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As Worlds Collide
Copyright © 1975 by Earl R. Milton

(This article is only a portion of one of 22 essays contained in an Anthology presented to Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky on December 5, 1975, in honor of Dr. Velikovsky and the 25th anniversary of Worlds in Collision; is our hope to publish the Anthology in its entirety The Ed.)

Part One


In Worlds in Collision Velikovsky claims that in about the year -1500 the planet Venus, then incandescent, comet-like, and moving in a comet-like orbit,(1) passed very close to the Earth's surface, causing global destruction which nearly annihilated mankind and which totally disrupted all civilizations of the Earth.(2) Consider a proto-planet of Venus' size passing within a few radii of Earth's surface, say 30,000 miles. In such a close passage Venus, with its long train and any attendant magnetic fields, would have passed right through intense regions of the Earth's magnetosphere .(2a) Both planetary bodies would undergo severe tidal distortion and would suffer extensive damage. (3) Would either be destroyed? Not necessarily.

Venus, although today believed to be non-magnetic, is still surrounded by a great plasma tail extending away from the Sun for over 100 times the Venus radius. (4 ) Each time Venus passes inferior conjunction, a period of geomagnetic minimum occurs on Earth for about seven days. On either side of this quiet period enhanced magnetic disturbances are likely to occur. (5)

In close contact the two planets and their gaseous and ionic envelopes would become greatly distorted and, in the interplanetary gap, considerable energy, and perhaps material, exchanges would occur. (If the electromagnetic characteristics of Venus were different in the past, the effects may have been even greater than one would expect from the properties of Venus today.)

That such a close approach would disrupt the rotations of the Earth and Venus should not be in dispute. Michelson(6) has shown recently that if one assumes for the Earth an electric charge-to-mass ratio equal to that postulated for the Sun by Bailey,(7) and for certain magnetic stars by Blackett,(8) then the electrical energy of the Earth would be about equal to its rotational energy.(9) Removal of some of this charge, or addition to this charge, could significantly alter the rotation of the Earth.(10)

Michelson also notes that the energy required to flip the Earth's magnetic axis is less than one millionth of the Earth's rotational energy, about the same amount of energy arriving at the Earth in a single moderately strong geomagnetic storm.(11)

Two planetary bodies interacting at close proximity will involve energies of two hundred times the Earth's rotational energy. In such an encounter not only magnetic disturbance but rotational change, and even reversal, are possible. Velikovsky cites ancient sources which describe both rotational disturbance and reversed sky. (12)

[*!* Image] Fig. 1 -- The Sun's Motion against the Background Stars Caused by the Earth's Motion in Orbit.

Simple flip of the Earth's axis without altering the direction of rotation would not produce a sun which rises in the west but it would produce a sky which is upside down. The constellation seen before sunrise differs from that seen before the flip of the Earth's axis.

[*!* Image] (A) Earth observer views sunrise over barn to the East
(b) Observer on flipped Earth views sunrise over barn to the East. Sky is upside down. Constellation rising before the dawn is reversed.
Fig. 2 -- Reversal of the Direction of the Earth's Rotational Axis.

In order to produce a sun which rises in the west, the rotation of the Earth must be stopped and must resume in the opposite sense to the present rotational direction. Here, the daily motion of the Sun would carry it from west to east across the sky.

[*!* Image] (A) Observer on a rotationally reversed Earth views sunrise on the West. Sky is right-side up. Constellation rising before the dawn is reversed.
(b) Observer on a rotationally-reversed and axially flipped Earth views sunrise in the west. Sky is upside down. Constellation rising before the dawn is unchanged from present sky.
Fig. 3 -- Reversal of the Direction of the Earth's Rotational Motion.

None of these changes to the Earth's rotational motion would alter the Sun's course viewed against the background stars of the zodiac, since the Sun's annual motion reflects the orbital motion of the Earth and not its axial rotation. The order in which we see the constellations, however, is reversed for either axis-flip or spin-reversal; doing both, leaves the constellation order unaltered.

Part Two


If the Earth has recently undergone collision with another planet, physical evidence of the cataclysm would remain. The geological record indicates that stones and ashes have fallen from the sky in great amounts. Sea bed surveys have revealed ash layers, believed to be global in extent and of volcanic origin.(13) Clays have been found which are anomalously high in nickel. Certain meteorites contain significant percentages of nickel, ocean sediments do not. If meteoric in origin, these clays seemingly result from showers which were several hundred times greater than meteoric influx at present.(14) Geomagnetic surveys of the sea bed indicate a coincidence between maxima of volcanic ash deposition, geomagnetic field reversals and microfaunal extinctions.(15) Severe tidal distortion of the Earth could precipitate global volcanism which could be accompanied by violent earthquake activity.(16) Ground and surface water supplies would be disturbed.(17) Slumping of earth would muddy some waters and dam others, producing stagnant pools of water. In a warm country insects could breed, some of which would carry disease bringing death to many.

