Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Did Stonehenge have a fission reactor?

By Robert John Langdon

While I have been rewriting the second edition of The Stonehenge Enigma, I have taken the opportunity to sift through the hundreds of documents I had previously disregarded for the first edition.  Amonst the rejected pieces of information was the research on Bluestone origins.

The scientists used a system of evaporation to find which compounds were inside a typical Bluestone and hence from the results try to locate the source of the bedrock and quarry  From the Museum of Wales:

Vaporising the Bluestones

To test this match further, quantitative evidence has been acquired by analysing the composition of tiny, micron-sized zircon crystals from Stonehenge and Pont Season rhyolite samples, using a technique known as 'laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry' at Aberystwyth University.

The technique is to focus a very high-power laser beam, with a diameter of only 10 microns, onto the zircon crystals (themselves no larger than 100 microns) and 'ablate' them — essentially vaporizing them — so that after analysis the zircon crystals are peppered with small craters. The vapour generated by this process is then analysed in the mass spectrometer, which reveals the chemistry of the zircon crystals. This was the first time zircon chemistry had ever been used to provenance archaeological material.

Uranium found in Bluestones
Uranium found in Bluestones

As well as zirconium (and the closely related element hafnium) the crystals contained detectable concentrations of a range of elements including scandium, tantalum, uranium, thorium and the rare earth elements, and the analyses from the two sample sets proved to be near identical, providing a geochemical 'fingerprint'.

Uranium and Thorium caught my eye as they are radioactive elements - further investigations showed that in Rhyolite outcrops there is sometimes a substance attached called 'Weeksite':

Which occurs within small "opal" veins within rhyolite and agglomerates, and as encrustations in sandstones and limestones. It occurs associated with opal, chalcedony, calcite, gypsum, fluorite, uraninite, thorogummite, uranophane, boltwoodite, carnotite and margaritasite.

Moreover, 52% of the substance is uranium.

Now at this point I started to wonder about the Bluestones and I realised that the term was quite inappropriate as it was just a generalisation used by archaeologists who know nothing about rocks.  For Stonehenge has a variety of rocks and if we look at the present structure, we see it consists of two types of sandstone (AKA Sarsens) and two types of ingenious rocks rhyolite and dolerite (AKA bluestones).

Type and Location of the Bluestones at Stonehenge
Type and Location of the Bluestones at Stonehenge

BUT the question no one seems to have ever asked is ' why bring TWO types of rock from the preseli mountains of Wales?

If our ancestors had a sacred rock (as most archaeologists believe) surely they would have brought just that one, either rhyolite or dolerite - not both!!  It is my belief that there was a very good reason for their madness and selection.  If we look at the number and size of the rhyolite at Stonehenge we see something very peculiar - the number and size.

There are only 3 lumps of rhyolite in the stone circle compared to 27 dolerlites and of those 3 lumps the largest is only 1' 8" high - far too small to be a meaningful standing stones.  The mystery deepens for when you look at the analysis of the 3600 bluestone (compared to just 2170 Sarsen) chips that have been found on the site.

Bluestone chippings breakdown
Bluestone chippings breakdown

For only 24% of the Bluestone fragments are Dolerites in comparison to the 90% that are standing stones.  So clearly the rhyolites were smaller and were transported broken or to be broken up when at the site.

But why would you chip small pieces off large stones?

In my book, I suggested that these smaller fragments allowed the chemicals contained within stone to dissolve into the waters helping to cure the sick.  The first edition took this substance to be rock salt.

BUT was that correct?

Uranium surprisingly also dissolves in water, in fact it dissolves so easily that water in aquifers under the ground contain quantities of uranium, which when processed becomes drinking water.  So if the rhyolite contained weeksite in the 'veins' of the rock it would completely dissolve in the waters increasing the concentration levels of uranium in the Stonehenge ditch, which my book has proven was a moat at the time of construction.

But you can't get a 'chain reaction' in a nuclear plant without enriched uranium can you?

Another article in the same dismissed pile that drew interest was about natural nuclear reactors. At the time of research I was looking to make the waters warm so they could be more effective and traditional and so I researched the possibility of finding the geyser that currently feeds the town of Bath being under the bedrock of Salisbury plain.  Sadly, I found no justifiable evidence, but I did find this article called  'natural nuclear fission reactors' :

In May 1972 at the Pierrelatte uranium enrichment facility in France, routine mass spectrometry comparing UF6 samples from the Oklo Mine, located in Gabon, Central Africa, showed a discrepancy in the amount of the 235U isotope. 

