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KRONOS Vol VIII, No. 3
MUCH ADO ABOUT TIPPE TOPTo the Editor of KRONOS:
Lynn Rose's letter in the Forum section of the Winter-1982 KRONOS, p. 86, states: "The change from Orion-following-Sirius to Sirius-following-Orion could have been accomplished ... by a movement of Earth with its axis of rotation through approximately one hundred eighty degrees, with the rotation remaining right handed...."
"The reports that the Sun once rose in the west and set in the east ... cannot be explained by a movement of Earth with its axis of rotation through one hundred eighty degrees, with the rotation remaining right handed."
I believe there is one way in which these simultaneously impossible events could happen, i.e., if two frames of reference were used. For example, imagine an aged astronomer, who had survived a reversal, instructing his students under the night sky. He might look at the "new", post-reversal, north star and say, "Before the turning over of the Earth, Orion used to follow Sirius. Now Sirius follows Orion." This would be objectively correct.
Then the astronomer turns around, points out an obscure star just barely visible on the southern horizon, and says, "Before the turning over of the Earth, that star was the north star. When it was, I looked at it and the Sun rose on my right and set on my left. Now when I look at it, the opposite is true. Therefore the direction of the rising and setting of the Sun has reversed." This would be correct according to the frame of reference of his own body oriented toward the "old" north star.
Although this hypothesis may seem unlikely, it has at least some slight possibility in the difficult world of Velikovskian interpretation.
R. M. Hendrickson, Jr.
* * *
To the Editor of KRONOS:
The letters in KRONOS VII:2 Forum develop a most interesting view of Earth dynamics. Prof. Rose appears to be refreshingly correct in all points made, but Ellenberger and Slabinski do get a bit esoteric. The subject is not a particularly easy one to follow, and I would like to offer a few comments that may help to clarify some points, first in general and then dealing more directly with the material in the Forum.
It is common even for a physicist to compare the spinning Earth to a spinning gyroscope, but the comparison is strained. The spin axis of a rotating object tends to remain fixed in space, a phenomenon easily observed while handling a toy gyroscope. For our purposes, however, the toy gyroscope has two misleading properties. First, the spin axis is also fixed relative to the toy, being along the axle upon which the gyroscope disk is mounted. This makes one think (incorrectly) that the spin causes the axle itself, as well as the spin axis, to be fixed in space. Second, the toy gyroscope is a disk, and its rotational moment of inertia is very dependent upon the position of its spin axis; if the spin axis is altered from perpendicular to the disk, forces are created acting to restore the disk as perpendicular to its spin axis. The spin axis is fixed in space, so again, it appears that the gyroscope is restoring its position relative to space.
The Earth, on the other hand, is nearly spherical and the rotational moment of inertia is nearly independent of the position of the spin axis. It would be quite difficult to cause the spin axis of the Earth to point away from the North Star, but it would be much easier to cause the Earth to move relative to the spin axis so that the North Pole, which still lay below the North Star, might be in Wynnewood, PA. The only agent that prevents pole shifting of this nature is the relatively small equatorial bulge that makes the Earth deviate from a sphere. How much resistance to pole shifting does this "bicycle tire" provide? Complications prevent a simple answer, the most important being the fact that the bulge is caused primarily by the rotation. If the pole did move to Wynnewood and stay, the equatorial bulge would presently move to the new equator. The manner in which the bulge would move and how long it would take to do so are both open to question. Hapgood (The Path of the Pole), who was referenced in the Forum discussion, developed a particularly good understanding of the implications of all this, and further suggested that the solid skin of the Earth might under some conditions slip around on the fluid center without requiring movement of the spin axis or even the central portion of the Earth, including the bulge.
Ellenberger and Slabinski have partially dealt with another related matter, also very important. The Velikovskian problem requires that the Earth turn over in the period of one day, meaning that its rotational speed in the direction of turnover must at least approximate its normal rotational speed. Thus they treat this problem in the same way that they would the problem of completely stopping the Earth's rotation in one day, leading to the requirement for enormous torques and impulses. The subtle points mentioned above are minor when compared to these huge torques and, quite correctly, are not mentioned in the treatment. For those scenarios in which the spin axis is markedly changed or the direction of spin reversed relative to space, this analysis is reasonably correct. For those which leave the spin axis nearly unchanged in space after the Earth has reoriented itself with a different geographical point at the North Pole, however, this treatment overlooks some very important considerations.
