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Open letter to science editors


KRONOS Vol. I, Issue 2

Tektites and China's Dragon


Slightly over a year ago, Dr. Carter Sutherland, professor of medieval English at Georgia State University, Atlanta, wrote an article titled "China's Dragon," which appeared in the winter 1973-74 issue of Pensee."' In that article, Dr. Sutherland presented some evidence in support of Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky's identification of the dragon as the proto-planet Venus when, around 1500 B.C., this heavenly body plagued the Earth in the form of a newly-born comet.

In presenting his evidence, Sutherland relied exclusively on the dragon form as it evolved through the years in Chinese art. He was able to conclude, among other things, that the dragon in Chinese art did not go back further than 1500 B.C. and that it probably originated then. The article was well researched but it could have been strengthened by the inclusion of data concerning comets, other than the proto-planet Venus, which have been known to take the shape of a dragon.

One such comet is described in Geoffrey of Monmouth's The History of the Kings of Britain:

"There appeared a star of marvelous bigness and brightness, stretching forth one ray whereon was a ball of fire, spreading forth in the likeness of a dragon, and from the mouth of the dragon issued forth two rays, whereof the one was of such length as that it did seem to reach beyond the regions of Gaul, and the other, verging toward the Irish sea, did end in seven lesser rays."(2)

This took place in the time of Aurelius Ambrosius, a British king of Roman descent, who, according to Bede, (3) survived an extraordinary fire which raged from "the eastern sea to the western" and "covered almost the whole surface of the stricken island." The year was, supposedly, 449 A.D.

Other comets which took on the appearance of a dragon are described in Comyns Beaumont's The Mysterious Comet. (4) Some, assuming the shape of a fiery serpent, breathing fire, were seen lashing their tail wildly as if in agony which brings to mind the celestial antics of the proto-planet Venus as described by Velikovsky in Worlds in Collision.(5)

Nor were serpent-like comets as rare as astronomers would have us believe. Winecke's Comet and Donati's Comet, both of which appeared in 1858, were said to look like fiery serpents. Swift's Comet and Holmes' Comet, both of which appeared in 1892, were also said to look like flying serpents. Even Biela's famous comet (the one that eventually split in two and later disintegrated altogether) was described as looking like a great red serpent.(6)

The faint luminosities of our times, like Ikeya-Seki and the more recent Kohoutek, are worn out bodies that could never have created the world-wide fears and panics that were so common at the appearance of comets in medieval and older times. As Velikovsky pointed out in Earth in Upheaval,(7) the number of comets visible to the unaided eye in recent centuries shows a definite downward curve. Judging by the descriptions of more olden times, their magnificence is also petering out.

One point raised in Sutherland's article with which this author does not agree is that the Chinese dragon is essentially looked upon as a benign being. True today the dragon is so looked upon; but not so at the time of its origin. It is precisely in this that Sutherland missed one of his cues; for the mythology of the Chinese dragon shows him in close association with the very celestial body which caused the cataclysms so well described by Velikovsky in Worlds in Collision.

Chinese Mythology

In Chinese lore, a horned monster, Kung Kung, lost a battle for power with one of the five ancient kings. Because of this, he flew into a rage and flung himself at Mount Pu Chou which, like the original Olympus of the Greeks, was a mythological analogy for the sky.(8) Then "the column of the sky was broken, the link with earth was cut. In the north-west the sky collapsed. Hence the sun, moon and stars slipped toward the north-west and the earth tilted to the south-east. Thereupon the waters spread and flowed to the south-east."(9)

In this we may possibly recognize the series of sequential calamities attributable to the proto-planet Venus when, through its near-collision with Earth, it tilted the globe's axis and made the constellations in the sky, Sun and Moon among them, appear to shift. It was also then that the Earth was slowed in its rotation, thus causing the seas and the oceans, flowing in a colossal tide, to inundate the land.

That this horned monster, Kung Kung, is to be categorized as a "dragon" should be evident from the mythographers' attempt to equate it with another member of this celestial breed, namely the Black Dragon that was slain by Nu-kua, the creator of humanity.(10) This attempt on the mythographers' part, however, failed because there is nothing in the two myths that connects them with each other and there is reason to believe that the legend of the Black Dragon refers to a much earlier cosmic catastrophe.

