Ghosts of Ohio
Lore & Legends

The Georgia Guidestones

Towering over nineteen feet high and created out of over 119 tons of granite, the Georgia Guidestones are often referred to as "America's Stonehenge". Even today, the reasons for creating such an enormous structure, what it represents, and even the true identities of the individuals who commissioned its construction, are still shrouded in mystery.

As the story goes, in 1979 a strange, well-dressed man entered the Elberton Granite Finishing Company in Elberton, Georgia, and asked to speak with company President Joe H. Fendley, Sr. regarding some construction. The man told Fendley that he represented a small group of Americans that wished to construct a monument to "conservation" that they had been planning for years. The catch was that, for reasons unknown, everyone in this group wished to remain anonymous. In fact, the stranger would only give him name as "R.C. Christian", a pseudonym he has chosen because he was a Christian. To this day, the true identity of Mr. Christian, as well as the group he represented, remains a mystery.

Fendley agreed to help with the construction of Mr. Christian's monument and began looking into gathering the needed materials while it was decided where the monument would be erected. After a few weeks, Mr. Christian settled on several acres on a farm belonging to Wayne Mullenix, a local contractor. It was then than Mr. Christian revealed his plans for the monument and Mr. Fendley realized the full scope of the job.

Some of the mind-boggling features of the finished monument include:

  • Four upright stones, each more than 16 foot high, 6 foot wide and over one foot thick. The combined weight of these four stones is almost 170,000 pounds.
  • A fifth center stone weighing nearly 21,000 pounds by itself
  • Close to 951 cubic feet of granite was used
  • Well over 4,000 4" high sandblasted characters

The structure itself is comprised of four major stones which are arranged in such a way that if viewed from above, they would resembled a large "X" .

Each of these stones has the following statements carved into them:

  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely-improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion-faith-tradition-and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth-beauty-love-seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the earth-leave room for nature-leave room for nature.

Stranger still, these ten statements are written on both sides of each of the four stones-in eight different languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian, Spanish and Swahili.

At the center of these four stones is a fifth stone apparently designed with the heavens in mind. From North to South, there is a small hole drilled through the stone in such a way that the North Star is always visible. The stone also features a "window" of sorts that aligns with the sun during the Solstices or Equinox. Crowning this center stone is a granite capstone that serves as a type of astrological calendar and has the words "Let these be guidestones to an age of reason" carved into its sides in four additional languages: Babylonian Cuniform, Sanskrit, Egyptian Hieroglyphics, and Classical Greek.

Originally, the plan for the monument was for eight additional stones to be added to the original structure. These eight stones would repeat the ten "guidelines" in other languages. However, no additional funds were ever received from Mr. Christian or any of his mysterious associates. In fact, once the original monument was unveiled in March of 1980, Mr. Christian appeared to have simply disappeared.

There is a great deal of speculation as to the why the stones were erected in the first place. While some believe that Christian was simply trying to create an ancient Stonehenge-like calendar, the rocks at Stonehenge do not have any writing or "guidelines" on them. It is also clear that by inscribing the stones in different languages, Christian might have been trying to turn his guidelines into a more global statement. But then why choose a remote field in Georgia?

Some point to the historical fact that during the 15th century, Cherokee Indians found the Elberton valley was quite fertile and began farming there. Over time, it became known among the Cherokee as the "center of the world". Today, there are those who believe that Mr. Christian chose the site for the stones because of its sacred status among the Cherokee. Still others claim the stones sit directly above a mysterious vortex.

However, those who worked on the construction of the stones do not support this theory. According to their statements, Mr. Christian and his associates chose Georgia for its mind climate. In addition, the city of Elberton, the self-proclaimed granite capital of the world, was chosen for its abundance of granite. Lastly, the specific land the stones sit on is the highest point in the area and was chosen for its commanding view of the area. Indeed, there are even reports that the individual chosen to be the intermediary for the construction, Wyatt C. Martin, President of the Granite City Bank, was the one who persuaded Mr. Christian to erect the monument near Elberton.

There are even a few Christian-based groups that have declared the guidestones to be "of the devil". As evidence, they point to the ten statements that appear on the guidestones as being a mockery of the Ten Commandments. They also believe that the moniker, R.C. Christian, was a bit of sarcasm that actually stood for "Roman Catholic Christian". The implication here being that a Catholic "came to his senses" and decided to follow the statements set forth on the guidestones instead of the Catholic teachings. Finally, they believe the words "age of reason" on the capstone to be a reference to Thomas Paine's book, The Age of Reason, which attacked Christianity and their belief system.

Add to the mix the fact the assortment of witches, wiccans, Native Americans, spiritualists, psychics, and even those calling themselves Druids who frequent the site and even perform rituals there, and it is just a matter of time before the rumors start. And sure enough, when we visited the site, we were entertained with stories of ghostly cloaked figures and dancing lights seen late at night.

Whatever the reasons were for the mysterious Mr. Christian to go sauntering into Elberton in 1979, one thing is certain. The legacy he left behind, in the form of the Georgia Guidestones, is something that will continue to amaze and bewilder us for a long, long time.

UPDATE: Sadly, the Georgia Guidestones are no more. In recent years, the Guidestones had become the focus of people who claimed the stones were "satanic" and needed to be destroyed. In the early morning hours of July 6th, 2022, a lone figure was captured on security cameras near the Guidestones, running up to the monument, pausing for a few moments, and then running back into the darkness. Shortly thereafter, an explosion occurred at the base of some of the stones, causing a partial collapse of the structure. Almost immediately, a silver car was seen speeding away from the scene. The following day, after the remaining stones were bulldozed over safety concerns, it was announced that an investigation had been opened and authorities were seeking information about the individual seen on the security cameras, as well as the owner of the silver vehicle. As of this writing, there are no persons of interest and no arrests have been made.

But make no mistake: Despite what some people are claiming, the Georgia Guidestones were not destroyed by "an act of God," courtesy of a lightning bolt from the heavens. Rather, it was caused by someone who purposely planted a bomb at the base of the Georgia Guidestones and set it off. For no other reason that to prove once again that no matter how far we have come as a species, we still feel the need to destroy what we don't understand.

Click here to read the September 2022 New Yorker article "What Happened to America's Stonehenge"

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