I wish only to make two points about
psychlogical hypotheses]. First, his deductions are less problematical than those of
his predecessors because his first principles are not in themselves
psychological: he does not have to fabricate a primal psychic
complex, like Freud's father-murder, nor an innate psychic content,
like Jung's archetypes. His psychology accepts data objectively
established by other disciplines. At most he borrows a
psychological mechanism, the so-called "repetition-compulsion,"
and any theory explaining wars will hardly be able to deny that,
for whatever reason, they are being compulsively repeated. Second,
if these hypotheses contain any correctness at all, then they
constitute the most urgent aspect of his work. There is a paradox
here: before one can accept his diagnosis, one must be satisfied
with his conclusions in all the other disciplines, but none of these
others claim nearly the same immediacy to our present situation.
One cannot resolve this paradox, one can only seek a mean. - William
Mullen, "The Center Holds", Pensee Vol I
Velikovsky's Ghost Returns
By Michael Goodspeed
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This article has no copyright. It is intended for duplication
and re-distribution, so long as no alterations are made
to the contents herein, including the author and cited URL's.
that is silenced is always rebellious. Majorities, of
course, are often mistaken. This is why the silencing of
minorities is necessarily dangerous. Criticism and
dissent are the indispensable antidote to major
delusions." ~ Alan Barth
It has been said that an error is often made more dangerous by the
TRUTH it contains. In the hands of a good manipulator, a
compelling or surprising fact can give believability to
a sea of falsehoods.
Today, this danger is particularly serious due to the concentration
of power in media. We've all seen how this works. On
controversial issues, where the public is simply not
aware of key facts, an artfully orchestrated
presentation can determine the public's posture on an
issue for years to come.
A recent example of media coverage wreaking havoc on public
understanding was the Coast to Coast AM "debate"
on the life and work of Immanuel Velikovsky, author of
the 1950's bestseller Worlds in Collision. Representing
the scientific mainstream was Harvard educated
astronomer and NASA official, Dr. David Morrison. Since
the death of Carl Sagan, TV journalists often turn to
Morrison when raising "big picture" questions in astronomy.
On the other side of the issue was the ambivalent "defender" of
Velikovsky, physicist James McCanney–a name familiar to
most regular Coast to Coast listeners.
I'd like to
report that the worst of this confrontation was the
combatants' continual misrepresentation of Velikovsky.
But that was not the worst of it. The worst of it was
the sheer tedium as the combatants sapped the life out
of the Velikovsky question. If this is all that
Velikovsky's "challenge to science" comes down to, why
should anyone care?
the program, one would never know why one of the
preeminent heretics of the twentieth century simply will
not go away. Nor would one realize that the media rarely
if ever present the Velikovsky story accurately, or that
Velikovsky sowed the seeds of an intellectual revolution
that will soon emerge in full flower.
To fill the
void, I'll briefly summarize the story–
Russian-born scholar was a friend and colleague of
Albert Einstein, a student of Freud's first pupil
Wilhelm Stekel, and Israel's first practicing
psychoanalyst. Some of his writings appeared in Freud's
Imago. In 1930 he published the first paper to
suggest that epileptics would be characterized by
abnormal encephalograms. He was the founder and editor
of the scholarly publication, Scripta Universitatis,
the physics and mathematics section being prepared by
It was while
researching a book on Freud and his heroes that
Velikovsky first wondered about the catastrophes said to
have accompanied the Hebrew Exodus, when fire and
hailstones rained upon Egypt, earthquakes decimated the
nation, and a pillar of fire and smoke moved in the sky.
