In addition to the ancient accounts of large stones being
levitated or “walked into place,” there are also a few modern accounts that
provide evidence for such a phenomenon. One of the most compelling cases is
that of Henry Kjellson, a Swedish engineer who in his 1961 book The Lost
Techniques detailed the visit of his friend Dr. Jarl to a Tibetan
monastery. While at the monastery, Dr. Jarl witnessed Tibetan monks levitating
large stones from the ground up to a cliff approximately 250m high.
This account of stone levitation is remarkable because of
the scientific observations and measurements that were documented by Jarl (or
Kjellson using a pseudonym). The detailed measurements allow for an analysis of
geometric proportions used by the monks. The following excerpt comes from
Kjeller:
In
the middle of the meadow, about 250 meters from the cliff, was a polished slab
of rock with a bowl like cavity in the centre. The bowl had a diameter of one
meter and a depth of 15 centimeters. A block of stone was maneuvered into this
cavity by Yak oxen. The block was one meter wide and one and onehalf meters long.
Then 19 musical instruments were set in an arc of 90 degrees at a distance of
63 meters from the stone slab. The radius of 63 meters was measured out
accurately. The musical instruments consisted of 13 drums and six trumpets.
(Ragdons).
Eight drums had a crosssection of one meter, and a length of one and onehalf meters. Four drums were medium size with a crosssection of 0.7 meter and a length of one meter. The only small drum had a crosssection of 0.2 meters and a length of 0.3 meters. All the trumpets were the same size. They had a length of 3.12 meters and an opening of 0.3 meters. The big drums and all the trumpets were fixed on mounts which could be adjusted with staffs in the direction of the slab of stone.
Eight drums had a crosssection of one meter, and a length of one and onehalf meters. Four drums were medium size with a crosssection of 0.7 meter and a length of one meter. The only small drum had a crosssection of 0.2 meters and a length of 0.3 meters. All the trumpets were the same size. They had a length of 3.12 meters and an opening of 0.3 meters. The big drums and all the trumpets were fixed on mounts which could be adjusted with staffs in the direction of the slab of stone.
The
big drums were made of 3mm thick sheet iron, and had a weight of 150 kg. They
were built in five sections. All the drums were open at one end, while the
other end had a bottom of metal, on which the monks beat with big leather
clubs. Behind each instrument was a row of monks. The situation is demonstrated
in the following diagram:
When the stone was in position the monk behind the small drum gave a signal to start the concert. The small drum had a very sharp sound, and could be heard even with the other instruments making a terrible din. All the monks were singing and chanting a prayer, slowly increasing the tempo of this unbelievable noise. During the first four minutes nothing happened, then as the speed of the drumming, and the noise, increased, the big stone block started to rock and sway, and suddenly it took off into the air with an increasing speed in the direction of the platform in front of the cave hole 250 meters high. After three minutes of ascent it landed on the platform.
Continuously they brought new blocks to the
meadow, and the monks using this method, transported 5 to 6 blocks per hour on
a parabolic flight track approximately 500 meters long and 250 meters high.
From time to time a stone split, and the monks moved the split stones away.
Personally, I find the account very compelling because there
are a lot of details, as well as a group of measurements that can be analyzed
regardless of whether the whole thing is fiction or not. The geometry can speak
for itself. From the side view, the ground and cliff form two sides of nested
right triangles as shown below. The green arc represents the flight path of the
stone blocks.
The distance from the instruments to the stone (63m) is
about 1/4 the distance from the stone to the cliff base (250m). Consider the base
of the cliff as the center of two circles with the two triangle legs as radii.
The circle diameters as well as the triangle legs are in the ratio of 5:4 as
shown visually below.
These two circles in a linear ratio of 5:4 are seen
repeatedly in crop circles and megalithic monuments around the world. One
significance of this set of circles is that they provide an easy approximation
for squaring the circle. In the above figure, the red square has an area equal (within
0.2%) to that of the green circle. I have often wondered why squaring the
circle would play such a prominent role in crop circles, ancient architecture
and monuments. Recently, I have come to realize that the angles encoded within
this geometric structure may play a key role in nonlinear resonance because they
are an embodiment of the golden ratio, phi (ɸ). This is Nature’s fractal.
The angle formed by the musicians, point of levitation, and
base of the cliff (51.38°) is very close to the angle seen in a vertical crosssection
of the Great Pyramid of Giza (51.83°). Cultural myths allege that the stones
used to build this pyramid were levitated into place, so the geometric
similarity is interesting to note.
The vertical crosssection of the Great Pyramid of Giza appears
to be composed of two triangles known as Kepler triangles. A Kepler triangle is
the only right triangle with sides in a geometric progression according to the
golden ratio (1, sqrt(ɸ), ɸ). Geometrically speaking, Kepler’s triangle is
the embodiment of the golden ratio in more ways than the “golden triangle” some
readers may be familiar with.
The question remains about the geometric intent of the
Tibetan Monks, assuming the story is true. Were the monks using a 5:4 ratio to
approximate the geometric progression of the golden ratio? A comparison of the
triangles in question show how close they all are.
The connection between Kepler triangles and resonance will
the subject of a future blog post.
Drum and Horn Proportions
The description tells us that there were 13 drums and 6 Ragdons,
which are the long, skinny trumpets still in use at Buddhist monasteries today.
The drums came in 3 sizes, and it is assumed that Kjellson’s measurement for
“crosssection” represents the diameter of the head of the drum. Then we have
the following drum sizes:
Drum

Diameter

Length

Number

Large (L)

1.0 m

1.5 m

8

Medium (M)

.7 m

1.0 m

4

Small (S)

.2 m

.3 m

1

Upon further inspection, the proportions of the drums appear
to be based on powers of 2 and 3, within a small margin of error. The number of
drums is also based on powers of 2.
Drum

Diameter

Length

Number

Large (L)

1

3/2

8

Medium (M)

2/3

1

4

Small (S)

2^{4}/3^{4}

2^{3}/3^{3}

1

The medium drum is 2/3 the size of the large drum (in diameter
and length), and the small drum is 8/27 times smaller than the medium drum. Based
on these ratios, the small drum would be significantly higher in pitch than the
other two drums. It seems logical that the small drum was the one leading the
beat, since it could be heard above all the other instruments according to Jarl’s
account.
The ragdon trumpet produces a very low frequency sound, one
I would describe as somewhat “farty.” It’s similar in frequency to a tuba, but
more piercing, and with less “umpah.” With a length of 3.12m and an opening of 0.3m,
the length/width ratio is about 10.4. If
I was sticking with the powers of 2 and 3, that would be close to 3^{4}/2^{3}
= 81/8 ≈ 10.125.
From a music theory point of view, it makes perfect sense to
use the ratio 3/2 for proportioning instruments, because it represents one of
the most important musical intervals, the perfect fifth (P5). The musical
system supposedly developed by Pythagoras (but likely borrowed from the
Babylonians) relied entirely on powers of 2 and 3. This 3limit tuning system
was the dominant music theory used up until the Renaissance where it was supplanted
by an equaltemper tuning system that allowed for easier key changes.
Conclusions
I tend to believe that this account of Tibetan monks
levitating stones is genuine. It is a lot of detail to fake, and the geometry is
just too familiar. I see this Kepler triangle, this weird 51ish° angle everywhere,
in conjunction with geometric progressions of the golden ratio. The central
angle of a septagon, the 7sided regular polygon that plays a prominent role in
sacred geometry, is 51.42°. Perhaps if it was named “sonic geometry” instead of
“sacred geometry” more people would take it seriously and start analyzing the fractal
nature of sound.