June, 2003 Newsletter

Firmament-Chaos is a free email newsletter for registered users, written by the author of Firmament and Chaos, John Ackerman. Its purpose is to clarify certain aspects of the sequence of cosmic 'catastrophies' interpreted from ancient myth in these books and to explain new findings in the earth and planetary sciences in light of this Velikovsky/Ackerman scenario. As time goes by and scientists are forced to make more and more ad-hoc adjustments to their present theories, it becomes more and more obvious that the current 'uniformitarian' paradigm fails to explain the worlds in which we live.

In This Issue

  • The Meaning of Myths
  • Sunspots II
  • Chaos Around Jupiter

The Meaning of Myths

The book Firmament is about mythology and the recent chaotic history of the Earth and The Planets. In most minds mythology conjures up images of shepherds, familiar with the night sky, spinning fictitious tales in which the distant planets are the prime players. But it is difficult to imagine how a virtually stationary dot of light could be called ’the god of war’ and ‘the stormer of walls.’ This requires even more imagination than picturing a particular group of stars as the Great Bear. The closest planet is more than fifty million kilometers from the earth and the astronomers tell us that the solar system has been the same for more than four billion years. Surely The Planets could have had no immediate influence on the race of man! But the myths and their mysterious message cannot be dismissed. They wait silently, almost mockingly - a monument to our ignorance of the past, in the age of supercomputers.

The definition of myth given in Webster's Dictionary is as follows:

myth/'mith'/n [Gk mythos] 1: a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon. 2: parable, allegory. 3a: a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence. 3b: an ill-founded belief held uncritically especially by an interested group. 4: the whole body of myths.

This pretty much expresses the view of western man in the twentieth century, although one might be surprised by the phrase "of ostensibly historical events." Originally the Greek word mythosreferred to real events involving 'super-heroes' whose exploits occurred in a proto-historic time. The best known sources of these myths in western cultures today are found in the works of Homer and Hesiod. Although they are thought to have lived sometime between 1000 and 800 BC the myths that they recorded originated much earlier.

For example, we maintain that the story of Phaethon driving the chariot of the Sun too close to the Earth and scorching it, was a description of one of two close encounters in which the Earth was nearly destroyed by proto-Venus some 6,000 years ago. The planetary chaos triggered by the birth of proto-Venus out of Jupiter lasted over 3,000 years, ending around 500 BC. A few generations after this, when all those souls who had witnessed the approach of proto-Venus and priori-Mars had passed, the myths became as mysterious to the people as they are today. Thus began the Classical period, in which the ancient cultures began to revise and reject the myths, and in some cases, such as the ancient Hindu astronomy text, the Surya Siddhanta, changing the positions of the ‘stars’ and ‘planets’, because they ‘obviously’ made no sense, and were considered an embarrassment. The rationalists fomented the erosion by which the ancient gods and myths were emptied of their true meanings. This ignorance of the meaning and value of myth has become consolidated in the modern era and particularly in the twentieth century in the form of the uniformitarian paradigm underlying earth and planetary science.

A similar process resulted in the deterioration of the 'pure' myths in India, where the original 'knowledge' of the Rig Veda was gradually anthropomorphisized through the classics (Mah~bh~rata, Brahamana and Ramayana) and the Puranas, and lost altogether in the Upanishads. The famous mythologist, Joseph Campbell, found the latter the most beautiful, exactly because they turn away from the sky gods, which were the origin of the myths, and begin to look inward, the only place, according to the eastern religions, that the truth can be found. His statement confirms this:

"It is remarkable, but by about 500 B.C. such a turn of the mind deliberately from the heavens to the search, not only for an inward truth, but also and at the same time for specifically human values in the social-political sphere, had become general across the whole field of the great Eurasian high civilizations."

The stories in the Hindu Puranas and Upanishads often distort the true relationships of deities set forth in the more ancient Vedas, which were passed down for thousands of years by means of chanted hymns. Fortunately, the Hindus have preserved the Vedas, which although less popular, are still held in great reverence because of the purity of the 'knowledge' they are believed to contain.