Biblical and other traditional Hebrew sources speak so
vividly that Velikovsky began to wonder if some
extraordinary natural event might have played a part in
this possibility, Velikovsky sought out a corresponding
account in ancient Egyptian records, finding a
remarkable parallel in a papyrus kept at the University
of Leyden Museum, called the Papyrus Ipuwer. The
document contains the lamentations of an Egyptian sage
in response to a great catastrophe overwhelming Egypt,
when the rivers ran red, fire blazed in the sky, and
pestilence ravaged the land.
also encountered surprising parallels in Babylonian and
Assyrian clay tablets, Vedic poems, Chinese epics, and
North American Indian, Maya, Aztec, and Peruvian
legends. From these remarkably similar accounts, he
constructed a thesis of celestial catastrophe. He
concluded that a very large body–apparently a "comet"
–passed close enough to Earth to violently perturb its
axis, as global earthquakes, wind and falling stone
decimated early civilizations.
Velikovsky could complete his reconstruction, he had to
resolve an enigma. He had found that in the accounts of
far-flung cultures, the cometary agent of disaster was
identified as a planet. And the closer he looked, the
more clear it became to him that this planet was Venus:
The converging ancient images include the Babylonian
"torch-star" Venus and "bearded star" Venus, the Mexican
"smoking star" Venus, the Peruvian "long-haired" star
Venus, the Egyptian Great Star "scattering its flame in
fire" and the widespread imagery of Venus as a flaming
serpent or dragon in the sky. In each instance, the
cometary language is undeniable, for these were the very
symbols of "the comet" in the ancient languages.
the evidence, Velikovsky discovered that Venus holds a
special place among the world's first astronomers. In
both the Old World and the New, ancient stargazers
regarded Venus with awe and terror, carefully observing
its risings and settings, and claiming the planet to be
the cause of world-ending catastrophe. These
astronomical traditions, Velikovsky reasoned, must have
had roots in a traumatic human experience, though modern
science has always assumed that the planets evolved in
quiet and undisturbed isolation over billions of years.
extensive cross-cultural comparison, Velikovsky
concluded that the planet Venus, prior to the dawn of
recorded history, was ejected violently from the gas
giant Jupiter, displaying a spectacular comet-like tail.
Its later catastrophic approach to the Earth (around
1500 B.C.) provided the historical backdrop to the
Hebrew Exodus, Velikovsky claimed.
In Worlds in
Collision, Velikovsky argued that the terrifying
"gods" of the ancient world were planets–those
inconspicuous specks of light we see moving with
clock-like regularity, as if to deny their chaotic roles
in the past. The book recounted two close encounters of
the comet or protoplanet Venus with the Earth. Included
in the same volume was a large section on the ancient
war god, whom Velikovsky identified as the planet Mars.
He claimed that centuries after the Venus catastrophes,
Mars moved on an unstable orbit intersecting that of
Earth, leading to a series of Earth-disturbing events in
the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.
With the first
reviews of the book, the publisher Macmillan came under
fire from astronomers and scientists. But sales of
Worlds in Collision skyrocketed, and it quickly
soared to the top of the bestseller lists. Dr. Harlow
Shapley, director the Harvard Observatory, branded the
book "nonsense and rubbish," but without reading it. A
letter from Shapley to Macmillan threatened a boycott of
the company's textbook division. The astronomer Fred
Whipple threatened to break his relations with the
publisher. Under pressure from the scientific community,
Macmillan was forced to transfer publishing rights to
Doubleday, though Worlds in Collision was already
the number one bestseller in the country. Macmillan
editor James Putnam, who had been with the company for
25 years and had negotiated the contract for Worlds
in Collision, was summarily dismissed.
In the wake of
Macmillan's publication of Worlds in Collision,
one scientific journal after another denounced
Velikovsky's work. The eminent astronomer and textbook
author Donald Menzel publicly ridiculed Velikovsky.
Astronomer Cecilia-Payne Gaposchkin launched a campaign
to discredit Velikovsky, without reading Worlds in
Collision. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
produced a series of articles grossly misrepresenting
Velikovsky. And Gordon Atwater, curator of the respected
Hayden Planetarium, was fired after having proposed in
This Week Magazine that Velikovsky's work
deserved open-minded discussion.
