There are many individuals whose work helped make this book possible. The staff of the journal Kronos played a very large role in presenting some of the data contained in this book. I especially owe thanks to Clark Whelton for his encouragement, to Dr. Earl Milton, Dr. C.J. Ransom and Dr. George R. Talbott for a careful examination of the scientific materials, and to Dr. Lynn E. Rose, Frederick B. Jueneman and David N. Talbott for their fine advice. And to Lynn Schneider Ginenthal who patiently typed this book, my special thanks.











































































































































































































APPENDIX I Simple Collision Physics of the Probability of a Recent Collision With Earth By a Massive Member of the Solar System

APPENDIX II Consequences of a Sudden Deceleration of the Earth’s Rotation

APPENDIX III Present Temperature of Venus If Heated by a Close Passage of the Sun

APPENDIX IV Magnetic Field Strengths Necessary to Circularize an Eccentric Cometary Orbit











End of Book




‘Dogma differs from hypothesis by the refusal of its adherents even to consider the aspects of its validity. Legitimate disagreement or controver­sy creates dogma when arguments are no longer listened to. Although usually belonging to the realm of theoretical models where direct experiment (or observation) is not possible dogmatism may sometimes induce its followers to misquotation or misrepresentation of the most indisputable facts, even to statements made in print by their opponents.’

E.J. Opik .J.;“About Dogma in Science…”
Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, (1977). Vol. 15, p. 1


‘Yet it remained for the scientific community to launch the most vicious and unreasoning attack on both the ideas and the author of Worlds in Collision.’

Fred Warshofsky .;Doomsday the Science of Catastrophe, (1977), p. 42


‘It is extremely difficult for a really radical idea to get a hearing, much less a fair hearing. And if the originator of the radical idea does not have normal credentials, getting a (fair) hearing can be virtually impossible.’

David M. Raup, .M.;The Nemesis Affair, (1986), p. 203


Dr. Carl Sagan, a professor of astronomy from Cornell University, a well known public personality and writer of popular books of science, in 1974 at a symposium of the American Association for the Advance­ment of Science (AAAS) delivered a paper, “An Analysis of Worlds in Collision”. This paper was later edited and presented in a book, Scientists Confront Velikovsky, published by Cornell University Press. The paper was further edited and presented in Sagan’s book Broca’s Brain, under the title “Venus and Dr. Velikovsky”. Sagan’s paper is a critique of Immanuel Velikovsky’s book Worlds in Collision.

Having read Velikovsky, I also read Sagan’s paper; I thereafter discovered that a group of scientists and scholars had written critiques of Sagan’s analysis. After reading these criticisms I began a search of the literature and over a period of time I became convinced that Sagan’s critique lacked substance. Most surprising was the number of statements made by Sagan that proved to be clearly untrue. Further reading reinforced this discovery of the glaringly unscientific and unscholarly quality of Sagan’s paper. What was much worse, was that it was difficult to imagine that even Sagan was unaware of the misrepresentation of evidence presented as scholarly criticism by him and offered to the public.

Thereafter, I encountered a colleague who, learning that I was interested in the thesis of Dr. Velikovsky, informed me that in Broca’s Brain was an essay by Professor Sagan that demolished Velikovsky and his thesis. When he informed me that he had not read any of Velikovsky’s books nor any criticisms of Sagan’s article I asked, “How can you make a proper judgment if you haven’t read both sides of the issue.” To my astonishment he replied, “I don’t have to read both sides to know which side is right!” His closed-minded attitude made discussion futile and I let the remark pass. Several days later I received a letter in which he presented citations from Sagan’s paper and posed, “What possible arguments could be raised on Velikovsky’s behalf?”

In response I composed a long letter which dealt with merely one of Sagan’s criticisms. This posted I awaited his response—none came. A few weeks later at a monthly conference, we ran into each other. In a very friendly manner he approached me, smiling broadly, he shook my hand. “What did you think of my reply to your letter?” I asked. He admired the scholarship of my reply to Sagan and admitted frankly, “There are two sides to this Velikovsky business.” This I followed up by asking if there were any other aspects of Sagan’s criticism which he wished to clarify. He shook his head ‘no’ and I dropped the matter. However, I noted that he seemed shocked by the evidence of the rebuttal presented.

It was at that moment that the realization struck that Carl Sagan’s criticisms had been uncritically read by a wide audience. This was soon discovered to be the case among friends and relatives. Seemingly, they had all read Sagan’s side, but not Velikovsky’s. With little or no scientific background with which to judge, they had accepted Sagan’s word on all matters. It was then that I conceived the idea for this book. It is hoped that reading the other side will permit laymen to clarify the issues.

I must admit that doing the research for this book over about an eight-year period has brought to my attention much more than I had imagined regarding Sagan’s critique. It has been a deeply saddening experience to discover again and again the crassness of Sagan’s work on Velikovsky. It has also been a deeply shocking experience to learn the political nature of the way science operates. Even if Velikovsky’s theories are completely wrong, no one deserves to be maligned as he has been. The deceit exposed in the following pages is an outrage to decency.




Discussing the reception of the scientific community to Darwin’s .;Origin of Species, Thomas Huxley wrote, ‘It was badly received by the gener­ation to which it was first addressed, and the angry outpouring of angry nonsenses to which it gave rise is sad to think upon. But the present generation will probably behave just as badly if another Darwin should arise, and inflict upon them what the generality of mankind most hate—the necessity of revising their convictions.’

Thomas Huxley .;cited by Daniel J. Boorstin.J.;,
The Discoverers, (1985), p. 476

‘Only later, when the Quarterly Review article appeared and his friends had persuaded him that [St. George] Mivart’s . George;criticisms were not only unjust but also influential, did Darwin have second thoughts about him. He himself observed that Mivart had twice neglected to complete quotations from the Descent, but now he was told that the omitted words were essential to the argument, upon which [Darwin]...sorrowfully concluded that, ‘though he [Mivart] means to be honourable, he is so bigoted that he cannot act fairly.’

Charles Darwin, .;cited by Gertrude Himmelfarb.;, ,
Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, (1968), pp. 359-60

‘Science writers, if they do it well, both inform and entertain, but the task of informing is primary. They must under no circumstances, misinform. If they do, their work is worthless and even harmful—all the more worthless and harmful if it is entertaining and attracts readers.’

Isaac Asimov, .;The Planets, (1985), p. 20




Some forty years ago, Immanuel Velikovsky triggered a venomous scientific controversy when he claimed that, within the past few thousand years, errant planets have nearly destroyed life on Earth.

Though his book, Worlds in Collision, was highly successful com­mercially (becoming a number-one best seller in 1950), Velikovsky was quickly repudiated en masse by accredited astronomers, physicists, historians and other specialists. His claims, it was said, violated the self-evident principles of physics and astronomy—and most everything we had come to know about our Earth and the solar system.

In sweeping terms, Velikovksy appeared to cast aside the most treasured assumptions of the scientific age. And worst of all, he drew the better part of his testimony from early mythical and religious texts—an outlandish reservoir of “evidence” in the opinion of most physical scientists.

Yet it is a fact that Velikovsky’s case was persuasive enough to con­vince a good many critical readers, while an even larger number urged open-mindedness and a fair consideration of Velikovsky’s unusual thesis.

Analyzing ancient sources from around the world, Velikovsky noted a consistent story of interplanetary conflagrations. It seems that early man saw the planetary gods as fearsome powers, armed with missiles and thunderbolts, whose battles threw the world into confusion. Velikovsky believed that these stories were based on memories of actual events, a time when the planets moved on erratic courses, waged battles in the sky and menaced our own planet. Near collisions disturbed the terrestrial axis, removed the Earth from its established path and produced worldwide catastrophes.

Velikovsky’s research led him to an extraordinary theory about the planet Venus. He claimed that Venus was born explosively from the planet Jupiter only a few thousand years ago, taking on the appearance of a comet, and moving on an Earth-threatening orbit around the Sun. On at least two occasions, he said, the Earth passed through the trailing debris of the comet-like Venus, showers of stone and fire descending on terrestrial inhabitants and leveling civilizations the world over.

It was the first of these two disasters, in Velikovsky’s reconstruction, which ended the Egyptian Middle Kingdom and provided the catas­trophic backdrop to the Hebrew Exodus.

To build his case Velikovsky undertook a global survey of mythical and historical records, supplemented by archaeological testimony. He claimed that ancient observations of planetary motions make no sense, at least in terms of the heavens we know today. Ancient sundials and water clocks, he reported, likewise testify to an altered celestial order, while the star chart on an Egyptian tomb represents a confused, “upside down” sky. From opposite sides of the world, Velikovsky produced surprising, dovetailing reports describing celestial upheavals and apparent devastations from Earth-changing encounters.

All told, it was an extraordinary and exciting thesis, but less than convincing to astronomers and physicists reading summaries in Colliers magazine and Reader’s Digest. Not just Velikovsky’s conclusions, but the approach itself was patently misplaced, at least in the eyes of those who had long ago dismissed ancient astrology, religion, and myth as valueless to modern science. That Velikovsky gathered his evidence from such untrustworthy sources, then used it to rewrite the history of the solar system, seemed to violate every canon of acceptable methodology.

In the years since publication of Worlds in Collision, the “Velikovsky Affair” has been the subject of continuing discussion in popular articles and books. But no one entering the fray has brought more attention to the issue than the prominent astronomer, author and television personality, Carl Sagan. In at least four books published in the past fifteen years, Sagan has presented a detailed position on the Velikovsky question, concluding that there is no admissible scientific evidence to support the latter’s claims.

Sagan’s widely-read treatments of the issue were preceded by a face-to-face encounter between Sagan and Velikovsky at a 1974 special symposium of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Francisco.

There are a number of reasons for addressing the Velikovsky issue squarely. It is, to begin with, an excellent case study in the history of unconventional ideas and the way such ideas are handled by the guardians of orthodox science. More importantly, many issues raised by Velikovsky simply have not gone away.



That Velikovsky, neither an astronomer nor a physicist, proposed to re-write the recent history of the solar system was for many specialists an exercise in futility. How could one untrained in celestial mechanics speak intelligently of wandering planetary orbs and violent exchanges between planets?

Velikovsky derived his thesis from a systematic exploration of or the study of history and the roots of ancient myth and symbolism. And whatever one may think of such an enterprise, it is clear that for this Velikovsky lacked neither the formal training nor the credentials, as the briefest of biographies will show:

Born in Vitebsk, Russia in 1895, he learned several languages as a child, and graduated with a gold medal from the Medvdenikov Gym­nasium in Moscow in 1913.

Barred from entering Moscow University by clauses restricting Jews, he began premedical studies in Scotland, returning to Russia during World War I to study law and ancient history at Moscow’s Free University. In 1915, he was finally admitted to Moscow University, receiving his medical degree in 1921.

Shortly thereafter, Velikovsky moved to Berlin, where he founded and edited an international series of monographs by outstanding Jewish scholars, Scripta Universitatis, for which Albert Einstein .;edited the mathematics-physics section and became acquainted with Velikovsky. (His friendship with Einstein would continue until the latter’s death in 1955. In Einstein’s later years, there were many long evenings of discussion with Velikovsky in Princeton, and, as Velikovsky’s supporters often remind us, Worlds in Collision was the one book which lay open on Einstein’s desk at the time of his death.)

In 1923 Velikovsky married a young violinist, Elisheva Kramer .;and the following year moved to Jerusalem, to practice medicine. Later, after a stay in Vienna, where he studied under Freud’s first pupil Wilhelm Stekel, .;Velikovsky moved to Tel Aviv, beginning another series of monographs, Scripta Academica Hierosolymitana, conceived as the cornerstone of an academy of science in Jerusalem. In 1930 he published the first paper to suggest that epileptics are characterized by pathological encephalograms.

In 1939 Velikovsky came to the United States to research a com­mentary on Freud’s .;work Moses and Monotheism. While reflecting on Freud’s thesis, Velikovsky had conceived the possibility that the Pharaoh Akhnaton, the real hero of Freud’s book, was the legendary Oedipus, an idea later developed in Velikovsky’s book Oedipus and Akhnaton. It was this research that began to carry him further and further into apparent incongruities of ancient history.



In April, 1940, Velikovsky was first struck by the idea that a great natural catastrophe might have taken place at the time of the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt—a time when, according to the Biblical account, plagues occurred, the Sea of Passage parted, Mount Sinai erupted, and the pillar of smoke and fire moved in the sky.

Velikovsky wondered: Does any Egyptian record of a similar catastrophe exist? He found the answer in an obscure papyrus stored in Leiden, Holland—the lamentations of an Egyptian sage, Ipuwer. As in the Exodus account, the complaints of the Egyptian sage spoke of rivers turning to blood and the destruction of the land. “Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere,” bewailed Ipuwer. “Men shrink from tasting, human beings thirst after water… That is our water! That is our happiness! What shall we do in respect thereof? All is ruin… The towns are destroyed… Upper Egypt has become waste… The residence is overturned in a minute.”

The Ipuwer document, Velikovsky became convinced, described the very natural catastrophe recorded in the Hebrew Exodus. On this conviction, then, he began to reconstruct piece by piece the fragments of ancient Middle Eastern history, taking the catastrophe as a starting point from which to synchronize the chronologies of Egypt and Israel. The result was a series of volumes, beginning with Ages in Chaos, published in 1952.

The cause of the catastrophe which he believed to have terminated the Middle Kingdom remained unexplained. But one afternoon in October, 1940, Velikovsky noticed an interesting passage in The Book of Joshua. In connection with the flight of the Canaanites in the valley of Beth-horon, a destructive shower of meteorites is said to have occurred—this before the sun “stood still” in the sky. Was this a coincidence, or were the ancients recording a cosmic disturbance that must have shaken the entire Earth and might have been related to the upheavals approximately 50 years earlier during the Exodus? From a survey of other sources around the world, Velikovsky concluded that two global cataclysms had indeed overtaken the Earth, and that the agent of these disturbances was the now distant and settled planet Venus. Moreover, in its destructive role, Venus seems to have been depicted more like a comet than a planet.

Velikovsky noted, from one land to another, certain unique but repeated associations of Venus with well-known cometary images. Among the Mexicans, Velikovsky found, Venus was called a “star that smoked,” the very phrase which Mexican astronomy used to describe a comet. On the other side of the world, the Hindu Vedas depict Venus “like a fire accompanied by smoke.” “Fire is hanging down from the planet Venus,” states the Hebrew Talmud. To the Egyptians, Venus, as Sekhmet, was “a circling star which scatters its flames and fire.”

The Aztecs called Venus the “heart” of Quetzalcoatl—whose name means “the plumed serpent,” and whose feathers are acknowledged to signify “flames of fire.” The serpent or dragon is one of the most universal glyphs for the “comet” in the ancient world.

Other serpent or dragon figures that Velikovsky identifies with the Venus-comet include the Greek Typhon, Egyptian Set, Babylonian Tiamat, Hindu Vrtra—all of whom, in highly vivid accounts, raged in the sky and brought overwhelming destruction to the world.

The Greek word comet comes from coma, meaning “hair.” Ancient astronomers referred to comets as stars with “hair” or with a “beard.” But Venus, too, apparently possessed a comet-like tail: one of the Mexican names for Venus was “the mane.” The Peruvian chaska, the word for Venus, means “wavy-haired.” The Arabs called Venus the “one with hair.”

Most compelling is the convergence of the above “comet” images in the instance of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, one of the most famous goddesses in the ancient world and recognized by all authorities as a figure of Venus. Ishtar is the “bright torch of heaven”; she is “clothed with fire”; and she is the “fearful dragon,” while her planet—Venus—is called “the one with hair” and the “bearded” planet.

Unless one refuses on principle to entertain such thinking, it is im­possible to review the evidence gathered by Velikovsky without at least suspecting that Venus did indeed once possess a comet-like tail, and that the planet may have contributed to some extraordinary celestial events.



Searching through the early records of man, Velikovsky looked for indications as to how—and why—a cometary Venus may have arisen, or entered the solar system. He knew that the ancients, aware of a link between the circuit of heavenly bodies and the ruin of previous civilizations, diligently watched the planetary motions. Their traditions recalled that when former epochs dissolved, the new “age” was marked by different celestial motions. Early astronomers and seers looked for any change which might signal approaching destruction and the end of an age.

Velikovsky noticed that prior to the second millennium B.C. ancient Hindu records spoke of four visible planets, excluding Venus. Babylonians, meticulous in their observations, likewise excluded Venus in their earliest list of the planets.

To these considerations, Velikovsky added the interesting fact that Venus was designated “the Newcomer.” Could it be that the now peaceful planet originated as a cometary “protoplanet,” and only settled into its present orbit within the past few thousand years?

Figuring crucially into Velikovsky’s argument is the well-known story of the Greek goddess Athena (identified by Velikovsky with Venus). In the account of Homer, Athena is “born” from the head of Zeus, the planet Jupiter. It was apparently this story that first led Velikovsky to surmise that a cometary Venus may have exploded from Jupiter during a period of Jovian instability—a possibility that soon grew into a firm conviction. Here, then, is Velikovsky’s scenario:

Some time before 1500 B.C. a brilliant, fiery object burst forth from the largest planet in the solar system, entering in cometary fashion upon a long, elliptical orbit around the sun. (Venus, a Chinese astro­nomical text recalls, spanned the heavens, rivaling the sun in brightness. “The brilliant light of Venus,” records an ancient rabbinical source, “blazes from one end of the cosmos to the other.”)

For an indeterminate period the Venus comet moved on its elongat­ed path, intersecting the orbit of the Earth. Then, around 1500 B.C. occurred a disastrous close approach. As Venus arched away from its perihelion, the Earth entered the outer reaches of its cometary tail. A rusty ferrous dust filtered down upon the globe, imparting a reddish hue to land and sea, and turning the water to “blood.” As the Earth’s path carried it more deeply into the comet’s tail, the rain of particles grew steadily more coarse and perilous. Soon a great hail of gravel pelted the Earth. “There was hail, and fire mingled with hail, grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation,” states the author of Exodus.

Fleeing from the torrent of meteorites, men abandoned their livestock to the holocaust. Fields of grain, the life substance of great civilizations, perished. Cried the Egyptian Ipuwer: “No fruits, no herbs are found. That has perished which yesterday was seen. The land is left to its weariness like the cutting of flax.” Such things happened, say the Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan, when the sky “rained, not water, but fire and red-hot stones.”

As our planet plunged still deeper into the comet’s tail, hydrocarbon gases enveloped the Earth, exploding in bursts of fire in the sky. Unignited trains of petroleum poured onto the planet, sinking into the surface and floating on the seas. From Siberia to the Caucasus to the Arabian desert, great spills of naphtha burned for years, their billows of smoke lending a dark shroud for mankind’s struggle to survive.

In this celestial encounter, according to Velikovsky, the axis of the Earth was displaced, leaving half of the globe in prolonged darkness for several days, as global windstorms, Earthquakes and continental sweeps of mud and sea devastated the entire surface of our planet.

Above, the glistening comet shone like a dragon through the tempest of dust and smoke, as Venus and its writhing serpentine tail exchanged gigantic thunderbolts. The world’s myths, Velikovsky tells us, have memorialized this conflagration as the combat of a light god and dragon of darkness. The Babylonians told of the celestial warrior Marduk striking the dragon Tiamat with bolts of fire. Egyptian chroniclers saw Isis and the serpent-dragon Set in deadly combat, while the Hindus described the great god Vishnu battling the “crooked serpent.” Zeus, in the Greek account, struggled with the coiled viper Typhon.

The battle in the sky raged for weeks, with the cometary apparition taking on the appearance of a column of smoke by day, a pillar of fire by night. Through a series of close approaches the comet’s tail en­closed the Earth in a shadow of death, a thick gloomy haze that lasted for many years.

In the age to follow, the sun rose in the east, where formerly it set. Now, the quarters of the world were displaced, and the seasons no longer came in their appointed times. “The winter is come as summer, the months are reversed, and the hours are disordered,” reads an Egyptian papyrus. An inscription from before the tumult says that the sun “riseth in the west,” while numerous records tell of Earth “turning over.”

In the wake of these events, Venus continued on its threatening course around the Sun, and—some 50 years after the Exodus—again drew near. Under Joshua, the Israelites had entered the Promised Land. As the Canaanites fled from before the hand of Joshua in the valley Beth-horon, the daughter of Jupiter unleashed a second storm. “The Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died,” reports the Book of Joshua. Once more, the terrestrial axis tilted and the Earth shook. Above Beth-horon the sun stood still for hours, while on the other side of the Earth chroniclers recorded a prolonged night, lit only by the burning landscape. A destruction of this kind, according to Mexican sources, occurred about 50 years after an earlier world-destroying catastrophe.

Now the priests and astrologers began to fear a renewal of cosmic upheavals on 50 year cycles. With bloody orgies and incantation nations enjoined the dreaded queen of the planets to remain far from them. “How long will thou tarry, O lady of heaven and Earth?” inquired the Babylonians, while the Zoroastrian priests declared, “We sacrifice unto Tistrya, the bright and glorious star, whose rising is watched by the chiefs of deep understanding.”

In both hemispheres, Velikovsky says, men fixed their gaze anxious­ly on the comet as, for centuries, it continued its circuit, crossing the orbits of both Earth and Mars. Before the middle of the eighth century B.C., astrologers observed irregularities in its wandering. Viewed from Babylonia, Venus rose, disappeared in the west for over nine months, then reappeared in the east. Dipping below the eastern horizon, it was not seen for over two months, until it shone in the west. The following year Venus vanished in the west for eleven years before reappearing in the east.

There is, of course, more to Velikovsky’s scenario in Worlds in Collision: eventually Venus dislodged the planet Mars from its orbit, initiating a new period of instability and disaster, continuing from 747 to 686 B.C. For our purpose, however, the above summary should be sufficient to give the flavor of Velikovsky’s thesis, and to make clear why the scientific community as a whole found the story to be—a story, but not science.

And let us not understate the difficulty. In many ways Velikovsky’s account could not fail to tax one’s credulity, no matter how far one might carry an open-mindedness on the underlying idea. When, in the account of the Exodus, the vengeful pharaoh pursues the fleeing Israelites across the Sea of Passage, the waters have already been divided by the tug of the celestial combatants. As told by Velikovsky, the entire band of Israelites had not yet crossed to the far side when a giant electrical bolt flew between the two planets. Instantly the waters collapsed. The pharaoh, his soldiers and chariots, and those Israelites who still remained between the divided water, were cast furiously into the air and consumed in a seething whirlpool. Though the timing wasn’t perfect, it was certainly very good.

Then there is the seemingly miraculous case of descending manna, a mysterious life-giving substance which Velikovsky believes to have precipitated in the heavy atmosphere—possibly derived from Venus’ hydrocarbons through bacterial action, he said. When heated, this “bread of heaven” dissolved, but when cooled, it precipitated into grains which could be preserved for long periods or ground between stones. Without this convenient turn of nature—too convenient, in the eyes of skeptics—the human race might have perished altogether.

Details such as these, when separated from the more fundamental thesis, simply provided the critics with easy targets for ridicule, which some extended to anything and everything about Worlds in Collision.



Even before Worlds in Collision had reached the bookstore it was enveloped in controversy.

In 1950, after more than a dozen publishing houses had rejected Velikovsky’s manuscript, it was accepted by Macmillan. Having announced the forthcoming release of the book, Macmillan was soon caught in what appeared to be an organized boycott, initiated by the well-known astronomer Harlow Shapley, .;then director of the Harvard College Observatory. In a personal letter to the publisher, Shapley sought to block the book’s release, threatening to “cut off” his rela­tions with Macmillan. Letters from other authors of Macmillan books followed, along with threats from professors who could not imagine using the company’s textbooks any longer if the publisher were to discredit itself in the rumored fashion.

Though the book had already been reviewed by several critics at Macmillan’s request, and though it was now on press, the company hastily submitted the manuscript to three additional reviewers. These, too, recommended publication by a two-to-one vote.

So, in April, 1950, Macmillan decided to go ahead with publication of the already controversial book.

Despite the immediate furor, one of those who saw merit in Velikovsky’s ideas was Gordon Atwater, .;chairman and curator of the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History. In a preface to a 1950 article by Fulton Oursler .;in Reader’s Digest Atwater contended that, in light of the Velikovsky thesis, “the underpinnings of modern science can now be re-examined.” In fact, Atwater himself planned to mount a star show at the planetarium illustrating the new possibilities opened up by Worlds in Collision. And in This Week magazine, a cover story by Atwater called for an open mind on Velikovsky’s theory.

But the day before the article appeared, and in a move that seemed to set the tenor of the events to follow, Atwater was, without explana­tion, dismissed from the museum. Under growing pressure to abandon Worlds in Collision, Macmillan fired the editor who contracted the book, then, eight weeks after its publication, transferred its rights to Doubleday—a move unparalleled in publishing history: the book had already become number one on the New York Times non-fiction best-seller list.

The many bizarre responses by professional scholars—before and after publication of Worlds in Collision—have been fully detailed elsewhere. They include horrendous misrepresentations of the thesis by well respected astronomers and others who had never seen the book; repeated refusals by scientific journals to grant Velikovsky an opportunity to reply to his critics; and refusals to retract factually erroneous and even farcical “summaries” of his views.

For two decades following the appearance of Worlds in Collision Velikovsky was, with rare exceptions persona non grata on college and university campuses and his work treated as a joke by established publications.

This was to change somewhat toward the end of the sixties, however. By this time the space age was well underway, with volumes of extraterrestrial data flowing into Earth’s computers. Stunning pictures, rock samples, measurements of every kind. The profiles of the planets were shifting with each subsequent revelation, and it was clear that many surprises on balance weighed in Velikovsky’s favor. The unexpected, massive clouds of Venus, the planet’s strange retrograde rotation and its surpassing temperature, the stark figures of the tortured planet Mars, verification by the Moon landings of radioactive hot spots and remanent magnetism predicted by Velikovsky; the growing recognition of electromagnetism in celestial mechanics—these and other discoveries may not have produced the pristine verdicts proclaimed by some of Velikovsky’s loyalists, but were enough to encourage a number of scholars to take a new look at Velikovsky’s thesis.

In 1972 a group out of Portland, Oregon began publishing a ten-issue series Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered, presenting a wide range of scholarly opinions on Velikovsky, with many contributors calling for a wholesale re-evaluation of his work in view of new data. The first issue published produced quite a stir, both in this country and abroad. In the following months, most of the country’s general scientific publications addressed the Velikovsky question—some calling for more openness and tolerance of unpopular views, others wondering aloud how to preserve the integrity of science from intellectual con artists.

This was the beginning of some new and fascinating episodes, culminating in a widely publicized symposium on Velikovsky in 1974, sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.



Since publication of Worlds in Collision in 1950, many aspects of Velikovsky’s thesis have been debated by various scientific spokesmen who have assured us that certain ironclad principles of astronomy and the Earth sciences refute all of the book’s primary claims. But can it honestly be said that the sum of the discussion so far has provided a definitive answer to the issues first raised by Velikovsky 40 years ago?

What is the evidence and how does it relate to Velikovsky’s hypothesis? The question of the evidence is, of course, related to Sagan’s criticism. For some, Sagan’s criticisms of Velikovsky are sufficient to put the views he offers out of the realm of science. For example, Anthony R. Aveni’s .R.;article “A Marshaling of Arguments”, presented in Science, (Jan. 20, 1978), pp. 288-89, states, “Carl Sagan’s paper…is amusing, acrid, and totally devastating…his essay alone is sufficient to reduce the Velikovsky theory to anile fancy… Velikovsky is flatly and totally disproven… As far as Velikovskyanism is concerned, it is dead and buried. The final nail has been driven. It is now hoped that we can move on to more exciting things.” When letters were sent to Aveni critical of his review presenting evidence contrary to that presented by Sagan, Aveni sent a letter in response. “My review says that I’m tired of listening. I’ve spent too much time listening, and all of it isn’t worth listening to—and that is an objective statement.”

As pointed out earlier, E.J. Opik .J.;stated, “Dogma differs from hypothesis by the refusal of its adherents even to consider the aspects of its validity. Legitimate disagreement or controversy creates dogma when arguments are no longer listened to.” In science, evidence dominates all other forms of argument. Therefore, Aveni’s attitude may well be a personal standard for science. Only evidence should determine the nature of a scientific debate.

In the following pages, this author has gathered evidence from the scientific sources and cited them verbatim on each of Sagan’s criticisms. It is only the evidence that will be of paramount importance in evaluating Sagan’s critique.



In his introductory remarks Sagan offers his views of science,

“Scientists, like other human beings, have their hopes and fears, their passions and despondencies—and their strong emotions may sometimes interrupt the course of clear thinking and sound practice… The history of science is full of cases where previously accepted theories and hypotheses have been entirely overthrown, to be replaced by new ideas that more adequately explain the data. While there is an understandable psychological inertia—usually lasting about one generation—such revolutions in scientific thought are widely accepted as a necessary and desirable element of scientific progress.”[1]

There is, indeed, a clear distinction to be made between the psychological and sociological behavior of individual scientists, on the one hand and the requirement of truthfulness and responsible behavior of scientists in their symposia and journals on the other. Therefore, to determine whether or not Science and in particular, the AAAS symposium held on Velikovsky reflects science governed by passion or science governed by reason, we must investigate the AAAS symposium held on Velikovsky and the scientific journalistic treatment of Velikovsky.

Sagan states further that,

“The most fundamental axioms and conclusions may be challenged. The prevailing hypotheses must survive confrontation with observation. Appeals to authority are impermissible. The…reasoned argument must be set out for all to see.”[2]

Not only do these requirements demand that Velikovsky adhere to the rational scientific position but that Sagan in his criticisms fulfill these same ideals. If as Sagan suggests reason has come to rule passion in the case of Velikovsky then criteria of fairness and justice will be observed. If passion rules reason then dishonesty and injustice will be observed. Sagan adds,

“Indeed, the reasoned criticism of a prevailing belief is a service to the proponents of that belief; if they are incapable of defending it they are well advised to abandon it. This self-questioning and error correcting aspect of the scientific method is its most striking property, and sets it off from many other areas of human endeavor such as politics and theology”[3] [or] “where credulity is the rule.”[4]

For anyone to defend his views he must have access to the journals that raise criticisms of his thesis. The question arises: Was Velikovsky permitted full access to the scientific journals to defend his hypothesis and also to the AAAS publication for this debate? Furthermore, was Velikovsky given sufficient space to answer all attacks on his evidence?

As a case in point, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists for April, 1964 saw fit to publish an “abusive” article by Howard Margolis..;

“The editor of the Bulletin, Dr. Eugene Rabinowitch, .;in a letter to Professor Alfred de Grazia [who as] editor of the American Behavioral Scientist [had protested the ‘abusive’ article] offered Velikovsky an opportunity to reply with an article ‘not more abusive’ than that of Margolis, or, instead to have some of his views presented in the Bulletin by some scientist of repute. Then Professor Harry H. Hess .H.;[Chairman of the of Geology at Princeton and President of the American Geological Society] submitted Velikovsky’s article ‘Venus—A Youthful Planet’ to Dr. Rabinowitch. The latter then returned it with the statement that he did not read Velikovsky’s book, nor the article.”[5]

How can science be a self-correcting mechanism if it refuses to read or permit a reasoned response in the organs of scientific literature? Although the deplorable, irrational behavior of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists took place in 1964 was there a different attitude—one more just and rational—governing the AAAS symposium on Velikovsky held ten years later? Was the symposium convened in San Francisco, at which Sagan presented his paper, a meeting to honestly discuss and debate Velikovsky’s thesis or was it actually organized to ridicule and humiliate Velikovsky?

Professor of Philosophy, Lynn E. Rose .E.;of SUNY Buffalo published the following letter sent to Velikovsky, in which he states,

“…I urge you [Velikovsky] not to waste any more time with AAAS people or with their volume that was supposed to be a report of the AAAS sessions on your work held in San Francisco in 1974. The behavior of the AAAS people has been deplorable from the start. Their intention never was to examine or to debate your work; all along their intention was to find a way to ridicule and to belittle your work before the public.

“The AAAS people set up the program so that four panelists would speak against your theories and you alone would be allowed to speak in your defense… Not a single scientist working with you was allowed to participate in the panel discussion. This violated the AAAS promise that there would be as many panelists speaking for your theories as there were panelists speaking against your theories.

“All the panelists, including yourself, were to be given ‘equal time.’ Each of the four negative panelists then proceeded to enumerate alleged errors on your part and alleged evidence against your theories. Clearly, the intention was that these ‘equal time’ arrangements would permit them to introduce so many points that you would not have enough time to answer them all.

“This same strategy is being used by the AAAS people, in the arrangement for their proposed volume on the San Francisco sessions. They wish to retain the four-to-one odds, and have still not allowed anyone in addition to yourself to argue in support of your theories. They wish to keep all the arrangements for the volume in their own hands, and to prevent any balanced and serious examination of your work. They wish to provide far more space for negative comments from your opponents than for positive comments from you. And they wish to allow the four negative participants to include additional remarks that you will not have the opportunity to answer. It is possible that they will not even show you those additional remarks until the volume has already gone to press. It is also possible that, after you have spent so much time preparing material for their volume, they may suddenly decide not to publish it at all, thus leaving you with little to show for your time and efforts…”

“When a volume really is devoted to serious examination and criticism of a man’s work, the format and atmosphere are light-years away from what the AAAS people are doing. I have in mind, for example, the Library of Living Philosophers series edited by Paul A. Schilpp. .A.;That series includes publications of Einstein, .;on Russell, and on many others. Each such volume includes a long bibliography of the man’s writings, and a long preliminary essay by him in the form of an intellectual autobiography. There are a number of critical articles included in such a volume, but the man whose work is at issue is given as much time and space as he needs to reply to each criticism. The entire approach is serious and fair; there is debate and argument, but not abuse and slander. And the volume is presented to the reading public as if it were an honor and a form of recognition for the man who is its subject. What a far cry from the way the AAAS people are treating you!…”[6]

There is a difference between the behavior of the editors of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and the AAAS scientists. However, the difference is of degree. While the Bulletin acted crassly and openly to suppress Velikovsky’s work, the AAAS scientists acted subtly and cunningly to give the appearance to the public of holding an open forum which was all the while a public relations gimmick to accomplish the same ends. We shall return to this irrational aspect of the AAAS scientists further on. Sagan proceeds,

“The idea of science as a method rather than as a body of knowledge is not widely appreciated outside of science, or indeed in some corridors inside of science. For this reason I and some of my colleagues in the American Association for the Advancement of Science have advocated a regular set of discussions at the annual AAAS meeting of hypotheses that are on the borderline of science and that have attracted substantial public interest. The idea is not to attempt to settle such issues definitively, but rather to illustrate the process of reasoned disputation to show how scientists approach a problem that does not lend itself to crisp examination, or is unorthodox in it interdisciplinary nature or otherwise evokes strong emotions.”[7]

Commendably, Sagan asks for “reasoned disputation” as the proper approach to Velikovsky’s “unorthodox” and “interdisciplinary” material especially materials “that have attracted substantial public interest.”



Sagan continues,

“Vigorous criticism of new ideas is a commonplace in science. While the style of the critique may vary with the character of the critic, overly polite criticism benefits neither the proponents of new ideas nor the scientific enterprise. Any substantive objection is permissible and encouraged; the only exception being ad hominem attacks on the personality or motives of the author are excluded.”[8]

This statement though laudable is, however, belied by Sagan impugning the motives of Velikovsky wherein he states,

“…how is it that Worlds in Collision has been so popular? Here I can only guess. For one thing, it is an attempted validation of religion. The old Biblical stories are literally true, Velikovsky tells us, if only we interpret them in the right way… Velikovsky attempts to rescue not only religion but also astrology; the outcomes of wars, the fates of whole peoples, are determined by the positions of the planets.”[9] [emphasis added]

This undisguised slur on Velikovsky’s motives by Sagan was strongly responded to by Velikovsky when he stated,

“Sagan next presents Velikovsky’s Principal Hypothesis’ and he purports faithfully to tell what it is… Sagan says, ‘at the moment Moses strikes his staff upon the rock, the Red Sea parts…’ Later, ‘after the death of Moses…the same comet comes screeching back for another grazing collision with the Earth. At the moment when Joshua says, ‘Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou Moon, in the Valley of Agalon…the Earth obligingly ceases its rotation.’ He [Sagan] later says that I, ‘attempt to rescue old time religion.’ To tell of Velikovsky’s principal hypothesis in this vein is nothing but purposely misleading.”[10]

Velikovsky was justifiably incensed because, in Worlds in Collision, just the opposite information was presented,

“The sea was torn apart. The people attributed this act to the inter­vention of their leader; he lifted his staff over the waters and they divided. Of course, there is no person who can do this and no staff with which it can be done. Likewise in the case of Joshua who commanded the sun and the Moon to halt their movements.”[11]

To attribute to Velikovsky information which he never presented in his book is essentially an ad hominem attack on Velikovsky’s personality and motives. The earlier laudable statements of Sagan are contradicted by his own words.

What is Velikovsky’s view of religion, astrology and superstition? In Earth in Upheaval, Velikovsky presented his opinion regarding Darwin .;and The Church on evolution.

“Darwin’s theory represented progress as compared with the teaching of the Church. The Church assumed a world without change since the Beginning. Darwin introduced the principle of slow but steady change in one direction, from one age to another, from one eon to another. In comparison with the Church’s teaching of immutability, Darwin’s theory of slow evolution through natural selection or the survival of the fittest was an advance.”[12]

Sagan’s view that Velikovsky’s hypothesis is “an attempted validation of religion” does not correspond with this statement. If Velikovsky wished to validate religion, his position should have been just the opposite. Sagan also claims that “Velikovsky attempts to rescue… astrology.” Astrology is a pseudoscience which holds that our destiny is determined by where the planets and the Sun and Moon are in the twelve signs of the zodiac. Velikovsky does say that when a planet on a cometary orbit nearly collided with the Earth, whole nations were destroyed. This is not astrology. Astrology holds that certain days are unlucky while others are lucky. In particular, the thirteenth day of the month is astrologically unlucky. Here is what Velikovsky has to say regarding the thirteenth day of the month,

“In the calendar of the Western Hemisphere on the thirteenth day of the month, called olin, ‘motion’ or ‘Earthquake,’ a new sun is said to have initiated another world age…” [The Earth experienced a global catastro­phe.]

