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Discover Magazine has a feature on the enigmatic Georgia Guidestone, the modern megalithic monument just outside of the town of Elberton that some have dubbed the American Stonehenge:

The nearly twenty-foot granite slabs, known as the Georgia Guidestones, have sparked controversy around the world—praised by Yoko Ono, defaced by conspiracy theorists, featured on the History Channel, and the subject of the conspiracy web series Guidestones. The monument – five upright stones topped by a capstone – weighs nearly 240,000 pounds and is inscribed in eight languages with ten instructions for humans post-apocalypse. Three decades after being erected, the monument’s true purpose is still being argued, and its quasi-commandments can seem either sincere or satanic.

Regular readers will know that I’ve written previously about what the “true purpose” of the monument likely is (see “Beyond the Apocalypse“): it was probably inspired by Masonic legends about the construction of stone monuments that could transmit knowledge to a post-apocalyptic world. Given the time that the monument was created, it seems likely that R.C. Christian (or a group he represented) were concerned about nuclear war ending civilisation, and so made their own megalithic ‘book’ for survivors of any war.

But ignorance and deluded paranoia persist:

One of the monument’s most prominent conspiracy theorists is computer analyst Van Smith, of Arkansas. His website, Van’s Hardware, offers extensive analysis of the stones.

“The purpose of the monument’s ten edicts,” Smith wrote me by email, “is to establish the groundwork for a totalitarian global government. The proportions of the stones predict the exact height in feet of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, now the world’s tallest building. Both the Guidestones and the Burj allude to the Tower of Babel. Also be aware that there is a supposed to be a time capsule buried a few feet west of the monument… According to the story, the capsule is only to be opened when signs are made obvious by the monument of an impending global cataclysm. And the North Star sighting hole is probably the feature that was intended for detecting the feared cataclysmic event, if the story I was told is true. The hole is similar to a device created by the Hopi to detect a similar calamity.”

An interesting piece of news in the feature though is that banker Wyatt Martin – the man who dealt with R.C Christian in commissioning an building the monument, and is therefore the only man to know who he really was – has destroyed all the documentation that was in his possession. A few years back I was shocked when the location of these documents was made public by Wired, and hoped that they were moved. Martin went one step further though: “Last year I went with a few friends over to an old bridge on Lake Oconee and we dumped all correspondence associated with the Guidestones into a metal barrel and burned them. Then we poured the ashes into the lake. It’ll never be known.”

The Discover article ends negatively though, quoting an astronomer as saying “the astronomical features of the Guidestones are mediocre at best…the Guidestones are an abacus compared to Stonehenge’s computer. They’re very ordinary.” Again, I think that’s missing the point of what the stones were meant to convey: information about the era in which we lived in, by anchoring to solar and stellar markers, for the education of future, post-apocalyptic generations.

Link: Georgia’s Own Stonehenge Doomsday Monument (Discover Magazine)

Link: Beyond the Apocalypse: Myths and Legends Concerning the Georgia Guidestones