by Christopher Dunn
While the cutting techniques of the
ancient pyramid builders have been a continuing topic for debate,
they have not received the same attention and controversy as the
proposed methods that were used to lift and transport huge cyclopean
blocks of stone.
While Egyptologists and orthodox believers in
primitive methods argue that the huge blocks were moved and put into
place using only man power, experts in moving heavy weights using
modern cranes throw doubt on the subject.
My company recently installed a hydraulic press that weighed 65
tons. In order to lift it and drop it through the roof, they had to
bring in a special crane. The crane was brought to the site in
pieces and was transported from 80 miles away over a period of five
days. After 15 semi-trailer loads, the crane was finally assembled
and ready for use.
As the press was lowered into its specially prepared pit, I asked
one of the riggers about the heaviest weight he had lifted. He
claimed that it was a 110-ton nuclear power plant vessel. When I
related to him the 70 and 200 ton weights of the blocks of stone
used inside the
Great Pyramid and the Valley Temple, he expressed
amazement and disbelief at the primitive methods that are promoted
For many, it is enough just to argue the issue from a logical
standpoint. For others, the subject becomes more meaningful when a
proposed method is demonstrated and proven to be successful. There
is only one man in the world who, by demonstration, has supported
the claim, I know the secret of how the pyramids of Egypt were
built! The man is now deceased.
The claim was made by an eccentric Latvian recluse named Edward Leedskalnin. An immigrant to the United States of America,
Leedskalnin devised a means to single-handedly lift and maneuver
blocks of coral weighing up to 30 tons each. In Homestead, Florida,
using his closely guarded secret, he was able to quarry and
construct an entire complex of monolithic blocks of coral in an
arrangement that reflected his own unique character. On average, the
weight of a single block used in the Coral Castle was greater than
those used to build the Great Pyramid. He labored for 28 years to
complete the work, which consisted of a total of 1,100 tons of rock.
What was Leedskalnin's secret? Is it possible for a five-foot tall,
110 pound man to accomplish such a feat without knowing techniques
that are uncommon to our contemporary understanding of physics and
Leedskalnin was a student of the universe. Within his castle walls,
built of coral blocks weighing approximately 15 tons each, he had a
22-ton obelisk, a 22-ton moon block, a 23-ton Jupiter block, a
Saturn block, a 9-ton gate, a rocking chair that weighed 3-tons, and
numerous puzzles. A huge 30-ton block, which he considered to be his
major achievement, he crowned with a gable shaped rock. These
personal accomplishments have astounded and surprised many engineers
and technologists, who compare them with those achieved by workers
handling similar weights in industry today.
For his miracles of construction engineering, Leedskalnin received
attention not only from engineers and technologists, but from the
U.S. government, who paid him a visit hoping to be enlightened.
Leedskalnin received them gracefully, and they left none the wiser.
In 1952, falling ill and on his last legs, Leedskalnin checked
himself into the hospital and slipped away from this life, taking
his secret with him.
If we assume that Leedskalnin and the ancient pyramid builders were
using similar techniques, it puts a whole different light on the
requirements in man hours necessary to construct the Great Pyramid.
Estimates for the number of workers that built the Great Pyramid
range between 20,000 and 100,000. Though it should be noted that the
precision to which Leedskalnin worked his coral was not the same as
that worked on the pyramid stone, based on the abilities of this one
man, quarrying and erecting a total of 1,100 tons of rock over a
time span of 28 years, the 5,273,834 tons of stone built into the
Great Pyramid could have been quarried and put in place by only
Figure in the efficiencies gained from
working in a team, the division of labor, and we can reduce the
number of workers and/or shorten the time needed to do it. Let's not
forget Mr. Merle Booker (deceased) of the Indiana USA Limestone
Institute, who prepared an estimate for the delivery of enough
limestone to build a Great Pyramid. Using the same criteria, with
respect to size and quantity, as the ancient pyramid builders, but
using modern equipment, his estimate included tripling the average
output of all 33 Indiana limestone quarries. The estimate did not
factor in any equipment failures, labor disputes or acts-of-God. He
estimated that twenty seven years after the order was placed, the
last stone would have been delivered!
I first visited Coral Castle in 1982. It soon became clear to me
that Ed's claim was accurate. He did indeed know the secrets of the
ancient Egyptians. I returned to Homestead again in April 1995 to
refresh my mind and, specifically, to closely examine a device
which, in 1992, fueled a discussion between myself and an engineer
colleague, Steven Defenbaugh, resulting in a speculation as to the
methods Leedskalnin was using.
Leedskalnin took issue with modern science's understanding of
nature. He flatly states that they are wrong. His concept of nature
is simple. All matter consists of individual magnets and it is the
movement of these magnets within materials and through space that
produces measurable phenomena, i.e., magnetism and electricity.
