NOTE FROM JEFF: Immanuel Velikovsky was to me not only one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century but of all of modern history. A psychoanalyst by profession, who studied under Freud, he began to notice recurrent patterns in diverse cosmologies and mythologies; his quest for understanding the common themes led him into archaeology, geology and astronomy, and parallels the work of Carl Jung in that Velikovsky examined archetypes of catastrophe. Psychoanalysis, however, applied at the level of all of humanity, led him to some startling revelations. A true iconoclast, Velikovsky challenged the aeonically-entrenched dogmas of Newton and Darwin, bequeathing to us an immense and prophetic legacy based on true interdisciplinary inquiry whose message is more important now than ever.
The recent excavation hi Jericho has confirmed the fact that the great walls of the city fell a few decades after the end of the Middle Kingdom. But at the time in which conventional chronology places the arrival of the Israelites under Joshua in Canaan, there was no city at Jericho and no walls to fall. According to Ages in Chaos, how- ever, the Israelites came to the walls of Jericho one generation after the end of the Middle Kingdom, and the enigmatic hiatus of six hundred years proves not to be real.
Soon you will be able to judge as right or wrong my unqualified statement that carbon analysis of the wooden sarcophagi of Seti, Ramses II, Merneptah, and Ramses III, or of the furniture and sacred boats of Thutmose III or Tutankhamen, would yield dates five to seven hundred years younger than those assigned by the adherents of the conventional chronology. Then you will know for certain whether the conventional or the revised history of the lands of the ancient East for twelve hundred years is authentic and true.(4)
In recent years, Russian archaeologists have discovered abundant remains of human culture in northeastern Siberia, in the frozen taiga where frozen bodies of mammoths are found and where nobody suspected human abodes in ages past. There was human population in northeastern Siberia in paleolithic time, in neolithic time, and in the bronze time, too.
Paleolithic artifacts were found in Yakutia; rock drawings very similar to the paleolithic drawings on the rocks and in the caverns of France and Spain were found in the valley of the Lena, near the village Shishkino.
"In the neolithic age, about two to three millennia before our era, neolithic races, descendants of earlier inhabitants of Yakutia...spread to the very coast of the Arctic Ocean in the north and the Koluma in the east." (5)
In Worlds in Collision, p. 329, I expressed my belief that human settlements would be discovered "farther to the north on the Kolyma or Lena rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean."
Then human artifacts were found under the mass of torn animals and splintered trees. These artifacts do not differ much from those used only recently by the Indians of the Tanana Valley in Alaska. Mammoths, mastodons, superbison, lions, horses were found among other animals.
Since then familiar finds of bones and artifacts have been unearthed all over Asia. They bring to mind the finds made long ago in the 'Ivory Islands' of the Arctic Ocean above Siberia. "These islands were full of mammoth bones, and the quantity of tusks and teeth of elephants and rhinoceroses, found in the newly discovered islands of New Siberia, were perfectly amazing...The soil of these isolated islands is absolutely packed full of the bones of elephants and rhinoceroses in astonishing numbers." (8) These bones are mixed with trunks of trees heaped hundreds of feet high, broken and charred.
Hippopotami, animals that live in the marshes of Africa, left their bones in abundance in England and France, and these bones are not yet fossilized. J. Prestwich, professor of geology at Oxford (1874-1888), was early struck by the finds in the fissures of the rocks in England, central and southern France, Gibralter and the islands of the Mediterranean. (9) Bones of animals, living and extinct, in great masses choke these fissures and caves. Some fissures are on top of high hills, and they, too, are filled with bones. The bones are broken into innumerable fragments and are still fresh; artifacts of man are found among them. Prestwich understood that some catastrophe of continental dimensions, with water playing the main role, swept over Europe in the time when the Neolithic Age started there and when the Bronze Age may have been well on its way in the centers of ancient civilization.
