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The Georgia Guidestones

Introduction

In Elbert County, Georgia (USA), there is a nearly 6m tall monument made of six astronomically aligned granite slabs; there is a capstone, one slab stands in the center, and around it stand four vertical slabs. The north/south pair of vertical granite is aligned to the poles. The central hollow of the structure is designed to be lit by light from the sun at noontime no matter the time of year. The entire monument weighs in at an appreciable 118 tons, and is fitted with a small hole that will allow one to stand at the base and observe the North Star. An additional stone tablet, which is set in the ground a short distance to the west of the structure, provides some clarifying notes on the history and purpose of the Guidestones.

The Georgia Guidestones are supposed to be a Stonehenge replica of sorts, but also a time capsule, and a Rosetta Stone to mutant societies of the far-flung future.

A message consisting of a set of ten guidelines or principles is engraved on the Georgia Guidestones
in eight different languages, one language on each face of the four large upright stones.

 

Location

Coordinates: 34°13′55″N  82°53′40″W   Google Earth: 34.231944, -82.894444

The Georgia Guidestones are located on a hilltop in Elbert County, Georgia, approximately 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Atlanta, 45 miles (72 km) from Athens (precise distance is 44.3322 miles), GA and 9 miles (15 kilometers) north of the center of Elberton. The stones are standing on a rise a short distance to the east of Georgia Highway 77 (Hartwell Highway), and are visible from that road. Small signs beside the highway indicate the turnoff for the Guidestones, which is identified by a street sign as "Guidestones Rd."

 

Astronomical Alignment

An eye-level, oblique hole is drilled from the South to the North side of the center, Gnomon stone, so that the North Star is always visible, symbolizing constancy and orientation with the forces of nature.

A slot is cut in the middle of the gnomon stone to form a window which aligns with the positions of the rising sun at the Summer and Winter Solstices and at the Equinox, so that the noon sun shines to indicate noon on a curved line.

The cap stone includes a calendar of sorts, where sunlight beams through a 7/8 inch hole at noon, and shines on the South face of the center stone. As the sun makes its travel cycle, the spot beamed through the hole can tell the day of the year at noon each day. Allowances are made because of variations between standard time and sun time to set the beam of sunlight at an equation of time.

The site was chosen because it commands a view to the East and to the West and is within the range of the Summer and Winter sunrises and sunsets. The stones are oriented in those directions.


History

Joe H. Fendley, Sr., Elberton Granite Finishing Company Inc.'s President, said it all began late on a Friday afternoon in June 1979 when a well-dressed and articulate man walked into his offices in Elberton and wanted to know the cost of building a large monument to conservation. He identified himself as "Mr. Christian." He told Fendley that he represented a small group of loyal Americans living outside Georgia who wished to remain anonymous forever, and that he chose the name "Christian" because he was a Christian. He inquired where Fendley banked and Joe put him in touch with both local banks. Wyatt C. Martin, President of the Granite City Bank, was selected by "Mr. Christian" to be the intermediary for the mysterious project.

According to Martin, the man showed up at his office 30 minutes later, explained the project, and said after completion he hoped other conservation-minded groups would erect even more stones in an outer ring and carry the monuments message in more languages. He told Martin that he wanted the monument erected in a remote area away from the main tourist centers. The gentleman also said that Georgia was selected because of the availability of excellent granite, generally mild climate, and the fact that his great-grandmother was a native Georgian.

Martin persuaded the mystery man that Elbert County was the ideal location for the memorial; and he agreed, provided a suitable location could be found. He returned later and he and Martin inspected sites. "Mr. Christian", who now called himself "R. C. Christian", chose a five-acre plot on the farm of contractor Wayne Mullenix. It is the highest point in Elbert County. A few weeks later , Martin contacted Joe Findley and told him that funds for the project were in an escrow account and to start work immediately. Martin promised that when the project was completed, he would deliver his file on the affair to the anonymous sponsors and that the secret would never be known.

