VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, April 21, 2003 -- A husband-wife research team affiliated with the A.R.E. (Association for Research & Enlightenment) has announced the discovery of a gigantic, three-tiered stone platform lying under 10 feet of water just off northern Andros Island. Drs. Greg and Lora Little, who found the underwater structure, are based in Memphis, TN, and produce a monthly archaeologically-related newsletter for the A.R.E. entitled “Ancient Mysteries.”
The Littles began a series of research expeditions in late February in the Bahamian island of Andros in an attempt to solve several 35-year-old mysteries. In the late 1960s pilots photographed strange, circular formations off the western coast of Andros, many of which had the appearance of stone rings.
Other investigators have spotted unusual formations under the shallow coastal waters of Andros, including one in the shape of the cursive letter “e.” However, no one had ever visited these sites to determine the nature of the mysterious formations.
During two visits to Andros in February and March, the Littles managed to identify and locate all of the sites during an aerial survey. While Andros is the largest Bahamas island, it is almost completely unexplored and sparsely populated.
Western Andros is virtually uninhabited. Long and difficult trips through mangrove swamps and shallow tidal bays were subsequently made to all of the sites.
The pair found that all of the mysterious underwater formations had natural explanations. But during the March trip, on their last night on the island, an unexpected visitor appeared at their door.
Dino Keller, an experienced diver and former dive operator who is now Vice-President of WAVE-TV, gradually told them about an unusual stone structure he had viewed one time from a boat just after Hurricane Andrew passed the island in 1992. Keller told them “it looked like the Bimini Road, only bigger.”
The Bimini Road is a J-shaped formation of large stones, lying on a sandy bottom a few hundred yards off Bimini Island. Bimini is about 50 miles from Miami and about 100 miles north of Andros. Although still controversial, the Road is often called the “Road to Atlantis,” and many believe it was part of the fabled lost continent.
“We were skeptical,” Lora said, “but we had to look.” So the next morning the Littles went to the general area of Andros where the stones were supposed to be located. Lora videotaped the event while Greg snorkeled out into the ocean.
They eventually found the strange formation about 500 yards offshore. It appeared to be a gigantic, flat-stone platform made by thick, mostly rectangular blocks of stone. But they didn’t have enough time to carefully examine the entire structure. In April the Littles returned to the site for three days, diving and snorkeling while filming and taking measurements.
“It appears to be composed of three flat tiers,” Greg stated. “Each tier is 50 feet wide and rises two feet above the level below it. The bottom tier has well-preserved two-foot-thick rectangular blocks on its front edge.
The blocks are mostly 30- by 25-feet and are lying side by side in rows. The back portion of the 50-foot-wide tier is partially covered with sand and has smaller stone blocks comprising it. Coral is starting to form on portions of it.
Then the second tier starts with another row of 30- by 25-foot stone blocks. Several of these blocks are cracked and broken with seaweed growing between the seams.
The rest of the 50-foot wide tier is partially covered by sand. This leads to the third tier, which is also formed by the same type of huge stones. The highest tier has more damage, and it is partially obscured by sand and rubble.”
While the width of the platform seems to be 150 feet, the length remains unknown. “It appears to be at least 400 yards long,” Greg stated, “but it ends in a huge pile of sand and seaweed. The structure could be natural, and geologists we have contacted think that it is quite special--whatever it is.
They have suggested that it may be a well-preserved, ancient beach, perhaps 6,000 years old or more. But the tiers increase in height as you move away from the present shoreline toward the ocean. This isn’t what one would usually expect with a beach.
At first glance it looks manmade, or perhaps at least altered and used by ancient people. But we just don’t know. More study is needed to really determine what it is. It does bear some resemblance to the Bimini Road, but the stones and the structure itself are quite a bit larger.”
The Littles plan to release a video documentary and book on their research at the October 2003 “Ancient Mysteries Conference” in Virginia Beach.
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