Pacific Proof of a Sunken City?

One proof of the sunken continent of Mu is the alleged evidence discovered during a 1965 expedition to the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru. The article “James Churchward and His Lost Pacific Continent,” by Joan T. Griffith, states:

… A few years later Dr. Robert J. Menzies, director of Duke University’s Oceanographic Program, and his colleagues spotted and photographed carved rock columns resting on a muddy plain 6,000 ft. underwater, in the 600-mile-long Milne-Edward Deep, a trench off the coast of Peru.

Strange writing was carved on the columns and nearby, sonar detected strange lumps on the otherwise level bottom, indicative of possible building ruins. Menzies, from the research ship Anton Bruun, stated that the find suggested evidence of a sunken city, as reported in the New York Times, April 17, 1966.

My search of the New York Times Archival website did not produce any results, however, there was a UPI article on the same date in the New York Daily News, entitled “Evidence of Sunken City Found.”(see below) Actually, the story was covered in quite a few different newspapers (Orlando Sentinel, Shreveport Times, etc.)

The article mentions “evidence of possibly carved columns filled with hieroglyphics,” which is not exactly “carved columns,” nor is there a mention of “strange lumps indicative of possible building ruins.” Dr. Menzies does think the idea of a sunken city “seems incredible,” and hopes to visit the region for a firsthand look in a miniature submarine. The article also quotes him as saying the evidence suggests “one of the most exciting finds of this century.”

An article the next day in the Battle Creek Enquirer (Michigan) entitled “Sunken City Believed Seen in Ocean Depths Off Peru” and tagged as from the UPI. (see below)

The description of the evidence found during the expedition in the newer account went on to state: “an ancient city may now rest on the ocean’s floor” and “archaeologists have discovered signs of a civilization which may have predated Peru’s Inca empire by thousands of years.” This would have been a better article to cite to prove the possible existence of ‘Mu.’

Observing the newly added presence of archaeologists on the marine biology expedition, as well as Menzies’ theory that earthquakes and volcanic activity could have caused a city to fall into the sea, I became curious. Were these additional details an embellishment to promote the sales of newspapers or not included in the previous article for some reason? Perhaps an examination of previous coverage of the 1965 expedition of the Anton Bruun would help answer the question.

On December 7, 1965, the Herald-News (Passaic, New Jersey) carried an Associated Press (AP) story entitled, “On the Ocean Floor: Scientific Team’s Explorations Turn Up “Monster,” Strange Columns” by Dean Johnsos (or Dean Johnson.) The article describes the area of investigation as 100 miles off the coastline of Peru and two miles beneath the waters. The major focus of the article describes the capture of living creatures thought to be extinct and that these creatures may be responsible for the tales of giant sea monsters, the leptocephalus. Also cited is, “And they also have a photograph to shake up archaeologists,” and “The picture appears to show several stone columns. And it’s possible that they are manmade…”
The article also appeared in the Rapid City Journal (Rapid City, South Dakota) as “Leptocephalus May Be A Baby Sea Monster” the same day.

On the 9th, The Ottawa Herald (Ottawa, Kansas) headlined page 14 with “Scientific Expedition Discovers Possible “Monster‘” containing the same article with pictures. The Times Record (Troy, New York) also published the article without pictures under the title, “Leptocephalus May Be A Baby Sea Monster.”
On the 11th, the Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph published the AP article under the title, “Baby Sea Monster Found off Coast of Peru.” On the 12th, The Jackson Sun (Jackson, Tennessee) published the article under the title, “Ocean Scientists Have Discovered What May Be A Baby Sea Monster.” Numerous newspapers published the AP article under similar titles that day and the following one.

On the 14th, the same AP article appears in the Biddeford-Saco Journal (Biddeford, Maine) with the title, “Baby Sea Monster is Photographed.”

In my search of articles on the voyage of the Anton Bruun, there were 23 articles found with the search terms, “menzies leptocephalus” for the year 1965 (all in December.) A search consisting of “menzies sunken city” produced no results for the year 1965.

