The island of Bimini in the Bahamas has long been a favorite hotspot in the search for Atlantis. Speculation has centered around a supposed “Bimini Road” (or “Bimini Wall”), a structure often said to have been paved on the ocean floor by Atlanteans, which is actually a natural formation of limestone. There have also been unfounded reports of stone columns and giant pyramids in the island’s waters. Now another claim has surfaced of a great discovery at Bimini, and it appears that it will prove just as insubstantial as the Atlantis theories that have come and gone before.
Aaron DuVal, president of the Miami-based Egyptology Society, recently announced that a team of underwater explorers has found the ruins of 12,000-year-old temples off the coast of Bimini. DuVal claimed the structures bear markings and architectural specifications that match well-known megaliths in Egypt, South America and other parts of the world. The noted similarities to Egyptian ruins included distinctive quarry marks on the rocks and the same geometric angles present in the Great Pyramid of Giza. Other markings were said to match the Altamira cave paintings of Spain. To make his claims even more fantastic, DuVal said the Bimini ruins contained “exact orbital plots of the planets and what seem to have been intricate star shafts, metal-coated walls, and intermingled stones of various colors.”
In the initial press release, dated July 6, 1997, DuVal made no specific reference to Atlantis. Later, in an interview conducted by a new age organization called New Heaven New Earth, he stopped short of claiming that these ruins were evidence of the legendary sunken city, although he seemed to relish the possibility.
“Atlantis is a pretty touchy subject,” DuVal said. “Maybe this will be the trigger to bring more people forth to explore ideas that have been taboo in the past. Megalithic structures are not supposed to be in the Bahamas. These are closer to what you would find at Giza than what you would find in Mexico or Peru, which is very strange. People are saying unbelievable things like it could force the re-interpretation of the course of human history.”
DuVal was quick to agree when the interviewer noted how his announcement seemed to fulfill the predictions of alleged prophet Edgar Cayce, one of the top Atlantis advocates of all time.
“This discovery fits right with his predictions,” DuVal said. “Now we are not saying it is Atlantis, but it sure is strange how these findings not only match Cayce’s predictions but Plato’s writings as well, even to the metal-coated walls.”
In fact, Cayce actually prophesied — among other things — that Atlantis would rise again to the surface in 1968 or 1969. Plato’s description of Atlantis was most likely a reference to the Minoan island of Santorini, near Crete, which was devastated by a volcano.
DuVal remained tight-lipped on crucial details of the Bimini ruins, including the exact location of the findings and the names of the explorers who found them. He explained that he needed to work out arrangements with museums and the Bahamian government to protect the site before its location was made public. DuVal planned a press conference for July 25, promising full disclosure and presentation of video tapes and photographs of the ruins. He also stated that he had never claimed the ruins were Atlantis, apparently to combat the “Atlantis fever” word of his announcement had triggered on the Internet.
DuVal’s claims garnered a stern rebuke from Dr. Paul Pettennude, an underwater archaeologist with the Maya Underwater Research Center, who is intimately familiar with the waters around Bimini. In a statement issued to New Heaven New Earth, he listed several reasons why nothing like the ruins DuVal describes could possibly exist. Among the points of Pettennude’s argument:
— “Bimini is not the lost world. It is a very, very popular resort destination and thousands of divers visit it every year. Every available reef is dived frequently and nothing else has turned up.”
— Equipment used by the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute of Melbourne, Florida, and the Rosenteil School of Oceanography at the University of Miami “is very sophisticated and there is nothing but known wrecks being found.”
— “In 1986, NASA had the Navy scour everything north of Cuba to north of North Carolina looking for pieces of the exploded Challenger shuttle. Every square foot of bottom down to 6,000 feet was examined and every piece of the wreck larger than a dinner plate was recovered.”
— “The U.S. Navy maintains a system called SOSUS which cost $16 billion to secure the ocean floor from foreign subs. It paints a picture of everything from the bottom up.”
— “The reefs off Bimini from 300 feet up to the surface are less than 14,000 years old. This is the level to which the water rose at the end of the last ice age. There could not be a sunken city because the Bahama Islands are not shrinking but actually growing inches per year. This would have made any ancient city unstable.”
— “Divers could not have found a city below 250 feet without special diving gases…. There are only a handful of people in the world trained and certified to dive these research blends. I am one of them and the group is a close knit family. No one has any knowledge nor has been asked to find an ancient city.”
Pettennude also mentioned the spurious “Bimini Road” and noted that the man who discovered it in 1968, J. Manson Valentine, was one of his professors at the University of Miami. Another red herring that has thrown off Atlantis seekers at Bimini are stone pillars on the ocean floor that resemble shattered marble columns. These artifacts were actually formed by barrels of cement and similar materials that sunk from ships and hardened underwater, leaving stone casts after the wood staves of the barrels rotted away.
