Exploration of the Bimini Underwater Rectangles Yields Stunning Finds
May 2009 Expedition Summary
By Dr. Lora Little with Dr. Greg Little
[Note: The "Atlantis' Expeditions" are part of the A.R.E.'s Search for Atlantis Project. The A.R.E. is the official Edgar Cayce Organization, a nonprofit that publishes a magazine and monthly newsletters that keep members up-to-date on all research. The A.R.E. has made a special offer to Coast-to-Coast AM listeners with substantial book and dvd discounts as well as an inexpensive 3-month trial membership. For information on this offer, click here.]
Greg and I have just returned from our most recent expedition to Bimini in the Bahamas where we were filmed by the History Channel for a show about the search for Atlantis (scheduled to air Nov. 4, 2009). They had filmed some footage for the Atlantis show during a trip with us back in January of 2009 while also filming with us for an upcoming Bermuda Triangle show (scheduled to air October 7, 2009). During the January trip we tried unsuccessfully to dive on a promising underwater site near the Gulf Stream at the 90-100 foot level a few miles west of the Bimini Road. We were unable to complete that dive since the seas were just too rough and the currents too dangerous. We explained to the History Channel that this site had been originally identified via a November 2006 side scan sonar expedition funded by A.R.E. and led by archaeologist Bill Donato. Greg and I had obtained one good closeup photo of a portion of the site in June 2007 from a short dive done by our long-time charter boat colleagues Elsie and Krista Brown. That photograph focused on a large rectangular coral formation. What was most significant was that the photo appeared to reveal stones placed on top of other stones at one of the corners of the rectangular form. Since the ocean shoreline would have been at the 110 foot level at the time of Cayce and Platos Atlantean destruction (ca. 10,000 B.C.) this site could be the most tangible proof of the existence of a pre-ice age civilization in the Bahamas. In an April/May expedition to Bimini with The National Geographic, we filmed underwater planes for a show on the Bermuda Triangle and also tried to visit and film the rectangles site. However, winds in excess of 30 mph also thwarted that attempt. Fortunately, the weather was quite cooperative this time around.
On this trip we were finally able to dive on the site, obtain side scan sonar shots, and shoot several hours of video footage with our color drop camera. In addition, the History Channel had hired expert deep diver and videographer David Ulluoa to capture images from both close-up and via a fly over dive about 20 feet above the site using high definition camera video equipment. The results of all of these efforts was striking.
First, the new side scan images that Greg and I had obtained from our boat showed new, more detailed images of the rectangles and emphasized their regularity, consistency and their resemblance to manmade objects (as opposed to natural ocean formations). There are literally dozens of these square and rectangular fomations located on a flat sandy bottom, which run for approximately a mile. All are densely covered with coral but they are unlike anything else in the region. We also shot close up film with our color drop camera that allowed us to create a set of gps points to map the site. The video has yet to be fully examined but some images from the film accompany this article.
When the History Channel crew arrived we were able to complete several dives of the southern end of the site (using our gps points). On the first dive our Bahamian boat captain and expert diver Elsie Brown went down holding our drop camera and swam it in a circle around where our boat was anchored. Due to the depth (90-110 ft) he could only dive for 20 minutes, but he obtained some great footage. Fortunately, the current on this day was neutral from the 70 foot level down to the bottom. Greg and I did the next dive along with David Ulloa and his safety diver. David was using a rebreather device so was the only diver not limited to a 20 minute dive. Because the current was quite swift from about the 10 to 70 foot depth, Greg and I tethered ourselves to the anchor line of our boat and descended to the bottom reaching a maximum depth of 110-feet. Once there we were able to unhook our tethers and explore only two of the rectangular mound sites beneath the boat. Our objective was to seek some manmade evidence such as stones placed on top of stones as in a wall, or tool marks, or right angles, etc. The rectangular formations resemble mounds and are covered in both live and hardened coral. We brushed off the sand and debris where we could being careful not to disturb the live coral, but could not find any objects that were not coral encrusted. While exploring the first mound I happened to look over at the second one which was about 50 yards south of us and thought I could clearly see what appeared to be two stone blocks lying one on top of the other. I alerted Greg and we headed over, but to our disappointment by the time we got close to it the image had disappeared and the area was simply a blob of the mound covered in hardened coral. The differentiation of a seam separating the two blocks that seemed clear from the distance was not visible as we gave the site a close-up inspection. However, we were impressed with the fact that the rectangular mounds were surrounded by flat sandy seabed and that the gradual drop of the ancient shoreline could easily be made out.
