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Open letter to science editors


KRONOS Vol V, No. 1

Vox Popvli


To the Editor of KRONOS:

Regarding Dr. Velikovsky's proposal of experiments to test the velocity of fall of a pendulating object with respect to electrical charge, experiments along these lines were conducted in 1960-1964 by Erwin Saxl and published in Nature.(1) Erwin Saxl's experimental results are as Velikovsky expected, in that a charged pendulum behaved differently from an uncharged or grounded one. Polarity of applied charge also seems to have made a difference in Saxl's experiments, which used a rotating torque pendulum rather than a typical free swinging one Saxl's experiments may therefore say more about inertial constancy than anything else. It should also be pointed out that a number of interesting studies have been made regarding the properties of pendulums, with and without charges, which may require modification of existing theory .(2,3,4,5,6,7)

James DeMeo

Geography/Meteorology Dept.
University of Kansas


1. Saxl, E. J.: "An Electrically Charged Torque Pendulum", Nature, 203: 136-138, 1964.
2. Kozyrev, N. A.: "Possibility of Experimental Study of the Properties of Time", Joint Publications Research Service, #45238, U.S.D.O.C., 1968 (Translation from Russian).
3. Reich, W.: Contact With Space, Core Pilot Press, 1957, New York.
4. Brown, T. T.: Electrokinetic Apparatus, U. S. patents #2,949,550; #1,974,483; #3,022,430; #3,187,206.
5. DePalma, B. E.: "The Effect of Gravity on Rotating Objects", and "Simple Experimental Test for the Inertial Field of a Rotating Real Mechanical Object", contained in Is God Supernatural? by R. L. Dione, Bantam Books, 1976, New York.
6. Baker, C. F.: "The Pendulum Experiment", Journal of Orgonomy, 11: 176-187, 1977, New York.
7. Merritt, R. F.: "Theories About the Properties of Rotation", UFO Quarterly Review, April-June, 1974, P. 8-23, National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena.

* * *

To the Editor of KRONOS:

In KRONOS IV:4 (June, 1979) there appeared a short article entitled "Two Experiments Involving Gravity and Electromagnetism" by Immanuel Velikovsky. The first of the suggested experiments, in which the ascent and descent of a charged pendulum are timed separately, had been suggested first in 1946 in his 22 page synopsis, Cosmos Without Gravitation. This aspect of his work theoretical physics Velikovsky had little time for during his career, and he received little cooperation from those able to carry out his proposed experiments, another of which was an elegant test of Einstein's Special Relativity Theory. Yet, Velikovsky's theory of gravitation is potentially at least as significant as his work in the fields of astronomy and history.

At least one scientist experimentally demonstrated a relationship between gravity and electricity in the late 1920's; and an experiment with a charged torque pendulum performed by a former pupil of Einstein yielded unexpected results. This research into "electro-gravitics" is documented in an obscure book entitled Ether-Technology: a Rational Approach to Gravity Control, by Rho Sigma (pseudonym), published by the author and CSA Press in 1977. Rho Sigma is described as a "European-American space scientist and research consultant" who prefers to remain anonymous. In his book, he describes the work of Thomas Townsend Brown, John R. R. Searle, Dr. Erwin Saxl and others who have independently investigated the curious link between electrostatics and gravity.

Perhaps the leading figure in electro-gravitic research is T. T. Brown. In the 1920's while a student of Prof. Paul Biefeld at Denison University, Brown discovered the interesting fact that a charged capacitor exhibits a thrust in the direction of its positive pole. This "Biefeld-Brown effect" was described in articles and patents, but received no serious attention from physicists. In the 1960's Brown was apparently building saucer-shaped capacitors which, when charged, could levitate in air, in a vacuum, or suspended in oil (ruling out explanations based on accepted theory). It is understandable that Brown became interested in the "flying saucer" controversy, since his capacitors seemed to exhibit all the characteristics usually attributed to U.F.O.'s, but this interest did little to enhance his reception by the scientific community.

As to the quality and reliability of the material presented in Ether-Technology, two points should be mentioned. One is that psychic sources such as Edgar Cayce are quoted in the text to no advantage, in my opinion, since the psychic material adds little to the thesis of the book and would scare away many of the very people who should read it. The second is that I have checked the U. S. Patent Office for evidence of T. T. Brown's work, and have read his patents, as well as Erwin Saxl's article in Nature (203: 136-138,1964) describing his charged torque pendulum experiments. Ether-Technology is not a hoax, though it is written in iconoclastic tone and directed toward a "fringe" audience.

