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News: THE SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS IN CUBA
A Report by Andrew Collins
http://www.andrewcollins.com/page/articles/atlantiscuba.htm
 
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ATLANTIS & the Atlantic Ocean

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dhill757
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« Reply #90 on: April 07, 2007, 10:19:59 pm »



Hacha Grande, a mountain in the south of Lanzarote, viewed from the road to the Playa de Papagayo.
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« Reply #91 on: April 20, 2007, 06:43:58 am »

Several scientists consider the disappearance of Atlantis to be the result of a comet or asteroid that hit the earth. Provided that such an object came from the universe, these assumptions would also be able to explain the global appearance of Flood legends and legends concerning the end of the world at the very beginning of mankind. But which comet was it? And did anything like that happen at the outset of mankind? Let us first read the Atlantis dialogue to learn what happened:
 
Quote

“(...) But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.(...)“

What is described here? It sounds as if a comet had hit the earth. It is common knowledge today that stormfloods and earthquakes result from extraterrestrial impacts.


Near Puerto Rico, two parallel clefts exist on the sea bed both of which are about 7 000 metres deep. In the area of South Carolina (USA) including neighbouring states the ground is scarred to such an extent that the only reasonable explanation is a cosmic impact. Further evidence is provided by aerial photographs taken in the early 1930s. The pictures showed several thousand hollows stretching as far as to the Atlantic Ocean.



picture: According to the German researcher Otto Muck, the arrow indicates the direction from which the comet came. As a result, Atlantis was doomed to sink.

Because of these facts the German scientist Otto Muck who died in 1965 and held about 200 patents elaborated his theory that Atlantis was located across the mid-Atlantic Ridge and sank right there after the impact of an asteroid. Muck assumed that the extraterrestrial object (surrounded by several smaller projectiles) coming from a northwestern direction hit the “Carolina Bays“, then crashed into the Atlantic Ocean and thereby left the deep-sea crater.

After the impact, he assumed, tremendous underwater volcanic eruptions have occured exactly where the tectonic plates of the mid-Atlantic Ridge where joined together. When the plates became separated, ocean water came into touch with magma. The resulting explosions caused the island of “Atlantis“ to explode and the remnants sank in the clefts and hollows just created.

But what extraterrestrial object would be needed to sink such a vast landmass like Atlantis? Muck started calculating with the help of static samples collected from about 10 000 hollows with an average diameter of 500 metres. He came to th econclusion that the object in question must have been 10 kilometres wide and its impact must have been as powerful as thirty thousand tons of nitroglycerine or 3 000 medium level H-bombs. Muck thought that this was the reason for the creation of the furrows on the ground of the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean area and the Gulf of Mexico. Moreover, he held the view that the impact also caused the shifting of the poles. That was the beginning of a new geological age and the seasons became clearly separated from each other.

Muck even found out the exact date of the impact, that is June 5, 8498 BC. At that day, the sun, the moon and the earth were in conjunction with each other. Muck believed that this constellation drew the comet into the earth orbit. Furthermore, some researchers think that this was the day the Mayan people started their calendar calculations.
 
 

With his book “The Secret of Atlantis“ Muck caused a lot of sensation although many of his theses have not been proven so far. For example, no traces of a catastrophic change of the tectonic plates have been found on the Atlantic Ridge. In addition, the Carolina Bays have not proven home of any melted quartzes which would invite the inference of an extraterrestrial impact. Nevertheless, Muck probably found the key to the doom of Atlantis – comets or asteroids. More and more researchers agree on the assumption that the Carolina Bays have not been affected by a direct comet impact on the earth but that a comet exploded above the area and the resulting blasts left behind the bays. This thesis was supported by the unresolved Tunguska explosion in Sibiria on June 30, 1908.

