If Alice in Wonderland slid down the rabbit hole and landed underwater, she might have found what San Diego-based recreational diver Michael Harlow claims to have come across: millions and millions of shimmery purple translucent crystals.
The only problem is, he has no proof they exist. And, so far, his Kickstarter “Crystal Wreck Dive” campaign to return to the World War II wreck that sunk in 1944 in the South Pacific somewhere between Truk and Palau to find them, has raised $245 of his desired $26,000.
Harlow first found the crystals on a 1999 dive. The description of the sighting on his “Explore—The Crystal Wreck Dive” Kickstarter page reads like a good hallucinogenic-enhanced dream:
Harlow’s dive buddy, who hadn’t followed Harlow into the air chamber, had the camera. Before Harlow could retrieve the camera, or break off one of the shimmering purple objects, he ran out of time and the mystical crystals have remained lost at sea for the past 12 years.
Harlow claims scientists at NOAA, Texas A&M, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography have hypothesized that the crystals could be oil-contaminated methane hydrates (clathrates) or possibly sodium salt crystalization in a growth-optimized, water-saturated atmosphere. All are interested in what he eventually uncovers, but until Harlow produces the goods, it’s been tough to generate interest.
“It’s kind of funky,” says Harlow. “Nobody wants to kick in money to help with the expedition until until I actually bring back samples back and they find out what this stuff is. If this Kickstarter thing doesn’t go through, I’ve got to do it on my own. For 12 years it’s been gnawing at me. I lose sleep every night reliving it in my mind. I’ve got to go back.”