THE SCIENCE OF THE ANCIENTS
'The important thing is not
to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for
In the early 1930s a young Scottish
engineer noticed that several of the widely ignored, prehistoric
Megalithic sites near his home appeared to have lunar alignments.
He decided to study some of the sites
and he began a process of careful surveying that was eventually to
lead him to make a discovery of staggering importance.
As a young engineer at Glasgow University, Alexander Thom
visited a number of prehistoric stone structures near to his home in
Scotland during the early 1930s.
He marveled at the grandeur and admired
the way so many of the giant stones had survived the weathering of
more than 5,000 years, as well as proving resistant to the thieving
tendencies of croft and road builders across dozens of centuries. As
he contemplated the various sites he mused over their purpose and as
he looked to the horizon he could imagine how the stones might have
been used as sighting stones for astronomical purposes.
When he checked out the rising and
setting points of the Sun and the Moon across the year his hunch
appeared to be born out.
His first survey was at a site known as Callanish, on the Isle of
Lewis in the Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. This complex
of standing stones revealed many astronomical alignments and is
today often referred to as a 'Moon temple'.
Thom went on to spend nearly half a
century carefully surveying the so-called Megalithic (the word means
giant stones) structures that lay scattered across the countryside
from the islands off northern Scotland down to the French region of
Brittany. Along the way he became a highly respected professor of
Engineering at Oxford University until his retirement in 1961.
Thom had quickly realized that these prehistoric builders were
engineers like himself and that they had a surprisingly
sophisticated knowledge of geometry and astronomy. The approach
taken by this talented engineer was to assess what he believed the
site had been intended to do - and then redesign it himself.
He quickly gained an empathy with the
Stone-Age builders that gave him a real insight into the purpose of
each site that would possibly be lost on a conventional
archaeologist. Once he had a picture in his mind of what he thought
their plan had been, he went away to create his own solution to the
Having drawn up his own design he then
returned to compare the site layout to his own blueprint. Through
this process he could predict the location of missing stones and, on
further inspection, he would usually reveal the socket hole that
confirmed his theory.
Thom developed a new statistical technique to establish the relative
positions of the stones and, over time, something spectacularly
unusual emerged from the amassed data. These prehistoric builders
had not been lugging huge stones willy-nilly; they had manufactured
these structures working with a standard unit of measurement across
a huge area of thousands of square miles of what was then dense
forest and barren moorland.
It was amazing that these supposedly primitive people could have had
an 'international' convention for a unit of length, but the mystery
deepens because Thom was eventually able to describe the supreme
accuracy of a unit he called the Megalithic Yard.
This was no approximate measure taken
from paces or body parts; it was equal to 2.722 feet +/- 0.002 feet
(82.96656cm +/- 0.061cm).
Thom was also able to demonstrate that
the unit was frequently used in its double and half form as well as
being broken down into forty sub-units for use in design work that
he designated as 'Megalithic Inches'.
Most archaeologists refuted the finding on the basis that the idea
that a unit of measurement that was more accurate than a modern
measuring tape was absurd. Thom admitted that he could not suggest
how it could have been achieved but he stood by his evidence that
simply said it 'had' been done.
In our previous book, Civilization One,
we described how we set out to investigate the concept of the
Our initial hypothesis was that if the
unit was not an error of Thom's data analysis it logically should
have two properties:
It should have an origin in
something meaningful, rather than just being an abstraction
that was adopted by everyone.
It should have a means of
reproduction that could be used by anyone without reference
to any sort of standard measuring rod, that would have been
difficult to manufacture and impossible to keep accurate
We realized that our assumption could be
wrong on either or both counts but as it turned out, we were correct
on both. Thom had not made an error.
As we describe in Civilization One, the Megalithic Yard is a
geodetic unit, in that it is integral (has a whole number
relationship) to the polar circumference of the Earth.
We found that these early Megalithic
builders viewed a circle as having 366 degrees rather than the 360
degrees that we use today. We realized that there really should be
366 degrees in a circle for the very good reason that there are 366
rotations of the Earth in one orbit of the Sun - the most
fundamental of all circles in human existence.