This cosmic impact would also explain the multiple Flood legends in Central America and on the Antilles. Accordingly, we have a new candidate for our search for Atlantis.
 
 http://www.atlantia.de/atlantis_english/myth/doom/atlantis_comets.htm
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« Reply #92 on: May 19, 2007, 02:38:22 am »

UNDERWATER RUINS IN THE ATLANTIC

quote:
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A word of caution: their is a pretty robust Atlantis community out there who circulate there own stories of submerged cities and issue there own press releases. Those releases can be picked up as fact and are endlessly repeated. It's nice to have objective sources when possible.
In some cases, structures found near current land masses could have been submerged due to purely local floods, but even in those cases, the problem remains; who built them? Certainly not the “primitive” peoples that the current time line claims were living in these locales.

For instance, in the Americas a short time ago men were not thought to have been here before 5,000 years ago. To date, scientists fight to try not to have the date pushed out beyond 15,000 years. Those people were not thought to have been responsible for these advanced structures.

On the other hand, the presumed megalithic structures off the coast of Cuba are 2,500 feet (1/2 mile) below the ocean. Other megalithic structures are being located miles from current shorelines. Here are a couple of shorts about even more anomalous finds deep in the ocean.

“In 1966, an oceanographic research expedition led by Dr. Robert J. Menzies of Duke University aboard the vessel Anton Brunn photographed what appeared to be carved rock columns under 6,000 feet of ocean in the Milne-Edward Deep, a depression that reaches a depth of 19,000 feet.

A cautious Dr. Menzies admitted that the discovery of what may be the ruins of an ancient city could be “one of the most exciting discoveries of this century, insofar as ruins go.

Some of the columns are half buried in mud while others stand upright. Many of them appear to have a kind of writing on them.””


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http://www.s8int.com/water6.html]http://www.s8int.com/water6.html
...Source: Atlantis Rising by Brad Steiger
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« Reply #93 on: May 19, 2007, 02:39:26 am »

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"In 1973 a U.S. deep sea submersible craft photographed Roman Columns that seemed part of a temple structure at the bottom of one of the deepest parts of the Atlantic Ocean. Click and drag photo to on the right to resize.Photo: Roman, Greek and Egyptian-style Columns 6000 Feet Under The Sea!

Rather than ending up in some scientific journal or being debated on a university campus, the photo was published in an obscure book about the supposed lost continent of Atlantis.

While the photo may have certainly served the purpose of the book’s author, would it not have served history and archeology even more if published and debated in those circles?"..Source Unexplained:News


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« Reply #94 on: May 19, 2007, 02:40:57 am »

RESEARCHES BY THE SOVIETS

Ancient remains in the Atlantic, in 1979

Announcement of the discovery of the sunken Amber mountain, in 1984

The discovery of a smooth marble plate in 1985.


  During the end of March in 1979, some Soviet researchers announced the success of their research in the Atlantic Ocean by saying “Plato showed us the way to the lost Atlantis”. The soviet boat of underwater researches, named “Vityaz”, anchored to the river Tagus of Portugal. Dr. Andrey Aksenov, assistant manager of the Institute of Oceanography of Soviet Academy, called reporters on the boat and announced a discovery:

"In the sea area, 900 km from the Portugal coasts, there have been found, on a sunken mountain, a plateau in strange formations. After a close examination with our scientific instruments, we discovered that in this area there are remains, probably of a sunken city. We spotted almost clearly half-demolished walls and giant stairs, even if they were covered with seaweed and other sea plants. We took many photos, by which eight of them show the huge symmetrical escalation, and they will be sent to Moscow for special elaboration...."

The Soviets of “Vityaz” told to Mr Vaskonselo, manager of the National Fishing Institute of Portugal, that they are certain they have discovered a sunken part of the lost Atlantis. Dr. Aksenov also mentioned that this discovery is only the beginning of a whole research which will be centered to this place of the Atlantic. Besides, this is the place that Plato defined the existence and disappearance of Atlantis.

The research boat “Vityaz” continued its mission by scanning the bottom of the Atlantic, westward of Madera. In this area, under the surface of the sea, it is extended the mountain Amber. It is a strange mountain in the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and due to its shape attracts all those Atlantologists, who study Atlantis by Plato scripts.

In 1984 the Soviets of “Vityaz” finished their long researches and gave the information that the mountain Amber, found beneath water, has once been a large island above the surface of the sea.

