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Dr. Ray Brown’s “Atlantean” Crystal: What Is The Full Story?
By Dr. Greg Little
The story of Dr. Ray Brown’s Atlantean crystal is one of the most frequently cited “events” given in support of Edgar Cayce’s story of Atlantis. I am often asked what I know and think about it and people continue to try to find contact Dr. Brown. Brown died at the age of 89 in the early-1990’s but the crystal remains in existence. Its most recent public appearance was October 10, 2010 (10/10/10) at the Edgar Cayce Center in New York City. It was previously displayed September 9, 2009 (9/9/9). The dates are no coincidence. It has been incorporated into lore surrounding the “crystal skulls” and their supposed role in the Maya 2012 date. My guess is that it’ll appear again 11/11/11 and 12/12/12, just before the end of the Maya calendar date. But in response to a query, the keeper of the crystal related to me that it may be displayed on February 19, 2011 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
The crystal is currently in the possession of Arthur Fanning of Sedona, Arizona, which Fanning refers to as the “eye of God.” That is, if it is the actual crystal. I say this a bit facetiously because according to one report the crystal was stolen from Brown several times and it miraculously teleported back to him each time. However, photos of the “current” crystal perfectly match those from the 1980’s and the crystal in Fanning’s possession is most certainly the one Brown reported.
Brown is typically referred to as a physician (a medical doctor) in most reports. He was actually a “naturopathic doctor” (an ND) who practiced in Mesa, Arizona. I cannot find any details on where or when he received this degree. In his later years Brown had murky legal problems stemming from his “medical” practice. Very little information has ever been made available on this issue. Brown was also an avid treasure hunter, diving in the hopes of looting Spanish galleons lost in the Bahamas. In fact, Brown related that he had on several occasions found treasure in the Bahamas.
When the crystal is displayed today it is explained that it was one of four originally made by Atlanteans. According to these reports, two of the other crystals were destroyed when Atlantis submerged and the fourth remains in a temple now underwater (presumably in the Bahamas). I cannot find any reports where Brown actually made this claim, however, Brown did state that the crystal was probably from Atlantis. The psychically derived story of the four identical crystals sounds interesting, but that’s about as far as one realistically can go with it.
When, How, & Where the Crystal Was Found
In reality there are various accounts of when, how, and where Brown “found” the crystal as well as differing accounts of precisely whom he was with and the boat he was on. The only consistency in the reports is that Brown was essentially alone when he found the crystal, that he and the others with him on the boat were treasure hunting, that he did not immediately reveal his discovery to the other crew members, and the general description he gave of the pyramid structure in which he said he found the crystal. In his 1984 book “Atlantis: The Eighth Continent” writer Charles Berlitz interviewed Brown and indicated that the crystal was found off the Berry Islands in the Bahamas, not far from the deep Tongue of the Ocean. Berlitz included the following account Brown gave him about the crystal’s discovery in 1970:
"When we returned to where we had been before, looking for the sunken galleons, a violent squall came up. We had to hang on to mangroves on the island, it was so violent. Six to eight foot waves broke over us and we lost most of our equipment. In the morning we saw that our compasses were spinning and our magnometers were not giving readings. We took off north- east from the island. It was murky but suddenly we could see outlines of buildings under the water. It seemed to be a large exposed area of an underwater city. We were five divers and we all jumped in and dove down, looking for anything we could find. As we swam on, the water became clear. I was close to the bottom at 135 feet and was trying to keep up with the diver ahead of me. I turned to look toward the sun through the murky water and saw a pyramid shape shinning like a mirror. Thirty-five to forty feet from the top was an opening. I was reluctant to go inside... but I swam anyway. The opening was like a shaft debouching into an inner room. I saw something shinning. It was a crystal, held by two metallic hands. I had on my gloves and I tried to loosen it. It became loose. As soon as I grabbed it I felt this was the time to get out and not come back. I'm not the only person who has seen the ruins -- others have seen them from the air and say they are five miles wide and more than that in length."