Whether Leedskalnin was right or wrong in his assertions, from his
simple premise he was able to devise a means to single-handedly
elevate and maneuver large weights which would be impossible using
conventional methods. There is speculation that he was employing
electromagnetism to eliminate or reduce the gravitational pull of
the earth. These speculations are entertained by some and scoffed at
by others, who have feet which are firmly planted in the real world.
While at Coral Castle, I commented to a lady standing in Leedskalnin's workshop that it was quite a feat he had performed,
and asked if she had any idea how he had done it. Fixing me with a
measured look, she stated, through the application of physics and
mechanics such work can be done. Somehow sensing my esoteric bent,
she commented that Thor Heyedahl had dispatched wild speculation
about how the huge stone statues on
Easter Island were put in place
when he reenacted the work by carving, moving, and erecting one.
Being alone, and wanting a photograph taken of myself in
Leedskalnin's workshop, I didn't want to be argumentative. Smiling,
I handed her the camera and didn't point out that Heyerdahl, unlike
Leedskalnin, had an ample supply of willing and healthy natives,
therefore sufficient man power to satisfy the physical requirements
for conventionally moving such large weights, even on rollers, and
cantilevering them into an upright position.
He was an energetic
man, but, using these methods, Heyerdahl couldn't have done it
alone. Moreover, Heyerdahl merely demonstrated that the job can be
done using one particular method. Anyone who has worked in
manufacturing knows that there are many ways of doing things. To
devise a means to perform a given work and present it as the only
way that such work could be done gives little credit to those who
either a.) might know a better way, or b.) might look for a better
method, and succeed in finding one.
When analyzing ancient engineering feats, and faced with explaining
technically difficult tasks, Egyptologists and archaeologists
typically throw in more time and more people using primitive, simple
tools and manpower. Unlike conventional arguments regarding ancient
civilizations, in the case of Ed Leedskalnin, we cannot impose the
view that the work was done employing masses of people, for it is
well documented that Leedskalnin worked alone.
Egyptologists claim to know how the Great Pyramid was built. To
prove it, they built a small pyramid consisting of stones no heavier
than 2-1/2 tons that were hefted into place using a gang of workers,
straining on ropes. (See This Old Pyramid, NOVA with Mark Lehner and
company.) Leedskalnin claimed to know how the Great Pyramid was
built, and to prove it he moved a 30-ton and other monolithic blocks
of coral to build his castle. It's too bad the cameras weren't on Leedskalnin as they were on
Lehner and company. I believe that Leedskalnin's feat would be more descriptive of the pyramid builders
methods than Lehner's.
What follows is speculation that attempts to follow Leedskalnin's
basic premise regarding the nature of electricity and magnetism to a
conclusion that has some semblance of logic. The speculation follows
some basic rules for brainstorming. There's no such thing as a
What we have been taught about the subject may not necessarily apply
when seeking and, hopefully, finding a real solution.
A paradigm shift in my perception of anti-gravity occurred when
Defenbaugh and I were discussing the subject with Judd Peck, the CEO
of the company for which we both work. Peck asked the simple
What is anti-gravity? In an attempt to describe
anti-gravity I had to say A means by which objects can be lifted,
overcoming the gravitational pull of the earth. It then occurred to
me that we were already applying anti-gravitational techniques in
our everyday life.
When we get out of bed in the morning we
employ anti-gravity. An airplane, rocket, fork-lift truck and an
elevator are technologies devised to overcome the effects of
gravity. Even a car rolling along on its wheels is an anti-gravity
device. Without the wheels and a propulsion system, it would be just
I realized that I had been laboring under the assumption that, in
order to create an anti-gravity device, gravity should be a known
and understood phenomenon and, through the application of
technology, out-of-phase gravity waves can be created in such a
manner to neutralize it. The nature of gravity still eludes us, as
well as the production of interference gravity waves.
Perhaps this concept is too complicated!
What if there's no such thing as gravity? And the natural forces we
already know about are sufficient to explain the noted phenomena we
have labeled as gravity? If, as Leedskalnin claims, all matter
consists of individual magnets, wouldn't the known properties of a
magnet be sufficient? We know that like poles repel and unlike poles
attract. We also know that we can suspend one magnet above another
as long as we don't allow either of them to flip over so that the
opposite poles attract each other. Magnets seek to attract and, left
to themselves, will align their opposite poles to each other.
Consider the magnet that is made to suspend above the other. A mag-lev train is a good example of an antigravity device.
If a large magnet is suspended over a smaller magnet, depending on
the ratio between them, the distance between the magnets would be
diminished to the point that the smaller magnet wouldn't be able to
exert enough force to elevate it. The earth, being the largest
magnet, issues forth streams of magnetic energy which follow lines
of force that have been noted for centuries. If we assume, as
Leedskalnin did, that all objects consist of individual magnets, we
can also assume that an attraction exists between these objects due
to the inherent nature of a magnet seeking to align an opposite pole
Perhaps Leedskalnin's means of working
with the Earth's gravitational pull was nothing more complicated
than devising a means by which the alignment of magnetic elements
within his coral blocks was adjusted to face the streams of
individual magnets he claims are issuing forth from the Earth with a
like repelling pole.
