Sharks swimming downtown ARCHAEOLOGY NEWSFLASH 434
Some people have strange ways of enjoying
Have you heard of Pohnpei Island? It lies about
1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) north east of Papua
On this small volcanic island sits Nan Modal,
a mysterious dead city covering 11 square miles (28
It is made up of immense blocks, some of them 25
tons in weight. Some of them were hauled up to 60 feet
as high as a 6-story building).
But how? This was done either with advanced
technology or with a population of tens of thousands,
all of whom would have to be housed and fed.
Its structures continue off the land into the sea and
eventually disappear in the depths of the Pacific.
In fact, there is evidence of yet another large city
nearby, drowned in the sea.
Japanese pearl divers claim to have seen buildings,
streets and sunken columns encrusted with coral in the
In recent years, the Universities of Ohio and
Oregon and the Pacific Studies Institute (Honolulu)
have undertaken expeditions. Giant stone columns
were discovered submerged, as well as a system of
tunnels through the coral reef.
Swimming along the underwater streets among
sharks, author and adventurer David Childers found
columns up to four stories high in 60 to 100 feet of
RUINS 200 FEET UNDER WATER
There was evidence of ruins descending to depths of
over 200 feet.
His team discovered underwater inscriptions –
“geometric designs such as crosses and rectangles.”
Aerial photographs reveal straight lines running
hundreds of metres and turning at right angles in the
coral reef, forming what appear to be city blocks
encrusted with coral.
Divers have been able to walk on the bottom on
well-preserved streets, which are overgrown with
coral and mussels.
They report carved stone tablets hung on the remains
of clearly recognisable houses.
There are also pillars and stone vaults. Japanese pearl
divers with modern equipment reported finding
watertight platinum coffins.
They brought up bits of platinum day after day, as
well as pearls and bars of silver.
The stones for ancient Nan Madol were transported by
sea. But when this island was discovered in modern
times, natives were not known to have had ocean-going
Something else. Pottery shards have been found in
the ruins of the old city. But pottery was not used by
the natives at the time of European discovery.
Moreover, the natives now living in grass huts
could no longer build structures out of rocks weighing
20 to 50 tons.
Here is evidence of cultural regression.
John MacMillan Brown of the University of New
Zealand collected evidence on the island of Loeai in
Western Micronesia of a former written language.
This had since vanished. More evidence of cultural
regression. (Brown, The Riddle of the Pacific.
In 1773, Captain James Cook visited Easter Island. He
wrote compassionately about the people, who were as
poor as the arid earth on which they lived.
Expressing astonishment, he contrasted this with the
superior civilisation that had made the enormous
Someone long ago had fashioned megalithic stone
blocks of incredible perfection (as witnessed at
But the natives now lived in reed huts.
ROADS DISAPPEAR INTO THE OCEAN
In the same Micronesian group as Pohnpei, the small
island of Palau has its “sunken city”, off the northern
And west of Okinawa, off the islands of Aguni,
Kerama and Yonaguni, Japanese divers in 1995
discovered stone carved pyramids and terraces that
go down to depths of 80 feet or more.
On low, barren and uninhabited Malden Island in
Kiribati are pyramids, platforms and megaliths, as
well as roads that disappear into the ocean.
On this remote island, the remnants of 40 stone \
temples show off the same architecture as on Pohnpei,
3,400 miles away.
The Marquesas Islands, like Easter Island, are full of
Some of the smooth-sided, oblong shaped stones are
up to 15 feet long and 5 to 6 feet thick… single
Some of the platforms are so big that whole villages
once stood on them, with each individual house
likewise constructed of massive stones. (Robert Suggs,
The Hidden Worlds of Polynesia. NYC.: Harcourt Brace,
“LAND THAT IS GONE”
Easter Island legends recall that “King Hout-Matua…
saw that the land was slowly sinking in the sea.”
(Francis Maziere, Mysteries of Easter Island. NYC.:
W.W. Norton, 1968)
Easter Island was once much larger. And a tradition
has it that Motu Motiro Hiva, an islet about 100 miles
away, was once part of it.
The land “slowly sinking” suggests that the sea level
was slowly rising.
Evidence of rising sea is seen in drowned roads. For
example, divers have followed a road that leads off
Easter island into the ocean.
A former Pacific empire?
The Easter Islanders claimed that Hiva was the
name of the original Pacific continent.
“Hiva is a land that is gone. Now it is below the
Pacific Ocean.” (David Hatcher Childress, Lost Cities
of Ancient Lumeria and the Pacific. Stelle, Ill.:
Adventures Unlimited Press, 1988, p.293)
The evidence does suggest that:
1. there was either a large continent, or groups of
small “continents” throughout the Pacific, before
the sea level slowly rose to drown it.
2. there was once an extremely sophisticated
nation which covered the Pacific.
Tongatapu is thought to have been its capital. It sent
huge ships to trade with other nations – and built
gigantic pyramids, monuments and roads.
Colleges were operated for instruction in astronomy,
climatology, navigation and theological history.
And there are clues that this great trading empire
spanned the entire Pacific from India and China to
the great civilisations of Peru and Mexico. (David
Hatcher Childress, Ancient Tonga and the Lost City
of Mu’a. Stelle, Ill.: Adventures Unlimited Press,
For several hundred years the people lived an idyllic
existence, and then the Polynesian culture fell into
On most islands of Polynesia and Micronesia are
remains of cities, temples, harbours and statues,
whose size and elaborate architecture indicate a
civilisation incomparably more advanced than exists
PACIFIC SEA LEVEL RISE
We noted that according to some oceanographers and
geologists, the ocean level may have been as much as
500 feet lower than today. This would have allowed a
large section of the Pacific to be above water.
New Zealand’s continental shelf shows evidence that
it was once dry land with forests and rivers.
And on the opposite side of the Pacific, places like
the Cobb Seamount would have been habitable.
In fact, students from the University of Washington,
have made this location a special project.
The Cobb Seamount is a flat-topped mountain 120 feet
below the surface of the ocean, just off-shore from
Dives to the “drowned city” on its summit have
produced pottery and evidence of a culture that
I am told that several years ago, some divers found
a number of buildings off the west coast of
Vancouver Island, submerged in about 80 feet of
water, close to the town of Uculet.
Oh, there’s so much more. And for a
peep into it, here’s where you might start.
Just go to
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International explorer, archaeologist and author
Jonathan Gray has traveled the world to gather data on
ancient mysteries. He has penetrated some largely
unexplored areas, including parts of the Amazon
headwaters. The author has also led expeditions to the
bottom of the sea and to remote mountain and desert
regions of the world. He lectures internationally.
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