Here mention should also be made of K'au-fu, another hybrid monster who was the son of Kung Kung. K'au-fu once wanted to journey across the sky with the Sun. "He overtook it in the Valley of the Setting Sun, but he was exhausted. He was so thirsty that he drained the Yellow River and the River Wei. Still his thirst was not quenched, and he hastened toward the north to drink the Great Swamp, but he died of thirst on the way."(11)

Is this not nearly a replica of the Greek myth of Phaethon?* Phaethon also raced across the sky in the Sun's chariot and, because of the tremendous heat he created together with that generated by the slowing down of the Earth's rotation, he evaporated the waters of the rivers of Europe, Egypt and Asia. (12) That the myth of Phaethon describes a shifting of heavenly bodies, we know from Plato. (13) That Phaethon was a comet, or a "blazing star," we know from Cicero.(14) That this "blazing star" became a planet, we know from Hesiod.(15) And that this planet was the planet Venus, we know from both Nonnos and Solinus.(16)

[* See I. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision. "Phaethon"; "The Blazing Star" and "The Pageants of the Sky" The Ed.]

We have reason to believe that the catastrophe connected with Phaethon's fiery drive through the heavens most likely occurred 52 years after Earth's initial near-collision with Venus. By the time of this second visit, Venus may have lost most, but not all, of its cometary tail. Its seemingly changed appearance could thus be the reason why the Chinese did not recognize the agent of destruction as the former Kung Kung. But they were aware of the connection and that is why they made K'au-fu his son.

The Chinese list of dragons could be lengthened by the inclusion of Sinag-liou, the nine-headed dragon,** who was slain by Yu although the part Yu played in this slaying should not be understood literally. Yu was the engineer employed by the Emperor Shun to drain the land from the flood caused in the time of Yao (or Yahou). The battle against the flood waters continued for decades and, before it was over, the agent which had caused the flood returned in the form of Sinag-liou.(17) Other dragons in connection with the flood of Yao are mentioned in The Eclipse of the Moon, a poem of Lu T'ung.(18)

[** Compare this to the Hydra of Greek mythology and the multi-headed serpent of Japanese myth. The Ed.]

The Dragon's Pearl

In his article, Sutherland states that the "globe" which the Chinese dragon is invariably shown chasing is called a "pearl." The Chinese still refer to this fiery sphere as a "shou" or "chuh" and this word does mean "pearl." The real name of the fiery sphere, however, is Huoh Chuh(19)' which, in translation, comes out as "fire pearl."

What is curious in this context is that, according to Richard J. H. de Touche-Skadding, huoh chuh is also the name given to a tektite in the Chinese T'ang Annals.(20) Long before modern science became interested in tektites, the ancient Chinese knew that these "fire pearls" originated in space. Tektites were held in great esteem by emperors and priests of almost all ancient eastern countries. In India this stone was known by the names of Agni Mani and Saimantakmani; the Javanese called it Kumbalageni; the Tibetans named it Shambala. (21) These names all mean approximately the same thing "fire pearl."

Most of the ancients believed that these "fire pearls" were actually "tear-drops" from the Moon. In 1957, the Astrophysical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institute published a report suggesting that tektites originated from an extra-terrestrial source, probably the Moon.(22)

In 1961, Virgil E. Barnes argued against the origin of tektites from the Moon. (23) According to Barnes, tektites were formed from terrestrial rocks when giant meteorites and/or comets impacted on Earth. But it is curious that some tektites contain traces of metals which do not abound in the areas in which they were found. Barnes also calculated most of these catastrophic events as having occurred from 45 to 20 million years ago. It would be surprising to find out how the ancients knew about the celestial origin of these molten droplets had they not seen some of them fall to Earth with their own eyes.

Dean Chapman still argues in favor of a lunar origin for the tektites.(24) He has demonstrated that large impacts on the Moon, such as the one which he says formed the crater Tycho, could hurl molten matter far out into space. Earth continually sweeps up this debris which then falls in great showers. Potassium-argon and fission-track dating has pin-pointed the melting of these droplets as having occurred 700,000 years ago.(25) This is quite a reduction from Barnes' 20 million years.

George Baker, however, had earlier shown that the australites (Australian tektites) could not be more than 5,000 years old.(26) Such a recent impact, had it occurred on Earth, would have left a colossal scar that should still be evident, but nowhere in the region of Terra Australis, including Antarctica, is there a crater large enough to account for such an explosion.

