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No. 15: Spring 1981

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Hidden Stonehenge

The configuration of standing stones at Stonehenge has been etched in everyone's mind by thousands of photographs and drawings down the centuries. There is also a "hidden" Stonehenge: traces of earlier configurations, hints of trials and errors, and just plain enigmas. The hidden or cryptic Stonehenge is found mostly by accident when some chance digging reveals a previously unrecorded hole, ditch, or buried artifact.

To illustrate, in May and June of 1979, a 24-meter trench was excavated along the path of a proposed telephone cable. The diggers found a completely unexpected, backfilled pit showing the impression of the standing stone that had once occupied it. Now called Stone 97, this feature was "erased" thousands of years ago for some unknown reason. Several such fortuitous finds hint that the Stonehenge we now see is like one of those paintings painted over an earlier painting. Apparently, we are just beginning to comprehend the history of this remarkable site.

(Pitts, M.W.; "Stones, Pits and Stonehenge," Nature, 290:16, 1981.)

From Science Frontiers #15, Spring 1981. 1981-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987