The Mystery of Coral Castle’s Barbecue Cooker

 

Let’s take a look at Ed’s barbecue cooker in Coral Castle.

In the southeast corner of Coral Castle, Ed has placed a massive cuboid artifact which is 8 feet tall and each side is about 4 feet wide. Ed has cut out the inside of the rock and made windows on each side. He has created a pit in the center for fire and a vent at the top to air out the smoke. A few inches above the pit, Ed has hung a large round metallic object which is a rear axle differential from a model T4, 1925. It could be opened and a football could fit in there, more or less. What is this weird looking structure?

The explanation I heard was not impressive: “Edward Leedskalnin used this to cook chicken and hot dogs. He would create a fire in the pit, and insert the food into the differential. Now, we have an air tight vessel (differential) which cooks the food faster and will prevent it from splattering all over the place. Ed imagined his sweet sixteen will come and use this cooker to make him food on a daily basis.”

This explanation would be true if Ed lived a demented, fantasy life which he clearly did not. Plus, Ed already had 2 kerosene stoves: One in the tower, set up with pots and pans which still exists today. The other stove was in his wooden cabin. Most people don’t know that Ed did not live inside the castle walls, he lived in a wooden cabin behind Coral Castle, which burned down a decade after his death. So, why did Ed spend the time and energy to build an eight foot tall cooker?

As I inspected the bottom of the cooker, I found something truly exciting. Ed has embedded a pipe almost at ground level which was connected to the fire pit. The hole in the middle of the fire pit was not just a straight hole, it was an L-shaped tunnel carefully drilled to be connected with the bottom pipe. On the bottom pipe, Ed has neatly fitted an iron flanged coupling with holes for bolts. I told you Ed was a genius – this is incontrovertible evidence that the “cooker” is in fact a blacksmithing forge! He would have fitted a hand crank blower at the bottom pipe, and would force the air from the bottom to the top. This would create a high intensity flame at the top, making it perfect for various blacksmithing operations.

Even today you can walk into Ed’s tool room, and find many odd shaped metal objects of various sizes. These tools have tags on them that says “Unknown” because experts can’t figure out how and why Ed used them. These mysterious objects prove that Ed fashioned his own tools from used car parts, by forging them in the “barbecue cooker”.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The hanging iron differential takes the blacksmithing forge to a whole new level. But you can read it my book “Coral Castle: Everything You Know Is Wrong“, I’ve explained several devices like this including Ed’s Mirror and his “Bathtub”.

 

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