The Georgia Guidestones
© CBS Atlanta.comThe Georgia Guidestones
Elberton, Ga. -- Thirty-one years after being erected on a hilltop in Elbert County, the Georgia Guidestones continue to fuel conspiracy theories about its origins and message.

"It says we're simply going to get rid of billions of people," said a visitor from North Carolina about the monument's inscriptions.

The paddlewheel of granite slabs has been a tourist attraction since unveiled on a hilltop just off Highway 77 in Mar. 1980. The 19-foot walls are arranged to track the time of day and seasons.

But it's the 10 "guides" translated into eight languages that have drawn the ire of conspiracy theorists.

"When they read the first guideline, 'maintain humanity under 500 million,' they read into that some genocidal plot," said Raymond Wiley, author of an soon-to-be released book titled Georgia Guidestones: America's Most Mysterious Monument.

CBS Atlanta News spoke with visitors who did not give their names who believe the doomsday message comes from a secret global government.

The secret kabal "wants one world order here. Everyone's going to be clones, " said one visitor.

"The United States of America is over. It's done. It's gone," explained another visitor.

Other inscriptions that mention a one world court and a universal language fuel fears among theorists.

"It's not a calling card by the evil overlords," assured Georgia Tech instructor Bob Blaskiewicz. He said the mystery surrounding who commissioned the monument makes it ripe for theories.

"You have this blank slate upon which you can paint your paranoid fantasies," said Blaskiewicz.

"If I were going to do some James Bond villain-style plot to kill off all of humanity, I don't think I'd write it in stone," said Wiley.

Wiley said a wealthy man from out of state visited Elberton in 1979 and paid the Elberton Granite Finishing Corporation to create the monument. The man used the psuedonym R.C. Christian. Wiley said only the town banker, Wyatt C. Martin, knows the man's true identity. Martin has vowed to take that secret to his grave.

"The message is that it assumes humanity or Mother Earth will cause some catastrophe that will destroy civilization as we know it," said Wiley.

Wiley said his research reveals R.C. Christian intended the guidestones to be a roadmap for rebuilding a more sustainable society with fewer births --not genocide.

Whatever his intentions, it is certain the Georgia Guidestones leave visitors with no clear answers to countless Tough Questions.