Unfortunately, they did not announce the details and evidence on which they had been based...

In September 1985, there has been announced by the soviet and foreign tabloids that the Russians pulled out of 4500 meters in the Atlantic, a strange piece of marble. The research was carried out by the oceanographers of the soviet boat “Academic Boris Petrov”.

This discovery has troubled a lot the research group of the boat.

From the very early studies on this object, it has been found out that it was a smooth plate of marble colored from both sides in white-yellowish. Its shape proves that it had been smoothed by a man. They estimated that this object exists in the ocean for many thousand years. Leon Hitrov, scientist of the Soviet Academy of Sciences and chief of the mission pointed out:

“This finding is of great importance. I will personally take on its analysis in the Laboratory of Analytic Chemistry and Geochemistry of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. This scientific test will show if the plate was a part of a structure of an unknown civilization or if according to all evidence, it comes from the legendary and powerful nation of the Atlantians”.

Unfortunately, the Soviet Academy of Sciences, from all we know, has not announced something officially. There are rumors that the “secret” researches continue in the Atlantic Ocean, not only by Russians but by Americans.


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http://www.atlantida.gr/engSovietResearch.htm#research
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« Reply #95 on: May 19, 2007, 02:42:16 am »

Here are some of the reports of underwater ruins gathered throughout the years of all the various ruins reported to be at the bottom of the Atlantic. Of course, many are of a dubious nature. I'll list them all now, get into what we actually know of them later:



quote:
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City on the Bottom of the Atlantic Ocean off Spain

Dr. Maxine Asher's Expedition in 1973

UPI Report


Pyramid explored by Dr. Ray Brown on the sea floor off the Bahamas in 1970. Brown was accompanied by 4 divers who also found roads, domes, rectangular buildings, unidentified metallic instruments, and a statue holding a "mysterious" crystal containing miniature pyramids. The metal devices and crystals were taken to Florida for analysis at a university there. What was discovered was that the crystal amplified energy that passed through it.

It is made in a method unknown to the scientists who analyzed it. It was found in a mysteriously lit up chamber inside the underwater pyramid with some kind of ray gun like instrument pointed at it. Kirlian photographs, which record impressions beyond our limited range of vision, showed an eye inside the crystal not visible to the naked eye.

What technology could build a long blacktop paved road for hundreds of miles that was still in good condition over 10,000 years later! This road was found underwater off the East Coast by the deep diving submarine Aluminaut and contained magnesium oxide.

In 1977, a mysterious discovery was made on the floor of the Atlantic concerning an unknown technology. A 650-foot pyramid was mysteriously lit up, with sparkling white water surrounding it that turned deep green, a shocking contrast to the dark black waters at that depth. The discovery was photographed by Arl Marahall's expedition off Cay Sal.

Dr. William Bell's 1958 photos taken on the bottom of the Atlantic showed a six-foot spire protruding from a couple of circular gear-like bases with peculiar light emanations from the bottom of the shaft. Were these the remnants of the Eternal Flame spoken of by the ancients, powered by an inter-dimensional cosmic energy taken out of the atmosphere by a form of crystal conductor at the apex of pyramids or towers?

Pyramids larger than any building in the world made in our modern times have been found on the bottom the Atlantic Ocean and in China, and one in Egypt that our own technology has failed to match.

These Pyramids have cement that our scientists admit is superior to what we use today. The writings of the ancients describe pyramids as Time Capsules containing the history and technology of the Empire of the Sun and latter day Atlantis.

A huge pyramid, in 10,000 feet of Atlantic water, was reported to have been found with a pulsating crystal on top of it, by Tony Benik's expedition. The group also found an opaque crystal tablet there, and reported that when a light was beamed through it, mysterious inscriptions became visible.

More underwater pyramids were found off Central America, Yucatan, and Louisiana, where domes were found in the Straits of Florida. A marble Greek style building was found between Florida and Cuba. And what about the column that radiated energy Dr. Zink found in the Bahamas and Zink also brought up other artifacts from his dives over Atlantis, and he was interviewed by Mind International agent Steve Forsberg.