The weight of the evidence certainly seems to be stacked against DuVal. As it turned out, he canceled the July 25th, 1997 press conference at the last minute. He indicated that more time was necessary to ensure the safety of the ruins, lest they fall victim to looters and vandals. DuVal rescheduled the press conference for August 8, ’97 but it was postponed a second time.
After extensive research, ParaScope has found no further information on this supposed discovery or any subsequent public remarks from DuVal. Obviously, the mass media has made no announcement on the discovery of Atlantis. The only news outlet that seems to be following the story is the web site of New Heaven New Earth, whose news bulletins are available to members only — at a cost of $100 a year. News concerning the Bimini discovery is to be posted by NHNE “four weeks after our subscribers have received it.” At ParaScope, where we believe the news should always be free for everyone, we may have more to report on this story after all the details have surfaced.
Extract from Plato’s Timaeus and Critias[/h3]
This extract from the work of Plato (circa 427 – 347 BC) is the first appearance in classical literature of the Atlantis myth. It is supposed to be part of a story told by Plato’s great grandfather (Critias), who heard it from his great-grandfather (Dropides), who heard it from an Athenian traveller (Solon). The narrator is an Egyptian priest talking to Solon. It is supposed to describe a historical war between the ancient Athenians and the legendary Atlantis.
‘Our records show how your city checked a great power which arrogantly advanced from its base in the Atlantic Ocean to attack the cities of Europe and Asia. For in those days the Atlantic was navigable. There was an island opposite the strait which you call the Pillars of Hercules (Straits of Gibraltar), an island larger than Libya (Africa) and Asia combined; from it travelers could in those days reach the other islands, and from them the whole opposite continent which surrounds what can truly be called the ocean.
For the sea within the strait we were talking about is like a lake with a narrow entrance (the Mediterranean sea); the outer ocean is the real ocean and the land which entirely surrounds it is properly termed continent. On this island of Atlantis had arisen a powerful and remarkable dynasty of kings, who ruled the whole island, and many other islands as well and parts of the continent; in addition it controlled, within the strait, Libya up to the borders of Egypt and Europe as far as Tyrrhenia (Italy).
This dynasty, gathering its whole power together, attempted to enslave, at a single stroke, your country and ours and all the territory within the strait. It was then, Solon, that the power and courage and strength of your city became clear for all men to see. Her bravery and military skill were outstanding; she led an alliance of the Greeks, and then when they deserted her and she was forced to fight alone, after running into direst peril, she overcame the invaders and celebrated a victory; she rescued those not yet enslaved from the slavery threatening them, and she generously freed all others living within the Pillars of Hercules.
At a later time there were earthquakes and floods of extraordinary violence, and in a single dreadful day and night all your fighting men were swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis was similarly swallowed up by the sea and vanished; this is why the sea in that area is to this day impassable to navigation, which is hindered by mud just below the surface, the remains of the sunken island’
Although Plato describes Atlantis as an island in the Atlantic Ocean, and some Canarian writers have associated Atlantis with the Canaries, it is now generally believed that the Atlantis myth is a memory of Minoan Crete, a civilization which was overwhelmed by the volcanic explosion of the Mediterranean island of Santorini in the fifteenth century BC.
* Atlantis: Timaeus and Critias – Complete Text
The professional biologist who founded the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in Columbia, New Jersey, wrote “The Twelve Devil?s Graveyards Around the World” for Saga magazine in 1972. Reprinted in Paradox, by Nicholas R. Nelson, Dorrance & Co., Ardmore, Penn. 1980.
“… with several associates, he set out to ‘pattern the mysteries’ by taking full advantage of modern communication technology and statistical data analysis. His success was startling. “The Twelve Devil?s Graveyards Around the World,” plotted ship and plane disappearances worldwide, focusing attention on 12 areas, equally spaced over the globe, in which magnetic anomalies and other energy aberrations were linked to a full spectrum of strange physical phenomena.
Highest on Sanderson?s statistical priority list was a lozenge-shaped area east of Miami, in the Bahamas, on the western tip of the infamous Bermuda Triangle. This area?s “high profile” of strange events, Sanderson concluded, was mostly due to the enormous flow of air/ sea traffic in the area. Other zones of anomaly, though less familiar, were equally rich in disappearances and space-time shift occurrences.
Another area of continuing disappearances and mysterious time-warps is the Devil?s Sea located east of Japan between Iwo Jima and Marcus Island. Here events have become so sinister that the Japanese government has officially designated the area a danger zone. Sanderson theorized that the tremendous hot and cold currents crossing his most active zones might create the electromagnetic gymnastics affecting instruments and vehicles. His theory is now being balanced against several.”
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