Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Deep Water Megalithic Stones and Structures Near Western Cuba?

  1. Sep 24, 2003 #1

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I have been hearing about this story for some time. I have no idea what to think. It seems to be a step above the typical fringe story so I posted here.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2003 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    i would love to see any follow ups to this story as i think
    the megalith builders had advanced knowledge that they
    could not have unless they pre date modern theory for
    "modern man cannot recreate stone henge without cheating".
  4. Sep 26, 2003 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Not at all true. What is true is that we can't recreate Stone Henge without taking decades or being barbaric, both of which the builders likely did. And thats generally overlooked by those who speculate on how the ancients built things: they apply modern constraints on the ancient world.

    As for the article, the structures they are talking about are absolutely huge. The detail is limited to the resolution of the side-scan sonar, so to say something is a 90 degree angle is wholly meaningless if your resolution is a couple of meters (could even be worse than that).

    What they found is likely an interesting rock formation and nothing more. I'm sure the currents in that area do some neat things with the sea floor.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2003
  5. Sep 26, 2003 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    russ you are a spoil sport,
    put up yer dukes an organise
    a team to drag a 60ton lump of rock 50 miles up hill an down dale without a
    wheel in sight, i bet you a £ to a $ you wouldnt get a
    mile:wink: :smile: :smile:
  6. Sep 26, 2003 #5

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think your points are valid.

    Clearly some experts find the evidence a little more compelling than you portray. I guess this can only be resovled with deep water ROVs and cameras.
  7. Sep 26, 2003 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Gimme a team of guys with whips to beat them and I bet I can.
    Further research is fine, but I won't be holding my breath (I was a swimmer too, so I can hold my breath for quite a long time).
  8. Oct 4, 2003 #7

    Being skeptic is fine. But it can be overdone. I see several times opinions and decision based not even on examining the evidence but merely on it-can't-be-so-it-isn't. That's not true skeptisism. Your knowledge level need to be at least the same as the person you want to be skeptic about. Now, Manuel Itturalde-Vinent seems to have some international credibility on geology subjects:

    Just check: http://www.ig.utexas.edu/research/projects/plates/biblio/carib/i.htm [Broken]
    the list starts with:

    and so on for a couple of hundred more publications.

    Why is it that a specialist who dares to suggest the impossible is wronged by just the bias of things being allegdly impossible

    Now this guy is wrong just because he must be wrong. Right? he just overlooked that sea currents easily shape stones in geometric and symmetric patterns. Happens every day. How stupid of him.

    Check his webside on the construction:

    http://www.cuba.cu/ciencia/citma/ama/museo/exmari.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  9. Oct 7, 2003 #8

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  10. Oct 9, 2003 #9
    Thanks for the link. Too bad about the mix up of facts and fiction. That mythical city of which the library is ever increasing could have been anywhere, if at all.
  11. Oct 26, 2003 #10
    I think it's most likely horsts and/or graben blocks that were dislodged from a fault higher in the terrain.

    The bathymetry of the area would seem to support that, but there would have to have been some tectonic event to make it happen.

    Whatever it turns out to be Iturralde-Vinent seems to be at the cutting edge of it all. It could be years before we see a conclusion of his research.

    Still, Linda Howe's involvement does Iturralde-V no justice. It's too bad interesting geological work gets the stigma of pseudoscience that Howe brings with her. I think it likely that Iturralde-V doesn't even know who she is.
  12. Oct 26, 2003 #11
    Just in contrast, SW let us see what Dr Manuel Itturalde-Vinent, whose creditials need no discussion, thinks of this:

    http://www.cuba.cu/ciencia/citma/ama/museo/exmar6i.htm [Broken]

    please check the picture on that page


    The other hypotheses:

    http://www.cuba.cu/ciencia/citma/ama/museo/exmar5i.htm [Broken]

    There is also the combined hypothesis:

    http://www.cuba.cu/ciencia/citma/ama/museo/exmar7i.htm [Broken]

    I observe that Dr Vinent has no clue after careful examination. Always very peculiar to see that a lot of people know immediately what's going on: "It's the lost city of whatever". "no, it's is natural for sure".
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  13. Oct 26, 2003 #12
    Iturralde-V. himself points out that humans capable of this type of complex architecture simply were not available. There is already a fairly decent chronolgy of man available in fossil/archaeological record above the ocean to support this. Not to mention that the earliest evidence of human occupation in North America dates to around 12,500 B.P. I can only imagine that the islands around Cuba couldn't be far off from that date and, in all probability, not prior to it.

