The Man Who Moved a Mountain - The Incredible True Story of Florida's Coral Castle - Part 1 of 4
This is the incredible true story of the lifetime accomplishments of a man who is scarcely mentioned in references anywhere.
Once a person discovers the facts surrounding this man, they are left scratching their head in wonderment as to why his achievements are so blatantly forgotten. Once revealed, the facts of this story leave no doubt that this man did in fact discover one of the greatest secrets of the ancient world. Unlike other so-called “experts” who only propose “theories”, this man left cold, hard proof that he knew what he was talking about. Anyone reading this can get in their car and drive to the exact spot where this story took place. They can put their hands on the very work this man did.
This man’s name is Edward Leedskalnin. His achievement is the beautiful Coral Castle at Homestead, Florida; which is conveniently located 25 miles south of Miami on Highway 1 for all to see.
How a man who stood just over 5 foot tall and weighed a mere 100 pounds built such an amazing structure still remains a huge mystery. No one can explain how for 28 years, Ed single-handedly moved blocks of coral stone weighing upwards of 30 tons using only primitive hand tools. Such stones cannot be moved even today without the use of huge cranes, which themselves take days to assemble. Ed had no such equipment… only determination.
Edward Leedskalnin was born in Riga, Latvia August 10, 1887 and at the age of 26 immigrated to the U.S. This, after being jilted on the night before his wedding by a young sixteen year old lady named Agnes Scuffs, whom Ed later affectionately referred to as his “Sweet Sixteen”. He immediately left Latvia broken-hearted. His travels took him through Europe, across to Canada where he worked as a lumber jack, south through Texas where he worked on at least one cattle drive, and eventually east to the Florida everglades. Ed had mild tuberculosis, so he believed it best for his health, that he move to Florida.
By the time Ed reached Florida though, he had become extremely ill. A kind local real estate agent found Ed lying on the side of the road and brought him home, where he and his wife nursed Ed back to health. Well, they did the best that they could…
A local doctor discovered that Ed was suffering from terminal tuberculosis, which in those days meant the death sentence. Ed was only given a few months to live. Ed could still get around fine, but occasionally he would have gut-wrenching coughing spells, which sometimes resulted in Ed passing out.
When Ed was given the news that he only had a few months to live he just cracked a smile and said, “We’ll see”.
Despite his condition, Ed decided to find a piece of land where he could build a huge monument to his “Sweet Sixteen” in hopes that she would come to the United States and marry him once she found out about it.
In 1918 Ed found the perfect piece of land at a place called Florida City and bought it for $12. It was useless to most anyone else, simply because it was solid rock with only a few inches of topsoil. The coral rock was up to 4000 feet think in this area. Working in secrecy and mostly at night by the light of a lantern, he began to cut and move monolithic blocks of coral stone.
During this period, it was reported that people sometimes saw Ed laying in a huge, circular, perfectly balanced rock that he could rotate with just a kick of his foot. The idea, as Ed later explained, was to stay in alignment with the sun and keep the sunlight on his chest. Some also reported seeing a wooden pyramid shaped structure on the circular stone. Ed would lay underneath the pyramid structure in the sunlight on a daily basis from 1:00pm - 3:00pm.
Ed once stated that ‘cancer could not live within a magnetic field’. Whatever Ed did, it worked. Weeks later on the next visit to the doctor, Ed was told that he had the lungs and the blood of a child. The doctor was dumbfounded.
This doctor’s report is on display at Coral Castle, today.
Ed opened up “Rock Gate Park”, as it was then called, to visitors in 1923 and charged 10 cents per visitor. Ed called his creation Rock Gate Park because of the 9-ton rock gate that he had built to such precise specifications that a small girl could push it open with the tip of her finger. The stone is perfectly balanced with only a quarter-inch clearance at either side.
