Bimini Road/Wall

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By: Lara Hayden

Bimini Road/Wall

Photograph of the Bimini Road from a diving expediation [1]

The Bimini Road/Wall is an underwater rock formation that lays in varying rows of blocks, located off the coast of islands in the Bahamas.[2] The rock is composed mostly of limestone. [3] The structure is around half a mile in length and 290 feet wide; the limestone blocks lay in a way that appears to have “j-shape” to it.[4][2] The blocks are a variety of shapes (oblong, polygonal or rectangular) and sizes, some being 12 feet in width.[2][5] The Bimini Road lays around 18 feet under the water and lays almost parallel to the shore of the beach.[2][3] This formation was once thought to be a wall buried in the sand, but upon further discovery it only consist of a single layer; hence the name Bimini Road. The longest consecutive row is around 1,600 feet long. [5]

This is a map of the Bimini Islands, off the west of the North Island is where the Bimini Road is located [6]

Location of the Bimini Road/Wall

The Bimini Road/Wall is located nearly half a mile off of the west coast of the North Bimini Islands and about half a mile north of Paradise Point in the Bahamas. Coming from the other direction the Bimini Road is around 45 miles east of Miami, Florida's coast.[5] The Bimini Road/Wall also lays within the boundaries of the Bermuda Triangle.[7] The Bimini Road lays in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Formation of the Bimini Road/Wall

The Bimini Road is made of a material that forms of the shore as a result of shoreline drying and fracturing; called beachrock.[2][5] The formation of beachrock occurs fairly rapidly and it is suggested that it forms during times of lower sea levels. [5][7] As tidal fluctuation constantly force calcium carbonate-rich water through the sands where evaporation and off-gassing of CO2 help stimulate precipitation of calcium carbonate. After a couple of years crystals of aragonite (common marine form of calcium carbonate) fall between the grains. This creates a welding like effect which holds the grains together tightly and forms a very hard limestone (beachrock).[7] During the last 18,000 years sea levels have risen and completely submerged the beachrock underwater due this it has created the effect that some of the beachrock in the Bimini Road appear to look man-made while other parts still remain looking like natural beachrock deposits.[5][7] The Bimini Road/Wall is said to be around 3,000 radiocarbon years old. This number was concluded after doing radiocarbon testing. [8]

Discovery of the Bimini Road/Wall

The Bimini Road/Wall was first discovered by a man named Joseph Manson Valentine along with two other men named Jacques Mayol and Robert Angove. They discovered the Bimini Road/Wall in 1968 while they were diving off the North Bimini Island coast in the Bahamas. After discovering the Bimini Road/Wall in 1968 Joseph Valentine had alone concluded that is structure must be man-made due to two main reasons. The first reason being the rock formation does not lay exactly parallel to the shore consistent with most beachrock formations. The second of the two reasons was that the blocks of limestone are unusually geological compared to that of regular beachrock and must be of human design. As J. Valentine attempted to analyze the new rock formation he ran into a problem with lack of funding for his expedition. Due to this lack in funding J. Valentine joined up with a group of men who were also interested in examining the Bimini Road/Wall. The group of men who joined Joseph Valentine were named Dimitri Rebikoff, who was an engineer, Robert Brush, and Trigg Adams, who were both aircraft pilots. D. Rebikoff, R.Brush and T.Adams had all also been inspired by Edgar Cayce and the Atlantis themed visions and predictions he had. During this time the group of men claimed to have discovered more “roads” and a collection of marble columns believed to be made by the Atlanteans before the cities collapse.[5] Edgar Cayce's claims and predictions heavily influenced how J. Valentine, D.Rebikoff, R. Brush, and T. Adams analyzed the underwater rock structure. Edgar Cayce had predicted that in the late 1960's Atlantis would become visible for humans to discover. Based on Edgar Cayce's predictions regarding Atlantis' discovery the group of men analyzed the structure as something that was not of natural formation but that of intelligent species design.

Significance of the Bimini Road/Wall

Before the Bimini Road/Wall was formally discovered by J. Valentine it was known to many as a place that contained a habitat largely known for it's for marine-life. This habitat consisted mostly of the species bonefish and lemon shark. [9] Specifically the area was known for it's large nurseries for bonefish and lemon shark. Due to this being a flourishing marine-life site the area became a well known fishing spot. It was documented that the area was used by Ernest Hemingway while he was writing his book, Islands in the Stream.


After the Bimini Road was discovered in 1968 it became known as a very popular site for tourist to go snorkeling, due to the number of large stone structures and exoctic marine life.[10] The area is still used today for many tourist activities such as fishing, snorkeling, diving, and boating.

Pseudoarchaeological Narrative of the Bimini Road/Wall

Photograph of Edgar Cayce from October, 1910 [11]

The pseudoarchaeological narrative of the Bimini Road/Wall technically began when Edgar Cayce predicted the discovery of Atlantis. His first claim was made in 1938, which was around 30 years before the actual discovery of the Bimini Road. Edgar Cayce had a “prophecy” and had predicted that Atlantis would be discovered in the Bahamas off the coast of the Islands of Bimini during the late 1960’s.[2] Edgar Cayce's idea didn't take-off until J.Valentine's discovery in 1968. J.Valentine and his men spread the belief that the Bimini Road/Wall must be the “road to Atlantis.”


