CHAPTER 16 – Cosmology I

CHAPTER 16

Cosmology I

Abandonment of the Big Bang and Cosmic Microwave Background theories will lead to a revolution in science.

The Big Bang

“Our present understanding of the universe is based on the Big Bang…”
Nathan Cohen in “Gravity’s Lens” (page 223).

“The singularity at the beginning of the universe …” is how Stephen Hawking described the Big Bang in his book ‘A Brief History of Time’ (page 46). He defined singularity’ as “A point in space-time at which the space-time curvature becomes infinite”. Everything is viewed as having started from a single point at the beginning of time and spreading out from that.

It is claimed that distant galaxies are moving rapidly away from us as well as from each other and it is argued that proof is provided by the Doppler Effect, which can be readily understood. An observer alongside a highway hears the high-pitched sound of a rapidly approaching automobile. Between consecutive sound wave peaks, the vehicle moves forward slightly so that the distance between consecutive sound wave peaks as the vehicle approaches is less than it would be if the vehicle were stationary. The shorter wavelength means that the frequency and pitch are higher. When the vehicle has passed, consecutive sound wave peaks received by the observer are now slightly further apart so that their frequency, and therefore pitch, are lower.

Christian Doppler’s 1843 scientific paper on this phenomenon was primarily about light, which can also be represented by wave-forms. If the speeding automobile had an omnidirectional, yellow light on its roof, yellow light received by the observer as it approached would have a slightly green tinge because the yellow light would be displaced toward the shorter wavelength (blue) end of the visible spectrum. When the vehicle had passed, yellow light received by the observer would be slightly orange because it would be displaced toward the longer wavelength (red) end of the spectrum.

The human eye cannot recognize the color change resulting from even the fastest car, for while highway traffic may travel at 1/10th the speed of sound in air at sea level, that is roughly 1/10 millionth the speed of light. The example is real, however, and the color difference could be demonstrated by a sufficiently sensitive instrument.

A receding star demonstrates the same phenomenon, accounting for the well-known red-shift. Absorption lines in its spectrum are displaced slightly toward the red end, from which it has been concluded that the star is moving away. If a star is approaching the observer it will provide a blue-shift. A spectrograph shows not only a spread of colors but spectral lines that are distinctive for each element, called Fraunhofer lines. The wavelengths of the lines have been determined precisely on Earth so that even very small shifts in wavelengths from space can be measured.

A spectrograph was first used in 1859 to demonstrate that shifts in the position of spectral lines of stars in our Galaxy could be used to determine their relative movement toward or away from Earth. As better telescopes were developed, astronomers were then able to measure the spectral shift of galaxies, and it was with this development that the drift of astronomy away from reality began to speed up.

A quasar (quasi-stellar radio source) is a powerful, energy-emitting body at the center of a galaxy, while others may be generated within galaxies. The first quasar was discovered in 1962 with the radio telescope at Parkes, Australia. The Mt. Palomar Observatory in California soon obtained its optical spectrum, and a huge red-shift of the spectrum was attributed, naturally, to the Doppler Effect. This led to the conclusion that the quasar and its galaxy are 2 billion light-years away from Earth.

It was later discovered that at a red-shift of 200%, the number of quasars increased 1,000- fold, which led cosmologists to conclude that quasars used to be much more plentiful than they are today. Many more quasars have now been discovered, and except within the Local Group, every one of them displays a huge red-shift. Calculated speeds away from Earth are now up to 200 million kilometers per hour, at a distance of more than 12 billion light years! I would like to raise a question here: At what point does common sense enter into all this?

Based upon the observed red-shift of quasars and galaxies, cosmologists have concluded that space itself is expanding. The red-shift of distant galaxies has been explained as being due to either the expansion of the Universe according to Newtonian physics or to the curvature of space-time according to the general theory of relativity. Expansion of space is easier to understand than the curvature of space-time, and this is the explanation that is most frequently given, but as concepts, they are regarded as being equally correct.

Stephen Hawking employed the analogy of spots on the surface of an inflating balloon to demonstrate how the view from every point in an expanding Universe remains similar. The opposite of this trend is illustrated by continuing past the condition of full deflation until the spots have coalesced at a single point. This point represents Hawking’s singularity at the beginning of the Universe.

So convinced are cosmologists that the Big Bang took place, they have calculated the conditions of temperature and pressure that must have prevailed immediately thereafter. What was it that exploded, however, in an explosion stronger than could be contained by gravity, and where did it come from? Their interest stems from a desire to be able to explain the origins of elements and galaxies, but when better explanations for both are recognized, the Big Bang may lose its appeal. One argument that has been used to support the Big Bang involves the amount of helium in the Universe.

One of the attractions of the Big Bang for scientists is that conditions which could have been suitable for the formation of heavier elements, by a process they call “progressive neutron capture”, can be assumed. Then, it can be concluded that the Big Bang really did take place. When the Big Bang hypothesis is finally abandoned, it will take with it the very foundation of Particle Physics as it is practiced today.

“But the mind does not so readily get rid of an obsession.”
Sir Arthur Eddington. 

Missing Dark Matter

“…85% of the universe must be hard to hide…”
Nathan Cohen in “Gravity’s Lens”, (page 189).

Stars within a spiral galaxy tend to share a similar angular velocity whether they are situated at the edge of the visible disk or close to its hub. This shows that the entire galaxy is rotating almost as if it were a solid structure. If our Solar System were to behave like this, the outer planets should be lost into space by centrifugal force. Cosmologists recognize that stars at the edge of a spiral galaxy maintain their position because some force must keep them there.

Since gravity is the only force acting on a galactic scale that cosmologists recognize, they have concluded that this must be what holds galaxies together. Since stars are not lost from the edges of rotating galaxies, cosmologists know that gravity is responsible. Since there isn’t enough visible matter to account for this, cosmologists have concluded that galaxies must include huge amounts of exotic matter that has properties unknown on Earth, is not made up of protons and neutrons, and is invisible. Cosmologists have desperately sought evidence of this dark matter so they could close the Universe. To accomplish this they would need to satisfy themselves that the Universe contains sufficient mass for its expansion to be overcome by gravity. Cosmology is largely about gravity. The problem is that it shouldn’t be.

Another argument that has been offered in favor of most matter being invisible concerns the flatness problem. A ‘flat’ Universe is one in which the rate of recession and its mass are exactly matched. This concept requires the expansion of the Universe to slow until gravity can eventually cause it to contract. The mass density in the observed Universe is thought to be within a factor of 10 (or at least 100) of what is required of a closed Universe. Since any deviation from flatness at the Big Bang should have increased linearly with time, cosmologists conclude the Universe must have been flat to an accuracy of within one part in a trillion (1 million-million). As a result, most cosmologists accept that the Universe is ‘flat’. One problem this causes is that more than 85% of everything must be invisible.

Accepting that the Universe is flat due to an amazing coincidence obviously wouldn’t do, and so the search began for an explanation. This led to the concept of the unified force. The unified force might sound like a team of crime fighters but it describes the proposed equivalence of three fundamental physical forces: the electromagnetic force, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force were supposedly symmetrical at the Big Bang. As the Universe cooled, however, that supposed symmetry was lost, resulting in rapid expansion.

In this instance, the term ‘rapid’ is a bit underwhelming since it has been calculated that the expansion grew by more than 28 orders of magnitude (which is times 1 followed by 28 zeros) in less than 10-30 seconds, which is close to no time at all. Champions of the unified force claim that it will solve the flatness problem — if only they can find that missing dark matter. If a Grand Unified Theory is required in order to substantiate missing dark matter and dark energy, then this alone can be taken as an absolute guarantee of failure.

Believing that the elements formed immediately after the Big Bang, cosmologists have concluded that a limit to the number of protons and neutrons must have been what prevented the formation of more of the complex elements. They estimated the total visible mass and compared the effect of dark matter upon small galaxies, and then larger galaxies, and then groups of galaxies, and all of their calculations confirmed their own conclusions that most of the total mass of the Universe must be invisible.

There are many things out there that we cannot see from Earth, but to conclude that most matter is invisible and does not contain protons and neutrons because stars at the periphery of a galaxy appear to reject the laws of gravity is absurd. It is the electromagnetic force, and not gravity, that keeps the stars in their places. The introduction of imaginary matter, having unknown properties, and constituting 85% (up to 99% by some claims — pick a number!) of the mass of the Universe in order to account for stars remaining within their galaxies, is a typical example of the unreality that characterizes cosmology.

“…facts can only be inferred from other facts, not from general laws alone.”
Bertrand Russell.

Missing Dark Energy

The hypothetical dark energy has been termed quintessence’. This reminds me of ‘phlogiston’ which once seemed to be a perfectly plausible term, and which was used to cover up the fact that nobody knew what it was. Phlogiston or ‘fire-stuff’ was supposed to be present in all flammable substances until Lavoisier developed the oxygen theory of combustion.

If this dark energy is an energy field then it might change its strength over time and this would affect the Universe differently at different times. Cosmologists accommodatingly provided a freezing version in which their dark energy runs down with time and a thawing version in which the energy level increases with time. Alternatively, we are informed that there may be no such thing as dark energy at all and that maybe gravity works differently than theory predicts.

A University of British Columbia astrophysicist was recently quoted as saying this about dark energy “It’s most of what’s in the universe. We know it’s there because we can see what it does.”  Why did Einstein have to leave us when he’s needed most?

Einstein’s Cosmological Term

In his book ‘Einstein’s Mistakes’, Hans Ohanian provides an interesting account of what Einstein and many of his contemporaries were doing. As Einstein struggled in 1917 to apply the equations of general relativity to the overall distribution of stars throughout the Universe, he followed Isaac Newton’s lead in accepting that the stars remained in fixed positions and were affected largely by gravity. At the time it was not anticipated that an interpretation of spectral red-shifts of galaxies would be accepted as proof of an expanding Universe, let alone that later observations would be accepted as proof that the expansion is accelerating. Arthur Eddington, the British astronomer, calculated that Einstein’s original model of a static Universe was unstable and would either expand or contract at an increasing rate.

The first clues to the supposed expansion of the Universe were discovered in 1912 by Vesto Slipher at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. They were further developed in the late 1920s when Edwin Hubble at the Mt. Wilson Observatory in California identified the nebulae that Slipher had been studying as separate galaxies beyond our own. It has since been accepted by cosmologists that the Universe contains 71% repulsive dark energy and 29% attractive mass.

When Einstein was younger, and in his most productive period, he applied his prodigious talent to considering physics on his own terms. Now, however, he held no special insight into the workings of the Universe and accepted the observations of his contemporaries. Accepting the prevailing belief in a static Universe, he had attempted, and failed, to accommodate this restriction by adding a cosmological term that would, in a sense, ‘hold back gravity’.

Later, accepting the views of his colleagues that the Universe is expanding, he removed this term from his equations, regarding it as a mistake. In a major irony, while Einstein had at first been criticized for adding this term, he was now criticized for removing it. Cosmologists presently conclude it should be viewed as a symbol of the dark energy that produces their accelerated expansion.

Cosmologists believe that the measured wavelength of light from a distant galaxy enables them to calculate the distance of the galaxy from Earth, as well as the speed at which it is moving away from us. To them, the further out in space they can see is the equivalent of looking backward in time.

Cosmic Microwave Background

After determination of the ubiquitous redshift of galaxies, the next major pillar of the developing science of cosmology was the cosmic microwave background. In 1965 it was discovered that Earth is bathed in uniform microwave radiation from every point in the sky. Its significance was immediately appreciated by theorists, who had predicted a vestige of heat radiation from the Big Bang. The Big Bang required microwaves and microwaves confirmed the Big Bang. Well — almost.

Big Bang theory required visible and infrared radiation to have been red-shifted by its journey across the expanding Universe, but the extent of the red-shift could not be known. Going with what they had, cosmologists concluded that the observed wavelength had been red-shifted to 1,500 times its original wavelength! In addition, the observed radiation had several thousand times less energy than George Gamow and others had predicted.

They also removed a variation in wavelength across the celestial sphere, which they justified by claiming it to be a Doppler effect. This required our Galaxy, together with the Local Group, to be moving at more than 2 million kilometers per hour with respect to the surrounding Universe. This startling speed, in turn, introduced mystifying complexities to the geometrical relationship between the Local Group and its neighbors.

Andromeda and the Local Group were now the only galaxies to have a blue shift instead of a red-shift like all the rest. The explanation given is that the intrinsic motion of a galaxy, which astronomers call its peculiar motion, can exceed its motion due to the expansion of the Universe. Regardless, radiation the cosmologists had would have to do. Now that the observed radiation had been converted into what theory demanded, it could be used to support the Big Bang. Well — almost.

The massaged data now described completely uniform background radiation, while Big Bang theory demanded density fluctuations, termed cosmic strings, which could be amplified by gravity to form galaxies. (Remember, gravity is the only long-range force that cosmologists recognize.) Scientific American (July ’92, p18) reported: “Theorists obligingly adjusted their models to accommodate ever smaller initial density fluctuations.” Finally, NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, with its ultra-sensitive differential microwave radiometers, discovered density fluctuations that could be used to support the Big Bang. Well — almost.

Density fluctuations recorded by the satellite were so small they could not be distinguished from instrument noise. This meant that one final step would have to be carried out. Cosmologists applied advanced probability methodology to their data to provide them with what they required. In its final processed form, the data could be readily distinguished from instrument noise, and described a splendid black-body curve, just as Big Bang theory supposedly requires. A black-body curve describes the absorption of radiation without reflection.

Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, of Bell Telephone Laboratories, shared the Nobel Prize in 1965 for their discovery of cosmic microwave background. The radiation, which was explained by Robert Dicke and his group at Princeton University, had been predicted by George Gamow in his book ‘The Creation of the Universe’ in 1952. More recently, COBE satellite results have been viewed by many as constituting acceptable proof that there really was a Big Bang.

With rather less than the assets of NASA, I will have to speculate on the source of the cosmic microwave background. I believe that nuclear as well as electrical processes on comets in the Oort Cloud are responsible for the radiation and for its uniform composition from the perspective of Earth. I attribute a variation in wavelength across the celestial sphere as due to a drop in voltage across the Galaxy. The distribution of the microwave radiation along a black-body curve must result from Earth’s location within the transmitter.

Andromeda

Our celestial neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, has an observed rotational velocity that cosmologists are unable to explain. According to them, stars in the periphery should be lost into space due to centrifugal force. When cosmologists have learned that it is the electromagnetic force and not gravity that keeps galaxies together, this will no longer be a mystery to them, and imaginary dark matter/dark energy might cease to be an obsession.

Unfortunately for the cosmologists, they simply took for granted that astronomers got things right when they determined how our Sun and our Solar System function. As cosmologists investigate increasingly distant phenomena, they apply lessons that have been mislearned closer to home.

Black Holes

Common sense tells us that if a group of specialists set out to determine the energy source of the Sun and got it wrong because they had overlooked the most powerful force in the Universe, and other specialists applied the same flawed knowledge and similar thought processes to determine how galaxies began, they would get that wrong as well. In his book ‘A Brief History of Time’, Stephen Hawking wrote (page 50) that British physicist Roger Penrose developed a theorem to show that any collapsing star ‘must’ end in a singularity.

Hawking used the converse of Penrose’s theorem to show that an infinitely expanding universe ‘must’  have begun with a singularity. The two subsequently collaborated on a paper which, quoting Hawking (page 50): “…at last proved that there must have been a Big Bang singularity provided only that general relativity is correct and the universe contains as much matter as we observe.”

I accept Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, and also that the Universe contains as much matter as we observe. The part of Hawking’s statement that I totally reject concerns his Big Bang singularity. Data employed by Roger Penrose assumes the pre-eminence of gravity while ignoring the electromagnetic force. The theorem then goes on to predict that black holes are real. This as a clear indication they are not.

Carl Sagan wrote in ‘Cosmos’ (page 241) that thermonuclear reactions in the solar interior support the outer layers of the Sun, postponing its catastrophic gravitational collapse. Every type of star postpones its inevitable collapse in a characteristic manner, and a star that has twenty times the mass of the Sun is destined to collapse into a black hole. That the postponement of the development of black holes should be attributed to thermonuclear reactions taking place in the cores of stars provides further confirmation of the imaginary nature of black holes.

John Michell, a clergyman and brilliant natural philosopher who is almost forgotten today, claimed in 1783 that no light would escape from a star with sufficient mass. A star, from which light cannot escape, however, is a contradiction in terms since the light from any star is a result of the same electrical current that supports it against its gravitational collapse.

Black hole theory has since added the concept of collapse to an infinite density. Phlogiston ruled for barely a century, while the basic concept of black holes, which John Michell also reportedly suggested, has hung around for more than twice as long. Michell’s claim was made before the time of Michael Faraday, who was two years old when Michell died and long before the dawn of nuclear physics, and the idea should have been dropped long ago.

Black holes have developed into a huge industry encompassing supercomputers and university departments and publications and great gatherings of specialists. Astronauts of the future, say these specialists, may visit a black hole and avoid the singularity by escaping through a wormhole. Some actually believe that astronauts will be able to travel into the past in this way. One day it will be realized that the entertainment value of cosmology reached its zenith with the development of the theory of black holes.

Hawking wrote “[T]he fact that [gravity] is both long range and always attractive means that its effects all add up. So for a sufficiently large number of matter particles, gravitational forces can dominate over all other forces. This is why it is gravity that determines the evolution of the universe”. Gravity is a long-range force which is always attractive. Between two bodies within a plasma, however, gravity is commonly overcome. Cosmologists have never learned this elementary principle: it is the electromagnetic force that determines the evolution of the Universe.

Hawking claimed the Steady-State Theory required a modification of General Relativity to allow for the continual creation of matter, but this is false. I developed the Steady-State Theory in 1990 before the Internet came along, and it was sometime before I learned it had already been proposed, in 1948. The problem with the original version, by Thomas Gold, Fred Hoyle, and Hermann Bondi, was that they accepted the red-shift of quasars as a velocity effect, indicating that the Universe is expanding. As a result, the most promising idea ever conceived in cosmology was abandoned.

To arrive at the infinite density of a black hole, a collapsing large star must first exceed the density of a white dwarf star (so far — so good). It must then exceed the density at which other stars explode, continuing to collapse until it disappears (not so good). Stephen Hawking is regarded by many as pre-eminent in the field of theoretical physics, for which he has been an articulate spokesperson. I was impressed by his ability for explaining complex concepts that he displayed in his popular book ‘A Brief History of Time’, published in 1988.

Having said this, I am compelled to point out that one reason it can be so challenging to make certain ideas understandable is if the ideas are wrong. The book has become a publishing phenomenon and received many awards including the prestigious ‘Locus Award’ for best non-fiction, but it was miscategorized. If it had received the award for best fiction I would not object. In one Internet review the question is asked “Is A Brief History of Time outdated?” and the answer provided was that it will never be outdated. I couldn’t agree more. When a book is wrong it will always be wrong. Wikipedia describes it as “popular-science”  but a more fitting categorization would be well-written science-fiction.

Martin Ryle, 1974 Nobel Prize winner in physics for his work in radio astronomy wrote about cosmologists, who “…have always lived in a happy state of being able to postulate theories which had no chance of being disproved.” Ironically, he was so against the Steady-State Theory that Fred Hoyle claimed Ryle was “…less motivated by a quest for the truth than by a desire to destroy Steady-State Theory.”

Hawking again: “The old idea of an essentially unchanging universe that could have existed, and could continue to exist, forever was replaced by the notion of a dynamic, expanding universe that seemed to have begun a finite time ago, and that might end at a finite time in the future.” Hawking has claimed that Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity requires there to have been a Big Bang, but this is a misrepresentation of Einstein’s theory. A Steady-State Universe satisfies the requirements of General Relativity perfectly well.

Black holes have had a considerable influence on cosmology because cosmologists’ understanding of black holes has led to their understanding of the Big Bang. But the Penrose singularity theorems amount to a corruption of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity and once again, specialization has led scientists away from reality. Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity has been appropriated by cosmologists to confirm their Big Bang, Black Holes, Neutron Stars, strings, super-strings, and God knows what else. Einstein would have been offended, and for his legacy to be abused in this way is a travesty.

A current blog about neutron stars on a popular science platform, written by one who likes to promote himself as an expert in the field, recently pronounced “The future of astronomy is upon us.” Perhaps he and his fellow experts could drag themselves away from studying neutron stars long enough to take another look at our Sun. Perhaps they would realize that most of cosmology is based on lessons that have been mislearned closer to home.

CHAPTER 15 – Cosmic Rays

CHAPTER 15

Cosmic Rays

When the universal abundance of elements was calculated from
analyses of asteroids and the spectra of stars, it meant that
most conclusions about cosmic rays would be wrong.

Gamma Rays

By definition, cosmic rays are made up of protons, elemental nuclei, and electrons, all moving rapidly through space, together with high energy gamma rays. Gamma rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation which travels at the speed of light, although electrons, in particular, can travel almost as fast. Cosmic rays must play an important role in the Universe but it is one that is only vaguely understood.

Protons, electrons, and elemental nuclei in all their isotopic diversity carry an electric charge, which causes them to spiral around the force lines of Earth’s magnetic field as they approach Earth. The pattern of force lines is highly disordered, so one cannot tell where these cosmic rays originated. It was soon recognized that a type of ray that was electrically neutral would be easier to study.

Gamma rays are electrically neutral so they were classified as cosmic rays. They consist of electromagnetic radiation with extremely short wavelengths and high penetrating power that is produced by atomic nuclei. Now, gamma rays could be studied and the findings applied to all the rest, even though they are different. The investigation is still difficult since gamma rays are absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere and can, therefore, be studied only in space. Size limitations for satellite-borne instruments have meant that most studies have been limited to lower energy gamma rays.

The study of cosmic rays has proven perplexing because the fundamental character of galaxies and stars has not been recognized. It is claimed that stars including our Sun, are hot because of a thermonuclear reaction at their core (See #14: The Electric Sun), that stars do not interact with their surroundings, and that galaxies are held together by gravity. All this leaves astronomy only a little ahead of what was understood in the time of the Greek scholar Aristarchus of Samos, who died about 230 B.C. Impressive technology has been developed and applied but it has led to little understanding. The major result has been that a false ancient dogma has been replaced by a false modern one.

Scientists assume that the abundance of elements that has been calculated from the spectra of stars, as well as analyses of some asteroids, represents their universal average abundance throughout the Universe. Similarly, they assume that the sources of cosmic rays must contain the same abundance of elements as that. Their assumptions persist as articles of faith, requiring that any discrepancies be explained away.

Light Elements

Lithium, beryllium, and boron are the lightest elements after hydrogen and helium, having atomic weights (the number of protons in the nucleus) of 3, 4 and 5. They are comparatively rare on Earth but are abundant in cosmic rays. Cosmic rays are richer in other elements as well, especially as isotopes of elements occurring toward the lighter end of the periodic table, including fluorine, scandium, vanadium, and neon. The same might apply to heavier naturally occurring elements and their isotopes, but the procedures that have proven successful in identifying cosmic ray particles as heavy as iron, having atomic number 26, cannot be employed for the remainder which ranges up to uranium, having atomic number 92.

Scientists did not expect enrichments in lithium, beryllium, and boron to occur in space, so they concluded that cosmic rays consisting of the nuclei of these elements, and others, must have resulted from the fragmentation of heavier elements that had collided with gas particles in space. The probability of various types of nuclear transformation in the lower energy levels had been established from particle accelerator experiments. By assuming that the source of the cosmic rays contains the universal average abundance of lithium, beryllium and boron nuclei, scientists were able to calculate the equivalent thickness of matter traversed by the cosmic rays in their journey that would result in the relative abundance of nuclei observed near Earth.

By employing their estimate of the density of gas in interstellar space, this equivalent thickness was translated into the distance that the cosmic rays had traveled. Then, by applying their measured speed near Earth, the duration of their journey was calculated. Estimates of the lifetimes of cosmic rays vary from a few million to hundreds of millions of years. Remember, all this is dependent upon the assumed average abundance of elements such as lithium, beryllium, and boron throughout the Universe.

I am proposing that isotopes of lithium, beryllium, and boron occurring as cosmic rays originate from nuclear activity on comets in the Oort Cloud rather than being derived from elements that formed immediately after the Big Bang. That considerable enrichment of these elements occurs on comets can be inferred from analyses of meteorites known as carbonaceous chondrites, which are considered here to be the burned-out remains of nucleate comets. Electrons produce nuclear activity on the Sun and the stars, while positively charged particles may result in nuclear transformations on nucleate comets. As nucleate comets and carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are further investigated, greater similarities between them are likely to be recognized. These could include micro-diamonds, the remains of hydrocarbons, amino acids, and even the imprint of bacteria.

Energy Flow

Astronomers assumed they could determine the composition of the stars from their spectra. Then they assumed their calculations of the abundance of elements in the stars are representative of their abundance throughout the Universe.  Then they assumed the sources of cosmic rays do not contain a greater abundance than this. This guaranteed the rest of their conclusions would be wrong as well. The technology has been impressive but interpretation of the data has not.

Most cosmic rays reaching Earth probably originated within our Solar Cell. Few originated beyond the Oort Cloud, and most are not millions, or hundreds of millions, of years old. The youngest cosmic rays from the Oort Cloud probably have an age of less than three years.

Some charged particles reach Earth as part of the normal Solar Wind, while others accompany infrequent Solar Flares, but most of those that come from beyond the Solar System come from comets in the Oort Cloud. Every stellar cell generates cosmic rays and transfers energy and matter. Stars shine as a result, while without sufficient electrical energy to overcome the force of gravity, they would collapse — as does happen from time to time.

If the manner by which our Sun receives its energy is by a continuous transfer of electrons from the Oort Cloud, then the electron flux within the Solar Cell far exceeds what was known before the space probe ‘Ulysses’ passed over the poles of our Sun. The problem of the unrecognized electrons was more real than the problem of missing neutrinos, or missing dark-matter, or missing dark-energy, all of which have been taken seriously by scientists. I had expected the electron flux into the Sun to be highest over the Sun’s Polar Regions where its magnetic field lines are most densely packed, and this was proven to be the case.

The only space probe to have left the plane of the ecliptic was a joint venture between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Ulysses was launched from the space shuttle Discovery in October 1990. It used the gravity field of Jupiter to leave the plane of the ecliptic and passed over the Sun’s South Polar Region from June to November 1994, and over its North Polar Region from June to September 1995. For a while, the possibility seemed to exist that the Ulysses mission would provide an understanding of the flow of energy within the Solar Cell.

Ulysses recognized a pronounced latitudinal contrast between a fast wind (or current) over both of the Sun’s Polar Regions and a slower wind near the Heliospheric current sheet. In an early announcement, a spokesperson for NASA reported strong electric currents flowing ‘outward’ from the Polar South Pole. This was eventually corrected to read currents flowing ‘inward’. By applying their understanding of the physiology of stars, NASA scientists then predicted that the direction of these currents would reverse according to the 11 year Solar Cycle.

