||March 15, 2008
Barnes & Noble.com
Seeds Of Civilization
As a result of their incredible-but unintentional-discoveries in Mexico and Japan, the NWIDI team has become an unofficial resource for certain government agencies.
A call from "the highest levels" sends the NWIDI team back to Mexico to investigate the nature and origin of sunken megalithic structures discovered just off the northwestern coast of Cuba. More than 2,100 feet below the surface, the site gives up secrets from the ancient past as well as the days of the Cold War but the team's exploration is cut short by a Cuban gunboat.
Following a mysterious underwater anomaly, the team soon finds itself in the Bahamas, well inside the boundaries of the infamous Bermuda Triangle and surrounded by a growing body of evidence which suggests that an alien interference with Earth's civilizations might not be limited to the past. In this startling conclusion to the Seeds of Civilization series, one of the NWIDI team members embarks on a quest for the truth that could affect the future of all mankind.
Ka’ax looked up from his work and listened as the noisy, crude device made another pass over his outpost, 2,100 feet below the surface. From somewhere above, a ship was towing the object back and forth in a grid-like pattern. In all the time he had been assigned to this location, nothing like this had ever occurred before and Ka’ax knew this activity would have to be reported immediately. If his position were in danger of being discovered, it would have to be abandoned, like so many others in the past.
Frank Morton closed the manila folder he’d been reading and leaned back in his plush leather desk chair. The rest of the NWIDI team had left for the day and the small hangar/office complex at the south end of Boeing Field was quiet again. The sun had just set on another unusually warm September day in Seattle and the metal roof of the building was popping as it cooled.
Frank closed his eyes and smiled.
It was hard to believe it had only been fifteen months since he’d won the $86 million lottery jackpot that had changed his life. Shortly thereafter, he and three friends had informally joined forces to investigate a mysterious black sphere they’d acquired in a small town north of Las Vegas. That investigation, now referred to as the Tractrix Project, had taken them from Seattle to the secret military installations of Nevada and on to the Maya ruins in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Along the way, they’d gotten themselves involved in a murder investigation and attracted the unwanted attention of government agents, Mexican Federales and an ancient Maya priest. In an unexpected turn of events, they’d stumbled across a three thousand year old secret that suggested an alien origin to the Maya’s advanced knowledge of astronomy and mathematics. Before long, Frank had begun to formulate a theory about repeated alien interventions into the affairs of Earth and Earthlings.
Later, Frank had talked his three friends into formally creating the Northwest Institute of Discovery and Investigation (NWIDI). His goal had been to devote a portion of his lottery winnings to the exploration of several unsolved archaeological mysteries that interested him. Although he was a retired aerospace engineer, Frank had always been fascinated by the apparent contradiction between what traditional anthropology preached and what modern archaeology seemed to be discovering. As a trained SCUBA diver, he was especially interested in the numerous underwater sites, like the famous Yonaguni Monument that had been found in the mid-1980s. These newly discovered artifacts and submerged structures seemed to confirm the “new age” theories that one or more civilizations had flourished on Earth long before the rise of Mesopotamia around 4,000 B.C.
Frank smiled again. It was seven months to the day since the NWIDI team had left this very hangar to investigate a sunken pyramid off the coast of Yonaguni Island, in southern Japan. Within two weeks of their arrival, the four accidental adventurers had found themselves involved in a case of murder and international kidnapping in what the team now called the Tsubute Project. While attempting to solve the murder and clear their own names, they had uncovered a dark secret that had been hidden on the tiny island for more than 10,000 years—one that confirmed Frank’s developing theory about “alien interventions.”
When Frank and his long-time friend, Tony Nicoletti, returned from Yonaguni on the NWIDI Learjet, team members Jim Barnes and Linda McBride had remained behind for several months to investigate the underground passageways they had discovered beneath the island. In just a few weeks Jim had deciphered enough of the passageway murals to change the entire history of ancient Japan. Based on star maps and other information that had been found, the writings appeared to be at least 14,000 years old and they described a rich cultural history that probably dated back another 2,000 years. Overnight, the theories of Graham Hancock and others had been substantiated and mainstream anthropology was being forced to rethink the entire timeline of human civilization.
With the team now reunited in Seattle, the mood at the NWIDI headquarters was relaxed and upbeat. Best of all, Jim was receiving full credit for his discoveries and he was a rising star in the scientific community. When the team had first discussed the trip to Japan, back in early February, Jim had been reluctant to go because of pressure to publish by the University of Washington, where he was a professor. Now the University was begging him not to accept any of the dozens of prestigious positions he was being offered by other institutions.