According to Velikovsky, the rayed craters on the Moon were formed by the impact of asteroids and/ or interplanetary discharges(27) some of which took place as recently as 1500 B.C. when the Dragon-like Venus attacked both Earth and its satellite. Tycho, chosen by Chapman as one of the possible sources of tektites, is such a rayed crater.

If tektites do originate in lunar impacts, we can therefore understand why the ancients called them "tear-drops" of the Moon. If some of these lunar impacts were caused by the Venus-Dragon, we can also see the association between "fire pearls" and the larger "fire pearl" that Lung (the Chinese dragon) chased across the sky.


Since the above article was written, three objections have been raised against it. Below, the author offers a short retort to each of them.


The first objection concerns the use of the quotation from Geoffrey of Monmouth's The History of the Kings of Britain. It has been pointed out to the author that, according to Mary Stewart, "Geoffrey's name is, to serious historians, mud."*(28)

[* The reader may be interested to know that it was this journal's Editor-in-Chid who was responsible for the original objection. The Ed.]

I did not need Mary Stewart, of all people, to tell me that. No one takes Homer seriously as an historian either, but Velikovsky has shown that the most incredible parts of the Iliad are potentially verifiable where its more mundane data is not.(29)

It has long been known that Geoffrey of Monmouth drew his material from confused traditions. In my article, I used that material very much in the manner that Velikovsky used Jonathan Swift's. (30) Re Swift's remarkable passage concerning the correct number, size and motions of the Martian satellites, (31) described 151 years before their discovery by Asaph Hall, Velikovsky wrote: "It is an even chance that Swift invented the two satellites of Mars and thus by a rare accident came close to the truth. But it may also have been that Swift read about the trabants in some text not known to us or to his contemporaries." (32)

In fact, Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae was said to be based on an old Celtic tome which Walter, the Archdeacon of Oxford, was supposed to have acquired in Brittany. True, at this late date, we cannot verify this. What we can verify, however, is that portions of his material are also to be found in the works of other ancient authors, namely: the dynastic genealogies of the Old Welsh Manuscript Harl (#3859); the Historia Brittonum of Nennius; Gildas' De Excidio Britanniae and others.

Lewis Thorpe, in his introduction to the 1966 edition of the Penguin Classics version of The History of the Kings of Britain, was not so careless as Mary Stewart in dismissing Geoffrey of Monmouth out of hand. There he states: "lt remains true that much, if not most, of his material is unacceptable as history; and yet history keeps peeping through the fiction."(33) (Emphasis added).

In the light of Velikovskian studies, one is led to suspect that some of the traditions embodied in Geoffrey of Monmouth's work were based on ancient racial memories which go further back in time than the events he describes. This is all the more obvious from his various cross references to Apulius, Cicero, Juvenal, Lucan and others while, as Thorpe asserts, traces of Livy, Orosius and Virgil are also apparent in his work. In fact the passage I quoted is not the only one which contains descriptions (or allusions) of cosmic events that Velikovsky ascribes to 1500 B.C. and earlier times.

None of this would constitute history to Mary Stewart but then neither would Worlds in Collision and Ages in Chaos. Meanwhile, a multitude of correct predictions have vindicated Velikovsky on many counts while archaeology in Great Britain strangely keeps unearthing evidence of Geoffrey of Monmouth's alleged fancies.(34)


The second objection to my article, I myself raise. Mention was made of the Chinese Tang Annals as cited by Richard J. H. de Touche-Skadding. Although he claims to have studied them in person while he was in Hong Kong,(35) the author of Fire Pearl does not elaborate on the subject. Many histories and other works were compiled by the Han Lin academy during the T'ang Dynasty but, unfortunately, I have had neither the time nor the means to trace the sources.*

[*See C. A. S. Williams. Encyclopedia of Chinese Symbolism and Art Motives (N.Y., 1960), "Dragon," pp 131-139 and especially p. 137 The round red object which seems to be the constant appurtenance of the dragon is variously described as the sun, the moon, the symbol of thunder rolling, the egg emblem of the dual influences of nature, the pearl of potentiality the loss of which betokens deficient power or the 'night-shining pearl' . . . " (emphasis added); "Pearl," p. 315 The ancient fabulists are full of wonders appertaining to the nature of the pearl, which they say is the concrete essence of the moon' . . ." (emphasis added) The Ed. (also see "Fire")]

