Source:Una mirada a Guanahacabibes, a Supplement to the Electronic Edition of the Guerrilla Newspaper Organ of the Provincial Committee of the Party in Pine River. Translated with the assistance of IM Translator, Babelfish and six years of public school Spanish.
The high depth submarine robot Rov descended to 600 meters (1,968 feet) as its camera focused on dark constructions in the middle of nowhere.
In the solitude of the abyss an incomprehensible historical encounter was taking place. Structures very precisely cut, passages, tunnels and temples with diverse symbols arose like ghosts in a place where officially, no human beings had ever lived.
The enclave, surrounded in excessive secrecy until today, has been christened by the scientists as a "MEGA" city. In this investigative news article we have submerged ourselves in its mysteries, offering in a world-wide exclusive the images captured by the submarine camera of the Exploramar Project....
"Although it seems incredible; a Caribbean Atlantis, it is not a preposterous idea. Especially after a group of investigators discovered symmetrical stone structures submerged to 600 meters of depth in close proximity to each other off the coasts of Cuba.
According to the investigators these structures are similar to the remains of streets, pyramids and buildings, and could have been constructed over 6 thousand years ago. The discovery was made in 2000 and now an expedition integrated by scientists of several specialties, intends to investigate the marine bottoms with a submarine robot across from the Guanacabibes Peninsula near the Western portion of Cuba.
Images of the ocean floor, taken a year ago, confirmed the presence of great granite blocks in circular and perpendicular formations, mostly between two and five meters in length. On the visible face of some of the blocks were marks that appeared to be drawings.
This intriguing discovery has encouraged the hypothesis by some that Cuba could have been united to the American continent by means of a narrow earth bridge connected to the Peninsula of Yucatan. According to the investigators it is possible that we have before us a submerged city of the preclassic period that could been have populated by an advanced civilization similar to that of Teotihuacan in Mexico.
The idea of a city submerged in the Caribbean for some brings memories of the stories of the Greek philosopher Plato on vanished Atlantis....."
Thus, on my return to Cuba, we were notified March 30 of exclusive right for an interview by the Milenio3 program of our partner Iker Jiménez of the Network SER.
All of Spain is buzzing over the sensational news and findings. The discovery was made back in the year 2000, but the information concerning the discovery has been slow to arrive in Europe.
The person responsible for this discovery is the oceanographer and engineer Paulina Zelitsky, a Soviet expert - nationalized Canadian who during the cold war dedicated herself to the construction of secret submarine bases and who at the present time is employed on civil engineering and topography projects of the oceanic floor.
Several years ago,(1998) Zelitsky reached certain notoriety in the mass media when she located the resting place of the Battleship Maine, whose sinking ignited the Spanish-American War. The ship was located about five kilometers off the Coast of Havana at almost a thousand meters of depth. Zelitsky’s equipment was able to capture impressive video of the shipwreck location.
In 2000, the team of investigators announced the finding of a great earthen plateau with clear signs of being what seemed to be enormous architectonic structures of human origin partially covered by sand. From above, the forms suggested pyramids, streets and buildings. The discovery fired the imaginations of those who believed in the existence of Atlantis.
Aside from the sonar signals that were used for this discovery a camcorder was also sent down to the archaeological deposit. Thanks to these images they have been able to find out enough anomalous data to stimulate interest in the discovery. Most of these blocks, that are at a depth of 600 meters, have gigantic dimensions, reaching to five meters of height (16.5 feet)and several tons of weight.
It has been confirmed that the stones were cut, carved and polished to make fit them with others and thus to form greater structures. Concerning the strange inscriptions, which are similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics, very little is known except that they are very abundant and that they are in almost all the parts of the deposit. There have appeared as well, symbols and drawings whose meaning is not known.
Most of the big television networks are waiting for an opportunity to investigate this unprecedented material. Luckily, Paulina Zelitsky has permitted me an exclusive right - no other mass media has the material or has had access to the images recorded by the submarine video camera.
"Actually it is a question of a few extremely peculiar structures .... that have captured the imagination of all of us” commented the Cuban geologist Manuel Iturralde after having investigated the site of the discovery for some time.
"It turns out to be, to me, very complicated to explain this from a geological point of view ”, he added, after a long interview coordinated with him in the city of Havana.
The examination and analysis of rock samples that will be collected in the next phase will provide more insight on the formation, that we must remember is located opposite to the Peninsula of Guacabibes, in the extreme West of Cuba.
