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Oak Island Money Pit

Inscribed Stones Translation
"Forty Feet below two million pounds are buried";  the second symbol is scratch out.

Mysterious Treasure on Oak Island (Full Documentary)


Oak Island Money Pit




The Discovery


One summer day in 1795 Daniel McGinnis, then a teenager, was wandering about Oak Island, Nova Scotia Canada when he came across a curious circular depression in the ground. Standing over this depression was a tree whose branches had been cut in a way which looked like it had been used as a pulley. Having heard tales of pirates in the area he decided to return home to get friends and return later to investigate the hole.

Over the next several days McGinnis, along with friends John Smith and Anthony Vaughan, worked the hole. What they found astonished them. Two feet below the surface they came across of layer of flagstones covering the pit. At 10 feet down they ran into a layer of oak logs spanning the pit. Again at 20 feet and 30 feet they found the same thing, a layer of logs. Not being able to continue alone from here, they went home, but with plans of returning to search more.

It took the three discoverers 8 years, but they did return. Along with The Onslow Company, formed for the purpose of the search, they began digging again. They quickly got back to 30 foot point that had been reached 8 years ago. They continued down to 90 feet, finding a layer of oak logs at every 10 foot interval. Besides the boards, at 40 feet a layer of charcoal was found, at 50 feet a layer of putty, and at 60 feet a layer of coconut fiber.

At 90 feet one of the most puzzling clues was found - a stone inscribed with mysterious writing. After pulling up the layer of oak at 90 feet and continuing on, water began to seep into the pit. By the next day the pit was filled with water up to the 33 foot level. Pumping didn't work, so the next year a new pit was dug parallel to the original down to 100 feet. From there a tunnel was run over to The Money Pit. Again the water flooded in and the search was abandoned for 45 years.


The Trap


As it turns out, an ingenious booby trap had been sprung. The Onslow Company had inadvertently unplugged a 500 foot waterway that had been dug from the pit to nearby Smith's Cove by the pit's designers. As quickly as the water could be pumped out it was refilled by the sea. This discovery however is only a small part of the intricate plan by the unknown designers to keep people away from the cache.

  In 1849 the next company to attempt to extract the treasure, The Truro Company, was founded and the search began again. They quickly dug down to 86 feet only to be flooded. Deciding to try to figure out what was buried before attempting to extract it, Truro switched to drilling core samples. The drilling produced some encouraging results.


First Hints of Treasure-


At 98 feet the drill went through a spruce platform. Then it encountered 4 inches of oak and then 22 inches of what was characterized as "metal in pieces""; Next 8 inches of oak, another 22 inches of metal, 4 inches of oak and another layer of spruce. The conclusion was that they had drilled through 2 casks or chests filled will coins. Upon pulling out the drill they found splinters of oak and strands of what looked like coconut husk.

One account of the drilling also mentions that three small gold links, as from a chain, were brought up. Unfortunately no one knows where they have gone.

Interestingly, the earth encountered beneath the bottom spruce platform was loose indicating that the pit may have gone even deeper. A later group of searchers would find out how much deeper.

The Truro Company returned in 1850 with plans to dig another parallel hole and then tunnel over to the Money Pit. Just like before, as they tunneled over, water began to rush in. They brought in pumps to try to get rid of the water but it was impossible to keep the water out. During the pumping someone noticed that at Smith's Cove during low tide there was water coming out of the beach. This find lead to an amazing discovery - the beach was artificial.



Artificial Beach


It turns out that the pit designers had created a drain system, spread over a 145 foot length of beach, which resembled the fingers of a hand. Each finger was a channel dug into the clay under the beach and lined by rocks. The channels were then filled with beach rocks, covered with several inches of eel grass, and then covered by several more inches of coconut fiber. The effect of this filtering system was that the channels remained clear of silt and sand while water was still allowed to flow along them. The fingers met at a point inland where they fed sea water into a sloping channel which eventually joined the Money Pit some 500 feet away. Later investigations showed this underground channel to have been 4 feet wide, 2 1/2 feet high, lined with stone, and meeting the Money Pit between the depths of 95 to 110 feet.

To the Truro Company, the answer was now simple - just block off the water flow from the beach and dig out the treasure. Their first attempt was to build a dam just off the beach at Smith's Cove, drain the water, and then dismantle the drain channels. Unfortunately a storm blew up and destroyed the dam before they could finish.

An interesting note: the remains of an older dam were found when building the new one.

The next plan was to dig a pit 100 feet or so inland in the hopes of meeting with the water channel underground at which point they could plug the channel. This scheme too failed. And this was the last attempt by the Truro company to uncover the secrets of Oak Island.


The Pit's Collapse


The next attempt at securing the treasure was made in 1861 by the Oak Island Association. First they cleared out the Money Pit down to 88 feet. Then they ran a new hole to the east of the pit hoping to intercept the channel from the sea. The new shaft was dug out to120 feet without hitting the channel and then abandoned.

A second shaft was run, this one to the west, down to 118 feet. They then attempted to tunnel over to the Money Pit. Again the water started to enter this pit as well as the Money Pit. Bailing was attempted and appeared to work. And then CRASH! The bottom fell out. Water rushed into the shafts and the bottom of the Money Pit dropped over 15 feet. Everything in the Money Pit had fallen farther down the hole. The big questions were why and how far?

Over the next several years different companies tried to crack the mystery unsuccessfully. They dug more shafts, tried to fill in the drain on the beach, built a new dam (which was destroyed by a storm), and drilled for more core samples. They met with little success.


The Cave-in Pit


In 1893 a man named Fred Blair along with a group called The Oak Island Treasure Company began their search. Their first task was to investigate the "Cave-in Pit". Discovered in 1878 about 350 feet east of the Money Pit, the cave-in pit appears to have been a shaft dug out by the designers of the Money Pit perhaps as a ventilation shaft for the digging of the flood tunnel. It apparently intersected or closely passed the flood tunnel. While it was being cleared by the Treasure Company it started to flood at a depth of 55 feet and was abandoned.

Over the next several years The Oak Island Treasure Company would dig more shafts, pump more water, and still get nowhere. In 1897 they did manage to clear out the Money Pit down to 111 feet where they actually saw the entrance of the flood tunnel temporarily stopped up with rocks. However, the water worked its way through again and filled the pit.

The treasure company then decided that they would attempt to seal off the flow of water from Smith's Cove by dynamiting the flood tunnel. Five charges were set off in holes drilled near the flood tunnel. They didn't work. The water flowed into the Money Pit as rapidly as ever.

At the same time a new set of core samples were drilled at the pit itself. The results were surprising.



Cement Vault


At 126 feet, wood was struck and then iron. This material is probably part of the material that fell during the crash of the Pit. On other drilling the wood was encountered at 122 feet and the iron was missed completely indicating that the material may be laying in a haphazard way due to the fall.

Between 130 and 151 feet and also between 160 and 171 feet a blue clay was found which consisted of clay, sand, and water. This clay can be used to form a watertight seal and is probably the same "putty"; that was found at the 50 foot level of the Pit.

The major find was in the gap between the putty layers. A cement vault was discovered. The vault itself was 7 feet high with 7 inch thick walls. Inside the vault the drill first struck wood, then a void several inches high and an unknown substance. Next a layer of soft metal was reached, then almost 3 feet of metal pieces, and then more soft metal.

When the drill was brought back up another twist was added to the whole mystery. Attached to the auger was a small piece of sheepskin parchment with the letters "vi"; "ui"; or "wi"; What the parchment is a part of is still in question.

More convinced than ever that a great treasure was beneath the island, The Treasure Company began sinking more shafts in the attempts to get to the cement vault. They all met with failure due to flooding.


2nd Flood Tunnel


In May of 1899, yet another startling discovery was made. There was a second flood tunnel! This one was located in the South Shore Cove. The designers had been more ingenious and had done more work than previously thought. Though this find certainly strengthened the case that something valuable was buried below it didn't bring anyone closer to actually finding the treasure.

Blair and The Oak Island Treasure Company continued to sink new shafts and drill more core samples, but no progress was made and no new information obtained.

Between 1900 and 1936 several attempts were made to obtain the treasure. All met with no success.


Stone Fragment


In 1936 Gilbert Hadden, in conjunction with Fred Blair, began a new investigation of the island. Hadden cleared some of the earlier shafts near the Pit and made plans for exploratory drilling the next summer. However, he made two discoveries away from the Pit.

The first was a fragment of a stone bearing inscriptions similar to those found on the inscribed stone discovered at the 90 foot level of the Money Pit. The second discovery was of several old timbers in Smith's Cove. These timbers seem to have been from the original designers due to the fact that they were joined using wooden pins rather than metal. As will be seen later these timbers were only a small part of a much larger construction.Mystery Deepens

The next treasure hunter was Erwin Hamilton. He began his search in 1938 by clearing out previous shafts and doing some exploratory drilling. In 1939 during drilling two more discoveries were made. The first was the finding of rocks and gravel at 190 feet. According to Hamilton they were foreign and therefore placed there by someone. The second finding came after clearing out an earlier shaft down to 176 feet. At this point a layer of limestone was encountered and drilled through. The drilling brought up oak splinters. Apparently there was wood BELOW the natural limestone.


Tragedy Strikes


In 1959 Bob Restall and his family began their attack on the island which ultimately proved tragic.

His one discovery was made on the Smith's Cove beach while attempting to stop the drain system. He found a rock with "1704" inscribed on it. Though others believed it was a prank left by a previous search team, Restall believed it was from the time of the original construction.

In 1965 tragedy struck. While excavating a shaft Bob passed out and fell into the water at the bottom. His son, Bobbie, attempted to rescue him as did two of the workers. All four apparently were overcome by some sort of gas, perhaps carbon monoxide from a generator, passed out and drowned.


Heavy Machines


Bob Dunfield was the next to take on the island. In 1965 he attempted to solve the problem with heavy machinery - bulldozers and cranes. He attempted to block the inflow of water at Smith's Cove, and may have succeeded. Then on the south side of the island an trench was dug in the hope of intercepting the other water tunnel and blocking it off. The flood tunnel wasn't found, but an unknown refilled shaft was found, possible one dug by the designers of the Pit. The shaft apparently went down to 45 and stopped, its purpose is unknown.

Dunfield's other findings were based on drilling. It was determined that at 140 feet there was a 2 foot thick layer of limestone and then a forty foot void. At the bottom of the void was bedrock. This information matched with a drilling done back in 1955. There seemed to be a large, natural underground cavern, something apparently common with limestone around the world.


Recent Discoveries


Daniel Blankenship, the current searcher, began his quest in 1965. In 1966 he dug out more of the original shaft found by Bob Dunfield in 1965. It turned out that the shaft did go beyond 45 feet. Blankenship found a hand-wrought nail and a washer at 60 feet. At 90 feet he met a layer of rocks in stagnant water. He assumed this was part of the south water tunnel but couldn't explore further because the shaft could not be stopped from caving in.

A pair of wrought-iron scissors were discovered in 1967 buried below the drains at Smith's Cove. It was determined that the scissors were Spanish-American, probably made in Mexico, and they were up to 300 years old. Also found was a heart shaped stone.

Smith's Cove revealed some more secrets in 1970 to Triton Alliance, a group formed by Blankenship to continue the search. While Triton was building a new cofferdam they discovered the remains of what appeared to be the original builders' cofferdam. The findings included several logs 2 feet thick and up to 65 feet long. They were marked every four feet with Roman numerals carved in them and some contained wooden pins or nails. The wood has been carbon dated to 250 years ago.

The western end of the island has also revealed several items. Two wooden structures, along with wrought-iron nails and metal straps were found at the western beach. Nine feet below the beach a pair of leather shoes were unearthed.


Borehole 10-X


The next major discoveries came in 1976 when Triton dug what is known as Borehole 10-X, a 237 foot tube of steel sunk 180 feet northeast of the Money Pit. During the digging several apparently artificial cavities were found down to 230 feet. A camera lowered down to a bedrock cavity at 230 feet returned some amazing images. At first a severed hand could be seen floating in the water. Later three chests (of the treasure type I would presume) and various tools could be made out. Finally a human body was detected.

After seeing the images, the decision was made to send divers down for a look. Several attempts were made but strong current and poor visibility made it impossible to see anything.

Soon after the hole itself collapsed and has not been reopened.


Inscribed Stones Translation


The translation by the Halifax professor was: Inscribed Stone


"Forty Feet below two million pounds are buried";  the second symbol is scratch out.


This translation makes a lot of sense. It turns out to be a simple substitution cipher where each unique symbol corresponds to a unique letter in the alphabet.

The translation for the given inscription works and seems very unlikely to be a simple coincidence. The way I see it, there are two possibilities.

First possibility: The inscription recorded by the professor was a hoax used to encourage further investment in the search. This is certainly a possibility and could only be disproved by the re-discovery of the original stone or possibly the discovery of a new one. If this inscription is a hoax, the crossed out F in forty is certainly a very nice touch.


Second possibility: The professor made an accurate recording of the original stone. If this is true, we gain several pieces of information about the builders since feet are used in measurement we can track down who would and wouldn't use them the translation is in English - unless builders were being very clever (they certainly had this trait), they were probably from an English speaking country, the stone was found at 90 feet which means the treasure would be at 130 feet (Note: in 1866 the Money Pit had already collapsed 15 feet, but the cement vault between 150 and 160 feet had not been drilled yet. The putty above the vault started at 130 feet.)


Drilling Results


Triton - 1967-1969 

Determined that bedrock layer was at 162 +/- 10 feet 

Between 172 and 224 feet found china, oak buds, cement, wood, and metal 

Found tunnels that were cut through bedrock - under 40 feet of bedrock 

Found 40 feet rock, inches of wood, layer of blue clay, inches of wood and 6-7 foot void 

Carbon date of wood - 1575 +/- 80 years 

Depression from 172 to 222 feet (beneath Hadden shaft) - 30 foot in diameter filled with layers of blue clay with small stone spaced at 18 inches!!! 

186 feet metal and brought up piece of brass (high impurities) 

212 feet brick-like material found - it had been fired 

Cement found - worked by man 

210 feet hard metal hit 


Borehole X-10 


140 feet found a 4 foot cavity 

160 feet found a 4 foot cavity 

Bedrock at 180 feet 

210 feet hit a 2 foot cavity 

230-237 feet a cavity 

Handfuls of metal found at 165 feet - low-carbon steel - prior to 1800 

Spruce found at 155 feet 

155 feet eight pieces of steel chain - Swedish steel made prior to 1790 

Wood at 180 feet 

Metal in several places above and below bedrock 

660 feet north-northeast of the Money Pit 

110 feet a 2 inch piece of wire - dated to 1500s to 1800s 

A solid metal plate 

There are future plans to excavate 


Artifacts Found


Below you'll find a listing of the artifacts found, or allegedly found, on the island. Many of the artifacts have been lost and are known only through writings left by early searchers or writers.

Copper coin, bosun's whistle, and iron ring bolt imbedded in a rock at Smith's Cover - 1795-1802 

Inscribed stone 

Gold links - 1849 

Remains of the old cofferdam 

Wood and end of a keg pulled out when the Pit collapsed 

Blue clay 


Anchor fluke of ancient design - 1931 - since disappeared 

Dump with thousands of broken pottery flasks 

Rock with "1704" inscribed on it. 

Nail, washer 

Scissors, heart stone 

Original cofferdam - logs 2 feet thick up to 65 feet long with Roman numerals marked on them. 

Nails and metal-straps 

Leather shoes 

3 drilled rocks and ask piles analyzed to be burned bones!!!!! 


Oak Island: Theories


Below you'll find brief summaries of many of the theories about who built the Money Pit and why. We'll delve into the details and possibilities in the first several issues of Enigma.

Theories - Who constructed the puzzle on Oak Island?

Captain William Kidd - the notorious privateer. Legends abound about secret caches of treasure buried by Kidd and his crew. Periodically maps have popped up alleged to be Kidd's showing the location of his treasures. There are many tales of old men on their death beds claiming to have been part of Kidd's crews and having knowledge of hidden wealth. Some of these stories point toward Oak Island.

The French - some theorize that the French may have buried money on the island as a safeguard against loss during the many battles with the English over the colonization of the Americas.

The Vikings - there is some record of Viking visitation to the Americas. Though no one knows what would have been so important to hide that such a complicated hiding place was needed, they have been offered as possible builders.

Bands of pirates - Oak Island acted as a communal bank for pirates. Each group would dig tunnels off the Money Pit shaft and bury their treasure. To retrieve it they could dig down through untouched dirt to get their cache.

Stranded Spanish Galleon - it's possible that a Spanish Galleon returning with gold and jewels from Central or South America could have been forced off course. Badly damaged, then stopped at Oak Island, hid the treasure while repairing the ship, and limped home with plans to return later with a more sea-worthy ship to retrieve their cargo.

British during American revolution - similar to the French theory. The idea is that the British hid money on the island to prevent it from falling into the hands of the revolutionaries.

Inca or Maya treasure - during the conquering of the Americas by the Europeans in the 17th and 18th centuries, much of the wealth of the Incas and Mayas disappeared. Usually rumored to have been buried or sunken at the bottom of lakes, some researchers believe that it's possible that a group of Incas or Mayas, possible with the help of sympathetic Europeans, stole away with the wealth and buried on Oak Island out of the reach of the conquerors.




1795 - Daniel McGinnis finds The Money Pit. McGinnis, John Smith, and Anthony Vaughan dig to 30 feet temporarily give up. 

1803 - Onslow Company along with the 3 original finders begin excavation. They get down to 90 feet put are flooded out. 

1804 - Onslow Company digs parallel pit to 110 feet put this too floods when they attempt to tunnel over the Money Pit. 

1849 - The Truro Company begins digging. They drill through 2 casks filled with "loose metal". Also recovered 3 gold chains links. 

1850 - Subterranean waterway and artifical beach where found at Smith's Cove. 

1861 - First life claimed by Oak Island. A man was scalded to death by an exploding boiler. 

1861 - The bottom literally fell out as the items that had been at 100 feet fell farther down to hole thanks to weakening of the pit by several cross tunnels. 

1893 - Fred Blair and The Oak Island Treasure Company begin their investigations. Cave-in pit investigated. 

1897 - Triangle rock formation was discovered. 

1897 - Cement vault encountered and parchment was found during drilling. 

1897 - Second life lost when Maynard Kaiser fell to his death while being pulled out of the pit. 

1899 - The 2nd flood tunnel, The South Shore Tunnel, was discovered. 

1936 - 2nd inscribed stone found and more evidence of original cofferdam found. 

1965 - In one day Oak Island claimed four more lives: Bob and Bobbie Restall, Karl Grasser, and Cyril Hiltz. 




The Story of Atlantis

Atlantis The Lost Empire (Full Documentary 2016)


  The Story of Atlantis


Over 11,000 years ago there existed an island nation located in the middle of the Atlantic ocean populated by a noble and powerful race. The people of this land possessed great wealth thanks to the natural resources found throughout their island. The island was a center for trade and commerce. The rulers of this land held sway over the people and land of their own island and well into Europe and Africa.

This was the island of Atlantis.

Atlantis was the domain of Poseidon, god of the sea. When Poseidon fell in love with a mortal woman, Cleito, he created a dwelling at the top of a hill near the middle of the island and surrounded the dwelling with rings of water and land to protect her.

Cleito gave birth to five sets of twin boys who became the first rulers of Atlantis. The island was divided among the brothers with the eldest, Atlas, first King of Atlantis, being given control over the central hill and surrounding areas.

At the top of the central hill, a temple was built to honor Poseidon which housed a giant gold statue of Poseidon riding a chariot pulled by winged horses. It was here that the rulers of Atlantis would come to discuss laws, pass judgments, and pay tribute to Poseidon..To facilitate travel and trade, a water canal was cut through of the rings of land and water running south for 5.5 miles (~9 km) to the sea.

The city of Atlantis sat just outside the outer ring of water and spread across the plain covering a circle of 11 miles (1.7 km). This was a densely populated area where the majority of the population lived.

Beyond the city lay a fertile plain 330 miles (530 km) long and 110 miles (190 km) wide surrounded by another canal used to collect water from the rivers and streams of the mountains. The climate was such that two harvests were possible each year. One in the winter fed by the rains and one in the summer fed by irrigation from the canal.

Surrounding the plain to the north were mountains which soared to the skies. Villages, lakes, rivers, and meadows dotted the mountains.

Besides the harvests, the island provided all kinds of herbs, fruits, and nuts. An abundance of animals, including elephants, roamed the island.

For generations the Atlanteans lived simple, virtuous lives. But slowly they began to change. Greed and power began to corrupt them. When Zeus saw the immorality of the Atlanteans he gathered the other gods to determine a suitable punishment.

Soon, in one violent surge it was gone. The island of Atlantis, its people, and its memory were swallowed by the sea.


Atlantis: Plato 


Greek philosopher - 427-347 B.C. 

Note: Dates are approximate, there is some uncertainty as to his birth and death

Plato was a student of Socrates until the latter's death in 399 BC at the hands of the Athenian authorities. After his teacher's death, Plato traveled extensively, including journeys in Egypt.

In 387 BC he returned to Athens and founded the Academy, a school of science and philosophy, that became the model for the modern university. Perhaps the most famous student of the Academy was Aristotle whose teachings have had tremendous impact on philosophy through today.

Due to the Academy's safekeeping, many of Plato's works have survived. His extant writings are in the form of letters and dialogues, the most famous of which is probably The Republic. His writings cover subjects ranging from knowledge to happiness to politics to nature.

Two In this dialogues, Socrates and Critias, hold  original references to the island of Atlantis.


Socrates: Very good. And what is this ancient famous action of the Athenians, which Critias declared, on the authority of Solon, to be not a mere legend, but an actual fact?


Critias: I will tell an old-world story which I heard from an aged man; for Critias, at the time of telling it, was as he said, nearly ninety years of age, and I was about ten. Now the day was that day of the Apaturia which is called the Registration of Youth, at which, according to custom, our parents gave prizes for recitations, and the poems of several poets were recited by us boys, and many of us sang the poems of Solon, which at that time had not gone out of fashion.


One of our tribe, either because he thought so or to please Critias, said that in his judgment Solon was not only the wisest of men, but also the noblest of poets. The old man, as I very well remember, brightened up at hearing this and said, smiling: Yes, Amynander, if Solon had only, like other poets, made poetry the business of his life, and had completed the tale which he brought with him from Egypt, and had not been compelled, by reason of the factions and troubles which he found stirring in his own country when he came home, to attend to other matters, in my opinion he would have been as famous as Homer or Hesiod, or any poet.


And what was the tale about, Critias?

About the greatest action which the Athenians ever did, and which ought to have been the most famous, but, through the lapse of time and the destruction of the actors, it has not come down to us.


