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Ancient Testimony    

While the solar system today presents the illusion of aeons-long stability, we may be mistaken in interpreting it this way. Ancient testimony seems to tell a very different story, and our ancestors may have witnessed the violence of cosmic catastrophe, plasma discharge, and possibly even planetary birth in recent millennia.

The Heavens were considered to be perfect and unchanging in much early religious thought, and perhaps even encoded with a secret message from God. Back then the Earth was also considered to be the center of the known universe. While the latter is now widely rejected, the intellectual baggage of the former still pervades much current thinking, and the assumption that the planets have occupied more or less stable orbits for billions of years has solidified into dogma.

  "Fiction has to be plausible. Reality is under no such constraint." Anon
Differing Calendars    

While we often marvel at the ability of the ancients to accurately measure and record the heavens, we are equally perplexed by some apparent basic errors. A number of ancient calendars list 360 days in a year, probably explaining the origin of 360 degrees in a circle? Prior to this, some calendars listed only 260 days in a year, bearing no relation whatsoever to the natural cycles of the present era! Why was this? Are these really errors, or did the heavens move on different cycles in the not so distant past?

Of course, such an idea is anathema to modern day astronomers, who speculate that our solar system has remained more-or-less steady and constant for millions of years.

Chinese mathematicians are known to have based their geometry, as we do, on a 360 degree circle based on the annual movement of the sun, and to have then tried to modify the geometry to accommodate the 365·25 days of the current year.

In the Middle East, the Chaldeans of the NeoBabylonian empire, experts in astronomy in the first millennium BC, also had a year of only 360 days and a Zodiac of 36 decans, each section of which was traversed by the sun in 10 days. The Assyrians used a year of 360 days.

The Indian texts of the Veda use a year of 360 days divided into 12 months of 30 days. From approximately 700 BC, the Hindus used a civil year of 365·25 days but retained the sacred year of 360 days for religious purposes.

Similarly, the Persians used a year of 360 days until the 7th century BC, when they added 5 extra days. Although they assumed the sun rose through a different aperture each day, they retained the concept of 360 apertures without adding extra ones for the extra 5 days.

The Egyptian Canopus decree of 238BC refers to an earlier period when 5 days were added to the year to bring it to 365 days. The Romans at the time of Romulus had a year of only 360 days.

The Maya counted their 'year' as being 18 months of 20 days. The 360 day year also survives in the Long Count system of 'tuns'.

In every case, the additional 5 days were added to the year of 360 days and were thought to be unpropitious.

  Polar configuration
Immanuel Velikovsky    

Velikovsky, 1895-1979, is perhaps the most famous catastrophist. His best-selling book, Worlds in Collision, was published in 1950, and occupied the number one spot for some time.

Even before its appearance, however, the book was surrounded by furious controversy. Macmillan, intimidated by threats from academics and scientists, transferred the book to Doubleday.

In Worlds in Collision Velikovsky proposed the following:

Planet Earth has suffered natural catastrophes on a global scale, both during and before recorded history. Here he is espousing Catastrophist as opposed to prevailing Uniformitarian/Gradualist ideas.

These catastrophes are recorded in the myths, legends and written history of all cultures and civilisations around the globe. He pointed to striking concordances in the accounts of many cultures, and proposed that they referred to the same real events, all couched in the individual religious and cultural viewpoints of their authors.

The psychoanalytic concept of 'Cultural Amnesia' as a mechanism whereby these events come to be regarded as myth.

The cause of these natural catastrophes were close-encounters between the Earth and other bodies within the solar system. The planets Saturn, Jupiter, Venus and Mars, have moved upon different orbits within human memory.

That Venus was a young planet, and as such would be hot with an atmosphere rich in hydro-carbons. These successful predictions came as a big shock as Venus was thought to be the twin of The Earth!

That electromagnetic forces played a much greater role than that acknowledged in conventional Newtonian mechanics.

The latter, of course, is of particular relevance to Plasma Cosmology, and was the focus of a bitter scientific backlash against Velikovsky. He is famous for remarking that the scientific theories should be updated to take account of the new evidence.

While many contemporary catastrophists disagree with his chronology, and some of the specifics, his work has proved inspirational for many.