For many years
after publication of Worlds in Collision,
Velikovsky was persona non grata on college campuses. He
was denied the opportunity to publish articles in
scientific journals. When he attempted to respond to
critical articles in such journals, they rejected these
responses. The attitude of established science was
typified by the reactions of astronomers. Michigan
astronomer Dean McLaughlin exclaimed, "Lies–yes
lies." In response to a correspondent, astronomer Harold
Urey, wrote: "My advice to you is to shut the book and
never look at it again in your lifetime."
Velikovsky, this was the beginning of a personal "dark
age". But remarkably, his friendship with Albert
Einstein was unaffected, and Einstein met with him
often, maintaining an extended correspondence as well,
encouraging Velikovksy to look past the misbehavior of
the scientific elite. In discussion with Einstein,
Velikovsky predicted that Jupiter would be found to emit
radio noises, and he urged Einstein to use his influence
to have Jupiter surveyed for radio emission, though
Einstein himself disputed Velikovsky's reasoning. But in
April 1955 radio noises were discovered from Jupiter,
much to the surprise of scientists who had thought
Jupiter was too cold and inactive to emit radio waves.
That discovery led Einstein to agree to assist in
developing other tests of Velikovsky's thesis. But the
world's most prominent scientist died only a few weeks
expected other discoveries through space exploration. He
claimed that the planet Venus would be found to be
extremely hot, since in his reconstruction, the planet
was "candescent" in historical times. His thesis also
implied the likelihood of a massive Venusian atmosphere,
residue of its former "cometary" tail. And he claimed
that the Earth would be found to have a magnetosphere
reaching at least to the moon, because he was convinced
that in historical times the Earth exchanged electrical
charge with other planetary bodies.
Arrival of the
space age was a critical juncture for Velikovsky, as
data returned from the Moon, from Mars, and from Venus
begin to recast our views of these celestial bodies. In
1959, Dr. Van Allen discovered that the Earth has a
magnetosphere. In the early sixties, scientists
realized, much to their surprise, that the planet Venus
has a surface temperature as high as 900 degrees
Fahrenheit, hot enough to melt lead. "The temperature is
much higher than anyone would have predicted," wrote
more promising for Velikovsky. In 1962, two scientists,
Valentin Bargmann, professor of physics at Princeton,
and Lloyd Motz, professor of astronomy at Columbia,
urged that Velikovsky's conclusions "be objectively
re-examined." In support of this reconsideration, they
cited his prior predictions about radio noises from
Jupiter, the terrestrial magnetosphere, and an
unexpectedly high temperature of Venus.
In July 1969,
on the eve of the first landing on the Moon, the New
York Times invited Velikovsky to summarize what he
expected the Apollo missions to find. Velikovsky
responded by listing nine "advance claims," including
remanent magnetism, a steep thermal gradient,
radioactive hot spots, and regular moonquakes. All told,
it was a remarkably accurate summation of later
findings. But still, the scientific community was
Then, in 1972,
at the invitation of the Society of Harvard Engineers
and Scientists, Velikovsky returned to the site from
which the original boycott was launched. His
presentation produced a standing ovation. "I survived,
as you see," he said. "I have been waiting for this
evening for 22 years. I came here to find the young, the
spirited, the men who have a fascination for discovery."
Also in 1972,
a small student journal in Portland, Oregon called
Pensée began publishing a series of full issues devoted
to Velikovsky, with contributions from the pioneer
himself. The Pensée series "Immanuel Velikovsky
Reconsidered" recounted the history of the Velikovsky
affair, bringing international attention to the
scientific misbehavior involved, and reviewing space age
findings lending support to Velikovsky's revolutionary
thesis of planetary catastrophe. Clearly, it was time
for a reassessment of Velikovsky's work, and the
Pensée series produced a groundswell of interest in
the Velikovsky debate. The first issue became the number
one best seller on several college campuses and inspired
stories in Readers Digest, Analog, Time,
Newsweek, Physics Today, National
Observer, and many other publications.
with optimism, Velikovsky began receiving numerous
invitations from university campuses. The British
Broadcasting Corporation produced a special documentary
on Velikovsky, shown twice because of popular interest.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation also showed a
documentary on Velikovsky. And an international
symposium was held in Toronto, Ontario. Velikovsky also
gave a talk at the NASA Ames Research Center, suggesting
experiments and procedures to test his claims.
