The iconic but sphinxlike granite Guidestones which proudly stood sentry outside Elberton and were the main attraction on a popular 100-mile bike ride from the Athens homebase were obliterated recently by some yet unknown nut who detonated a powerful bomb. The force of the explosion fractured one of the four granite slabs that stands over 16 feet tall and weighs in at 42,137 pounds, causing it to crumble to the ground in a heap of broken pieces. Video of the explosion from an on-site security camera shows pieces of granite the size of concrete blocks suddenly spew out from a cloud of billowing white dust and rain down on the surrounding landscape, and as the white smoke clears, only three of four of the massive slabs remain standing. As the smoke continues to waft away, the destroyed slab is now revealed to be nothing but broken chunks of rock strewn about the site ranging in size from a baseball to a large burial headstone. The video shows the capstone, which rested on top of the four slabs and was over nine feet in length and weighed nearly 25 thousand pounds, has broken in two with one section on the ground and the other resting precariously on the three standing slabs, one of which is leaning heavily to the side, having been knocked from its vertical alignment by the tremendous force of the blast. A few days after the explosion Elbert County officials made the decision to bulldoze the remaining slabs due to safety considerations—the Guidestones were simply too damaged to repair.

Who would destroy such a landmark? Who could obliterate such a massive stone, that is, who possesses the know-how and the expertise to build such a powerful bomb, safely transport it to the site, and detonate it in such a way as to cause maximum damage and reduce a massive mountain of granite to fist-size pieces of gravel? To answer such a query one must first understand the history of the Guidestones, to separate fact from fiction and put to bed several unfounded and outlandish theories that have flourished in recent years.

Some believe the money to build the Guidestones was provided by a man known only by the pseudonym “Robert Christian” and that he represented members of the mysterious Rosicrucian Order (see Joyce. (1972), “The Rosicrucian Enlightenment”). Others believed Robert Christian was a devil worshipper (B. Mulligan) or a sun worshiper (B. Boylan) or a Satanist (S. Daedalus), while still others believed he represented a Christian ideal (L. Bloom). While there is an inscription on one of the stones which sates, “We have no mysterious purposes or ulterior motives. We seek common sense pathways to a peaceful world, without bias for particular creeds or philosophies," many believe this to be mere subterfuge and misdirection, a benign statement of intent shielding a malevolent Trojan horse. But these are fantastical theories with no basis in fact and in this essay I will set out the factual history of these now non-existent stones, providing references to scholarly sources so curious readers may verify the facts for themselves.

The first important point is that “Robert Christian” or whomever he was did not fund the building of the Guidestones, but simply provided the cash to refurbish the site. Over the years the site had become overgrown with bushes, brush and weeds and the slabs were completely covered in ivy, which, when removed, showed the rock was dirty and soiled and the inscriptions were smudged with mud and illegible. The site could no longer be seen from the road, leading most in the area to forget about the standing stones over time. Christian and his group recognized the historical significance of the granite slabs and poured over $100,000 in refurbishing the site and in 1979 the vegetation was cleared and the granite slabs scrubbed clean and polished by local stone masons. New bracing was added to provide stability to the base and when the work was complete, the magnificent megaliths towered over the surrounding countryside once again and became a major tourist attraction for Elbert County. The inscriptions chiseled into the stones, written in eight languages, were now clean and easily legible and nearly every resident in the area stopped by to see the “American Stonehenge” as it was now being called over the next several weeks.

Archaeologists with the University of Georgia using 21st-century technologies such as fluorescence spectrometry and ICP-MS laser ablation now know the original stone slabs were quarried about 2,500 years ago from an outcropping of nearly identical granite about 3 miles away at what is now called Pyramid Blue Granite Quarry, a pit from which granite is still being pulled. “The granite used to build the Guidestones, is distinctive in color and character,” Professor Ignatius J. Reilly, the Abercrombie and Fitch Professor of Archaeology at UGA pointed out. “The granite coming out of the Pyramid Blue area has distinctive blue speckles and it’s easy to identify because it’s so different. Recent discoveries of thousands of charred pig bones in a newly tapped vein at the pit suggests the Blue Pyramid site may have been an ancient festival location also,” the Professor pointed out.

It came as a shock to even scientists running the tests when it was determined the giant rock slabs were originally hewn over 2,000 years ago and not in 1979 as most had incorrectly assumed. Most locals had never heard of the giant megaliths and saw them for the first time after Christian and his cohorts paid for their restoration in 79, and since the inscriptions were clean, polished and picked free of dirt and dust, they looked new, so the incorrect assumption was a reasonable one. Most locals were simply ignorant of the fact the giant megaliths had been hiding in plain sight for eons.

How these massive blocks of stone were removed from the Blue Pyramid pit and transported over rugged terrain for several miles over 2,000 years ago has also presented a conundrum for scientists and archaeologists who study the Guidestones. Today, derricks are used to lift massive stones from quarries, advanced lasers cut the stone to precise dimensions, large trucks transport the slabs, and cranes and other heavy equipment are used to erect and set monuments. Two thousand years ago such “luxuries” didn’t exist and man had only his brain and his brawn to accomplish the seemingly impossible. Obviously, these early Elbertonians succeeded in their quest and the granite slabs were moved, but how? Before answering the question how, we turn first to the question of who moved these stones, and later we’ll touch on why.