“Here we have en passant, the answer to the open question concerning the origin of the superstition which regards the number 13, and espe­cially the thirteenth day, as unlucky and inauspicious. It is still the belief of many superstitious persons, unchanged through thousands of years and even expressed in the same terms: ‘The thirteenth day is a very bad day. You shall not do anything on this day.’”[13]

Again Sagan’s claim is not supported by Velikovsky’s statements. It is difficult to conclude that Velikovsky, who calls “superstitious” people who believe that the thirteenth day of the month unlucky, is in any way validating astrology.

Lastly, Sagan’s remarks regarding Moses and Joshua suggest that Velikovsky accepts supernatural causes for events. In Ages of Chaos, Velikovsky tells us,

“The biblical story of the last plague [of Exodus] has a distinctly supernatural quality in that all the firstborn and only the firstborn were killed on the night of the plagues. An earthquake that destroys only the firstborn is inconceivable, because events can never attain that degree of coincidence. No credit should be given to such a record.

“Either the story of the last plague, in its canonized form, is a fiction, or it conceals a corruption of the text.”[14]

In this case it is also rather clear that Velikovsky rejected the idea that there is a supernatural cause of events.

In the first three major works of Velikovsky: Worlds in Collision, Earth in Upheaval and Ages in Chaos are concise statements that indicate Sagan’s impugning Velikovsky’s motives and evidence are thoroughly misinformed. When Velikovsky called Darwin’s theory an advance over the teachings of the Church, he was not rescuing religion; when he called people who believe the thirteenth day of the month unlucky, “superstitious,” he was not defending astrology; and when he held that the biblical story of the last plague of the Exodus, in which only the firstborn are killed, “supernatural,” “inconceivable” and “no credit should be given to such a record,” he was attacking supernatural interpretation of events.

Eric Larrabee .;remarks that Velikovsky’s thesis, “in no way involved the supernatural, even by implication. Either Velikovsky’s thesis could be proven scientifically or it would fall to pieces. Far from seeking to confirm fundamentalist beliefs (as he was accused of doing), he offered them the most fundamental challenge of all, which was to provide a natural interpretation of ‘miraculous’ events rather than merely to dis­miss them as legendary.”[15] In fact, at the symposium at which Sagan presented his paper, one of his colleagues, Dr. Derral Mulholland a.;rgued that “Velikovsky’s challenge is not one to be decided on the basis of belief or unbelief. He does not say ‘trust me,’ he says ‘this conclusion is suggested by the observations’…that involve testable ideas. He is not a mystic.”[16] Thus, Sagan’s smear of Velikovsky’s motives is even denied by Mulholland.

One of the implications of Sagan’s criticism is that Velikovsky’s work validates and supports the entire Bible. Robert Anton Wilson, .A.;in The New Inquisition, (Tempe, Arizona 1991), p. 70 explains:

“Dr. Velikovsky examined the myths of the ancients and speculated that they might contain a few facts—sombunall [some but not all] in our terms …Facts that could still be deduced by comparing various myth systems and noting what they have in common. For instance, there are over 120 flood legends in addition to the one in the Old Testament. They came from every part of the world—Asia, Africa, Australia, Russia, Scandinavia, Ireland, North America, South America, Polynesia. Throw out the local details and you have one constant: the idea that there was once a flood. So maybe there was? And maybe a comet created it.”

On page 72 Wilson goes on to say:

“To proceed from ‘Something like Noah’s flood once happened’ to ‘The whole Bible is true’ is not very logical, and I can’t find anything like it in any book of Velikovsky’s that I’ve read; and it would be just as…illogical to proceed from ‘Something like the Polynesian flood story once happened.’ to ‘The whole Polynesian mythology is true,’ and Velikovsky does not say that either as far as I have read him.”

Sagan states in Broca’s Brain, p. 84 that “Catastrophism began largely in the minds of those geologists who accepted a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis, and in particular, the account of the Noahic flood.” How accurate is this statement?

Velikovsky has employed the Bible and folklore and legends of ancient people to show that ancient man witnessed global catastrophes. His approach is similar to that of Georges Cuvier, .;the founder and father of the science of paleontology—the study of fossils. Stephen Jay Gould, .J.;the well-known Harvard biologist and historian of science says this about Cuvier’s method of employing the Bible and folklore and legends of ancient people to prove that there was a universal flood in ancient times.

“Cuvier’s methodology may have been naive, but one can only admire his trust in nature and his zeal for building a world by direct and patient observation, rather than by fiat, or unconstrained feats of imagination. His rejection of received doctrine as a source of necessary truth is, perhaps, most apparent in the section of the Discours preliminaire that might seem, superficially, to tout the Bible as infallible—his defense of Noah’s flood. He does argue for a world-wide flood some five thousand years ago, and he does cite the Bible as support. But his thirty-page discussion is a literary and ethnographic compendium of all traditions from Chaldean to Chinese. And we soon realize that Cuvier has subtly reversed the usual apologetic tradition. He does not invoke geology and non-Christian thought as window dressing for ‘how do I know, the Bible tells me so.’ Rather, he uses the Bible as a single source among many of equal merit as he searches for clues to unravel the Earth’s history. Noah’s tale is but one local and highly imperfect rendering of the last major paroxysm.”[17] Gould has remarked “…it seems unjust that catastrophists, [like Cuvier] who almost followed a caricature of objectivity and fidelity to nature, should be saddled with a charge that they abandoned the real world for their Bibles.”[18]

The same year as Gould’s statement regarding Cuvier was published, Velikovsky wrote in Stargazers and Gravediggers, (NY 1983) p. 284,

“In the astronomer’s view there can be no greater effrontery than the questioning of their truths, and nothing enrages them more than to challenge such a perfect science by recourse, horribile dictu, to the Scriptures as a historical document. That Worlds in Collision contains much folklore, or ‘old wives’ tales,’ was not so ludicrous as the fact that it brought the Old Testament back into the debate. The citation of passages from the Vedas, the Koran, and Mexican holy books was not so insulting as quotation from the Hebrew Bible. It is irrelevant that this book is among the most ancient of written literary documents in existence. As the theologian believes with blind faith that the Scriptures contain only truth, that their authorship is from God, and therefore, that every verse in them can be quoted as an irresistible argument, so the astronomer believes that where a passage is reproduced from the Scriptures, there must be a blunder, a softening of the brain tissue, or an attempt to hoax the credulous, as if the Scriptures were written by the devil.

“To my way of thinking, these books of the Old Testament are of human origin; though inspired, they are not infallible and must be handled in a scientific manner as other literary documents of great antiquity. Yet I must admit that I had a share of satisfaction upon discovering that the so-called miracles of the Hebrew Bible were physical phenomena, and like the disturbance…[seen by] other peoples of great antiquity in different parts of the world, they are also found preserved in the ancient literature of other nations.”

Like Cuvier, Velikovsky “uses the Bible as a single source among many of equal merit as he searches for clues to unravel the Earth’s history.” The charge brought by Sagan against Velikovsky’s aims and motives is precisely the same as that he used to describe the early catastrophists and is described by Gould of the attack upon Cuvier.

Velikovsky had become reacquainted with Professor Albert Einstein .;while both lived at Princeton, and Einstein read Worlds in Collision, which he often discussed with Velikovsky. What was Einstein’s opinion? He stated, “not once and not twice [but] also in the presence of his secretary: ‘The scientists make a grave mistake in not studying your book (Worlds in Collision) because of the exceedingly important material it contains.’”[19] Was Albert Einstein so naive as to believe that Velikovsky was presenting his book, Worlds in Collision, to validate religion, astrology and the supernatural? The week of Einstein’s death he was rereading Worlds in Collision because evidence from Jupiter had confirmed one of Velikovsky’s predictions.

R.F. Shaw .F.;writes in Nature (June 13, 1985, p. 536) “Critics have made much of Velikovsky’s alleged appeal to the ignorant and also to his supposed religious motivation, something never documented and which I do not find in his books.” [emphasis added]

Thus, Sagan’s claim that Velikovsky eschewed scientific evidence to support his theory is without substance. Stephen J. Gould’s comment in Times Arrow Times Cycle, (Cambridge, MA 1987), p. 113, applies to Sagan’s accusation of Velikovsky:

“What a vulgar misrepresentation! Cuvier, perhaps the finest intellectual in the nineteenth century science was a child of the French Enlight­enment who viewed dogmatic theology as anathema in science. He was a great empiricist who believed in the literal interpretation of geological phenomena… His earth, though subject to intermittent paroxysm was as ancient as Lyell’s.” .;

The reader shall see that in the fourth problem there is much geolog­ical evidence that supports Velikovsky’s view for a recent catastrophe to the Earth.



When Sagan upholds the objective scientific model of debate it seems strangely at odds with his statements. Why then did Sagan resort to such tactics? Here, Velikovsky’s words may indicate causes.

“As my opponent for the fourth tournament, the astronomical establish­ment selected Sagan. To answer his nearly 90 pages and nearly 30,000 words (1976 version), I am left with barely one-tenth of that amount, though an answer usually requires more space than an accusation, espe­cially those that are bland and unsupported: I must first state what the charge was, then state what the truth is, what I really wrote, etc., and then present the evidence for what I said…therefore, I am in the position of standing against the entire establishment, though greatly limited as to space and time, and blindfolded as to any additional counterarguments my opponents may bring, before I see the printed book… I am not abandoning the project and will do my best under the circumstances, to the limits of what decency can tolerate.”[20]

Therefore when Sagan remarks, “The objective of such criticism [namely his own or that of the AAAS scientists] is not to suppress but rather to encourage the advance of new ideas,” it is cynically amusing since it has been shown that the AAAS scientists used none of Sagan’s criteria in dealing with Velikovsky. Sagan continues, “those [papers] that survive a firm skeptical scrutiny have a fighting chance of being right or at least useful.”[21] How can a response which is censored by being limited in presenting a full answer have a chance of being fairly evaluated? Such a tactic is devised strictly to suppress rather than to encourage the advance of new ideas.

Sagan states, “My own view is that no matter how unorthodox the reasoning process or how unpalatable the conclusions, there is no excuse for any attempt to suppress new ideas—least of all by scien­tists.”[22] If this is so, why didn’t Sagan or any of the AAAS scientists demand that Velikovsky be given sufficient time and space in the publication to answer all attacks? Why did he and they take part in a blatantly one-sided debate where the scholar under attack was so unfairly treated?

Frederic B. Jueneman, .B.;Director/Research for Innovative Concepts Associates of San Jose, chemist, and columnist discussed the AAAS symposium.

“Jueneman called [Ivan] King .;[one of the symposium’s organizers] to inquire about the symposium and the events which led to it. According to Jueneman, King stated that the intent was to take another look at Velikovsky’s work since there was renewed interest in it. He also said that the participants would be from the ‘hard’ sciences, which do not include sociology.

“Jueneman asked if it might be a move to stem criticism of the AAAS for the actions of its members in the Velikovsky affair. King replied that to some extent it was, but that only individual members of the AAAS were involved in the excesses against Velikovsky, not the AAAS itself…

“Soon it became apparent that the organizers of the symposium had no intention of pursuing a scientific discussion. King later said, ‘None of us in the scientific establishment believes that a debate about Velikovsky’s views of the Solar System would be remotely justified at a serious scientific meeting.’ …It is clear, however, that the meeting was arranged, as Jueneman said, to be a contemporary court of inquisition, and that the discussion was designed to convince the public that they should ignore the increasing number of scientists who were taking the time to analyze Velikovsky’s work. Since the organizers admitted that they did not consider the meeting a scientific one, perhaps that is how they justified, to themselves, the misleading and sometimes false statements used to support their position.”[23]

Actually the full statement by Ivan King .;is as follows:

“What disturbs the scientists is the persistence of these [Velikovsky’s] views, in spite of all the efforts that scientists have spent on educating the public. It is in this context that the AAAS undertakes the Velikovsky symposium. Although the symposium necessarily includes a presentation of opposing views, we do not consider this to be the primary purpose of the symposium. None of us in the scientific establishment believes that a debate about Velikovsky’s views…would be remotely justified at a serious scientific meeting.”

Mark Washburn .;in his book, Mars at Last, (NY 1977), p. 95, states,

“There is something to be said for Velikovsky’s side of it, however. To continue the structure-of-science metaphor a little longer, Velikovsky argued that the scientific establishment had constructed its own castle, complete with moat, drawbridge and battlements. If you didn’t belong to the club, you weren’t welcome. There was no room for the radical theorist who had new ideas about how the structure should be built.

“There was enough truth in Velikovsky’s charges to make the scientific establishment uncomfortable. It was a difficult situation. If they debated Velikovsky’s theories in the same manner as they would the theories of a reputable scientist, they would be lending legitimacy to a man who had perverted the principles of science… But if they refused to debate Velikovsky, it would seem that they were afraid of him.”

Based on King’s and Washburn’s remarks, the scientific establishment set up the AAAS symposium on Velikovsky, but not to debate Velikovsky’s theories in the same honest and respectful manner as they would the theories of members of their club. To do so would imply that Velikovsky’s work was scientific. Washburn and King are telling us that Velikovsky’s work was not discussed in the same way as that of other scientists, that is, the rules of the debate were no longer to be carried out in an honest and respectful manner. Objectivity had been thrown out the window. The aim of the meeting was to discredit, not evaluate, Velikovsky’s work. What appears to be obvious at the outset, is that the ugly clannish passions of the scientific establishment had come to rule reasoned debate. George Orwell .;in his book 1984 called this “double speak,” which for Orwell meant “double talk.” The debate was not a debate. The outsider was to be destroyed. And, as Sagan said, “overly polite criticism” was not to be employed.

Therefore, the meaning of Sagan’s statement, “I was very pleased that the AAAS held a discussion on Worlds in Collision, in which Velikovsky took part”[24] seems clear. Sagan took part in a meeting in which the organizer said, “None of us in the scientific establishment [including, of course, Carl Sagan] believes that a serious debate about Velikovsky’s views…would be remotely justified at a serious scientific meeting.”



Sagan discusses how scientific papers are properly dealt with in science journals. He tells us that “Most scientists are accustomed to receiving…referees’ criticisms every time they submit a paper to a scientific journal. Almost always the criticisms are helpful. Often a paper revised to take these critiques into account is subsequently accepted for publications.”[25] In total, Sagan suggests that a scientific hypothesis offered to the scientific community be subject to review by peers—other scientists—that it be published in recognized science journals and that the submitter comply with valid criticisms.

The question arises: Does Sagan himself always follow this time honored procedure? In recent years, Carl Sagan has become the leading exponent of a very controversial theory termed, “Nuclear Winter.” This hypothesis offers an explanation for the death of the dinosaurs. If a meteor about six kilometers in diameter struck the Earth 65 million years ago, Sagan claims that the dust thrown into the atmosphere and the smoke from forest fires would be so great as to have blocked sufficient sunlight from reaching the Earth and thus caused a global freeze which he calls “nuclear winter.” Sagan further claims an atomic war would produce the same effect. However, in the “News and Comment” section of Science, an organ of the AAAS, Sagan’s use of scientific procedure is subjected to criticism.

“A study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research suggests most of the world would experience a mild nuclear winter, not a deep freeze…[however] the best known presenter of the original theory, Carl Sagan of Cornell, claims there is ‘nothing new’ to make him alter his description of nuclear winter or the conclusions drawn from it… Sagan’s refusal to acknowledge merit in the NCAR’s (Nat. Cent. for Atmos. Res.) analysis—known as ‘nuclear autumn’—sends some people up the wall. One wall climber is George Rathjens, .;professor of political science at M.I.T… ‘Is this another case of Lysenkoism?’ he asks, referring to an erroneous genetic theory forced on Soviet scientists in the late 1940’s… Rathjens answers himself: ‘I am afraid there’s a certain amount of truth in that. The claim that the original nuclear winter model is unimpeached,’ he adds, is ‘the greatest fraud we’ve seen in a long time’… [this has led to other criticisms of Sagan’s theory]. One such attack by Russell Seitz, .;a fellow at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs, appeared recently in The National Interest, a Washington D.C. quarterly, and the Wall Street Journal. Seitz, who is not a diploma-holding scientist gibes at TTAPS’s [Sagan and his co-authors] for mixing of physics and advertising. Seitz notes that Sagan published the nuclear winter thesis in Parade magazine a month before it appeared in Science. He writes: ‘The peer review process at Parade presumably consists in the contributing editor conversing with the writer, perhaps while shaving—Sagan is both.’ Anyone who wants to verify the data on which the conclusions were based, according to Seitz, has to set off on a ‘paper chase’ [Sagan’s conclusions] rested on data published… Science article, ‘details may be found in (15).’ Reference 15 states in full: ‘R.P. Turco, .P.;O.B. Toon, .B.;T.P. Ackerman, .P.;J.B. Pollack, .B.;C. Sagan in preparation.’ It refers to a paper that has never been published in a peer-reviewed (or any other) journal. Rathjens also grumbles about the hard to get data. The entire thesis, he says, is ‘a house of cards built on reference 15.”[26]

Nor did Sagan’s first Nuclear Winter article in Science benefit from the standard review process.

Did Velikovsky play by the rules of peer review? Before publication of Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky reported in Stargazers and Gravediggers, (NY 1983), p. 87, “The book was given to the [peer review] censors… [Velikovsky] was not informed of what was going on… As [he] heard…at a much later date, in 1952, two of the three censors were for the publication of the book, and one was against.”

Thus, it is quite clear that Velikovsky’s book Worlds in Collision was evaluated by the peer review process that Sagan requires. On this matter of peer review, it appears that Velikovsky’s book passed the review while Carl Sagan’s paper on Nuclear Winter essentially bypassed the review process. The only suggestion that seems to offer itself is that Sagan should follow his own advice.

When Sagan states, “…the reasoned criticism of a prevailing belief is a service to the proponents of that belief; if they are incapable of defending it, they are well advised to abandon it. This self-questioning and error correcting aspect of the scientific method is its most striking property,”[27] what is observed is that Sagan neither subscribes to nor follows the ideals he so readily professes. Hence it is suggested that Sagan follow his own advice. It is further suggested that the AAAS scientists ignored not only the high ideals to which Sagan alludes, but that they ignored the simple canons of ordinary decency.



Sagan states,

“There is nothing absurd in the possibility of cosmic collisions,” and, “Collisions and catastrophism are part and parcel of modern astronomy,” and “The cratered surfaces of Mercury, Mars, Phobos, Deimos and the Moon bear eloquent testimony to the fact that there have been abundant collisions during the history of the solar system.”[28]

Stated in this manner, Sagan’s assertion conveys as a fact that craters are exclusively a collision event. This, however, has long been in question and is so in the present. Velikovsky claims that some craters are the result of impacts, but also that many craters on the Moon and elsewhere are the result of close passage of a large celestial body which produced more tidal forces (gravitational pull) on one hemisphere of the Moon than on the other which caused volcanism. He maintains the Moon has a long history of such heatings. From Sagan’s statement one might readily conclude that science has settled this issue.

In their book, The Cosmic Serpent, Bill Napier .;and Victor Clube, .;two British astronomers tell us,

“In 1667 Robert Hooke .;had dropped bullets into a stiff clay, creating little impact craters. However, he had also boiled a mixture of powered alabaster and water, and the bursting bubbles had also formed craters. A lively controversy over crater cosmology, engendered by these simple experiments has swung back and forth for 300 years, and only within the last decade or so has something like a consensus been reached.”[29]

Consensus, of course, is not evidence nor science. It is only a general agreement among scientists without conclusive proof.

What is some of the evidence? In the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics for 1974 (the year of the AAAS symposium) astronomer Farouk El Baz writes,

“One of the earliest controversies concerning depressions on the lunar surface has been whether these were created by meteoric impact (e.g., Gilbert 1893, 1896, Shoemaker 1962, Baldwin 1963) or volcanic processes (e.g., Dana 1846, Spurr 1944, 1945, 1948, Green 1962). In many of the classical papers written prior to the advent of spacecraft photography, evidence supporting both theories was scanty.”[30] However, because of lunar exploration certain proofs came to light. The large flat circular plains (mares) cover about 20 percent of the lunar surface. El Baz goes on, “Undisputed proof of the subsurface volcanic origin of the mare material came following examination of the first lunar samples returned by Apollo XI, as explained below. The Apollo missions also returned ample photographic evidence not only that the lunar maria were the products of lava flows, but also that these flows were emplaced at repeated times, allowing one flow to cool and solidify prior to emplacement of another.”[31]

About half of the lunar surface we observe from the Earth and the maria, produce proof of a volcanic origin.

Nine years before the AAAS symposium, in the Royal Astronomical Society Monthly Notices, Gilbert Fielder .;analyzed the distribution of the lunar craters to determine whether they are volcanic or impact phenomena.

“A fresh attack on the vital problem of the craters has been made by analyzing the surface distribution of craters of a given diameter… This result is shown to apply equally to the lunarite, [bright regions] and then taken separately, to the lunarbase, [dark regions] and…argues against the theory that craters were produced exclusively by impact.

“In assessing the origin of the craters on the basis of the observed frequencies and distribution of craters alone, it is concluded that the ratio of the number of impact craters to the number of endogenic [volcanic] craters is not very large. If only one theory is allowed it must be that the craters are of internal origin.”[32]

Allan Marcuse .;argued with this analysis a year later, but did not reject Fielder’s evidence. He concluded that the chances for impact or volcanic craters are probably equal.

Also in Aviation Week and Space Technology we find, “There is a growing body of scientific opinion which holds that lunar craters may have a widespread volcanic origin.”[33]

Based on Sagan’s contention that craters are random impact events, one would expect to find fairly uniform crater features on Mercury, Mars and the Moon. This is what the present theory of planetary for­mation demands. On the other hand, Velikovsky’s hypothesis requires that one hemisphere of Mercury, Mars and the Moon show greater volcanism—that is, more craters—than are found on the other hemisphere. In Science News for 1974, “The Mystery of the Hemisphere” we find,

“A major surprise in the early days of lunar exploration was the discovery that the soft maria visible from the Earth were far more rare on the Moon’s farside, presumably because of some one-sided influence of the earth. Now refinements of Mariner 9 data show one hemisphere of Mars to be far rougher [more greatly cratered] than the other, and Mariner 10 suggests the same asymmetry for Mercury. Data files grow, observes Bruce Murray .;of the California Institute of Technology, yet so does the mystery of hemispherical asymmetry ‘we now know,’ he says, ‘a little less about the Moon.’”[34]

The same year Mercury’s asymmetrical cratering was reported in Science,

“Even more striking, Mercury, like the Moon and Mars, appears to have evolved asymmetrically. Rough and heavily cratered crust thought to be primordial surface, seems to cover half the planet while smooth plains seem to cover the rest. Why three of the five bodies studied among the inner planets have modal asymmetry is perhaps the greatest puzzle of all.”[35]

Clearly the evidence seems to favor Velikovsky’s conclusion. Sagan in his remarks does not discuss this evidence yet he must certainly be aware of it and knows the issue is certainly not settled. For in his co-authored book Comet he states this about craters, “There is still debate about whether such craters are of impact or volcanic origin.”[36]

In fact, there is well observed evidence indicating that craters are of volcanic origin. The inner Galilean moon of Jupiter called Io is continually subjected to enormous tidal stresses by Jupiter which causes this moon to produce more volcanic activity than any other body in the solar system. The surface of Io is constantly changing from this ongoing volcanism and many craters are produced. Michael Zeilik .;in Astronomy: The Evolving Universe, (NY 1985) p. 185 describes these craters: “Io’s volcanoes have a different shape from those found on the Earth, Venus and Mars. Few appear as cones or shields. They resemble collapsed volcanic craters.” Billy P. Glass in Introduction to Planetary Geology, (Cambridge, England 1982), p. 363 writes that on Io,

“There appears to be a complete absence of impact craters at least down to 5-10 km in diameter…

“The surface is dominated by volcanic features… More than 100 caldera-like depressions up to 200 km in diameter have been observed. They are much larger than terrestrial calderas, but very few appear to be associated with significant volcanic constructs.”

The craters on Io do not resemble volcanoes; they look like craters on the Moon, Mars and Mercury. Scientists who believe in the impact theory, like Sagan, can see the evidence before their eyes, but because they are imbued with a uniformitarian philosophy they refuse to believe that the evidence from Io should be applied to other bodies in the solar system. Thus they deny what appears obvious.

In the debate with Velikovsky, Sagan several times states that science had proven conclusively certain phenomena such as, “the Moon bears eloquent testimony to the fact that there have been abundant collisions during the history of the solar system.” The ineloquent facts, however, indicate that the craters on the Moon, Mercury and Mars may well not be testimony of impact collisions but are of volcanic origin as observed on Io. This seeming bombastic tendency on Sagan’s part could well color the understanding of evidence. Thus when he claims phenomena have been “established” or “proved” the reader will use, as Sagan states in Broca’s Brain, p. 83, “a firm skeptical scrutiny” of it.




Sagan relates the following anecdote, in Broca’s Brain, page 86,

“I can remember vividly discussing Worlds in Collision with a distinguished professor of Semitics at a leading university. He said something like this, ‘The Assyrology, Egyptology, Biblical scholarship and all that Talmudic and Midrashic pilpul is, of course, nonsense; but I was impressed by the astronomy.’ I had rather the opposite view. But let me not be swayed by the opinion of others.”

I do not know why Sagan does not name his distinguished professor at a leading university. Prefacing his historical attack on Velikovsky with expert opinion that Velikovsky’s historical and legendary evidence from the Middle East is “nonsense” certainly is interesting. But Sagan also claims he will not be swayed by the expert opinion of an unnamed authority. Were anyone to respond to this anecdotal criticism one could, of course, cite some anonymous distinguished professor from an anonymous leading university and claim that this anonymous distinguished professor is a world renown expert on historical, and legendary evidence of the ancient Middle East, and that he finds Velikovsky’s evidence both brilliant and well documented. In fact, one might cite several anonymous distinguished professors from several anonymous leading universities and state that they are world famous figures of Assyriology, Egyptology, Biblical and the Talmud and Midrash as well as archaeology and that they rather contradict Carl Sagan’s anonymous distinguished professor from an anonymous leading university. Then one might just add, “but let me not be swayed by the opinion of others.”

It is, nevertheless, true that Velikovsky’s thesis is not accepted by the vast majority of scholars who have not studied it, but assume it has been proven false. But again, consensus among scholars is not evidence. What is also true, is that there are highly distinguished scholars of Semitic studies who find Velikovsky’s evidence “brilliant” and “well documented.” Among them one scholar maintains that Velikovsky’s global catastrophic hypothesis is correct. He is Claude F.A. Schaeffer .F.A.;whose archaeological work will be cited in later chapters. Schaeffer was a member of the institute at the College of France. He is considered one of the greatest archaeologists of our time, and he wrote in a published letter dated July 23, 1956 after having read Worlds in Collision, Earth in Upheaval and Ages in Chaos, the following,

“I hope you [Velikovsky] will go on with your research. You are working in the right direction and time will help to show the reality of global or near global catastrophes. Already continental or near continental catastrophes cannot be doubted as I showed in my stratigraphical work in the Near East. It will take time for your findings and mine to be acknowledged. This may make us sometimes impatient. But it will stir us to more work and more research.” Signed “Claude F.A. Schaeffer.”[37]

Professor Etienne Droiton, .;historian and world authority on Egyptol­ogy also wrote a letter to Velikovsky regarding his work.

“At the time, [May 29, 1952] Droiton held the position of directeur general du service des antiquities [in Egypt]. In this capacity he had under his care all the antiquities—the monuments in the field and in the museums, the famous Cairo Museum included—and every excavation made in Egypt, by whatever agency or learned society was under his supervision. [Later, after] the revolution in Egypt, [Droiton held the] post as chief curator of the Egyptian Department of the Louvre Museum in Paris.”[38]

His letter in full goes on to state on the next page,

“Dear Doctor [Velikovsky],

You have so kindly sent me a copy of your fine book, Ages in Chaos, which I received this morning, and which I have already read almost in its entirety, so stirring and fascinating is it.

You certainly overthrow, and with what zest!, many of our historical assumptions, which we have considered established. But you do it with total absence of prejudice and with impartial and complete documen­tation, all of which is most gratifying. One might dispute point by point your conclusions: whether one admits them or not, they have posed the problems anew and made it necessary to discuss them in depth in the light of your new hypotheses. Your fine book will have been in every way a great use to science.

I thank you warmly for having sent it to me and I beg you to accept dear Doctor, the assurance of my sentiments of cordial devotion.

Etienne Droiton,
General Director Department of Antiquities”

Robert H. Pfeiffer, .H.;was Chairman of the Department of Semitic Lan­guages and History at Harvard University, and an authority on the Bible. Pfeiffer’s published letter to Velikovsky deals with the contents of Worlds in Collision. He writes,

“Allow me, first of all, to congratulate you, not of course for the fact that your book has become a ‘run-away best seller,’ but for the magnificent qualities of content and form of your book. I read it with utter fasci­nation and absorption, being carried away by the cosmic drama which you have unfolded before me. I was amazed at the depth and vastness of your erudition, which I have not seen equaled except possibly in O. Spengler’s .;Decline of the West.[39]

It seems clear that three experts in the field of Semitic studies, all world respected figures, say that the three major works of Velikovsky are completely documented. Of course, other reputable experts disagree with Velikovsky, and certainly Velikovsky’s work is not with­out errors. Nor do these citations prove Velikovsky’s theory correct. This evidence was cited to answer Sagan’s statement that appears to be an attempt to belittle Velikovsky’s evidence before actually dealing with it.

Sagan adds, “My own position is that even if 20 percent of the legendary concordances that Velikovsky produces are real, there is something important to be explained.”[40] According to Sagan, less than twenty percent of Velikovsky’s historical and legendary evidence is valid. It is extremely difficult to conceive that world recognized authorities will lavish praise on an author of books in their own fields that are less than eighty percent accurate. Sagan apparently knows enough compared to experts to discredit eighty percent of Velikovsky’s historical and legendary evidence in a field in which he possesses little or no training. This, on the face of it, seems quite incredible. Let us therefore proceed to Sagan’s historical and legendary material.

What must be pointed out before proceeding though is that the fundamental legend that Velikovsky cited as evidence is the legend of the planet Venus as the cause of a world-wide catastrophe. Velikovsky found this legend telling of the same events among all of the major and minor ancient cultures. One would naturally expect Sagan to attack this evidence most forcefully.



According to Sagan there are four ways in which the same (Venus) legend would be found among widely separated cultures.

1. Common Observation; all cultures witnessed a common event and interpreted it in a similar way.

2. Diffusion; the legend originated with one culture, but traveled to others with the wanderings of mankind.

3. Brain Wiring; psychologically human beings are so alike that their legends reflect the commonality of human hopes and fears.

4. Coincidence; purely by chance all cultures created the same (Venus) legend or myth.

Sagan chose diffusion and coincidence while Velikovsky, of course, chose common-observation. Sagan states,

“Velikovsky is clearly opting for the common-observation hypothesis, but he seems to dismiss the diffusion hypothesis far too casually; for example, he says (p. 303) ‘How could unusual motifs of folklore reach isolated islands, where the aborigines do not have any means of crossing the sea?’ I am not sure which islands and which aborigines Velikovsky refers to here, but it is apparent that the inhabitants of an island had to have gotten there somehow. I do not think that Velikovsky believes in a separate creation in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands say. For Polynesia and Melanesia there is now extensive evidence of abundant sea voyages of lengths of many thousands of kilometers within the last millennium, and probably much earlier.”[41]

Velikovsky’s Venus myth is found on island cultures throughout the globe. Thus when Sagan claims he is unaware, he should have read Velikovsky’s book more carefully to know this basic fact. What is further apparent on inspecting page 303 of Worlds in Collision, is that Sagan withheld evidence it seems far too casually. The complete citation contains,

“The similarity of motifs in the folklore of various peoples on the five continents and on the islands of the oceans posed a difficult problem for the ethnologists and anthropologists. The migration of ideas may follow the migrations of peoples, but how can unusual motifs of folklore reach isolated islands where aborigines do not have any means of crossing the sea? AND why did not technical civilization travel together with spiritual? Peoples still living in the stone age possess the same often strange motifs of cultured nations.” [Capitalization and emphasis added]

By omission of the conjunction, “and” Sagan limited the meaning Velikovsky intended. If as Sagan maintains the Venus myth traveled to the Gilbert Islands and Ellice Islands from China or Japan why didn’t the technical achievements of these superior cultures also travel with the people? That would be like the migration of the Europeans who followed Columbus to the Americas bringing their religious beliefs, but somehow forgetting carpentry, bricklaying, iron making, etc. Furthermore, Velikovsky did not dismiss the diffusionist argument at all. In Worlds in Collision, he did, in fact, write,

“If a phenomenon had been similarly described by many peoples, we might suspect that a tale, originating with one people, had spread around the world, and consequently there is no proof of the authenticity of the event related. But just because one and the same event [the Venus Myth] is embodied in traditions that are very different indeed, its authenticity becomes highly probable, especially if the records of history, ancient charts, sundials, and the physical evidence of natural history testify to the same effect.”[42]



To support his diffusionist claim, Sagan asks,

“…how, for example, would Velikovsky explain the fact that the Toltec name for ‘god’ seems to have been teo, as in the great city of Teotihuacan (City of the gods)…? There is no common celestial event that could conceivably explain this concordance…teo is a clear cognate of the common Indo-European root for ‘god.’”[43]

This is most interesting because in their book of Nahuatl symbols C. McGowan .;and P. Van Nice, .;The Identification and Interpretation of Name and Place Glyph of the Xolotl Codes, (1984), p. 67 tell us the Nahuatl word for “god” is “teotl”. However, in the word Teotihuacan which is derived from Aztec not Toltec[44] contains the root “teotia” which according to J.E. Hardoy .E.;a Mexicologist, “Teotihuacan (from the Nahuatl word) Teotia, to worship the “place of deification” or “place of the gods.”[45] There is no Teotl in the word Teotihuacan. To use the Nahuatl word “Teotl”, the city would have to be spelled “Teotlhuacan”. But even if we accept Sagan’s analysis we ask of the linguistic validity of Sagan’s statement, “if we compare two languages, each with tens of thousands of words, spoken by human beings with identical larynxes, tongues and teeth, it should not be surprising if a few words are coincidentally identical.”[46] However, R.C. Padden, a linguist deals with isolated words in different languages which are identical stating, “competent linguists simply do not compare isolated words of unrelated languages. No one has yet established a continuity of linguistic relationships between [eastern and western] hemispheres in the pre-Columbian period.”[47] Thus Sagan’s statement is based on an incompetent analysis. However, Sagan then builds on his incompetent analysis adding “Likewise, we should not be surprised if a few elements of a few legends are coincidentally identical.”[48] In this case, Sagan seems to believe that all the Venus legends were created by all the cultures of ancient man by coincidence.

Teotihuacan is not recognized by most scholars as the capital of the Toltecs. The capital of the Toltecs is called Tollan and is located at a place in Mexico called Tula. According to Nigel Davies’, .;The Aztecs, (University of Oklahoma Press, 1973), pp. 11-12, the main features of the “Toltec capital Tula…are rich in representations of Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent, the great deity of the Toltecs.” Quetzalcoatl is the planet Venus, and we are informed that Tula was his city, “his city of Tula.” Sagan perhaps assumes that the great city of the Toltecs was Venus’ city strictly by coincidence. But Sagan has also told us “There is no common celestial event that could conceivably explain this concordance.” But Tula or Tollan is the city of a celestial body—Venus. And we shall show further on that even. Sagan’s evidence shows Quetzalcoatl or Venus was seen by the ancient Americans as a comet. Thus the evidence is entirely against Sagan’s analysis.

In fact, even if we give credence to Sagan’s views, A Nahuatl-English Dictionary by John Bierhorst .;(Stanford Univ. Press, CA, 1985) p. 310, defines, “Teotihuacan-1. Place where one becomes a spirit i.e., the hereafter. 2. Famous archaeological site 40 km northeast of Mexico City…where the Sun and Moon were created…” There is no statement in this dictionary which equates Teo with god. The word refers to a “place” and that place is the sky “where the Sun and Moon were created.” Therefore, Tollan is the city of Venus and refers to the heavens. On page 363 of the same dictionary “Tollan” is defined as “paradise, the other world.” This definition also tells us Tollan is a “place” that is the sky. If Sagan wishes to argue linguistically, he should do so in a competent manner. His diffusionist argument is not supported by using an incompetent linguistic analysis. The entire argument is based on pure conjecture and that as evidence is worthless. The linguist argument fails and the coincidental argument is based on Sagan’s beliefs; for he states, “I believe that all of the concordances Velikovsky produces can be explained away in this manner.”[49] Sagan’s beliefs are most certainly not evidence, though he may believe whatever he wishes. But Tollan-Tula is the city of Venus.



Turning to astronomy Sagan argues,

“Velikovsky even goes so far as to believe that a close approach to the Earth by ‘a star’ he evidently identified with the planet Mars so distorted it that it took on the clear shape (page 264) of lions, jackals, dogs, pigs, fish” [and] “He [Velikovsky] points to certain concordant stories, directly or vaguely connected with celestial events, that refer to a witch, a mouse, a scorpion or a dragon… His explanation: divers comets upon close ap­proach to the Earth, were tidally or electrically distorted and gave the form of a witch, a scorpion, or a dragon, clearly interpretable as the same animal to culturally isolated peoples of very different backgrounds. No attempt is made to show that such a clear form—for example, a woman riding a broom and topped with a pointed hat could have been produced in this way, even if we grant the hypothesis of a close approach to the Earth by a comet.”[50]

It seems incredible that an astronomer appears to be ignorant of the fact that comets do indeed assume various shapes of animals with their comas and tails. In fact, in Sagan’s popular book, Comet, he shows pictures of comets that do look like bestial apparitions. Indeed, his chapter is titled “A Cometary Bestiary”. Sagan tells us,

“On these pages we have accumulated a kind of cometary bestiary, like the animal bestiaries assembled by medieval authors to amaze and delight, and even instruct. Most of the animals displayed were real; many were exotic; a few such as the unicorn were the result of errors in transmis­sion, garbled accounts—in this case of the African rhinoceros.”[51]

Sagan attacks Velikovsky’s bestiary comet evidence with, “This is not very impressive reasoning. We might just as well assume that the whole menagerie was capable of independent flight in the second millennium B.C. and be done with it.”[52] However, Sagan’s own use of cometary shapes in his bestiary, of which he has assembled some 31 pictures, thoroughly contradicts his evidence and conclusion as well as amaze and delight and even instruct!

