ATLANTIS researcher Robert Sarmast returned to Cyprus on Monday and is preparing for his second expedition to uncover the lost city he believes he located last year off the island’s coast.
Sarmast, author of Discovery of Atlantis: The Startling Case for the Island of Cyprus, believes he located the remains of the legendary civilisation during a much-publicised expedition he launched late last year. He said his book was based on the writings of Plato.
Sonar scans of the area explored showed what Sarmast believes to be the remains of two man-made walls.
“The next step is a second expedition which we are organising now,” Sarmast told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.
“We are not sure exactly when it’s going to happen but hopefully it will be sometime this summer. We’ll be launching the ROV, the Remote Operated Vehicle, the robot that actually goes down to the depths to capture real video footage and pictures of the structures that we have found.”
Sarmast said his team was still working on turning the sonar data they acquired during the last expedition into 3D models. “But we do have the images and they are very, very interesting,” he said.
“They do show man-made structures so the next expedition will be the final step, which is the verifiable, undeniable truth because we have actually video footage instead of sonar generated images. “
He said he would be releasing one or two of the images form the last expedition soon and was just waiting for the work of the scientists to be completed “so that people can get a glimpse of what’s down there”
Sarmast said he didn’t know what the cost of the expedition would be as yet but he expected it to cost less than the last time.
“The reason it was so expensive last time was because they had to bring the sonar equipment form England and this time the robot we need is already here on the island so we won’t have nearly as much trouble and we know exactly the location so it’s easier than last time,” he said adding that the expedition would last two to three days at most.
Last November, Sarmast claimed to have “definitely” found Atlantis after the sonar scans appeared to have located a rise on the seabed around a mile down in an area halfway between Cyprus and Syria.
The American researcher has been challenged by several scientists, who say all he has found are old mud volcanoes.
Sarmast has been the subject of some criticism for not yet releasing the results of the last expedition defended his position on Monday on his website discoveryofatlantis.com.
“My primary wish was to share the images as soon as they arrived but life is never that simple. Please understand that this project and the resulting images from the expedition have required years of difficult work by dozens of people, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment money. The images didn't come cheap and to share them with the public for free is not fair to those who have given so much for this to happen.”
He said he would be using the sale of the scans in a way that would ensure the required funding was made available for the second expedition.
“Remember that planning Atlantis expeditions is relatively easy and many people want to do them every year, but funding and executing them properly is very difficult and needs a business-minded approach,’ he said.
“Our expedition last year was the most scientific Atlantis expedition conducted in history. We aim to film the remains of Atlantis City using an ROV and that takes a lot of planning and money, so the images have to be used to make that happen.”