The most important consideration has to do with the conservation of angular momentum. Put simply, if one were to apply a torque or impulse large enough to turn over the Earth in one day, one would also have to apply a similar torque or impulse to get it to stop once it had turned over. It would seem that there should be less extreme measures available when the spin axis and rate of spin are essentially unchanged between the starting and final states, since there is no change in angular momentum and hence no overall requirement for a large external torque. Indeed, particularly when it is considered that the Earth is not solid, there are endless possibilities of which the double-top model cited by Ellenberger is one. (Incidentally, while the data of Ma plainly support crustal shifts, they say nothing concerning the mechanism behind the shifts.) At this point, any mechanism which allows the sharing of angular momentum among portions of the Earth (and possibly other bodies) in such a way as to conserve angular momentum in the system is a possibility. In this regard, a very important clue which seems consistently overlooked is that Velikovsky claims a change from a 360 day year to a 365 day year. If one assumes this change to be involved entirely in slower rotation, this represents about a three percent drop in system energy, which is not insignificant, and coincidentally is of the same order as the importance of the inertia of the equatorial bulge relative to the remainder of the Earth.
Oak Ridge, TN
C. Leroy Ellenberger Comments:
Surprisingly, the "... Earth as Tippe Top" feature generated more reader response than any topic in a previous, regular issue. Unfortunately, despite the comments by Prof. Rose and myself, many people still do not appreciate the difference between a tippe top, or geographical, inversion of the Earth and an axial inversion, or 180-deg axial tilt. As my third footnote indicated, Earl Milton's "As Worlds Collide" in KRONOS II:3 dealt with axial, not tippe top, inversions.
Even though no verbal description can take the place of actually seeing a tippe top, class ring, or beach ball turn over while the spin axis remains essentially unaffected, consider the following description taken from Peter Warlow's The Reversing Earth (London, 1982), p. 29. In the initial state, the top rotates "with primary spin imparted via the handle". Then a "fast precessional secondary rotation carries the top to an inverted state ... whilst the primary spin continues in the same sense throughout the motion". The body turns over, but the spin axis does not. I really did not understand what this meant until Peter James showed me a tippe top in December 1979. In contrast, with a 180-deg axial tilt, both the body and the spin axis turn over. The four diagrams below illustrate a tippe top inversion.
Again unfortunately, the tippe top feature elicited no refutations of Slabinski's devastating critique of Warlow's gravitational tippe top model. Also not ferreted out were calculations supporting electrical and/or magnetic effects to assist an inversion or tilt of the Earth. However, several readers expressed their belief - as J. W. Magness, Jr. did - that "there was enough torque to accomplish a reversal of sunrise" and hope "to see a model which would show how". We all seem to have a wait in store.
[Fig: The tippe top: (a) initial state, with primary spin imparted via the handle; (b) and (c) fast precessional secondary rotation carries the top to an inverted state, as in (d), whilst the primary spin continues in the same sense throughout the motion. (Reproduced from Peter Warlow's The Reversing Earth with permission of J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd).]
Mr. Hendrickson's remarks, while thoughtful, miss the point that, just as an observer in the northern hemisphere cannot see the southern "pole star", the same observer displaced to the southern hemisphere by a geographical reversal would no longer be able to see the northern "pole star". Perhaps an observer at the equator might conform to Mr. Hendrickson's scenario, but our traditions originate from cultures conventionally thought to have been located in the vicinity of 30-deg-N latitude.
Dr. Dunthorn rightly points out that the comparison between the spinning Earth and a gyroscope can be misleading. However, not everything in his letter is as clear as it might be. Several points bear comment.
In the second paragraph, the reaction of a gyroscope to having its "spin axis altered from perpendicular to the disk" is not for forces to act "to restore the disk as perpendicular to its spin axis". Rather, the disk undergoes a nutation about the angular momentum vector instead, i.e., the gyroscope wobbles.
In the third paragraph, it is suggested that moving the Earth relative to the spin axis, i.e., a tippe top motion, "would be much easier" than moving the Earth with the spin axis, i.e., an axial tilt. Without a numerical comparison, the meaning of "much easier" is indefinite. However, in my previous remarks (KRONOS VII:2, p. 88), a 180-deg tippe top inversion was stated to require only 2/[PI] or about 64% of the torque impulse required for a 180-deg axial inversion. This is not a significant improvement when many orders of magnitude are yet to be accounted for.
