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Coral Castle: Mysterious Monument to Lost Love[FL]
ABC News ^ | 01 Feb 2008 | SAM CHAMPION, DARCY BONFILS and JONANN BRADY

Posted on 02/04/2008 9:23:19 AM PST by BGHater

How Did One Small Man Move 1,100 Tons of Stone to Build a Marvel of Engineering?

Like the ancient wonders of Stonehenge or the Great Pyramids of Egypt, there is an incredible and mysterious creation right here in the United States.

Coral Castle, in Homestead, Fla., just south of Miami, is an intricate rock garden made of enormous pieces of coral, many of them weighing several tons.

But more amazingly, Coral Castle was built entirely by one man  Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin, who stood just 5 feet tall and weighed 100 pounds. To this day, no one knows how he did it.

Monument to Lost Love

Leedskalnin was jilted by his 16-year-old fiancee Agnes Scuffs in Latvia just days before the wedding. Heartbroken and hoping to win Scuffs back, Leedskalnin traveled to the United States in 1923 and dedicated his life to building a monument to her, which he called Rock Gate Park. It was a project that he continued to work on until his death in 1951.

The castle is an extraordinary feat of engineering, and experts have puzzled over how Leedskalnin, who only had a fourth-grade education, constructed Coral Castle by himself. He reportedly did all of the work in the dark of night, in order to keep his secrets.

For example, how did this little man build a 9-ton coral gate constructed so precisely that you can push it open using one finger?

The castle also has a 40-foot tall, 28-ton obelisk, a sun dial that still keeps perfect time and a Polaris telescope that is perfectly aligned with the North Star.

Leedskalnin lived a reclusive, self-contained life at the castle  he built a water well, a fountain, a barbecue and several pieces of furniture, including an enormous heart-shaped table, 25 rocking chairs, a bathtub, beds and a 5,000-pound throne.

Did Aliens Help Him Build It?

There are many theories on how Leedskalnin accomplished this amazing feat. Some say he had help from extraterrestrials, others believe he discovered the secrets behind anti-gravity and levitation.

Leedskalnin was a self-taught expert on magnetic currents, and one theory holds that he positioned the site to be perfectly aligned with Earth's poles to eliminate the forces of gravity, allowing him to move stones weighing several tons each.

Even Albert Einstein couldn't figure it out, says Jon Pasturing, an engineer who visited Coral Castle as a child.

Pasturing has also wondered how Leedskalnin did it, but he rules out extraterrestrials and magnetics.

Pasturing believes Leedskalnin employed a basic engineering principle, block and tackle, which uses a pulley system to hoist heavy objects into place.

"You can move a 20-ton rock if you have enough of a sophisticated block-and-tackle system," Pasturing said.

Old photos seem to back the idea. They show Leedskalnin raising stones with a giant pulley, and another pulley was found in his tool shed.

Leedskalnin took those secrets to his grave, but Coral Castle stands as a magical gift he gave to world.

If You Want to Visit Coral Castle

Find out more about Coral Castle by visiting www.CoralCastle.com

For more information on Homestead, Fla., visit the city's Web site by clicking here www.CityofHomestead.com

To find hotel, restaurant and sightseeing reviews to help plan your trip to the Homestead/Miami area, visit www.Fodors.com

This painting of Coral Castle gives a top-down view of the engineering marvel in Homestead, Fla., built by Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin as a monument to his lost love who left him at the alter, Agnes Scuffs. (CoralCastle.com)

An aerial photograph of Coral Castle. Engineers have compared the mystery of building Coral Castle to the Great Pyramids of Egypt. How did one man move tons of stone, with each piece weighing up to 30 tons? Some believe extraterrestrials helped him; others believe he had discovered the secrets of magnetics and anti-gravity.

Ed Leedskalnin, who stood 5 feet tall and weighed 100 pounds, began building Coral Castle in the 1920s and continued working on it throughout most of his life. According to the Coral Castle Web site, Leedskalnin did most of his work at night by latern light so no one could see him build it.

If he wasn't busy, Leedskalnin would allow visitors to tour the castle, charging them 25 cents to enter. When asked how he built the structure, he would say only that he understood the laws of weight and leverage.

Leedskalnin carved out the planets on one wall of the castle. On the left is Saturn, which weighs approximately 46,000 pounds. A number of engineers believe Leedskalnin hoisted the enormous stones using block and tackle and a system of sophisticated levers and pulleys.

The heart-shaped "feast of love" table, built for Agnes Scuffs, Leddskalnin's "Sweet Sixteen." Billy Idol wrote the song "Sweet Sixteen" based on Leedskalnin's story and shot the video at Coral Castle.

Leedskalnin completed this Polaris telescope in 1940. At night when the crossed wires at the top of the telescope are perfectly aligned, you can see the North Star.