A senior member of the Solar Group at JPL assured me (by personal e-mail) that by the time Ulysses passed over the North Pole, the Sun would be in its next cycle and the currents would then be flowing “outward” from the Sun. I disagreed with this and brought it to the attention of some NASA officials as well as some well-known astronomers, with no evident result.

Synchrotron Radiation

When electrons cross a magnetic field at close to the speed of light they generate radio waves having a characteristic polarization. This phenomenon is called synchrotron radiation, and when it is observed to occur in other stellar systems it is accepted as evidence that cosmic rays are active there as well. Most charged cosmic rays probably do not travel beyond their Oort Cloud because their driving force is determined by the electrical potential difference within their stellar cell.

It follows that most synchrotron radiation in distant stellar cells is associated with cosmic rays that do not reach Earth. Most cosmic rays depart their source with comparatively low energy and are accelerated by the electromagnetic gradient of their surroundings. It is a difference in electric potentials existing between a stellar system and the Oort Cloud that provides the driving force for the acceleration of most cosmic ray particles.

The study of cosmic rays is a challenging part of physics in which some inspired pioneering work was carried out. Some of this work included manned balloon flights with a gold leaf electrometer to investigate Earth’s electric charge, including a flight during a solar eclipse to rule out any effect of the Sun. Inevitably, an understanding of cosmic rays has been prevented by some of the same mislearned lessons that have corrupted other parts of astronomy.

Radon

Radon is included here because it could benefit many people to know more about it. Radon has been identified by The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as “the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.” Since it is around eight times as dense as air, Radon will always settle in low areas, which is why test kits are set up in basements where possible. What makes Radon (Rn) so insidious is that it is a radioactive gas with an unusually short half-life, and its daughter products are radioactive solids with much longer half-lives. The result is that the gas is easily breathed in, and then breaks down into radioactive solid particles which stick to the lungs.

Radon is produced by the radioactive decay of thorium and uranium, both of which have half-lives on the order of billions of years. It has no stable (non-radioactive) isotopes, and at least three dozen isotopes are known, which are the outcome of a variety of chemical pathways. Their half-lives vary from seconds to days. Some of their radioactive solid daughter products, however, have half-lives up to several months, which explains why Radon is so hazardous in an environment where it is being continuously replenished.

Radon gas is invisible, odorless and tasteless, and passes up through the ground in areas underlain by granitic rocks, even at great depth. It may be swept through the soil by other gases, especially methane, a situation which is known to occur just before earthquakes. The greatest danger from Radon is in the basement and first floor of homes and other buildings, especially those constructed under outdated building codes. The only way to determine if Radon is present is to test for it. Many health and fire departments make test kits available.

Cosmic Radiation

We are completely immersed in radiation our entire lives. Sunshine consists of radiation from infrared (long wave) to ultraviolet (shortwave). Everything in between is visible light. Beyond infrared waves, which measure up to a millimeter, is the Hertzian wave spectrum, which is assigned in bands for microwaves, radio, and television. At the extreme limit, maritime services employ wavelengths in the thousands of meters, and beyond that are wavelengths in the thousands of kilometers.

In the other direction away from ultraviolet, and becoming progressively shorter, are x-rays and gamma rays. Other radiation consists of particles, including beta particles which are fast moving electrons, and alpha particles which are the same as the nuclei of helium atoms (2 protons + 2 neutrons). Most (as in 99%) of the nuclei occurring as cosmic radiation consist of the nuclei of well-known atoms. Most of these are protons (hydrogen nuclei) and alpha particles (helium nuclei), and only about 1% may be nuclei of more complex elements.

The prevailing assumption still is that even the smallest dose of radiation involves a potential risk to human health. Up to 40 times what we receive naturally on an annual basis, however, can be tolerated with beneficial results being as likely as adverse ones. This may be because the body’s defense mechanisms against damage induced by radiation are stimulated by low levels of exposure.

In Europe, as well as Montana, former uranium mines are used as health spas, which is the subject of ongoing studies. One benefit would be the opportunity to establish occupational exposure standards for workers in uranium mines. The largest study of all has involved survivors of both atomic bomb blasts in Japan. Most adult survivors have died so that mostly those who were very young at the time are being studied, and it is known that children are more susceptible to radiation.

There are indications, however, that some who were adults at the time benefited from low doses to experience increased longevity. These results are complicated by deaths that may have resulted from a reduced immune response, and by the fact that the acquired dose must be estimated according to the location of the individual at the time of the blast.

Reflections

Here is a matter I have pondered: Why is iridium so common on the asteroids that are called carbonaceous chondrites? I believe that some of the lightest elements form on comets, and suspect that this could apply to heavier elements as well. Iridium has an atomic weight of 77, compared to Iron with an atomic weight of 26.

Another interesting fact is that nickel has an atomic weight of 28, while the atomic weights of sodium (11) and chlorine (17) add up to 28. Does this mean anything? I don’t know, but if we should accept that the solar wind from stars reaches the Oort Cloud with sufficient force to result in nuclear transformations, then a source of the NaCl in our oceans is at least suggested.

Comets are the most likely source of Earth’s oceans which included life in the form of bacteria, with hydrocarbons to provide sustenance, and viruses to exchange information between bacteria, leading to evolution. This has happened at least twice in our history, for a gift of the comets was received by Earth at whatever catastrophe ended the Proterozoic eon, after life on Earth was already well established. The ‘explosion’ of life in the early Cambrian period is referred to by paleontologists as the ‘biological big bang’.

There is evidence indicating Earth received its ocean fully made, which means that other worlds which have retained an ocean may contain simple forms of life. This would include several icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. What has made Earth so special is a favorable distance from the Sun, plus a relatively high frequency of catastrophe on a scale that has still been tolerable for the evolution of advanced life.

In chapter #12 on Mars, I presented a visual comparison between the Deccan Traps of India and striations on the Martian moon Phobos, which many astronomers accept as having come from the Main Asteroid Belt. Basalt-flows within the Deccan Traps contain occasional breaks in deposition where sedimentary layers contain fossils. If the Lost Planet had an ocean when those lava flows formed, or an atmosphere to favor the development of paleosols (ancient soil horizons), and if it once occupied an orbit closer to the Sun, then fossils could possibly occur on Phobos as well.

This would provide another identified source of fossils away from Earth, after Mars. The big difference is that any fossils on the Lost Planet more advanced than bacteria would be more likely to have evolved there from their original bacterial origins, while fossils of advanced life on Mars came from Earth. I hadn’t expected to end a section on Cosmic Rays writing about the distribution of life, but it does illustrate how everything in the Solar System is linked to everything else.

CHAPTER 21 – The Caribbean (A Look back)

CHAPTER 21

The Caribbean (A Look back)

Most people would accept that the North American ice cap formed
around the North Pole. Why do scientists insist it formed on one
side of the Earth in the mid-latitudes?

The Problem

The geological history of the Caribbean basin has been considered in thousands of scientific papers published by Geological Surveys of several countries, by oil companies, universities, and scientific organizations. All of them missed the essential story.

In the mid-1960’s the United States Geological Survey made a monumental discovery that should have changed the geologic history of the world. They found that throughout the Caribbean Sea, beneath a considerable thickness of ‘Tertiary’ age sediments, occurs a very fresh appearing, coarse-grained basalt lava. Despite the fact that this is the exact type of rock that has yielded Potassium-Argon (K-Ar) dates around the world, on which a major part of the Geologic Time Scale is based, the scientists were unable to obtain a K-Ar date from it. The significance of this is explained here for all those who do not have a background in geology.

Potassium-Argon Dating

The Geologic Time Scale serves as a framework for the science of geology, accommodating its events and rock sequences. Several methods have been used to determine its ages but the most common one used in the past was Potassium-Argon (40K-40Ar) Dating. This was the first time the method hadn’t worked using ideal material.

All potassium on Earth occurs as one of 3 isotopes, which are versions of the same element that differ by the number of neutrons in the nucleus. 40K is a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 1.25 billion years. After that length of time, only half of the original amount is left, while the remaining half has been changed into something else. 10.9 % of the daughter (alteration) product consists of 40Ar, an inert gas that can be determined by mass spectrometry after a sample has been melted.

Argon will not combine chemically with other elements in the rock, and under ideal conditions, it will be held tightly within mineral crystals until released in the laboratory. Potassium content is determined by common laboratory methods. The ratio of 40Ar to 40K is related to the time elapsed after the rock formed.

Ideal samples are ones that have never been re-melted or exposed to the atmosphere, so these samples should have been ideal. Due to the long half-life of 40K the method is relatively insensitive, and by a rough rule of thumb is not applicable to rocks much younger than 100,000 years. It is sometimes appropriate to use other radioactive elements including Uranium, Thorium, Rubidium, Strontium, and Samarium, to date rocks not containing sufficient Potassium, but these rocks contain an adequate amount.

When the USGS revealed its astonishing results, it claimed that the fresh-appearing basalt had been subjected to “a special type of alteration”. The agency never explained how they arrived at this explanation, and it avoided admitting the age of the rock could be less than the sensitivity of the method employed. Although they would not have expected the rock to have crystalized less than 100,000 years ago, honesty alone required them to acknowledge this possibility.

Nor has the agency ever reported that it has subjected samples to 40Ar-39Ar (Argon-Argon) testing, which is a much more sensitive method that was developed later. If it did, the results may have been discarded because they weren’t what USGS scientists anticipated. Regardless, the standard of work carried out by the USGS in this instance has been below what is acceptable from such a prestigious scientific organization.

The Project

In the late 1960’s the drill-ship ‘Glomar Challenger’ began its worldwide voyages under the ‘Deep Sea Drilling Project’, and on Leg 15 it recovered 2 basement samples from the Venezuelan Basin and 3 from the Columbian Basin in the eastern Caribbean Sea. In a co-operative program by several universities in the late 1990’s these deep-sea samples were combined with five widely spaced samples collected on land, and all were assigned an approximate age of 90 million years. This begs the question as to how the ages of the deep-sea rocks were determined.

As it turned out, the samples were analyzed by the more modern 40Ar-39Ar method. In fact, this method had become the modern standard, even though its interpretation is more complex, requiring computer treatment of the data. This procedure is so sensitive that it has even been used to confirm the date of volcanics from Pompeii, which was destroyed in 79 AD.

In the scientists’ paper ‘An oceanic flood basalt province within the Caribbean plate’, 40Ar-39Ar ages obtained from the basement rocks were not reported because they were “less well constrained” (as their paper states) than the rest, and the ages reported were based upon the alleged age of fossils in overlying sediments. The determined (but not reported) 40Ar-39Ar ages may have been correct but were discarded as impossible.

Just as with the USGS, these scientists refused to accept the results of a method they had always previously accepted because these results contradicted their expectations. Since the overlying sediments had been mapped as Tertiary, underlying basement rocks couldn’t possibly have an approximate age of 10,500 years! The shame, of course, is that such an age is well within the useful range of 40Ar-39Ar dating.

This is not a Creationist claim and it has nothing to do with a claim by some Creationists that the age of the world is about 10,000 years, which is absurd. It has everything to do with the scientist’s orthodoxy of uniformitarianism (uniformism), which is opposed by catastrophism. Creationists follow one cult while uniformist scientists follow another.

The Historians

What is the point of historians spending their entire professional lives interpreting what went on in the past, by translating the actual written records of intelligent, educated observers, only to have today’s scientists, with a typically sparse background in the classics, disregard these conclusions and substitute fabrications of their own? For example, they discount thousands of reports of Venus and Mars moving outside their present orbits, to declare that every planet has always followed its present one. Velikovsky concluded Mars took up its present orbit approximately 2705 years ago (in 2018).

The Caribbean presents a superb opportunity for casting off the shackles of scientific orthodoxy that prevent us from recognizing our world as it really is, and explain why basalt from beneath the Caribbean Sea cannot be dated by a process on which so much of the Geological Time Scale is based. To dismiss this mystery as due to “a special type of alteration”, without a shred of evidence, was an attempt to convince the public that the USGS provides competent answers to scientific questions. In this case, its work was disappointingly flawed.

As I explain elsewhere, much of the problem lies in specialization, which is the curse of all science on the right-hand side of The Chocolate Box. For one thing, specialists commonly apply the findings of specialists in other fields without question, while being unfamiliar with problems in those fields. And if they work for a large scientific organization, which hires only ‘team players’, then a major objective of the entire team may ultimately turn into a common defense of their orthodoxy.

The answer provided by the USGS, attributing the problem to “a special type of alteration” was evidently offered because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Samples might not have been retested even after a more sensitive analytical method became available. Or, in a worse-case scenario, perhaps samples were retested but the results were not released. Either way, it is up to the USGS to reveal the truth now.

Opportunities

Carl Sagan wrote: “Astronomers do not object to the idea of major collisions, only to major recent collisions.” Why? The reason, obviously, is that they…he…didn’t know how to recognize evidence of major recent collisions. The Caribbean offers an opportunity for scientists to study the site of a major recent collision so they can learn what it looks like. The area is highly accessible, with a generally pleasant climate and readily available accommodation, so that professors and their students are unlikely to object to working there.

An examination of this region will provide scientists the chance to advance out of the current Scientific Dark Age on the right-hand side of The Chocolate Box to recognize how catastrophism has shaped our world. It might enable investigators to determine a more precise age for the impact, put aside the absurd role they have assigned Chicxulub, and determine characteristics that can be applied to interpret similar sites around the world.

It doesn’t take much scholarship to recognize the cause of the Barringer Crater, near Flagstaff, Arizona because there is a big hole in the ground. There is clearly a need, however, for scientists to learn how to recognize sites sufficiently large to have formed a convection cell. When scientists realize that large asteroid impacts provide the energy required by plate tectonics, moving continents around as a result, the history of our physical world will become much more understandable to them.

I even dare to hope that astronomers will begin to consider how large asteroids from the Main Asteroid Belt get to Earth since their frequency of impact cannot be explained by chance alone. Of course, for astronomers to accept that planets and (world-type) moons are not fixed in their orbits but sometimes leave them to interact with others, could take a couple more centuries.

The objective is nothing less than a new way of doing science on the right-hand side of the Chocolate Box. We mustn’t dismiss reports just because they are a couple of thousand years old, or because one source happens to be a religious book. (Velikovsky wrote in ‘Worlds in Collision’: “….least of all do we place faith in books that demand belief, religious books, though we swear on these.”)

Greater integration of the sciences is a critical requirement, and ‘generalist’ must not be considered a derogatory term. And let me be clear on this point: Co-operation between specialists is not going to get us very far on the right-hand side of the Chocolate Box. It never has. This does not mean that every geologist or astronomer has to develop a command of every subject, but scientists must develop broader interests than they have now, including knowledge of human history over the past 4,000 years.

Major new concepts in geology and astronomy are not too difficult for the general public to appreciate. For example, major impact sites are ‘hiding in plain sight’ all over our planet. The joint NASA-ESA Ulysses program demonstrated that it is electricity that powers our Sun, and by extension, the stars. Particle Physics, which seems to exist increasingly to support the Big Bang hypothesis, is an inward-looking science and should not continue for long in its present form.

We can do better, and an investigation of the geology of the Caribbean Sea would be a good place to start. Once the first sacred cows have been put out to pasture things will get easier.

Most Recent Impact

A major impact formed the Venezuela Basin about 10,500 years ago, and points at the geographic poles were moved about 220 closer to the present equator. In the northern and southern hemispheres, the former and present geographic poles are situated about 100 of longitude apart (in the present coordinate system.) This means that it took about 40 minutes for the poles to move about 1650 miles from their former positions. Therefore, the axis change took place at a speed of close to 2,475 miles per hour, which is more than 3 times the speed of sound in air at sea level.  A 700 km (435 mi.) diameter convection cell formed at the impact site and a pair of parallel faults developed from it, trending toward the Middle America Subduction Zone.

A surge of magma from the convection cell, confined between the two faults, was deflected upward by the plunging plate, tearing what are now the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico), plus some smaller pieces, out of Central America and moving them up to 1500 km (more than 900 miles) away. The paths they took can be easily recognized on a physical map of the Caribbean Sea, just as with islands of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s not as if they were hiding their tracks. And where the crust was torn open at the Gulf of Honduras, accommodating the northward rotation of the Yucatán, the evidence can be clearly recognized on GoogleEarth.

As Cuba separated from the mainland the Yucatán Peninsula rotated north taking with it the infamous Chicxulub impact site, or at least its upper part, so that its roots might still be detectable where the impact actually occurred. The island arc formed by the Leeward and Windward islands is made up of young, frequently active volcanic islands that developed as a result of the impact. Oceanic crust from the Mid Atlantic Ridge is now being subducted along the east limb of the convection cell, resulting in the growth of these volcanic islands. At its north end, the arc has begun to divide in two, influenced by the westward moving plate to the north.

Trinidad, as well as Barbados (which is mostly limestone), were broken out of South America. The ‘Aves Swell’ , now deep beneath the surface of the sea, may once have been a peninsula of South America (an extension of the Guiana Shield), and is the probable source of the ‘Gorda Baths’ on the British Virgin Islands, where massive rounded boulders of granodiorite up to 12 meters (40 ft.) in diameter are piled up at the edge of the sea. The islands between Trinidad and the British Virgin Islands are made of volcanic rock (which granodiorite is not) having an age of less than about 10,500 years.

As the Greater Antilles moved to their present locations the surface of the mantle was left exposed. Sediments were deposited by the furious tides following the axis change. These are the same sediments the university professors declared were 90 million years old, based upon fossils they allegedly contain. Ten thousand five hundred years after the sediments were laid down they would be mapped by USGS geologists, who had already decided they were Tertiary, meaning an age of between 1.5 and 66 million years. Something doesn’t add up!

Proofs

  • Cores of volcanic rock from beneath the sediments should be dated by the 40Ar-39Ar method. This time, the results should be released to the public.
  • The original location of the Chicxulub impact might be identifiable by geophysical means.
  • Standard geological mapping techniques might satisfy skeptics of how the Greater Antilles were part of Central America until about 10,500 years ago.
  • While they’re at it, a competent paleontologist might want to take a look at those 90 million-year-old fossils.

Arthur Schopenhauer

In concluding this series, I want to remind you of what this 19th-century German philosopher wrote about truth:

All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

 

Thank you,


Mike Wetherley, P.Geol.

CHAPTER 14 – The Electric Sun

CHAPTER 14

The Electric Sun

Astronomers claim that a major accomplishment has been to explain how our Sun and the stars work, but they got it spectacularly wrong.

Introduction

In 1920 Arthur Eddington proposed that the Sun is powered by a nuclear fusion generator located at its core that converts hydrogen into helium (the proton-proton theory), and in 1938 Hans Bethe calculated the fusion reactions that, he claimed, power the Sun and the stars. His estimate of the core temperature of our Sun, 15 million degrees Kelvin, is still widely accepted today.

After a delay of twenty-nine years, perhaps to see if any better ideas would come along, Bethe was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics, which practically guaranteed that his views would be widely accepted. It all amounted to elegant theory, but elegant theories have value only if they are true.

Not every astronomer accepted Bethe’s views, and occasionally, one with well-established credentials would express doubts that may have been of long standing. In his book ‘Cosmic Rays’ (1989), Michael W. Friedlander, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Washington University, St. Louis, wrote the following: “Modern stellar theory has been widely accepted, founded on principles that were thought to be well tested. Because this theory has brought order to an otherwise chaotic diversity of astronomical observations, there is great reluctance to abandon it. Yet there is clearly a problem when our closest and best-studied star refuses to conform.”

Outsiders could be more direct. The brilliant electrical engineer Ralph E. Juergens had this to say: “The modern astrophysical concept that ascribes the Sun’s energy to thermonuclear reactions deep in the solar interior is contradicted by nearly every observable aspect of the Sun.”

Astronomers claim that one of the major accomplishments of their profession over the past century has been to explain how the Sun and the stars work.

The Homestake Experiment

From 1970 to 1994 a unique experiment was carried out at the Homestake Gold Mine in South Dakota, 4,850 feet underground to provide protection against cosmic radiation. The major component was a tank, 20 feet in diameter and 48 feet long, filled with 100,000 gallons of dry cleaning fluid, tetrachloroethylene (C2Cl4), as a convenient source of chlorine. A quarter of all chlorine atoms on Earth have two extra neutrons, and when neutrinos in the right energy range collide with these isotopes they produce atoms of radioactive 37Ar.

Every few weeks, helium was passed through the tank to collect the radioactive argon that had resulted from collisions between neutrinos and some of the chlorine atoms in the fluid. Their radioactive nature presented a ready method for recording the number of neutrinos that had been captured, while the efficiency of the extraction procedure was determined by adding and assaying for a known quantity of 36Ar, which is a rare nonradioactive isotope of argon.

The experiment turned up less than a third of the predicted number of neutrinos, and this became known as ‘the solar neutrino problem’, supporting doubts about the energy source of the Sun. The ‘missing’ solar neutrinos were sought for almost 30 years before the program was discontinued, because thermonuclear fusion in the core of the Sun was confidently accepted as the source of all of the Sun’s energy.

The Homestake experiment was legitimate science, and there was every reason for it to be carried out. An inherent flaw, however, was that it was never intended to be an experiment at all. It was intended, rather, as a demonstration of all that astronomers knew about the Sun, and no consideration had been given to any requirement for a ‘Plan B’. Furthermore, the concept of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is well known. This may have dawned on the managers of this project as its 30 year anniversary approached.

Perhaps cosmologists are just an unusually patient sort. The Axion Dark Matter Experiment (ADMX) is an ill-conceived search for axions which has been carried out for more than 20 years, and plans are in place to keep it going for at least another 10 years. If this happens ADMX will have exceeded the record set by the search for the missing neutrinos, before it too, is discontinued.

The S.N.O. Experiment

The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory’s search was conducted 6,800 feet underground in the Creighton nickel mine, near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The detector consisted of 1,000 tonnes (907 tons) of heavy water (worth over $C300,000,000 & lent by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited) contained within a 12 m (40 ft.) diameter acrylic sphere surrounded by normal water for buoyancy. The heavy water is viewed by 9,600 photomultiplier tubes. (The hydrogen in heavy water is a heavier isotope called deuterium, which contains a neutron in addition to a proton in its nucleus.)

The SNO experiment observed light from electrons produced by neutrino interactions that had been slowed down by the heavy water. (This ‘Chernokov radiation’ is what produces the blue glow in underwater nuclear reactors.) SNO concluded that neutrinos can transmute from one ‘flavor’ to another during travel through space proving, according to them, that neutrinos have mass.

SNO reported that their experiment demonstrated “elegantly” that solar electron neutrinos from 8B decay in the solar core change into other active neutrino flavors in transit to Earth, and that this fully explains the missing neutrino problem One program director, introducing a maximum of spin, stated that the S.N.O. experiment “…could be one of the most important scientific experiments of the 20th century” and added that it supported the Standard Solar Model “…to a 99% confidence level.”  This was a bridge too far.

More reasonable SNO reports suggested that the changes in flavor are “consistent” with predictions of the Standard Solar Model while another considered the “intriguing possibility” that some of the neutrinos from the Sun change their flavor before detection at Earth.

I am going to approach the missing neutrino problem from a different direction. Not every scientific claim on the right-hand side of the Chocolate Box chart (See #18: The Chocolate Box) is spurious, but the SNO experiment, which is a branch of Particle Physics, is almost as far on the right as one can go. The further to the right a science is situated on The Chocolate Box chart, the more suspect it becomes, so it is going to require more than an “intriguing possibility” to carry the day.

I have commented before that when one really and truly and with all of one’s heart wants a particular result to work out, it often does. I accept that scientists, who dated the Chicxulub impact site to the exact age they required, are honorable men. Likewise, I accept that scientists who conducted the SNO project are honorable men. I accept that the scientists who used fossils in the Caribbean Sea to provide the exact age they required after discarding results that were “less well constrained”, may not have recognized they were acting inappropriately. Sometimes, all the required numbers just seem to work out, and when Hans Bethe’s numbers worked out for him on the proton-proton theory, he received a Nobel Prize.

SNO’s director, Art McDonald, shared the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of neutrino oscillations showing that neutrinos have mass. Also, in 2016, SNO was awarded a 1/5th share of the lucrative Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics.

In 2001 S.N.O. had reported that neutrinos were detected oscillating between different forms, which they termed ‘flavors’. The Homestake experiment, it was concluded, had not captured all the neutrinos that had passed through it since the energy levels of some neutrinos were too low to react with 37Cl in particular. These extra neutrinos, although their number was unknown, were regarded as a satisfactory explanation for all of the missing solar neutrinos that had been sought for so long.

One difficulty in accepting all of the SNO conclusions is that measurements can be made only at the Earth end and not at the Sun end. Results that were triumphantly announced are necessarily dependent upon acceptance of the Standard Model of the Sun. This requires solar neutrinos to be produced by a process of thermonuclear fusion in the core of the Sun.

In “The Electric Sky” (p. 48), Donald E. Scott offers this comment: “There is no way that a measurement taken at only one end of a transmission channel can reveal changes that have occurred further up the channel.” And yet, this is precisely what the SNO experimenters claimed to have accomplished.

The Year of the Neutrino

2015 seems to have been the year of the neutrino. SNO claimed that the neutrino has mass because it is able to oscillate between flavors, which may be enough to satisfy the physicists.  What cannot be accepted, however, is that this proves the Standard Solar Model is correct, which would mean that this proves the Sun is powered by a nuclear fusion process at its core. Perceptive readers may have noticed that this chapter bears the title ‘The Electric Sun.’

Many now consider the missing solar neutrino problem to have been solved, and the nuclear principle of the Sun’s energy source to have been returned to its pedestal. Astronomers everywhere must have breathed a sigh of relief, for their claim of a fusion process in the core of the Sun could now be widely endorsed. One SNO scientist claimed that the solar neutrino flux “agrees remarkably well” with predictions based upon the Standard Model of the Sun, and this is where he tossed in that 99% confidence level.

There is something very seriously amiss here. Regardless of what the SNO experimenters thought they had resolved, their conclusion regarding the energy source of the Sun is mistaken. The results of the Ulysses experiment cannot be ignored just because scientists have too much invested in their orthodoxy to ever admit they could be wrong. We all know about banks that were too big to fail; now we have science that is too big to be wrong.

The ‘Ulysses’ Program

The Ulysses program has always been of particular interest to me. In 1994 I accepted an invitation to present a paper to the Planetary Geology group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, which is NASA’s main research and data processing facility. There, I had the rare privilege of discussing the Ulysses program with some of the scientists who were running it. Ulysses was then approaching the south-pole of the Sun for the first time and anticipation was running high.

