Antonio Fletcher’s photo of what he claims are ancient pyramids atop a remote seamount off Blacktip Island’s northwest coast. (photo courtesy of Antonio Fletcher)
Local fisherman Antonio Fletcher says he discovered underwater pyramids on a seamount off Blacktip Island’s west coast Wednesday morning while searching for a new fishing spot.
“Went out to Robber’s Bank, where folks don’t usually go,” Fletcher said. “Had my camera on a weighted line to see where the fish were and BAM! There were these big bumps on top of the bank.
“Looked to be stair-stepped. Like Mayan and Aztec pyramids. Or maybe Egyptian,” Fletcher said. “Makes sense, you know – that was high ground before sea levels rose, and Central America’s right close by.”
Local archeologists are asking fishermen and scuba divers to avoid the seamount until they can investigate Fletcher’s claim.
“This could be the find of the century, but we can’t get to it because of ripping currents the last few days,” Tiperon University-Blacktip professor Catalina Luxfer said. “There’s no known man-made structures in this part of the Caribbean, though, so it may just be a big coral head. But if it is something, we don’t want it looted.
“That seamount’s remote, but it’s not unknown. If there’s structures like that on it, I’m not sure why someone hadn’t seen them, though,” Luxfer said. “As for Mayans and Aztecs, those are two completely different civilizations separated by thousands of years. And I’m not touching the Egyptian angle.”
The island’s non-scientists are eager to explore the site as well.
“I don’t care what Catalina wants, we’re gonna drop divemasters out there once the currents die down, see exactly what we’ve got,” said Eagle Ray Cove resort owner Rich Skerritt. “If ‘Tonio’s right, this is a major find.
“We can charge guests double for diving on Mayan pyramids, and folks’ll be lined up out the door begging to pay,” Skerritt said. “Pyramid diving could make Blacktip the premier scuba destination in the western hemisphere. Catalina can study the site all she wants while our divers are there.”
Many locals are dubious about the find.
“It’s probably just a couple of big rocks. Or sleeping turtles,” fisherman Rocky Shore said. “I mean, what kind of camera does ‘Tonio have that he can just lower it down and get reliable photos? And where’d he even get a camera? He can barely afford gas for his outboard.
“End of the day, this is ‘Tonio,” Shore said. “He thinks he’s Fletcher Christian reincarnated. It’s a wonder he didn’t claim he found Atlantis.”
Fletcher remained optimistic.
“Not saying it’s Atlantis,” he said. “But it could be part of it.”