For about two
years after the appearance of "Immanuel Velikovsky
Reconsidered," the scientific elite remained eerily
quiet. The resurrection of a heretic, long presumed
dead, seemed all too easy.
Then came a
counterattack through the American Association for the
Advancement of Science. America's largest scientific
organization scheduled a symposium on Worlds in
Collision for an "open discussion of Velikovsky."
The proceedings of the 1974 San Francisco AAAS gathering
would feature the popular astronomer Carl Sagan in a
direct "debate" with Velikovsky.
had all the trappings of a media event, and like so many
such events, it brought no clarity to the subject at
all. Yet for years afterward it was dutifully remembered
in mainstream journals as the "definitive refutation" of
meeting was the beginning of a relentless campaign
against Velikovsky. In the years that followed, Sagan
devoted a substantial section of each book he published
to debunking Velikovsky. And science editors of
newspapers across the country, no longer accustomed to
looking up anything for themselves, simply reported what
they were told by local astronomers: the Velikovsky
question was now a dead issue.
Before he died
in 1979, Velikovsky grew darkly pessimistic, telling
those close to him that the battle was over, that the
critics had won. Mainstream science, he said, would
never permit an objective hearing on the subject of
Worlds in Collision.
But in the
awakening of public interest seven years earlier,
something had occurred that Velikovsky did not
anticipate. Even as the controversy faded into the
background, a number of independent researchers labored
quietly in their own fields, seeking out the remaining
pieces of the puzzle Velikovsky had laid before them.
Unanswered questions ranging from the role of
electricity in the universe to the mysteries of Venus
and the origins of ancient mythology would preoccupy
these researchers for decades. For several of them, the
investigation emerged as a life's work. Over the years
they began to communicate with each other, then to
actively collaborate, while developing quiet liaison
with open-minded authorities in the sciences and in the
study of the human past.
fifty-five years after publication of Worlds in
Collision, those who forged this independent inquiry
WILL be heard. They are no longer dependent on
established journals and academic institutions to gain a
public hearing. Though the Internet is a "virtual-world"
carnival, it is also an unprecedented vehicle for
mobilizing communication. When official pronouncements
are filled with misrepresentations, these CAN be
answered. And people are now communicating with each
other at lightning speed.
misrepresentations: David Morrison began by describing
Velikovsky as a "loner" who would not submit his ideas
for scholarly or scientific review. McCanney did not
challenge the statement, but AGREED with it. Yet the
assertion is LUDICROUS. Einstein discoursed with
Velikovsky for years, and the two met privately at
Einstein's residence innumerable times. Velikovsky took
every opportunity to communicate directly with leading
authorities in the sciences. Without this diligence the
astronomers Bargmann and Motz (noted above) would never
have called for an open consideration of Velikovsky's
hypothesis. Of course there were many who already "knew"
that Velikovsky could not be correct, but others
responded with personal meetings and extended
correspondence. The preeminent French archaeologist
Claude Schaeffer certainly saw SOMETHING in Velikovsky's
claims. Their communication spanned years. On the vital
issue of dating ancient cultures, Schaefer wrote to
Velikovsky, "You will be the first among those who get
the information before my publication I am not concerned
with opinions and chronological schemes, but only with
the advance of our knowledge."
distinguished Harvard historian Robert Pfeifer, former
chairman of the Department of Semitic Languages at
Harvard, showed a strong personal interest in
Velikovsky's work and took personal initiative on his
behalf. Well before the publication of Velikvosky's Ages in Chaos, Pfeiffer wrote in 1942, "I regard
this work–provocative as it is–of fundamental
importance." And in 1945: "I am firmly convinced that
the publication of this book would be of immense value
to historical studies."
ability to anticipate scientific discovery produced a
surprising statement from the renowned geologist Harry
Hess, chairman of the Department of Geology at
Princeton, with whom Velikovsky conversed continuously.