There has been an unfortunate resurgence of interest in eastern religions in recent decades within segments of western society. Much of this comes under the umbrella title 'New Age'. It is, on one hand, a reaction against the increasingly secular, technological, computerized nature of the world in which we are 'becoming,' providing what appears to be a quicker source of spirituality. On the other hand these religions are ‘soft and fuzzy’ - less demanding than Christianity.

There are serious questions as to the teachings of the present day guru’s and their application in the western world. The hackneyed eastern philosophy, that claims true 'spiritual awareness,' can only come from within, is not only impossible for the westener to comprehend, but it is also a gross distortion of meditation as advocated in the ancient texts. The Satapatha Brahmana (xi. 5, 6, 1) says the following about meditation:

Study and teachings are loved. He (who practices them) becomes composed in mind. Independent of others he daily attains his objects, sleeps pleasantly, becomes his own best physician. Control of his senses, concentration of mind, increase of intelligence, renown, capacity to educate mankind [are the results of study] ... Of all the modes of exertion which are known between heaven and Earth, study of the Veda occupies the highest rank...The Veda is the eternal eye of the fathers, of gods, and of men; it is beyond human power and comprehension...As fire, when it has acquired force, burns up even green trees, so he who knows the Veda consumes the taint of his soul which has been contracted from works. He who comprehends the essential meaning of the Veda, in whatever order of life he may be, is prepared for absorption into Brahm~, even while abiding in this lower world.

Thus, the most ancient books, the Vedas, are to be studied diligently. This does not sound like something that will automatically come 'from within.' In order to discover the knowledge of the cosmic encounters that is inherent in the ancient myths, they must be studied with an open mind:

...the contents of these are not to be questioned by reason, since from them [a knowledge of] duty has shone forth. The Brahmin who, relying on rationalistic treatises, shall contemn these two primary sources of knowledge must be excommunicated by the virtuous as a sceptic and reviler of the Vedas....He and he only is acquainted with duty, who investigates the injunctions of the rishis...by reasonings which do not contradict the Veda.

In other words, read the Vedas, not with skepticism or in an attempt to ridicule them using modern science, but in the spirit of truly trying to understand the hidden knowledge they conceal. This is exactly purpose of Firmament, and indeed the hymns have yielded an amazing story of planetary interactions, which lasted almost three thousand years.

Encouragingly, there are a few modern thinkers who dared to profess that the ancient myths do indeed contain information on the origin of the world and the meaning of life. The most famous of these was Mircea Eliade. His definition of myth is much more in tune with injunctions of the Vedic priests (rishis):

Myth narrates a sacred history; it relates an event that took place in primordial time, the fabled time of the 'beginnings'. In other words, myth tells how, through the deeds of Supernatural Beings, a reality came into existence, be it the whole of reality, the Cosmos, or only a fragment of reality...Myth tells only of that which really happened, which manifested itself completely...In short, myths describe the various and sometimes dramatic breakthroughs of the sacred (or the "supernatural") into the World. It is this sudden breakthrough of the sacred that really establishes the World and makes it what it is today.

...myths are a constant reminder that grandiose events took place on Earth and that this 'glorious past' is partly recoverable.

The Three Predominant Mythological Themes

There are three major themes that permeate the sacred myths of most cultures. These are (1) the myth of destructions, (2) the cosmogonic myth - stories of the origin or rebirth of the ‘world,’ and (3) the myth of the eternal return. In Firmament we reveal that these derive from hundreds of close encounters with proto-Venus and priori-Mars, which were experienced by one hundred generations of humans in all cultures. If only a few isolated events had occurred, there would be a much greater diversity of myths, but the repetition of hundreds of events before they eyes of a hundred generations ingrained them to such a great degree that we are able to find these basic themes in the myths of every culture, and the sum of their descriptions give such a detailed accounting that would never be possible using the present, narrowly defined ‘scientific method,’ which consists of running mathematical models on supercomputers.