I expect that, should the research be extended to vases dating from the end of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt (circa 3500 years ago), other periods of "unnatural" polarity would be determined in Egypt and elsewhere. Professor R. Daly of Harvard University found that 3500 years ago all over the world the level of the oceans suddenly dropped. He thought it might be due to a sudden sinking of the crust. And in an authoritative work, Marine Geology (1950), Professor P. H. Kuenen of the Netherlands finds that "this recent shift is now well established" on observations in many places of the world, and he, too, assigns this catastrophic drop of the ocean level to 3500 years ago.
Actually, in January 1950, an explosion observed on
All this is in complete harmony with the conclusions at which I arrived in Worlds in Collision concerning the time (a few thousand years ago) of the birth of comets of short periods and their origin (by eruption from the planets, especially the major planets). There I also explained the forces or conditions that caused the major planets to eject the cometary masses. "The [near] collision between major planets brought about the birth of comets" (p. 355).
Now my claim, based on historical material, that the composition of the solar system was changed in historical times, is given the support of observation and calculation.
In the fall of 1947, at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Sir Edward Appleton reported that radio noises coming from the sun coincide with solar flares.
In 1948 and 1949 Donald Menzel produced motion pictures of prominences or explosions of matter on the sun; they were made at the Solar Observatory in Climax, Colorado. The exploded matter rose at a very great speed to immense heights, all the time gaining in velocity, and then descended to the sun, not on a curved path as a missile would do, but by retreating on the path it had covered, comparable to a missile reversing its direction and returning to its point of departure. Moreover, the velocity of its descent was without the acceleration expected in a fall, and this too was in violation of gravitational mechanics.
At Mount Wilson Observatory Harold Babcock determined (1947) that some of the fixed stars possess general magnetic fields of great intensity. (One of the stars was found to reverse its polarity every nine days from plus 7000 gauss to minus 6300 gauss. This may be understood as a sign that the star is rotating, turning another pole to us every nine days. The star shows no Zeeman effect in between, that is, when the observer is in the plane of the equatorial belt of the star, in the same position in which we are permanently in relation to our sun. (24)
The press reported: "Evidence of a strange and unexplained correlation between the positions of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars in their orbits around the sun and the presence of violent electrical disturbances in the earth's upper atmosphere . . . seems to indicate [that] the planets and the sun share in a cosmic electrical-balance mechanism that extends a billion miles from the center of our solar system. Such an electrical balance is not accounted for in current astrophysical theories." (25)
By 1953 the strange fact was established that the solar tides in the earth's atmosphere are sixteen times more powerful than the lunar tides in the atmosphere, a fact in complete conflict with the tidal theory, according to which the action of the moon on oceanic tides is several times more powerful than that of the sun. The fifty-fold discrepancy is still without an acceptable explanation.
Exactly because of the accuracy achieved without reckoning with forces that appear to exist, celestial mechanics, a solid work of great mathematical minds for almost three centuries, may seem even more in need of such revision. All this has little direct bearing on the story of Worlds in Collision, which claims only the effect to be expected if a magnetic body like the earth should come very close to another magnetic body. It was my skepticism concerning the infallibility of the celestial mechanics, which assumes the celestial bodies to be electrically and magnetically sterile, that was the real cause of the emotional outburst.
In Jupiter and its moons we have a system not unlike the solar family. The planet is cold, yet its gases are in motion. It appears probable to me that it sends out radio noises as do the sun and the stars. I suggest that this be investigated.(26)
There will be more concessions as time goes on. Our sun and its planets are not outside a galaxy; they are not unique or an exception in the plan of the universe.
In growing embarrassment I said "Of course, the man who did the pioneer work in electromagnetism."
"And what is electromagnetism?" asked the gentleman.
"What is your name?" I inquired.
He answered: "Isaac Newton."
I awoke. On my knees was an open volume: Newton's Principia. This story is told to illustrate what I have said before.
"If you have had your attention directed to the novel-
(1) Schaeffer's book was published in 1948; my attention was drawn to it in 1951 by Dr. W. Federn. My first publication claiming natural catastrophes that overwhelmed the ancient East, the greatest of which caused the downfall of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, was printed in January 1946 as Theses for the Reconstuction of Ancient History, a monograph published in the series Scripta Academia Hiersolymitana. It embodies the entire plan of Ages in Chaos in the form of a summary. As to the causes of the catastrophes, Schaeffer wrote: "Nous ne distinguons encore qu'imperfaitment les causes initiales et replies de certaines de ces grandes crises."