Tell us, said the other, the whole story, and how and from whom Solon heard this veritable tradition.


 He replied:

In the Egyptian Delta, at the head of which the river Nile divides, there is a certain district which is called the district of Sais, and the great city of the district is also called Sais, and is the city from which King Amasis came. The citizens have a deity for their foundress; she is called in the Egyptian tongue Neith, and is asserted by them to be the same whom the Hellenes call Athene; they are great lovers of the Athenians, and say that they are in some way related to them.


To this city came Solon, and was received there with great honor; he asked the priests who were most skillful in such matters, about antiquity, and made the discovery that neither he nor any other Hellene knew anything worth mentioning about the times of old. On one occasion, wishing to draw them on to speak of antiquity, he began to tell about the most ancient things in our part of the world-about Phoroneus, who is called "the first man," and about Niobe; and after the Deluge, of the survival of Deucalion and Pyrrha; and he traced the genealogy of their descendants, and reckoning up the dates, tried to compute how many years ago the events of which he was speaking happened.


There upon one of the priests, who was of a very great age, said:

 O Solon, Solon, you Hellenes are never anything but children, and there is not an old man among you. Solon in return asked him what he meant. I mean to say, he replied, that in mind you are all young; 

there is no old opinion handed down among you by ancient tradition, nor any science which is hoary with age.

 And I will tell you why.


There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes;

 the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes. There is a story, which even you have preserved, that once upon a time Paethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father's chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth, which recurs after long intervals;

 at such times those who live upon the mountains and in dry and lofty places are more liable to destruction than those who dwell by rivers or on the seashore. And from this calamity the Nile, who is our never-failing saviour, delivers and preserves us.

When, on the other hand, the gods purge the earth with a deluge of water, the survivors in your country are herdsmen and shepherds who dwell on the mountains, but those who, like you, live in cities are carried by the rivers into the sea. Whereas in this land, neither then nor at any other time, does the water come down from above on the fields, having always a tendency to come up from below;

for which reason the traditions preserved here are the most ancient. The fact is, that wherever the extremity of winter frost or of summer does not prevent, mankind exist, sometimes in greater, sometimes in lesser numbers. And whatever happened either in your country or in ours, or in any other region of which we are informed-if there were any actions noble or great or in any other way remarkable, they have all been written down by us of old, and are preserved in our temples.

Whereas just when you and other nations are beginning to be provided with letters and the other requisites of civilized life, after the usual interval, the stream from heaven, like a pestilence, comes pouring down, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters and education;

and so you have to begin all over again like children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us or among yourselves. As for those genealogies of yours which you just now recounted to us, Solon, they are no better than the tales of children.

In the first place you remember a single deluge only, but there were many previous ones;

In the next place, you do not know that there formerly dwelt in your land the fairest and noblest race of men which ever lived, and that you and your whole city are descended from a small seed or remnant of them which survived. And this was unknown to you, because, for many generations, the survivors of that destruction died, leaving no written word. For there was a time, Solon, before the great deluge of all, when the city which now is Athens was first in war and in every way the best governed of all cities, is said to have performed the noblest deeds and to have had the fairest constitution of any of which tradition tells, under the face of heaven.

Solon marvelled at his words, and earnestly requested the priests to inform him exactly and in order about these former citizens. You are welcome to hear about them, Solon, said the priest, both for your own sake and for that of your city, and above all, for the sake of the goddess who is the common patron and parent and educator of both our cities. She founded your city a thousand years before ours, receiving from the Earth and Hephaestus the seed of your race, and afterwards she founded ours, of which the constitution is recorded in our sacred registers to be eight thousand years old. As touching your citizens of nine thousand years ago, I will briefly inform you of their laws and of their most famous action; the exact particulars of the whole we will hereafter go through at our leisure in the sacred registers themselves. If you compare these very laws with ours you will find that many of ours are the counterpart of yours as they were in the olden time.


In the first place, there is the caste of priests, which is separated from all the others; next, there are the artificers, who ply their several crafts by themselves and do not intermix;

 and also there is the class of shepherds and of hunters, as well as that of husbandmen; and you will observe, too, that the warriors in Egypt are distinct from all the other classes, and are commanded by the law to devote themselves solely to military pursuits; moreover, the weapons which they carry are shields and spears, a style of equipment which the goddess taught of Asiatics first to us, as in your part of the world first to you.


Then as to wisdom, do you observe how our law from the very first made a study of the whole order of things, extending even to prophecy and medicine which gives health, out of these divine elements deriving what was needful for human life, and adding every sort of knowledge which was akin to them. All this order and arrangement the goddess first imparted to you when establishing your city;

 and she chose the spot of earth in which you were born, because she saw that the happy temperament of the seasons in that land would produce the wisest of men. Wherefore the goddess, who was a lover both of war and of wisdom, selected and first of all settled that spot which was the most likely to produce men likes herself. And there you dwelt, having such laws as these and still better ones, and excelled all mankind in all virtue, as became the children and disciples of the gods.


Many great and wonderful deeds are recorded of your state in our histories. But one of them exceeds all the rest in greatness and valor. For these histories tell of a mighty power which unprovoked made an expedition against the whole of Europe and Asia, and to which your city put an end. This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable;

 and there was an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Heracles;

 the island was larger than Libya and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from these you might pass to the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean;

 for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbor, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent.


Now in this island of Atlantis there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and, furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia. This vast power, gathered into one, endeavored to subdue at a blow our country and yours and the whole of the region within the straits;

 and then, Solon, your country shone forth, in the excellence of her virtue and strength, among all mankind. She was pre-eminent in courage and military skill, and was the leader of the Hellenes. And when the rest fell off from her, being compelled to stand alone, after having undergone the very extremity of danger, she defeated and triumphed over the invaders, and preserved from slavery those who were not yet subjugated, and generously liberated all the rest of us who dwell within the pillars.

But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.

I have told you briefly, Socrates, what the aged Critias heard from Solon and related to us. And when you were speaking yesterday about your city and citizens, the tale which I have just been repeating to you came into my mind, and I remarked with astonishment how, by some mysterious coincidence, you agreed in almost every particular with the narrative of Solon; but I did not like to speak at the moment. For a long time had elapsed, and I had forgotten too much;

 I thought that I must first of all run over the narrative in my own mind, and then I would speak.

And so I readily assented to your request yesterday, considering that in all such cases the chief difficulty is to find a tale suitable to our purpose, and that with such a tale we should be fairly well provided. And therefore, as Hermocrates has told you, on my way home yesterday I at once communicated the tale to my companions as I remembered it;

 and after I left them, during the night by thinking I recovered nearly the whole it. Truly, as is often said, the lessons of our childhood make wonderful impression on our memories; for I am not sure that I could remember all the discourse of yesterday, but I should be much surprised if I forgot any of these things which I have heard very long ago. I listened at the time with childlike interest to the old man's narrative; he was very ready to teach me, and I asked him again and again to repeat his words, so that like an indelible picture they were branded into my mind.


As soon as the day broke, I rehearsed them as he spoke them to my companions, that they, as well as myself, might have something to say. And now, Socrates, to make an end my preface, I am ready to tell you the whole tale. I will give you not only the general heads, but the particulars, as they were told to me.


The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke;

 they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. Let us divide the subject among us, and all endeavor according to our ability gracefully to execute the task which you have imposed upon us. Consider then, Socrates, if this narrative is suited to the purpose, or whether we should seek for some other instead.

Critias: Friend Hermocrates, you, who are stationed last and have another in front of you, have not lost heart as yet; the gravity of the situation will soon be revealed to you; meanwhile I accept your exhortations and encouragements. But besides the gods and goddesses whom you have mentioned, I would specially invoke Mnemosyne; for all the important part of my discourse is dependent on her favour, and if I can recollect and recite enough of what was said by the priests and brought hither by Solon, I doubt not that I shall satisfy the requirements of this theatre.


 And now , making no excuses, I will proceed


Let me begin by observing first of all, that nine thousand was the sum of years which had elapsed since the war which was said to have taken place between those who dwelt outside the Pillars of Heracles and all who dwelt within them; this war I am going to describe. Of the combatants on the one side, the city of Athens was reported to have been the leader and to have fought out the war; the combatants on the other side were commanded by the kings of Atlantis, which, as was saying, was an island greater in extent than Libya and Asia, and when afterwards sunk by an earthquake, became an impassable barrier of mud to voyagers sailing from hence to any part of the ocean.


The progress of the history will unfold the various nations of barbarians and families of Hellenes which then existed, as they successively appear on the scene; but I must describe first of all Athenians of that day, and their enemies who fought with them, and then the respective powers and governments of the two kingdoms. Let us give the precedence to Athens.

In the days of old the gods had the whole earth distributed among them by allotment. There was no quarrelling; for you cannot rightly suppose that the gods did not know what was proper for each of them to have, or, knowing this, that they would seek to procure for themselves by contention that which more properly belonged to others. They all of them by just apportionment obtained what they wanted, and peopled their own districts; and when they had peopled them they tended us, their nurslings and possessions, as shepherds tend their flocks, excepting only that they did not use blows or bodily force, as shepherds do, but governed us like pilots from the stern of the vessel, which is an easy way of guiding animals, holding our souls by the rudder of persuasion according to their own pleasure;

-thus did they guide all mortal creatures.

Now different gods had their allotments in different places which they set in order. Hephaestus and Athene, who were brother and sister, and sprang from the same father, having a common nature, and being united also in the love of philosophy and art, both obtained as their common portion this land, which was naturally adapted for wisdom and virtue; and there they implanted brave children of the soil, and put into their minds the order of government; their names are preserved, but their actions have disappeared by reason of the destruction of those who received the tradition, and the lapse of ages.


For when there were any survivors, as I have already said, they were men who dwelt in the mountains; and they were ignorant of the art of writing, and had heard only the names of the chiefs of the land, but very little about their actions. The names they were willing enough to give to their children;

but the virtues and the laws of their predecessors, they knew only by obscure traditions; and as they themselves and their children lacked for many generations the necessaries of life, they directed their attention to the supply of their wants, and of them they conversed, to the neglect of events that had happened in times long past;

 for mythology and the enquiry into antiquity are first introduced into cities when they begin to have leisure, and when they see that the necessaries of life have already been provided, but not before. And this is reason why the names of the ancients have been preserved to us and not their actions.


This I infer because Solon said that the priests in their narrative of that war mentioned most of the names which are recorded prior to the time of Theseus, such as Cecrops, and Erechtheus, and Erichthonius, and Erysichthon, and the names of the women in like manner. Moreover, since military pursuits were then common to men and women, the men of those days in accordance with the custom of the time set up a figure and image of the goddess in full armour, to be a testimony that all animals which associate together, male as well as female, may, if they please, practise in common the virtue which belongs to them without distinction of sex.


Now the country was inhabited in those days by various classes of citizens;-there were artisans, and there were husbandmen, and there was also a warrior class originally set apart by divine men. The latter dwelt by themselves, and had all things suitable for nurture and education;

 neither had any of them anything of their own, but they regarded all that they had as common property; nor did they claim to receive of the other citizens anything more than their necessary food. And they practised all the pursuits which we yesterday described as those of our imaginary guardians.


Concerning the country the Egyptian priests said what is not only probable but manifestly true, that the boundaries were in those days fixed by the Isthmus, and that in the direction of the continent they extended as far as the heights of Cithaeron and Parnes; the boundary line came down in the direction of the sea, having the district of Oropus on the right, and with the river Asopus as the limit on the left. The land was the best in the world, and was therefore able in those days to support a vast army, raised from the surrounding people. Even the remnant of Attica which now exists may compare with any region in the world for the variety and excellence of its fruits and the suitableness of its pastures to every sort of animal, which proves what I am saying;

 but in those days the country was fair as now and yielded far more abundant produce.


How shall I establish my words? and what part of it can be truly called a remnant of the land that then was? The whole country is only a long promontory extending far into the sea away from the rest of the continent, while the surrounding basin of the sea is everywhere deep in the neighborhood of the shore. Many great deluges have taken place during the nine thousand years, for that is the number of years which have elapsed since the time of which I am speaking;

during all this time and through so many changes, there has never been any considerable accumulation of the soil coming down from the mountains, as in other places, but the earth has fallen away all round and sunk out of sight.

The consequence is, that in comparison of what then was, there are remaining only the bones of the wasted body, as they may be called, as in the case of small islands, all the richer and softer parts of the soil having fallen away, and the mere skeleton of the land being left. But in the primitive state of the country, its mountains were high hills covered with soil, and the plains, as they are termed by us, of Phelleus were full of rich earth, and there was abundance of wood in the mountains. Of this last the traces still remain, for although some of the mountains now only afford sustenance to bees, not so very long ago there were still to be seen roofs of timber cut from trees growing there, which were of a size sufficient to cover the largest houses; and there were many other high trees, cultivated by man and bearing abundance of food for cattle. Moreover, the land reaped the benefit of the annual rainfall, not as now losing the water which flows off the bare earth into the sea, but, having an abundant supply in all places, and receiving it into herself and treasuring it up in the close clay soil, it let off into the hollows the streams which it absorbed from the heights, providing everywhere abundant fountains and rivers, of which there may still be observed sacred memorials in places where fountains once existed;

and this proves the truth of what I am saying.

Such was the natural state of the country, which was cultivated, as we may well believe, by true husbandmen, who made husbandry their business, and were lovers of honor, and of a noble nature, and had a soil the best in the world, and abundance of water, and in the heaven above an excellently attempered climate.

Now the city in those days was arranged on this wise. In the first place the Acropolis was not as now. For the fact is that a single night of excessive rain washed away the earth and laid bare the rock;

 at the same time there were earthquakes, and then occurred the extraordinary inundation, which was the third before the great destruction of Deucalion. But in primitive times the hill of the Acropolis extended to the Eridanus and Ilissus, and included the Pnyx on one side, and the Lycabettus as a boundary on the opposite side to the Pnyx, and was all well covered with soil, and level at the top, except in one or two places.

Outside the Acropolis and under the sides of the hill there dwelt artisans, and such of the husbandmen as were tilling the ground near; the warrior class dwelt by themselves around the temples of Athene and Hephaestus at the summit, which moreover they had enclosed with a single fence like the garden of a single house. On the north side they had dwellings in common and had erected halls for dining in winter, and had all the buildings which they needed for their common life, besides temples, but there was no adorning of them with gold and silver, for they made no use of these for any purpose;

 they took a middle course between meanness and ostentation, and built modest houses in which they and their children's children grew old, and they handed them down to others who were like themselves, always the same. But in summer-time they left their gardens and gymnasia and dining halls, and then the southern side of the hill was made use of by them for the same purpose.


Where the Acropolis now is there was a fountain, which was choked by the earthquake, and has left only the few small streams which still exist in the vicinity, but in those days the fountain gave an abundant supply of water for all and of suitable temperature in summer and in winter. This is how they dwelt, being the guardians of their own citizens and the leaders of the Hellenes, who were their willing followers. And they took care to preserve the same number of men and women through all time, being so many as were required for warlike purposes, then as now-that is to say, about twenty thousand.


Such were the ancient Athenians, and after this manner they righteously administered their own land and the rest of Hellas;

 they were renowned all over Europe and Asia for the beauty of their persons and for the many virtues of their souls, and of all men who lived in those days they were the most illustrious. And next, if I have not forgotten what I heard when I was a child, I will impart to you the character and origin of their adversaries. For friends should not keep their stories to themselves, but have them in common.

Yet, before proceeding further in the narrative, I ought to warn you, that you must not be surprised if you should perhaps hear Hellenic names given to foreigners. 


 I will tellthe reasonfor this:

 Solon, who was intending to use the tale for his poem, enquired into the meaning of the names, and found that the early Egyptians in writing them down had translated them into their own language, and he recovered the meaning of the several names and when copying them out again translated them into our language. My great-grandfather, Dropides, had the original writing, which is still in my possession, and was carefully studied by me when I was a child. Therefore if you hear names such as are used in this country, you must not be surprised, for I have told how they came to be introduced. The tale, which was of great length, began as follows:

I have before remarked in speaking of the allotments of the gods, that they distributed the whole earth into portions differing in extent, and made for themselves temples and instituted sacrifices. And Poseidon, receiving for his lot the island of Atlantis, begat children by a mortal woman, and settled them in a part of the island, which I will describe.


Looking towards the sea, but in the center of the whole island, there was a plain which is said to have been the fairest of all plains and very fertile. Near the plain again, and also in the centare of the island at a distance of about fifty stadia, there was a mountain not very high on any side. In this mountain there dwelt one of the earth born primeval men of that country, whose name was Evenor, and he had a wife named Leucippe, and they had an only daughter who was called Cleito.

The maiden had already reached womanhood, when her father and mother died; Poseidon fell in love with her and had intercourse with her, and breaking the ground, inclosed the hill in which she dwelt all round, making alternate zones of sea and land larger and smaller, encircling one another;

 there were two of land and three of water, which he turned as with a lathe, each having its circumference equidistant every way from the centre, so that no man could get to the island, for ships and voyages were not as yet.

He himself, being a god, found no difficulty in making special arrangements for the centre island, bringing up two springs of water from beneath the earth, one of warm water and the other of cold, and making every variety of food to spring up abundantly from the soil. He also begat and brought up five pairs of twin male children;

 and dividing the island of Atlantis into ten portions, he gave to the first-born of the eldest pair his mother's dwelling and the surrounding allotment, which was the largest and best, and made him king over the rest;

 the others he made princes, and gave them rule over many men, and a large territory.

And he named them all; 

the eldest, who was the first king, he named Atlas, and after him the whole island and the ocean were called Atlantic. To his twin brother, who was born after him, and obtained as his lot the extremity of the island towards the Pillars of Heracles, facing the country which is now called the region of Gades in that part of the world, he gave the name which in the Hellenic language is Eumelus, in the language of the country which is named after him, Gadeirus. Of the second pair of twins he called one Ampheres, and the other Evaemon. To the elder of the third pair of twins he gave the name Mneseus, and Autochthon to the one who followed him. Of the fourth pair of twins he called the elder Elasippus, and the younger Mestor. And of the fifth pair he gave to the elder the name of Azaes, and to the younger that of Diaprepes.

All these and their descendants for many generations were the inhabitants and rulers of divers islands in the open sea; 

and also, as has been already said, they held sway in our direction over the country within the Pillars as far as Egypt and Tyrrhenia.

Now Atlas had a numerous and honourable family, and they retained the kingdom, the eldest son handing it on to his eldest for many generations; and they had such an amount of wealth as was never before possessed by kings and potentates, and is not likely ever to be again, and they were furnished with everything which they needed, both in the city and country. For because of the greatness of their empire many things were brought to them from foreign countries, and the island itself provided most of what was required by them for the uses of life.


In the first place, they dug out of the earth whatever was to be found there, solid as well as fusile, and that which is now only a name and was then something more than a name, orichalcum, was dug out of the earth in many parts of the island, being more precious in those days than anything except gold.

There was an abundance of wood for carpenter's work, and sufficient maintenance for tame and wild animals.

Moreover, there were a great number of elephants in the island;

 for as there was provision for all other sorts of animals, both for those which live in lakes and marshes and rivers, and also for those which live in mountains and on plains, so there was for the animal which is the largest and most voracious of all.

Also whatever fragrant things there now are in the earth, whether roots, or herbage, or woods, or essences which distill from fruit and flower, grew and thrived in that land;

 also the fruit which admits of cultivation, both the dry sort, which is given us for nourishment and any other which we use for food-we call them all by the common name pulse, and the fruits having a hard rind, affording drinks and meats and ointments, and good store of chestnuts and the like, which furnish pleasure and amusement, and are fruits which spoil with keeping, and the pleasant kinds of dessert, with which we console ourselves after dinner, when we are tired of eating-all these that sacred island which then beheld the light of the sun, brought forth fair and wondrous and in infinite abundance.

With such blessings the earth freely furnished them; meanwhile they went on constructing their temples and palaces and harbors and docks. And they arranged the whole country in the following manner:

First of all they bridged over the zones of sea which surrounded the ancient metropolis, making a road to and from the royal palace. And at the very beginning they built the palace in the habitation of the god and of their ancestors, which they continued to ornament in successive generations, every king surpassing the one who went before him to the utmost of his power, until they made the building a marvel to behold for size and for beauty.

And beginning from the sea they bored a canal of three hundred feet in width and one hundred feet in depth and fifty stadia in length, which they carried through to the outermost zone, making a passage from the sea up to this, which became a harbor, and leaving an opening sufficient to enable the largest vessels to find ingress.

Moreover, they divided at the bridges the zones of land which parted the zones of sea, leaving room for a single trireme to pass out of one zone into another, and they covered over the channels so as to leave a way underneath for the ships; for the banks were raised considerably above the water.

Now the largest of the zones into which a passage was cut from the sea was three stadia in breadth, and the zone of land which came next of equal breadth; but the next two zones, the one of water, the other of land, were two stadia, and the one which surrounded the central island was a stadium only in width. The island in which the palace was situated had a diameter of five stadia.

All this including the zones and the bridge, which was the sixth part of a stadium in width, they surrounded by a stone wall on every side, placing towers and gates on the bridges where the sea passed in.

The stone which was used in the work they quarried from underneath the centre island, and from underneath the zones, on the outer as well as the inner side. One kind was white, another black, and a third red, and as they quarried, they at the same time hollowed out double docks, having roofs formed out of the native rock. Some of their buildings were simple, but in others they put together different stones, varying the color to please the eye, and to be a natural source of delight.

The entire circuit of the wall, which went round the outermost zone, they covered with a coating of brass, and the circuit of the next wall they coated with tin, and the third, which encompassed the citadel, flashed with the red light of orichalcum

The palaces in the interior of the citadel were constructed on this wise:-in the centre was a holy temple dedicated to Cleito and Poseidon, which remained inaccessible, and was surrounded by an enclosure of gold; this was the spot where the family of the ten princes first saw the light, and thither the people annually brought the fruits of the earth in their season from all the ten portions, to be an offering to each of the ten.

Here was Poseidon's own temple which was a stadium in length, and half a stadium in width, and of a proportionate height, having a strange barbaric appearance. All the outside of the temple, with the exception of the pinnacles, they covered with silver, and the pinnacles with gold. In the interior of the temple the roof was of ivory, curiously wrought everywhere with gold and silver and orichalcum; and all the other parts, the walls and pillars and floor, they coated with orichalcum.

In the temple they placed statues of gold: there was the god himself standing in a chariot-the charioteer of six winged horses-and of such a size that he touched the roof of the building with his head; 

around him there were a hundred Nereids riding on dolphins, for such was thought to be the number of them by the men of those days. There were also in the interior of the temple other images which had been dedicated by private persons.

