CONTINUED FROM THE HOMEPAGE.
CONTINUED FROM THE HOMEPAGE.
Starting in late January, 1999 -- literally days before the bulldozers were to run -- a remarkable "11th hour" campaign to save the Circle was begun. Nightly, nationwide updates to close to 20 million people were broadcast on the highly popular "Coast-to-Coast" Art Bell Radio Show, organized by Angstrom Medal Winner, Richard C. Hoagland, and Native American activist, Robert Ghostwolf. Calls for help to "save the Circle" included a world-wide plea for interested citizens to immediately fax the Governor of Florida, key local Miami politicians, the local media, the developer himself ... and even the White House!
The response was overwhelming.
Tens of thousands of faxes poured into the Miami area from all around the world, finally alerting the local media to a Big Story.
In just hours, "wall-to-wall television trucks" were parked outside the fence surrounding the Miami Circle site itself [photo of TV trucks], beaming live nightly images of demonstrations, candle-light vigils, and Sacred Ceremonies now occurring near the Circle. These live broadcasts alerted not only local viewers to the Circle's unique heritage and imminent demise ... but audiences literally round the world ...
FOR LARGER IMAGE
Local "preservation groups" -- like Dade-Heritage Trust -- launched lawsuits attempting to stay the developer's hand through Court Injunctions. Though ultimately turned down, the political effect of this coupled with literally tens of thousands of faxes simultaneously flooding his own fax machine, apparently forced the developer to give the Circle a temporary "stay of execution" -- extending the all-too-brief amount of time by a (precious) few days that Carr and his associates could continue their scientific probings ... until cutoff by actual construction.
But the clock was still inexorably ticking ...
More letters, faxes and e-mails from the sudden TV exposure poured in to local politicians, citizens demanding that -- in a City where the Past is basically instantly forgotten, let alone something as ancient as "several thousand years" --"something be done this time" to save this unique archaeological artifact from terminal extinction!
Events climaxed less than a month into the Campaign, on February 18, 1999. The Miami-Dade Country Commission, spurred by this unprecedented outpouring of grassroots concern and led by a courageous young Mayor, Alex Penelas, officially voted 10-1 to "save the Circle." Mayor Penelas then signed an "eminent domain decree", which set in motion a long and complicated legal process, eventually to culminate in a trial this October (1999) -- which seeks to force purchase (and thus preservation) of the "Circle" and its surrounding land from the hands of the developer.
And there things stand today.
Brought to a complete standstill by this (now) necessary legal maneuvering was, of course, the science of the Circle.
In the months since its initial discovery, it is the science still to be accomplished which, more than anything else, argues compellingly for continued preservation of this unique archaeological find. For, according to even Bob Carr's evolving archaeological perspectives,
"A ... tantalizing suggestion has been made that would refer to the site Miami Stonehenge ... Our surveyor, Ted Riggs, and there are others -- Richard Hoagland and others, who have done tremendous advocacy work in preserving the site to this point -- have suggested perhaps there is a lot more to this story than [simply] the Native American interpretation.
"Perhaps this is [dated] much earlier, and perhaps the holes didn't have anything made of wood or a structure [in them], but perhaps indeed there were stones placed in them not unlike Stonehenge ..." .
FOR LARGER IMAGE
T. L. Riggs, the actual discoverer of this remarkable geometric structure, indeed believes this could be the equivalent of "an American Stonehenge." He has expressed these ideas in a brief, heretofore unpublished paper which we are pleased to present here for the first time.
Then, in late Winter, at the height of the previously described political clamor over preserving the very existence of the Circle, Riggs quietly made another critical discovery, which promises -- if verified -- to completely revolutionize the still evolving scientific perceptions of the true nature of this unique Miami treasure:
Six (out of the 30) upright stones -- which he (and others) now increasingly believe once fitted neatly into those "geometric" holes ... arrayed in that 37-foot Circle ...
The second Riggs paper describing this discovery is reproduced for the first time here. He has also created a series of striking, 3-D models to illustrate "Miami Stonehenge" reconstructed . .
FOR LARGER IMAGE
Because, as crass as this may sound, ultimately this will all be decided on the basis of money -- enough money to simply purchase the land on which the Circle stands from the developer at the October trial.
And, despite a lot of promises so far, the amount of funds pledged to (or actually raised by) Miami-Dade County toward the outright purchase of the Circle now falls woefully short of what will ultimately be required. One major factor is the prior stipulation of Mayor Penelas himself: that no tax monies from the County be utilized for the direct purchase of the property. All funds expended by the County for the Circle will ultimately come from public and private philanthropic donations toward the Circle.
Enter: this campaign.
As you scan the various sections of this "Save The Circle" Website, you will notice several commemorative items up for sale.These have been carefully selected, not only to raise money specifically to help Miami-Dade County "Save The Circle," but to reflect -- through the production of a major television documentary -- the unprecedented community-based nature of that effort.
Tens of thousands of "ordinary folks" earlier this year successfully began -- against all odds! -- a unique and highly democratic process: you demanded that a piece of priceless (and potentially revolutionary) archaeological history be saved. And the political system ultimately responded.
Now, through your generous donations to this still-essential effort, or through the purchase of one or more of the unique commemoratives assembled here, you will simply be completing what you started. And the lessons learned in this Campaign, through the medium of television, will become a living "how to" manual for other .communities facing similar unprecedented problems.
For, without this sustained fundraising effort, there is still a very real possibility at this point that this unique Monument -- despite all the grassroots efforts that have been expended to preserve it, and in the face of overwhelming pressures for "development" -- may NOT ultimately be saved ...
That's why, as we go into hour "number 12," we now truly need your best financial help!