Iturralde, who works with the National Museum of Natural History of Havana, has been attached to the Exploramar Project - the only one authorized by Fidel Castro to expend funds for the tracking of the marine floor off the Island - in an effort to understand the enigma of polished granite rocks of geometric form. The structures, that remind one of Egyptian pyramids, streets and other types of constructions, lying at more than 600 meters of depth in an area of more than 20 square kilometers.
The Exploramar Project has suggested that it could belong to a civilization that colonized the American continent thousands of years ago, probably located on an island that sank to great depth by a natural cataclysm, perhaps an earthquake.
This theory, and its inevitable parallelism with the mythical missing city of the Atlantis, has been received with skepticism on the part of the international scientific community, that considers only slightly convincing and believable the hypothesized antiquity, calculated to at least 6 thousand years by Exploramar.
Some European archaeologists indicated that the rocks, found in July, 2000 while Exploramar was searching for treasure and sunken Spanish galleons, could be a natural formation of limestone (a curious conclusion when nobody still could have gained access to the images recorded by the oceanic engineer). But the study and the conclusions of the geologist, Iturralde that there is no natural, obvious explanation for the formations has reinforced the Zelitsky team's hypothesis.
It was my last day in Cuba. For eight days I have been trying to locate Manuel Iturralde of the National Museum of Natural History of the Havana. It was an impossible mission.
Iturralde, for almost two weeks, was unavailable on excavations in the center of Cuba. A telephone call to my room at the Hotel Arenas Doradas de Varadero coming from the National Museum the previous day communicated to me that the geologist would be at a Geology Conference at the National Hotel of Havana in the morning and that I might be able to receive an hour of his time.
Camera, microphones and tripod in hand, I appeared in the mythical and famous hotel to conduct an interesting interview with Manuel Iturralde, considered to be the foremost geologist of Cuba. There, he talked to me about what has been a most fascinating adventure and investigation.
Manuel, two years ago a stupendous discovery was made off the coasts of Cuba, which seems to be the remains of a submerged city. How did this story begin?
The discovery took place when they were actually making investigations in the sea to great depths of between 300 to 500 meters in search of ships and galleons. A scan of the sea bottom using sidescan radar was in progress.
In these sidescan scanner images a few slightly unusual figures appeared. It attracted the attention of the researcher who was at the head of this group, Paulina Zelitsky. This group is called Exploramar, an archaeological project searching within the territorial waters of Cuba.
She was very interested in the anomalies and made new routes with this sonar to perfect the images that had been obtained. It was then that the news went out that it appeared a submerged city had been found in the West of Cuba.
Five or six months after this news and the beginning of the investigations I was called to join the group as a geologist, because in the group everyone else was an archaeologist.
As a geologist I examined all the material that was produced by the sidescan sonar. Also, I examined all the detailed bathymetric data in order to construct a detailed topography of the formation. I began by processing all of that information.
It is true that down there at heart of the sea, are structures that sometimes have dimensions of several hundreds meters that are unusual, for which we we do not have a simple, direct explanation. We are continuing to investigate the morphology of the sea bottom --the action of the sea currents that are very intense, etc, etc .
How did these structures form at the bottom of the sea? Were more investigations done later?
A clear explanation does not exist of how these structures formed by natural means. Offered this point of view as geologist, I admit the possibility that it could be a question of not natural, that is to say structures, created by man, or some intelligent entity.
Subsequent to these findings some samplings of rocks at the heart of the sea have been made, isolated samplings, that is to say, that have not become part of a systematic investigation.
In the zone where those megaliths were found, as Paulina has labeled them, strange rocks appear. Some of them are not typical of Cuba. This leads one to think of two hypothesis: one can be that this has fallen there, and the other that all this could be part of the manmade constructions.
Also there have appeared, dispersed, a material that seems to be volcanic ash and, the information that a Soviet oceanographic research ship in the year 1967 reported to have dredged samples of volcanic ash from that place of the basic character of that formed by a submerged volcano.
Anyway this information is not confirmed and in my opinion in that location there cannot have been any type of volcano. Therefore these works and these investigations open a whole lot of mysteries on the region.
What is the significance of these structures at depths of more than 500 meters approximately two to three kilometers to the west of Cuba? At the moment we only have hypotheses to work with...
In some Cuban and American mass media it has been said that there are pyramids and streets at 600 meters of depth..... What is true in all this?
That is an interpretation. As a geologist I can say that there are high linear structures that could perfectly agree with streets and pyramids.
These high structures have rectangular forms. They form squares and some elements that are repeated from one to another one.
