Called Million Dollar Point after the millions of dollars worth of material disposed there, the dump is a popular diving destination, and divers report an amazing quantity of wreckage: jeeps, six-wheel drive trucks, bulldozers, semi-trailers, fork lifts, tractors, bound sheets of corrugated iron, unopened boxes of clothing, and cases of Coca-Cola. The dumped goods were not abandoned by the ni-Vanuatu people, nor by the Franco-British Condominium who ruled Vanuatu (then known as the New Hebrides) from 1906 until 1980, but by personnel of a WWII American military base named Buttons. At the end of the war, sometime between August 1945 and December 1947, the US military interred supplies, equipment, and vehicles under water. The travel writer Thurston Clarke describes the scene:#MillionDollarPoint.
The Seabees built a ramp running into the sea and every day Americans drove trucks, jeeps, ambulances, bulldozers, and tractors into the channel, locking the wheels and jumping free at the last second. Engine blocks cracked and hissed. Some Seabees wept. Ni-Vanuatu witnessing the destruction of wealth their island would never see again, at least in their lifetimes, thought the Americans had gone mad.
What is clear is that when the military arrived, cargo cult predictions were literally realized. This made fertile ground for wildly successful sects; it also thrust America into the heart of cult dogma. Postwar religious practices were largely based on the activities of the US military. Cultists built loading docks according to the logic that cargo would arrive when docks were built, just as it apparently had during the American occupation. Believers routinely had visions of “Jake Navy,” the corporate logo from an American brand of cigarettes
By their order, American generals publicly declared that they were not gods incarnate.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
"Just off the coast of Espírito Santo, an island in the Vanuatu archipelago of the South Western Pacific, there is a massive underwater dump"