Launched by the Space Shuttle ‘Discovery’ in October, 1990, and employing the benefit of Earth’s orbital speed to send it on its way, Ulysses, a joint venture of NASA and ESA (The European Space Agency) is still the only space probe to have been sent outside the plane of the ecliptic. Since there was no rocket with the capability of accomplishing this feat, a unique solution was employed. Ulysses was directed to swing around Jupiter, employing that planet’s gravity field to bring its trajectory close to a right angle to the ecliptic plane.  As Ulysses sped back toward the Sun, crammed with magnetometers, spectrometers, charged particle detectors, radiometers, etc. it sure looked as if science was about to be carried out.

A discovery was soon made. As Ulysses made its first approach to the south-pole of the Sun NASA reported electric currents in the “trillions” of amperes flowing out of the Sun. Their point might have been made even more effectively if a term like “gazillions” had been employed. (A space probe cannot measure voltage directly but it can distinguish an electric field.) One problem was that Ulysses was unable to measure the absolute strength of those currents or, evidently, to interpret the direction of current flow.

These currents constituted the most important information to come out of the entire program, but NASA’s original claim that they flowed out of the Sun was made without supporting data. It was made to agree with the prevailing faith of astronomers. Eventually, NASA recognized that the direction of electron flow was into the Sun.

Even so, a senior member of the Solar Group at JPL assured me (by personal email) that when Ulysses arrived at the Sun’s north-pole the Sun would be in the opposite phase of its 11-year cycle and then the currents would be flowing out of the Sun. (This was remarkable since they usually avoid making predictions like that.) I wrote back to tell him that there was no way this would happen. (I suppose I could have been more diplomatic.) He did not reply.

I also wrote to several well-known astronomers to bring this matter to their attention, asking them to take it up with NASA, but none of them replied either. For professional astronomers to question the energy source of the Sun is not, I suppose, something most of them could feel comfortable doing.

Just to confuse us all, current has been redefined as the direction in which a positive charge would move toward the negative terminal, although the electrons still move from negative to positive. Whatever you call it, electrons from the Oort Cloud enter the Sun at its north and south poles.

Jupiter

Mighty Jupiter, more than twice as massive as all the other planets in the solar system combined, radiates more than twice the energy it receives from the Sun and was described by Carl Sagan as a “failed star”. Jupiter must also have electrical currents entering its poles, providing some of the energy that it gives off. The common explanation that this high energy level has persisted from the time of Jupiter’s formation lacks any proof. Like some other long-established claims in astronomy, it must just have seemed like a good idea to somebody at the time.

Ulysses is still the only space probe that has traveled out of the plane of the ecliptic, which is the plane in which planets orbit the Sun. Even the most powerful rockets cannot counteract the momentum a spacecraft receives from its launch platform, Earth, which orbits the Sun at a speed of some 30 kilometers per second (66,600 mph).

The solution was to swoop around a large planet, and going around Jupiter on precisely the right course enabled it to not only lose its excess momentum but also to take up an orbit at a high angle to the ecliptic. This was required to pass over the Sun’s Polar Regions, and the technique proved to be spectacularly successful. A suitable satellite passing over the poles of Jupiter would be able to measure electrical currents entering its poles as well.

The Solar and Hemispheric Observatory

SOHO which, like Ulysses, is a joint venture between NASA and ESA, is conveniently parked at a Lagrangian point, which it shares with a few rocks, and from which it continuously monitors the Sun. (Lagrangian points are in effect, parking places in space where gravitational fields cancel out, and a space probe requires very little expenditure of energy to remain stable in one)  A stunning time-lapse sequence from SOHO, taken in the extreme UV, prepared by JPL and shown on television networks around the world, looked remarkably like a handful of slightly fuzzy dowels with individual dowels moving slowly up and down.

NASA’s accompanying commentary informed that these were rods of plasma identifying streams of electrical current flowing out of the Sun’s north-polar Region. Actually, the rods consist of columns of plasma that are rising to meet invisible, incoming electrical currents, attracted by their difference in polarity. NASA’s explanation was inexcusable since SOHO wasn’t even launched until 1995, or more than a year after Ulysses had first measured electric currents flowing into the Sun.

Hannes Alfvén, a Swedish physicist (1908-1995), recognized that electrical currents flowing within a plasma assume the form of a filament in order to move along magnetic field lines. It is perplexing that NASA could describe these rising and falling columns of plasma (at least they got that part right) at the Sun’s north-pole as being due to electrical currents leaving the Sun. Sometimes, old orthodoxies die hard, even after having been disproven.

Ulysses had proven that electrical currents enter the Sun at its poles, even before SOHO was launched. Electric currents consist entirely of electrons, and in a sufficiently high energy environment, as in the Photosphere of our Sun or of any star, electrons can be converted into protons. Thermonuclear processes are associated with our Sun but they do not take place in its core.

DI Herculis

This eclipsing binary star system consists of two blue stars separated by about one-fifth of the Earth-Sun distance, some 2,000 light years from Earth. It has presented something of a puzzle and has been of particular interest to astronomer Edward Guinan of Villanova University, at Villanova, Pennsylvania, for reasons that were explained by science writer Robert Naeye in the Nov. 1995 issue of ‘Astronomy’. I have drawn on parts of Naeye’s article for the following.

Every planet traces an elliptical path around the Sun. The point where a planet comes closest to the Sun, called its perihelion, advances slightly from orbit to orbit because of gravitational tugs from the other planets. This ‘precession of the perihelion’ means a planet’s orbit rotates with time, tracing a rosette pattern over the course of numerous revolutions.

All this is well known to astronomers, who had studied the perihelion of Mercury and found that it advances faster than Newton’s laws predict. Einstein later explained that relativity predicts a significant curvature in the geometry of space-time, close to a massive body like the Sun, which alters the trajectory of a body.

In 1959 the Danish astronomer Mogens Rudkjobing pointed out that DI Herculis would provide an excellent test for general relativity in a strong gravitational field. The reason is that its stars curve space-time around each other but are still far enough apart that the gravity from one star doesn’t deform the other.

It turns out that the precession measured is less than one-quarter of what theory predicts, while other eclipsing binaries have been discovered that fail to obey the rule as well. Numerous possible causes were considered, and Dr. Guinan provided three:

(i) The theory of relativity may be flawed.

(ii) The stars may be formed from an unknown exotic material.

(iii) The density would have to decrease as you go deeper into the star….

(i) Every scientist would like to disprove Einstein and become rich and famous, but that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.

(ii) Some stars could be made out of fairy dust, but that isn’t likely to be the case either.

(iii) In Dr. Guinan’s own words: “The only way to explain it with internal structure would be for the density to decrease as you go deeper into the star, which is physically impossible. (My emphasis).

I hold Dr. Guinan in high regard for his honesty. Not every scientist provides all possible reasons including those he is unable to accept. What is unfortunate in this case is that Dr. Guinan is a good enough astronomer to have recognized the real reason, but was then unable to bring himself to accept it because of his adherence to orthodoxy.

The Chocolate Box tells us that hypotheses can be evaluated directly against Reality only close to the Reality end of the box. As the Fantasy end is approached, many old ideas almost never die, they just get repeated, even for centuries, and incorporated into the fabric of Science. A decrease in density as you go deeper into a star is exactly what occurs.

Some of you may be aware of a subsequent article, by the same writer, published in ‘Sky and Telescope’. It addressed the same problem from a different perspective and reached conclusions that are similarly mistaken.

The Empire State Building

Astronomers often employ a cartoon to depict the internal temperature distribution of the Sun but this can be deceiving. If a temperature graph could be plotted on a chalkboard using the non-trivial, constant linear scale of 1,000 degrees Kelvin to the inch (the mixed systems of measurement just happen to work out especially well) and placed against the Empire State Building, how high would the chalkboard have to be to indicate the claimed temperature of the Sun’s core? (Kelvin degrees is the same as Centigrade degrees, plus 273.15)

If we let the road surface represent absolute zero, (-2730 C; -4600 F) and if the height of the curb is just under 15 cm (6 in.), then the sidewalk, at this scale, represents the temperature of the surface of the Sun! If we could then add 300 or so additional chalkboards as required, on to our original one, the graph line for the accepted 15 million degrees Kelvin core temperature would coincide with the exact top of the skyscraper, 1,250 feet above the sidewalk.

After plunging to the sidewalk, less than six inches above the road (the road, remember, represents absolute zero), the graph line for the Sun’s corona would soar hundreds of feet into the sky, representing temperatures in the millions of degrees. This is totally unrealistic, and a great deal of ingenuity has gone into attempting to evade this violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Second Law states: ‘It is impossible by any continuous self-sustaining process for heat to be transferred from a colder to a hotter body.’

The Energy Source of the Sun

I shall return to those electric currents flowing into the Sun. I struggled to come up with an appropriate analogy and first described an ‘Amazon River’ of electricity entering each pole. The accompanying image provides a very rough size comparison of the Sun and Earth and it is clear from this that ‘Amazon River’ isn’t going to cut it. The polar coronal holes are shown at a plausible size, and if we divide the area of one of the polar coronal holes by the area of Earth’s equatorial disc, it fits about 10,000  times! Whatever purpose these electric currents might serve, their effect on the Sun has to be significant.

Electric currents entering the Sun fulfill two functions. The first is that they support the Sun against its collapse from the effect of gravity. The second is just as important: Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2, shows that energy and matter are interchangeable, so a process should exist that will convert energy into matter. C2 (the speed of light squared) is a constant, so the essence of Einstein’s equation can be understood like this: E ↔ m, or this: a lot of energy is equivalent to a small amount of matter. One usually thinks of beginning with matter and ending up with energy, and the atomic bomb is an example of this. The equation works equally well in reverse, however, so we can begin with energy and end up with matter. There are naturally occurring processes in which this transformation takes place.

Electric currents entering the Sun’s Polar Regions produce such a strong electromagnetic field that electrons are converted into protons in the Photosphere, whose granulated structure may be a reflection of the individual cells in which this process occurs. The ratio of 1,836 electrons being equivalent to 1 proton, as has been determined at CERN, probably applies in the Sun as well, and in all of the stars, for their fuel is not continually being used up as is commonly supposed. A star can, however, become ‘unplugged’ from its electric circuit due to structural changes within the galaxy.

When inflowing energy becomes insufficient to maintain a sufficiently massive star against collapse due to gravity, thermonuclear activity in the core of the star takes place momentarily, resulting in a Supernova. If thermonuclear fusion were to take place in the core of our Sun, it would blow up as well. Astronomers claim that our Sun lacks sufficient mass to initiate a thermonuclear reaction by gravitational compression. Since their dogma also maintains that such a reaction already occurs in the Sun’s core, the faithful are required to overlook this detail.

The temperature of the interior of the Sun must be less than the temperature of its surface, as sunspots have a lower temperature than the rest of the Photosphere. In fact, the temperature at the center of the Sun may be less than the temperature at the center of the Earth. For decades, scientists have attempted to create magnetic vessels to contain thermonuclear fusion. This already takes place in the Sun’s corona, but not in its core.

Thermonuclear Processes

Electrons being converted into protons heat the surface of the Sun. The process is not hot enough to have resulted from thermonuclear fusion, but the Photosphere must be where electrons are changed into protons. The strongly granulated nature of the Photosphere, into many cells, supports this conclusion. As we travel outward from the Sun’s core, the first temperatures in the millions of degrees are encountered in the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona. This is where, and the only place where, thermonuclear fusion takes place in the vicinity of the Sun.  This is where elements are formed, as well as the neutrinos that are detected on Earth. The neutrino flux produced in the corona is significantly less (less than one third) of what would be produced if the source of the Sun’s energy was thermonuclear fusion in its core.

It is proposed that thermonuclear processes taking place in the Sun’s corona result in a phenomenon that is well known to plasma physicists and electrical engineers, called Birkeland currents. These are incredibly strong electromagnetic field lines that twist together, providing the sort of vessels that scientists have been attempting to make for decades to contain controlled fusion.

In most controlled fusion designs, heat from this process would turn water into steam to turn a turbine for the production of electricity. My personal opinion is that there are too many problems involved, and it is unlikely to ever be economically practical. Major funding of experiments intended to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion is being progressively curtailed. Fission: yes – fusion: unlikely.

The light elements lithium, beryllium and boron, which also have other origins, may be too readily transmuted to be stable near the Sun, while the very heaviest elements might form in the coronas of larger stars, as well as in supernovae. The spectrum of any star would reflect nuclear activity taking place in its corona while revealing little about the star’s composition.

Solar System & Galaxy

In my proposed model of the Solar System, the Solar Wind flows out of the equatorial zone of the Sun in the plane of the ecliptic. It progresses, continuing to accelerate until it reaches the Oort Cloud, which forms an extensive structure between the stars. The Oort Cloud constitutes the framework, as well as the negative terminal, of the Galaxy. Electric currents flow from it into the poles of the Sun, and into every other star in the Galaxy.

The incredible electric charge on the Oort Cloud appears to result from rotation of the Galaxy within the sparse plasma occupying space. In effect, our entire Galaxy is an electrical generator. Donald E. Scott has written about this, drawing in part upon earlier work by Hannes Alfvén, and so have Eric J. Lerner, and others.

Uniform microwave radiation from every point in the sky was discovered in 1965, and acclaimed by theorists, who had predicted vestiges of radiation from the Big Bang. First, though, the data had to be massaged by removing a variation in wavelength across the celestial sphere after interpreting it as a Doppler effect. Then, advanced probability methodology had to be employed to obtain the critical density fluctuations which could not otherwise be distinguished from instrument noise. An apparent red-shift of 1.5 thousand times the estimated original wavelength was accepted without objection!

In its final, highly processed form, the data exhibited the required density fluctuations (that could be amplified by gravity to form galaxies) and a beguiling ‘blackbody curve’, exactly as the Big Bang hypothesis required.

It is more reasonable to postulate that the variation in wavelength across the Celestial Sphere results from a drop in voltage across the Galaxy. I believe the microwave radiation results from electrical and nuclear processes in the Oort Cloud, while the uniform nature of the radiation reflects the extent of the Solar Cell as seen from the perspective of Earth. A black-body curve could result from Earth’s position within the transmitter. This topic will be covered in greater detail in Chapter #16: Cosmology, under the heading ‘Microwave Background Radiation’.

Conclusions

Carl Sagan described science as a “self-correcting enterprise”, but don’t expect to see much self-correcting happening anytime soon toward the “Fantasy” end of “The Chocolate Box”   (See #17: The Chocolate Box). When the theory that our Sun is not a fusion engine generating power but an electric terminal collecting current from its surroundings, was proposed in 1955 by Professor Melvin A. Cook in the ‘Bulletin of the University of Utah’, the reception accorded him is noteworthy.

To quote Ralph Juergens, “… since he was not a professional astrophysicist, his comment was as unnoted as it was unsolicited.” Considering the response of astronomers to Immanuel Velikovsky, the professor might have considered himself fortunate.

I share Velikovsky’s persuasion that the excess of emotion directed against him was a result of inner doubts he evoked about the correctness of the science that astronomers felt compelled to defend. Similarly, Fred Hoyle wondered: “…why the steady state theory was widely attacked by astronomers with an almost insensate fury.” (“The Intelligent Universe”, page 237).

Juergens’ formal training was in electrical engineering, while mine was in geology. (I was accepted into Stanford University’s Ph.D. program but I went into industry instead.) Many advances in science have been brought about by those whose formal training was in a different discipline.

My contributions to astronomy might not rival the work of Ralph Juergens, or Halton Arp, or Hannes Alfvén, each of whom was silenced by the ‘Old Boys’ Network’ (otherwise known as ‘peer review’) using any means available to it. What is widely accepted at the Fantasy end of the Chocolate Box is offensive to me. The public, which is paying the bills, deserves better.

The JPL report on SOHO, claiming electrical currents flowing out of the Sun’s north-pole, was made long after the Ulysses program had shown that current flow at both poles is into the Sun. Interestingly, NASA’s present Ulysses website has been ‘sanitized’ of any mention of electric currents entering the Sun that had been included in earlier versions. They have been replaced by the Solar Wind, probably because it does flow out of the Sun, and therefore may appear to be more in step with conventional thought. After an orthodoxy becomes strongly established its fundamentals may escape questioning, even by institutions that have been entrusted by the public to do exactly that.

It may be fairly asked, therefore, whether NASA’s primary role is doing science or providing entertainment. It isn’t inappropriate, of course, for science to be entertaining. What is inappropriate is for false entertainment to be passed off as science. NASA’s forte has always been engineering, some of which has been spectacular, but it has never been science.

This chapter is based on a paper I submitted to the Lunar and Planetary Institute, which holds its annual joint meeting at the Johnson Space Center for NASA scientists, and academics. The suggestion that I should write it came from the lead scientist of the Planetary Geology Group at NASA’s JPL. You can read the response it received in the accompanying letter.

Confidence in the belief that thermonuclear fusion takes place in the core of our sun might explain the prolonged effort that was directed into searching for the ‘missing’ solar neutrinos. So well established is the dogma, however, so unimaginable its falsity, and so unacceptable its invalidation, that it continues to flourish regardless. The eventual, inevitable abandonment of the Standard Solar Model carries huge implications for astronomy.

The torment of contemplating that so much in astronomy could be make-believe may provide reason enough for so many to defend their faith. Harlow Shapley, one of America’s best-known astronomers, and a director at one time of Harvard College Observatory may have been mentally ill when he organized a criminal secondary boycott against the distribution of Velikovsky’s book, “Worlds in Collision”. It is fair to note, however, that he never experienced any lack of followers. What will the response of his profession be this time?

Speculations

In its early history, every star could be required to generate a secondary body (a protoplanet) in close proximity in order to satisfy some physical requirement, such as the establishment of a stable ecliptic. The protoplanet grows by collecting mass from the stellar wind, remaining close enough to its star to sustain a strong electrical connection, and maintaining a semi-molten state. Differentiated zones develop in the protoplanet, from a metallic core to a rocky mantle, as it continues to grow. Eventually, the protoplanet reaches a size that is unstable for its close-in orbit and it disintegrates, with its matter coming together within the Sun’s strong physical fields to form future planets and moons. Perhaps every star generates its own family of satellites in a  similar manner. The main difference between the two types of worlds in our Solar System may simply have been whether one had sufficient mass to retain hydrogen. If Earth had been a little more massive, it could have become one of the gaseous planets.

Within the star’s gravitational and electromagnetic fields, fragments of the protoplanet accumulate in random fashion. The resulting bodies—planets and moons, will have diverse electromagnetic and gravitational characteristics, interacting with patterns of behavior unique to each Star System. This menagerie of new worlds continues to satisfy whatever requirement was being provided by the protoplanet, and the star continues to dictate orbits available to the planets.  One day, astronomers might recognize that planets and moons in our own Solar System change their positions from time to time, and interact.

In our Solar System, the planet Mercury has a high ratio of metallic core to rocky mantle, while Earth’s Moon has a low ratio. Our Solar System’s ‘worlds’ (planets and moons which have a spherical form, metallic core, and rocky mantle) all display diversity in their makeup. Even the great gaseous planets, like Jupiter, must have a core like the rest, in order to have the electromagnetic characteristics that they display.

A planet’s plasma sheath forms as a result of electrical energy received from the Sun which is streamed away by the Solar Wind. Donald E. Scott (writing in ‘The Electric Sky’) has suggested that this process may control the spacing of planetary orbits. The plasma sheath of Venus almost reaches Earth at its closest approach, which could have led to Earth’s orbit being moved slightly outward to accommodate the insertion of Venus, in 747 BC. Velikovsky claimed that the length of Earth’s year increased from 360 days to 365 ¼ days at that time.

Earth is the most massive planet of the inner Solar System, with the most massive metallic core. The difference isn’t profound, but it is evidently enough to keep it close to its present orbit. This has allowed its oceans to remain in a largely liquid state, and the evolution of advanced life has been dependent upon this random process. Ceres, a present occupant of the Main Asteroid Belt, is the smallest world in our Solar System. According to this classification, it is required to contain a metallic core within its rocky mantle.

Although Ceres makes up about a third of the total mass of the Main Asteroid Belt, it does not share a common origin with its neighbors. It did not acquire its spherical form by chance, and the largest asteroids display no such tendency. Ceres is a world, just like all the other worlds in our Solar System. Like them, it was made up of fragments of the Protoplanet, some 5 billion years ago, and not from fragments of the Lost Planet, that was destroyed at the end of Precambrian time, 0.541 billion years ago (See #12: Mars.)

Final Thoughts

Our Sun is a star, like other stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Any misunderstanding of the physical process that takes place in our Sun carries wide implications for extending knowledge of our Galaxy, and of the Universe. It is impossible for scientists to develop an understanding of the physics of the Universe as long as they continue to insist that our Sun is powered by a thermonuclear process at its core.

Astronomers have long boasted that a major achievement of their profession has been to explain how the Sun, and by extension the stars, function. Students are taught these things, and by the time they reach retirement, the story hasn’t changed. This is because there are too many professional papers bearing names, and reputations, to permit the fundamentals to be questioned.

Astronomy operates as a ‘closed shop’. One is required to accept what others accept and to acknowledge the paradigms that others have developed. There are only a small number of large telescopes, and only those who play by the rules are permitted access. Similarly, there are a small number of professional journals, and ideas considered too revolutionary may be deemed unacceptable. An article about ‘multi-verses’ will get through reflecting the flavor of the day, but one that questions the energy source of the Sun will likely be viewed as too outrageous to be considered for publication. In this way, nothing changes, and non-conforming astronomers have had their careers terminated as a result of this process. Halton Arp, an outstanding astronomer, was denied telescope time because others disagreed with his conclusions about the association of quasars with galaxies and had to move to Europe in order to continue in his profession.

There is no appetite for reconsidering the fundamentals, so these topics are blocked. Too many papers are based on them, and too many vested interests are involved. Just as all the knowledge and intuitions of the bankers assured them that big banks are too big to fail, so do astronomers know that their claim about the energy source of the Sun cannot possibly be wrong. Since those attempting to bring about change from within will be frozen out, it befalls others, from outside the profession, those who aren’t seeking time on a large telescope and who couldn’t care less about the opinions of editors of astronomical journals, to bring about change from outside.

The stars, including our Sun, are powered by electricity. The Sun is part of an electrical circuit in which electrical currents of prodigious strength, as was proven by the Ulysses program, flow from the Oort Cloud into the north and south poles. It is my claim that electrons are changed into protons in the Sun’s Photosphere, probably at the ratio of 1,836 electrons to 1 proton that has been determined from the study of Particle Physics at CERN.

Electrical forces maintain the Sun’s shape and provide Birkeland plasma currents in which thermonuclear processes create elements within the Sun’s Corona. These nuclear activities generate neutrinos, some of which reach Earth, but not in as large numbers as would be the case if a thermonuclear reactor was operating at the Sun’s core. Only by ignoring lessons from the NASA/ESA Ulysses program, and by rejecting implications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, has it been possible to suppress the fact that the Sun runs on electricity.

CHAPTER 5 – Velikovsky

CHAPTER 5

Velikovsky

Astronomers were correct to reject Immanuel Velikovsky’s account of the birth of Venus
but the real explanation went unrecognized.

Upheaval

Immanuel Velikovsky posited that the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt in the second millennium B.C. was connected in some way to a series of natural catastrophes. He investigated the evidence for these, and for catastrophes that had influenced the histories of other civilizations, most of which had no contact with the Israelites. Velikovsky’s conclusions were presented in his book ‘Worlds in Collision’, which was first published in 1950. It ignited a firestorm that has continued even to the present, largely between professional scientists and a part of the general public which has a keen interest in science but no commitment to the defense of professional orthodoxy. Many members of the general public wonder why ancient stories, whether in allegorical form or not, are rejected so readily by scientists, and Velikovsky opined that we are too readily disposed to consider we have solved a problem when we remove it to the remote past.

Our forebears developed an extraordinary interest in the movements of the planets because, during the second and first millennia B.C., Earth experienced close encounters with two other worlds. These resulted in violent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, floods, conflagrations, meteorite bombardments, hurricanes and observed electrical discharges between worlds. Some mountain ranges were lifted up more than a thousand meters. Saharan and Arabian savannah were changed into desert, alpine glaciers developed where none had existed before, and the length of a year was extended by 5 ¼ days as Earth adjusted its orbit.

The Earthquake

Certain historical events can be proven; some are widely accepted; others remain plausible. One event that can be proven is that sea level suddenly dropped 20 feet around the world about 3½ thousand years ago, and it is to the discredit of the science of Geology that this fact has been kept hidden. This could be because it threatened to bring the perils of catastrophism into the geological discourse.

The drop in sea level is still clearly evident in the tropics today since it is common for shore-line coral reefs to build up to sea level at low tide. Any ‘raised’ benches 20 feet above sea level at low tide, that are former coral reefs, can be taken as evidence of this event. Look for them on your next holiday in the tropics. They aren’t that hard to find.

Dr. Reginald Daly, a professor at Harvard University, was the author of ‘Our Mobile Earth’ published in 1926. In it, he stated, “A recent world-wide sinking of ocean level of twenty feet took place, probably 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.” This was confirmed in 1950 by the Dutch scientist, P.H. Kuenen, author of ‘Marine Geology’, who estimated an age “…of 3,000 to 3,500 years”. The historian Immanuel Velikovsky, in his book ‘Worlds in Collision’ (1950), calculated a date from historical records for the first of two close encounters between Venus and Earth as occurring about 3,542 years ago (corrected to 2020).

The electromagnetic fields of Venus and Earth bumped together with a tremendous jolt. On Earth, forces that had been built up by mantle currents pushing against tectonic plates over thousands of years were released in an instant. The geometry of every ocean basin was changed, and every city on Earth with its defensive walls, in an era of massive stone-building, was reduced to rubble.

This event could help answer the question of when the pyramids at Giza were built, for if they had existed at that time they could not have escaped unscathed. In fact, this overwhelming event may have been influential in the decision to construct the pyramids. The Sphinx is believed to be considerably older than the pyramids and survived without significant damage, but it is a reworked rock outcrop rather than a structure. Substantial water erosion of the Sphinx is flood damage, and not the result of precipitation.

The incomparable earthquake also dates the key historical event described in “Exodus” of the escape of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, to the Sinai. The crossing was not of the Red Sea, which has a deep rift valley running down its entire length, but north of the Gulf of Suez, across the route of the Suez Canal. Without the earthquake, which destroyed the stone houses of the Egyptians, causing widespread casualties, followed by the drop in sea-level, the Israelites’ crossing at the sea of passage would not have been even contemplated. Parts of the Old Testament can evoke the perception of allegory where none was intended and may lead to reliance upon divine intervention where none is required. Velikovsky wrote in ‘Worlds in Collision’: “….least of all do we place faith in books that demand belief, religious books, though we swear on these.”