Also there is a semi ellipsoid form at the center, there is a perfect square with a cross in the center.... that is to say, that are a series of structures for which I do not find a simple or natural explanation.
Has it been possible to extract something of that place to be able to examine it and to date it?
No, that is at a depth of 500 to 700 meters. The power to do that requires an advanced technology that we do not possess. Therefore, what we know is its form, we have no direct data of its composition neither have we been able to explore it nor to excavate given that extreme depth.
The idea is to be able to extract samples of those structures, but this is also quite complex, because it seems that the blocks are of granite, and to perforate granite to that depth is very difficult.
What hypothesis are you working under?
Until now we have three hypotheses, that are most possible. First it is that this is of natural origin.
Second it is that it could be artificial. And the third hypothesis, is that it is a combination of the previous ones, that they are natural structures that have been transformed by intelligent beings.
At the present moment we cannot select any one of the three. I consider that it is necessary to make more additional investigations, but until now that has been impossible. This requires an investment and a very great financing that we do not have.
This company with which we are working, the ADC Sea, is looking for that financing to continue working. Meanwhile we are in a position of waiting.
It has been spoken of as the mythical and legendary "Atlantis".....
Good.... (laughter)... I do not participate in this part of the discussion. My subject is a geologic one. But good, Atlantis is a very exciting subject and quite a lot literature exists on it.
And not only of Atlantis, but the fact of the cultures of the Yucatan nowadays it is possible that what is still preserved of the natives of these places-- perhaps the Olmec or some very primitive civilization of the Yucatan – the North part of Central America - had its origin – according to them - in an island that sank by means of a cataclysm.
This island was called Atlanticú. There does not exist in Cuba any feature, any fact, any archaeological residue that is related to the developed cultures of Mesoamérica.
Manuel, how has the scientific community reacted to this surprising archaeological finding?
There have been varied and conflicting reactions. I presented this topic at a conference of Geophysics in 2002 before a scientific community from many countries and the truth is that there were no objections.
The questions and comments that were made to me were about how to keep on investigating and supporting this matter and how to go forward.
Among archaeologists there are a variety of opinions, but the archaeologists for example of the Mexican University of Veracruz are fascinated by this subject. In general a favorable attitude exists towards this discovery although, frankly I say to you, Luis that at this moment it is a difficult matter to resolve.
If this were on the terrestrial surface the problem already would have been solved. This is a very difficult location to access. We would need robots, manned minisubmarines, etc etc, and sure this puts an inaccessible limit on us. The information level that we have is currently not sufficient to give answers.
Where are these structures located exactly?
That is to the west of Cuba, in the Guanacabibes peninsula. Two kilometers towards the Yucatan channel near San Antonio. In the vicinity of San Antonio there is a mountain that arises from the bottom of the sea.
Between this mountain and the insular platform of Cuba is a submerged or submarine valley where these structures are located. It is interesting to note that these structures are located within a valley. If one were choosing a place to live the valley would be attractive because it would be protected on all sides by the mountains.
A river could have existed in this place that is split in two parts. These formation are located near the valley.
When human and technological access to those structures is achieved might we be face to face with a city much older than we would have imagined?
Perhaps Luis Mariano, there is the biggest problem of this investigation. At the speed that the movements of the area take place today, and of the average in the world, it would be necessary for 50 or 60 thousand years to pass to submerge a city to a depth of 700 meters.
Then this puts us to the limit of the rational human being able to make constructions of importance. What could have happened? Since there has been a very sudden descent of the bottom of the sea, this can be related to the eruption of a volcano, but there are no volcanos, nevertheless as I was saying to you earlier we have found volcanic ash that does not have any terrestrial explanation.
If the age of these formations is 50 thousand or more years we are entering something incomprehensible, at least for our official history...
Concluding the interview with Iturralde, and without my foreknowledge, a surprise came later. Paulina Zelitsky, the discoverer of this anomaly, also was at the Hotel as a guest of the National Congress of Geology.
Back to Iturralde, --Not only did he give me an interview but he took me to his home in the eastern part of Havana to show all the details to me, the data, the maps, the photographs, the sidescan sonar graphs, all he had accumulated in his investigation of three years on this sensational finding.
This investigator, Manuel Iturralde, by the way, has offered very few interviews to the mass media, in fact, I believe that this one has been the first time that he received a Spanish or European journalist.
At the end of the interview and the visit at his home, he showed me the images recorded by a submarine camera of this "submerged city".
"No mass media or journalist has them, make good use of them",he said to me. I remained frozen, perplexed. I will never be able to thank him enough.
