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In Search of Plato's Atlantis

A Very Ancient Atlantis sighted Underwater on Cuban Coastal Shelf 2200 ft below

"Some structures within the complex may be as long as 400 metres wide and as high as 40 meters ... Some are sitting on top of each other. They show very distinct shapes and symmetrical designs of a non-natural kind. We've shown them to scientists in Cuba, the U.S. and elsewhere, and nobody has suggested they are natural."  --- Dr Paul Weinzweig, President Advanced Digital Communications (ADC), Havana, Cuba

  A New location for Atlantis?

On May 28th, 2002, National geographic News reported on a recent discovery of megalithic structures found some 2200 ft under the ocean off the coast of Cuba, Cabo de San Antonio, suggesting the presence of a sunken advanced prehistoric civilization. Manuel Iturralde, Director of Research of Cuba's Natural History Museum, is the consulting geologist that has been working on analyzing the marine site half a mile below sea level with the assistance of ADC company's resources of camera and ROV robotic diving equipment which has documented up close on video much of the archaeological site's many buildings. Side scanner sonar was used initially for over two years identifying the unusual structures, strange pyramids, temples, and ruins lying amidst the characteristically flat ocean bottom first discovered by owners of the ADC, ocean engineer Dr Paul Weinzweig and his wife archaeologist Paulina Zelitsky.  The cameras on board the ROV confirmed the earlier findings, showing large granite-like blocks between 6 and 15 feet in length at the bottom, that were cut in  circular and perpendicular designs.

Zelitsky also drew attention in reports to prehistoric petroglyphs or rock art present at a nearby cave system on a nearby island south of Cuba called Punta Del Este. While analyzing the footage of the deep sea ROV diving the site, Zelitksy noticed a carved cross (see photo of Zelitsky viewing ROV video above) on one of the megalithic stones very similar to one found adorning Punta Del Este's cave walls on dry land.

An artistic rendering in 3D of the underwater site in the Yucatan Channel by Dean Clarke after he studied the deep-sea sonar images released by the ADC. Images below are computer generated representations of the structures based on side scanning sonar and images produced by the Calipso diving submersible. 

How did the buildings get so deep?

The biggest puzzling question is of course, how did such structures, clearly man made, end up nearly 2200 ft below the surface of the water, so deep in fact there is no natural light sources. Such a depth would tend to indicate that the site is very old, not just prehistoric, but much older, millions of years, but perhaps given post Ice Age submergence and subsidence, maybe around only 11,000 years old or less. The only explanation for the archaeological finding's level of submergence is a catastrophic earthquake (a fault line is very nearby) volcanic eruption or a force known as Isostatic rebound, where dry land pushed up on the peripheries of the extremely heavy ice sheet suddenly sinks into the ocean when the ice melts, dropping large coastal shelves into the sea. The granite of the structures, nowhere found in the Caribbean, is only accessible 1000 miles inland in central Mexico, but would have been accessible before the submergence of the land bridge connecting the two in the prehistoric past.

"Geologists tell us that Yucatan, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico were connected at one time. There is still much to learn about the geological history of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Our Consulting Geologist, Dr. Iturralde, is a world authority on the subject. You can find many references to his scientific work on the internet," Paul Weinzweig confirms.

Photograph of a stone-frieze taken by Maya scholar Teobert Maler (1842-1917) showing a Mayan sailing in a canoe amidst a flood disaster, earthquakes toppling a temple to left, and a volcanic eruption. Note the small fish at bottom near left. In Aztec myth, a previous people perished amidst a flood and turned into fish.

In an interview, Paulina Zelitsky confirmed that the area sank due to massive earthquakes and a series of volcanic eruptions. Paulina also stated that a series of islands and a land bridge linking Cuba with the Yucatan mainland sank 15,000 years ago. The volcanic surgence probably quickened with the sudden unloading and melting of the long standing weight of the 4 mile thick ice caps pushing down on the crust at the end of the last Ice Age. Several geologists have correlated sudden volcanic episodes with glacial meltwater surges occurring at the end of the last Ice Age, see my page on Shadows of Atlantis for more information.

Archaeologists uncovered stone pillars in the vicinity of Zelitsky's sunken ruins in 1966 near the Guanahacabibes on dry land on the western edge of the Cuban mainland at Pinar del Rio. Archaeologists determined that the columns dated to at least 2000 BC if not older.


Side Scanning Sonar of Structures 2200 ft below the surface off Cuba

An amazing linguistic comparison also exists between symbols and signs inscribed on the structures 2200 feet below the water and western Greek inscriptions. In a telephone interview, Paulina Zelitsky and Paul Weinzeig quoted linguistic experts' interpretations of the signs as being very "Greek-like." Clear across the Atlantic, the same writing seems to also occur in prehistoric Magdalenian caves.

