Insight

Sunken Cuban City May Be Atlantis by Andrew Collins

[At a recent conference in Virginia Beach], I opened the proceedings by giving an account of how I came to learn of the recent discovery of a lost city in deep water off the west coast of Cuba, close to the district of Guanahacabibes, by Canadian firm Advanced Digital Communications (ADC). I shared my initial disappointment at the resulting video taken at a depth of 2,200 feet by a remote operated video (ROV) sent down from the vessel "Ulises" in July 2001 to investigate the several-mile area of presumed roads, avenues and rectilinear structures. Yet I emphasized that the sonar images obtained on site by ADC one year earlier were much more impressive. Indeed, electronics engineer Rodney Hale, who is a veteran of scientific projects of this nature with a keen-eye for detecting anomalies on satellite and sonar-produced maps, has concluded that a single sonar image released by ADC earlier this year does indeed bear a striking resemblance to a rectilinear construction.

ADC claim that blocks of granite have been detected at the Guanahacabibes site, and that this is further evidence of artificial constructs present there. However, if granite has been found, and this I feel needs to be clarified in some manner, then it by no means constitutes evidence of the proximity of a lost city. When a large quantity of granite was found on the sea-bottom between the Lesser Antilles island of Trinidad and Venezuela in the 1970s, it was seen as geological evidence that a larger landmass once existed in the region, and not evidence of a lost civilization. Another possibility is that any granite present off the west coast of Cuba is simply ballast disgorged from wrecked colonial sea- vessels, which often carried granite off-cuts obtained from quarries. Similar deposits are found in the shallow waters of the Bahamas, and have often been mistaken for evidence of underwater archaeological ruins.

Obviously, I want to see the ADC discoveries as evidence of artificial constructions in the deep waters off western Cuba. It would confirm much of what I have proposed in my book "Gateway to Atlantis," published in 2000. Yet we must not be too hasty. If what ADC has got is genuine, then we will know soon enough. In the meantime, we must go on searching for Atlantis wherever we feel it might be. After outlining the ADC discoveries, I went on to deconstruct Platos Atlantis story as found in his works the "Timaeus" and "Critias." I emphasized to the audience that we must never forget that Plato wrote around 350 BC, and based his stories on political issues of the day as well as rumors reaching the Mediterranean world in which he moved. These would unquestionably have spoken of islands existing beyond the Pillars of Hercules in the outer ocean. His description of Atlantis could easily have been based on inhabited islands of the Atlantic colonized by Phoenician and Carthaginian mariners, who kept quiet by them in case of drawing undue interest from foreign nations. Yet the evidence is there that these same voyagers crossed over the ocean and were aware of not only the Sargasso Sea, but also the islands of the Bahamas and Caribbean. Indeed, there is every indication that they entered the Gulf of Mexico and made landings on the Gulf coast, where they could have traded goods such as tobacco and coca leaves with cultures such as the Olmec and proto-Maya.

I spoke of how early Spanish explorers heard stories from the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and Bahamas which spoke of a flood that once devastated the two archipelagos, splitting apart a much larger landmass, killing the inhabitants and leaving the islands as they appear today. Some of these stories included clues which hinted at a much greater catastrophe. One from Tobago spoke of "the ole moon breaking," while others from Venezuela and the Yucatan spoke of a period of darkness, fire falling from the sky and the presence of a fiery snake. Had some cosmic impact caused a massive cataclysm that devastated the Bahamas and Caribbean

An event seemingly responsible for the appearance of around 500,000 elliptical craters across the eastern seaboard of the United States, from New Jersey down to Miami, is perhaps the greatest clue. Modern theories are that these so-called Carolina Bays (after the states in which they were first noted during the 1920s) were caused by a comet which entered the earths atmosphere from the north-west over Alaska and disintegrated into millions of pieces which detonated above the ground, very much in the manner of the object which caused the Tunguska event in June 1908.

When did all this take place Sometime around the end of the last Ice Age is the apparent answer, and its effects were catastrophic in the extreme. Aside from creating the temporary re-advance of the ice fields during a presumed "nuclear winter," hundreds and thousands of fragments of the comet falling in the western Atlantic basin would have created tsunami waves of immense proportions which temporarily drowned the islands of the Bahamas and Caribbean, wiping out its entire indigenous population (a few must have got away to tell the tale, Noah style, as it told in the creation myths of the Mesoamerican tribes).