And around the temple on the outside were placed statues of gold of all the descendants of the ten kings and of their wives, and there were many other great offerings of kings and of private persons, coming both from the city itself and from the foreign cities over which they held sway. There was an altar too, which in size and workmanship corresponded to this magnificence, and the palaces, in like manner, answered to the greatness of the kingdom and the glory of the temple.

In the next place, they had fountains, one of cold and another of hot water, in gracious plenty flowing; and they were wonderfully adapted for use by reason of the pleasantness and excellence of their waters. They constructed buildings about them and planted suitable trees, also they made cisterns, some open to the heavens, others roofed over, to be used in winter as warm baths; there were the kings' baths, and the baths of private persons, which were kept apart; and there were separate baths for women, and for horses and cattle, and to each of them they gave as much adornment as was suitable.


Of the water which ran off they carried some to the grove of Poseidon, where were growing all manner of trees of wonderful height and beauty, owing to the excellence of the soil, while the remainder was conveyed by aqueducts along the bridges to the outer circles; and there were many temples built and dedicated to many gods;

 also gardens and places of exercise, some for men, and others for horses in both of the two islands formed by the zones; and in the centre of the larger of the two there was set apart a race-course of a stadium in width, and in length allowed to extend all round the island, for horses to race in.

Also there were guardhouses at intervals for the guards, the more trusted of whom were appointed-to keep watch in the lesser zone, which was nearer the Acropolis while the most trusted of all had houses given them within the citadel, near the persons of the kings. The docks were full of triremes and naval stores, and all things were quite ready for use.


Enough of the plan of the royal palace. Leaving the palace and passing out across the three you came to a wall which began at the sea and went all round:

 this was everywhere distant fifty stadia from the largest zone or harbor, and enclosed the whole, the ends meeting at the mouth of the channel which led to the sea.

The entire area was densely crowded with habitations;

 and the canal and the largest of the harbors were full of vessels and merchants coming from all parts, who, from their numbers, kept up a multitudinous sound of human voices, and din and clatter of all sorts night and day.

I have described the city and the environs of the ancient palace nearly in the words of Solon, and now I must endeavor to represent the nature and arrangement of the rest of the land.

The whole country was said by him to be very lofty and precipitous on the side of the sea, but the country immediately about and surrounding the city was a level plain, itself surrounded by mountains which descended towards the sea; it was smooth and even, and of an oblong shape, extending in one direction three thousand stadia, but across the centre inland it was two thousand stadia. This part of the island looked towards the south, and was sheltered from the north.

The surrounding mountains were celebrated for their number and size and beauty, far beyond any which still exist, having in them also many wealthy villages of country folk, and rivers, and lakes, and meadows supplying food enough for every animal, wild or tame, and much wood of various sorts, abundant for each and every kind of work


I will now describe the plain, as it was fashioned by nature and by the labors of many generations of kings through long ages. It was for the most part rectangular and oblong, and where falling out of the straight line followed the circular ditch. The depth, and width, and length of this ditch were incredible, and gave the impression that a work of such extent, in addition to so many others, could never have been artificial. Nevertheless I must say what I was told.

It was excavated to the depth of a hundred, feet, and its breadth was a stadium everywhere; it was carried round the whole of the plain, and was ten thousand stadia in length. It received the streams which came down from the mountains, and winding round the plain and meeting at the city, was there let off into the sea.

Further inland, likewise, straight canals of a hundred feet in width were cut from it through the plain, and again let off into the ditch leading to the sea: these canals were at intervals of a hundred stadia, and by them they brought down the wood from the mountains to the city, and conveyed the fruits of the earth in ships, cutting transverse passages from one canal into another, and to the city.

Twice in the year they gathered the fruits of the earth-in winter having the benefit of the rains of heaven, and in summer the water which the land supplied by introducing streams from the canals.


As to the population, each of the lots in the plain had to find a leader for the men who were fit for military service, and the size of a lot was a square of ten stadia each way, and the total number of all the lots was sixty thousand. And of the inhabitants of the mountains and of the rest of the country there was also a vast multitude, which was distributed among the lots and had leaders assigned to them according to their districts and villages. The leader was required to furnish for the war the sixth portion of a war-chariot, so as to make up a total of ten thousand chariots;

 also two horses and riders for them, and a pair of chariot-horses without a seat, accompanied by a horseman who could fight on foot carrying a small shield, and having a charioteer who stood behind the man-at-arms to guide the two horses;

 also, he was bound to furnish two heavy armed soldiers, two slingers, three stone-shooters and three javelin-men, who were light-armed, and four sailors to make up the complement of twelve hundred ships.

Such was the military order of the royal city-the order of the other nine governments varied, and it would be wearisome to recount their several differences.


As to offices and honors, the following was the arrangement from the first. Each of the ten kings in his own division and in his own city had the absolute control of the citizens, and, in most cases, of the laws, punishing and slaying whomsoever he would. Now the order of precedence among them and their mutual relations were regulated by the commands of Poseidon which the law had handed down. These were inscribed by the first kings on a pillar of orichalcum, which was situated in the middle of the island, at the temple of Poseidon, whither the kings were gathered together every fifth and every sixth year alternately, thus giving equal honor to the odd and to the even number.

And when they were gathered together they consulted about their common interests, and enquired if any one had transgressed in anything and passed judgment and before they passed judgment they gave their pledges to one another on this wise:-

There were bulls who had the range of the temple of Poseidon; and the ten kings, being left alone in the temple, after they had offered prayers to the god that they might capture the victim which was acceptable to him, hunted the bulls, without weapons but with staves and nooses; and the bull which they caught they led up to the pillar and cut its throat over the top of it so that the blood fell upon the sacred inscription.

Now on the pillar, besides the laws, there was inscribed an oath invoking mighty curses on the disobedient. When therefore, after slaying the bull in the accustomed manner, they had burnt its limbs, they filled a bowl of wine and cast in a clot of blood for each of them;

 the rest of the victim they put in the fire, after having purified the column all round. Then they drew from the bowl in golden cups and pouring a libation on the fire, they swore that they would judge according to the laws on the pillar, and would punish him who in any point had already transgressed them, and that for the future they would not, if they could help, offend against the writing on the pillar, and would neither command others, nor obey any ruler who commanded them, to act otherwise than according to the laws of their father Poseidon.

This was the prayer which each of them-offered up for himself and for his descendants, at the same time drinking and dedicating the cup out of which he drank in the temple of the god;

 and after they had supped and satisfied their needs, when darkness came on, and the fire about the sacrifice was cool, all of them put on most beautiful azure robes, and, sitting on the ground, at night, over the embers of the sacrifices by which they had sworn, and extinguishing all the fire about the temple, they received and gave judgment, if any of them had an accusation to bring against any one;

and when they given judgment, at daybreak they wrote down their sentences on a golden tablet, and dedicated it together with their robes to be a memorial.

There were many special laws affecting the several kings inscribed about the temples, but the most important was the following: They were not to take up arms against one another, and they were all to come to the rescue if any one in any of their cities attempted to overthrow the royal house; like their ancestors, they were to deliberate in common about war and other matters, giving the supremacy to the descendants of Atlas.

And the king was not to have the power of life and death over any of his kinsmen unless he had the assent of the majority of the ten. Such was the vast power which the god settled in the lost island of Atlantis; 

and this he afterwards directed against our land for the following reasons, as tradition tells:

For many generations, as long as the divine nature lasted in them, they were obedient to the laws, and well-affection towards the god, whose seed they were; for they possessed true and in every way great spirits, uniting gentleness with wisdom in the various chances of life, and in their intercourse with one another. They despised everything but virtue, caring little for their present state of life, and thinking lightly of the possession of gold and other property, which seemed only a burden to them; neither were they intoxicated by luxury; nor did wealth deprive them of their self-control; but they were sober, and saw clearly that all these goods are increased by virtue and friendship with one another, whereas by too great regard and respect for them, they are lost and friendship with them.

By such reflections and by the continuance in them of a divine nature, the qualities which we have described grew and increased among them; but when the divine portion began to fade away, and became diluted too often and too much with the mortal admixture, and the human nature got the upper hand, they then, being unable to bear their fortune, behaved unseemly, and to him who had an eye to see grew visibly debased, for they were losing the fairest of their precious gifts; but to those who had no eye to see the true happiness, they appeared glorious and blessed at the very time when they were full of avarice and unrighteous power.

Zeus, the god of gods, who rules according to law, and is able to see into such things, perceiving that an honorable race was in a woeful plight, and wanting to inflict punishment on them, that they might be chastened and improve, collected all the gods into their most holy habitation, which, being placed in the centre of the world, beholds all created things. And when he had called them together, he spoke as follows-*

* The rest of the Dialogue of Critias has been lost or perhaps was never written.

Atlantis: Vital Statistics 


Below you'll find an outline of the details about Atlantis - the island and its people - provided by Plato in Timaeus and Critias.

From Timaeus

Based in the Atlantic Ocean - Opposite the Pillars of Heracles* (Straits of Gibraltar) 

The Atlantic was then navigable 

Larger than Libya and Asia combined 

From Atlantis you could reach other islands and then a true continent 


*Note: Throughout Atlantis literature (there have been thousands of books written on the subject) you will see references to the Pillars of Heracles and Pillars of Hercules. Heracles and Hercules are variations on the spelling and pronunciation of the same person. He was the heroic son of Zeus and Alcmene who possessed superior strength.

From Critias

Note: The unit of measurement given in translation of Timaeus and Critias is typically the stade or stadia. The conversion is:

1 stade = 607 ft or 185 meters (mile = 5280 feet so 1 stade = .11 mile)


Canal From Sea

Canal 300' wide, 100' deep 

50 stades from the sea was a hill where the rings of Sea and Land were built (5.5 miles) 


Inner Ring

Next ring of water was 1 stade - 600' 

Center land was 5 stades in diameter - 3000' (.5 miles) 

Surrounded on both sides by a wall covered with orichalcum 


Middle Ring

Next set of water / land rings were 2 stades in width - 1200' 

Surrounded on both sides by a wall covered with tin 


Outer Ring

Ring closest to sea and its internal land both 3 stades in width - 1800' 

Surrounded on both sides by a wall covered with brass 

Contained horse racing track 


Outer Wall

Wall which circled the outer ring at a distance of 50 stades (11 miles in diameter) 



Bridges were 100 feet wide (a sixth of a stadia) 



Towers and gates on the bridges 

Guarded at either end 


Oblong, 3000 stadia long, 1000 stadia wide (330 miles long and 110 miles wide) 

Open to the sea on the south (where the canal exited to the sea) 

Surrounded by mountains to the north 


Ditch around the Plain

100 feet deep 

1 stade wide 

10,000 stade long (surrounding the whole plain) (1100 miles long) 



Plain consisted of 10 stade square lots - 1.1 mile x 1.1 mile 

1.1 miles = 5808 ft there we get 33,732,864 sq. ft = 774.4 acres 

acre = 43560 sq. ft or 4840 sq. yd. 

for total of 60,000 

total acres = 46,464,000 

Each lot supplied 

1/6 of a war chariot 

2 horses and riders 

one pair of chariot horses, a horseman, and a charioteer 

2 heavily armed soldiers 

2 slingers 

3 stone shooters 

3 javelin men 

4 sailors (for fleet of 1200 ships) 



5 sets of Twins - Atlas was first King 

Fruits hard to store but providing drink, food & oil 

They governed other land into Egypt and Tyrrhenia 

2 harvests - one from winter rains - one from summer irrigation 

Orichalc, a metal unknown to Plato was mined in quantities - 2nd in value to gold 

Abundant timber, elephants, marshes, swamps, rivers, mountains, plains 

Hot and cold springs 

Stone was white, black, and yellow - stone was excavated from center island and land rings to form covered docking areas 


Atlantis: Theories 


The prevailing theories about Atlantis are:

It's Fiction 

It's an exaggeration based on the fall of the Minoan civilization and the destruction of the island Thera 

It was Real 

Below you'll find a brief summary of each of the theories as well as key points either for or against the theory. Although many people in each camp consider the case closed there is no definitive proof for any theory. In the case of the "It's Fiction" theory it is essentially impossible to definitively prove that it was fiction.


Thera & The Minoan Civilization 

There are some compelling similarites between the destruction of Thera and the destruction of Atlantis.....

The island of Thera, a volcanic island, was destroyed around 1500 BC by an explosion which caused more than half of the island to sink into the sea. 

Artifacts found on the island indicate a sophisticated culture, probably part of the Minoan Civilization. 

There is evidence pointing to trade between the Minoans and Egyptians. The Egyptians would certainly have been aware of the destruction or at least the tremendous damage done to one of their trading partners.

We'll examine this possibility in more detail in upcoming issues of Enigma. 


Proponents of this theory claim that Plato's date of 9000 years ago should really have been 900 years ago: somewhere along the line either Solon or Plato made a mistake. If the story was 900 years ago it would place Atlantis in the time frame of the Minoan civilization on Crete and Thera. Conveniently overlooked in this thinking is that in Timaeus the priest tells Solon that ancient Athens and Atlantis preceded Egypt by a thousand years. Egypt however existed and was known to have existed since long before 1500 BC, the time of Crete and Thera.


Oldest Known North American Mummy

From Enigma - 05/15/96 

Since Ignatius Donnelly's "Atlantis - The Antediluvian World" came out in 1882, one of the main arguments, used by skeptics, against the existence of Atlantis has been that there is no evidence of any advanced civilization that far back in time - 9000 BC. However, practically every year new discovers are made which continue to push back the dates of the beginning of civilization. The discoveries keep showing us that ancient man was more sophisticated they previously believed.

Case in point is the "discovery" of the oldest known mummy in North America. The mummy, named the Spirit Cave man, was found on the shelves of the Nevada State Museum. Discovered in Nevada in 1940 it was originally thought to be 2000 years old. Recent radiocarbon dating has pushed its age back to 9,400 years (7,400 BC).

The most intriguing facts is that the mummy was wearing moccasins and shrouds of woven marsh plants. The weave of the shrouds indicates that it was made on a loom. If these findings turn out to be true it would mean that the there were people in North America more than 9,000 years ago with the knowledge and technology to weave cloths on looms. Such a level of sophistication again pushes back the dates of early civilization and should makes us question some long held assumptions about the primitiveness of ancient people. DNA and other tests are being undertaken.

This certainly doesn't prove the existence of Atlantis but it does push accepted science closer to the possibility


The Sanskrit writings of ancient India contain detailed accounts of Atlantis

The Sanskrit writings of ancient India contain detailed accounts of Atlantis, and even assert that Atlantis was destroyed as the result of a war between the gods and Asuras (recalling the war between the gods and the Titans). Present day scholars are so steeped in Greek and Roman (western) culture that Indian sources are too often ignored. A passage in Sanskrit from the Mahabharata


The Vishnu Purana (2000 B.C.), the oldest of the Hindu Puranas, speaks of Atala, the "White Island," which is one of the seven dwipas (islands) belonging to Patala (Book II, chaps. i, ii, and iii). The Purana locates Atala geographically on the seventh (heat, or climate) zone, which according to Col. Wilford (the translator) is 24 to 28 degrees north latitude: which puts it in the same latitude as the Canary Islands just off the North African coast



Jackie Gleason

Richard Nixon with comedian Jackie Gleason Feb-19-1973


Jackie Gleason


"The Great One"

 From the book: UFOs Among the Stars By Tim Beckley

 by Timothy Green Beckley


Way back in the mid-1960s, I got a letter in the mail from Jackie Gleason Productions, Hollywood, Florida, ordering a copy of a mimeographed booklet I had put together relating to UFOs. This, to me, was confirmation of what I had heard rumors about for a long time ... that "the Great One" was personally involved in researching UFOs. Supposedly - and I've since found out that this is true - Gleason had one of the greatest UFO book collections in the world. This is where the tale gets a bit wilder. A story circulated by Gleason's ex-wife, Beverly, has Jackie actually viewing the bodies of several aliens who died when their craft crashed in the Southwest.


The story was carried originally in the National Enquirer, and though Beverly Gleason later confirmed it to members of the press who were able to track her down, independent confirmation of Gleason's supposed experience could - for the longest time - not be certified.


Now with the striking revelations of a young man who knew Gleason personally, it can safely be said that such an event did take place...


Larry Warren was an Airman First Class stationed at Bentwaters Air Force Base in England (a NATO installation staffed mainly by US. servicemen) when an incredible series of events took place over Christmas week of 1980. A UFO was picked up on radar and subsequently came down just outside the perimeter of the base in a dense forest.


On the first of several nights of confrontation with the Unknown, three security police ventured into the area across an eerie-looking object hovering just above the ground. One of the MPs was mesmerized by the UFO and was unable to move for nearly an hour. While in this mental state, he received some sort of telepathic message that the craft would return. For the next few nights, up to 80 US. servicemen, British bobbies, as well as civilians from some nearby farms, witnessed an historic event. According to Larry Warrenwho stood within feet of this craft from another world-three occupants came out of the ship and actually communicated with a high ranking member of the U.S. Air Force.


This close encounter at Bentwaters has become the subject of several books (see "From Out Of The Blue", Jenny Randles, Inner Light Publications) and has been given wide publicity on CNN, Home Box Office and more recently "Unsolved Mysteries." Warren has, in a sense, become somewhat of a celebrity himself as he remains in the public eye, willing to talk about what he observed.


"Jackie Gleason was interested in hearing my story first hand," Warren offers as a means of explaining how he met the famous comic in May, 1986. "At the time I was living in Connecticut and both CNN and HBO had run pieces on the Bentwaters case. Through mutual friends who knew members of his family, I was told that Gleason would like to talk with me privately in his home in Westchester County, and so the meeting was set for a Saturday when we would both have some time to relax'".


After being formally introduced, the two men ventured into Gleason's recreation room complete with pool table and full-size bar. "There were hundreds of UFO books all over the place," Warren explains, "but Jackie was quick to tell me that this was only a tiny portion of his entire collection, which was housed in his home in Florida." For the rest of the day, UFO researcher and UFO witness exchanged information.


"Gleason seemed to be very well informed on the subject," Larry says, "as he knew the smallest detail about most cases and showed me copies of the book "Clear Intent" that had just been published, as well as a copy of "Sky Crash", a British book about Bentwaters that was published, actually, before all the details of this case were made public. I remember Gleason telling me about his own sightings of several discs in Florida and how he thought there were undersea UFOs bases out in the Bermuda Triangle."


But it wasn't till after Warren had downed a few beers and Gleason had had a number of drinks-"his favorite, Rob Roys"-that conversation really got down to brass tacks. "At some point, Gleason turned to me and said, 'I want to tell you something very amazing that will probably come out some day anyway. We've got em!' 'Got what', I wanted to know? 'Aliens!' Gleason sputtered, catching his breath."


According to Warren, Jackie proceeded to tell him the intriguing set of circumstances that led him to the stunning conclusion that extraterrestrials have arrived on our cosmic shores.


 "It was back when Nixon was in office that something truly amazing happened to me," Gleason explained. "We were close golfing buddies and had been out on the golf course all day when somewhere around the 15th hole, the subject of UFOs came up. Not many people know this," Gleason told Warren, "but the President shares my interest in this matter and has a large collection of books in his home on UFOs just like I do. For some reason, however, he never really took me into his confidence about what he personally knew to be true... one of the reasons being that he was usually sur- rounded by so many aids and advisers."


Later that night, matters changed radically, when Richard Nixon showed up at Gleason's house around midnight. "He was all alone for a change. There were no secret service agents with him or anyone else. I said, 'Mr. President, what are you doing here?' and he said he wanted to take me someplace and show me something." Gleason got into the President's private car and they sped off into the darkness - their destination being Homestead Air Force Base.


"I remember we got to the gate and this young MP came up to the car to look to see inside and his jaw seemed to drop a foot when he saw who was behind the wheel. He just sort of pointed and we headed off." Warren says that later Gleason found out that the secret service was going absolutely crazy trying to find out where Nixon was. "We drove to the very far end of the base in a segregated area," Gleason went on, "finally stopping near a well-guarded building. The security police saw us coming and just sort of moved back as we passed them and entered the structure.


There were a number of labs we passed through first before we entered a section where Nixon pointed out what he said was the wreckage from a flying saucer, enclosed in several large cases." Gleason noted his initial reaction was that this was all a joke brought on by their earlier conversation on the golf course. But it wasn't, as Gleason soon learned. "Next, we went into an inner chamber and there were six or eight of what looked like glass-topped Coke freezers. Inside them were the mangled remains of what I took to be children. Then - upon closer examination - I saw that some of the other figures looked quite old. Most of them were terribly mangled as if they had been in an accident."


According to Larry Warren's testimony (regarding Gleason's lengthy conversation about UFOs and space visitors), "I forget whether he said they had three or four fingers on each hand, but they definitely were not human...of this he was most certain!" For three weeks following his trip with Nixon to Homestead Air Force Base, the world famous entertainer couldn't sleep and couldn't eat. "Jackie told me that he was very traumatized by all of this.


He just couldn't understand why our government wouldn't tell the public all they knew about UFOs and space visitors. He said he even drank more heavily than usual until he could regain some of his composure and come back down to everyday reality." Larry Warren is convinced that Gleason wasn't lying to him. "You could tell that he was very sincere - he took the whole affair very seriously, and I could tell that he wanted to get the matter off his chest, and this was why he was telling me all of this." And as far as Larry Warren was concerned, the Great One's personal testimony only added extra credibility to his own first hand experience with aliens while he was in the service.


"Jackie felt just like I do that the government needs to 'come clean,' and tell us all it knows about space visitors. It time they stopped lying to the public and release all the evidence they have. When they do, then we'll all be able to see the same things the late Jackie Gleason did!"


Hopefully this day may arriveSoon




The Mothman Prophecies

The Mothman | Documentary


Virginia, 1966. For thirteen months the town of Point Pleasant is gripped by a real-life nightmare that culminates in a tragedy that makes headlines around the world. Strange occurrences and sightings, including a bizarre winged apparition


Reviewer: Chris Pittman from Franklin MA USA


I have read over 200 books on UFOs and for many reasons, this is my favorite. Keel is an honest investigator who was fortunate to be involved in the strange, spooky events he writes about. Taken along with his first book, Operation Trojan Horse, this slim volume says more about the true nature of the UFO phenomenon than almost any other book written since. I was initially doubtful of the validity of Keel's claims, as some other reviewers are. However, I had the luck of meeting a man mentioned in the book who accompanied Keel on his investigations. This person, whom I trust and sincerely believe to be honest, flatly stated that everything in the book was true, that he had been there, spoke to the witnesses, and eventually became involved in the phenomena, as did Keel. The fact is, these things happened. In fact, Keel left some of the strangest evidence out of the book. Mothman Prophecies is a fascinating true story, and I recommend it to anyone who has a real desire to know the truth about UFOs and the paranormal.


