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Reference: Alternate Perceptions Magazine online. November 2005.

Note: All photos and text © 2005 by Greg Little. Redistribution and copying prohibited without authorization.

Underwater Stone Formation at Bimini: Ancient Harbor Evidence — Uncovering the Bimini Hoax—
By Dr. Greg Little
hoax \ vt.: to trick into believing or accepting as genuine something false... hoax \ n.: something accepted or established by fraud or fabrication. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1996) Scientific fabrication: Making up data or results. Scientific falsification: Changing or misreporting data or results. National Academy of Sciences (1995) On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research; Misconduct in Science

Introduction In 1968 a 1600-foot long J-shaped formation of stone blocks was reportedly discovered about one mile off the west coast of North Bimini, Bahamas by a Miami-based biologist, Dr. J. Manson Valentine. The formation was initially thought to resemble a collapsed wall or a road and the unfortunate name “Bimini Road” was attached to it. Media coverage speculated that the site was associated with Atlantis and sensationalized reports about the formation were widely disseminated. Shortly thereafter, four geologists asserted that the formation was nothing but natural limestone. Most archaeologists and geologists have accepted the four geologists’ claims without question. However, an inspection of the site shows that the skeptics’ most important claims about the formation are inaccurate. More importantly, however, a careful evaluation of the prime skeptical geologist’s original research results indicate that his published findings were changed, misreported, and misrepresented in later reports that presented the same data. By definition, this geologist’s claims about the Bimini site, based on his later reports, constitute a hoax that has now lasted 25 years. A well-known archaeologist appears to have participated in the hoax as a coauthor. Paradoxically, these coauthors alleged in several articles that a hoax had been perpetrated at Bimini by others. It is demonstrated herein that USGS geologist Eugene Shinn and archaeologist Marshall McKusick published a series of articles wherein they presented false and misleading results summarizing Shinn’s research findings at Bimini.
Left: In the 1970’s, Dr. David Zink, an English professor, spent several years examining the Bimini Road. His research was partly funded by the ARE. One of most important things Zink accomplished was to make a map of the formation. The map depicts only the largest stones that are visible from the surface. Illustration—ARE. 1



Above: One of the piles of the columns that are located near the harbor entrance between the islands of North and South Bimini. They are located approximately a halfmile from the far southern end of Proctor’s Road. Right: Close-up photos of several cylinders. In 1971, Wyman Harrison determined that at least two of the columns were fluted marble and samples from a few others showed that they were a form of cement. Most skeptical reports assert that all the columns were cement ignoring the fluted marble report. While Harrison asserted that they were dumped by modern ships, their origin is unknown and they bear similarity to ancient columns. Photos—Greg Little, 2005.

The Skeptical Geologists Not long after the discovery of the Bimini Road, a Virginia Beach, Virginia geologist, Wyman Harrison (1971), sampled two stones of the formation and visually observed the site reporting that all the blocks were limestone that had fractured in place. Harrison added, “at no place are blocks found to be resting on a similar set beneath.” Harrison also examined 30 cylinder-like columns found near the site. He reported that two of the columns were fluted marble and noted they were not from the Bahamas. He wrote that “Georgia is probably not the source and there is only a small chance it could have come from Vermont.” The remaining cylinders Harrison asserted were cement noting, “The cement cylinders are also composed of material which is not indigenous to the Bahamas.” Harrison believed it to be a form of hydrated natural cement. Samples of the cement were evaluated by several others and their conclusions were reported by Harrison. One researcher stated that the cement seemed to be a high-temperature product resembling the overburnt product of lime kilns. The other researcher reported that a chemical analysis found quartz and coal particles in it suggesting that it was probably made sometime after 1800. Harrison reasoned that the cylinder-like columns were probably dumped by modern or historic ships, but made no attempt to compare the columns to similar artifacts that had been discovered at ancient harbors in the Mediterranean or to ancient cements. Ball and Gifford (1980) began by relating that Harrison had shown the formation was completely natural, based on Harrison’s examination of the two small stone pieces and his visual observations. Ball and Gifford also observed that no blocks on the formation rested squarely on other blocks and that no regular prop stones were present under any of the large blocks. In essence, they asserted that all of the blocks were either lying on bottom sand or on the solid limestone foundation forming the seabed. Another geologist, Eugene Shinn, who had worked a few years for the U.S. Geological Survey’s new field office in Miami (1978), published findings from 17 stone block cores he allegedly made at the formation. Shinn’s later reports (McKusick & Shinn 1980; Shinn 2004) claimed that all 17 cores showed “constant dip direction from one block to the next” (1980) and that all 17 cores “tilted toward deep water” (2004) essentially proving that the formation began as a single piece of limestone that formed on an ancient beach. This type of limestone is commonly referred to as “beachrock,” but according to Shinn (1978) the stone becomes as hard as iron.

In the Mediterranean, beachrock was a common construction stone utilized in building harbors (, but that fact is apparently either unknown or ignored by the geologists. Few archaeologists and geologists apparently actually read Shinn’s original 1978 article because the now-obscure journal, Sea Frontiers, is difficult to find. Instead, skeptics cite Shinn’s later (1980; 2004) summaries of his 1978 work, which were published in widely circulated journals. For example, Kenneth Feder’s popular archaeology textbook (2006) asserts that the Bimini formation has been shown to the result of “natural erosion processes,” citing only McKusick & Shinn (1980) and Harrison (1971). Feder, apparently, assumes the 1980 summary of Shinn’s results originally published in 1978 was accurate. While the idea that Harrison proved that the entire Bimini formation, comprised of thousands of stones, was completely natural limestone from only two samples is a stretch, the coring result from Shinn is the key to the beachrock explanation. Based on the findings of the expedition described in this report, and also from an analysis of Shinn’s 2004 article, a careful examination of Shinn’s actual 1978 results was made. As shall be fully documented in this article, Shinn’s actual 1978 results do not match what he and McKusick asserted in their 1980 article and also in later articles. In fact, it can be statistically argued that what Shinn reported in 1978 actually supports the idea that the Bimini Road is manmade. Shinn alleged that a hoax was perpetrated at Bimini in his articles and Marshall McKusick published a later article in Archaeology relating that the Bimini hoax was perpetrated to increase tourism at Bimini and to promote Edgar Cayce. McKusick’s article was a major development in academic archaeology’s attack on what they term pseudoscience and cult archaeology. However, it is now clear that Shinn and McKusick engaged in pseudoscience themselves by reporting a completely misleading and inaccurate summary of results. That is, they changed the actual results Shinn obtained. This presents an amazing twist to the entire affair. This was not an expected development when the present project began and it took this writer by complete surprise. The Natural Beachrock Hypothesis To understand the geologists’ position on the Bimini formation—that it is a slab of natural beachrock that fractured in place—it’s necessary to briefly describe how beachrock forms. Beachrock forms rapidly in the Bahamas where constant wave motion and tidal flows push sand and small pebbles onto the gradually rising beach. The water has a high concentration of carbonate material in it some of which settles onto the sand and pebbles that are accumulating on the shore.
Left: Beachrock on the Bimini shore. Note that the forming limestone is tipping toward the water. Right: Close-up of a cut slab of beachrock at Bimini. The stone is still used for construction. The internal layering of the stone is visible and the tilt toward the right is toward the water. Photos—Greg Little.