Guy Murchie .;in Music of the Spheres, Vol. 1, (NY 1967), p. 124, discusses a comet seen in the 16th century and gives a description of it as seen by eye witnesses.

“A typical description of the great comet of 1528 by an awed observer said it looked ‘so horrible and produced such great terror in the common people that some died of fear and others fell sick. It appeared to be of excessive length and was the color of blood. At its summit [from its nucleus] rose the figure of a bent arm, holding in its hand a great scimitar as if about to strike… On both sides of the rays of this comet there appeared a great number of axes, knives and blood-drenched swords, among which were many hideous slowly-shifting faces with beards and bristling hair.’”

The drawing of the comet on the same page appears to be that of a witch without a pointed hat. The appearance of the comet could most certainly be taken as a phantasmagorical witch. Witches need not be the type with a pointed hat riding a broom that Sagan suggests. The description of this comet by the observer and the effect it had on the common people indicate that some fantastic apparition obviously caused some to die of fright and others to become ill. Thus, comets can appear as animals or as witches contrary to Sagan’s claim. The question is why did he accuse Velikovsky of inventing cometary forms and then claim such forms are in fact quite real? As we proceed, this sort of evidence will emerge again and again. Sagan claims Velikovsky’s evidence is invalid, but later he produces the same concept as valid.



Sagan only in his original paper and in Scientists Confront Velikovsky misrepresented Velikovsky with the following accusation, “Velikovsky claims a world-wide tendency in ancient cultures to believe at various times that the year has 360 days, that the month has thirty days, and that of course, is inconsistent with the above two beliefs—the year has ten months.”[53]

Sagan accused Velikovsky of being inconsistent because a year or ten months each of thirty days equals 300 days, not 360 days. But Velikovsky on pp. 344-345 actually states that, “the month was equal to…thirty-six days.” Sagan’s carelessness was pointed out by Lewis M. Greenberg in the journal Kronos and after a time while this misrepresentation circulated it was finally corrected in Broca’s Brain. However, many readers of the first book which is still in circulation will be confronted by this disinformation. Sagan in Broca’s Brain only, next introduces new criticism, saying that, “Velikovsky offers no justification in physics for this”[54] change in the calendar. However, a few lines down the page Sagan adds the justification in physics stating, “Velikovsky proposes that these aberrant calendrical conventions reflect real changes in the length of the day, month, and/or year—and that they are evidence of close approaches to the Earth-Moon system by comets, planets and other celestial visitors.”[55]

Sagan has accused Velikovsky of bad arithmetic in his paper in Scientists Confront Velikovsky for stating that ten months of thirty days could not equal 360 days; when this argument failed Sagan then argued in Broca’s Brain that these months may indeed have had thirty six days but that Velikovsky does not explain the physical reasons for changes in the calendar. But then Sagan tells us at the end of the paragraph the physical reasons Velikovsky has offered. Since Sagan is so obviously confused that he contradicts himself again and again on the same point in the same paragraph there is no need to debate the point. Earlier Sagan remarked,

“In reading the critical literature in advance, I was surprised at how little of it there is and how rarely it approaches the central points of Velikov­sky’s thesis. In fact, neither the critics nor the proponents of Velikovsky seem to have read him carefully, and I even seem to find some cases where Velikovsky has not read Velikovsky carefully. Perhaps…the present chapter…will help clarify the issues.”[56]

This remark on the face is stunning, given the evidence thus far.



To reinforce his evidence on the unaltered uniformitarian state of the calendar in the past, Sagan adds,

“There is an alternative explanation, which derives from the fact that there are not a whole number of lunations in a solar year, nor a whole number of days in a lunation. These incommensurabilities will be galling to a culture that had recently invented arithmetic but had not yet gotten as far as large numbers or fractions… There is a clear whole-number chauvinism in human affairs, most easily discerned in discussing arith­metic with four-year olds; and this seems to be a much more plausible explanation of these irregularities, if they existed.

“Three hundred and sixty days a year provides an obvious (temporary) convenience for a civilization with base 60 arithmetic as the Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian cultures.”[57]

When we turn to Evan Hadingham’s .;book on ancient astronomy we learn,

“The Babylonian reliance on numerical methods is understandable, considering that they practiced sophisticated arithmetic as far back as 1800 B.C… At this early stage, there already existed tables for multiplication, division, squares, square roots, cubes and reciprocals, exponential functions and many other mathematical procedures.”[58] [emphasis added]

Now I have always been taught that reciprocals in mathematics are fractions. In fact, Joseph E. Hofmann, .E.;Honorary Professor of Mathe­matics of the University of Tübingen, Germany in his book, Geschichte der Mathematik, (History of Mathematics), translated by F. Gaynor .;and H.O. Medonick .O.;for the Philosophical Library on page 6 of his chapter, “The Babylonians”, states that by use of reciprocals, “The Babylonians had a clear understanding of the nature of common fractions.” Sagan’s whole number chauvinism is clearly based on his own chauvinism and not on the evidence.

Here is Velikovsky’s response to the attack on the 360 day year.

“I am very proud of these chapters of mine toward the end of Worlds in Collision…because I succeeded to quote from practically every ancient civilization from Peru, to Mexico, to Rome, to Greece, to Babylonia, to Assyria, to Persia, to Hindu, to China, to Japan, and to Egypt and to Palestine, Judea and probably several more civilizations, always [a] quotation not by myself, always by [a] specialist expressing the same wonder that [there were] no intercalary days—the year was just this: twelve months of thirty days—for a period of time; which was discontinued at the beginning of the eighth century.

“Soon after that time, in all places, in all civilization[s] one or another reform was done, and five or five and a quarter days were added by all civilizations. The reform was [carried out] almost simultaneously—at least during one and the same century.”[59]

Sagan attacks the ancient astronomers, proclaiming, “…sloppy quan­titative thinking appears to be the hallmark of this whole subject.”[60] Giorgio de Santillana .;and Hertha von Dechend .;in their book Hamlet’s Mill, having made years of extensive study and analysis of ancient astronomy, make clear the view that speculation of the kind in which Sagan indulges is of little value. They state:

“…it is an unsound approach to Mayan astronomy [or any ancient astronomy] to start from preconceived convictions about what the Maya’s [or other ancients] could have known and what they could not have known: one should, instead, draw conclusion only from the data as given. That this had to be stressed explicitly reveals the steady decline of scientific ethics.”[61]

Santillana accuses scholars like Sagan of having “cultivated a pristine ignorance of astronomical thought.”[62] Sagan’s method of dealing with this evidence “as given” from ancient astronomy by labeling it “sloppy” is not science; it is name calling, nothing more.

There is furthermore exact measured evidence that supports the conclusion that the motion of the Moon, from which we derive the length of the month, prior to 687 was different than it is today. In Benjamin Farrington’s .;book Science in Antiquity, (London 1969), pp. 12 and 13 we find,

“A most impressive application of mathematics to astronomy is supported by a tablet found in the library of Assurbanipal at Nineveh. The library belongs to the middle of the seventh century, but the document may be itself much older or a copy of an older document. It is an attempt to tabulate the progress of the illumination of the surface of the Moon during its period of waxing. To this end the area of the Moon’s face is divided into 240 parts over which the illumination is conceived as spreading first according to a geometrical, then to an arithmetic progression. This arrangement does not correspond to the [present day] facts” [of how long the Moon waxes.]

The question is, were the Babylonian astronomers careful and accurate observers? Arthur Koestler .;states in his book The Sleepwalkers, (NY 1963), pp. 20-21 that the Babylonian,

“…observations became amazingly precise: they computed the length of the year with a deviation of less than 0.001 percent from the correct value, and their figures relating to the motions of sun and moon have only three times the margin of error of nineteenth century astronomers armed with mammoth telescopes. In this respect, theirs was an Exact Science; their observations were verifiable, and enabled them to make precise predictions of astronomical events…”

Measuring and calculating how long it takes the Moon to go from new Moon to full Moon is an observation which the Babylonians made precisely using geometry and mathematics to explain the observation. But they say the Moon’s period of waxing is different than that observed today. This means that the length of the month was different than that of the present time. However, because this careful measurement does not agree with the notion of uniformitarian astronomy in which no significant change is possible it is again disregarded. On the other hand, if this measurement were to agree with present theory, no doubt we would hear how well modern theory is supported by ancient observation.

The present period of the moon’s synodic orbit about the Earth is about 29.5 days but the period according to B.L. Van Der Waerden .L.;who discussed this measurement in Die Anfange Der Astronomie (Groningen) p. 85, is precisely a full 30 days. This means that the moon had to be somewhat farther from the Earth than at present and its orbit, therefore, bigger. For the Moon, at this greater distance from the Earth, to complete one synodic orbit it would travel somewhat more slowly and its orbit would be larger and longer.

According to the highly accurate Mesopotamian astronomers, the Moon took a longer period of time to complete one revolution around the Earth. But again, since this measurement does not agree with the expectations of Sagan and his colleagues, it is ignored or cast aside. However, one can be quite sure that if this measurement did fit their expectations, it would be hailed as exact proof that there has not been a recent drastic change in the orbit of the Earth-Moon system. The evidence of the period required by the Moon’s face to go from new Moon to full Moon and the measurement of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth indicate just the opposite. But since this evidence cannot be faced, it is dismissed. Nevertheless, these observations support Velikovsky’s hypothesis regarding the fact that the month was of a different period in ancient times. Sagan argues that,

“A leading historian of ancient science and mathematics, Otto Neugebauer .;((1957) remarks that, both in Mesopotamia and in Egypt two separate and mutually exclusive calendars were maintained: a civil calendar…and a frequently updated agricultural calendar—messier to deal with, but much closer to the seasonal and astronomical realities.”[63]

By the “astronomical realities” Sagan means the calendar as modern astronomers expect it to be. Sagan, along with modern astronomers, maintains that there absolutely cannot be a really different calendar in historical times. Thus, when they discover evidence contrary to that dogmatic view, it is force-fit to the model they say is an “astronomical reality”.

This is made explicit by Robert R. Newton .R.;in Medieval Chronicles and the Rotation of the Earth, (Baltimore 1972), pp. 2-3 stating,

“There have been many attempts to find changes in the day and month from ancient astronomical data. Since solar eclipses are striking phenomena that have been observed by many people and not just by professional astronomers, solar eclipses have played a large role in such attempts. When I looked into these attempts, I was astonished by what I found. Many of them, including all uses of solar eclipses that I have seen, were based upon the logical fallacy of reasoning in a circle. Specifically, most reports used could not be dated on the basis of their texts or their historical contexts. The workers [scientists] thereupon assigned dates by finding which ones led to accelerations [of the celestial bodies] that agreed most closely with assumed values. [i.e., with what the astronomers expect to find.] It is not surprising that the resulting ‘data’ were self-consistent.”

Elsewhere, Newton writes,

Virtually all studies of ancient [solar] eclipses that I know of have used the following procedure in handling doubtful or ambiguous cases: The author [scientist] has assumed values of the accelerations [of the celestial bodies] in advance and has calculated the circumstances of the possible observations using them. He has then rejected as invalid all observations or interpretations thereof, that do not agree well with the assumed values. He has finally used the remaining set of observations to calculate the accelerations. He necessarily found good agreement with his initial assumptions. [emphasis added]

“This, of course is, reasoning in a circle.” [R.R. Newton, Ancient Astronomical Observations, (Baltimore 1970), p. XIV.]

Thus, Newton confirms that this is how astronomers proceed. Data negative to Sagan’s “astronomical realities” which are really “assumed realities” is simply disregarded or forced to fit what is assumed à priori to make the evidence self-consistent. How very convenient.

Sagan goes on to show that, “Many ancient cultures solved the two-calendar problem by simply adding a five-day holiday on at the end of the year.”[64] What neither he nor Otto Neugebauer .;ever informs us is none of the ancient cultures cited by Sagan had two calendars or five days in their calendars before 686 B.C. What Sagan has failed to inform us is that Neugebauer refers to Babylonian astronomical texts seemed to have data, “equivalent to modern ephemerides” [Otto Neugebauer, The Exact Sciences in Antiquity, (NY 1969) pp. 105, 110, 129] That is, their data was almost as good as modern data.

Now, if this two calendar evidence (offered by Neugebauer) existed (before 686 B.C.), it would be greatly damaging to Velikovsky’s hypothesis since it would imply that there were all kinds of changes added to ancient calendars prior to the last cosmic catastrophe that Velikovsky describes. However, we are told specifically by M.P. Nilsson .P.;in Primitive Time Reckoning, (Lund/London 1920), p. 367, that, “…we are met with the difficulty that an intercalary cycle [adding days or months to the calendar] was not introduced into Babylonia before the sixth century [B.C.].” A.E. Samuel, .E.;Greek and Roman Chronology, (Munich 1972) p. 21, says,

“…We have long lived with the cliché that the Greeks learned their astronomy from the Babylonians, but modern investigation has demonstrated that the sophisticated Babylonian systems were later than had hitherto been believed. The irregular intercalations [of adding days or months to the calendar] exist down into the fifth century, showing that as late as 480 B.C. no [intercalary] cycle existed to control that calendar.” [emphasis added]

Benny Peiser’s .;Greek History Begins in the 6th Century, (1989) privately published, makes the point emphatic stating, “it has become a communis opinio that the intercalary cycle [of adding days or months to the calendar] cannot be detected anywhere in the ancient world before the 6th century…” [emphasis added] Thus, ancient civilizations changed their calendars only after the last catastrophe that Velikovsky describes. Instead of disproving Velikovsky’s hypothesis, Neugebauer and Sagan’s evidence supports it. The common concept held by modern scientists who study ancient calendars asserts only after Velikovsky’s last catastrophe did ancient nations begin to rearrange their calendars adding five days or intercalary months to make the older calendars, which had become obsolete, fit the new length of the year.

Again this evidence is ignored. Thus, when Sagan states, “I hardly think that the existence of 360-day years in the calendrical conven­tions of prescientific peoples is compelling evidence that then there really were 360 rather than 365 1/4 rotations in one revolution of the Earth about the Sun.”[65] Sagan’s conjecture is not based on any evidence since much of it must be either thrown out or ignored. Because only the data after 686 B.C. supports his uniformitarian view, his “thought” (“I hardly think”) represents a “personal” rather than an “objective” analysis of the material evidence. Prior to 686 B.C., evidence supports Velikovsky’s view. Sagan also argues,

“An expert on early time reckoning (Leach, 1957) points out that in ancient cultures the first eight or ten months of the year are named, but the last few months, because of their economic unimportance in an agricultural society are not.”[66]

Again this is not true of all ancient societies. For example, the ancient Roman calendar (which Sagan discusses in the next sentences) had only four months with names during its very early history. Velikovsky discussed this in Worlds in Collision, “According to many classical authors, in the days of Romulus [8th century B.C.] the year consisted of ten months and in the time of Numa, [7th century B.C.] his successor, two months were added: January and February. Ovid writes (Fasti i 27ff) ‘When the founder of [Rome] was setting the calendar in order, he ordained that there should be twice five months in his year… The month of Mars [March] was the first.’” [67] And “March was considered the first month until the reign of Numa…wrote Procopius of Caesarea.”[68] Some seven centuries later, Julius Caesar gave his name to the fifth month, Quintilis, and Augustus gave his name to the sixth month, Sextilis. Thus, in ancient Roman times, the calendar was March, April, May, June, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, December. There are ten months in all, but only the first four have god names, not eight or ten as Sagan’s expert tells us. This is hardly evidence to support Sagan’s belief. He has merely tried to make the evidence fit his view by ignoring it altogether. Further, Sagan earlier completely ignored the fact that the Roman calendar was made up of ten months just as Velikovsky claimed.

Sagan then turns to scientific evidence to support his view regarding the 360 day year, stating, “This question can, in principle, be resolved by examining coral growth rings, which are now known to show with some accuracy the number of days per month and the number of days per year, the former only for intertidal coral.”[69] Thus, according to Sagan, recent coral ring dating should never reflect a 360 day year. Interestingly, Robert H. Dott, Jr. ., R.H.;and Roger L. Batten .L.;in Evolution of the Earth state the following:

“Biologists have observed that modern corals deposit a single, very thin layer of lime once a day. It is possible, with some difficulty, to count these diurnal (day-night) growth lines and to determine how old the coral is in days. More important, seasonal fluctuations will cause the growth lines to change their spacing yearly so that annual increments can also be recognized much as in growth rings of trees. Out of curiosity, and because he is a paleontologist, [John Wells .;of Cornell University] began looking for diurnal lines of fossil corals. He found several Devonian and Pennsylvanian corals that do show both annual and daily growth patterns. But he was astonished to find that the Pennsylvanian forms had an average of 387 daily growth lines per year-cycles, and that the Devonian corals had about 400 growth lines… By making counts between annual marks, Professor Wells found an average of 360 lines per year on Modern [within the last 5,000 years] corals.[70] [emphasis added]

Here Sagan’s colleague at Cornell University presents evidence which contradicts Sagan’s conclusions regarding the coral calendar. When Sagan writes that “There appears to be no sign of major excursions in recent times,”[71] he has certainly not dealt with this evidence. In fact, Sagan admits the problem can be solved “in principle” but not “in fact” and he uses the term “some accuracy” not “excellent accuracy.”

S. Warren Carey, . W.;in Theories of the Earth and Universe, (Stanford CA 1988), p. 196 became skeptical regarding the validity of coral counts of growth lines because,

“The growth lines vary in spacing from a few microns [a micron is a millionth part of a meter] to nearly zero, and it is often difficult to decide whether one should be counted or not. Under these circumstances it is notorious that total counts come out at what the investigator thinks they should be. The subjectiveness of such counts is highlighted by a report by R.G. Hipkin, .G.;an Edinburgh University geophysicist, that he counted 253 ridges and later 359 ridges in a repeat count of the same specimen.”

This is a variation of 106 days for the same coral. We previously pointed out that archeo-astronomers make their data respecting the solar eclipses fit their conclusions by making the motions of the Earth and Moon fit retrospectively into their assumptions. Carey has told us that this is a notoriously common practice among scientists, namely, to make difficult-to-analyze data come out to fits what the investigator believes is correct. In our discussion of carbon-14 testing, below, we will show that this pernicious practice of making data fit preconceived theory is also applied to dating past events.



Sagan then raises this argument, “Another problem with Velikovsky’s method is the suspicion that vaguely similar stories may refer to quite different periods. The question of the synchronism of legends is almost completely ignored in Worlds in Collision…[72] Velikovsky synchro­nizes the Biblical story of Joshua with evidence in the Americas,

“It has been noted that this description of the position of the luminaries implies that the sun was in the forenoon position. The Book of Joshua says that the luminaries stood in the midst of the sky.

“Allowing for the difference in longitude, it must have been early morning or night in the Western Hemisphere [that is early morning in the Caribbean and night in Mexico].

“We go to the shelf where stand books with the historical traditions of the aborigines of Central America.

“The sailors of Columbus and Cortes, arriving in America, found there literate peoples who had books of their own. Most of these books were burned in the sixteenth century by the Dominican monks. Very few of the ancient manuscripts survived, and these are preserved in the libraries of Paris, the Vatican, the Prado, and Dresden; they are called codici, and their texts have been studied and partly read. However, among the Indians of the days of the conquest and also of the following century, there were literary men who had access to the knowledge written in pictographic script by their forefathers.

“In the Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan—the history of the empire of Culhuacan and Mexico, written in Nahua-Indian in the sixteenth cen­tury—it is related that during a cosmic catastrophe that occurred in the remote past, the night did not end for a long time.

“The biblical narrative describes the sun as remaining in the sky for an additional day (‘about a whole day’). The Midrashim, the books of ancient traditions not embodied in the Scriptures, relate that the sun and the moon stood still for thirty-six itim, or eighteen hours, and thus from sunrise to sunset the day lasted about thirty hours.

“In the Mexican annals it is stated that the world was deprived of light and the sun did not appear for a fourfold night. In a prolonged day or night time could not be measured by the usual means at the disposal of the ancients.

“Shagun, the Spanish savant who came to America a generation after Columbus and gathered the traditions of the aborigines wrote [in Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva Espana, (1946) (3 vols.) French trans. p. 481] that at the time of one cosmic catastrophe the sun rose only a little way over the horizon and remained there without moving; the Moon also stood still.”[73]

According to Zecharia Sitchen’s .;The Lost Realms, (NY 1990) pp. 151-154, discussing “The Day the Sun Stood Still” from Inca legends:

“Completely ignored by scholars…has been the repeated statements in the Andean legends that there occurred a frightening darkness in the long-ago times. No one has wondered whether this was the same darkness—the non-appearance of the sun when it was due—of which the Mexican legends speak in the tale of Teotihuacan and its pyramids. For if there had indeed been such a phenomenon that the sun failed to rise and the night was endless, then it would have been observed throughout the Americas.

“The Mexican collective recollections and the Andean ones seem to corroborate each other on this point, and thus uphold the veracity of each other, as two witnesses to the same event…

“According to Montesinos and other chroniclers, the most unusual event took place in the reign of Titu Yupanqui Pachacuti II, the fifteenth monarch in Ancient Empire times. It was the third year of his reign when ‘good customs were forgotten and people were given to all manner of vice,’ that ‘there was no dawn for twenty hours.’ [emphasis added]. In other words, the night did not end when it usually does and sunrise was delayed for twenty hours. After a great outcry, confessions of sins, sacrifices, and prayers the sun finally rose.

“This could not have been an eclipse: it was not that the shining of the sun was obscured by a shadow. Besides, no eclipse lasts so long, and the Peruvians were cognizant of such periodic events. The tale does not say that the sun disappeared’; it says that it did not rise—‘there was no dawn’—for twenty hours…

“Scholars have struggled for generations with [the]…tale in Chapter 10 of the Book of Joshua. Some discount it as mere fiction; others see in it echoes of a myth; still others seek to explain it in terms of an unusually prolonged eclipse of the sun. But not only are such long eclipses unknown; the tale does not speak of the disappearance of the sun. On the contrary, it relates to an event when the sun continued to be seen, to hang on in the sky for ‘about a whole day’—say twenty hours?

“The incident, whose uniqueness is recognized in the Bible (‘There was no day like it before or after’) taking place on the opposite side of the Earth relative to the Andes [and Mexico], thus describes a phe­nomenon that was the opposite of what happened in the Andes. In Canaan the sun did not set for some twenty hours; in the Andes the sun did not rise for the same length of time.

Do not the two tales, then, describe the same event, and by coming from different sides of the Earth attest to its factuality” [Sitchen’s emphasis]

“…Whatever the precise cause of the phenomenon, what we are concerned with here is its timing. The generally accepted date for the Exodus has been the thirteenth century B.C. (circa 1230 B.C.), and scholars have argued for a date earlier by some two centuries found themselves in a minority… Subsequent to the publication of our conclusion [related to Biblical dates] (in 1985), two eminent biblical scholars and archeologists, John J. Bimson .J.;and David Livingston, .;reached after an exhaustive study (Biblical Archeology Review, September/October 1987) the conclusion that the Exodus took place about 1460 B.C.

“Since the Israelites wandered in the deserts of Sinai for forty years, the entry into Canaan took place in 1393 B.C.; the occurrence observed by Joshua happened soon thereafter.

“The question now is: did the opposite phenomenon, the prolonged night, occur in the Andes at the same time?

“Unfortunately, the shape in which the writings of Montesinos have reached modern scholars leaves some gaps in the data concerning lengths of reign of each monarch, and we will have to obtain the answer in a roundabout way. The event, Montesinos advises, occurred in the third year of the reign of Titu Yupanqui Pachacuti II. To pinpoint his time we will have to calculate from both ends. We are told that the first 1,000 years from Point Zero [of the Andean calendar] were completed in the reign of the fourth monarch, i.e., in 1900 B.C.; and that the thirty-second king reigned 2,070 years from point zero, i.e., in 830 B.C.

“When did the fifteenth monarch reign? The available data suggests that the nine kings that separated the fourth and fifteenth monarch reigned a total of about 500 years, placing Titu Yupanqui Pachacuti II at about 1400 B.C.. Calculating backwards from the thirty-second monarch (830 B.C.), we arrive at 564 as the number of intervening years, giving us a date of 1394 B.C. for Titu Yupanqui Pachacuti II. [The Israelites enter Canaan in 1393 B.C.; the monarch Titu Yupanqui Pachacuti II begins his reign in 1394 B.C.; and soon there after the Israelites experi­ence a long day and the Andeans a long night.]

“Either way, we arrive at a date for the Andean event that coincides with the Biblical date and the events date at Teotihuacan.

“The hard hitting conclusion is clear:


“The occurrence thus verified, stands out as irrefutable proof of the veracity of the Andean recollections…”

This certainly is synchronism of events by descriptions of ancient men of the “astronomical realities” that they report. Thus, Sagan’s state­ment that “This question of synchronism of legends is almost entirely ignored in Worlds in Collision” is belied by the facts.



Sagan goes on, “Velikovsky notes that the idea of four ancient ages terminated by catastrophes is common to Indian as well as to Western sacred writing.”[74] Velikovsky introduced this material about “four ancient ages terminated by catastrophes” with the following statement at the very beginning of this chapter, “The World Ages”,

“A concept of ages that were brought to their end by violent changes in nature is common all over the world. The number of ages differs from people to people and from tradition to tradition. The difference depends on the number of catastrophes that the particular people retained in its memory, or on the way it reckoned the end of an age.”[75]

Lewis M. Greenberg .M.;pointed out that Velikovsky “acknowledged that there was a tradition of seven ages (Etruscan, Persian, sacred Hindu and Hebrew writings), ten ages (Chinese), and nine ages (Polynesian and Iceland) as well, while carefully pointing out that the number of years ascribed to various ages differed, (W in C. pp. 30-33). Nothing was hidden.”[76] Sagan’s remarks to the contrary that, “…in the Bhagavad Gita and in the Vedas, widely divergent numbers of such ages, including an infinity of them, are given; but, more interesting, the duration of the ages between major catastrophes is specified (see, for example, Campbell 1974) as billions of years. This does not match very well with Velikovsky’s chronology, which requires hundreds or thousands of years.”[77] This analysis has nothing to do with Velikov­sky’s work. It is merely a smoke screen to avoid dealing with the evidence that Velikovsky has presented. For example, in Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky has a chapter titled “The Fifty-two Year Period” in which he deals with the period between two catastrophes and these are well documented in the cultures of several ancient peoples:

“The works of Fernando de Alva Ixlilxochitl, .;the early Mexican scholar (circa 1568-1648) who was able to read old Mexican texts, preserve the ancient tradition according to which the multitude of fifty-two year periods played an important role in the recurrence of world catastrophes. He asserts also that fifty-two years elapsed between two great catastro­phes, each of which terminated a world age.

“As I have already pointed out, the Israelite tradition counts forty years of wandering in the desert…and started the difficult task of the conquest, and the time of the battle at Beth-horon twelve years may well have passed…

“Now there exists a remarkable fact: the natives of pre-Columbian Mexico expected a new catastrophe at the end of [every period of] fifty-two years… They watched for the appearance of the planet Venus and when, on the feared day, no catastrophe occurred, the people of Maya rejoiced…this period of Venus, was observed by both the Maya and the Aztecs.

“The old Mexican custom of sacrificing to the Morning Star survived in human sacrifices by the Skidi Pawnee of Nebraska in years when the Morning Star ‘appeared especially bright, or in years when there was a comet in the sky’… [Among the ancient Hebrews] the fiftieth year was a jubilee year… The jubilee of the Mayas must have had a genesis similar to that of the jubilee of the Israelites.”[78]

It is clear that Velikovsky presents times and catastrophes that do match. But Sagan rather than deal with this, glosses over the material with broad unfounded statements. What does not match is Sagan’s remarks about evidence and raises suspicion about his method of analysis. Sagan states,

“Despite copious references, there also seem to me to be a large number of critical and undemonstrated assumptions in Velikovsky’s argument. Let me mention just a few of them. There is the very interesting idea that any mythological references by any people to any god that also corresponds to a celestial body represents in fact a direct observation of that celestial body.”[79]

This is a complete distortion of Velikovsky’s method. As we pointed out earlier with respect to Cuvier’s method of employing ancient legends, Velikovsky maintained that only those myths that were widely corroborated by diverse cultures, which tell the same story of the same planet and are possible on the basis of scientific analysis should be considered. On p. 305 of Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky specifically wrote: “We shall follow this rule: if there exists a fantastic image that is projected against the sky and that repeats itself around the world, it is most probably an image that was seen on the screen of the sky by many peoples at the same time.” Thus, when Sagan states, “I am not sure what one is to do with Jupiter appearing as a swan to Leda, and as a shower of gold to Danae,”[80] one need do nothing. In this case the story is not told around the world by many cultures, and there is no scientific evidence to observe Jupiter as a swan, so one ignores this evidence as Sagan should.



Finally Sagan deals with the “Venus Myth”,

“In any case, when Hesiod and Homer refer to Athena being born full-grown from the head of Zeus, Velikovsky takes Hesiod and Homer at their word and assumes that the celestial body of Athena was ejected by the planet Jupiter. But what is the celestial body of Athena? Repeatedly it is identified with the planet Venus (Part 1, Chapter 9, and many other places in the text). One would scarcely guess from reading Worlds in Collision that the Greeks characteristically identified Aphrodite with Venus, and Athena with no celestial body whatsoever. What is more, Athena and Aphrodite were ‘contemporaneous’ goddesses, both being born at the time Zeus was king of the gods.”[81]

Sagan did indeed point out an error respecting Velikovsky’s interpre­tation of Aphrodite. Sagan states, “On page 247 we hear of Aphrodite, the goddess of the Moon. Who then was Artemis, the sister of Apollo the Sun…?” (BB p. 92) According to Sagan, then, the planet Venus is represented among the Greeks by the goddess Aphrodite, therefore, Athena could not be also, at the same time, identified with the planet Venus. How well does ancient historical and legendary evidence support this view? Bernard Lovell, .;Professor of Radio Astronomy at the University of Manchester informs us that, “When the ancient observers began to analyze the motion of these planets [Venus and Mercury] they did not realize that the same planets appeared some­times in the morning sky and sometimes in the evening sky.”[82] Peter James, .;a British scholar of antiquities develops this evidence stating,

“…Both Aphrodite and Athena were Venus-deities—for Aphrodite we have the incontestable testimony of the Greeks themselves while for Athena we have the evidence by Velikovsky in Worlds in Collision.

“Yet the two goddesses had separate cults and entirely different attributes… Athena was a war goddess while Aphrodite was, by distinct contrast, the goddess of love. Both were Venus deities, but to simply identify the two as being one and the same goddess is impossible. Somehow two separate goddesses, each with her attributes and cult were developed by the Greeks from two separate personifications of the same planet. The key to this apparent dilemma is readily available if we remember that, to the observer, Venus appears as two planets, not one, in its aspects as morning and evening stars.

“This explanation finds ample confirmation in examples drawn from comparative mythology. Istar, the Babylonian goddess of Venus had two distinct aspects and she was unique from amongst her fellow deities. Speaking of the Babylonian pantheon, one scholar (A. Leo Oppenheim .L.;in Ancient Mesopotamia p. 197) wrote, ‘Istar alone stands out because of the dichotomy of her nature, associated with the planet Venus (as morning and evening star) and with divine qualities extremely difficult to characterize. This complex embraces the functions of Istar as a battle loving, armed goddess, who gives victory to the king she loves, at the same time it links her as the personification of sexual power in all its aspects. In all these roles, she appears in Mesopotamian myths as well as in corresponding texts from the west, from Anatolia to Egypt, under similar or foreign names. This dichotomy of her two contrasting roles has long been understood as being connected with the planet Venus, since the Babylonians considered the morning star as male, reflecting Istar’s warlike aspect, and the evening star as female, reflecting her aspect as love-goddess.’”[83]

James goes on to cite Stephen R. Langdon, .R.;one of the great author­ities on the history and religion of ancient Mesopotamia from his tome Semitic Mythology, Vol. 5 who found this double aspect of the goddess of the ancient East, Venus, unique. This can be said for the Sumerian Venus goddess Istar and the Canaanite Venus goddess, Anath (Athena) etc. James then states,

“We are left with the conclusion that the Greeks personified the morning and evening stars separately, (the morning star, Athena) as the goddess of war, the other (the evening star, Aphrodite) as the goddess of love, much as the Babylonians and Hittites gave their Venus-deity two distinct aspects. Yet, the Babylonians and Hittites had recognized that the goddess, despite her dual nature, was in fact, one planet. In Mesopo­tamia, the science of astronomy had already begun by the time of the Venus catastrophe in the fifteenth century B.C. Recognizing the identity of the morning and evening stars they worshipped both as Istar. The Greeks, on the other hand, comparative youngsters to the civilization of Mesopotamia, only began to develop a science of astronomy in the seventh century B.C. Unaware that the two stars were one and the same, they personified each separately, and the cults of two deities were developed. Confirmation of this suspicion may be found in several explicit statements of ancient writers.”

“The Roman author Pliny wrote of Venus, ‘When in advance and rising before dawn it receives the name of Lucifer, as being another Sun and bringing the dawn, whereas when it shines after sunset, it is named Vesper as prolonging the daylight, or as deputy for the Moon. This property of Venus was first discovered by Pythagoras of Samos about the 42nd Olympiad, 142 years after the founding of Rome.’ (Pliny, Natural History 2, 36)”

“Pliny’s statement is corroborated by Diogenes Laertius in his essay on Pythagoras: ‘It was first declared that the evening and morning stars are the same as Parmenides maintains.’ A variant tradition, also reported by Diogenes ascribes the discovery to Parmenides, whom he dated to the 69th Olympiad (504-500 B.C.). Others thought that Ibycus of Rhegium, who flourished in the 61st Olympiad (536-533 B.C.) had made the discovery.

“Whoever was the first to make the discovery, the sources agree that it was not made until the late seventh or sixth century B.C., well after the pantheon of Homer and Hesiod had been established. And if that was the case, then the conclusion that the Venus-worship of the Greeks would be divided into two separate cults becomes inescapable.[84] [emphasis added]

Athena and Aphrodite were both planet Venus deities. Sagan stated, “It does not increase our confidence in the presentation of less familiar myths when the celestial identification of Athena [with the planet Venus] is glossed over so lightly” and “…it is far from prevailing wisdom either now or two thousand years ago, and it is central to Velikovsky’s argument.”[85] Sagan, therefore, tells us that the identifi­cation of Athena with the planet Venus is contradicted by the ancient sources. He states that on page 251 in Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky notes that Lucian “is unaware that Athena is the goddess of the planet Venus.” Sagan adds, “Poor Lucian seems to be under the misconcep­tion that Aphrodite is the goddess of the planet Venus.”[86] This is sheer ignorance. The Roman author Pliny who wrote two thousand years ago flatly contradicts Sagan’s assertion. Diogenes Laertius who wrote over two thousand years ago also contradicts Sagan on this central point. The evidence of the ancient sources leads directly to the conclusion that the identification of Athena with the planet Venus by Velikovsky is correct. One of the great modern authorities of ancient Greece, Gilbert Murray, .;Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford University, discussed the identity of the Greek goddess Pallas Athena:

“The case [of the identity] of Pallas Athena is even simpler though it leads to a somewhat surprising result…her whole appearance in history and literature tells the same story as her name… As Pallas she seems to be the thunder-maiden… It seems clear that the old Archaioi [Greeks] cannot have called their warrior-maiden, daughter of Zeus, by the name Athena or Athenaia… If we try to conjecture whose place it is that Athena has taken, it is worth remarking that her regular epithet ‘daughter of Zeus’ belongs in Sanskrit to the Dawn-goddess, Eos.”[87]

Eos is identified as the mother of the morning star, or the planet Venus.[88]

Also on this point there are other identifications of Athena with the planet Venus. Some of the ancient Semitic cultures had goddesses for Venus with clear cognate names of Athena. Athena of the Greeks is derived from and the same as the goddess “Ana-hita” of the Persians, who was the planet Venus. Athena of the Greeks is derived from and the same as the goddess “Anath” of the Canaanites who is the planet Venus. Athena of the Greeks is the same as “Anat” of the Babylonians who is the planet Venus. Linguistically and mythologically this is well known among scholars of middle-eastern, ancient mythology.

In fact, the Encyclopedia Britinnica, Micropaedia, Vol. I, (London, 1982), p. 336, makes it quite clear that Anahita who is Athena is also the same as Aphrodite—the Greek Venus. It states that “In Greece Anahita was identified with Athena and Aphrodite” [emphasis added]. We therefore, have one goddess identified as both Athena and Aphrodite which is celestially identified as the planet Venus. Thus, the ancient Greeks in complete contradiction to Sagan believed that both Athena and Aphrodite were associated with the planet Venus. The same dichotomy is also found for the planet Mercury in it two aspects as morning and evening star. Guy Murchie .;in Music of the Spheres, Vol. I (NY 1967), p. 77, tells us that “Although the Greeks named him Mercury when they saw him setting just after sunset, some of them also called him Apollo when he rose at dawn, even though the better educated among them were well aware that he was one and the same.” Thus, the Greeks identified Venus and Mercury with more than one god.

Sagan adds, “There may be good justification, for all I know, in identifying Athena with Venus.”[89] The justification has been in print for several years before Broca’s Brain was published and it seems that Sagan is somehow unwilling to admit forthrightly this identification and thus, it seems that the unwary reader has been disinformed by the evidence in Sagan’s book.