Could memories of this cataclysmic event have been preserved across millennia until they were retold eventually to the earliest Spanish explorers If so, then were similar tales told to Phoenician and Carthaginian voyagers who visited these same islands prior to Plato's age Did Plato come to hear not only of the islands which existed in the outer ocean, but also of the cataclysm which once devastated this self same region, causing a landmass to be inundated by flood waters temporarily at first, but then more permanently when the ice field started melting at the end of the Ice Age Thus was the sinking of Atlantis a memory of the submergence of both the former Bahaman landmass and the low-lying regions of the Caribbean

I continued my lecture by pointing out that Cuba, more than any other island, fitted the description of Plato's Atlantean island, both in geography and topography. Moreover, Cuba has been identified by geographers as a mysterious island paradise known as Antillia, or the island of the Seven Cities, said to have laid in the outer ocean according to Moorish, and later Portuguese medieval tradition (and unquestionably borrowed from much earlier Phoenician and Carthaginian tradition). More than this, the name Antillia can be shown to derive from the Semitic word root ATL, "to elevate," which was also the root behind the name Atlas, from which we derive the name Atlantis, "daughter of Atlas," the term used for an Atlantic island (Atlantides, "daughters of Atlas," was the plural used to describe Atlantis islands in general). In other words, if Antillia was merely a medieval form of Atlantis, then it further confirms Cubas association with Plato's Atlantic paradise.

Afterwards, I concentrated my lecture on the legends of the Mesoamerican peoples which spoke of their earliest ancestors coming from an island in the east, known variously as Aztlan or Tulan, following a period of darkness when the sun would not appear. On this island was the supposed place of emergence of the first humans which was known as Chichomoztoc, the Seven Caves. From these individuals came seven tribes, or clans, and by their hands rose Seven Cities. I believe that some semblance of knowledge regarding the creation of the seven cities in Mesoamerican myth led to Antillia, or Cuba, becoming known as the Island of the Seven Cities. Just ten years after Christopher Columbuss famous landfall in the Bahamas in 1492, the main islands of the Caribbean Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba - had become known as "the Isles of Antillia of the King of Aragon," showing how the early Spanish explorers likewise came to identity them with Antillia and its accompanying islands.

The only site in the whole of the Caribbean which bears any resemblance to Chicomoztoc, the Seven Caves, of Mesoamerican legend is the Punta del Este cave complex at the extreme eastern end of Isla de Juventud (Isle of Youth), which is divided from the southern coast of the Cuban mainland by the Bay of Batabano. Ceuva # Uno has been described as a veritable Sistine chapel of the prehistoric world, and is filled with beautiful petroglyphs or concentric circles, rectilinear shapes and other abstract forms many thousands of years old. I interpreted the symbolism of these designs as perhaps embodying the memory of some kind of comet impact suffered by the Caribbean in a distant epoch. Such thoughts came entirely from intuitive feelings experienced during a personal visit to the cave in September 1998 feelings that led me to explore the possibility of a comet impact having devastated the region. More curiously, Paulina Zelitsky, the director of ADC, visited the Punta del Este caves for the first time only shortly before discovering the Guanahacabibes site off the west coast of Cuba in July 2002. She has since claimed that an unconfirmed carving of a cross detected on a large, roughly rectangular block videoed at the underwater site bears some similarity to an abstract cross design found inside Punta del Estes Ceuva # Uno.

However, a dramatic new discovery regarding the Punta del Este cave complex was revealed to the ARE audience at the conference. For it now appears that Cuban archaeologists were working on the theory that Ceuva # Unos petroglyphs reflected some kind of cosmic catastrophe which devastated the region in prehistoric times as early as 1951, a full decade before the country came under Communist control.

A two-page article that appeared in the February 1952 edition of the magazine ECOS entitled "Formó Cuba Parte de la Atlándida" by Francisco Garcia-Juarez, the press secretary of the Instituto Cubano de Arqueologia (Institute of Cuban Archaeology, or ICA) posed the question: did Cuba once form part of Atlantis He explained how members of the Institute were investigating the idea that traces of an Atlantean culture might be found in Cuba and Hispaniola, a view offered to them by Egerton Sykes, a world renowned authority on Atlantis. He had written an introduction for a revised edition of "Atlantis: The Antediluvian World," the all- time classic on the subject written by former U.S. congressman Ignatius Donnelly and published for the first time in 1882 (and still available as a re-print by Dover Publications). Sykes was also the editor of a journal propounding Hans Hoerbingers Cosmic Ice theory entitled, simply, "Atlantis," in which appeared a partial translation of the above-mentioned ECOS article.

