Introduction Page
Duane K. McCullough

Lost Fountain intro image


Some years ago, while living on my sailboat anchored in Largo Sound in the Florida Keys, I watched on television an old movie filmed in '52 named "Hurricane Island".

The story revolved around how the mortally wounded Ponce de Leon finally found his lost Fountain of Youth somewhere near a lagoon on an island in Florida. And just after Ponce and his Spanish crew discovered the fountain, storm waves from a raging hurricane washed away the scene leaving no survivors.

Although the movie was less than a first rate film, it was a fair attempt at reviving an old Caribbean legend.

This book project is also attempting to revive the Caribbean legend by exploring the scientific details behind Florida's first mystery and rediscover the true origins of the Fountain of Youth legend.

The idea that bathing or drinking from a natural mineral spring for health reasons was probably known long before any historian recorded a story about a famous Florida fountain - however, what makes this mineral fountain different from other earthly springs was the idea that exposure to it somehow not only healed the sick, but also arrested the aging process.

After reading several books about early Florida, I discovered one of the first Europeans to document the legend was not Ponce de Leon, but another Spaniard named Ernando Fontaneda (Also spelled as Escalente de Fontaneda).

Nearly four and a half centuries ago, Fontaneda, after spending seventeen years in Florida because of a shipwreck, repeated a remarkable Caribbean legend in his memoirs about a place north of Cuba where the health of a native family was improved because the spring waters of the area somehow enhanced the youthfulness or extended their normal lifespan.

But Fontaneda wasn't the first writer - nor the last historian, to document a famous fountain in Florida. Another similar story first published some years before his shipwreck in a book called "De Orde Novo Decades" (New WorldDecades) by a Italian scholar named Peter Martyr d'Anghiera also describes the rejuvenating powers of a youthful spring or fountain in the area.

However, the Fountain of Youth legend as we know it today comes to us by yet another Spanish historian named Antonio de Herrera, who, while writing about Ponce's Florida expeditions in a document published nearly four centuries ago, used Fontaneda's story to give purpose to the expeditions.

Whosoever is responsible in first documenting this remarkable aquatic place of health, the idea that a unique spring once existed in Florida which gave youthful energy and slowed the aging process, is synonymous with Florida's Fountain of Youth legend.

So far my research has suggested the idea that the youthful energy associated with this elusive fountain is probably based on certain remarkable elemental powers which allowed the native inhabitants to live longer than other natives not of the realm.

The legend suggested the idea that something good was in the water of the fountain or the environment itself which maintained youthfulness. In other words, if one left the area of the fountain, one would begin to naturally age again.

To a native sea trader, any freshwater spring may appear as a fountain that could maintain youthfulness - but this fountain was not just another freshwater spring, it was a special legendary fountain identified with the auric richness of Gold.

Even the movie "Hurricane Island" portrayed Golden crystals near the opening of the Fountain of Youth. The movie also suggested the idea that, upon leaving the area of the fountain, a user would begin to grow old again - for in a scene within the movie, a young maiden, while being abducted from the area by the Spanish crew during the hurricane, rapidly grew old and died.

Fictional effects aside, the alluring idea that the Fountain of Youth could arrest the aging process somehow by using the element of Gold in some way is perhaps a view as old as the legend itself.

So after discovering a conceptual link between the element of Gold and the Fountain of Youth legend, I set out to scientifically understand how this unique element and the legend came together. I also was curious about the original natives of Southern Florida and began to research archeological and anthropological data as to what happened to them.

This scientific journey uncovered many unprecedented and remarkable views about lost treasure and our maritime history. What became an historical adventure that took nearly two decades also uncovered a lost antediluvian age which challenges our current understanding of anthropology and sociology. After what I discovered, everything I knew about ancient history was changed forever.

Many years were invested at local libraries and book stores uncovering historical data that explained the culture of the original Florida natives. I began writing a magazine article that basically attempted to answer the questions of who were and what became of the Mayami natives of Florida.

The article was called THE FIRST MIAMIANS and documented historical stories that linked the Mayami of Florida with the Mayan culture of Central America and their great temple cities. I also discovered links between the Mayami and the Miami Indian tribe of the Ohio Valley who built great mounds sites throughout the area.

These historical stories grew into a major book project that, over the years, became a very complicated set of serendipitous views which covered far more than just the simple study of the Mayami natives in Florida.

While researching at a county library in Greater Miami, I came across the view that a substantial trade system existed among the natives of the entire Caribbean Basin long before any European explorer came searching for Gold and other riches in the New World.

I learned that the Caribbean natives once traded information by using a lost binary dot-dash system of alphanumerical messages known as "ogam" or "ogham". By employing a unique coded method of tally-like markings on wooden sticks and using drum beat or smoke signal transmissions, they could trade data over great distances.

I also discovered that this ancient language included a manner of trading information by way of face and hand gestures. Based on Olmec and Mayan mathematical formulas, this lost twenty unit base communication system of alphanumerical symbols uses five vowels and fifteen consonants.

According to one book entitled AMERICA B.C., prehistoric Ogamic markings can be found in the West Indies and along the Atlantic seaboard. But what really amazed me was the discovery that Ogam spans the Atlantic Ocean all the way to northwestern Europe.

Throughout the British Isles, Armoric Brittany and many parts of Western Europe, this unique Neolithic alphabet can be found marked on stonework and attempts to communicate simple statements. Ogam predates the use of Runic letters by the Celts and even the Latin symbols by the Greeks.

Because samples of Ogam have been found on both sides of the Atlantic, I concluded the seafaring Phoenicians must have borrowed the phonetic rules from this lost Neolithic alphabet when they developed the symbols that eventually became the Latin alphabet.

By this time, my book project was now including historical views that bridged the Atlantic Ocean - way beyond a simple article about the local natives of Florida.

And then, while researching the historical origins of Western Civilization, I came across Plato's Atlantean legend about a great maritime kingdom in the western seas and further concluded that the New World natives were somehow part of the story of Atlantis.

I began to see that the legendary lost continent of Atlantis wasn't really lost at all - it was just renamed America by European scholars during the Renaissance. I also began to question the annual accountability of the conventional A.D. timeline and discovered several radical chronological views that suggest a much smaller timeline of Western History.

Over time, that book project became known as "SPIRIT OF ATLANTIS - The Treasure Adventure", which is an ongoing research endeavor into history's most enduring mystery.

Of the many novel anthropological views within my first book project, I concluded that the early natives of the New World were also once part the greater Atlantean Maritime Kingdom which, according to Plato, sailed the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea long ago.

This view suggest the unconventional idea that the origins of Western Civilization have strong links to the Atlantean continent of the New World long before Biblical times.

Some of the historical data within the book project portrays many remarkable scientific views as to how our prehistoric ancestors once created a lost technology that would rival many modern tools. One such view suggest that the Atlanteans used stone-cutting tools that could project chemical energy great distances. This tool design could also have been used to send wireless radio messages byway of a "particle-beam fountain" reaction.

How this lost technology may have worked and why it was lost long ago are found within the SPIRIT OF ATLANTIS book project.

The LOST FOUNTAIN book project revisits my earlier quest into the study of the local natives that once lived in Southern Florida. It also tries to revive the idea that the Fountain of Youth Legend is based on fact by scientifically explaining how the story became a legend and why it is important in the study of human longevity.

Because of my historical conclusions, I believe modern historians will also rediscover and better understand, like I have, how this important Caribbean legend links to the lost antediluvian age of Atlantis.

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