One solar orbit is, of course, a year but there is a very slight
difference between the number of rotations of the planet and the 365
days in a year. This is because the mean solar day is based on the
time between the Sun being at its zenith on two consecutive days
(86,400 seconds) but an actual rotation or 'sidereal day' takes 236
All of those 'saved' seconds add up to
exactly one more day over the year. A sidereal day can be easily
appreciated by observing a star returning to the same point in the
heavens on two consecutive nights.
This is one spin of our planet because
it is unaffected by the secondary motion of the Earth's orbit around
Wheels within wheels
Early cultures frequently took their lead from nature and they were
fond of 'wheels within wheels'.
If the circle of the heavens had 366
parts, why should every circle not follow the same rule? We were
able to confirm this hypothesis by a variety of means including
evidence from later cultures that appear to have adopted the
The approach our Megalithic ancestors took, we argue, was to
hypothetically divide the circle of the Earth into 366 degrees with
sixty minutes per degree and six seconds per minute. It was
reasonable to assume that these ancient builders used the polar
circumference of the Earth that passed through the area around the
Our planet is nearly spherical but it
does have a bulge in the centre between the poles, so the equatorial
circumference is a little longer that the polar.
There are varying estimations of the
Earth's polar circumference, with NASA, for example, quoting an
average figure of 39,941km, whilst other sources regularly quote
40,006 km or 40,010 km but the most frequently used figure appears
to be 40,008km. Undoubtedly much depends on where the measurement is
taken or if an average of them all is calculated.
Interestingly, the shortest polar circumference (one that has least
landmass) is the one that passes through the British Isles and is
now considered as the zero line of longitude.
But there is also another possibility.
Just for interest, we looked at the flattest possible circumference
achievable on the globe, i.e. a line that equally bisects the planet
that has most sea and least land. We were amazed to discover that a
person standing in the middle of Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire,
England (where Stonehenge and the Megalithic circle at Avebury were
built) is in the absolute centre of such a line.
This means that if we consider Stonehenge to be the 'top' of the
world, the imaginary equator from that point is almost 98per cent
sea - more than any other point on Earth.
This line passes across the South
Atlantic, skims just below Africa, moves up across the Indian Ocean,
clips small pieces of land at Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Thailand and
Vietnam, over the South China Sea and then more than 20,000
kilometres across the Pacific to pass over a section of South
As far as we know such a line has not been measured, and we cannot
imagine how it could have been measured without the aid of modern
satellite technology. However, just because we do not know how it
could have been done does not mean that it was not done. Without
further evidence we have to assume that it is pure coincidence that
Stonehenge stands on the only place on Earth to be equidistant from
the optimum and near perfect sea-level circumference of the globe.
We can only assume that a polar circumference was used and taking
the 40,008km figure it translates to 48,221,838 Megalithic Yards
using Thom's central value for the unit.
It was then subdivided as follows:
= 48,221,838 MY
1 Degree (1/366th)
= 131,754 MY 1 Minute (1/60th)
= 2,196 MY 1 Second (1/6th) = 366 MY
So, this brilliant system of geometry
starts with 366 degrees and finishes with seconds of arc that are
366 Megalithic Yards long.
Self- evidently, an amazing set of
'wheels within wheels'!
We knew that the system must work this way because we found that the
later Minoan culture, which developed on the Mediterranean island of
Crete around 2000 BC, also used the Megalithic second of arc.
However, the Minoans sub-divided it into
1,000 parts to become their standard unit of measure that was equal
to 30.36cm. This unit was dubbed the 'Minoan Foot' by the Canadian
archaeologist, Professor Joseph Graham who first detected its use in
the palaces of ancient Crete.6
We went on to demonstrate how any person could generate a highly
accurate Megalithic Yard by measuring the movement of Venus in the
evening sky using a rope, some twine, a blob of clay, and a few
The secret was to take one 366th part of
the horizon and time the passage of Venus across it, and then to
cause a piece of twine with a blob of clay on the end to swing like
a pendulum 366 times during that period. From fulcrum to the centre
of the blob was a mathematically perfect 12 Megalithic Yard or
twenty Megalithic Inches.