Since we were limited to 20 minutes to avoid a long decompression ascent, our time on the site was short. During both Elsies dive and our dive, David Ulloa was filming the site (and us) with his high definition video camera. After our debriefing it was decided that David would return the next day and do shots across the entire site using his dive scooter and HD video. Meanwhile we moved over to the Bimini Road to get some additional footage there. In January with the History Channel we had gotten some great shots of wedge stones and prop stones found under the main stones of the road. This time we also found lots of impressive prop stones providing more proof to contradict the statements made by skeptics that the road is merely a single layer of fractured beachrock lying on the seabed. We also found numerous rectangular slabs stacked under the huge blocks that are visible from the surface. Later on we found several stone anchors that were identical to Phoenician anchors and pulled the smallest one on the boat for closer inspection. Skeptics have claimed that at the Bimini Road there is not a single example of blocks on blocks, no underlying prop stones, no trenches under any blocks, no support stone underlying any blocks, and not a single human artifact found there. Every one of these claims is not only wrong but has been easily disproven.
The next day the heavy currents were much more treacherous at the 90-100 foot depth so David had some trouble getting video of the entire site. However, he was able to access several rectangles on the northern end of the ancient shoreline at the 100 foot level. His video was amazing and what he was able to show Greg and I after the dive contained several points of interest. First, he was struck by the unique and regular pattern of the rectangles as he began shooting. They were uniformly spaced and all of a similar size and shape. He could immediately see four rectangles about 50 yards apart lined up perfectly along the ledge where the 10,000 B.C. shoreline would have been. He was struck by the fact that, although they were covered with coral, the seabed surrounding them was mostly a flat sandy area with no coral. He is an experienced deep diver and has never seen coral form in regular block formations this way except when it was covering some manmade objects such as shipwrecks or buildings blown into the water by hurricanes. Of course, for this much coral to be covering the mounds, they had to have been in existence for a very, very long time. Could these be buildings from a pre-ice age civilization that had been inundated by some force of nature such as a tsunami or a hurricane or rising sea levels as the ice age glaciers melted? One statement we made on film is this: What would you expect to see if you found stone structures that had been underwater for 12,000-years?
One segment of Davids film showed an elevated rectangle from a distance about 50 yards and clearly showed what appeared to be a wall of individual stone blocks about 4 blocks high spanning the length of the coral mound from the sea floor. Strangely when he got right next to the site with his camera the blocks were not visible and the same area appeared to be a lava-like covering of hardened coral. This was the same optical illusion we had experienced on our dive the day before at rectangles on the southern end of the site. However, this rectangular mound had a curious t-shaped extension on one of the short sides. It was covered in hardened coral but seemed to have right angles cut out of it so that the raised area formed a T shape. Also of interest were some clearly defined rectangular depressions in the sandy areas between some of the mounds which may also be the remains of building foundations. In essence, the formations resemble truncated mounds, with clearly defined sides and flat tops. Several appear to have multiple levels. Most of the formations are 3-6 feet in height with the sizes varying from about 12 x 15-feet to 15 x 24-feet. The sides of the formations are likely stone as we did find some stone slabs in some areas.
Needless to say the History Channel was very pleased with their footage and the forthcoming documentary will probably raise the ire of the skeptics. Unfortunately, not a single archaeologist asked by the History Channel to go on the expedition to examine the site would or could go. They mayor may notinclude that issue in the show. We are now more convinced than ever that this is clearly an area that needs more exploration. It may well be that the remains of manmade structures are truly on the edge of this 10,000 BC shorelinewhich would be a stunning and completely mind-boggling discovery. But more research is needed. On this 5-day expedition we felt that we got a lot accomplished. We were even able to take one day before the film crew arrived to travel 65-miles south of Bimini to explore a few of the areial targets we had identified during our April 2008 flyover of the Great Bahama Bank from Andros to Orange Cay. We found lots of cars, trucks, TV antennas, and other fish condos (cages) on the bottom, but no archaeological evidence. However, we still have more than 100 targets to visit and that will occur on another expedition. Hopefully it will be soon as we hope to return to the rectangles at Bimini in order to map it more completely with both sidescan and video.
A more detailed report will be issued next month after we examine our extensive film and photos. In addition, these new results will be incorporated into the dvd documentary, The Search for Edgar Cayces
Atlantis, which has been updated and is available.