Cuban Underwater City

Over the past few decades, amazing stories of underwater archaeology have made their way to mainstream media. We hear of a vast underground river system in Mayan Mexico, excavations at India’s Dwarka and Roman shipwrecks near the Greek Island of Naxos.

One report in particular interested me in visiting Cuba. In 2001, a Canadian couple searching for wrecks on behalf of the Cuban government came across a group of strange geometric shapes on the ocean floor. This is the sea near the Guanahacbibes Peninsula and roughly in the strait between Cuba and Mexico. Pauline Zalitzki, a marine engineer, and her husband Dr. Paul Weinzweig found the sonar returns to be highly unusual. Rising abruptly from an underwater plain, they resemble an ancient city!

Says Zalitzki, “It’s a really wonderful structure which really looks like it could have been a large urban center. However, it would be totally irresponsible to say what it was before we have evidence.” (see

The world is always fascinated by the mystery of an ancient civilization, and for a time the sunken city of Cuba was one of the most bizarre. It still lies underwater, at peace in the oceans depths and is as puzzling as ever. That’s the case with The Sunken City of Cuba. The story begins in 2000. A Canadian company ADC (Advanced Digital Communications) led by a group of researchers, an engineer and an oceanographer on the head, Paulina Lelitsky, discovered something unexpected. Sent to Cuba’s territorial waters, they found the ruins of the ancient city.

When the story broke in the early 2000s, there was speculation that this was Atlantis but the half mile depth of the site is problematic. It’s far too deep for diver investigation and as far as the “experts” are concerned, it would have taken 50,000 years or more for the “ruins” to be that deep underwater!

Plato places the existence of Atlantis closer to 10,000 BC – a 40,000 year discrepancy!

This is not the first time underwater “Atlantean sites” have been found in this part of the world. There is much controversy over the Bimini road and other “ruins”:

Cuban geologist Manuel Iturralde-Vinent of the National Museum of Natural History in Havana has studied the sonar images. According to this circa 2012 video posted by Iturralde-Vinent, many of the features could be natural but there is at least one “flat plate” he finds confounding:

Here is what Iturralde-Vinent says in the Youtube comment section of another video circa 2012:

“What we actually found? Unusual images of submarine structures in the side scan sonar record. I examined offshore side scan sonar images of the US, Puerto Rico and Virgin island but found nothing similar… Is true that some of these blocks, of about 1 cubic meter size, have the pyramid, cubic and similar shapes, and sometimes can be aligned in a row. Are these ancient walls? We do not know… The most intriguing and shocking finding, indeed, is a square plate of grey color, about 1 cm thick, and about 12 inches side, protruding from a rocky wall, in one scarp, at several hundred meters deep. Unfortunately, the element was not sampled, but excellent images are available in video which I will post in the future. But now I have not idea what it is this “grey plate” or how it found it way to its present location. But the true is that this element do not look like something “natural”. Its nature remains unsolved… These are the facts. The question of what are these features at the sea depths remains open, and will require further investigations, very expensive because of the water depth and the equipment required. We can argue on its origin in one or other direction, but this mystery can only be resolved by an appropriate research.” (see

Many Questions

I don’t know if the features are Atlantean but if they are a “large urban center” many questions arise. For example:

  • Could civilization be much older than we think?
  • Could there be an ancient and unknown civilization in the West Indies?

Only 90 miles from Key West Florida, Cuba has a tumultuous history but also a paranormal past. The entire area of the West Indies and the Bermuda Triangle seem to be a hot spot for anomalous activity. Since childhood, I have heard stories of ships and planes disappearing, magnetic compasses spinning out of control, portals to other realities and UFOs buzzing the tropical airspace.

Deceased leader Fidel Castro reports seeing UFOs during the Cuban revolution:

“There we were, in the middle of the night, with our rifles on our knees. Then we suddenly saw a light darting among the stars. The light approached the group of commanders and poured over us like a bucket. It was round and enormous. The countryside and the mountains became illuminated as though it was daylight”. -Fidel Castro
(from an interview Castro gave to researcher Jose Luis Gil. Castro could not give an exact date – the sighting occurred sometime in the 1950s).

And it’s not just the socialists either! Many US service men have reported bizarre stories of UFOs (or Underwater Submersible Objects, USOs in this case) leaving and entering the waters near Guantanamo Bay (for example, see

  • Could there be an underwater UFO base near Cuba?
  • Who are the UFO/USO pilots?

Cryptozoologist Ivan Sanderson asked similar questions over 40 years ago. (See “Invisible Residents: The Reality of Underwater UFOs”. Originally published in 1971). He considered the possibility that USOs and UFOs might be from the oceans of our world.

Regarding the nearly half-mile deep Zalitzki “mega” site, oceanography professor Robert Ballard has commented, “that’s too deep, I would be surprised if it were human” (see

Could the site be non-human ruins?

It makes me think of the James Cameron sci-fi film, The Abyss, where oil rig workers assist Navy Seals in a nuclear sub recovery operation and run into “aliens” under the sea.

Or maybe, the “non-humans” are something Lovecraftian (more on that later!).

More Surprises

According to “restoration architect, architectural historian and historical archaeologist”, Jes Alexander (see!), the brother of Ernest Hemingway once spotted an Atlantis-like city of marble “glistening” underwater:

“In 1954, Ernest Hemingway’s brother, Leicester, was on his way from the US to Havana, to meet with his brother, the renowned author and war correspondent. At one point, Leicester Hemingway was looking out the airplane window, and claims to have seen, “A city of glistening marble,” below the sea. He then spent the next 40 years of his life trying to find it, again. He never did, but for the latter part of his life, Leicester Hemingway was obsessed with the story of Atlantis.”
-Jes Alexander

Using Google Earth, Jes Alexander says his team think they have also spotted an underwater city in the Western Caribbean! Jes explains, “this has nothing to do with another site, found almost 10 years ago by a Canadian/Russian team working to map the sea floor near the Yucatan Peninsula. Their site is nearly 2 miles below the sea floor…”(editors note: the correct figure is actually 600-750 meters or approximately just under a half mile deep). “…The site we are working with is much shallower – in between 40 and 70 feet of water” (ibid).