The process was simple to carry out and
works on the fact that a pendulum is responsive to only two factors:
the length of the pendulum and the mass of the Earth. If the
pendulum beat 366 times during the transit of Venus across a 366th
part of the sky - you had your measure! (See Appendix 1 for a more
detailed explanation of the pendulum method.)
It is doubtful that these ancient stonemasons realized the fact but
the period of time that they watched Venus and elected to subdivide
into 366 beats, is equal to the difference between a mean solar day
and a sidereal day.
Our starting point had been to search for all possible sources of
reliable measurement available from nature.
And we found that there was only one: the turning of the Earth on
its axis as seen by watching the movement of the heavens. It was
possible to time the passage of a star, or in this case the planet
Venus, with reliable accuracy using a pendulum. The pendulum then
turned a unit of time into a unit of length because the timed beat
will always produce a fixed length - with tiny variations due to
latitude and altitude.
It was then a simple matter to turn a unit of length into a measure
of volume and capacity by creating cubes and filling them with
liquid or dry goods such as barley or wheat. However, we were not
prepared for the shock we received when we created a cube with sides
of four Megalithic Inches and found that it held a pint that was
accurate to a staggering one part in 5,0 against the standard laid
down in the year 1601.
Doubling the sides to eight Megalithic
Inches produced an accurate gallon and doubling again produced the
old dry measure known as a bushel. The mystery was compounded when
we filled the 'pint' cube with barley and found that it weighed
exactly one pound!
Things turned from the sublime to the ridiculous when further
experimentation showed that a sphere with a diameter of six
Megalithic Inches held virtually one liter and one ten times the
size weighed a metric tonne when filled with water; all to an
accuracy of better than 99 per cent.
The fact that Thom's apparently meaningless Megalithic Yard,
extracted from surveying hundreds of prehistoric ruins, produces
these cubic and spherical feats is not debatable.
No one, no matter how skeptical they
might be, can deny the simple maths. Neither can they deny that the
odds of such compounded apparent connections being coincidence are
very high. Yet, the pound and the pint are thought to be Medieval
and the liter and the tonne were invented at the end of the
A connection seemed impossible.
Then we looked at the Sumerian people who lived in the region we now
call Iraq some 5,000 years ago. They are attributed with inventing
writing, glass, the wheel, the hour, m inute and second of time as
well as the 360-degree circle with its subdivisions of 60 minutes
and 60 seconds of arc. Quite amazing people.
As we probed the achievements of this civilization we found that the
unit of length the Sumerians had used was virtually a meter at
99.88cm and that they had also used weights and capacities that were
as equally matched to the kilo and liter of the French metric system
created thousands of years later.
Quite a coincidence we thought - but it
was nothing of the kind, for when we applied the principles of the
pendulum to the Sumerian unit of length called the 'double kush' we
found that a pendulum of this length beat at the rate of one per
This meant that the Sumerian's key unit
of length and their key unit of time were two sides of the same coin
when used as a pendulum. A double-kush pendulum would always beat
out a second and a pendulum that beat at the rate of a second would
always be a double kush in length.
This demonstrates beyond all reasonable
doubt that the Sumerians used pendulums to define their
measurements. The question was, had they used the same
Venus-watching principle as the Megalithic builders of the British
Isles to reproduce their units?
Sumerian written records tell us that the planet Venus was
considered to be the goddess Inanna, who was of central importance
to their culture, so it seemed entirely plausible.
If they had used the same principle it
seemed logical that they would have employed their own values;
essentially keeping the same 'software' but inputting their own
data. Instead of the 366 degrees of the Megalithic system we would
have to use the more familiar 360 degrees first used by the
Sumerians. And when we checked out the results for such a process -
it worked perfectly.
When the horizon was divided into 360 parts and Venus was timed
across that part of the sky at the appropriate time of year the
double-kush pendulum meters out exactly 240 seconds. And the period
of 240 seconds is recorded as being so important to the Sumerians it
had its own name - a 'gesh'.
