Stonehenge Replica on Mars!!! (not really, but who could resist that title?)


That is how the fateful tweet from @MarsCuriosity started. It continued:  See the tiny cluster of rocks, aka “Stonehenge,” I’ve been investigating with my laser.

And here at Clonehenge headquarters, the whole office said in chorus, “Say what?!” Everyone went for the View Media button at once to see the video (above), and watched fascinated as the brilliant and lovely Nina Lanza gave her talk (transcribed here). We saw the tiny stone and the weathering under it that made it look as if it were set on little uprights, like a tiny row of sarsens topped with lintels, ON MARS!!!* And we heard how the Curiosity Rover zapped it with its lasers nine times.

We were laughing and exchanging looks of bemused joy when, well, as they say, s#!* got real. Miss Lanza went on to say, In addition to composition, we’ve also been able to make a three-dimensional model of the surface of this target using images from the Remote Micro-Imager part of ChemCam. (see model below)

Yes, we know this is just a computer model. As far as we know, they didn’t do a three dimensional print of it. Yet… As far as we know…

Mars Stonehenge–one inch long

So, I guess we all know what this means. No? Not All? What about Giorgio Tsoukalos? We think he’d know what to say. Yes, that’s right, gentle readers, apparently Mars people must be very very small! And we just zapped their pagan ritual site! We believe they are planning their revenge.

But here at Clonehenge, we say, “What? Us worry?” We’re too thrilled to see Stonehenge, however dubious the connection, and a model of it, mentioned in connection with space! We still hope someday to learn of a Stonehenge replica being made on the International Space Station, but until then, this is making us pretty darned happy! Thank you, Curiosity Rover! Thank you, Nina Lanza! Thank you, other NASA dudes and dudettes!

And until next time, we wish all of you, including the NASA computers, happy henging!!

*Try adding that to every fortune cookie you open!

Clonehenge’s End-of-the-World Henge Fest and Contest! Competitive Henging: Preparing for the Next Olympics!

photo by Pete Glastonbury, henge by 13-year-old Sammy Glastonbury!

Since there are less than two full months until the saucers come to land on all the Stonehenge replicas we are building for them, and emerge to take over the world, this is mankind’s last chance to enjoy freestyle henging before building henges/saucer platforms becomes required slave labour for all of us. Clonehenge, therefore, has taken the decision to declare a new contest!

The last contest we ran got exactly one entry, and that winner, because we are despicable, never received her prize. We are sure she is lurking somewhere as we speak,  acquiring fell superpowers and planning our spectacular demise!

We can’t let that happen again, so this time the reward is simpler: a new page, not post but a new page like The Rules of Henginess is a page, with a link at the top, will be created on Clonehenge to showcase the five best henges we receive. The rules are as follows:

1. The henge or Stonehenge replica, using the terms interchangeably, cannot have existed before October 21, 2012. It must be created and submitted either on the Clonehenge Facebook group wall , on the Clonehenge Facebook page timeline, or possibly by sending it to @Clonehenge on Twitter, or by email to nancydotwisseratgmaildotcom. (She’s our secretary.) Deadline is December 21, 2012 at midnight California time.

2. Each submission should include at least one photograph–more are preferred–and certain information: the materials, the maker or makers, the location, anything amusing that happened during its creation, whether it is the maker(s)’s first venture into henging, and other fun things like friends’ and relatives’ reactions, spooky druid occurrences brought on by it, whether it will be or has been destroyed, and anything else relevant. Information left out will not disqualify a henge if it is provided upon request.

3. Any materials are permitted. Originality and humour are encouraged and will add points just as accuracy does or more so. Figures, Lego or otherwise, of people or other living things, added to the henge to create a tableau, are permitted. If the henge is large, real people, animals,or aliens may be included in the photos. Themed henges  (Star Wars henge, Hobbit Henge, Twilight Henge, Price Is Right henge, etc. –or Pokemon Henge, Little Pony Henge, Hello Kitty Henge, Godzilla henge, Godzilla Meets Hello Kitty Henge… possibilities are endless! ) are welcome.

4. Obscenity or nudity will disqualify an entry regardless of its quality otherwise, as will anything negative about any kind of people.

5. No badgerhenges with real badgers.

That’s all we can think of now, but we found it was fun making rules so we may think up more and add them just for the thrill of ordering people around! Close your right eye.  Now close your left eye. Touch the tip of your nose with your tongue. This is fun!