(2) Quoted from my Theses for the Reconstruction of Ancient History, published as an advance summary of Ages in Chaos, and referred to in the foregoing footnote.
(4) This lecture was delivered on October 14, 1953. In November of the same year the first announcement of the decipherment of Minoan script (Linear B) was made by Michael Ventris, and English architect. Contrary to what had been thought concerning this script, it was found to be in the Greek language. This fact startled the scholarly world, as the texts had been erroneously referred to a time before the twelfth century. It had been generally thought that in the days of Homer, about 700 B.C., the Greeks were illiterate, and that at about that time the first attempts at writing were made in the adopted Phoenician (Hebrew) letters. The decipherment of the Minoan script forced the conclusion that a syllabic alphabet was used in Greece six hundred years before Homer. But amazement still persists, for no literary documents have come down to us from between 1300 B.C. and 700 B.C. A literate people cannot forfeit completely a well-developed literacy. As I indicated in Ages in Chaos and in my lecture, this period of a Dark Age of six centuries between the Mycenaean and Ionian ages results from an erroneous timetable of ancient history.
(5) A.P. Okladnikov, "Excavations in the North" in Po Sledam Dravnikh Kultur (Vestiges of Ancient Cultures), Gosudarstvenoye Isdatelstvo Kulturno-Prosvetitelnoy Literatury, 1951.
(7) K. McGowan, Early Man in the New World (1950), p. 151; cf. F. Rainey, "Archaeological Investigation in Central Alaska", American Antiquity, V, (1940), 305; cf. H.C. Hibben, "Evidence of Early Man in Alaska", American Antiquity, VIII (1943), 256.
(8) D.G. Whitley, Journal of the Philosphical Society of Great Britain, XII (1910), 35.
(9) J. Prestwich, Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, XLVIII; Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (1893), 1894; also see his On Certain Phenomena...(London, 1895)
(10) "Paleomagnetism," Science News, July 1949.
(11) P.L. Mercanton, in Archives des sciences physiques et naturelles (Quatrieme Periode, Tome XXIII, Geneva 1907)
(12) H. Pettersson, "Exploring the Ocean Flooor", Scientific American, August 1950
(13) R. F. Flint, Glacial Geology and the Pleistocene Epoch (1947), p. 382.
(15) Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, LXIII (1952).
(18) P. V. Smith, Science, October 24, 1952. 18 N. T. Bobrovnikoff (director of Perkins Observatory), "Comets," in Astrophysics, ed. J. A. Hynek (1951), p. 342.
(19) N.T. Bobrovnikoff (director of Perkins Observatory), "Comets", in Astrophysics, ed. J.A. Hynek (1951), p. 342
(20) S. K. Vsehsviatsky, "New Works Concerning the Origin of Comets and the Theory of Eruption," Publications of Kiew Obtervatory, No. 5 (1953), pp. 3-57.
(23) H. Spencer Jones, General Astronomy, pp. 273-74.
(24) The divergent results obtained in the determination of the solar magnetic field may be due to the varying position of the earth in relation to the solar magnetic equator, which does not coincide with the solar equator or with the ecliptic. When the earth is in the plane of the solar magnetic equator, no Zeeman effect is observable and the erroneous conclusion is made that the sun possesses no general magnetic field.
(25) New York Times, April 15, 1951.
(26) On April 5, 1955, at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, Dr. Bernard F. Burke and Dr. Kenneth L. Franklin, of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution, announced the unexpected discovery of strong radio noises arising from Jupiter. They found it difficult to explain the phenomenon, since no radio noises were expected from planets. The above sentence in the the lecture to the Forum, predicting noises from Jupiter, was in the typescript of the draft of the lecture as deposited in January 1954 with Professor V. Bargmann of Princeton University, and also as edited by the staff of Doubleday & Company in the summer of 1954, eight months before the discovery.
(27) Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (New York, 1925), Chapter III.