In the simplest of terms, the carbonate material chemically fuses with the sand and pebbles creating a cemented stone that gets, as Shinn related in 1978, as hard as iron. The stone is actually coarse limestone, but on a beach it’s commonly referred to as beachrock. Because the motion of the waves pushes the sand and pebbles upward onto a beach line, the forming beachrock almost always tilts toward the water. If the rock is cut, the interior of beachrock often shows a distinctive bedding pattern of visible layers that tilt toward the deep water. Consistent internal bedding of the sand and pebbles and the tilt of the internal layers toward deep water are the critical factors that are used to determine if a beachrock formation is in its natural location or was moved. Shinn’s assertion that all 17 of his cores tilted toward deep water is the critical point in the geologists’ belief about the Bimini formation, as Feder (2006) shows. Shinn speculated that the Bimini Road began as a massive slab of beachrock that formed on a deep layer of sand that once extended above the surface. The sand washed away, gradually settling the slab to the bottom. Over time, the slab fractured into rectangular and square blocks resulting in the formation seen there today. If Shinn’s results actually did show that all 17 cores dipped or tilted toward deep water, it would be a powerful argument that the Bimini formation is completely natural. The assertion that there are no blocks set on top of each other and that there are no regular prop stones under any blocks only serve to support the natural beachrock idea, but these assertions are not even mentioned by Feder. The presence of multiple tiers and prop stones would help prove that the formation had been altered. However, even if multiple tiers and prop stones were present at the site, the issue of all 17 of Shinn’s cores “dipping toward deep water” would still prevail. Later in this article it will be shown that all of the assertions made by the skeptics (regarding Shinn’s core results, multiple tiers, and prop stones) are not true. In fact the key component of the geologists’ claims, regarding the core results, constitutes what is by definition a hoax. Other Research on the Site The Bimini formation has seen a host of other, well-qualified researchers examine portions of the site. Dr. Dimitri Rebikoff, a famed marine engineer, retrieved “micrite” from the Bimini formation (1979) noting its similarity to ancient Mediterranean harbors. Rebikoff also photographed several prop stones under large blocks, but his evidence was ignored by the skeptics. Rebikoff presented his findings at meetings where French archaeologists and geologists concurred with his conclusion that the site was an ancient harbor. According to archaeologist Bill Donato, Zink (1976) made 12 cores at Bimini utilizing a stable tripod and also found micrite in the stones. A neutron activation analysis compared shore stone samples to cores from the formation. Results showed fewer trace elements in the formation’s stones implying it was not in situ. Zink also photographed multiple tiers at the site, but his evidence was dismissed or ignored by skeptics. In addition, ongoing archaeological research has found numerous stone blocks at the site exhibiting mortises and tenons. As far as is known, only three archaeologists have personally examined the site and all have the

Left: One of Zink’s 1978 photos showing a block squarely sitting on top of another block. Right: Area of the Bimini Road that is unusually uniform. Photo—Greg Little. 4

opinion that it is artifactual. One stone recovered from the site and later analyzed at the University of Colorado was determined to have tool marks, deliberate shaping, functional wear, erosion features similar to steps, was once in an area with a minimum of two seasons, and was exposed to surface wave erosion (Donato, 2004).

May 2005 Results
In May 2005, a week long underwater and surface examination of the Bimini formation was conducted with constant film documentation. Archaeologist William Donato, M. A. accompanied Dr. Lora Little, Doris Van Auken, two dive operators at Bimini, and the author on the expedition. Film was taken both on the surface, in water, and underwater. Proctor’s Road Findings In 1971, an obscurely known line of stones was reported about a half-mile closer to shore from the Bimini Road. The discoverer, Stephen Proctor, named the site and reported that stone circles, spaced at regular intervals, were present there. Proctor’s Road also was described as passing directly across ancient shorelines (Richards, 1988) and strangely, it has been almost completely ignored. Our May 2005 trip began with an aerial survey to identify the exact location of Proctor’s Road. The area is not on any of the regular flight paths to the Bimini airport and appears to have escaped the attention of nearly everyone. Surprisingly, the weather conditions were perfect, and all of Proctor’s Road was clearly visible from an altitude of 500 feet. Using digital video and a zoom lens, we were able to clearly identify five large stone circles in the shallow water as well as many other partial circles. Diving at the site the next day, we filmed the entire formation underwater as well as taking numerous photos. What appear to be numerous ancient shorelines were clearly visible, and the mile-long line of stones comprising the formation passed directly over many of these. We easily found the stone circles, which were formed in two ways. Some of them consisted of large stone blocks simply piled into a heap, forming a circle. The most curious circles consisted of large

Above left: Aerial photo of the Bimini formations taken from 6000 feet. Photo—ARE. Above right: The red area (A) is the main formation known as the Bimini Road. B (the blue line) is the shoreline when sea levels were 15feet below present level. C (yellow line) is Proctor’s Road. D (green line) is the shoreline when sea levels were 8 feet below present levels. E (light green) is the present Bimini shoreline. 5

rectangular blocks arranged into a circle, where the middle of the circle was simply the seabed. These were clearly anomalous. The circles are located at fairly spaced intervals and between them thousands of small, flat stones cover the bottom. The large blocks forming the circles stand out in stark contrast to the smaller stones on the bottom. Several other “partial” circles were found and occasionally one of the large blocks sits among the smaller flat stones. Wedged under some of the large blocks associated with the stone circles we found several eroded wooden beams and planks. The dive operators, who have operated there for many years, were not aware of these formations and were surprised by the discovery. Associated with the stone circles we made a series of discoveries that we had not anticipated, which took us some time to understand. We found at least eight stone anchors, varying from circular stones with a large hole drilled in the middle to large, wedge-shaped anchors with multiple holes. The anchors are identical to ancient Roman, Phoenician, Greek, and Egyptian anchors recovered at numerous ancient Mediterranean harbors. All of these were left in place. Several large blocks showed what appear to be mortise cuts and grooves.
Left: Frame from aerial digital video (utilizing a zoom lens) showing three of the stone circles on Proctor’s Road. The discoloration comes from reflections on the plane’s window. Bottom left & center: Examples of the piles of stone forming circles at Proctor’s Road. Center & bottom right: Portions of large circles formed by arrangements of stone blocks. The blocks are all at least a foot thick and are generally three to four feet square. The areas between the circles are generally covered by smaller, flat white stones. Photos— Greg & Lora Little.


Unexpectedly, we also found several holes bored through large stone blocks on the far southern end of Proctor’s Road. These appeared similar to some of the core holes we had seen on the Bimini formation. In an email correspondence with Eugene Shinn (Little, 2005), he related that any 4-inch cores that we found were his. We have since discovered that several ancient Mediterranean harbors, especially one at Cosa, Italy, utilized “mooring circles,” constructed by forming large circles of stone. These shipmooring areas were generally built outside of the main harbor area for ships that were only making a brief stop or for those that were not allowed in the main harbor. Cosa had five of these and they appear similar to the ones at Proctor’s Road. Interestingly, at Cosa, the main harbor is formed by a 330-foot long breakwater that still exists. On the Cosa breakwater, dozens of cylinders, virtually identical in appearance to those not too far from the end of Proctor’s Road, have been found. The Cosa cylinders—or columns—are of

Above, left & center: Views of ancient shorelines at Proctor’s Road. Above right: Krista Brown of KnB EZ Dive examines a wood plank under large block at Proctor’s Road. Far right: Another wooden board wedged under stones at Proctor’s Road. Immediately right: Small, wedge shaped stone anchor about 20 inches long in stone circle at Proctor’s Road. Photos—Greg & Lora Little.

Right: Krista Brown marks large anchor at Proctor’s Road so GPS coordinates can be taken. Bottom left: Large stone anchor showing multiple holes with the narrow end broken off. Bottom center: One of several wedge-shaped stone anchors at Proctor’s Road. It is approximately 2 feet long. These are identical to Phoenician anchors recovered in the Mediterranean, however, it is not asserted that they are Phoenician in origin. Bottom right: Example of large circular anchor at Proctor’s Road. Photos—Greg & Lora Little.

Broken end


two types. They are either fluted marble or cement—precisely the same kind at Bimini that were described by Harrison in 1971. Modern chemical analysis of the hydrated cement used by the ancient Romans has shown that they used fires to heat limestone and added a host of other minerals including sandy quartz from sandstone. In addition, ancient Greek cement has been extensively analyzed (Efstathiades, 2000) and is surprisingly similar to modern cement. The presence of the anomalous stone circles and the stone anchors are highly suggestive that the area served as a harbor at some point in the past. The area is under about eight feet of water, less than half the depth of the main Bimini formation. Thus, its possible use for mooring is probably more recent than the main Bimini formation. The anchors, wood, stone circles, and the cement cylinders merit further analysis. Bimini Road Findings Over 14 hours of scuba diving was made by each of two divers (the present author and archaeologist Bill Donato) to examine various portions of the Bimini Road and other areas. All of these activities were continually videotaped by Dr. Lora Little while snorkeling on the surface. Hundreds of photographs were also taken supplemented by bottom videotaping. At least a dozen multiple tiers of stone blocks were easily found in direct contradiction to the claims of Harrison (1971) and Gifford & Ball (1980). Several of these were set “squarely” on top of an underlying block, but the top blocks generally showed substantial erosion. These were found primarily in an area of the formation that has a large amount of coral and plant growth. Massive schools of fish were present in this area to such a degree that it was difficult to actually see through the fish. Sharks are often present in this area of the formation, and it can be speculated that the skeptics may have avoided this area or primarily viewed it from the surface. Bimini is an area with numerous sharks and a Shark Lab is operated on the island. Curiously, the multiple tiers of stone in this area cannot usually be discerned from the surface. Indeed, all of the blocks usually appear to be resting on the sandy bottom. However, while scuba diving on the bottom, these are very visible and were actually easy to find. In many places, it is clear that large underlying stone blocks are present just under the sand that covers the bottom edges of the blocks that are viewed from the surface. At other spots in this area, especially at the far northern ends of the “J,” some blocks appear to be heaped on top of others in a haphazard, jumbled manner. While some would argue this is the result of dumping, it also has the same appearance of breakwaters where stone is simply piled and allowed to fall into place. One intriguing set of blocks we found was three tiers high. The bottom block rested on a large pile of rubble, which again, directly contradicts skeptics’ claims. The top block of the three tiers showed a distinct U-shaped channel cut across its entire bottom. Groove marks were also visible along the ends of this block. It is approximately 5-feet in length and nearly two feet thick.