One of the most amazing finds on the bottom of the Atlantic was reported by Captain Reyes Miraga's crew on the salvage ship Talia from Spain. They video-taped miles of pillared temples, buildings, and statues and wide curving boulevards, with smaller avenues branching out from the center like spokes in a wheel, with majestic temples and pyramids. Much of this city, as well as the city found off Spain by Dr. Maxine Asher's expedition and later by Professor Akayonove's expedition (all photographed), show a startling similarity to Plato's description of Atlantis!

An urn brought to the surface by Dr. Asher's expedition.

More than 30 separate ruins have been found on the bottom of the Atlantic since 1956, and in ancient libraries, several old maps showing Atlantis and its island chain have been found. The islands are known as Aryan, Og. Poseid, and Antigua and the nation was Atlan. Garden City, or Poseid, was reportedly the capital of a continent stretching from off of North Africa and Europe to off Florida with a tropical climate on the western and southern shores, and a cool climate on the north and east.

Ruins of roads and buildings found off Bimini Island in the 1960's by the photographed and published expeditions of Dr. Mansan Valentine. Steven Forsberg, co-founder of the Lahaina Times newspaper dove into these ruins in 1982 to witness them first hand. Similar ruins were also photographed off Cay Sal in the Bahamas. The ruins are of the same construction as the oldest city ever found on land, according; to archaeologists, in Tiajuanaco, Bolivia, where a calendar was uncovered that shows the exact position of the stars and planets 27,000 years ago. This is more than 20,000 years BEFORE the oldest civilizations in school history books!

Similar underwater ruins found off Morocco and photographed 50 to 60 feet underwater.

Dr. David Zink found in 1957, off the Bahamas coast, a stylized marble head, building block cast in a mold and a construction piece drilled by a bit, as well as a stone column that he reported radiated energy. Forsberg of M.I.N.D. interviewed Dr. Zink and obtained the photographs.

A ruined harbor like complex discovered on the sea floor off Bimini Captain John Alexander.

The deep sea diving submarine Aluminaut discovered a well preserved paved road on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean make of blacktop magnesium oxide, running along the sea floor from Florida to South Carolina.

Temple pillars, buildings, statues, wide curving boulevards with smaller avenues branching out like spokes in a wheel, majestic temples and pyramids videotaped by Captain Reyes Miraga on the Spanish named salvage ship "Talia".

A huge 11 room pyramid found 10,000 feet under water in the mid Atlantic Ocean with a huge crystal top, as reported by Tony Benlk.

Several acres of white marble-like ruins found on tile ocean floor off Cuba reported by Lieceser Hemingway.

Mysterious dome structures reportedly seen in clear water by several pilots in the Straits of Florida.

Soviet expeditions to the Atlantic Ampere Seamount resulted in photographs of ruins destroyed by lava (like the Aztecs and Mayans wrote Atlan was destroyed by). This discovery was in the New York Times May 21, 1978. The photos were developed by the Academy's Petrovsky Marakuyev and reported by the deputy Director of the Soviet Academy of Science's Institute of Oceanography, Professor Aksyonove, who also reported ruins found off Cadiz, Spain in the same area as Dr., Maxine Asher's previous discovery.

1981 expedition of P. Cappellano discovered mysterious ruins with strange symbols on them on the sea floor off the Canary Islands.

1977 report of a huge pyramid found off Cay Sal in the Bahamas, photographed by Ari Marshall's expedition, about 150 feet underwater. The pyramid was about 650 feet high. Mysteriously, the surrounding water was lit by sparkling white water flowing out of the openings in the pyramid and surrounded by green water, instead of the black water everywhere else at that depth.

The foundations of a 100 by 75 foot structure photographed on the sea bottom off Andros Island.

A sunken city about 400 miles off Portugal found by Soviet expeditions led by Boris Asturua, with buildings made of extremely strong concrete and plastics. He said "the remains of streets suggests the use of monorails for transportation". He added that he brought up a statue.

