Sunken city in Cuba

What Happened to the Sunken City of Cuba?

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Just over a decade ago, a team of explorers were working on an exploration and survey mission off the western coast of Cuba when their sonar equipment picked up a perplexing series of stone structures lying some 650 metres below the surface.  The structures appeared completely analogous against the barren ‘desert’ of the ocean floor and seemed to show symmetrically organized stones reminiscent of an urban development. A media flurry soon ensued with news sites sporting headlines such as ‘Atlantis Discovered in Cuba’ and ‘Lost City of the Caribbean Found’. However, the finding also attracted the attention of the government, national museum, and national geographic, who all made promises to investigate the strange sonar images. Now, ten years on, the story has disappeared into obscurity. What ever happened to the sunken ‘ruins’ of Cuba? Were they ever fully investigated? And why has the media fallen silent on this unusual discovery?

The discovery was first made in 2001 when Pauline Zalitzki, a marine engineer, and her husband Paul Weinzweig, owners of a Canadian company called Advanced Digital Communications (ADC), were working on a survey mission in conjunction with the Cuban government off the tip of the Guanahacabibes Peninsula in the Pinar del Río Province of Cuba. ADC was one of four firms working in a joint venture with President Fidel Castro's government to explore Cuban waters, which hold hundreds of treasure-laden ships from the Spanish colonial era. The team was using advanced sonar equipment to scan a 2 square kilometre area of the sea floor when they noticed a series of symmetrical and geometric stone structures resembling an urban complex.

Map of the sunken city in Cuba

Map showing location of supposed ancient city discovered by Paul Weinzweig and Pauline Zalitzki. Image source.

Upon studying the sonar images, Zalitzki observed what appeared to be unusual formations of smooth blocks, crests, and geometric shapes. Some of the blocks looked like they were built in pyramid shapes, others were circular. 

In July 2001, they returned to the site with geologist Manuel Iturralde, senior researcher of Cuba's Natural History Museum, this time equipped with a Remotely Operated Vehicle to examine and film the structures. The images revealed large blocks of stone resembling hewn granite, measuring about 8 feet by 10 feet. Some blocks appeared deliberately stacked atop one another, others appeared isolated from the rest. Zalitzki said that the images appeared to reflect the ruins of a submerged city but was reluctant to draw any conclusions without further evidence.

“These are extremely peculiar structures, and they have captured our imagination,” said Iturralde, who has studied countless underwater formations. “But if I had to explain this geologically, I would have a hard time.”

Estimating that it would have taken 50,000 years for such structures to have sunken to the depth at which they were said to be found, Iturralde added "50,000 years ago there wasn't the architectural capacity in any of the cultures we know of to build complex buildings." A specialist in underwater archaeology at Florida State University added "It would be cool if they were right, but it would be real advanced for anything we would see in the New World for that time frame. The structures are out of time and out of place."

In the media storm that followed the announcement of the discovery, news sites were quick to draw parallels with the fabled lost city of Atlantis. However, Zelitsky and Weinzweig were unwilling to make such comparisons.  The story is myth, said Zelitsky. "What we have found is more likely remnants of a local culture," once located on a 100-mile "land bridge" that joined Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula with Cuba.  Iturralde added that there are local legends of the Maya and native Yucatecos that tell of an island inhabited by their ancestors that vanished beneath the waves. Nevertheless, Iturralde does not discount the possibility that the rock formations are merely the result of the wonders of Mother Nature. “Nature is able to create some really unimaginable structures,” he said.

Despite hundreds of media outlets reporting on sunken cities, advanced civilizations, the lost city of Atlantis, and submerged ruins, there are others who are not so willing to accept this point of view.  Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews from the debunking website Bad Archaeology, claimed that the depth of the alleged remains are the biggest problem for the sunken city proponents. During the Pleistocene, which was characterised by a series of ice ages, sea levels dropped significantly, but the maximum drop was around 100 metres.

At no point during the Ice Age would it have been above sea level unless, of course, the land on which they stand has sunk. This is the claim made for Atlantis: according to Plato’s account, it was destroyed “by violent earthquakes and floods”. However, if we take Plato at his word – as we must if we assume Atlantis to have been an historical place – the violence of its sinking makes it improbable that an entire city could have survived plunging more than 600 m into an abyss,” writes Fitzpatrick-Matthews.