He said "Christian" told him that the sponsors had planned the monument for years and that the ten "guides" for the conservation of mankind and the earth were carefully worded as a moralistic appeal to all peoples of nationality, religion, or politics.


The Georgia Guidestones. Image source: Robert's Elberton

The project was one of the most challenging ever for his quarrying and monument manufacturing concern - partly because of the magnitude of the materials and partly because of the exacting specifications from the mysterious group of sponsors, "and those specifications were so precise that they had to be compiled by experts on stone as well as construction," said Fendley.

The main cluster was completed on March 22, 1980, using granite quarried from nearby Elberton.

 

The message

A message consisting of a set of ten guidelines or principles is engraved on the Georgia Guidestones in eight different languages, one language on each face of the four large upright stones. Moving clockwise around the structure from due north, these languages are: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, ancient Chinese, and Russian.

The message in English reads:

MAINTAIN HUMANITY UNDER 500,000,000
  IN PERPETUAL BALANCE WITH NATURE

GUIDE REPRODUCTION WISELY —
  IMPROVING FITNESS AND DIVERSITY

UNITE HUMANITY WITH A LIVING
  NEW LANGUAGE

RULE PASSION — FAITH — TRADITION
  AND ALL THINGS
    WITH TEMPERED REASON

PROTECT PEOPLE AND NATIONS
  WITH FAIR LAWS AND JUST COURTS

LET ALL NATIONS RULE INTERNALLY
  RESOLVING EXTERNAL DISPUTES
    IN A WORLD COURT

AVOID PETTY LAWS AND USELESS
  OFFICIALS

BALANCE PERSONAL RIGHTS WITH
  SOCIAL DUTIES.

PRIZE TRUTH — BEAUTY — LOVE —
  SEEKING HARMONY WITH THE
    INFINITE

BE NOT A CANCER ON THE EARTH —
  LEAVE ROOM FOR NATURE —
    LEAVE ROOM FOR NATURE

 

 

Click of the photo to enlarge >>     

A shorter message appears on the four vertical surfaces of the capstone, again in a different language and script on each face.

 The explanatory tablet near the Guidestones identifies these languages/scripts as Babylonian Cuneiform (north), Classical Greek (east), Sanskrit (south), and Egyptian Hieroglyphs (west), and provides what is presumably an English translation:
"Let these be guidestones to an age of reason."

The phrase Let these be guidestones to an age of reason is a reference to the book, The Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine and appears to be a nod to Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus.


Explanatory tablet

A few feet to the west of the artifact, an additional granite ledger has been set level with the ground. This tablet identifies the structure and the languages used on it, lists various facts about the size, weight, and astronomical features of the stones, the date it was installed, and the sponsors of the project. It also speaks of a time capsule buried under the tablet, but the positions on the stone reserved for filling in the dates on which the capsule was buried and is to be opened are missing, so it is not clear whether the time capsule was ever put in place. The tablet is with one edge to each of the cardinal directions, and is inscribed such that the northern edge is the "top" of the inscription.


The explanatory tablet, immediately west of the edifice. Click to enlarge.
 

The complete text of the explanatory tablet is detailed below.
The accompanying image shows the overall layout. The tablet is somewhat inconsistent with respect to punctuation, and also misspells "pseudonym".
The original spelling, punctuation, and line breaks in the text have been preserved in the transcription which follows.

The text of the tablet is as follows:

At the center of each tablet edge is a small circle, each containing a letter representing the appropriate compass direction (N, S, E, W).

At the top center of the tablet is written:

THE GEORGIA GUIDESTONES
CENTER CLUSTER ERECTED MARCH 22, 1980

Immediately below this is the outline of a square, inside which is written:

LET THESE BE
GUIDESTONES

TO AN AGE
OF REASON

Around the edges of the square are written the names of four ancient scripts/languages, one per edge. Starting from the top and proceeding clockwise, they are:

BABYLONIAN CUNEIFORM
CLASSICAL GREEK
SANSKRIT
EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHICS

("Egyptian Hieroglyphics" is not properly the name of a script; a better name would be "Demotic.")