The outstanding entry pictured above was created from small lava lamps by 13-year-old Sammy Glastonbury and submitted on October 23, 2012 by her father, hengefinder and longtime friend of the blog, Pete Glastonbury. It sets a high standard for aspiring hengers, but remember, if you can’t do beauty like this, try humour!

What’s that you say? You don’t see lintels? Look a little closer and you will see a small dark linteled circle among the lights. And the inner horseshoe helps its henginess, even the general shape and proportions of the lamps. Sammy Glastonbury–we see what you did there! Well done!

Do you have a brilliant henge lurking within you? Can you show us a henge such as has never been made before?? This is your chance to show the world (or at least the five people who read this blog)!!!Your henging self is your true self. Show us who you are!

And, until next time, gentle readers, happy henging!

Celebrating Sixty: A Battenberg Cakehenge. (Please Welcome Our Special Guest Blogger!)

Battenberg Henge and picture by Sylvia MacPuss

Greetings, Readers! We have a treat for you today. Possibly. Clonehenge has never had a guest blogger, but a certain individual got in touch with us and proposed convincingly that he/she be allowed to give it a try. This person insisted on complete anonymity, but I don’t think we’re giving any clues when we say that he/she has never tried blogging before, or any kind of written humour, but is keen to give it a try. Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for our Anonymous Guest Blogger!

Hello, lovely people! One is most pleased to have this opportunity to take part in this wonderful blog, which one has admired for so long. As a life-long resident of the United Kingdom and, indeed, of England, one cannot help but take pride in the glory that is Stonehenge and in the Stonehenge landscape, even if one’s ancestors arrived only one thousand or so years ago, much too recently to have been among those who built it! One has visited the great stones oneself and found that they have great and deep secrets to whisper to one who has deep feelings for this fair island that means so much to so many.

One also feels that humour is much needed in our society today. As part of a family or community in the modern day, people experience untold strains, such as, for a random example, the lascivious exploitation of one’s beloved grandchildren by a money hungry and uncaring media. Sometimes one can only turn to one’s dear pets and look about for a place to have a laugh. One has turned more than once to Clonehenge, among other places, to lighten one’s heart in the dark times and gain strength to carry on as one must.

The henge or, more properly,  Stonehenge replica, one has chosen for one’s first timourous foray into blogging and humour is the delightful confection shown above. It was tenderly created by a daughter for her lovely mother, quite touching, for the mother’s 60th birthday. One hopes the celebration was as charming as the cake. One had a 60th celebration oneself recently and found it most heartening!

The cake the henge is made from is Battenberg cake, named after an ancestor of Prince Philip, your Queen’s husband, and a man one happens to know personally! (Once in a while, we are told, it is permitted to drop a name or two.)  The replica itself, it is true, is no accurate depiction of the towering and enigmatic stones that loom, echoing with time, on the Salisbury Plain of our beautiful Wiltshire. Yet one gives it a score of six (6) druids, one more than recommended by the gracious people of Clonehenge, simply because it evokes in one a longing for one’s dearly departed mother.

One has seen other Stonehenge replicas. Just this summer past, one traveled incognito to have a gentle hop on Jeremy Deller’s ingenious bouncy replica, called Sacrilege. One was charmed, but after seeing this video of the two of them bouncing and discussing it, one could not help but think that if only one were younger, one would not have minded having a few bounces with Mr. Mike Pitts! On the bouncy Stonehenge. Because he knows so much about the stones. What?

Well, one can see that one is a failure at humour on one’s first try. Clonehenge has assured one that one may try again when one feels ready. Just the attempt has raised one’s spirits! Thank you very much to one’s Readers, whether or not they are one’s subj friends! And to Clonehenge. It has been wonderful to drop one’s persona and be utterly anonymous for a change. Bless you all.

And there you have it. Our first post by the anonymous guest blogger! We have one more thing to mention before we close out. Hengefinder General Extraordinaire Matt Penny has been down with the whooping cough. We ask you all to wish him well. We also want to remind him that we told him to keep away from those swans because no good could come of it! May he be back on his feet, flogging the Salisbury and Stonehenge beat, before another day goes by!

And until next time, friends, happy henging!

