The San Juan Capistrano Rock Ruin. Skeletal Composition and Construction.


The San Juan Capistrano Rock Ruin.

Skeletal composition and construction.

Jeffrey Appling GJG (GIA)


The San Juan Capistrano (SJC) ruin has carved stone columns, pillars, and skeletal arches made of volcanic Tuff, a rock mixture of silica ash and Pumice.

Pumice is a porous rock created by a volcanic eruption. A pyroclastic lava blast up into the air, cooling mid air creating numerous internal gas induced cavities (sponge-like openings), and falling back down to the ground.


The Greeks and Romans rubbed these lava rocks on their skin to remove unwanted hair. Because these porous rocks retain water they are great for cacti and succulents. Water absorbent.
Pumice with larger cavities (vesicles) is called Scoria. Scoria (pictured below) is found in many gardens as decoration.


When erupted silitic ash solidifies with other minerals it is called Tuff.
Of all the different varieties of volcanic Tuff (Rhyolite, Trachyte, Andesitic, Welded, Basaltic, and Ultramafic) only one Tuff matches the mineralogical composition associated with the SJC rock ruins.
The SJC stone framework is constructed of welded Tuff.
Welded tuff is a pyrolastic rock created by a volcanic blast.  The blast was sufficiently hot enough at the time of deposition to weld together. During welding, silica shards (Obsidian) and pumice fragments stick together, deform, and pack.

Obsidian is a molten silica (volcanic glass).  Unlike other glasses, Obsidian (natural glass) always has a refractive index reading of 1.49. The ability to bend light stays true to natural glass whereas the refractive index of  non-natural  glass varies.

Brown Obsidian is called “Mahogany” and the white Cristobalite inclusions in the black Obsidian is called “Snowflake”.

The primitive knapping technique of shaping glass by chipping is shown below.

Primitive tools can be made by chipping.


Chipping (knapping) away at non crystalline (amorphous) materials such as glass is of primitive tooling and construction.

Creating internal geometric star holes without chipping or grinding is advanced technology.

Bishop Tuff rocks below.

Left rock is un-compressed with pumice. The rock to the right is compressed with small silica fragments.


When Tuff is mixed with pumice from a pyroclastic flow, the rock is called Ignimbrite.
California has a deposit of this type of Ignimbrite Tuff located in Bishop, California.


Bishop Tuff has up to 65% Quartz with Alkali feldspar and Biotite Mica.


The pillars at SJC ruin are all carved from Tuff.

The holocrystaline welded Tuff ( Ignimbrite) columns of San Juan Capistrano have a compostion of ash and alkali feldspar mixed with: 5% Biotite, 3% Olivine, 37% Quartz.
Tuff composition of SJC ruins is based on a study made in 1994.

1-5% Biotite Mica is contained in the Tuff. The shinny black sparkles seen in the Granite below is Biotite, Mica.


1-3% Olivine is contained within the Tuff.
Olivine when green in color is called Peridot. Peridot can be found within Diamonds as inclusions and within iron Nickle meteorites (Palacites) that crash land on Earth from another solar system.

Pictured below is a 2.5 billion year old Pallasite slice.


Over 35% Quartz is contained within the Tuff at SJC.

Quartz has a harness of 7 on the MOHS scale (steel knife is 5-1/2).

Below is a carved Quartz cabochon pendant with Black Tourmaline inclusions running within the Quartz. (Tourmalated Quartz)


Using sonic technology I drilled a 5-point star hole through the center of the Tourmalated Quartz.


Star hole above in Tourmalated Quartz Pendant
Below the quartz pendant is the Quartz star core left over from drilling and the metal star tube that made both the star hole and star core.


A tiny black Tourmaline (Schroll) crystal inclusion runs across the top star shape Quartz core (it looks like a black marker line).
Under pressure Quartz vibrates 32,768 times per second and aides in the use of sonic drilling. Tourmaline is both Piezio-electric (pressure induced electricity) and pyro-electric (heat induced electricity)
Large scale carving of solid Tuff arches, columns, and pillars is too difficult for todays engineers can create.
hard silicon carbide drills and diamond saws using CNC machining will still not make this scale of carved stone construction.
Below is a broken piece of Tuff carved to perfecton along one side.


After millions of dollars invested in restoration the original precision stonework is still apparent.


Today, we cannot carve solid Tuff like the machine work shown in the images above at the SJC ruins.
Today, we carve wood and simply paint the stone texture or any color needed.


Pictured below and located a few blocks away is a painted wood church. The church is copy or guess of what the original stone ruin looked like.


We can make a mold of poured cement that looks like carved stone (pictured below) but we cannot carve perfect angles easily in stone.