West Virginia, 1966. For thirteen months the town of Point Pleasant is gripped by a real-life nightmare that culminates in a tragedy that makes headlines around the world. Strange occurrences and sightings, including a bizarre winged apparition that becomes known as the Mothman, trouble this ordinary American community. Mysterious lights are seen moving across the sky. Domestic animals are found slaughtered and mutilated. And journalist John Keel, arriving to investigate the freakish events, soon finds himself an integral part of an eerie and unfathomable mystery


 Natalie Tennant Taveling West Virginia


Point Pleasant is like any other small town in West Virginia. Full of rich history, friendly people and interesting facts. But unlike those others, this one may have a curse. After his demise at the Battle of Point Pleasant, according to legend, Shawnee Chieftain Cornstalk with his dying breath cursed the area for 200 years. There have been plenty of tragedies, fires, floods, train derailments and the collapse of the Silver Bridge that killed 46 people.


But the most unexplainable occurrence, is the sighting of a human/bird type creature.  Marcella Bennett Saw "Mothman"  I shall never forget what i saw. What Marcella Bennett saw more than 30 years ago has stayed with the town's image ever since and has become known as the Mothman. I could see leg, and i just started looking up and it looked like a man but with a head like a bird standing like that gray feathers.


This place is known as the TNT area because during World War Two it was a mutations factory and then about 20 years later, it had become the local lovers lane and just like a script from a bad horror movie, it was here where the legend of Mothman was born. For more than a year in the late 60s, terror, fear and uncertainty gripped the town as witnesses reported seeing this "big bird" that stood taller than a man with huge wings and glowing red eyes. It seemed like it always lingered with me, like when I was driving i could feel it in the back seat. This was no Halloween hoax, hundreds of people said they saw it, law enforcement investigated, newspapers worldwide carried the story and even now, a second movie about it is planned. And with it a chance for the town's luck to turn. There is a movie in the works about Mothman. Richard Gere will play the reporter who came to Point Pleasant to investigate the sightings. But the filming will take place in Pittsburgh rather than West Virginia.


The weird events connected to the Mothman began on November 12, 1966 near Clendenin, West Virginia. Five men were in the local cemetery that day, preparing a grave for a burial, when something that looked like a “brown human being” lifted off from some nearby trees and flew over their heads. The men were baffled. It did not appear to be a bird, but more like a man with wings. A few days later, more sightings would take place, electrifying the entire region.


Late in the evening of November 15, two young married couples had a very strange encounter as they drove past an abandoned TNT plant near Point Pleasant, West Virginia. The couples spotted two large eyes that were attached to something that was "shaped like a man, but bigger, maybe six or seven feet tall. And it had big wings folded against its back". When the creature moved toward the plant door, the couples panicked and sped away. Moments later, they saw the same creature on a hillside near the road. It spread its wings and rose into the air, following with their car, which by now was traveling at over 100 miles per hour. "That bird kept right up with us," said one of the group. They told Deputy Sheriff Millard Halstead that it followed them down Highway 62 and right to the Point Pleasant city limits. And they would not be the only ones to report the creature that night. Another group of four witnesses claimed to see the “bird” three different times!


Another sighting had more bizarre results. At about 10:30 on that same evening, Newell Partridge, a local building contractor who lived in Salem (about 90 miles from Point Pleasant), was watching television when the screen suddenly went dark. He stated that a weird pattern filled the screen and then he heard a loud, whining sounds from outside that raised in pitch and then ceased. “It sounded like a generator winding up” he later stated. Partridge’s dog, Bandit, began to howl out on the front porch and Newell went out to see what was going on. When he walked outside, he saw Bandit facing the hay barn, about 150 yards from the house. Puzzled, Partridge turned a flashlight in that direction and spotted two red circles that looked like eyes or “bicycle reflectors”. They moving red orbs were certainly not animal’s eyes, he believed, and the sight of them frightened him. Bandit, an experienced hunting dog and protective of his territory, shot off across the yard in pursuit of the glowing eyes. Partridge called for him to stop, but the animal paid no attention. His owner turned and went back into the house for his gun, but then was too scared to go back outside again. He slept that night with his gun propped up next to the bed.


 The next morning, he realized that Bandit had disappeared. The dog had still not shown up two days later when Partridge read in the newspaper about the sightings in Point Pleasant that night.


One statement that he read in the newspaper chilled him to the bone. Roger Scarberry, one member of the group who spotted the strange “bird” at the TNT plant, said that as they entered the city limits of Point Pleasant, they saw the body of a large dog lying on the side of the road. A few minutes later, on the way back out of town, the dog was gone. They even stopped to look for the body, knowing they had passed it just a few minutes before. Newell Partridge immediately thought of Bandit, who was never seen again.


On November 16 a press conference was held in the county courthouse and the couples from the TNT plant sighting repeated their story. Deputy Halstead, who had known the couples all of their lives, took them very seriously. “They’ve never been in any trouble,” he told investigators and had no reason to doubt their stories.


Many of the reporters who were present for the weird recounting felt the same way. The news of the strange sightings spread around the world. The press dubbed the odd flying creature “Mothman”, after a character from the popular Batman television series of the day.


The remote and abandoned TNT plant became the lair of the Mothman in the months ahead and it could not have picked a better place to hide in. The area was made up of several hundred acres of woods and large concrete domes where high explosives were stored during World War II. A network of tunnels honeycombed the area and made it possible for the creature to move about without being seen. In addition to the manmade labyrinth, the area was also comprised of the McClintic Wildlife Station, a heavily forested animal preserve filled with woods, artificial ponds and steep ridges and hills. Much of the property was almost inaccessible and without a doubt, Mothman could have hid for weeks or months and remained totally unseen. The only people who ever wandered there were hunters and fishermen and the local teenagers, who used the rutted dirt roads of the preserve as “lover’s lanes”.


Very few homes could be found in the region, but one dwelling belonged to the Ralph Thomas family. One November 16, they spotted a “funny red light” in the sky that moved and hovered above the TNT plant. “It wasn’t an airplane”, Mrs. Marcella Bennett (a friend of the Thomas family) said, “but we couldn’t figure out what it was.” Mrs. Bennett drove to the Thomas house a few minutes later and got out of the car with her baby. Suddenly, a figure stirred near the automobile. “It seemed as though it had been lying down,” she later recalled. “It rose up slowly from the ground. A big gray thing. Bigger than a man with terrible glowing eyes.”


Mrs. Bennett was so horrified that she dropped her little girl! She quickly recovered, picked up her child and ran to the house. The family locked everyone inside but hysteria gripped them as the creature shuffled onto the porch and peered into the windows. The police were summoned, but the Mothman had vanished by the time the authorities had arrived. Mrs. Bennett would not recover from the incident for months and was in fact so distraught that she sought medical attention to deal with her anxieties. She was tormented by frightening dreams and later told investigators that she believed the creature had visited her own home too. She said that she could often hear a keening sounds (like a woman screaming) near her isolated home on the edge of Point Pleasant.


Many would come to believe that the sightings of Mothman, as well as UFO sightings and encounters with “men in black” in the area, were all related. For nearly a year, strange happenings continued in the area. Researchers, investigators and “monster hunters” descended on the area but none so famous as author John Keel, who has written extensively about Mothman and other unexplained anomalies. He has written for many years about UFO’s but dismisses the standard “extraterrestrial” theories of the mainstream UFO movement. For this reason, he has been a controversial figure for decades. According to Keel, man has had a long history of interaction with the supernatural. He believes that the intervention of mysterious strangers in the lives of historic personages like Thomas Jefferson and Malcolm X provides evidence of the continuing presence of the “gods of old”. The manifestation of these elder gods comes in the form of UFO’s and aliens, monsters, demons, angels and even ghosts. He has remained a colorful character to many and yet remains respected in the field for his research and fascinating writings.  Keel became the major chronicler of the Mothman case and wrote that at least 100 people personally witnessed the creature between November 1966 and November 1967. According to their reports, the creature stood between five and seven feet tall, was wider than a man and shuffled on human-like legs. Its eyes were set near the top of the shoulders and had bat-like wings that glided, rather than flapped, when it flew. Strangely though, it was able to ascend straight up “like a helicopter”. Witnesses also described its murky skin as being either gray or brown and it emitted a humming sound when it flew. The Mothman was apparently incapable of speech and gave off a screeching sound. Mrs. Bennett stated that it sounded like a “woman screaming”.


John Keel arrived in Point Pleasant in December 1966 and immediately began collecting reports of Mothman sightings and even UFO reports from before the creature was seen. He also compiled evidence that suggested a problem with televisions and phones that began in the fall of 1966. Lights had been seen in the skies, particularly around the TNT plant, and cars that passed along the nearby road sometimes stalled without explanation. He and his fellow researchers also uncovered a number of short-lived poltergeist cases in the Ohio Valley area. Locked doors opened and closed by themselves, strange thumps were heard inside and outside of homes and often, inexplicable voices were heard. The James Lilley family, who lived just south of the TNT plant, were so bothered by the bizarre events that they finally sold their home and moved to another neighborhood. Keel was convinced that the intense period of activity was all connected.


And stranger things still took place.... A reporter named Mary Hyre, who was the Point Pleasant correspondent for the Athens, Ohio newspaper the Messenger, also wrote extensively about the local sightings. In fact, after one very active weekend, she was deluged with over 500 phone calls from people who saw strange lights in the skies. One night in January 1967, she was working late in her office in the county courthouse and a man walked in the door. He was very short and had strange eyes that were covered with thick glasses. He also had long, black hair that was cut squarely “like a bowl haircut”. Hyre said that he spoke in a low, halting voice and he asked for directions to Welsh, West Virginia. She thought that he had some sort of speech impediment and for some reason, he terrified her. “He kept getting closer and closer to me, “ she said, “ and his funny eyes were staring at me almost hypnotically.” Alarmed, she summoned the newspaper’s circulation manager to her office and together, they spoke to the strange little man. She said that at one point in the discussion, she answered the telephone when it rang and she noticed the little man pick up a pen from her desk. He looked at it in amazement, “as if he had never seen a pen before.” Then, he grabbed the pen, laughed loudly and ran out of the building. Several weeks later, Hyre was crossing the street near her office and saw the same man on the street. He appeared to be startled when he realized that she was watching him, turned away quickly and ran for a large black car that suddenly came around the corner. The little man climbed in and it quickly drove away. By this time, most of the sightings had come to an end and Mothman had faded away into the strange “twilight zone” from which he had come... but the story of Point Pleasant had not yet ended. At around 5:00 in the evening on December 15, 1967, the 700-foot bridge linking Point Pleasant to Ohio suddenly collapsed while filled with rush hour traffic. Dozens of vehicles plunged into the dark waters of the Ohio River and 46 people were killed. Two of those were never found and the other 44 are buried together in the town cemetery of Gallipolis, Ohio.


On that same tragic night, the James Lilley family (who still lived near the TNT plant at that time) counted more than 12 eerie lights that flashed above their home and vanished into the forest.


The collapse of the Silver Bridge made headlines all over the country and Mary Hyre went days without sleep as reporters and television crews from everywhere descended on the town. The local citizens were stunned with horror and disbelief and the tragedy is still being felt today.


 During Christmas week, a short, dark-skinned man entered the office of Mary Hyre. He was dressed in a black suit, with a black tie, and she said that he looked vaguely Oriental. He had high cheekbones, narrow eyes and an unidentified accent. He was not interested in the bridge disaster, she said, but wanted to know about local UFO sightings. Hyre was too busy to talk with him and she handed her a file of related press clipping instead. He was not interested in them and insisted on speaking with her. She finally dismissed him from her office.


That same night, an identically described man visited the homes of several witnesses in the area who had reported seeing the lights in the sky. He made all of them very uneasy and uncomfortable and while he claimed to be a reporter from Cambridge, Ohio, he inadvertently admitted that he did not know where Columbus, Ohio was even though the two towns are just a few miles apart.


So who was Mothman and what was behind the strange events in Point Pleasant?Whatever the creature may have been, it seems clear that Mothman was no hoax. There were simply too many credible witnesses who saw “something”. It was suggested at the time that the creature may have been a sandhill crane, which while they are not native to the area, could have migrated south from Canada. That was one explanation anyway, although it was one that was rejected by Mothman witnesses, who stated that what they saw looked nothing like a crane. But there could have been a logical explanation for some of the sightings. Even John Keel (who believed the creature was genuine) suspected that a few of the cases involved people who were spooked by recent reports and saw owls flying along deserted roads at night. Even so, Mothman remains hard to easily dismiss. The case is filled with an impressive number of multiple-witness sightings by individuals that were deemed reliable, even by law enforcement officials. But if Mothman was real... and he truly was some unidentified creature that cannot be explained, what was behind the UFO sightings, the poltergeist reports, the strange lights, sounds, the “men in black” and most horrifying, the collapse of the Silver Bridge?


John Keel believes that Point Pleasant was a “window” area, a place that was marked by long periods of strange sightings, monster reports and the coming and going of unusual persons. He states that it may be wrong to blame the collapse of the bridge on the local UFO sightings, but the intense activity in the area at the time does suggest some sort of connection. Others have pointed to another supernatural link to the strange happenings, blaming the events on the legendary Cornstalk Curse that was placed on Point Pleasant in the 1770's. And if such things can happen in West Virginia, then why not elsewhere in the country? Can these “window” areas explain other phantom attackers, mysterious creatures, mad gassers and more that have been reported all over America? Perhaps they can, but to consider this, we have to consider an even more chilling question... where will the next “window” area be? It might be of benefit to study your local sightings and weird events a little more carefully in the future!


The first sighting came in the early 1960s. A woman was driving along Route 2, near the Ohio River, with her father. As she neared the Chief Cornstalk Hunting Grounds, a large man-shaped figure walked out onto the road. As the woman slowed her car, the figure spread two large wings and took off. Ironically, the witness did not report the incident - "Who would believe us, anyway?"


The first sighting which received publicity, though, was one in 1965. A woman living near the Ohio River related how her son had told her one day of seeing "an angel" outside. She thought nothing more of it until about a year later.


In the summer of 1966, a doctor's wife in the same general area said that she had seen a six-foot long thing resembling a "giant butterfly". On November 12, five gravediggers (how appropriate a profession!) saw something which looked like a "brown human being" fly out of the trees near Clendenin. One of the witnesses, Kenneth Duncan, said that they watched the creature for almost a minute.


On the 14th of the month, Salem resident Newell Partridge saw two red objects hovering above a field. His German Shepherd, Bandit, took off into the field and was never seen by Partridge again.


The next night, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Scarberry and Mr. and Mrs. Steve Mallette were driving near the "TNT Area", near the town of Point Pleasant. A tall figure stood by the side of the road. "It was shaped like a man, but bigger," said Mr. Scarberry. "Maybe six and a half or seven feet tall. And it had big wings folded against its back." His wife commented on its huge red eyes, "like automobile reflectors."


Mr. Scarberry, who was driving, took off in his car at "better than a hundred miles per hour," the figure spread its wings and flew after the car. It didn't seem to flap its wings at all, and its wingspan was over ten feet. Mrs. Mallette said that it made a squeaking sound, "like a big mouse." The four also noted that a dead dog had been lying by the side of the road, but was gone when they returned.


They went to the offices of the Mason County sheriff and reported their sighting. Deputy Millard Halstead returned to the TNT Area with the four, and said that as he passed the spot where they had initially seen the figure, his police radio made a sound similar to a speeded-up record.


The TNT Area, which seemed to be a sort of home for the "Mothman," as it was quickly dubbed by the press, is a large tract of land. Small concrete "igloos" dot the landscape, used during World War II to store ammunition. The TNT Area is adjacent to the 2,500 acre McClintic Wildlife Station. The entire area is covered with dense forest, steep hills, and riddled with tunnels.


The area is also sparsely populated. One of the families living in the area is that of Ralph Thomas. On the 16th, at about 9:00 pm, Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wamsley, Mrs. Marcella Bennett, and Mrs. Bennett's daughter, Tina, were visiting the Thomases. On the way there, they watched a red light which circled the TNT Area. When the car pulled up in front of the Thomas', it disturbed something.


It seemed as if it had been lying down. It rose up slowly from the ground. A big gray thing. Bigger than a man, with terrible glowing red eyes.


The witnesses ran to the Thomas home, where they were let in by the three children. The figure shuffled along behind them, coming onto the porch and looking through the window. Mr. Wamsley called the police, but the thing had, of course, vanished by the time they arrived. Mrs. Bennett, who lives at the edge of Point Pleasant, says she has heard the creature on other occasions. She describes the sound it makes as "like a woman screaming."


Paul Yoder and Ben Enochs, two firemen, said they had seen Mothman in the TNT Area on the 18th. Richard West, of Charleston, called the police on November 21. A winged figure was sitting on the roof of his neighbor's house, he said. The six-foot tall figure had a wingspan of six or eight feet and red eyes. It took off straight up, "like a helicopter."


Tom Ury was driving along Route 62, near the TNT Area, on the morning of November 25. He saw a large, grayish figure standing in a field. Then it spread two large wings, lifted straight into the air, and flew over Ury's car at an altitude "three telephone poles high"--probably about 50 or 60 feet. The next day, Mrs. Ruth Foster of St. Albans said the creature was standing in her yard near her porch. Her description tallys with West's. The same day, people in Lowell, Ohio, saw several large birds flying over Cat's Creek. The three witnesses followed the birds in their car and said that they were "...dark brown with some light flecks. Their breasts were gray and they had five- or six-inch bills, straight, not curved like those of hawks or vultures." The birds seemed to have reddish heads.


And still more sightings came. On November 27, on the way home from church, Connie Carpenter saw a grayish figure standing on the golf course near Mason. The creature took off and flew straight towards her car. She was one of few who actually saw the creature's face, although her description--"It was horrible"--doesn't help much. Another sighting took place that same night in St. Albans, where two girls saw the creature near a junkyard. The creature flew after them.


On December 4, five pilots at the Gallipolis, Ohio, airport saw some sort of giant bird flying at about 70 miles per hour. Its wings weren't moving, and unlike other witnesses they commented on a long neck.


Mabel McDaniel (coincidentally, mother of Linda Scarberry, one of the first witnesses) saw Mothman on January 11, 1967. Mrs. McDaniel said that at first the creature looked like "an airplane, then I realized it was flying much too low. It was brown and had a wingspread of at least ten feet." In March, an Ohio man claimed his car was chased by a flying creature.


The last sighting seems to have come on November 2, shortly after noon. Mrs. Ralph Thomas (from Bennett's sighting) heard a "squeaky fan belt" outside her home and saw a "tall gray figure" moving among the concrete domes in the TNT Area.


Scattered sightings continued for several years afterwards. In 1968, especially, a number of hairy humanoids with glowing eyes were seen on Jerrico Road. And on September 18, people in the TNT Area supposedly saw Mothman once more--putting in his last appearance, it seems.


In late 1966, when the Mothman reports started to die down, other phenomena started up in the area. Several UFOs were seen near Point Pleasant, animals were mutilated in surrounding areas, and Mothman witnesses reported poltergeist and "men in black" phenomena. This has led many a researcher to speculate on a connection between Mothman and UFOs.


But no discussion of the Mothman phenomenon would be complete without recounting the story of the Silver Bridge. On the evening of December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge, which crossed the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, collapsed in rush-hour traffic. Over forty-six cars fell into the river. It was the biggest disaster ever to hit Point Pleasant.


Of course, it was only a matter of time before people began to connect this disaster with the Mothman sightings. Was Mothman some sort of warning sign of the impending disaster? Was the entire saga somehow connected with the UFOs seen in the area?


As a final postscript, New Haven farmer Ernest Adkins reported something very odd indeed in April of 1969. He found his eleven-week-old beagle lying dead in his front yard. "There was no evidence the dog died in a fight," Adkins said. What made it strange was the fact that the dog's chest was chewed open, and its heart was lying outside.


Surprisingly, most scientists scoffed at this theory. They said it was probably just some normal kind of bird; the favored culprit was a sandhill crane. These large birds have reddish patches on their heads (accounting for Mothman's "red eyes") and a large specimen would reach roughly the size attributed to Mothman. But other birds were found in the area that could account for the sightings. In July of 1967, several boys found a large vulture near New Haven. And at Gallipolis Ferry, a farmer shot a rare bird indeed--an Arctic snow owl. The owl was two feet tall and had a five-foot wingspan.




One day in 1943, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, something happened . . . 

Suddenly the U.S.S. Eldridge, a fully manned destroyer escort, vanished into a green fog, within seconds appeared in Norfolk, Virginia, and then reappeared in Philadelphia!

For over thirty-six years officials have denied any experimentation to render matter invisible — have denied the reality of it.

Master pulse generator, found in Preston Nichol's collection, originally used on the USS Eldridge

 Mind machine used by the Sirians. (Early prototype at Montauk)

 Radio receiver originally used on board the USS Eldridge for the August 12th test


In July 1943, the destroyer U.S.S. Eldridge pulled into the Delaware Bay area for a United States Naval experiment that involved the task of making the ship invisible. The project's official name is Project Rainbow, but was nicknamed and more commonly known as the Philadelphia Experiment. Much has been written and speculated about the legendary experiment into invisibility, but sorting fact from fiction is a near impossible task, especially with the recent influx of misinformation and deliberate disinformation that has been spread by those connected to the U.S. Intelligence community and professional skeptics. There is much controversy over what exactly happened, but one thing is for sure. For some reason, soon after the test was completed, a massive blanket of secrecy and denial was placed over what happened in Delaware Bay. It is thought that a huge scientific breakthrough was made, and the ship was accurately transported over space and time, disappearing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and reappearing in Norfolk, Virginia. Whatever did happen is still not known, but different theories are discussed below:


The "Official" Navy Record 


The Navy admits that the U.S.S. Eldridge took part in an experiment that involved wrapping wire around the hull of the destroyer in an attempt to cancel out the magnetic fields of the metal on the ship. This is known as degaussing. This would render the ship "invisible" to underwater magnetic mines that rely on proximity sensors to trigger the detonation. These sensors operate by detecting magnetic fields around ships. Without the magnetic field, the ship would be able to pass through regions mined with these sensors, invisible to enemy mines, but not to radar or vision. The Navy's report is very plausible, and doesn't mention any exotic results or circumstances. But could this just be a believable account to drop the interest by the general public, leaving only the true minority of investigators in doubt?


