For All You Druids In Tulsa Oklahoma, a Hidden Henge

photo from article in News on 6

Hey, we’re baaaack! Albeit just briefly. Could not ignore this nifty news item sent in by alert and helpful reader Matt Penny, aka @salisbury_matt , still a friend of the blog, Salisbury and Stonehenge enthusiast, and still, as far as we know, perpetrator of the Salisbury and Stonehenge website.

Faculty members at Tulsa Community College’s West Campus have discovered a functioning henge, hidden (as is the method of secret societies like the Illuminati!!1!1!) in plain sight. Henge detector extraordinaire, Earl Goodman, Jr., noticed the suspicious array of posts (see above) and began to plot shadow positions over time. Lo and behold, Voila!, Aha!, and other exclamatory interjections–Mr. Goodman was able to mark out the tracks, or analemmas, showing how the sun’s position moves over the course of the year. Read it here. And here. Although the second link lacks the crucial video–more on that later.

Okay, admittedly we’re being silly here, frankly, in a desperate and pathetic effort to be entertaining, but if we may be serious for a moment, well, we need to put a cape on this guy and a brilliant logo incorporating the letters HD , and send him around the world with the mission of detecting hidden henges everywhere!!! We’re not saying that being stuck in Tulsa for a lifetime is a tragic waste of human life (Why bother? We’re sure others have and will say it.), but let’s face it, someone with this man’s talent could be rooting out henges everywhere, causing education and knowledge to smite people with the suddenness and power of a million lightning bolts!

*Wipes foam from mouth* Ahem. Aaaanyway, we’re pleased to see that so far no one is clamouring to have the whole structure ripped out to save students from pagan influence, as they are at Arlington Texas’s Caelum Moor. The professors are right that this is an excellent learning opportunity and we applaud them.

And now to the extra geeky joy of all this, a special moment in that video at the first link. At around 5 seconds into that video, a henge appears on the screen behind the newsperson. Wait! What is that?! Pause and look . . . that ain’t Stonehenge, people! We used to pride ourselves on being able to name any Stonehenge replica just by looking at a thumbnail, but we’re a little rusty these days. Still, our best guess is that we’re looking at the UK’s Foamhenge, a temporary henge built for a BBC project. It’s possible it’s the Texas Hill Country’s Stonehenge II, but the proportions look wrong. At any rate, we were excited to see another Stonehenge replica involved in the story, even if it’s by mistake.

This is not, as the faithful readers we fantasize about would know, Oklahoma’s first permanent Stonehenge replica. That title goes to the replica at Stonehenge Realty in Stillwater, Oklahoma. These south central states certainly have their hidden corners. Oklahoma and Texas together now have 6 entries on our list of large permanent replicas. Hey, what’s really going on down there?!

Many thanks to Mr. Penny. Keep those cards and letters coming in, friends. We’ll add ’em as fast as you send ’em. Well, almost.

Stonehenge of Notre Dame, Indiana

photo by Michael Bohn, aka digitalbohn, used with permission

Okay, so how did this get by us for so long? Known variously as the Clarke Peace Memorial Fountain, Clarke Memorial Fountain, War Memorial Fountain and Notre Dame’s Stonehenge, this may be the only Stonehenge-referenced sculpture on the campus of a Roman Catholic university. It consists of four huge trilithons and five fountains, one for each trilithon and one rising from the sphere at the center of the monument. The taker of the photos toward the bottom of this post, a man we know only as John and by his Flickr name, Imazing, tells us, “This center fountain crashes down onto the sphere, creating a beautiful effect, especially during the night time when it is lit up.” You can see it here. Amazing photo!

The proportions of the trilithons echo the architecture of the Theodore M. Hesburgh Library which stands behind it, as you can see in the same picture.  As an interesting aside, another side of the library , seen on the left, displays a huge mural that depicts Jesus, the central figure in Christianity, teaching. Around Notre Dame, a school known for its American football team, this mural is affectionately known as Touchdown Jesus because his arms are in the position used by referees to signal a successful goal, or “touchdown” in American football.