Numerous newspapers across the United States continue printing the AP article throughout 1966.

Beginning in March 1966 an article is published in the Rocky Mount Telegraph (Rocky Mount, NC) with the title, “Scientists Seek Sunken City – Was Jules Verne a Prophet?” The source for the article is from the Duke (University) News Bureau. The article describes strange blips showing up on sonar that “didn’t belong there” and “under 6,000 feet of seawater, was what could be the ruins of an ancient city.” The article goes on to mention pictures of “what appear to be carved rock columns… They appear to have some kind of writing on them.” It also mentions the ‘lumps” on the bottom on the vicinity of the columns indicating a sunken city. In addition to identifying the area as prone to earthquakes and volcanoes, the article also states that nearby are ruins of civilizations predating the Inca by thousands of years.

On the same day (27th), The Salt Lake Tribune printed a UPI story entitled, “Expedition Finds Evidence of Sunken City.” It mentions the sonar blips, as well as the strange columns with “some sort of writing on them.” The article also states, “Scientists say there is a chance a city once existed on dry land where the Milne Deep is today.” and “Archaeologists have discovered signs of a civilization which may have predated Peru’s Inca Empire by several thousand years.” This article as well as one from the Associated Press with the same data also appears in newspapers across the United States, including Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Nevada, Utah and probably every other state.

On the 31st of March, the Waco News-Tribune published an article from Science Service entitled, “Underwater Cameras Spot Carved Columns.” This article mentions two upright columns two feet in diameter sticking five feet out of the mud, two more that had fallen and another squarish angular block. These columns were 80 miles from the coast. It also mentions until further investigations are complete, Dr Menzies was being cautious in explaining the five fragments. Also mentioned is “civilizations predating the Incas by thousands of years are now believed to have existed nearby.”

To recap, the first articles starting in December 1965 focused on the discovery of the “baby sea monster” with a brief mention of the “possibly man-made” columns. At the end of March 1966, the coverage changes to ‘lumps’ on the seabed being the possible remains of a sunken city, the stone columns having an unknown writing on them, the presence of civilizations thousands of years older than the Inca, and that the site may have at one time been above the waves.

The remarkable change in the description of the expedition from one where the focus is on baby sea monsters to one where the focus is on the remains of an ancient civilization begs the question, “why didn’t they lead with the fantastic “ancient civilization” angle?”

Other questions arise as well:
How did a large section of coastline 40 miles wide by 3700 miles long and one hundred miles from the coasts of Peru and Chile fall into the ocean? The subduction of the oceanic Nazca Plate under the South American Plate formed the Atacama Trench. There have been numerous earthquakes recorded and attributed to this convergent boundary which indicate the interaction of the two plates. On the other hand, the earthquake activity does not establish a mechanism for the sinking of an enormous section of coastline to incredible depths.

If the discovery of the suspected ancient sunken city was so compelling, why was there no follow-up expedition to take a closer look at the evidence?

If there was a follow-up expedition and the evidence indicated natural features, would there be accurate reporting or would it become a non-story?

I believe fantastic claims require fantastic evidence. If there are proposed sunken cities in the Atacama Trench or elsewhere on earth, the evidence should be easy to obtain.

There is more information available on the original expedition for those with access: Cruise report, research vessel Anton Bruun, cruise 11

Historical Data from Ancient Records and Ruins of Mexico and Central America Part 2

In Part 1, we examined quotes from William Niven contained in Louis E. Hills’ book entitled, Historical Data from Ancient Records and Ruins of Mexico and Central America. In this follow-up, we examine writings from and about William Niven. Please note this is not a complete list. As demonstrated below, some articles appeared more than once with the exact same text. Most images open links to the referenced article.

