Today’s adventure took us 113 miles northeast of Atlanta to Elberton Georgia.
Often referred to as the granite capitol of the world, Elberton is home to 45 quarries which produce more than 250,000 monuments and markers every year. But, we didn’t drive two hours to learn any of this, it’s one specific monument, only eight miles away in the tiny hamlet of Nuberg, that drew us here.
In the late 1970s a man calling himself RC Christian walked into the Elberton Granite finishing company with a shoe box. Inside the shoe box was a model of what today is known as the Georgia Guidestones. After a few clandestine meetings with the company’s president Joe H. Fendly, Sr. and local banker Wyatt C. Martin, RC deposited money in a local bank to pay for the construction and then disappeared forever.
Elberton Granite Company’s president would later describe the project as one of the most challenging he’d ever undertaken, partly because of the size and weight of the materials used and partly because of the exacting specifications from the unknown group of sponsors.
Sounds mysterious right? Well, it is.
No one knows who that stranger was, where he came from, or where he is today. Only the guidestones and their mysterious proclamations and strange astronomical configuration exist as clues, and depending on who you ask, these 18 foot stones are either a “stirring call to rational thought” or the “10 commandments of the antichrist.”
Truth is, no one knows exactly what they mean.
The first thing you notice about the Guidestones is their remote and isolated location. The five acres were originally purchased by a Robert C. Christian and immediately deeded to the county. Today, sandwiched between working farm fields, the erected monument looks strangely out of place and eerie atop the county’s highest point.
The next thing you notice is their striking resemblance to the original Stonehenge. It’s made from six granite slabs weighing more than 240,000 pounds in all. One slab stands in the center, with four arranged around it – all astronomically aligned to mark the limits of the lunar declination cycle. and in the center column is a hole through which the North Star can always be seen regardless of time.
There’s also a cut out that is aligned with the Sun’s solstices and equinoxes, and a tiny aperture in the enormous capstone allows a ray of sun to pass through at noon each day, shining a beam on the center stone indicating the day of the year.
There was a lot of thought put into this thing.
But, what makes the Georgia Guidestones so controversial are the ten “commandments” carved in the four outer slabs. The principles are engraved in the world’s eight most commonly spoken languages – English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.
Some, like “Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts”, “avoid petty laws and useless officials”, “Balance personal rights with social duties” speak to humanity of any era and can inspire citizens of any country.
But some say two in particular are rife with evil intentions.
They say very first pronouncement “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature” the conspiracy theorists is a call for a global extermination. The US Census Bureau estimates that world’s population at nearly 6.98 billion people. In order for this “guideline” to be met, 93% of the people on earth would have to disappear.
And that’s not all, these theorists say, when combined with the very next line “Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity,” it’s not only a call for eradication, but the development of a master race through eugenics.
Other conspiracy theorists point to the stone’s calls for a world court and world language as guidelines for one world government and the script for the illuminati. Even others say it’s a post-apocalyptic guideline to be followed when repopulating the earth after cataclysm – in fact there are even geographic factors that would make this portion of Georgia both flood and earthquake resistant.
Regardless of the RC Christian’s real motivation, the Georgia Guidestones add a little mystery to the world, and at least get people thinking, which might be the real goal anyway.