Researchers from the Tiperon University-Blacktip will brave Blacktip Island’s near-impassible interior to investigate reports of unusual structures on the Caribbean island’s central bluff.
The expedition was organized after aerial photos posted online showed possible man-made elements in the island’s uninhabited interior.
“The light was just right,” said local pilot and photographer Reg Gurnard. “I could see straight lines and regular curves in the underbrush, shapes that simply don’t occur naturally.”
Tiperon University-Blacktip professor Ernesto Mojarra has assembled a team of the island’s leading geologists, anthropologists, spelunkers, cave divers and psychics. Gurnard will provide aerial support.
“No one’s ever fully explored the bluff’s center,” Mojarra said. “First, you have to cross the booby pond, which is mostly fetid bird waste. Then the jungle on the other side is near-solid. And choked with mosquitoes. No one wants to get eaten alive for no good reason.
“When these photos surfaced, though, there was no way we couldn’t go. The only obstacle was funding.”
The researchers will sail across the shallow pond in traditional catboats, hack their way into the interior, then scale the bluff to reach the structures, Mojarra said.
The site is legend among Blacktip Island old timers.
“There’s all sorts of stories about a lost city in the mid-island jungle,” island historian Smithson Altschul said. “Built by the Mayans. Or space aliens. Or refugees from Atlantis. Or Atlanta. You hear both. Old wives tales. We thought.”
Not everyone on the island is happy with the expedition.
“Got no business in those ruins,” resident Dermott Bottoms said. “Just gonna stir up the duppies, make things worse for everyone.”
Others locals were more cynical.
“It’s an academic boondoggle to drum up grant money,” Rocky Shores said. “A lost city? Please. The island’s a mile wide. How much of a city could it be? And how lost could it get?”
Mojarra remained unfazed.
“We know Blacktip was a re-provisioning point for sailing ships in the 16th and 17th centuries,” Mojarra said. “But with the amount of overgrowth, these structures could be far older than that.
“This may be the remnants of the island’s earliest, unrecorded settlement. Our findings could rewrite the history of the central Caribbean.”
Funding for the expedition is provided by The History Channel, Archer Daniels Midland and The Blacktip Times.