Physical Invisibility 


Some scientists have developed the theory that the Navy was working on a way to make the ship invisible to vision. However, it didn't involve warping space time or any complex task of a similar nature. This theory suggests that the Eldridge was equipped with high frequency generators that would heat up the surrounding air to cause a mirage, making the vessel invisible. This phenomenon is naturally occurring, and there have been cases where entire islands have disappeared from view in the right weather conditions. The high frequency generator would heat up the surrounding air and the water (creating a green-colored fog that was said to have engulfed the ship), causing a mirage to form, concealing the ship from view. The generator would also account for the sickness (physical and mental) of the crew after the experiment. A high frequency generator can cause serious harm to a person's well being, especially at close range. This is more plausible than the degaussing theory, and would also explain the crew's sick condition as a result of the test. The main problem with these theories though, is that it doesn't explain how the U.S.S. Eldridge was seen in Norfolk, Virginia by the civilian crew of the SS Andrew Furuseth, when the ship disappeared from view in Philadelphia in a space of only about fifteen minutes. There are also details such as crewmen being fused to the hull of the ship and some not even reappearing.


"...men caught fire, went mad, and - the most bizarre of all, some were embedded halfway into the deck of the ship. Others phased in and out of this reality."


Transported across space and time? 


The most interesting theory about the Philadelphia Experiment is that the destroyer did in fact disappear and was teleported across space and time. Supposedly, there was a great number of ingenious scientists (including Tesla and Einstein) that were taking part in the experiment. However, Nikola Tesla was supposed to be dead at the time of the Naval experiment.


The theory is that light has to be bent around the ship to make it invisible. To accomplish this, the Navy wrapped the ship's circumference in wire and passed a measured current through it. This caused a huge oscillating magnet to form a magnetic field around the ship, not only bending the light, but space and time as well. The physics of the experiment are reminiscent of Einstein's Unified Field Theory that once you bend light, you are also unwittingly bending space and time as well.


The first time this experiment was undertaken, the ship didn't completely disappear, and an imprint of the hull could be seen sitting in the water. The second time, the ship totally disappeared in a green fog and was sighted in Norfolk, Virginia. A haunting fact is that when the ship reappeared, the crew were all in a state of disorientation. Some were mentally ill, while other crewmen didn't even return. There were also crewmen that returned embedded in the hull. Later accounts arose about the crewmen, including a former crew member who was involved in a bar fight, and all the participants froze in time, as reported by a local newspaper! There were also accounts of people who were on the ship, spontaneously combusting.


The mystery remains

Its still not known what happened that day in 1943, mainly due to the lack of witnesses coming forth who served aboard the Eldridge. There is also no documentation available to the public which details Project Rainbow. It may have simply been a degaussing experiment. But how did the destroyer appear seconds later in Virginia? Its possible the answer will never be known, but the mystery may be solved when scientists rediscover what happened in Delaware Bay.


The Philadelphia project, became the Phoenix project when the case was re-opened again in 1947 at the Brook-haven space-time laboratories, to see if they could salvage some this "non-working" project, and hide their ships and aircraft from radar (today's Stealth Technology).


Al Bielek and Duncan Cameron were assigned to the psychic division of Montauk and worked with time tunneling and Teleportation. One of these are the famed "Montauk Chair". The Montauk Chair was essentially a mind amplifier. They found that they could easily re-program people when they were put into the orgasmic state of emotion, this would separate the conscious mind, and free up the unconscious submissive mind and allow programming. The chair would pick up this thought. With the help of a psychic and machines, anyone who sat in the chair could simply concentrate and an alternate reality would be created.


Al Bielek and Duncan Cameron Talk about their Experiences on the Philadelphia Project 


During these tests at Montauk from 1947 to 1987, they developed the technology that a transmitter could warp space and time just like gravity. Preston Nichols built this transmitter. They were able to find a time vortex that would tunnel them back and forth between 1983 and 1943. This vortex was about 5 miles in diameter and could teleport you as far as 100 light years away, to and from any time in the past or future. They experimented to see the earth a thousand years in the future but found that anything beyond the year 2021 was unrecognizable and found no tangible future beyond 2021. Preston explains also that if someone were teleported back into time say 3 minutes, they would eventually meet themselves and explode.


With this transmitter, what ever you could think of would appear. Al Bielek and Duncan Cameron describes the many adventures of going through the vortex to not only different times, but also different locals. Cameron would psychically create it, while Bielek would be teleported to it. Objects could be taken to and from these different locals and times instantly. He tells of a Time-Life magazine that was taken from 1987 back to 1947 during a test. You could take a picture or video tape anything while in the tunnel and take it back with you. There may however be repercussions. By having knowledge about the future, this knowledge has now altered the present. Al Bielek describes the fluid like structure and the cork screw sensations when he passes through the vortex.


Many people were lost when the generator received fluctuation or was turned off. This is the reason why they used single people with no family and no previous history, so that they would not be missed. Many recruits were sent to the year 6069 and then returned to describe what they saw. If they described what they saw what was known to be there, then they would continue in the project since their testimony could be validated. Duncan describes the Earth in the year 6069 as a city of unrecognizable ruins in a different evolution than the one Earth is in now. A big gold horse (with a dial on its belly) monument of some kind caught his notice (i.e. the front cover of the first Montauk book).


Al Bielek and Duncan Cameron were also assigned to be on the USS Eldridge. Both jumped off when they found that they were starting to phase out of this reality.


Preston Nichols, a receiver / transmitter specialist, was assigned to the design of weather control technologies using techniques of Wilhelm Reich !!!. They were able to control storms, tornadoes, and various other weather systems using Z-Argon gases at the 406 MHz frequencies. These were to be incorporated into the Phoenix Project.


The projects developed from weather control and invisibility, to Human Mind Control. Their Idea was to control the mind of the enemy and make them surrender. By setting the emotions of people, then recording their psychic brain wave patterns, they found that when they replayed these patterns to other people, they too would be set to that emotion.


Preston also explains on the video how Teleportation to a future fixed point would alter the return to the same fixed point of a past, and that this would set up a re-occurring loop of a certain time line, while leaving other alternate past point time lines in perfect alternate possible futures (it gets complicated here), and sets up a locked time line. Preston farther explains how altered states of reality works in the "No perception of time" state (Robert Monroe's Local 12?).


Modified Control Panel Look at all this evidence !!! "Mind" Hardware 


The Montauk Air force base was used for this testing from 1969 to 1979. These devices were perfected to the point where they could produce a mind control laser beam to make a person feel anything they wanted: love, hate, depression, etc. They could point this beam at a school of fish and make them swim in any direction that they wanted. Some 250,000 people were mind programmed and tested during this time. A side effect of this programming was that the people who were used for testing, some of them without their knowledge, all obtained an altered Aura. These altered Auras that can still be seen today by psychics and equipment. They had the power of creation so long as the power was supplied to the transmitters which required gigs and terra watts.


After the project was over, employees were de-briefed, brainwashed, reprogrammed, and had their memories erased with the knowledge from the project. In addition to this Al Bielek's conscious was put into another child's body after birth. Much of this technology was given to the upper government by a number of Extra-Terrestrial races in exchange for control and treaties.


These Black Projects costs billions and billions of dollars to run, and it was not only one base at Montauk, but 25 bases all across the land all running in parallel. The question arises "where did all the money come from?". Its interesting to note that the money was not funded by the government!. Apparently the money used to fund these projects came from some secret society that got the money from a Nazi gold train carrying 10 billion dollars that disappeared during the war, and was found 10 years later in Montauk, only now the value was hundreds of billions of dollars due to inflation. The projects ceased on Aug 12 1983 when Montauk ran out of these billions.


The projects continue on in many veins ,contributing to some of the technology today, such as the B3 bombers (Stealth Technology).


Preston's discoveries were confirmed when a strange man by the name of Duncan Cameron appeared at his door in 1985. Duncan had an uncanny aptitude for psychic research and eventually claimed to have been trained in this field by the NSA (National Security Agency). Without mentioning his own ordeal with Montauk, Preston took Duncan out to Montauk and was surprised to discover that he knew the entire layout of the base and remembered working there. Duncan was considered to be the primary psychic used in the time travel experiments and also remembered having been aboard the U.S.S. Eldridge during the original Philadelphia Experiment with his brother Edward (now recognized as Al Bielek). According to Preston and Duncan, the Montauk Project climaxed on August 12, 1983. A time portal from 1983 back to 1943 was open, but the portal was being used for the wrong reasons and to save the future, Duncan decided to sabotage the project:While sitting in the Montauk Chair (a device connected to esoteric radio receivers studded with crystals that sent thoughts out of a giant transmitter), Duncan unleashed a giant beast from his subconscious which literally destroyed the project. The people who had been working on the base suddenly abandoned it. The air shafts and entrances to the major underground facility beneath the base were subsequent1y- filled with cement. The full circumstances behind all of this remain a mystery to this day.

Damian Cameron Montauk Survivor


Damian Cameron is a Montauk Project survivor in more than one sense of the word. He has lived for many years with completely suppressed memories. These tormenting memories came to the surface after synchronism events led to him finding out about the Montauk Project, and he underwent extensive hypnosis sessions for over two years. At first Damian feared losing his home, family, job, and sanity. And now he has, he has come forward to tell his story.  Omega Freedland went to interview Damian Cameron at his new home in Canada. What followed was the unfolding of a story that could no longer be suppressed. A story so terrifying, so incredible, so humbling, that it we considered making it password protected, but no, Damian's story must be told to everyone who will listen. WARNING! The interview that follows contains material some people may find disturbing.


 Omega:  When did you first realize you were a 'Montauk survivor?

 Damian: Well, yer see, at first I didn't, it was, yer know, suppressed.

 Omega: So the memories came later?

 Damian: Yeah sure, after I went to Doris for my hypnosis sessions.

 Omega: What happened during the sessions?

 Damian: I would lie down and Doris would lead me into a deep trance. Suddenly the memories came back.

 Omega: What did you remember?

 Damian: I remembered being tied to a chair in a room that was decorated with animal print paper on the walls. It was all dark except for a figure who came towards me. He was a large round figure who smelled real bad. I could hear his heavy breathing and he was wearing a reptile suit.

 Omega: A reptile suit?

 Damian: Like the kind you find in a secondhand store. All green and scaly looking.

 Omega: You must have been scared?

 Damian: For sure, I went into a deep suppressed sub-personality of myself. It was in that sub-personality I worked on the Elridge.

 Omega: You mean, are you saying you were involved directly with the Philadelphia Experiment?

 Damian: Gee, sure I was, show me a Montauk survivor who wasn't. 

 Omega: What happened on the Eldrige?

 Damian: I was told to go to the main control room with my brother Edwin and we were to switch the machine on to make the ship invisible.

 Omega: You mean invisible to radar?

 Damian: No, really invisible, to the eye. We went down into the room and Edwin said "Damian, this is sure one doddlelacking piece of horseshit, lets jump ship". I kinda agreed with him but felt a duty to Dr Rinehart.  So when Edwin weren't looking I pulled the switch and ran out of the room after him. Edwin jumped overboard and he pulled me over too.

 Omega: What happened then?

 Damian: Well, damnit, if we didn't end up in 1983.

 Omega: You jumped overboard as the ship was becoming invisible and ended up in 1983, where did you arrive?

 Damian: A parking lot.

 Omega: It wasn't near the site of the original ship then?

 Damian: Oddly enough no. It was dark and I had vomited, must have been the time traveling that did it. I was more worried about Edwin.

 Omega: Why was that?

 Damian: He wasn't there no more.

 Omega: What do you think had happened to him?

 Damian: At the time I didn't have a geewacking idea, hey it was like shit in tree out there. I found him later that month.

 Omega: Where did you find him, and how?

 Damian: I had seen an advertisement for a talk being given by a Preston Nichols.

 Omega: Yes of course, Preston.

 Damian: I went along to the talk and I was mightily impressed. I was sitting next to a man and we got to talking. He was telling me about how since he had read the Montauk Project books and come to Preston's talks he had not been the same since. His wife had left him and he was stopped from seeing his kids. It was weird, cos that had happened to me too.

 Omega: But didn't you say you only arrived in 1983 a month before?

 Damian: Yeah sure, but this was 1995.

 Omega: I see. So you recognized this man to be your brother Edwin?

 Damian: I knew right away.


 Omega: Because he looked exactly the same?

 Damian: No, no, boy, Edwin had been white and this guy was black. It was because he knew many things about the same experiences as myself.

 Omega: Wouldn't it have been difficult for you to believe this guy was your brother as you are white and he was black?

 Damian: Why no, he had been placed into a different body when he had arrived in 1983.

 Omega: How did they do that?

 Damian: Edwin, who is now called Alan, was regressed to the age of three days. In this state they slipped him out of his 'Edwin' body, and into his 'Alan' body.

 Omega: How did he cope with his new identity, where did he live? Didn't you also mention he had kids and his wife had divorced him?

 Damian: Yeah. Yer see, he had lived as Alan before he was Edwin in 1983. He just caught up with himself as Alan after 1983.

 Omega: So Alan was alive before 1983?

 Damian: Oh yeah, he was 46 years old in 1983.

 Omega: What happened to your original families, did they try and find you?

 Damian: They had their memories wiped after we jumped ship.

 Omega: You must have been tempted to go and see them?

 Damian: No, not really, I had no memory of them.

 Omega: What happened after you found your brother Edwin, Alan?

 Damian: We decided to go back to the base and find out what had happened.

 Omega: Why did you decide to do that? 

 Damian: We both had the next weekend free.

 Omega: Were you worried about being picked up out there?

 Damian: Oh no, they never bother guys in pairs.

 Omega: But there have been many people who claim they have been told to get off the base by security.

 Damian: Security, gee I thought you meant the pink montauk 'boys' that hang out there.

 Omega: Back to your plans about going to the Montauk base. You had memories of being there before?

 Damian: Yes, after Alan and me gone there that weekend. We came to an empty building and I said to Alan, "Gee, it would be nice and quiet in there, no one around to see or anything". So we went into the building and I started to feel dizzy.

 Omega: What was happening?

 Damian: I sat down and vomited. Then Alan set the video up on the tripod and I hung up the lights and set up the chairs .

 Omega: You had a video set up?

 Damian: Yeah, it became an underground classic.

 Omega: What did you find out?

 Damian: We needed better equipment. But hey, like Alan said "They never gonna believe it if is too glossy"

 Omega: What did you find out about your past involvement with the project?

 Damian: Oh that, well, gee it was all so hazy, but as I was doing the video with Alan I passed out and remembered the beast incident.

 Omega: The beast incident?

 Damian: It all happened back in 1983. I had just returned from 1943 and was tired. I sat down in a chair and laid back. Next, this fat guy comes in wearing a disgusting pullover. He says, "Lie back Damian" I was shocked, he knew my name. So I did as he said while he strapped me in, then I vomited.

 Omega: Was the chair, the actual now famous Montauk chair as seen in the Peter Moon book?

 Damian: Yeah, but less comfortable.

 Omega: What happened next?

 Damian: The guy in the shit pullover went over to a machine and turned all the dials all the way round. There was a red one that was labelled 'Danger', I couldn't believe it when he turned that one around to 10.

 Omega: Did he tell you what he was doing?

 Damian: No, but I could hear him humming to himself.

 Omega: Do you know what he was humming? 

 Damian: 'Riders on the Storm' I think.

 Omega: The Doors?

 Damian: No that came later.

 Omega: After he turned the dials what happened?

 Damian: I felt my whole body change, the waves of a 4500Mhz bi-wave go over me with a sub atomic polyutherua flatbass. The air turned all the colors of the rainbow and the sky turned black. My head started to freeze and I managed to pull my self from the chair. I was naked as the day I was born, and my dick was rigid with the electrodes, my muscles ached, my mouth bled, my eyes watered. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up, I was spinning at the speed of light and sound at the same time,  but in the opposite direction.

 Omega: Then what happened?

 Damian: I vomited. Oh and I released a beast from the pits of hell.

 Omega: What happened to the guy in the pullover?

 Damian: He disappeared.

 Omega: Where to?

 Damian: It is funny you should ask me that question.

 Omega: Why?

 Damian: He appeared again three hours later in a different pullover.

 Omega: After the beast 'escaped' what did you do?

 Damian: We went back to our trailer.

 Omega: Did you go back to the base?

 Damian: Yeah sure.

 Omega: Why?

 Damian: The first video was selling so well, there was a demand for it.

 Omega: Demand?

 Damian: For the second video.

 Omega: Has being a Montauk survivor affected your life?

 Damian: Only since about 1993.

 Omega: What are your plans now?

 Damian: I have been doing a lot of remote viewing for the IRS, some freelance for some major publications and I have a book coming out next year. 

 Omega: Isn't is risky for you to work for those people? 

 Damian: It's strange, kinda an unspoken deal. I do some work for them and they let me live.

 Omega: They don't mind you

 Damian: I use a different name for my books.

 Omega: Are you worried they might find out? Recognize the details in your books and identify them with you?writing a book about your experiences?

 Damian: No, cos I change all the names, places, dates, events, and facts.

 Omega: Thank you Damian, I know it must have been hard for you to talk about your experiences, I know it was sure hard to listen to them.


Will we ever find out the true extent of how many Montauk survivors there really are out there? Maybe not, but as long as there are people like Damian who tell their stories, we can be sure there will be many more to come.


The old Montauk Air Force Station is on the even older Camp Hero, which is on the northeast tip of Long Island at the end of Highway 27. There is a state park there, but some parts of the old base are still off-limits. However, this is not necessarily anything to do with time-travel. The old base is listed by the Army as a storage site for chemical weapons, and there are old tunnels filled with water that are downright dangerous, especially to children.



Modern ufology traces its roots back to Roswell, New Mexico, where on the night of 2 July 1947, during a violent thunderstorm,a strange craft fell out of the sky. Many people in the area heard a loud crash that night, above the sound of the storm. The violence of the storms in this part of New Mexico is difficult to imagine until one has a direct experience of them. There have been many views about the nature of this craft. The US government would have us believe that the debris came from a weather balloon. Although the crash has become known as the Roswell Incident, the crash site is in fact nearer to Corona.


Mac Brazels find 


The morning after the storm Mac Brazel, who worked as foreman on the Foster Ranch, found pieces of wreckage spread out over a large area of the ranch - more than half a mile long. When he drove back home he showed a piece of the wreckage to his neighbors, Floyd and Loretta Proctor. The material was unlike anything they had ever seen before. A few days later, on 6 July, he drove into Roswell where he showed pieces of the wreckage to George Wilcox, Chaves County Sheriff. Wilcox immediately called the local military airfield, Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) - the US Air Force was still an operational arm of the army at that time.

He spoke by phone to Major Jesse Marcel, intelligence officer of the 509th Bomb Group, which was stationed at the airfield. The 509th Bomb Group is no ordinary unit. It is one of the most famous units in the US Air Force. It was formed in 1944 as the 509th Composite Group for one specific task to deliver the atomic bomb to Japan in the Second World War. And the runway at Roswell AAF is no ordinary runway. At that time, despite its remote location, it was the longest in the USA. It was also home in 1945 and 1946 to 'Enola Gay', the B-29 bomber from which the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima


Radio Clip


 Marcel drove to Wilcox's office and inspected the wreckage. He reported to his commanding officer, Colonel William 'Butch' Blanchard, who had narrowly missed being chosen to fly the aeroplane from which the first atomic bomb was dropped. He ordered Marcel to take someone from the counter-intelligence section and inspect the crash site, and to bring back as much of the wreckage material as he could.

 Marcel and Sheridan Cavitt of the Counter-intelligence Corps drove to the ranch with Mac Brazel, arriving late in the evening of 6 July. They spent the night in an outbuilding on the ranch and inspected the crash site the following morning. At the same time, military police from the airfield arrived at the Sheriff Wilcox's office, where they collected pieces of wreckage and returned to the airfield. While the two military men were on their way to Mac Brazers ranch, the story swept through the desert town like wildfire.


 Someone telephoned radio station KSWS in Albuquerque where Lydia Sleppy began transmitting the news on the teletype. As she was typing the story, her transmission was interrupted by the bell signalling an incoming call on the wire. The message read, 'This is the FBI.

You will cease transmitting Marcel and Cavitt collected pieces of wreckage from the crash site. 

Cavitt left the site and returned the next day to Roswell AAF with as much material as he could fit into his vehicle. Marcel continued collecting wreckage at the site and drove home where he spent the night, before reporting to his commanding officer the next morning. Jesse Marcel Jr recalls the evening that his father returned with pieces of debris from what appeared to be a crashed spacecraft. He was 11 years old at the time, but he recalls the event clearly, for it made an indelible impression upon him.


 He went on to become a medical doctor, a National Guard helicopter pilot and flight surgeon, a Vietnam veteran, and a qualified accident investigator. He can therefore be regarded as a credible witness, despite his youth at the time of the crash. He recalls how his father woke both him and his mother at around two o'clock in the morning and showed them some pieces of an unusual material which he spread out so that they could get a better view.


They all came to the conclusion that the material was not of earthly origin. He remembers that the debris had strange pink and purple symbols embossed on the inside of some of the metal I beam pieces. The symbols reminded him of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, except that they did not include any of the animal symbols usually found in Egyptian inscriptions.

 The next morning, on July 8, both Marcel and Cavitt arrived back at Roswell AAF with their carloads of debris. Colonel Blanchard immediately had the wreckage flown to the headquarters of the Eighth Air Force, of which the 509th Bomb Group was part, in Fort Worth, Texas. It was subsequently flown to Air Force headquarters in Washington for further inspection. Major Marcel was ordered to accompany the wreckage to Fort Worth.


 The Militarys Press Release 


Later that day, Colonel Blanchard instructed Second Lieutenant Walter Haut, the Public Information Officer for the 509th Bomb Group, to issue a press release revealing the story of his unit's discovery of the remnants of a crashed alien spacecraft. Haut drove to KGFL, Roswell's radio station, where he gave the press release to Frank Joyce, a station employee. Joyce recalls the onion-skin paper on which the press release was typed.

He phoned Haut from the radio station after the latter had returned to the airfield to confirm the story before sending it on to the United Press bureau, and suggested that Haut should reconsider the decision to release a story that claimed that his unit had discovered a 'flying saucer or flying disk'. Haut assured him that the press release had been approved by Colonel Blanchard. The text of the press release reads as follows:


The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff's office of Chaves County.


The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disk until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff's office, who in turn notified Major Jesse A Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office.

Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher's home. It was inspected at Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters.


Calls came flooding into the radio station on the teletype in response to the story, but then suddenly the line went dead - it just hummed. Shortly afterwards the station received a threatening call from someone who claimed to be calling from the Pentagon. Joyce told the mysterious caller that his information was based on a press release from the US Army Air Corps. The caller slammed the phone down.

After many years of silence on the subject, in an interview in 1992 with Air and Space magazine, Haut tersely revealed his own view of the events in Roswell in 1947: 'I feel that there was a crash of an extraterrestrial vehicle near Corona.'


Frank Joyce kept his copy of the press release that Walter Haut had given him, as proof that he had not invented the story. Walt Whitmore, owner of the radio station, telephoned him in a state of considerable agitation. It seemed that someone had already warned him off the story. Frank Joyce later gave the document to Whitmore, and that was the last that he saw of it.