In an open letter to Velikovsky in 1963, Hess wrote:
"Some of these predictions were said to be impossible
when you made them. All of them were predicted long
before proof that they were correct came to hand.
Conversely, I do not know of any specific prediction you
made that has since been proven to be false. I suspect
the merit lies in that you have a good basic background
in the natural sciences and you are quite uninhibited by
the prejudices and probability taboos which confine the
thinking of most of us."
scientists and social scientists that showed deep
interest in Velikovsky's work included astronomer Walter
S Adams; archaeologist Cyrus Gordon; and Horace Kallen,
one of America's most respected scholars. In 1950, when
Worlds in Collision came out, Kallen was a
personal friend of Harlow Shapley, the Harvard
astronomer who led the original scientific attack on
Velikovsky. But later, Kallen recounted Shapley's role
in the "Velikovsky Affair," and he ridiculed the hasty
and pretentious manner in which the defenders of
orthodoxy had dismissed Velikovsky's hypothesis.
biting criticism of scientific dogmatism is every bit as
appropriate today as it was 30 years ago. In the debate
with McCanney, Morrison opined that Velikovsky may have
sounded intelligent to the untrained, but that when you
look more closely, "nothing is there." Velikovsky was
"simply wrong," said Morrison, "demonstrably wrong."
Here, on the
other hand, is the opinion of the two authors of Thunderbolts of the Gods, each having investigated
the thesis of Worlds in Collision for more than
three decades. David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill
write: "The authors of this book believe that Velikovsky
was incorrect on many particulars, some of them crucial
to a proper understanding of ancient events. But his
place among the great pioneers of science will be secure
if he was correct on the underlying tenets"
Thornhill do not accept Velikovsky's specific chronology
of events, and they place the age of planetary upheaval
just prior to the flowering of monumental civilization,
which they see as a creative act of human REMEMBERING.
Rather than declare Velikovsky to be categorically
"right" or "wrong", they cite these claims as crucial to
any assessment of Velikovsky's contribution to science:
1. The present
order of the planets is new. In geologically recent
times the planetary system was unstable, and at least
some planets moved on much different courses than they
movements of the planets led to global catastrophe on
rigorous cross-cultural comparison of the ancient
traditions, an investigator can reconstruct the
principle must also be included, according to the
authors. Velikovsky said that the key to reconciling his
claims with scientific theory would be ELECTROMAGNETISM,
a force in which astronomers and cosmologists had no
interest in 1950. He stated that if the Sun and the
planets are not the "electrically neutral" bodies
astronomers assume, then even "the law of gravitation
must come into question."
In the years
since Velikovsky wrote these words, a new perspective
has emerged from space age discovery. A universe teeming
with charged particles-the "Electric Universe" of
Wallace Thornhill and others–is redefining everything
we see in space. But you would not know this by
listening to David Morrison, whose words still echo the
electrically inactive, purely gravitational 1950's
vision of the heavens.
theorists say that the picture of the universe has
changed, and all of the theoretical sciences will give
way to a revolution in human understanding. The authors
of Thunderbolts of the Gods summarize the new
view in these words:
smallest particle to the largest galactic formation, a
web of electrical circuitry connects and unifies all of
nature, organizing galaxies, energizing stars, giving
birth to planets and, on our own world, controlling
weather and animating biological organisms. There are no
isolated islands in an 'electric universe.'"
of the electrical theorists comes from the testability
of the hypothesis. Its every component leads to
implications and predictions that can be either
confirmed or falsified through direct investigation. A
comparison of this approach to that taken by David
Morrison may be instructive, so let's go back to the
"beginning," cosmically speaking:
Modern Cosmoogy and the Big Bang
expressed supreme confidence in the Big Bang, one of the
most popular themes in scientific speculation today. The
Big Bang is well supported and secure, he said, and we
see "no contradictory evidence." Here he was only
reflecting the posture of official science. Most
institutions receiving Federal funds for the study of
cosmological questions will state the Big Bang and its
corollaries as fact, and then tell us how well
everything is going thanks to their latest discoveries.
