However, despite all of this, there is no conclusive evidence
that the Azores were ever home to a large technologically advanced civilisation
at any time in its past. There are, however, other possible locations for
sightings of submerged architectural remains have been noted off Boa Vista
Island in the Cape Verde Island chain. The Canaries have also been proposed as a
possible location given that when the Spanish conquerors of those islands
arrived they found remains of buildings and ancient cities, yet the Guanche’s,
who lived on them, were merely a stone age people who were no longer capable of
constructing anything more than simple huts.
It would appear that the options for identifying a potential
home for any lost civilisation running out. Yet, as with the Azores, evidence of
its remains could be hidden underwater.
That was certainly the vision of an American seer born into
a small farming family in Kentucky, USA, in the last quarter of the nineteenth
century. As a young boy, this seer, Edgar, would often tell his parents that he
had been having strange visions, including talking to dead relatives. These
events continued throughout his early years and later in his youth Edgar (left)
began entering self-induced trances.
As a teenager he used these states to suggest cures for
any ailments he may have been suffering from, and later he increased his
activities to enter trance states to assist others who approached him for
medical advice. By 1910, Edgar Cayce had become famous throughout America as a
trance healer, psychic and Seer. With a growing reputation, Cayce began individual ‘life
readings’ for clients before making more prophetic visions affecting the whole
of mankind. Such predictions included The Second World War, Californian
earthquakes and the submersal of New York and Japan.
One of his more intriguing prophecies stated that Plato’s
legendary Atlantis would rise from the sea in 1968 or 1969 at a small pacific
atoll called Bimini (below right). This prophecy led to great excitement and gave new
impetus for the search for the legendary island.
The idea of Atlantis rising from the bottom of the ocean is not
as ridiculous as it first sounds. As noted above, there is much evidence of land
rising from the sea, however this has normally been associated with volcanic
activity, which would surely destroy any traces of civilisation and Cayce was
clear that Atlantis itself would arise, not its remains spewed out by an angry
volcano. However, there is evidence that land can rise and fall without
associated volcanic activity.
Falcon (or Jack-In-The-Box Island) had been discovered in the
South Pacific in 1780 by the Spanish explorer, Maurelle. The Government of Tonga
planted over 2000 coconut palms on the island in 1892, however within two years,
the trees, along with the island itself, had disappeared beneath the ocean (14).
A similar fate befell the fortress of Caravan-Sarai in the Caspian Sea that had
been erected in 1135AD only to slowly disappear into the sea. The fortress’s
very existence turned into legend, however it rose again from the sea floor in
1723 and is still visible (15). Similarly, the Temple of Jupiter-Serapis in the
Bay of Naples had been built in 105BC but sank into the Mediterranean only to
rise again in 1742AD (16).
The concept of ancient remains rising from the seas was
therefore supported by documentary record, so, on hearing Cayce’s words, those
fascinated by the Atlantis mystery turned their attentions to the Bimini area.
And sure enough, in 1968 as predicted, an American pilot, Robert Brush, spotted
what appeared to be a strange square shape on the seabed (right) in the very
area where Cayce had stated Atlantis would re-emerge.
This shape had never been
observed before, and appeared to support Cayce’s vision of Atlantis arising from
the ocean floor. Brush managed to photograph this apparent underground structure
from the air and later showed the picture to the French born oceanographer, Dimitri Rebikoff.
Rebikoff, who had
gained some twenty years experience of underwater exploration in the
Mediterranean and was President of the Institute of Underwater Technology,
decided to organise an expedition to the site to investigate. He approached Dr
J. Manson Valentine, a palaeontologist, geologist, underwater archaeologist and
former Yale University professor to assist in this expedition.
In 1968 Rebikoff and Valentine discovered that the dark
rectangle on the seabed was an ancient building, possibly a temple, but now
covered in sea plants. The building itself measured approximately 100 by 75 feet
in size and is located near the north end of Andros Island, the largest island
in the Bahamas (17).
Rebikoff was well aware that
some natural formations can be mistaken for man-made structures, however he
commented "nature can make circular shapes and a lot of other shapes, but nature
cannot make a square angle – that is always the work of man."