There are two levels of destructions, the great destructions and the lesser destructions. The former describe an almost total annihilation rather than an absolute one. Typically they involve thunderbolts, earthquakes, scorching fire, rising and falling mountain ranges and tidal waves which sweep across entire continents. All but a few people of the lucky tribes survived, and most animals were also killed. The ancient Egyptians and Aztecs claimed that such great annihilations have occurred four times in the 'memory' of their culture. The destructions are thought to be the result of the world 'growing old and wearing out.' Although most people are killed in these annihilations, a few survived and carry the memory to the next generation. The destruction is followed by a 'new world', which in many cultures is described as a 'new sky', implying a reorientation of the Earth relative to the stars.

We have ascertained that the last two near-total destructions were due to two very close passes of the flaming proto-Venus to the Earth 6,000 years ago, within a few years after its creation as a result of a great impact on Jupiter. We speculate that the other two events punctuated the Lower Dryas, around 10,000 BC, and were caused by the capture of the Moon into its current orbit around the Earth. Velikovsky cites several sources that claim knowledge of a time ‘before the Moon.’

The lesser destructions were periodic ones in which deities died or slept, only to be revived as the result of a subsequent event. Although accompanied by tidal flooding on Earth, these destructions generally did not cause massive loss of human and animal life. They were referred to as rash (commotions) in the Christian Bible, and were the reasons for the construction of the pyramids, tells and ziggurats in the Levant. These myths describe the periodic collapse of enormous lava tube features, considered deities, which rose to great heights on the surface of priori-Mars as it orbited the Earth. Each time priori-Mars escaped from orbit around the Earth they collapsed because of the removal of its tidal force, which drew the magma to the surface and supported them while in orbit. In Hindu myth, this was the end of a ‘day of Brahma,’ the primary deity. The night of Brahma, the period during which priori-Mars orbited the Sun, was equal in duration to his day. His lifetime was one hundred days (day+night). The duration of each day is given as a manvantura, which is fourteen years, counter to the inflated lifetimes cited in later Hindu books.

Each destruction was followed, fourteen years later, by the return of priori-Mars, and then the creation took place, meaning that the same lava tube figures rose up and the same volcanos began to erupt. The Hindu deity Siva was responsible for the destruction, Brahma for the creation, and Vishnu, the sustainer, was responsible for the return of priori-Mars. This cycle, repeated one hundred times, was the origin of the three dominant themes of all ancient myth and shows that the Hindu triad are all associated with priori-Mars. It was also the source of the notion of a ‘home god’ (priori-Mars), which occasionally had to rush off to do combat with (or make love to, depending on the myth) an interloping (proto-Venus) deity.

The contents of the 'sacred' myths of the world, when interpreted properly, tell more about how religion developed among ancient peoples than it does about a 'true' god. In fact, the word religion comes from the Latin stems re and ligio, and therefore translates literally as 'linking back.' There is no direct reference to 'god,' which in Sanskrit is sura(glowing). Using this interpretation, our book Firmament should be classified under religion because our purpose is to rediscover, from the ancient myths, the cosmic events which occurred in proto-historical times.

The only logical relationship between these cosmic deities, which were planets, and Christian God Jehovah, lies in the belief that these events were set in motion by Him.

(Gen 1:6 KJV) And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

(Gen 1:7 KJV) And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

(Gen 1:8 KJV) And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

The firmament was priori-Mars, which was covered with large amounts of water at the beginning of the Vedic period. The solid surface of priori-Mars which extended above its waters toward the Earth, separated the waters on Earth from those on priori-Mars. The anger of Jehovah with the worship of 'pagan' idols such as Baal (proto-Venus) and Asteroth (priori-Mars) in the 'high places,' which were the very planets that he set in motion, indicated His displeasure with the Jews’ failure to recognize the power of His hand.

In Sanskrit, firmament is bhamandala, literally, the circle or wheel of the asterisms. The tidal force of the Earth induced the subsurface melting of rock on priori-Mars, which was then drawn to the surface causing many volcanic eruptions. Viewed from the Earth, these appeared as bright stars, indeed, they were called the circum-polar stars, because they revolved once a day around the north pole of priori-Mars, which remained pointed toward the Earth. Its diameter was over twenty times and its angular area over four hundred times that of the Moon. Thus there was sufficient area for many glowing spots. These were imagined to form shapes, just as we define constellations of true stars. The shapes were called asterisms and ancient Hindu astronomy book Surya Siddhanta accurately describe their positions in the northern hemisphere of Mars and even gives instructions on how to build a model depicting it. Believing that the asterisms refer to the constellations of actual stars, modern investigators have been frustrated because the positions do not match the stars we see today.

