by Graham Hancock
6th September, 2001

from Graham Hancock Website


Just to advise that I am now back from this diving research trip. One further trip to go -- a revisit to India in November with the Ch 4 film crew  -- and my travels and research for "Underworld" will be completed. The book is already about 90 per cent written. Both the book and the TV series are presently scheduled for release before March 2002. I'll post exact dates when I have one.

Taiwan was very exciting. The underwater structure I went to look at there was discovered more than 20 years ago by a brilliant Taiwanese diver named Steve Shieh, but so far it is hardly known outside Taiwan. Steve Shieh accompanied us on this trip.

The structure is in the Penghu (Pescadores) Islands of Taiwan and consists of two immense walls one running due north-south and the other running due east-west that crosses the north-south wall at right angles. At the north end of the north-south wall is a large walled circular enclosure, part of which has completely collapsed. The north-south wall is in relatively shallow water -- 4 to 6 meters depth. The east west-wall starts at 4 meters depth but can be followed down to 36 meters depth. All the walls are a consistent height of 3 meters from the base to the top of the wall; however some sections are broken

In a volcanic, earthquake-prone area such as Taiwan one must be conscious of the possibility that these walls are natural features -- specifically basaltic dykes (quite common around the Pescadores). Such dykes form when a wall-like mass of igneous rock intrudes into cracks in older sedimentary rock.

Despite extremely strong currents, flowing unpredictably from eight different directions, I was able to examine the walls quite thoroughly underwater. My initial impression is that they are not, repeat, not natural basaltic dykes. This is mainly so because, after scraping off marine-growth in several sections of the walls we managed to find courses of individual blocks laid tightly together side-by-side. The joints between the blocks in some cases admit the point of a knife and it was possible for me to work the knife blade in as far as the hilt and move it entirely around individual blocks. We have detailed still and video footage of such blocks. In addition the nice north-south and east-west orientation of the walls, though possible naturally, is also a strong indicator that humans were involved. Finally there is an ancient local legend about a "castle" that vanished beneath the sea.

Taiwan, by the way, was also home to prehistoric megalithic cultures. Some of the great megalithic structures on the main island are thought to be more than 5,000 years old. I was able to visit and take GPS bearings at about half a dozen of the main above-water megalithic sites.

I will write in more detail about what I found in Taiwan in Underworld.

The trip to Japan was to re-dive a major man-made underwater structure located at 27 meters depth. This structure -- which is not Yonaguni (in fact it is located about 300 miles from Yonaguni) has intrigued me since I was first able to visit it in 1998. It is an incredibly difficult dive in the open sea (about 4 miles from land) often with high waves and extreme currents, but on this visit the weather gods were kinder to us than before. Controversy continues to surround Yonaguni but I am confident when I publish the new information on this other deep site that no-one in their right minds will try to claim it is a natural phenomenon.