The fall of volcanic dust has been blamed as the cause of complete crop failures in 1783. Mt. Skaptar erupted on 8 June damaging crops not only in Iceland but in Norway and Scotland as well.(18) Sulfur dioxide caused a blue haze which killed grass and caused a serious famine; twenty percent of Iceland's population and a large portion of the livestock died of hunger and diseases. One writer, contemporary with the eruption, compared the year of darkness to the gloom described for the Exodus.(19)

After this volcanic disaster, Iceland took several years to recover. The sources examined by Velikovsky which describe the Venus catastrophe indicate that a period between one and four decades was required for recovery, further indication that an eruption of global proportion probably occurred.

Violent volcanic eruptions are generally accompanied by great heat releases which produce thunderstorms, hail, heavy rains, and in some cases tornadoes (Tambora, Java, 10 April 1815).(20) At Mersina, Turkey, frogs rained from the sky on II February 1963 during a torrential fall of rain.

Rose-coloured volcanic pumice found on the Island of Santorin contains iron oxides; such material, pulverized and made airborne, could precipitate with a fall of rain colouring it red.

Even without rotational stasis, gigantic seismically generated sea waves (tsunami) have been produced. One such occurred on 10 November 1929 (Grand Banks).(21) These large tsunamis have periods between one and one and one-half hours. Each disturbance produces three separate outflows and advances of the wall-of-water, the second wave usually being the greatest.

Globe-encircling submarine ridges exist at mid-ocean. Here it is postulated new crustal material extrudes through cracks in the Earth's crust at its thinnest point. Generally these ridges are attributed to the process of plate tectonics, but the driving mechanism for the plates might just as easily arise from the crust being pulled apart by rotational disturbances as from gigantic convection currents within Earth's mantle.

Evidence for glaciation is nearly world-wide. Many erosional phenomena attributed to ice-driven transport can be explained equally by the action of gigantic tidal waves; in fact the direction of much of the transport is poleward rather than equatorward.(22) Fossils and remains of sea creatures have been found atop mountainous areas of Earth .(23) In mountain caves, animal and human remains are jumbled together with non-biological debris. Mammoth bones are found with those of men.(24) Carbon dating of three samples taken from a Bavarian mammoth tusk yielded an average date of -1955.(25)

Velikovsky notes that northern Siberia was not glaciated in the last glacial age, while America was covered by ice to latitude 401.(26) From the flow of water through the Niagara gorge,(27) it has been argued that the last ice sheet might have melted as recently as the year -2000. The last ice sheet was centered south of Thule, Greenland (North latitude 75, East longitude 290). Shifting of the geographic pole, suddenly, from near Thule to its present location, would convert the climate of Siberia in an instant from warm to cold.(28) Siberian mammoths have been unearthed, fully preserved, quick-frozen, with still-undigested food in their stomachs.(29) Settlements dated prior to the year -2000 have been unearthed above the Arctic Circle in Siberia.

Today, the Earth's polar Pack Ice extends about 30 from the pole in winter.(30) Coverage of the continents by the winter polar cap centered upon a Thule-pole would explain the non-transport effects noted for the last glacial period (blocked rivers, climate, etc.) The water-tides created during the cataclysmic polar readjustment would be sufficient to explain radial transport effects usually attributed to the ice sheet. Central Siberia shows the markings of a gigantic equator-to-pole tidal wave. Tidal waves produced by rotational changes explain how fossils can be deposited in layers several tens of feet deep. The chaotic nature of these formations indicate they were deposited quickly.(31) Evidence of drastic changes of polar positions have been discovered by physical analysis of rock containing magnetic ores. Such rocks indicate that a magnetic reversal has occurred within the historical past.(32)

Everywhere, the evidence indicates that significant changes have occurred on the Earth's surface. Some of these changes were sudden, and some were very recent. The argument is more over date than process.


1. Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (Doubleday, 1950), page 165. Elsewhere in this work, Velikovsky suggests that the Sun and the planets must be electrically charged; and so electrical and magnetic interactions will play a significant role in the processes which govern the motion of the planets (Also see "For the Record. . ." in this issue of KRONOS). The discovery of electrified gases filling the space between the planets complicates attempts to discover electrical interactions between individually charged planets. Ralph Juergens suggests that an electrically charged planet moving along an elliptical orbit, while immersed in this electrified interplanetary gas, can interact with that gas in such a way as to produce a long glowing tail stretching away from the sunward side of the planet - see Pensee 11 (Fall, 1972), pp. 6-12.

2. W in C , pages 43, 48.

2a. See "The Birth of Venus from Jupiter," KRONOS II, 1 (August, 1976), pp.8-9.

