How could Wingate, and presumably Duval as well, tell such stones apart? How could they know whether a stone block was either from the sea-bed or a mainland quarry? It was a troubling thought, and one which needed to be addressed one way or another.
In order to settle the matter, I decided to return to Miami, arriving there on Thursday, 5 March 1998. The following day I took a taxi ride to Jupiter Inlet and after much tramping around I found the sea-walls in question. They lay either side of the narrow inlet and extended out as jetties into the open sea. In the time permitting I was only able to inspect the stones on the southern side, which consisted mainly of large pieces of white granite and coral fragments, the latter coming from a location just off-shore.
Some of the granite possessed lines of shallow bore-holes along their edges, which were clearly done to fracture the stone, while only one piece of granite bore a distinctive circular borehole. It was around four inches in diameter and penetrated through its entire depth for a distance of some four feet. Unfortunately, all the granite stones were unquestionably quarry off-cuts brought in fairly recently to extend the existing sea-wall. This I know as I was able to speak to workmen actually working on the reconstruction of the sea-wall during my visit.
Whether the stones in the sea-wall and jetty on the opposite side of the inlet contained more ancient stones removed from Moselle Shoals remains to be seen. Enigmatically, one work-man – looking like an extra from The Village People – did say that he was unaware of the composition of many of them, saying only that they were `as hard as Hades’, whatever that was supposed to mean. He was unable to elaborate any further.
Slightly disappointed I returned to Miami and the next day made my way out to the sea-wall and jetty located at the most southerly point of South Beach. Of the thousands of loose granite blocks examined many hundreds of them bore evidence of circular drill holes of varying sizes and depths. These generally took the form of short incisions in rows, clearly done to fracture, weaken and finally break the rock away from the bedrock.
Other holes pierced right through the length, width or breadth of individual blocks, just as Wingate had described. More significantly I found two good examples of five-sided holes, yet I quickly realised that these had been made by a powerful circular drill that had simply jolted off-centre as it had penetrated through the rock, leaving a geometrical, five-sided impression. More telling was the fact that all around one of these five-sided holes were lines of perfectly circular holes that matched the diameter of the curve that formed each of the five sides of the hole, meaning that they had been made by the same drill. Elsewhere I even found a hole with three beautifully curved sides, caused by the same drilling defect.
There were literally thousands of huge stone blocks, many several tonnes a piece, that bore clear evidence of sophisticated drilling operations, and yet not one of them showed any sign of having lain in shallow waters for many thousands of years. The ballast was clean and free of ages of slime and coral, meaning that the vast majority of the stones making up these sea-walls and jetties were, like those at Jupiter Inlet, quarry off-cuts and not the remains of Atlantean temples.
Even if the five-sided bore-holes found by myself were not those featured in Wingate’s TV documentary from the 1970s, it is simply too much to imagine that the ancient Atlanteans were able to bore five-sided holes in solid rock in the same manner as modern-day quarry drills. In addition to all this, I came across granite blocks stained with iron oxide, caused it would seem either by poles having once been placed inside the circular holes or, in case, the remains of what appeared to be a highly rusted drill bit still stuck in position. I also found traces of modern concrete attached to some of the stones, making me recall the `Atlantean glue’ referred to both by Duval and Wingate – I suppose you can mistake one for the other.
Removing the significance of the Miami and Jupiter jetty stones from the equation leaves little significance in the knowledge that vast quantities of rock was removed from Moselle Shoals to build sea-walls and jetties in different parts of Florida in the 1920s. It also destroys Wingate’s claims to have found granite and basaltic masonry from the temples of Atlantis. How this affects Duval’s claims to have found Atlantean temples off the Bimini coast is up to the reader to decide. The publishers who offered him an enormous advance for exclusive rights to a book that would prove once and for all the existence of Atlantis are still hoping that Duval might have something to offer them.
Even if Duval’s claims do come to nothing, it is our opinion that major discoveries are to be made in the shallow waters of the Great Bahama Bank. After his death in 1994, it was found that J. Manson Valentine had left a detailed catalogue of no less than sixty-five proposed archaeological sites, all of them in the vicinity of Bimini and the Bahaman islands in general.