It is the survivors of events who chronicle their history, and Velikovsky concluded that Psalm 68:22 in which the Lord says “I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea.” refers to Israelites who perished at the sea of passage when the water suddenly returned.

The Red Sea

The physical geography and especially the hydrology of the Red Sea played an essential role in this event. No tectonic forces were released along the Red Sea itself but at Bab el Mandeb, where the Red Sea narrows significantly to meet the Gulf of Aden, which was now 20 feet lower, discharge of water was severely slowed. At the crossing, shallow water drained away quickly, while the level of the Red Sea continued to fall over several days, through temporary violent rapids at Bab el Mandeb.

Eventually, the water level of the Red Sea dropped low enough that it could be affected by the agitated condition of the open ocean. This was the result of tsunamis generated at subduction zones, especially across the Indian Ocean in Indonesia. Tsunamis then progressed along the length of the Red Sea, rising steeply as they reached the narrow entrance to the Gulf of Suez. Traveling rapidly and without warning, huge waves engulfed the site where Israelites, pursued by the Pharaoh’s army, were continuing to cross.

 

Multiple Disasters

Velikovsky challenged ancient chronology and scientific dogma alike as he sought to establish what transpired in those threatening times. Venus encountered Earth twice in the second millennium B.C., displacing Mars from its orbit so that it passed close to Earth five times in the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.

Sophisticated people of the eastern Mediterranean recorded their experiences by every means available to them as every city on Earth with its defensive walls, in an era of massive stone-building, was destroyed and prosperous civilizations instantly collapsed. A new calendar was developed, and major religions commemorate events from those terrible times, while our own astronomers deny they even took place. Earth entered the “comet-tail” of Venus, as Velikovsky described it, encountering its red dust which turned to hot gravel mixed with fire. On the opposite side of the world, American tribes recalled experiences equally abnormal.

Traditions involving a day or night of unusual duration are associated with some of these encounters, indicating that Earth’s axis had temporarily tilted. The first encounter with Venus was about 1522 B.C., as the Israelites crossed from Egypt to Sinai. Blood-red, Venus glowed before them as they fled, while lightning flashed across the sky. The Israelites recall how they were sustained in the Sinai by an enigmatic frost they called “manna”, while Hindus in India, Finns in their homeland, and Maoris in the distant Pacific shared their experience. Manna hasn’t been recognized in ice cores from Greenland or Antarctica, but it probably hasn’t been searched for with much enthusiasm. Tuff from the huge eruption of Mt. Toba hasn’t yet been recognized in ice cores either.

The Second Encounter

Fifty-two years later, Earth again encountered Venus, as Joshua led his people against the Canaanites. Once again the Sun tarried in the heavens while across the world a night refused to end. Seven centuries after that, Venus was to dislodge Mars from its orbit, to repeatedly threaten Earth. Encounters between four worlds (Earth, Venus, Mars and our Moon) are described in allegorical form in Homer’s Iliad, and when Venus and Mars came together, what I have termed ‘cloud comets’ were observed to form out of the tail of Venus. These comets, made of ice crystals, were still common during the time of Julius Caesar after another seven centuries had passed. Numerous accounts of them are available and can be read today.

Rome was being founded when Mars drew near, and Romans elevated Mars to their most powerful deity. Violent earthquakes occurred so frequently that Rome’s first buildings collapsed even before they could be completed. Every fifteen years the planet Mars returned until it had brought misfortune to Earth on five occasions, whereupon it retreated to the orbit that it now follows. Venus had already assumed its present orbit, resulting in a change to the calendar of an additional 5¼ days to a year. Velikovsky wrote about these wondrous events in ‘Worlds in Collision’ and reaped the scorn and fury of scientific orthodoxy. The least temperate response of all came from astronomers.

Beliefs representing a lifetime of dedication and benefit are not readily discarded. The future can appear threatening when convictions stand discredited for it is conviction that keeps anxiety at bay. Anxiety results when that conviction is undermined, for there is no guarantee those who succeeded once would ever see their good fortune repeated. Part of the blame, however, rests with Velikovsky. He recognized the scientists’ mistakes readily enough but assumed because of it that he was always able to instruct them correctly.

He frequently ran into trouble there, for while he was an incomparable historian he lacked a background in science. Scientific training stresses methods and scientists and historians do not speak the same language. Sometimes, Velikovsky proffered more than one suggested explanation, as for the Sun standing still, and his detractors seized upon the less likely with glee, using it as an opportunity for ridicule. Sometimes, Velikovsky was wrong.

Ancient legends relating that Venus had come out of Jupiter were accepted by Velikovsky and denounced by astronomers who could provide any number of reasons to show that it could not have taken place. This time it was the astronomers who were right, but the dispute was unenlightened for it apparently did not occur to either side that Venus could have been a moon of Jupiter. Carl Sagan reported the odds against the planetary encounters described in ‘Worlds in Collision’ having taken place, describing them colorfully as “a trillion quadrillion to one” (‘Scientists Confront Velikovsky’, page 63). That did not enlighten much either, for Sagan had assumed the encounters were random and affected only by gravity, and neither was the case.

What passes for acceptable proof within one paradigm can amount to nonsense within another. Sagan was at least fair to Velikovsky, taking the position that it is wrong to suppress a book. For this, he deserves more credit than he generally received from Velikovsky’s supporters.

‘Paris Match’, quoted in ‘Stargazers & Gravediggers’ (p.160), stated the following:

“…it is wrong to try to suppress a book.
 …it is wrong to do so in a clandestine manner.
 …it is wrong to do so without even reading the book.
 …it is wrong to try to influence its reviewers.
 …having done all this, it is wrong not to admit it.”

Public interest in Velikovsky’s ideas has never gone away, while the judgment of professional scientists has continued to be overwhelmingly negative. The journal ‘Pensée’ supported Velikovsky’s ideas from 1972 to 1974, and its authors were responsible for the book ‘Velikovsky Reconsidered’ (1976). In 1974, a meeting of the ‘American Association for the Advancement of Science’ was held to examine the issues again. Velikovsky’s defense of ‘Worlds in Collision’ was published in ‘Pensée’ and the contributions of the scientists were published in the book ‘Scientists Confront Velikovsky’ (1977).

‘Velikovsky Reconsidered’ may have been most valuable for the inclusion of a paper by Ralph E. Juergens entitled ‘Plasma in Interplanetary Space: Reconciling Celestial Mechanics and Velikovskyan Catastrophism’. Recent progress in acquiring data from space makes Juergens’ paper more relevant now than ever (See: #14. The Electric Sun).

The Detractors

When Immanuel Velikovsky wrote in ‘Worlds in Collision’ that the order of our Solar System has changed within the memory of humankind, the science of astronomy was presented with the most serious challenge it has ever faced. With one nervous eye upon the Creationists, a libelous movement developed within the realm of scientific orthodoxy with the sole objective of discrediting Velikovsky and his theories.

Its guiding light was Harlow Shapley, who labeled Velikovsky a charlatan and a fraud. Shapley was one of America’s best-known astronomers and a director, at one time, of Harvard College Observatory. Another was Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, a former student of Shapley and a member of his staff, who attacked Velikovsky’s book before she had read it. Criticized for her lack of professionalism, she later claimed to have read the book but that it hadn’t changed her mind.

“The claim of …universal knowledge is the unmistakable mark of the quack.” Wrote Dean B. McLaughlin, Professor of Astronomy at the University of Michigan, who later admitted he had not read the book either. “Velikovsky claims to be able to dispute the basic principles of several sciences! These are indeed delusions of grandeur!”

James Conant, president of Harvard University, published a book entitled ‘Science and Common Sense’, in which he bemoaned the success of ‘Worlds in Collision’ as “…a distressing phenomenon.” Conant explained how even highly educated and intelligent citizens will usually fail to understand scientists. But, according to Conant, disseminating more scientific information is not the answer. Velikovsky summed up Conant’s main point in this way: “The public’s part in the enterprise is to provide funds…”

Harold C. Urey, a professor of chemistry at the University of California (San Diego) wrote in a letter (March 7, 1969) to student Katherine Lindeman: “Velikovsky is a tragedy. He has misguided people like you in great numbers, and my advice is to shut the book and never look at it again in your lifetime.”

David Stove wrote of the ‘Scientific Mafia’ in a paper appearing in ‘Honi Soit’, a campus publication of the University of Sydney, Australia. This wasn’t the only time the term came up. The Italian scientist De Finetti compared the orthodox scientific complex to “…a despotic and irresponsible Mafia”.

Henry H. Bauer, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute was another who wrote a book to discredit Velikovsky. In ‘Beyond Velikovsky’, Bauer wrote (page 133) “To my own satisfaction, then, I have concluded that Velikovsky’s ideas about matters of natural science are not worth taking seriously.” In his book, Bauer quoted the publisher of the popular science journal ‘Scientific American’ regarding the total boycott on Velikovsky’s views in that publication as saying: “We have not encountered a single scientist working in any of the many fields, from archaeology to astrophysics, on which Velikovsky touches who finds any interest whatever in anything he has to say. That is why you have not seen any account of Velikovsky in our pages…”

Bauer wrote: “Of course Velikovsky probably is wrong. It is impossible to imagine that one man could single-handedly refute most twentieth-century science…” Here, I would like to raise a question: Given sufficient insight, would it be wrong for one to try?

Velikovsky wasn’t some ancient whose pursuit of truth could be regarded with condescension. He was a contemporary of his critics and, they determined, he must be stopped. I have repeated Velikovsky’s transgression of more than half a century ago as my writing provides new knowledge to scientists and to the general public simultaneously, instead of (here I quote Velikovsky) “…couching it in incomprehensible scientific jargon and submitting it to a closed circle in an inner chamber.”

Carl Sagan made an interesting comment in ‘Cosmos’ (p.177): “Whether Thales’ conclusion was correct is not as important as his approach…” If Sagan had applied this attitude to Velikovsky’s works a more rational conclusion might have been the result. I don’t want to hear whether Velikovsky was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. He left us a gift which amounted to a revolution in methodology, and scientists should have had the grace to accept it with gratitude. Instead, they endeavored to destroy him.

Outraged scientists, whose doubts about some of Velikovsky’s claims were probably real enough, demonstrated that they were prepared to go to any lengths to defend their positions. The Macmillan Company was forced to give away publication of ‘Worlds in Collision’, which was listed as a top-ten bestseller on the ‘New York Times’  list for 27 consecutive weeks. This was because across America, Macmillan’s salespeople were being denied access to university campuses as the result of a criminal secondary boycott, and textbook sales represented the main part of the company’s business. Velikovsky was denied access to scientific journals for his replies while continuing to be a target for abuse and derision by members of the orthodox scientific community.

Occam’s Razor

One of the criteria by which a scientific claim is judged is the economy of the theory compared with that of competing theories. A scientific and philosophical rule known as ‘Occam’s razor’ is held to require that the simpler of competing theories should be preferred to the more complex. In ‘The ABC of Relativity’, Bertrand Russell wrote: “Of the possible laws, we choose the simplest one which predicts the actual motion of bodies correctly: logic and experience combine in equal proportions in obtaining this expression.”

The simplest, therefore, or as scientists prefer to describe it, the “most elegant” theory that explains the process should be preferred as the true one. Unfortunately, in common practice, this has come to mean that the simplest process is the true one, and it is on this precise point that the scientists made a major blunder.

The exquisite order of the planets and moons, the almost perfectly circular orbit of Venus, and the completeness with which gravitational theory was able to explain every question of celestial mechanics that had been put to it convinced the scientists that they were right and Velikovsky was wrong. They saw the order of our Solar System as being governed by gravity alone, and if this were so, the disruptions described in ‘Worlds in Collision’ could not have taken place. Gravity alone, however, does not govern our Solar System, and when Velikovsky told us that the Sun and the planets are electrically charged, he was drawing our attention to one of the most important properties of the Cosmos.

A lead scientist at NASA’s JPL told me in 1994 that he doesn’t believe Earth has an electric charge. That it does can be readily demonstrated by one of the simplest geophysical instruments of all, the gold-leaf electroscope. This instrument is so sensitive that after being grounded at ground level, by the time it is raised head-high it is showing an electric charge. Early scientists took an electroscope up in a manned balloon to see if they could get above the charged zone but, of course, they could not. Since NASA has since reported its surprise at recognizing an electric charge on an asteroid, the scientist may have changed his opinion by now.

Unrecognized by scientific orthodoxy, and without obvious effect upon the orbits of the planets, it is the electromagnetic force that enables our Solar System, and our Galaxy, to function. Velikovsky’s claims on the effects of solar and planetary electric fields were ridiculed by the scientists because their gravitational calculations all worked out even though electromagnetic influences had been disregarded. Electromagnetic forces play a dominant role in our Solar System and our Galaxy, however, becoming evident from time to time.

In a paper copyrighted in 1972, Ralph E. Juergens reminded us of a little-known phenomenon that had been given the distinctive name ‘The space-charge sheath’. Investigated in the 1920s and seemingly forgotten after that, it provided the key to a plausible model for the functioning of our Solar System, an outline of which I am pleased to present in ‘martiangrandpa.com’. The space-charge sheath is not personal wear for astronauts but describes how charged particles in a plasma collect within a zone of limited extent about a charged body until the outer edge of the zone carries a charge that is the same as the charge on the surrounding plasma. A sheath of positively charged plasma particles, attracted to a negatively charged body, effectively constitutes a sort of electromagnetic insulation.

The flight of Mariner 2 in 1962 revealed interplanetary space contains positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons, which is to say, a plasma. This discovery changed the rules of the game because while the effective range of influence of an electrically charged body in a vacuum approaches infinity, with its strength reducing as the square of the distance, the effect in a plasma is limited to a finite distance by the space-charge sheath. A practical example is that in a vacuum, Mars and Earth would perturb each other’s orbits by their electrical charge as well as by their mass, while in a plasma only their mass has any effect. The argument put forward by the astronomers that the extent to which their gravitational theories explaining celestial mechanics proved Velikovsky wrong, lost its credibility in 1962.

Planets in their present orbits interact only through the relatively weak force of gravity, but when planets draw close on intersecting paths, much stronger electromagnetic forces come into play. As worlds draw close, their rotational axes may tilt and lightning bolts discharge between them. An isolated body would eventually acquire the same charge as the surrounding plasma, and its space-charge sheath would disappear unless its charge was continually being renewed.

Ray Craters

Velikovsky recognized that ray-craters on the Moon are the result of electrical discharges between worlds, and ‘The Iliad’ describes Mars charging at our Moon (both are represented as gods) and hurling spears at her. These ‘spears’, seen from Earth, were lightning bolts which resulted in ray craters. Lunar craters resulting from electrical discharges would be expected to have steep walls, roundish outlines, and glazed surfaces. Later Apollo missions encountered glass covering rounded and steeply walled ray craters, all of which were attributed to asteroid impacts.

It is rare to find any natural glass on Earth that is older than 50 million years old since older glass has crystallized and fragmented by then. Scientists claim that some glass on the Moon is billions of years old and that the devitrification of glass on Earth is due to the presence of water. This explanation is based on their belief, without any proof, that the moon craters being investigated are billions of years old. Water is relevant to their argument only to the extent that rock surfaces on Earth are subject to normal erosional processes.

Pliny, in his ancient book ‘Natural History’, drew attention to a lake in Italy, surrounded by cinders, that was said to have been formed by a “thunderbolt from the heavens”. If this is true there could be other lakes on Earth which formed as a result of interplanetary electrical discharges. I expect they would be roundish and deep and could be surrounded by cinders. Most likely they have been mistaken for volcanic craters or maars.

Maars are typically round craters, surrounded by cinders that have been ejected by repeated gas explosions. One was actually observed forming in Mexico last century, while two geologically Recent maars (the Soda Lakes) occur on the outskirts of Fallon, Nevada. You can easily locate them on GoogleEarth.

Our Heritage

Between about 1522 B.C. and 687 B.C. (3540 and 2705 years before 2018), our ancestors experienced seven close encounters with other worlds: two with Venus and later, five with Mars. There were, living at the time, sophisticated people of considerable learning who recorded their observations by every means available to them. Their eye-witness accounts of terrifying personal experiences have come down to us in writings, as well as in oral histories that were written down later. Many of the stories in the ‘Old Testament’ are set against a backdrop of catastrophe, as is ‘The Iliad’ and many others including Chinese books of that same period.

As Velikovsky commented, the later encounters with Mars, which took place from 747 BC to 687 BC “…did not take place in a mist-shrouded past; the period is part of the well-authenticated history of the lands of the eastern Mediterranean.” Numerous records written down at the time can be read today. We cannot simply pretend that none of this took place.

A new age dawned with a new calendar, and with a new planet, Venus, visible in the night sky. Early Roman history records that comets were numerous then, some so bright they could be seen during the day, while earthquakes shook Rome every few days. And a story that was ancient even long before the time of ‘Exodus’ told of a flood that covered the Earth. Stories of such antiquity have been automatically denied by our scientists, who have demonstrated remarkably little interest in considering why similar stories were shared by civilizations around the world that had no contact with one another.

Our history is too important to be denied us by members of a pretentious modern cult which has invented its own version of the past. So much has happened in the last 4,000 years, while the age of the Earth is more than a million times as great, that it is unreasonable to interpret that great expanse of time according to only what we see around us today.

Astronomers have never been noted, as a group, for being knowledgeable about ancient history. Under the cult of ‘uniformism’, however, they feel justified in developing fairy tales about their science, while dismissing a wealth of historical records that are in total disagreement. There is not a shred of evidence, for example, that planets or moons originated in their present orbits, or that they have never moved from them. This is just something that struck someone as a good idea at the time. Our ancestors, who lived only 2,700 years ago, experienced terrors of which modern astronomers have no appreciation.

Immanuel Velikovsky challenged modern astronomy, and for his efforts, he was attacked by what has been described as a “scientific mafia”, which engineered a criminal secondary boycott against his publisher. Velikovsky made mistakes, but one has to wonder about a profession that is so unsure of itself to go to such lengths as preventing publication of a book with which they disagreed. It tends to be the sciences based least upon feedback from reality and most upon conjecture, that offer the less reasoned responses to criticism. As Velikovsky put it “If, in matters of science, the opinion of the majority decides where truth lies, then the Earth was the center of the Universe until about 300 years ago.”

Why is it that ancient myths of civilizations around the world concern themselves with the birth of Venus, but not with the birth of any other planet? A new generation needs to examine Velikovsky’s claims one more time, leaving aside his conclusions about the origin of Venus, which he got wrong, and to consider the valuable heritage that our ancestors left us. This is our history; it belongs to us and we are entitled to it. It involves observations of the terrors and beliefs of generations before ours, which experienced them. Many competent historians have spent their entire careers investigating the history of those times. Astronomers have an obligation to the society that supports them to be less pretentious, and more open to the consideration of ideas that are at variance with their present claims.

At its annual meeting in Cleveland, in December 1950, ‘The American Association for the Advancement of Science’ grappled with the question of how scientists might better exercise control over theories perceived to be to their disadvantage. It was proposed that a “jury of peers” (censorship board?) should be required to consider new theories before they could be published, in order (what else?) “…to protect the public”. Would such a jury have passed the heresies of Aristarchus? Copernicus? Galileo? Newton? Darwin? Pasteur? Fleming? Einstein? The probabilities can hardly be viewed as encouraging.

William A. Irwin, reviewer, of Southern Methodist University in Dallas wrote in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, in April 1952 “Rampant superstition is intolerant; when it gains the power, it decides by its own distorted principles what may and may not be said or published.”

I have respected Velikovsky’s accomplishments while still drawing attention to certain errors appearing in his book ‘Worlds in Collision’. My advantage is that I have the benefit of more than half a century of additional scientific investigation including space exploration, to draw upon. Overall, Velikovsky’s book was a phenomenon.

It reminds me of a quote taken from the movie, ‘Phar Lap’ which is about a fabulous Australian racehorse brought to race at Calienté, near Tijuana. After breaking the course record it was found poisoned. In the movie, the American promoter opined: “When something’s good, that’s fine, but when something’s too good it upsets the whole system.”

To a degree, I have attempted to emulate Velikovsky. I have expressed my own ideas on science, and I have focused attention on where Velikovsky’s writing attracted particular criticism. Time alone will tell the extent to which I have succeeded.

CHAPTER 11 – Climate Change

CHAPTER 11

Climate Change

A 400,000-year-old ice core from Antarctica affords a
chilling prognosis for our future.

Runaway Greenhouse Effect

The term ‘runaway greenhouse effect’ was coined by researchers at Caltech in a paper on the atmosphere of Venus. Regardless of what the authors might actually have known about Venus, the way this term has been used in papers available on the Internet constitutes deliberate deception. When global warming alarmists point to the atmosphere of Venus as an example of what will happen to Earth if we continue to burn ‘fossil fuels’ and exceed their tipping point, it only demonstrates how delusional they are. The ground temperature of Venus is almost 500o C, (close to 900o F) and lead (melting point 327.5o C) and zinc (melting point 419.5o C) would both melt readily on its surface. This comparison to Earth can still be found in some articles promoting the concept of anthropogenic climate change, as alarmists use any reason that occurs to them to promote their claims.

Carbon isotope analyses of rocks in a quarry in southern China have led to the implausible claim that CO2 levels in the atmosphere at the time of the great Permian extinction event were comparable to those of our present climate. Furthermore, the rate of addition of CO2 to the atmosphere then is claimed to have been even less than it is today. Since well over 90% of all species are thought to have died out during this event, when most volcanoes on Earth were erupting, it’s clear to see that the alarmists have recognized yet another smoking gun.

One factor supporting their concerns could be so many smoking guns.  When CO2 readings on Mauna Loa first exceeded 400 ppm, ‘The New Yorker’ advised that “The fate of the earth hangs in the balance.” That is journalistic nonsense, as the CO2 content would have been at least several times more in the past during catastrophes. Are we having any effect on the climate at present? Certainly we are by our generation of heat-trapping gasses, but that will be barely noticeable compared to predictable future effects resulting from natural processes. Present climate changes have been accompanied by a significant percentage increase in carbon dioxide, but any direct causative conclusions can only be arrived at by ignoring times when observations failed to support similar claims.

I expect atmospheric CO2 would have reached a peak at the Permian-Triassic boundary, which is now dated at just over 252 million years ago. With so much volcanic eruption, that’s what you get. Equating our own addition of CO2 to the atmosphere with conditions that prevailed at the end of the Permian, is an example of the alarmists developing a cult all their own.

Regardless, we are faced with more immediate concerns. Most climate alarmists fall into two camps. The majority consists of sincere people who recognize that something is definitely wrong with our world but they are unsure of what should be done about it. They have been manipulated into believing we can save the planet only if we abandon the use of ‘fossil fuels’. Another camp comprises a small group that salivates at the prospect of becoming obscenely rich if only they can sucker all the rest of us into buying into their absurd carbon credit schemes.

Now that alarmists have replaced ‘global warming’ with ‘climate change’ they figure they have all their bases covered. In this way, they anticipate maintaining their influence regardless of what the climate does, as long as it changes, which it can always be relied upon to do. Use of the term ‘climate change’ can also be used to avoid the inconvenience of global patterns refusing to support their concerns, since conditions more agreeable to their concerns can usually be found in selected regions.

Greenland

When a team led by Fridtjof Nansen made the first known crossing of the Greenland ice cap in the summer of 1888 they were surprised at what they encountered on top: mild temperatures, small rivers, and roaring waterfalls descending into seemingly bottomless holes; in fact, the very phenomena that are used today to convince us the ice cap is disappearing due to our burning fossil fuels. The volume of ice doesn’t remain constant, but increases or decreases over lengthy periods.

Six P-38 fighter aircraft and two B-17 bombers that crash-landed on the Greenland ice cap in 1942 after their refueling base and home base were both closed in by weather are now covered by more than 75 meters (250 ft.) of ice, demonstrating that the ice cap is continuing to build up, at the rate of a meter per year. At this rate, the entire ice cap could form in only 3,000 years. The ice cap is reaching a new equilibrium with present conditions and there is no indication that it will disappear, even though ice is presently being reduced around the edges. Remember that a thousand years ago Vikings farmed along the coast of Greenland.

Atmospheric Changes

Several warm/cool cycles have been recognized on different scales, over periods from 1,500 years to more than 100,000 years. When the Vikings were farming on Greenland it wasn’t a result of industrialization, and when crops failed from a frigid climate in medieval times it wasn’t because Europeans had a carbon tax. Ice core records from Polar Regions show that atmospheric temperature peaks have preceded CO2 peaks by hundreds of years, due to the influence of the oceans. As the oceans become warmer they absorb CO2 and as they become cooler CO2 is released back into the atmosphere.

The relationship between CO2 and temperature increases has been affected by modern industrialization, but adverse consequences are insignificant compared to what the Sun could have in store for us, perhaps sooner than we could have ever imagined (See: ‘The Doomsday Graph’ below.) Even if there should be an exact coincidence between CO2 measurements on Mauna Loa with reduction of the Arctic ice-pack, as is presently claimed, it won’t require much of a change in solar energy to alter such a relationship.

Determinations

Modern industrialization is adding CO2 and other gasses to the atmosphere, and probably contributing to temperature increases from the ‘greenhouse effect’. But the extent of this has become an obsession with the alarmists, and in the long run, it will be unimportant. Given future challenges that are certain to develop, we are directing attention to the wrong problem. To a significant extent, obsessing over climate change is really a substitute for addressing other problems that we may feel inadequate to do anything about.

An analysis of the future of humankind concerns me deeply. I believe we are destroying the biosphere of our wonderful planet by the inexorable demands of human overpopulation, pollution, and destruction of habitat for our fellow space travelers. I suspect that our very existence could depend, in yet unknown ways, on some of these fellow travelers. We have identified climate change as the greatest concern of our times only because that is easier than trying to fix the real problems we face. Sooner or later, all climates do one thing: they change, as they have been doing for millions of years, and there is almost nothing we can do about that. As sunspot activity continues to diminish, a much cooler climate might be coming sooner than we think.

An early indication could be a reversal of the recent warming trend in the Arctic, where instead of cruise ships sailing the Northwest Passage without hindrance, even icebreakers will be prevented entry by conditions similar to those encountered by the Franklin expedition in 1846 to 1848. Since then, there have been several relatively minor climatic changes, and in future, there will be many more. There is unsettling evidence, however, that our future is going to become much colder than anything we have known in the past. Polar Bears will be frozen out of the Arctic then, as seals can maintain breathing holes only through a thin cover of sea ice, and not through an ice cap.