It therefore seems certain that these
people followed the Megalithic idea of creating a unit of length
from timing the movement of Venus across the evening sky.
The American connection
Later in our research we came across a letter written by the great
American statesman, Thomas Jefferson and sent to the House of
Representatives on July 4th 1776.
In this letter Jefferson laid out a
recommendation for a new system of weights and measures for the new
United States that he had helped to establish. He gave his reasoning
and described some unusual facts he had uncovered whilst developing
his intended units.
He explained how he had realized that there was only one aspect of
nature that gave rise to any reliable unit of measure - which he
named as the turning of the Earth. So, like ourselves and the
Megalithic builders of five and six millennia before him, he used
the heavens to provide a basis for all measurement.
In his letter he stated that he had come
to realize that the imperial system of measurement used in Britain
was not an accumulation of unrelated units as generally imagined. On
the contrary, he said that their harmony indicated to him that they
were members of a group of measurement units 'from very high
He gave a number of reasons for this belief including his
astonishment that the foot, made up of twelve inches, was directly
related to the ounce weight through the use of cubes. He said: 'It
has been found by accurate experiments that a cubic foot of rain
water weighs 1000 ounces avoirdupois (Imperial).'
It could be coincidence that a cubic foot holds 1,000 ounces of
rainwater, not 999 or 1,001, but exactly 1,000 - or that the cube
has sides that are a perfect 10 x10 x10 one-tenths of a foot.
But Jefferson did not think so. And nor do we. However, it was
Jefferson's proposed units that fascinated us. They were never
adopted but their properties are amazing.
Jefferson's logical mind also caused him to use a pendulum to
convert time into a linear unit. He decided that he should use a
pendulum that had a beat of one second as the basis for his
Of course, Jefferson had no idea that
the second had come from the Sumerian culture or that it had been
created by the use of a pendulum in the first place. Jefferson added
one improvement suggested to him by a certain Mr Graham of
Philadelphia - that he use a rigid pendulum of very thin metal
without a weight on the end because it is more accurate than a
conventional type of pendulum.
The rules change with such a pendulum
(known as a rod). A rod has to be exactly 50 per cent longer than a
pendulum to produce the same time period. Jefferson's timing piece,
that beat once per second, is known as a 'seconds rod', and is
149.158145 cm in length.
The world knew nothing of the Sumerian culture in Jefferson's time
and he could not possibly have been aware that his rod that beat
once per second was essentially three kush in length - just a
whisker less than one and a half meters (remembering that the meter
had not been invented at that time).
The three-kush rod behaves exactly like a double-kush pendulum and
therefore it beats 240 times during one 360th part of a day;
observable by watching Venus move across a 360th part of the sky.
Jefferson was therefore accidentally re-enacting the ritual used by
Sumerian astronomer priests nearly 5,000 years earlier and
connecting with the principles of prehistoric measurements.
The units that Jefferson identified from this ancient process were
all based on the length of this 'seconds rod'.
He wrote: 'Let the second rod, then, as
before described, be the standard of measure; and let it be divided
into five equal parts, each of which shall be called a foot; for,
perhaps, it may be better generally to retain the name of the
nearest present measure, where one is tolerably near. It will be
about one quarter of an inch shorter than the present foot.
Let the foot be divided into 10 inches;
The inch into 10 lines;
The line into 10 points; Let 10 feet make a decad; 10 decads one
10 roods a furlong; 10 furlongs a mile.'
We can see that his proposed 'decad' was based on a double-seconds
rod. It was equivalent to six
Sumerian kush, and his furlong was equal to 600 kush. This brings
about an even deeper connection with the people of ancient Iraq
because they used a system of counting that was sexagesimal; which
means it used a combination of base ten and base sixty.
They had a
system of notation that worked as follows:
It can be seen that the figure of 600 is
indeed a Sumerian value for a Sumerian unit of length.
But not only is the Jefferson furlong equal to 600 kush - it is also
an almost perfect 360 Megalithic Yards.
Strangely, Jefferson had connected well with both the Megalithic and
the Sumerian system.
