So it often turns out that many important discoveries and scientific discoveries do not accrue to the venerable scholars and ordinary enthusiasts, often far from the classical science, but willing to look for and dedicated to winning. It is possible that in the near future on their account will be recorded another important discovery — a group of Russian and Jordanian researchers lovers, it seems, is close to a final resolution of one of the greatest mysteries of history.
In April of this year in the waters of the Dead Sea they found that, apparently, is the ruins of the missing in biblical times cities — Sodom and Gomorrah. About how this happened and what will happen next, learn from one of the members of the expedition Yuri Kudinov.
How is it that you and your colleagues have decided to address this ancient biblical mystery?
Yuri Kudinov: We, as a group of enthusiasts for a long time engaged in research of different puzzles in a variety of places. Not so long ago, for example, we explored the site of the Tunguska meteorite studied the mysterious drawings in the Nazca desert in Peru, now that's engaged in riddles Dead Sea. Our research, as a rule, we filmed in the end of the journey turns documentary. These films often show channels "Kultura" and "Star". Turning to the biblical story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, we wanted to establish whether these cities actually, and if so, where are they located. After all of these cities is mentioned in both the Bible and the Koran. No one seems to be in no doubt that they existed, but where they are, today certainly can not say no.
I understand that it all comes down to the fact that they were on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea?
JK: Yes, but now they are at the bottom of the sea. On the shore is quite a lot of sites, but nothing special, archaeologists have not yet found. However, there is the church of St. George. It is a mosaic of the IV. BC, which is drawn map of the Dead Sea and its surroundings that same time. And so on it clearly shows the cave of Lot. Legend of Lot, who left with his family on the eve of destruction of the city of Sodom, as we know, is an integral part of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Actually this is a kind of proof that must be sought somewhere. In the same legend as you remember Lot's wife while fleeing from the city defied warnings of God and turned to see what is behind them, and then turned into a pillar of salt. Salt pillars there really is, there are several, and different people suggest different from them, saying that it is the very pillar.
And to use satellite imagery you have not tried?
JK: They tried. We absolutely officially ordered pictures of the place from space. We have satellite images, there is nothing to be seen. And, we were advised to order satellite images, we were told that in principle it is possible to take a picture of everything that is under water at a depth of 100 meters. But, unfortunately, due to the high density of water is nothing concrete could not make out there. That is, at the expense of the opportunity to see all of the cosmos — is a myth.
That is, had to look for a classical way?
JK: Yes, we managed to find a picture of an old card, which is kept at a university in Israel. On this map, clearly marked with the city — they are four. Including — Sodom and Gomorrah. These cities are located at the confluence of the rivers in the Dead Sea. Now these rivers no longer exist or they do not flow into the Dead Sea. The only river that flows into it today — it's Jordan. The very same sea is more than 300 m below sea level. And there are no rivers, of course, it does not. On the banks there is clearly seen as part of the coastal literally falls. All along the coast are hitting the keys radon — it's very salty and brackish water. And they blur the shore that large chunks of slipping into the water.
That is what used to be the land, including the ancient coastal cities, today it can be by sea?
JK: Yes. That's why we wanted to confirm the theory that today we need to look not on land and at sea. After all, even in the Bible it is written that where there used to these cities, now the salty sea. That is, flooding them happen even in biblical times.
So you decide to look for it in the water?
JK: Yes. But there are some difficulties: navigation and use of any floating in the Dead Sea is prohibited in all forms. That is, there is not no boats at all. We decided, if I may say so, "otfotografirovat" part of the area of interest to us. We took a sonar — is a device that is using a certain frequency of the reflected sound can take picture of the bottom. The principle is the same as that of the camera. Only if the camera is used for this light, there is sound. Sonar also photographed almost the bottom. We loaded our equipment on a kind of raft and floated ourselves — nudged him. It is easy to sail. Water tight — you can not drown. The main thing is that in the eyes and ears of the water out — will burn everything. In the water contained 40% of various minerals. She even sticky to the touch and oily, like kerosene.
And we are using this raft, using GPS mapping the point, a few days have been researching. We went with him a small area near the confluence of the ancient river, near which it was stated on the map Sodom. And when we have deciphered the writing sonar on some images you can see objects clearly man-made origin. Unfortunately, the picture, the resultant of such a survey has low resolution.
However, if it looks a scientist, he has a lot to see there. We showed these images to scientists, they say that there really should be sought. Although, of course, for the average untrained person to make out anything in these pictures is difficult. And then we decided to take an autonomous underwater video camera, equipped with its own motor and control system. You've probably seen these cameras in various films about underwater research. It is remotely controlled by cable, using a special joystick. Our only problem was that the cable was only 50 m, significantly narrowed its range.
And during our last trip there in April of this year we had a shot with this camera. Shoot, of course, it was hard. The water is very dense and when it gets a beam of light in front of the lens there is a solid white wall. This is roughly the same as in the dense fog lights turn on the car. The brighter the light, the thicker wall.