In pursuit of Velikovsky and the Venus Myth, Sagan claims that Velikovsky has, “given extremely inadequate justification [for] the contention… (p. 85) ‘as is known, Pallas was another name for Typhon.’”[90] Part of the literature which Sagan claims to have read “carefully” prior to the AAAS symposium on Velikovsky is a major work, The Velikovsky Affair which incensed the public about the shabby manner in which the scientific establishment had treated Velikovsky. In it, Livio Stecchini, a historian and philosopher of science, reported on Father Franz Xavier Kugler. .X.;Kugler was an authority of ancient astronomy and mythology. In 1927 he published a small book Sybillinischer Sternkampf und Phaethon in naturgeschichticher Beleuchtung, which in English is, “Sybilline Battle of the Stars and Phaethon Seen as Natural History.” The book deals with Venus. Kugler stated that Venus as a “sun-like meteor” approached the Earth and caused a cosmological crisis—a catastrophe. However, Stecchini pointed out that “Wilhelm Grundel, .;a specialist in Hellenistic astro­mythology, in his review of Kugler’s book sharply rebuked Kugler for not mentioning that all the texts similar to those examined by Kugler ascribed the catastrophe to a comet, and specifically to the comet Typhon.”[91] Thus, both Kugler and Grundel well knew “Typhon is the planet Venus.” Peter James, as we noted earlier, cited detailed, ancient evidence that the goddess Pallas Athena is the planet Venus; and Kugler and Grundel tell us Venus is Typhon. Thus, the identification of Pallas Athena with Typhon is made complete. Had Sagan truly read this material carefully he would know this. This material is stated flatly by Stecchini. “Athena who was the planet Venus”[92] and James “Athena who was the planet Venus”.[93] Both knew Athena was Typhon.

J. Norman Lockyer .N.;in his book, The Dawn of Astronomy, (Cam­bridge MA, 1964), which is a copy of the 1884 first edition, on p. 361 writes, “I suppose that there is now no question among Egyptologists that the gods Set…[and]…Typhon are identical.” However, Robert Graves .;in The Greek Myths, Vol. I, (Baltimore 1955), pp. 153-154 informs us that in Egypt “Anat or Anatha was confusingly identified with…Set.” Thus, again we find that: Set is the same as Typhon who is the same as Pallas Athena or that Typhon is Pallas Athena.

However, there is another modern authority on Greek mythology who read Worlds in Collision. Moses Hadas, .;Jay Professor of Greek at Columbia University” [stated] “…I know that he [Velikovsky] is not dishonest. What bothered me was the violence of the attack upon him.”[94] “Hadas had remarked in a published book review that ‘in our time Immanuel Velikovsky…appears to be approaching vindica­tion.’”[95] Hadas gives several examples of…misrepresentations of Velikovsky’s correct quotations and writes, “It is his critic, not Velikovsky, who is uninformed and rash…”[96] Hadas had read Velikovsky carefully and was not so ignorant as to believe that Velikovsky falsely claimed that Pallas was another name for Typhon, especially when an entire chapter is devoted to this identification. Sagan thus ignores the evidence and this is as near as he approaches the “Venus Myth” delineated by Velikovsky.



Sagan states, “the statement (p. 283) [in Worlds in Collision] that ‘Meteorites when entering the Earth’s atmosphere, make a dreadful din,’ when they are generally observed to be silent.”[97] Velikovsky answered this, remarking that George P. Merrill, .P.;Head Curator, Department of Geology, U.S. National Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, wrote,

“a long series of reports of loud explosions accompanying the fall of meteorites. Meteorites are a subject that belongs in Sagan’s own field, but he does not know that they can make noise. For example, in Emmet County Iowa, on May 10, 1879, ‘The sounds produced by the explosions incidental to its [the meteor’s] breaking up were referred to as terrible and indescribable… The first explosion, for there were several, was louder than the loudest artillery.’ This is only one of a number of illustrative cases described by the Smithsonian Institution.”[98]

Lewis M. Greenberg .M.;informs us that,

“Opening the Nov. 1979 Griffith Observer [journal of astronomy] to page 9, one reads: ‘A typical meteorite fall produces a brilliant fireball or meteor, leaves a smoke trail, and creates a series of sonic booms resem­bling the sounds of firing cannon, or of thunderclaps.’ And, in July 1977, Madagascar reported a meteorite fall that was accompanies by noise ‘variously described as sounding like sonic booms, artillery shots, bomb explosions or quarrying detonations’ (Science News, Vol. 112, 8/6/77, p. 86 and 8/13/77, p. 102.”[99]

This kind of astronomical evidence has been known for a long time. Even the ancients knew that meteors can make loud explosive noise. In Planet Earth, Jonathan Weiner .;informs us that, “Pliny the Elder, the Roman naturalist writing in the first century A.D., called the falling rocks ‘thunderstones’ because he said, they make a great roar when dropped from the sky.”[100] And neither is Sagan so naive an astronomer not to know this extremely well known fact that meteors create explosive noise. In his book, Comet, he writes, “Meteorites…can be heard; they and the fireballs produce on occasion a sonic boom or a deep rumbling roar…[101] [emphasis added] Sagan feels that Velikovsky has given extremely “inadequate justification” for his statements that “Meteorites when entering the Earth’s atmosphere make a dreadful din.” Why should Velikovsky justify what all competent astronomers know?



Next Sagan wishes Velikovsky to justify his claim that “a thunderbolt when striking a magnet, reverses the poles of a magnet.”[102] What Velikovsky had postulated is that the Earth’s magnetism can be reversed by immense cosmological lightning strokes. In fact, the very year that Sagan first delivered his paper on Velikovsky, 1974, Michael Purcker .;published a paper in EOS on just this question. Purcker’s paper, “Lightning Strike in Sandstone”, deals with magnetism in rocks. Rocks as they cool from a molten state will allow the iron particles that they contain to become aligned with the Earth’s magnet­ic field. The magnetism is termed remanent magnetism. Even a sedi­mentary rock such as sandstone if heated and cooled slowly does this. However, according to Purcker the direction of the magnetic field will change if the rock is struck by a thunderbolt.[103] Not only that, but Purcker cites two earlier papers that document that lightning changes the magnetic direction in other types of rocks. These articles are by Cox A; .;“Anomalous Remanent Magnetization of Basalt,” in the U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin, No. 1083E, (1961) and Graham K.W.T.; .W.T.;“Re-Magnetization of a Surface Outcrop by Lightning Curr…” Geophysical Journal, Vol. 6 (1961), pp. 85-102.

S.K. Runcorn .K.;of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in Scientific American, Vol. 257 (Dec. 1987), p. 65 categorically states that, “…a lightning bolt can magnetize a rock outcrop.” But Sagan does not seem to know this. Therefore, Velikovsky’s advice that “Sagan wonders that a thunderbolt, when striking a magnet, reverses the poles of the magnet. This explains the reversals in paleomagnetism (Worlds in Collision, pp. 114-115). If Sagan has doubts, let him perform an experiment.”[104]



Sagan (B.B. p. 92) questions Velikovsky’s view that “the translation (p. 51) of ‘Barad’ as meteorites.” Velikovsky claimed that the hail stones that fell on Beth-horon and Egypt, described in the Bible as stones of “barad”, were hot and thus were meteorites and not hail. Their fall was accompanied by loud thundering noises which is also in accord with meteorites, but not hail. Lewis M. Greenberg, Kronos V, 2, p. 91, .M.;explains that on page 9 of the astronomy journal Griffith Observer, is a “reference to a passage from the Book of Joshua (10:11) used to support the idea that people have been killed by falling mete­orites. Velikovsky cited the same passage in Worlds in Collision, (p. 42) when he discussed the fall of meteorites and introduced the word barad for the first time.” (If Sagan’s colleagues at the Griffith Observatory translates the word barad as meteorite why shouldn’t Velikovsky do the same?

Willy Ley in .;Watchers of the Sky, (NY 1966) p. 233 reinforces Velikovsky’s concept that barad should be translated as meteorites:

“Moreover stones fallen from the sky were mentioned in the Bible. If Joshua 10:11 stated that ‘…as they fled before Israel and were in the going down to Beth-horon… The Lord cast down great stones [translated barad] from heaven upon them…and they died.’ then stones did fall from the sky.”

Furthermore J.B. Biot, .B.;a member of the French Academy described the spectacular shower of meteorites at L’Aigle in northern France in much the same manner as the Hebrews of the hail of barad that fell in Egypt. According to Biot “The inhabitants say that they saw them [meteorites] descend along the roofs of the houses like hail, break the branches of the trees, and rebound after they fell on the pavement.” [J.B. Biot, Philosophical Magazine [Tilloch’s] Vol. 16 (1803). “Account of a Fireball Which Fell in the Neighborhood of L’Aigle: In a letter to the French Minister of the Interior.” pp. 224-228.]



Sagan claims that “On page 179 a principle [in SCV], is enunciated, [in BB] is implied that when two gods are hyphenated in a joint name, it indicates an attribute of a celestial body—as, for example, Ashteroth-Karnaim, a horned Venus.”[105] In Scientists Confront Velikovsky, Sagan was so sure of his evidence that he claimed that the hyphenated name principle was “enunciated.” Then when he rewrote his piece of Broca’s Brain, he wasn’t so sure after all; he changed the “enunciated” principle into an “implied” principle. If Sagan wishes to be more accurate, the hyphenated name principle should be an “inferred” principle and to be quite precise a “misinferred” principle; it seems that Sagan needed his hyphenated principle to ask “But what does this principle imply, for example, for the god Amon-Ra? Did the Egyptians see the sun (Ra) as a ram (Ammon)?”[106] Again, if Sagan wishes to be quite accurate, he should understand as Velikovsky pointed out long ago, that “Amon” was the planet Jupiter.”[107] Sagan’s principle does nothing for anything.



However, in discussing hyphenated names, Sagan states that “…Ashteroth-Karnaim, a horned Venus which Velikovsky interprets as a crescent Venus and evidence that Venus was once close enough to the Earth to have it phases discernible to the naked eye.”[108] But it is also true that the crescent shape of Venus has been observed by many people especially in the low latitudes. Gary E. Hunt .E.;and Patrick Moore .;discuss this in their book, The Planet Venus wherein we find,

“There are many cases on record of the naked eye visibility of the crescent. [of Venus] In the clear skies of South America, Lieutenant Gillis recorded it on various occasions between 1849 and 1852. Between 1929 and 1935 it was recorded unmistakable by Carl Reinhardt, .;D. Howell, .;H.W. Cornell .W.;and Dr. and Mrs. F.W. Wood, .W.;Miss M.A. Blagg .A.;well-known for her work in connection with the Moon, was unable to make out the crescent shape, but could see that Venus was definitely elongated. The Rev. T.W. Webb .W.;relates that the crescent phase was seen by a twelve year old boy, Theodore Parker, .;before he knew of its existence, while W.S. Franks, .S.;a winner of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astro­nomical Society said that his son, E.S. Franks, .S.;had frequently seen the crescent between 1890 and 1900. All these cases are well authenticated, and there seems, therefore, little doubt that the phase really is visible to people with exceptional eyesight.”[109]

Therefore, if people can distinguish the crescent phases of Venus when Venus is in its present distant orbit, why shouldn’t people of ancient times, when Venus’ orbit, according to Velikovsky, was elliptical and hence brought it nearer to Earth and easier to distinguish, have observed clearly what is currently difficult?

Accordingly, Livio C. Stecchini in The Velikovsky Affair, (NY 1966) p. 88, states “Sir Walter Raleigh in his History of the World (1616) wondered how it could happen that the phases of Venus just discov­ered by Galileo seem to have been known to ancient authors.” Thus, the phases of Venus are remarked and were noted by ancient writers.

In fact, Velikovsky cites ancient sources that show Venus’ crescent phase was observed by ancient men as the head of a bull with horns. On pp. 166-7 of Worlds in Collision, he writes and cites some of these:

“Sanchoniathon says [Cf. L. Thorndike, A History of Magic and Experimental Science, (1923-1941) I Chap. X] that Astarte (Venus) had a bulls’ head…

“Tistrya (Venus) of the Zend-Avesta (Trans. James Darmesteter, 1883), Pt. II, p. 93) the star that attacks the planets the bright and glorious Tistryra [Venus] mingles his shape with light moving in the shape of a golden-horned bull.”

“The Egyptians similarly pictured the planet (Venus) and worshipped it in the effigy of a bull. (See E. Otto, .;Beiträge zur Geschichte der Stierkulte in Agypten (1938) The cult of a bull sprang up also in Mycenanean Greece. A golden cow head with a star on its brow was found in Mycenae on the Greek mainland…”

Thus, the ancient writers corroborate the evidence that they could see the phases of Venus.



Sagan writes,

“There is a contention (p. 63, [Worlds in Collision]) that instead of the tenth plague of the Exodus killing, the ‘firstborn’ of Egypt, what is intended is the killing of the ‘chosen.’ This is a rather serious matter and at least raises the suspicion that when the Bible is inconsistent with Veli­kovsky’s hypothesis, Velikovsky retranslates the Bible. The forgoing… may…have simple answers, but the answers are not found easily in Worlds in Collision.[110]

What Sagan had difficulty finding in Worlds in Collision is found on page 63, the same page he cited. In fact, the answer about “first born” and “Chosen” is in the very passage Sagan cited. Here Velikovsky wrote, “In Ages in Chaos (my reconstruction of ancient history), I shall show that ‘firstborn’ (bkhor) in the text of the plague is a corruption of ‘chosen’ (bchor). All the flower of Egypt succumbed in the catastrophe.” This is indeed serious and raises the suspicion that Sagan attempted to hide Velikovsky’s evidence.

When we turn to Ages in Chaos, there is indeed a chapter titled “Firstborn or Chosen” on pp. 32-34. It states,

“The biblical story of the last plague has a distinctly supernatural quality in that all the firstborn and only the firstborn were killed on the night of the plagues. An earthquake that destroys only the firstborn is inconceivable, because events can never attain that degree of coincidence. No credit should be given to such a record.

“Either the story of the last plague, in its canonized form, is a fiction, or it conceals a corruption of the text. Before proclaiming the whole a strange tale interpolated later, it would be wise to inquire whether or not the incredible part alone is corrupted. It may be that the firstborn stands for some other word.

Isaiah 43:16 Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty water;

20…I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert to give drink to and my people, my chosen.

“In the Book of Exodus, it is said that Moses was commanded:

Exodus 4:22-23 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn.

…and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

“The ‘chosen’ are here called ‘firstborn.’ If Israel was the firstborn, then revenge was to be taken against Egypt by the death of its firstborn. But if Israel was the chosen, then revenge was to be taken against Egypt by the death of its chosen.

‘Israel my chosen,’ is Israel bechiri or bechori.

‘Israel my firstborn,’ is Israel bekhori.

“It is the first root which was supposed to determine the relation between God and his people. Therefore: ‘at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt’ (Exodus 12:29) must be read ‘all the select of Egypt’ as one would say ‘all the flower of Egypt’ or ‘all the strength of Egypt.’ ‘Israel is my chosen: I shall let fall all the chosen of Egypt.’

“Naturally death would usually choose the weak, the sick, the old. The earthquake is different; the walls fall upon the strong and the weak alike. Actually the Midrashim say that ‘as many as nine tenths of the inhabitants had perished.’

“In Psalms 135 my idea is illustrated by the use of both roots where two words of the same root would have been expected.

“For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure…who smote the firstborn of Egypt.

“In Psalms 78 the history of the Exodus is told once more.

Psalms 78:43 How he hath wrought his signs in Egypt.

51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt…

52 But made his own people to go forth…

56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God…

31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel…

“Were the firstborn destroyed when the wrath was turned against Egypt, and were the chosen destroyed when the wrath was turned against Israel?

Amos 4:10 I have sent among you the pestilence [plague] after the manner of Egypt: your young men [chosen] have I slain.

“In the days of raash (commotion) during the reign of Uzziah, the select and the flower of the Jewish people perish as perished the chosen, the strength of Egypt was the prophecy of Amos.

“It is possible that the king’s firstborn died on the night of the upheaval. The death of the prince would have been an outward reason for changing the text. The intrinsic reason lies in the same source that interrupted the story of the Exodus at the most exciting place—after the houses of the Egyptians had crumbled—with these sentences:

Exodus 13:2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine

13 …and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.”

“Jeremiah testifies to the fact that burnt offerings and sacrifices were not ordered on the day Israel left Egypt.

Jeremiah 7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices.

“This is in contradiction to the text of Exodus 12:43 to 13:16. To free the people from this bondage is the task of Amos, Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Amos 5:22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: Neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.

24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

25 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?”

Sagan has accused Velikovsky of changing the Bible, when it is in contradiction to his hypothesis. Yet here we see that Velikovsky, contrary to Sagan’s assertion, goes to the Bible to show that there is ample evidence in it for “firstborn” to be read as “chosen”. In fact, Velikovsky cites several places in the Bible to illustrate just this point.

Velikovsky showed his manuscript of Ages in Chaos to an acknowledged expert and biblical scholar. In the “Acknowledgments” p. XIII of Ages in Chaos, we find,

“I am also indebted to Dr. Robert H. Pfeiffer, .H.;outstanding authority on the Bible. Director of the Harvard excavation at Nuzi, curator of the Semitic Museum at Harvard University, professor of ancient history at Boston University, editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature (1943-1947), and author of a distinguished standard work on the Old Testament, he is eminently qualified to pass judgment. In the summer of 1942, when the manuscript was still in its first draft, he read Ages in Chaos… He read later drafts, too, and showed a great interest in the progress of my work. Neither subscribing to my thesis nor rejecting it, he kept an open mind, believing that only objective and free discussion could clarify the issue.”[111]

Pfeiffer wrote the following on Ages in Chaos, “Dr. Velikovsky dis­closes immense erudition and extraordinary ingenuity. He writes well and documents all his statements with original sources.[112] [emphasis added] While Sagan maintains that Velikovsky’s use of the Bible “…is a serious matter and at least raises the suspicion that when the Bible is inconsistent with his hypothesis, he retranslates the Bible”; it appears that Sagan’s approach, on the other hand, is not serious and at least raises the suspicion that when his assertions are inconsistent with the documented evidence presented by Velikovsky, Sagan ignores the documented evidence.

Sagan’s scholarship of the Bible is itself curious. In Scientists Confront Velikovsky, he writes, “at the moment that Moses strikes his staff upon the rock, the Red Sea parts.”[113] Velikovsky had to correct Sagan’s usage of the Bible stating “In the Biblical story, Moses did not hit the rock with his rod at the Sea of Passage; the striking of the rod against the rock is from the story of finding water in the desert.”[114] Therefore, Sagan corrected it in Broca’s Brain. Velikovsky tells us that “Biblical scholarship is not Sagan’s field.” This is quite certain. However, one of Velikovsky’s loudest critics, Patrick Moore, .;the British astronomer, remarks, “All his [Velikovsky’s] three books are heavily annotated and every Biblical reference is correct. In fact, Dr. Velikovsky has done his homework extremely well in this respect.”[115] What a pity Sagan has not done his homework at all in this regard.



Sagan then states that he finds “the situation in legend and myth…fuzzy” and that “any corroboratory evidence from other sources would be welcome by those who support Velikovsky’s argument.”[116] In fact, there is corroboratory evidence from geology, archaeology, and paleontology. It is contained in Velikovsky’s book, Earth in Upheaval. Albert Einstein .;supplied Velikovsky with marginal notes and handwritten comments on chapters VIII through XII and he had read the entire text. Velikovsky in the ‘Author’s Note’ states,

“As early as the 1960’s, I found that Earth in Upheaval was displacing The Origin of Species in the courses of a number of geophysicists—as in the case of my visit to Oberlin College in 1965. At Princeton University, Earth in Upheaval, from its publication and for two decades was required reading in the paleontology course of Professor Glenn Jepsen. .;H.H. Hess, .H.;Chairman of the Department of Geology (later Geophysics), told me that he knew Earth in Upheaval by heart.”[117]

Here is what Norman Macbeth .;in Darwin Retried states about Velikovsky’s Earth in Upheaval.

“…he [Velikovsky] marshals the original field reports on a large number of phenomena that point inexorably to catastrophes…of fairly recent dates… The impact of the details and the number of phenomena (close to forty) is shattering. I hold no brief for Velikovsky’s theories, but I am indebted to him for collecting material that has never been assembled in one place before. The topics in the book are discussed on the basis of reports by orthodox and reputable scientists with Velikovsky merely acting as master of ceremonies.”[118]

After discussion and summary of some of the topics Velikovsky presented Macbeth adds that, “The reader should peruse Velikovsky himself so as to get the cumulative effect of his evidence… The wealth of specific cases pointing toward catastrophes make it impossible for me to accept the uniformitarian theory.”[119] This seems splendid advice for Sagan who would welcome corroboratory evidence from sources other than Worlds in Collision.

Velikovsky presented a highly cursory description of some of the topics of Earth in Upheaval in his book Stargazers and Gravediggers:

“When Worlds in Collision was published, numerous scientists repeatedly claimed that events of such magnitude and at such comparatively recent dates must have left vestiges not only in folklore, but even more so in geology and archaeology. Actually in the Epilogue to Worlds in Collision, I wrote ‘Geological, paleontological and anthropological material related to the problem of cosmic catastrophes is vast and may give a complete picture of past events no less than historical material.’ My new book, Earth in Upheaval, published in 1955, was a collection of this material, where I brought together evidence from geology, paleontology and archaeology. I excluded from this book every reference to ancient literature, traditions and folklore; and this I did purposely so that careless critics would not decry the entire work as ‘tales and legends.’

“I could show—always quoting academic sources—that the level of all oceans dropped suddenly thirty-four centuries ago; that mountains rose in spasmodic movements in the time of advanced man, who developed advanced cultures and built cities. Abandoned cities like Tiahuanacu, and agricultural terraces, are now covered with perennial snow. The deserts of Arabia, Sahara and Gobi were covered by forests and pastures, and man’s neolithic relics and rock drawing show how recently these wastes were richly watered and were inhabited. The remains of whales are found on mountains; fig trees and corals are found in polar regions and signs of ice in Equatorial Africa. Widespread extinctions in America occurred ‘virtually within the last few thousand years.’

“I gave the history of the theory of catastrophism versus the theory of gradualism and evolution. The Agassiz theory of the ice ages was originally also a catastrophic theory. Agassiz spoke of the sudden arrival of the ice cover seizing the mammoths of Siberia. The north Siberian islands consist of trunks of uprooted trees and bones of mammoths, rhinoceroses, horses and buffaloes—when today lichen and moss show themselves for two months in a year—and sea is fettered in ice from September to July. In Alaska, too, gold digging machines, slicing the ground by the mile, disclosed all over the peninsula immense heaps of animals of species both extinct and extant, forms that do not belong together in a melee with millions of broken and uprooted trees.

“The fissures of rocks in Britain, France, Spain and also the Mediter­ranean islands are filled with bones of animals—and their state and position suggest that the land and the sea repeatedly changed places. Also on the American continent, North and South, caverns in the hills are found filled with animals of various habitats, entombed in conditions of catastrophe. Actually, Darwin .;could be quoted from his Journal of the Voyage of the Beagle. After observing the immense heaps of fossil bones in South America, he wrote: ‘The greater number, if not all, of these extinct quadrupeds lived at a late period… Since they lived, no very great change in the form of the land can have taken place. What, then, has exterminated so many species and whole genera? The mind at first is irresistibly hurried into the belief of some great catastrophe; but thus to destroy animals, both large and small, in Southern Patagonia, in Brazil, on the Cordilleras of Peru, in North American up to the Behring’s Straits, we must shake the entire framework of the globe’ [Voyage of the Beagle, Charles Darwin, Appleton & Co., pp. 169-170]…

“Actually poles were displaced and the terrestrial axis did shift under violent conditions. In this connection, in Chapter IX—‘Axis Shifted’—of Earth in Upheaval (published in November) it was possible to quote a very recent article, ‘The Earth’s Magnetism’ by Professor S.K. Runcorn .K.;of Cambridge, which appeared in the September 1955 issue of Scientific American… In it he wrote that the lavas and igneous rocks in various parts of the world disclose that during the Tertiary period ‘The North and South geomagnetic poles reversed places several times…’ After long periods of stability ‘the field would suddenly break up and reform with opposite polarity.’

“The unavoidable conclusion according to Runcorn is that, ‘the earth’s axis of rotation had changed also. In other words, the planet had rolled about, changing the location of its geographical poles.’”[120]

Kenneth Hsu .;in his book, The Great Dying, discusses the scientific establishment’s attitude toward the theory of catastrophism. Hsu who rejects Velikovsky’s hypothesis, writes, (p. 41) “To scientists, the notion of an unusual catastrophic event to explain phenomena in Earth history has become paramount to invoking the supernatural. My beloved teacher, Ed Spiecker .;of Ohio State [University], went so far as to exclaim that the very word revolution should be expunged from all geology textbooks…”[121] Since Sagan cannot expunge Earth in Upheaval, he acts as if it does not exist. As an approach to evidence, Sagan’s attitude is completely unscientific!



Sagan goes on,

“I am struck by the absence of any confirming evidence in art. There is a wide range of paintings, bas-reliefs, cylinder seals and other objects d’art produced by humanity [in SCV: going back tens of thousands of years B.C.] [in BB: going back to at least 10,000 B.C.] They represent all of the subjects…important to the cultures that created them.”[122]

Velikovsky answered Sagan succinctly on this point, stating,

“Sagan moves to cave painting (where he finds only a picture of a supernova) and to ancient art generally, and asks: ‘If the Velikovskian catastrophes occurred, why are there no contemporary graphic records of them?’ As a novice in the field, Sagan should perceive that the great majority of ancient contemporary art is dominated by the theme of global catastrophes and celestial planetary deities in battle. In my lecture I referred to the Mayan, Olmec and Toltec art—and whoever visits Yucatan knows that virtually no other theme exists in this art. No dynastic or military exploits, but battles between planetary deities, and sacrifices to them—almost to the exclusion of other themes. The caveman pictures animals in global conflict; serpents fighting planets are a frequent theme in cave and mural art; and in literary art—from the Iliad to the Assyrian prayers, to the Old Testament, its prophets and psalms, to Hindi and to Icelandic epics—it (celestial catastrophe) is the all-pervading motif. So it goes in this domain which is foreign to Sagan.”[123]

In this respect, we briefly examine the “Venus Myth”. Sagan states in Broca’s Brain about Velikovsky’s theory that “The planet Jupiter disgorged a large comet” (p. 93); “that Venus was once close enough to Earth to have its [appearance] discernible to the naked eye” (p. 92). If this is so, then there should exist “objects d’art produced by humanity” to describe this. In Sagan’s book Comet, he presents draw­ings of comets made by ancient man on pp. 20, 168 and 186. However, Sagan fails to present ancient Babylonian drawings of Venus. Inanna was the Babylonian goddess who personified Venus and the Babylonians produced pictures of this goddess as she appeared in the sky. A. Falkenstein .;has twelve of these Venus drawings in his book, Archaische Texte Aus Uruk, (Ancient Texts of Uruk), Leipzig, 1936. I let the reader decide whether or not these pictures of Venus are “confirming evidence” that the Babylonians observed Venus as a comet. Lynn E. Rose .E.;has collected, organized and presented these in, “Just Plainly Wrong”, Kronos, III:2, p. 111.

Somehow Sagan is unable to bring himself to display this evidence in his book Comet. Actually, Velikovsky presented a great many state­ments of ancient peoples from all over the world. Let us peruse some of the evidence. The footnotes that Velikovsky used will be noted with the citation of [W in C].

“The early traditions of the people of Mexico, written down in pre-Columbian days, relate that Venus smoked. ‘The star that smoked, la estrella que humeava, was Sitlae choloha, which the Spaniards call Venus.’[1]

‘Now I ask,’ says Alexander Humboldt, .;‘what optical illusion could give Venus the appearance of a star throwing out smoke?’[2]

“Sahagun, the sixteenth century Spanish authority of Mexico, wrote that the Mexicans called a comet ‘a star that smoked.’[3] It may thus be concluded that since the Mexicans called Venus ‘a star that smoked’ they considered it a comet.

“It is also said in the Vedas that the star Venus looks like fire with smoke[4]…in the Talmud, in the Tractate Shabbat: ‘Fire is hanging down from the planet Venus.’[5] This phenomenon was described by the Chaldeans. The planet Venus ‘was said to have a beard.’[6] This same technical expression (‘beard’) is used in modern astronomy in the description of comets.

“These parallels in observations made in the valley of the Ganges on the shores of the Euphrates, and on the coast of the Mexican Gulf prove their objectivity…

“Venus, with its glowing train, was a very brilliant body; it is therefore not strange that the Chaldeans described it as a ‘bright torch of heaven,’[7] also as a ‘diamond that illuminates like the sun,’ and compared its light with the light of the rising Sun.[8]

“At present, the light of Venus is less than one millionth of the light of the Sun. ‘A stupendous prodigy in the sky,’ the Chaldeans called it.[9]

“The Hebrews similarly described the planet: ‘The brilliant light of Venus blazes from one end of the cosmos to the other.’[10]

“The Chinese astronomical text from Soochow refers to the past when ‘Venus was visible in full daylight and, while moving across the sky, rivaled the sun in brightness.’[11]

“As late as the seventh century [B.C.], Assurbanipal wrote about Venus (Ishtar) ‘who is clothed with fire and bears aloft a crown of awful splendor’[12] The Egyptians under Seti thus described Venus (Sekhmet): ‘A circling star which scatters its flame in fire…a flame of fire in her tempest.’[13]…the Mexican…also called it by the name of Tzontemocque, or ‘the mane.’[14] The Arabs called Ishtar (Venus) by the name Zebbaj or ‘one with hair,’ as did the Babylonians.[15]

“‘Sometimes there are hairs attached to the planets,’ wrote Pliny;[16] an old description of Venus must have served as a basis for his assertion. But hair or coma is a characteristic of comets, and in fact ‘comet’ is derived from the Greek word for ‘hair.’ The Peruvian name ‘Chaska’ (wavy haired)[17] is still the name for Venus though at present the Morning Star is definitely a planet and has no tail attached to it.”[124]

These reports, and others, come from the entire globe. In Sagan’s book Comet, pp. 181-187 are devoted to an analysis of the swastika and how this symbol came to be found among all peoples of ancient times. Sagan discusses the difficulties of explaining this symbol which he informs us “appears to be connected with something brilliant in the sky, and on the other hand it is clearly something separate from the Sun.”[125] Sagan goes on to explain,

“…these difficulties seem to be resolved if there once was a bright swastika rotating in the skies of Earth, witnessed by people all over the world. Ordinarily, the notion seems far from astronomical reality… [emphasis added]

“What we are imagining is something like this: It is early in the second millennium B.C… While all the people on Earth are going about their daily business, a rapidly spinning comet with four active streamers appears. When the people look up at the comet, they are looking down on the axis of rotation. The four jets, symmetrically placed around the equator on the daylight side, generate—because of the comet’s rapid rotation-curved streamers, as you can easily see in the pattern formed by a rotary garden sprinkler [which give]…the usual representation of the swastika.”[126]

To cinch this analysis, Sagan reports,

“Under these circumstances it is arresting to find, in the culture with the longest tradition of careful observation of comets, a straightforward, apparently unambiguous description of a swastika as just another comet. Such is the case of the twenty-ninth and final comet to appear in the ancient silk atlas of cometary forms that was unearthed in a Han Dynasty tomb at Mawangdui, China (Chapter 2). It dates from the third or fourth century B.C…”[127]

And, indeed, on the same page as the above comment Sagan has presented the Chinese drawing of the comet in the form of a swastika.

When we recall that we have a series of drawings of Venus in the shape of a comet, made by the Babylonian culture with a very long tradition of careful observations, giving a straight-forward, apparently unambiguous description of Venus as a comet, we see that Velikov­sky’s theory is underpinned by exactly the same sort of evidence that Sagan employs to explain the swastika; except Velikovsky has twelve drawings to support his view, not just one and has presented a volume of evidence, not just a few pages. Thus, it is interesting to see that Sagan does not deal with this evidence.

In this respect, it is interesting to note that Sagan describes Quetzal­coatl on page 28 of his book Comet, as “the great white-bearded god” and elsewhere he writes, “The Tshi people of Zaire call comets ‘hair stars’ and the word comet—the same in modern languages—comes from the Greek work for hair.”[128] Quetzalcoatl, the god of the ancient Mexicans having a “great white beard” according to Sagan would be a comet. But nearly any encyclopedia will inform the reader that, “Quetzalcoatl [was] god of civilization [and] of the planet Venus.”[129] Thus, even in Sagan’s book Comet, he has unwittingly and indirectly given evidence to support Velikovsky’s hypothesis that ancient man saw Venus as a comet. By the way, Quetzalcoatl means “feathered serpent” which to ancient people looking into the sky would be a good interpretation of a comet. As Sagan states on the same page [14] of Comet, “In other cultures they are ‘tail stars’ or ‘stars with long feathers.’”

Therefore, when Sagan states, “I do not mean to suggest that all of Velikovsky’s legendary concordances and ancient scholarship are… flawed but many of them seem to be, and the remainder may well have alternative, for example, diffusionist origins,”[130] it is again suggested that Sagan read his own work more carefully.



In his description of Velikovsky’s hypothesis Sagan writes, “The vermin described in Exodus [according to Velikovsky] are produced by the comet-flies and perhaps scarabs drop out of the comet, while indigenous terrestrial frogs are induced by the heat of the comet to multiply.”[131] L. M. Greenberg .M.;pointed out that,

“Sagan on December 2, 1973 before a group of scientists at a NASA Ames Research Center news conference. At the later get-together, Sagan said, ‘Velikovsky explicitly [sic] predicts the presence of frogs and flies in the clouds of Jupiter…’ [So first Sagan says Velikovsky has frogs on Jupiter and presumably on comet Venus, then he removes the frogs at the AAAS symposium.] …When questioned about his remark concerning ‘Velikovskian Frogs’ by Thomas Ferte, .;in a letter dated February 1974, Sagan replied (letter dated March 6, 1974) that ‘Velikovsky is equivocal about frogs, but quite explicit [sic] about flies.’… (see CHIRON, T. Ferte, “Velikovskian Frogs: The Unscientific Reception of Worlds in Collision” (1950-1970) Vol. 1, Nos. 1 & 2, Winter-Spring 1974, p. 12).

“In case anyone is confused by Sagan’s critical legerdemain, let us reca­pitulate: 1) In December of 1973, Sagan publicly claims that Velikovsky ascribes frogs to the Jovian clouds; 2) In February of 1974, Sagan properly refers to the frogs as being ‘indigenous terrestrial’; 3) In March of 1974 Sagan takes a middle ground and says that ‘Velikovsky is equivocal about frogs.’[132]

Therefore, one can only agree wholeheartedly with Sagan when he states, “Scientists, like other human beings, have their hopes and fears, their passions and despondencies—and their strong emotions may sometimes interrupt the course of clear thinking.”[133]



Sagan questions “Earthquakes produced by the comet level Egyptian but not Hebrew dwellings.”[134] Had Sagan read page 63 of Worlds in Collision, he would find,

“The reason why the Israelites were more fortunate in this plague than the Egyptians probably lies in the kind of material of which their dwellings were constructed. Occupying a marshy district and working on clay, the captives must have lived in huts made of clay and reeds, which are more resilient than brick or stone… An example of the selective action of a natural agent upon various kinds of construction is narrated also in Mexican annals [by Diego de Landa’s .;Yucatan, Before and After the Conquest (translated by W. Gates, .;1937), p. 18]. During a catastrophe accompanied by hurricane and earthquake, only the people who lived in small log cabins remained uninjured; the larger buildings were swept away [according to de Landa]. ‘They found that those who lived in small houses had escaped, as well as the newly-married couples, whose custom it was to live for a few years in front of those of their fathers-in-law.’”

Professor Greenberg states,

“There is absolutely nothing supernatural in Velikovsky’s straight-forward discussion. One merely has to think of the comparison between the oak and the willow during a strong windstorm. Furthermore, there are modern parallels to the events described in Exodus. The leveling of Hiroshima by an atomic bomb resulted in selective destruction to various structures; and during World War II, American-built Quonset huts of steel were torn apart by typhoon winds on Okinawa while native huts of reeds and straw remained basically unscathed.”[135]

Sagan fails to deal with this, but on page 59 of Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky informs us that, “The rabbinical tradition, contradicting the spirit of the scriptural narrative, states that during the plague of darkness [when the earthquake occurred] the vast majority of the Israelites perished and that only a small fraction of the original Israelite population of Egypt was spared to leave Egypt.” Hence, Velikovsky made it clear that, although some Israelites survived the earthquake better than their Egyptian masters because they inhabited houses better suited to withstand an earthquake, many Israelites were not so fortunate. The Egyptians who lived in stone houses, not the mud huts of the slaves, probably suffered more from an earthquake.

Sagan then delivers his coup de grace, “The only thing that does not seem to drop from the comet is cholesterol to harden pharaoh’s heart.”[136] Albert Einstein .;when reading coarse ad hominem remarks written by Velikovsky’s critics wrote two words to describe what he thought about such statements. Einstein called such remarks “mean” and “miserable.”[137] I can think of none better to describe Sagan’s vulgar remark because nowhere in Worlds in Collision does Velikovsky ever mention, as Sagan claims, that “scarabs drop out of the comet…”[138] This kind of senseless and tasteless misrepresentation is the only thing that is hard-hearted!

Sagan states, “Then, when the Hebrews have successfully crossed [The Red Sea] the comet has evidently passed sufficiently further on for the parted water to flow back and drown the host of pharaoh”[139] Although many Hebrews crossed the “Sea of Passage”, many were not so fortunate. Velikovsky informs us that “Although the larger part of the Israelite fugitives were already out of the reach of the falling tidal waves, a great number of them perished in this disaster, as in the previous ones.”[140]

Thus ends Sagan’s criticisms of the historical and legendary evidence in Worlds in Collision and Velikovskian Literature. Sagan stated,

“In this chapter I have done my best to analyze critically the thesis of Worlds in Collision, to approach the problem both on Velikovsky’s terms and on mine—that is, to keep firmly in mind the ancient writings that are the focus of his argument, but at the same time to confront his conclusions with the facts and the logic I have at my command.”[141]

My opinion of Sagan’s critique to this point is that it is intellectually shallow and naive regarding historical, artistic and legendary evidence. To paraphrase Isaac Asimov, “All this shows that as an art historian, Sagan may quite possibly be an excellent astronomer.”[142] One might have expected more from Sagan since he promised to confront Velikovsky’s conclusions with facts and logic. In this respect he has failed; nor has he adequately dealt with the Venus evidence in depth.

