Investigating the

Yonaguni Underwater Monuments

by Dr. Colette M. Dowell  

News Flash ! 1997


Yonaguni Island belongs to a chain of islands known as the Ryuku Islands, which stretch Southwest from Japan towards the mainland of China. Yonaguni is the last of the islands of this chain and is only 30 miles from Taiwan.


Ten years ago while looking for interesting under-water sites to dive near Yonaguni, scuba diving instructor Kihachiro Aratake, discovered an amazing under-water construct 20 feet below the surface of the water. The construct is defined as being "as if terraced into the side of a mountain," resembling a grand stand for Sea Gods, or somewhat like an amphitheater with its huge steps and blocks of stone. The construct's 250-foot base lies 100 feet below the ocean's surface and rises to a height of 80 feet.


          The unique artistry and geometry of the site intrigued many researchers who were compelled to explore it further to determine it as either an artificially built structure or of natural origin. Professor Kimura, a Marine Seismologist at Ryuku University, Okinawa, spent over seven years studying this magnificent site along with his students. Dr. Kimura having no previous experience with such constructs believed it to be of possible artificial origin and not that of natural phenomena.


          In the early spring of 1997, Yasuo Watanabe, a fan of Graham Hancock,

( author of "Fingerprints of the Gods,"  Three Rivers Press, 1995 ) invited Graham, all expenses paid, to dive and explore the construct and offer his opinion on the matter. Graham looked very hard to view it as natural, but declined to comment and further suggested Mr. Watanabe to invite renown geologist Dr. Robert M. Schoch and long time Emmy Award winning Egyptologist/Ancient Archaeological Site researcher John Anthony West,  ( The Mystery of the Sphinx , NBC, 1993, Dr. Robert M. Schoch & John Anthony West)  to investigate further.


          In late September of 1997, Dr. Schoch and Mr. West were invited as guests of Mr. Watanabe to explore further into the waters of the construct and evaluate their findings. Graham Hancock, his wife Santha Faiia, along with Graham's television crew and three members from Mr. Watanabe's organization arrived with Schoch and West for a week of diving the island and documenting the results of their exploration. 


          Schoch and West's preliminary conclusions are the construct is of natural origin and for any definitive study more time would be needed for evaluation. Their findings for reasoning natural origin as opposed to artificial were partly the horizontal fault lines and the vertical fissures cut into the mud rock shale strata and where the construct met the sea, i.e., you could somewhat see where the construct started forming under natural conditions.


          There was some disappointment in the findings as the excitement of the possibility of finding ruins of an ancient civilization simmered down. This is not to say that the construct's area surface was not enhanced and specifically engineered for a useful purpose. The preliminary findings are just that. There needs to be more exploration of the surroundings islands. Further research depends on the willingness of honorable philanthropists such as Mr. Watanabe to continue the research and exploration of the surrounding areas.


          As for John Anthony West and Dr. Robert  M. Schoch, their future seems full of yet more possibilities of furthering their research at the Giza Plateau. Zahi Hawass, Director of the Egyptian Antiquities Organization are now on Gentlemen's terms. They are in dialogue and have possibly deferred any negative bouts on the possibilities of West and Schoch returning to the plateau for geo-seismographic surveying and isotropic analysis.


          For those of you who are familiar with Joe Schor and his team from Florida University, (the very same group whom immorally excluded West and Schoch on their team while exploiting their research), were stopped in their tracks of exploring and seismographically surveying the Giza Plateau by an "unknown" source. Boris Said, who was commercially venturing a film about the subject, was turned down by FOX network. So all is well that ends well.







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Dr. Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D.

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Intellectual, Scientific and Philosophical Studies

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Dr. Robert M. Schoch  Dr. Colette M. Dowell

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