Other great monoliths that Ed created included a 28-ton obelisk, a 20-ton Polaris Telescope that constantly follows the Polaris star in the sky, a 5000 lb heart-shaped table, a 23-ton crescent moon, a one-of-a-kind sun-dial that keeps time within 2 minutes, the only known moon dial in the world, a 30-ton block of coral Ed called “his greatest achievement”, and much more. The 5000 lb heart-shaped table was dubbed “the world’s largest valentine”, by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. The stones in the walls of Coral Castle average 6 ½ tons each; more than those in the Great Pyramid, which average around 3 tons.
Quite an achievement, indeed!
Much more will be revealed about this mysterious man and his incredible creation at Homestead, Florida - next time…
The Man Who Moved a Mountain - The Incredible True Story of Florida's Coral Castle - Part 2 of 4Ed had a wonderful sense of humor, which came through in a few places of his creation. For instance, around the dining table, there are four stone chairs. Three are very comfortable, but the third is deliberately unbalanced and uncomfortable. Ed said that the three comfortable chairs were reserved for Ed, “Sweet Sixteen” and their child. The uncomfortable chair was placed behind Ed’s chair and was reserved for his mother-in-law when she visited. Ed assumed that she would become very uncomfortable, hopefully take a hint, and not stay very long. I can already see all of the married men who are reading this heading to their shops to make an uncomfortable chair before the holidays :) Another interesting thing is that the stone rocking chairs at Coral Castle have angled bottoms, not rounded as you would normally see. And yet they still rock as easily as their rounded cousins. Ed said that he balanced them on their “center of gravity”. Ed continued to work on his castle almost to completion, until 1936. Then for reasons known only to him, he began the tedious job of moving the entire castle 10 miles to a new location at Homestead, Florida where it stands to this day. Some who knew Ed say that he had heard rumors of a subdivision that was to be developed too close to the castle and this is why he moved. Others believe that the move was somehow the result of a brutal attack that almost resulted in Ed’s death. Some thugs caught Ed in his castle one night and beat him within an inch of his life. No one knows the motivation of the attack. There is speculation that perhaps they were trying to pry Ed’s secrets from him. Others speculate that it was government related. Whatever the reason, after this event, Ed moved his castle. Ed hired a local guy who owned an old truck and a heavy-duty trailer that would handle the huge stones. Ed always instructed the gentleman to leave the trailer and come back later. By the time the gentleman returned, Ed would have the trailer loaded with the heavy stones he wanted to transport. Ed never allowed anyone to watch him work and he had an eerie sixth-sense when anyone tried. He would immediately stop working until they left. However, Ed seemed not to care if children were sometimes present. It is surmised that Ed felt no one would believe them anyway. It has been reported that one night some children witnessed Ed “floating stones like hydrogen balloons”. Sounds pretty silly, especially when it’s coming from a bunch of kids, right? Perhaps that makes Ed’s point. There are a couple of credible accounts of adults witnessing strange occurrences as Ed worked. The man whom Ed hired to move the stones with his truck stated that he had forgotten his lunch box one morning and went back to the castle to get it. He had only been gone for a half-hour and when he arrived Ed already had several of the monolithic stones stacked on the rails of the trailer like cordwood. He never saw how Ed loaded them, just that Ed had absolutely no heavy machinery that should have been necessary to manipulate such heavy stones; especially that fast. Another story stated that Ed was seen singing to the stone with his hands placed on it. Oddly enough, legend has it that the “magician” Merlin moved the Stonehenge stones by singing to them. Take what you will from this. Coral stone weighs approximately 125 pounds per cubic foot. The largest hoist Ed had at Coral Castle was a 10-ton hoist, which was mounted on a set of three stationary telephone poles mounted together in a teepee fashion. As stated before, several of the stones at Coral Castle are much heavier than 10 tons. Even if Ed somehow hoisted the stones from the quarry with this hoist, two big questions still remain. How did he actually (and single-handedly) move the stones laterally to the building site and position them? And, how did he cut the stones from the quarry… especially, underneath? Some people suggest that Ed quarried around the stones to the depth he wanted, and then exerted so much upward pressure with his hoist that the individual stones “popped” away from the parent quarry rock. However, this cannot be