Determined to prove
their archaeological rule, Valentine and Rebikoff extended their underwater
quest for other signs for an Atlantis emerging from the sea floor. They were not
disappointed. Valentine takes up the story:
"The most exciting piece of evidence that on a grand scale
[there] might indeed exist under the seas of our hemisphere [a lost city] came
on the second day of September 1968, when the writer, diving in three fathoms
off the north west coast of North Bimini, was amazed to discern an extensive
pavement of rectangular and polygonal flat stones of varying size and thickness,
obviously shaped and accurately aligned to form a convincing artifactual
pattern. These stones had evidently lain submerged over a long span of time, for the
edges of the biggest ones had been rounded off. Some were absolutely
rectangular, sometimes approaching perfect squares.
The larger pieces, at least 10 to 15 feet in length, often ran the width of
parallel-sized avenues while the smaller ones formed mosaic like pavements
covering broader sections. Where the sand had washed away between them, another
deeper layer of stones appeared below." (19)
D. G. Richards in an article in the Journal of Scientific
Exploration gives an account of the investigations both amateur and professional
of the Bimini waters. Richard concluded that there are indeed anomalies under
the waters and he detailed three of these based on an aerial photograph taken at
6000 feet. Firstly he noted a
90-degree bend in the road which he considered was decidedly anomalous for a
beach rock formation. Secondly he could identify a parallel row of stones and
lastly a series of regularly spaced piles of stones which extended over 1.5
miles, cutting diagonally across ancient beach sites (20).
Richards also employed a satellite image of the area from which
he observed other ‘regular’ features, such as a triangle, a pentagon, and a
sharp, right angle corner with mile long sides. However on actually inspecting
these regularities from a small boat, Richards found no obvious structures of
any kind, instead, he noted that sea grass and white sand had caused the
patterns. Despite this, he concluded that these superficial patterns might
reflect the presence of artificial structures under the sediments.
Valentine, himself, commented of the rocks that made up these
supposed structures, "many of [them] are flint-shaped micrite, unlike soft beach
rock. The lines of closely fitted stones are straight, mutually parallel, and
terminate in cornerstones. The stone avenue does not follow the curving beach
rock-line that follows the shape of the island, but is straight.
The long avenue contains enormous flat stones
propped up at their corners by pillar stones like the dolmens off the coast of
Western Europe. Perfect rectangles, right angles, and rectilinear configurations
are unaccountable in a natural formation.
One end of the complex swings into a beautifully curved corner before vanishing
under the sand. No-one has yet dug underneath it, so we don’t know how far down
the stones go." (21) Dating tests have been applied to the rocks that comprise the
Bimini Road, and although stones themselves cannot be dated, the fossilised
mangrove roots growing over the stones of the Bimini Road, have given a date of
10-12,000 years old. This fitted in well with Plato’s assertion that Atlantis
had disappeared beneath the ocean in 9600BC, over 11,500 years ago. Could the
ruins at Bimini actually be the lost Atlantis as Valentine et al had proposed,
with added support from the vision of a respected psychic?
There was certainly supporting evidence. A dive made by the
French submarine ‘Archimede’ off the northern coast of Puerto Rico,
revealed flights of steps cut in the steep sides of the continental shelf off
Andros. Whilst it has never been established where the steps lead to, it is
clear that they were not cut underwater.
Furthermore, a submarine expedition of the Frenchman Jacques Cousteau explored
a huge grotto off the same island, with stalagmites and stalactites under 165
feet of water (right).
As these features can only be formed in the air, the grotto must once have
been a cave well above sea level. From submarine sediments on the walls of the
grotto, it has been ascertained that the cave went down into the sea some
12,000 years ago (22).
All this was very interesting, but not very scientific.
Consequently, carbonate sedimentologists and other geologists decided to visit
the Bimini islands to establish whether the claims being made had any validity.
Detailed studies have been undertaken since that time by Ball and Gifford
(1980), Gifford (1973) Harrison (1971), Shinn (1978) and McKusick and Shinn
(1978). Other studies have been undertaken by Davaud and Strasser (1984),
Strasser and Davaud (1986) and Supko and others (1970).