Ether-Technology should be required reading for all theoretical physicists, and especially those seeking or hypothesizing black holes, or wearing out chalkboards in a mathematical wild-goose-chase after a unified field theory. That it will be read by any but a handful in that field is highly doubtful.

Though Ether-Technology shows that Velikovsky had precursors in stating that gravity is essentially an electrical phenomenon, a careful reading of Velikovsky's 1946 paper would prove enlightening to Brown, Rho Sigma and other electro-gravitic experimenters, in that Velikovsky develops the theoretical especially the cosmological aspects of the subject (in broad, non-quantitative terms), while the research cited in Ether-Technology is wholly experimental, with astronomical implications left unexamined and questions like "why?" and "how?" left dangling. Velikovsky arrived at his theory of electro-gravitation as a logical extension of his central thesis; that his claim of the electrical nature of gravity has been experimentally verified further strengthens the rest of his case.

Richard Heinberg

Princeton, N. J.


To the Editor of KRONOS:

In the course of a long life, Immanuel Velikovsky presented modern science with more original questions than it could answer on the basis of accepted dogma. Although modern science itself owes its origin to such questions raised by the likes of Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Planck and Einstein, Velikovsky reaped for his endeavors not respect but contempt and personal vilification at the hands of establishment scientists....

Albert Einstein once remarked that in order to be an impeccable member of a flock of sheep, one had first of all to be a sheep. Velikovsky was not of the cloth from which establishment scientists are cut; not being a sheep, it did not occur to him to embrace without question the fashionable dogmas of modern science.

Einstein, of course, knew whereof he spoke; having laid the foundations of twentieth-century science in his early adult years, he remained thereafter by his own admission a revered "museum piece" in the hallowed temple of modern science.

For the scientific establishment, Einstein's cardinal sin was his insistence, the uncertainty principle notwithstanding, that a genuine scientist can not and must not remain content with groping and tentative hypotheses concerning the structure of physical reality, but that he must ever strive to attain a definitive and true understanding of the Book of Nature.

Velikovsky was of one mind with Einstein on this fundamental requirement of the scientific enterprise. However, since Velikovsky had not made substantive contributions to the foundations of modern science, the scientific establishment, which suffered Einstein alive in silent embarrassment but raised him dead a gargantuan monument, predictably relegated Velikovsky to that long established abode of original thinkers known as the "lunatic fringe".

It is true, of course, that Velikovsky failed to provide satisfactory answers to the many questions which he raised in the field of theoretical physics. Such failure, however, is not a cause for condemnation among genuine scientists; after all, Copernicus has not been condemned, except by the Inquisition, for the myriad technical defects of his revolutionary work on the structure of the solar system.

The questions raised and the views expressed by Immanuel Velikovsky in his Worlds in Collision and Ages in Chaos were at once fundamental and highly provocative for the august college of theoretical physicists. For a quarter century, however, these questions and views were routinely dismissed by establishment scientists as unworthy of comment.

In 1974, when establishment scientists finally acted to address Velikovsky's views in scholarly fashion, their unscholarly contempt for Velikovsky was barely concealed. Thus, in Isaac Asimov's foreword to Scientists Confront Velikovsky, in which the case of establishment science against Velikovsky was presented, he was labelled an "exoheretic". An "exoheretic", Asimov explained, is "someone who is a real outsider, one who does not understand the painstaking structure built up by science, and who therefore attacks it without understanding" (Scientists Confront Velikovsky, p. 11).

Why should scientists waste their time on someone who does not understand the serious business of modern science? Asimov did not answer that question directly but implied that altruistic concern for the intellectual welfare of the ignorant masses had finally moved establishment scientists to action against Velikovsky in the name of Veritas:

"Velikovsky", Asimov wrote, " . . . has the faculty of sounding as though he knows what he is talking about when he invades the precincts of astronomy . . . Although he doesn't lure me into accepting his views, I can well see where those less knowledgeable in the fields Velikovsky deals with would succumb" (Ibid., p. 13).

Altruistic concern for the innocent youth of Athens on the part of his fellow citizens had earlier proved to be the bane of Socrates. However, altruism is a product of benevolence and tolerance, both of which have been notable by their absence in the confrontation of scientists against Velikovsky.

Accordingly, one may legitimately wonder whether some other, and perhaps less exalted, motive may have moved the scientific establishment to action against Velikovsky?

