The enigmatic underwater structures found in the summer of 2000 between Cuba and Mexico's Yucatan peninsula are again in the news after years of near-silence, at least publicly. This time, however, it seems to have added a new degree of controversy.
At least some of the initial party of investigators are now apparently launching exploration operations from Mexico rather than Cuba. What is not clear is whether the group's relationship with Cuba has been severed or not. A party headed by Paulina Zelitsky, the Soviet-born Canadian ocean engineer who led the 2000 effort, declared in October.
According to the South African Independent Online website, that they were setting sail from the port of Progreso in eastern Mexico to explore what they named the 'Mayan Atlantis' in the Yucatan-Cuba waters. "The group of archaeologists said they had raised $2 million for the job and were planning to use a "Deep Worker" mini-submarine. The extreme depth of the site prohibits the use of ordinary and less costly exploratory equipment underwater.
A study written by Cuban researcher Manuel IturraldeVinent, who worked with Zelitsky's site investigation company in 2001, and currently posted on a Cuban website, explains how researchers with the Cuban ship Exploramar found a group of peculiar megalithic structures called MEGA at depths of 600 to 750 meters. Interestingly, the study does not name Zelitsky, but credits her ADC company as the owner of the shown photographs. In 2001, when Reuters in Havana first announced that researchers using sonar equipment had discovered a huge land plateau at 2,200 feet with clear photos of sand-covered urban growth, great enthusiasm was stirred around the world.
The spot was found in the deep trench between Cuban and Yucatan, where a series of underwater volcanoes had been studied by researchers. From above, simple outlines of pyramids, roads, and buildings could be seen, Zelitsky, whose company had made the discovery, reported. They created video images of the hitherto unseen seafloor using undersea robots. "It's amazing," Zelitsky told Reuters. "Limitless, rolling, white sand plains are what we see in our high-resolution sonar images, and there are clearly man-made, large-sized architectural designs in the middle of this beautiful white sand."
Seeming, as it did, to be a depiction of the lost Atlantis itself, the tale created a sensation all over the world. It was said that National Geographic was pursuing a documentary, but no additional details were released publicly, and virtual silence soon followed. Apart from some Internet news, before the October story from Mexico, little new knowledge appeared.
At least now, funding for a follow-up exploration seems to have been raised, and further information can soon be published unless, of course, the Cubans or anyone objects. Since the discovery of the so-called Bimini Path by Professor Manson Valentine of the University of Miami in 1969, seekers of Atlantis from all over the world have swarmed the Caribbean and its surroundings, searching for clues to ancient civilization.
The discovery of Valentine's Bahamas produced considerable excitement, appearing as it did to corroborate Edgar Cayce's prophecy that the beginning of a latter-day rise of Atlantis could be predicted around '1968 or' 69.' In the winter of 2003, researchers Drs. Followed up on the work of Valentine and others, a large underwater stone platform near Andros Island in the Bahamas was discovered by Greg and Lora Little, operating under the auspices of A.R.E. (the Association of Study and Enlightenment, the Edgar Cayce organization).
The Littles speculated in subsequent accounts that their finding was the remnants of an immense ancient port system.