But something even stranger happened when we
took Jefferson's furlong and multiplied it by 366 and 366 again:
3662 furlongs = 39,961.257km
As we have already mentioned, the range
of assumed lengths of the Earth circumference varies by a few
kilometers depending on what source one consults, probably because
each cross section will differ and tides and plate tectonics
involving mountains leave room for some debate. At the higher end
40,008 kilometers is widely used, however if we take NASA preferred
figures they quote a polar radius of 6,356.8 kilometers which
equates to a polar circumference of 39,941.0 kilometers.
That means that 3662 Jefferson furlongs match NASA's estimate of the
Earth's size to an accuracy of 99.95 per cent - which is as perfect
as it gets!
Problems with Foucault's pendulum
We became more and more fascinated by everything to do with
During one particular telephone
conversation, which had gone on for over an hour, we had, yet again,
discussed at length the idea that there might be some unknown law of
astrophysics - that was revealed by pendulums - at work here.
We considered some highly speculative
thoughts that ranged from standing electromagnetic sine waves due to
a gyroscopic effect of the Earth's spin through to gravitons
containing packets of information about 'geometrical shape'. But we
agreed that we just did not know enough to even start to investigate
Chris wrote the following paragraph into
a draft of this chapter as a summary of our mutual frustration and
finished work for the day.
'We have to admit that we still do
not understand why it is so, but the use of pendulum s in
association with these ancient values appears to be elemental to
the planet Earth - some physical reality seem s to be at work
Every pendulum reacts to the mass of
the Earth but there seems to be some kind of 'harmonic' response
at certain rhythms: points where the mass and the spin of the
planet resonate in some way.'
But at that very point in time
At five o' clock the following morning Chris was unable to sleep and
decided to get up and make a cup of tea. It was then that a 'library
angel' turned up.7
Looking for something to read he pulled
the delivery sleeve of a magazine that had arrived in the post the
previous day and flicked it open. The main feature article in this
edition o f New Scientist was entitled: 'Shadow over gravity'.
It sounded interesting even early on a
dark November morning.
But he quickly realized it was far more important than merely
'interesting'. The opening paragraph was incredibly similar to that
which opens this book, carrying a description of how it feels to
witness a total eclipse - and then it transpired that the thrust of
the article was that solar eclipses have a profound effect on
A debate is presently raging as to why
this should be the case, because the suggestion has been made that
pendulums may well be the key to a significant hole in Einstein's
theory of relativity.
The starting point concerns the work of Jean Bernard Leon Foucault
who demonstrated a special quality of pendulums at the Great
Exhibition, held in London in 1851.
His pendulum, now always referred to as
'Foucault's pendulum', is simply a very heavy weight fastened to a
very long wire attached to a ceiling inside a very tall building,
with a universal joint allowing it to rotate freely around a fixed
point so that it will swing in a slow arc in any direction. Giant
pendulums of this kind are now routine exhibits at some of the major
museums around the world including the Smithsonian in Washington and
the Science Museum in London.
Once set in motion its direction of swing will appear to rotate at a
rate of about twelve degrees an hour.
But this is actually an illusion because
it is the observer and the rest of the world that is moving whilst
the pendulum is maintaining a fixed swing back and forth in relation
to the Universe. This happens because the pendulum is independent of
the movement of the Earth, which is rotating underneath the
pendulum, making it appear that the pendulum is changing direction.
The reason a pendulum swings is because
the Earth's gravity continually tugs down on it. According to
Einstein's general theory of relativity this relentless tugging is
due to the fact that every mass bends the fabric of space-time
around it causing other masses to slide down into the dimple it
creates in space-time.
The amount of rotation of a Foucault pendulum is dependent on
At the North or South Pole the pendulum appears to rotate
through an entire 360 degrees once every turn of the Earth (each
sidereal day) because the planet rotates all the way round
underneath it. In the northern hemisphere at the latitude of the
British Isles the rate of rotation is reduced to around 280 degrees
per day and the rate of rotation continues to fall the closer one
gets to the equator, where a Foucault pendulum does not rotate at
For over a hundred years everyone knew that a Foucault's pendulum
would swing in an entirely predictable manner at any specific
location. Then in 1954 a French engineer, economist and would-be
physicist by the name of Maurice Allais found that this was not
always the case.
