An ancient burial chamber was found late last Wednesday under the southern end of the new Marco Island Bridge. A routine test piling was drilled and filled with concrete during the construction of the new causeway and after the six month standard test; the piling was removed and revealed the skeletal remains of 13 original Marco inhabitants.
Dr. Simon Howell, an anthropologist from the University of Florida was called in to investigate the discovery and immediately organized a press conference.
“The drill for the test piling has apparently pierced a ceremonial chamber,” Dr. Howell explained during a television interview, “but the bridge piling concrete failed to enter the conical hollow where the skeletons and a cache of conquistador-era Spanish artifacts were found.”
When the test piling was removed on Oct. 26, divers were sent to investigate a continuous stream of sulfur-tainted bubbles and the first of the skeletons was discovered at the newly opened underwater cavern.
An extensive survey began after Dr. Howell’s arrival on the scene and 13 perfectly preserved skeletons have been found as of press time. Also recovered from the underwater cavern were several metal breast plates, an assortment of flintlock pistols, and bronze headpieces of the type worn by the Spanish conquistadors of the early 1500s.
“A bone assessment and carbon dating analysis,” Dr. Howell related, “Has been completed and reveals that the human remains are from an era of Marco’s earliest inhabitants. Also of interest is that fact that all of the 13 skeletons discovered are female. We also now believe the burial or ceremonial chamber was intact, dry, and sealed from the corrosive saltwater of the Marco River until the recent removal of the test piling. This is truly a most amazing discovery.”
According to Dr. Howell’s team and the divers that have actually been inside the watery crypt, the hidden chamber is apparently hexagonal in shape and was well constructed in ancient times from conch shells and a primitive cement called tabby. It remains a mystery why the inhabited and spacious chamber was built below the water table and even more mysterious is why the remnants of Spanish Conquistadors have been found alongside Native American skeletons that are clearly thousands of years old.
“This is an entirely unprecedented find,” Dr. Howell announced to the television cameras, “because of the age differences of the skeletons and the old Spanish relics. The oldest but most perfectly preserved skeleton appears to have been a leader and carbon dating indicates the bones of the female figure are over 2000-years old. The Spanish armor however, is from a much more recent age and only dates back to the years of Marco Island’s discovery by exploring Europeans. To have discovered such a drastic difference of ages in the same archeological site could quite possibly rewrite some text books.”
When asked by Global Ghost Investigators’ Teresa Madison about the rumors of moving underwater lights and that the 13 skeletons might have been a coven of ancient witches, Dr. Howell was quick to dismiss the sensational rumors a product of pure speculation.
“This is an anthropological and archeological discovery and not a witch hunt.” Howell insisted, “There is absolutely no proof the construction equipment motors were started and the equipment moved on the night of the discovery, or that motorists crossing over the new bridge have seen mysterious lights moving underwater. The very idea that the female skeletons were revengeful witches is completely unfounded and no doubt fueled by coincidence that the conquistadors brought contaminating disease that wiped out Marco’s earliest inhabitants.”
Rumors persist however, that the 13 skeletal females were indeed a coven of witches because of other unusual findings not mentioned in Dr. Howell’s official report.
Global Ghost Investigators have announced in a separate press release that they have film of the glowing and orb-like lights moving under the water near the Marco Bridge and a dozen key witnesses that have all reported their cars have stalled when attempting to cross over the new causeway at around midnight.
“Our ghostly bridge water film,” Madison described in her interview, “and the interviews from the Marco witnesses will air this November 15th on Global Ghost Investigators premier program for the upcoming winter season. A reenactment of how the ancient coven of 13 witches came to be in possession of the old Spanish relics will be a highlight of our program.”
“We also believe,” Ms. Madison continued somberly as she looked into the television camera, “That the bridge piling removal and disturbance of the underwater crypt has now set into action the malevolent and wicked intent of 13 ghostly witches.”
Dr. Howell, Teresa Madison, and Tom Williams would also like to announce that everything previously read in this article is an entire work of fiction written with the sole purpose of entertainment for the upcoming Halloween season.
Trick or treat and Happy Halloween Marco Island!
Tom Williams is a published author and longtime contributor to the Marco Eagle.