Pillars found on the Atlantic floor in 1969 by Robert Fero and Michael Grumley, a chunk of which was carved from rock NOT found anywhere in that part of the world. 20. A road off the Bahamas explored by Dr. Manson Valentine.

Dimitri Rebikoff, using his underwater platform and a special collecting lens, reported ruins found encircling an underwater freshwater spring.

Marble Acropolis underwater across five acres of fluted columns raised on pillars.

Twenty researchers, including archaeologists, a marine biologist, geologist, and cartographer dove onto ruins on the sea floor off Bimini in 1975 and brought back artifacts from which they concluded that the walls and roads were made of materials not found in that part of the world.


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http://www.crystalinks.com/atlantisasher.html
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« Reply #96 on: May 19, 2007, 02:43:10 am »

Here is what Dr. Maxine Asher says about her discoveries:

The truth is that four cities lie underwater from Cadiz to Gibraltar, and these cities are submerged at least 120 feet and resting on the continental shelf. Using the yardarm of 10 feet for every 1000 years of recorded history, we can observe highly developed sunken cities, the remains of which are at least 9000 years old or older (see Internet Website www.atlantisresearch.com). If these remains are not Atlantis, then such evidence still requires that we acknowledge civilization's beginnings at least 5000 years before the earliest Egyptian cities.
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« Reply #97 on: May 19, 2007, 02:44:13 am »

To which the Russian scientist Alexander Gorodnitsky, Doctor of Geology and Mineralogy, professor from the Russian Institute of Oceanology also adds in a 2003 interview:

"I think that the lost continent is situated somewhere between Gibraltar and the Azores. In 1984 and 1986 our expedition was working on the slopes of Mount Ampere, when we found very strange constructions at the depth of only 100 meters - they looked like rooms and walls. I submerged to see that myself, made some sketches. Other geologists drew alters or walls - that was what they had seen, we could not take any photographs at that time. At first it seemed to me that those rooms and walls had been created by the nature, but the rooms were equal in size. The human psychology is organized very specifically: if someone had said that professor Gorodnitsky found the lost continent, no one would have believed such a message.
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« Reply #98 on: May 19, 2007, 02:45:33 am »

A small piece of volcanic agglomerate was dredged from 400 fathoms on the north slope. About a ton of flat pteropod limestone cobbles was dredged from the summit area. One of the cobbles gave an apparent radiocarbon age of 12,000 years ±900 (J.L. Kulp). The state of lithification of the limestone suggests that it may have been lithified under subaerial [i.e. above water, on land surface] conditions and that the sea mount may have been an island within the past 12,000 years. (Heezen, Bruce C., et al, "Flat-Topped Atlantis, Cruiser, And Great Meteor Sea Mounts" in Geological Society of America, Bulletin, 65:1261, 1954 (Protogonos issue 9)
In later studies, evidence was found for the remnants of a "sunken block of continent" in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. An articlein New Scientist 1975 summarizes the result. (Anonymous, New Scientist,66:540, 1975)

(from Unknown Earth: A Handbook of Geological Enigmas by William R. Corliss.) http://www.atlantissource.com/home/forgotten_article.htm


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« Reply #99 on: May 19, 2007, 02:47:02 am »

it is interesting to note that the famous Piri Reis map shows a large island in this location, and the geology of recent core samples, taken from the ocean floor in this area, is of continental rather than oceanic type rock:

Geological structure of the Strakhov fracture zone (equatorial segment of the Mid-Atlantic ridge)

G. B. Udintsev, A. F. Beresnev, V. M. Golod, A. V. Kol'tsova, N. A. Kurentsova, and M. V. Zakharov

Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

G. V. Agapova

Institute of Geology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

L. P. Volokitina

P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

V. G. Udintsev

Shmidt Institute of Earth Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/AlisonJ1-p10.htm

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« Reply #100 on: May 19, 2007, 02:48:10 am »

