Secrets of the Stone Hourglass: In Pursuit of Man 12,000 Years Ago

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Secrets Of The Stone Hourglass: In Pursuit Of Man 12,000 Years Ago
Consider how it must feel to find yourself the center of attraction for a very large circling tiger shark and when you fire your spear at the animal he takes spear and gun away from you leaving you wondering what you have to offer him when he returns.

This happened to the author, Bill Royal, off a reef in the South Pacific during World War II. Royal volunteered to dive daily in shark infested waters to collect specimens for scientists trying to learn why the local fish population was toxic to eat. Non-poisonous fish became toxic wherever the Pacific military went. The reason scientists learned had to do with the World War II military habit of pushing trucks and other obsolete equipment into the ocean to extend runways. Toxic elements in the metals were eventually absorbed by the fish and passed on to humans who ate them.

Later, as a shark-catcher for Florida’s Cape Haze Marine Laboratory, Royal learns to capture the giants by hand to bring them in alive for scientists using sharks for human cancer research. While the original hardcover book -- The Man Who Rode Sharks -- details more about his adventures with sharks, this e-book edition focuses on Royal’s far greater contribution to science by alerting us to the fact that some large Florida springs whose underwater profiles resemble gigantic stone hour glasses actually held the remains of Ice Age animals and early man carbon dating back to 12,000 years BC, a fact so incredible to scientists in the early 1950’s that no one believed what he had found.

In his own words this book describes how it all evolved, along with Royal’s incredible good luck in being able to survive underwater adventures that repeatedly took their toll of human lives in those years. No one knew the dangers that lay in wait for divers using primitive scuba diving equipment so recently made available to them then. A tank of air at the surface lasts 60 minutes. But few knew that same tank of air when at 100 feet underwater lasted only 10 minutes. That lack of knowledge was deadly if you were fumbling around blindly in a silted out cave.

In the beginning it all seemed so easy. We now had a way of breathing underwater; a way to explore the long hidden depths of underwater caves. Eventually, Royal’s diving curiosity leads him to a prehistoric fossil boneyard as fabulous as the legendary elephant graveyard and to a sunken cavern where hundreds of human bones of prehistoric man are found beside those of sabertooth cats and giant ground sloths.

Here, in dramatic detail, are the highlights of almost a half century of diving adventures by one of the most daring pioneers in the field, a modest, quiet-spoken man who pushed the frontiers of diving so far back that the experiences almost cost his life. Still, Bill Royal made one of the most important but frustrating archaeological finds of all time – a human brain in a 10,000 year old skull that scientists branded a hoax…until carbon dating proved it not a hoax, and they saw for themselves the incredibly rich underwater archaeological site Royal preserved for them for seventeen years. These events are described in such detail by co-author Robert Burgess that readers will re-live every tingling moment of Royal’s life-threatening experiences whether they want to, or not. This is high-tension adventure at its best!
Spyglass Publications
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