On this page we find this paragraph about the fountain, “A survey published in a recent edition of The Dome revealed that 68 percent of Notre Dame’s senior class had run through the waters of Clarke Memorial Fountain at least one time. Certainly an even larger percentage has gravitated here to study, socialize, and even dance in the shadow of this campus landmark. Perhaps the lure of the fountain lies in the hauntingly timeless appeal of its mammoth form, which noted New York architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee (Notre Dame class of 1956) purposely designed to mimic the mystical, monolithic monuments built in Britain during the Bronze Age. Not surprisingly, its nickname is Stonehenge.

Okay, yes, as you point out, you pedant, surely they mean megalithic rather than monolithic here. But it does show that the sculptors did have Stonehenge in mind, not the case, we’re told, about the campus sculpture commonly called Stonehenge at the University of California at San Diego. We must say it does have a nice looming effect. We like it much more than the Rolla Stonehenge at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. That one is more functional, though, while this is just, well, art. There’s something very robotic about that Rolla unit.

We found this Stonehenge, by the way, while browsing the Stonehenge page of a website on Peace Monuments Around the World. Thanks to them for that and for linking to us! There is more information and many more pictures of this monument on the Historical Marker Database.

The monument at night, photo used by permission

As for score: 6½ druids, which is what we gave to Rolla. We’re pleased to be adding another campus Stonehenge, another Stonehenge fountain and another to our list of Large Permanent Replicas, all at once! Who knows what further henging delights may be lurking out there?

Hope you’re enjoying the summer, or winter if you’re in the–heh–lower hemisphere! 😉  Happy henging!

Third photo by Imazing, used with permission. Touchdown Jesus photo is in the public domain.

Rolla Stonehenge, Missouri

photo by Andy Lahr, used with permission

photo by Andy Lahr, used with permission

On the campus of the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri, stands a half-scale partial reconstruction of Stonehenge, built of granite that was cut with high pressure water jets. The monument was suggested by Dr. Joseph Marchello, who had helped to found the Center for Archaeo-Astronomy at the University of Maryland before he moved to the Missouri school.

It was built with the help of a civil engineer and astronomer as well as a high pressure waterjet group (who knew there were such things?), so, fittingly for a science and technology campus, it is a demonstration of the science aspect of Stonehenge rather than a work of art. Impressively, the website [link] says, “The Rolla replica of Stonehenge incorporates many of the features of the original and includes two capabilities that the original did not possess.” Click on the links to the right of the page to read the explanations.

Score: 6½ druids. Some great functions here and we’re impressed by them, but it doesn’t capture whatever it is that made Stonehenge an icon.

You can see it on Google Street View here.

Stroudhenge: Clonehenge goes on assignment


Some partial lists of Stonehenge replicas, including that on Wikipedia, mention Stroudhenge on the campus of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, but tantalizingly there were no pictures except for a fuzzy aerial Google Maps shot. This was unacceptable: even the Stonehenge replica at the Planetarium in Kuala Lumpur has a photo on the net! So today Clonehenge itself went on a field trip to East Stroudsburg to ferret out the truth. What you see above is what we found. (Note the Clonehenge-mobile in the background.)

A single trilithon with an odd assemblage of blocks scattered around it, this ‘henge’ turned out to be a sculpture by Ernest Shaw, entitled Arch Homage (Stonehenge), and not a true henge replica at all. Standing alone as it did, the trilithon caused us to reflect that the real Stonehenge might be seen as a series of gates or portals, each opening toward a different world. It would be interesting to know how students have interacted with Stroudhenge over the years. There was certainly no shortage of mud on the high ‘steps’ we climbed and no doubt the stones are cool places to sit on hot days.

Our score: 4 druids, but it is a nice sculpture for the grounds of the school.