Also, in the interest of clarity, Wynnewood would have moved to the pole, not the pole to Wynnewood. Of course, in the event of a tippe top movement, the disposition of the equatorial bulge is not clear. Depending upon the Earth's structure and physical characteristics, the bulge might "move to the new equator", or it might flatten while a new bulge forms in the crust just moved to the equator, or the old bulge might be rigid enough to pull the Earth's surface back to its initial orientation.
As in his letter in KRONOS IV:2 (p. 100), Dr. Dunthorn expresses the belief that a shift in the Earth relative to the spin axis, i.e., the fast precessional secondary rotation of a tippe top, would occur much more easily than an axial tilt. Here he uses the example of Wynnewood, PA being moved to the North Pole, a shift of 50-deg, given its present latitude of 40-deg-N. Dr. Slabinski has derived the expression necessary to determine the integral of [tau]1 dt for tippe top secondary rotations of less than 180-deg, namely:[*!* Image] [Mathematical Formula]
where [beta] is the angular tippe top secondary rotation relative to the spin axis and the other symbols are as defined in Dr. Slabinski's Comment in KRONOS VII:2, pp. 94-96. When this expression is used in the inequality in the Comment, the mass of a cosmic body - passing Earth at two Earth radii on a parabolic trajectory - which would produce the desired secondary rotation, or geographic shift, can be determined. The Table below gives the results for selected angular displacements for the solid Earth and a thin (1% of radius) shell:
TABLE: Mass of Cosmic Body Required to Shift
Geographic Pole Through Selected Angles
At this point, a clarification is in order. Strictly speaking the masses in the Table would not produce the indicated angular shifts. The masses represent lower bounds, but they are not grossly inaccurate. This is because the masses in the Table only reflect the torque about the polar axis, [tau]1, produced by a body passing Earth in the plane of the equator. This component of torque was originally selected by Slabinski because it is a difficult one to obtain in order to flip the Earth over. He did not evaluate the other two torque components, [tau]2 and [tau]3. Were that to be done, some adjustments in the Table would be required because for small angular shifts [tau]2 and [tau]3 are larger than [tau]1 . However, this could be compensated for by moving the body out of the equatorial plane. Such further computation is beyond the scope of this discussion.
In the fourth paragraph, reference to Slabinski's analysis implies that he worked with a 180-deg axial tilt or inversion. This is not the case, as Slabinski dealt entirely with tippe top inversions. The mechanical requirements to invert the Earth are so very large because of the finite execution times. A small torque could invert the Earth, as Dunthorn wants, only given a near infinite time. The same maneuver executed in 24 hours or less by the close passage of a cosmic body requires, perforce, a very large torque impulse - torque impulses (depending on Earth's structure) as large as those reported by Slabinski and myself in KRONOS VII:2.
In the last paragraph, a change from a 360 to 365 day year as a pure spin effect would require increasing the spin rate, not decreasing it. Thus, while Dr. Dunthorn's comparison with the relative inertia of the equatorial bulge and the remainder of the Earth may be interesting, it is of dubious relevance to the problem.
Those readers who objected to Slabinski treating the Earth as a rigid body, which it strictly is not, should be reminded that he was merely adhering to the assumptions in Warlow's model to which no objections were raised before that model was found inadequate. When a non-rigid body analysis is presented, Slabinski will probably analyze it as well. However, given the extremely large torque impulses required to affect the Earth, it is unlikely that relaxing the rigid body assumption would help matters appreciably in a pure gravity model. In addition, such refinements might not be necessary once electricity and magnetism are quantified in the problem.
If, as Dr. Dunthorn thinks, the comments by Slabinski and me were esoteric, then we failed in making this important topic understandable to non-technical readers. That was not our intent. Hopefully, this present discussion has clarified matters for both the specialist and novice alike.
THE SECRET OF BAALBEK: A CRITICAL COMMENTARY
... In the paper under review,
In the first part of the article, quotations from the Bible abound. In the second part,
The conscientious reader who looks up the source is in for a surprise. The so called
"village of el-Kadi" does not exist. What was probably meant is Tell el Qadi, an "artificial mound"
with "traces of surrounding wall".
The brief report closes with the words:
This sounds very different from Velikovsky's rather casual remark that "very insignificant ancient ruins have been found" on a - nonexistent - village.