    This would seem to allow us to discard his second and third hypotheses.

    http://www.cuba.cu/ciencia/citma/ama/museo/imagen/mderrum.gif [Broken]

    When you consider his above assessment of the area, then consider the nature of horsts and grabens (see the illustration in the next link), it is easy to see how these types of "blocks" can be formed.

    http://geography.sierra.cc.ca.us/booth/California/landform_provinces/horst_graben_diagram.jpg [Broken]

    Itturralde-Vinent's own bathymetry records the landforms and he suggests landslides and faults on the diagram below that may or may not be accurate. I trust that they are fairly accurate based on his experience.

    http://www.cuba.cu/ciencia/citma/ama/museo/imagen/morfo.gif [Broken]

    This diagram clearly indicates that landslides and at least one fault probably resides above the "MEGA" site.

    Landslides + faults + probable horsts + gravity = MEGA

    MEGA - probability that man existed in the area at the time (50,000 y.b.p.) = nature did it

    I agree, however, that there is much observation left to be done in order to draw further conclusions... I would like to see better bathymetry and optics from RVs.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  14. Oct 26, 2003 #13
    Then why doesn't Itturalde do it himself? It's not for nothing that he has a crater in Bolivia named after him. Don't you think that he would not have taken the slightest opportunity to discard intelligent interference and prevent putting his reputation at stake.

    Of course nature is capable of creating the weirdest things but geometric and more importantly, symmetrical features, with two axes of symmetry seem not to be that frequent. There are usually no crosses on horsts and grabens.

    Something in the equation does not add up. 12,500 years? 50,000 years? 15 mm per year? or silly nature, pulling legs?
  15. Oct 26, 2003 #14

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Howe often alludes to radical explanations for genuine stories. Still, the fact that she is the only source reporting on this, and that she has been nearly from day one I think is a credit to her skills as an investigative jounalist; as well as to science. I think she tries to be accurate in spite of her personal beliefs. She often brings the process of science to one's computer screen.

    It is unfortunate that she employs fringe explanations so quickly. She can be a great source for interesting and credible stories. Often, the scientists that she interviews seem to appreciate her efforts to make their work known. Beyond any doubt however, as with most internet sites: Browser beware.
  16. Oct 26, 2003 #15
    Not to mention samples of the MEGA structure itself. I thought we had some bathymetric views of the site, showing a 3D view of the seafloor around the MEGA site....maybe they are not bathymetric...
  17. Oct 26, 2003 #16
    Good question.

    That doesn't make him infallible.

    Lots of symmetry in these images:
    http://massimolupidi.com/isl_170_05_2.jpg [Broken]
    http://homepage.mac.com/dan_earle/gulf_maine/Annapolis_R_to_Belliveau_s_/images/Digby_Neck-11-139_661-720_.jpg [Broken]
    http://members.tripod.com/soundoffzine/images/Ireland 2000/causeway16.jpg
    http://www.mcdanielreport.com/pregeol.htmhttp://www.mcdanielreport.com/pregeol.htm [Broken]
    http://www.ougsnw.org.uk/photo_gallery/images/Limestone%20Pavement%20at%20Malham.jpg [Broken]

    A lot of people in the last couple hundred years were convinced that http://www.rockwallfoundation.org/images/wall_arch_1.JPG [Broken]. It has since been proven to be limestone formations. When various strata of limestone are broken by faulting, the result can be symmetrical and near symmetrical "blocks."

    If you are referring to the sidescan sonar image of very poor resolution, then I think you might want to look at it again. First, side scan sonar is a tool for finding features of large size... not examining detail. Second, the nature of the equipment is that it often produces vertical and horizontal imaging artifacts... which are present in this. This "cross" is as likely an image artifact as not.

    So far, I've not seen any visual data that shows clear symmetry... just the suggestion of symmetry. As I've pointed out, nature does this with some frequency.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at there... but I'm suggesting that it is most likely that the "megaliths" are rock formations that fell from higher elevation due to some underwater, geologic event -perhaps a rouge wave caused by nearby sudden slumping or landslide "pushed" the rocks off their perch above. There are many other possibilities as well.