For a large number of astronomers, this is what it takes
for their funding to be renewed next year. Since
Morrison himself is included in this political game, we
have every reason to be skeptical.
truth: Scientific confidence in the Big Bang has already
collapsed. The dogmatic Doppler interpretation of
redshift (shifting of light from distant galaxies toward
red on the light spectrum) has crashed and burned. It
was this uncompromising interpretation of redshift that
led astronomers to place newly discovered, strongly
redshifted quasars at the farthest reaches of the
universe. But now we know that quasars are found in
energetic and physical connection to nearby galaxies.
We've even seen a quasar in front of a nearby galaxy.
All of the most critical evidence is now against the Big
Big Bang Broken and Can't Be Fixed.
this come as a surprise? Plasma cosmologists–including
such distinguished authorities as Anthony Peratt of Los
Alamos Laboratories and astrophysicist Eric Lerner–have
long argued that the pillar of Big Bang reasoning is
refuted by what we see in space and what we observe in
scientific experiments. In fact, the world's leading
authority on peculiar galaxies, astronomer Halton Arp,
has been warning the astronomical community for decades
now that it is following a dead-end path. He paid for
these warnings dearly, losing his telescope time and
being forced to move to Germany to carry on his work at
the Max Planck Institute. Its too bad Halton Arp and
Immanuel Velikovsky never had a chance to compare notes
on the role of sacred cows in the sciences.
Thornhill, Fred Hoyle, Margaret and Geoffrey Burbidge,
and many others have long claimed that astronomers were
overlooking evidence essential to the question of
redshift. There is evidence that plasma discharge can
produce intrinsic redshift–that is, redshift with no
inherent relationship to velocity or distance. Our own
Sun exhibits an unexplained excess redshift at its limb.
This is no small matter. If plasma discharge is
involved, the electrically neutral universe of the
1950's must be abandoned once and for all. And we're not
talking about a small problem here, but the biggest
mistake science has made in modern times. Virtually all
of the theoretical sciences have been held captive by
the same conjecture, which started as a guess, then
hardened into the pretentiousness of pure mathematics,
divorced from the rigors of observation and experiment.
THEORY OF PLANETARY ORIGINS
From start to
finish, Morrison refused to acknowledge the distinction
between fact and theory. Here are his precise words with
respect to the origins of planets: "The planets in the
solar system formed out of a spinning dust cloud, a
circumstellar disk it's called, right along with the
Sun, and so they all have the same basic motion coming
from their origin, and they formed together with the
You can see he
is confident in a theory that has been around for years,
though the theory did not predict any of the milestone
discoveries of the space age. The nebular theory is, in
fact, one of the primary reasons why every major
planetary discovery has come as a surprise. We can now
view the planets up close and personal. Their surfaces
do not speak for isolated and incremental evolution, but
for an unstable solar system in the past.