The local newspaper, the Roswell Daily Record had already picked up the story. Its midday edition on 8 July, carried a front-page article and a blazing headline:-


The Weather Balloon Story 


That same afternoon, on 8 July 1947, General Clemence McMullen in Washington spoke on the telephone to Colonel Thomas DuBose, Chief of Staff to General Roger Ramey, Commander of the Eighth Air Force. McMullen ordered General Ramey to quash the flying saucer story by creating a cover story.

He also ordered to have pieces of the wreckage flown to Washington. Later in the afternoon, General Ramey held a press conference at the headquarters of the Eighth Air Force in Fort Worth. He announced that what had crashed at Corona was not a flying saucer.

Colonel Blanchard and his officers had misidentified a weather balloon with a radar reflector. Could such a simple mistake be made by a man who was a candidate for the mission that ended the war in the Pacific, a man described by those who knew him as a 'no-nonsense, businesslike individual, unlikely to make elementary errors, a man who went on to become a four-star general and Vice Chief of Staff of the US Air Force? To add credibility to this cover story, Major Jesse Marcel was brought in to show the press pieces of an actual weather balloon.

The real debris had by this time disappeared into the maw of the military, never to be seen again.

 Although many of the newspapers in the West and Midwest had already carried the original flying saucer story, the morning editions of the New York Times, the Washtngton Post, and the Chicago Tribune obligingly carried the cover-up story the next day.


The Second Find 


Meanwhile, back in New Mexico, a large group of soldiers was sent to the Foster Ranch to collect all traces of wreckage. They scoured the surrounding countryside for debris while military police sealed off the area. Even Sheriff George Wilcox was stopped at the security perimeter. After a day or two a second crash site was discovered about 2 miles away. Here the main body of the spacecraft was found, with the bodies of four small humanoid creatures.


Mac Brazel was taken into custody by the military. After a few days he was seen in Roswell with military personnel who accompanied him as an escort guard. He declined to speak to any of his friends while he was accompanied. After his release, he repudiated his original story of having found the wreckage of something unearthly. Marian Strickland, one of his neighbors, formed the impression that he had been threatened against talking openly about the incident.

Barbara Dugger, George Wilcox's granddaughter, confirmed that the military had made threats to her grandfather, the local sheriff to whom Mac Brazel had originally brought the pieces of debris. Her grandmother had urged her not to talk to anyone about the incident. She revealed that the military police came to the sheriff's office at the jailhouse and threatened to have him and his whole family killed if they talked about what had taken place. And so began the policy of the United States government - of deceit, public denial, cover-up and death threats - with regard to the subject of extraterrestrial encounters.


The Testimony Of Glenn Dennis, The Roswell Mortician 


While visiting Roswell in the summer of 1996 I met Glenn Dennis, who is President of the Roswell International UFO Museum and Research Center. I found him to be a polite, straightforward and credible person. He did not strike me as someone who wanted to capitalize on his story. Indeed, he had lived in complete anonymity for more than 40 years, away from the glare of UFO publicity, until he was 'discovered' by Stanton Friedman. He seemed slightly uncomfortable with the amount of media attention to which he was regularly subjected.


He has given many interviews over the years about his involvement with the strange events at Roswell in July 1947. He reveals how at junior high school in Roswell, when the class was being asked what they wanted to do for a living, he blurted out that he wanted to be an undertaker in order to get a laugh from the class. But when he was asked to write a report on the subject, his fascination developed.


In 1947 Glenn Dennis was working for Ballard Funeral Homes where he was in charge of the company's military contract work, providing ambulance and mortuary services to the forces. He received a call from the mortuary officer at the Roswell AAF during the afternoon of 9 July. He asked Dennis if he had any baby caskets, or small hermetically sealed ones, about 3 feet 6 inches or 4 feet long. Dennis told him that he always kept a 4-foot casket in stock. It had a metal inner liner with a rubber gasket, and could be sealed airtight. The mortuary officer asked how many there were in stock, and Dennis said he had two. There were also standardized caskets of 3 feet 6 inches, but these would have to be ordered from the supplier in Amarillo, Texas. Provided he phoned them before three o'clock, they would be delivered by six o'clock the next morning.


After about 30 minutes the mortuary officer called again and asked various questions about the preparation of bodies. He asked about embalming fluids and their chemical compounds. He asked about treating bodies that had been lying in the open. He wanted to know how bodies that had been shredded by predators and exposed to the elements for a week to ten days should be treated. He asked specifically about alterations to the blood, stomach contents and skin tissue. Dennis told him about tests for poison and how the blood would be affected. When he asked what the mortuary officer was dealing with, he was told that the information was for future use. Dennis offered his assistance if it was needed.


Shortly afterwards the officer called a third time and asked Dennis about the removal of a body that had been Iying out in the New Mexico sun at a daytime temperature of around 110 degrees for a week or more. Dennis told him that after such exposure, a body is likely to fall apart when lifted: 'When you pick up a hand, you're going to have just the hand.' He told the officer to use dry ice from Clardy's Dairy or Sunset Creamery in which to pack the bodies. He also advised the mortuary office to use a pathologist if there was uncertainty about the cause of death;

Dennis recommended the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington. He again offered his services in the preparation of the bodies. About 45 minutes later, Dennis received a call for the ambulance service to attend an airman who had been injured in a crash on his motorcycle. He had a laceration on the forehead and a broken nose. Dennis provided some roadside first aid, then seated the airman on the front seat of the ambulance and drove him back to the airfield.

He turned on the red light as usual when he approached the front gate, so that he was waved through without stopping. He drove to the infirmary, where three military field ambulances were at the ramp where Dennis usually parked his vehicle when making deliveries or collections. He therefore parked to the side and walked up the ramp with the injured airman, approaching the field ambulances from the rear.


Two military policemen were standing beside the ambulances, two of which had their rear doors open. As a matter of professional curiosity, Dennis glanced inside the first vehicle as he approached. He saw some debris. One piece looked like the broken half of a canoe standing on its end, between 3 and 4 feet high. The others looked sharp and jagged, like broken glass. Some of the pieces, including the 'canoe', looked like stainless steel that had been exposed to high temperatures, shaded in a gradation of color from high gloss, to pink, to red, to brown and then black.


 Having worked on crashed military aircraft at nearby Fort Sumner, when the mortuary had a contract with them, Dennis was aware of the blue-purple hue of stainless steel that had been exposed to extreme temperatures. Along the outer edge of the canoe-shaped object were markings, just over an inch high, that looked to Dennis like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

 The second ambulance contained similar debris. The injured airman also saw the material in the ambulances, but was understandably more concerned with his injuries than with the ambulances and their contents. One of the military policemen walked with Dennis and the airman to the check-in desk inside the infirmary where Dennis collected the voucher that ensured payment for his services. He did not take in the airman's name. He then made his way to the doctors' and nurses' lounge area, as he usually did when visiting the airbase, to get a Coke and to see what was going on.


There was more activity and commotion than usual, and a number of high-ranking officers whom Dennis did not recognize, despite his familiarity with all the medical officers working at the base. As he walked further down the hallway, Dennis saw a captain whom he did not know, leaning against a doorway talking to someone inside. He said to him, 'Looks like you've had a crash. Do I need to get ready for it?'


The captain looked at him and said, 'Who the hell are you?' Dennis told him that he was from the funeral home in Roswell that had the contract to provide mortuary services to Roswell AAF, and that pieces of wreckage were usually brought to the mortuary garage, where the identifications were made and bodies and wreckage untangled and reassembled.

 The captain said, 'You wait right here. Don't take a step. Wait right here.' He returned with two military policemen and told them to remove Dennis from the base and to drive him back to town. They had walked only a few paces when a voice called out, 'Bring that son of a bitch back.'

As they turned, Dennis was approached by a tall captain with crew-cut red hair, accompanied by a sergeant carrying a clipboard. The captain said forcefully, 'Look mister, you don't go into Roswell and start rumors that there's been a crash. There's no crash. There never was a crash. Nothing has happened here. you understand?'

As the captain spoke he poked a finger in Dennis' chest. Dennis became angry at the officer's manner and replied, 'I'm a civilian and you can't do anything to me. So as far as I'm concerned, you can go to hell.' The red haired captain came back with, 'Let me tell you, mister, somebody will be picking your bones out of the sand.'

 The sergeant chimed in with, 'Sir, he'd make better dog food.' The captain turned to the military policemen and said, 'Get this son of a bitch out of here.' As they walked down the hallway, an army nurse with whom Glenn Dennis was on friendly terms came running into the hallway with a towel over her mouth. She screamed and told Dennis to get out of the infirmary as fast as he could, that he was going to be in a lot of trouble if he did not.

 She was sobbing and gasping for air as she continued across the hallway followed by two men wearing surgeon's jackets. They were also gasping for air and looked as if they were about to vomit. Dennis did not himself smell or see anything strange. One of the MPs escorting him seemed puzzled by the brief exchange. They then drove behind Dennis, following him to the funeral home, and advised him to stay away from the base for the remainder of the day.

Later that evening, Dennis phoned the infirmary and the nurses' home, trying to reach his friend without success. She was from a devout Catholic family in St Paul, Minnesota, and had recently graduated from nursing school. She had been commissioned only three months previously, and Roswell AAF was her first assignment. Dennis tried to reach her again the next morning, again without success. Then at around eleven o'clock she rang and said that she knew that Dennis had been trying to reach her, but that she had been sick. she said that she could not talk on the phone, but would meet Dennis for lunch if he wanted to know more.

 He suggested the officers' club which was near the nurses' home and where his company had corporate membership. Dennis drove directly to the club, where his friend was already waiting outside for him. 

The club was relatively empty and they sat at a table at the back. she looked dishevelled and seemed to be in a state of shock. She made Dennis promise never to repeat the story she was about to tell him; Otherwise she would be in a lot of trouble. She asked him if he had brought the 'creatures' to the funeral home; but he told her that he had not seen any bodies. The nurse then took a prescription pad from one of her pockets and made some drawings, after extracting a further solemn oath from Dennis that he would never reveal her connection with the drawings or the 'creatures'.

She asked him to guard the drawings with his life. she described her experience of the previous day as the most horrible and gruesome in her life. She explained that, unlike her colleagues, she had not received instructions that the infirmary staff were not to report for duty that day. she had therefore gone to the supplies room as usual at the beginning of her shift. There she saw two doctors in surgical garb and masks, standing over one of two wheeled stretchers. On each was an unzipped body bag. The body bag over which the doctors were leaning contained two small, mangled bodies.


The abdomens and legs were crushed, and appeared to have been partially eaten by predators. The third body looked intact. The smell, she said, was the vilest she had ever experienced. She was about to leave the room when the two doctors stopped her. Although she said she was busy, they demanded that she stay and write on a pad as they dictated. So she stayed and wrote down their commentary of the autopsy. A hand from one of the bodies was severed from the arm. When they turned the hand over using a long forceps, they saw that it had four fingers and no thumb, and instead of fingernails, it had little suction cups or pads at the end of each finger.

 The heads were disproportionately large and flexible, like those of newborn babies, and had no hair. Their eyes were large and sunk deep into their sockets; they could not be seen clearly. Their mouths were just slits about an inch wide.

 They had no teeth, just a piece of tissue, like cartilage. The noses were concave, with no bridge and two small orifices. The ears had two canals, unlike those of humans, which have only one, and no earlobes, although the doctors described two flaps which closed over both aural canals. There were no visible sexual organs.

 Finally she reported that the bone from the shoulder to the elbow was much shorter than the one from the elbow to the wrist; and that the doctors from time to time checked the intact body to compare it with the body they were examining, which was between 3 1/2 and 4 feet tall.

Eventually all three of them were overwhelmed by the smell and began to feel sick. The doctors were concerned that the air-conditioning ducts might carry the smell through the hospital. They decided to stop, and remove the bodies elsewhere for further examination, whereupon they dismissed the nurse. She left the examining room with a towel over her mouth, and it was then that she encountered Dennis being escorted from the infirmary. She returned to the nurses' quarters, where the other nurses found the smell so offensive that they helped her shower and wash her hair in an attempt to get rid of it.

 When Dennis asked her about the doctors, she said that she had never seen either of them before, but that one of them had said something about finishing up this work and returning to Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC. According to the head nurse, Captain Wilson, the bodies were moved to a hangar where the autopsies were completed that night, and were then flown to Wright Field (now Wright Patterson Air Force Base) at Dayton, Ohio. Dennis's friend had also heard that the bodies were found near the wreckage, about 2 or 3 miles from the site where the debris was initially found. She was still in a state of shock, and Dennis drove her back to the nurses' quarters in silence.



The Nurse's Disappearance 


That was the last time Glenn Dennis saw his friend. When he asked about her a few days later at the base, he was told that she had been posted elsewhere. Six weeks later he received a typed letter addressed to the Ballard Funeral Home, without his name in the address, and a note from her with a New York APO number (an address code for US forces overseas). She wrote that she was now in London, and wanted to know what had happened to him. He immediately replied that he was still curious and would like to know more.

 Two months later his letter was returned with the words 'Return to Sender' across the front of the envelope and the word 'Deceased' stamped in red at the bottom. Dennis later mentioned the returned letter to Captain Wilson and asked if she knew what happened to his friend.

She said she had heard that the nurse had been in a plane that crashed on a training mission. Many researchers have attempted to identify the accident and locate the nurse, without success. Dennis stored her drawings in an old filing cabinet at the Ballard Funeral Home, and left them behind with various personal and legal papers when he left in 1962. He returned some years later with UFO researcher Stanton Friedman, but they found that the filing cabinets had been emptied, and the contents thrown onto the town dump in a general clearout.


UFO investigators trying to identify Dennis' friend found the files missing of all five nurses pictured in the 1947 Roswell Army Air Field Yearbook. Philip Klass, a renowned UFO sceptic, subsequently revealed that the nurse's name was Naomi Maria Selff; but Glenn Dennis refused to confirm or deny his claim. Dennis has also been criticized by sceptical reporters because the information provided by him has varied in minor details between one interview and another. Dennis points out, however, that he only began to recall his experience of the strange events in Roswell more then thirty years later, when he was first interviewed by Stanton Friedman Given his general nervousness when being interviewed and the length of time that has passed, it is understandable, he says, that he may have sometimes become confused on small items of detail, but he asserts that the basic facts of the story are as he has related them.


The Nature Of The Debris Jesse Marcel's description 


In an interview in 1979 Jesse Marcel revealed his role in the Roswell story. He talked about arriving at the Foster Ranch with Sheridan Cavitt, although Cavitt to this day denies both the event and any knowledge of the Foster Ranch. Marcel describes the area as having being strewn with fragments over an area about three-quarters of a mile long and several hundred feet wide. To Marcel, the debris looked as though it had come from an object travelling very fast that had exploded above the ground. Although they loaded as much as they could into a jeep which Cavitt drove back to the base, that was only a small proportion of the crash fragments Marcel continued to collect debris which he loaded into his car.


As he and Cavitt collected the wreckage, Marcel noticed that some of the material was very light yet would not bend. While it was like parchment, no thicker than the foil paper used in packets of cigarettes, the material could not be dented, bent or burned. Not even a 16-pound sledgehammer could make an impression. Marcel was familiar with airborne objects of all kinds and it was evident that this was not part of an aeroplane, a missile or a weather balloon.


So he knew the weather balloon story was untrue and, as his son revealed subsequently, he was disturbed by his obligation to hide the truth, but his security classification depended on him doing so. However, he was no 'fall-guy'. By maintaining his security rating, he was able to go on to perform a number of important assignments, the most noteworthy of which was the compilation of a report on the first Soviet nuclear detonation, which went directly to the desk of the President of the United States.


The Civilians' Descriptions 


Loretta Proctor, one of Mac Brazel's nearest neighbours, described some of the material that he brought for them to look at. one piece was about 4 inches long, tan-colored and as light as balsa wood, but without any visible grain. It felt smooth like plastic; but they were unable to cut it with a knife or to burn it.


Bessie Brazel Schreiber, Mac Brazel's daughter, described some of the wreckage from the crash as being like aluminium foil, with incomprehensible symbols in columns. Another piece was of the same material but shaped like a pipe, about 4 inches in diameter and 4 inches long, and flanged at one end. William Brazel Jr, Mac Brazel's son, described other pieces of the wreckage as like tin foil that returned to its original shape after being wrinkled, creased or folded.

 The material could not be torn or broken. When it unfolded itself and reverted to its original flat shape, it left no crease or indication that it had been folded. He noticed this characteristic when he folded a piece in order to store it in a cigar box. He also described some pieces of the wreckage as being as light as balsa wood, with a more neutral tan color, but flexible and pliable. The material contained no visible grain and proved impossible to cut or break;

or even to score with a pocket knife. Although this particular material contained no writing or markings, there were other pieces with markings which reminded him of the petrographs or figurines which had been drawn on rocks by the local native Americans. According to William Brazel Jr, his father had been asked by the Air Force to take an oath not to discuss in any detail his findings at the crash site.

Mac Brazel was an old-style cowboy for whom an oath was not something to be taken lightly, and he hardly ever spoke about the incident or the material again. While at a pool hall in Corona about a month after the crash, however, his son talked openly about the fragments of the strange material that he had collected. A day or two later an officer named Armstrong with a sergeant and two other soldiers turned up at the ranch. They asked for the fragments, reminded him of the oath that his father had taken and cautioned him against speaking about the incident or the material.


Dr Lincoln La Paz's investigation 


An officer in the Counter-intelligence Corps, Bill Rickett, who was based at Roswell, was asked shortly after the crash to escort a meteor expert around the crash site. The expert was Dr Lincoln La Paz, head of the Department of Mathematics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico and was also the Director of the Institute of Meteoritics, which was formed in 1944 as the first institute in the world to be devoted exclusively to the research of meteorites and planetary samples.


Dr La Paz was an acknowledged expert on trajectories of meteors and meteorites. His brief was to determine the speed and trajectory of the alien craft. Initially they examined some of the wreckage recovered from the Foster Ranch, and they found the material to be very strong and very light.

 It was flexible, but they could neither break it nor put a crease or mark on it. Dr La Paz seemed particularly interested in Mac Brazel's information that some of his animals had behaved strangely after the crash. When he was flown over the area, he determined from marks on the ground that the object has touched down a few miles from the initial crash site, and then taken off again. The sand at the spot where the craft had touched down had been turned into a glass-like substance, and they collected samples. They also found more of the thin foil-like material.


Dr La Paz told Bill Rickett that he thought the craft had touched down for repairs and taken off again before exploding. He felt sure that it was. one of many similar craft and that the accident was due to system malfunction. Despite his learning, Dr La Paz had an easy manner with people, and was also able to speak to many of the local ranch hands in Spanish. Some of them had noticed strange craft flying over the area very slowly, at a low altitude, two days after the crash.


Dr La Paz felt certain that they had been searching for their downed craft. The local people also noticed that their animals had been affected. Rickett and La Paz agreed that the Air Force's story of a weather balloon was untrue, but although they speculated on the possibility of a higher civilization checking on the Earth, Dr La Paz decided to leave any speculation out of his report.

 The craft had gouged a furrow in Mac Brazel's field about 500 feet long and 10 feet wide, but it was not clear which part of the craft had done the damage. The power source was never found and the main body of the craft, which contained the bodies, was found some 2 miles away.

 It seems likely therefore that the power source and the main body had become forcibly separated, through either system failure or a lightning strike. And although the materials found were extraordinarily light, the furrow must have been made by a very heavy component - possibly the power source before it exploded, spreading its debris across Mac Brazel's field.


The Military Witnesses 


Despite what many Hollywood films would have us believe, most military operations, however small, involve a supporting cast of hundreds, even thousands, of minor, and usually unnoticed, players. Their role may be small in relation to the whole, but it can be crucial in reconstructing the event. The testimony of each individual contributes to demonstrate the undeniable actuality of the event. In the late 1 980s, therefore, nuclear physicist and UFO researcher Stanton Friedman led the search to unearth some of the military people involved in the recovery and movement of the extraterrestrial detritus from the crash site to Roswell AAF, and on to Fort Worth AAF, in 1947. Master Sergeant Robert Porter, brother of Mac Brazel's neighbor Loretta Proctor, was flight engineer on the first B-29 which flew the special cargo to Eighth Air Force headquarters at Fort Worth AAF, Texas, in 1947.


 He remembers that the deputy commander of the 509th Bomb Group, Lieutenant Colonel Payne Jennings was on board with Major Jesse Marcel. One of the flight crew, Captain Anderson, said that the cargo was from a flying saucer. He recalls the extraordinarily light weight of some of the packages, as if they were empty.

After landing at Fort Worth, while the engineering crew performed routine maintenance checks on the plane and ate lunch, the packages were transferred to a B-25 that flew them to Wright Field at Dayton, Ohio. Master Sergeant Porter and the crew were told that the cargo was from a weather balloon - a story that they all knew had been concocted. Staff Sergeant Robert Shuster was on the second flight to Fort Worth AAF, which carried the alien corpses.


He recalls four armed military policemen on the flight (an unusual precaution for a weather balloon), guarding a specially made crate that was 12 feet long by 5 feet wide and 4 feet high. The flight was also unusual in that the plane was flown at a low altitude between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, and the cabin was unpressurised - possibly an added safety precaution for an unusually precious cargo. The return flight was at the usual altitude of 25,000 feet, with the cabin pressurized. While it was rumored that the aircraft was carrying debris from the unusual crash, Robert Shuster was not himself aware of any bodies being transported. Robert Smith was a member of the First Air Transport Unit, which was also based at Roswell AAF in 1947.


He was part of the team that loaded crates of debris onto transport planes. During the operation, one of the team came across a fragment, between 2 and 3 inches square. The unusual material had jagged edges and could not be permanently folded or creased. Even when it was crumpled, it unfolded itself to its former shape, making a crackling noise as it did so, like cellophane.


 Despite the armed guard, Smith's colleague, a sergeant, was able to put the strange fragment into his pocket. Most of the crates, which were loaded onto three or four cargo planes, were 2 or 3 feet high by 2 feet square. Smith recalls however that one was much larger than the others. It was about 20 feet long by 4 or 5 feet wide and 4 or 5 feet high. He recognized 'Pappy' Henderson's flight crew around the plane on to which the crates were loaded - Captain Oliver Wendell Henderson, known as 'Pappy' in the Air Force.

 The loading operation was supervised by a number of people in plain clothes who flashed a strange ID when challenged and said that they were from a project whose name Smith could not recall. The loading crew was told that the crates were from a crashed plane, although crashed planes were usually taken to the salvage yard and not flown out in crates under armed guard.


