He was a man with a sickly disposition, barely five-foot tall and just over 100 pounds; yet he managed to single-handedly build a megalithic monument, lifting and maneuvering blocks of up to 30 tons in weight.
Many children grow up with heroes like Rambo or Spiderman, but mine were lone eccentric geniuses like Nikola Tesla and Edward Leedskalnin.
Not many people know about Edward Leedskalnin. I first learned about him on a TV show called That's Incredible! which said that Leedskalnin was the man responsible for building the mysterious Coral Castle stone garden in Florida. What left me incredulous was the notion that Leedskalnin used a secret magnetic anti-gravity current to move over 1,100 tons of stone - whose method still hasn't been discovered, even to this present day.
Edward Leedskalnin's architectural feat has been compared to the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge structures, as well as the Taj Mahal in its romantic symbolic nature. The only difference is that all three of those monuments were built by thousands of slaves. Leedskalnin devised, cut, transported and assembled his castle (with stones twice the weight of the largest blocks in the Great Pyramid at Giza), entirely by himself.
Who was Edward Leedskalnin, exactly?
Edward Leedskalnin was born in Latvia on August 10th, 1887. At the age of 26, he was engaged to marry his one true love, a 16 year old named Agnes Scuffs. One day before the ceremony, Agnes got cold feet and cancelled the wedding claiming he was to old and poor for her. Depressed and heart broken, Edward Leedskalnin decided to immigrate to America and settled down in Florida where the weather ailed his poor health. During his journey he allegedly contracted terminal tuberculosis, but spontaneously healed, stating that magnets had cured his disease.
Again, Edward became ill in the December of 1951, hanging up a sign on his castle's door reading “Going to the Hospital”, taking a bus to Jackson Memorial in Miami. He died three days later in his sleep at the age of 64.
The Coral Castle was originally called Rock Gate Park, and was a lifelong quest to build a monument for his lost love Agnes. It took Leedskalnin 28 years to complete in total. In those years, he sculptured 100 tons of the rock, including:
- His two-story castle
- The walls, built of coral blocks (weighing 15 tons each)
- A 22-ton obselisk
- An accurate sundial
- A 22-ton moon rock, a 23-ton Jupiter block, and a Saturn block
- Various pieces of furniture (such as the famous 3-ton rocking chairs that actually rocks)
- A barbeque, a telescope, water well, fountain and numerous rock puzzles
One of the greatest attractions is a 9-ton door that can be opened with the push of a finger.
Eccentric Private Recluse
Edward Leedskalnin was a very private man. As a boy he was often ill so he grew up isolated from his peers, reading books instead. One of the most amazing aspects of Edward Leedskalnin is that even though he was an accomplished sculptor, scientist and author: he left school at the age of 9 claiming to find it boring.
Extremely reclusive with his work, Leedskalnin only worked at night by lantern and allowed no one to watch him. He made a good point of this by walling off the entire expanse of Coral Castle with stones that were 8 feet tall. Ten years after the construction of the Coral Castle, the government planned to build a subdivision next door. Leedskalnin disliked the idea of having neighbors and onlookers invading his privacy so much, that he spent the next 3 years relocating the entire 1,100 ton Castle 10 miles away!
He published 3 pamphlets on the subject of “Magnetic Currents” in his lifetime. In essence, Edward Leedskalnin believed that everything in the Universe was made of magnetic energy. All you had to do was align the magnets up along the Earth's Energy Grid and you had the secret to anti-gravity. After his death, a box was found among Edward's belongings that contained a note with symbolic instructions. After they deciphered the note, authorities found that it led to a secret stash of life savings: 35 notes of $100.
Most of Leedskalnin's work contained mysterious symbols. His pamphlets contained small signs and ambiguous sentences that have led some to believed that his pamphlets are encoded with the magical understandings of physics and mechanics, which puzzle scientists, even today.
His mysterious and cryptic behaviour has led to many conspiracy theories surrounding his legacy. Some people claim that Leedskalnin was an alien, after some children claimed to see him levitating stones with his hands, as well as the strange discovery of a stone of unknown origin found under his 9-ton gates. Others propose that Leedskalnin used acoustic levitation, as certain frequencies of sound can levitate objects. But very few people can explain what was kept inside a mysterious black box that was seen with him in the few rare pictures taken of him when he was alive, and no one could find since his death. This black box was always at the top of the large tripods featured in the photos of Leedskalnin. Experts, however, claim that the tripod built from 3 old telephone poles, could not support some of the 30 ton stones he worked with, nor could the 20 foot high tripod lift blocks that were 25 foot high and vertical, which Leedskalnin frequently dealt with.
Leedskalnin lived a very simple life - he didn't even own a car. Instead, he preferred to ride his bicycle 3.5 miles into town for food and supplies on a regular basis. He built his own A/C and magnet generator, and all this, from a man with fourth level education. He made a living from offering tours of his castle, and the people who met him considered him an "animated, friendly and simple man" according to some rare footage. Many government engineers were among the visitors who paid to see his castle, hoping to be enlightened. Leedskalnin received them gracefully, and they left none the wiser. Leedskalnin, secretive and skilled, took his secret to the grave.
"I have discovered the secrets of the pyramids. I 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." ~ Edward Leedskalnin
Photo by: Milan Boers