Back in 1969 I had noticed the mention of the discovery of an ancient submerged "temple" near Andros Island in the Bahamas (Marx & Rebikoff, 1969). The structure measured approximately sixty feet wide and a hundred feet in length. Its stone walls (partly fallen) were roughly three feet thick. We decided to investigate.
On 3 June 1970 our party arrived in Miami to meet with Dr. J. Manson Valentine of the Science Museum of Miami (one of the marine archeologists involved). Sir Manson and Lady Valentine were most cordial hosts, and we were introduced to several others who were involved in the Bahama Island discoveries, including pilots Robert Brush and Dick Loudermilk.
Next day we flew over the islands to get aerial photos before beginning our investigation of the ruins. The Andros Temple is partitioned into three separate rooms, identical in plan to the Temple of the Turtles at the ancient Mayan city of Uxmal in Yucatan. Its three-feet-thick walls were laid out in near-perfect 90° angles.
Since the outside measurements of the structure are extremely close to the ratio known as the Golden Sectionused extensively by the Mayan engineers of Mexico and Central America in their buildingsthis is clearly an edifice of importance built by a mathematically sophisticated civilization. Certain critics have flippantly labeled it a conch shell or turtle pen.
Dr. Valentine told us that his investigation had determined that the three-foot thick walls extended nine feet down into the sand. This was no conch shell pen. Robert F. Marx, the famed underwater archeologist, later reported that he had excavated these walls downward to seven feet without finding the bottom (Marx, 1971). Since we did not have permission to excavate, we used our hands to fan away the sand, confirming for ourselves that they continued on down.
Now for the ruins off Bimini Island. On 2 September 1968, while diving in three fathoms of water off the northwest coast of North Bimini, Dr. Valentine discovered an extensive underwater megalithic complex forming "an extensive pavement of rectangular and polygonal flat stones of varying size and thickness obviously shaped and accurately aligned to form a convincingly artifactual pattern." (Valentine, 1969)
The original article, written by marine archeologist Robert Marx, and published in Argosy magazine in December of 1969, announced that Dr. Carl Holm, head geologist for North American Rockwell, stated that there was "little doubt" that the massive stone blocks were cut by man. But the tenor of the story began to change shortly after Atlantis began to be mentioned.
"Actually, it is just ordinary beachrock," said Eugene A. Shinn, a sedimentologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. Tests performed on seventeen core samples of the stones revealed that the slope of sedimentary layers of the stones all faced the same directionan occurence not likely if the stones were laid randomly by man.
In early November, 1970, Marx learned that the North American Rockwell Corporation, which has substantial land holdings on Bimini, had been granted exclusive excavation rights on all the underwater ruins in the area of Bimini island. Soon after, they hired a geologist with previous experience in the area (was this Shinn?). Marx reports that the investigation was "brief," and that the geologist didn't even go into the water for the "scientific" inspection. (Marx, 1971) The hired geologist announced shortly after that the walls were not man-made and that the columns were nothing more than "ballast" from a shipwreck (ibid.).
Submitting to pressure from Marx and Dimitri Rebikoff (a Russian underwater archeologist and member of the Rockwell team), it was decided to mount a major expedition with the famous astronaut Edgar Mitchell as expedition leader. About twenty-five others were added to the team (which included Rebikoff, but not Marx), and excavations began. In the end, it was found that the massive fifteen-ton, stone blocks were not connected directly to the sea-floor at all, but were resting on the bedrock, i.e., they were not "natural beachrock" after all. Some were even held up by short columns (ibid.).
The National Geographic Society originally showed enough interest to sponsor an investigation by University of Miami geologist John Gifford. The stones are mostly beachrock, which can be dated since this type of rock "grows" by accretion when left underwater. So samples of the stones were taken and carbon-dated: results were in the range of 15,000 years (Gifford & Ball, 1980). Due to the nature of the rock, differing dates are not only possible but have been attained, ranging from 4,000 years on up. However, once speculation concerning Atlantis entered the picture, professionals begin to back away (and the way they were treated by their own colleagues, who could blame them).
Because of the reluctance of qualified geologists (e.g., Miami geologist John Gifford, et al.) to re-visit the site, the scientific community is overlooking significant and sound evidence. Marine engineer Dr. Dimitri Rebikoff, had stated back in 1969 that the Bimini Road formation was identical to numerous ancient man-made harbors discovered throughout the Mediterranean. Rebikoff, who spent much time and energy diving at the site, firmly disagreed with the skeptics when they claimed that there were no "leveling stones" underneath the large stone blocks at Bimini. (Marx & Rebikoff, 1969) The controversy continues.
More recently other ruins have been found around Andros Island including a large platform of massive, rectangular limestone blocks similar to the now-famous "Bimini road" (Andros Update, 2004). General agreement among those few professionals who have studied the ruins is that they seem to represent artifactual remains dating back several thousands of years. If the melting of Ice Age glaciers is responsible for the present depth of the ruins, they should date back at least 7,500 years (click for sea-level chart).
Other ruins are scattered for miles in the waters around the Bahamas (Marder, 2005), but are often covered by sand, making them hard to verify (Marx, 1971). I have not seen them, so I cannot personally vouch for their existence; but those located close to Bimini and Andros islands I have seen, touched, and photographed. They are impressive to say the least! A fuller description of these ruins can be found in my book Quest for Atlantis (Leonard, 1979), as well as the publications listed below.
To emphasize a possible Egyptian connection, there is a degree of similarity between the common Egyptian glyph for "temple" and the actual floorplan of the building near Andros we are calling the Andros Temple. Compare the patterns below: one from Egypt, and the other from the Bahama Islands.
|Egyptian glyph for "temple"
||Floorplan of Andros "temple"
Mayan "Temple of the Turtles" at Uxmal
Finally, various researchers, including myself, have also noticed that the Andros Temple floorplan is basically identical to that of the Mayan "Temple of the Turtles" in Uxmal, Yucatan. So now we have the Bahama Islands, ancient Egypt, and prehistoric Mesoamerica. Interesting . . . . .
Berlitz, Charles, "Atlantis: The Eighth Continent," G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1984.
Ferro, Robert & Grumley, Michael, "Atlantis: The Autobiography of a Search," Doubleday & Co., Garden City, 1970.
Gifford, J.A., & Ball, M.M., "Investigation of submerged beachrock deposits off Bimini, Bahamas," Research Reports, No. 12, National Geographic Society, 1980.
Leonard, R. Cedric, "Quest for Atlantis," Manor Books Inc., New York, 1979.
Marder, William, "Indians in the Americas: the Untold Story," edited by Paul Stice, 2005.
Marx, Robert F., & Rebikoff, Dimitri, "Atlantis at Last?" Argosy magazine, Vol. 369, No. 6, December 1969.
Marx, Robert F., "Atlantis: the legend is becoming fact," Argosy magazine, Vol. 373, No. 5, November 1971.
Stemman, Roy, "Atlantis and the Lost Lands," Robert B. Clark Publ. (Aldus Books Limited), London, 1976.
Valentine, J. Manson, "Archaeological Enigmas of Florida and the Western Bahamas," Muse News, Miami Museum
of Science, Vol. 1, No. 2, June 1969.
Valentine, J. Manson, "Underwater Archaeology in the Bahamas," Explorers Journal, New York, 1976.
Zink, David, "The Stones of Atlantis," Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1978.