3. This distance, although arbitrary, is illustrative of the "collision". At 30,000 miles (above the Earth's surface) the gravitational attraction between Venus and Earth would be approximately twenty five times greater than the Sun's gravitational attraction upon Earth. The tide-raising potential of Venus, however, would be more than 35,000 times that of Earth's Moon. [The tidal relationship varies inversely as the separation cubed, whereas the gravitational attraction is as the inverse square of the separation.]

4. Bridge, Lazarus, Scudder, et al., "Observations at Venus Encounter by the Plasma Science Experiment on Mariner 10", Science 183: 1293-6 (29 March 1974).

5. Jacobs, J. A. and Atkinson G.. "Planetary Modulation of Geomagnetic Activity", p. 402f in [Hindmarsh N.R. et al., eds.] Magnetism and the Cosmos, American Elsevier Publishing Co. Inc., New York (1965).

6. Michelson, I., "Mechanics Bears Witness", Pensee 4 (2): 15-21 (Spring 1974), reprint of paper delivered at the AAAS Symposium "Velikovsky's Challenge to Science", San Francisco, 25 February 1974, Michelson uses the term specific charge to describe the total charge on a body divided by its total mass. He assumes approximate equality for this specific charge on both the Earth and the Sun.

7. See Bailey, V. A., "Existence of Net Electric Charges on Stars", Nature 186: 508-13 (14 May 1960). By assuming that the Sun carries a net negative electrical charge Bailey claims to account for (1) the magnetization of the Earth; (2) the outer Van Allen belt of radiation; (3) the maximum energy found for a cosmic ray particle; and (4) the Sun's polar magnetic field (direction). Bailey also noted that the ratio of the Sun's magnetic moment to its angular momentum resembled the same ratio found by Blackett for a group of "magnetic stars", At least thirteen other phenomena are qualitatively explained if the initial assumption of a negatively charged Sun is true. See also: Bailey, V. A. "Apparent Steady Component of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field", Nature 189: 44-5 (7 January 1961). Bailey notes that the interplanetary probe Pioneer 5 detected a quiet-time magnetic field, due to the Sun, which was perpendicular to the ecliptic and aligned from north to south. The quiet field magnitude was about 2.5 gammas. These findings are consistent with the magnetic field which would be created by the Earth orbiting a negatively charged Sun.

8. Blackett, P. M. S., "The Magnetic Field of Massive Rotating Bodies", Philosophical Magazine 40: 125-50(1949).

9. Allen, C. W., Astrophysical Quantities, 2nd. ed. Athlone Press (1963), p. 109 gives the Earth's rotational energy as 2.138 x 1036 ergs; Michelson, loc. cit., computes the electrical energy of a charged Earth to be 2.14 x 1036 ergs.

10. Velikovsky devotes several sections of Worlds in Collision to interplanetary discharges (or cosmic thunderbolts). See particularly "The Spark", pp. 85-88.

11. Michelson, op. cit, p. 20. Michelson computes the energy required to flip the Earth's polar axis upside down in the presence of the observed interplanetary magnetic field. The flip-energy is 6.4 x 1024 ergs.

NASA News Photo 72-H-1165 describes a solar storm which impinged upon the Earth on 30 July 1972. In one hour the small storm region released an amount of energy estimated to be equal to twice the Sun's total normal energy output for one second. If only one billionth of this energy struck the Earth, the energy inflow would have exceeded the minimum value calculated by Michelson for axis flip. Actual flipping of the axis does not necessarily occur if this excitation energy is exceeded.

12. Velikovsky, op. cit. See Chapter 5, pp. 105-125. The energy of the Earth orbiting the Sun is 26 x 10 40 ergs [Michelson]. If the Earth were closer to the Sun than the present Earth orbit, and if in collision the Earth were displaced from that orbit to an orbit even slightly farther from the Sun, an energy release of about 1038 ergs would occur. This energy release would quite easily be more than enough to allow rotation to be stopped and reinstated in the reverse direction. More specifically, alteration of the Earth's orbital distance from the Sun sufficient to change the year from 360 days to 3651/4 days (assuming no change in spin rate) would release about 6 x 1038 ergs. The effect would be to move the Earth less than 2 percent farther from the Sun. This explanation is far too simplistic to explain what really occurred at the time of the Exodus event but will serve to indicate the potential energy exchanges possible if planets "collide".

Velikovsky discusses Herodotus' account of a time when the Sun rose in the west [see: Velikovsky p. 105; Herodotus History ii, section 1421. Herodotus, reporting a story told to him by Egyptian priests, notes that these reversals produced no change in the country nor in its peoples' health. Velikovsky also cites the reversed Ceiling Decoration in the Tomb of Semnut [Ibid., p. 108; Pogo A., "The Astronomical Ceiling Decoration in the Tomb of Semnut (XVIIIth dynasty)", Isis 14: 301-325(1930).