Even measuring actual changes in the overall temperature of our planet is challenging, with the smallest reported increase being celebrated by alarmists. They freely employ, as a pejorative, the term “climate change denier” against those of us who have always recognized that climates change. It does seem strange that our total emphasis is on reducing CO2 emissions, based on our faith that we can reduce the temperature of the planet by doing so. But if we are so confident about what is going to happen in the future, why are we investing almost nothing in developing resilience into the system by hardening infrastructure? Building dikes to protect low-lying cities would appear to be a logical application of the income from any introduced carbon taxes. It isn’t that the climate won’t change, it’s just that we are not responsible for most of it even as we cause more serious problems on our planet that few are prepared to recognize.

Global temperature reports in 2016 showed that increases over 2015 varied from 0.010 C (British Meteorological Office) to 0.040 C (NASA). The director of NASA’s ‘Goddard Institute of Space Studies’, commenting on these increases, stated: “We are now no longer only looking at something that only scientists can see, but is apparent to people in our daily lives.”  Really?

Weather is apparent to us in our daily lives, but an increase of 0.010 or 0.040 C (0.070 F), not so much. Understand that what we are talking about here is in hundredths of a degree. And if there had been a reduction of similar magnitude, would it have even been mentioned? Not much weather happens these days that hasn’t happened in the past, despite news media competing for whatever can be turned into the next big story. Increased population together with instant communications and an inflated sense of entitlement explain at least part of our perception of worsening conditions, and agencies like NASA’s Goddard Institute should be rebuked for contributing to the confusion.

An illuminating book on climate change is ‘False Alarm’ by Paul MacRae, published by Spring Bay Press in Victoria, B.C., Canada. It offers a balance to those who spout nonsense on the basis of computer models. The maxim ‘GIGO’, well known to programmers, stands for ‘garbage in – garbage out’, and has been especially applicable to climate change predictions.

Long-term climate changes do occur and can result in significant problems for many species, even leading to extinction for some. Problems that we can do something about, however, are more deserving of our attention. Combatting ‘climate change’ has turned into a substitute for doing anything useful that would help our planet.

A feedback mechanism influencing the strength and course of the jet stream in the northern hemisphere is being studied by climatologists. A weakened jet stream can affect local weather by stalling air masses that move along it. Increasingly, erratic weather patterns are likely to be the norm, but extrapolating any specific situation into the distant future is difficult to justify. Present weather always affects us to some extent, but it is the long-term trends that will shape our way of life.

Ice Core Dating

Some ambiguities apply to the interpretation of ice cores, whether it is missing or additional strata, disturbed strata (from movement), or even recognition of strata. There are also major effects not yet recognized by scientists resulting from axis change. Scientists have frequently been surprised when an ice core study revealed a sudden major temperature change. This will no longer be a mystery when they recognize that a location has experienced a sudden change in latitude as a result of axis change.

A loss of ice at the surface will result in deeper ice being logged as younger than its actual age. I suspect this is the reason for a prominent offset of the temperature graph of cores from Devon Island in the Canadian Eastern Arctic. The most recent axis change is accurately reflected in the determined age of about 10,500 years. The previous significant change, however, which should be at 74,000 yrs. (remember that animal remains from that flood have been dated at 75,000 years by a different method), is represented as younger by thousands of years. This suggests ice is missing from the section. Few examples exist from tens of thousands of years ago in which confirmation of an ice core date is available from another source, so missing ice layers might not be uncommon. Consider that an oceanic flood from an axis change could almost instantly remove ice that had formed over the previous several thousand years, without the effect being recognized in an ice core.

Ice eroded from the surface of an ice cap might be common at an axis change. Other changes could result from surface melting, glacial surges, and less deposition due to reduced precipitation. The age of a level in an ice core is determined by the straight-forward process of counting the number of layers from the top, each of which is accepted as representing a separate year, and there is no way of determining if there should be more layers. More layers might not have been deposited, or more likely, have been removed.

Many ice core interpretations could be affected despite the work having been carried out in a meticulous manner. Axis change can result in false interpretations of climatic changes due to latitude change, and of air density from changes in altitude above sea level. The latter is affected by oblate flattening in Polar Regions, which is, of course, where most ice cores are obtained.

Shishmaref, Alaska

U.S. President Obama visited the village of Shishmaref, Alaska during his first term of office, to draw attention to the effects of climate change on a coastal area that is especially vulnerable to erosion. This village was named after a Russian sea captain during a voyage of exploration when Alaska was a Russian territory, and the area has been known to have sustained settlement for centuries. The village is situated on a long and narrow barrier island of frozen sand that has undergone so much erosion lately that its people have voted to relocate their village to the mainland. The Chukchi Sea has open water for longer periods now, and with less coastal ice, storm-waves crash directly on to the frozen sand, rapidly eroding it.

The President appeared to become a convert to the concept of anthropogenic climate change, which means that he attributed recent changes at Shishmaref directly to the burning of ‘fossil fuels’. His visit may have resulted in the U.S. becoming an active participant in the Paris Agreement (L’accord de Paris).

Parts of the Arctic have been unusually warm lately, for reasons not related to the burning of ‘fossil fuels’. Weather patterns are one factor and the jet stream has been directing warm air further north than usual. Local CO2 production contributes little to Arctic warming but methane bubbling up from beneath the ice, or as permafrost melts, can produce greater changes. ‘Climate change’ is always with us, but it is a loaded term with climate alarmists who only use it imbued with anthropogenic implications.

The section that follows, on ‘The Doomsday Graph’, may persuade some readers to question whether we are responsible for major changes to our climate. This does not absolve us of responsibility for the desecration of our planet’s biosphere, which is totally our fault. Most thoughtful people recognize there is a problem, but the solution can seem so daunting that they settle on combatting ‘climate change’ as a substitute for doing anything more significant.

“Population growth is the primary source of environmental damage.”
Jacques Cousteau.

The Iceman

When the 5,300-year-old body of ‘Oetzi’, the Iceman was discovered thawing out of a glacier in the Alps it was taken for granted that his surroundings from the time of his demise were just as they are today. But the altitude of this location, above 3,000 meters (about 10,000 feet) above sea level is much higher (as in thousands of feet higher) than when Oetzi died there. The present glacier did not even exist then.

It is more likely his body became submerged in a muskeg (temperate-zone swamp), which tanned his skin to leather in acidic water under anaerobic conditions from the decay of sphagnum moss. His skin should bear chemical traces of this process but evidently this has not been looked into. As a result of climate change from the increase in altitude, as well as from Earth taking up an orbit slightly further from the Sun in 747 B.C., a glacier developed, with Oetzi’s body protected within frozen muskeg.

The significant uplifting of the Alps as well as other major mountain ranges, including the Andes and the Himalayas, occurred at the first of two close approaches of Venus to Earth, some 3540 years ago (in 2018). That is also when sea level dropped six meters (20 feet) around the world as tectonic forces that had built up over millennia were suddenly released, altering the geometry of the ocean basins and mountain ranges.

Look for ‘raised’ benches next time you travel in the tropics. It is easier to recognize them there because some are former coral reefs which would have been exactly at sea level at low tide. Remains of coral and shells can often be found on their surfaces. As people come to recognize features such as this it may encourage them to accept some of the significant changes that have transpired in relatively recent times. Don’t think that because something is described in ‘The Book of Exodus’, or in the ancient Chinese astronomical texts from Soochow (Suzhou), that this constitutes proof that it didn’t really happen. Modern fairy tales must not be permitted to replace historical memories.

Evidence of ancient human habitation has been found throughout the Alps, often at such high elevations as to be almost inaccessible at present. This has been explained away by how these people must have been so terrified of their neighbors that they chose these difficult places in which to live. When people lived there, however, the altitude was lower and access was easier.

No discussion of crocodiles in Spitzbergen or coal beds in Antarctica, in relation to climate change, can make sense if axis changes are disregarded. No discussion of abrupt temperature changes revealed in cores from ice caps can make sense if axis change is disregarded. And no discussion of climate change can make sense if potential influences of the Sun, or of Earth’s orientation about its axis are disregarded.

A Mysterious Plague

Velikovsky’s sources are impressive in their diversity, and he was meticulous in their attribution. For all that, he was often challenged to find proofs of societal changes occurring thousands of years ago. Additional assistance may have become available from the new field of genetics. The October 2016 issue of ‘Nature Genetics’ provides an account of a plague that spread across Europe “about 3,400 years ago”, killing most of its inhabitants. A few did survive, due to a fortuitous group of genes which their descendants still carry today.

What provided resistance then, however, has proven to be detrimental now, since these genes have been found to raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. This was determined as the result of a study looking for problem genes affecting blood issues, carried out by the ‘Heart Institute’ at the University of Ottawa in Canada, with several other institutions.

No known written records of the unknown disease survive today, but the genetic record indicates it could have been on a scale comparable to the ‘Black Death’, the bubonic plague which claimed the lives of some 60% of residents of affected countries. Remarkably, the rate of genetic mutation is sufficiently well understood today that it can provide a rough timetable of historical events. In this manner, a plague was dated to about 3,400 years ago, although no range of possible dates was provided.

In my ‘Velikovskyan Timetable’ (See: #5. Velikovsky) which is based upon dates provided in Velikovsky’s book ‘Worlds In Collision’, two close approaches of Venus to Earth are given as 1522 and 1470 B.C. The plagues of Egypt are described in The Book of Exodus’ and elsewhere and are directly associated with the first of these events. It is plausible that the plague identified as occurring 3,400 years ago was connected in some way to Venus. The close approaches of Venus to Earth given above are equivalent to 3540 and 3488 years ago (from 2018).

If there is a connection, it seems unlikely it would have resulted from the introduction of new bacteria to Earth, since Egyptians would have been affected as well, and their written records don’t reflect this. One thing described in Exodus is a proliferation of vermin, and this could have had a bearing on the plague described by the Heart Institute. Plagues that affected the Egyptians are described in detail in The Book of Exodus’, and the timing of the reported European plague suggests a possible connection.

Biofuels

Biofuels were embraced by the Obama administration as a crucial part of the process to reduce carbon emissions by road vehicles, which are deemed to be a major factor responsible for their ‘anthropogenic’ climate change claims. Ethanol is manufactured by fermenting and distilling corn or sugar cane, which requires large amounts of energy. Vegetable oil, which is added to diesel fuel, comes almost exclusively from palm trees.

The biofuel industry proclaims “zero net emissions” for their product, based on the premise that “fossil fuel” (oil) was formed from plants which took in carbon to grow, and this is equivalent to the carbon released when burned. This is ironic from my perspective, as in Chapter 20: ‘Catastrophic Minerals’, I explain the origin of crude oil. I posit that largely marine plant material, which is supposed to constitute the source of oil is, after being changed by heat and pressure to a mineraloid called kerogen, merely the catalyst for changing methane into oil. Carbon produced by burning biofuels is not zero net emissions” after all.

Driven once again by alarmists and self-styled environmental activists, and appropriated by politicians commonly lacking a scientific background, the entire biofuel debacle is one of the definitive examples of unintended consequences of our time. Firstly, there is no reduction in overall carbon emissions achieved by adding methanol to gasoline, and even if there were, the timeline involved would make it irrelevant. Secondly, the cruel consequences of massive environmental degradation and increased starvation among the world’s poorest is a shameful legacy for any government to leave.

The major part of global corn imports by needy nations used to come from an excess corn crop produced in America, but most of this has now been redirected to the production of government-subsidized ethanol. The price of corn has risen as a result, and so the amount of production has increased. Corn responds well to fertilizer, and nutrient-rich runoff from corn fields in the American mid-west is resulting in oxygen-starved water courses all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

In Brazil, the Amazon Rain Forest is being clear-cut to plant sugar cane solely for the production of ethanol, but Brazil has been acclaimed by oil company-hating activists as a shining example to the world for running its cars largely on ethanol. The situation in south-east Asia is just as tragic, for dense rain forest covering the island of Borneo, shared by Indonesia and Malaysia, is being burned to make way for huge palm-tree plantations. Along the way, unique species which include the clouded leopard, proboscis monkey, Bornean rhinoceros and the orangutan – one of the animals closest to us – are being threatened with extinction in the wild.

Vote-seeking political actions thought not to have any impact on the rest of the world can have widespread tragic results. It is wrong to destroy rainforests for the production of crops for the explicit purpose of reducing the use of oil.

I acknowledge an article which appeared 2016-08-19, in the editorial section of ‘Times Colonist’ of Victoria, B.C. by Gwyn Morgan, a retired Canadian business leader who provided a valuable viewpoint on this topic. The opinions of people with such insight are frequently disregarded by politicians who recognize there may be more votes gained by following the whims of radical activists caught up by the latest fad. Environmental issues constitute an area fraught with unintended consequences, and in the case of biofuels, the results are proving tragic.

Low-Cost Alternative Energy

The probability of unintended consequences seems not to bother those activists who are determined to save us from ourselves. One example is the generation of electricity by sources deemed to be less invasive than hydroelectric, especially wind and solar. Despite claims of lower cost and less environmental impact if we will only pay the temporary subsidies required to make these sources competitive, the costs always seem to rise.

The subsidies are becoming unsustainable in many situations. Always presented as making renewable energy sources competitive, the costs just keep going up. Those discounting major disruptions to our society because they want to be more ‘green’ never seem to get the message. Just as proponents of controlled nuclear fusion continue to justify any expenditure that will carry them to their fantasy of “free” power, so are the proponents of wind and solar prepared for our electricity rates to skyrocket in the interest of “green” power.

Wind and solar are proving to be less dependable, more expensive and less environmentally friendly than has been forecast. Not only are wind installations unsightly, any close to human habitation can be unhealthy due to constant noise and the incessantly moving daytime shadows. The loss of birds and bats to windmills is significant, and significance of the loss of bats, in particular, is barely recognized. Bats are more important to the ecosystem than is widely acknowledged.

Several European countries, in particular, have become weary of keeping up the struggle while their electricity rates continued to increase, and investment in alternative energy is being drastically reduced. Some European countries have fewer acceptable options than Canada has with its readily available hydroelectric potential. The requirement of electrical power to our modern society is a matter of huge significance, with additional needs anticipated as more electric vehicles come onto our roads.

Any proposed radical change in direction must receive careful consideration when the only reason for making a change is to be, or at least to appear to be, more “green”. We all have to accept a shared obligation to treat our environment with respect, which involves a commitment to look before we leap.

The I.P.C.C.

In 2009, Australian scientist Dr. John Happs sent an open letter to his government’s chief scientist who had stated on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: “The evidence is clear the planet is warming due to human activity…” Dr. Happs’ letter draws attention to a major scandal in science.

It examines the activities of the ‘Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’ (IPCC), set up by the United Nations under the following charter: ‘To assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.’ Note that it wasn’t set up to determine the cause of climate change. It was casually assumed that the cause was self-evident, and no attempt was made to pretend that any other cause was worth considering. In fact, evidence conflicting with the UN’s version has been unconscionably suppressed and denied.

Many scientists have signed petitions against the IPCC’s political and ideological findings but all were ignored, just as reviewers were ignored when critical of any IPCC policy. The often quoted phrase of ‘thousands of scientists’ who support the IPCC is a myth, and Dr. Happs’ letter reveals that a tightly knit bunch of 53 authors and about 5 reviewers are the only ones who explicitly defend the IPCC’s claims. It is astonishing how successful the IPCC has been in promoting its claims to gullible world politicians, and the public, while ignoring its critics and exaggerating its support.

Data has been cynically manipulated, and in other cases deliberately withheld to prevent other scientists from evaluating IPCC statements. E-mails provided by concerned whistleblowers in 2009 provided evidence of pressure on editors of journals who were not supportive of the IPCC, and this became widely known as ‘Climategate’. It’s like a rerun of the criminality of some astronomers who brought about the ‘Velikovsky Affair’ in the 1950’s. This colossal scam has been going on for years, resulting in a brake on the economies of entire countries. We need to reduce pollution, but clean CO2 is not a pollutant. Plants breathe in CO2 and breathe out O2, while we do the opposite. CO2 makes trees grow, and one emphasis should be toward making CO2 emissions cleaner.

I attended a presentation by Dr. Michael Mann at the University of Victoria. Dr. Mann is Director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, and is best known for his ‘hockey stick graph’. This graph purports to demonstrate that the past century has been the warmest in 600 years, and the IPCC included it in a 2001 report claiming the 1990’s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, of the millennium.

Unfortunately, data on which the graph was created deliberately started right after the well-known ‘Medieval Warm Period’ (900 – 1300) when the world was warmer than it is today. Dr. Mann defended his graph to questions from the audience, even though the IPCC had quietly dropped its support for it, explaining that the medieval warming was not global, but only local. No evidence has been provided that would support this claim.

Recently, Australia made a significant step forward by cancelling its carbon tax, while countries like Canada are still firmly headed in the opposite direction. Many of our politicians seem to have adopted the mindset that defending anthropogenic global warming is a practically guaranteed vote-getter, in spite of evidence against it. Universities and scientific institutions are joining the act, where the probability of grant applications succeeding if they include ‘climate change’  is becoming an increasing scandal. Impressionable children are being brainwashed with emotional propaganda in school.

One reference on the topic is available at www.undeceivingourselves.org under the heading ‘IPCC’s abuse of science’. The above images ‘Hockey stick’ and ‘Warming chart’ were reproduced from this site.

THE DOOMSDAY GRAPH

The original graph (reversed) was provided by
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The Vostok Drill Hole

This thought-provoking paleo-climate record based on ice cores from the Vostok drill hole in East Antarctica is the result of dedicated efforts by Russian, French, American and British workers. This deep drill hole represents a considerable investment over many years, with the work carried out under conditions that were extremely challenging. The cyclic nature of the trends is remarkable, with the graph suggesting we could be on the cusp of a much colder climate that will persist for thousands of years.

The graph is presented on a small scale so that the width of the most recent peak represents less than the past 11,000 years. Before this, there is no recorded human history! All past civilizations of which we have much knowledge, such as Grecian and Roman, developed within the latter part of this time interval. So did civilizations which remained unknown to us until recently, in the jungles of south-east Asia and Central America. And so did civilizations known to us by only a few artifacts, as in Nigeria, where finely detailed bronze castings produced by the sophisticated ‘lost-wax’ method are the only evidence ever found of a mysterious civilization.

Most agriculture and animal husbandry, and manufacturing including the making of paper and cloth, and metallurgy and chemistry, and electricity and electronics, and modern medicine and construction and transportation have all been developed within this single astonishingly productive warm period. Before then, people struggled to survive and died young. Of the twenty or so hominid species to have been identified so far, several are believed to have co-existed until a few tens of thousands of years ago before going extinct. An increase in the rate of catastrophism, resulting from oceanic floods caused by axis changes, together with the extreme cold of an ice age, could have been contributing reasons. People have always tended to favor coastal homes, where food may be more abundant but where there is no defense against oceanic floods.

The Next Ice Age

Throughout the period including the ‘Medieval Warm Period’ (900-1300), followed by the ‘Little Ice Age’ (1300-1870), which included all of the ‘Maunder Minimum’ (1645-1715), average temperatures overall are thought to have differed from today by less than 2o C! This can be compared to a change of 6o C that the graph implies lies ahead for our descendants. It could come soon enough to directly affect us, or our children.

If this long-term pattern continues it will alter established agricultural practices over all the world, and starvation will result in the deaths of billions of people, as well as other species. We have grown accustomed to mild temperatures and regard the situation we have grown up with as our entitlement. The Vostok core suggests a frighteningly different story.

Almost no sunspots were recorded throughout the Maunder Minimum (1645 to 1715), and recently the incidence of sunspots has dropped markedly. This could indicate the start of rapid change. At a time when climate alarmists are obsessing over a possible increase of 2oC, none are concerned about a much greater threat that could lie ahead. Given the ice core source of the data, there is some uncertainty about the precision of the timing and it is not possible to predict how many years, if any, it might be before we find ourselves on the next steep downward curve. One thing the graph suggests, however, is that this curve foretells Earth’s future.

Several axis changes took place during the period represented by the Vostok core, which may be reflected in peaks of atmospheric dust content in the ice. Remarkably, they resulted in no noticeable change in the prominent repetitive pattern displayed by the graph. This indicates that East Antarctica remained within the Antarctic Circle during the lengthy period represented by the ice core.

The U.N.’s Agenda

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has managed to convince many that we have to stop putting CO2 into the atmosphere or else it will soon be “all over” for us. (That would be the same United Nations that has put Saudi Arabia on their Human Rights Council and Iran on their Commission on the Status of Women.) One underlying reason for the IPCC position may be driven by a desire by poorer countries to share the wealth of richer ones through the UN acquiring taxation entitlements.

Some individuals involved have become wealthy by promoting the UN’s agenda. In a constant state of paralysis dictating inaction, the UN is the ultimate example of big government lacking accountability. It is a fact that if the United Nations did not exist, we would have to invent it, for hostile regimes must have a setting in which to communicate, but that does not justify us getting ensnared in every aberrant scheme the UN chooses to promote.

Reducing pollution is a good thing, and if we could reduce the distribution of chemicals from industrial activities and plastics dumped into the oceans, that would be a very good thing. But it should also be recognized that significant amounts of dangerous chemicals are being deliberately added to our atmosphere by activists in government-sanctioned experiments, intended to determine how to control the weather. Aviation is a prime contributor to cloud formation in the upper atmosphere, which can affect surface temperatures, but there is little chance of air travel being controlled. Now space tourism is being promoted.

The CO2 Cycle

We must stop obsessing about CO2, which enables plants to grow better, and recognize that the term ‘pollution’  has been given a new definition. Some CO2 from the atmosphere ends up in the ocean, and if some shellfish are unable to form shells, which are obviously critical to their survival, this may be an example of a cyclical driving force of evolution. Extinction patterns of some Mollusks and Protozoa may have tracked long-term climate patterns. I have wondered whether repeated climate changes in the past have induced a genetic flexibility into these creatures that indirectly shows itself in rapidly changing shell design, much of which is unclear as to its functionality.

Coral throughout the tropics is being bleached white by warmer water as polyps expel algae that live within them. This does not signify instant death for the coral, but if water temperatures remain high during the following winter and beyond, polyps will eventually starve, as they depend upon the algae for their food. We can make our greatest contribution to the planet by limiting our demands upon the environment in general and by ‘treading’ as softly as possible over land, sea, air and in space. Our record in every case has been abysmal.

“One must care about a world one will not see.”
Bertrand Russell.

Carbonic acid forms when CO2 dissolves in rainwater, which is neutralized by coming into contact with alkaline rocks. The carbon is carried as a bicarbonate ion in rivers pouring off the land, and this works to combat acidification of the oceans. At the same time, the oceans absorb CO2 directly from the atmosphere, an effect which decreases as concentrations of CO2 in the oceans increases. The degree of acidity is based on the activity of hydrogen ions and is measured along a negative logarithmic pH scale. A pH of 6 is 10 times more acidic than a pH of 7, which is neutral.

We cannot control our climate, but when the temperature rises by 1 or 2o C we think we have to do something about it. What we need to do something about is human overpopulation, pollution, and the destruction of habitat of our fellow space travelers. The solutions are seen as too difficult, or are being rejected because they appear to be ‘politically incorrect’.

“The first law of ecology is that everything is related to everything else.”
Barry Commoner.

When Earth begins to slide into the next ice age, which will continue for thousands of years, you can be sure that there will be as many interventionists determined to take radical measures to increase the temperature as there are those who are now determined to decrease it. If the chill comes soon enough it could be some of the very same people. Lower temperatures and lower sea levels as the Polar ice caps build up are not the sort of problems most climate change alarmists have in mind these days. Modern technological achievements have led us to an unwarranted sense of our pre-eminence in natural matters.

Extensive regions in the far-North, and elsewhere, are going to become uninhabitable, even to the Inuit. To make us less vulnerable it would be necessary to reduce our numbers and develop procedures for adapting to the approaching ice age, including the production of much of our food under cover. The concept of escaping to Mars is sheer fantasy promoted by a few people who like to consider themselves progressive thinkers. Supporting even a tiny colony there would require a commitment that no declining economy could support.

A Repeating Cycle

It is plausible that the problem of missing ice layers increases with increasing age, and this raises an intriguing possibility. Perhaps the peaks in the ‘Doomsday Graph’ should really be equally spaced apart. This would reflect a fundamental cycle affecting the Sun, and even our entire Galaxy. An oceanic flood passing over an icecap could easily remove ice deposited during the previous thousands of years. There is no present proof of this, but consider that even the trends in the graph turned up unexpectedly.

Our present social system is dependent upon constant growth for its continuation, leading to the well-known observation that if you think this can continue indefinitely you are either insane or an economist. Half the wealth of the entire world is owned by a handful of individuals. The threat of human overpopulation intensifies while powerful institutions promote philosophies that are totally out of balance with the ecosystems of our planet. A tragic example is the Philippines, where a major export is people, and where large families survive as modern hunters and gatherers on garbage dumps. A doctor who was teaching nurse-practitioners to carry out vasectomies in poorer districts was forced out of the country by the Roman Catholic Church.

The belief systems of some of our most influential organizations, in government, the United Nations, and religion are moving in the wrong direction, with policies that threaten the future of civilization. We are devastating the biosphere of this planet, and when we finally recognize the seriousness of our situation it could be too late for our present culture to continue. But it won’t be because we added too much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

CHAPTER 4 – Atlantis

CHAPTER 4

Atlantis

The Caribbean Sea is linked to the destruction of Atlantis
as reported by Plato.

Atlantis

Ignatius L. Donnelly, a U.S. Congressman who served in the 1860’s, was ahead of his time on a number of significant issues, including women’s suffrage and education for freed slaves. This may have been why his best-known book, ‘Atlantis: The Antediluvian World’ was so savagely attacked by critics, just as Immanuel Velikovsky’s ‘Worlds in Collision’ would be similarly attacked upon its publication 68 years later. Donnelly accepted Plato’s dialogues ‘Timaeus’ and ‘Critias’ in a historical tradition rather than following the allegorical interpretations of Renaissance writers.

Donnelly accepted that Atlantis had been destroyed in the same event that led to the ‘Flood Story’ in the ‘Book of Genesis’, and that its sudden annihilation by earthquake, flood, and volcanism actually took place. Plato said that it had happened 9,000 years before he recounted his story, “acquired directly from Egyptian priests” (approximately 2,400 years from today). In a somewhat condescending criticism in ‘Worlds in Collision’ (page 147), Velikovsky claimed: “There is one zero too many here.” as he sought to include the destruction of Atlantis into his own timetable of more recent catastrophism.

It wasn’t Plato who was mistaken, however, and his date for the catastrophe should be compared to the one I have offered, 10,500 years, or perhaps slightly more, based on laboratory analyses. I believe Atlantis existed “…beyond the pillars of Hercules” (Gibraltar) as the Egyptian priests had recounted to Plato. This would place it in the vicinity of the Azores, on the mid-Atlantic Ridge, just as Iceland is also situated on the Ridge.