Thus far it has required many pages to respond to this small part of Sagan’s criticism. This is much more space than Velikovsky was to be given to respond to all four critics at the AAAS symposium. Essentially it is a debating technique. If Sagan raised more questions than Veli­kovsky could possibly answer the scientists would claim that he has not been able to answer or squarely face the questions put to him. The length of this book is what was required to respond to Sagan alone.

This procedure of raising so many points that Velikovsky could not answer in the limited space made available to him shows that the playing field which the scientific establishment created was not even, but biased against Velikovsky. When one can be accused of so much, but then so greatly restricted that one cannot answer the accusation we do not have a fair or just interaction. In a court of law such a procedure would be intolerable—except in totalitarian nations where those in power control the justice system to suppress all opposition to the views of the leadership (In this sense the AAAS symposium held on Velikovsky was no different.) When the response to an accusation is suppressed the accusation is equivalent to the verdict.

Hence the reader can see for himself that the entire approach of Sagan and the AAAS scientists was not to examine objectively the concepts that Velikovsky presented in his books but to make it impossible for him to respond appropriately and fully to what was merely a debating technique. Further, we have shown even in this small portion of our response that a great deal of Sagan’s criticism is without substance and several of his statements are even contradicted by what he has written elsewhere. Criticism of this sort clearly indicates that the whole approach to Velikovsky has little if anything to do with scientific objectivity. It is simply scientific warfare which has as its goal a specific purpose—to discredit the thesis and character of the gentleman who the scientists invited to the AAAS symposium. The character of this kind of behavior is anything but gracious.



The most powerful test of a theory is its predictive value… [Most] scientists agree that a theory that predicts something that has not yet been observed is science. Such a theory is falsifiable because it may predict something that then cannot be found, or is shown not to exist, or when found, does not accord with the prediction. On the other hand, its approximation of truth increases with each new discovery that confirms the prediction.

Kenneth J. Hsu, .;The Great Dying, (NY 1986), p. 14

It has been said that the reception of an original contribution to knowledge may be divided into three phases: during the first, it is ridiculed as not true, impossible or useless; during the second, people say there may be something in it but it would never be of any practical use; and in the third and final phase, when the discovery has received general recognition, there are usually people who say that it is not original and has been anticipated by others.

W.I.B. Beveridge, .;The Art of Scientific Investigation,
(NY 1950), pp. 151-152

Einstein stated toward the end of his life, “it has always hurt me to think that [Galileo] Galilei did not acknowledge the work of Kepler… That alas is vanity.” Einstein .;concluded, “You find it in so many scientists.”

I. Bernard Cohen, .B.;An Interview With Einstein, (in French 1979), p. 41

[Question] “Why do you think people [scientists] resisted [this new concept in astronomy?]”

[Answer: Gerald D. Vaucouleurs] “Number one, it did not come from a member of the establishment. As one of them told me years later, ‘If it doesn’t come from us, I don’t believe it,’ There is only one true church.”

[Question] “Do you think that if [the astronomer] Oort had [offered this new concept] people [scientists] would have believed it?”

[G.D. Vaucouleurs] “Yes, of course. They would have acclaimed it as something great. The greatest discovery of a great man.”

Alan Lightman, .;Roberta Brower.;,
Origins…The Lives and World of Modern Cosmologists,
(Cambridge MA 1990) p. 93.

Velikovsky’s theory is based on celestial catastrophes that he claims occurred in ancient historical times. From his analysis of celestial events described in ancient legends and myths, Velikovsky drew conclusions and made advanced claims—predictions. Lionel Rubinov, .;professor of philosophy at Trent University in Canada explains,

“He [Velikovsky] starts with myth and literature, developing hypotheses from these areas which he then applies to the interpretation of natural phenomena. His approach has been to speculate rather than to perform experiments. The incredible thing is that when experimental data finally is produced, it tends to confirm his hypotheses.”[143]

Harry H. Hess, .H.;President of the American Geological Society, wrote,

“Some of these predictions were said to be impossible when you [Velikovsky] made them. All of them were predicted long before proof that they were correct came to hand. Conversely, I do not know of any specific prediction you made that has since been proven to be false.”[144]

One of the fundamental aspects that makes scientific theory valuable is its ability to predict correctly. Therefore, by comparing and contrast­ing Velikovsky’s predictions with those of establishment science one can get an idea about these conflicting theories. The scientific estab­lishment is so passionately committed to certain theories that questions are considered heresy. When theories are held as absolute authority and questions bring forth abuse, then science as open inquiry becomes restrictive and established theory becomes established dogma. In dealing with Velikovsky’s predictions, Sagan states,

“My conclusion is that when Velikovsky is original he is very likely wrong, and that when right, the idea has been pre-empted by earlier workers. There are a large number of cases where he is neither right nor original [and] that the surface of Venus is hot, which is clearly less central to his hypothesis.”[145]

Velikovsky on page 371 of Worlds in Collision, explains why he predicts that planet Venus must be hot:

“Venus experienced in quick succession its birth and expulsion under violent conditions; an existence as a comet on an ellipse which approached the sun closely; two encounters with the earth accompanied by discharges of potentials between these two bodies and with a thermal effect caused by conversion of momentum into heat; a number of contacts with Mars, and probably also with Jupiter. Since all this happened between the third and first millennia before the present era, the core of the planet Venus must still be hot.”

The first cause of Venus’ heat stated by Velikovsky is its birth by expulsion from Jupiter under violent means. According to Isaac Asimov, the temperature of Jupiter changes with depth.

“The distance from the outer cloud layer of Jupiter to the center is 71,400 kilometers. By the time a depth of 2,900 kilometers below the cloud surface is reached (only 4 percent of the way to the center), the temperature is already 10,000 degrees C[elsius], twice as high as Earth’s central point.

“At a depth of 24,000 kilometers below the cloud surface, a third of the way to Jupiter’s center, the temperature is 20,000 degrees C[elsius]. At the center itself the temperature has reached a whopping 54,000 degrees C[elsius], nine times that of the surface of the Sun.”[146]

Therefore, it is clear that any body ejected from the core of Jupiter will be so hot that it will be incandescent. Sagan apparently seems to be ignorant of this basic knowledge because he states, “…any event that ejected a comet or a planet from Jupiter would have brought it to a temperature of at least several thousands of degrees.”[147] Sagan has failed to inform his readers that any body ejected from the core of Jupiter would be immensely hot because the core of Jupiter is so hot; and a few thousand degrees of temperature would be added to the body because it was under great stress as it left the core.

Is Sagan really ignorant of the fact that Jupiter is very hot and any body ejected from its core will also be extremely hot? No, he is not. In Broca’s Brain, p. 180, he states, “In the case of Venus, the surface temperatures are about 480 degrees C[elsius]; for the Jovian planets, [which include Jupiter] many thousands of degrees centigrade.” Thus, Sagan is once again advised to read his own work more carefully.

Velikovsky has cited several ancient cultures that describe Venus as a great flowing fiery comet. “The feather arrangement of Quetzal­cohuatl (Venus) ‘represented flames of fire.’”[148] “Phaethon, (Venus) means ‘the blazing star.’”[149] “On the island of Crete, Atymnios was the unlucky driver of the Sun’s chariot, he was worshipped as the Evening Star which is the same as the Morning Star” (Venus).[150] Thus it is clear that Venus, if it was born from Jupiter, had to be incandescently hot just as Velikovsky claimed. However, Sagan denies that Velikovsky gave this birth and expulsion from Jupiter as the cause of Venus’ heat. Sagan states, “this would appear to be a good Velikovskian argument for the high temperature of the surface of Venus, but…this is not his argument.”[151] This is disingenuous, to say the least, because it is undoubtedly Velikovsky’s argument. Sagan argues,

“The question of originality is important because of circumstances—for example, the high surface temperature of Venus—which are said to have been predicted by Velikovsky at a time when everyone else was imag­ining something very different. As we shall see, this is not quite the case.”[152]

Sagan states,

“Velikovsky writes in the 1965 preface that his claim of a high surface temperature [for Venus] was ‘in total disagreement with what was known in 1946.’ This turns out to be not quite the case. The dominant figure of Rupert Wildt….;looms over the astronomical side of Velikovsky’s hypothesis. Wildt, who unlike Velikovsky, understood the nature of the problem, predicted correctly that Venus…would be ‘hot.’ In a 1940 paper in the Astrophysical Journal, Wildt argued that the surface of Venus was much hotter than conventional astronomical opinion had held because of a carbon-dioxide greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide had recently been discovered spectroscopically in the atmosphere of Venus, and Wildt correctly pointed out that the observed large quantity of CO2 would trap infrared radiation given off by the surface of the planet until the surface temperature rose to a higher value, so that the incoming visible sunlight just balanced the outgoing infrared planetary emission. Wildt calculated that the temperature would be almost 400K or around the normal boiling point of water (373K = 212 degrees F[ahrenheit] = 100 degrees C[elsius]). There is no doubt that this was the most careful treatment of the surface temperature of Venus prior to the 1950’s and it is…odd that Velikovsky, who seems to have read all the papers on Venus, published in the Astrophysical Journal in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s, somehow overlooked this historically significant work.”[153]

Let us examine just how significant Wildt’s paper is by seeing what the scientific community says regarding Wildt’s paper on Venus. We first turn to Isaac Asimov whose figure looms over the astronomical side of Sagan’s evidence. Asimov, .;who rejects Velikovsky’s views, neverthe­less has this to say in his book, Venus, Near Neighbor of the Sun,

“To be sure Velikovsky made some predictions that seemed to be close to what astronomers eventually discovered to be so… For instance, Velikovsky stated that since Venus was formed from Jupiter’s interior which must be very hot, Venus itself would be very hot. He said this in 1950, when astronomers believed that Venus’ temperature, while warmer than Earth’s might not be very much warmer.”[154]

The reader will notice two things. Asimov tells us Venus is hot, in terms of Velikovsky’s theory, because it came from Jupiter, contrary to Sagan’s assertion, and he also informs us that scientists in 1950 “believed that Venus’ temperature…might not be very much warmer” than Earth. There is clearly no mention of Rupert Wildt’s .;historically significant work at all by Asimov. Isaac Asimov’s books are usually very precise about citing contributions made by members of the scientific community; so it is indeed strange that he did not see fit to even mention Wildt with respect to Venus’ temperature.

When the high surface temperature of Venus was reported in 1956, Dr. Francis D. Drake, .D.;a highly respected scientist, wrote the following in Physics Today, “We would have expected a temperature only slightly greater than that of Earth (for Venus), whereas the actual temperature is several hundred degrees above the boiling point of water. The finding was ‘a surprise’…in a field in which the fewest surprises were expected.”[155] Again it is strange that Drake somehow overlooked Rupert Wildt’s historical significant work that, as Sagan informed us, “predicted correctly…that Venus would be hot.” Ben Bova .;informs us that, “The first radio measurement of Venus’ surface temperature startled astronomers so much that they refused to believe them.”[156] Apparently they had somehow overlooked Rupert Wildt’s historical significant work.

Let us turn to a book, The New Solar System, for which Carl Sagan wrote an “Introduction”. Rupert Wildt .;is, in fact, mentioned twice and, indeed given credit for pioneering work with the bulk chemistry of Jupiter and Saturn on pages 169 and 171. Nowhere in this modern work is a single word written about Rupert Wildt’s historical significant work looming over the astronomical side of the heat of Venus. This too seems strange. C.J. Ransom .J.;states,

“At the AAAS meeting, Sagan claimed that the heat of Venus was not only anticipated by scientists but was well explained long before the publication of Worlds in Collision. He referred to the work of Rupert Wildt, who in 1940 was probably the first to suggest a greenhouse effect on Venus. (Before the AAAS meeting, Wildt’s work was twice brought to the attention of scientists by Velikovsky-related publications.) Curiously enough, Wildt does not seem to be remembered when Sagan graciously accepts credit for being the originator of the [“Runaway”] greenhouse theory, and Wildt was not even referenced in one of two articles which Sagan claims as his announcement of the greenhouse effect. Could this be for either of the following reasons: First, Sagan may know Wildt’s work has nothing to do with the subject; second, he may think it has something to do with the subject, but prefers credit for the idea unless his image can be enhanced by admitting that someone else first suggested the idea. Wildt died in 1976, and several science publications mentioned his major contributions to astronomy. Suggesting the greenhouse effect was not listed among them.”[157]

In fact, on page 153 of Broca’s Brain, Sagan states that “one now fashionable suggestion, I first proposed in 1960, is that the high temperatures on the surface of Venus are due to a runaway greenhouse effect…” [emphasis added] Here, Sagan suggests he is the first to offer a greenhouse mechanism for Venus’ high surface temperatures without so much as a breath of mention that Rupert Wildt earlier offered a similar theory.

Finally, let us see what Sagan has to say about the discovery of Venus’ high surface temperature in his co-authored book, Intelligent Life in the Universe:

“In 1956, a team of American radio astronomers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, headed by Cornell H. Meyer, .H.;first turned a large radiotelescope toward Venus. The observations were made near inferior conjunction, the time when Venus is nearest the Earth, and when, also, we are looking almost exclusively at the dark hemisphere of the planet. Meyer and his colleagues were astounded to find that Venus radiated as if it were a hot object at a temperature of 300 degrees C[elsius]. Subsequent observations at a variety of wave lengths have confirmed these observations and have shown that the deduced temperature of Venus increases away from inferior conjunction—that is, as we see more of the illuminated hemisphere. The most natural explanation of the observations is that the surface of Venus is hot—far hotter than anyone had previously imagined.[158] [emphasis added]

What must have been the cause of C.H. Meyer .H.;and his colleagues’ astonishment? Didn’t they realize that Rupert Wildt had correctly predicted Venus would be “hot”? Sagan confidently assured us that Wildt had shown “that the surface of Venus was much hotter than conventional astronomical opinion had held because of a carbon dioxide greenhouse effect.” Obviously Meyer and his colleagues were as misinformed or unaware as everyone else in science was. However, the above citation is by Sagan who was, at the time of his writing this passage, strangely unaware that someone had already known Venus was “far hotter than anyone had previously imagined.” Sagan at that time simply did not know that the dominant figure of Rupert Wildt looms over the heat of Venus. What could ever be the matter with Sagan and his colleague and everyone else? How did Sagan somehow overlook the historically significant 1940 paper of Rupert Wildt on Venus’ heat? The suspicion grows that the only place Wildt’s figure will ever loom over the heat of Venus is in critical papers on Velikovsky. In this respect, this does not seem very strange at all.

Sagan, turning to the radio emission from Jupiter predicted by Velikovsky states,

“The existence of strong radio emission from Jupiter is sometimes pointed to as the most striking example of a correct prediction by Velikovsky, but all objects give off radio waves if they are at temperatures above absolute zero. The essential character of the Jovian radio emission—that it is nonthermal, polarized, intermittent radiation connected with the vast belts of charged particles which surround Jupiter, trapped by its strong magnetic field—are nowhere predicted by Velikovsky. Indeed, his “prediction” is clearly not linked in its essentials to the fundamental Velikovskian theses.”[159]

To discredit Velikovsky’s prediction, Sagan claims that this is not essential to the fundamental Velikovskian theses. This is odd because it is essential and it is difficult to believe that Sagan does not understand this. Velikovsky maintains that not only gravity but also electromag­netism must play a major role in celestial motion. Velikovsky argued that the Sun and planets are not only gravitational bodies, but also electromagnetic bodies. In Worlds in Collision he wrote,

“The accepted celestial mechanics, not withstanding the many calculations that have been carried out to many decimal places, or verified by celestial motions, stands only if the Sun, the source of light, warmth, and other radiation produced by fusion and fission of atoms, is as a whole an electrically neutral body, and also if the planets, in their usual orbits, are neutral bodies.”[160] [Velikovsky’s emphasis]

The reason these electrical phenomena are essential to Velikovsky’s theory is that he proposed that Venus’ orbit was changed from an elliptical orbit to a circular one, in part by electromagnetism. There­fore, Sagan seems to be saying he knows Velikovsky’s theory better than Velikovsky. Velikovsky, in October of 1953, at a lecture before the Graduate Forum of Princeton University stated, “In Jupiter and its moons we have a system not unlike the solar family. The planet is cold, yet its gases are in motion. It appears probable to me that it sends out radio noises as do the Sun and stars. I suggest this be investi­gated.”[161] On April 6, 1955, The New York Times reported, “Sound on Jupiter Picked Up in U.S.” The article reported,

“Radio waves from the giant planet Jupiter have been detected by astronomers at the Carnegie Institution in Washington… No radio sounds from planets in our solar system have been reported previously… The existence of the mysterious Jovian waves was disclosed by Dr. Bernard F. Burke .F.;and Dr. Kenneth L. Franklin. .L.;The two scientists said that they did not have an explanation for the observed radio emission.” [emphasis added]

Sagan would have his readers believe that Velikovsky’s prediction of radio noise from Jupiter is based on ignorance. Dr. James Warwick .;is a radio astronomer, and a noted authority on the radio emission from Jupiter. At a conference held at McMaster University he actually claimed that Velikovsky had correctly predicted non-thermal radio noise from Jupiter as “valid.” Warwick then asked, “I who am a specialist in the field am moved to ask myself, ‘Did this physician writing in 1954 know more about physics of radio emissions from planets than this astrophysicist 20 years later?’”[162] Sagan remarks, “Merely guessing something right does not necessarily demonstrate prior knowledge or a correct theory.”[163] That is quite true, but as been shown, Velikovsky’s predictions are derived from his theory and when scientists had, like Sagan, said his predictions would be wrong, the scientists were wrong.

Dr. Bruce Murray, .;Professor of Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology in National Geographic for August 1970, p. 151 states, “We find that most of the ideas we [astronomers] had about Mars were wrong; in fact, most of the ideas we have about any celestial body prove wrong when we get real knowledge about it.” The fact is that nearly every prediction the scientists have made about the planets shows that, when scientists like Sagan made predictions, they were not only likely to be wrong, but they were nearly always wrong whether their predictions were original or not. Even their most highly regarded predictions were not right. Why are the scientists who study these matters most closely nearly always wrong?

I can understand Sagan and his scientific colleagues’ dismay, chagrin, and frustration as experts on these matters always making wrong predictions. What is difficult to understand is the niggardly and disin­genuous attempt on his part to withhold recognition.

However, several scientists were more honest and generous, giving Velikovsky recognition for his originality and priority of prediction. Valentin Bargmann .;of the Department of Physics of Princeton Uni­versity and Lloyd Motz .;of the Department of Astronomy of Columbia University wrote the following letter, published in the December 21, 1962 issue of Science, the journal of the AAAS.

“In light of recent discoveries of radio waves from Jupiter and the high surface temperature of Venus, we think it proper and just to make the following statement.

“On 14 October 1953, Immanuel Velikovsky addressing the Forum of the Graduate College of Princeton University in a lecture entitled “Worlds in Collision in the Light of Recent Finds in Archaeology, Geology and Astronomy: Refuted or Verified?” concluded the lecture as follows: ‘The planet Jupiter is cold, yet its gases are in motion. It appears probable to me that it sends out radio noise as do the sun and stars. I suggest this be investigated.’

“Soon after that date, the text of the lecture was deposited with each of us. [It is printed as supplement to Velikovsky’s Earth in Upheaval (Doubleday, 1955)]. Eight months later in June 1954, Velikovsky, in a letter, requested Albert Einstein .;to use his influence to have Jupiter surveyed for radio emission. This letter with Einstein’s marginal notes commenting on this proposal is before us. Ten more months passed and on 5 April 1955, B.F. Burke .F.;and K.L. Franklin .L.;of the Carnegie Institution announced the chance detection of strong radio signals ema­nating from Jupiter. They recorded the signals for several weeks before they correctly identified the source.

“This discovery came as something of a surprise because radio astronomers had never expected a body as cold as Jupiter to emit radio waves.

“In 1960, V. Radhakrishnah .;of India and J.A. Roberts .A.;of Australia, working at California Institute of Technology, established the existence of a radiation belt encompassing Jupiter, ‘giving 1014 times as much radio energy as the Van Allen belts around the Earth.’

“On 5 December 1956, through the kind services of H.H. Hess, .H.;chair­man of the department of geology of Princeton University, Velikovsky submitted a memorandum to the U.S. National Committee for the (planned) IGY [International Geophysical Year] in which he suggested the terrestrial magnetosphere reached to the Moon. Receipt of the memorandum was acknowledged by E.O. Hulburt .O.;for the committee. The magnetosphere was discovered in 1958 by Van Allen..;

“In the last chapter of his Worlds in Collision, (1950), Velikovsky stated that the surface of Venus must be very hot, even though in 1950 the temperature of the cloud surface of Venus was known to be -25 degrees Celsius on the day and night side alike.

“In 1954 N.A. Kozyrev .A.;observed an emission spectrum from the night side of Venus but ascribed it to discharges in the upper layers of its atmo­sphere. He calculated that the temperature of the surface of Venus must be +30 degrees Celsius; somewhat higher values were found earlier by Adel and Herzberg. As late as 1959, V.A. Firsoff .A.;arrived at a figure of +17.5 degrees Celsius for the mean surface temperature of Venus, only a little above the mean annual temperature of the Earth (+14.2 degrees Celsius).

“However, by 1961 it became known that the surface temperature of Venus is ‘almost 600 degrees [K].’ F.D. Drake .D.;described this discovery as ‘a surprise…in a field in which the fewest surprises were expected.’ ‘We would have expected a temperature only slightly greater than that of the Earth… Sources of internal heating [radioactivity] will not produce an enhanced surface temperature.’ Cornell H. Mayer .H.;writes, ‘All the observations are consistent with a temperature of almost 600 degrees,’ and admits that, ‘the temperature is much higher than anyone would have predicted.’

“Although we disagree with Velikovsky’s theories, we feel impelled to make this statement to establish Velikovsky’s priority of prediction of these two points and to urge, in view of these prognostications that his other conclusions be objectively re-examined.”

Thus write V. Bargmann .;of the Department of Physics of Princeton University and Lloyd Motz .;of the Department of Astronomy of Columbia University. Whatever could be the matter with these two respected scientists? Hadn’t they realized that Carl Sagan had said that “Merely guessing something right does not necessarily demonstrate prior knowledge or a correct theory.” Apparently Velikovsky somehow was able to fool these scientists, but not Sagan.

In the New York Times for December 22, 1979, p. 22E, Robert Jastrow .;of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies wrote that Velikovsky was correct for these three predictions: “Venus is hot; Jupiter emits radio noise; and the Moon’s rocks are magnetic.” [emphasis added] Whatever could be the matter with Dr. Jastrow? Hadn’t he realized that Sagan said, “…the vast belts of charged particles which surround Jupiter are nowhere predicted by Velikovsky?” Apparently Velikovsky was somehow able to fool Jastrow, but not Sagan.

AEinstein, A.;fter learning about the discovery of radio noise from Jupiter, Albert Einstein was so impressed that he asked Velikovsky how he could help further his research. Einstein said, “Which experiment would you like to have performed?”

Einstein was very emphatic in his desire to help [Velikovsky]. Velikovsky asked to have ancient relics radiocarbon dated. A few days later, however, Einstein died. Einstein’s secretary though in fulfillment of his wish, a letter went from his home after his death to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the request that Egyptian relics be submitted for radiocarbon analysis.[164]

Whatever could be the matter with Einstein? .;Hadn’t he realized as Sagan stated that, “…all objects give off the radio waves if they are at temperatures above absolute zero.” Apparently Einstein was unaware of this and Velikovsky was capable of fooling him, but not Sagan.

Dr. William T. Plummer, .T.;a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts and then Senior Scientist of the Polaroid Corporation submitted a paper which was published in Science, titled “Venus’ Clouds: Test for Hydrocarbons” stating,

“Some of the least expected discoveries in recent years were correctly predicted by Velikovsky. He argued that Jupiter should be a strong source of radio waves, that the Earth should have a magnetosphere, that the surface of Venus should be hot, that Venus might exhibit an anomalous rotation, and that Venus should be surrounded by a blanket of petroleum hydrocarbons. All except the last of these predictions have been verified. Most of them by accident.”[165] [emphasis added]

What is also the matter with Plummer? Hadn’t he understood that, “Indeed his “prediction” [of Jupiter’s radio waves] is clearly not linked in its essentials to the fundamental Velikovskian theses.” Apparently Plummer was duped by Velikovsky also, but not Sagan.

Professor Harry H. Hess, .H.;Professor of Geology, Princeton Univer­sity, President of the American Geological Society and Chairman of the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Science, wrote the following as quoted in Velikovsky Reconsidered, (NY 1966), pp. 46.

March 15, 1963

Dear Velikovsky,

We are philosophically miles apart because we do not accept each other’s forms of reasoning—logic. I am of course quite convinced of your sincerity and also admire the vast fund of information which you have painstakingly acquired over the years.

I am not about to be converted to your form of reasoning though it certainly has had its successes. You have after all, predicted that Jupiter would be a source of radio noise, that Venus would have a high surface temperature, that the sun and bodies of the solar system would have large electrical charges and several other such predictions. Some of the predictions were said to be impossible when you made them. All of them were predicted long before proof that they were correct came to hand. Conversely I do not know of any specific prediction you made that has since been proven to be false. I suspect the merit lies in that you have a good basic background in the natural sciences and you are quite uninhibited by the prejudices and probability taboos which confine the thinking of most of us.

Whether you are right or wrong I believe you deserve a fair hearing.

Kindest regards,

(signed) H.H. Hess [emphasis added]

What must be wrong with Dr. Hess’s understanding? Couldn’t he realize as had Carl Sagan who wrote,

“My conclusion is that when Velikovsky is original he is very likely wrong, and that when he is right, the idea has been pre-empted by earlier workers. There is a large number of cases where he is neither right nor original.”[166]

Apparently poor Hess was so naive as to state, “I do not know of any specific prediction you [Velikovsky] made that has since been proven to be false” and that “All of them were predicted long before proof that they were correct came to hand to hand.” Apparently Hess was fooled by Velikovsky. Lastly, one is forced to wonder how Velikovsky came to fool James Warwick, .;who, after all, is an expert and authority on Jupiter’s radio emissions and who claimed Velikovsky’s originality and correctness of prediction respecting Jupiter’s emissions are original and correct. Thus it seems that Velikovsky fooled Robert Jastrow, .;Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute, V. Bargmann, a physicist at Princeton, Lloyd Motz, .;an astronomer at Columbia, James Warwick, an expert authority on Jupiter’s radio emissions, William T. Plummer, a physicist and astronomer at the University of Massachusetts, Harry H. Hess, .H.;Chairman of the Space Science Board of the National Academy of Science, and Albert Einstein, .;also, but somehow with all of his efforts Velikovsky was unsuccessful at fooling Sagan.

Vine Doloria, Jr., ., V.;in God is Red, (NY 1973), pp. 145-146, sums things up succinctly.

“As Velikovsky unveiled a concept of the solar system, respectable scholars guffawed at his apparently wild predictions and suppositions. Practically every point he suggested was derided as being totally contrary to what science had already ‘proved’ to be true. Scholars in the major disciplines affected by the thesis ridiculed Velikovsky, announcing satirically that if his thesis were true, it would require certain phenomena to be present, which everyone knew was not the case. All of these wild predictions made in 1950 by Velikovsky were universally rejected.

“Then the evidence began to come in. Science had new opportunities to conduct sophisticated experiments with the beginning of the space probes. New methods of dating materials began to be developed, the International Geophysical Year of 1958 was held to determine systemat­ically certain facts about the planets, and eventually the Mars and Venus probes by space rockets were made. Universally and without exception Velikovsky’s predictions and suggestions about the planets were confirmed. No other comprehensive explanation of the solar system had returned as many different accurate results as had the theory espoused in Worlds in Collision.

“Naturally the scholars who had derided Velikovsky did not credit him with the results of his creative thought. They continued the curtain of silence while stealing his ideas as fast as they could read his books. Some of the more prominent scientists had made dramatic announcements that if Velikovsky were right, then Earth, the Sun, Venus, the Moon, Mars, and other heavenly bodies would have certain characteristics. When Velikovsky was proved correct they promptly hedged rhetorically and dodged their embarrassment in double-talk, too chagrined or perhaps too stupid to apologize.”

Doloria adds on page 148 that,

“The most common attack now leveled against Velikovsky is that he simply made a series of lucky guesses and hit on quite a few of them. The point that this attack misses is that every prediction that he made had to fit into his general interpretation of the nature of the solar system. He was not simply spinning a tale and casually throwing off unrelated predictions. Rather, everything suggested by Velikovsky originated from the implications of his thesis. His predictions involve pulling together the meaning of numerous fields of interest to form a unified view of the universe.”

Sagan is also guilty of suggesting that certain predictions of Velikovsky are not properly derived from his thesis; these will be discussed as, for example, Sagan’s claim that Venus’ high surface temperature is not “central to his [Velikovsky’s] hypothesis” or that the magnetic fields of Jupiter are “not linked in its essentials to the fundamental Velikovskian theses.” In all respects Sagan’s assessment of Velikovsky’s predictions is no more than a political ploy without substance or value.

One is led to ask: Why is it that so many people with modest backgrounds in science and ancient history have been influenced by Sagan’s criticisms of Velikovsky’s theses? I suspect that it is Sagan’s reputation that has been the convincing influence. However, based strictly on the evidence this criticism clearly fails. As stated earlier when entrenched theories are held as absolute authority, that to question them brings forth abuse, then science as open inquiry becomes restrictive and established theory becomes established dogma. Therefore, I can only assume that Sagan is so attached to this dogma that with the uniformitarian axe he has to grind, he is determined to cut Velikovsky from his predictions to save his views of what science should be.



As a kind of preface to the part of his criticism of Velikovsky based on the scientific evidence, Sagan adds,

“There is one further point about the scientific method that must be made. Not all scientific statements have equal weight. Newtonian dynamics and the laws of conservation of energy and angular momentum have extremely firm footing.”[167]

Thus, one would expect Sagan to employ this “extremely firm” evidence and not ignore it in his criticism. This, however, does not seem to be the case. In his criticism of Velikovsky’s evidence, Sagan did indeed state that if Venus’ orbit brought it into near collision with the Earth, the probability of other near collisions, based on Sagan’s understanding of Newtonian theory, would be “independent” of each other; that is, Venus would not, because of gravitational theory, return for more near collisions. In this respect Robert Jastrow, .;founder and director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, wrote about this very point of independence raised by Sagan about Velikovsky in the New York Times,

“…Dr. Velikovsky had his day when he spotted a major scientific boner in Professor Sagan’s argument. Calculating the probability of several collisions involving Venus, Mars and Earth, Dr. Sagan estimated 1 chance in 1023 (10 followed by 22 zeroes) that the collisions could occur. This number was widely quoted by reporters as proof of the absurdity of Velikovsky’s thesis. Professor Sagan’s error lay in the assumption that the collisions were independent of one another, so that the probability of a series of collisions would be the product of separate probabilities for each collision. Dr. Velikovsky pointed out that the collisions were not independent; in fact, if two bodies orbiting the Sun under the influence of gravity collide once, that encounter enhances the chance of another, a well-known fact in celestial mechanics. Professor Sagan’s calculations, in effect, ignore the law of gravity. Here, Dr. Velikovsky was the better astronomer.”[168] [emphasis added]

But Sagan argued that Newtonian dynamics have superior weight to other forms of evidence. Why then did he misrepresent this evidence?

Here was an opportunity for Sagan to defend his argument. What Sagan did in his letter of rebuttal to the New York Times of Saturday, December 29, 1979 was, accuse Jastrow of scientific incompetence. Jastrow, unimpressed by Sagan’s criticism, repeated his attack in Science Digest (Special Edition) for Sep./Oct. 1980 maintaining that Sagan ignored the laws of gravity.

The same criticism of Sagan was raised by Dr. Robert W. Bass, .W.;who is a Cambridge University trained astronomer, whose specialty is gravitational theory and its application to celestial bodies, that is “celestial mechanics”. Bass is a Rhodes Scholar, who took his doctorate in 1955 under the late Aurel Wintner—.;then the world’s leading authority on celestial mechanics. Bass did post doctoral research in non-linear mechanics at Princeton University under National Medal of Science winner, Solomon Lefschetz. .;In the late fifties he developed a new principle in celestial mechanics which not only gives a dynamical explanation for Bode’s Law, as shown in 1972 by M. Ovendon, .W.;but predicts current planetary disturbances with an average inaccuracy of less than one percent. Bass was, at the time, a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Brigham Young University.[169]

With these credentials it is extremely difficult to believe that Bass would be in any way scientifically incompetent of judging Sagan’s use of gravitational theory. Bass stated the following,

“At the AAAS symposium on Velikovsky, Sagan claimed that the odds against multiple planetary near collisions were 1023 to 1. When I asked him afterwards how he could have computed this without employing ‘ergodic theory,’ Sagan told me that the proof would appear as an Appendix to a forthcoming paper by him based on his AAAS presentation. He mentioned that he had followed a published method, used by such scientists as Opik .J.;and Urey, to obtain apparently reasonable statistics about meteoric collisions with the Moon, Mars and Venus; but in such calculations it is assumed (as an approximation) that the collisions were statistically independent events. Because the planetary motions inherently tend under their mutual gravitational attractions toward some sort of quasi periodicity, in which future near misses can be causally related to past near misses, this assumption is absolutely identical to the assumption that Newton’s Law of Gravity may be ignored. (That is, the planets are regarded as non-interacting billiard balls, an approximation used in the kinetic theory of gases).”[170]

Sagan gave other replies to Bass,

“One reply was to the effect that it was unfair for Bass to ask such complicated questions, since Bass knew more about the subject than did Sagan. Another reply was that Bass should talk to Mulholland [.;[another scientist at the meeting who disputed Velikovsky] since Mulholland knew more about the subject than did Sagan. The third reply was that Sagan had assumed that the events were independent. Concerning this last point, Bass remarked: ‘This Sagan assumption is so disingenuous that I do not hesitate to label it as either a deliberate fraud on the public or else a manifestation of unbelievable incompetence or hastiness combined with desperation and wretchedly poor judgment.’”[171]

Sagan, as cited earlier, had stated, “Indeed the reasoned criticism of a prevailing belief is a service to the proponents of that belief; if they are incapable of defending it, they are well advised to abandon it. This self-questioning and error-correcting aspect of the scientific method is its most striking property.” On this point as on others, one would suggest that Sagan take these words to heart because it is true that, “not all scientific statements have equal weight,” and it seems that for Sagan, Newtonian dynamics not only do not have equal weight, but when required, do not even exist. One can only wonder what Sagan means when he states “Arguments based on Newtonian dynamics… must be given very [SCV] substantial [BB] great weight.”[172]

Therefore, one must suspect that Sagan’s scientific bias is so great that he does not hesitate to abuse the very laws which he so ardently affirms and thus his objectivity should be most carefully evaluated with a “firm skeptical scrutiny.”

Sagan has emphasized that science is a self-correcting endeavor. However, in researching his criticisms of Velikovsky, we have dis­covered a host of problems associated with his evidence that show it is contradicted by long-known well-established scientific evidence that has never been resolved. Not only have these problems not been solved, they have not been faced squarely by the scientific community. Stanley L. Jaki, .L.;the renowned historian of science, in The Paradox of Obler’s Paradox, (NY 1969), pp. 243-245, discusses this point. Not squarely facing up to contradictory evidence that opposes their models,

“illustrates…the paradoxically unscientific habits of often first rate scientific workers and writers. It shows their often perplexing reluctance to face grave implications of clear-cut situations. It also serves as evidence for the fact that the proverbial respect of scientists for the facts of the laboratory does not necessarily include respect for the facts of scientific history, closely related as these may be to the most avidly discussed areas of research… For those who picture science as the unmatched iconoclast of false ideas, superstitions and myths, it may come as a shock to learn that there is ample room for iconoclasm within science itself. The scientific enterprise too has its foibles, biases and myths. Far from being the always dependable ultimate arbiter of any or all issues that may arise in the context of human inquiry, science does not necessarily recognize in due time outstanding problems which are its own. Inversely, it has no built-in mechanism that would remove, and again in due time, the shackles that hinder the vision of its practitioners. In other words, science, like any other area of inquiry, needs its own school of criticism, if it is to lessen substantially its own share of myths.”

The reader will discover in the following pages that in addition to all Sagan’s other problems in dealing with the evidence, he too supports scientific myths based on his uniformitarian biases that often have a long standing history. This often denies the validity of Sagan’s evidence and shows that what he conceives as established facts all too often are merely establishment myths.







Sagan states, “Velikovsky’s hypothesis begins with an event that has never been observed by astronomers and that is inconsistent with much that we know about planetary and cometary physics, namely the ejection of an object of planetary dimensions from Jupiter.”[173]

Although modern astronomers have not observed such an event ancient man reports the birth of the planet Venus. Evan Hadingham, .;in fact, informs us that the ancient Mexicans give the precise number of days in the past when Venus was born.[174] Velikovsky tells us,

“Ancient Mexican records give the order of the occurrences. The Sun was attacked by Quetzal-cohuatl; after the disappearance of this serpent-shaped heavenly body, the sun refused to shine, and during four days the world was deprived of its light… Thereafter the snakelike body transformed itself into a great star. The star retained the name of Quetzal-cohuatl [Quetzal-coatl] [Brasseur in Histoire des nations civilisees de Mexique I, p. 181 informs]. This great and brilliant star appeared for the first time in the east. Quetzal-cohuatl is the well-known name of the planet Venus.”[175]

Velikovsky then goes on to cite other ancient authorities that describe the birth of Venus and its description as a “Blazing Star and a “Comet.” He also cites authorities that claim at an early time, ancient man reported a solar system of only four planets. Velikovsky states, “only four planets could have been seen, and that in astronomical charts of this early period the planet Venus cannot be found.

“In an ancient Hindu table of planets, attributed to the year-3102 Venus among the visible planets is absent. [This according to J.B.J. Delambre, .B.J.;Historie de l’astronomie ancienne, (1817), I, p. 407: “Venus alone is not found there.”] The Brahmans of the early period did not know the five-planet system. [This according to G. Thibaut, .;“Astronomie, Astrologie und Mathematik” in Grundriss der indoarischen Philol und Altertumskunde, III (1899).

