Stonehenge Apocalypse

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Stonehenge Apocalypse
StonehengeApocalypse2010Cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Paul Ziller
Produced by John Prince
Written by Brad Abraham and Paul Ziller
Starring Misha Collins
Torri Higginson
Peter Wingfield
Music by Michael Neilson
Cinematography Anthony C. Metchie
Editing by Christopher A. Smith
Country United States
Language English
Original channel SyFy
Release date
  • June 12, 2010 (2010-06-12)

Stonehenge Apocalypse is a 2010 made-for-TV American science fiction movie starring Misha Collins, Torri Higginson and Peter Wingfield. The movie follows a series of deaths, natural disasters, and strange energy readings that seem to be mysteriously connected to Stonehenge.

Plot[edit]

An ancient prophecy comes to pass when archeologists unearth an Egyptian chamber in Maine, sparking a devastating electromagnetic pulse that originates at Stonehenge and sends destructive shockwaves around the globe. When the Aztec pyramids crumble and the stones take on a life of their own, a renegade radio host, a team of scientists, and a team of British commandos race to prevent the same force responsible for creating life on Earth from cleansing the planet in order to herald the dawn of a new age[1]

Cast[edit]

  • Misha Collins as Dr. Jacob Glaser, a once-renowned astrophysicist, now written off as a crazed conspiracy theorist by most of the scientific community. He runs a radio show called "The Real Story" in which he discusses unexplained phenomena with his listeners.
  • Torri Higginson as Dr. Kaycee Leeds.
  • Peter Wingfield as Dr. John Trousdale.
  • Hill Harper as Dr. Joseph LeShem, a former friend and colleague of Dr. Glaser's.

Reception[edit]

Stonehenge Apocalypse drew 2.1 million viewers during its premiere.[2]

Film Portrayal[edit]

Stonehenge Apocalypse follows the pattern of many movies containing archaeology and archaeologists. It has elements of science, mystery, exoticism, and even a hint of romance.

In the end the lead male character, Jacob Glaser, makes the ultimate sacrifice for her. Glaser is trying to stop the Stonehenge Apocalypse and also prevent power from falling into the wrong hands, particularly into the hands of an evil archaeologist who wants to save only a few and not the entire world. Heroic characters are a common thread in many films, but especially in films dealing with archaeology. These heroes are usually embraced by popular culture.[3] Although Glaser begins as an academic failure, by the end of the film his far-out theories are proven right and just what is needed to save mankind. He certainly qualifies as a hero in the end.

Stonehenge Apocalypse shows how dangerous the past is. Stonehenge has always been an archaeological site surrounded in mystery, and that undoubtedly enhanced its popularity. It is no surprise to have such a popular and well-known prehistoric site as the centerpiece of a film with archaeological content. In the film, this mysterious site releases dangerous energy into the world. Despite an evil energy emanating from Stonehenge, the archaeologists and other scientists continue their work. The military steps in and decides they will take control and destroy the site, though the other characters and the audience realize is naïve to think this dangerous past can be destroyed.[4] The military is proven wrong and Jacob Glaser’s special knowledge saves the day.

Pseudoarchaeology[edit]

Prevalent throughout the film is the incorporation of pseudoarchaeology concepts. One in particular is Jacob Glaser’s reference to a robot head on the moon.[5] To many, a photograph of an entity on the moon’s surface “proves” that extraterrestrial beings once visited the moon. It is far more likely that the image represents an anthropomorphic rock formation has led to the occurrence of pareidolia, a vague symbol being interpreted as something far more that what it actually is.

Pseudoarchaeological claims such as the robot head on the moon can be at times quite difficult to separate from valid, logical, and scientific archaeological claims. Credentialed experts, which is how Glaser is portrayed in the film, lend legitimacy to outrageous archaeological explanations. The danger of this is in how the measures taken to provide evidentiary support for pseudoarchaeological premises are so extensive and readily available to the public. Supporting charts, scientific jargon, photography, and thinly veiled arguments lends to creating the illusion of truth.[6] When the claims are logically dissected, they tend to fall apart. However, skepticism is ubiquitous in the general public.

Pseudoarchaeology is popular because it is presented in a way that excites and entices the public’s curiosity. The other scientists in the film may have mocked Glaser for his participation in pseudoscientific subculture, but the result is they gave up their skepticism. He saves the world with one correct theory, but does that make all of his other theories correct? When examining archaeological evidence, one should be able to separate the person making the claim, and how “correct” they may have been in the past, from what actual logical evidence is being provided on a case-by-case basis. In other words, look at these claims and critically analyze their intrinsic merits. If something seems outlandish, overly complicated, and impossible, then it probably is.