With only one interruption - owing to the 6-days' war in 1967 - excavations at Tel Dan
continued, and the results of the findings were communicated and published in IEJ up to the year
Nothing of this is ever hinted at in the essay under review. The supposition seems justified, therefore, that the original draft was finished not later than 1967 - and was never revised.
It was not unusual for Velikovsky to delay the publication of his writings. In the "Foreword" to Oedipus and Akhnaton, Velikovsky quotes "Horace's advice to withhold a manuscript from publication for nine years" and prides himself that this advice was "complied with - doubly so. More than eighteen years passed from the conception of the work and its first draft to its rewriting and preparation for the
In another case, Velikovsky waited more than 20 years with the publication of a study.
Concerning the essay under review, there was certainly no reason to rush into print: right from the start Velikovsky was aware that excavations [at Tel Dan were still] going on, the outcome of which might prove him wrong.
There is nothing unusual in this. Every scientist has to face the possibility that his work
may become obsolete, even during his lifetime, owing to new discoveries, etc. One of the truly
great scholars of our century, when defining the task of a university teacher, decided that his first
task should be to teach his students to acknowledge "inconvenient" ("unbequeme") facts; i.e.,
facts which may disprove his convictions.
In "The Secret of Baalbek" which, as suggested, might have been drafted in 1967 - Velikovsky tried to play down the inconvenient news. There came a moment, however, when he was forced to acknowledge the fact that the proposed identification of Baalbek with Biblical Dan could no longer be upheld.
In the spring of 1974, Dr. and Mrs. Velikovsky spent several weeks in Israel. They toured
the country, visited ancient sites and excavations, and Velikovsky used the opportunity to discuss
problems of mutual interest with Israeli experts. Among the archaeologists with whom he met
was their senior, Professor Benyamin Mazar from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, at that
time the leading excavator at the Western Wall of the Temple Mound. Also, during a reception
given in honor of the visitors by friends, in Jerusalem, Velikovsky had long talks with some
archaeologists of the younger generation, lecturers at the same university.
During this same visit in Spring, 1974, Velikovsky was forced to acknowledge another basic error.
In the study under investigation, Velikovsky, following earlier observations, dedicated a special section to "The Embossed Quaders", where he writes:
While in Jerusalem, Velikovsky participated in a conducted tour through the excavations
at this same Western Wall (and later discussed them with Prof. Mazar). It was then that he was
told that this wall is not, as erroneously supposed by him, a relic from the so-called first Temple
built by Solomon in the 10th century B.C.E., but from the second Temple built by Herod 900
years later, in the 1st century B.C.E. If the observation is correct, "that the quaders of the wall
of the temple area ... of Baalbek have the same form as the quaders of the Temple"
The foregoing was ready to be mailed when it became known that Dr. A. Biran, the
excavator of Tel Dan, was to read a paper, "The Temenos at Dan", in the frame of the 8th World
Congress of Jewish Studies. The lecture
All the finds inside the sacred precincts of Tel Dan point to a cult centre of importance - [in particular] a "bamah" or "beth bamoth", an open-air platform, raised, and reached by a flight of steps (found in situ), in the middle of which stood the altar. But, during the almost 17 years of excavations, no trace of a building has been found. It was clear that the temple of has to be looked for elsewhere.
The answer is to be found in Josephus. According to him, Jeroboam built little shrines for
the two calves - [Greek text] (na-ïs-kos)
REFERENCES1. I. Velikovsky, "Straka: Science or Anti-Science?" Pensée IVR II (Fall 1972), p. 16.
2. Idem, "The Secret of Baalbek," KRONOS VI:2 (Winter 1981), pp. 25-32 & KRONOS VI:3 (Spring 1981), pp. 3-17.
3. Ibid., KRONOS VI:3 (Spring 1981), pp. 3-17.
4. Ibid, KRONOS VI:2 (Winter 1981), p. 27, and n. 2.
5. "Schedule of Historical Monuments and Sites" - Supplement No. 2 to the Palestine Gazette Extraordinary, No. 1375 (Nov. 24,1944), p. 1296.
6. IEJ (as cited in note No.4).
8. Excavations in Israel generally involve 8 to 10 weeks' activities on the site - the rest of the year being filled with sorting, evaluating, and dating the finds, and publication of preliminary reports.