In their 2008 book (Prepare for the Landings) Michaeel & Aurora Ellegion assert that they became close friends with Brown in the 1980s. Michaeel is a trance channeler who operates out of Sedona, Arizona and explains that his abilities are similar to those that Edgar Cayce had. In the book they wrote that Brown told them that he was on one of Jacques Cousteau’s boats with Cousteau’s diving team when he found the crystal in 1968, not 1970. According to this account they had first been off the coast of South America looking for Spanish galleons. On the return trip to Miami they decided to stop and search for sunken treasure (wrecks) in the Bahamas somewhere off the Berry Islands. The bottom was covered with sand so they continued toward Bimini, located about 100 miles west of the Berry Island chain. Before they reached Bimini, but not far from South Bimini, a violent storm hit and they anchored the boat and waited out the storm. According to this account the storm caused waves to crash over the sides of the boat and a lot of equipment was lost including all their cameras. This is the reason consistently cited for the lack of any photographic proof of the discovery. After the brief but violent storm subsided they noticed that the bottom sand had been churned up and the site seemed promising to search for a sunken galleon, so another dive was made. Brown related that he was the last one in the water and because of the murkiness he could not see the other divers. According to this report (and the others), Brown could see that the bottom was strewn with marble columns and polished marble walls, but a glow in the distance and on the bottom caught his attention. As he swam toward the glow he could see a pulsating apex of a pyramid jutting out of the sand. In this telling of the tale, he saw it was the top of an 80-foot pyramid. He eventually found an opening into the structure as he explored its sides. According to Brown, he entered the pyramid through a doorway and a strong water current pushed him toward the top. Just below the apex he saw a pedestal with a pair of metallic golden hands holding the crystal. He initially tried to break off the golden hands but was unable to budge them. He then reached for the crystal. As he tried to pry the crystal out of the hands he heard a booming voice, “You have gotten what you came for, now leave, and never return.”
He tucked the crystal into a pocket of his dive vest and returned to the boat keeping the crystal concealed. The reasons Brown gave for initially keeping the crystal discovery a secret vary somewhat. Some reports relate that he was afraid that Bahamas officials would demand its surrender. Precisely when he told the other crew members about it is not clear from any reports. The Ellegion’s relate that he kept the crystal discovery a secret from the crew for a time but told them about it before they reached Miami. When he finally showed it to them, Brown stated that they were initially jealous and some accused him of bringing it with him so he could claim it was discovered while diving. In their book the Ellegions state that Brown stayed with them several times, revealing the additional details.
Brown made numerous public appearances lecturing and displaying the crystal throughout the 80’s and many people attested to strange mystical powers it had. It is occasionally used today to “charge” beads and other artifacts.
According to the Ellegions, while lecturing and displaying the crystal in England in the 1980’s, Brown was knighted but the group that invited him had darker plans. They supposedly stole the crystal from him (more than once) but it miraculously teleported back to him each time. Brown died at the age of 89 in the mid-1990s. They also report other attempts to steal the crystal.
“In Search Of’s” 1980 Story of Brown’s Discovery
The “In Search of” episode titled The Bimini Wall (first aired February 1980) gave somewhat conflicting details on the crystal. The episode initially related that Brown was “diving near Bimini” and found the crystal in 1970. According to the show’s narration and also during his filmed interview, Brown said was on a diving trip that left from Miami to go to the Berry Islands. The intention of the group was to search for sunken treasure. In the filmed interview Brown stated that “we’d been searching the area for years for Spanish galleons and had found several and taken some of the treasure and were very excited.” According to the show’s narration they went “near the Tongue of the Ocean” to dive (this would be somewhere between 75-100 miles east from Bimini, close to the Berry chain). Brown said that he hoped that a recent storm had shifted the sand enough to reveal galleons on the bottom. Consistent with the other accounts, Brown stated that the storm also ruined their cameras. But when they got into the water Brown said, “we found ruins and buildings everywhere.” “The buildings had an Egyptian or classic look to them,” adding that the pyramid containing the crystal was “probably over 400-feet tall.” However, most of it was covered by sand and he “estimated” its height. After he entered the pyramid he saw a gold rod hanging down from the top of the pyramid ending (pointing) at the metallic hands holding the crystal ball. He first tried to take the gold rod but it wouldn’t move. So he took the crystal, the only item he could retrieve. On the “In Search Of” episode Brown displayed how the crystal could magnetically repel some objects.
It is likely that the “discovery” took place in 1970 as reported by both Berlitz and the In Search Of episode. The Ellegions’ report of 1968 is probably due to garbling Edgar Cayce’s reading indicating that a portion of Atlantis would rise again near Bimini in 1968/1969 and many of their other claims are not at all in line with what Brown himself stated on “In Search Of.” In addition, two of the three reports cited above relate that the discovery took place near the Berry Islands, which is to the northeast of Andros and adjacent to the deep Tongue of the Ocean. It is unclear why the Ellegions’ report states that the discovery took place near South Bimini, although it seems likely that it too relates to Cayce’s readings directly implicating Bimini and a sunken Atlantean temple there. Oddly, I have a chart made by Dr. J. Manson Valentine indicating an area off the Berry Islands where a mass of building ruins supposedly lays scattered on the bottom. My hunch is that as Brown told the tale so many times over the years the story became embellished with more and more details gradually incorporating the ongoing excitement of Edgar Cayce-related expeditions. The involvement of Jacques Cousteau may have been gradually incorporated into the story because it lent an air of authority to the tale.