Touche-Skadding was one of the first westerners to amass a considerable collection of tektites at that time when western science was just beginning to get interested in these glassy meteorites. Attracted to tektites because of their supposed occult value in the east, Skadding soon realized their scientific value. At a time when their lapidary value still outweighed their scientific import, Skadding presented tektites to such V.I.P.s. as Lord Louis Mountbatten, Sir Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth II of England. On the scientific front, he had his collection, which was photographed by LIFE magazine, studied by no lesser authority than Dr. Harvey Nininger, Director of the American Meteorite Association and the Smithsonian Institute. He also presented to the Raffles Museum an archaeological treasure which he himself had unearthed in the jungles of Malaya.


We come now to the third objection and the one of greatest import. Once again, it was pointed out to this author that "any thought of a lunar origin for tektites was dispelled by the manned lunar landings."

To be sure, the lunar origin of tektites was never universally accepted in the first place. But then neither is the Jovian origin of comets, let alone Venus. All that can be said with certainty about tektites is that science is still puzzling over them. I quote from the 1971 issue of Scienza Enciclopedia Tecnica E Scientifica:

On meteorites: "Three main classifications exist: stone meteorites, iron meteorites, and stony irons. A fourth possible classification the tektites is still a puzzle to scientists, but is generally believed to be a strange form of meteorite. (Tektites, or glass meteorites, differ completely in appearance and composition from other types of meteorites. Because of this and because their possible origin never has been definitely determined a question still exists as to whether tektites are terrestrial or extraterrestrial objects. Increasing evidence indicates, however, that they are the remains of much larger glassy lumps that have undergone erosion while travelling at high velocity through the Earth's atmosphere)."(36)

Against the lunar origin of tektites, William K. Hartmann offers this: that tektites have not been found on the Moon.(37) This is a silly objection for it can hardly be said that the surface of the Moon has been fully explored. Consider the Earth: tektites have only been found in a few remote areas in the Ivory Coast, in the Libyan desert, in Indochina and the Philippines, Borneo, Java and Tasmania. Only in Australia(38) have tektites been found strewn throughout the entire continent.

A stronger objection by Hartmann is this: that the Moon's rocks are igneous and not silica-rich.(39) But the above applies here too: the Moon has not yet been fully explored.

Tektites are jets of fused Silica. Silica can and is fused by lightning bolts. If Velikovsky is right, it was a colossal planetary discharge that excavated the lunar crater Tycho and other rayed craters on the Moon.(40) So, also, Ralph E. Juergens.(41) There is, therefore, the possibility that fused silica (or silicon) a form of tektite will be found in the region of Tycho. Meanwhile, the glassy beads that have been found scattered over the lunar surface, although similar to the Moon's own basalt, are enriched by heavy isotopes of sulphur, oxygen and silicon.(42)

But what does it mean that "the lunar origin for tektites was dispelled by the manned lunar landings"? Consider this:

In 1973, T. de Graauw and H. van de Stadt of the Utrecht University, not satisfied with the results from Mariner II and other space probes, decided to measure the surface temperature of Venus all over again. They used a new technique which employs the mixing of planetary light with a laser beam. This creates a wave that can be enlarged and thus better analysed. Their verdict was that Venus' surface temperature was really 43 degrees Centigrade (or 109 degrees Fahrenheit).(43)

So call we now say that the high surface temperature of Venus has been dispelled by the Utrecht experiment?