Sunspots II

Our last newsletter explained our theory of the origin of sunspots, i.e. that they are caused by the impact of large bodies on the surface of the Sun. In spite of the new measurements cited in that article, indicating that the gas in their umbras is rushing into the Sun at high velocities, no scientist has even suggested that this is the cause. It is unclear why this obvious solution has not been considered.

I believe the failure to espouse this idea arises because it requires a large number of asteroids, perhaps an average of ten per day to impact the Sun, and there is no known source, in the current paradigm, for such an inexhaustible supply, particularly in light of the fact that they must be massive enough to penetrate the solar atmosphere and impact the surface.

The reason for this article, ‘on the heels’ of the one in the last newsletter, is that more pertinent data has just been released, this time from the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) spacecraft. The article posted on www.astonomy.com is entitled "Tadpoles Swim toward the Sun, Dark wiggling blobs, the handiwork of giant solar explosions, race toward the sun's surface." by Kelly Kizer Whitt.

The article states that "Other instruments have previously spotted the curious, dark globules, which were first noticed in January 1999. After the initial discovery, researchers scrutinized old data, finding about 40 other events dating back to 1991. But TRACE's detection of the tadpoles marks the first ever for a high-resolution satellite." "This is the best view yet of these enigmatic shapes," said Edward Deluca of the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and co-author of an upcoming Astrophysical Journal report on TRACE's observations. TRACE's close-up ultraviolet view of the tadpoles occurred on April 21, 2002, during a coronal mass ejection (CME). Tadpoles have been seen in association with about 20 percent of CMEs."

"The tadpole feature has perplexed astronomers, because such gigantic explosions should be propelling material outward, yet these black blobs are (in their words) retreating toward the sun at up to 400 miles a second. But the TRACE data, which observes in ultraviolet light at 1.5 million and 10 million degrees Celsius, have helped scientists unravel the mystery behind these formerly enigmatic features."

DeLuca’s explanation of the phenomenon is as follows. "The tadpoles appear to be superheated magnetic regions devoid of plasma, which is why TRACE's ultraviolet eyes detect them as black. When broken magnetic field lines make new connections to generate the outward-propelled CMEs, lines still attached to the sun's surface also reconnect and snap downward, pulling the tadpole-like pockets down with them. Magnetic pressure momentarily keeps the hot plasma out of these spaces, preserving their dark appearance. As the tadpoles swim downward, the empty space eventually fills with hot plasma from below until the features disappear." The short film clip can be viewed by clicking here.

The Velikovsky/Angiras Explanation

The film starts with a quiescent area of the sun’s surface. Because the background is dark it is not possible to see the massive body which impacts the Sun, but the rebounding hot gases from the impact site are clearly visible. These quickly expand to form a flare which brightens the scene. This makes it possible to see the less massive pieces which broke off from the primary asteroid and were retarded in the solar atmosphere. The more massive of these bodies may also strike the suface, producing smaller sunspots around the primary one as shown in the figure at the right. It appears in the film clip that the same hot plasma produced by the impact of the primary, which makes the secondaries visible, may increase the chances that they become vaporized.

The heat used to vaporize the less massive secondaries causes the cooler, dark areas, named ‘tadpoles,’ by the scientists, who voice amazement that they are descending instead of ascending. By the scientists own estimates, they are falling toward the Sun at approximately 400 miles per second, only slightly slower than the more massive primary, which cannot be seen.

In our scenario, millions of asteroids have been ejected from Jupiter since the great impact (>1041 ergs) on its surface, 6,000 years ago. These were emitted as great clouds of hot gas which shot in all directions from the impact crater as the great Jupiter rotated, initially with a period of one hour. Once out of the strong radiation field of Jupiter, they condensed into unique solid bodies. Those emitted in the forward direction were given orbital velocities that injected them into the main asteroid belt. Those emitted toward the Sun or in the backward direction ended up in highly eccentric orbits, which have gradually decayed over the last six millennia and impacted the sun. Their orbits were obviously influenced by relativistic effects during this period.