    Iturralde-Vinent suggested that the geology of the site was above the surface some 50,000 y.b.p. I was pointing out that all current evidence in N. America for the occupation of humans is only from about 12,500 y.b.p. (years before present)

    It is possible, however, that these "blocks" were at a higher elevation and fell as I stated, but that higher elevation was above water less than 12,500 y.b.p.

    Then next question would be, at what point did humans in N. America and surrounding islands have had the architectural ability and technology to create megalithic buildings? At around 4500 y.b.p. Mesoamericans were still living in pithouses. That much is fairly clear in the archaeological record.

    Are you suggesting that these blocks are of a civilization before or after this period? If, indeed, they are from a civilization.

    Remember, the Great Pyramid in Egypt was constructed at around 2600 ± BC. That much, too, is fairly clear in the archaeological record. Megalithic construction in Mesoamerica didn't occur until around 2000 years ago.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  18. Oct 26, 2003 #17
    Perched rox?

    Now THAT's a stretch. How many square miles does MEGA cover?
  19. Oct 26, 2003 #18
    If we are to believe http://www.cuba.cu/ciencia/citma/ama/museo/imagen/morfo.gif [Broken], and I see no reason not to, then the "Mega" site is on the slope of a draw, which, in turn, begins at the base of a large hill or small mountain.

    This hill/mountain has a fault. According to I-V's data. Moreover, he suggests that there were landslides directly above the "Mega" site.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  20. Oct 26, 2003 #19
    More data
    http://www.cuba.cu/ciencia/citma/ama/museo/siguenlos.htm [Broken]
    Goose Barnacles in the Megaliths.

    On the expedition of Exploramar in the month of April 2002 the robot gathered samples from the sandy deep in the megaliths, of where it recovered a roughly spherical stone of about 12 cm in diameter, to which was adhered a dead goose barnacle.

    According to the robot's video there were 3 barnacles, but on the ascent two came loose. Dr. Manuel Ortiz Touzet, specialist in marine invertebrates at the Center of Marine Investigation at the University of Havana, identified the barnacle in question as belonging to the taxa Berruca sp., a group that live at great depths, generally stuck to the spines of sea urchins. This is the first that is reported stuck to a rock. Now it just remains to establish how the rock that served to support the barnacle reached the interior of one of the megalithic structures of MEGA. The rock is a dense sandstone, without matrix, consistent with a mixture of angular grains of rock and minerals, some of volcanic origin.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  21. Oct 26, 2003 #20
    http://es.geocities.com/ovniscubanos/articulo5.htm [Broken]
    There are a few images here, that look fairly symmetrical.
    We can't really see details of course.

    image areas cover 120 x 180 m, and 150 x 150 meters.

    Yes I've seen the Giant's Causeway structures, so your
    comparison has been noted.

    MEGA megalithic structures cover 20 square km or
    ~8 square miles, according to ADC.

    An older article citing Robert Ballard, and John Echave of
    National Geographic who traveled to Cuba and viewed the sonar

    http://www.100megsfree4.com/farshores/amcuba03.htm [Broken]
    "Cuban geologist Manuel Iturralde of Havana's National Museum of Natural History has analyzed the video, sonar images and rock samples from the site. While he has never seen anything like the repetitive patterns, Iturralde wants to see more samples before making any conclusions.

    "We have some figures which are extremely unusual," Iturralde said. "But nature is much richer than we think."

    The depths at which the structures were found pose problems for an Atlantis-type hypothesis, he added. At the maximum velocity of Earth's tectonic movements, it would have taken 50,000 years for ruins to sink 2,000 feet underwater. However, "50,000 years ago there wasn't the architectural capacity in any of the cultures we know of to build complex buildings," Iturralde said.

    Michael Faught, assistant professor of anthropology at Florida State University and a specialist in underwater archaeology, agreed.

    "It would be cool if they [Zelitsky and Weinzweig] were right," he said. "But it would be real advanced for anything we would see in the New World for that time frame. The structures are out of time and out of place."

    Researchers at the National Geographic Society, whose planned trip to Cuba this summer fizzled because of bad weather and permit problems, say they hope to travel here next year.

    "The formation of the Earth took such violent turns at times, it could be many, many things. You will always have people contending that, for example, the pyramids were built by aliens," said John Echave, senior editor at National Geographic magazine, who came to Havana last fall and studied the sonar and video images. "We're at a point where we would very much like to solve this riddle." "
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook