSeveral miles of the shallow shoreline along North Andros were examined with a remote underwater video camera pulled by a cable on the boat. This revealed an area where massive slabs of stone were found to be lying on the bottom just off 50-foot-high sheer stone cliffs (below image) that are pounded by wave action coming off the deep "Tongue of the Ocean" trench running along east Andros.
In addition, a complete side-scan sonar of the Andros Platform, discovered and reported in 2003 (below images), was made.
All three tiers (below images) of this formation were visible and several areas of the formation not previously seen were found. The formation appears to be an ancient breakwater enclosing a harbor at what is today Nicholls Town bay.
....ABOVE PICS: Three images from the side-scan sonar of a portion of the Andros Platform. Top image is the raw image. The center of the image (vertical dark area) is the area directly under the boat. Each side of the image (to the left and right of the dark center line), shows the bottom covering an area totalling 142 feet wide and about 80 feet long. The second image shows how various forms on the bottom, such as stone, can be measured by the technology. The red outlined block is 16 x 16 feet. The bottom image shows all the blocks outlined, and actually captures portions of all three tiers of the formation.
A series of land expeditions, conducted with descendants of Seminole Indians serving as our guides (who fled to the Red Bays area of Andros starting in the 1820s), were made. A curious dolmen-like formation was found in the pine jungle several miles from Red Bays. We were also shown a variety of ship ballast stone recovered by these natives at various places on Andros.
The ballast was generally oblong and small (8-12-inches in diameter) polished granite and metamorphic conglomerate stone.
About a dozen caves, some of them quite large and deep were explored on the island. All of the caves had obviously been previously searched and nothing of interest was found in them. Locals told us about other caves where pottery shards and skulls had been found, but these were not visited due to time limitations. We also found what was apparently a fortification wall on land near Morgan's Bluff that was probably constructed by pirates.
From the water the wall is completely obscured, but the well-concealed wall has views of the water that are astounding. At this location we also found several vertical cave openings including some that had been filled with large stones.
In an area north of Morgan's Bluff we did make an interesting geological find. A local resident told us about an interesting arrangement of stone blocks in shallow water and the resident stated that they "looked like the Bimini Road."
Snorkeling the area from the shoreline we did find that there were a lot of stones lying on the bottom there. The largest were perhaps 8 x 10 feet.
However, it was immediately apparent that this was a natural beach rock formation. In the entire area there was not a single stone on top of another and it was clear we were looking at what was once a huge slab of stone that had fractured into perhaps 50 smaller pieces. There were no squared blocks at this natural formation and nothing that looked like "straight seam lines." It was all in one distinctive layer lying on the flat bottom.
It actually made clear to us how unique the Bimini Road actually is and how inaccurate the skeptics' claims about it are.
Discovery of the Underwater "Joulter?s Wall"Joulter's Wall The most important archaeological find of the 2007 Andros expeditions was a stonewall found in shallow water off an island north of Andros. Numerous interviews with local residents of Andros were made during our trips. One resident told us about a huge, underwater wall that was located in shallow water on the small chain of islands known as Joulters Cays, about 7-miles North of Andros.
Joulters is completely uninhabited, and data obtained during the past 20 years has shown that numerous hurricane driven tsunamis, 30-feet and higher walls of water, have swept across the islands. In the 1950s, an attempt was made to form a small community on the southern Joulters island, but it was soon abandoned when a hurricane destroyed the few small, wood-framed homes that had been built.
All of Joulters is extremely shallow and boats with a draft of more than two feet simply cannot reach it. However, the approach to the area where the wall is located is even shallower.
From directions given by the local, we found the underwater wall with Eslie and Krista Brown. During the two trips to Andros, we spent four full days at this site, not only filming and photographing the entire "wall," but also exploring the islands from one end to the other. We had to enter the area during high tide as we sped over a mile of water only one-foot deep.
We found the wall exactly as described by the Andros resident. She related that she had seen it twice. The first time, in the early 1990?s, a large portion of the wall was intact and partially above water. She saw it the second time after a severe 1990?s hurricane and said that the eye of the hurricane hit that area and destroyed most of the wall and shoreline.
The wall itself is actually located in a small, narrow bay between what appears to be two islands. The bay is 3-7-feet deep, depending on the tide, and has sharks coming in at high tide. From the bay, the wall extends diagonally away from the two islands into water that is one-to-four feet deep ending where sandbars are located and the bottom is barely covered by water.
About two miles further, through this shallow water, is the deep Tongue of the Ocean.