The approximately eleven-year sunspot cycle corresponds relatively closely to the orbital period of Jupiter because two systematic changes in the direction of emission occur during each orbit. The first is that the out-of-orbital-plane velocity component varies from -15 degrees to - 21 degrees during one period, since the GRS is at -18 degrees and the tilt of Jupiter’s spin axis is about 3 degrees. Secondly, the eccentricity of Jupiters orbit (.048) also modulates the orbital parameters of the emitted bodies with the same period.

As a result of the continuous emission of the hot gas, thus angular momentum, from which these bodies form, Jupiter’s rotational period has increased from approximately one hour to some ten hours during the last six millennia. The Earth has benefitted from the impact of these bodies on the Sun via the solar flares that are produced from each impact. Their heating effect on the Earth is just beginning to be recognized. This is merely one of many advantages that have accrued to the Earth from that great impact on Jupiter.

Further evidence for the origin of these bodies in the Jovian system comes from the scientists estimate of the velocity of the tadpoles, 400 miles per second. This velocity coincides closely to that which a body originating at Jupiter will attain in falling into the Sun.

It is ironic that the scientists have given animal names to these mysterious events. This was, of course, exactly what our forebears did when they named the heavenly bodies in ancient myth - the same myths on which the V/A theory is based. This is exactly the property of the myths, which cause scientists to reject them as descriptions of events which took place in the heavens.

Chaos around Jupiter

In a recent paper which was published in Nature, scientists are grappling with the sheer number of the Jovian satellites and more specifically with the large fraction that are in high inclination, high eccentricity, and, worse yet, retrograde orbits. In "Chaos-assisted capture of irregular moons", Sergey Astakhov et al begin as follows:

It has been thought that the capture of irregular moons——with non-circular orbits——by giant planets occurs by a process in which they are first temporarily trapped by gravity inside the planet's Hill sphere (the region where planetary gravity dominates over solar tides). The capture of the moons is then made permanent by dissipative energy loss (for example, gas drag) or planetary growth. But the observed distributions of orbital inclinations, which now include numerous newly discovered moons, cannot be explained using current models.

They then introduce a new, better, ‘chaos theory model’, which focuses on a thin spatial region where orbits are chaotic. ... Dissipation then switches these long-lived chaotic orbits into nearby (non-chaotic) orbits from which escape is impossible. The chaotic layer therefore dictates the final inclinations of the captured moons.

Saturn has more prograde irregular moons than Jupiter, which we can explain as a result of the chaotic prograde progenitors being more efficiently swept away from Jupiter by its Galilean moons.

The V/A Explanation

This is but another of a myriad of ‘ad hoc’ changes required to fit the data into the current uniformitarian paradigm. We maintain that truedeterministic chaos, not the weak version in chaos theory, was the source of the many small bodies orbiting Jupiter. This took the form of a highly energetic impact (>10 42 ergs) which occurred only 6,000 years ago. Some of the bodies were blasted into their current orbits at that time, and others are the result of material condensed from the Jovian jet which has been shooting out of Jupiter at an ever decreasing velocity since that impact, and is now manifested as the Great Red Spot. This was the same source which created the entire main asteroid belt and the Galilean moons. The dominance of high inclination and retrograde orbits may, as suggested in the article, be due to the more efficient sweeping up of prograde satellites by the Galilean moons, but their origin was from Jupiter itself. Saturn also has a large number of irregular satellites, injected into orbit, as were its ring particles, by earlier, less energetic, impacts.

Astronomy textbooks preach that the great planets protect the inner solar system by absorbing the impacts of threatening asteroids, possibly from outside the solar system, but when presented with the evidence of such impacts, in the form of spots, satellites, rings, and temperature excesses, planetary scientists fail to recognize them for what they are.

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Contact: email to angiras@firmament-chaos.com

  © John Ackerman