Linda, a former newspaper researcher and detective at heart, had also continued to investigate Yonaguni, but her interest focused on the tsubutes—the ancient Ninja throwing weapons the NWIDI team had found in a tomb deep under Yonaguni’s Mt. Urabu. It had been decided that her work would not be made public until it was better understood, but Frank knew it was just a matter of time before the rest of the world learned what he and his team already knew—that the red stones in the center of each of the twelve ceremonial tsubutes were some sort of alien technology that had been fashioned into the objects by the same ancient race that had created the murals.
Because of Jim’s work, NWIDI was receiving a lot of publicity and Frank was bombarded with proposals for research grants and scientific partnerships. The most intriguing request to date, however, was the one he’d just finished reading. The file had come to him through an acquaintance at the Department of Defense, but it had originated at the “highest levels” of the U.S. government and it detailed a remarkable discovery that had been made two years earlier by a Canadian underwater exploration company called Deep Oceanic Research.
While doing some salvage work for the Cuban government, the Canadians had accidentally discovered what appeared to be a large group of megalithic structures just off the western tip of Cuba, at a depth of more than 2,000 feet. Additional investigations, done a year later, confirmed that the complex covers nearly eight square miles and appears to contain many pyramids, roads and buildings. Tests completed only two months earlier had concluded that the megalithic structures are made of granite—granite that had to come from more than 1,000 miles away. The new age folks were already hinting that this could be the location of the mythical lost city of Atlantis described by Plato in 350 B.C. And to complicate matters, Castro was prohibiting exploration by all American companies in retaliation for the U.S. trade embargo. Even National Geographic’s offer to fund a multi-national expedition to the site had been refused. Now NWIDI had received an “official” request to learn all it could about the site without creating an international incident and Frank knew he couldn’t decline. Not because of the origin of the request, but because, well, what if it were the remains of Atlantis? That would be an incredible archaeological find! Or what if this new site were somehow related to the alien spheres his team had discovered in the hands of the Maya or to the alien rubies they had found on Yonaguni? What if this much older site had been an alien base? What if it still is?
Graham Hancock + Cussler + scuba + archaeology = great read
Take a little of Graham Hancock's theories on Earth's ancient civilizations, mix in some Clive Cussler-type adventure and action, put on your scuba gear and grab your archaeological text books. Let me see...that's one part action, one part speculative fiction, one part underwater adventure, one part...aw, heck, don't classify it. Just read Triangle, the third and concluding novel in R. J. Archer's Seeds of Civilization series (Tractrix (Seeds of Civilization) and Tsubute (Seeds of Civilization) were books one and two).
The book industry as a whole does not enjoy hard to classify novels, but (as you can tell by my own novel, Dusk Before the Dawn) I am quite partial to "genre busters". If needed, the best categorization of Mr. Archer's works is "speculative fiction".
For those unaware, Graham Hancock gives evidence in his books of a `mother culture', potentially alien, that all ancient civilizations descended from. He explores various similarities between different archaeological sites throughout the world, and some unexplainable coincidences. His best known work is Fingerprints of the Gods.
Mr. Archer takes a different archaeological site in each one of his novels, and wraps a mystery including ancient civilizations ala Graham Hancock and includes research, government concern/involvement and active ancient artifacts as evidence of these ancient civilizations. Each of this novels revolves around a different artifact found at a different site, which appears thousands of years old but of an advanced construction. The first novel looked at Olmec ruins in Mexico, the second at underwater ruins in Yonaguni, Japan. The sites are explored by a team from the Northwest US named NWIDI, funded by Frank, the leader, and the team includes armed services veterans, an ancient civilization researcher and an investigative reporter.
Triangle, the third adventure, finds the NWIDI team in and around Cuba and the Bahamas, near the infamous Bimini Road. A signal is detected from an area off the coast of Cuba, and the team, with the help of the US Gov, obtains the usage of a British deep water cable repair ship. With their submersible, they find indications of an underwater civilization, including indications that it extends/points toward Bimini in the Bahamas. They also find a set of triangles with ancient writings on them, buried in the sand, found by the submersible.
"It appeared to be a perfect equilateral triangle about two inches on a side. In the center was a small triangular hole and the area between the outer edge of the object and the hole was almost entirely covered with raised figures resembling hieroglyphs. The other side of the object looked very similar, but Frank noticed that the symbols were slightly different."
Without giving away spoilers, events above and beneath the water force them to abandon their search off shore from Cuba, and the team splits, sending two undercover to the Cuban coast to investigate some of the above water mysteries and the rest to Bimini (not coincidently near the infamous Bermuda triangle) to follow the underwater trail. Their archaeologist and researcher, Jim, continues to examine and unravel the secrets of the ancient triangles. To tell more would give away too much of the plot, but, as with the other novels, artifacts discovered by the submersible are found to be from a more advanced civilization from our past, and tie in with the discoveries from Tractrix and Tsubute.