A known method for creating magnetism in an iron bar is to align the
bar with the Earth's magnetic field and strike the bar with a
hammer. This vibrates the elements in the bar and allows them to be
influenced by the magnetic field they are in. The result is that
when the vibration stops, a significant number of the atoms have
aligned themselves within this magnetic field.
Was this the method that Leedskalnin was using? It's a simple
concept, but looking at the devices in Leedskalnin's workshop, I can
easily imagine the application of vibration and electromagnetism.
His fly-wheel for creating electricity remains motionless, for the
most part, until inquisitive tourists like me come along and give it
a spin. After a few revolutions, I realized that something was
The narrative I had heard, while
browsing around the castle, described Leedskalnin as using this
device to create electricity to power his electric light bulbs. It
was claimed that Leedskalnin didn't have electricity, but I couldn't
imagine this device being a useful and continuing source of power,
using only Leedskalnin's right arm to turn the wheel. On closer
examination of this piece, I found that the whole assembly was
actually an old 4-cylinder crank case. His flywheel was mounted on
the front end of the crankshaft and consisted of bar magnets that
were sandwiched between two plates, the upper plate being a ring
gear. Giving it weight and solidifying the entire assembly, Leedskalnin had encased the bar magnets with cement.
It then occurred to me that the photo of Leedskalnin with his hand on the crank handle, which is attached to
the end of the shaft, may not accurately represent his entire
operation. It is possible that Leedskalnin was using the crank
handle to start a reciprocating engine, now missing, which attached
to one of the throws on the crankshaft. He would then be able to
walk away and leave his flywheel running.
I was now mystified. I had developed a notion that the bars attached
to the flywheel were actually being used to develop vibration in the
piece Leedskalnin was trying to lift. This idea didn't make sense
after looking at the type of material, size and weight of the entire
assembly. The crankcase was firmly attached to the coral block in
his workshop, and even if it wasn't attached, it would be quite a
feat to keep moving it about.
There was one factor I needed to check
out, though, before I headed back to Illinois. I had tested the bar
magnet with a pocket knife. The knife was attracted to each bar. I
needed to know, conclusively, the arrangement of the poles in the
wheel, to see, indeed, whether the assembly was capable of creating
Leaving the workshop and absorbing the penetrating rays of the
Florida sunshine, I headed for the nearest strip mall to look for a
hardware store so that I could buy a bar magnet. North on Route1 I
found a Radio Shack. They had just what I needed, and for only
$1.75. Feeling rather pleased, I swung back onto Route 1 and
returned to Coral Castle.
Once there, I headed back into Leedskalnin's workshop and put the
magnet to the test. I held the magnet a short distance away from the
spokes of the flywheel while giving it a spin. Sure enough, I found
out what I had come for. The magnet pushed and pulled in my grasp as
the wheel rotated. Looking around the room, I gazed at a jumble of
various devices, lying, hanging and leaning about the room. There
were radio tuners, bottles with copper wire wrapped around them,
spools of copper wire and other various and sundry plastic and metal
pieces that looked like they had fallen out of an old radio set.
Leedskalnin's workshop also contained chains, blocks and tackle and
other items that one might find lying around a junkyard. Some items
are missing, though. Photographs of Leedskalnin at work show three
tripods, made of telephone poles, that have boxes attached to the
These objects, however, are not to be found at Coral Castle.
What is striking here, is that the block of coral being moved is
seen off to the side of the tripod. Perhaps Leedskalnin had moved
the tripod after raising the block out of the bedrock.
Though another interesting observation
is that the block and tackle that can be found inside his workshop
are nowhere to be seen in this photograph. There are spools of
copper wire in his workshop, and there were also two wrappings of
copper wire. One was round copper and the other flat copper. In a
narrative that visitors can hear at various recording stations
around the compound, it is stated that at one time Leedskalnin had a
grid of copper wire suspended in the air. Looking at the photograph,
again, one can see that there is a cable draped around the tripod
and running down to the ground. Perhaps the arrangement of tripods
was more related to the suspension of his copper grid than the
suspension of block and tackle.
I have no doubt that Leedskalnin told the truth when he said
the secrets of the ancient Egyptians. Unlike those who have sought
publicity for their own inadequate, though politically correct,
theories, he proved it by his actions. I believe, also, that these
techniques can be rediscovered and put to use for the benefit of
Edward Leedskalnin, right or wrong, had
a little bit of a problem with trust. This modus operandi was not
unusual for a craftsman of his day. Proprietary techniques without
patent disclosure assure continued employment and, therefore, it was
perfectly normal that he would protect his secret from prying eyes
that might steal and profit from it. I believe there are enough
pieces there to put together and replicate his technique. It's been
done once (sorry, twice), and I am sure that it can be done again!
Back to Contents