“Babylonian astronomy, too, had a four-planet system. In ancient prayers the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury are invoked; the planet Venus is missing; and one speaks of ‘the four-planet system of the ancient astronomers of Babylonia.’ [This according to E.F. Weidner, .F.;Handbuch der babylonischen Astronomie (1915), p. 61, who writes of the star list found in Boghaz Keui in Asia Minor: ‘That the planet Venus is missing will not startle anybody who knows the eminent importance of the four-planet system in the Babylonian astronomy.’ Weidner supposes that Venus is missing in the list of planets because ‘she belongs to a triad with the Moon and the Sun.’] These four-planet systems and the inability of the ancient Hindus and Babylonians to see Venus in the sky, even though it is more conspicuous than the other planets, are puzzling unless Venus was not among the planets. On a later date the planet Venus receives the appellative: ‘The great star that joins the great stars.’ The great stars are, of course, the four planets Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn…and Venus joins them as the fifth planet. [according to E.F. Weidner ibid. p. 83]

“Apollonius Rhodius refers to a time ‘when not all the orbs were yet in the heavens.’”[176]

Sagan makes a point of refuting Velikovsky’s claim that Venus was a new born planet by claiming in his book Cosmos that, “The Adda cylinder seal, dating from the middle of the third millennium B.C., prominently displays Inanna, the goddess of Venus.” We have already shown the Babylonians saw Venus as a comet. However, Sagan is somehow unable to explain why ancient man describes Venus’ birth as a new star that was a comet nor why ancient civilizations had a four-planet solar system with Venus missing. I thus cannot find his view that it was “an event that has never been observed” very compelling nor his refusal to deal with ancient solar system descriptions in which Venus is missing as adequate refutation.



The second part of Sagan’s opening remarks that the Venus’ birth, “is inconsistent with much that we know about planetary physics, namely, the ejection of an object of planetary dimensions from Jupiter.” Since astronomy is Sagan’s field of study, let us examine whether or not the birth of Venus from Jupiter is “consistent with much that we know about planetary physics.”

In 1960, the Astronomer Royal of Great Britain, W.H. McCrea .H.;made a careful astronomical calculation regarding the birth of planets between the orbit of Jupiter and the Sun based on currently accepted gravitational physics. He calculated that, based on the Nebula hypothesis, it is impossible for the planets Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury to have formed inside the orbit of Jupiter.[177] Thus, the present theory of planetary formation that Sagan seems to believe as consistent with planetary physics is, in McCrea’s calculation, inconsistent with gravitational physics. However, there is more. Velikovsky wrote,

“In my paper under review, I quote the noted British cosmologist, R.A. Lyttleton, .A.;from his Man’s View of the Universe, to the effect that Venus (and the other terrestrial planets) must have been born from Jupiter by disruption. In the Monthly Notices, of the Royal Astronomical Society for 1960, Lyttleton after pointing to insurmountable physical handicaps in both the nebular and tidal theory of the origin of the solar system, demonstrated mathematically the very process that I reconstructed from the annals of the past.”[178]

What was W.H. McCrea’s reason for concluding that the terrestrial planets—Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon and Mars—could not be born between the Sun and Jupiter? The answer is gravitational law, which Sagan holds in highest esteem. According to McCrea’s calculations, both the nebular and tidal theories of planetary formation would not permit planets to form between the Sun and Jupiter because they would be pulled to pieces by tidal forces. Isaac Asimov .;in The Collapsing Universe, (pocket book ed.) (NY 1977), p. 173 states,

“In 1849 the French mathematician Edouard A. Roche .A.;(1830-1883) showed that if a satellite is held together only by gravitational pull—if it is a liquid for instance—it will break up if it approaches the planet it circles by a distance less than that of 2.44 times the radius of the planet. This is called the Roche limit. If a satellite is held together by electromagnetic forces, as our Moon is for instance, it can come a tiny bit closer than 2.44 times the radius of the Earth before tidal stretching overwhelms and destroys it.”

W.H. McCrea calculated the volume of the Sun and also of Jupiter during the period of their formation. They would have taken up a considerably larger volume at that time although their masses were roughly the same as they are today. Given their volume and mass they would still exert strong gravitational fields and would have destroyed any incipient planets forming within their Roche limits. McCrea’s calculation showed that the terrestrial planets would have had to form then but they would have to have formed inside the Sun’s and Jupiter’s Roche limit and thus be pulled to pieces.

There are two main theories for the formation of the planets. Immanuel Velikovsky in Worlds in Collision, pp. 7-12 sums them up in the following.

“All theories of the origin of the planetary system and the motive forces that sustain the motion of its members go back to the gravitational theory and the celestial mechanics of Newton. .;The sun attracts the planets, and if it were not for a second urge, they would fall into the sun; but each planet is impelled by its momentum to proceed in a direction away from the sun, and as a result, an orbit is formed. Similarly, a satellite or a moon is subject to an urge that drives it away from its primary, but the attraction of the primary bends the path on which the satellite would have proceeded if there had been no attraction between the bodies, and out of these urges a satellite orbit is traced. The inertia or persistence of motion implanted in planets and satellites was postulated by Newton, but he did not explain how or when the initial pull or push occurred…

“Hundreds of millions of years ago the sun was nebulous and very large and had a form approaching that of a disc. This disc was as wide as the whole orbit of the farthest of the planets. It rotated around its center. Owing to the process of compression caused by gravitation, a globular sun shaped itself in the center of the disc. Because of the rotating motion of the whole nebula, a centrifugal force was in action; parts of matter more on the periphery resisted the retracting action directed toward the center and broke up into rings which balled into globes—these were the planets in the process of shaping. In other words, as a result of the shrinkage of the rotating sun, matter broke away and portions of this solar material developed into planets. The plane in which the planets revolve is the equatorial plane of the sun.

“This theory is now regarded as unsatisfactory. Three objections stand out above others. First, the velocity of the axial rotation of the sun at the time the planetary system was built could not have been sufficient to enable bands of matter to break away; but even if they had broken away, they would not have balled into globes. Second, the Laplace theory .S.;does not explain why the planets have larger angular velocity of daily rotation and yearly revolution than the sun could have imparted to them. Third, what made some of the satellites revolve retrogradely, or in a direction opposite to that of most of the members of the solar system?

“It appears to be clearly established that, whatever structure we assign to a primitive sun, a planetary system cannot come into being merely as a result of the sun’s rotation. If a sun, rotating alone in space, is not able of itself to produce its family of planets and satellites, it becomes necessary to invoke the presence and assistance of some second body. This brings us at once to the tidal theory.

“The tidal theory, which in its earlier stage, was called the planetesimal theory, assumes that a star passed close to the sun. An immense tide of matter arose from the sun in the direction of the passing star and was torn from the body of the sun but remained in its domain, being the material out of which the planets were built. In the planetesimal theory, the mass that was torn out broke into small parts which solidified in space; some were driven out of the solar system, and some fell back into the sun, but the rest moved around it because of its gravitational pull. Sweeping in elongated orbits around the sun, they conglomerated, rounded out their orbits as a result of mutual collisions, and grew to form planets and satellites around the planets.

“The tidal theory does not allow the matter torn from the sun to disperse first and reunite later; the tide broke into a few portions that rather quickly changed from gaseous to fluid, and then to the solid state. In support of this theory it was indicated that such a tide, when broken into a number of ‘drops,’ would probably build the largest ‘drops’ out of its middle portion, and small ‘drops’ from its beginning (near the sun) and its end (most remote from the sun)… Actually, Mercury, nearest to the sun, is a small planet. Venus is larger; earth is a little larger than Venus; Jupiter is three hundred and twenty times as large as the earth (in mass); Saturn is somewhat smaller than Jupiter; Uranus and Neptune, though large planets, are not as large as Jupiter and Saturn. Pluto is quite as small as Mercury. The first difficulty of the tidal hypothesis lies in the very point adduced in its support, the mass of the planets. Between the earth and Jupiter there revolves a small planet, Mars, a tenth part of the earth in mass, where, according to the scheme, a planet ten to fifty times as large as the earth should be expected. Again, Neptune is larger and not smaller than Uranus. Another difficulty is the allegedly rare chance of an encounter between two stars. One of the authors of the tidal theory gave this estimate of its probability:

“‘At a rough estimate we may suppose that a given star’s chance of forming a planetary system is one in 5,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.’ But since the life span of a star is much shorter than this figure, ‘only about one star in 100,000 can have formed a planetary system in the whole of its life.’ In the galactic system of one hundred million stars, planetary systems ‘form at the rate of about one per five billions years. …our own system, with an age of the order of two billion years, is probably the youngest system in the whole galactic system of stars.’

“The nebular and tidal theories alike regard the planets as derivatives of the sun, and the satellites as derivatives of the planets.

“The problem of the origin of the moon can be regarded as disturbing to the tidal theory. Being smaller than the earth, the moon completed earlier the process of cooling and shrinking, and the lunar volcanoes had already ceased to be active. It is calculated that the moon possesses a lighter specific weight than the earth. It is assumed that the moon was produced from the superficial layers of the earth’s body, which are rich in light silicon, whereas the core of the earth, the main portion of its body, is made of heavy metals, particularly iron. But this assumption postulates the origin of the moon as not simultaneous with the origin of the earth; the earth, being formed out of a mass ejected from the sun, had to undergo a process of leveling, which placed the heavy metals in the core and silicon at the periphery, before the moon parted from the earth by a new tidal distortion. This would mean two consecutive tidal distortions in a system where the chance of even one is held extremely rare. If the passing of one star near another happens among one hundred million stars once in five billion years, two occurrences like this one and the same star seem quite incredible. Therefore, as no better explanation is available, the satellites are supposed to have been torn from the planets by the sun’s attraction on their first perihelion passage, when sweeping along on stretched orbits, the planets came close to the sun.

“The circling of the satellites around the planets also confronts existing cosmological theories with difficulties. Laplace built his theory of the origin of the solar system on the assumption that all planets and satellites revolve in the same direction. He wrote that the axial rotations of the sun and the orbital revolutions and axial rotations of the six planets, the moon, the satellites, and the rings of Saturn, present forty-three movements, all in the same direction. ‘One finds by the analysis of the probabilities that there are more than four thousand billion chances to one that this arrangement is not the result of chance; this probability is considerably higher than that of the reality of historical events with regard to which no one would venture a doubt.’ He deduced that a common and primal cause directed the movements of the planets and satellites.

“Since the time of Laplace, new members of the solar system have been discovered. Now we know that though the majority of the satellites revolve in the same direction as the planets revolve and the sun rotates, the moons of Uranus revolve in a plane almost perpendicular to the orbital plane of their planet, and three of the eleven moons of Jupiter, one of the nine moons of Saturn, and the one moon of Neptune, revolve retrogradely. These facts contradict the main argument of the Laplace theory: a rotating nebula could not produce satellites revolving in two directions.

“In the tidal theory the direction of the planets’ movements depended on the star that passed: it passed in the plane in which the planets now revolve and in a direction which determined their circling from west to east. But why should the satellites of Uranus revolve perpendicularly to that plane and some moons of Jupiter and Saturn in reverse directions? This, the tidal theory fails to explain.

“According to all existing theories, the angular velocity of the revolution of a satellite must be slower than the velocity of rotation of its parent. But the inner satellite of Mars revolved more rapidly than Mars rotates.

“Some of the difficulties that confront the nebular and tidal theories also confront another theory that has been proposed in recent years. According to it, the sun is supposed to have been a member of a double star system. A passing star crushed the companion of the sun, and out of its debris, planets were formed. In further development of this hypothesis, it is maintained that the larger planets were built out of the debris and the smaller ones, the so-called ‘terrestrial’ planets, were formed from the larger ones by a process of cleavage.

“The birth of smaller, solid planets out of the larger, gaseous ones is conjectured in order to explain the difference in the relation of weight to volume in the larger and smaller planets; but this theory is unable to explain the difference in the specific weights of the smaller planets and their satellites. By a process of cleavage, the moon was born of the earth; but since the specific weight of the moon is greater than that of the larger planets and smaller than that of the earth, it would seem to be more in accord with the theory that the earth was born of the moon, despite its smallness. This confuses the argument.

“The origin of the planets and their satellites remains unsolved. The theories not only contradict one another, but each of them bears within itself its own contradictions. ‘If the sun had been unattended by planets, its origin and evolution would have presented no difficulty.’”

The Encyclopedia Britannica, Macropedia, (London 1982), Vol. 16, p. 1032, states explicitly, “It should be emphasized that no theory of the origin of the solar system has yet won general acceptance. All involve highly improbable assumptions. But the difficulty is in trying to find a theory with any degree of probability at all.”

Thus, the theories of Sagan and his colleagues generally accept for the formation of the planets, especially the terrestrial ones are based on a process that has never been observed by astronomers and that is inconsistent with much that we know about planetary and stellar physics and gravity. In short, it is a myth.

Velikovsky in an article “Venus A Youthful Planet”, published in Yale Scientific Magazine, for April 1967 answered Sagan’s assertion in part saying that, “The origin of Venus from Jupiter is by itself no absurdity and actually is claimed by Lyttleton. Analyzing the quantitative elements of the tidal theory, he came to the conclusion that the so-called terrestrial planets, Venus included, must have erupted from the giant planets, actually from Jupiter, by cleavage.” This information respecting R.A. Lyttleton’s .A.;theory for the birth of the terrestrial planets from Jupiter was published seven years prior to Sagan’s attack on Velikovsky’s views for the birth of Venus. Shouldn’t Sagan at the very least have discussed this evidence? Since he has not seen fit to deal with it, we shall.

Let us examine Lyttleton’s work which is based on “fluid dynamics” that illustrates how planets born from Jupiter is “consistent with much that we know about planetary physics.” Lyttleton states,

“In explaining the origin of the solar system, there is the possibility that only four really large planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune need be regarded as primitive. If as condensation slowly formed from interplanetary material to give a large planet at somewhere near Jupiter’s present distance from the Sun, the resulting body would rotate in a few hours because of the indestructible rotational momentum drawn into it. With increasing size, its power to draw in material would increase and its resulting speed of rotation would do so too, and eventually render it unstable as a single mass because of centrifugal force. It can only get out of this embarrassing condition by breaking into two very unequal pieces (mass ratio 10 to 1) with the smaller one thrown completely away from the larger portion, to be identified with the present Jupiter. At the surface of Jupiter the escape speed is now about 40 miles a second (59 km/sec) so the smaller piece would easily be thrown right out of the solar system. The same process of breaking up would produce a string of droplets between the two pieces as they separated, and it is even possible that the whole of the terrestrial group of planets [Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Pluto] and Jupiter’s four great satellites were produced this way as droplets. We have seen that their combined mass is less than one percent of that of Jupiter.”[179] [emphasis added]

Thus, according to Lyttleton, the birth of all planets from Jupiter is “consistent” with “planetary physics.” Apparently, neither McCrea nor Lyttleton understood that Sagan had known that their analysis and calculations are “inconsistent” with the laws of gravity.

Sagan has stated that “Velikovsky’s hypothesis…is inconsistent with much that we know about planetary and cometary physics, namely, the ejection of an object of planetary dimensions from Jupiter.” On the other hand, W.H. McCrea .H.;states in Nature, Vol. 224, for 1969, p. 28, that “Littleton [Lyttleton] has suggested that the Earth, Moon and Mars may originally have formed (from) a single rotationally unstable planet… He has shown that this is possible in accordance with the theory of rotating fluid masses and with the dynamics of the solar system.” [emphasis added] McCrea tells us that the ejection of an object of planetary dimensions from Jupiter is completely consistent with what we know about planetary and cometary physics. Thus, it seems Sagan’s opening statement is inconsistent and contradictory and requires an explanation from him about this evidence.

In fact, the fissioning concept of planet formation was also suggested by Harold C. Urey, a Nobel Prize Laureate. Patrick Moore .;in the New Guide to the Moon, (NY 1976), pp. 34-36 discusses the birth of Mars and the Moon as a fissioning process that occurred to the Earth. He states, “One variant [fissioning process] involves Mars, whose diameter is just over 4,000 miles… It has been suggested that Mars was thrown off the Earth and moved away independently, while the Moon is merely a droplet which was formed between the two bodies during the process of separation. But the main support for a fission theory has come from H.C. Urey and John O’Keefe, .;in America, whose ideas are based upon studies of the Moon’s composition.” Moore goes on to add, “There is no doubt that Urey and O’Keefe have made many interesting points. The fission theory cannot be dismissed; but it is fair to say that on the majority view, the Earth and the Moon have always been separate bodies.” Thus, four well respected astronomers claim planets were born by a fissioning process, even though “it has never been seen,” and is “inconsistent” with what Sagan knows!



Sagan goes on to argue that comets are not born from Jupiter stating,

“From the fact that the aphelia (the greatest distances from the Sun) of the orbits of short-period comets have a statistical tendency to lie near Jupiter. Laplace .S.;and other early astronomers hypothesized that Jupiter was the source of such comets. This is an unnecessary hypothesis because we now know that long-period comets may be transferred to a short-period trajectories by the perturbations of Jupiter…”[180]

In 1976, NASA published a two volume analysis of the most up-to-date information on comets titled, The Study of Comets, as part of The Proceedings of International Astronomical Union Colloquium No. 25, which was originally held in Greenbelt, Maryland between October 28 through November 1, 1974, the same year that Sagan delivered his analysis on Velikovsky. In Volume I, Edgar Everhart .;delivered a paper, “The Evolution of Comet Orbits”. On page 450, Everhart states succinctly,

Although it is possible for an orbit of short-period to be the result after a parabolic comet makes a single close encounter with Jupiter, this mechanism does not explain the existence of the short-period comets.” [Everhart’s emphasis]

“This was shown by H.A. Newton .A.;(1893). Not wanting to believe his results, and being a little dubious about Newton’s procedures, I redid the problem as a numerical experiment and came to exactly the same conclusion.”

Thus, since 1893, the concept that Sagan believes, that Jupiter captures long-period comets and converts them to short-period comets, has been known to be unsupported by the evidence. Yet, Sagan offers this as a solution for evolution of cometary orbits. It is quite clear that Sagan’s concept is only a myth; and there are several reasons that deny this myth contains one shred of reality. Let us examine some of this evidence. A report in Science states,

“The ‘capture theory’ held by many astronomers, supposes that these [near Jupiter] comets originally came into the solar system in parabolic orbits from vast distances. When one happened to pass close to Jupiter, that planet with its great mass pulled it out of its former orbit by gravitational attraction. After that the comet moved in an elliptical path between the Sun and the orbit of Jupiter. Dr. Vsessviatsky [sic] points out that if this were the case it would be very rarely that a comet entering the solar system would happen to pass close enough to Jupiter to be pulled into the elliptical orbit. He estimates that it would only happen one in 100,000 comets, actually he declares, that there are about sixteen of these short-period comets to a hundred parabolic ones.”[181]

S.K. Vsekhsviatsky .K.;also points out that all of these Jovian comets revolve around the Sun in the same direction as Jupiter and the rest of the planets; however if they had been captured at least some would be revolving in the opposite (retrograde) direction of orbit. In an article Vsekhsviatsky published in the Astronomical Society of the Pacific Publications, Vol. 74 (1962) p. 106 he states specifically that,

“The absence of retrograde motions in the Jupiter family [of comets] can also not be understood from the point of view of the capture theory. It was H. Newton .A.;[in 1893] who found that 30% of all short-period comets (that is, in our case about 20 comets) should, on the capture theory, have inclinations greater than 90%. According to Scigolev, half of all short-period comets should have retrograde motion. Lately we have made a new calculation of the approaches of comets to Jupiter and have found that no less than 10 to 15 comets should be retrograde.” [emphasis added]

For Sagan’s analysis to hold up, the number of long-period comets would have to increase in number by 99, for every short-period comet and some Jovian comets should possess retrograde orbits. Needless to say, this increased number is not known to be the case and comets of the Jovian family do not have retrograde orbits. Furthermore, M.E. Bailey .E.;confirms this in Nature, that the problem of short-period comets is that there are 100 times too small a number of long-period comets entering the solar system for Jupiter’s gravity to affect them.[182]

According to The Fact on the File Dictionary of Astronomy, 2nd edition, ed. V. Illingworth, .;(Oxford England, 1985), p. 196, there are about 70 comets in the Jupiter family, but this authoritative dictionary also states, “No comet can remain in the Jupiter family for more than 4,000 years…” To replenish these comets, Jupiter must capture one out of 100,000 long-period comets entering the solar system continu­ally. For Jupiter to capture 70 comets over the last 4,000 years requires that 7,000,000 comets enter the solar system during this period. That makes the yearly requirement of major comets of long-period 1,750, or five comets per day. Now it takes a few years for these comets to travel into and out of the solar system. Thus, if Sagan’s assertion regarding Jupiter is correct, we should be observing nightly a sky lighted by about 9,000 comets. At the very least, half of these should be extremely bright and 4,500 bright comets should be observed nightly if Sagan’s assertions is valid. Where are these thousands and thousands and thousands of major comets?

According to M.E. Bailey, .E.;V. Clube .;and B. Napier’s .;The Origin of Comets, (NY 1990) pp. 346-347,

“…the total interstellar [in] flux [of comets] with perihelia less than the radius of Jupiter’s orbit is on the order of 700 comets per year…

“Such a large flux of interstellar comets, if real, would certainly have been noticed…”

The reason the comets are not noticed is that they are not there, and they cannot be seen because they simply do not exist. As the authors go on to state “This shows that interstellar comets cannot be entering the solar system n large numbers.” But if Sagan’s view of capture is correct these interstellar comets would be entering the solar system in large numbers so Jupiter can capture them. Where are they?

Vsekhsviatsky .K.;in the same article shows that the capture model espoused by Sagan suffers from another major defect. A comet cap­tured by Jupiter would be placed in a fairly eccentric orbit. Thus, all the short-period Jovian comets should have relatively eccentric orbits; but this is not always the case. There are comets with almost circular orbits. Vsekhsviatsky informs us that “The observed eccentricities of the short-period comets are often smaller than the minimum values predicted by the capture theory. The past few decades have seen the discovery of comets with almost circular orbits, which cannot be explained by capture.”

For comets captured by Jupiter to change from long-period to short-period ones, their elongated long-period orbits must be reduced in size. According to Edgar Everhart .;.;above,

There is no evolutionary path for long-period comets of small perihelia [close approach to the Sun] to evolve onto orbits of 5 to 13 year periods typical of short-period comets. [Everhart’s emphasis]

“…Comets that begin on parabolic orbits of small perihelia reach shorter periods very slowly. They cut across Jupiter’s orbit at a large angle, the interaction is brief, and the energy perturbations are small. Those that survive the attrition of removal [that is, those that are not ejected from the solar system] on hyperbolic orbits would not also survive the solar dissipation [destruction of the comet by heat during close passages to the Sun] of hundreds of thousands of returns at small perihelia” [small distance to the Sun].

Thus, there is no explanation for long-period comets being converted to short-period comets. They would lose all their material long before their orbits were reduced in size and circularized based on the capture model.

If comets come from the Oort cloud, there is a very basic problem respecting their natal heat. A small comet would conduct nearly all its natal heat to the surface where it would radiate away into space. Interplanetary space is exceedingly cold, only a few degrees Kelvin above absolute zero or 273.15 degrees Celsius below the freezing point of water. Thus, comets should not have heat at great distance from the Sun. However, there is very well observed evidence that comets brighten by heating of their volatiles at distances from the Sun where solar radiation would be an inadequate source of energy to heat the comet. According to R.A. Lyttleton’s .A.;“Does a Continuous Solid Nucleus Exist in Comets?” in Astrophysics and Space Science, Vol. 15, (1972), p. 175, “Numerous comets are known that have perihelion distances in excess of 2 AU [twice the Earth’s distance to the Sun] and would therefore always remain at such distances that solar heating could be expected to produce little or no effect. Comet Humanson, (1962 VIII), for instance, remained far outside the orbit of Mars, and yet, showed a fine tail. The great comet of 1729 had perihelion distance over 4 AU, but was visible to the naked eye! Can it really be seriously maintained that this was no more than a dusty snowball a few kilometers in size warmed by solar heat at nearly the distance of Jupiter?”

For example, Comet P./Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 has a highly circular orbit with a perihelion distance of 5.4 AU and an aphelion distance of 6.7 AU. There is no way that solar radiation can supply adequate heat to this body to make it hot or warm. Yet, Anita L. Cochran, et. al., “Spectrophotometric Observations of P./Schwass­mann-Wachmann I During Outburst”, in Astronomical Journal, Vol. 85, (1980), p. 85, state that the entire orbit of this comet “is beyond the distance where formation of a coma normally occurs and the comet should be inactive. However, P/SW1 displays outbursts which are much larger than those seen in other comets… This comet has been observed to outburst repeatedly over several months and then remain quiet for extended periods of time.” These outbursts give off volatiles and dust.

This behavior of comets implies that they must contain more heat than the Sun can supply. There seems to be no other source known to account for this additional heat except that these small bodies were born recently within the last few thousand years and still have not conducted all their natal heat away into space. Such a phenomenon strongly implies these comets were born from a hot body inside the solar system only a few thousand years ago. This evidence cannot be explained by the Oort cloud model of comets, but this evidence fully supports Velikovsky’s thesis of the recent birth of comets.

Furthermore, not only can a planet help capture a long-period comet and convert it to a short-period comet, but the opposite will also occur. In The Cosmic Serpent, V. Clube .;and B. Napier .;p. 131 state, “Short-period comets have characteristic lifetimes of between a few hundred and a few thousand years. Not only do they break up, they also get driven away by planetary encounters. There are at present, approximately one hundred times too many short-period comets relative to the rate at which long-period comets are captured by Jupiter…” Based on this evidence, a great many of the short-period comets should have been ejected from their orbits by close approach to the planets in the inner part of the solar system to become long-period comets or never return to the Sun.

Let us examine this more closely. Jupiter’s gravitational pull would only have captured 1/100th of the present number of short-period comets and interaction with the planets would have ejected a large percent of the captured comets from the inner solar system. Based on these gravitational analyses, there are perhaps 1,000 times too many short-period comets in the solar system. Edgar Everhart .;“Evolution of Long and Short Period Orbits? in Comets, ed. L.L. Wilkening .L.;(Tucson AZ 1983) p. 663 realizes that the solar system is in a non-steady state because it loses comets. It has not gained any. Everhart states “we should note that all channels to interstellar space are one way [away from the solar system]. The idea that if comets exit to interstellar space then steady-state equilibrium requires that just as many must reenter on the same channel…not one comet has yet been observed whose orbit when it first approached the solar system was hyperbolic, although many comets leave our system on hyperbolic orbits… A truly hyperbolic comet may be discovered but this will not change the conclusion that the gain-loss of comets from and to interstellar space is far from equilibrium.” This simply means that at the present rate of comet loss to interstellar space the solar system will lose all its short-period and long-period comets over time. The short-period comets will burn out or be ejected from the solar system in less than ten thousand years. The long period comets will be ejected over millions of years. The solar system is only observed to be losing comets; it is not known to have gained even one since comets have been studied scientifically. Therefore, Sagan’s view of how the short-period comets develop is without support. In spite of all these unsolved problems with the capture model, Sagan clings to it.



The view that Sagan seems to espouse is that comets come from outside the solar system apparently from the Oort cloud. In his book Comet, Sagan actually produces a diagram of the Oort cloud which is supposed to contain many millions of comets and is also supposed to reach “halfway to the nearest stars.”

However, this distant Oort cloud filled with innumerable comets has never been observed by astronomers. Therefore, the short-period comets that Sagan claims are changed long-period comets came from a cloud that no astronomer has observed. If it really does exist and reaches “halfway to the nearest stars” then comets entering the solar system from this interstellar cloud should reflect this great distance by following orbits that are termed “hyperbolic”. A comet with a hyperbolic orbit must have traveled to the solar system from the interstellar Oort cloud. Nevertheless, J.C. Brandt, an astronomer and expert on comets, informs us that, “very careful examination of the original orbits (that is, the comets trajectories prior to entering the inner solar system) discloses none that are hyperbolic—there are no initially interstellar comets.”[183]

George W. Harper .W.;in Closeup: New Worlds, (NY 1977) p. 192 states “If comets were coming in from outside the [solar] system, a clear majority would have hyperbolic orbits and most would be wide hyperbolas, not just marginally so…” What Harper suggests is that a great many long period comets should show that they came from interstellar distances by their orbits. This is not the case.

Furthermore, it is known that the short-period comets could not have originated from the Oort cloud at all. Arman H. Delsemme’s .H.;article, “Whence Come Comets?” in Sky and Telescope, (March 1989), pp. 260-264, discusses and explains this problem. He notes that,

“Like new comets [from the Oort cloud] the long-period [comets]…seem to come more or less from all points on the celestial sphere. Some move in direct orbits around the Sun (that is, in the same sense as the planets) while others follow so-called retrograde paths [that is, in the opposite direction as the planets]. Clearly the distribution of these comets has not been changed as their periods [of their orbits] have shrunk.”

The problem, according to Delsemme is that,

“the short-period comets that orbit the Sun in 200 years or less…are easily distinguished from their long-period cousins by a different symmetry in their orbital distribution. Most of them move around the Sun on direct [prograde] paths close to the plane of the ecliptic. An inclination of only 15 degrees to 20 degrees is typical. At first glance, it might seem that the short-period orbits are just the end result of the process…

“However, Martin Duncan, .;Thomas Quinn .;and Scott Tremain .;have shown that common sense is wrong in this case… The distribution of the inclination of cometary orbits remains rather well preserved during their diffusion inward and eventual capture by the giant planets. Hence, the [short-period] comets cannot arise from a parent population with an all-sky distribution.”

If short-period comets were captured from their long-period cousins, they too would exhibit an all-sky distribution instead of orbiting the Sun near the planetary plane of the ecliptic.

There is a further problem with capturing comets from interstellar space where the Oort Cloud is believed to lie. According to Donald K. Yeomans .K.;in Comets, (NY 1991), p. 338,

“The problem with all interstellar [comet] origin theories is the very low likelihood of their being captured by the solar system. In 1982 Mauri J. Voltonen .J.;and Kimmo A. Innanen .A.;[in “The Capture of Interstellar Comets,” Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 255 (1982) pp. 307-315] computed that the capture of interstellar comets would only be possible if comets had a relative velocity less than 0.4 kilometers-per-second, with respect to the solar system. These low velocities could only be achieved for interstellar clouds that move in very nearly the same direction and velocity as the Sun and this is exceedingly unlikely. The Sun’s velocity relative to neighboring stars is approximately 17 kilometers-per-second so that the interstellar [capture] hypothesis is difficult to defend.”

Since the Oort cloud of comets in interstellar space will have velocities somewhere between that of the Sun and its neighboring stars, they will be traveling much too fast or too slowly to be captured. Not only that but the Sun not only travels around the galaxy along its orbit but also rides up and down in a merry-go-round fashion as it revolves on its orbit. The clouds of comets would also have to behave exactly as does the Sun. In essence the capture of a single comet is extraordinar­ily small given these circumstances. And then the capture of 70 comets by Jupiter in 4,000 years appears to be basically impossible.

Since the short-period comets cannot be derived from the popu­lation of long-period comets from where do they supposedly come? According to the astronomers, short-period comets come from another cloud, different than the Oort cloud. This new cloud is called the Kuiper-belt and is found in deep space near the planetary plane. Thus, we now have two unseen clouds from which comets arrive. But the problem remains that there are still too many short-period comets. To get these Kuiper-belt comets to enter the solar system in greater numbers, the astronomers suggest that along the plane of the galaxy there is a great deal of unseen matter called dark matter. Delsemme suggests that the behavior of the short-period comets, “implies the existence of a large amount of invisible [dark] matter in the galactic disk.”

Thus, we have the unseen Kuiper-belt greatly affected by invisible dark matter to perturb (gravitationally move) its comets into the solar system.

Thus, there is no orbital evidence that the Oort cloud exists; it has not been observed by anyone. The number of comets that supposedly enter the solar system from it is a hundred times too small in number to produce the number of short-period comets currently observed. If comets are captured by Jupiter they should have highly elliptical orbits while some have just the opposite—highly circular orbits and none could survive long enough to reduce the sizes of their orbits. And a small number of Jupiter family comets should have retrograde orbits, but none do. And there must be an unseen Kuiper-belt filled with comets that are influenced greatly by invisible matter in the galactic disk. And this Sagan apparently believes is consistent with much that we know about planetary and cometary physics regarding comets. S.K. Vsekhsviatsky .K.;in Comet International Colloquium Liege ed. P. Swings, .;p. 500 states,

“It should be taken into consideration that these hypotheses [Oort cloud] explain absolutely nothing, they only remove the comet problem into indefinite past time and rather remote regions of the solar system. One can but wonder how such hypotheses possessing no intrinsic logic and no required efficiency, nevertheless, could satisfy investigators while at the same time numerous arguments are available that the processes of creation as well as development of small bodies, comets among them, occurred quite in another way.”

In fact, Sagan is clearly aware of this dilemma regarding the origin of comets. In his book Comet, he writes,

“There are only two possibilities: Either comets are being made today somewhere in the solar system or there is a vast repository of hidden comets that supplies a steady trickle of samples. All suggestions about how comets might be manufactured lately, in anything like sufficient numbers, have failed.”[184]

Sagan also tells us, “Many scientific papers are written each year about the Oort cloud, its properties, its origin, its evolution. Yet there is not yet a shred of direct observational evidence for its existence.”[185] Thus, when Sagan disputes Velikovsky’s hypothesis with the remark “Velikovsky’s hypothesis begins with an event that has never been observed” by astronomers he should add that the present theory of the origin of comets is also based on the hypothesis of a cloud “that has never been observed by astronomers” and that the measured orbits of comets to prove this hypothesis shows that it is “inconsistent with much that we know about planetary and cometary physics” namely the conversion of sufficient numbers of long-period comets into short-period ones.” H. Alfven.; and A. Mendis .;in Nature, Vol. 246 (1973), p. 410, state that articles about the origin of comets emphasize predominantly the Oort cloud theory while never discussing or mentioning any of the alternative concepts and then “even sweeping under the rug those observational facts which are adverse to the dominant view.” While Dr. Paul Weissman .;is cited in The Solar System: Great Mysteries Opposing Viewpoints, (St. Paul, MN 1988), pp. 97-98 stating, “To astronomers, comets are sort of misfits of the solar system. Every good idea about their origin has some major drawback.”

This raises an important distinction. Based on gravitational theory, there should be far fewer short-period comets in the solar system. According to V. Clube .;and B. Napier .;in The Cosmic Serpent, p. 131,

“There are at present approximately one hundred times too many short-period comets relative to the rate at which long-period comets are captured by Jupiter and fed into the observed stock of Apollo asteroids. The present number is probably due to a burst of new comets formed several thousand years ago.”

Clube and Napier assume that “a single large comet fragmented during Jovian capture or perihelion passage.” But the problems atten­dant to that capture model still remain. However, Velikovsky’s theory would also fit this evidence quite well in that of the great number of comets born a few thousand years ago, some have still not dissipated all their materials and this is consistent with all the cometary evidence.



Earlier Sagan stated, “In reading the critical literature in advance, I was surprised at how little of it there was.” In a prior debate Velikovsky had with Professor Motz, .;the point was raised that a volcanic explosion on Jupiter could not have ejected a body the size of Venus. Velikovsky’s reply published in the Yale Scientific Magazine, stated that,

“The basic erroneous assumption by Motz is in ascribing to me the concept of a ‘volcanic eruption’ [explosion] of Venus from Jupiter…that I claim Venus erupted from Jupiter in a volcanic process is wrong—and it is decisive for the argument. Not only do I not claim this…I stress that a cometary body could not have such an origin. Thus, the entirety of Motz’s argument on this score, and only with corrected figures, could apply to the early version of Professor Vsekhsviatsky’s theory of the origin of comets by volcanic eruption from Jupiter, but not to my concept… All calculations by Motz on a volcanic eruption and the necessary thermal state of Jupiter are not applicable…”[186]

As we learned earlier, Velikovsky’s thesis is that proposed by the highly respected British scientist, R.A. Lyttleton. .A.;Therefore, since Sagan has claimed to have read this material carefully, to ascribe some kind of explosion on Jupiter for the birth of Venus, would be incor­rect. This is, nevertheless, just what Sagan does. He states respecting this point that, “the comminution physics is well-known.”[187] The word comminution means to pulverize something into a fine powder; in other words, Sagan says that Venus was born of an explosion on Jupiter that pulverized it. Sagan claims Venus, according to Velikov­sky, was born by an explosion of Jupiter. Moses Hadas, .;the eminent scholar of Greek, had stated, “One after another of the reviews misquote him [Velikovsky] and then attacked the misquotation.”[188] Sagan has misrepresented Velikovsky’s thesis for the birth of Venus from Jupiter and attacks the misrepresentation with the following.

“To escape from Jupiter, such a comet must have a kinetic energy of 1/2 mve2, where m is the cometary mass and ve is the escape velocity from Jupiter which is about [SCV] 70: [BB] 60 km/sec. Whatever the ejection event—volcanoes or collisions—some significant fraction, at least 10 percent, of this kinetic energy will go into heating the comet… Thus, any event that ejects a comet or a planet from Jupiter would have brought it to a temperature of at least several thousands of degrees, and whether composed of rocks, ices or organic compounds, would have completely melted it. It is even possible that it would have been entirely reduced to a rain of self-gravitating small dust particles and atoms, which does not describe the planet Venus particularly well.”[189]

Apparently R.A. Lyttleton, .A.;one of England’s foremost scientists, was such an ignoramus that when he postulated that all the inner planets as well as the large moons of Jupiter were produced by a fissioning of Jupiter that he could not understand as Sagan does that the material would be pulverized into a “rain of self-gravitating small dust particles and atoms which does not describe the inner planets particularly well.” Sagan argues that if,

“Velikovsky has stones falling from the skies in the wake of his hypoth­esized planetary encounters, and imagines Venus and Mars trailing swarms of boulders…[we should be] bombarded by objects that can make craters a mile or so across, should be happening every second Tuesday.”[190]

Although large meteorites are not falling in the numbers that Sagan expects, they seem to be falling as mini-sized comets. In Sky and Telescope, Vol. 72, for Sept. 1986, pp. 234-235, is an article titled, “Holy Moses, It’s Hailing Comets!”, it states,

“The Earth is under continual bombardment of mini comets… So relentless is this rain of icy space debris that it could have significantly influenced the evolution of our planet’s atmosphere and oceans.

