Jaffin Family Archives and Research Project
Indiana Jaffin and the Search for Atlantis
|Bimini- westernmost district of the Bahamas
Photo from Wikipedia
Edgar Cayce Reading - 364-3
"The position as the continent Atlantis occupied, is that as between the Gulf of Mexico on the one hand - and the Mediterranean upon the other. Evidences of this lost civilization are to be found in the Pyrenees and Morocco on the one hand, British Honduras, Yucatan and America upon the other. There are some protruding portions within this that must have at one time or another been a portion of this great continent. The British West Indies or the Bahamas, and a portion of same that may be seen in the present - if the geological survey would be made in some of these - especially, or notably, in Bimini and in the Gulf Stream through this vicinity, these may be even yet determined."
Dr. Stanley Jaffin, called Indiana Jaffin by his wife, Ann, was an Atlantis adventurer. The impact of his work is important because the quest to find Atlantis still continues today. Stan was passionate about searching for remnants of this lost civilization in the Bimini Islands as described in the Edgar Cayce readings. He was part of more than a dozen expeditions led by Dr. Joan Hanley in the nineties, which often included fellow researchers Ann Jaffin, Dr. Doug Richards, Bill Donato, John Holden, Donnie Fields and many other friends.
Stan was a strong man intent on this pursuit. Joan Hanley recalls that "Stan had the focus of a true scientist." He and others spotted a group of animal-shaped mounds in the mangrove swamps of east Bimini while flying very low in a small plane. The most dramatic mound is about 500 feet long and in the shape of a lemon shark. Another mound is rectangular which makes it look like something constructed by man. This mound also has wild orchids growing on it. The mounds are roughly ten feet high and may have originally been natural sand dunes. They are covered in scrub vegetation and have small trees growing on them but the edges of the mounds are clearly outlined by white hardpan which makes them easy to identify from the air. To explore these mounds on foot, team members had to use machetes to clear pathways through the thick mangrove swamps. Indiana Jaffin usually led the charge.
This group of adventurers also explored what they called the "healing hole" whose water smelled like sulfur. Silver jewelry would turn to black when it was immersed in these waters remembers Joan Hanley. However, before anyone could navigate the entrance channel to the "healing hole," someone had to chase the small sharks out first. Again Stan volunteered for this tricky job.
John Holden, who became fast friends with Stan when they met at an A.R.E. business conference in 1981, describes their boat trips to the "healing hole" as exhilarating, early-morning rides through the winding mangrove island channels where it was very easy to get lost. However, the last 25 yards to the "healing hole" had to be carefully negotiated on foot. The group could then immerse themselves in this deep water. John details the experience as feeling unusual but with a sense of well-being which was frequently followed by uncontrollable laughter. The adventurers thought that this water had lithium in it which may have caused this sense of euphoria.
Another source of healing water which this group explored is Bro' Peters well buried in bug-filled jungle on South Bimini. It is a well which was carved into the natural limestone rock by the Bimini founders in the mid 1800's. After the great hurricane of 1926, local residents were without fresh drinking water and Bro' Peters well was their only source of potable water.
In a project that Stan put together, he used satellite imagery to detect up-wellings of cold-water currents in the warm waters of Bimini Bay. Bill Donato, John Holden and Stan would then use GPS to locate and visit these anomalies in order to measure their temperatures with thermometers. A well-known bonefish guide named Action Jackson took them out in his boat. Stan noted that Mr. Jackson was very good at finding these thermal anomalies by observing light-colored sand patterns. Bill remembers Stan's wry comment that Action was as good as the high-tech satellite data! Bill also had data about these areas from respected dowsers and Stan noted that many of the dowsers' findings corresponded with the thermal anomalies.
In 1935 a woman told Edgar Cayce that "...she had flown to Bimini and had found a fresh water well marked, or walled around the top, with stones of peculiar composition and strange symbols." (587-4) Ann enjoyed crisscrossing east Bimini on foot with Stan as they searched for this elusive "aviatrix well."
Bill Donato describes Stan as one of the best Bimini researchers with a good background in science and an intrepid explorer who visited a great many of the remote mounds. Bill said that for someone putting an expedition together, Stan was one of the first people that would come to mind because you knew that you would always be able to depend on him. In short, Stan was the type of person you'd want to have on your team.
Doug Richards will never forget when a group of us were stranded in the swamps by low tide and thought we'd have to spend the night there when swarms of insects came out. Joan led our rescue in a small Zodiac rubber boat which not only had to be pushed in the shallows but leaked air and had to be pumped up several times. The "volunteers" who pushed the Zodiac were repeatedly stung by schools of very small jellyfish which glowed in the dark.
Joan describes Stan's passion for the Bimini work and how helpful he was. She says that if he liked you, he couldn't do enough for you. Stan was able to carry a lot of the supplies and equipment for the group while he hacked a clear path. He always carried a small first-aid kit and doctored a number of group members' minor injuries.
Ann remembers fondly how Stan would always cut a carefully-chosen mangrove stick for her to use while walking through the muck and on uneven ground. And he was always there with a strong arm to give her a hand. They enjoyed exploring these exotic and remote sites together where she always felt safe with Stan there.
Our Bimini expeditions weren't all work; there was a lot of fun and a special spirit of camaraderie.
There was music and an Ernest Hemingway museum in The Compleat Angler bar. Stan didn't visit but still got a kick out of the raucous End of the World Bar and the Chalk's Airline ancient pocket-sized ticket office, where the final scene of the movie, "Silence of the Lambs," had been filmed. Stan posed while Ann took a picture of him standing where Hannibal Lecter had stood.
Indiana Jaffin passed on too soon in 2010 but his spirit lives on in the search for Atlantis and in all of the lives that he touched.