REMARKABLE DISCOVERY OF THE RUINS OF A PREHISTORIC CITY IN MEXICO – The American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal – Volume 18 – Jan-Nov 1896 page 323-324
No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

A Lost City That was Larger than London;
The San Francisco Examiner Sat Nov 7, 1896

No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

The Land of Bones; The South Western Farmer and American Horticulturist (Wichita, Kansas) Thu Apr_1, 1897

No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

The Land of Bones; Kansas City Daily Tribune (Kansas City, Kansas) · Fri, Apr 2, 1897
The Land of Bones; The Valley Falls New Era (Valley Falls, Kansas) Sat Apr 3, 1897
The Land of Bones; The Lebanon Journal (Lebanon, Kansas) Sat, Apr 3, 1897
The Land of Bones; The Galena Evening Times (Galena, Kansas) Fri, Apr 9, 1897
The Land of Bones; Evening Messenger (Marshall, Texas) Sat, Apr 10, 1897
The Land of Bones; The Ozark County News (Gainesville, Missouri) Thu Apr 29, 1897
Content same as above.
No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

Prehistoric Relics in Mexico; St Louis Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) Mar 7, 1987

No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

Prehistoric Mexican City; New York Times July 24, 1897
Part 1Part 2
No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

A Layer of Human Bones; Greensboro Telegram (Greensboro, North Carolina) Wed, Dec 22, 1897

No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

Finds a Vast Charnel House; Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) Dec. 24, 1897

No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

Omitlan, a Prehistoric City of Mexico; pages 217-222
The American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, Volume 19;
No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

Discoveries in Mexico; Fort Wayne News – May 27, 1899

No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

Relics of Old Mexican Races; Muskogee Democrat August 9, 1904

Find Remains of Old Race; Gettysburg Times Apr 12, 1910

No giants, no larger than normal people

Traces of Race Preceding the Toltecs; Buffalo Evening News, Apr 12, 1910

No giants, no larger than normal people

Ruins of Ancient Mexico City Found; The Inquirer (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) Sat, Oct 22, 1910

Claims to Have Found Aztec Wolf God; San Antonio Light And Gazette November 3, 1910

Find Aztec Relics; Middlebury Independent May 19, 1911

No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

5 Strange Discoveries – 1 An American Pompeii – Smothered in Volcanic Ashes 50,000 Years Ago; The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) Sun, Nov 19, 1911

No giants, no larger than normal people

Ancient American History; El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas) Sat, Mar 2, 1912

Part 1part 2
No giants, no larger than normal people

City of 3000 B.C. Found in Mexico; The New York Times (New York, New York) Sun, Dec 1, 1912

Mentions the tomb of a “man of not more than five feet in height”

City of 3000 B.C. Found in Mexico; Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota) Wed, Dec 4, 1912

No giants, no larger than normal people mentioned in text

Lost City is Found; Enterprise-Times (Perry, Oklahoma) Tue, Jan 14, 1913

Excavations in Old Mexico Show People of the Orient Once Lived on Our Continent; Arkansas Democrat (Little Rock, Arkansas) Mon, Nov 17, 1913

Mentions a room with the “bones of a man who had been of gigantic stature.”

Mexico Powerful Nation 5000 Years Ago; American Excavators’ Amazing Discoveries in Mexico City as War Gathers; Muskogee Times-Democrat (Muskogee, Oklahoma) Fri, Apr 24, 1914

Article shows picture of large skull, however the article states that Niven placed the skull in his canvas bag, so it must not be as large as the picture implies.

Wonders of Prehistoric Mexico; The Morning Union (Grass Valley, California) Sun, May 27, 1917

No giants, no larger than normal people

There is an article mentioning bones of A man of gigantic stature; however that doesn’t indicate a race of giants lived in Mexico or prove Hills’ version of Mormon history.
One thing to consider is the Mexican Revolution lasted from 1910 to 1920 and at times became very bloody and dominated the news.

If there are other writings from or about Niven’s work that reference giants, please send a link via email.
I will update the posting and maybe my findings.