Molding cement into form is not rock cutting.
Volcanic Tuff and Pumice are light , soft, and pourous. Carving and drilling geometrics in it is almost impossible without machinery.
Below is a dyed green Pumice being trimed for a jewelry item. I sawed the porous Pumice (lava rock) with a rotary Diamond coated saw.


Straight cuts in Tuff or Pumice cannot be made with metal chisels (crude chipping).
Diamond sawing and drilling alone cannot make internal geometric patterns or perfect angles with sharp edges.
Sonic technology alows for internal and external geometric carving of soft or hard rock.

Pictured above are 2 dyed green Pumice keystones each with straight cut sides created by a diamond rotating saw.

The internal geometric carved star holes were created by sonic cutting/coring.
The star shape steel tube that made the star holes is pictured alongside.
The 5-point star core (created from star drilling) is glued to a wire along the base of one green Pumice keystone (proof of sound technology achieved).


The below stonework cannot be achieved with diamond saws or drills.


Above, is a picture of Brein Foerster in Egypt, leaning against a solid machined red granite rock structure. Below is a solid machined Tuff rock structure at SJC ruins.


Egypt Granite and SJC Tuff structures showing granular fractures (breaks) with dull luster.
Not only were the Tuff columns machine carved, they were made Earthquake proof by polygonal construction.
Below image shows carved Tuff construction with precision placement.


The carved Tuff columns were once sharp in contrast but still today show the mastery of stone carving.
Moving around to the right side of this pillar base shows polygonal construction.
Polygonal in this case is having carved Tuff blocks with a minimum of 5 sides and 5 angles.


Polygonal stacked blocks of carved Tuff make up this pillar base. No mortor was used in its construction.


A thin sheet of paper could not fit through the perfect stone fitting of this Tuff. The white cement repair is smeared into the worn crevaces.

90 degree cuts in this carved Tuff creating 6 sides and 6 angles. This is the essence of making earthquake proof construction that can withstand tons of weight.

Above shows cement placed in worn crevaces. Fragments of Obsidean are pushed in the cement for primitive decoration.

Polygonal earthquake proof carved stone fitting examples from around the world

No mortor in crevaces. The interlocking block walls fit flush.


(above left) Polygonal fitting.(above upper right) Primitive conglomarate construction (dried mud and jagged rock stuck together).
Below left image is from Cusco Peru. Below right image is SJC ruin.

Both Cusco, Peru and SJC ruin have carved anti eartquake stone bases.
The SJC primitive dried mud and jagged rock walls we see today (above right) may have been polygonal when originally constructed as pictured in the Cusco image (above left)

No one in the world today can execute polygonal construction.
No one in the world today is Carving large scale Tuff rock.


Tuff carving and constrution is seen in anciCarved stone building ruin with centuries of vegitation.
Giant full bodied structures made out of Volcanic Tuff from Easter Island.

When dug up the carved Tuff Structures reveal over 15,000 years of overlaping sedimentary strata.

the Romans could not build polygonal construction but instead they crushed up the volcanic Tuff as an ingredient for cement.

Below image shows the primitive Roman concrete work on top of a much older megalithic hard stone inter locking construction.

The Romans did not build the base of the wall pictured above just the top soft layer.

The Romans and the Greeks did not invent the keystone and arch.  Arches with significant keystones were around long before the Greeks.  The keystone is the key to brace each side of the arch equally and to give strength.



Today we carve both hard and soft stone but are limited to making mostly curved sides and not so much perfect internal angels.

(below) chipping and chiseling of  stone.

Metal tools must have a higher degree of hardness than the material to be worked, otherwise the tool will wear down fast with little or no effect on the stone.

After chipping and chiseling the stone, finer detail work is created by a rotary grinding machine with attached polishing wheel.

When carving soft Pearls, a rotary tool is used whereas the revolving wheel grinds the material away.  The indented lines are always rounded because a round wheel in rotation creates curved indentations.

(above) curved indentations created by rotational wheel grinding.

(below) Sound amplification through a metal tube can make internal and external geometrics.

Ultra Sonic waves travel through the metal tube and pulverizes is way through the pearl creating the geometric design of metal tube.

The star shape metal tube can protrude all the way through the Pearl creating a perfect geometrically machined star hole.


The sonically created star hole is made in one continuous motion.  Lasers, 60,000psi water jets, and Diamond CNC machines cannot make geometric stone cuts in one continuous motion.

Sound technology allows for geometric carving in both soft and hard stone.

Below is an illuminated 440 carat faceted Amethyst, Quartz.  The hardness of Quartz is 7 yet the internal star holes pictured below were made with ease and in less than 20 minutes. (master gem carvers spend days or weeks making less precise internal carvings).