After these discoveries by J.Valentine and his crew, a man named David Zink began his own exploration of the Bimini Road/Wall. David Zink’s exploration of the underwater limestone structure was funded by the Cayce Foundation. D.Zink later went on to write a book called The Stones of Atlantis, which states that the road to Atlantis (The Bimini Road) was built by extraterrestrial beings. He also included a narrative about a force field that was built around Atlantis causing the strange disappearances that have occurred in the Bermuda Triangle in which the Bimini Road/Wall is located.[5][7] Another idea that fueled this narrative was the discovery of human occupation found in a sinkhole in Florida. The artifacts found in the sinkhole dated to be around 12,000 years old. In return that meant to some people that Atlantis is a civilization that had sunken as well.[5]

Deconstructing this Pseudoarchaeological Narrative

The main way to deconstruct the pseudoarchaeological narrative that the Bimini Road/Wall is the secret pathway to Atlantis is to deconstruct the foundation that this mythical idea started upon. When analyzing the construct that the Bimini Road is the connection to Atlantis one needs to first look at the individual who opened the doors to this narrative; Edgar Cayce. The most significant characteristic that one must know about E.Cayce is the fact that he was a hyper-diffusionist. Being a hyper-diffusionist means that he had the idea that all civilizations stems from one super-race of humans or even extraterrestrial-beings. The super-race of humans that E.Cayce believed started all civilization for mankind was indeed the Atlanteans. Edgar Cayce formed this belief based on his ignorant views of biology and archaeology. Edgar Cayce's beliefs create a narrative that the people who were indigenous to the United States and the surrounding areas were not of a high enough standard to form a civilization of their own, thus stating that some other life form must have done it. This type of rhetoric has racist undertones that take culture and credit away from the indigenous people of the United States.


To actually deconstruct the claims made by Joseph Valentine, his crew and David Zink is to compare their claims to that of actual archaeologist with degrees in the respected field. The conclusions drawn by actual archaeologist were based on scientific evidence and the context behind the evidence they discovered. After David Zink published his book The Stones of Atlantis, which was deemed to be unsupported by the archaeological community, a group went out to prove that the stone path was simply beachrock and not a man-mad/extraterrestrial-made “road.”[5] The group was led by Wyman Harrison, a geologist from Virginia Beach, and John Gifford, a graduate student in marine geology at the University of Miami. Wyman Harrison was able to debunk the claims from J. Valentine, D. Rebikoff, R.Brush, and T.Adams which stated that the marble columns were made and placed in that location by the Atlanteans. W.Harrison concluded that the columns were simply cargo from a shipwreck. The marble columns found near the Bimini Road/Wall presented characteristics that were similar to other marble columns discovered from shipwrecks in the area. John Gifford, who was supported by the National Geographic Society, was able to do testing on the actual beachrock. He measured and mapped the blocks, while performing a detailed analysis of the composition of the block. After testing the rocks J. Gifford was able to conclude that the beachstone was the same material all the way through, similar to other beachrock. It was also concluded that the Bimini Road/Wall is parallel to the shore, unlike what J.Valentine had previously concluded.[5][12]


Another geologist named Eugene Shinn was able to do drilling to get to the core of the beachrock at Bimini Road/Wall and beachrock that is forming off of the main swimming beach at Bimini. After testing and analyzing the different cores, E. Shinn was able to conclude that the older beachrock cores are identical to the newer ones at the main swimming beach. E. Shinn also noticed that the blocks at the main swimming beach were embedded with trash left by the tourist (bottle, and plastic bags) while the beachrock on the Bimini Road had no material embedded showing no proof of any ancient civilization. [7] E. Shinn then x-radiographed the Bimini Road blocks to reveal internal stratification that was consistent with beachrock in the area. As well as the fact that the internal stratification is a natural process that would be almost impossible to replicate in man-made production. E. Shinn was also able to perform carbon-14 dating on the Bimini Road blocks to show that the stone was actually only 2,000-4,000 years old. According to Plato Atlantis would be around 7,000 years old making the Bimini Road/Wall much too young to be the road leading to Atlantis.[7]

References

  1. Little. (2005). Photo of Bimini Road [Photograph] Retrieved from http://pwoodruff.myweb.usf.edu/atlantis/evidence.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Lawrence, M. (October 2017). 80 Bimini Road, Sport Diver, 25(7) p.86+
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shinn, E. A. (2009) The Mystique of Beachrock, in Perspectives in Carbonate Geology: A Tribute to the Career of Robert Nathan Ginsburg doi: 10.1002/9781444312065.ch2
  4. "Off the coast of the North Bimini Island" (May 2015). Bimini Road (The Atlantis of the West). The Cryptic File, Mid-Continent Paranormal Research Society. Retrieved from http://thecrypticfile.wordpress.com/2015/05/13/bimini-road-the-atlantis-of-the-west/
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Richards, D. G. (1988). Archaeological Anomalies in the Bahamas, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 2(2) p.181-201
  6. Greiner, J. (July, 2009) Deutsch: Karte von North Bimini [Map] Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bimini-N_S.JPG
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Shinn, E. A. (Feb. 2004) A Geologist’s Adventures with Bimini Beachrock and Atlantis True Believers. CSI, Skeptical Inquirer, 28(1) Retrieved from http://www.csicop.org/si/show/geologists_adventures_with_bimini_beachrock#footer.
  8. Strasser, A., & Davaud, E. (1986) Formation of Holocene limestone sequences by progradation, cementation, and erosion; two examples from the Bahamas. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 56(3)p.422-428
  9. Buchan, K. C. (2000). The Bahamas, In Marine Pollution Bulletin, 41(1-6) p.94-111. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0025-326X(00)00104-1. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X00001041)
  10. "Bimini." (2007). Bahamas and Turks & Caicos, 4th ed. Hunter Publishing, p. 193+. Adventure Guides.
  11. Image of Edgar Cayce. (1923). [Photograph] Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cayce_1910.jpg
  12. Hartz, B. (June 2004). Bimini Beachrock, Skeptical Inquirer, 28(3) p. 64+