If we assume that he is right and that these stone structures do not reflect an ancient submerged city but are simply products of nature, then surely geologists and other scientists would be quick to jump on the finding and investigate what freakish event of nature caused such peculiar formations.  Strangely, however, there have been no reported follow-up investigations and news outlets have gone deathly silent on the matter. What happened to all the promises from the government, national museum, National Geographic, and other scientists to carry out further surveys?

The quick dismissal of the story has led some to question whether there has been a suppression of information regarding the finding. However, Fitzpatrick-Matthews claims the story simply went cold and that in the end experts were not convinced that Zelitsky had really discovered a sunken city.

Featured image: Reconstructed Image taken from the sonar scan of the sea floor off the coast of Cuba.

References:

Bauza, Vanessa (Oct 27, 2002). "Submerged Cuban Ruins May Be Manmade, Experts Say"Daily News, Bowling Green, Kentucky. Retrieved 3 October 2012.

Evans, Marcel (2012). ‘Lost city’ found beneath Cuban waters. Costa Rica Star

Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Keith. (2012) An underwater city west of Cuba, Bad Archaeology

Handwerk, Brian., New Underwater Finds Raise Questions About Flood Myths, National Geographic News, May 28, 2002.

Lost city' found beneath Cuban waters, BBC News, 7 December 2001.

By April Holloway

Comments

how much does it take to send an ROV down there? it cant have been that much that nobody in 13 years has gone to take a peek...

This underwater city has to be very old, far more than 50,000 years. Cuba, it the extreme ancient past was in the Pacific Ocean. The three pyramids seem to be closer together than in Giza. We suggest an examination of the position of the Orion belt in the ancient past to confirm the date.

We can not do this because we do not have access to more accurate data on both the sunken city and the ancient location of the stars in Orion. We think, however, that the date may be millions of years old. We have confirmed a date of just under 66 million years for the cities of Tulum and Chechen Itza in the Yucatan in Mexico.

See my blog: http://black2tell.wordpress.com. Mr. Black.

Who is this "we" you speak of? Just curious because Tulum is less than a thousand years old being occupied only as early as 1200 AD and Chechen Itza is less than 2000 years old being first occupied around 600 AD. 66 million years old, really?

I would like to submit an article. How many words do you accept as a feature story and who should I submit it to? It is on the topic of our Star Origins and integration of the soul complex into the new multi dimensional grid outside of space/time third dimension.

I would also like to talk to the publisher of this newsletter on my radio show.

aprilholloway's picture

Hi Deborah, Please email us through the Contact page (link on top menu) to discuss your proposals.

Regards,

April Holloway

 

Another case of unsupported dismissiveness. It's quite possible it's a natural formation, but if the computer generated graphic, above is an accurate representation, then I'd say the so-called experts were too quick to dismiss it.

Expeditions take money. I can understand the reticence of some scientists, but they should not dismiss it so easily. A more scientific and honest stance would be, "We don't know, but we're not going to spend the money to dig deeper."

Wouldn't it be wonderful if scientists were brave enough and humble enough to admit a lack of knowing rather than claiming it's natural? So much junk or pseudoscience is created by scientists when they don't take the same care and peer-review rigor to dismiss something as they do to support a thesis. Dismissal is given some special "blank check" of immunity allowing all manner of logical fallacies to be used and accepted.

Why is it so hard for so-called scientists to admit that they do not know as much as they think they do? When faced with an ancient building, which could not have been built in modern times, they sink to such platitudes as "out of place and out of time". Wouldn't it be easier to say, "Well, we'll just have to amend our thinking on this one"?

The article makes no mention of the size of the "city". What's the scale on the picture?

It does sound like they are surpressing information once again as there are no answers WHATSOEVER! I bet you any money if you funded a private team of investigators & got the equipment there would be some kind of naval vessel (probably US) to greet you and turn you away (or shoot you knowing the military) or I bet you just couldn't get permission to go out there otherwise someone surely would have by now?!!

@ Rich Wright - if you intend to keep posting here, try to lay off the drugs.

Tsurugi's picture

Do you actually know anyone who isn't "on drugs" of one kind or another? Seems like everyone is on opiates or amphetamines or steroids or anti-depressants or anti-anxieties or ambien or xanax or ritalin or aderol or something, along with their normal daily caffeine and nicotine and sugar and alcohol. And of course there are the many internally concocted and administered cocktails of the human body, the adrenalines and the dopamines and the di-methyl-triptamines and whatnot....

So really, I'd suggest to you that, if you intend to keep posting here, you should be on some drugs. Join the human race. We were all trolls once, till we found psychedelics, some 30-40,000 years ago. You can do it too..

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