There are no other witnesses to the event that have ever come forward to my knowledge. Brown consistently stated that four other divers were on the trip and were also in the water diving when he was separated from them. An email inquiry to the Cousteau Society about Brown’s story related in the Ellegion’s book was answered in detail. In 1968 Cousteau, his crew, and boat were in South Africa, Brazil, and then in Puerto Rico. From there they went to Peru for the remainder of the year and longer. The Cousteau Society’s search of boat log books and available records turned up no mention of a Ray Brown, Raymond Brown, or Dr. Brown anywhere. Had Brown been on a Cousteau boat at any time, legal requirements would have resulted in his name turning up somewhere in the records. The Cousteau Society even searched records of finds made by their expeditions showing that the only “crystal” mentioned in any reports were glass (crystal) bottles found off South America. An email to the Ellegion’s about this was unanswered.
One of the most important and significant facts in the entire Brown-Crystal affair is that none of the other divers ever came forward to openly state that Brown showed them the crystal before they returned to Miami. All of these other individuals are supposedly deceased and their names are not given in any accounts. There apparently are no other statements in available records from anyone else who was with Brown when he allegedly found the artifact. In essence, what we have are Brown’s statements and the crystal itself, nothing else. The crystal does exist and Dr. Ray Brown existed. His story of the discovery was sometimes consistent and sometimes not. I do not know what to think about the Ellegion’s report that the crystal had been stolen and teleported back to Brown, although the story does seem to be in line with some of Brown’s statements about the crystal’s supposed powers. It is a bit far-fetched, but the crystal is magical, so there you have it.
In fairness it has to be pointed out that if there were other divers on the diving missions to loot Spanish galleons it is likely that they may not have wanted their names made available. Brown related that he had pulled up treasure in the Bahamas as well as the crystal. Legally, the Bahamas can make a claim on any of the treasure as well as the crystal itself.
After being a guest on the George Noory (Coast-to-Coast) show over a year ago I received an email from an elderly man who said he had been a friend of Brown since childhood. After exchanging a few emails he related that Brown confided to him that the entire affair was a hoax Brown concocted to take advantage of all of the media controversy that had been stirred up by the 1968 discovery of the Bimini Road. He explained that Brown simply wanted to be a part of it. This does, in fact, seem the most likely explanation. One fact that supports this relates to the inconsistent statements Brown seems to have made over the years. The location, the storm, the treasure hunting aspect, and the fact that he had legal issues over his “medical” practice all point to a lack of credibility. But I have no way of knowing if the man who told me this story was himself being honest.
As a diver I also see problems with Brown’s account. In one telling of the story Brown said that they had to hang on to mangroves during the storm. Does that mean they held on with their hands as they dove or did they tie the boat onto mangroves? Mangroves are always in shallow water and near islands. Because mangroves can punch holes in a boat, I find that another suspect part of the story. In addition, in the Berlitz interview, Brown related that he dove to a depth of 135-feet. That is deep. It means that when using one air tank he would be in the water no more than 30 minutes or so in total. (On the “In Search Of” recreation Brown made for the show he used one air tank.) And he would have to have spent at least 5 minutes going to the bottom and approximately 20+ minutes in his ascent. He could have spent no more than 5 minutes on the bottom. From his accounts of the dive, it seems he was on the bottom longer than 5 minutes to do what he stated he did. Not impossible, but improbable. Divers using mixed gasses (which was not available in 1970) or multiple tanks can dive to 135 feet and more, but a long decompression period is required when using multiple compressed air tanks.
While I tend to lean toward the hoax explanation, the truth is that no one will probably ever disprove Brown’s story and it’ll be used time and again to support various ideas. I also confess that while the story seems very far-fetched, it’s also possibly true. The crystal does exist and many people swear that it has some sort of mystical power. As with all incredible reports, all of us can and will believe whatever we are predisposed to believe. I’m happy with ending by saying that I don’t think it’s true but I don’t really know. I’ll never know for certain and I’m okay with that. And with 5 divers supposedly seeing a mass of marble ruins spread across a vast area of sea floor I have to wonder why none of them went back or at least left some sort of written account of it. Then again, I do have the chart where Valentine showed underwater ruins in that area. Valentine and Berlitz were close friends and coauthors, so I’d venture a guess that Brown saw this chart when he was interviewed by Berlitz. All-in-all, it’s an interesting story that we will never be able to prove or disprove. And that fits the entire story of Atlantis as well—at least for now.
Above 3 photos: Dr. Ray Brown on "In Search of;" Depiction of the "hands" holding the crystal; Shot of the crystal in 1980.
Below: Arthur Fanning's photo of the crystal today.