According to Mary Sattegast, a Paleolithic and Neolithic expert, the occupational boundaries and artistic "genius" of the Magdalenian culture appears to mirror both the character and extent of Plato's Atlantic kingdom in southwestern Europe as per Plato's Timaeus dialogue. American scholars analyzing Magdalenian runewords dated c. 15,000 BC to 9,000 BC, drew strong parallels between the symbols with western Greek, Celtic, and the still elusive Indus Valley Script.

Interestingly, indigenous Celts of Spain's basque country claim to be descendants of a sea empire called Atlantica, and there is some evidence to suggest that the origins of Indus Valley civilization stretches far back into prehistory from an advanced sea culture near Dwarka, India and Tamil Nadu, a civilization which is probably not related to Plato's Atlantic Empire but still may yet exhibit some of the same contemporaneous language writing characteristics of the age.  

Even more importantly, at least as far as Cuba is concerned, is that in Crampsey's guide to Puerto Rico, is a section detailing rock art present at a cave on an island within the Mona Passage, a sea lane lying between Puerto Rico and Hispaniola (Haiti). The "finger paintings" apparently represent "human figures, and heads, serpents, geometrical figures and undulating lines'", all of which are "depicted with great subtlety and elegance." Scholars refer to these paintings as belonging to an unknown culture, which the indigenous Taino c. 250 AD of the Caribbean simply called the Arcaicos, meaning "the ancients". Even more interesting, are the comments on these paintings by Professor Pedro Santana Vargas of the Humacao Regional College at the University of Puerto Rico. Pedro is of the opinion that these designs, "the first found outside Europe", could be as much as 30,000 years old. Andrew Collins intuits in his book "Gateway to Atlantis", that Pedro gives such a date because the Professor believes the art is similar in appearance, and thus linked to the early Paleolithic cave art found in France and Spain around that time. Pedro's words, "the first found outside Europe", would definitely seem to suggest an extremely old connection between the Caribbean and Earliest Europe.

Is Cuba really the Crown Jewel of Plato’s Atlantis? Plato does not seem to explicitly point out Cuba, but the devil is in the details, as the common saying goes.

In the Timaeus dialogue, Plato specifically refers to the existence of an “opposite continent” beyond Atlantis, a clear allusion to the Americas. Plato also mentions other islands just in front of the great continent and a “shallow sea”, known for its shoals of mud, which does not permit sailors to navigate that part of the ocean. The “shallow sea” is most certainly a reference to the Sargasso Sea, an area recognized and thoroughly documented by many respected contemporaries of Plato’s era including Aristotle, Theopompus, Pseudo-Scylax, Strabo, Marcellus and Plutarch, all of whom allude to an opposite continent in connection to islands in the far west and a nearby sea of weeds that “stagnates”, without current or winds. The Sargasso Sea is an ocean known today to be full of brown kelp and seaweed that constantly floats to the surface, and possesses very calm waters and very light winds, preventing the passage of traditional sail craft.

The Fallen "Mid-Most Seers" of the Maya Popul Vuh Text

In the Popul Vuh, there is an intriguing passage that describes the “fall from grace” of the mythical Caeuc peoples, a descent that mirrors the spiritual decay of Plato’s Atlantics. The creator gods, jealous of the “genius” of the “mid-most seers”, partially blinded the farsight of the first ranking Quiche to be not quite so far but “nearby”.

“Perfectly they saw, perfectly they knew every thing under the sky, whenever they looked. The moment they turned around and looked around in the sky, on the earth everything was seen without obstruction. They did not have to walk before they could see what was under the sky.... As they looked, their knowledge became intense. Their sight passed though trees, through rocks, through lakes, through seas, through mountains, through plants. Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Mahucutah, and True Jaguar were truly gifted people.” 

“They understood everything perfectly, they sighted the four sides, the four corners in the sky, on the earth, and this did not sound good to the builder and sculptor: ‘What our works and designs have said is no good: they understood too much. We have ‘understood everything great and small’ they said’…And so the Bearer, Begetter took back their knowledge: ‘What should we do with them now? Their vision should at least reach nearby, they should see at least a small part of the face of the earth, but what they're saying is not good. Are they not merely 'works' and 'designs' in their very names? Yet they will become as great as gods unless they procreate, proliferate at the sowing, the dawning, unless they increase.’ ‘So let it be this way: now we will take them apart just a little. What we have found is not good. Their deeds would become equal to ours.’”

The ability for the Caeuc to see without walking, and to “sight the four sides and four corners” of the sky and earth, appears to be a reference to the mapping of the globe and four cardinal directions by sea craft. Do these seafarers represent Plato's ambitious and power hungry Atlantics?

The Seven Lobed Cave of Origins and the Great Tollan

Within the many native legends of origin described by the Maya, Aztec, and Toltecs of central America, there is a place often described as the seven-fold cave or "Chicomoztoc" of origins, where the first people emerged. All of these myths have in common that a sacred cave and a great city, often called the "Great Tollan" or Aztlan amongst the Aztecs, lay somewhere out to the east, within the "sea of the rising sun."