Historical Data from Ancient Records and Ruins of Mexico and Central America Part 1

Recently a copy of Historical Data from Ancient Records and Ruins of Mexico and Central America (1919) by Louis E. Hills was posted to social media. My interest was the possibility of further information on William Niven’s discoveries since it was published around the same time period. I was not disappointed and found two references to William Niven:

Page 10
Now late and important evidences come from the valley of Mexico, in an article from Professor William Niven (a man of considerable fame), whose article was published in the San Antonio Express.
“He tells of discoveries of world-wide interest, that promise to change history, and which startlingly corroborate legends supposed to be pure myths, that have come down to us from the dim, dim past
“He has found evidences of three distinct civilizations that have inhabited the Valley of Mexico at different periods, “classed by me,” he says, “as Aztec, Pre-Aztec, and primitive.”
This extract from his article I call especial attention to: “Some of the bones show a race of people over the average of the ordinary size.” Here, then, is the latest evidence of a large race of people once living upon this continent, called Quinames, or giants, in the traditions, and they were the primitive colony who landed at Panuco, built Tula, settled in the Valley of Mexico, and built Cholula and the great pyramid still to be seen there.
San Antonio (Texas) Express, April 14, 1918

Page 47
By Prof. Wm. Niven
“Archaeological discoveries in excavations now being made in the Valley of Mexico.”
“The valley lies a vast emerald oval, surrounded by towering mountains, wonderfully beautiful is the scene of softly sloping and fertile country.”
“In all the localities where archaeological ruins abound in this country there is probably none of such vast importance for the student and explorer as in the Valley of Mexico.”
“Some of the bones (of the primitive people) show a race over the average of the ordinary size. Many of these pre-historic persons have been more than six feet in height. Very, very few arrow heads are found, needles made from bone are plentiful, the needles with a hole near the point show they knew the art of knitting. Spindle whorls, similar to those found in Troy, were found in vast numbers, and all of them have strange characters and designs, which are more highly artistic than those found in Egypt. Eagle heads are also plentiful, with curious Babylonian characters and Grecian decorations. Cylinders for the rolling of manuscript with Babylonian designs are found. No doubt they knew the art of writing and printing, as is shown by seals which are found in quantities.”
San Antonio (Texas) Express, April 14, 1918

Looking at the document as a whole, author Hills uses many references to provide proof of giants as the original primitive peoples of Mexico and Central America, which he also calls Quinames. According to Wikipedia, the Quinametzin from Aztec mythology populated the world during the previous Sun of Rain era and are described as ten feet tall and weighing 650 pounds.

Louis E Hills

A little bit of digging shows that Louis Hills was a researcher of the Reformed Church of Later Day Saints. He also believed that Hill Cumorah was in Central America instead of New York. I am not a scholar of the Book of Mormon or a Mormon, so the significance is lost on me. However, Hills’ evidence purports to support the location of this iconic hill in Central America and/or Mexico. Supposedly, the evidence of giants in Mexico and Central America indicates the Nephites, (one of the people in the Book of Mormon who left Jerusalem in 600 BCE and lived in the Americas,) were the Nephilim, sometimes translated as giants. Archaeological evidence doesn’t support the existence of giants in Mexico or Central America.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find the original article referenced by Mr. Hills.

Niven’s declaration of ‘some of the bones show a race over the average of the ordinary size’ and ‘many of these pre-historic persons have been more than six feet in height’ does not actually provide solid evidence for giants; merely that some of the prehistoric peoples he discovered in his excavations were larger than normal.

On the other hand, Niven did write about his theories of the buried cities of Mexico and that his most advanced civilization was found at the lowest of three layers he discovered. This lowest layer of archaeological material was described by Niven as bearing a resemblance to ancient Egypt and Babylon. He also wrote about the many figurines of many different peoples also unearthed from his excavations.

In part 2, I’ll provide some more information on the articles that William Niven wrote and where he was mentioned prior to 1919.