Left: Stone with what appears to be a mortise cut at Proctor’s Road. Right: The side of a large block at Proctor’s Road showing what appears to be a large groove cut. Photos— Greg & Lora Little. 8

In addition, numerous cube-like prop stones were found under many blocks. This finding also directly contradicts skeptics’ claims about the formation. Without external lights or a flash, it’s impossible to see anything clearly under the blocks. It is reasonable to assume that the observations made by Harrison and Gifford & Ball were primarily made from the surface or without the aid of lights. Gifford ignored the question when it was later presented to him. We estimate that we looked under less than 10 percent of the blocks on this end of the Bimini Road, but those that were not covered by sand showed either prop stones or a far more intriguing leveling stone under them. In addition, the presence of sand can certainly make it appear, from only a cursory look, that most of the blocks are resting on the bottom. Scattered around the entire site are numerous rectangular stones averaging about 3 feet in length, by 2 feet in width, and 8-inches thick. Inspection of our video has shown several dozen of these obviously cut, smoothed stones in various places. When these blocks were first encountered during the 2005 expedition, they were intriguing, but we immediately realized there was no proof where they came from or when they were placed there. In brief, the idea that they were dumped was initially the most logical explanation. However, during the time we inspected under massive blocks, we were astonished to find many of these rectangular slabs under the larger stones. In all these cases, the massive blocks visible from the surface were literally resting on top of the smaller rectangular slabs. In several cases, we found several of the rectangular slabs literally stacked on top of each other essentially leveling the massive block on top of them. There is no way that these slabs
Right: The Bimini Road from the air showing a fish hook-like, inverted J-shape in the middle. The boat in the photo is over 30-feet long, showing how the area inside the J would have been large enough for a harbor enclosure. The dark coloration surrounding the formation is primarily turtle grass. Below: an area of the Bimini Road that I found intriguing. Photo—Greg Little.

Left: Surface video demonstrates how huge schools of fish can obstruct the view from the surface. The area shown has several multiple tiers of blocks. Below: From the suface, it usually appears that the blocks are resting on the bottom, however, many of them have had vast layers of sand swept away by storms and hurricanes. Most of the exposed undersides of the blocks have prop stones or rectangular slabs under them, apparently used as leveling stones. Photos—Lora Little.


could have been dumped from ships. It was one of the most important discoveries and it can be asserted that it constitutes definitive proof that the hand of humans was involved in altering the formation. To our knowledge, these rectangular blocks serving a leveling stones have never before been reported. It took considerable effort to get under some of the stone blocks to access the underside. A bottom surface search yielded several artifactual finds. A unique “u-shaped” mortise cut into a 3-foot square stone was discovered. It is possible it could be natural, but a few ancient stone anchors found in the Mediterranean are identical to it. The view from the bottom (while diving) is very different from the surface view. The simultaneous presence of both views enabled our team to discover several other important artifacts. While snorkeling and filming from the surface, Lora Little saw a strange looking stone with a plum-bob like shape. After gaining our attention while we were diving on the bottom, she directed us to it. The stone, about 3-feet long, had a large hole bored through its middle. On both ends groove marks were clearly discernible where a rope had been attached. The stone is identical to several ancient Greek stone anchors that have been recovered at Thera. It was covered with a deep layer of coral and carbonate crust on the exposed side and was found just to the outside of the main J-shape, toward land. Lora also discovered another stone anchor within the main J-shaped formation. It was a large circular stone about 4-feet in diameter with a large hole drilled through the middle. Lora spent about 25 hours snorkeling over the formation, all the while videotaping and photographing. When necessary, she directed the boat to exact locations so GPS coordinates could be taken one each find. All of these obviously archaeological artifacts were left in place. One of the objectives of the expedition was to attempt to find a specific stone block that Bill Donato photographed in 1998. Under this block, Donato found a wedge-shaped prop stone, but its specific location wasn’t noted back then. We did not find the specific stone Donato photographed in 1998 due to the presence of vast amounts of sand, but the search led us to brush sand from the sides of several blocks. As we began brushing sand from around one particular block, several smaller and unusual stones became visible under a corner. As these stones were removed, more and more stones were
Below, right: The area showing many multiple tiers is filled with huge schools of fish. Above, left: From the surface, when the fish move away, it is sometimes possible to see stone blocks under the large surface blocks.. Left, bottom: double-tiered blocks obscured by fish. Photos—Greg Little, Lora Little, & Bill Donato.


Above: Various areas where multiple tiers are found. Since the skeptics claimed that not a single example of these exist at Bimini, it is obvious that their claim is wrong. Photos—Greg Little, Lora Little, & Bill Donato.

Right: Triple tier of blocks resting on rubble. Note the inverted U-shaped channel running across the bottom of the top block and the cuts on the ends.

Bottom photos: Examples of numerous prop stones found under large blocks at the Bimini Road. Photos—Greg Little & Bill Donato. 11

Below: One of many cube-like prop stones under massive blocks. There are many similar to this one. This is also one that was found and reported by Rebikoff. Photos—Greg Little & Bill Donato.

Below: Examples of what are obviously cut and polished rectangular slabs scattered around the Bimini Road. All of them are about 8 inches thick and generally three feet long by two-feet wide. Photos—Greg Little & Bill Donato.


Above: This is probably the best photographic example we obtained of a cut and polished rectangular slab serving as a leveling prop for a huge stone block. The underside of the surface block can be seen at the top of the photo. The huge stone that is seen from the surface is resting on an angular, cut, smooth rectangular block identical to those scattered around the site—the stones some have claimed were dumped. Immediately under the large rectangular slab, portions of two other rectangular slabs can be seen. This stack of stones serves to level the top block. Without using lights or a flash, nothing can be seen in this area—it is almost completely dark and difficult to access. Photo—Greg Little. Left, top, bottom: Coral-coated rectangular slabs are seen underneath another large block. The large block is not resting on the bottom, but is on the slabs—note the light showing from the other side or the top block in the left hand corner. Several areas show similar slabs haphazardly in place. Bottom: Another underside of a different block can be seen in the top of the photo. The block rests on a smoothed and cut rectangular stone. Photos—Greg Little & Bill Donato.


visible. From under this block, over two-dozen black, cut stones were recovered. These varied in size from irregularly shaped brick-like stones to highly angular triangular shapes. They appeared to be granite and a group of geology students from an Ohio college performing a field practicum at Bimini agreed the stones were probably granite. In the states, the stones were sent to two independent commercial geology labs. An SEM with elemental X-ray analysis revealed that the stones lacked one element to actually be granite. The stones were identified as contact metamorphic stones (limestone and clay combined under heat and pressure) and fossilized limestone. In essence, they are a type of gray marble. The stone is apparently indigenous to the Bahamas, but not to Bimini. According to one of the labs, this type of stone was a highly desirable building material. The lab believes that these stones were perhaps dumped ballast. An alternative is that they were discarded because they were too small for construction. But because they were found under a large block, the possibility they were dumped from a passing ship as ballast is improbable. One other finding merits discussion. In his 1978 article, Shinn provided an illustration of one area of the Bimini Road where he did about half of his cores. We searched the surface of the stones at the Bimini site looking for all cores. Our efforts turned up no more than 10 cores on the entire formation. But in the only location Shinn actually described and illustrated in his article, we could not find a single core. Curiously, Shinn’s drawing of this area closely matches an illustration that was included in David Zink’s 1978 book, The Stones of Atlantis. Zink mentioned this area because he felt it was extremely important. It is possible that some of Shinn’s cores were deeply
Left, top to bottom: Bill Donato measures the unusual square stone showing a U-shaped cut to its middle; Close-up of the U-shaped stone; Broken artifact found by Bill Donato showing a cut edge. Photos—Greg Little & Bill Donato. Right top: Frame from surface video showing the unusual stone anchor found at the Bimini Road. Bottom: Lora directed Greg to the anchor, and this frame from surface video was taken just as Greg turned it over. Photos—Lora Little.