As the metal tube is destroying its way through the Quartz, the end of the steel tube also slowly disintegrates leaving an uneven tip.

(below) Magnified image of star cores in Amethyst, Quartz.  The blurry doubling effect seen below is caused by the Quartz’s double refraction.

stars jpeg

(above) Star drill holes show the shape of the metal tube tip.

The tube on left was created with a flat star tip whereas the core on the right had a disintegrated uneven tip when drilling ceased.

The machine carved Tuff at SJC has a blue grey color.  Carved and assembled door pictured below shows precision work in stone (TUFF) masonry. The outside wall construction surrounding the door is primitive work.

(above) Precision in engineering is executed in the above Tuff carvings. Open Flower design on keystone (above bottom right image)

Below is a broken Tuff Keystone now at the Bowers museum.

Brown overtones occur on the Tuff from iron staining as seen in the geometrically caved Tuff below.  The color variations show the contrast of perfectly executed geometric stone carving.


 The geometric step carvings are located above the enigmatic 9 foot tall carved Tuff doorway.


The approximate height of the carved Tuff door is 9 feet high on the inside measurement and 11 feet high at top of arch door.

Pictured below is the other carved Tuff doorway located opposite the above pictured doorway. Neither have changed in hundreds of years.  The only portion that changes or deteriorates is the primitive construction surrounding the Tuff construction.

The above carved Tuff doorways are made up of individual carved blocks and fit together like a puzzle.

Precision cut blocks assembled into arched doorways.

The below pictures are from 1900.

The Carved Tuff is masterful stone work compared to the surrounding primitive construction. (above pictures from 1900)

120 years later the Tuff construction is still clear in outline whereas the primitive construction deteriorates. (below picture from 2020)

Most impressive is the above geometric polygonal construction center block located between the carved doorway and the small carved column to the right.

The below diagram shows the basic sides and angles needed to make this Tuff block.


The Carved Tuff block between the door and small column has 8 sides.

SJC’s Polygonal construction allows for earthquake reinforcement (like a shock absorber for rocking) .

The combined geometric blocks are fit perfectly together like a puzzle.  Puzzle fitting stabilizes each block as the ground shakes.

The SJC ruin when first constructed was made earthquake proof, however it was not made tsunami proof or blast proof (pyroclastic eruption or nuclear explosion).


Walking towards the end of the SJC ruin is the a large cathedral arch entrance.


Securing this large arch (located center top) is an enigmatic green keystone.


The center green color keystone block supports both opposing sides of carved Tuff blocks. No mortar or cement was used to bind the carved Tuff blocks together.  The keystone block’s corner keel line shows little wear and is still sharp.


The keystone is constructed with a green inlayed translucent material having a dull fracture luster. Green polished inlay work between the layers of Tuff is clean and possibly undercut.  Undercutting is a term used in lapidary for adjoining flat surfaces of stone together then grinding down all materials at one time for a flush finish.

 3 green inlayed rows with the center row having enigmatic leaf-like carvings.

In the 1930’s Randolph F Miller, in his 20’s created renderings of these enigmatic keystones.

(above left image) The first green row is chipped at the top revealing a perfect inside corner suggesting a machine cut.

Creating a similar computer generated rendition of the keystone is time consuming.

Capistrano 51

Carving the keystone from raw rock material seems almost impossible.

Creating a perfect star hole in a cross shape pearl seams impossible unless using sound technology in construction.

The perimeter of SJC ruin is in the shape of a cross.


The original building was precision made with acute geometry.

The earthquake resistant cross shape base perimeter is all that is left of the original building. The primitive construction surrounding and covering the machined Tuff cross-shape structure is not original, it is 100% primitive.

Using you’re minds eye, remove the primitive dirt debree.

Visualize only the glory and reality of this masterful building constructed with advanced technology.

Let the pillars arise.

 Remove the dirt and brick that blocks the doorways.

Remove the primitive wall décor.

High technological construction like this requires a civilization using high technology.

The triple arch stone construction and rising pillars are made to withstand tons of weight.

 The carved pillars did not have flat dirt roofs. The pillars and columns were stable bases supporting high rising structures.


Thousands of machine carved Tuff blocks were assembled in the original construction at SJC.

High-rising cathedral arches.

Capistrano 35

The highly advanced  “Temple” when originally complete would rival the best construction engineers we have today.

The key to unlocking the original purpose of this temple is partially in the Geometry.




The doorway is now open.

Capistrano 08

……………….the technology is hidden in the symbols…………

The jewelry is created by Jeffrey Appling.

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