confirmed. Plus, the pressure needed to “pop” the stone out would most likely have been more than the hoist could have provided. Also, note that there are no chisel marks on the stones at Coral Castle. They are completely smooth. When anyone asked Ed how he cut and moved the huge stones, Ed would state that he knew the secrets of the master stone cutters of Egypt, Peru, the Yucatan, etc. He also said that he understood the laws of weight and leverage. Ed actually wrote and published a small booklet on magnetism, which is believed to have something to do with Ed’s ability, but it is too difficult for most to comprehend. Another interesting tidbit of information is the timeframe in which Ed completed this engineering marvel. The Taj Mahal was constructed over a twenty year period with the labor of several thousand slaves. Ed single-handedly built Coral Castle over a period of twenty eight years (and this includes three years moving it from Florida City to Homestead). There is no other event known in the history of the world where one person single-handedly built this large of a stone structure. Edward Leedskalnin was indeed a unique individual. More fascinating things about Ed will be revealed next time…
The Man Who Moved a Mountain - The Incredible True Story of Florida's Coral Castle - Part 3 of 4Edward Leedskalnin was a polite, secretive gentleman who loved children. He would occasionally host small public gatherings at Coral Castle, such as field trips for the local school kids. Each event was complete with hot dogs, which Ed cooked in his unique outdoor oven. Ed finished the castle in its new location some time in 1940. As expected, Ed had built around himself a world filled with wonderful mysteries that remain unsolved to this day. For example… A ghostly fact that haunts Coral Castle to this day is the mysterious quartz-like stone that was found under the 9-ton gate. In 1986, the gate stopped working. Ed had used bearings from an old Model-T Ford to allow the rock gate to pivot. The weight of the 9-ton stone eventually crushed the steel bearings. After some searching, a company was located that could lift the gate and repair the bearings. Large heavy equipment had to be brought in to accomplish the task. The main equipment used was an 18 - 20 ton crane! It took days just to set up the equipment. Underneath the bearings was a stone of the approximate size and shape of a Frisbee with very unusual properties. It was carefully examined at the geology department at the University of Florida. After some time, it was returned to Coral Castle - with puzzlement. The stone today resides on display in Coral Castle, with a caption under it that reads: “Material of unknown origin; it had to be strong enough to hold 9 tons per sq. ft.”. In other words, the stone is not known to exist on this planet. How did Ed get such a stone? Was he visited by aliens who gave him this stone, as some suggest? Much speculation as to the stone’s origin exists, but there is no concrete proof for any of it. Ed stated several times that science was wrong about electricity, and that is should be more appropriately called, “magneticity”. Ed said that everything was made up of tiny magnets, which also passed through everything. You, me, the earth… everything. Whatever you may think of this, one thing is for certain. Ed knew something… It is the author’s opinion that since Ed had such a unique understanding of the molecular makeup of our material world, perhaps he used his knowledge of magnetic fields and poles to manipulate the cellular structure of the stone; thereby changing its density. After all of Ed’s other inexplicable feats are considered, this is just as plausible of an explanation as alien intervention. Perhaps more so. In addition to the strange rock found under the perfectly balanced 9-ton stone, engineers couldn’t believe the accuracy with which Ed had drilled a perfect hole through the entire length of the stone. Ed needed to do this in order for the stone to pivot on its center. A metal rod was passed vertically through this hole and secured on either end of the stone. Keep in mind that this huge stone is not evenly cut, either. It’s not a perfectly rectangular block. This makes Ed’s ability to perfectly balance it, even more astounding. Even with today’s high-tech lasers and measuring equipment, one would be hard-pressed to duplicate this feat with such precision. I recently learned that the Great Pyramid once had a swinging door. Apparently, the door weighed some 20 tons and was so well balanced that it could easily be opened from the inside by pushing on it with a minimal amount of force. Outside though, it closed so perfectly that it could scarcely be detected and there wasn’t enough of a crack to get a grasp. Sound familiar? The Coral Castle story continues…
The Man Who Moved a Mountain - The Incredible True Story of Florida's Coral Castle - Part 4 of 4
The Man Who Moved a Mountain - Part 5:
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