One contributor to Scientists Confront Velikovsky, David Morrison, would seem to have gone directly to the heart of the matter:

" [Velikovsky] ", Morrison wrote, "has chosen single handedly to attack the fundamental precepts of physics, astronomy, geology, and archaeology, relying not on a chipping away at the edges of conventional thought, but rather on a broad, frontal assault on the whole fabric of mid-twentieth century science" (Ibid., p. 147).

This resounding passage is strongly evocative of Martin Luther's well-known attack on the views of the "fool" Copernicus. This is surely not coincidental considering that in the case of Velikovsky as in that of Copernicus nothing less than the prevailing perception of Man's Cosmos is at stake. In a secular age, Velikovsky was an "exoheretic" precisely because he presumed to question irreverently some of the sacred precepts of the secular religion embodied in twentieth-century establishment science....

Gunnar Tomasson

Bethesda, MD


To the Editor of KRONOS:

Pursuant to the difference of opinion between KRONOS and the SIS Review regarding the period of the revised chronology following the 18th Dynasty (ca. 1050 to 830), allow me to make the following observation:

The basic argument involves the primacy of sources literary versus stratigraphic. In the KRONOS position, which follows Velikovsky beyond the 18th Dynasty (see Velikovsky in KRONOS III:3 and IV:3), we have the 18th and 19th Dynasties separated by approximately 150 years, the period being filled by the Libyan (22nd) and Ethiopian (25th) Dynasties, as well as the Assyrian domination of Egypt. This position follows the literary sources most closely.

The SISR position, as explained to this writer on an informal basis during a recent Velikovskian class at the New School in New York City, is that Velikovsky's chronology beyond 830 is not supported by the stratigraphical record of Palestine and the Near East. On the surface, it seems these two positions are irreconcilable.

There is, however, a possible reconciliation which would require the re-examination of the original excavation reports of sites with 18th and 19th Dynasty material; perhaps re-examination of the sites themselves (if these layers are still IN SITU). The basis of this reconciliation is the knowledge that you can't have Ages In Chaos without Worlds In Collision, especially at this period; the texts are really inseparable because this 150-year period is the time of the Mars catastrophes, as outlined in Part II of Worlds In Collision! Is it not possible, therefore, that the stratigraphic evidence for this period may have been destroyed (or mutilated) by these same catastrophes? Certainly, some physical evidence of catastrophe will remain (witness Earth in Upheaval) and this is why I feel that all excavation reports and all sites must be re-examined. Early researchers may have mis-identified certain layers, not realizing they were looking at catastrophic layers, or they might not have reported such an "intrusion" at all because it would have been out of line with the conventional chronology. Thus, back to the sites themselves.

What I am suggesting here might seem like an inordinately difficult task to resolve the problem but we simply can't take a vote on which chronology is the correct one. What makes the problem doubly difficult is that, due to the nature of catastrophic conditions themselves, we cannot expect uniform stratigraphy at every site. Hence, one site may show no "intrusion" between 18th and 19th Dynasty layers, another may show only a small "intrusive" layer and yet a third might have the full 150 years. There is simply no way of telling until the actual stratigraphy is examined. But the problem cannot be resolved by a consideration of stratigraphy alone. Only a proper understanding of how catastrophic conditions may affect the stratigraphical record can bring the physical and literary sources into harmony. This is not to deny that problems exist with Velikovsky's revised chronology for the period 830 to 525; they do. However, let us not dispense with Velikovsky here because of assumed stratigraphy problems. The entire history of the Velikovsky Affair reminds us that his work demands new ways of looking at the history of the world. It may be that entirely new methods of interpreting the stratigraphical record may be in order.

Indeed, we see the very nature of interdisciplinary studies at work here: Earth in Upheaval may be necessary to solve a dispute between Ages in Chaos and Worlds in Collision.

Dominick A. Carlucci, Jr.

Elmsford, N. Y.

[Editor's Note: A future paper by Dr. John Bimson titled "Can there be a Revised Chronology without a Revised Stratigraphy? " is due to appear in a forthcoming issue of the SISR. This paper, based upon a talk given at the Glasgow Conference in April of 1978, may settle some of the questions raised by Mr. Carlucci LMG]


To the Editor of KRONOS:

I agree with Peter James [and P. N. Friedman] on the primary political meaning of Bit Sulmani in el-Amarna document 290. Velikovsky was clearly mistaken on its religious reference. He should have discerned the analogy with Bit Omri, and recognized that Jehoshaphat would have referred to his capital in terms appreciable by the Egyptian recipients of his letter. They did not recognize the Kingdom of Judah as founded by David. They knew it as the realm of Solomon, Pharaoh's son-in-law (I Kings 11:1), the importer of Egypt's horses (I Kings 10:28ff.).

