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Open letter to science editors


HORUS VOL I. Issue 3


to the Editor:


I was delighted at the emphasis on Venus in two of the articles in the Summer 1985 issue of HORUS. As an aerospace engineer with a long-standing interest in interpretations of ancient records in terms of the ancient astronaut hypothesis, I hope you may find the following comments of interest.

With reference to the contribution "The Ching Hsing" by Charles Raspil, it may be that the "astronomical absurdities" referred to involving Venus rising in the West and setting in the East can be viewed in a rather different light if we are prepared to consider the possibility that an object associated with Venus in fact a spacecraft from Venus - was crossing the sky from West to East. Any spacecraft in close Earth orbit will rotate around the Earth in a shorter period than that of the Earth's rotation, and can be placed in orbit in any direction. The West-East direction is the preferred direction, as it reduces the launch requirements for vehicles launched from the Earth and reduces the landing requirements for vehicles approaching the Earth, due to the reduced differential in velocity resulting from the Earth's spin about its axis (termed the sling-shot effect, for launches). One may go further and suppose that the reference to the country changing its government is a recollection of the change in authority resulting from the arrival of the space vehicle.

I do not wish to imply that the astronautical (as opposed to astronomical) interpretation can be made to explain all the evidence - I am no authority on dragons for example - but perhaps it may give us some new insight into at least some of it. I now move on to the article "Venus: A Battle Star?" by C. E. Bowen.

Venus figures as the most prominent planet in Mexican and Central American mythology. The importance of the relative positions of Venus and Earth in their affairs may indicate an earlier preoccupation with the relation between these relative positions and the timing of space flights between Venus and Earth. For example, the synodic period of Venus is the time interval between space flights from either planet to the other (for a given level of technology), and the period following inferior conjunction is the period during which spacecraft would arrive at Earth following flights from Venus. The association of this period with war may have been linked with the arrival of later flights from Venus during the volcanic upheavals that marked the deterioration of the atmosphere of that planet, and conflict between the earlier settlers and the later arrivals. The Aztec god Xolotl (like Quetzalcoatl, associated with Venus) was a god of the malformed and the diseased - symbolizing, perhaps, the later arrivals.

Again, I do not seek to imply that the astronautical interpretations are more appropriate than the astronomical ones, but they do seem to help explain some aspects of these ancient writings and would seem to deserve consideration along with alternatives. Interpreting the human past calls for the critical application of diverse talents, and I find it stimulating to consider all contributions in this area. I am delighted with HORUS, and wish you continuing success with it.

Stuart W Greenwood
College Park, Md.
[Mr. Greenwood has published articles on these subjects in "Ancient Skies" and Pursuit".]

Dear Mr. Greenwood,

We enjoyed your letter regarding the astronautical implications which one may read in mythology and agree that it is an intriguing subject. That's the rub, of course, for someone interested in the root images of the race-dreams. As you noted, the astronautical hypothesis can't be expected to explain all such themes in human memory. So how does one discriminate? In the attempt to reconstruct the collective memory, our perspective suggests that natural phenomena described and symbolized in the collective record are best read as they stand- i.e., that one should trust the testimony of the ancients regarding their perception and understanding of the natural world.

This does not argue against the existence of extraterrestrials nor even their presence on the ancient Earth and it is acknowledged that many vignettes of history can be read as "contact" evidence. Some have suggested that even the great myths about the battle of the planetary gods represent a distorted story of an ancient space war.

But the combined testimony of ancient people seems far more committed to natural upheavals (in their perception, "supernatural") in the heavens as the cause of this chaos - world floods, sunken continents, shifts in the celestial poles, and many other common themes of disaster -or catastrophe- that are preserved from the past. The Chinese understanding of the "Ching Hsing" was that it was a natural phenomenon and the beliefs of Mesoamerica regarding Venus were attributed to the behavior of the planet itself. HORUS is calling attention to ancient humanity's common testimony about natural celestial chaos - and this lies so engrained in collective human memory - in myth and legend, in symbols, in rituals- that some believe the tendency is instinctive. Yet conventional evolutionists describe an environment in which cosmic upheavals are lacking. If there were catastrophes in the solar system within human history the physical effects themselves must have left their record in the environment as well as in human testimony. The implication that cosmic cataclysms were the source of the human obsession with the idea can be tested by existing scientific means.

As you have seen, HORUS follows the perspective that the key to understanding the source of much fundamental mythology and cosmology may lie here. The concept that natural cataclysms are the source of the corresponding mythical tales has so much explanatory power - especially for the behavioral scientist- that something almost certainly must be wrong with the conventional view that ancient people merely were weaving fantasies about their experience with Nature.

Thanks for the compliment and the good wishes. We hope you enjoy this issue as well.

the Editor


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