How Ed Leedskalnin built Coral Castle remains a mystery.
Why he did it is no secret.
Agnes Scruffs was, purportedly, the love of Ed Leedskalnin’s life. As the story goes, Ed was captivated by Agnes and asked her to marry him while she was still in her teens. Ten years his junior, Agnes accepted Ed’s proposal and they planned a small church wedding.
When it came time to say “I do”, Agnes walked out of the church and left Ed standing at the alter. No one knows why.
After that, Ed left Latvia and never came back.
Later in life, Ed would tell neighbors and visitors to Coral Castle how he was building the modern marvel to win back his lost love. There are no records to indicate if Agnes Scruffs ever knew of Ed’s work.
Some of the greatest creations in history have been inspired by broken hearts. Ed could have given in to disappointment and self-pity, but instead he got busy creating a feat of engineering that still has people talking. While a part of me wishes Ed and Agnes had worked it out, a bigger part of me is glad Ed had the inspiration to build Coral Castle.
If you think people are curious about Coral Castle today, imagine what Ed Leedskalnin’s neighbors thought.
The appearance of a European man, new to the area and gaunt from tuberculosis, was enough to stir some talk in the town of Homestead, Florida. As he began his life’s work, speculation only grew.
Ed had load after load of coral rock delivered by to his new home.
Although Ed employed the help of a local man to obtain the rock, what he did with it after that remained a mystery to the town.
He remained elusive, often working at night with only a lantern or moonlight to light his progress. Some town residents even camped out around his property, trying to catch a glimpse of what Ed was working on.
Earl S. Lee was a boy when Ed Leedskalnin became his neighbor. Lee recalls watching Ed use a system of ditches, wedges and poles to shape, move and hoist the gigantic pieces of coral rock.
Despite explanations from those who knew Ed, skeptics are quick to point out implausibilities given the enormous weight of the rocks.
Some people even thought Ed was deliberately misleading his neighbors to hide the real secret of how he built Coral Castle.
Before it was even completed, Coral Castle was a mystery.
Want to see some footage of Coral Castle?
Click here for a brief video on the mystery behind Ed Leedskalnin’s creation.
The number of paranormal theories surrounding Coral Castle has always amused me. Instead of doing research, it’s much easier (and probably more fun) to come up with an outlandish explanation to a mystery.
Here are some of the more interesting theories-
- Alien intervention
- Anti-gravity machines
- Reverse polarity
- Electromagnetic energy
- Ingenuity and engineering
How did Ed Leedskalnin move more than 1,100 tons of coral rock?
Nobody knows, but I have a few ideas.
We can find out what’s going on half-way across the world almost instantly. Before you even set foot in another country you can learn the language, exchange your currency and reserve a hotel room.
Traveling wasn’t so convenient in 1912.
On March 23, 1912, Latvian immigrant Ed Leedskalnin could only imagine what America would be like as he boarded a ship bound for New York City.
He arrived at Ellis Island sixteen days later with eighty dollars in his pocket. With no ties to anyone, Ed traveled for the next eleven years. In his wanderings around the U.S. he learned the language, learned the people and learned how to make a living.
Ed arrived in Florida in 1923, finally intending to build a home and settle down. It’s here where the records of Ed’s life become intertwined with the stuff of conspiracy theories and tall tales.
The mystery surrounding Ed Leedskalnin led me to write Coral Castle, but as I learned more about him I found the first part of his life was just as inspiring.
I can only imagine the courage it must have required for Ed to leave his home and become a stranger in another country. He worked hard and learned from each job he took and each place he visited.
Engineers, conspiracy theorists and journalists have all wondered how Ed built Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida.
I’m pretty impressed with how he got there.
The unexplained is intriguing. Curiosity compels us to continue searching for explanations, even when there might not be any.
The mystery surrounding Coral Castle has made it a tourist attraction in Homestead, Florida. Gigantic blocks of coral rock make-up the castle and other stone sculptures outside. The heaviest of these blocks weighs more than the rocks at Stonehenge.
The structures themselves are interesting enough, but the story behind their creation is what really stirs the imagination.
Edward Leedskalnin, a Latvian immigrant, spent his life building the Coral Castle in the early twentieth century.
How did one man raise 57,000 pound blocks of stone from the ground?
If you ask the Internet, Ed had the help of aliens, the supernatural and a multitude of other conspiracy theories. We tend to let our imagination fill in the gaps when we’re faced with situations we can’t immediately explain. The more outlandish explanations I read, the more I wanted to do my own research.
And so, Jack Heffron and I began to investigate this strange place. Our findings became Coral Castle.
I’ve sorted through facts, speculation and tall tales to bring you an objective look at a subject that is often approached imaginatively, but rarely taken seriously. I don’t claim to have solved the mystery behind Edward Leedskalnin’s creations, but Coral Castle at least explores all sides of a very interesting story.
When I wrote Crosley: Two Brothers and a Business Empire that Transformed the Nation, I was writing about a time period I had never experienced. In order to accurately bring my readers the Crosley brothers, I also had to bring them the Depression, The Great War and The Roaring Twenties.
This took a lot of research. I spent hours sorting through other people’s memories in books and articles to better document my own family history. The more I learned about my grandfather and great uncle, the more my readers would learn about the Crosley brothers through my writing.
After writing Crosley, another bout of curiosity led me to research the unexplained Coral Castle. Questions led to more questions, but the mystery surrounding Edward Leedskalnin and his American Stonehenge inspired my book: Coral Castle
Even the fictional events in Cincinnatus: The Secret Plot to Save America are based around a present day patriotic society that operates in secrecy.
Real life can be strange, exciting and just as entertaining as fiction. The stories are already out there. It’s up to you to find them.
Have you read Coral Castle: The Mystery of Ed Leedskalnin and his American Stonehenge? Will you leave a review on Goodreads.com?
You can find it on Goodreads here.
Your review goes a long way to help the community of readers. With so many self-published and independently published books available, reader reviews are the lifeblood of the industry.
I want you to be honest and I welcome legitimate criticism. Please take a few minutes and write an honest review.
A while back I had the pleasure of appearing as a guest expert on The History Channel’s Ancient Aliens segment on Coral Castle.
I flew down to Miami, Florida and we filmed at Coral Castle. I answered some questions about Edward Leedskalnin and his theories on anti-gravity and magnetism.
Here’s a condensed version of the episode, which I think includes some of my best stuff:
Before I went on the show, my daughter said that Ancient Aliens is for crazies. I don’t think I look crazy, do you? haha.
In any case, I had a great time. And I always enjoy sharing my expertise on some of the things I’ve studied.
If you’re interested in reading about Coral Castle, you can find it on Amazon.com here.
I loved writing Coral Castle. There was so much to learn, and it’s a lot of fun now to get reactions from folks who have read the book, and didn’t know that such a thing existed.
One of the ways that you can leave me feedback on my book, Coral Castle, and also share your thoughts with a larger community of readers, is to leave me a review on Amazon.com.
Don’t worry about what to say, just leave an honest review. If you liked it, leave a good review. If you didn’t like it, tell me (and everyone) what you didn’t like.
Find Coral Castle on Amazon.com here. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s available as a hardback book or for your Kindle.