Leedskalnin used the telescope to record the Earth's travels and build this sundial, which keeps perfect time.

Coral Castle contains all kinds of furniture, including this rocking chair. Leedskalnin also built himself a "throne room," as he believed every man's home was his castle. Directly behind his throne, he built an uncomfortable chair meant for his mother-in-law. Behind the throne and to the left he built what he called his "mad rocker," where he and "Sweet Sixteen" would sit when they quarrelled, so they wouldn't have to look at each other. They would rock until they made up or got hungry. Then they could move to the love seat and sit side-by-side.

The obelisk weighs approximately 57,000 pounds, stands 40 feet tall and has a wind vane on top. The hole near the top of the obelisk is in the shape of the Latvian star.

Leedskalnin's most astounding acheivement is building this 9-ton gate. What's most amazing is that he found the exact center of balance to hold the gate from a rod, allowing you to push open the gate with one finger. The gate fits within a quarter of an inch of the walls on both sides. Scientists have X-rayed and measured the gate but are still unsure how Leedskalnin constructed it.

Leedskalnin built this cooker, which is essentially a barbeque pit/pressure cooker. The cooking pot, suspended on a pulley, is made from the rear end of an old Model T Ford. Leedskalnin envisioned cooking hot dogs for his children here.

Leedskalnin carved this table in the shape of Florida. All of the chairs around the table are 1,000-pound rocking chairs. He said he carved the chair at the head of the table for the governor of Florida. Leedskalnin clearly had an active fantasy life. For example, he created what he called "Repentance Corner," where his children and Sweet Sixteen would have to go when they got sassy. He would put their heads in an opening and then sit facing them to give them a talking to.

Leedskalnin was nothing if not ahead of his time. This is a simple AC generator he built. Since he didn't have running water, he also dug a well which he used to get fresh water and keep his food cool. He also had a special room to store his many tools.

Visitors still flock to Homestead, Fla., to marvel at one eccentric man's magical, mysterious acheivement.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: castle; coral; coralcastle; florida; love; monument

1 posted on 02/04/2008 9:23:21 AM PST by BGHater
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To: BGHater
There was a TV show on this feat!
Very interesting.
2 posted on 02/04/2008 9:26:00 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Rudy,Romney,McCain, Huckabee will send a self-abused stomped elephant to the DRNC.)
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To: BGHater

Not your everyday sort of stalker, is he?


3 posted on 02/04/2008 9:32:01 AM PST by JoanVarga ("¿Por qué no te calles?")
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To: BGHater; mikrofon; martin_fierro
Did Aliens Help Him Build It?

Doing the jobs that Latvian-Americans don't want to do.

4 posted on 02/04/2008 9:34:24 AM PST by Charles Henrickson (Coral collaboration.)
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To: Charles Henrickson

As long as they had their worker permit and their anti-gravity permit, I don’t mind.


5 posted on 02/04/2008 9:35:58 AM PST by BGHater ("Ron Paul won every debate!" Rudy Giuliani)
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To: BGHater
When Ed was 26 years old, he was engaged to be married to his one true Love, Agnes Scuffs. Agnes was ten years younger than Ed.

Today he'd be put in jail and branded a sex offender for life for preying on little girls like that.

6 posted on 02/04/2008 9:36:13 AM PST by mngran2
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To: BGHater

Clearly aliens.


7 posted on 02/04/2008 9:36:28 AM PST by Shortwave (Science is best used to slow down GOREBAL Warning than Global Warming.)
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To: BGHater

I toured Coral Castle a little over 20 years ago - very cool place - if you have any fascination with history and the unknown, it is worth checking out...


8 posted on 02/04/2008 9:39:16 AM PST by Hegemony Cricket (IX-XI -- numquam didici)
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To: BGHater

BTTT


9 posted on 02/04/2008 9:40:50 AM PST by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
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To: BGHater

This has been a perennial topic on Coast for a couple decades.


10 posted on 02/04/2008 9:40:58 AM PST by RightWhale (oil--the world currency)
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To: BGHater

This has been a perennial topic on Coast for a couple decades.


11 posted on 02/04/2008 9:40:59 AM PST by RightWhale (oil--the world currency)
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To: BGHater
... one eccentric man ...

Was Ed eccentric, or do the rest of us just have pedantic imaginations?

12 posted on 02/04/2008 9:43:52 AM PST by RobinOfKingston (Man, that's stupid ... even by congressional standards.)
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To: BGHater

“But more amazingly, Coral Castle was built entirely by one man...”

Yeah, sure. It must have been built by space aliens.


13 posted on 02/04/2008 9:48:31 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: BGHater
But more amazingly, Coral Castle was built entirely by one man  Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin, who stood just 5 feet tall and weighed 100 pounds. To this day, no one knows how he did it.