Whatever the truth about the details of Atlantis, which has been distorted with mythology over fifteen centuries, and nonsense in modern times, I believe that the essential story of Atlantis is true. “In a terrible day and a night (Plato), assailed by earthquake, flood and volcanic activity, Atlantis sank beneath the sea, which had changed to stone.” The stone was pumice, which floats, expelled from volcanos and vents along the mid-Atlantic ridge as Atlantis sank beneath the waves, following the impact of the asteroid 5,600 kilometers (3,500 miles) to the southwest.

It has been supposed that Atlantis is merely a myth and that sudden, spectacular advances were made in agriculture, technology, and many other fields, in Egypt some 10,000 years or so ago. It is more likely that survivors from Atlantis and from outposts on the mainland – ancestors of the Pharaohs and their people, ended up in Egypt’s fertile Nile Delta, where they continued to practice and develop technology that was already known to them, and where their priests kept the history of Atlantis alive.

The Flood Story

“…all the fountains of the great deep (were) broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”
Genesis 7:11

Every society on Earth has its Flood story, for this was the greatest catastrophe to have taken place within the memory of humankind, so it is not surprising that its story was passed down for half a thousand human generations. What is remarkable is that so few modern scientists accept it. The biblical story of Noah and the ark is a fable, but the story of the flood is a legend based on real human experience. The religion of the descendants of any human survivors of the next major axis change will incorporate stories of that catastrophe.

Some of the first geologists were religious fundamentalists who traveled around England examining the rocks and seeking confirmation of the Noachian flood described in the ‘Book of Genesis’. Because numerous worldwide floods have occurred, they recognized the evidence everywhere they looked and concluded from this that the Bible is right.

At the time, a growing secular movement was drawing its members away from the traditional teachings of the Church and promoting the idea of free thought. That the religious scientists (today, they would be called Creationists) were claiming the Bible was right was anathema to secular scientists, who took the position that there had never been a flood. Astonishingly, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that remains their position today.

Inertia is the tendency of matter to either remain at rest or to continue in uniform motion in a straight line. When contemplating a large axis change, consider the inertia of an ocean. It has a rotational velocity at the equator, of over 1,000 mi. (1,600 km) per hour, while at the geographic poles the rotational velocity is zero. Clearly, the potential of an oceanic flood to scour the land, or to bury it with sediments, can be immense.

Furthermore, if a duration of 40 minutes (which is what a longitude change of 100 suggests) was required for the poles to move 1,650 miles (2,650 km), the rate at which the change took place along the meridian of maximum change was 2,475 mi. (close to 4,000 km) per hour! Although water would lag behind, this describes an incredibly destructive force. It should be kept in mind that the change over most of the world was less extreme, with two points on the Earth’s surface not changing their latitude and longitude at all. Of course, if one or both points are in an ocean, there might not be much reduction in the violence experienced there.

At an axis change, continents plunge beneath the oceans, and floods that are kilometers-deep roll over the continents. Vegetation and animals are swept away, and overburden scoured down to bedrock. Water can also be dragged north or south to where its rotational velocity is inappropriate for its latitude, further increasing its erosive power.

It is common to think of Earth as being spherical, but the flattening at each pole is more than 21 km (13 mi.), which is almost 2½ times the height of Mt. Everest above sea level. When these Polar Regions are rotated to lower latitudes, low lands immediately fill with water. Thousands of years are required for Earth to regain its preferred shape. As this takes place, the displaced geomagnetic poles move slowly closer to the geographic poles, and the total magnetic field strength, having increased at the catastrophe, gradually weakens again. Unexplained bulges on Earth’s surface may be the result of axis changes or close encounters, that haven’t yet healed.

Fossils

The last flood submerged animal species that would never live on Earth again, burying large mammals along the Arctic coast with mud scoured from the depths of the Arctic Ocean. This mud was below the freezing point of freshwater and was free of aerobic bacteria so that frozen remains of the animals are well preserved to this day.

The presence of these remains does not prove the animals ever lived in that area, and where their remains are numerous it doesn’t prove they lived in large groups. At the other end of North America, remains of sabertooth tigers are found at La Brea, in California. They could not have simply got stuck in the tar or they would be well preserved!

Well, yes, we know that their bones are well preserved, but their bodies were typically torn apart as they mixed with water-degraded petroleum from a major oil release along the California coast. Perfect skeletons have been prepared for display because so many bones are available, but it is unusual for one to be completely made up of bones of the same individual. Notably few herbivores are included in the formation because the flotation characteristics of dead herbivores differ markedly from those of dead carnivores.

Dead herbivores floated away as methane from rotting vegetation collected in their bellies, while dead carnivores sank into the thick, degraded oil. La Brea is much more than just a collection of tar ‘pits’. It is a sub-outcropping geological formation consisting primarily of degraded oil and animal bones, extending for several miles along the coast. Although rare, it is not unique.

Previous Floods

“…neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.”
Genesis 9:11

There have been many floods over at least the past 541 million years. Based on this record, and in conflict with the biblical claim above, there will be many more! The most recent flood due to impact occurred about 10,500 years ago, while the previous one occurred about 63,000 years earlier, and there is some evidence that the one before occurred only 76,000 years earlier.

If there is any inference that could be taken from this, taking into account historical records, it is that the frequency of major impacts has been increasing. If an interval between major impacts of only 70,000 years or so were representative of the distant past, it is doubtful whether any large land animals would be left on Earth, including us.

With every impact of this magnitude, most land-dwelling animals on Earth die. Most fossils are formed at these times, explaining why the fossil record is so discontinuous. It is not uncommon for species that are plentiful at the end of one period to never again appear in the geologic record. As the reader will have realized by now, most divisions of geologic time into eras and periods, throughout the entire Phanerozoic eon (the past 541 million years) have been due to oceanic floods that resulted from the impact of large asteroids.

Oceanic floods as a result of major asteroid impacts constitute a dominant form of catastrophism affecting our planet, and the stratigraphic record attests to their recurrence, at least since the end of Precambrian time. They have repeatedly turned over a new leaf in the book of evolution, destroying the trilobites and the dinosaurs and the mammoths, and millions of species in between. The most recent flood may have destroyed more large mammalian species than any previous one. Large animals that lie preserved along the Arctic coast of North America arrived almost literally, in two waves. Each oceanic flood was the result of an axis change following a major impact. Dating of these animals’ remains has indicated they arrived about 10,500 and 75,000 years ago.

Calcrete

There have been many floods, and some landforms required more than one flood to develop. A good example is the ‘mesa and butte’ topography that has come to typify the American southwest. It’s the one with all the box canyons where the bad guys hang out in the old ‘Westerns’. A mesa has an extensive plateau on top or is connected to a ‘mainland’, while a butte stands alone.

As seawater evaporates after a flood and is drawn to the surface by the Sun, a layer of impure limestone develops close to the surface. It is frequently a meter or more, thick, depending on the porosity and permeability of the surface. (Geology students think of a light bulb to remember the difference: a light bulb has infinite porosity and zero permeability.)

Calcrete (also called duricrust or caliche) is the bane of mineral exploration geologists seeking sub-surface samples in arid areas, as an expensive, massive bulldozer with a ripper must often substitute for a tractor-mounted backhoe. In arid regions, however, this limestone has found use where timber is scarce, as building-material for dwellings and walls to contain livestock, for road building material, and even for walls to support agricultural terraces along canyons, as I have seen practiced in what is now Israel. Sediment was then laboriously carried up from the river below to provide soil to grow crops.

An oceanic flood can result in the formation of calcrete as a shallow limestone bed, or sometimes an irregular bed having prominent vertical extensions. It tends to persist in a largely unaltered state, preventing the development of agriculture or most plant growth. The calcrete surface may be resistant to destruction by an oceanic flood at first, but then it is attacked by density currents containing particle sizes up to boulders at the base of the flood.

As the shallow calcrete layer is breached, valleys form, with tributaries flowing into them. Density currents at the base of the high energy flood undercut cliffs, which are rapidly eroded, leaving mesa and butte topography. When a waterfall in a stream, which has eroded its way back over a calcrete bed, stops flowing, a box canyon is left behind as a common feature.

Extinctions

The extinction of Pleistocene megafauna around 10,500 years ago has been attributed to hunting pressure by native people, climatic change, disease and (finally) asteroid impact. Of course, the aspect of “asteroid impact” that has always been missed is the oceanic flood that accompanies an axis change. Just considering North America, the place was a zoo, with several elephant species, more familiar horses and camels; saber-toothed tigers, and giant versions of present tortoises, beavers, sloths, bears, and bison. A complete list would be much longer, including extinct reptiles, birds, fish, and insects.

Australia underwent a similar extinction of its giants, and their remains occur in cave systems beneath the western desert. Another significant change to Australia was the beginning of the Great Barrier Reef. Until the most recent major axis change, the eroded shelf that was to host the Great Barrier Reef was situated outside of the tropics and may even have been above sea level.

Any humans living along the Queensland coast would have been removed by the oceanic flood, but others migrated there soon after. It is remarkable that their descendants, 10,500 years later, can recount stories of the sea level rising and flooding this broad shelf which did not yet support corals. The rising sea level was due to melting ice from the shattered ice caps.

Flooding of the shelf in its new tropical environment occurred, fortuitously, to an average depth of some 35 meters, which is about as deep as light can penetrate water with any strength, thus providing an ideal environment for a wide range of tropical corals. I would like to know if stories have persisted in Australia about the oceanic flood itself. The continent is known to have been populated before then, so there were either flood survivors from higher ground, or else newcomers who arrived on the continent soon after.

Much of Australia has low relief, so floodwaters might not have reached as high as elsewhere, even though the continent is only some 300 from the meridian of maximum latitude change. One might expect, therefore, that there are Australian Aboriginals who are descended directly from some living on the continent about the time of the axis change. If so, flood memories may have been passed down, just as they have been elsewhere around the world.

People and animals on low islands are especially vulnerable to oceanic flood resulting from axis change. Kelly and Dachille pointed out clear evidence of past depopulation, comparing contrasting ecological systems between neighboring Pacific islands. It is most likely that the depopulation of these islands is so evident because a huge wave crossed the Pacific around 3,540 years ago (2018). Furthermore, there was a sudden drop in sea level of 20 feet (6 meters) at that time, prior to which, some presently populated islands would have been below sea level(See #10: Venus.)

The result of this sudden drop in sea level can still be recognized today. Many of the ‘raised’ benches in the tropics are former coral reefs that were right at sea level at low tide. They are easy to recognize, so look for them on your next vacation to the tropics. Hawaii’s famous Pali cliffs were sculpted by the water of oceanic floods that have passed completely over the lower islands, no doubt removing most animal life there each time.

There are some problematic sites that will be destroyed by the next axis change. Nuclear power stations and nuclear waste and weapons dumps will be obliterated, and radioactive detritus will be widely scattered, some with half-lives of a billion years. Some of it will be deeply buried, but may still be in contact with ground-water. Another installation at risk, due to its location on Spitsbergen, 1,100 kilometers from the Geographic North Pole and 130 m (430 ft.) above sea level, is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. A small axis change moving it southward might render it permanently inaccessible beneath the sea. Movement of the North Geographic Pole during the last axis change was twice the distance between Spitzbergen and the present geographic North Pole.

The seed vault is a “fail-safefacility built to stand…the challenge of natural…disasters.” (taken from their website.) Its stated purpose is to guarantee future crop diversity and is being partly financed by some of the world’s largest agribusiness giants involved with the development of genetically modified plants. This leads one to question the kinds of catastrophes that have been envisaged to threaten the future availability of current seeds. Axis change might not have been one of them.

“Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.”
Will Durant

Evidence for Axis Change & Oceanic Floods

  • Most people other than scientists, associate the formation of major ice sheets with Polar Regions. Ice sheets are moved from Polar Regions to lower latitudes by axis change. There has been much speculation by Canadian geologists about why Pleistocene ice in the Canadian Arctic moved north. At the time, however, the ice was moving south.
  • Pleistocene glaciation in Australia is claimed to have occurred in Permian time (which ended about 252 million years ago). Glaciated outcrops on islands along the south coast of Australia, however, are just as smooth and polished and exposed as those of the Canadian Shield. Parts of South America and Africa that were glaciated in Permian time are covered with thick residual soil, and no outcrops of polished rock occur.
  • Australia was closer to the Antarctic Circle before the last axis change, and glaciation along its southern coast, northward into the interior, occurred then. The ‘snowball Earth’ concept, described in some older geology texts, was based upon evidence of glaciation occurring at presently tropical latitudes, as a result of axis change.
  • It is claimed that thick beds of sandstone and shale exposed along the walls of the Grand Canyon were deposited gradually over millions of years. Local rivers would not have carried only mud for millions of years, however, and then changed suddenly to carrying only sand. These are rapidly deposited oceanic flood deposits, as are most sedimentary rocks on Earth.
  • Great Salt Lake persists as a fading memory of former Lake Bonneville. That huge lake, in a notably arid climate, was not only almost 1,000 ft. (300 m) higher than the present lake level, but its outflow cut two deep canyons. Established lakes don’t have more than one outlet, and Great Salt Lake has none. In the Great Basin of the western United States, calcareous tufa (a precipitate formed by marine algae) was deposited on rocky shorelines of more than a hundred lakes, including Great Salt Lake, showing that they contained seawater. Some reflect two successive fillings, and Dry Falls, in Grand Coulee, Washington State, shows that it was cut by two successive floods.
  • Marine life is stranded in inland lakes by every oceanic flood when every lowland basin on Earth is filled with saltwater and sometimes adapts to the new conditions. From jellyfish in Lake Tanganyika to crustaceans in Lake Titicaca, marooned species occur around the world. In the Caspian Sea, seals feed on salmon and herring, while in Lake Baikal, seals and sponges live together with fish from the ocean. Seals also live in inland lakes in Quebec. Whales proved to be less adaptable, but their skeletons have been found on the shores of Lake Champlain, in several dry lake beds in North Africa, within the Los Angeles Basin, and at numerous former lakes now far from the sea.
  • Caspian Sea seals are so similar to Arctic seals that some scientists postulated a canal between the two regions at some time “in the past.” It was easier for them to accept a canal 3,000 km (1,850 mi.) in length, for which there is not a shred of evidence than to accept the reality of oceanic flood.
  • River terraces result from floods pouring off a continent. Terraces along the Mississippi River have been claimed, without evidence, to have formed hundreds of thousands of years apart. It is remarkable then, that in an area of high precipitation, the highest terrace (claimed to be the oldest) is just as well preserved as the lowest. Marine terraces occur along major river valleys around the world and all are the product of oceanic flood. Some notable North American examples are the Yukon River in Alaska, the San Juan in New Mexico, and the Stikine in British Columbia.
  • The greatest canyons on Earth lie beneath the sea, some being deeper than Grand Canyon in Arizona. Many are extensions of river valleys, formed as sediment-laden flood water returned to the sea. Others lack a land association and formed as furious flood tides were channeled between islands. Impressive submarine canyons exist between the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, and among the Santa Barbara Islands off California. The English Channel also displays evidence of deep scouring. Antarctica and Greenland lack well-developed submarine canyons because floodwater flowing off an ice cap carries little sediment, and it is sediment that causes most of the erosion.
  • River valleys have served repeatedly as conduits for the return of floodwater to the ocean, which is why river valleys are so large compared to the rivers that now occupy them. Some flood runoff channels carried off a significant part of the water from an entire continent. The satellite photo depicts the mouth of the Mackenzie River in Arctic Canada. The blue meandering stream is the “mighty Mackenzie River”, as it is so often described, while the dark, cliff-bordered swath occupying the lower half of the photo is the oceanic flood runoff channel. The width of the present meandering river is less than 3% of the width of the flood channel.
  • Animal bones of many species, mostly broken and splintered, are packed into several rock fissures in Europe. So prolific were some deposits that the bones of hippopotami have been quarried, as near Palermo in Sicily, to provide high-quality bone ash for industrial use. Some bone-packed fissures are high on steep hillsides, lacking access for large animals. Immanuel Velikovsky drew attention to this though few cared to listen.
  • The most recent flood occurred in summer in the northern hemisphere, for some animals entombed in permafrost have flowering plants in their mouths. Some members of big game species that survived must have been on their high summer range, while others on the lowlands were swept away. The largest and strongest animals appropriate the lowlands for themselves, where food is most plentiful and the climate most temperate. Then, after they have been removed by a flood, species that had been pushed back to the hinterlands venture forth to investigate what new opportunities are available to them. Repeatedly, have the meek inherited the Earth.
  • Humans, also, were saved by the season. After floodwaters receded in America humans came down from the highlands and skilled craftsmen again manufactured their traditional Clovis and Folsom-type spear points to hunt the elephant species on which they had depended. Those large animals were gone, however, and from then on they manufactured smaller stone points to fit their arrows.
    • foo

    Furthermore, the claim of some anthropologists that people who made the spear points were replaced by a different race that made arrowheads would be a bit like anthropologists of the future concluding that the race that made radios died out and was replaced by a superior civilization that made television sets. People adapt to changing circumstances.

    • foo

    Kelly and Dachille quote Indian legends indicating that many people survived the impact in the valley of Mexico City. Also, people responsible for the Folsom and Clovis points survived 1,000 miles further north, as did people who made similar points found at Wenatchee, in Washington state. There could have been other groups of survivors scattered throughout the western Cordillera.

  • Where the waters slowed, they deposited a layer of sandy silt, as if to compensate for all that had been taken away. Enriched by plant remains over thousands of years, it constitutes our topsoil. Most agriculture on Earth is dependent upon this precious layer.
  • Boulders of a different type than the bedrock on which they are found, and lacking any nearby source, are termed ‘erratics’. Unfortunately, the definition provided in geological dictionaries defines them as having been left by glaciers or icebergs. In fact, erratics situated high up on islands far from any mainland are most likely to have been moved there by oceanic floods. In Antarctica, the Shackleton expedition found granite boulders high on the slopes of volcanic Mt. Erebus.
  • Drumlins are oriented gravel ridges, often with associated bedrock erosion, formed as deep floodwater lying on a continent forced its way under an ice cap by hydrostatic pressure, quickly breaking up the icecap. Another common glacial feature in northern Canada is the ‘esker’. Once said to represent the courses of streams that flowed beneath glaciers, this was discredited by the fact that many course up and down hills. As the ice cap broke up, sediment was heaped by floodwaters against ice blocks, and after the ice melted or was removed, eskers remained. They present an asymmetric cross-section, with the steeper side against the ice and the shallower side away from the ice.
  • C. Chamberlin (1843-1928) was an influential geologist who headed the glacial division of the U.S. Geological Survey. He was a professor at several American universities and founded the ‘Journal of Geology’. He claimed to have recognized five separate advances of the ice sheet over the north-eastern United States and even gave them names that are still in use by geologists today. The earliest is known as the ‘Nebraskan’, followed by the ‘Kansan’, ‘Illinoian’, ‘Iowan’, and ‘Wisconsin’. Each accumulation of till was caused by runoff from an individual transgression of the sea. Instead of them being separated by “many thousands of years”, as Chamberlin claimed, their formations were separated by hours, and there were no interglacial stages.
  • It used to be taught that at the end of each geological period the land “sank beneath the sea”, re-emerging as if responding to a need to breathe the air again, as the next geological period began. Water flowed onto the land during an axis change, depositing sediments or eroding them, before flowing back to the sea. The evidence left by shallow seas is very different from sediments left by oceanic floods, and I have known petroleum geologists to describe flood deposits of eroded reef material, spread evenly over hundreds of square miles, as ‘reefs’ because they contain fossils of reef-forming animals.
  • Similarly, ‘transgressive seas’ are always the result of an oceanic flood. A normal sea advancing against the land never leaves behind smooth, parallel, sedimentary beds over large areas.
  • Zircon crystals found distributed across the North American continent have been interpreted as being deposited by a system of giant rivers that must have existed to carry them from their Appalachian source rocks. No evidence of these rivers exists and distribution of the zircons must be a result of oceanic floods.
  • Mammoth dung discovered in caves on the Colorado Plateau contains a floral assemblage which now occurs only at higher elevations, or at more northerly latitudes (OMNI magazine, May 1991). The south boundary of the state of Colorado is some 1,850 km (1,150 mi.) further from the North Geographic Pole than it was 10,500 years ago. As a result, that floral assemblage from the Colorado Plateau now grows, at the same elevation, in the vicinity of Prince George, British Columbia.
  • Marine terraces at Palos Verdes, California which mount to an elevation of 400 m (1,300 ft.) continue as submarine terraces to a depth of 150 m (500 ft.). One explanation provided for their origin is that terraces above sea level were cut by the sea from top to bottom, and the subterranean terraces were then cut from bottom to top. The only problem was that nobody had come up with a process to accomplish this.
    • foo

    A term used in one textbook to describe what transpired is “eustatically consociated diastrophism”. When terms like this are employed it is fair to conclude that the writer has a somewhat less than total grasp on what took place. Velikovsky stated that clear writing is a sign of clear thinking.

    • foo

    The terraces were cut by powerful longshore currents. The very highest terrace, or else the very lowest, was cut first. Then, as the ocean continued to slosh back and forth after the axis change, becoming progressively calmer, it proceeded to cut the second-highest or second-lowest, and so on.

    • foo

    Longshore currents produced terraces elsewhere along the California coast. At Cape Mendocino, a “staircase” of five terraces, each 30 to 45 m (100 to 150 ft.) in height above sea level was described in a 1976 issue of ‘California Geology’. Readers were informed that “…this showed the coast has been rising steadily for some 500 thousand years at a rate of 2 or 3 centimeters per century.”

  • Gold sluicing operations in Alaska have given up the remains of many large animals. Dismembered and disarticulated, sometimes with flesh still attached to the bones, the remains of mammoths, mastodons, rhinoceroses, horses and many others lie entombed in the permafrost. They lie interspersed with shattered trees and covered with mud and silt from the bottom of the sea. Some deposits were laid down approximately 10,500 years ago, others 74,000 years ago. Human remains must lie there also for when Earth’s axis changed, only those above flood level would have been likely to survive.
  • The final evidence I shall provide for axis change is the large number of thoughtful, knowledgeable people who over the centuries, have recognized that Earth’s axis has changed. They collected mountains of evidence for it and tried their hardest to convince others. A small sampling of this list includes G.V. Schiaparelli, William Whiston, Georges Cuvier, I.L. Donnelly, Immanuel Velikovsky, Harold Jeffreys, W.B. Wright, Charles Hapgood, Hugh A. Brown, John White, Frank Dachille, and Allan O. Kelly. A complete list would be much longer, extending back to the time of Virgil, and could include some who were ancient even then. Most claimed that the crust of the Earth slipped over its core, compared to the more plausible explanation I have offered that the entire Earth rotated about a temporary, secondary axis in response to the impact of a large asteroid.

Major Past Impacts

Every impact of a sufficiently large asteroid on Earth resulted in an oceanic flood. Some of the largest were also associated with something else. Great eruptions of lava commonly referred to as ‘trap rock’ or ‘traps’, occurring over extended areas, are called ‘flood basalts’. Some of these eruptions have exuded more than a million cubic kilometers of lava and tuff, accompanied by sulfurous gasses, having disastrous implications for most life. The oceans and the atmosphere are turned acidic and poisonous, leading to a collapse of the food chain.

Biologists have recognized what they term a ‘bottleneck’, where a limited number of survivors share a restricted gene pool so that a species may be vulnerable to extinction even thousands of years after the event. The most likely catastrophe in almost every case is axis change due to a meteorite impact, resulting in an oceanic flood. One example is the African cheetah which is known to have passed through a genetic bottleneck about 10,500 years ago. A recognized human bottleneck occurred 74,000 years ago, attributed here to the Mt. Toba volcanic eruption and an oceanic flood that followed the Hudson Bay asteroid impact.

North America had cheetahs as well, but they went extinct at the time of the flood, although they may have left behind a hint of their former presence. It is well established that healthy predators and prey tend to have similar top speeds. The pronghorn antelope, however, easily outrun any present predator, and it is supposed that they were hunted by cheetahs before the flood. The cheetahs went extinct in North America, while the pronghorns survived.

The greatest known mass extinction after the end of Precambrian time occurred at the end of the Permian Period, some 252 million years ago, which was probably associated with the formation of the ‘Siberian Traps’ of eastern Siberia, situated on the opposite side of the world from Africa. A later event formed the ‘Deccan Traps’ of India, which are associated with a major impact (the K-T Boundary) responsible for the collision of India with Asia. Every flood basalt event, as well as some of the largest volcanic eruptions, has probably been in response to a major asteroid impact.

The popular connection between dinosaurs and deserts is largely due to their bones being most easily discovered there as the sand is loose and blows around readily. Dinosaur remains are known to occur almost anywhere on Earth. Large groups occurring together cannot be taken as proof of the animals having lived in groups, or even having lived near to that location. Nesting colonies, of course, are proof of both.

Paleomagnetism

This is the study of the magnetic properties of volcanic rocks, especially their ‘remanent magnetism’ (natural permanent magnetization). It provides information on the position of the closest geomagnetic pole when volcanic rocks crystallized, as well as the intensity of the geomagnetic field. It has lately become popular to add ‘magnetic reversals’ to the terrors that threaten us. Under this scenario, Earth’s magnetic field would disappear, leaving us unprotected from the lethal effects of radiation from space.

This concept was developed after a study of reversed magnetism of rock stripes that parallel the mid-Atlantic ridge. Happily, the situation has been misread, as past axis changes have resulted in volcanic rocks with their crystals aligned to whatever geomagnetic pole happened to be closest at the time of their formation. Sometimes it was the north geomagnetic pole, and sometimes the south. There is no evidence that Earth’s magnetic field has ever reversed, or that it is ever going to. The strength of Earth’s magnetic field increases after each axis change then decreases slowly over following millennia as the magnetic poles draw closer to the geographic poles.

Proofs

  1. An obvious proof of some of the above claims is to apply 40Ar-39Ar dating to cored basement rock from the Venezuelan Basin and the Columbian Basin. Samples from these locations were collected by the ‘Glomar Challenger’ and are available to recognized researchers. Their age of deposition is approximately 10,500 years, instead of the 90,000,000 years that has been reported by some. (That’s slightly more than .01% of what was claimed.)
  2. Modern radiometric dating has been applied to animal remains and wood buried in the permafrost of Alaska and the Yukon. Animals were left by an oceanic flood from an axis change about 10,500 years ago, while an earlier group was entombed about 74,000 years ago. (Mammoth remains on the New Siberian Islands are much younger.)
  3. Magnetometer and gravity surveys over the actual site of the ‘Chicxulub impact’ might reveal evidence of the impact site preserved in the mantle. The site is close to the Cayman Ridge, and some 700 km away from the surface site near the town of Chicxulub on the Yucatán Peninsula.