He was conducting an experiment at the School of
Mining in Paris to investigate a possible link
between magnetism and gravitation, in which he released a Foucault
pendulum every fourteen minutes for thirty days and nights,
recording the direction of rotation in degrees. By chance, a total
solar eclipse occurred on one of those days.
Each day the pendulum moved with mechanical precision but on June
30th 1954, when a partial eclipse occurred, one of Allais'
assistants realized that the pendulum had gone haywire. As the
eclipse began, the swing plane of the pendulum suddenly started to
It veered furthest off course twenty
minutes before maximum eclipse, when the Moon covered a large
portion of the Sun's surface before returning to its normal swing
once the eclipse was over. It seemed that the pendulum had somehow
been influenced by the alignment of the Earth, the Moon and the Sun.
This was totally unexpected and utterly startling. Allais'
experiment was being conducted indoors, out of the sunlight so there
was no apparent way the eclipse could have affected it. Allais was
at a loss to explain what had taken place but when he conducted an
improved version of his experiment in June and July 1958 with two
pendulums six kilometers apart he found the same effect.
Then during the partial solar eclipse of
October 22nd 1959, Allais once again witnessed the
same erratic rotation - but this time similar effects were reported
by three Romanian scientists who knew nothing of Allais' work.
Many people have questioned his results, mainly because science does
not like that which it cannot explain. Many others have now repeated
the experiment with mixed results: some found no measurable effect,
but most have confirmed the result at different locations -
including one conducted in an underground laboratory! 8
It is interesting to note that in 1988 Allais was awarded a Nobel
Prize for economics.
Like Alexander Thom (and many
other paradigm busters) a major discovery had come from someone
working outside their own field. These are bright people who are
driven by curiosity and who are not the products of conventional
Allais despairs at the standards of those that oppose without logic
'In the history of science, every
revolutionary result meets with very strong opposition...
Relativists say I'm wrong without providing any demonstration.
Most of them haven't even read what I wrote.'
In 1970 Erwin Saxl and Mildred
Allen of Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, studied the
behavior of a pendulum before, during and after a total eclipse.
The pair took a slightly different
approach to Allais as they used a torsion pendulum, which is a
massive disc suspended from a wire attached to its centre.
Rotating the disc slightly causes the
wire to twist. When it is released, the disc continues to twirl
first clockwise, then anticlockwise, with a fixed period. But during
an eclipse, their pendulum sped up significantly. They concluded
that gravitational theory needs to be modified.
In India in 1995, D.C. Mishra and M.B.S. Rao of the
National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad observed a
small but sudden drop in the strength of gravity when using an
extremely accurate gravimeter during a solar eclipse.
But results have been mixed. When the
eclipsed Sun rose above Helsinki on July 22nd 1990, Finnish
geophysicists found no disturbance to the usual swing, yet in March
1997 scientists observed gravimeter anomalies during an eclipse in a
very remote area of north-east China.
The mystery continues and yet no academic institution appears
willing to invest time and money to study this phenomenon in depth.
However, Thomas Goodey, a
self-funding independent researcher from Brentford in England, has
decided that he will investigate the Allais effect by using several
pendulums during an eclipse. Because modern equipment is much m ore
accurate and sensitive than that available in 1954 - giving twenty
to one hundred times better resolution, he is confident of a clear
Goodey plans to travel the world over the next few years with twelve
specially constructed pendulum s. In May 2004, he presented his
strategy at a meeting of the Society for Scientific Exploration in
Las Vegas and invited physicists to join him. As New Scientist
reported, several leapt at the chance.
Goodey suspects that the anomalies occur when an observer is near
the line that connects the centers of masses of the Sun and the
During a total solar eclipse, the Sun-
Moon line intersects the surface of the Earth at two points on
roughly opposite sides of the globe. This theory would explain why
the sunrise eclipse in Helsinki did not produce a result. Goodey is
quoted as saying that observations at this 'anti-eclipse' point
where no eclipse is visible might carry m uch greater weight.