Dr. Bronson Feldman

Elkins Park, PA


To the Editor of KRONOS:

In an article in KRONOS III:4 (pp. 19-23), Immanuel Velikovsky identified the Hebrew "Kesil" in Job and Amos as the planet Mars. The same word appears in its plural form, "kesilim", in Isaiah 13:10 (see Richard H. Allen, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, N. Y., Dover, 1963, p. 71). The King James version renders it as "constellations". On the day of the Lord

. . . the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

(The Vulgate has "their brightness".) Which invites the comparison: Mars/Maruts: Kesil/kesilim.

Sean Mewhinney

Ottawa, Ontario


To the Editor of KRONOS:

The following material was gleaned while researching a rebuttal to James Oberg's "Cold water on mammoth theory"(1) and adds to the information presented by Dwardu Cardona in his excellent analysis "The Problem of the Frozen Mammoths".(2) In Pole Shift, John White presents a wide-ranging survey of the demise of the mammoths(3) while drawing heavily upon Cardona who, in contrast, addressed selected arguments in Farrand's near classic article "Frozen Mammoths and Modern Geology".(4)

In his note, Oberg merely reported on the arguments published in a letter by one William White in New Scientist which asserted that mammoths were well adapted to extreme cold.(5) Cited for support were the mammoths' 9 cm thick layer of fat and double thickness of fur, the same reasons that Farrand asserted three times in his article. After additional arguments, Wm. White concluded that " . . . no catastrophic event need be invoked to explain the extinction of the mammoth . . .", thereby mimicking Farrand's: "The death of the giants can be explained as a hazard of tundra life without evoking catastrophic events."

When Fate's editor, Curtis Fuller, reported William White's remarks, John White rebutted with the lead letter in the next issue.(6) He emphasized that mammoths were not well adapted to extreme cold. "They lacked the oil glands that every arctic animal has to lubricate its skin against dehydration in the cold air.... Pelts alone don't prove the case tigers have thick pelts but are tropical for the most part nor does blubber witness elephants and manatees." Fat and fur are superficial characteristics which, by themselves, are not decisive. Metabolic rate, more than fat, keeps a mammal warm. Fat chiefly attests to an ample food supply. White also points out that: 1) the tundra where the carcasses are found does not today possess enough vegetation to support the mammoth; 2) they died in late summer, judging by stomach contents; and 3) while dying in warm weather, they were frozen so fast that they did not decompose. This last point is important because, to have been preserved in the state they were discovered, the animals would have to have been deep-frozen within a matter of hours after death in order to stop the chemical action of digestive juices, i.e., at 150 F or lower according to refrigeration specialists as reported by Sanderson.(7) While it is probably true that death stops secretion of digestive juices so that a stomach full of vegetation could not be digested by the juices then present, the fact remains that the carcasses that are recovered essentially whole froze quickly enough to prevent their putrefaction, and being eaten by scavengers.

The notion cultivated by Farrand, et al. that, for example, mammoths died in a fall during the summer and their pristine carcasses waited until the first snow for final preservation is absurd on its face.

The key point made by John White in his book and in Fate, which has eluded citation by most scientists and journalists, is that the mammoths lacked the oil glands which are essential for adaptation to extreme cold. How could this fact escape notice? While Sanderson asserted the inadequacy of fur and fat, he did not mention the lack of oil glands. In The Path of the Pole, Charles H. Hapgood quotes H. Neuville on the lack of the oil glands.(8) Neuville, a French zoologist and dermatologist, compared the skin of the mammoth and Indian elephant and found them to be identical except for the amount of hair.(9) Neuville was not pursuing catastrophic ends so he attributed the mammoths' extinction to progressive degeneration and lack of adaptation to cold, aggravated by other causes.

Now, according to Farrand, I. P. Tolmachoff "wrote a very complete summary of the information available in 1929", upon which Farrand relied for most of his early information.(10) As it turns out, Tolmachoff, for whatever reason, did not cite Neuville, a most unfortunate omission. Unless and until someone refutes Neuville, the Farrand/White/Oberg school of criticism is merely so much wishful uniformitarian thinking.(11)

Interestingly, in On the Track of Unknown Animals, Bernard Heuvelmans, another Frenchman not cited by Farrand, purported to have refuted Neuville, but his arguments are not convincing.(12) Heuvelmans believes that the lack of oil glands, with resulting permeability of the fur, "is largely compensated for by the unusually thick layer of fat beneath its skin".(13) This ignores Neuville's point that, with fat not being a good insulator, mammals rely on their metabolisms for warmth. Further, Heuvelmans states that "the flap of skin covering its anus shows that its smaller details were well-adapted to very low temperatures"(14) just six pages after observing, in a footnote, that the similar flap on the Indian elephant "probably acts as a protection against insects". However, this covering of the anus, according to an animal management specialist at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, is less a formal flap than mere skinfolds on both sides of the anus, being extensions of the tail fold. This, together with the fact that not all arctic and subarctic animals have an anal flap, undermines the notion that the flap is indicative of adaptation to extreme cold.