compacted with a dense sand, but even though we brushed sand off many of blocks we were unable to find any of them. Curiously, some 4-inch cores at other places on the formation were easily visible and quickly found. The results of the May 2005 expedition point to the Bimini formation as once serving as an ancient harbor. Stone anchors, quite dissimilar to historic-type anchors, are present at both the Bimini Road and nearby Proctor’s Road. The main J-shaped formation appears to have been constructed as a breakwater utilizing the same techniques that were used by Phoenicians and others in the ancient Mediterranean. Harbors were often made at convenient shore locations where natural beachrock had accumulated on sand bars and ridges that jutted into the water forming natural harbor areas. Some beachrock slabs were cut and placed in areas that needed additional support. Prop stones were placed under many large beachrock slabs to level the top of the breakwater. In key
Below left: Close-up photo of the unusual stone anchor. It is virtually identical to ancient Greek anchors found at Thera. Note the rope grooves on the left end and also on the right end. Typically, large sticks were pushed through the center hole and a rope was secured to the anchor’s ends and the stick. The stick was used to dig into a sandy bottom. Below right: Round stone anchor found at Bimini Road. Photos—Greg Little & Lora Little.

Below: Photo of limestone wedge Bill Donato discovered under a stone block at Bimini in 1998. Photo—Bill Donato. Right top: Surface video showing where the marble pieces were found. Below right: The upper right hand corner of the photo shows the underside of the block where the marble was removed. The marble is shown in the middle with shells and other debris. Photos—Greg & Lora Little.


areas, flat, rectangular slabs, called ashlar blocks, were placed on the top of the breakwater to form unloading platforms. The rectangular slabs scattered across the Bimini site are identical to ashlar blocks. In fact, several virtually identical J-shaped breakwaters, formed from beachrock, are at Dor, Atlit, and several other harbors in the Mediterranean. At Bimini, the long double line of uniform stones, located about 100 feet from the J-shape toward the present shore of Bimini, appears to have been a quay, a paved cargo staging area that was constructed along the shoreline. The Phoenician harbor at Atlit, has a similar quay still in existence. Many of the first discoveries at Mediterranean harbors were stone anchors lying on the bottom. Subsequent excavations into the silted harbor areas yielded maritime artifacts. Virtually all of the ancient Mediterranean harbors were found with silted harbor areas. Due to annual hurricanes that hit Bimini, small surface artifacts would have been covered or swept away. The area that would have formed the harbor has an easily penetrated, silted, sandy bottom. No excavation has ever been done there. While skeptics have made much over the inaccurate “fact” that there are no multiple tiers of stones at Bimini, the results from this report show that their assertions are untrue. There are numerous double tiers of stones at Bimini. Only one of these is needed to invalidate their claim. The one
Below: Close-up video stills of two pieces of the marble removed from under a block at the Bimini Road. Because the stones were found tightly wedged under a block, essentially buried there, it is highly unlikely that they are ballast dumped from a passing ship. Photos— Lora Little.

Above: Surface video still showing two cores. These are depicted in several of Shinn’s articles. Right: Closeups of these cores. Photos— Greg & Lora Little and Bill Donato. 16

three-tiered formation we found shows what seems to be a silt-flushing channel cut across the bottom of the top block. However, there is one other aspect to the ancient harbor theory that skeptics have avoided mentioning. Many of the Mediterranean harbors had only one layer of stone blocks forming a breakwater, for the simple reason that breakwaters were often built on the top of natural ridges jutting into the water. One layer of stones was all that was often needed. Information on Mediterranean harbors is easily accessible. The books History Under the Sea, Under the Mediterranean, Man: 12,000 Years into the Past, Ships, Shoals and Amphoras, Sunken History, Diving into the Past, and Phoenicians are only a few that contain relevant information. The European Commission maintains a large and detailed website on research on ancient Mediterranean harbors that includes the history of research at each as well as photos. It can be accessed at: The possibility that the Bimini formation was an ancient harbor is intriguing and archaeologically problematic. The enclosure is similar in size, shape, and construction techniques to harbors at Dor, Atlit, and many others (McKee, 1969). The stone circles at Bimini are similar to those at Cosa, where similar marble and cement columns have also been found. According to Shinn, carbon dates he reported on a few Bimini stones (ranging from 20003000 B.P.) were done by bulk dating and are not reliable (Little, 2005; see final section); thus, the formation date of the stones comprising the Bimini formation is actually unknown. In their 1980 report, Gifford & Ball did report one Uranium-Thorium date obtained from a sample “beachrock” core taken between several large blocks on the J-formation. That resulting date showed that the stone formed about 15,000 B.P. This date doesn’t allow any speculation, it only relates that the limestone immediately under the Road formation probably formed around 15,000-years ago. The main Bimini formation is under 15-20 feet of water while the stone circles are under eight to ten feet. Current sea level estimates for the Bahamas (Faught & Carter, 1998) indicate that modern sea levels were reached as early as 5000 B. C. and no later than 3000 B. C., implying that the use of the Bimini formation as a harbor could have been somewhat earlier. But this is definitely inconsistent with currently accepted archaeology timetables for the Bahamas. Nevertheless, the main Bimini harbor, formed by what is commonly known as the Bimini Road, may have been utilized before 5000 B.C.—the time when sea levels in the Bahamas were about 15-feet lower. Faught & Carter have found that in 10,000 B.C., the Bahamas sea levels were no more than 90 to 110 feet lower than today.
Below: This is a photomosaic of three still images from digital video of a portion of the uniform row of stones running parallel to the J-shape closer to the shore. The middle portion of the photo is distorted to make the images blend. The row is straight and is identical to quays built along the shoreline at ancient Mediterranean harbors Photo—Greg Little.


Above: Archaeological reconstruction artist’s conception of how the Bimini Road may have appeared when the sea level was 15-feet lower than the current level. The features are scaled to the actual size of the Bimini Road, and show the shoreline at the location where current depth charts of Bimini show 15 feet of water. The right hand side of the illustration is to the South, and the curved J would have diverted strong currents from the Gulf Stream. However, a small opening would have allowed flushing of silt from the harbor. The harbor area, enclosed by the J and the quay and pier on the shoreline, is today covered by a deep layer of sand. The openings that have been noted at the Bimini Road may well have served as boat slipways and mooring areas. At the time the shoreline would have abutted the line of stones running along it, the area where the stone circles are currently located (Proctor’s Road), would have been on land. Credit— Dee Turman © 2005. Reproduction, redistribution, or reuse by any means is prohibited by law without authorization from the author. Left: The Bimini Road does not rest on a flat bottom as is sometimes asserted. All of the stone features, with the exception of the double line of uniform stones closer to the shore, actually rest on elevated areas. This is similar to many Mediterranean harbors, which took advantage of natural features that rose from the bottom or jutted into the water. This enabled breakwaters to easily be constructed utilizing convenient beachrock located nearby. This fact also meant that many breakwaters needed only one thick layer of stones. It is likely that the area at the Bimini Road showing multiple tiers needed additional height to reach the needed level. Photo—Bill Donato.


One complicating factor arises in recent findings off Florida’s southern coast—not far from the Bahamas. Geologists have found that in the past few thousand years, the sea bottom has increased in height by 35-feet. This is due to carbonate sedimentation settling to the bottom forming a new, progressively higher crust. The area of the “harbor” at the Bimini Road, shows a similar bottom crust. Thus, the actual bottom and estimated timetable for use of the area as a harbor is problematical. Finally, the stone circles at nearby Proctor’s Road bear further mention. Indications are that this set of stone circles may have been utilized as mooring areas when the sea level was perhaps 7-8 feet lower than today. This would have been sometime around 4-5000 B.C. While this scenario is certainly speculative, it seems possible, based on the evidence, that the main Bimini harbor was utilized until rising sea levels made it unusable—circa 5000 B.C. Then, the mooring circles were constructed until they too became unusable by rising sea levels perhaps between 4000 to 3000 B.C. In fact, that was the same time period when the Great Bahama Bank, stretching from Bimini to Andros 100miles away, was submerged by rising waters. For whatever reason, the maritime culture that utilized Bimini as a port was abandoned and probably forgotten. Over the centuries of increasingly warm weather, hurricanes increased in frequency and ferocity, and with the majority of the prior land mass submerged under the rising seas, the area was completely abandoned by this unknown maritime culture.