The migration patterns of our ancient forebears can be more easily traced along the western coast of North America than the east; the ancestry and migration patterns along the east coast remain murky in spots, probably because several different cultures with different origins appear and disappear. DNA evidence has shown the western coast of North America was first inhabited by groups of people migrating from North Asia via the Bering Land Bridge and possibly by boat or vessel also, and over time, these early settlers migrated as far south as lower Argentina. While these early arrivers to North America did begin to push inwards and eastward, forming advanced societies such as the Clovis and Folksome cultures along the way, geneticists at Emory made a starling discovery recently while testing locals from Elbert County during the recent pandemic, a discovery that has not only changed the conversation in Elberton, but has also generated international excitement.

Geneticists have now traced a certain significant minority of the red-headed residents of Elberton and the surrounding area to a tribe originating in what is present day Norway who were the forebears of the Vikings. In recent years, archaeologists who study this region during the Bronze Age have discovered people who lived in Norway 3000 years ago were far less primitive than originally imagined, and they built seaworthy ships capable of carrying a crew of over 50 men. “Their ships were sleek and trimmed and designed to cover long distances with amazing speed,” said Oskar Matzerath, beloved Dean of History at the University of Georgia. “These were a sea-faring people who hopscotched over to North America a couple thousand years ago by using Iceland, Greenland and the present-day islands of Canada as way stations, and artifacts discovered in ancient midden heaps at these locations have proved this ‘Hopscotch Theory,’ first proposed by the brilliant Bronze Age scholar Mohun Biswas. Historians already knew these early Vikings made it as far as the northeast sector of North America, but we weren’t sure how far down the coast they’d come. Now we now have conclusive proof they made it to Elberton.” Dean Matzerath also pointed out another piece of critical evidence: “One of the Bronze Age petroglyphs we discovered from this period in Norway is a blueprint for the Guidestones, inscriptions and all. That’s the coup de grace for the skeptics and naysayers as far as I’m concerned, “the Dean added.

Once here, these red-headed wanderers established a thriving culture and one need look no further than the Guidestones themselves for proof. “Only an advanced society that understood astronomy and had established laws, or at least an ethical code to live by, could have designed, fashioned and erected these enormous blocks of stone,” internationally recognized scholar Dr. Kilgore Trout remarked recently at a Ted Talk. Dr. Trout, whose work combines ancient history, archeology and religious studies joined the University of Georgia recently and believes cows were the secret ingredient that fueled the rapid growth of this Elbertonian Viking culture.

“Wild cows were abundant in the region 2,000 years ago,” Dr. Trout said, “and we believe these early Vikings domesticated the cows, who were slow and could be easily captured, and trained them for all kinds of tasks. We now think the stones were loaded onto sledges at the pit and harnessed to cows who pulled them over timber tracks to the final sight selected.” The stones were sculpted and polished by hand at the sight and the inscriptions chiseled after transport. “These Vikings obviously were adept at multiple languages,” he added, “because eight different ones are used in the inscriptions including Babylonian cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Sanskrit, and classical Greek. We don’t know yet whether the Elbertonian Vikings actually understood the languages or were simply transferring symbols and this remains an exciting area of future study. And we don’t know the connection yet with Swahili, also a language used on the stones, and this is another thrilling area of future study.” Unfortunately, we have no written records from these early settlers, probably because they were already using paper which has not been preserved. Whether Elbert County has its own set of “Dead Sea Scrolls” hidden inside a moonshine jar and buried in some hidden cave which provides more insight into this ancient society remans to be seen.

Proof this was an advanced culture can also be found in the design and positioning of the slabs themselves. The Guidestones, unliked the ring formation at Stonehenge, are arranged in an “X” pattern with each line of the axis oriented towards a specific point in the moon’s rotation around the Earth. The Guidestones served as a celestial clock because of special design features which marked the time of year. There are six slabs in total and the four large upright ones were oriented to the limits of the moon’s migration. A hole drilled in the Gnomen stone, that is the stone with a sundial, is oriented on Polaris, the North Star, and in the middle of the same stone was a large slotted hole oriented with the summer and winter solstices. And a hole drilled through the capstone allowed sunlight to shine on the Gnomen stone at noon. “You could tell time by these stones,” Dr. Trout boasted at his Ted Talk.

But in a tragic development, we recently learned that computer sleuth Billy Pilgrim, who has been studying the ancient cuneiform script on these stones for years, finally translated one passage to mean these ancient Elbertonians had actually stored all their written records inside a cavity in one of the slabs. Pilgrim believed these records contained not only a complete history of this society, but also revealed several Eternal Truths which have puzzled mankind since time immemorial. However, about the same time Pilgrim made his discovery the explosion occurred. Thousands of tiny bits of paper were found at the site, leading Pilgrim to speculate the slab blown asunder was the one which contained the secrets. The Answers, which were so close at hand, have now eluded us and we’re now left here on this spinning orb to figure things out for ourselves. “And so it goes,” Pilgrim commented when he learned of the destruction and bulldozing of the sight.

Before the explosion occurred, local red-headed confectioner and downtown merchant Mike Edmonds claimed to know why the Guidestones were fashioned. “It’s because we are Viking Proud,” he said. In a show of civic pride, Edmonds has embraced his ancient Nordic heritage and started selling t-shirts and bumper stickers out of his Main Street candy shop emblazoned with the phrase “VIKING PROUD.” He’s also the leading voice behind a petition to change the high school mascot from a blue devil to a Viking, a grass roots movement gaining steam. “The t-shirts and bumper stickers are selling like AR-15s,” Edmonds recently bragged, “and we’re branching out into hats and scarves. Business is booming and you’re damn straight I’m Viking Proud!”

Now you know the rest of the story.

And so it goes.

The Humble Chronicler

(July 2022)