So there in the water. We have a very long experimented with light, set up, focused. As a result, four days we managed to rent a small ten-minute film, with more or less discernible image. So we can quite clearly distinguish between lying on the bottom of the object, similar to a column. There are other items in the form of large eggs, some encrusted with salt circles. That is by far one can clearly say that it is man-made objects. Having the same column indicates that this location was definitely some structure.
And what is the depth there?
JK: The deepest place in the 30 meters. The column is 18 m and 30 m from the shore.
That is, your research was limited length of wire machine. Namely — fifty meters?
JK: Yes. Therefore, we investigated a relatively small area. But even these are images show that there really were some of the structure, and, judging by the column, rather large. And the main thing — if all this is compared with the old card, then it is most likely is the city of Sodom. The difficulty lies in the fact that we should all learn more. But for this it would be good to people under the water went down. We even want to organize a youth camp for people to come and also to take up the research.
And then dive it is possible, if the government does not even allow to use the boat?
JK: We have a permit from the Department of Antiquity of Jordan for research. And if we do this in the framework permits, explaining that this plunge our people that this is our job, then they are under our responsibility, I think, it's all allowed. After all searches are conducted with the participation of the Department of Antiquity of Jordan. In addition, it is one thing we would be looking for is there any treasure — gold, diamonds. We work for the story. And for the history of mankind.
The complexity of the other — there's virtually impossible to dive physically. The density of water is such that the diver should hang on a huge amount of cargo. But the depth of 18-30 m already in ordinary water is fraught with undesirable consequences from a long stay there, and here at once can get decompression sickness. So now we want to create a project, so you can explore this place with a paste of 30-40 people. After all, there are only two windows of time when you can swim — it's November and April. In summer the temperature rises to 50 degrees, and there can not do anything. While the biggest difficulty is still very salty and dense water, which is difficult to dive. And now we are puzzled how it all done.
How is funding your research?
JK: Financially we are particularly no one is addicted. Year of work, then resets and go. Cheap tickets, accommodation, too.
And as with permission of the local authorities?
JK: We have been working there — three years, they know us well. All authorizations we have. Part of the coast, where we work, officially assigned to our group. Before the expedition every time we send a request for permission to work there is something there, then all permissions are given.
Now we can clearly say that Sodom is found, or it is a premature statement?
JK: If we found more and sign with the words Sodom, which we put at the entrance to the city, then, of course, it would be possible. In the meantime, you can safely say that at this point in the bottom of the Dead Sea is the ruins of ancient settlements that should be investigated further. But in any case, the fact that we did — it's a big plus. Previously, all the search fails. Nothing like this has been found.
Here already have visual evidence. Here lies the bottom of this column and it can be seen that despite the fact that it has acquired salt is still column, not anything else. It should be further explored.
I believe that the very fact of finding there the ruins of the ancient city — it is a no contribution to science. The main thing here — this is, of course, the very essence: people have long debated, where are these cities — Sodom and Gomorrah. Someone said that they were on the Israeli side, someone found in the mountains of some sulfur, which they alleged were once burned, but in any case, based on an ancient map and we have found the ruins, we can assume that they are still at sea.
You are going to go back there?
JK: Yes. Our mission is scheduled for November. We ask the boat. But the problem is in the fact that it is simply nowhere to take. The nearest boat is on the Red Sea. But to get her out of there pretty hard. So we think we bring an inflatable boat from here, it would be good with a small little motor. Then, if possible, will be using sonar to survey a much larger area.
According to our plan, we want to "take a picture" the entire surface to clearly distinguish these "clusters", where, in fact, are the ruins. And then in these places lowered the camera and take pictures. We will try to mount a device that would give the best visual image. The device "Gnome" which we filmed it all, we took at the Institute of Oceanology. Now we are going to agree with them, maybe they collect for us a little more complicated machine that will give a better picture.
Of course, we would like to go down a man. But as long as people are willing to do that, we did not come across. Some say that you have to hang on a lot of cargo, while others believe that it is necessary to use a heavy screw-tight suit with helmet and pumping air. Some say it's impossible, because at a density of water in a person's blood will immediately start being produced nitrogen. And the time between going, Nov. soon.
I understand that at this stage the opening until you can not talk?
JK: Talking about the opening can be when it starting to recognize the various eminent scholars. When it is properly represented in the scientific community. We still do not present anywhere. We record everything that we find with the help of documentary films. From the point of view of history, the most interesting that no one ever seriously explored the bottom of the Dead Sea. Against this background, our work made it possible to find real artifacts. The same as we found in the column is one of those artifacts.
Lift from the bottom, probably nothing will be allowed?
JK: I think it will allow. One can not study, do not picking up. Scientists also need to see everything with your own eyes, feel his hands … In addition to all this have to do something. What we now need to figure out what to do exactly with whom to do and by what means. While all the answers to these questions we have.
Well, you yourself have thought something up there?
JK: Of course. The only question in the technical side of how to do it. After all, it needs to go down, we need some tools. Perhaps some small items we raise. At first, only to find they have to.
See also: Scientists have found a mammoth most interesting archaeological artifacts.