The Bimini Hoax
It should be mentioned that the Bimini skeptics have invested themselves into their assertions about Bimini both professionally and also from an ego standpoint. In essence, they have maintained a position on Bimini for nearly 35 years. All contradictions to their beliefs are probably perceived as a direct threat to them professionally and psychologically. The long history of science has countless examples of widely held beliefs that were proven wrong by research. But even in the face of incontrovertible proof that these beliefs were wrong, many so-called scientists refused to accept the new evidence. Most scientists are aware of such examples, and it is not necessary to detail any of them. What likely occurs in such situations is the employment of ego defense mechanisms that are discussed in virtually every introductory psychology textbook. For example, ridicule is often
Below: This is another photomosaic of four still images from digital video of a portion of the uniform row of stones running parallel to the J-shape closer to the shore. The combined photos were made relatively seamless by compuer software. The row is straight and is identical to quays built along the shoreline at ancient Mediterranean harbors Photo—Greg Little.


employed as well as denial, rationalization, and projection. Eugene Shinn ridicules those who disagree with his Bimini assertions by calling them “true believers.” He then asserts that “true believers say it was prehistoric archaeological site built by extraterrestrials from the Pleiades.” This is explained more fully later. In addition, rationalization has clearly occurred in the skeptics as will also be demonstrated in this section. Rationalization is making up an acceptable excuse for something that is inexcusable. Denial is also present. Behaviorally, a simple example of denial is when a person closes his eyes and turns away when seeing something undesirable and then muttering the words, “this can’t be true.” To summarize this brief introduction to what some will find an uncomfortable sequence of facts, it must be stated that I have no expectation that any of the skeptics will actually change their views or even consider any alternatives to their beliefs. In fact, what is expected is denial, rationalization, and outright ridicule. But it appears necessary to reveal all of the following details in order to lower the resistance of a group of scientists who need to pay attention—archaeologists. For obvious reasons, mainstream archaeologists have avoided Bimini as if it was infected with a deadly virus. They have been convinced by reading others’ summaries of the early research— not by digesting the actual facts—that Bimini has to be nothing but natural beachrock and that a harbor cannot be there—therefore it is not there. Archaeologists who have a genuine sense of ethics and honor, and who have dismissed Bimini based on what the geologists have written, are urged to obtain Eugene Shinn’s 1978 article and actually read it. Compare the actual results in Shinn’s article to the 1980 report and his 2004 article. Then, understand that what has been asserted in the present article about Bimini is unrelated to Atlantis, Cayce, or extraterrestrials from the Pleiades. Skeptics invoke emotion-laden, ridiculing terms for reasons—one important one is that it keeps people from looking into what they have actually done. Shinn’s Sea Frontier’s Article. Eugene Shinn’s original article was published in a nowobscure journal called Sea Frontiers. It is difficult to find and is seemingly rarely read by skeptics who have relied on Shinn’s later reports, which are more easily accessible. I assume this, because if other geologists and archaeologists actually read all these reports, as they sometimes claim, the discrepancies should be apparent. Close inspection of Shinn’s original 1978 article revealed one serious discrepancy between his actual findings, all of which were reported in 1978, and the later reports in 1980 and 2004. Another, perhaps less serious discrepancy, is also present in the 1980 and 2004 articles. Again, these facts are easily demonstrated by reading what Shinn actually wrote in 1978, 1980, and 2004. The emphasis given to all the following bold and italicized sentences has been added—to ensure that the critical assertions are noticeable. In his 1978 article, Shinn explained that he did two separate sets of cores at two different sites on the Bimini Road. He wrote, “The purpose of this was to determine if the bedding in all the blocks dips uniformly toward the sea (to the west of Bimini). If it does, then it is highly unlikely that the blocks had ever been transported.” One area on the site had 8 cores performed and the other area had 9. He actually reported that at the site with eight cores, no internal strata—no dipping—was visible or present. He wrote: “Beach bedding was not readily visible in these cores because large pebbles prevent bedding formation.” Shinn still concluded the stones had all once been joined as a single stone because he claimed he could trace the pebbles—not because of the tilt, which was the focus of the research. In his results on the area with 9 cores, Shinn simply reported that “many” of these nine cores were horizontal while the others dipped toward deep water. The two sentences Shinn used to

describe his findings on these 9 cores was: “Bedding in all the cores from this area was either horizontal or dipping predominantly toward the sea. No blocks were found that dipped predominantly away from the sea or parallel to the shore.” Shinn’s results did not report that none of the blocks dipped toward the shore (away from the sea), they relate none of them dipped predominantly toward shore, implying something else. He describes them as horizontal—meaning level with no dip present. I do know what he meant when he stated that no blocks ... dipped ... parallel to the shore. He strangely reported no actual numbers on how many of these 9 cores were horizontal versus dipping toward sea or land. The fact that the journal would publish the paper without having any actual numbers cited in the results is puzzling. But because Shinn specifically wrote that “many” of the set of 9 cores were horizontal and not dipping, it’s reasonable to assume that more than half of them were so. And it is also likely, based on Shinn’s descriptions, that some of them had some tilt toward land, though not what he describes as predominantly. Summary of Shinn’s Core Findings. In sum, of Shinn’s 17 cores, he reported that 8 showed no internal bedding planes and no dip. Of the other 9, a reasonable guess is that at least 5 were horizontal. Thus, it is likely that at least 13 of 17 cores (or 76.5 percent) showed no dip toward deep water while 23.5 percent or less actually dipped toward deep water. In his discussion, Shinn wrote, “The horizontal bedding seen in many of these cores probably once dipped toward sea.” Of course, the way that sentence is written, it is probably correct. More specifically, beachrock nearly always tilts toward deep water when it forms on the beach. But if the blocks are moved, the tilt becomes more variable—if any tilt is seen at all. In fact, if a flat, level formation were under construction, most of the blocks would show no tilt at all—they would be horizontal. The 1980 Nature Article. As related at the beginning of this paper, the Bimini article that influences archaeologists the most is the 1980 Nature article Shinn published with Marshall McKusick only two years after the Sea Frontiers article came out. McKusick is, of course, held in high esteem in the archaeological community. Thus, it is probably unlikely that the vast majority of archaeologists will have any desire to become aware that the key finding McKusick and Shinn reported in the 1980 article was essentially untrue. It is not just a case of a “scientific field” protecting one of its own. It involves denial because the implications are unpleasant. It is similar to closing one’s eyes and looking away, muttering, “It can’t be, therefore it isn’t.” This internal psychological trick that we play on ourselves serves as a rationalization—an acceptable reason—that allows us to look away and ignore something that morally and ethically we know shouldn’t be ignored. In the 1980 Nature article, the only new data that was reported were a few carbon dates, which are addressed later. The major point in the article was the summary of what Shinn found in 1978. Here is the exact quote from Nature (1980) that resummarizes Shinn’s 1978 findings (those detailed on the prior page): “Two areas of the formation were studied, and both show slope and uniform particle size, bedding planes and constant dip direction from one block to the next.” (p. 287) That single sentence in the article is the foundation of Shinn and McKusick’s natural beachrock hypothesis. The bulk of the article is devoted to ridiculing those who disagree with the conclusion and mounting an attack on psychic and cult archaeology. It should be very clear that the 1980 summary of Shinn’s 1978 results don’t match what he actually reported in 1978. In Shinn’s 1978 results, less than 25 percent of the cores dipped toward deep water. The others were horizontal or showed no slope at all. There was no “constant dip direction from one block to the next.” Nor did all the cores show “a uniform slope.” Attempting to determine precisely why the actual 1978 results were altered to such a degree that the 1980 summary was a