'Pappy' Henderson was a highly respected Second World War bomber pilot who was based at Roswell AAF after the war. He was one of the very few pilots chosen to fly scientists and atomic materials from Roswell (which was close to Los Alamos) to the Pacific for atomic weapons testing. His work required a top-secret clearance and a level of discretion that he applied to all his work. In 1980-1981, while living in San Diego, he read a newspaper article about a UFO and alien bodies having been discovered outside Roswell in 1947.


He showed it to his wife, Sappho, and asked her to read it. He confirmed that the story was true, and that he was the pilot who flew the wreckage of the UFO to Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio. He told her that he had wanted to tell her about it for years, and now felt that he could, since it was in the newspaper.

He described the bodies that were being transported as being much smaller than humans, with large heads and eyes that were sunken and slanted. They wore clothing that was unlike anything he had ever seen before.


 Further evidence that the material was taken to Wright Field is provided by Lieutenant Colonel Arthur E Exon, who was stationed there in July 1947. Exon, who went on to retire with the rank of General, confirmed in 1990 that the Roswell wreckage was brought into their material laboratories, and that some of it was very thin but very strong and could not be dented with heavy hammers. He went on to state that the overall consensus was that the pieces were from space.


Sergeant Melvin Brown was a cook at Roswell AAF in 1947. He remembers that all available men were hurriedly taken out to guard a disc that had crashed outside Roswell. They later stood guard outside some hangars at the airfield itself. He travelled from the crash site back to Roswell AAF in the back of one of the trucks with another soldier. He was puzzled that some of the trucks were packed with dry ice. They were ordered not to look under the covering, but it would be a most unusual person who could resist taking a peek, regardless of orders.

 What they saw utterly astonished them. Brown described the two dead alien bodies as smaller than normal men. They were about 4 feet tall with larger heads than ours and slanted eyes. Their bodies were yellow and Asian-looking according to Brown. When asked if he was scared, Brown described the alien bodies as looking 'nice, almost as though they would be friendly if they were alive'.


The Weather Balloon Story Continues 


In view of the diverse and extensive testimony to the effect that the crash was of an alien spacecraft, it seems extraordinary that the US government and military still maintain the fiction that it was a weather balloon. 

It is somewhat perverse to bring in an expert on meteorites to inspect a weather balloon and to calculate its trajectory. Moreover, according to Jesse Marcel, a weather balloon would not have generated sufficient debris to cover such a vast area; and he would immediately have recognized the fragments brought into Sheriff Wilcox's office by Mac Brazel had they been from a weather balloon.

It also seems highly unlikely that Colonel 'Butch' Blanchard, who went on to become a fourstar general, would have made such a basic mistake. The weather officer at the airfield would immediately have identified a weather balloon and brought this strange episode to an abrupt end. Certainly, the components of a weather balloon would not have had the unusual characteristics of the material that Jesse Marcel and Sheridan Cavitt collected from the Foster Ranch. And it is bizarre for a government to impose such strict security over a weather balloon.


Why, one wonders, does the US government still maintain such a strict shroud of secrecy, 50 years after the event while fabricating a number of constantly changing cover stories. In 1994 the US government issued a 23-page report stating that what crashed was not a weather balloon, but a highly secret balloon, used to detect Russian atomic tests.

Then, in June 1997, the US government issued another report which acknowledged for the first time that there were bodies found in the wreckage of the Roswell Incident. This report, called 'Case Closed' claimed that the bodies were 'probably' test dummies used to test parachutes.

This new version of the government's story is called into question by information that dummies were not used for crash testing until 1953, six years after the crash near Roswell. As one of the visitors to the 50th anniversary held in Roswell in July 1997 observed, 'You have to be a real dummy to believe the dummy story



Bermuda Triangle

The Devil's Sea: Beyond the Bermuda Triangle


Naval Aviation News June 1973, 8-16. 

By Michael McDonell


At 1410 on 5 December 1945, five TBM Avengers comprising Flight 19 rose into the sunny sky above NAS Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Turning east the formation headed out over the Atlantic on the first leg of a routine exercise from which neither the 14 men of Flight 19 nor the 13-man crew of a PBM Mariner sent out to search for them were ever to return.


The disappearance of the five Avengers and the PBM sparked one of the largest air and seas searches in history as hundreds of ships and aircraft combed over 2000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, while, on land, search parties scoured the interior of Florida on the outside chance that the aircraft might have gone down there undetected. But nothing was ever found. No wreckage, no bodies, nothing.

All that remained were the elements of mystery and a mystery it quickly and easily became. Flight 19 "The Lost Patrol" is now the central element of the legend of the infamous "Bermuda Triangle." Much has been written and speculated about the Triangle, a stretch of ocean credited by some as being "the graveyard of the Atlantic," home of the forbidding Saragasso Sea. In actuality, the Triangle is no such geometric entity; it is an area whose northern boundaries stretch roughly from the southern Virginia coast to the Bermuda Islands, southward to the Bahamas and west to the Florida Keys. And within this area, it has been reported since 1840 that men, ships and even aircraft have disappeared with frequent regularity.


Why? It depends on whom you talk to. Some claim that this Hoodoo Sea is a maritime Molech, that supernatural forces are at work there. Others assert that strange magnetic and natural forces unique to the area and unknown to modern science are responsible for the disappearances.

Still more believe that with the heavy sea and air traffic moving through the area it is inevitable that some unexplained "incidents" are bound to happen. But no matter what the argument or rationale, there is something oddly provoking about these occurrences, particularly the "normal" circumstances which existed prior to each disaster.

 It is this writer's view that many a good tale would lie a-dying if all the facts were included. Take the Lost Patrol, for example. The popular version inevitably goes something like this: Five Avengers are airborne at 1400 on a bright sunny day. The mission is a routine two-hour patrol from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. due east for 150 miles, north for 40 miles and then return to base. All five pilots are highly experienced aviators and all of the aircraft have been carefully checked prior to takeoff.


 The weather over the route is reported to be excellent, a typical sunny Florida day. The flight proceeds. At 1545 Fort Lauderdale tower receives a call from the flight but, instead of requesting landing instructions, the flight leader sounds confused and worried. "Cannot see land," he blurts. "We seem to be off course."


"What is your position?" the tower asks.


There are a few moments of silence. The tower personnel squint into the sunlight of the clear Florida afternoon. No sign of the flight.


"We cannot be sure where we are," the flight leader announces. "Repeat: Cannot see land."


Contact is lost with the flight for about 10 minutes and then it is resumed. But it is not the voice of the flight leader. Instead, voices of the crews are heard, sounding confused and disoriented, "more like a bunch of boy scouts lost in the woods than experienced airmen flying in clear weather." "We can't find west. Everything is wrong. We can't be sure of any direction. Everything looks strange, even the ocean." Another delay and then the tower operator learns to his surprise that the leader has handed over his command to another pilot for no apparent reason.


Twenty minutes later, the new leader calls the tower, his voice trembling and bordering on hysteria. "We can't tell where we are . . .everything is . . .can't make out anything. We think we may be about 225 miles northeast of base . . ." For a few moments the pilot rambles incoherently before uttering the last words ever heard from Flight 19: "It looks like we are entering white water . . .We're completely lost."


Within minutes a Mariner flying boat, carrying rescue equipment, is on its way to Flight 19's last estimated position. Ten minutes after takeoff, the PBM checks in with the tower . . .and is never heard from again. Coast Guard and Navy ships and aircraft comb the area for the six aircraft. They find a calm sea, clear skies, middling winds of up to 40 miles per hour and nothing else. For five days almost 250,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf are searched. Yet, not a flare is seen, not an oil slick, life raft or telltale piece of wreckage is ever found.


Finally, after an extensive Navy Board of Inquiry investigation is completed, the riddle remains intact. The Board's report is summed up in one terse statement: "We are not able to even make a good guess as to what happened."


Maybe not, but let's try. Popular versions of the story of the Lost Patrol such as the preceding tale bear striking resemblances to one another, so much so that, because of re-occurring passages in all of them, one is led to believe that a certain amount of borrowing and embellishing from a single source has been performed over the 28 years since the incident occurred. And let us say now that this article is not a debunking piece, but simply a perusal of an incident that has grown to the stature of a myth a legend that begs to be more expertly examined. The following account is based on the official Board of Inquiry report concerning the disappearance of Flight 19 and PBM-5, Buno 59225.

The record consists of testimony of individuals, expert opinions and logs of the numerous radio transmissions. To begin with, the Lost Patrol was not a patrol at all. It was an over water navigation training hop composed of an instructor, four Naval Aviators undergoing VTB-type advanced training and nine enlisted aircrewmen who, with the exception of one, were all undergoing advanced combat aircrew training in VTB-type aircraft. The instructor was a combat veteran with 2509.3 hours of flying time, most of it in type, while his students had approximately 300 hours each, about 60 in the TBM/TBF. With the exception of the instructor, hardly a "highly experienced" lot.


The flight was entitled Navigation Problem No. 1 which ran as follows: (1) depart NAS Fort Lauderdale 26 degrees 03 minutes north and 80 degrees 07 minutes west and fly 091 degrees distance 56 miles to Hens and Chickens Shoals to conduct low level bombing and, after bombing, continue on course 091 for 67 miles, (2) fly course 346 degrees for 73 miles and (3) fly course 241 degrees for a distance of 120 miles, returning to NAS Fort Lauderdale. In short, a triangular route with a brief stop for some glide bombing practice on the first leg out.


Prior to the hop, the five Avengers were thoroughly preflighted. All survival gear was intact, fuel tanks were full, instruments were checked--but one mechanic commented that none of the aircraft had a clock. Of the 24-hour variety, clocks normally installed aboard aircraft were highly prized by souvenir hunters. Besides, everyone had his own personal wristwatch--or did he? Inside the training office, the students of Flight 19 waited for their briefing; they were going to be late- takeoff time was set for 1345 and the instructor hadn't shown up. At 1315 he arrived and asked the aviation training duty officer to find another instructor to take his place. Giving no reason, he stated simply that he did not want to take this one out. His request was denied; he was told that no relief was available.


It was the instructor's first time on this particular syllabus hop. He had only recently arrived from NAS Miami (where he had also been a VTB-type instructor). But to the anxiously waiting students, it was the third and final navigational problem. The previous two had been in the same general area and now they were anxious to complete the phase.


At last the briefing began. The weather for the area of the problem was described as "favorable." In the words of the training duty officer who attended the briefing, "The aerologist sends us a report in the morning. If weather conditions are unfavorable, he will inform us . . . and tell us about the condition. In the absence of any further information I considered the weather favorable." This estimate was later confirmed hy another TBM training flight performing the same problem an hour earlier than Flight 19: weather favorable, sea state moderate to rough.


At 1410 the flight was in the air, led by one of the students. The instructor, whose call sign was Fox Tare Two Eight (FT-28), flew the rear, in a tracking position. ETA was 1723 and the TBMs had enough fuel to remain aloft for five to five-and-a-half hours. Hens and Chickens Shoals, commonly called Chicken Rocks, the point at which they would conduct low level bombing, was only 56 miles away. If they cruised at 150 mph, they would arrive at the Rocks in about 20 minutes or so. Thirty minutes for bombing and then continue on the final 67 miles of the first leg. At Fort Lauderdale, the tower picked up conversation from Flight 19: "I've got one more bomb." "Go ahead and drop it" was the response. A fishing boat captain working near the target area remembers seeing three or four airplanes flying east at approximately 1500.


Assuming that the flight flew the rest of the first leg and then changed to course 346, they would have been near Great Sale Cay by 1540. But at about that time, FT-74, the senior flight instructor at Fort Lauderdale. was joining up his squadron around the field when he heard what he assumed were either some boats or aircraft in distress. "One man was transmitting on 4805 to 'Powers' [the name of one of the students]." The voice asked Powers what his compass read a number of times and finally Powers said, "I don't know where we are. We must have got lost after that last turn."


Upon hearing this, the senior flight instructor informed Fort Lauderdale that either a boat or some planes were lost. He then called, "This is FT-74, plane or boat calling 'Powers' please identify yourself so someone can help you." No response but, a few moments later, the voice came on again asking the others if there were any "suggestions." FT-74 tried again and the voice was identified as FT-28. "FT-28, this is FT-74, what is your trouble?" "Both my compasses are out and I am trying to find Fort Lauderdale, Fla. I am over land but it's broken. I am sure I'm in the Keys but I don't know how far down and I don't know how to get to Fort Lauderdale."


The Keys? Both compasses out? FT-74 paused and then told FT-28 to ". . . put the sun on your port wing if you are in the Keys and fly up the coast until you get to Miami. Fort Lauderdale is 20 miles further, your first port after Miami. The air station is directly on your left from the port." But FT-28 should have known if he was actually over the Keys; he had flown in that area for six months while stationed at Miami. He sounded rattled, confused.


"What is your present altitude? I will fly south and meet you." FT-28 replied, "I know where I am now. I'm at 2300 feet. Don't come after me." But FT-74 was not convinced. "Roger, you're at 2300. I'm coming to meet you anyhow." Minutes later, FT-28 called again: "We have just passed over a small island. We have no other land in sight." How could he have run out of islands? How could he have missed the Florida peninsula if he was in the Keys? FT-74 was beginning to have serious doubts.


FT-28 came back on the air. "Can you have Miami or someone turn on their radar gear and pick us up? We don't seem to be getting far. We were out on a navigation hop and on the second leg I thought they were going wrong, so I took over and was flying them back to the right position. But I'm sure, now, that neither one of my compasses is working." FT-74 replied: "You can't expect to get here in ten minutes. You have a 30- to 35-knot head or crosswind. Turn on your emergency IFF gear, or do you have it on?" FT-28 replied that he did not.


At 1626 Air-Sea Rescue Task Unit Four at Fort Everglades heard FT-28: "I am at angels 3.5. Have on emergency IFF. Does anyone in the area have a radar screen that could pick us up?" ASRTU-4 Rogered and, not having direction-finding gear, contacted Fort Lauderdale, who replied that they would notify NAS Miami and ask the other stations to attempt to pick up the lost flight on radar or with direction finders. In all, more than 20 land facilities were contacted to assist in the location of Flight 19. Merchant ships in the area were asked to be on the alert and several Coast Guard vessels were told to prepare to put to sea. But there were delays. Teletype communication with several locations was out and radio fixes were hampered by static and interference from Cuban broadcast stations.


At 1628, ASRTU-4 called FT-28 and suggested that another plane in the flight with a good compass take over the lead. FT-28 Rogered but, from fragmentary messages between the flight leader and the students concerning their estimated position and headings, it appears that no other plane took the lead at this time.


Meanwhile, FT-74 was having his own problems maintaining contact with the lost flight. "Your transmissions are fading. Something is wrong. What is your altitude?" From far away, FT-28 called, "I'm at 4500 feet." At this point FT-74's transmitter went out and he had no power to continue on the common frequency with the lost Avengers.


According to the senior instructor's later testimony, ". . . as his transmissions were fading, he must have been going away north as I headed south. I believe at the time of his first transmission, he was either over the Biminis or Bahamas. I was about 40 miles south of Fort Lauderdale and couldn't hear him any longer."


Did he remember any more? Yes, he recalled that at 1600, FT-28 had reported that he had a visibility of 10 to 12 miles. FT-74 further stated that while flying offshore at the time, he had observed a very rough sea covered with white caps and streamers. (The surface winds were westerly, about 22 knots, and visibility was very good in all directions except directly west.)


Upon returning to Fort Lauderdale, FT-74 went to operations and related as much as he could remember of the conversations with FT-28 to the duty officer and requested permission to take the duty aircraft out to search for the flight. Receiving no answer, the pilot then made the same request to the flight officer who replied, "Very definitely, no."


The flight officer had been notified of Flight 19's difficulty at 1630 by the duty officer. "I immediately went into operations and learned that the flight leader thought he was along the Florida Keys. I then learned that his first transmission revealing that he was lost had occurred around 1600. I knew by this that the leader could not possibly have gone on more than one leg of his navigation problem and still gotten back to the Keys by 1600. . . . I notified ASRTU-4 to instruct FT-28 to fly 270 degrees and also to fly towards the sun." (This was standard procedure for lost planes in the area and was drummed into all students.)


At 1631, ASRTU-4 picked up FT-28. "One of the planes in the flight thinks if we went 270 degrees we could hit land."


At 1639, the Fort Lauderdale operations officer contacted ASRTU-4 by telephone. He concurred with FT-74 and felt that the flight must be lost over the Bahama Bank. His plan was to dispatch the Lauderdale ready plane, guarding 4805 kc, on a course 075 degrees to try to contact FT-28. If communications improved during the flight, the theory would be proved and relay could be established.


Operations requested that ASRTU-4 ask FT-28 if he had a standard YG (homing transmitter card) to home in on the tower's direction finder. The message was sent but was not Rogered by FT-28. Instead, at 1645, FT-28 announced: "We are heading 030 degrees for 45 minutes, then we will fly north to make sure we are not over the Gulf of Mexico."


Meanwhile no bearings had been made on the flight. IFF could not be picked up. The lost flight was asked to broadcast continuously on 4805 kc. The message was not Rogered. Later, when asked to switch to 3000 kc, the search and rescue frequency, FT-28 called: "I cannot switch frequencies. I must keep my planes intact."


At 1656, FT-28 did not acknowledge a request to turn on his ZBX (the receiver for the YG) but, seven minutes later, he called to his flight, "Change course to 090 degrees for 10 minutes." At approximately the same time, two different students were heard; "Dammit, if we could just fly west we would get home; head west, dammit."


By 1700, the operations officer was about to send the duty plane out to the east when he was informed that a radio fix was forthcoming the aircraft was held on the ground pending the fix. At 1716, FT-28 called out that they would fly 270 degrees "until we hit the beach or run out of gas."


In the meantime, Palm Beach was reporting foul weather and, at Fort Lauderdale, they waited for it to move in. At 1724, FT-28 called for the weather at Fort Lauderdale: clear at Lauderdale; over the Bahamas cloudy, rather low ceiling and poor visibility.

By 1736, it was decided that the ready plane at Fort Lauderdale would not go out. According to the operations officer, the prospect of bad weather and the encouraging information that FT-28 was going to "fly west until they hit the beach" prompted his decision. It was for this reason that the senior instructor's request was turned down.


The decision was logically correct; but with hindsight, it was ironic and lamentable. To this day, FT-74 is convinced he knew where the lost flight had to be. He was denied the opportunity to prove his point. For reasons of safety and, perhaps, hopeful confidence, it was determined that the single-engine, single-piloted ready plane would not be risked on an arbitrary flight into the gathering darkness over winter seas.


At 1804, FT-28 called to his flight, "Holding course 270 degrees we didn't go far enough east . . .we may as well just turn around and go east again." The flight leader was apparently still vacillating between his idea that they were over the Gulf and his students' belief that they were over the Atlantic.


The Gulf and Eastern Sea Frontier HF/DF nets had now completed triangulation of bearings on FT-28 from six different radio stations, which produced a reliable fix: he was within an electronic 100-mile radius of 29 degrees north, 79 degrees west; Flight 19 was north of the Bahamas and east of the Florida coast. All stations were alerted and instructed to turn on field lights, beacons and searchlights. Unfortunately, no one. thought to advise the activities assisting in the attempted recovery of Flight 19 to make open, or "blind" transmissions of the 1750 evaluated fix to any aircraft of the distressed flight!


At 1820 a PBY was airborne out of CGAS Dinner Key to try to contact the flight. No luck. Transmitter antenna trouble. But garbled messages were still coming in from FT-28. "All planes close up tight . . .we'll have to ditch unless landfall . . .when the first plane drops below 10 gallons, we all go down together."


At about the same time, the master of the British tanker Viscount Empire, passing through the area northeast of the Bahamas en route to Fort Lauderdale, reported to ASRTU-4 that she encountered tremendous seas and winds of high velocity in that area.


More multi-engine search aircraft were dispatched by air stations up and down the Florida coast.


At NAS Banana River, two PBM-5s were being prepared to join the search, after being diverted from a regularly scheduled night navigation training flight. A flight mech checked out one of the planes, PBM-5 BuNo 59225, filled it with enough fuel for a 12-hour flight and, as he later testified before the Board, "I found it to be A-1. I spent about an hour in the aircraft . . .and there was no indication of any gas fumes. There was no discrepancy in any of the equipment and, when we started up the engines, they operated normally."


According to the pilot of the other PBM, "About 1830, operations called and the operations duty officer in regard to the five TBMs whose last position was reported as approximately 130 miles east of New Smyrna with about 20 minutes of fuel remaining. We received this position and were told to conduct a square search. We were instructed to conduct radar and visual search and to stand by on 4805 kc, the reported frequency on which the TBMs were operating. At the time we were briefed, Ltjg Jeffrey, in Training 49, was to make the second plane in the search. No other planes were included."


Were any plans made for a joint conduct of the search mission? "Yes, I was to proceed to the last reported position of the TBMs and conduct a square search. Lt. Jeffrey was to proceed to New Smyrna and track eastward to intercept the presumed track of the TBMs and then was to conduct an expanding square search at the last reported position of the TBMs."


What were the weather and sea conditions when you arrived in the vicinity of 29 degrees north, 79 degrees west? ". . .the ceiling was approximately 800 to 1200 feet overcast, occasional showers, estimated wind, west southwest about 25 30 knots. The air was very turbulent. The sea was very rough."


At 1927, PBM-5, Buno 59225, was airborne from Banana River with 3 aviators aboard and a crew of 10. At 1930, the aircraft radioed an "out" report to its home base and was not heard from again.


Cruising off the coast of Florida, the tanker S.S. Gaines Mills was sailing through the dark night when it sent the following message, "At 1950, observed a burst of flames, apparently an explosion, leaping flames 100 feet high and burning for ten minutes. Position 28 degrees 59 minutes north, 80 degrees 25 minutes west. At present, passing through a big pool of oil. Stopped, circled area using searchlights, looking for survivors. None found." Her captain later confirmed that he saw a plane catch fire and immediately crash, exploding upon the sea.


A message from USS Solomons (CVE 67), which was participating in the search, later confirmed both the merchantman's report and the fears of many at Banana River. "Our air search radar showed a plane after takeoff from Banana River last night joining with another plane, (the second PBM) then separating and proceeding on course 045 degrees at exact time S.S. Gaines Mills sighted flames and in exact spot the above plane disappeared from the radar screen and never reappeared." No wreckage was sighted and according to witnesses there was little likelihood that any could have been recovered due to a very rough sea. The next day, water samples, taken in the area, developed an oily film. The area was not buoyed due to the heavy seas nor were diving or salvage operations ever conducted. The depth of the water was 78 feet and the site was close to the Gulf Stream.