1. Carter Sutherland, "China's Dragon" in the winter 1973-74 issue of Pensee. pp 47-50..
2. Geoffrey of Monmouth, The History of the Kings of Britain (E. P. Dutton & Co., New York, 1958), p. 169.
3. Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation as translated by Michael Maclagan (Basil Blackwell 1949), p. 69.
4. As cited by Gaile Campbell, "The Great Flying Serpent" in the Tuesday, November 20, 1973 edition of the Vancouver Sun; C. Beaumont, The Mysterious Comet (London, 1925 }, pp. 82-83.
5. Immanuel Velikovsky. Worlds in Collision (Doubleday & Co New York. 1950), pp. 76-81
6. Gaile Campbell op. cit.
7. Immanuel Velikovsky, Earth in Upheaval (Doubleday & Co 1955), pp. 152-153.
8. M. Soymie, '"China: The Struggle for Power" in the Larousse World Mythology (Paul Hamlyn, London, 1972), p. 277.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid. p. 287 and 285-286.
11. Ibid. p. 279.
12. Ovid, Metamorphoses, as translated by Mary M. Innes, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1971 pp. 56-57.
13. Plato, Timaeus, as translated by H.D.P. Lee, Penguin. Harmondsworth, 1965, p. 35.
14. Cicero De Natura Deorum, as translated by H. Rackham, ii, 52.
15. Hesiod Theogony, 11 989 fl
16. Actually these two authors refer to Atymnios which was the name by which Phaethon was known on the island of Crete. Nonnos Dionysiaca, xi, 130 ff., xii 217 and xix 182; Solinus. Polyhistor, xi.
17. M Soymie, op. cit., p. 290
18 Lu T'ung, "The Eclipse of the Moon" in the Poems of the Late T'ang, as translated by A. C.
Graham, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1973, p. 86.
19. Common knowledge among Chinese-speaking people although the younger generations, not too much taken-up with Chinese mythology in view of the present political oriented Asian Studies, are apt to refer to Lung's "fire pearl" merely as Chuh. On the other hand, huoh chuh is the proper translation of fiery (or flaming) pearl.
20. Richard J. H. de Touche-Skadding (with John Carlova), Fire Pearl (Ballantine, New York, 1966), Introduction.
21. Ibid.
22. Ibid, p. 191.
23. Virgil E Barnes, "Tektites," in the November 1961 issue of Scientific American.
24 Kenneth F. Weaver, "The Moon," in the February 1969 issue of the National Geographic, pp. 223-224.
25. Ibid.
26. George Baker, "Tektites," in the Memoirs of The National Museum of Victoria, Melbourne No. 23, July 1, 1959.
27. Immanuel Velikovsky, "H. H. Hess and My Memoranda" in the Fall 1972 issue of Pensee, pp. 28-29.
28. Mary Stewart, The Crystal Cave (Coronet (Hodder), London, 1974), p. 462.
29. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision, pp. 245-253.
30. Ibid. pp. 279-280.
31 Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (Doubleday & Co., New York, 1945), p. 155.
32. Velikovsky, W in C, op. cit., p. 280.
33. Lewis Thorpe, Introduction to Geoffrey of Monmouth's The History of the Kings of Britain, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1973, p. 19.
34. Ibid. pp. 18-19.
35. Richard J. H. de Touche-Skadding, op. cit. p. 27,
36. The World of Science Encyclopedia, translated and adapted from Scienza: Enciclopedia
Tecnica E Scientifica, Fratelli Fabri Editori, Milan, 1971 (English translation by Creative World Publications, Chicago), Volume 8, pp. 150-151.
37. William K. Hartmann, Moons and Planets: An Introduction to Planetary Science (Wadsworth Publishing Co., Belmont, California, 1973 revised printing), p. 205.
38. Note the following interesting comments by H. Baumann "Sex and Erotica " Encyclopedia of World Art, XII (N.Y., 1966), p. 896 ". . . the phallic component is also recognizable in the genesis of the Chinese dragon myth (the dragon being the royal yang symbol). As a winged male principle the dragon is intermediary between the winged phalluses of early Mediterranean symbolism and the Ungud snake (Ungud signifying primeval time) of north-western Australia, with which the medicine man tries to identify himself. In his trance he sings to his penis in order to make it like an Ungud snake and then flies away with his alter ego, that is, with a snake similar to the Ungud as soon as he has an erection IA. Lommel, Die Unambal, Hamburg, 19521." (emphasis added) The Ed.
39. Hartmann, op. cit., p. 203.
40. Immanuel Velikovsky, "H. H. Hess and My Memoranda" in the fall 1972 issue of Pensee, pp. 28-29.
41. Ralph E. Juergens, "Of the Moon and Mars (Part 2)," in the winter 1974-75 issue of Pensee, pp. 29-32.
42. S. K. Runcorn, "Lunar Dust," in the May 1970 (Volume 6, No. 5) issue of Science Journal, p. 30.
43. Reuter in the Vancouver Sun for Thursday, November 15, 1973, p. 3.

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