“This surprising and highly controversial claim by Louis Frank, .;John Sigwarth .;and John Craven .;is their interpretation of satellite observations of Earth’s upper atmosphere. They calculate that, on the average, 20 icy objects, each some 40 feet across and weighing 100 tons or so, slam into the atmosphere every minute…

“Evidence for this bombardment is buried in thousands of ultraviolet images of Earth’s airglow emission taken by the Dynamics Explorer 1 satellite.”

The reason these objects do not strike the Earth, according to Frank, is that since they are made of frozen volatiles, they are tidally destroyed near the Earth. According to the article, “The kinetic energy of such a projectile is equivalent of that of 5,000 tons of TNT.” Large ones would, of course, have much more kinetic energy. Thus, one 5 times larger than the average would have enough kinetic energy if it struck the Earth, to excavate a crater of sizable proportions. The conclusions by Louis Frank and his colleagues are supported by some important space scientists. James Van Allen, .;the discoverer of the Van Allen Belts states, “I am quite persuaded that the cometary hypothesis holds.” Contrary to Sagan’s assertion, it seems the Earth is under heavy bom­bardment by relatively large bodies, not every second Tuesday, but every hour, every day. And the question arises, why haven’t these tiny comets dissipated all their materials unless they were born recently as Velikovsky claims?



Sagan tells us that,

“The total kinetic energy required to propel Venus to Jovian escape velocity is then easily calculated to be on the order of 1041 ergs which is equivalent to all the energy radiated by the Sun to space in an entire year, and one hundred million times more powerful than the largest solar flare ever observed. We are asked to believe, without further evidence or discussion, an ejection event vastly more powerful than anything on the Sun, which is a far more energetic object than Jupiter.”[191]

Poor Lyttleton .A.;apparently was so ignorant of the energy requirements of his fissioning process that he didn’t realize it was impossible as well as ridiculous, because Sagan said that to eject a body the size of Venus requires more energy than the Sun produces in an entire year. Yet, Lyttleton’s hypothesis has all the inner planets born from Jupiter at the same time as well as throwing off an object thirty-five times more massive than all these bodies in the process. Apparently Lyttleton was so naive and ignorant as not to know that Sagan’s calculation would require more energy to accomplish this than the Sun would produce in thirty-five years. Yet, for some strange reason, Lyttleton produces a calculation that permits Jupiter to fission, yet does so without exploding the planet that formed into a fine powder of dust and atoms.



One point raised by Sagan in his book Cosmos, is that Venus is, “some 30 million times more massive than the most massive comet known.”[192] Based on the capture theory that Sagan suggests the long-period comets would have to be considerably larger to survive hundreds of thousands of close passages to the Sun and become short-period comets. The question is, how large would these comets have to be not to dissipate all their material? R.A. Lyttleton .A.;in Mysteries of the Solar System, (Oxford 1968), p. 147 made this calculation and states,

“In the whole age of the solar system, a comet with an average period of 100,000 years would make 4.5 x 104 returns to the Sun, and if at each of these it lost only 1/1000th of its mass, through tail formation and meteor stream production, the initial mass would have been more than 1019 times as great as the present mass—which at a minimum means several times the mass of the Sun!”

Thus, for Jupiter to capture comets and convert them from long-period to short-period ones, the comets would have to make hundreds of thousands of close passages to the Sun, and, to survive these numerous passages, these comets would have to be immense. And this Sagan suggests is congruent with much that “we” (meaning scientists) know is consistent with planetary and cometary physics.

However, William K. Hartmann .K.;in Moon and Planets, 2 ed. (Bel­mont, CA 1983), p. 238, discusses the concept of “Giant Comets?” stating,

“Among the larger estimate of comet diameters are values such as 50 km. But if comets really originated by the ejection of planetesimals from the outer solar system, the Oort cloud would be likely to preserve that original size distribution. Collisions in the sparsely populated Oort cloud would be rare and unlikely to break up all the largest bodies.

“The sizes of the largest planetesimals are unknown, but calculations and observations of planetary obliquities…suggest that planetesimals grew to diameters as large as 0.1 or more of the diameter of the planet in their zone before being expelled by the planet or colliding with it. That could mean that among the millions of comets in the Oort cloud, many are hundreds of kilometers across and some perhaps 1,000 km or more across! Perhaps Chiron (a small planet-like body located between Saturn and Uranus) is such a body. This suggests that the comets we have seen are just the tip of the cometary iceberg. Perhaps occasionally during planetary history the inner solar system is visited by a world-scale body that blazes to life with a brilliant immense coma and tail before vanishing again into its long night in the Oort cloud.”

Jupiter’s diameter is 143,800 km. According to Hartmann, a planetes­imal in its region could be one-tenth that diameter—about 14,000 kilometers in diameter or around 8,000 miles—the approximate size of Venus. Hence the theory most astronomers accept respecting the origin of the solar system and comets allows for gigantic comets, contrary to Sagan’s analysis.

According to George W. Harper .W.;in Closeup New Worlds, (NY 1977) p. 192, the region occupied by comets contains, “…literally hundreds of thousands, or even millions of minor asteroids and planetoids possessing radii up to 150 to 1,500 kilometers [90 to 900 miles] with a few having radii up to roughly 3,000 kilometers and perhaps five or six with radii upward of 10,000 kilometers.”

Is Sagan really ignorant of the theory for comet formation that allows for very large bodies? No, he is not! In his book Comet, (NY 1985) p. 217, Sagan states “It is entirely plausible that much bigger comets than those several kilometers across were ejected into the Oort Cloud. But there are far fewer of these, and much more rarely will we see one redirected into our small but well lit volume of space.”

The question thus arises: has a large world-sized comet ever been observed? The answer is yes. It is a well-known fact that comets often break up and their constituent pieces then follow a common orbit. The pieces of one such comet were analyzed by N.T. Bobrovnikoff .T.;in an article titled “Comets” in Astrophysics, ed. Hynek (.A.;NY 1951). The comets he concluded were once “one single body” and “If put together, all these comets would make something like the mass of the Moon.” Hence, the astronomers postulate huge comets and apparently these have been observed, contrary to Sagan’s analysis.

Furthermore, Lyttleton has not only Venus, but Mercury, Mars and Earth, born from Jupiter as comets and taken together they are over 100 million times more massive than the most massive comet known. And W.H. McCrea, .H.;one of England’s foremost astronomers, must have been an ignoramus to write that Lyttleton’s work accords with the theory of rotating fluid masses and the dynamics of the solar system. It is extremely interesting and quite intriguing that Sagan never mentions R.A. Lyttleton’s fissioning process or W.H. McCrea’s evaluation of it, which Velikovsky claims gave rise to Venus. Without further evidence or discussion of Lyttleton’s fission theory of the ejection event, Sagan seems to ask us to believe that Lyttleton did not know what he was scientifically talking about. This one may find extremely difficult to believe.



Sagan continues,

“Another problem is the escape velocity from the Sun’s gravity at the distance of Jupiter is about 20 km/sec. The ejection mechanism from Jupiter, of course, does not know this. Thus, if the comet leaves Jupiter at velocities of less than [SCV] 70, [BB] 60 km/sec, the comet will fall back to Jupiter, if greater than about [(20)2 + (60)2]1/2 = 63 km/sec, it will escape from the solar system. There is only a narrow and therefore unlikely range of velocities which is consistent with Velikovsky’s hypothesis.”[193]

This analysis by Sagan, an astronomer, is embarrassingly quite in error. James Oberg, .;a mission flight controller for the McDonnell-Douglas Aerospace Corporation at the NASA Johnson Space Center, who has a combined background of applied mathematics, computer science and astrodynamics, did the more realistic calculation respecting the velocity of Venus needed to keep it in the solar system. C. Leroy Ellenberger .L.;summarized the gist of Oberg’s calculation, thus,

“In a simple ballistic escape it can be envisioned that, for Venus to be captured by the Sun, she would have to be propelled to a distance at which the Sun’s gravitational attraction at least equals Jupiter’s. This would be the radius of the Tisserand sphere of action, which for Jupiter, equals 48.1 million km. The initial velocity required to lift a body just to that distance is 0.9993 of escape velocity. Therefore, for proto-Venus to escape Jupiter and be captured by the Sun implies an initial velocity very close to escape velocity.”[194]

According to Oberg’s calculation to escape Jupiter and be captured by the Sun, the escape velocity from Jupiter will be sufficient for Venus. Therefore, Velikovsky’s analysis not is contradicted by “Newtonian Dynamics” which according to Sagan carries greater weight than other forms of evidence.

However, Velikovsky’s concept is the same as that of Lyttleton. The droplets created by a fissioning event would have formed far from Jupiter and would not be traveling at solar system escape velocity. Both McCrea and Lyttleton understood this and accounted for this question of velocity. Sagan’s whole argument begs the question. It has nothing to do with Lyttleton’s concept. It is a straight-forward distortion of the concept Velikovsky suggested for the birth of Venus.



Sagan previously stated, “It is about the time scale… In the 4.6 billion-year history of the solar system, many collisions must have occurred. But have there been major collisions in the last 3,500 years…”[195] Sagan has also told us that, “All suggestions about how comets might be manufactured lately in anything like sufficient numbers, have failed.”[196] Velikovsky remarked,

“I have expressed my opinion that many comets are of recent origin, and I have supported this view by reference to the frequency and luminosity of comets in the days of imperial Rome in comparison to the number of comets visible to the unaided eye in the last centuries.

“This notion received vigorous confirmation in the extensive work on comets done in Soviet Russia by a leading authority on the subject, Professor S.K. Vsekhsviatsky. .K.;His research reveals that periodic comets, as observed during recent decades, are losing their luminosity and their matter at a rate so rapid that fifty or sixty revolutions suffice to disintegrate a comet completely. Thus, the Halley comet can hardly go back beyond 3,500 years, or the year 1500 before the present era. In the last century several comets with short period have failed to return, having lost all their matter, and a few others actually fell apart before the eyes of observers.”[197]

Napier .;and Clube, .;two British astronomers have come to this same conclusion in The Cosmic Serpent. Even Sagan is aware of this. In his book Comet, he writes,

“Dusty comets have been observed to pour tons of fine particles into interplanetary space every second, and for most comets several times more water is lost than solids…for most comets, layer after layer of ice is lost in successive perihelion passages. Since the material in the coma and tail is never recaptured by the comet, it gradually dwindles, successive layers are peeled off and lost to space, and its interior parts are exposed to view. One way or another, every comet we see is dying.”[199]

The basis of Velikovsky’s thesis is that when Jupiter fissioned, it gave rise to Venus, but also to thousands of smaller bodies namely the comets. What do other scientists say with respect to the comets and what of Venus tells us that it was a comet?

If Venus was indeed born from the planet Jupiter, there should remain some trace of the atmosphere of Jupiter in the atmosphere of Venus. Sagan stated on Dec. 2, 1973 to a group of scientists that, “…Jupiter is a kind of remnant of the chemistry which was around in the early history of the solar system…”[200] If this is the case as Sagan informs us, then this remnant of chemistry which was around in the early history of the solar system should be present on Venus. Lewis M. Greenberg reports,

“Argon-36 or ‘primordial argon’ as it has been termed has been found to be either 100 or 500 times as abundant on Venus as on the Earth… New Scientist, (80: 916, 1976) may have come closer to the truth when it reported on Venus’ argon-36: ‘The significance of argon-36 is that it is supposed to be primordial argon; that is an argon isotope formed when the solar system was created. Since argon-36 is radioactive, most of the originally created supply should have disintegrated and disappeared over the four-billion year history of the solar system. Indeed, the atmospheres of earth and Mars have much, much smaller quantities of argon-36 than Venus. Venus, therefore, may have an origin different from those of earth and Mars—either a much more recent birth, (so that the argon-36 has not disintegrated) or an altogether different kind of origin in which more argon-36 was created than for earth and Mars.’”[201] [emphasis added]

“On hearing the news about argon-36 an Edison, NJ man cabled a simple message to [Dr. John] Hoffman .;[Head of the mass spectrometer team for Pioneer Venus 2] [that] ‘Emanuel [sic] Velikovsky was right about Venus.’”[202] Hence, it does seem that Venus either has “a much more recent birth or an altogether different kind of origin” and it unquestionably possesses as Sagan stated of Jupiter, “the chemistry which was around in the early history of planets.” This indicates that the possibility of Venus’ recent birth is not as improbable as Sagan would have us believe. There will be much more evidence regarding this concept later on.

Furthermore, Comets, published in 1980 [not Sagan’s book] states that,

“While Venus itself is in many respects most unlike a comet, it is very comet-like in its interaction with the solar wind… Both comets and Venus have magnetic tails which are not intrinsic… The Venus tail appears to be either striated or very dynamic and thus quite similar to a cometary tail. Plasma clouds are seen above the Venus ionosphere which may be the Venus analog of cometary tail rays.”[203]

Apparently Venus’ interaction with the solar magnetosphere is quite like a comet. Also, Velikovsky points out that “The zodiacal light, or the glow seen in the evening sky after sunset, streaking in the path of the sun and other planets (ecliptic), the mysterious origin of which has for a long time occupied the minds of astronomers, has been explained in recent years as the reflection of the solar light from two rings of dust particles, one following the orbit of Venus.”[204] As is well-known comets also have a dust tail as well as a magneto tail. Thus, it can be seen that in some ways, Venus’ recent cometary origin is confirmed by findings of modern astronomy. Therefore, let us return to how recent the event may be based on other astronomers. “[Fred] Whipple .;[the Harvard astronomer] upon calculating the orbits of the asteroids, came to the conclusion (1950) that two collisions occurred between these bodies and a comet, once 4,700 years ago and the second time 1,500 years ago, or within historical times.”[205] Sagan questions the possibility of cometary collisions in historical times. In fact, B. Napier .;and V. Clube .;in their book, The Cosmic Serpent, come to the conclusion that the Earth was struck by a comet at about the same time as Velikovsky’s comet. Napier and Clube’s comet is reported to have struck the Earth around 1369 B.C. while Velikovsky’s had a near collision around 1447 B.C. Whatever could be the matter with Napier and Clube? They not only claim that the Earth was struck by a comet called “Venus”, but they even cite legendary and historical evidence, some of it from Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collision, to prove their case.



What do other astronomers postulate as the origin of comets? The late M.W. Ovendon, .W.;a highly respected astronomer, published a paper and a discussion of it in Nature, in which he discusses a planet never known to exist named Aztex. It was supposedly located between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. Ovendon concluded that for some unknown reason, Aztex exploded but then he had to explain what had happened to 99.9 percent of the debris of Aztex. Another highly respected astronomer, Thomas Van Flandern .;of the U.S. Naval Observatory also dealt with the question regarding Aztex’s debris. Van Flandern wrote in Science Digest that except for small asteroids, “the only remaining debris that we have any chance of seeing today would be objects hurled to great distance from the Sun but eventually pulled back by gravity” and adds, “Only one kind of celestial object matches that description perfectly—the comet.”[206] Duardu Cardona .;discusses this material by Ovendon and Van Flandern adding, “Thus, regardless of what else has been written about these intriguing sky wanderers, Van Flandern believes that the comets were born when Ovendon’s planet exploded.”[207] Not only did Ovendon suggest comets are derived from an exploding planet between Jupiter and Mars, but so did Oort, the originator of the Oort cloud theory. According to A. Mendis .;and H. Alfven.;, “On the Origin of Comets”, The Study of Comets, part 2, (NASA SP 393, 1976), p. 642, “Oort originally made the highly unlikely supposition that these comets together with the minor planets resulted from the break up of a planet inside Jupiter’s orbit.” How interesting! No one saw fit to attack Oort or Van Flandern who described Ovendon’s conclusion stating, “What a sight it must have been for early man: the sky ablaze with meteors, night and day for months, and comets streaming among the stars.”[208] No one has seen fit to ridicule Ovendon for suggesting that a never-before-observed planet exploded. No one has seen fit to ridicule Van Flandern that all of the bodies of this exploding planet would have been thrown out of the solar system or become a rain of fine particles. And this event is clearly described as an explosion. Nor does anyone argue that the energy necessary to accomplish the explosion would be more energy than the Sun produced in hundreds of thousands of years. Sagan attacks Velikovsky in a manner which implied that such ideas are clearly preposterous. However, whether or not one agrees with Ovendon and Van Flandern, their ideas, though different, are not so terribly different than those Sagan ascribes to Velikovsky. Cardona states, “Was Velikovsky not derided when he expressed his concurrence with ancient opinion that comets were born from the planets?”[209] Again and again the same concepts proposed by Velikovsky in the 1950’s were later proposed by respected and competent scientists in respected journals. In these cases these same ideas were treated, if not with acceptance, at least with respect. There is clearly a double standard at work with this kind of criticism!

Sagan claims that gravitational law dominates other evidence. Then perhaps he should explain Van Flandern’s evidence for his conclusion that the comets originated in the solar system in the vicinity of Jupiter. Van Flandern writes, “A great deal of other evidence also supports the ‘recent’ explosion hypothesis. By applying the laws of gravitation to comets, we can trace their orbits back in time. When we do, we find that comets all seem to have originated from a common point between Mars and Jupiter…” Although Velikovsky’s time scale is far shorter for the fissioning of Jupiter than Ovendon and Van Flandern’s explosion theory, we also have Napier .;and Clube’s .;conclusion that the Earth was, indeed, involved in a catastrophe with a comet about 3,369 years ago. Sagan has raised his argument about the time scale, but here too his colleagues’ (Napier and Clube) time scale is very close to Velikovsky’s.

Sagan has attacked Velikovsky for concluding that a planet, namely Venus, was born from the planet Jupiter. However, R.A. Lyttleton .A.;proposed that all the small planets and the four large moons of Jupiter were born from Jupiter. Furthermore, Harold Urey, a Nobel prize winner, offered the concept of fissioning of the Earth to produce the planet Mars and also the Moon.

We do not hear anyone in this case attack Lyttleton or Urey in a manner which implies such ideas are preposterous. Again, whether or not one agrees with Velikovsky’s idea which was taken directly from Lyttleton as a possible explanation for Venus’ birth, it is based on sound scientific principles. Why is Velikovsky vilified but not Urey? Or Lyttleton? Or Ovendon? Or Van Flandern? Or Napier and Clube?



Sagan, himself, considers the idea that an unknown and unobserved companion star of the Sun periodically circles the Sun and produces great showers of comets. In Comet he writes,

“During its plunge through the inner Oort cloud, the companion star would spray a billion comets into the inner solar system. But because they would be carried on slightly different trajectories, the comets would not all arrive at the same instance. Rather, they would be spread out over a million years or more.”[210]

Sagan discussed a hypothetical star that has never been observed. He conjectures that it would gravitationally cause a billion comets to enter the inner solar system from an Oort cloud that has never been proven to exist, let alone been observed, while some astronomers suggest that an unseen planet called Planet X is responsible for putting comets into the solar system. Yet, Sagan’s discussion is based on pure supposition while he implies that Velikovsky’s views are impossible because it has never been seen. It appears that when Sagan or members of the scientific establishment build hypotheses based on conjecture that stars, exploding planets, Planet X, the Oort clouds, the Kuiper-belts and invisible matter that have never been observed, cause comets to invade the solar system, they are practicing science; however, when Velikov­sky builds a case based on similar, but anciently observed evidence, he is not practicing science. Sagan’s view of the evidence is riddled with contradiction and authoritarian conceit. Sir Fred Hoyle .;in his book, From Stonehenge to Modern Cosmology, (San Francisco 1972), p. 62, states: such “argument amounts to nothing more than the convenient supposition that something which has not been observed does not exist. It predicts that we know everything.” Such a view, it must be pointed out, is totally unscientific. But if Sagan wishes to argue that that which has never been observed cannot exist, then the Oort cloud does not exist nor do any of the other celestial phantoms of astro­nomical thought that have never been observed.

Jonathan Eberhart .;in a Commentary in Science News for Jan. 30, 1989, p. 72 explains what is essentially wrong with Sagan’s approach  against Velikovsky’s concept regarding the birth of planets and comets by a fissioning of Jupiter. What Sagan has offered is not scientific fact, but assumption masquerading as such. Eberhart states,

“The conduct of science often leads not so much from answer to specific answer as it does along converging successions of questions—a matter of the often subtle but critical distinction between fact and hypothesis. Yet despite all the constraints of the scientific method, that fragile awareness sometimes has a way of evolving into what has been called ‘canonical wisdom’—assumptions, in other words that are occasionally found masquerading as established fact.” [As, for example, the concept that Jupiter catches long period comets and converts them to ones of short period.]

Eberhart continues,

It is not that such conclusions were necessarily wrong, more to the point is that one could not know them to be correct. [emphasis added] The problem arises that taking them for granted results in overlooking a different line of inquiry that might have led in a more meaningful direction. If you are determined enough to ‘confirm’ the existence of a ‘fact’ such as the presence of Martian canals, who can say what interpretations you might overlook-or reject out of hand-when phenomena seemingly inconsistent with that ‘reality’ present themselves to view.”

Unfortunately, that is precisely the method employed by Sagan to argue with Velikovsky’s concepts. It is not so much known that what he offers as evidence contrary to Velikovsky’s thesis is incorrect but that what he offers throughout his criticism of that thesis is simply not known to be established as fact. When assumptions are put forth as arguments we do not have honest debate. Rather, what we have is rhetoric and polemics substituting for honest debate. What Velikovsky has offered is clearly hypothesis but the evidence offered by Sagan is also hypothesis yet throughout his criticism are phrases such as,

“Velikovsky’s hypothesis begins with an event that has never been observed by astronomers and that is inconsistent with much that we know [meaning scientists] about planetary and cometary physics, namely the ejection of an object of planetary dimensions from Jupiter.” [emphasis added].

However, some very noted and highly respected planetary scientists have put forth just this concept not as fact but as rational scientific hypothesis and Velikovsky has offered their concept as a possible mechanism for his theory. Richard S. Lewis .S.;in From Vinland To Mars, (NY 1976) p. 306 points out that,

“One of the most curious consequences of lunar exploration so far is that in spite of the mass of physical evidence accumulated about the Moon since 1964, there is not enough to exclude any of the major theories of its Origin …the comment of Don L. Anderson, .L.;of the California Institute of Technology, summarizes this circumstance nicely: ‘All the classical theories of lunar origin are still with us—capture, fission, and dual planet accretion,’ he said.” [emphasis added].

To suggest, as Sagan does, that “we know,” when in fact one cannot definitely know this is inconsistent with how planets and comets are born is merely rhetoric masquerading as scientific fact.

In the introductory remarks to his criticism Sagan stated, “Appeals to authority are impermissible.” But one can only wonder what Sagan means by the phrase “we know.” One must assume that Sagan means “scientists know.” This is clearly an appeal to the authority of some scientists but not to all scientists. Neither R.A. Lyttleton .A.;nor Harold Urey knew this to be engraved in stone, and put forth just the opposite of what Sagan suggests is indisputably disproven. And Patrick Moore, another respected astronomer who, like Sagan, disagrees with the fissioning concept nevertheless says, “the fission theory cannot be dismissed” although most scientists disagree with the idea. If the fission theory cannot be dismissed why does Sagan claim it is? Sagan has argued that assumptions are facts in order to dismiss a different line of inquiry. Although Velikovsky’s thesis may or may not prove valid, Sagan’s approach is unquestionably biased and irrelevant.







“Most short period comets may have achieved their orbits by multiple gravitational encounters with Jupiter, or even by multiple encounters with more distant planets and, eventually, with Jupiter itself.”

Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, .;Comet, (NY 1986) pp. 95-96.

Before dealing with this problem in its printed form in Scientists Confront Velikovsky and Broca’s Brain, it seems proper to relate the process by which Sagan derived the figures of his proof. Ralph. E. Juergens .E.;informs us,

“In arguing at San Francisco that probabilities make Velikovsky’s near-collision hypothesis untenable, Sagan neither stated his assumptions nor provided copies of his calculations for evaluation. Obviously, however, whatever calculations he had performed up to that time had given diverse (different probability) results, as indicated by handwritten changes in the transcript of his symposium presentation. His initial estimate apparently was that Venus, as a comet with aphelion near the orbit of Jupiter and perihelion, inside the present orbit of Venus, ‘will take an average of some thirty thousand years before it comes to an impact [sic] with the Earth.’ By hand he revised the figure to ‘ten million years’ before releasing the pages for duplication. Now in the 1976 version of the paper there is another increase to ‘thirty million years.’”[211]

Thus, it seems when the figures do not give the results that Sagan wishes, he changes the figures and get the numbers he needs. It is suggested that he raise the 30 million years to 30 billion, or 30 trillion, or 30 quadrillion if that will make him feel more secure.



Thus, Sagan states, “let us take the number 30 million years to give the maximum quantitative bias in favor of Velikovsky.”[212] But if Sagan really wanted “to give the maximum quantitative bias” to favor Velikovsky, he would have used his earlier small number of 30 thousand years or at least “10 million years.” Sagan has chosen the largest number he had thus far presented; how this gives maximum quantitative bias to Velikovsky is difficult to understand. After stating, “But Velikovsky has (see e.g., page 388) not one but five or six near-collisions among Venus, Mars and the Earth—all of which seem to be statistically independent events,” he adds, “…For six encounters in the same millennium the odds rise to…about a trillion quadrillion to 1.”[213]

Shulamith Kogan .;points out that, “Sagan’s calculations only apply to actual impact collisions. Yet, in the above quoted text, while Sagan admits that his odds apply to impact, he also writes that Velikovsky gives, ‘five or six near collisions.’”[214] Therefore, Sagan’s probability results only apply if the comet—Venus—smashed into the Earth, then went around its orbit and smashed into the Earth again, then went around its orbit and smashed into the Earth again and again and did this smashing process five or six times. This is smashing of a very high order and one will find Sagan’s logic quite smashing as well.

Velikovsky actually states, “Each collision between two planets caused a series of subsequent collisions”[215] in Worlds in Collision. In response to Sagan he said, “In his statistical approach, Sagan considers all events described in Worlds in Collision as independent of one another, whereas they are clearly interdependent.”[216] To repeat, Robert Jastrow .;of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, stated that, “Dr. Velikovsky had his day when he spotted a major scientific boner in Professor Sagan’s argument… Dr. Velikovsky pointed out that if two bodies orbiting the Sun under the influence of gravity collide once, that encounter enhances the chance of another, a well-known fact in celestial mechanics. Professor Sagan’s calculations, in effect, ignore the law of gravity. Here, Dr. Velikovsky was the better astronomer.”[217] And Robert Bass .W.;was so bold as to state that Sagan’s, “assumption [regarding independent probabilities] is absolutely identical to the assumption that Newton’s Law of Gravity may be ignored,”[218] and also, “This Sagan assumption is so disingenuous that I do not hesitate to label it as either a deliberate fraud on the public or else a manifestation of unbelievable incompetence or hastiness combined with desperation and wretchedly poor judgment.”[219] Thus, Sagan’s probability odds only work if Sagan somehow manages to repeal the laws of gravity.

On page 85 of Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky wrote “The head of the comet did not crash into the Earth but exchanged major electrical discharges with it.” On page 372 Velikovsky wrote that planets “cushioned in the magnetic fields about them, a spark will fly from one planet to another, and thus an actual crushing collision of the lithospheres will be avoided…” These statements come directly from the book Sagan is analyzing, therefore, there was no basis for Sagan to suggest that the planets scrape each other.

Does Sagan really believe that Velikovsky had the comet Venus smash into the earth, five or six times? This crashing-smashing event had to occur five or six times for Sagan’s probability analysis to give a trillion quadrillion to one odds. S. Kogan writes,

“Incredibly, it can be shown from Sagan’s own text that he actually knows that Velikovsky never thought in terms of a grazing or impact collision. For in another connection (purporting to prove Velikovsky wrong on terrestrial-tidal problems) Sagan unwittingly writes (SCV p. 67 BB p. 103)

“Velikovsky believes that the close passage of Venus (or Mars) to the Earth would have produced tides at least miles high (page 70-71 [W in C]); in fact if these planets were even tens of thousands of kilometers away, AS HE SEEMS TO THINK the tides” etc. [emphasis and capitals added][220]

Hence, it can easily be seen that Sagan’s odds which are only valid by repealing the laws of gravity are also not valid because Sagan has let the cat out of the bag, that the planets did not smash into each other five or six times. If they did not smash into each other, then they missed each other. But if the collisions are near collisions and not smashing collisions the probabilities change.

Let us, therefore, see what happens to the odds as the distance between the two celestial bodies grows larger. Shulamith Kogan .;informs us,

“Actually, the closest approach described in Worlds in Collision could conceivably be several lunar distances… Velikovsky also believed that the planets, because of their magnetic fields, would avoid ‘an actual crushing collision of lithospheres’ during a close encounter… But already for N = 100 (less than twice the distance to the Moon), we find according to Sagan’s statistical methods, a probability greater than 1.0 which, of course, is absurd.”[221]

The absurdity of Sagan’s analysis lies in the following: What is the probability of pulling an ace of diamonds from a deck of cards? There is a mathematical calculation that can derive the odds for this. But suppose one were to then ask someone who drew from the deck of cards, “What are the odds of pulling more than one ace of diamonds?” This, of course, is absurd. However, Shulamith Kogan using Sagan’s probability analysis at N = 100, has the comet during one near collision with the Earth almost hitting it more than one time.

If one were to lower the distance below N = 100, there is a point of distance, using Sagan’s probability analysis, where the odds are one chance in one time, that is, the comet would always return to the Earth for a near collision at every passage. By employing Sagan’s intriguing analysis for this distance, his trillion quadrillion to one odds must be reduced by one less than a trillion quadrillion.

There is an additional reason that argues against Sagan’s conclusion that the Earth and proto-planet Venus scrape each other five or six times. That reason once again is the phenomenon known as gravity which for Sagan constitutes the strongest kind of evidence. For Sagan to derive his probabilities, the Earth and Venus must move inside each other’s Roche limit. We have pointed out, citing Isaac Asimov, .;to show that if a large body moves within 2.44 Earth radii, about 9,760 miles from Earth it would be pulled to pieces by tidal gravitational forces. For Sagan’s analysis to work, Venus must defy the laws of gravity not once or twice, but five or six times. It must approach the Earth and be pulled to pieces, but somehow maintain its integrity then do this same impossible gravitational trick four or five more times so that Sagan can claim the odds for such a collision are a trillion quadrillion to one. Actually, the odds against Sagan’s analysis based on gravitational theory, is roughly (infinity to one). The only way Sagan’s analysis can survive is again to repeal the laws of gravity.



But there is more. Raymond C. Vaughan examined Sagan’s probabil­ity analysis and had this to say, “Various examples of Sagan’s slapdash scholarship were discussed…by S. Kogan… The following sentence from Sagan’s,

“‘An Analysis of Worlds in Collision’ provides yet another example: [page 97, Sagan writes] ‘Thus, the chance of Velikovsky’s comet making a single full or grazing collision with the Earth within the last few thousand years is

(3 x 104) / (3 x 107) =  10-3 or one chance in a thousand.’

“What do Sagan’s numbers represent? Thirty million evidently represents the number of years before an impact occurs, or the odds per year against an impact, but there’s no clue to the meaning of 3 x 104. If it’s supposed to represent ‘the last few thousand years’ then it’s wrong: it should be 3 x 103 and the quotient should be 10-4. If it’s supposed to represent the number of millennia before an impact…then the number seems correct, but its use in this calculation is not what Sagan suggests; the quotient has nothing to do with odds or probability but is simply a mathematical truism that expresses the number of millennia per year [or 0.001 millennia]. Once again the numbers Sagan rattles off don’t stand up to close scrutiny.”[222]



Is there evidence, not probability mathematics but actual evidence that argues that Venus must have had a near collision with the Earth? Gravitational theory holds that when celestial bodies come close and interact, as Velikovsky states about the Earth and Venus, then there should remain some lingering remnant in some part of the orbital pattern of both bodies. Velikovsky reports that,

“…a discovery was announced by P. Goldreich .;and S.J. Peale .J.;of the University of California, Los Angeles, and reported at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union on April 23, 1966. The surprising discovery dealt with the axial rotation of Venus, already known to be slow and retrograde. Every time Venus passes between the sun and the Earth, it turns the same face to the earth. Gravitationally, this phenomenon cannot be explained even if Venus were lopsided, as some science writers have offered as the explanation, it would have been locked with the very same face toward the sun, whose gravitational pull on Venus is so much stronger than that of the earth; this ‘resonance’ as the discoverers of the phenomenon termed it, if confirmed, is a sure piece of evidence of close contact in the past between Earth and Venus, evidence not erased by the passage of time, in this case time measured in a mere few thousand years.”[223]

An article titled “Venus and Earth: Engaged or Divorced?” in Astronomy (Vol. 7 for Oct. 1979), p. 58, discussed I.I. Shapiro and his colleague’s analysis of the Venus-Earth resonance. They note radar observations gathered over a 14 year period of time has permitted them to nail down Venus’ rotation period with high precision.

“They find it to be 243.01 0.03 days. The 3 1/2 hour difference between this value and the resonance period of exactly 243.16 days; while very small, is statistically significant. On the other hand, the researchers point out that the probability of Venus’ rotation period falling by chance alone within one-fifth of a day of a resonance period is under 1%. Therefore, they suggest that Venus could either now be evolving toward such a resonance, or was once in resonance in the recent past.”

William R. Corliss .R.;who reported this article in The Moon and the Planets, (1985), p. 304, adds this remark,

“The possibility of a recent or imminent resonance is redolent of a recent solar system instability. It would be interesting if ‘recent’ means ‘within the time of man’ to that there would after all be astronomical explanations of many legends of celestial turmoil.”

Zdenek Kopal .;in The Realm of the Terrestrial Planets, (NY 1979) p. 180 informs us that:

“The remarkable resonance…between the synodic orbit of Venus and its axial rotation with respect to the Earth is certainly not accidental. It strongly suggests the existence of tidal coupling [Kopal’s emphasis] between the two neighboring planets, but the specific mechanism which could lead to its establishment is largely obscure…a…coupling between Venus and the Earth—a body much less massive [than the Sun]—constitutes a real challenge to our understanding.”

James Oberg .;further explains how difficult it is for scientists to account for this phenomenon,

“The best explanation for this close resonance (and for the fact that the Venusian year is within a few hours of being exactly 8/13 of Earth’s year), to appeal to coincidence—an unsatisfactory solution at best. Nagging doubts insist that something vital is missing from the logic involved. The best current theory [for Venus’ retrograde rotation] calls for a large off-centered asteroid impact late in Venus’ formation phase. This presents difficulties. Such an accident could reverse the spin but could not account for the spin axis being at near right angles to the plane of the orbit (an extremely unlikely result in a freak collision). If the spin reversing collision could set up nearly any new axis, but this axis would eventually wander back to its old position because of the planet’s oblateness. Such oblateness could have disappeared over millions of years that passed while the new slow rotation rate no longer provided sufficient centrifugal force. If this explanation sounds like magic its the best there is. Astronomers remain completely baffled.” [Oberg, “Venus” Astronomy (August 1976), p. 16].

Zdenek Kopal, above page 191, puts the problem this way,

“The first problem concerns the rotation of the planets. What made Venus rotate so slowly, and what tilted its axis of rotation almost upside down to give rise to its retrograde rotation. The only probable mechanism would be a very close encounter with another celestial body whose gravitational attraction played havoc with Venus and altered some of its kinematics [motions] and at the same time cause it to lock onto the Earth gravitationally?”

The answer is an interaction with the Earth that Velikovsky suggests. Here is what appears to be clear evidence based not on the probability theory, but on “gravitational theory” that Carl Sagan stated must be given greatest weight. It indicates that Venus’ axial rotation is locked onto the Earth and not onto the Sun. Hoimar Von Ditfurth .;in Children of the Universe, (NY 1976), p. 115 remarks that, “the Earth must once have exerted a braking or decelerating effect on Venus until the two planets mutual gravitational attraction brought about the ‘coupling’ we observe today.” To do so, the Earth and Venus had to be quite close to each other for their gravitational fields to be effective in creating this couple effect. If the Earth and Venus never had a near encounter then any gravitational anomaly on Venus would cause it to lock onto the Sun. The Earth’s gravitational field is far too small compared with that of the Sun to nudge Venus into such a resonance. This evidence Sagan also has not explained.



It is extremely difficult to believe that Sagan believes that a comet will not reapproach a body once it has had a near meeting along its orbit. In fact, he states that the orbit of a comet, “which intersects those of Jupiter and Earth implies a HIGH PROBABILITY of a close reapproach to Jupiter…[224] [emphasis and capitalization added]. Why would a comet in orbit between the Earth and Jupiter have a high probability of close approach to Jupiter? The reason is that the laws of gravity do exist and the comet would reapproach Jupiter closely precisely as a body that nearly collided with the Earth would have a high probability of close reapproach to the Earth. That reason is “gravitation”.

Furthermore, in dealing with statistical probability of a comet or asteroid striking the Earth, Sagan states in his book Comet,

“Many asteroids that cross the Earth’s orbit are probably extinct comets. Because they tend to be small and dim, they are hard to find. There are fewer than a hundred known objects that cross the orbit of Mars or Earth, and this is after a decade of intense searching. These Earth-approaching asteroids are of particular interest to us, because they represent something with serious and calculable consequences: the high-speed collision of an object kilometers across with the Earth would rep­resent a major catastrophe, of a sort that must have happened from time to time during the history of the Earth. It is a statistical inevitability.[225] [emphasis added]

Hannes Alfven.; and Gustaf Arrhenius .;in their book Evolution of the Solar System, (NASA, Wash. D.C. 1976), p. 460 discuss the probability of capture or collision of a body that approaches the Earth. They state,

“…we learn from Kepler .;that if a body leaves the neighborhood of the planet after an encounter, it will move in an ellipse which will bring it back to the vicinity of the orbit of the planet, once or twice for every revolution. If the body is not in resonance, it will have innumerable new opportunities to encounter the planet… Hence, even if at any specific encounter capture is ‘horrendously improbable’ as Kaula .;puts it, subsequent encounters will occur a ‘horrendously’ large number of times, so that the probability of a final captures becomes quite large, and may approach unity. [The event must happen]

“In fact, we can state as a general theorem (with specific exceptions) that if two bodies move in crossing orbits and they are not in resonance, the eventual result will be either a collision or a capture.” [their emphasis].