9. IEJ, Vol. 19 (1969), pp. 123, 239-241.
10. I. Velikovsky, Oedipus and Akhnaton (London,1960), p. 11.
11. Idem, "Astronomy and Chronology". This paper, first set in type in the early 1950's, was published only 20 years later in Pensée IVR IV (Spring-Summer 1973), pp. 38-49. It was also reprinted as a Supplement to his Peoples of the Sea (N.Y.,1977), pp. 205-244. No explanation was ever given for the delay.
12. M. Weber, Wissenschaft als Beruf (Leipzig, 1921), p. 26.
13. The reception took place in a private flat in which a special room had been prepared to which Velikovsky retreated with the young men for a prolonged discussion. This writer was one of the guests who attended the meeting.
14. During the 1977 season of excavations at Tell el Qadi, a bilingual votive inscription was found in the Sacred Area, which read: "To the God/who is in Dan/Zoikos made a vow." The find was published, in both Hebrew and English journals, in 1978. It is doubtful, however, that it ever came to the attention of Dr. Velikovsky. Interested readers may find a reproduction of this votive inscription in The Biblical Archaeologist (Summer 1980). The original is now on exhibit in the vestibule of the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem.
15. I. Velikovsky, "The Secret of Baalbek", KRONOS VI:3 (Spring 1981), p. 10.
17. A. Biran, "The Temenos at Dan", read at the 8th World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem on August 16, 1981. (NOTE: "Temenos" is Greek for "a piece of land dedicated to a god, the sacred precincts". See Liddell & Scott, Greek-English Lexicon (Oxford), 17th edition.)
18. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, VIII, viii, 4. In this work, Josephus uses the diminutive form "na'os" which is defined as "the inmost part of a temple, the cell, in which the image of the god was placed". See Liddell & Scott, op. cit.
19. Idem, The Jewish War, IV, i, 1.
[Editor's Comment: A detailed response to Dr. Danelius' criticism of Velikovsky's "The Secret of Baalbek" will be forthcoming in a future issue of KRONOS. Suffice it to say for now that, aside from the question of the embossed quaders, she has failed to address any of the other many parallels drawn by Velikovsky between Baalbek and the Biblical Dan. She assumes Tell el Qadi to be Dan and thus offers evidence that mainly establishes the occupation of the site - not necessarily its Biblical identity. Furthermore, she also accepts the conventional interpretation of Josephus' account to be correct; yet, it is this very interpretation that Velikovsky has challenged. Finally, on the basis of a single reference, she presumes that Velikovsky's paper was drafted in 1967. As it happens, "The Secret of Baalbek" was first written in the mid-1940's and subsequently updated a number of times, the most recent being 1970. Part I of "the Secret of Baalbek" even contains a clear reference to IEJ for 1969 (KRONOS VI:2, p. 27, n.2). - LMG]
A DATE CORRECTION FOR RAMSES IITo the Editor of KRONOS:
I wish to challenge the dates proposed by the Glasgow chronologists for Ramses II.
Messrs. James, Bimson, and Gammon have defined the first 18 years of the reign of Ramses II
as being the years 804-786 B.C.,
The key issue here is the date of the death of Hazael, king of Syria. We are told that
"... Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz" (II Kings 13:22), which
implies that Hazael was still alive at the time of the death of Jehoahaz. According to the
chronology of Thiele
Velikovsky established that the Biblical Hazael was to be identified with the Aziru of
the el-Amarna letters.
In addition, we know that the Hittite king Mursilis 11 signed a treaty with Duppi-Teshub of Amurru.
The Mursilis/Duppi-Teshub treaty also presents problems for hard-line Velikovskians,
whose scheme would involve Mursilis-Nabopolassar signing a treaty with a grandson of that
enigma - Aziru II.
Gammon has suggested dates of 738-730 B.C. for Merneptah,
Lester J. Mitcham
REFERENCES1. SISR III:2, p. 56 and SISR IV:2/3, pp. 58-61.
2. E. R. Thiele, The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings.
3. SISR IV:2/3, p. 60.
4. Private letter reporting on the Ancient History Study Group meeting held in London, 29 March 1981.
5. I. Velikovsky, Ages in Chaos, pp. 293 ff.
6. Cambridge Ancient History (19 25), Vol. II, p. 318.
7. J. Lehmann, The Hittites, p. 237.
8. J. B. Pritchard, ANET, pp. 203-205.
9. I. Velikovsky, Theses for the Reconstruction of Ancient History, Thesis No. 189.
10. SISR III:2, p. 56.
11. SISR III:2, pp. 57-59.