It is interesting to consider this quote taken from a Wikipedia article entitled ‘True Polar Wander’: “Data indicate that the geographical poles have not deviated by more than about 50 over the last 130 million years…” So much for ‘data’. It is not unusual for scientists to make extravagant claims for some pet theory, in the absence of any credible support. A favorite claimed confidence level is 99%.

Axis Change

In his 1991 book ‘Extinction’, author David Raup has the following to say about the effects of large impacts. “The predicted effects of large impacts include shock waves, tsunamis (tidal waves), acid rain, forest fires, darkness caused by atmospheric dust and soot, and global heating or global cooling.” He evidently wrote down everything that occurred to him at the time, but do you see what is missing? Only axis change, which can produce worldwide volcanism, oceanic floods that can destroy most individuals of higher forms of life over entire continents, and changes in latitude that can make the resultant climate unsuited to the reestablishment of former ecosystems.

Ignorance in geology has distorted every science with which it has come into contact. When geology changes, fundamental beliefs in sciences often thought to have little in common with one another, from astronomy to zoology, will all change.

The 19th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote:

 “All truth passes through three stages:

First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

 

CHAPTER 6 – Second Most Recent Impact

CHAPTER 6

Second Most Recent Impact

An impact in northern Canada may have triggered a
huge volcanic eruption in Indonesia.

Hidden Impacts

There is another impact site beneath the sea that might not yield a K-Ar age because its rocks are too young. The rock of this former lava pool, possibly a fresh-appearing, coarse-grained latite rather than basalt (which is not all that different) should provide an age of 74,000 years by Ar-Ar dating. The Hudson Bay (or Nastapoka) Arc, along the southeast coast of Hudson Bay, is the site of the second most recent major asteroid impact to move the Earth.

All claims of the regularity of asteroid impacts upon Earth are mistaken. This can be stated with certainty because scientists haven’t yet recognized the largest sites, while others occurred within periods they claim to have been impact-free. My estimate of approximately 63,000 years between the two most recent major impacts is unlikely to be typical of the past. If it were, there would be fewer large land animals left on the planet because of oceanic floods. An inference that might be taken from this is that major impacts are becoming more frequent.

This could have been a factor in the extinction of some of the other 20 or so hominid species to have been identified so far. Of these, several are believed to have co-existed until a few tens of thousands of years ago before going extinct. Since they shared a lineage as long as our own, one has to wonder why they died out so recently.

The Caribbean region has received much attention from scientists of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and it was they who determined that volcanic rock underlying sediments in the Caribbean Sea cannot be dated by the K-Ar method. In other words, USGS scientists, by their application of a trusted and routine method of age dating, that had been used to determine the ages of thousands of similar samples every year, inadvertently demonstrated that the rock they were testing is less than about 100,000 years old. They also provided the untenable explanation that it is due to “a special type of alteration” that a date could not be obtained. After a brief flurry of interest in the press in the mid-1960s, the finding lapsed into obscurity. Today, one may search in vain for its inclusion in any textbook of geology.

All too often in science, when something cannot be explained it is hidden, and then it is forgotten. This discovery should have been celebrated as a step of major importance in interpreting Earth’s history, but the opportunity was missed. It has also been established, by a published report, that investigators have dated cores of that basement rock by the 40Ar-39Ar method. The scientists, however, would not release their results because the results did not support their preconceived ideas.

Hudson Bay

An early investigation by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) was intended to determine the age of the Hudson Bay arc, as well as to refute repeated suggestions that this was an impact site. It was a low budget affair consisting of a few shallow diamond drill holes on the Belcher Islands and failed in its stated objective due to the limited capacity of the drill that was employed. It is unfortunate that the almost perfect shape of the arc has been deliberately modified on some informal GSC maps. This was another attempt to convince the public that the arc is not the result of an asteroid impact.

A drill-core recovered from almost anywhere within the basin would yield a fresh, coarse-grained volcanic rock beneath the sediments, which is below the typical age range of 40K-40Ar dating. Of course, the modern method of 40Ar-39Ar dating would be ideal. The Belcher Islands are Precambrian because they developed out of the crater rim. It is ironic that the Belcher Islands are almost the only place that could be drilled within the entire basin that would have provided rocks of Precambrian age. The only other Precambrian ages that could have been obtained would be from some small islands that drifted down from a greenstone belt, far to the north.

At Hudson Bay, siliceous rocks from the Canadian Shield were mixed with denser underlying material. This allowed the rim, which formed from the less dense crust, to float upon the lava pool. There, the rim was folded and distorted by strong currents within the convection cell. By comparison,  oceanic crust at the Venezuelan Basin is as dense as the lava of the lava pool, and sank into it.

The Belcher Islands, with their spectacular, glaciated drag folds, form one of the most distinctive archipelagos on Earth. If they could be unfolded back to their original form they could constitute the entire missing part of the rim which completed the Hudson Bay Arc. The convection cell was evidently in powerful motion, explaining the exquisite folds that form the islands. Recently, some scientists grudgingly conceded that the Hudson Bay Arc “might be an impact site of Precambrian age” since the rocks in which it occurs are Precambrian. As Allan O. Kelly pointed out, if another meteorite fell nearby today, it would be in Precambrian rocks as well.

Scientists from the GSC have claimed in the past that the area “lacks any evidence for being an impact site”, and that “…a major geologic boundary passes undisturbed through the area”. (Scientific American, Letters, November 1990, p.10) Their conclusion was based on the similarity of islands in Hudson Bay with rocks of a greenstone belt that crosses the northern tip of the province of Quebec. The islands were carried toward the lava pool on mantle currents, and until breaking away they had formed part of a greenstone belt hundreds of miles to the north.

The islands are distributed down the coast of Hudson Bay, leading GSC scientists to conclude they constitute an undisturbed zone. While the field mapping was doubtless carried out to the GSC’s usual high standards, devotion to orthodoxy prevented any understanding of the islands’ origin. Another proof that we are dealing with a major impact site is the way the Nastapoka Archipelago has drawn away from the mainland. When scientists say they can find no evidence for this being an impact site, it’s because they don’t know what evidence to look for. They expect every impact site must be a big hole in the ground, like Meteor Crater in Arizona.

Because the Belcher Islands are of proven Precambrian age, GSC scientists concluded that the folded rocks of the Belcher Islands are the “eroded roots of an ancient mountain range”. When they realize that the impact site was made only 74,000 years ago, they will have to adjust its age on their maps by more than half a billion years. Along the eastern limb of the arc, an elongate archipelago has been pulled away from the coast by underlying currents within the convection cell, traveling only a short distance before the solidifying lava halted further progress. This is a significant confirmation of an impact site where continental crust floats upon denser rocks.

Another outstanding example from the Canadian Shield occurs along the east arm of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories, which is the deepest lake in North America. There, elongate curved islands were part of the mainland until being undercut and moved away by strong currents in the convection cell. The impact site has been faulted in two, with the missing part occurring to the southwest where it underlies the south shore of Great Slave Lake. It is overlain there by limestones which, notably, host rich lead-zinc replacement deposits that were mined by Cominco Ltd. at Pine Point.

A feature common to both sites is a ‘burned zone’ along the edge of the lava pool, created when the lava was at its highest level. As can be seen on GoogleEarth, the zone is approximately 5 miles wide at the Nastapoka Arc, and about 2 miles at Great Slave Lake, where the grade is steeper.

The formation of James Bay must be closely associated with the Hudson Bay impact, which in turn deformed what remains of a much larger site, the Great Lakes. Parts of northern Ontario appear to have been pushed south as James Bay opened up, deforming the previous more circular appearance of the Great Lakes site.

Flood Features

Until 74,000 years ago the North Geographic Pole was situated east of Greenland, between Iceland and Spitzbergen, as northern Europe lay frozen beneath a massive ice sheet. The Hudson Bay impact moved the North Geographic pole by more than 23 degrees to the vicinity of Prince Charles Island, west of Baffin Island. Devon Island, in the Arctic Archipelago, was left some 13 degrees closer to the North Geographic Pole, and cores of the ice cap there provide a clear record of a sudden decrease in temperature.

Ice sheets ending at a sea as in Greenland and Antarctica, are resistant to destruction by oceanic floods, while ice sheets terminating within a continent are vulnerable. Seawater having a depth of several kilometers when standing upon a continent provides such a powerful hydrostatic head that water is forced beneath the ice cap, breaking it up. Drumlins develop in this manner, forming linear deposits of unconsolidated material, frequently associated with bedrock erosion.

The North American ice cap, just as the European ice cap before it, didn’t just sit there and melt. Attacked by powerful jets of water thrust beneath the ice, the massive ice cap was quickly broken up. Chunks of stranded ice surrounded by sediment melted, forming lakes, while depressions that filled later with sediment formed northern swamps, called ‘muskegs’. If their surface dried out and was south of the tree line, they became covered by forest.

Large ice blocks became rounded in the violent tides and floated down the east coast of North America, a few even entering the Gulf of Mexico, with many becoming stranded along the shore. The origin of the ‘Carolina Bays’ continues to be a geological riddle for some, although their origin was clearly explained by Kelly and Dachille in their book ‘Target: EARTH’, published in 1953.

The Carolina Bays formed by fine sediment settling out around grounded icebergs that had been rounded in the furious floodwaters, leaving behind oriented swarms of rounded coastal ponds after the ice melted. Local streams don’t connect the ponds but always flow around them. Small channels are cut through the sandy rims at their lowest point.

Consistently parallel ponds along the Arctic Ocean coast of Alaska have a different origin. There, the surface has been scoured by either glaciation or flood, probably both, and low spots fill with water each spring. They can be viewed in high resolution on GoogleEarth.

Devon Island

Isotope ratios in ancient ice provide information about sea surface temperatures when the ice formed, as shown in the graph. When Devon Island’s latitude changed 74,000 years ago, from about 69oN to about 82oN, temperatures at the surface of the adjoining sea dropped significantly. Temperature changes are interpreted by ratios of oxygen isotopes in the ice. An increase in a heavier oxygen isotope (18O versus 16O) is taken to indicate higher temperatures since it requires more solar energy to evaporate heavier 18O than 16O. This process has been confirmed under modern conditions.

The two most prominent temperature changes indicated on the graph are at 10,500 years and 64,000 years, but the latter doesn’t fit with my provided age of 74,000 years. The older change is so distinct that I can only conclude ice is missing from the section. Those carrying out the study would have had no indication of this. When they had counted down 64,000 layers (years) in the core, they were actually at 74,000 years. This example is unusual in that the 74,000 yr. age is previously known by other means, but it illustrates a problem in dating ice cores that may be more common than suspected.

A change in the pressure of gasses dissolved in the ice provides additional confirmation, as the amount of gas depends upon atmospheric pressure, which is directly related to altitude. This can be affected by the oblate flattening around the geographic poles. The changing conditions took place within the length of time for the axis change to occur which, in this case, was less than a half-hour. There is probably no exact relationship between latitude change and the time required for the change to take place. Variables could include the latitude of the impact site, mass, trajectory, and speed of the asteroid, and perhaps whether the impact took place on an oceanic or continental crust.

The most prominent change in the graph reflects the axis change of around 10,500 years ago. The preceding period of some 63,500 years is the time within which a continental ice sheet formed and persisted over North America, centered about the North Geographic Pole. At the time of the Hudson Bay impact, North America would have been largely free of ice.

Fossil Forests

A remarkable legacy of the 74,000-year flood can be found on Axel Heiberg Island, approximately 700 miles from the present geographic North Pole. The 1987/1 issue of GEOS, a Canadian Government quarterly, describes ‘Fossil Forests in the Far North’. It begins: “Fossil forests are clusters of tree stumps with or without attached trunks, standing as they grew long ago.” None of the attached trunks are vertical, which had to be the configuration in which they grew, but “standing as they grew” does indicate the stumps grew in their present locations, which the article later confirms.

The article then describes the forests as “40 to 65 million years old” and stacked one above the other, numbering more than 20 at one locality. I was also informed personally, by a senior GSC scientist who was directly involved with the management of the project, that “…the total number of stacked forests exceeds 100. The article explains that forest growth at this latitude (80o N) indicates the climate must have been warmer in the distant past, and it speculates that “Perhaps higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels produced a greenhouse effect.”

It is stated that there is enough solar energy available in the high Arctic for trees to grow there, although none do, which follows the semi-disclaimer “If we accept that the forests were more or less in their present position…” The meaning of this is clarified later by the suggestion that “The earth’s mantle may have shifted significantly with respect to the core.” The matter was not pursued further since there is zero evidence that this occurred, and it certainly doesn’t reflect the belief of most GSC scientists.

The article continues, that trees must be spaced far enough apart to intercept sunlight with minimum shading when the Sun is close to the horizon, although a survey showed that in several instances the stump of a mature tree is situated closely in front of another, indicating direct shading. Also, the spacing of some of the largest trees is closer than would occur even in a temperate zone forest. It is concluded the fossil trees were “…photoperiodic ecotypes, especially adapted to growing rapidly during the many hours of summer daylight.”

Forest Saga

An oceanic flood destroys a forest in stages. The initial attack is by water that can be traveling at hundreds of miles per hour. The water contains all sizes of sediment, including boulders, and shears off the trunks close to the ground, almost as if by a huge chainsaw. The roots are then gouged out of the ground, as the soil is eroded to bedrock. When the lower parts of the trees are tumbled in the flood, most of the roots are removed until only the thickest, well-rounded, and often well-polished stumps remain. The wood is impregnated with silt from being tumbled in the furious floodwaters.

With many species, it is common for the bole of a tree to float upright in the same attitude as when it was growing. This was the case with the trees of the GSC’s fossil forest. Any competent observer digging into the sand around these trees would be confronted by the following inconvenient facts:

(i) The roots have been removed, leaving only short, rounded, and even polished stumps.
(ii) The wood is impregnated with silt.
(iii) There is no soil.

The last point is especially problematic. Any competent pedologist (soil scientist) should be able to recognize immediately that the present sediment around these tree roots is not the soil in which they grew. The soil that has nurtured a forest cannot simply disappear. The formation of soil horizons entails changes in particle size, mineralogy, chemistry, biology, color, hardness, in fact almost any characteristic one can think of. Bleaching, cementation, staining, and all sorts of changes may occur later, but if the trees are still there, and if they grew there, evidence of the soil must be present. These trees did not grow in the sediment surrounding their roots.

Even neglecting the impossible distribution of some of the trees, the absence of soil development constitutes proof that the trees did not grow in the sand surrounding their roots. Most of the ‘forests’ reported by the GSC consist of only a thin, dark layer in the sand, containing leaves or roots. The tree trunks were gently deposited on a beach and surrounded by a layer of sand, as the Arctic Ocean continued to slosh back and forth within its basin after the flood had abated.

The trees probably grew bordering the Arctic Ocean, well south of the Arctic Circle at the time, in a temperate climate, and totally unlike the spacing in which some of their remains presently occur. After having their trunks cut off by the rushing, sediment-laden water the stumps were ripped out of the soil and tumbled in the flood, floating upright until grounding upon a sandy beach. Water lapping upon the shore then deposited sand about them and froze. Subsequently, they would be buried by the next oceanic flood, 63 thousand years later, and subsequently exposed by normal coastal erosion during the short summer seasons.

The entire fiasco of the ‘fossil forests’ has been totally bungled by the GSC. It would be important to know whether the wood has retained enough carbon to be dated by modern techniques, and whether any AMS (14C/12C) carbon dating has been carried out on these tree remains that were left there 74,000 years ago.

Age Dating

Apart from the logic articulated above, proofs of this age are available from age dating of drill cores, wood, and animal remains.

(i) A core from the Hudson Bay lava pool should be obtained from a drill-ship and dated by the 40Ar-39Ar method. (The age obtained will be about 74,000 years.)

(ii) The fossil forest trees should be dated by the AMS (accelerator mass spectrometry) technique that is now available. The tree remains were washed up there following an oceanic flood, about 74,000 years ago, rather than 40 to 65 million years ago (for which no proof has ever been offered). 74,000 years is little more than one-tenth of 1% of the presently claimed age, and the first GSC report even assigned a much greater age that was decreased, without explanation, in later reports.

(iii) Large animals, their remains now entombed in permafrost, arrived in the Arctic in two waves, almost literally, approximately 63,000 years apart. The first arrived in an oceanic flood following the Hudson Bay impact, while the more recent ones arrived after the Venezuela Basin impact. AMS dating of mastodon remains provided a date of around 75,000 years. The 14C/12C dating of these animal remains provides a good correlation with the 74,000 year age from Ar40-Ar39 dating of volcanic tuff in Malaysia, which I favor as likely to be the more accurate of the two dates. (See Mt. Toba account below.)

Radiocarbon Dating

An understanding of the radiometric dating procedures described here is not necessary to appreciate the main narrative:

Radiocarbon dating is a technique that relies on the decay rate of a radioactive isotope of carbon, 14C, to determine the age of biogenic material. Until recently, the absolute age limit was about 60,000 years, and when I submitted a sample of the ‘Fossil Forest’ obtained from the GSC, it was dated, using extended counting, only to “60,000 years plus”. (At the time, I suspected an age of only about 65,000 years, and I hoped I might get lucky.)

Protons from cosmic rays blast nuclei in the upper atmosphere, releasing neutrons. The neutrons bombard 14N (nitrogen), to produce radioactive 14C which combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. This is taken into plants and into animals that eat the plants. Plants and animals exchange carbon dioxide with the atmosphere so that their 14C/12C ratios approach that of the atmosphere.

Older carbon dating employed a Geiger-Müller tube to measure the decay of 14C, which has a half-life of 5,730 years. (A half-life of 5,570 years was actually applied because this was the originally calculated value.) The age of a sample is determined by measuring the decay of 14C, which may account for only 1 part in a trillion, and comparing this to the quantity of 12C and 13C. Correction curves are required to allow for nuclear testing which added 14C to the atmosphere, industrialization which adds carbon to the atmosphere without any 14C, the slight preference of plants for 12C over 13C and 14C, and a few other occasional considerations.

The more modern Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) Method uses a cyclotron, followed by a conventional mass spectrometer. There is now a significant overlap in the age ranges of some common rocks with biogenic material, and this can be useful in archeology, anthropology, and some modern geology. The cyclotron technique measures only the 14C content directly, which has doubled the sensitivity of earlier methods, even using samples as small as a single seed. The same correction curves are required to be applied.

Ocean Circulation

A recent development in oceanography involves an interpretation of how ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream, operated in the past, and how they may have been affected by water from melting glaciers. The Gulf Stream in the past 10,500 years, however, has been affected by a lot more than freshwater released from melting glaciers.

A 2001 report by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, discussed ‘Ocean Circulation Shut Down by Melting Glaciers after Last Ice Age’, as the descriptive title explains. After considering different models, all of which diverged significantly from evidence gleaned from paleo-records, one of the authors made this comment: “…either the paleo-records are being misinterpreted, or something else went on, something major that is not being accounted for.” (My emphasis). “Something major”? Well yes, an axis change will do that. And in the same writer’s, prescient concluding remark: “This isn’t necessarily the end of the story.”

If, as was reported by Kelly and Dachille, some Carolina Bays extend into the Gulf of Mexico, this would constitute evidence that the Gulf Stream was not functioning at the time.

Mount Toba

Every major impact rings the planet like a bell. Energy waves travel out in all directions, and even on the opposite side of the world, significant gravitational effects take place. I am positing that within an hour after the impact in Hudson Bay, another catastrophic event took place. On the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, on the opposite side of the globe, Mt. Toba erupted. The first catastrophe is concluded as having been the immediate cause of the second.

Sound waves (P waves) travel at around 3.5 miles per second at the surface and would have reached Mt. Toba in about 42 minutes. Shear waves (S waves) travel at around 2 miles per second at the surface and would have taken about 74 minutes. With enough energy, however, shear waves can also travel directly through the solid part of the core of the Earth, arriving even before the surface waves.

The Mt. Toba “super-eruption” was devastating by any measure, and the quantity of ash released has been estimated by volcanologists to be 2,000 to 3,000 times that released by Mt. St. Helens in 1980, which was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. A major effect of the Mt. St. Helens eruption resulted from a debris avalanche, while most of the mountain remained in place. At Mt. Toba, the entire mountain disappeared, and so much material was ejected that there is now a sunken caldera occupied by a 100 km (62 mile) long lake, with an average depth of 500 meters (more than 1,600 feet).

Geologists classify the site as a resurgent caldera, as the lake is already partially occupied by an island that is being formed as new magma pushes up from below. The most recent eruptions have taken place within the last few hundred years, and future eruptions are certain to occur. The major eruption of Mt. Toba is claimed to be “the most accurately determined date from the entire Paleolithic period. This was accomplished by selecting crystals of sanidine under a microscope, from a coarse-grained tuff (volcanic ash) bed in Malaysia, and subjecting them to 40Ar/39Ar analysis, which provided an age of about 74,000 years.

Sanidine is a high-temperature variety of orthoclase feldspar, a rock-forming mineral that is common in granite. No ash from Mt. Toba has been recognized in ice cores from Greenland or Antarctica, although a peak in sulfate concentration from Greenland is suspected to correspond to the eruption. There has been much speculation by anthropologists about a human population bottleneck occurring as a result of the Mt. Toba eruption, which may have led to rapid changes in small, founder populations around the world. The disappearance of Neanderthals was also probably associated with or hastened by, catastrophic oceanic floods. Even if the human catastrophe played out as believed, however, the Mt. Toba eruption was not solely responsible.

If the Hudson Bay impact had occurred at the same time (and if it was the direct cause of the Mt. Toba eruption) then life forms all over this planet had a lot more to contend with than a layer of tuff. This isn’t to underestimate the effects of several feet of tuff, which would have been devastating to life in the immediate vicinity of Mt. Toba. Worldwide, however, the effects of an oceanic flood resulting from an axis change would have been much greater.

Other supervolcanos are likely to have been set off by the impact of a large asteroid in the past. Although pressures beneath a volcano had to have built up before the impact, their sudden release before smaller eruptions could occur, probably contributed to the scale. A factor of great importance to us may be the way in which the height of Africa above sea level has provided sanctuary when oceanic floods ravaged the world. It has been supposed that only a few thousand humans existed in Africa at the time Mt. Toba erupted. Earlier emigrants from Africa who favored coastal areas, especially in Europe, whose interior lay beneath an ice cap, would have died in the flood. In evolution, timing is everything, and once more, our species might have gone extinct.

The problem of scientific specialization shows up clearly when an ice core from Greenland or Antarctica is examined, and scientists conclude from it that the world entered a period of warming or cooling. For example, at the 74,000-year axis change, northern Greenland was moved closer to the geographic North Pole, as well as to higher elevations above sea level due to flattening at the poles, while southern Greenland was moved further south. Sudden temperature changes recorded in ice cores confirm that this axis change occurred.

The remains of crocodiles in the Arctic, coal in the Antarctic, and evidence of glaciation close to the present equator have all been accepted as proof of past climate change. What they really provide is proof of past axis change. An understanding of axis change is going to lead to an altered view of Earth’s geological history. It will be recognized that every part of Earth’s surface has existed in the tropics, and in the Polar Regions and that significant changes in latitude have taken place within the memory of humankind.

Evidence of Axis Change:

  • Age date trees from the fossil forest by AMS method.
  • Compare these to ages already obtained for mastodon remains elsewhere in the Arctic.
  • Compare these to ages of sudden temperature changes recorded in ice caps.
  • Compare these to ages of tuff from Mt. Toba, already determined with high accuracy.
  • Drill Hudson Bay Basin, and date the bedrock by the 40Ar/39Ar method.
  • Have competent observers investigate the tree stumps of the “fossil forest” for proof they were tumbled in a flood, and the sand beneath them to confirm the trees did not grow there.

Notes on the Pleistocene

Ice Sheets

The most recent impact of an asteroid to move the geographic poles of our planet occurred about 10,500 years ago, while the second most recent impact to achieve this result occurred about 74,000 years ago. North America experienced the build-up of a continental ice sheet which persisted for roughly 63,000 years while the North Geographic Pole was situated in the Foxe Basin, at about Prince Charles Island, some 500 miles north of Hudson Bay.

Before then, the North Geographic Pole was situated in the Greenland Sea, and the only part of North America within the Arctic consisted mainly of Baffin and Ellesmere Islands. The North Geographic Pole may have occupied its Greenland Sea location for only a slightly longer period, for which my guess is about 76,000 years. (See: #7. The Mediterranean). Throughout that time, a major part of Europe was covered by a continental ice cap.

Parts of the present Arctic and Antarctic circles have occupied lower latitudes over the most recent axis changes, during which their climates varied from polar to temperate. Parts remaining within the present polar circles for at least the past three-axis changes now contain the thickest parts of the ice caps, as seen in northern Greenland and East Antarctica. Canadian geologists have wondered why ice in the Canadian High Arctic moved north, but before the last axis change, it was moving south.

Data from the Vostok hole in Antarctica suggests that this location has remained within, or close to, the Antarctic Circle for the past 400,000 years. This is remarkable considering that several additional axis changes have probably taken place within that period, as indicated on “The Doomsday Graph” (See: #11. Climate Change). Sharp peaks of atmospheric dust on the graph are indicative of major catastrophes that were possibly associated with additional axis changes.

The Impact Site

Evidence for a major impact site in southeast Hudson Bay can be provided by the following:

  • The almost perfect arcuate shoreline of the bay.
  • The contorted shape of the Belcher Islands.
  • Other islands moved from northern Quebec by mantle currents.
  • The Nastapoka archipelago that has moved away from the coast.
  • The light-colored burned zone along the coast.
  • The proximity of James Bay to the impact.
  • The rock type underlying the basin will be something like a fresh-appearing coarse-grained latite and will provide an age-date close to 74,000 years.

When Geological Survey of Canada scientists claimed that southeast Hudson Bay lacks any evidence for being an impact site, I have to wonder what sort of evidence would be acceptable to them. What is not acceptable is to deliberately distort the shape of a coastline on a map, or explain away islands that were distorted as they floated upon a lava pool as constituting the “roots of an ancient mountain range”, or to draw an imaginary geological boundary around alien islands that have journeyed there on mantle currents.

Catastrophism predates uniformitarianism, but catastrophism has been denied for so long because, in part, it was considered to carry religious implications. For this perception to find support through actions of ‘The Geological Survey of Canada’ is disappointing.

I should have stated that the diameter of the lava pool would have been about 470 km, while the mass of the impacting asteroid was probably somewhat less than that which occurred some 63,000 years later at the Venezuelan Basin.

CHAPTER 12 – Mars

CHAPTER 12

Mars

The weathering of basalt cannot produce quartz sand,
so if sand on Mars is made of quartz,
where did it come from?