The appeal of
the nebular theory early in the twentieth century was
based on observations later revealed to be incorrect. At
that time, astronomers believed that only one galaxy,
the Milky Way, existed. When they observed what they
called "spiral nebulas" and "planetary nebulas," they
imagined these clouds to be the birthplaces of stars and
planets, formed by the "gravitational collapse" of gas
But the early
"observations" proved to be erroneous. With better
telescopes, astronomers realized that "spiral nebulas"
were actually galaxies beyond the Milky Way. They could
tell us nothing about an imagined "gravitational
collapse" of clouds into stars and planets. Then, with
still better observational tools in the latter decades
of the twentieth century, it became clear that
"planetary nebula" were not gas clouds coalescing or
accreting into planets, but the remains of EXPLODING
Thanks to our
better telescopes now, we DO see evidence of planetary
formation. For example, the discovery of gas-giant
planets orbiting nearby stars should have forced a
complete review of the assumptions behind the nebular
theory. But it did not. Most such bodies are moving on
exceedingly close orbits to their primary (star), the
opposite of what was predicted by "planetary nebula"
models. Faced with this contradiction, the theorists
concluded that the gas-giant planets must have moved
inward after they were formed. But if that were a normal
occurrence, then Jupiter should be closer to the Sun
than Mercury, and Earth and its neighbors should not
exist. Either way, the picture certainly does not
suggest planets coalescing from a cloud, and then
remaining in place for billions of years!
not the only astronomer desperately needing an education
in plasma physics and electric discharge. Astronomers
working with gravity-only models have failed again and
again to anticipate the new view of space. This record
of failure can now be compared to the striking success
of "plasma cosmology," rooted in the work of Kristian
Birkeland, Irving Langmuir, and Nobel Laureate Hannes
Alfven, the father of modern plasma science. For a brief
summary of the predictive success of plasma cosmology,
see: Thunderbolts of the
insisted that the Sun is known to be electrically
neutral, but his only defense of this claim was a
reference to the "neutrality" of the solar wind. He did
not mention the fact that the charged particles of the
solar wind are accelerated away from the Sun (something
that was not known when Velikovsky wrote Worlds in
Collision). In contrast to Morrison's bold assertions,
the known FACT is that electric fields accelerate
charged particles. This acceleration is the best measure
of an electric field's strength. Unless someone can
demonstrate (not merely hypothesize) something other
than an electric field that can accelerate charged
particles, there is simply no integrity to Morrison's
that Morrison is simply unaware of the electric model,
falling into the most common error of its critics, who
try to apply high school electrostatics to the
principles of a glow discharge. The Sun is a glow
discharge according to the modern pioneer of the
electric Sun, Ralph Juergens, whose work has been
further developed by Wallace Thornhill and Donald Scott.
Of Pith Balls and Plasma.
surprising to find that the debate included no
meaningful discussion of comet theory. This was
unfortunate, because ideas about comets could be the
Achilles Heel of dogmatic science.
On July 4,
2005, the Deep Impact probe will reach comet Tempel 2
and fire an 800-pound projectile into the comet's
nucleus. NASA's comet investigators do not doubt that
hidden beneath the surface of comets is a great
abundance of water ice. How else could comet tails be
produced, except by ices sublimating in the heat of the
revolutionary electric Sun model set forth by Juergens
in the early 70's included a view of comets as electric
discharge phenomena. If the Sun is a glow discharge at
the center of a radial electric field, then comets
moving on highly elliptical orbits through this electric
field will experience increasing stresses that can only
be relieved through electrical arcing, removing material
and accelerating it away from the nucleus, along the
path of solar magnetic field lines.
experts cannot categorically say there are no volatiles
beneath the surface of comets, they all consider it most
likely that the projectile will strike a solid rock and
not a pile of ice and rubble. According to Thornhill,
some of the water we normally detect in comet tails
appears to be a result of electrical exchange within the
coma of the comet. Oxygen is removed from the negatively
charged comet nucleus by electric arcs, before uniting
energetically with the positively charged hydrogen ions
of the solar wind. The surfaces of the comets, Borrelly
and Wild 2, which gave us the best close-ups, were bone
Electric Comet Could Burn the House of
So the Deep
Impact mission could prove to be an acid test. The
electric theorists have made their position clear, and
there won't be much wiggle room for the conventional
"dirty snowball" hypothesis. If water is not observed to
explode from the surface at the projectile's impact, a
domino effect will be set loose. An absence of water
would mean there is no mainstream model left, only the
electric model would remain. A single event could thus
alter the mindset of all who work in the theoretical
sciences: it would mark the end of the imagined
"electrically neutral" universe lurking behind every
statement we heard from David Morrison.