The wall is primarily made from square and rectangular limestone blocks (above images) that range in length from 3-6-feet, a width of 2-3-feet, and a thickness of 6-inches to 3-feet?with some blocks far larger.
The blocks are obviously cut and roughly dressed and rough tool marks are clearly visible on many. There are some smaller, cube-like stones, about a foot square, occasionally found in portions of the intact wall and in places on the bottom.
One area of the wall remains fairly intact (above images) and is found in water about 6-feet deep. Brushing the sandy bottom underneath the lowest tier of stones revealed more limestone blocks under the visible portion (below image).
How far down it extends is unknown. This section of the wall runs approximately 30-feet long and is formed by the massive blocks stacked on top of each other with 2-3 vertical layers of blocks visible.
We found about 50 large stone blocks widely scattered in water around this intact portion as if they had been tossed around by huge waves.
This section is made from identical blocks. Another area of the wall may also be intact, but it is different. This section is made from identical blocks, but they form a nearly square area about 20 feet wide (below image).
In general, the top of this square formation is flat and has two layers of blocks. We later looked at this area on modern satellite images, and were astonished that the square area of blocks was quite visible.
We found more of the blocks extending off the island in a rough line over 300-yards long. Most of these were almost completely covered by sand. Because we could only access this area safely during high tide, and sharks were also in it during this time, we were unable to examine much of this portion of the wall.
Dams on the island. On the island where the wall is located, we found two small dams made from stone stuck vertically into the bottom. These dams were at the end of long tidal estuaries and were apparently used as fish traps. They did not appear to be modern; in fact, the high time did not actually fill the estuary where they were located. Bahamas' fishermen related to us that they never built such traps and always used netting. On the other hand, using vertical stone to make crude dams as fish traps was a common practice of the Maya.
Block piles on the island. At the highest two points on the island, on wide and flat areas about 30-feet high, there were huge piles of small square and rectangular blocks. These seemed to be ideal as building materials, but they were lying in jumbled masses (below images) as if a structure had been struck by massive waves.
Other than a few small caves on the islands, we found nothing else indicative of human habitation.
Freedom of Information Act Request Filed?& AnsweredAfter showing residents a satellite photo of the Joulter's wall, one resident suggested that we contact pilots to see if anyone had aerial photos of the formation from the 1940s or 50s. Thus far we have not found anyone who has such photos.
But we also learned that the joint US Navy?British Navy facility on Andros known as AUTEC had supposedly taken aerial photographs of the underwater wall from helicopters. After making preliminary inquiries, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US Navy, and then another request with AUTEC.
AUTEC officials acted quickly and after a thorough and complete search of all their files and photographs, reported that no one affiliated with AUTEC of the Navy had taken any photos of Joulters.
This is actually logical as AUTEC is a submarine testing facility and the entire area around Joulters is extremely shallow.
Joulter's Wall Speculations?InterviewsAs part of our investigation of the wall, we spent several days at the University of Florida library and went through every issue of every scientific and popular journal published in or about the Bahamas.
Nothing on the Joulter's wall was found. There were many references in these publications on the devastation hurricanes had created there, however, since the islands were uninhabited, virtually nothing else, except a scattered brief reference to a biological report or two was found. We also spoke to several Andros fishermen (who are over 80-years old) about that area and the wall.
They were aware of the formation, but it was irrelevant to them as it was unrelated to making a living as fishermen. None of them knew its possible purpose or who built it. One resident simply said, "it?s always been there."
The initial impression is that it might have been a retaining wall of some sort, but the entire area is so shallow that the bringing in of large boats or even shallow draft barges to it is simply impossible.
During a radio interview that the present writer had during August 2007, a caller related,
"it is well known that there were lots of stone piers built in the 1700s and 1800s [in the Bahamas] so that ships could escape taxation."
He related that cargo was transferred from one ship to another at these piers. The idea is interesting except we have not found a single reference to such stone piers in any of the dozens of books and countless articles we have read on the region. Nor has a single Bahamas resident has ever related that idea to us. The biggest argument against the Joulter's wall being such a pier or a pirate formation is that only a rowboat could reach it.
No ships in the 1600s-1800s could have possibly reached Joulters, nor is it likely they would do so as Joulters is extremely remote. Pirates did not build massive formations along shorelines for the simple reason that such structures would bring attention. In addition, this is a very massive formation, constructed from huge blocks that probably were not placed by hand.
What is it?
We don't know, but it remains an intriguing mystery and our efforts will continue in that region.
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