*cough*asgaardbeamingtechnology*cough*

14 posted on 02/04/2008 10:05:27 AM PST by pabianice
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To: BGHater
Billy Idol, Sweet Sixteen
(A song and video about this structure)

BILLY IDOL LYRICS

"Sweet Sixteen"

I'll do anything
For my sweet sixteen,
And I'll do anything
For little run away child

Gave my heart an engagement ring.
She took ev'rything.
Ev'rything I gave her,
Oh sweet sixteen.

Built a moon
For a rocking chair.
I never guessed it would
Rock her far from here
Oh, oh, oh, oh.

Someone's built a candy castle
For my sweet sixteen.
Someone's built a candy brain
And filled it in.

Well I'll do anything
For my sweet sixteen
Oh I'll do anything
For little runaway child

Well, memories will burn you.
Memories grow older as people can
They just get colder
Like sweet sixteen

Oh, I see it's clear
Baby, that you are
All through here
Oh, oh, oh, oh.

Someone's built a candy castle
For my sweet sixteen,
Someone's built a candy house
To house her in.
Someone's built a candy castle
For my sweet sixteen.
Someone's built a candy brain
And filled it in.

And I do anything
For my sweet sixteen
Oh, I do anything
For little run away girl.

Yeah, sad and lonely and blue.
Yeah, gettin' over you.
How, how do you think it feels
Yeah to get up in the morning, get over you.
Up in the morning, get over you.
Wipe away the tears, get over you,
get over, get over...

My sweet sixteen
Oh runaway child
Oh sweet sixteen
Little runaway girl.

Gave my heart an engagement ring
She left everything
Everything I gave her
Sweet sixteen
Built a moon
For a rocking chair,
Never guessed it would
Rock her far from here
Oh, oh, oh

Someone's built a candy castle
For my sweet sixteen.
Someone's built a candy house
To house her in.
Someone's built a candy castle
For my sweet sixteen
Someone's built a candy house
To house her in.

And I'll do anything
For my sweet sixteen
Oh, I'll do anything
For little runaway child.

Do anything
For my sweet sixteen
I'll do anything
For little runaway girl
Little runaway girl
Oh sweet sixteen
Oh sweet sixteen
Oh.

15 posted on 02/04/2008 10:20:14 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: BGHater
Good morning.

What happened to Agnes?

Michael Frazier

16 posted on 02/04/2008 10:26:14 AM PST by brazzaville (No surrender, no retreat. Well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: BGHater; PJ-Comix
Visited when I lived in Miami a few years back. Leedskalin was a character.

A damn shame they never restored Cauley Square down the road after Andrew came through.

17 posted on 02/04/2008 10:27:30 AM PST by Clemenza (Ronald Reagan was a "Free Traitor", Like Me ;-))
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To: BGHater
Leedskalnin was a self-taught expert on magnetic currents, and one theory holds that he positioned the site to be perfectly aligned with Earth's poles to eliminate the forces of gravity, allowing him to move stones weighing several tons each.

Wouldn't that mean that anyone could move large stones even to this day?

18 posted on 02/04/2008 11:37:30 AM PST by Robert DeLong
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To: Charles Henrickson; BGHater; martin_fierro
Coral Castle was built entirely by one man - Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin, who stood just 5 feet tall and weighed 100 pounds. To this day, no one knows how he did it

By magic .... He got a lot of help from his cousin, Joe Rumpelstiltskin.

19 posted on 02/04/2008 12:09:10 PM PST by mikrofon (One Step for a Small Man -- One Giant Legacy for Mankind...)
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To: All

bump


20 posted on 02/04/2008 12:48:41 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: BGHater; Charles Henrickson; KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle; martin_fierro
But more amazingly, Coral Castle was built entirely by one man  Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin

  http://www.quickstopentertainment.com/comics101/images/2003/aug20/latveria.jpg

Just a lil' ol' Latverian Immigrant. 

21 posted on 02/04/2008 12:53:41 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: RobinOfKingston

People who confuse genius with eccentricty are pedantic.

Clearly, this guy was a genius.


22 posted on 02/04/2008 12:57:30 PM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts and guns made America great.)
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To: BGHater

I believe the rockjused in Coral Castle is not coral, but oolite, which is the native limestone bedrock of most of Miami Dade County, the Keys and even the Bahamas.


23 posted on 02/04/2008 1:14:59 PM PST by Sam Cree (absolute reality)
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To: stylecouncilor; onedoug

wow ping


24 posted on 02/05/2008 12:49:41 PM PST by windcliff
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To: windcliff

‘Been there!


25 posted on 02/05/2008 8:07:58 PM PST by onedoug
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To: onedoug

Really!!! You’ll have to tell me about it some time.


26 posted on 02/06/2008 8:04:48 AM PST by windcliff
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To: BGHater

Today, someone like that would end up in jail.


27 posted on 02/06/2008 8:11:40 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Scrape the bottom, vote for Rodham!)
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