Quote from Dr. Asher's website:

quote:
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The underwater film footage which appears on the website was taken from 1993 to1995 by Spanish diver Francisco Salazar Casero. More film from the same underwater area has been taken and will be placed on the website in 2003.  In addition to this footage, Dr. Asher owns underwater film from the Bahamas believed to be Atlantis, videos of television shows she has made on Atlantis, other film taken over time in Spain,5000 color slides connected to Atlantis, 15 computer disks filled with scientific reports about Atlantis and countless other visuals.  This film repository will contribute greatly to the enormous success of any feature film on Atlantis, since it lends credibility to the Atlantis' story.  The ruins presented here are 120 feet down, lying on the continental shelf off the coast of Spain and are believed to be vestiges of the city of Atlantis. The dating is approximately 9,000 B.C.
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« Reply #101 on: May 19, 2007, 02:48:48 am »

PICTURES OF ATLANTIC UNDERWATER RUINS:
http://www.atlantisresearch.com/film.html
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« Reply #102 on: May 19, 2007, 02:50:32 am »

QUOTE FROM CRITIAS, PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF ATLANTIS:

"The whole country was said by him to be very lofty and precipitous on the side of the sea, but the country immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plain, itself surrounded by mountains which descended towards the sea; it was smooth and even, and of an oblong shape, extending in one direction three thousand stadia, but across the centre inland it was two thousand stadia.This part of the island looked towards the south, and was sheltered from the north."

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« Reply #103 on: May 19, 2007, 02:53:51 am »

I submit that Atlantis stretched from the Mid to the east Atlantic, with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge being the mountaintops that Plato spoke of and the large rectangular plain to the east, between the Azores and Gibralter, is now submerged underwater.
I haven't even got into the Mid-Atlantic Ridge yet, but there is geological evidence that that area was above water in the time period places Atlantis, even if no cities have been discovered there.

The old saying: There is no evidence of a sunken landmass in the Atlantic.

To which I give this information by the geologist Christopher O'Brien:

   


Quote
quote:
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With a knowledge of ancient river systems, the O'Briens were able to reconstruct a land profile which revealed an Azorean landmass 'about the size and shape of Spain', with high mountain ranges rising over 3655 metres above sea-level, as well as impressive rivers that run 'in curving valley systems'.
Quote

There is the LAND MASS..!

Quote
Furthermore, they have pointed out that:
 
In the southeast, a feature which we have called 'The Great Plain' covered an area in excess of 3500 square miles [9065 square kilometres], and was watered by a river comparable in size to the River Thames in England. It has, as we shall see, points in common with a great plain described by Plato in his Critias, as being a feature of the island of Atlantis.

The conclusion drawn from these findings is that the Azores once formed part of a much greater landmass which sank beneath the waves and is now situated 'many thousands of feet' below the current sea-level.


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As mentioned earliuer, mastodon and mammoth bones have been dredged up from the sea along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the "elephants" that Plato spoke of.

As for the ruins, both Asher and the Russians have suggested that there are ruins in the eastern Atlantic, stretching towards Gibraltar. Both the Russians and Asher have pictures (even if we still can't find the Russians...)

It would be unreasonable to suggest we'll find pristine underwater cities along the lines of Jules Verne. If it was destroyed in earthquakes and tsunsamis, then there might not be a lot left, especially after 12,000 years. The pictures I've seen of the ruins of the Ampere Seamounts are about what we might expect - dark and covered in lava and ocean silt.

Much has been made of Cadiz and other underwater cities near Spain, the coast of Morocco has similar ruins that no one speaks about. These might be Atlantis, but more likely were settlements.

The only way to reach Atlantis in the depths it might be located is in a submarine, one cannot dive there. Russian submarines have been there, and, more to the point, they keep coming back - 1974, 1979, 1984, throughout the 1990's. For all we know, American submarines have been there. too.

The list I've given of ruins doubtless has some red herrings on it, but if even one of those account is true, the pyramid in the middle of the Atlantic, for instance, it might rewrite history as we know it. Civilization began in the Mediterranean..? Not if we find evidence of it first in the Atlantic!~

The pieces are all there, in the middle of the ocean, waiting to be put together, as I've always maintained, as of this year, we are simply not digging deeply enough...