Normally the concentration is 0.720%; these samples had only 0.717% – a significant difference. This discrepancy required explanation, as all uranium handling facilities must meticulously account for all fissionable isotopes to assure that none are diverted for weapons purposes. 

Thus the French Commissariat √† l'√©nergie atomique (CEA) began an investigation. A series of measurements of the relative abundances of the two most significant isotopes of the uranium mined at Oklo showed anomalous results compared to those obtained for uranium from other mines. 

Geological situation in Gabon leading to natural nuclear fission reactors
Geological situation in Gabon leading to natural nuclear fission reactors
1. Nuclear reactor zones
2. Sandstone
3. Uranium ore layer
4. Granite
Further investigations into this uranium deposit discovered uranium ore with a 235U concentration as low as 0.440%. Subsequent examination of other isotopes showed similar anomalies, such as neodymium and ruthenium as described in more detail below.

This loss in 235U is exactly what happens in a nuclear reactor. A possible explanation therefore was that the uranium ore had operated as a natural fission reactor. Other observations led to the same conclusion, and on September 25, 1972, the CEA announced their finding that self-sustaining nuclear chain reactions had occurred on Earth about 2 billion years ago. Later, other natural nuclear fission reactors were discovered in the region.

In fact Oklo is the first known location for this in the world and consists of 16 sites at which self-sustaining nuclear fission reactions took place approximately 1.7 billion years ago, and ran for a few hundred thousand years, averaging 100 kW of power output during that time.  But what caught my eye in the report was how the reactor worked and how similar Stonehenge's ditch was to this natural reactor:

The natural nuclear reactor formed when a uranium-rich mineral deposit became inundated with groundwater that acted as a neutron moderator, and a nuclear chain reaction took place. The heat generated from the nuclear fission caused the groundwater to boil away, which slowed or stopped the reaction. After cooling of the mineral deposit, the water returned and the reaction started again. These fission reactions were sustained for hundreds of thousands of years, until a chain reaction could no longer be supported.

Fission of uranium normally produces five known isotopes of the fission-product gas xenon; all five have been found trapped in the remnants of the natural reactor, in varying concentrations. The concentrations of xenon isotopes, found trapped in mineral formations 2 billion years later, make it possible to calculate the specific time intervals of reactor operation: approximately 30 minutes of criticality followed by 2 hours and 30 minutes of cooling down to complete a 3-hour cycle.

A key factor that made the reaction possible was that, at the time the reactor went critical 1.7 billion years ago, the fissile isotope 235U made up about 3.1% of the natural uranium, which is comparable to the amount used in some of today's reactors. (The remaining 97% was non-fissile 238U.) 

Is this what our ancestors saw in the mountains of Preseli 10,000 years ago?

The groundwater levels would have been higher then and like the Gabon it could have caused a reaction.  It would also explain why the stones were so special and why they undertook to transport them 200 miles to their site at Stonehenge.  It would also explain why they brought two types of rock and broke one of them into smaller pieces to be dissolved in the moat.

If we look at the structure of the pits that make up the ditch of Stonehenge it will also explain why they are individual pits with small walls rather than a traditional ditch. As the 'post holes' reported at the bottom of the ditch by Hawley were in fact 'stone holes' for the dolerite stones that acted as the catalyse for the uranium waters as uranium metals are also found in dolerites and were possibly used as control elements (switching the heating on and off)

Pits that are Stone's ditch - perfect for a chain reaction?
Pits that are Stone's ditch - perfect for a chain reaction?

If we are right, the picture at the start of this blog would be accurate for a fluorescent blue glow would shine all night over the site - adding the the historic mythological reverence of the construction.  In addition, this material seems to be sort after, as there are numerous accounts of rhyolite/uranium mining in Northern America on and around 9500BC.  And as we have shown here on previous blogs, our ancestral Cro-Magnon skeletons have been found in America - could it be that this was the reason for travelling such vast distances, to seek out a very special raw material to replenish their miracle spa?

Or is Stonehenge just one of several spa's they possessed and archaeologists have failed to identify?

For it should be considered that although rock salt is essential to the cure of infections, low level radiation was and is used to remove and cure cancerous lumps.

Perhaps the cure for cancer was known and lost long, long ago!


(by Robert John Langdon)