complete misrepresentation—a hoax— is not as easy as it might seem. Surely McKusick read Shinn’s 1978 article? And Shinn certainly had to be cognizant that there was a major difference in what he wrote in 1978 and what he wrote in 1980? 2004 Skeptical Inquirer Article. In a 2004 article in the Skeptical Inquirer, Shinn related a much shorter false assertion about his 17 cores writing: “all the cores dipped toward deep water,” and said the stones could be traced from one stone to the next, essentially proving it was once a single slab of natural beachrock. Shinn has also made the same assertion in newspaper interviews over the past years. The 1980 article, published in Nature, is the most cited skeptical report on the Bimini formation, and the 2004 Skeptical Inquirer article has been widely disseminated. Yet it is apparent that what Shinn actually found at Bimini and what he has since reported, are fundamentally different. Such an alteration of results is, at the least, considered pseudoscience. It’s interesting to consider that archaeologists often bemoan the fact that “cult archaeologists” who make fantastic claims often have no sense of ethics or scientific honesty. But during the past 25 years, not one single archaeologist—or geologist for that matter—has apparently noted that what Shinn reported in 1978 is very different from what he claimed in 1980 with McKusick. Like most archaeologists apparently, I had not read Shinn’s 1978 article because I could not find a copy. I relied on the 1980 report with McKusick and trusted that what was reported was the truth. The primary reason that Shinn’s 1978 results were so closely inspected was because an inordinately large number of factual errors were present in his 2004 Skeptical Inquirer article. Many names were misspelled, he related that Plato stated that Atlantis was a “7,000-year old story,” stated that the Bimini Road was discovered in the “early 1960’s,” and had a completely inaccurate account of how the psychic Edgar Cayce linked Bimini to Atlantis. In addition, Shinn dismissed Dimitri Rebikoff, a famous marine engineer with a Ph.D. from the Sorbonne in France, as a “New Ager” and stated that “true believers say it was built by extraterrestrials from the Pleiades.” All of these fundamental errors and ridicule raised a host of “red flags” and made me want to read what Shinn actually reported in 1978. In May of 2005, after returning from the trip to Bimini, we obtained a copy of the article in the University of Florida library. After reading it, I began a series of email exchanges with Shinn. Shinn’s Qualifications as a Geologist. One of the major things that we (our group) were curious about, was Shinn’s actual qualifications as a geologist. Surprisingly, the Sea Frontiers article related that Shinn had only a bachelor’s degree in biology—not geology. After working for oil companies for a few years after he graduated with his bachelors, he went to work for a new and small field office in Miami for the U. S. Geological Survey. I then contacted Shinn via email. Shinn agreed that his responses could be used in a documentary we were making as well as for other purposes. His responses came from his official government U. S Geological Survey email address, a branch of the U. S. Department of the Interior. U. S. Department of Interior policies state that all employee emails that are not official statements from the U. S. Geological Survey must have a disclaimer in them that states the email is only the opinion of the individual and is not an official position statement from the USGS. None of Shinn’s emails contained any disclaimers, nor did the emails that he also sent to a newspaper reporter in response to some of my uncomfortable questions and earlier articles. In addition, Shinn sent me some details of a talk he was scheduled to do on his Bimini research and “mystics” in October that listed him as representing the USGS. Thus, Shinn’s emails appear to be an official position of the USGS. Asking Shinn about his education, it was clear that until 1998 he only had a bachelor’s degree in biology. In response to a question, he related, “I received a PH.D in Earth Sciences from

The University of South Florida in 1998 based on my 150 some odd scientific publications. (Its the real thing) Gene.” I found that odd, especially the statement that “Its real thing.” While readers can conclude what ever they want about Shinn’s assertion, it was “received” when Shinn was about age 65. But the findings that mattered were apparent. Shinn had only a bachelor’s degree until 1998, and it wasn’t in geology. The fields have similarities, but they are not the same major. Shinn’s Response to Misspellings & Factual Errors. When I inquired about his many misspellings and other factual errors, Shinn’s exact reply was this: “Im not a verry good speller.” Indeed. In response to another question, Shinn claimed that he got the information on Edgar Cayce from a pamphlet published by the Cayce organization (the ARE). In his article Shinn claimed that “Cayce asked a patient where Atlantis was” and “the patient told Cayce Atlantis was in the Bahamas at Bimini.” It is an untrue statement and the Cayce organization has never published anything stating that. Of course, Shinn didn’t remember the title of the “pamphlet” nor does he now have it. I also asked Shinn why he stated that Plato related the Atlantis story was only 7000-years old in both his 1978 and 2004 articles. His reply indicated his level of knowledge on the subject. He asked me what Plato really said? He also admitted that he was not aware of any ancient Mediterranean harbors, ancient harbors in the Americas, or effigy mounds. Bimini has several land formations that, from the air, are identical in appearance to many of North America’s effigy mounds. The Bimini “mounds” have not been validated, but they haven’t been shown to be natural, either. I have no assertions whatsoever about them and did not visit them. In his 2004 article, Shinn asserted that because the alleged mounds can be seen from the air, “true believers say it was prehistoric archaeological site built by extraterrestrials from the Pleiades.” That is another odd and inaccurate wide-sweeping claim. Dr. David Zink, whom Shinn refers to as “Edward” Zink, received funding from the ARE for several years prior to the publication of his 1978 book, The Stones of Atlantis. In that book, Zink utilized a psychic to attempt to garner information about the Bimini Road. The psychic related that visitors from the Pleiades constructed the formation. After publication of Zink’s book with the unfortunate Pleiades assertion in it, ARE funding ceased. In truth, I am not aware of any “believers in the Bimini Road” who believe what Zink stated, nor am I aware of any ARE members who make that assertion. But the Pleiades idea Zink put forth was made was about the Road site—not the mounds—and it is Zink’s idea alone.

Below: Skeptics have asserted that the only evidence the proponents of the Bimini Road cite is the regularity of the stones. In truth, that has not been the case. It is true that many areas of the formation do show regularity, but, as has been presented in this report, regularity is not the important issue. Photos—Greg Little.


After I related details about effigy mounds—and even the fact that the US Park Service maintains a National Park with many effigy mounds—Shinn was skeptical about them. He also implied that he thought many of the Mediterranean harbors I told him about, constructed from beachrock, were probably natural. I found that especially interesting, because Shinn admitted that he really knew nothing about any ancient harbors—he did not even apparently know that any existed. For those interested, a 1000-foot long beachrock breakwater, thoroughly investigated by archaeologists, is still in existence just off the coast of Yucatan at Isla Cerritos. We visited the island in 2004 and filmed the entire breakwater underwater. It is linked to the Maya and is thought to have been the main port for Chichen Itza. In 1984-85, a team of archaeologists excavated trade artifacts from the island, which were shown to come from Florida, Cuba, the Bahamas, the Guatemalan Highlands, and areas in Central America. The site dates to at least 400 B.C. and the small island was covered with 29 buildings and structures. Curiously, the manner of construction of the unusual breakwater is identical to a harbor in the Mediterranean. Large slabs of beachrock were stuck vertically into the bottom forming a curving parallel set of two rows of stones creating an enclosure. The enclosure was then filled with small stones and rubble. The top of the breakwater was then covered with flat slabs of stone to create a long platform extending above the water. The breakwater had several entrances that had movable barriers. “Perishable structures” believed to be guard towers or lighthouses were built on the side of the main entrance. The island has restricted access because so many artifacts and huge beachrock slabs have been looted. Many of the looted slabs are in use at modern port facilities near Cerritos. Strangely, Shinn wrote that “there has long been an aura of suspicion between geologists and archaeologists.” He then gave an example how archaeologists will make silly future mistakes interpreting ruins and artifacts that are really completely natural. I found his assertions bizarre. Researchers who have worked in the Mediterranean at the ancient harbors have included both geologists and archaeologists. It may be that Shinn’s assertion is valid in the United States, but what he seemed to be saying in round about way is that only geologists are qualified to make “genuine” archaeological interpretations. As that idea pertains to Bimini, it does appear that archaeologists have accepted, without question, the assertions of a few geologists. In an overall response to my questions about his factual errors and misspellings, Shinn simply replied that they were irrelevant. Shinn’s Responses to the Discrepancy in His Results. One of the most interesting exchanges was when I asked Shinn about what he published in 1978, using exact quotes from his article. It is important to keep in mind that in his 1980 and 2004 articles Shinn essentially asserted that all the cores consistently dipped toward deep water. I wrote, “In your initial article (regarding the northern site) you wrote that ‘Beach bedding was not readily visible in these (8) cores.’” His reply was befuddling: “You can not see bedding/layers in a core only 4 inches in diameter.” That was more than confusing. All of Shinn’s cores were 4-inch cores. If you can’t see bedding in 4-inch cores, why did he do them, and how did he then discern bedding in the other 9 cores? He never addressed this issue, nor did he specifically address why his 1980 and 2004 articles related that all 17 cores showed an internal strata dipping toward deep water. Then I asked him about the 9 cores from what he called the “southern site.” I related that in his 1978 article he stated that, “Bedding in all the cores from this area was either horizontal or dipping predominantly toward the sea.” How could he then say that they all dipped toward deep water? His reply was evasive: “the critical point was that none dipped toward land.” But that was not what he asserted in 1980 or 2004. In fact, a careful reading of his 1978 article suggests some of

