Wednesday, 15 May 2013


By Bruce Cathie

UNTIL RECENT YEARS THE VAST AUSTRALIAN outback was thought to have always been a barren, windswept sandy desert, devoid of all signs of civilization. A chance discovery in early 1953 was to change this concept and prove to the world that at some period, way back in what the Aboriginals call the dreamtime, a highly advanced and long-forgotten race had raised constructions there that could be of great scientific importance.
The evidence had been hidden away beneath the sand for centuries and came to light only because a modern-day scientific research team found it necessary to venture into the area in order to probe the secrets of the atom. Ever since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War Two, the race had been on to discover all that could possibly be known about the structure of matter.

After successful tests at Monte Bello Island carried out by a team of scientists headed by Sir William Penny, it was decided to establish a more permanent test site in south Central Australia. The person chosen to find and survey the site was a man well used to similar types of operations, by the name of Len Beadell. He had spent months of his life in the Australian outback on surveying expeditions and was chosen as the most experienced man for the job. The trip into the interior was a story unto itself and Mr. Beandell did an excellent job of this in his well-written book called Blast The Bush, published in 1967.

The initial site chosen was called “Emu” and needless to say the coordinates of the bomb tower were such that certain harmonics of light were fulfilled to cause atomic disruption of the radioactive material placed upon it.

While preparations were being carried out for the first tests it was decided to send an expedition to survey a more permanent site further south which would be much nearer the trans-Australian railway line. Len Beadell once more led his small team into the desert wilderness in their Land-Rovers to blaze a trail to this new position. During this trip he was the first man in modern times to set eyes on the leftovers of an ancient civilization on the Australian continent.

I had read Mr. Beadell’s book some years before, and had put it aside with an idea in my mind to carry out at a later date some research on the information he gave. During one of my trips to Australia I was shown some photographs which had been taken of the same area.

It was this information that brought my immediate attention to that isolated spot in the desert. On returning to New Zealand I carried out some calculations and decided to contact Mr. Beadell immediately for more accurate information. With his permission I quote from his book:
“Just about everyone had a color camera, and I had a black-and-white-one, so photographs for the recording of our trip were constantly being taken. None of us knew that we were on the brink of one of the most startling discoveries ever made on any of our expeditions past, present, or future, a discovery that would provide ample scope for all our cameras.”
The convoy of Land-Rovers had come upon a small clay-pan nestled among sand-hills, and while the others drove their vehicles over it just for the sheer joy of being on a flat surface after hours of struggling up and down sand dunes, Len Beadell decided to do a quiet bit of exploring on his own:
I did however have a brief scan of the rocky steep bank on the western side to find the best lead out from this clay-pan. The small plateau beyond was roughly six feet higher than the level of the clay-pan. Dotted about with casuarinas or sheoaks it looked a very pleasant spot. The shales seemed to have broken away to form an inclined plane which could be used as a ramp slightly to the south of where I was, so I started up and veered towards it to be in position at its base when the others were ready to follow. When they noticed my movement they made towards me so I started the rough shale-strewn ascent.
The moment my vehicle topped the rise to level out again, I saw it, spread out right across my path, extending for at least sixty yards either side. It was almost like a picket fence with posts six feet apart made from slivers of shale. Tingling with excitement I switched off and leapt out of the cabin. Being in so isolated an area it was obviously an ancient Aboriginal ceremonial ground built by those primitive Stone Age nomads in some distant dreamtime. And here we were, surely the first white men ever to be gazing in awe at the sight, scarcely daring to breathe in order to hold the atmosphere of it all and to prolong the memory of this dramatic moment to its limit.

The others had driven up the rocky incline and had stopped, wondering for a fleeting instant what was the trouble, until they all saw the reason for themselves. We all knew without saying that it was going to cause much speculation and theory, and that we would all be recapturing this scene for years to come. Moved by curiosity we ventured forward slowly on foot, as if we were creeping about an antique egg-shell china-shop....

It was impossible to tell how old the posts were, but they must have been pretty old for they were well-weathered at their base where countless ground thermals and wind currents off the clay-pan had sandblasted them. The area was about a hundred and twenty yards long, the main line bearing a few degrees west of north. The individual slivers of grey, water-impervious shale were protruding three feet above the surface of the plateau, and judging by the one or two which were leaning or fallen they seemed to be embedded about a foot or so beneath.
Each was comparable in section to its neighbor, measuring four inches by three, very rectangular, and with a perfectly straight long axis. There were about sixty of them about two yards apart. As well as these there were clusters vaguely resembling stocks of hay each made up of one centre “post” of shale with a dozen or so slivers leaning in towards it, the inner ones resting against, and seemingly propping up, the centre; they covered a circle three feet in diameter and were three feet high. On closer inspection they seemed to be rather carefully placed.
I counted half a dozen of these clusters in all, one placed at either end of the main line, at its centre and one several yards distant on its own; the other two were on the plateau level on the eastern and western side. One of these was erected about fifteen yards west of the southern extremity but on a raised natural rock dais eight feet higher than the others, and what we took to be the main one of all, was the cluster built roughly a chain west of the northern extremity.

At the time of this amazing discovery Mr. Beadell had carried out a hurried survey of the site to record its position for the arm-chair boffins back in civilization, and it was this information that was necessary for my own research into the possible reason for the remote location of the ancient construction. Len had thought the work had been carried out by an Aboriginal community way back in the distant past, and at that time there was not much evidence to show otherwise. No other explanation would fit the known facts. The photographs shown to me changed this explanation dramatically.
Over the years, since the original discovery, either nature, due to weathering, or man, due to his insatiable curiosity, had uncovered the sand from a corner of the plateau, and laid bare a small section of stonework which had lain hidden possibly for centuries. In startling detail the photographs showed a small section of paved surface. The paving stones were large and rectangular in shape and several inches thick. They were very accurately cut and fitted together in an extremely precise tessellated pattern. It was immediately obvious that no primitive race could have had a hand in a construction such as this.
The tools necessary to carry out such an operation pointed to a much more advanced type of civilization being in the area at the time. A find of this nature would be expected more so in Greece, or Rome, than in the Australian outback. Mr. Beadell described the plateau as being about six feet above the level of the clay--pan, with a sort of natural ramp on one side, up which he had driven his Land-Rover. This suggests that the stone platform under the sand is the top surface of a construction which is at least a few feet high and possibly of something buried deeper in the drifting sand. The ramp could be the buried remains of a flight of steps perhaps.

Recently Mr. Beadell successfully led another team into the area of the “Stonehenge” site, armed with movie cameras and other gear in order to gather more information necessary for our research purposes. I only wish I could have been one of the party, but my flying commitments with the airline necessitated my remaining in New Zealand.

When discussing the find with him on the telephone, he said he had misplaced the original survey data he had recorded at the time but would replot the position on his maps and send me a set of coordinates which would be within one minute of arc in latitude and longitude. He was true to his word and sent off the data the same more