Famed alternative researcher and explorer, Andrew Collins is skeptical. After carefully examining the google images provided by Alexander and company, Collin’s colleague Rodney Hale says, “if the images were taken from an orbiting satellite, you would not get the perspective effect from that height.” (see

Collins believes that Cuba might be the ancient location of Atlantis but is careful when it comes to claims of underwater cities. Much of his research is outlined in his fascinating book, “Atlantis in the Caribbean” (an expanded version of his older book Gateway to Atlantis). Such ideas are intriguing and Collin’s work leads me to wonder:

  • Who were the original Cubans?
  • Was Collin’s Atlantis or the island seeded or guided by an older, now “hidden” civilization?

I also wondered if there might be a connection between the ancient Maya and Cuba. The channel between Cuba and the Mexican Yucatan is less than 130 miles.

The Yucatan Channel (from Wikipedia)

Over the past few years, I traveled to Cuba multiple times (and visited the Yucatan – see the Mayan Coastline Post) to investigate the various mysteries. Lacking the deep sea submarines, sonar equipment and trained personnel, I was unable to confirm the existence of an underwater city but what I encountered was remarkable just the same.

-Andrew J Brown

(To be continued in Part 2).

Sushma Krishna·Published · Updated

More than a decade ago, tabloids and research institutions exploded to the news of an exciting underwater discovery. In 2001 Pauline Zalitzki a marine engineer and her better half Paul Weinzweig found evidence of incredible manmade structures deep within the Atlantic ocean.

Paul owned a Canadian company called Advanced Digital Communication (ADC) which was working in close association with the Cuban Government on a survey mission. It was one of the four firms probing the sea while searching for treasure-laden ships from Spanish colonial era. The exploration was being conducted along the coast of the Guanahacabibes Peninsula in the Pinar del Río Province of Cuba.

Advanced Sonar equipment was being used by the team to study the Cuban waters when they noticed strange rocks and granite structures on the sea floor. The objects were symmetrical and geometrical stone shapes unlike what you would expect to find closely resembling remnants of an urban civilization. The search covered an area of 2 square kilometers with a depth of between 2000 feet and 2460 feet.

For a closer examination, the team sent an underwater visual robot that re-recorded images of the structures in better resolution and clarity. The new pictures determined formations that were slightly pyramidal while others were circular, made of massive smooth stones which resembled hewn granite. Size of the pyramids reportedly measured approximately 8 feet by 10 feet in height and width. Some rocks were stacked upon each other while others were not and at much further distance.

It was surprising for the researchers to see that stones resembling an urban complex could be sunk so deeply into the sea. How did a massive array of stones relocate to the floor of the sea was a mystery no one would solve.

The ADC team did not want to come to any conclusions seeing how the images could have been misinterpreted. They were reluctant to agree that they could be remains of a sunken city without further investigation. Fragments of the site were sent to , a marine geologist who studied the pieces to conclude that the test results were very unusual.


Findings suggest that such magnificent stonework would have taken 50,000 years or more to sink to such depths of the sea. “It was beyond the capability of cultures of that time to establish such complex structures” said Manuel Iturralde. “To explain these samples in a geological point of view is very hard” He added.

Soon, news agencies reported similarities between the recent discovery and the lost city of Atlantis. However, the ADC team trashed any such speculation and stated the discovery cannot be compared. “The story is a myth” said Zalitzki, “What we have found are most likely the remnants of a local culture”.

Researchers are quick to share local legends of Maya and the native Yucatecos who describe a settlement inhabited by their ancestors. Their entire island was washed away by the waves of the sea. Iturralde was not ready to accept any theories which connect the discovery to lost civilizations. He mentioned that the rock formations could be miraculous creations of the Mother Nature and nothing more. A specialist in underwater archaeology at Florida State University added “It would be cool if they were right, but it would be real advanced for anything we would see in the New World for that time frame. The structures are out of time and out of place.”

Cuban Underwater City Video

The Cuban government lead by President Fidel Castro also became greatly involved in finding the truth behind the strange discovery along with National Geography Society and Cuba’s National Museum. A tremendous interest among the countries citizens and the media wanted to finally connect the dots and declare the discovery to be something ancient and magnificent.

Underworld: The Mysterious Origins of Civilization, a book written by Graham Hancock provides interesting details about a number of submerged discoveries. The publication lists several underwater structures found and their location. Most reside at only at 120 meters under the oceans which is a fact of its own since level of the sea never fell below this depth since humans started to walk the planet. The unusual exception to this happens to be the sunken city of Cuba. It is located roughly 2000 to 2400 feet below the water level. There is slight possibility that the structures may have existed on the surface of the earth and were eventually washed away by the waves. If the structures really sank to great depths, it must be because of colossal tectonic events and not by rising sea levels.

Cuba underwater pyramids update 2015

Sunken City In Cuba

It has been more than ten years that the discovery was made. The publicity and enthusiasm about the mysterious deep sea city has faded from the media and tabloids. Research is now at a standstill and without additional data it appears all answers are clouded in uncertainty. But the first sonar images of what was dubbed a lost city did create a tremendous impact on the Cuban government and her people. The world is always fascinated by the mystery of an ancient civilization, and for a time the sunken city of Cuba was one of the most bizarre. It still lies underwater, at peace in the oceans depths and is as puzzling as ever.

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