his cores did dip to the shore, but not “predominantly” so. Shinn’s “critical point” was a rationalization that doesn’t explain why he changed his results to all the cores dipped toward deep water. Directly addressing the discrepancy between his actual 1978 results and what he wrote in 1980 with McKusick, I asked how his 1978 results changed to: “Two areas of the formation were studied, and both show slope and uniform particle size, bedding planes and constant dip direction from one block to the next.” Shinn replied, “You are very astute to note that statement. I should have said only at the south site.” But even at Shinn’s south site, as mentioned in a prior paragraph, less than half of his cores actually dipped toward deep water. His “south site” assertion wasn’t true, either. Then I asked about the inaccurate results and misleading statements he made in the Skeptical Inquirer article wherein he wrote, “Sure enough, all the cores showed consistent dipping of strata toward the deep water...” He replied, “It had been almost 30 years since the first study when I wrote the Skeptical Inquirer article. I suppose I could have been a little more precise.” Shinn’s admission that he should be a “little more precise” is a rationalization. It creates an acceptable excuse for him that says he was only a “little imprecise.” But the alteration of his results—going from less than 25 percent of his cores showing a dip to 100 percent of them showed a dip—isn’t imprecise. It is misleading and inaccurate and fundamentally altered what he actually found. And a poor memory probably wasn’t the cause. The same inaccurate claims were made in the 1980 article, written only two years after his initial article. The Second Discrepancy—The Marble Columns. In 1978, Shinn briefly discussed the columns at Bimini, investigated earlier by Harrison writing that they “turned out to be cement barrels...” He described the two marble pillars Harrison found as “lengths of marble...” but Harrison implied they were essentially the same size and shape as the cement cylinders. In McKusick and Shinn’s 1980 Nature article, they began by describing Harrison’s 1971 observations about Bimini. When summarizing the cylinders Harrison investigated, they stated, “some submarine structures described as pillars were hardened concrete originally stored in wooden barrels and dumped overboard in recent times at the harbor entrance.” They didn’t mention that marble columns were also found and reported by Harrison, and the assertion that they were dumped overboard in recent times is totally speculative. In McKusick’s 1984 article discussing Bimini, all he wrote about the cylinders was, “temple pillars are merely hardened cement in discarded barrels.” In Shinn’s 2004 article, he wrote, “(Harrison) showed that so-called columns on a site about two miles from the stones were made of Portland cement.” Nowhere in Harrison’s 1971 article does he state the cement was determined to be Portland cement, nor was it even suggested. Shinn has either badly and sloppily misread Harrison’s report or did something worse. In addition, none of the three articles after 1978 mention the fact that Harrison reported that two marble cylinders— or pillars—with fluting, were also found with the cement ones. The omission of the marble cylinders in these articles has apparently led to acceptance by the archaeological community—as fact—that all of the cylinders were cement. Proof of this is found in Feder’s (2006) archaeology textbook. Feder writes: “Analysis of the so-called columns shows that they are simply hardened concrete of a variety manufactured after A.D. 1800.” Strangely, Feder references only Harrison’s article for this false and misleading assertion. There are several possible explanations for this, but only Feder knows how he came to that conclusion. Shinn’s Carbon Dates From Bimini. Another area of interest was the carbon dating Shinn and McKusick reported from several stone blocks allegedly cored on the Road. All of Shinn’s articles cite carbon dates ranging from about 2000 to 3000 years ago. Thus, Shinn asserts that the stones could not have possibly been related to Plato’s Atlantis, whether it’s the 9000 year old Atlantis

Plato actually discussed or the non-existent 7000-year old Plato story Shinn references. I mentioned to Shinn that I was not asserting the site was related to Atlantis nor did I know its age. I then wrote to Shinn stating I’d read a recent Marine Geology article about Florida beachrock, which stated that carbon dating of beachrock using what’s called a bulk dating method was unreliable because of contamination from recent carbonate material. Shinn wanted to know who wrote the article and where it was published. Strangely, when I first found this article I was befuddled by one of the authors’ names. It was Eugene Shinnu. Shinnu had the same snail mail USGS address and title as Eugene Shinn. The article had direct implications on the reliability of the Bimini carbon dating Shinn performed, but Bimini wasn’t mentioned in it. The article clearly reported that utilizing the bulk carbon dating method on beachrock tended to result in dates that are often too recent. The method was described as “unreliable” in the article. This is due to the constant contamination created by carbonate in the seawater. It was obvious that Shinn was one of the authors, but how or why his last name had a different spelling is unclear (Spurgeon, Davis, & Shinnu, 2003). I sent Shinn the reply just stating that he was one of the authors of it. He explained how the study took place and even mentioned that he’s found that natural beachrock sometimes actually tilts toward land. He admitted, “you are right, dating of beachrock is not very precise especially if it is a bulk sample. The dates listed in the nature article were bulk dates done at a later date by a student learning the carbon 14 method.” Not one of Shinn’s articles on the Bimini Road cites any limitations on the reliability of his bulk carbon dating, and the fact that a student learning the method did the carbon dating is certainly important. In truth, it appears none of the carbon dates he took at Bimini appear to be reliable. Shinn’s Final Explanation Attempt. In an attempt to explain the major discrepancies and inaccurate statements in his professional articles, Shinn wrote: “You must realize that because of all the craziness surrounding the Bimini site and the unusual people, it was hard to take the exercise with the same seriousness we would have employed with our regular research. We did it for fun. There was not the peer review usually associated with our real jobs. The details you have pointed out are evidence of minimal peer review. I got a little carried away to make a good story ...” So there is Shinn’s explanation. Shinn says his peers and the journals Nature and the Skeptical Inquirer are responsible for all the mistakes and errors he made as well as whatever you wish to call the alteration of his results. He got carried away, but no one called him on it. Nor have any archaeologists apparently ever questioned Marshall McKusick’s role in this. It is hard to believe that other scientists have not noted this discrepancy before. All in all, it was an amazing exchange with Eugene Shinn in his official capacity with the USGS. In essence, what Shinn actually found in his cores found is simple. In his 17 cores, Shinn found perhaps four ( 23.5 percent) that dipped toward deep water. The remaining 76.5 percent of his cores showed no dipping at all. There are three possible outcomes in the internal strata of the cores: 1) a dip to deep water; 2) a dip toward land; 3) no dipping present or visible. Thus, by chance alone, one would expect to find about 33.3 percent that dipped to the deep water. Shinn’s reported outcome was actually less than what would be expected by chance. Those of you with a statistical background should understand the implications of this. And in the 1978 and 1980 articles, the decision between the two explanative alternatives for the Bimini Road—natural versus manmade—was stated to be determined by the outcome of the dip shown in the cores. As related previously, Shinn wrote in 1978 that “The purpose of this (the coring) was to determine if the bedding in all the blocks dips uniformly to the sea (to the west of Bimini).” Shinn’s core results showed that the vast majority of the stones did not dip toward the sea. This fact actually argues for the artifactual nature of the formation.

