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1 September 2008, JellyBean @ 8:24 am

“I have discovered the secrets of the pyramids, and have found out how the Egyptians and the ancient builders in Peru, Yucatan, and Asia, with only primitive tools, raised and set in place blocks of stone weighing many tons!” So said Latvian immigrant, Edward Leedskalnin with only a fourth-grade education.

Did this eccentric recluse discover the secrets of levitation and anti-gravity, or did he merely discover or rediscover the secret to engineering? Whatever the answer, Edward Leedskalnin did prove that he possessed unexplained skills by building Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida, by hand and alone.

Coral Castle has been linked in importance to the greatest engineering feats in the world: the Pyraminds of Giza, Aztec monuments, Stonehenge and others. One question however, persists: How did he do it?

Edward Leedskalnin

According to Edward Leedskalnin, he was jilted by his 16-year-old fiancée Agnes Scuffs in Latvia, just one day before the wedding. Leaving for America, he came down with terminal tuberculosis but spontaneously healed, stating that magnets had some effect on his disease.

Hoping to impress his ex-fiancée, he embarked on an ambitious scheme to build Coral Castle. He spent over 28 years building the structure alone in secret, refusing to allow anyone to see him work. Unfortunately all this work did not have the intended effect – he died unmarried.


Leedskalnin originally built the castle, which he named Rock Gate Park, in Florida City, FL around 1923. In 1936 however, he moved to Homestead – along with the entire castle. No-one knows the exact reason why he decided to move, but it often said that he wanted to protect his privacy when discussion about developing land in the area of the castle started. Another rumour was that he left after being badly beaten by a group of hooligans looking to rob him.

Leedskalnin worked constantly on his castle until his death in 1951. During that time he would raise money by charging tourists ten cents a head for the grand tour. There are signs carved into rocks at the front gate to “Ring Bell Twice” and a second sign just inside the property that says “Adm. 10c Drop Below”. He would come down from his living quarters which were the second story of the castle tower and are close to the gate and conduct the tour.

Those who asked him how he did it got the enigmatic response of “It’s not difficult if you know how.” Others who asked him why he was building the castle would get the reply that it was for his “Sweet Sixteen.”

During December 1951, Leedskalnin became ill and decided to go to a hospital in Miami. He simply left a sign outside saying “Going to the Hospital” and caught the bus. He was diagnosed as being extremely malnourished and he died three days later.

The authorities decided to investigate the property and found $3 500 amongst his belongings. He had made the money from his tours and selling pamphlets on various subjects, including magnetism. He has also sold some of his land to the government for the construction on US Route 1.

Having died intestate, the castle and his belongings passed on to his closest relative in the US, a nephew named Harry. Harry sold the castle in 1953 to an Illinois family. However this story differs from the obituary of a former Coral Castle owner, Julius Levin, a retired jeweler from Chicago, IL. The obituary states Levin had purchased the land from the state of Florida in 1952 and may not have been aware there was even a castle on the land.

The new owners changed the name of Rock Gate Park to Coral Castle and turned it into a tourist attraction. In January of 1981, Levin sold the castle to the Coral Castle, Inc. for $175,000. They remain the owners today.

The Castle

The castle has often been compared to Stonehenge, ancient Greek temples, and even the great pyramids of Egypt. Leedskalnin had single-handedly built the castle with an estimated 1,100 tons of stones. 100 tons of the stone was just for decoration: art objects and furniture.

While commonly referred to as being made up of coral, it is actually made of Oolite (Oolitic Limestone). Oolite is a sedimentary rock composed of small spherical grains of concentrically layered carbonate that may include localized concentrations of fossil shells and coral. Oolite is found throughout southeastern Florida

Here are some examples of what he was dealing with:

* An obelisk he raised weighs 28 tons.

* The wall surrounding Coral Castle stands 8 ft. tall and consists of large blocks each weighing several tons.

* Large stone crescents are perched on top of 20-ft.-high walls.

* A 9-ton swinging gate that moves at the touch of a finger along the eastern wall.

* The largest rock on the property weighs an estimated 35 tons.

* Some stones are twice the weight of the largest blocks in the Great Pyramid at Giza. The largest stone weighs 30 tons, which is over three times the size of the heaviest stone found in the Great Pyramid.

* Two of the stones are monolithic and stand twenty-five feet high above the ground which make them taller than any stone found in Stonehenge.

In 1986, the gate stopped opening. A team of engineers was brought in for consultation. In order to remove the gate, six men and a 50 ton crane were utilized. Once the gate was removed. it was discovered that Ed had centered and balanced the nine-ton piece of rock on an old truck bearing. He had drilled an almost perfectly round hole from top to bottom of the eight-foot-tall gate with no electric tools. It was the rusting out of this bearing that resulted in the gate’s failure to revolve. Today , a laser-controlled high speed drill would be used to do the same work. The gate failed again in 2005 and was subsequently repaired, however it does not rotate with the same ease that once did.

During the entire time of construction there are no credible eye-witnesses to how he achieved this single-handedly. A few teenagers, who claimed to have witnessed his work, reported that he had caused the blocks of coral to move like hydrogen balloons. The only tool that Leedskalnin spoke of using was a “perpetual motion holder.”

The stones are fastened together without any mortar. Even a direct hit on August 24, 1992 by the Category 5 Hurricane Andrew, which leveled everything in the area, failed to shift the stones.

Egyptologists claim to know how the Great Pyramid was built. To prove it, they built a small pyramid consisting of stones no heavier than 2-1/2 tons that were hefted into place using a gang of workers, straining on ropes. Leedskalnin claimed to know how the Great Pyramid was built, and to prove it he singlehandedly moved a 30-ton and other monolithic blocks of coral to build his castle.

According to some of his writings, Leedskalnin disputed contemporary science and believed all matter consisted of magnets which could produce measurable phenomena, and electricity. Leedskalnin would say he had rediscovered the laws of weight, measurement, and leverage” and that these concepts involved the relationship of the Earth to celestial alignments.

He claimed to see beads of light which he believed to be the physical presence of nature’s magnetism and life force, or what we term today, ‘Chi’. Many people report that he used harmonics combined with grid energies and celestial alignments to do his work.

Harmonics are often thought to lift objects. Tibetan Monks have demonstrated this ability by combining their harmonics to elevate heavy objects. Some supposed eye-witnesses claim that they saw him move the stones by placing his hands on them and singing. Could this be their answer?

There are photo’s of Ed working which show him using a block and tackle. Many people think that this is how he did it. But on closer inspection, one wonders how chains which could only raise 3 tons, managed to raise the huge tonnage of some of the stones. Tripods too could not have been strong enough. The ones found were made of telegraph poles and could never have supported the weight of the stones.

However Ed Leedskalnin did it, today it provides us with a mystery which is unlikely to be solved anytime soon.

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