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« Reply #104 on: May 19, 2007, 02:57:57 am »

Divers Find Ancient Skeleton in Mexico (AP)
  Posted Thursday, September 9, 2004, 9:00 pm
By JOHN RICE, Associated Press Writer


MEXICO CITY - Divers making dangerous probes through underwater caves near the Caribbean coast have discovered what appears to be one of oldest human skeletons in the Americas, archaeologists announced at a seminar that was ending on Friday.


The report by a team from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History exploits a new way of investigating the past. Most coastal settlements by early Americans now lie deep beneath the sea, which during the Ice Age was hundreds of feet lower than now.

Researchers at the international "Early Man in America" seminar here also reported other ancient finds — including a California bone that is a rival for the title of the oldest in the Americas.

The discoveries fall close to the start of the time that traditional theories say a so-called Clovis culture could have moved from Asia to Alaska over a temporary land corridor that began to open about 13,500 years ago.

Many academics argue that new discoveries, especially in South America, prove the Clovis people found existing inhabitants, who may have arrived by hopscotching past the northern ice fields in small boats.

Arturo Gonzalez said his team discovered at least three skeletons in caves along the Caribbean coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula in 2001 and 2002. Photos showed two remarkably well preserved.

"It's something that I had been dreaming of for many years," said Gonzalez, 39, who has combined diving and research since he was a teenager. "To find a person who had walked those caves was like a treasure."

Gonzalez said the bones must date from before the time that waters gradually seeped through the caves 8,000 to 9,000 years ago as Ice Age glaciers melted and sea level rose by about 400 feet worldwide.

Tests on charcoal found beside one female skeleton would place it at least 10,000 years ago. An expert at the University of California, Riverside, dated it as 11,670 radiocarbon years old — which would translate to well over 13,000 calendar years.

If confirmed, "that would be the oldest" radio carbon date in the Americas obtained from a human bone, said archaeology textbook author Stuart Fiedel.

Fiedel, a defender of the "Clovis first" school, said the oldest estimate for the cave find still fits the Clovis time frame, though narrowly.

Larry Murphy, chief of the Submerged Resources Center for the U.S. National Park Service, said in a telephone interview that the Mexican exploration was "one of the first systematic studies of human materials associated with a submarine cave."

The discovery helps prove that humans inhabited the Yucatan at least 5,000 years before the famed Maya culture began building monuments at sites such as nearby Tulum.

Gonzalez said the skeleton did not appear to be Mayan, but with no tools yet found, almost nothing is known of those first inhabitants.

Gonzalez said cave divers had sometimes mentioned seeing skeletons and he convinced skeptical officials to finance a survey of the water holes that dot the Yucatan, a limestone shelf.

Extensive, flooded caves wind off from some of those holes. Many were above ground during the Ice Age and Gonzalez speculated people may have used them as paths down to fresh water.

Gonzalez said the oldest find was made 404 yards into a cave, more than 65 feet below sea level, during expeditions that can be extremely dangerous.
 


It took repeated trips to record the sites and excavate the bones, which then required two years of preservation.
Team co-director Carmen Rojas said the divers had 40 minutes to wind their way through the cave to the site, 20 minutes to work there and 40 minutes to swim back, followed by 20 to 60 minutes of decompression time.
"You train five years for those 20 minutes," she said.
Meanwhile, John Johnson of the University of California, Santa Barbara, said an elaborate restudy of a woman's femur found on Santa Rosa Island in California's Channel Islands established a calendar-year age of 13,200 to 13,500 years. It had been calculated at about 1,000 years less when found in 1959.
Both discoveries would be significantly older than the skeleton known Kennewick Man — 9,300-year-old paleoindian remains found by teenagers along a Washington state riverbank in 1996.
Until now, the Americas have produced only 25 bones or skeletons dated as more than 8,000 years old, said Silvia Gonzalez of John Moores University in Liverpool, England. But she told the conference that she would soon publish a paper establishing that humans occupied a site near Puebla east of Mexico City 21,000 to 28,000 years ago.


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