Human Remains Missing since 2001 Found Underwater
More details are emerging about the discovery of human remains at the bottom of the Blue Hole on Wednesday by a team of international divers. Today we spoke with a technical diver and instructor from San Pedro and who accompanied the team to the dive site. He confirms that there is a body lying on the sandy bottom of the Blue Hole.
The Great Blue Hole — the world’s largest blue hole — is a massive underwater sinkhole off of the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 60 miles (96 kilometers) east of the Belize mainland. The hole is near perfectly circular in shape, more than 1,000 feet (305 meters) across and 480 feet (146 meters) deep.
The remains which were discovered about sixty to seventy feet away from the wall of the Blue Hole lies right underneath the rim of the sink hole at a depth of three hundred and fifty five feet. According to our source, the body which still had on its scuba outfit, had no head and parts of one of the arm and leg was missing, presumably eaten by sharks.
Because the family of the dead man who is believed to be a U.S. national has not yet been informed by the United States Embassy in Belize, we are unable to give you a name. But we can say that the man is believed to be a doctor from Miami who came to Belize in 2001 and did the dive. We understand that the man’s identity was confirmed through a camera that was retrieved from the remains. The doctor who is believed to be in his fifties had reportedly rented the equipment from a local dive shop
As to why the dive team did not retrieve the body, we understands that the group of four was doing a film on the Blue Hole funded by a Polish television and was not properly equipped to remove a body. As explained by our source the team would have had to have a body bag because at such great depths the human remains would have simply disintegrated while being brought back up to the surface. And also, they would have needed an official or family member to approve the recovery of the body.
Additionally the two divers had only nine minutes to safely do the dive and they used two of those precious minutes to retrieve what they could to bring back to authorities to substantiate the sighting. That included a video of the remains. On Thursday San Pedro Police told us that the owner of a local dive shop offered his services to retrieve the body but due to financial constraints it will be difficult to get the job done.
The police also informed us that the case file was handed over to Senior Superintendent of Police and the Head of Eastern Division David Henderson. Today when we contacted Henderson he told us that the problem with retrieving the human remains is not necessarily due to financial constraints rather there is no one in Belize who can dive at such great depth.
However our source who is a technical diver told us that he knows of only two persons in Belize who can do the dive, and he’s one of them. According to our source he did offer his services but has not gotten a response from the local authorities.