During the Board's examination of the disappearance of the PBM, several witnesses were questioned concerning gas fumes and smoking regulations, which were reportedly well posted and rigidly enforced aboard all PBMs. Although the Board's report is not a verbatim record and no accusations were made, there seems to be enough inference present to cause one to suspect that the Board was aware of the PBM's nickname, "the flying gas tank."


What followed is essentially what has been reported by so many others: five days of fruitless searching which revealed numerous older wrecks but not so much as a scrap of wreckage from either the TBMs or the PBM. The fate of the latter seems confirmed an in-flight fire of unknown origin and subsequent crash/explosion. The former's disappearance still has the aura of mystery, however.


Why did FT-28 not want to go on the flight; what was his state of mind? How could both his compasses have gone out? Did he have a watch? One suspects he did not, as he repeatedly asked the other flight members how long certain headings had been flown. These are only some of the questions which can never be fully answered.


But some have been. 


We now know that FT-28 took the lead sometime after the turn north on the second leg, thinking that his students were on a wrong heading. We know that FT-28 would not switch to the emergency radio frequency for fear of losing contact with his flight. We also know that there were strong differences of opinion between the instructor and the students about where they were. The instructor, familiar with the Florida Keys, with both compasses out and with evidently no concept of time, could very well have mistaken the cays of the northern Bahamas for the Keys and the water beyond for the Gulf of Mexico.


But the students, having flown the area before, appeared to know exactly where they were and it was not the Keys or the Gulf. The lead passed back and forth between FT-28 and a student, and land was never reached as the flight zigzagged through the area north of the Bahamas.


Toward the end, the low ceiling and daytime ten-mile visibility were replaced by rain squalls, turbulence and the darkness of winter night. Terrific winds were encountered and the once tranquil sea ran rough. They would "fly towards shore," the better to be rescued.


Valiantly trying to keep his flight together in the face of most difficult flying conditions, the leader made his plan: When any aircraft got down to ten gallons of fuel, they would all ditch together. When that fateful point was reached, we can only imagine the feelings of the 14 men of Flight 19 as they descended through the dark toward a foaming, raging sea and oblivion.


Former TBM pilots that we questioned express the opinion that an Avenger attempting to ditch at night in a heavy sea would almost certainly not survive the crash. And this, we feel, was the case with Flight 19, the Lost Patrol. The aircraft most probably broke up on impact and those crewmen who might have survived the crash would not have lasted long in cool water where the comfort index was lowered by the strong winds. This last element, while only an educated guess, seems to satisfy this strange and famous "disappearance."


A Brief History of the Devil's Triangle


Limbo of the Lost. The Twilight Zone. Hoodoo Sea. The Devil's Triangle. The vast three-sided segment of the Atlantic Ocean bordered by Bermuda, Puerto Rico and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, did not receive its most famous nickname until 1964, but reports of bizarre happenings there, or nearby, have been recorded for centuries. In fact, many claim that Christopher Columbus bore witness to the Bermuda Triangle's weirdness.


As the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria sailed through the area in 1492, it is reported that Columbus's compass went haywire and that he and his crew saw weird lights in the sky, but these events have mundane explanations. From the account in Columbus's journal, it is thought that his compass's slight inaccuracy stemmed from nothing more than the discrepancy between true north and magnetic north. As for the lights, Columbus wrote of seeing "a great flame of fire" that crashed into the ocean -- probably a meteor. He saw lights in the sky again on October 11, which, of course, was the day before his famous landing. The lights, brief flashes near the horizon, were spotted in the area where dry land turned out to be.


Another historical event retroactively attributed to the Bermuda Triangle is the discovery of the Mary Celeste. The vessel was found abandoned on the high seas in 1892, about 400 miles off its intended course from New York to Genoa. There was no sign of its crew of ten or what had happened to them. Since the lifeboat was also missing, it is quite possible that they abandoned the Mary Celeste during a storm that they wrongly guessed the ship could not weather. But what makes it even harder to call this a Bermuda Triangle mystery is that it the ship was nowhere near the Triangle -- it was found off the coast of Portugal.


The Bermuda Triangle legend really began in earnest on December 5, 1945, with the famed disappearance of Flight 19. Five Navy Avenger bombers mysteriously vanished while on a routine training mission, as did a rescue plane sent to search for them -- six aircraft and 27 men, gone without a trace. Or so the story goes.


When all the facts are laid out, the tale of Flight 19 becomes far less puzzling. All of the crewmen of the five Avengers were inexperienced trainees, with the exception of their patrol leader, Lt. Charles Taylor. Taylor was perhaps not at the height of his abilities that day, as some reports indicate that he had a hangover and failed in his attempts to pass off this flight duty to someone else.


With the four rookie pilots entirely dependent on his guidance, Taylor found that his compass malfunctioned soon into the flight. Taylor chose to continue the run on dead reckoning, navigating by sighting landmarks below. Being familiar with the islands of the Florida Keys where he lived, Taylor had reason to feel confident in flying by sight. But visibility became poor due to a brewing storm, and he quickly became disoriented.


Flight 19 was still in radio contact with the Fort Lauderdale air base, although the weather and a bad receiver in one of the Avengers made communication very spotty. They may have been guided safely home if Taylor had switched to an emergency frequency with less radio traffic, but he refused for fear they would be unable to reestablish contact under these conditions.


Taylor ended up thinking they were over the Gulf of Mexico, and ordered the patrol east in search of land. But in reality, they had been heading up the Atlantic coastline, and Taylor was mistakenly leading his hapless trainees much further out to sea. Radio recordings indicate that some of them suggested to Taylor that Florida was actually to the west.


A search party was dispatched, which included the Martin Mariner that many claim disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle along with Flight 19. While it is true that it never returned, the Mariner did not vanish; it blew up 23 seconds after takeoff, in an explosion that was witnessed by several at the base. This was unfortunately not an uncommon occurrence, because Mariners were known for their faulty gas tanks.


No known wreckage from Flight 19 has ever been recovered. One reasonable explanation is that Taylor led the planes so far into the Atlantic that they were past the continental shelf. There the ocean abruptly drops from a few hundred feet deep to several thousand feet deep. Planes and ships that sink to such depths are seldom seen again. The deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean, the 30,100-foot-deep Puerto Rico Trench, lies within the Bermuda Triangle.


Combining the circumstances of the failing compass, the difficulty of radio transmissions, and the absence of wreckage, tales of mysterious intervention befalling Flight 19 began to take form. Theories involving strange magnetic fields, time warps, Atlantis, and alien abduction began to appear. Even an official Navy report intimated that the Avengers had disappeared "as if they had flown to Mars."


About 200 prior and subsequent incidents have been attributed to the inherent strangeness of the area, which was forever christened the Bermuda Triangle by writer V. Gaddis in a 1964 issue of Argosy, a fiction magazine. Public interest in the "phenomenon" was whipped into a frenzy by Charles Berlitz's 1974 bestseller The Bermuda Triangle, a sensationalized and thoroughly inaccurate account that shunned the facts in favor of mysterious excitement.


There are two major obstacles to taking the Bermuda Triangle legend seriously. The first is that most of the associated mishaps can be explained by rational means. The second is that most of the associated mishaps did not occur within the Bermuda Triangle. If you plot all of the alleged instances of the area's malevolent influence on a map, you find that only a handful have actually happened within the Triangle's borders. Sea disasters as distant as Portugal, Ireland and the Pacific and Indian Oceans have been blamed on the Bermuda Triangle. We might then just as well rename it as "The Worldwide Curse of All Seas." Some have turned this fact on its head by proposing this as evidence that the Devil's Triangle is expanding in scope.


Others may respond that it is evidence that accidents will happen -- no matter where exactly on the land, on the sea or in the air they take place.


Sealift no. 6 (Jun. 1974): 11-15.

By Howard L. Rosenberg


During the past century more than 50 ships and 20 aircraft sailed into oblivion in the area known as the Devil's Triangle, Bermuda Triangle, Hoodoo Sea, or a host of other names.


Exactly what happened to the ships and aircraft is not known. Most disappeared without a trace. Few distress calls and little, if any, debris signaled their disappearance.


Size of the triangle is dictated by whoever happens to be writing about it, and consequently what ships and the number lost depends largely on which article you read.


Vincent Gaddis, credited with putting the triangle "on the map" in a 1964 Argosy feature, described the triangle as extending from Florida to Bermuda, southwest to Puerto Rico and back to Florida through the Bahamas. Another author puts the apexes of the triangle somewhere in Virginia, on the western coast of Bermuda and around Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Sizes of the areas described ranged from 500,000 to 1.5 million square miles.


Whatever the size or shape, there supposedly is some inexplicable force within it that causes ships and planes to vanish.


According to Richard Winer, who recently completed a TV film documentary on the area, one "expert" he interviewed claims the missing ships and planes are still there, only in a different dimension as a result of a magnetic phenomenon that could have been set up by a UFO (Unidentified Flying Object).


Winer is currently writing a book on the subject and has traveled most of the area in his sailboat. He confesses he "never saw anything unusual."


Winer's TV program dealt mostly with the strange disappearance in 1945 of five Navy TBM Avengers with 14 fliers who flew from Ft. Lauderdale into the triangle never to return. A PBM Mariner with a 13-man crew was sent out to search for the fliers. It too, never returned.


Few have really dug into all the aspects of this mystery, but many are content to attribute the loss of Flight 19 to some mysterious source, like UFOs. Michael McDonnel did do some digging. In an article he wrote for the June 1973 edition of Naval Aviation News, he suggested the most realistic answer to the loss of Flight 19 was simple, that after becoming lost, they ran out of gas. Many question that possibility by asking, "How could such experienced pilots get lost? How could all the compasses be wrong?"


If the planes were flying through a magnetic storm, all compasses could possibly malfunction. Actually, man's knowledge of magnetism is limited. We know how to live with it and escape it by going into space, but, we really don't know what exactly it is.


As for the pilots' experience, Flight 19 was a training flight. Though advanced, it was still training. Even the most "experienced" pilots make mistakes.


McDonnel concludes his article with the statement, "Former TBM pilots that we questioned express the opinion that the crew of an Avenger attempting to ditch at night in a heavy sea would almost certainly not survive the crash. And this, we feel was the case with Flight 19. The aircraft most probably broke up on impact and those crewmen who might have survived the crash would not have lasted long in cool water."


The PBM Mariner was specifically designed as a rescue plane with the ability to remain aloft for 24 hours. But the Mariners


were nicknamed "flying gas tanks" by those who flew them. It was common for a pilot to search the crew members before each flight for matches or cigarette lighters because gas fumes often were present. After this Mariner disappeared, the Navy soon grounded all others.


Another mysterious disappearance that baffles researchers is that of the SS Marine Sulphur Queen. Bound for Norfolk, Va. from Beaumont, Texas, the tanker was last heard from on Feb. 3, 1963, when she routinely radioed her position. The message placed her near Key West in the Florida Straits.


Three days later, Coast Guard searchers found a solitary life jacket bobbing in a calm sea 40 miles southwest of the tanker's last known position. Another sign of the missing tanker or her 39-man crew has ever been found.


The absence of bodies might be explained by the fact that the waters are infested with sharks and barracuda. As for the tanker, she was carrying 15,000 long tons of molten sulphur contained in four metal tanks, each heated to 275 degrees Fahrenheit by a network of coils connected to two boilers.


No one knows for sure whether she blew up, but it is a possibility. If gas escaped from the tanks and poisoned the crew, the radio officer may have not had time to send a distress call before being overcome. The slightest spark could have set the leaking sulphur afire in an instant.


Writing in the Seamen's Church Institute of New York's magazine, The Lookout, Paul Brock said that officers on a Honduras flag banana boat "reported to the Coast Guard that their freighter ran into a 'strong odor' 15 miles off Cape San Antonia, the western tip of Cuba, just before dawn on February 3. The odor was acrid.'"


Brock speculates that they could have smelled the fumes coming from the Sulphur Queen "floating somewhere over the horizon, her crew dead and her cargo blazing."


According to Brock, T-2 tankers like the Sulphur Queen had a history of battle failure. He said that "during the preceding years, three T-2s had split in half." Brock also cites a case in December 1954 when a converted Navy LST, the Southern District, was heading up the North Carolina coastline when she disappeared without a trace or distress call. Her cargo was powdered sulphur.


One of the most celebrated stories of Devil's Triangle victims, is that of USS Cyclops which disappeared in March of 1918.


In his television program, Richard Winer indicated the captain of the Cyclops was rather eccentric. He was reputedly fond of pacing the quarterdeck wearing a hat, a cane and his underwear. Prior to the Cyclops disappearance there was a minor mutiny by some members of the crew which was promptly squelched by the captain and the perpetrators were sent below in irons. None of this really offers a clue to what happened to the collier Cyclops, but it suggests something other than a mysterious force might have led to her doom.


According to Marshall Smith writing in Cosmopolitan, September 1973, "theories ranged from mutiny at sea to a boiler explosion which carried away the radio shack and prevented any distress call." One magazine, Literary Digest, speculated that a giant octopus rose from the sea, entwined the ship with its tentacles and dragged it to the bottom. Another theory was that the shipped suddenly turned turtle in a freak storm, trapping all hands inside.


Fifty years later, novelist Paul Gallico used the idea as the peg for a novel called The Poseidon Adventure which was made into a successful movie in 1972.


Cyclops was assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, which became the Naval Transportation, which merged with the Army Transport Service to become the Military Sea Transportation Service and then Military Sealift Command. When she sailed she was loaded with 10,800 tons of manganese ore bound for Baltimore from Barbados in the West Indies.


Information obtained from Germany following World War I disproved the notion that enemy U-boats or mines sank the Cyclops. None were in the area.


Another story concerns the loss of the nuclear submarine USS Scorpion in the Devil's Triangle. It is impossible to stretch even the farthest flung region of the triangle to include the position of the lost sub.


Truth is, Scorpion was found by the MSC oceanographic ship USNS Mizar about 400 miles southwest of the Azores, nowhere near the Devil's Triangle. Its loss was attributed to mechanical failure, not some demonic denizen of the deep.


There are literally thousands of cases of lost ships ever since primitive man dug a canoe out of the trunk of a tree and set it in the water. Why all this emphasis on the Devil's Triangle? It's difficult to say.


It would seem that, historically, whenever man was unable to explain the nature of the world around him, the problems he faced were said to be caused by gods, demons, monsters and more recently, extra-terrestrial invaders.


Before Columbus set sail and found the Americas, it was believed that the world was flat and if you sailed too far west, you would fall off the edge. That reasoning prevails concerning the Devil's Triangle. Since not enough scientific research has been done to explain the phenomenon associated with the area, imagination takes over. UFOs, mystical rays from the sun to the lost Continent of Atlantis, giant sea monsters and supernatural beings are linked to the mysterious disappearances in the triangle.


To someone unprepared to take on the immense work of scientific research, supernatural phenomenon make for an easy answer. But, it is amazing how many supernatural things become natural when scientifically investigated.


There are a number of natural forces at work in the area known as the Devil's Triangle, any of which could, if the conditions were right, bring down a plane or sink a ship.


Many reputable scientists refuse to talk to anyone concerning the Devil's Triangle simply because they do not want their good names and reputations associated with notions they consider ridiculous.


One expert on ocean currents at Yale University, who asked not to be identified, exploded into laughter at the mention of the triangle and said, "We confidently, and without any hesitation, often go to sea and work in that area." Another scientist refused to talk about it.


Atmospheric aberrations are common to jet age travelers. Few have flown without experiencing a phenomenon known as clear air turbulence. An aircraft can be flying smoothly on a beautifully clear day and suddenly hit an air pocket or hole in the sky and drop 200 to 300 feet.


Lt. Cmdr. Peter Quinton, meteorologist and satellite liaison officer with the Fleet Weather Service at Suitland, Md., said, "You can come up with hundreds of possibilities and elaborate on all of them and then come up with hundreds more to dispute the original ones."


"It's all statistical," he said, "there's nothing magical about it." According to Quinton, the Bermuda Triangle is notorious for unpredictable weather. The only things necessary for a storm to become a violent hurricane are speed, fetch (the area the wind blows over) and time. If the area is large enough, a thunderstorm can whip into a hurricane of tremendous intensity. But hurricanes can usually be spotted by meteorologists using satellite surveillance. It is the small, violent thunderstorms known as meso-meteorological storms that they can't predict since they are outside of normal weather patterns. These are tornadoes, thunderstorms and immature tropical cyclones.


They can occur at sea with little warning, and dissipate completely before they reach the shore. It is highly possible that a ship or plane can sail into what is considered a mild thunderstorm and suddenly face a meso-meteorological storm of incredible intensity.


Satellites sometimes cannot detect tropical storms if they are too small in diameter, or if they occur while the satellite is not over the area. There is a 12-hour gap between the time the satellite passes over a specific part of the globe until it passes again. During these 12 hours, any number of brief, violent storms could occur.


Quinton said, "Thunderstorms can also generate severe electrical storms sufficient to foul up communication systems." Speaking of meso-meteorological storms, which she dubbed "neutercanes," Dr. Joanne Simpson, a prominent meteorologist at the University of Miami, said in the Cosmopolitan article that "These small hybrid type storm systems arise very quickly, especially over the Gulf Stream. They are several miles in diameter, last a few minutes or a few seconds and then vanish. But they stir up giant waves and you have chaotic seas coming from all directions. These storms can be devastating."


An experienced sailor herself, Dr. Simpson said on occasion she has been "peppered by staccato bolts of lightning and smelled- the metallic odor of spent electricity as they hit the water, then frightened by ball lightning running off the yards." Sailors have been amazed for years by lightning storms and static electricity called "St. Elmo's Fire."


Aubrey Graves, writing in This Week magazine, August 4, 1964, quotes retired Coast Guard Capt. Roy Hutchins as saying, "Weather within the triangle where warm tropical breezes meet cold air masses from the arctic is notoriously unpredictable." "You can get a perfectly good weather pattern, as far as the big weather maps go, then go out there on what begins as a fine day and suddenly get hit by a 75-knot squall. They are localized and build up on the spot, but they are violent indeed."



Many boatmen Hutchins said, lack understanding of the velocity of that "river within the ocean" (Gulf Stream) which at its axis surges north at four knots. "When it collides with strong northeast winds, extremely stiff seas build up, just as in an inlet when the tide is ebbing against an incoming sea."


"The seas out there can be just indescribable. The waves break and you get a vertical wall of water from 30 to 40 feet high coming down on you. Unless a boat can take complete submergence in a large, breaking sea, she can not live."


Last year, the Coast Guard answered 8,000 distress calls in the area, 700 a month or 23 a day. Most problems could have been avoided if caution had been used. The biggest trouble comes from small boats running out of gas. According to the Coast Guard, an inexperienced sailor is looking for trouble out there. A small boat could be sucked into the prop of a big tanker or swamped in a storm and never be seen again.


Another phenomenon common in the region is the waterspout. Simply a tornado at sea that pulls water from the ocean surface thousands of feet into the sky, the waterspout could "wreck almost anything" said Allen Hartwell, oceanographer with Normandeau Associates.


Hartwell explained that the undersea topography of the ocean floor in the area has some interesting characteristics. Most of the sea floor out in the Devil's Triangle is about 19,000 feet down and covered with deposition, a fine-grained sandy material. However, as you approach the East Coast of the United States, you suddenly run into the continental shelf with a water depth of 50 to 100 feet. Running north along the coast is the Gulf Stream which bisects the triangle carrying warm tropical water.


Near the southern tip of the triangle lies the Puerto Rico Trench which at one point is 27,500 feet below sea level. It's the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean and probably holds many rotting and decaying hulks of Spanish treasure galleons.


Many articles concerning the triangle have made the erroneous statement that the Navy formed Project Magnet to survey the area and discover whether magnetic aberrations do limit communications with ships in distress, or contribute to the strange disappearance of ships and aircraft.


Truth is that Navy's Project Magnet has been surveying all over the world for more than 20 years, mapping the earth's magnetic fields. According to Henry P. Stockard, project director, "We have passed over the area hundreds of times and never noticed any unusual magnetic disturbances."


Also passing through the Devil's Triangle is the 80th meridian, a degree of longitude which extends south from Hudson Bay through Pittsburgh then out into the Triangle a few miles east of Miami. Known as the agonic line, it is one of two places in the world where true north and magnetic north are in perfect alignment and compass variation is unnecessary. An experienced navigator could sail off course several degrees and lead


himself hundreds of miles away from his original destination.


This same line extends over the North Pole to the other side of the globe bisecting a portion of the Pacific Ocean east of Japan.


This is another part of the world where mysterious disappearances take place and has been dubbed the "Devil Sea" by Philippine and Japanese seamen. Noted for tsunami, the area is considered dangerous by Japanese shipping authorities. Tsunami, often erroneously called tidal waves, are huge waves created by underground earthquakes. These seismic waves have very long wave lengths and travel at velocities of 400 miles per hour or more. In the open sea they may be only a foot high. But as they approach the continental shelf, their speed is reduced and their height increases dramatically. Low islands may be completely submerged by them. So too may ships sailing near the coast or above the continental shelf.


Quite a bit of seismic activity occurs off the northern shoreline of Puerto Rico. Seismic shocks recorded between 1961 and 1969 had a depth of focus ranging from zero to 70 kilometers down. Relatively shallow seaquakes could create tsunamis similar to those in the Pacific Ocean, but few have been recorded.


A distinct line of shallow seaquake activity runs through the mid-Atlantic corresponding with the features of the continental shelf of the Americas.


Some claim we know more about outer space than we do about inner space, including the oceans. If that is true, much information has yet to be developed concerning the Devil's Triangle. As recently as 1957 a deep counter-current was detected beneath the Gulf Stream with the aid of sub-surface floats emitting acoustic signals. The Gulf Stream and other currents have proved to consist of numerous disconnected filaments moving in complex patterns.


What it all adds up to is that the majority of the supernatural happenings offered as explanations for the Devil's Triangle mysteries amount to a voluminous mass of sheer hokum, extrapolated to the nth degree.


Mysteries associated with the sea are plentiful in the history of mankind. The triangle area happens to be one of the most heavily traveled regions in the world and the greater the number of ships or planes, the greater the odds that something will happen to some.


Each holiday season the National Safety Council warns motorists by predicting how many will die on the nation's highways. They are usually quite accurate, but, no monsters kill people on highways, only mistakes.


Seafarers and aircraft pilots also make mistakes. Eventually scientists will separate fact from the fiction concerning the Devil's Triangle. Until then, we can only grin and bear the ministrations of madness offered by triangle cultists.


If you happen to be passing through the triangle while reading this article, don't bother to station extra watches to keep a wary eye out for giant squids. Better to relax and mull over the words of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:


"Wouldst thou," so the helmsman answered, 


"Know the secret of the sea?" 


Only those who brave its dangers, 

Comprehend its mystery !, 


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