Interestingly, Paulina Zelitsky, the discoverer of the stone city underwater off Cuba, has studied extensively a sacred cave on the Isle of Youth, just off the coast nearby, where numerous images of concentric circles are depicted. The cave consists of seven separate lobes, which directly mirrors many artistic depictions of the original "Chicomoztoc" cave in several Mayan and Aztec codices. Zelitsky herself, links the image of a cross found in the cave to a cross found on stones in the sunken city far below and believes whatever cultures inscribed the two symbols are somehow related. She does not link the city or culture to Atlantis, but recognizes the extreme age of the culture that built the city and drew the art. She prefers to attribute the structures and culture somehow to the Olmecs.

I'm not exactly sure what to make of the city. Edgar Cayce, the other most often cited source for Atlantis other than Plato, described that several major cities existed in the realm of "Poseidia". Cayce referred to the name Poseidia repeatedly in several life readings spread over many years, and used the name as a reference to those lands that made up the Caribbean portion of the Atlantis empire in what is now considered the Bahamas. Similarly, the Neoplatonist Proclus of the early Christian era refers to the rulership of Atlantis over the Hesperide Islands (another name for the Caribbean islands as per early explorers such as Christopher Columbus). Centuries after Proclus, the medieval scholar Honorius of Autun also referred to these lands (Hesperides) as being that of "sunken Atlantis".

Cayce mentions one city called "Amaki", which apparently represented a large center for fire worship in Poseidia; that city spread a powerful and popular fire cult throughout North America up the Mississippi as far as Wisconsin and Cayce himself attributes pyramidal mounds that still "survive" in Wisconsin to that very old cult. There is also mention of a city called the "Gate of Gold" that existed in Poseidia, which somehow seems to represent the excessive greed that the Atlanteans developed.

In comparison, the Greek historian, Theopompus, mentions two great cities that existed on the opposite continent across the great Ocean called separately "Pious" and "Warlike." Cayce also describes in one reading, a corrupt tyrant called Sonl that ruled over the "sacred Atlantean city of Peos" with "unlimited power" much "to soul's own undoing." The name, Peos, of course, does not sound very far off from Theomposus' "Pious"; the two different and opposite names then would seem to mirror the spiritual degeneration of Plato's Atlantics. Having lost their "inherent divine nature", or piousness as Theopompus implies, the Atlantics became "greedy" and "warlike" and sought to conquer the Mediterranean. Is the underwater city of Cuba "Pious" (Peos) or "Warlike" (Gate of Gold?)...who knows.



Home Page

Atlantis in the Aegean

Shadows of Atlantis

Ice Age Dwarka: An "Atlantis" of India

Legends of India: Lemuria (Indian Atlantis)


Books on Atlantis

Gateway to Atlantis: The Search for the Source of a Lost Civilization Historian Andrew Collins, after years of travel and research, has gathered convincing evidence that may establish not only that Atlantis did indeed exist but also that remnants of it survive today. His journey into the past follows the clues left by Plato, and they take him far beyond Crete and the Mediterranean, where scholars in recent times have located Atlantis. So do mummies in Egypt, Roman wreckage in the West Atlantic, the African features of great stone heads in Mexico, and the explosion of a comet 10,500 years ago. For two millennia the fate of Atlantis has fascinated historians, philosophers, and explorers who have debated its reality and searched in vain for a kingdom shrouded in myth and legend. Collins's final destination will shock the experts and amaze all readers. "A bold and imaginative attempt to understand the destruction of the legendary city of Atlantis."—Kirkus Reviews "Probably the most substantial and well researched book on Atlantis since Ignatius Donnelly."—Colin Wilson, author of From Atlantis to the Sphinx
Plato, Prehistorian: 10000 To 5000 Bc in Myth and Archaeology Plato Prehistorian is not only a significant contribution to European and Ancient Near Eastern prehistory, it is a model of clarity for the developing new methodology in prehistorical research. The book is beautifully produced and very well illustrated. The author is an excellent writer and makes a her large synthesis over space and time quite accessable to her reader. Civilization began with the invention of agriculture, not writing, and this happened 6000 years before writing did...Archeology is always burdened by an over-abundance of insufficient data seeking a plausable hypothesis. Our most promising tool in organizing the evidence of prehistorical material remains is the faint echo of unwritten prehistory in the form of myth and legend. Surely every myth or legend is wrapped around the kernel of an actual event but the problem is that there are multiple variants of the important ones and disambiguating them takes a great deal of finesse. This author is rather accomplished at that sort of finesse. Prof. P. C. Patton, Ph.D. Oklahoma Christian University Formerly Director, Center for Ancient Studies, Univ of Minn.