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Local diver on quest for Atlantis

Lamar County’s own treasure hunter Kelly Garrett is at it again ‘“ and this time he’s going for a treasure of mythological proportions. The Edgar Cayce Foundation is paying expenses for the diving team Garrett works with to inspect a find its experts think may just be the ruins of the lost continent of Atlantis. Garrett said the crew of the Aquaquest, a 70 foot steel hull research and salvage vessel, found the object in question about a year ago while seeking sand for beach restoration off the coast of Bimini. ”I don’t know what it is. We certainly didn’t find any temples,” said Garrett. “I don’t believe in Atlantis.” He points to an upside down map in a book he was reading on the subject before heading out for the three week cruise as just one reason for his skepticism. Garrett thinks the rectangular object, found under 90 feet of water, could be a sunken barge. ”We found one of those once, nearly swallowed by sand,” he said. “We tried to salvage it but there was nothing on it but a couple of lobsters.” The Edgar Cayce Foundation continues the work of the 1930s “Sleeping Prophet” who made predictions and pronounced cures while in a trance. It wants to prove Cayce’s prediction Atlantis will be found near the famous Bimini Road, a collection of apparently manmade objects submerged off the Bahamian island’s coast. ”We dove the Bimini Road and did a core sample,” said Garrett. “It appeared like concrete to me. However, if it’s anything manmade it’s a remnant of a sea wall. You couldn’t drive a four wheel drive over it.” He is more excited about another sea floor anomaly the Aquaquest will swing by to check out. Garrett, who has been in the business 22 years, said it looks for all the world like an am-phorae wreck. These are ancient shipwrecks found in the Mediterranean Sea. They are named for the giant wine and oil jugs they carried. ”Finding one of those in the Bahamas would blow Christopher Columbus right out of the water,” he said. After checking out the Bimini Road rectangle, Garrett and the rest of the crew will head to Bermuda, running search grids with side scan and sub bottom sonar all the way. Side scan sonar seeks things around the Aquaquest but the sub bottom scanner ‘“ million dollar state of the art equipment ‘“ can take detailed readings through up to 350 feet of sand, all the way to bedrock. Core samples and jet probes will be taken of interesting objects. The crew will also dive down to 280 feet. ”The foundation thinks Atlantis is between Bimini and Bermuda,” he said. “Funds are tight so they’re only paying expenses unless we find something. If we do, then the budget will come in.” He does not expect to find an entire sunken continent, though. ”There are sunken cities all over the place, mostly near shorelines, but a sunken continent? That’s much different,” he said.

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