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