Film: 8338

History | 1970 | Sound | Colour

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Synopsis:

A brave insight into the mysteries of Stonehenge that discusses not only the puzzle of how it was built but also addresses the lesser known aspects of this ancient megalith such as its electromagnetic and calendrical qualities. Stunning on location shots of the stones conjures an evocative sense of this sacred British enigma.


Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plains of Wiltshire, England at sunrise. Modern Druids assemble around the stones and a long ritual implement [a horn or trumpet of sorts] is held up to the head of one Druid in an act of seeming initiation. The red sun glints through the standing stones and the title appears on screen.

Stonehenge from an aerial view by day. Leonard Nimoy in the studio against a backdrop of large stills depicting druids and stellar constellations and introduces some of the mysteries of Stonehenge asking "who built it?" and "why?" and explaining some of the [then] recent advances in research and theory.

Aerial views of Stonehenge with visitors during the day.

Gerald Hawkins, author and astronomer, discusses his theories over various scenes of the site. Rocky mountainous landscape emerges as Hawkins narrates us back to 2500BC, the supposed date of origin of Stonehenge. Close up of "crude" bronze tools, museum artifacts assumed to date from same period.

Cut to pyramids in Egypt. Mesopotamian book shows early writing. Caves of Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were re-discovered. Cretan ruins, lovely land and sea-scapes of Crete where early Minoan Civilisation sprang up. Rivers and mountains of North America and Stonehenge again- all in aerial view.

Hawkins in his office asks again 'how did they build it'?. He demonstrates the hardness of the type of stone used by the "ancient engineers" holding it up to the camera to show the so-called drill holes found in the stone. This Blue Stone which is shown now in its unique original setting in the Presilly Mountains of Wales and then in situ at Stonehenge as the inner circle of stones is described by the narrator as being hard eneough "to dull modern tools".

Francis Hitchin stands near the stones asking questions. Cows graze nearby. Close ups of standing stones while Hitchin discusses various legends relating to their origins and functions. Good shots of trees through the stones especially of Stanton Grue and the Fairy Stone "believed to emit a strange electrical charge". Witchcraft mentioned.

Map of Wales and England shows proposed route by which the Bluestone was transported 240 miles to Wiltshire. Rivers in flow as it is asked "how were the stones moved?" four boys on a raft taken from BBC footage in 1954 when they recruited 40 schoolboys in an experiment to find out how the heavy stones were transported. Huge slab of conrete strapped to the raft wiehing only 1/50th of the original Bluestone.

Landscape shots of Salisbury. BBC footage shows 40 young men moving huge concrete stones using only rafts. Logs and ropes to haul them over grassland. Hawkins in his office is alternated with these Salisbury scenes as Hawkins estimates the scale of manpower required for such a task and speculating about the sort of social structure that could have inspired such devoted toil. Aerial view of henge.

Stonehenge by moonlight. Hundreds of white-robed modern Druids circle the stones and enact a ritual, marching slowly in ritual regalia.

Francis Hitchin at Stonehenge discusses Professor Alexander Thom - shown via several stills standing beneath a huge suspended boulder, in his car on Salisbury Plains. Narrator describes how Thom discovered " a deliberate and far-reaching plan" underlying the construction of Stonehenge and other sacred sites which have astronomical alignments. Aerial and landscape views of British megaliths, standing stones and burial mounds.

Fortress shown built on burial mound as Hitchin describes theory of ley-lines. Monastary built on ley line.

Hitchin stands near Stonehenge. Shots of standing stones as he discusses "anomalies in the earth's magnetic field" found at sacred sites and along ley lines. He holds up a device for measuring electro-magnetic fields and a compass and takes a reading. Stones in silohuette.

Scenes of wildlife : birds on the wing, a deer, a Grizzly bear - as Hitchin suggests that electromagnetic energy is a basis for " a communication network" making possible extra sensory perception between living creatures.

Aerial view of Stonehenge "the very centre of this hypothetical commuications network".

Hawkins in his office describes a "fundamental pattern" using a computer to match the alignment of the stones with the stars. Beautiful shots of red sun filtering through the stones. Narrator decribes the calendrical function of stones and their relation to Venus, the Morning Star.

Early morning. Modern Druids during ritual. Druid holds up and blows a sort of trumpet or horn. Ritual diagrams on stones.

Hitchin at Stonehenge. 18th century stills drawn by William Stuteley depicting Druids rather romantically. Modern Druids pass around a sacred cup while the narrator relates the history of Druidism.

Hawkins in his office conjecturing about a Druid's "God of Time" and the notion of ancient megaliths as calendars is explored. Aerial views of Stonehenge.

Over the jungles of the Yucatan Peninsular, Mexico. Aerial shot of the Caracol - an astronomical observatory nestling in the foothills of Mayan Central America. Mayan pyramids shown. Close ups of Egyptian pyramids. Holy Indian observatory shown. Back to Stonehenge at dawn.

Leonard Nimoy in the studio stands before stills of Druids, stones, and astronomical or cosmic phenomena and speculates - or implies the possibility - that the ancients "had help" from alien intelligence.


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