Festival Henges, 2012! Part Two: Yet Another Burning Man Henge!

BASShenge at the Burning Man Festival, 2012

Way back in January (remember January?) we did a post about some people who were collecting money in order to build a Stonehenge replica at Burning Man: not just any Stonehenge replica, but one made of bass speakers, making it rather reminiscent of the Solhenge made of speakers at the 2004 Burning Man Festival. Well, here it is!

The proportions, height to width, are not bad. It looks as if they chose to reproduce only the center trilithon horseshoe of Stonehenge, changing the trilithons at either end of the horseshoe to monoliths. A sequence of pictures including the building of the henge can be seen here.

Score? 6 druids for these guys! This took some planning and team work, and looks enough like Stonehenge to pass, and we are told that they did align it to the sun and moon, although we have no details on that.

Some research suggests that music may have been among the uses for the real Stonehenge in its heyday. We like potential links to the builders and ancient visitors to Stonehenge. It is possible that a number of things that go on at Burning Man might have been recognisable to pilgrims and celebrant on Salisbury Plain thousands of years ago! Well done, Burners!

Now to the bigger question. Why does Burning Man generate so many Stonehenge replicas? Why, in fact, do festivals in general breed Stonehenge replicas at a fair rate? We are reminded not only of the many Burning Man replicas (mentioned here and here in a list that is probably not comprehensive), but also replicas including the one at the Audio Soup Festival, one at the Elf Fantasy Fair in 2008, and one at Ireland’s Oxegen Music Festival in 2009. It seems that the Mutoid Waste Company has set up a few henges at festivals, there are Hugh Jart’s Dubhenge and Banksy’s Privy Henge, both of which showed up at the Glastonbury Festival on, different years, and of course the wonderful Citrus-Henge at the lemon festival in the Riviera one year!

If we were to pursue the idea (which we in fact just made up) that the original uses of Stonehenge itself are the most likely situations to generate replicas now, then festivals obviously should be generating these henges, since evidence of gathering and feasting has been found in excavations near Stonehenge. One must beware, however, of reversing that idea to suggest that things that now generate replicas must be original uses for Stonehenge, unless one is prepared to assert that crazy golf was common in the Neolithic. Before we would assert that we would have to have an awful lot of that stuff that gets passed around at Burning Man!*

Music, festive gatherings, feasting, observing the heavens, time measurement, healing, intoxication, mysticism, and sport, all of these ancient pursuits and more have connections to modern Stonehenge replicas. When people build these things, maybe they are getting in touch with their ancestors even as they laugh and joke about it, getting in touch with those things that, despite huge changes, have remained the same.

Something to think about, or drink to! Until next time, friends, happy henging!

*Or maybe just a lot of mead. Recently someone suggested to us that Stonehenge was a huge tavern. The alcohol connection, which we have pointed out in the past.

Festival Henges, 2012! Part One: Audio Soup Festival

One trilithon of the Audio Soup Henge, decorated

Back after our delightful holidays which included a funeral, an alarming incident in which we fell on our faces, and a bad cold. If you hear us coughing or sniffling during this post, kindly pretend not to notice!

We know of two henges built for festivals this summer, although there were almost certainly more somewhere. The trilithon in the photo above belongs to one made by the infamous Henge Collective for a music festival called Audio Soup in Garvald, East Lothian (that’s Scotland, for those who are opening a tab for Google just now). interestingly, they were invited to henge at the festival, the first instance we’ve heard of public henging by invitation!

We know what you’re sitting there thinking. It doesn’t look much like Stonehenge. True, but you have to understand that the Henge Collective are sort of the Impressionists or almost Abstract Expressionists of the henging world. They deal in nuance, subtly suggesting Stonehenge rather than blatantly coming out and screaming it. At least that is what we choose to believe!

We do like the knit or crochet decorations. We are of the school who believe that originally the stones of Stonehenge were decorated, both permanently in some ways and seasonally with more colourful and perishable things draped and laid at their bases, so we find this fitting.

As for score? 5½ druids for the bold hengers! We are excited for them and pleased that henging by invitation is now a thing! Who knows where this will lead? Hengers invited in by the United Nations? Or Parliament? Hengers at sea? Henging by robots on Mars? The possibilities are endless.

Next up: Burning Man and its henge tradition. Until then, friends, happy henging!