These video recordings are being studied and analyzed by the Center of Marine Archaeology and Anthropology of the Cuban Academy of Sciences. The work of these scientists is centered on the symbols and inscriptions that appear on these stone monoliths.
But lets go to the content of that other interview.....
Paulina, you were the discoverer of this "submerged city". How did it all happen?
We were investigating the channel located between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula which is a very interesting area with different characteristics.
While making soundings of the bottom using sidescan radar we realized that we had come upon a plain of thousands and thousands of meters covered with a very fine white sand, like silica, and which was somewhat boring.
Thus we went like that for three or four days sweeping nothing else except that very fine white desert sand. Suddenly we saw in our maps the appearance of very symmetrical structures and as if they were man made.
Within this clean sand area of silica we had been totally scared, in a strange way, because we thought in the beginning that perhaps we had come across submarine facilities of the United States or another very great world-wide power that could construct blocks of structures in totally deserted areas.
We were first in investigating the bottom of this part of the sea because it is very deep. The depth ranges from 500 up to 3000 meters (1.8 miles) and until even today very few investigators possess the instruments that could fulfill this task.
What is it exactly that is there on the marine bottom?
There are constructed gigantic structures of very large blocks of perfectly geometric forms, as if they were cut, and installed one on top of another, with a perfection that I believe that even today we cannot achieve.
Therefore, they are artificial?
They do not belong to the geology of the place. I cannot logically say to you from where they arrived because I do not have that answer. But as I say to you, Luis, they do not belong to geology of the place.
Paulina, perhaps the remains of an old civilization? There are some investigators who associate these structures with the missing Atlantis...
When we published news of this discovery for the first time the University of Veracruz was interested in our work as well as in the images that we had recorded of these structures at the bottom of the sea..
Specifically, the Institute of Anthropology of this University invited to me to excavations that they were making on artifacts and ruins of the Olmec civilization.
When they saw those submarine images they found similarities and parallels with the ruins found in those excavations that this Institute was carrying out.
Its interest also was peaked because the native Olmecs and other first civilizations all have a morphology that marked their arrival from an eastern continent.
It means this-- that they arrived from the direction of Cuba, and speculates that the city was destroyed and sank due to a great earthquake.
The study of their symbols and alphabet indicates to us that they belonged to three groups who survived. One of these groups arrived at the coast of Veracruz, --those we assume are the Olmecs.
Others arrived in Central America and traveled to the Pacific coast, and these families created the civilization of the Américas as we know it today because they distributed all their knowledge.
When these anthropologists saw the submarine images of this "city" and saw on some stone monoliths some symbols and inscriptions they identified with the Olmecs, they were very surprised.
Paulina, is it a certainty that there are pyramidal structures down there?
Yes clearly, and I am going to demonstrate that to you. But there are many types and classes of structures, not just pyramids. There is even an enormous pedestal with a structure around it that could be a large perfect solar clock.
What is your theory?
Nobody knows where Olmecs came from. Nevertheless they have a very ancient art, perhaps more than 3,500 years old. One does not know its origin or its antiquity.
But all agree that they came from the East. It is very probable that some islands that sank with these established civilizations were of the Olmecs.
Some speak of the Atlantis and in Mexico they speak of Atlanticú. I believe that perhaps these structures belong to the Olmec civilization.
We believe, and many scientists are in agreement, that perhaps the Yucatan Peninsula was united by a great mountain range to Cuba and probably there, lived a native population who constructed a city. A natural catastrophe, for example an earthquake, could have caused the disaster and the collapse of the city.
What is the immediate future of this fascinating project and investigation?
We plan to go out on an expedition this summer to investigate in depth this mountain range, cataloguing and identifying each of these structures.
The plans are to work together as a team with the University of Veracruz and to continue with the process of identification of this discovery. There have already been some contacts with National Geographic and Discovery Channel to finance part of this project.
What exactly is this city? Of what epoch is it? Who constructed it? To what civilization does it belong? What do the symbols and inscriptions mean that appear on these stones monoliths?
Is it a question really of the remains of the mythical and legendary Atlantis? Does some type of connection exists between this submerged city and the civilization of Egypt?
Might these archaeological ruins belong to the unknown Olmec civilization? You have to ask and more questions. It is clear that this exciting matter is raising the interest of the whole international scientific and archaeological community.
We will have to wait for the new investigations of the Project Exploramar to understand more on the mysterious origin of this impressive unprecedented find. And, probably, as a result of these investigations – as says the geologist Iturralde - “ it will change our knowledge of human beings and the evolution of the Americas .... ”