Shinn presents one additional “finding” that he believes supports his conclusions, and while it was previously discussed, merits mention again. He asserts that he could trace small and large pebbles in the stones from one to another, but the descriptions he presented are not adequate and are at variance with his core results. His conclusion from the pebbles—that the stones were formed in roughly the same areas—has nothing to do with the primary issue about the dipping of the Bimini Road stones or the hoax. They also rely upon his actual expertise in 1976-7 and the degree to which others are willing to trust his assertions. In essence, it is concluded that Shinn’s research on the cores and the pebbles he allegedly took from 17 beachrock stones demonstrated that 17 of the stones comprising the Bimini formation are actually beachrock stones. His findings also indicated, based on the criteria he specified, that the site was artifactual—not natural. Conclusion Normally, such details and minute examination of other’s work would not be offered in a report on an expedition. But as skeptics are quick to say, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” That, in essence, is why the unpleasant details are provided herein. The Bimini Road has been one of the most controversial issues to ever be addressed by archaeologists attempting to counter what they have described as “fantastic claims.” If the skeptics’ claims were not directly examined, no matter what was uncovered at Bimini, mainstream archaeologists would assert that “McKusick and Shinn proved the formation was a single piece of natural beachrock.” But what has been asserted about the Bimini formation in this article is not fantastic at all. It is certainly unusual and it goes against what mainstream archaeology believes and wants to believe. There certainly have been fantastic claims made about the site, and those can probably be blamed for the site becoming a pariah. But those who carefully consider the evidence presented herein, and who also discern the truth about the claims made by skeptics, will probably come to the conclusion that the most fantastic thing about this entire affair is how the archaeological and geological community have let a hoax continue for so long—seemingly even actively supporting it. According to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1996), a hoax (verb) is: “to trick into believing or accepting as genuine something false.” The Dictionary defines the noun hoax as: “an act intended to trick or dupe; something accepted or established by fraud or fabrication.” According to the National Academies of Science (1995) definition of falsification established in a section titled, “Misconduct in Science,” it is the “changing or misreporting of data or results.” Since the reports by McKusick and Shinn contained completely inaccurate summaries of what Shinn actually found, and science accepts their conclusion based on the inaccurate summaries as fact, the conclusion should be obvious. Kenneth Feder, for example, has accepted the inaccurate statements, and the idea that all the cores at Bimini had the same tilt to deep water has been accepted by the scientific community—to the extent that it is incorporated in textbooks and formal archaeological training. So too is the idea that all the cylinders, pillars, or columns at Bimini are cement. Clearly, false reporting of previously published data has taken place in the Bimini affair. And by definition, a hoax has taken place, because certain untrue statements have been accepted as factual based on the false reports. In truth, I was initially somewhat understanding of what Shinn and McKusick could have reasoned when they wrote their inaccurate 1980 report. It is certain that both Shinn and McKusick fully believed that the Bimini Road was natural, although McKusick apparently never went there to look. Shinn’s 1978 results did not support the conclusion that was asserted and that should now be obvious to all readers. I won’t speculate on how and why the results were falsified.

The same idea can be said for the omission about the marble pillars in the articles. The presence of the marble pillars was a complication, especially since Harrison asserted that they did not come from the Bahamas nor probably even from the United States. Mentioning that marble pillars from some unknown location were also there would make the results less than unequivocal. So after Shinn’s 1978 report, the marble columns were simply dropped from all discussions and the false and misleading assertion that the cylinders were cement—strangely Portland cement— were made and accepted. Of course, making their assertions more unequivocal required entering a realm of scientific inquiry known as pseudoscience. Stephen Williams archaeology textbook, Fantastic Archaeology (1991), defined a person who engages in pseudoscience as a “crank.” He adapts the definition from Martin Gardner’s definition of a man persisting “in advancing views that are contradicted by all available evidence.” But it is also likely (see below) that those who engage in pseudoscience, and those who support its conclusions, really don’t see anything wrong with it. And the most important thing is that it has worked in this case. Archaeology students are still formally taught that McKusick and Shinn demonstrated that the Bimini site was just the result of natural erosion processes shown by the totally consistent coring results. Archaeology students are also taught that all the pillars found at Bimini were cement. They are also taught that the cement cylinders were manufactured after 1800, but that’s a mere speculation presented as a textbook related fact. Contradictory claims are typically ridiculed as pseudoscience, cult archaeology, psychic archaeology, and baseless fantastic claims. In an article entitled, “Scientific fraud and the power structure of science” (Martin, 1992), it is related that, “Probe a bit more deeply into scientific activities, and you will find that fraud is neither clear-cut nor rare.” Martin asserts that “the social definition of fraud is one which is convenient to most of the power groups associated with science.” Martin defines fraud as deceit, trickery, or the perversion of truth. He sadly adds that “for the most part they are tolerated or treated as standard practice.” The reaction to fraud depends upon who is damaged or attacked by the conclusions. Those who speak out about against dominant interests “come under severe attack.” Thus, the prevailing view of a given issue within a particular scientific discipline, and the perceived importance of the issue, determines the response. Whistle-blowers he asserts, are often subjected to severe damage even when what they have asserted is true. On the other hand, scientific fraud that supports the established view is often tolerated. I invite those who have an interest to verify the facts detailed herein. I realize that archaeologists and geologists may not appreciate or like the truth. While Williams textbook (1991) contains factual errors, he does have several important issues he raises. One of the most important is this. He asks, “So what and whom do you believe, and why?” As I perceive the state of ethics of American archaeologists and the support in scientific disciplines for their own , it is not expected that much will change in this. The sad part of it doesn’t relate in any way to Edgar Cayce, Atlantis, or any fantastic claims. Such claims will undoubtedly continue to be made whether archaeologists like it or not. What has been discovered about the ancient past in the Americas since 1997 has almost completely altered the history that had been accepted since the 1930s. The discoveries from 1997 to the present have created turmoil within archaeology. Clovis-first has crumbled. Mitochondrial DNA results have made shambles out of cherished beliefs held for over 70 years. South American discoveries have pushed civilization back in time in the Americas. But given what is now known, it is not at all unreasonable to hypothesize that a maritime culture was in the Bahamas five or six thousand years ago. An 11,000-year old maritime culture has been verified on the coast of Ecuador and South America certainly had some sort of maritime movements on its coasts in truly ancient times. The idea that the Bahamas had a

now-forgotten maritime culture using its shores isn’t farfetched. Of course, it can be said that, perhaps up until now, there is no evidence of it. And that’s the real point here. The truth is that largely because of the Bimini hoax affair, no one with “adequate” credentials has looked. I admit I’m not an archaeologist, but I am a social scientist. But William Donato does have archaeological credentials and so did Dr. Dimitri Rebikoff. There is no indication that the Bahamas maritime culture built huge advanced cities anywhere and such an idea isn’t proposed here. But there is highly suggestive evidence—which some educated people will accept as definitive—pointing to a maritime culture present at Bimini in ancient times. That evidence has been presented here, and the coordinates of all the underwater features, film and photo documentation, are available.
Note: A 73-minute DVD documentary of the Bimini expedition, including the interactions and investigations of Shinn, has been produced. The documentary contains video footage of the discovery of Proctor’s Road, the stone circles, the anchors, the anchors on the Bimini Road, the multiple tiers, prop stones, various artifacts, and the discovery of the gray marble under a large block. It also contains footage from Isla Cerritos and Andros. The documentary is titled, The Ancient Bimini Harbor: Uncovering the Great Bimini Hoax and is available from Amazon and AUP (815253-6390).

DONATO, W. 2004. TOA News December: 18-30. FAUGHT, M. & CARTER, B. 1998. Early human occupation and environmental change in northwestern Florida. Quaternary International 49/50: 167-176. FEDER, K. L. 2006. Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and pseudoscience in archaeology (Fifth Edition). McGraw-Hill: NY. GIFFORD, J. & BALL, M. 1980. Investigation of submerged beachrock deposits off Bimini, Bahamas. National Geographic Society Research Reports 12: 21-38. HARRISON, W. 1971. Atlantis undiscovered—Bimini, Bahamas. Nature 230: 287-9. LITTLE, G. June 2005. Personal communications with E. Shinn. LITTLE, G. & LITTLE, L. 2003. The ARE’s Search for Atlantis. Eagle Wing Books, Inc.: Memphis, TN. MARTIN, B. 1992. Scientific fraud and the power structure of science. Prometheus 10 (1): 83-98. McKEE, A. 1969. History under the sea. Dutton: NY. McKUSICK, M. 1984. Psychic archaeology from Atlantis to Oz. Archaeology Sept./Oct: 48-52. McKUSICK, M. & SHINN, E. 1980. Bahamian Atlantis reconsidered. Nature 287: 11-2. REBIKOFF, D. 1979. Underwater archaeology: photogrammetry of artifacts near Bimini. Explorers Journal Sept.: 122-5. RICHARDS, D. 1988. Archaeological anomalies in the Bahamas. Journal of Scientific Exploration 2: 181-201. SHINN, E. 1978. Atlantis: Bimini Hoax. Sea Frontiers 24: 131-140. SHINN, E. 2004. A Geologist’s Adventures with Bimini Beachrock and Atlantis True Believers. Skeptical Inquirer 28 (1): 38-44. SPURGEON, D., DAVIS, R. A., SHINNU, E. A. 2003. Formation of “beach rock” at Siesta Key, Florida and its influence on barrier island development. Marine Geology 200: 19-29. WILLIAMS, S. (1991) Fantastic Archaeology. Univ. of Penn. Press: Philadelphia. ZINK, D. 1991. Poseidea Expeditions. The Explorers Journal. Winter: 123-5.


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