Further: The Ghost of Velikovsky

Immanuel Velikovsky
"If, occasionally, historical evidence does not square with formulated laws, it should be remembered that a law is but a deduction from experience and experiment, and therefore laws must conform with historical facts, not facts with laws." Immanuel Velikovsky
Einstein and Velikovsky    

Velikovsky was a close personal friend of Einstein and details of their correspondence and meetings can be viewed at www.varchive.org

Much of their discussion focused on Newtonian versus electrodynamic mechanisms for celestial phenomena, and the difficulties in assessing the veracity of either viewpoint. Einstein favoured the former, but was nonetheless impressed by some of Velikovsky's predictions, and used his influence to try and test them.

Velikovsky predicted radio noise from Jupiter and high temperatures for the atmosphere of Venus, amongst many other successful predictions. His critics generally respond with the trite comment that 'There is no greater sin than to be right for the wrong reason', and thus the controversy rages on.

  "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." Aldous Huxley
David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill    

More than thirty years ago David Talbott proposed that world mythology reflects a planetary arrangement quite different from anything that we see today. This 'radical' vision has since grown into a collaborative consensus which outweighs any differences of opinion in catastrophism circles.

Talbott's historical investigation converged with the work of Australian physicist, Wallace Thornhill, the leading advocate of the Electric Universe. Thornhill convinced Talbott that the formations reconstructed from ancient testimony were plasma related phenomena.

A further milestone occurred when Anthony Peratt, a leading plasma physicist, realised that Talbott’s reconstruction of events leading to the mythic 'ladder of heaven' matched very closely the evolution of the 'Peratt Instability'. Peratt was inspired to spend several years of fieldwork gathering thousands of ancient rock art images and related designs which verify that the ancient artists were not imagining things. They recorded the same configurations that he has recreated in the laboratory.

This convergence of science and myth strongly suggests that the consistent worldwide 'story' should no longer be dismissed as mere ignorant superstition.

  David Talbott
Mythology, superstition ... and comets    

David Talbott has pioneered an empirical approach to mythology which he refers to as 'Points of Agreement.' The below is summarised from a bulletin board conversation.

People do not know where myths come from. Nor do they understand where widespread superstitions come from. To answer the first mystery is to answer the second because superstition is, demonstrably, a residue of mythology as the myths, over time, begin to fragment into disconnected pieces.

For example, there is a universal superstition that a comet signals disaster, but this superstition does not stand alone. It is part of a complex of fragments. Another universal superstition holds that the appearance of a comet means the death of a great king. But this doesn't stand alone either; it cannot be separated from an equally popular superstition that a comet is the 'soul' of a great king soaring into the sky. On the face of it, the superstitions do not add up, however, because another theme declares that the comet is a raging goddess, queen, or princess, lamenting the death of her father, lover, or son.

As we explore the nuances of comet superstitions, a light goes on. We realize that they have an ancient history, and what appear as incompatible or competing superstitions are actually part of a unified memory. They are fragments of the archetypal myth of the 'Great Comet,' tracing to a time before the word comet was detached from mythology to become part of the descriptive language of the early sciences. The story originated in a pre-scientific age, and literally all of the later, well documented superstitions about comets, when traced backward, reveal themselves to be nuances of a story told around the world.

It is the story of the dying god-king, or universal sovereign. This primeval power -- often appearing as an exemplary 'sun'-god -- displayed a central eye, heart, or soul that was a great star, the far-famed 'star of glory.' It was not just a star, however, it was the mother goddess, identified in all later astronomies as the planet Venus. When the god-king died, the star (soul) departed from him, raging in the heavens with long-flowing, wildly disordered hair (i.e., as the feared comet) and threatening to destroy the world.

The appearance of the Great Comet thus meant disaster, the death of a great king, the soul of the king rising in the sky, and the raging goddess. At the level of the universal themes or archetypes, the substructure of mythology is fully unified, although not a single theme refers to the familiar world of today.

This is an abbreviated summary of a story that would require volumes to tell in detail, but the point is that the great myths progressively fragmented over time, often persisting as nothing more than disconnected superstition.

  Comets, now and then
Thunderbolts of The Gods    

The planet Jupiter, like Mars, is also associated with thunderbolts. The picture, right, is taken from the front cover of the book, Thunderbolts of The Gods, by David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill.

The below is quoted from the link:

"Thunderbolts of the Gods by David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill, is the first in a series of volumes contending that planetary instability and large scale electrical phenomena in ancient times led to a series of global catastrophes remembered around the world.

"Talbott and Thornhill claim that earthshaking upheaval occurred so recently as to have profoundly affected early human cultures. And the two authors suggest that the myths and religions of all ancient peoples memorialized these events. To make their case, they offer a new synthesis of ancient testimony, high-energy plasma laboratory experiments, and space age discoveries."