Finally, in his own inimitable way, Oberg beclouded his discussion in a stampede to belittle catastrophism by referring to "tropical flowers" and "subtropical climate". These are his own poetic license since William White's remarks in New Scientist neither included nor implied a tropical frame of reference. No responsible discussion of the mammoths' native climate in Siberia has ever contrasted arctic with tropical but, rather, arctic with temperate. However, that a sudden drastic change in climate occurred is almost certain.

What is also practically certain, as John White makes clear, is that no single explanation for the extinction of the mammoths explains all the evidence thus far discovered. White, after Cardona, focuses on the range of C-14 ages for mammoth remains of from about 2,600 to 40,000 years which strongly suggests that no single event exterminated them. However, as White reports, Juergens' radiohalo work in KRONOS III :1 may provide a clue for narrowing the alternatives.(15) Apropos the controversy surrounding radiocarbon dates is a new method which dated Dima, the baby mammoth discovered in Siberia in 1977, to 27,000 B. P. compared with the conventionally determined circa 40,000 B.P.(16) Whether problem, riddle or mystery, when we know the reason for the mammoths' extinction we will likely have learned something important for our understanding of our origins.

Leroy Ellenberger

Landover, MD


1. Skeptical lnquirer (Winter 1980), p.14.
2. KRONOS I:4 (Winter 1976), pp. 77-85.
3. John White, "The Riddle of the Frozen Mammoths", Chapter 2 in Pole Shift (N. Y., 1980), pp. 16-35.
4. William R. Farrand, Science 133 (17 March 1961), pp. 729-735. Farrand, then a recent Ph.D. geologist at Lamont Geological Observatory, was writing a rebuttal to popular articles espousing catastrophism such as Ivan Sanderson's "Riddle of the Frozen Giants", Saturday Evening Post (16 January 1960), pp. 39, 82-83. In the year following Farrand's article, Science printed no letters commenting on it.
5. New Scientist (14 June 1979), p 939. Wm. White was responding to the theory of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe that the mammoths' extinction was due to its inability to migrate to warmer climate in the short time permitted [17 May, p. 543].
6. Fate (October 1979), pp. 18, 20 and (November 1979), p. 113.
7. Sanderson, p. 82; quoted by John White, p. 27. See also Jody Dillow, "The Catastrophic Deep-Freeze of the Beresovka Mammoth", Creation Research Society Quarterly (June 1977), pp. 5-13 for a quantitative derivation of the temperature requirements.
8. Charles H. Hapgood, The Path of the Pole (Philadelphia 1970), pp. 251-255.
9. H. Neuville, "On the Extinction of the Mammoth", Smithsonian Report (1919), pp. 327-338 (331-333). Curiously, the pictures of skin cross-sections do not reveal an undercoat nearly as thick as a domestic cat's. For confirmation of the close relationship between the mammoth and Indian elephant, see Heuvelmans, note 12 below, pp. 340-341: ". . . subsequent serological reactions proved conclusively that the Siberian mammoth [Elephas Berezorkius] was closely related to the Indian elephant [Elphas indicus] .... a rabbit's serum which has been rendered 'anti-mammoth' precipitates the serum of the Indian elephant but has no effect on that of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana)."
10. I. P. Tolmachoff, Trans. Am. Phil. Soc 23 (1929), pp. 11-71.
11. For illustrations of seven uniformitarian ways a mammoth might have met his doom, see John Massey Stewart, "Frozen Mammoths from Siberia bring the Ice Ages to vivid life", Smithsonian (December 1977), pp. 61-69.
12. Bernard Heuvelmans, "The Mammoth of the Taiga", Chapter 15 in On the Track of Unknown Animals (Hill and Wang: New York, 1959), pp. 331-353.
13. Ibid., pp. 345-6.
14. Ibid., p. 346.
15. John White, pp. 131-133.
16. New York Times (December 25, 1979), p. 14.

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