As with Mr. Archer's previous novels, except for the NWIDI team it is difficult to determine friend from foe; this is an enjoyable part of the adventure and keeps the reader wondering who's on who's side, and who really knows what supposedly secret information.
Archer obviously has spent many hours under water. His descriptions of scuba, including rebreather and submersible operations, are technically accurate without turning into techno-babble, descriptive and induce the kind of excitement, fear and enjoyment only divers have experienced. Having never used a rebreather, these descriptions were among my faves in the novel.
"Using the marked line, the three NWIDI divers descended slowly, clearing the pressure in their ears frequently. At the twenty-foot mark, Jill waved to Frank and Tony and watched them disappear below her. Frank and Tony exchanged "OK" signals at sixty feet and Tony continued on down. At about seventy-five feet, he was startled by a movement and looked to his right to see Ian waving as he passed by. As he watched the other diver descend, Tony realized for the first time that rebreathers, at least the kind Ian was using, didn't emit any bubbles."
My issues with the novel are minor: character differentiation could be improved; there are some ends left un-tied, including some of the events on Cuba; and, as always, I'd like to see what happens next (i.e., a longer ending).
But perhaps that will be in the next trilogy! Write more, R.J.!
This review was from an Advanced Readers Copy of Triangle and was originally posted on duskbeforethedawn dot net.
--Larry Ketchersid, author and Amazon reviewer
History's mysteries come alive -- and full circle -- in this eye-opening thriller
Remember back in 2000 when the ruins of a lost city were found off the western coast of Cuba, stoking a small inferno of "could this be Atlantis?" speculation? I do, but only because I try to keep up with all the news that the media and "scholars" ignore. If all the stuffy academics acknowledged the fact that these megalithic, clearly man-made structures exist, it would turn their carefully contrived story of human origins on its head. It's the same reason that Dr. Robert M. Schoch's evidence concerning the much earlier origins of the Sphinx is ignored. Still, there is an ever-growing body of evidence that human civilizations not only existed but thrived millennia earlier than scholarly experts continue to maintain. They can ridicule and minimize the findings of a Schoch or a Graham Hancock, but they can only ignore the growing evidence for so long. One thing is for sure, though - whichever side of the debate you call home, the potential discovery of previously unknown human civilizations far back in Earth's history makes for some fascinating reading.
In R. J. Archer's novels, one man who goes wherever the evidence takes him is Frank Morton. Thanks to a lottery bonanza, he and several of his former colleagues and friends were able to establish the Northwest Institute of Discovery and Investigation (NWIDI). Together, the group has already found evidence (detailed in Tractrix (Seeds of Civilization)and Tsubute (Seeds of Civilization), the first two books in the Seeds of Civilization series) in the form of mysterious alien spheres that strongly suggest an alien origin to the Mayans' advanced knowledge of astronomy and mathematics and, more recently, alien rubies in ancient Ninja weapons buried inside a tomb deep under a sunken pyramid off the coast of Yonaguni Island in southern Japan. NWIDI's work has not been lost on certain government agencies, which has resulted in their previous findings being kept secret for the time being. The double-edged sword cuts both ways, however, as the group can thank a high-level government request for alerting them to the mysteries off the Cuban coast and providing them with the advanced underwater equipment necessary to study the site for themselves.
Despite the logistical nightmare of working secretly under Castro's nose, the investigation produces immediate - albeit mysterious - results. Not only do Frank and his colleagues get a good look at the submerged city, they encounter mysterious spheres once again and discover what may well turn out to be alien artifacts of an unknown but demonstrably dangerous origin. Following a mysterious seafloor feature all the way to the Bahamas, NWIDI finds equally mystifying structures in that location - all of which serves to confirm Frank's theory that ancient civilizations not only thrived millennia earlier than anthropologists and the like maintain, they were significantly aided and influenced by one or more alien intelligences. As Frank and his colleagues continue to piece this historical puzzle together, however, a new question emerges - could it be that these aliens remain here, still influencing the development of mankind in some fashion?
From the thrill and danger of deep-water dives and cloak-and-dagger escapades of secret intelligence machinations to the potentially deadly consequences of interaction with alien artifacts and the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle, Triangle packs quite a punch and never slows down until the final word on the last page. My only complaint is that author R.J. Archer has designated Triangle as the final book in the Seeds of Civilization series. Not only does this novel leave a few of my questions unanswered, its startling conclusion would seemingly set the stage for an even greater and more fascinating adventure to come. Archer is reportedly working on a new series about ancient mysteries, but I think most readers will join me in hoping that we get the chance to meet up with Frank Morton again at some point in the future.
--Daniel Jolley, Amazon reviwer
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