Our Neighbor

In the entire Solar System, only Mars and Earth rotate at similar rates and have rotational axes inclined to the ecliptic at similar angles. These similarities may have been established by a close electromagnetic coupling which brought both planets to a common inclination of their rotational axes, and to a common rotational speed. Mars has only 10.8% of the mass of Earth so Mars would have more closely accommodated its rotational parameters to those of Earth.

The distance between Earth and Mars is at a minimum about every 780 days, and their separation at each seventh pass, occurring about every fifteen years, is said to be less than the rest. The frequency of these approaches may reflect a continued adherence to the frequency of catastrophic encounters that took place during the eighth and seventh centuries B.C. and which are described by Emmanuel Velikovsky in his book ‘Worlds in Collision’. Earth had five close encounters with Mars from 747 B.C. to 687 B.C. with the latest ones predicted by prophets around the world.

Today, the closest approach of the two planets continues on this same frequency. Mars bears physical evidence of at least two especially close encounters with Earth, and as Velikovsky recounted in detail, a wealth of recorded historical evidence shows that more recent encounters have taken place. Close encounters between Earth and another planet must occur more frequently than the largest asteroid impacts but the record left is less obvious. Mars, like Venus, is known to have a ‘phase lock’ on Earth which means that it presents its same face toward Earth on each closest encounter.

In his book ‘Worlds in Collision’, Immanuel Velikovsky got into trouble when he stepped out of the role of historian and into that of a scientist. Carl Sagan wrote, “…where Velikovsky is original he is very likely wrong; where he is right the idea has been pre-empted by earlier workers.” It is not a sin for a historian to be pre-empted as original historians are called ‘novelists’. As for the claim that planets change their orbits from time to time and interact, it is Velikovsky who was right.

There is a duality to science: one part is technological and the other is interpretive.  The technological part thrills and amazes us and a favorite early example and a tremendous achievement was NASA’s ‘Voyager’ program which acquainted us with the outer planets and their moons. The interpretive side of science can be a different story and the accepted account of the history of Mars for example, and its geomorphology, in particular, is wrong.

This is because some of the most fundamental lessons about our Solar System in general, and Earth in particular, have been mislearned and wrong conclusions from Earth are now being applied to Mars. Much energy has been expended by astronomers to determine the relative ages of Martian surface features by counting craters. Areas with many craters have been concluded to be older by millions of years, than areas having few. It is explained here how most of these craters were formed by a catastrophic process within a few hours.

The Moons of Mars

Mars has two moons, both of which follow orbits that are slightly unstable. Phobos, average diameter 22.3 km (14 mi.) orbits within 6,000 km (3,730 mi.) of the Martian surface. This is close to the ‘Roche limit’, which is the distance at which tidal disruption threatens the moon’s physical integrity. The Roche limit is 2.4 times the radius of a planet for a moon having a similar density. The velocity of Phobos is slowly increasing, which means that its orbit is diminishing in size so that it could eventually strike the Martian surface.

The smaller moon, Deimos, average diameter 12.7 km (8 mi.), orbits at about 20,000 km (12,500 mi.) above the surface of Mars. This is close to the geosynchronous-orbit position and is also close to the outer limit at which the planet is able to retain it. Its velocity is decreasing, which means that it could eventually part company with Mars. Both moons constantly present the same face toward their planet. For comparison, Earth’s moon is an average distance of 384,400 km (238,850 mi.) away.

Neither moon follows orthodox views of how moons are supposed to look or behave. Their general appearance is similar to that of asteroids populating the Main Asteroid Belt, suggesting large asteroids that impacted Earth were not encountered randomly. They may have been brought to Earth as moons of Mars.

Space is vast, and the probability of random collisions between Earth and large asteroids is small. Nonetheless, Earth has a high internal energy level because it has received many major impacts, in even the recent past. It is my guess that the Martian moon Phobos is comparable in size to the asteroid responsible for the impact that formed the Venezuelan Basin.

The moons of Mars orbit so close to their planet that neither would be visible to observers at the Martian poles. They were not discovered until 1877; at least, that is what the history books tell us. Jonathan Swift, however, wrote about two Martian moons, and so had Voltaire, and in allegorical terms, so had Virgil and Homer (‘Worlds in Collision’).

In the book ‘Mars Beckons’, by John Wilford, an old story is repeated that attributes knowledge of the moons to a prediction by Kepler, in 1610. The way the story goes is that two moons appealed to Kepler’s passion for progression, since Venus has no moon, and Earth has one and Jupiter has four (major) moons. Jonathan Swift, however, got more than just their number correct, while Homer and Virgil preceded Kepler.

Swift described their roughly ellipsoidal shapes, as well as their remarkably short periods of revolution, neither of which had any known precedent. As Velikovsky surmised, Swift must have had access to an ancient account that has been lost. During close planetary encounters with Mars in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., the moons would not have escaped detection.

All moons in close orbit having sufficient mass are tidally locked, which means they constantly present the same face to their planet. This is attributed to tidal forces synchronizing the rotation of both bodies. Moons tend to develop hemispheric asymmetry as shown by Earth’s Moon, which has a bulge 1,000 m (3,300 ft.) high. The theory is that the bulge has resulted from the gravitational attraction of Earth acting upon the perpetually presented face. Mars may once have been a moon itself, perhaps of Earth, for its form displays a striking hemispherical asymmetry, with the plane of demarcation inclined at an angle of approximately 300 to the present equator.

Every moon in the Solar System is the result of capture, and no moon developed by accretion in its present orbit. Even those scientists who have recognized that Phobos and Deimos are former asteroids puzzle over how they could have come to Mars, for their dogma precludes any consideration that Mars traveled to them.

Proponents of the new science Chaos Theory have introduced unexpected gravitational instabilities in order to explain the catapulting of asteroids from far beyond the orbit of Mars to the vicinity of Earth orbit. They haven’t recognized that Mars may have a specific function within the Solar System, which involves cycling between the Main Asteroid Belt and the vicinity of Earth orbit. Mars brings large, usually stony asteroids close to Earth which impact Earth whenever Mars loses its hold on them. Each time, another leaf is turned in the book of evolution on Earth, as new points come to occupy the geographic poles and oceanic floods ravage the planet. These events have occurred more recently than most can imagine.

The Lost Planet

Parallel markings on Phobos have been described as grooves, although their similarity in appearance to basaltic flows is striking. If they are flows, they had to form on a world under the influence of gravity. That would be the Lost Planet, debris from which constitutes a major part of the Main Asteroid Belt, right where the Titius-Bode rule predicts that a planet should be. Phobos may be a part of that Lost Planet.

Critics claim that there is not enough mass in the asteroid belt to form a planet, but this claim is irrelevant. Ceres is a small world which bears no relationship to its asteroid neighbors, but if one combines the mass of all present stony to iron asteroids with the large asteroids that have impacted Earth, and consider that others might have impacted other worlds or even left the inner solar system without ever having resided in the Main Asteroid Belt, there could easily be enough.

It has been estimated that there are up to almost half a million asteroids having a diameter exceeding 1 km (0.6 mi.) accompanied by millions of smaller ones. Of the largest, there is estimated to be more than 200 having a diameter exceeding 100 km (60 miles) with another 200 exceeding 6 miles.

Asteroids can be classified in various ways, with one group comprising stony, iron, and stony-iron types. These are all fragments of the Lost Planet and have probably resided within the Main Asteroid Belt since the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary. A different group consists of carbonaceous chondrites, which contain water, organic compounds, and even micro-diamonds, and which may represent the burned-out remains of nucleate comets.

Stony-iron meteorites have been claimed to be 4.6 billion years of age. There is evidence, however, that the meteorites were exposed to cosmic radiation in space for a much shorter period. The frequency of particle tracks in the meteorites resulting from cosmic radiation is much lower than would be expected if the meteorites had been exposed in space for billions of years.

The logical conclusion is that the meteorites were shielded from cosmic radiation within a large protective body. Every stony-iron meteorite tested has provided the same result and it is surmised that their period of exposure has been as short as around one-half billion years.

The dating of particle tracks due to cosmic radiation is not a precise technique, and the destruction of the Lost Planet probably occurred at the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary which is now thought to have been about 544 million years ago. The major catastrophe at this important contact might not have been restricted to Earth, but one that affected the entire Solar System.

An influx of comets from the Oort Cloud would have been part of this indeterminate event. The comets provided Earth with additional seawater, and additional life (in the form of bacteria and viruses), plus hydrocarbons (which provided sustenance for the bacteria), and which brought about the so-called ‘biological big bang’ of the early Cambrian period. By contrast, a sister planet disintegrated, forming the Main Asteroid Belt. That might have been Earth! The proximity of Jupiter could have played a significant role in this event.

We are told that the reason seawater is salty is that salt (NaCl) is being leached out of the rocks. Sodium, and especially chlorine, however, are uncommon in rocks. The salt must have been already a constituent of the water when Earth received its oceans.

The Northern Hemisphere of Mars

The hemisphere north of the demarcation line presents a surface of smooth plains with relatively few craters, dotted with volcanos. Lava, it has been claimed, must have masked all evidence of the previous, heavily cratered terrain which existed there. At least some of the ‘lava’, however, even in one description provided by NASA, is not lava at all, but water-lain sediment as proven by a photo that includes a splosh crater occupying the floor of a larger crater.

Two volcanic centers just north of the geographic equator are situated 90o of longitude apart, (Mars has been assigned 0o to 360o of longitude, unlike Earth which has 180o East and West.) One of the centers contains three small shield volcanos while the other contains four large shield volcanos and half a dozen small ones. Of the four large volcanos, the most impressive is Olympus Mons. Having a diameter up to 600 km (370 mi.) and standing some 27 km (17 mi.) above the surrounding plain, it is thought to be the largest in the entire Solar System.

Olympus Mons has a sharply defined, complex vent which formed as lava subsided after eruptive episodes. Its shield is encircled by a continuous, slightly eroded escarpment providing a vertical drop of as much as 4 km (2.5 mi.) down to the surrounding plain. The escarpment probably formed as this massive volcano was attracted away from Mars gravitationally during a close encounter with another world. The surrounding area was attracted less strongly and fell away.

The significant gravitational effect suggests the escarpment resulted from close contact with a more massive world. Mars is known to have had close encounters with Earth, which has almost 10 times the mass of Mars, and I suspect that Earth was that world. Again, I am using the term ‘world’ to describe a spherical planet or moon having an iron core surrounded by a stony mantle. I will speculate later about a common origin for every world, and you are already familiar with my claim that some planets and moons have changed roles.

A significant feature associated with Olympus Mons is an extensive adjoining zone of collapsed terrain made up of curved ridges and troughs having their concave side facing the volcano. This area appears to have played an important role in the growth of Olympus Mons. Three neighboring volcanos, considerably smaller than Olympus Mons but still larger than any mountain on Earth, are also partially encircled by faulted escarpments. Their peaks share a remarkably common elevation even though there is as much as 8 km (5 mi.) difference in the height of their bases, indicating gravitational rather than hydrostatic control.

The North Polar Region is crowned by an ice cap displaying a prominent concentric, spiral pattern. Much of this ice cap is permanent, consisting of water-ice. It grows larger each winter and smaller again each summer from the sublimation of carbon dioxide. (Sublimation describes a change of state either from solid to gas or gas to solid.) The dark pattern is due to a spiral arrangement of eroded, terraced canyons along which the underlying surface has been exposed. The spiral direction (observed from above) is counter-clockwise. The canyons are thought to be up to several kilometers wide and more than a kilometer deep. The ice cap is encircled by extensive fields of sand dunes.

The Southern Hemisphere of Mars

The hemisphere south of the demarcation line is densely cratered and rugged. Craters vary in size up to the crater Hellas Planitia, with a diameter of some 1,600 km (1,000 mi.), which is claimed by astronomers to be ‘the largest crater yet discovered in the Solar System’. They will have to drop that claim soon. There is a paucity of smaller craters, compared to the surface of Earth’s moon. There are no young volcanos south of the geographic equator but a crustal bulge on part of the equator is traversed by a most remarkable feature.

Extending for some 4,000 km (2,500 mi), or more than one-fifth of the planet’s circumference, is a complex of canyons so extensive and deep that Earth’s Grand Canyon seems practically insignificant by comparison, and would be scarcely noticed, except for its contrasting appearance, were it to be added as a hanging valley. The canyon ‘Coprates’ alone has a width of more than 150 km (93 mi) and a flat floor as much as 6 km (3.7 mi) lower than the surrounding surface. Its walls have failed extensively by slumping, and are incised by drainage lines along its entire length.

If you examine the image you may notice differences between NASA’s image of Valles Marineris and any similar canyon complex on Earth. The smooth upper elevation surface arrives at the canyon abruptly, with no transition to the canyon walls by water erosion. The main channel floor is remarkably flat from side to side. I believe these differences reflect the contrasting erosional processes that were involved, for Valles Marineris was literally routed out of the Martian surface rather than more slowly eroded by processes familiar to us on Earth.

The South Polar Region has an ice cap as well, much smaller than its northern counterpart, but which displays a complex of similarly terraced canyons. These canyons have a less well defined spiral pattern, but one which trends in the opposite direction to those on the northern ice cap. Just as in the north, sublimated carbon dioxide causes the area of the ice cap to fluctuate with the seasons and it is also encircled by extensive sand dunes.

Geomorphology

Basalt

Basalt on Earth forms by differentiation as mantle peridotite undergoes decompression while approaching the surface. It underlies every ocean on Earth as well as every continent. Earth’s continents are made up partly of granite for which peridotite, and hence basalt, provided original material. A flood of basalt poured onto the surface of India, just as a similar flood had covered much of Siberia, and later, the Columbia River Plateau. Lava floods constitute an anomaly within a plate tectonic system and it is probable that every extensive lava flood on Earth is a consequence of a major impact.

Many stony meteorites consist of basalt, as do the surfaces of our Moon, Venus, and Mars, and it is likely that basalt is the most common crustal material of every rocky world in the Solar System. Basalt is made up of mineral groups known as plagioclase feldspars and ferromagnesian silicates, with occasional traces of quartz, but there is one thing that it does not have. Basalt contains no sand-sized grains of quartz.

Quartz is a common sand-forming mineral that most commonly results from the weathering of granite, and quartz grains accumulate in great quantities on the continental shelves on Earth. When samples of sediment are collected from the Martian surface, the sand dunes should not be overlooked. Determining the composition of the sand dunes will reveal if that sand came from Earth.

I presented a paper on this topic to the Planetary Geology Group at JPL, and it was not well received by one member of the audience who considered himself an expert on all things to do with Mars. After leaving JPL, I remarked that perhaps I should have kept going past Pasadena to Hollywood, because people who deal in fantasy may be more capable of recognizing reality. As a picture hanging on my wall of a polar bear in a snowstorm demonstrates, we recognize anything only by comparing it to something else.

Sand Dunes

Writing in ‘Broca’s Brain’ (page 184), Carl Sagan compared two similar fields of sand dunes. One lies within Great Sand Dunes National Monument, near Alamosa, Colorado, where it has been deposited within a curve made by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The other is on Mars, in an area called Hellespontus, where it occupies an eroded remnant of a large impact crater.

With only moderate exaggeration, Sagan wrote that the two dune fields have the same total extent, the same dune to dune spacing, and the same dune heights. He noted these points and then compared the dissimilar atmospheric pressures of Earth and Mars. After speculating upon different particle size distributions, he posed this question: “How, then, can the dune fields produced by windblown sand be so similar?” (My emphasis)

Since scientists attribute terrestrial sand deposits on Earth to wind, it should come as no surprise that they attribute similar deposits on Mars to wind as well. At this point, a problem should be recognized—which is that Mars has hardly any air. Its atmospheric pressure is less than 1% of that on Earth. The Martian winds can sculpt dunes where they are situated within a crater, such as Hellespontus, but they could not have deposited them there.

Here is a demonstration of how specialization in science can lead us away from reality, and I quote Velikovsky from the final page of his epilogue in ‘Worlds in Collision’: Barriers between sciences serve to create the belief in a scientist in any particular field that other scientific fields are free from problems, and he trusts himself to borrow from them without questioning. It can be seen here that problems in one area carry over into other scientific areas, thought to have no contact with each other.” The dune field on Mars formed more than a million years ago, while the one in Colorado formed 10.5 thousand years ago, but they share a unique bond: They were both formed by the same sea.

Yardangs

A current geology textbook (‘Physical Geology’ by Skinner and Porter) informs that a yardang is “an elongate and streamlined wind-eroded ridge.” So prevalent is the belief that wind is a major agent of erosion on Earth that it has been claimed to be responsible, not only for yardangs but, at least in part, for practically every type of landform in existence.

An earlier textbook (‘Principles of Geomorphology’ by W.D. Thornbury) informs: “Possibly the only topographic form that can be attributed unequivocally to wind abrasion is the yardang.” The term, curiously, was first applied to depressions but is now applied only to ridges. It was always an obscure term in any case—until yardangs were discovered on Mars.

Most scientists do not know that most of Earth’s land surface, including present high altitude areas, has been sculpted by water, due to axis change. Since they attribute yardangs to erosion by the wind on Earth, they naturally attribute them to the same process on Mars. When yardangs were discovered on Mars they were accepted by scientists as proof that wind is a dominant erosional and depositional agent there even though Mars has hardly any air.

Calcrete

In 1976, Viking Lander 1 touched down on a gently rolling volcanic plain, 22o north of the Martian equator. Images that the spacecraft transmitted to Earth revealed a surface littered with broken rock and low dunes made up of fine-grained sediments. One of the images showed something else.

As the spacecraft braked to slow its descent, exhaust gases from its retro-rockets blasted away unconsolidated surface material to expose a firmer layer of what may prove to be calcrete. A similar bed of limestone forms a layer just below the surface of much of the Earth’s arid areas. Calcrete (also called duricrust, or caliche) forms as sea-water is drawn toward the surface by capillary action. As sea-water evaporates it leaves behind a precipitate of its mineral content, forming a layer of impure limestone. This layer could be widely distributed on Mars, for in one of the Viking Lander experiments, surface material effervesced strongly when brought into contact with hydrochloric acid.

Water

As soon as it became accepted that water had once flowed upon the surface of Mars, speculation began to develop about extensive reservoirs of ice that must have existed within the Martian crust. The heat from volcanic activity must have caused some of this ice to melt, releasing water which created the canyons and channels. Since stream patterns clearly indicate the water flowed from east to west, the source must have been an extensive area of chaotic terrain to the east of the canyons where many of the ‘outflow’ channels begin. Furthermore, splosh craters must have been formed by meteorites impacting icy ground ‘over billions of years’.

As the scientists continued to interpret their own data it confirmed their knowledge about events which, it became increasingly clear to them, had all taken place ‘billions of years ago’. They confirmed the age of the surface by the number of craters that had formed on it over all of that time, and they noted that the floors of the largest craters are level and smooth, further confirming their great age.

It was fascinating to read that the source of the Martian flood has been identified as “springs and precipitation”, for in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 7, Verse 11, it is written: “…the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” It appears that the priests of science are prepared to employ the explanations of the priests of religion when called upon to explain a situation they haven’t yet quite grasped. They cannot yet bring themselves to accept that the water came from Earth, but when fossils from Earth are found there, everyone will know.

Bulges

Bulges upon Earth’s surface, which are as much as 10 km (6.2 mi.) high and several thousand kilometers across could be the result of past planetary encounters. On Mars, a positive gravitational anomaly coincides with the highest part of the Tharsis bulge, indicating that the bulge is supported by denser material from beneath the crust. This is the only indication of deep magma that has been recognized, for all Martian volcanos appear to have a shallow source. Although an (undefined) relationship has often been claimed between the Tharsis bulge and Valles Marineris this is unlikely, since the ‘Space Router’ cut across all topography that it encountered (See: #13: The Martian Flood).

None of the small bulges on Mars display strong gravitational anomalies, suggesting that they are isolated from sources of deep magma. The thick, immobile crust of Mars is evidence of a low internal energy level in the planet’s interior, while by comparison, numerous large asteroid impacts on Earth have resulted in a high level of internal energy.

Volcanism

Olympus Mons and the other shield volcanos of the Tharsis and Elysium regions on Mars present a geologically young appearance and may have developed rapidly at times of close encounters with other worlds. During every close encounter, the rocky surface bulged and the constraining pressure upon underlying rocks was reduced. The following explains processes that could have controlled the development of the great shield volcano, Olympus Mons.

Ice under pressure at the base of a glacier can melt because liquid water occupies less volume than an equal mass of ice, assisting glaciers to move. In contrast, liquid rock occupies a greater volume than an equal mass of solid rock. Rock that is sufficiently deep can remain solid even when its temperature reaches that of lava at the surface because it is being constrained by the weight of overlying rock and so is unable to expand. Reducing the weight of overlying rock can cause a buried rock to liquefy, which can happen when another world draws close.

A bulge, in the form of a low, standing wave of solid rock moved across the Martian surface as Mars rotated beneath it, and lava was squeezed upward from the liquefied layer. Lava which normally weighs 38% of what it would weigh on Earth now weighed much less, so the usual limitations on the elevation to which it could be pumped no longer applied. Prolific outpourings of lava led to the development of Olympus Mons and others that dwarf the highest mountains on Earth.

Scientists base their calculations of the ages of Martian volcanos upon observed rates of hotspot volcanism on Earth, but they are incomparable. Characteristics of the Martian crust cannot be inferred from the hydrostatic head required for magma to be pumped to the top of Olympus Mons without allowing for the decreased force of gravity when another world is near.

The source of the lava forming Olympus Mons appears to be a region of collapsed terrain that covers an area several times that of the volcano. The strongly textured area was faulted repeatedly into curved ridges and troughs as slumping proceeded. Lava was contributed from within a zone below the surface in which the temperature of the rock was high enough for it to melt when the weight of overlying rock was reduced.

As the mass of the volcano developed, the gravitational attraction of a nearby world caused the crust to fracture. A continuous fault scarp formed around the shield and the surrounding plain dropped away. The resulting cliff has a height of up to 4 km (2.5 mi.), which is nearly one half the height of Mt. Everest from sea level. Some observers have concluded, from the enormous size of Olympus Mons, that the source of the lava was situated deep beneath the surface. Instead, the region of collapsed ground adjacent to the volcano indicates the source was quite shallow.

When another world draws close to us, volcanism on Earth increases as well. There are other effects on Earth. The sudden release of long-term stress accumulated within a plate-tectonic system can result from a close encounter. Mountain ranges grow rapidly higher at such times, and other large-scale geological structures undergo change.

When Venus made its first close approach to Earth in about 1522 B.C. sea levels dropped suddenly about 6 m (20 ft.).  This resulted in ‘raised’ coastal platforms around the world. Tectonic forces that had built up over thousands of years were released, and the geometry of the ocean basins was changed. If you should holiday in the tropics, look for these platforms. Many were formed from reefs since some corals tend to be at sea level at low tide, and you might find a surface displaying dead coral, perhaps with shells. Some presently inhabited islands in the Pacific would have been underwater before this drop in sea level occurred.

Tektites

Tektites are glassy meteorites having a length of up to several centimeters, found across Earth’s surface in what geologists term ‘strewn fields’. Tektites come from Mars at times of close encounters with Earth, and there is a dated record of the most recent event. The arrival of tektites dates only to Tertiary age because older glass has crystallized and disintegrated.

Tektites are typically more than two-thirds silica, having a composition that is similar to that of granite. If their source rock was basalt, the high silica content required some process of differentiation by which minerals with lower silica content were concentrated out of basaltic magma. Such a process typically takes place either by crystals settling out of solution or by growing on the cooler surfaces of a magma chamber. Siliceous rocks crystallize at lower temperatures than more basic rocks.

Under the gravitational influence of Earth, Martian rocks bulged toward the surface, and the reduced confining pressure caused a layer within the crust to liquefy. Molten rock surged toward the volcanic vent and a rush of magma blasted away a vent plug developed during a preceding episode of volcanism, and which was ejected toward Earth to form tektites.

Siliceous magma is more viscous than basaltic magma. Contained gases are less able to escape and so siliceous lava tends to be explosive. The volcanic fragments were reheated by their travel through Earth’s atmosphere until they exploded from the pressure of expanding gases. The altitude at which this occurs varies considerably. More streamlined ones may derive from fragments that explode at higher altitudes, with irregularly shaped ones coming from fragments that explode closer to the ground.

During my mineral exploration days, I met a station (ranch) manager in Western Australia who told me about a neighbor with a tektite trap. I first took this to be the sort of story that is told to a supposedly naïve young Canadian geologist, but it turned out that the neighbor really did have a tektite trap and one which had been quite productive. On his property, there was a shallow surface layer of red laterite overlying a gently sloping hardpan base, and the enterprising manager had installed several strands of clothesline across the slope so that tektites washed out of the surface layer would get caught up on them. After an (infrequent) heavy rain he would go out with a pail and pick up tektites to sell to tourists.

Tektites that are known as ‘australites’ are readily found in Western Australia and South East Asia, having arrived in the 7th century B.C. This would explain their remarkably fresh appearance and close proximity to the surface, as well as the pristine appearance of the caldera vent on Olympus Mons which is proposed as their source. It should be noted, however, that the vents of some other Martian volcanos have a similar fresh appearance. Documented sources (‘Worlds in Collision’) recount that on the night of March 23, 687 BC: “In the night, stars fell like rain.” That was the night of the annihilation of King Sennacherib’s army (Isaiah 37:36) as Mars passed overhead.

SNC Meteorites

Thousands of meteorites collected on Earth have been analyzed and it has been concluded that almost all of them have come from asteroids. Some, however, were thought to have come from Mars, if only some way could be found to account for this. The letters in the unusual term ‘SNC’ stand for Shergotty in India, Nakhla in Egypt, and Chassigny in France, three places where the first meteorites of this type were found. They are thought to be younger than most other meteorites, while their composition and texture show they formed on a body with a strong gravitational field. Analyses of the gasses from glassy inclusions within these meteorites show the relative abundance of some gaseous elements is similar to their occurrence in the Martian atmosphere.

Scientists have been challenged to invent a scenario that could account for this compelling evidence without requiring them to recant their dogma. The major stumbling block has been that SNC meteorites do not exhibit the shock deformation effects they expect from the application of a force able to overcome the normal 34.1 km (21.2 mi.) per second escape velocity on Mars. Escape velocities are much lower, however, during close encounters between worlds. Explosive volcanism at such times even results in the direct transfer of volcanic ejecta from Mars to Earth.

It has been just over 2,700 years since Mars retreated to its present orbit. Astronomers wonder how former asteroids ended up as moons of Mars for it is unimaginable to them that Mars travels to the Main Asteroid Belt, acquires fragments of the Lost Planet as moons, and brings them close to Earth. It is a wonder of wonders that this catastrophic system is the driver of evolution on Earth resulting, for one thing, in a species that is able to contemplate its own origins.