PLANETARY UPHEAVAL OCCUR?
confidently dismissed the idea of recent catastrophe in
the solar system, telling us that the real catastrophes
occurred "4.5 billion years ago." How does he "know"
this? The confidence begins with a rigid adherence to
the nebular theory, and ends with a practice at which
the electric theorists can only grimace: counting
craters to determine the ages of a planet's or moon's
surface. The fewer the craters, the "logic" goes, the
more recent the events that re-surfaced an area.
planetary scientists are coming to realize that crater
counting doesn't work. See article - "Crater Count Led
Mars Historians Astray", March 2005 New Scientist.
For the cosmic
electricians, the idea of counting craters is absurd.
They see the defining surface features of planets and
moons as the signature of brief catastrophic episodes of
electric discharge, in a phase of solar system history
that continued until surprisingly recent times.
According to these investigators, every planet shows
electrical re-sculpting from pole to pole, often with
strange hemispheric differences as if scarring occurred
briefly from a single direction. They propose a simple
and direct way to resolve the question. Since plasma
discharge events are scalable, they claim the dominant
features on planets and moons can ONLY be produced by
electric discharge, and they are eager to see rigorous
testing of this extraordinary claim. Without any funding
from NASA, they have already begun the process, and the
results are simply staggering. (See:
in the Lab.
ANCESTORS WITNESS COSMIC CATASTROPHE?
David Morrison was certain that no dramatic changes in
the configuration of the solar system have occurred
across billions of years. But in agreement with Immanuel
Velikovsky, many proponents of the Electric Universe
contend that our early ancestors witnessed
Earth-changing catastrophes. So on this point, they do
not just speak of scientific evidence, but of HUMAN
TESTIMONY. They tell us that only a few thousand years
ago the sky was ablaze with electrical fireworks and
that humans witnessing these events recorded them
through every means available–
pictures of plasma formations in the heavens.
Plasma Formations in the Ancient Sky
Origins of Rock Art
From one land
to another they recounted stories of cosmic thunderbolts
that altered world history.
prayers and monument building, they constructed
imitations of the plasma formations in the sky.
And in their
astronomical traditions they preserved a global memory
of PLANETS as the towering gods of a former time. (Also
In laying the
groundwork for a new approach to solar system history,
Talbott and Thornhill write:
misunderstanding of planetary history must now be
corrected. The misunderstanding arose from fundamental
errors within the field of cosmology, the 'queen' of the
theoretical sciences. Mainstream cosmologists, whether
trained as physicists, mathematicians, or astronomers,
consider gravity to be the controlling force in the
heavens. From this assumption arose the doctrine of
eons-long solar system stability–the belief that under
the rule of gravity the nine planets have moved on their
present courses since the birth of the solar system.
Seen from this vantage point, the ancient fear of the
planets can only appear ludicrous.
this modern belief. We contend that humans once saw
planets suspended as huge spheres in the heavens.
Immersed in the charged particles of a dense plasma,
celestial bodies 'spoke' electrically and plasma
discharge produced heaven-spanning formations above the
terrestrial witnesses. In the imagination of the ancient
myth-makers, the planets were alive: they were the gods,
the ruling powers of the sky-awe inspiring, often
capricious, and at times wildly destructive."
It has been
said that no great advance has ever been made without
controversy. More than 5 decades after the Velikovsky
firestorm, questions first posed by Velikovsky can no
longer be ignored. At stake here is not just the
billions of dollars NASA has wasted chasing chimeras,
but the very integrity of scientific exploration. Also
at stake is the ability of the sciences to attract and
inspire new generations. And nothing is more
inspirational than a sense of being on the edge of
No matter the
outcome of this long-standing battle, the time of
reckoning is at hand. The voice of Velikovsky's ghost
WILL be heard.