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Jacque Cousteau's Search for Atlantis

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rockessence
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« on: November 24, 2007, 01:20:30 pm »

One of the most exciting expeditions of my life to date is the current archaeological exploration of Greek waters, where we are looking for remains of lost civilizations as well as looking for archaeological lessons from antiquity generally. I am going to recall this because I think it is typical of the mental mechanism of exploration. Our research vessel Calypso arrived in Crete and we docked in the harbor of Heraklion on the north coast of Crete near Knossos. A violet North Sea storm, the wind named "Meltem," made our situation almost intolerable inside the harbor, in spite of the fact that we were sheltered by a modern jetty built of concrete. Then, as a sailor, I started reasoning that in antiquity the tiny primitive harbor of Knossos could not have protected the ships of King Minos from Meltem. Looking at a map, I deduced that the only safe anchorages in case of Northern winds were to be found on the south coast of Dhia, a small island lying only 8 miles north of Crete. That was a deductive standard mental process called vertical thinking.

[48] We explored the waters around Dhia, in depths ranging from 20 feet to 300 feet, with divers and our exploration submarine. We discovered six ancient shipwrecks ranging from the 16th century A.D. to the first century A.D. The ships were carrying bronze guns, copper and silverware, hundreds and even thousands of amphorae, and dozens of large blocks of marble, some of them ornate or sculptured. They may have been the remains of a stolen palace or a stolen temple transported in parts, like the famous Hearst Castle.

We were about to leave when my chief diver, Albert Falco, asked me to let him have a last swim near shore. He snorkeled in the bay of St. George in Dhia while we were warming up the motors to sail away. He came back reporting that he found a strange heap of stones of colossal stature-nothing much after all, a few stones or maybe . . ., maybe something unexpected. This last-minute find, vague and dubious, did not fit into our program. We were to explore the southern coast of Crete. I hesitated for one minute and then I stopped the motors. There was no committee I had to report to for a change of program.

[49] There was no logic for abandoning our initial program. Falco's hesitant report appeared to be uncorrelated with our aims. Forty years of exploration had repeatedly proven to me that the deductive process of thinking-vertical thinking-although it is a powerful tool, rarely leads to a breakthrough discovery. Independently, lateral thinking, the process by which the mind scans events or facts that are apparently uncorrelated to investigate whether in reality they could be even remotely correlated, has often led us and many others to important breakthroughs. What followed is endless. The heap of stones proved to be a large submerged manmade harbor of probable Minoan origin. Then-back to vertical deduction this time-we thought that if there had been a harbor on that desolate piece of rock (the island of Dhia), then there also necessarily had been human settlements. Our helicopter made a photomosaic coverage of the island, revealing several villages or towns and a huge Cyclopean fortification system, totally erased today-we could only see traces of its foundations on the photographs, taken with low Sun for contrast. Minoan fragments of pottery and [50] at least one Minoan idol on land were found before an excavation was made.

A full-scale underwater excavation of the harbor-a 3-month effort-confirmed all our theories. Five thousand years ago the island of Dhia was a paradise covered with woods and refreshed by large rivers, a paradise where Theseus eloped for a famous honeymoon with Ariadne, daughter of Minos, after he killed the Minotaur. Then the island was progressively deforested to build or repair ships and to cook dinners in the thousands of homes. Dhia succumbed, probably 4000 years ago, from overpopulation-a lesson of ecology from antiquity. Then 500 years later, the explosion of the volcanic island of Thera, better known as Santorini, raised a 300-foot-high tidal wave that washed clean the island from its fortifications, villages, towns, walls, harbors. Ever since, Dhia has remained a desolate rock. This major discovery is going to lead, certainly, to decades of very difficult and systematic excavations on land. Then it was no more our business and we went on to some other discoveries.

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Thus ye may find in thy mental and spiritual self, ye can make thyself just as happy or just as miserable as ye like. How miserable do ye want to be?......For you GROW to heaven, you don't GO to heaven. It is within thine own conscience that ye grow there.

Edgar Cayce

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