On the left side of the tablet is the following column of text:

ASTRONOMIC FEATURES:

  1. CHANNEL THROUGH STONE
    INDICATES CELESTIAL POLE.
  2. HORIZONTAL SLOT INDICATES
    ANNUAL TRAVEL OF SUN.
  3. SUNBEAM THROUGH CAPSTONE
    MARKS NOONTIME THROUGHOUT
    THE YEAR

AUTHOR: R.C. CHRISTIAN
(A PSEUDONYN)

SPONSORS: A SMALL GROUP
OF AMERICANS WHO SEEK
THE AGE OF REASON

TIME CAPSULE:
PLACED SIX FEET BELOW THIS SPOT
ON TO BE OPENED ON

The words appear as shown under the time capsule heading; no dates are engraved. (The word pseudonym is misspelled on the stone.)

On the right side of the tablet is the following column of text:

PHYSICAL DATA

  1. OVERALL HEIGHT - 19 feet 3 inches (5.9 m)
  2. TOTAL WEIGHT - 237, 746 POUNDS
  3. FOUR MAJOR STONES ARE 16 feet (4.9 m),
    FOUR INCHES (102 mm) HIGH, EACH WEIGHING
    AN AVERAGE OF 42, 437 POUNDS.
  4. CENTER STONE IS 16 feet (4.9 m), FOUR-
    INCHES HIGH; WEIGHS 20, 957
    POUNDS.
  5. CAPSTONE IS 9 feet (2.7 m), 8-INCHES
    LONG; 6 feet (1.8 m), 6-INCHES WIDE;
    1-foot (0.30 m), 7-INCHES THICK. WEIGHS
    24,832 POUNDS.
  6. SUPPORT STONES (BASES) 7-FEET,
    4 INCHES LONG 2 feet (0.61 m) WIDE.
    1-foot (0.30 m), 4 INCHES THICK, EACH
    WEIGHING AN AVERAGE OF 4,875
    POUNDS.
  7. SUPPORT STONE (BASE) 4-FEET,
    2 1/2 INCHES LONG, 2 feet (0.61 m), 2-INCHES
    WIDE; 1-foot (0.30 m), 7-INCHES THICK.
    WEIGHT 2,707 POUNDS.
  8. 951 cubic feet (26.9 m3) GRANITE.
  9. GRANITE QUARRIED FROM PYRAMID

QUARRIES LOCATED 3 MILES WEST
OF ELBERTON, GEORGIA.

Below the two columns of text is written the caption:

GUIDESTONE LANGUAGES:

Below this is a schematic diagram of the upright stones of the structure, consisting of a small rectangle surrounded by four longer rectangles projecting to the northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast. The names of eight modern languages are inscribed along the long edges of the projecting rectangles, one per edge. Starting from due north and moving clockwise around the diagram (so that the upper edge of the northeast rectangle is listed first), they are:

ENGLISH
SPANISH

SWAHILI
HINDI

HEBREW
ARABIC

CHINESE
RUSSIAN

At the bottom center of the tablet is the following text:

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT
ELBERTON GRANITE MUSEUM & EXHIBIT
COLLEGE AVENUE
ELBERTON, GEORGIA

 

The Controversy

The Guidestones are of particular interest to mystery fans and conspiracy theorists.
The specific world population guideline: "Maintain Humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with Nature" is interpreted by some conspiracy theorists as call for eradication of over 90% of the current world’s population ( 6.8 billion in April 2009).

The next item:  "GUIDE REPRODUCTION WISELY — IMPROVING FITNESS AND DIVERSITY" sounds a little like eugenics, which still bears a vile stigma after the way the Nazis wanted to breed undesired traits from the world.

Despite of controversy, perhaps we shouldn’t bother destroying the monument regardless of whether we agree with its sentiments or not; if there is to be an age of reason...
Fairly recently somebody completely VANDALIZED this site: http://exatanews.blogspot.com/2008/12/georgia-guide-stones-vandalized.html


Sources:

Links


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The Georgia Guidestones: Location, History, Astronomical Alignments, Content, Controversy