According to Sykes' translation, the ICA concluded that the most likely location where traces of the Atlantean culture might be found was the Punta del Este cave complex. In one cave was found steps that led up to an alcove which might possibly have been used by priests to observe the movement of the stars. Moreover, petroglyphs inside the caves (presumably those in Cueva # Uno) displayed astronomical information which linked them with the origins of the Maya calendrical system, thus the possibility that Cuba had been a "staging post" for the migrations of the Maya into Central America should not be overlooked. More than this, the translation stated:

"On the South coast of Cuba, at Camaguey, there are many partially submerged mounds called 'caneyes,' which may have been places of refuge for primitive man. There are numerous artifacts here which have never been adequately investigated. Numerous skeleton remains found here give evidence of a sudden and violent death due to some catastrophe. The artifacts include stone balls, spherical stones, elongated stones, and rods with forked ends resembling snakes. The absence of large monuments may merely mean they have not yet been seriously looked for."

The existence of the article by Sykes regarding the earlier feature in Cubas ECOS magazine was brought to my attention by Dean Clarke of Atlantisite.com. He studied under Egerton Sykes and had been given permission by Sykes widow to quotes sections from some of the articles to be found in Sykes' "Atlantis" journal.

Such was the situation when on arriving at Virginia Beach I was informed that, following Sykes death in Brighton, England, in 1983, the ARE inherited his library of books, files and correspondence, which are today housed in a special room attached to its own library. With the help of Greg and Lora Little, I was able to find the original Sykes' translation of the ECOS article, as well as the original 1952 Cuban article written in Spanish. Unfortunately, my Spanish is non- existent, yet after I came off stage I was approached by Humberto Martinez, one of the trustees of the ARE, who was born in Cuba and speaks and writes Spanish fluently.

Overnight, Humberto was able to make a rough translation of the entire article. Apparently, Sykes had told the ICA that if Cuba did form part of Atlantis then its archaeologists would find evidence on the island of artificial deformation of the cranium among its ancient inhabitants, as well as step monuments or ziggurats and methods of cutting and orientating large rocks. Why exactly is not made clear in the article, although I would surmise that these ideas were based on Donnellys concept of a diffusion of shared ideas among cultures on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, due to the proposed migration of peoples from Atlantis following its destruction. Whatever the reasons, the Cuban archaeologists confirmed that they had found all of these things on Cuba, but, as the article stated, there would have to be a revolution of the established ways of thinking before their presence would be seen as evidence for the existence of Atlantis.

Remember, all this was taking place just six years after the end of the Second World War, when Nazis are known to have been searching for evidence of Atlantis in nearby Venezuela, including the excavation and retrieval of skeletons bearing elongated skulls. Moreover, there are unconfirmed reports that Nazis were also searching for evidence of Atlantis in Haiti (on the island of Hispaniola), which they linked with the creation myths attached to the Afro-Caribbean religion of voodoo. Confirmation of this story would be very much appreciated!

What was infinitely more important, however, were the interpretations of the petroglyphs found in the Punta del Este caves (again, seemingly those in Cueva # Uno) by the Cuban archaeologists of the ICA. Captions to two examples shown as line illustrations, explained that the symbols showed a comet with a tail hitting an astral, or celestial, body, and breaking up. I was simply stunned when Umberto began translating the text there and then. He agreed to send me a more fuller translation in due course, and this I will post on the website, complete with the original article in Spanish. I was thus able to return to the stage at the conference and show the overheads of the two-page ECOS article as Umberto read aloud extracts of his translation, which confirmed my own theory that the petroglyphs of Cueva # Uno embodied a memory of a comet impact having occurred during some distant epoch. To say the audience were impressed is an understatement; they were simply amazed.

Andrew Collins is a frequent guest on Dreamland. His current book "Gods of Eden" is available in the Lost Worlds section of our unknowncountry.com bookstore. Visit his website at www.andrewcollins.net

NOTE: This Insight, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.


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