A second pseudo-archaeological concept in Stonehenge Apocalypse is the inclusion of an archaeological find as evidence of ancient extraterrestrial influence. In this film the Antikythera Mechanism is this archeological find. In the Stonehenge Apocalypse world, the Antikythera Mechanism is an ancient relic created by an ancient race, who lived on the Earth far prior to humans. This ancient species was powerful enough to harness the power of a global energy grid as a terraforming process. They assigned certain focal points across the globe as energy hubs for electromagnetic energy. The catalyst to unleash the electromagnetic energy is located at the archaeological site of Stonehenge. After activation, the stones at Stonehenge would continue to rotate and every ten hours a cataclysmic eruption would occur at one of the epicenters of the electromagnetic grid. At the end of the terraforming process, all previous life on the earth would be destroyed with the exception of primordial bacteria. In the film, the Antikythera Mechanism is the key to unlocking an ancient buried pyramid which can act as a sanctuary for those chosen few who are chosen to survive the terraforming.[7]

The scientists in the film posit that the reason that archaeologists were not able to figure out the Antikythera mechanism was because knowledge was lost over the millennia. Its complexity necessitated that it be created by otherworldly beings, rather than ancestors of modern humans- a common pseudo-archaeological claim.[8]

The real-life story behind the Antikythera Mechanism is less sensational and otherworldly than depicted in the movie. The Antikythera Mechanism is thought to be an ancient analog computer, designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was discovered from a shipwreck around 1900-1901. The find is interesting because the technology required was thought not to have been invented until the 14th century A.D. when astronomy emerged in Western Europe.[9]

The antiquity of the object is one basis for the pseudo-archaeological claims for the mechanism’s origins. However, antiquity and complexity are not sufficient evidence to support a pseudo-archaeological claim. Researchers are continuing to study the device to find out its exact origins and function. One such team is called the Antikythera Mechanism Research project. This is a collaboration of researchers dedicated to using advanced scientific and archaeological methods to study the device.[10]

Techniques used to study the mechanism include x-ray images, and an innovative digital imaging system, “a Dome that surrounds the sample under examination and takes a series of still photos to analyze the three-dimensional structure of the surface. This enables astonishingly detailed examination of fine details such as faded and worn inscriptions.” They also now have a powerful new x-ray machine called the “Bladerunner” which is capable of taking three-dimensional x-rays with a resolution of better than .1 millimeter. It is now possible to read inscriptions illegible for two thousand years. According to the team, this is helping to build a comprehensive picture of the functions of the Antikythera Mechanism.[11]

Although we don’t immediately know everything about the mechanism we do know some things about it. Archaeology is a discipline that focuses on using the scientific method to answer questions about the past. Although these questions and answers may seem less exciting than alien intervention, in the long term they are much more rewarding.

The plot of Stonehenge Apocalypse revolves around the pseudo-archeological concept of Ley lines, wherein many worldwide ancient historical sites are thought to be connected by a type of mystical energy. In the film, Stonehenge serves as the central point where lines meet up, and is thus at the center of a powerful ancient doomsday device, capable of affecting various monuments worldwide that lie upon these lines. The notion of the possible existence of Ley lines arose in archeology initially from the discovery of a series of Neolithic stone monuments, found predominantly in Britain. These monuments, which date back roughly to between four and two millennia BPE, were initially thought to be interconnected, with such a hypothesis being offered as a possible explanation by the antiquarian Alfred Watkins in the 1920s. Many explanations for the straight lines apparently connecting various historical sites worldwide have been offered, suggesting deliberate intention by the builders of the sites. However, for the most part, the concept of ley lines is ridiculed by nearly all serious archeologists.

In the 1970s, a thorough examination of the statistical significance of various sites seemingly on a linear path, conducted by the Royal Statistical Society and Simon Broadbent, attempted to determine the normality of the distribution of these megalithic sites. In assessing the various manners in which a ‘ley-hunter’ might seek to connect certain points of interest on a map, Broadbent stressed that much of the work surrounding ley lines is done in a fashion similar to Watkins’ initial approach: "Stick a steel pin on the site or an undoubted sighting point, place a straightedge against it, and move it round until several…of the objects named and marked come exactly in line."

Watkins’ methodology regarding tracing the connectedness between various points on a map allowed for a consideration of coincidence for three sites or fewer being connected. Examination of Watkins’ claims using various statistical methods, predominantly the Angular Triad method, concluded that the number of tetrads, pentads and hexads observed, connecting at various points, did not exceed random allowance or expectation.[12] The Royal Statistical Society report additionally focused on possible errors, which could arise from measuring ley lines over time, placing little to no emphasis on the notions regarding underground energy currents associated with the lines.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.moviefone.com/movie/stonehenge-apocalypse/10047605/synopsis
  2. ^ Gorman, Bill. "Syfy’s Original Movie Stonehenge Apocalypse Draws 2.1 Million Total Viewers During June 12 Premiere". Retrieved 2010-06-21. 
  3. ^ McGeough, Kevin (2006) Heroes, mummies, and Treasure: Near Eastern Archaeology in the Movies. Near Eastern Archaeology 69: 174-185.
  4. ^ McGeough, Kevin (2006) Heroes, mummies, and Treasure: Near Eastern Archaeology in the Movies. Near Eastern Archaeology 69: 174-185.
  5. ^ http://www.enterprisemission.com/datashead.htm.
  6. ^ Fagan, Garrett G. and Kenneth L. Feder (2005) Crusading against strawmen: an alternative view of alternative archaeologies: response to Holtorf (2005).
  7. ^ http://moa.omnimulti.com/Antikythera_Mechanism_%28Stonehenge_Apocalypse%29
  8. ^ https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/html/1885/41923/aocult.htm
  9. ^ http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.pdx.edu/stable/1006146?seq=5
  10. ^ http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr/
  11. ^ http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr/project/overview
  12. ^ Simulating the ley-hunter. Simon Broadbent: Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (General) , Vol. 143, No. 2 (1980), pp. 109-140

External links[edit]