On page 306 of this work Pogo states that "a characteristic feature of the Senmut ceiling is the astronomically objectionable orientation of the southern panel . . . Orion appears east of Sirius". Pogo can not explain this reversed sky panel in any fashion consistent with the northern sky panel which has the opposite orientation, unless he turns the northern panel upside down, producing "very objectionable changes in the relative position of the pole and the horizon".

13. Worzel, J. L., "Extensive Deep Sea Sub-Bottom Reflections Identified as White Ash", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Washington) 43: 349-355 (15 March 1959); and Ewing, Heezen, and Ericson "Significance of the Worzel Deep Sea Ash", loc. cit., pp. 355-61.

14. Petterson, Hans, "Exploration of the Ocean Floor", Scientific American 183: 42-44 (August 1950).

15. Kennett, J. P. and Watkins, N. D., "Geomagnetic Polarity Change, Volcanic Maxima and Faunal Extinction in the South Pacific", Nature 227: 930-934 (29 August 1970); and Bray J. R. "Volcanism and Glaciation in the Past 40 Millennia", Nature 252: 679-680 (20/27 December 1974).

16. This phenomenon on a smaller scale is discussed by Gribbin, John, "Relation of Sunspot and Earthquake Activity", Science 173: 558 (6 August 1971).

17. The discussion which follows can be documented by consulting Galanopoulos, A. G. and Bacon, E., Atlantis, The Truth Behind the Legend (Bobbs-Merrill Co.: Indianapolis, 1969). See Appendix B pages 192-199 for a discussion of "The Ten Plagues of Exodus". The reference to Galanopoulos and Bacon is intended solely for "modern" disasters. The volcanic eruption of Thera is not under consideration here. In fact, the "Ten Plagues" cannot be ascribed to the Theran eruption according to the revised chronology - see KRONOS 1, 2, pp. 93-99.

18. Galanopoulos and Bacon, Ibid. See also Lane, F. W., The Elements Rage, vol.. 2 Fire and Water (Sphere Books, London, 1968), p. 93.

19. See Velikovsky, op. cit, p. 138.

20. Galanopoulos and Bacon, Ibid.; and Lane, op. cit., pp. 100-101, 103; also Vol.. I Earth and Air, p. 68.

21. Lane, op. cit., Vol.. 1, pp. 151-2. Lane notes that extensive sea slides occurred on November 18, 1919. The slide moved a 230 mile front of quick-clay for a distance of 400 miles "along a comparatively flat ocean floor". See also Galanopoulos and Bacon, Ibid.

22. Observers other than Velikovsky have noted this poleward transport of material. (For what it's worth, Colonel James Churchward personally reports: "Our examinations along the route (from south of Lake Baikal to the mouth of the Lena river] disclosed the fact that some thousands of years before a huge cataclysmic wave of water without ice had passed over this area, traveling from south to north". Source: The Children of Mu, Paperback Library, New York (1968), p. 183.)

23. Velikovsky, Earth in Upheaval (Doubleday: 1955), page 47.

24. Ibid., page 62.

25. See "Mammoth Tusk, Tettenhausen", Radiocarbon 15 (1): 114 (1973) which reports that part of a mammoth tusk found buried in gravel yielded ages averaging 1956 BC 70 for three samples analyzed.

26. Velikovsky, Worlds, pages 325-329.

27. Velikovsky, Worlds, p. 283, Earth, pages 161-162.

28. Velikovsky, Worlds, p. 326; also Patten, D. W., The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch (Pacific Meridian Publishing Co.: Seattle, 1966), pp. 77-9, Footnote 16.

29. Velikovsky, Worlds, pp. 24, 326ff.; KRONOS 1, 4 (April, 1976), pp. 77-85.

30. In winter, the Pack Ice surrounding the North Pole extends southward about 25 to 30 degrees. The southern limit of the northern Pack Ice is poorly defined because of the contiguous continents. The Pack Ice at the South Pole is not similarly perturbed, it extends more than 30 degrees northward from the pole. In the northern hemisphere snow cover in winter extends much further from the pole than the southern limit of the Pack Ice. (Source: The Reader's Digest Great World Atlas, Reader's Digest Association, Montreal.)

31. Velikovsky, Earth, see Chapter 5, "Tidal Wave", pp. 50f.

32. Marcanton, Paul L., "La Methode de Folghesaiter et son role en geophysique", Archives des Sciences physiques et naturelles, (Geneve) I 1 2: 467-82 (1907). In this work Marcanton reports both the intensity and direction of the Earth's magnetic field during the period between 800 BC and 600 BC.

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