We wait with interest to hear the final results of Thomas Goodey's
experiments. At this point it seems as though we might well have
been right to suspect that pendulums reveal a great deal about the
nature of our planet's gravity and its gravitational relationship
with the Moon and the Sun.
Could it be that because the Moon blocks
out the disc of the Sun so perfectly it is acting as a shield to an
ongoing interaction between the Earth and the Sun? Or perhaps it is
because all three centers of mass are lined up and something
physical occurs at this time?
We also wonder whether the unknown individuals who devised the
Megalithic Yard and its inherent geometry understood much more about
this pendulum effect than we do. Our previous findings strongly
suggest that they knew a great deal more about the Earth -Moon-Sun
A special relationship
Our initial findings about Megalithic geometry, described in
Civilization One, had caused us to examine all kinds of unexpected
relationships between the Earth and ancient measures.
This had further prompted us to wonder
whether the 366 geometry, that produced the Megalithic Yard, was in
some way planet specific. Was there some connection between the m
ass, spin and solar orbit that made it special to the Earth?
First we applied the principles of Megalithic geometry to all of the
planets of the solar system. No discernable pattern emerged - they
appeared to be completely random results. For example Mars produced
19.78 Megalithic Yards per second of arc and Venus an unimpressive
347.8. We also checked out the major moons of other planets to no
A good friend of Chris, Dr Hilary Newbigen, suggested that,
for thoroughness, we try using the number of days per orbit for each
planet to see if there was a relationship to the individual
dimensions, but again the results were negative.
Then we looked at Earth's Moon.
The result here was anything but meaningless. We took the Moon's
radius, defined by NASA as being 1,738,100 kilometers, to calculate
a circumference of a meaningless sounding 10,920,800 meters. We then
converted this distance into Megalithic Yards, which gave us the
equally apparently arbitrary value of 13,162,900.
We then applied the rules of Megalithic geometry by dividing this
circumference into 366 degrees, sixty minutes and six seconds of
arc. To our total amazement there were 100 Megalithic Yards per
lunar Megalithic second of arc. The accuracy of the result was 99.9
per cent which is well within the range of error of this kind of
How strange that the Megalithic Yard is so elegantly 'lunardetic' as
well as geodetic!
Our next thought was the Sun. Because we know that the Sun is 400
times the size of the Moon it should logically have a perfect 40,000
Megalithic Yards per second of arc. For thoroughness we checked out
the sums and it did indeed work as perfectly as we expected.
This all seemed very odd. The Megalithic structures that were built
across western Europe were frequently used to observe the movements
of the Sun and the Moon, but how could the unit of measure upon
which these structures were based be so beautifully integer to the
circumference of these bodies as well as of the Earth?
Is it coincidence? On top of all the other strange facts regarding
the Moon it becomes rather unrealistic to keep putting everything
down to a random fluke of nature. Of course, we were well aware that
the numbers we were looking at were only integer when one uses base
ten - and we will deal with that issue later.
If it is not coincidence then there are only two other options. The
first is that there is some unknown law of astrophysics at work,
causing relationships to emerge that were spotted in some way by our
Stone-Age forebears. The other is conscious design.
The idea of deliberate design seemed plum crazy - common sense tells
us it's wrong.
Then we, once again, considered m ore wise words from
'Common sense is the collection of prejudices
acquired by age eighteen.'
At the age of eighteen we, like everyone else, 'knew' that
everything in the world was natural. But when we put our prejudices
of what can and cannot be, to one side and thought laterally about
it, the more reasonable it seemed.
It was not unreasonable to believe that the stonemasons of the
Neolithic period were smart enough to measure the polar
circumference of the Earth and that they devised a unit of measure
that was integer to the planet. Such a feat can be achieved with
very simple tools as demonstrated by the Ancient Greeks.
they really have measured the circumference of the Moon and the Sun?
Or was this mysterious property of pendulums something to do with
Most of all we marveled at the fact that, yet again, it was the size
and position of the Moon that revealed that there is an issue to