Thus, two distinguished scientists say that if two bodies are in overlapping orbits in the same plane, they will collide. They say that whatever the probability is against such an event occurring, is inconsequential and they state their conclusion as a theorem. A theorem is a proposition demonstrably true or acknowledged as true.

Therefore, no matter what probability or improbability Sagan offers against the Earth and proto-planet Venus colliding, becomes mute. According to Alfven.;, a Nobel prize laureate, and Arrhenius, they can only collide. This event then becomes a statistical inevitability.

Therefore, when Sagan cited his odds of billions and billions and billions to one that the Earth would encounter a comet with an Earth-intersecting orbit, he was, according to his own statement, arguing that a “statistical inevitability” was almost impossible because as he calculated it, the odds of collision were a “trillion-quadrillion to one.” If Sagan then wishes to raise the odds against a “statistical inevitability” by all means let him do so. Francis Hitching .;tells us, “scientists gener­ally rule out of consideration any event that has less than one chance in 1050 of occurring” because it is considered an absolute impossibil­ity.[226] Let Sagan raise the odds against a near collision to 1050; then he will have a real case against Velikovsky’s several near collisions. He will then have shown that an absolutely impossible event is also “statistically inevitable”.

Paolo Maffei .;in Monsters in the Sky, (Cambridge, MA 1980), p. 24 discusses comet Whipple and its interaction with Jupiter. Jupiter is a giant among the planets, being 318 times more massive than the Earth. Nevertheless, gravitational interactions between Whipple’s comet and Jupiter would not be very different than those between the Earth and proto-planet Venus because both the Earth and Venus are relatively large bodies. Maffei states that the comet Whipple orbited near Saturn and Jupiter from 1660 to 1770 and adds, “Following several close approaches to Jupiter, the comet was captured by the planet.” [emphasis added] Why did this comet have several close approaches to Jupiter? The answer is that one approach gravitationally leads to others. The close approaches are not independent probabilities as Sagan claims, but interdependent as Velikovsky claimed. On page 25 Maffei shows that, between 1770 and the year 2046, comet Whipple will have had six close approaches to Jupiter in which in each case, its orbit will change. Now these close approaches are what Sagan claims are immensely improbable. In fact, Maffei also shows (pp. 26-27) that comet Brooks will have had seven close approaches to Jupiter between the years 1773 and 2018 in which its orbit changes each time. While Maffei shows on page 21 that comet Wolf between 1750 and 1960 it will have had four close approaches to Jupiter in which its orbit will change. Between the years 1750 and 2046 three comets will defy the probabilities and have several near collisions with a planet. This reinforces this concept of interdependence. The entire basis of Sagan’s argument of independent probability as Bass stated earlier on, seems to be a simple fraud.

In discussing the probability of the Sun colliding with another star, R.A. Lyttleton .A.;in Mysteries of the Solar System, (Oxford 1968), pp. 20-23 states:

“The average separations of adjacent individual stars in the galaxy are so many millions of times greater than their linear dimensions that the probability of a star colliding with another, even in a whole eon of 109 years, is minutely small. This consideration has been claimed again and again by many science [writers] to rule out any encounter hypothesis. But in fact, the concept of ‘probability’ applies only to future and not to past events. Scatter a handful of grains of sand on the floor, and the ‘probability’ that they come to rest where they do when each might have fallen elsewhere is infinitesimally small. But once something has happened, probability no longer comes into it. All that can be inferred from a consideration of this kind is that if the probability of stars colliding in the future is small, then it is unlikely that many solar systems will have been produced by such a mechanism…

“…so long as a set of events can happen it is legitimate to consider them as a possible explanation. There have been many instances of golf balls colliding in mid-air, and there is even on record an occasion when after colliding, both balls fell into the hole. But once such a thing has happened, it is no use offering disbelief on the ground that it is too ‘improbable.’”

Lyttleton then goes on to examine the mindset of scientists or others who find a collision event among stars unpalatable and concludes,

“The idea that the Earth’s existence might depend on mere chance greatly disturbs the holders of such views, with the result that they will snatch at any argument valid or not to try to rid science, as they conceive it, of an emotionally distasteful hypothesis.”

Carl Sagan’s argument based on the probabilities of the collision hypothesis offered by Velikovsky is of the very same nature as those who reject the concept that the Sun may have had a collision with another star. His odds against the collision hypothesis are merely an index of his emotional distaste of the concept that the Earth has had a recent collision and has nothing to do with the scientific considera­tions that must ensue from such an event.

It is quite ironic that Sagan should employ probability theory to try to disprove Velikovsky’s concept that Venus had five or six near collisions with the Earth. At the start of this chapter we cited Sagan who claimed most of the short-period comets had to have multiple encounters with Jupiter and even more comets had to have multiple encounters with Jupiter, than the outer planets, and again with Jupiter to be captured. In fact, astronomers do not accept as valid that Jupiter can capture most of its comets by one encounter with the planet. R.D. Chapman .R.;and J.C. Brandt in The Comet Book, (Boston 1984), p. 88 explain:

“Originally, it was thought that a single close encounter with Jupiter would suffice [to capture a comet]. In fact, single encounters can capture comets into short-period orbits. However, such encounters are very rare and cannot account for the observed number of short-period comets. Instead, it now seems that the capture of long-period comets into the inner solar system results from accumulated perturbations of hundreds of not-so-close interactions with Jupiter and to some extent, with the other giant planets.”

Based on Sagan’s probability concept, hundreds of encounters with Jupiter are more than highly improbable—if we use the same concept of independent encounters, then the odds rise well above ten to the fiftieth power which is considered absolutely impossible. Sagan’s argument against Velikovsky is irrational since he accepts as highly probable hundreds of encounters by comets with Jupiter and the outer planets but then rejects as too improbable the five or six encounters of Venus with the Earth. Why are hundreds of encounters by comets with planets more probable than five or six Venus-Earth encounters?







In this section, Sagan questions whether the Earth ever slowed to a near halt in its rotation, and if this could possibly occur, how the Earth speeds up again. He states,

“…the energy required to brake the Earth is not enough to melt it, although it would result in a noticeable increase in the temperature: the oceans could have been raised to the boiling point of water; an event which seems to have been overlooked by Velikovsky’s ancient sources.”[227]

Sagan implies that all the oceans would boil if the Earth gradually slowed its rotation over a period of a day and this boiling water would have killed all life in the seas. Since life still exists in the oceans, Sagan implies the event simply could not have occurred. The problem is, did all the oceans boil from top to bottom or did only particular areas of the world’s oceans boil? If the Earth’s rotation slows almost to a halt over a period of a day, the heat produced by changing rotational (motion energy) into other forms of energy would need to be calculated. However, it must be pointed out that Velikovsky places these events at the termination of the ice age which he maintains ended about 3,500 years ago. This would also have to be introduced into the calculation. The amount of ice as icebergs in the oceans would have been immense. Furthermore, the gravitational attraction between the Earth and proto-planet Venus would have caused the Earth to move (accelerate) toward Venus slightly. In so doing much of the energy would have been converted into energy of revolution. This conversion of energy to revolution would greatly reduce the amount of energy that would be converted into heat. This motion would make the Sun appear to stand still.

Sagan, the foremost advocate of nuclear winter, must certainly realize that if the oceans were heated, immense clouds of water vapor would have risen quickly. These immense clouds would have blocked much sunlight from the atmosphere and the water vapor would cool to the dew point (which would be considerable below the boiling point) and cool rain would have fallen. Kenneth Hsu .;in his book, The Great Dying, discusses what would happen if, The amount of water vapor thrown into the air would supersaturate the stratosphere… The approach of the large comet postulated by Velikovsky also brought innumerable meteors along with it. Many of these would have fallen into the oceans and thrown enormous amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere. The water vapor would rapidly recondense rain and snow out of the atmosphere. “Croft .;estimated that most of the vapor would return to the Earth’s surface in a few months. Total precipi­tation would amount to a thousand meters (3,000 feet) or so coming down at an average rate of 5 to 10 meters or 200 to 400 inches per day”[228] or 17 to 35 feet or water per day. This would have begun long before the oceans became very warm. Velikovsky’s catastrophe was smaller than that described by Hsu. Tilting the Earth’s axis would also make the Sun seem to stand still.

The ancient sources however, contradict Sagan regarding the heating of some bodies of water to the boiling point which he claimed Velikovsky overlooked. In Worlds in Collision, Velikovsky devotes an entire chapter to this topic entitled, “Boiling Earth and Sea” wherein he states, “‘The rivers steamed and even here and there… The sea boiled, all the shores of the ocean, all the middle of it boiled,’” states the Zend-Avesta. The star of Tistrya (Venus) made the sea boil.”[229] Velikovsky also presents a chapter on the topic of rain in Worlds in Collision entitled, “The Hurricane” in which he discusses that the hurricane, “swept every corner of the world”[230] and, of course, snow, sleet and hail would have fallen in certain northern latitudes. Thus, Velikovsky neither overlooked the fact that the seas boiled “here and there” as he reported from his ancient sources, nor did he overlook the evidence that life in the seas would have survived, especially in the seas of the higher latitudes and polar regions where there was an ice cap. The melting of the ice cap and melting of the numerous icebergs would also have to be taken into account.



Ralph E. Juergens .E.;dealt with the gravitational aspect of Sagan’s argu­ment stating,

“Sagan stated that the most serious objection to Velikovsky’s conclusion that the Earth’s rotation was slowed…during the catastrophes of the second and first millennia has to do with correcting the effect: ‘How does the Earth get started up again, rotating at approximately the same rate of spin? The Earth cannot do it by itself, because of the law of con­servation of angular momentum.’

“At that time, [1974] I suggested this: If the deceleration were due to a transitory increase in the electrical charge of the Earth, then the resump­tion of a ‘normal’ rate of spin might well be laid to a subsequent loss, or drainoff, of the excess charge. The phenomenon would be entirely in keeping with, and indeed attributable to, constraints imposed by the law of conservation of angular momentum.

“One of Velikovsky’s earliest and most strident critics raising this same issue emphasized the close analogy between the rotation of the Earth and a massive flywheel. It is interesting, therefore, to note that Booker [H. Booker, .;An Approach to Electric Science, (NY 1959), p. 621] in a straight-forward work on the fundamentals of electrical science stresses the fact that electric charge placed on a rotating flywheel increases its polar moment in inertia. The presumption, of course, is that the charge is con­vected as the flywheel rotates and thus constitutes an electric current. It follows that electric charge added to the Earth and convected by its rotation must increase the planet’s polar moment of inertia.

“Now should this happen—should appreciable, unaccustomed charge be emplaced on the Earth, other conditions aside—the law of conserva­tion of angular momentum must come into play. The increase in polar moment of inertia must be accompanied by a decrease in angular velocity of rotation, such that the product of the two remains constant; this is what the law says. Increase the Earth’s electric charge, and the length of its day must also increase…

“The second of our premised assumptions helps to explain the restora­tion of spin following a hypothetical charging episode. If the Earth’s customary burden of charge…acquired during an extraordinary event will presumably be dissipated into the environment rather quickly in the aftermath of that event. The Earth effectively ‘grounded’ to the inter­planetary medium must almost immediately begin to shed its excess charge, and its spin rate must increase accordingly.

“When the process is completed, assuming that the environment itself has not been significantly altered by the passing event, we may expect to find that the length of the day is just about what it was before.”[231]

Juergens .E.;then proceeds to give evidence that this phenomenon has been observed and reported by reputable scientists. He adds,

“In 1960 Danjon .;reported a sudden deceleration of the Earth’s rotation following a solar flare of record intensity. According to his observations, the length of the day increased by 0.85 milliseconds and thereafter began to decrease at a rate of 3.7 microseconds per day. Eventually the rate of spin stabilized near its pre-flare value.

“This announcement raised quite a few eyebrows. Quite impossible, said the experts. One skeptic pointed out that the phenomenon implied an increase in the Earth’s polar moment of inertia of such magnitude as might be produced, for example, by instantly lifting the entire Himalayan massif to a considerable height. Danjon, anticipating such objections argued that, ‘it is very likely that electromagnetism alone that will furnish the explanation for these variations’… But his claim was generally disregarded.”[232]

In Our Amazing World of Nature: Its Marvels and Mysteries, Herbert Friedman .;describes the event of that electrical storm as follows:

“At 2:37 p.m. on November 12, 1960, astronomers detected a brilliant explosion on the face of the Sun. Six hours later, a gigantic cloud of solar hydrogen gas, ten million miles across and still trailing halfway back to the Sun, 93 million miles away, collided with the Earth at a speed of four thousand miles a second.

“Though inaudible and invisible, the collision started a violent chain of disturbances on and around the Earth, an electric and magnetic storm of mammoth proportions. Compass needles wavered erratically. For hours, all long-distance radio communications were blacked out. Teletypes printed gibberish. Overhead, sheets of flaming-red northern lights flashed in the night sky, bright enough to be seen through overcast and clouds. Electric lights flickered in farmhouses as if a thunderstorm raged, yet the air and sky were clear and silent.

“For more than a week, such chaotic conditions continued. They were clearly the results of our Sun on the rampage. Yet, let me assure you that such a storm amounts to no more than a tiny ripple in the usual steady flow of solar energy.”[233]

The effect of this solar storm had clearly carried electromagnetic energy to the Earth. The storm’s effects were felt on the Earth for a week. When Andre Danjon presented this evidence that Earth’s rota­tion was affected by the electrical energy of this gigantic storm, the scientific community, steeped in Newtonian dynamics, treated the evidence as though it did not exist because it violated cherished scien­tific models of celestial motion. But Juergens goes on to show,

“Then in 1972 it happened again, even more impressively, Danjon was gone (deceased 1967), but Plagmann .;and Gribbin .;were on the watch. They found that on August 7-8, following a week of frenzied solar activity, the length of the day suddenly increased by more than 10 milliseconds (more than a hundredth of a second). And again, there was gradual return to normal…

“Again, disbelief on the part of the establishment led to excesses. Neglecting the important facts that, following Danjon, Plagmann and Gribbin had predicted the phenomenon, had been on the alert for unusual flare activity, and had been rewarded for their vigilance…

“The increase in the length of the day reported by Danjon is very nearly 10-8 day…such an effect must involve a temporary increase in the Earth’s polar moment of inertia of approximately the same proportion. Since the ‘normal’ value is about 1030 km-m2…

“It is interesting to note that a mere 10,000 fold multiplication of the suggested cause of the Danjon effect…might produce the Velikovsky effect…”[234]

Thus, two scientists on two occasions give evidence that the Earth’s rotation not only slowed, but in complete contradiction to Sagan’s argument, “How does the Earth get started up again” they give evidence that the Earth’s rotation started to increase over a period of days to its pre-flare rotational velocity. There is no gravitational expla­nation for this behavior and that is probably why Sagan rejects it. To admit that this evidence is valid would require that its cause be sought. The only other known force that could do this would be electromag­netism. Therefore, rather than deal with such evidence, Sagan chooses to disbelieve it. By disbelieving the evidence, it may go away. This is a unique scientific attitude on Sagan’s part.



Velikovsky informs us that,

“In 1948-1949 Donald Menzel .;produced motion pictures of promi­nences [flares] or explosions of matter on the sun; they were made at the Solar Observatory in Climax, Colorado. The exploded matter rose at a very great speed to immense heights, all the time gaining in velocity, and then descended to the sun, not on a curved path, as a missiles would do, but by retreating on the path it had covered, comparable to a missile reversing its direction and returning to its point of departure. Moreover, the velocity of its descent was without the acceleration expected in a fall, and this too was in violation of gravitational mechanics.

“It was observed that when the protuberances or surges of exploded matter on the sun run into one another, both of them recoil violently; such observation was made by McMath and Sawyer, and on other occasions by Lyot. The conclusion drawn by E. Petit .;of Mount Wilson Observatory (1951) is that solar protuberances are electrically charged.”[235]

Here we observe that the rotation of the Earth seems to be in accord with Velikovsky’s hypothesis. Electrified solar flares of great intensity add electric charge to the solar magnetosphere which travels to the Earth and adds electric charge to the Earth. This changes the Earth’s polar moment of inertia, which slows the spin of the Earth; and as the charge on the Earth is shed back into the solar magnetosphere in which the Earth is grounded, its spin returns to normal.



Sagan argues that if a magnetic storm of such intensity affected the Earth, it would have left a strong signature in the form of remanent magnetism in the rocks. He states, “there is no sign of rock magne­tization of terrestrial rocks ever having been subjected to such strong field strengths…”[236]

This is incorrect because Velikovsky in his “Forum Address” states of the remanent magnetism found in rocks:

“The newly developed science of paleomagnetism brought, and daily continues to bring, confirmation of the fact that lavas and igneous rocks in all parts of the world are reversely magnetized. But what is more startling is to find that the reversely magnetized rocks are a hundred times [or a thousand times] more strongly magnetized than the earth’s magnetic field could have caused them to be. H. Manley writes in his review, writes It may seem strange that a rock which is made magnetic by the earth’s ‘field’ should become so strongly magnetized [Manley states] ‘compared with the generating force. This is one of the most astonishing problems of paleomagnetism.’”[237]

Apparently Sagan when he stated that “there is no sign of rock mag­netism of terrestrial rocks ever having been subjected to such strong field strengths” hasn’t any problem with reporting the evidence as compared with H. Manley .;whose article “Paleomagnetism” in Science News for July 1949, finds that the rock magnetism of terrestrial rock has been subjected to such strong field strengths. Apparently Manley is unaware that the evidence he reports from his own field cannot be correct because Sagan tells us that it isn’t. One may suspect that Manley, who was astonished by the Earth’s high remanent magnetism would be struck dumb by Sagan’s assertion. But since the rocks do contain high remanent magnetism it had to originate somewhere. Velikovsky suggests some came from the strong electromagnetic field of Venus when it was a comet. We have shown that lightning strikes in rock changes the direction of the magnetism in the rock. It also leaves strong remanent magnetism as well.



Sagan states, “no cometary influence can make the Earth stand still”[238] and “Nor is there anything that braking the Earth to ‘halt’ by cometary collision is any less likely than any other resulting spin.”[239] Thus, the question is: “do comets carry electric charge?” Velikovsky also addresses this point.

“In the configuration of the cometary nuclei and tails there was found ‘good evidence that all particles in the comet influence the motion of each other,’ and the configuration of the streamers in the tails of many comets ‘strongly indicate a mutual repulsion.’ Thus, writes Professor N.T. Bobrovnikoff, .T.;Director of the Perkins Observatory [in Astrophysics ed. J.A. Hynek .A.;(1951) pp. 327-328]. It was also calculated that the repulsion of the tails of the comets by the sun is twenty thousand times stronger than the gravitational attraction, and the implication is that it cannot be caused by the pressure of light as previously thought, and that electrical repulsion must be in action. From spectral analysis it is known that the cometary tails do not shine merely by reflected light, and that their light is not caused by combustion either, but most probably is an electrical effect, comparable to the effect of the Geissler tube.”[240] [emphasis added]

Furthermore, it was reported in Science, for December 1973 that radio noise was detected from the comet Kohoutek as it approached perihelion. Radio noise that is derived from a body which is not a thermal source tells us that the body carries an electromagnetic field.

The next question is, “how strong is a small comet’s magnetic field?” On September 15, 1982, observations of a radio star were made through the magnetic tail of comet Austin by Imke de Pater and Wing-H. If the magnetic field was weak the direction and polarization of the radio star’s emissions would not change direction. But, if the electromagnetic field of the comet distorted both the direction and polarization of the radio star’s emission, then the electromagnetic field of the tail would be strong. According to an article in Sky and Telescope, Vol. 67, (1984), p. 415, titled “Comet Austin’s Puzzling Tail” we learn that the “observations were made at a wavelength of 20 centimeters (1,465 megahertz) with the Very Large Array in New Mexico. When Austin’s plasma tail came within some 220,000 kilometers of the line of sight to [radio star] 1242 + 41 there was a pronounced change in the position of the radio source.” To do this the magnetic fields in the comets tail had to be hundreds or thousands of times greater than the present concept of cometary magnetic fields.

So it seems comets do possess strong magnetic fields and an immense comet such as Venus, coming from the core of Jupiter, would carry a part of Jupiter’s large electromagnetic energy. Thus, when Venus approached the Earth, it would have discharged great planetary thun­derbolts. Velikovsky devotes a chapter in Worlds in Collision titled “The Spark” in which ancient people describe immense lightning strokes loosed from the comet to the Earth. These celestial lightning strokes would have changed the Earth’s polar moment of inertia, just as electrical flares from the Sun do. There is not one single point of evidence respecting the slowing and restoration of the spin of the Earth that is not supported by scientific evidence.

The journal Science contains an article on the interaction of magnetic fields between an asteroid and Venus which states,

“Examination of Pioneer Venus observations of the interplanetary magnetic field increases to a peak and then decreases almost symmetrically. The largest of these events lasted almost 10 hours and rose to a peak field strength of over 140 percent of that of the surrounding magnetic field. It was suggested that this enhancement was associated with the passage of a comet (Oljato) by Venus.”[241] [emphasis added]

If as small a body as Oljato can raise the peak magnetic field strength between itself and Venus by 140 percent above the normal surround­ing magnetic field, it seems probable an immense comet with a huge electromagnetic field would raise the field strength between itself and the Earth by a thousand percent or more.

Sagan stated earlier that Newtonian dynamics have a very firm footing; well, so does electromagnetism. Sagan believes these forces play no role in celestial mechanics. John Gribbin, .;in The Death of the Sun, presents a graph on page 131 wherein he correlates solar activity with the length of the day: the rotation of the Earth. His chart begins around 1820 and extends to about 1980. It shows that when the Sun was more active—produced more electromagnetic radiation—the length of the day increased because the rotational velocity of the Earth slowed. When the Sun was less active, the opposite occurred.

In 1981, D. Djurovic’s, .;“Solar Activity and Earth’s Rotation”, in Astron Astrophys, Vol. 100, pp. 156-158, showed a correlation of the Earth’s rotation with well-known solar Sun spot variation periods of 0.5, 3.3, 6.6, and 11 years.

In 1982, F. Carter, .;et. al, in “A Comparative Spectral Analysis of the Earth’s Rotation and Solar Activity”, in Astron Astrophys, Vol. 114, pp. 388-393, measured solar activity and emphasized a possible relationship with the Earth’s seasonal rotation.

In 1983, D. Djurovic’s “Short-period Geomagnetic Atmospheric and Earth-rotation Variations”, in Astron Astrophys, Vol. 118, No. 1, pp. 26-28, studied 3 and 4 month rotational periods of the Earth and solar activity and showed that there is a correlation of georotation with solar behavior for short periods.

It is well known that the Sun oscillates up and down some ten kilometers periodically every 160.01 minutes. G.P. Pil’nik’s .P.;“Multiple Waves in the Earth’s Diurnal Rotation”, in Soviet Astronomy, Vol. 28, No. 1 pp. 112-114, showed that this solar oscillation of 160.01 mins. was reflected in changes in the rotation of the Earth of 159.56 mins.

Each of these studies resoundingly illustrates that long and short term variations in the Sun’s activity are reflected in corresponding correlated changes in the Earth’s rotation.

Sagan may refuse to acknowledge this evidence, however, the concept that Velikovsky’s suggestion that electromagnetism does play a role in terrestrial rotation is gradually being recognized in astronomy and is increasingly difficult to ignore. In fact, James S. Trefil .S.;in his book, Space Time Infinity, admits “To further complicate the problem (of the length of the day) recent research suggests that the solar wind [the Sun’s electromagnetic field] can alter the length of the day.”[242]



If the Earth’s rotation halted slightly and the globe actually rolled about as S.K. Runcorn .K.;has stated, then the Earth, like Mars and the Moon, should also show a global system of lineaments and this it does. G.H. Katterfield .H.;and G.V. Charushin .V.;in Modern Geology, Vol. 4, (1973), p. 253 discuss this fact and conclude that,

“A comparison of Earth with Mars, Mercury and the Moon shows that global systems of lineaments determined for the Earth are common to the terrestrial planets. The origin of such regularly oriented general planetary grids is attributable to planetary causes, i.e., deformation of the planet due to changes in its size, internal constitution and rotation rate.” [emphasis added]

Thus, the geological evidence corroborates the remanent magnetism and the astronomical evidence to show that the Earth has indeed changed its rotational velocity. The changing of the position of the polar axis suggested by Runcorn would certainly make the sun appear to stand still during the catastrophe that Velikovsky describes. Therefore, the Earth did not have to come to a complete stop as Sagan seems to suggest and the energy of rotation did not have to all be converted into heat to kill all life in the oceans. In our discussion of Sagan’s Appendix II we will show that the concept of a tectonic polar shift was well thought of by Albert Einstein, .;who was quite willing to give his support to just such a concept. It is only by avoiding and ignoring this concept that Sagan can raise the issue of boiling oceans.








Sagan deals here with the question of whether geology, archaeology, and craters observed on the Moon can substantiate Velikovsky’s hypothesis. As shown earlier, Velikovsky wrote a book on the these aspects of his theory. Macbeth .;tells us,

“Velikovsky’s opponents pointed out that he was talking about events that qualified as catastrophes, transcending anything that is now going on in scale and violence. They declared that this put Velikovsky out of court because the uniformitarian doctrine provided no room for such events. Velikovsky, who…was rather innocent as to Anglo Saxon geological theory, was surprised at this reaction and at the violent feelings he had aroused. His response was admirable; without extensive public recrimination, he disappeared into the library for several years and complied a book called Earth in Upheaval.[243]

This book of evidence has been available since 1955, or 19 years prior to the time Sagan first presented his attack on Velikovsky. Therefore, it is interesting to read Sagan’s questioning:

“To the best of my knowledge, there is no geological evidence for a global inundation of all parts of the world at any time between the sixth and fifteenth centuries B.C. If such floods has occurred, even if they were brief, they should have left some trace in the geological record. And what of the archaeological and paleontological evidence? Where are the extensive faunal extinctions of the correct date as a result of such floods? And where is the evidence of extensive melting in these centuries, near where the tidal distortion is greatest?”[244]

A.A. Meyerhoff .A.;and H.A. Meyerhoff .A.;in discussing geologists, who advocate continental drift theory when they encounter evidence that contradicts their uniformitarian theory state,

“There is a failure of almost all geologists and geophysicists to face [contrary evidence]…is fatal [and] is incredible in a profession as responsible as ours.

“Possibly the four greatest failings…are [1] subjectivity in the selection of data (those data which conflict are omitted or are not discussed… [2] general failure to recognize geological facts…[3] continuous ad hoc modifications of the hypothesis… [4] an apparent unwillingness…to discuss even among (themselves) the many contradictions…”[245]

Sagan is apparently so determined to avoid Velikovsky’s geological evidence that he succumbed to the failings of other scientists. This denial that such evidence exists “to the best of my knowledge” is highly unscientific. Macbeth states “Catastrophes have been taboo for a century among the orthodox.”[246]

Apparently, orthodox uniformitarians such as Sagan seems to be, do not want to be contaminated with evidence that is taboo to their views of science.



Sagan requests geological evidence for the “correct date” of the events that Velikovsky claims for a world-wide catastrophe. Velikovsky’s date, is that 3,500 years ago, is the end of the Ice Age, the rising of mountains to their present heights and a period when the Earth was inundated by the oceans plus major extinctions of fauna and changes in climate. Thus, in terms of this probable dating, evidence for this date should exist. Based on radiocarbon dating, Velikovsky stated,

“It was shown that ice, instead of retreating 30,000 years ago, was still advancing 10,000 or 11,000 years ago. This conflicts strongly with the figures arrived at by the varve method concerning the final phase of the Ice Age in North America.

“Even this great reduction of the date of the end of the Ice Age is not final. Radiocarbon analysis according to Professor Frederick Johnson, .;chairman of the committee for selection of samples for analysis [The Committee on Carbon 14 of the American Anthropological Association and the Geological Society of America], revealed ‘puzzling exceptions.’ In numerous cases the shortening of the time schedule was so great that, as the only recourse, Libby .F.;assumed a ‘contamination’ by radiocarbon. But in many other cases ‘the reason for the discrepancies cannot be explained.’ Altogether the method indicates that ‘geological developments were speedier than formerly supposed.’

“H.E. Suess .E.;of the United States Geological Survey reported recently that wood found at the base of interbedded blue till, peat and outwash of drift, and ascribed by its finder to the Late Wisconsin (last) glaciation is, according to radiocarbon analysis, but 3,300 years old (with a margin of error up to two hundred years both ways), or of the middle of the second millennium before the present era [3,500 years ago]”[247]

According to C.E.P. Brooks .E.P.;in Climate Through the Ages, (NY 1949), p. 296, between 8,000 and 4,000 years ago, the temperature of the Earth was 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than now. This is termed the “hipsithermal” and there is no acceptable explanation for this higher temperature.

According to Charles Hapgood, .;The Path of the Pole, (Philadelphia 1977), pp. 106-107,

“During the Byrd Expedition of 1947-1948, Dr. Jack Hough, .;then of the University of Illinois, took three cores from the bottom of the ocean off the Ross Sea, and these were dated by the ionium method of radioactive dating at the Carnegie Institution on Washington by Dr. W.D. Urry .D.;who had been one of those to develop the method. [What the cores showed were] layers of fine sediment typical of temperate climates. It was the sort of sediment that is carried down by rivers from ice-free continents. Here was a first surprise, then. Temperate conditions had evidently prevailed in Antarctica in the not distant past… [emphasis added]

“Then when this material was dated by Urry, it was revealed that the most recent temperate period had been very recent indeed. In fact it ended only about 6,000 years ago.” [See Hough, Jack; “Pleistocene Lithology of Antarctic Ocean Bottom Sediments”, Journal of Geology, Vol. 58, pp. 257-259]

This is corroborated by Reginald Daly .A.;in Earth’s Most Challenging Mysteries, (Nutley, NJ, 1975), pp. 227 and 264, who states that,

“Carbon 14 dating has shown that Antarctica’s ice is less than 6,000 years old. [Arthur] Holmes writes, ‘Algal remains, dated at 6000 B.P. [before present] have been found on the latest terminal moraines.’ (Principles of Physical Geology, p. 718) This shows that Antarctica must have been sufficiently free from ice for green algae to grow 6,000 years ago.”

But how long ago was Antarctica last glaciated? Velikovsky’s theory implies that it was rapidly reglaciated in historical times, but how to prove such a concept. Charles Hapgood .;in The Path of the Pole, p. 111, gives evidence that Antarctica had no continental glacier until only a few thousand years ago.

“It is rare that geological investigations receive important confirmation from archaeology; yet, in this case, it seems that this matter of deglaciation of the Ross Sea can be confirmed by an old map that has somehow survived for many thousands of years. A group of ancient maps, including this one, was the subject of an entire book which I published in 1966 under the title Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings.

“In some way or other, which is still not, and may never be entirely clear, this extraordinary deglaciated map of Antarctica has come down to us. Apparently originated by some ancient people, preserved perhaps by Minoans, Phoenicians, and Greeks, it was discovered and published in 1531 by the French geographer Oronce Fine, .;and is part of his Map of the World ‘Impossible!’ That would be the opinion of practical people of intelligence and learning. ‘Utterly impossible!’ But sometimes truth is really strange. It has been possible to establish the authenticity of this ancient map. In several years of research, the projection of this ancient map was worked out. It was found to have been drawn on a sophisticated map projection, with the use of spherical trigonometry, and to be so scientific that over fifty locations on the Antarctic continent have been found to be located on it with an accuracy that was not attained by modern cartographic science until the nineteenth century. And of course, when this map was first published in 1531, nothing at all was known of Antarctica. The continent was not discovered in modern times until about 1818 and was not fully mapped until after 1920.”

Thus, the evidence of Brooks regarding the hipsithermal period when the Earth was 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer 4,000 years ago is corrob­orated by Jack Hough’s .;finding of sediments off the Ross Sea which are typical of temperate climates and are dated to 6,000 years ago. This evidence is further corroborated by Arthur Holmes’ .;finding algae remains in the latest terminal moraines of Antarctica that are dated to be 6,000 years old. And all of this is corroborated by Charles Hapgood .;who proved ancient man had been to, and carefully mapped the continent of Antarctica. What is clearly shown by this evidence is that 4,000 years ago something stupendous happened to change that climate. All this is fully consistent with Velikovsky’s theory that the climate changed about 3,500 years ago.

Evidence also comes from Arlington H. Mallery’s .H.;The Rediscovery of Lost America, (NY 1951), pp. 194-199. In his chapter “The Zeno Map of the North”, Mallery describes a map published in 1558 of Green­land. He states on page 196,

“The Greenland depicted [on the map] differs radically from the Greenland known to the modern world. The land surface is shown free of ice, almost covered by mountains, crossed by open rivers, and divided into three islands! A fjord marked Ollum Lengri on a version of the map and a flat surface, which I concluded was a strait, extending westward between the mountains, divide the land which, now hidden by ice, we know as Greenland, a single island.

“My belief that the map might be authentic was not shaken by the fact that it shows such an unusual topography for Greenland. For, as I have explained, the topography of both Greenland and Iceland has been drastically altered since the Middle Ages by erupting volcanoes, earthquakes, and ice caps. Consequently, an accurate ancient map would show both countries with contours unlike their modern contours.” [A world-wide catastrophe such as that described by Velikovsky would also have changed the topography.]

Mallery continues,

“So assuming that the map was an ancient Norse sailing chart, I platted it on a polar projection. It then became obvious that the original map had been platted on a portolano projection. Drawing grids on a copy of the Greenland section of the map, I found even more than I had dared to hope I would find: all the points were platted with remarkable accuracy when compared to the same points on the latest U.S. Army maps! I was then certain that the rejected Zeno map was an accurate map of Greenland before it was covered by its present sheet of ice more than a mile thick.”

Since the ability to plot longitude was unknown even to the Norse and ancients of Greece, Egypt and Babylon Mallery concluded, page 197, “Of one thing I was certain: this accurate map of the North Atlantic was the product of a very remote, very advanced civilization.” Mallery continues, p. 198, discussing the southern area of Greenland:

“Sooner than I would have thought possible, confirmation of my analysis of the map (at least the portion showing Greenland) came from an authority in the science of determining subglacial topography by seismic soundings. The authority was Paul-Emile Victor, .;whose French Polar Expeditions explored Greenland from 1948 to 1951. An Associated Press news dispatch announced on October 26, 1951, months after I had published my analysis of the map, the following discovery of the Victor expedition: ‘A French expedition reported this week that Greenland is really three islands bridged by an ocean.’ In a letter to me, dated October 22, 1953, Victor said: ‘The analysis of our soundings confirms the preliminary announcement that Greenland is really three islands…’

“Victor’s soundings revealed a passage westward across Greenland corresponding to the flat area between the mountains which I had pointed out as a strait dividing the land. They also showed the presence of a large fjord in a location corresponding to the location on one version of the Zeno map of a fjord marked Ollum Lengri-Lengri, longest of all…

“Coming almost as an anticlimax to Victor’s confirmation of the accuracy of the Zeno map, a later development strengthened this confir­mation. When I asked Victor to explain the presence of a single moun­tain in the flat area crossing Greenland, he showed me his soundings, which proved the ‘mountain’ to be an island!”

Thus, we have ancient maps of both Greenland and Antarctica rela­tively free of ice while Greenland is completely ice free. If one assumes that the Ice Age ended as the uniformitarian establishment geologists claim 10 to 12 thousand years ago, then one must draw the preposterous conclusion that civilizations capable of charting the Earth existed many tens of thousands of years prior to this time. Velikovsky claimed that there was a polar shift which redistributed the climate and moved the polar regions to their present boundaries. These ancient maps confirm that ancient man lived in a world in which the climate was different, and that 8,000 to 4,000 years ago was a period of warm climate that allowed man to visit and map Antarctica and Greenland. Civilization can be no older than 6,000 years. Therefore, the ice covering the Antarctic continent and the great island of Greenland had to have come after the hipsithermal period when it is well known the Arctic Ocean was ice free. This corresponds fairly well with the change Velikovsky posited for this event 3,500 years ago.

If as Velikovsky suggests the ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica were built up rapidly at the time of his 3.500 year old catastrophe then one would expect that the dust in the atmosphere rained out in the tropic and temperate zones but fell as snow over Greenland and Antarctica. Velikovsky suggests the dust in the ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica was produced by immense volcanism on Earth and dust left from the raging proto-planet Venus. Therefore, we would expect the ice caps to reflect this by having an inordinate amount of dust below a certain level. Above that level the ice caps would have dust that is currently falling at the present average rate. During the ice ages it is well known that there was a great deal more rain. This is stated by Robert Silverberg .;whom we will cite below that during glacial epochs there was greatly increased rainfall. A rainy climate does not allow dust to remain in the atmosphere. Based on the uniformitarian concept that the ice during the ice ages was built up gradually during a period of much greater rainfall than we experience at present, then, the ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica should possess much less dust in them during the Ice Age than currently. But if Velikovsky is correct the Ice Age ice should contain much more dust than ice of the present period. This is exactly the opposite of what the Ice Age theory demands. The findings support Velikovsky’s hypothesis and categorically deny the uniformitarian hypothesis. According to Hammer, .;Clausen, Dansgaard, Neftel, Kristimlotter and Reeh in the American Geophysical Union Monograph, Vol. 33 (1985), p. 90 the dust particles in the Greenland glacier “was up to 100 times as great in the last ice age as at present.” With respect to Antarctica they say the dust compared to Greenland is “an order of magnitude higher.” or 1000 times as great as at present. It is impossible for so much dust to accumulate during time periods when there was less dust in the atmosphere.

Sagan, in Broca’s Brain, “The Climates of Planets”, pp. 189-190, writes,

“There are many indications of past climatic changes. Some methods reach far into the past, others have only limited applicability. The reliability of the methods also differ. One approach, which may be valid for a million years back in time, is based on the ratio of the isotopes oxygen 18 to oxygen 16 in the carbonates of shells of fossil foraminifera. These shells, belonging to species very similar to some that can be studied today, vary the oxygen 16/oxygen 18 ratio according to the temperature of the water in which they grew.”

Let us examine this evidence to see what it says. The reader will recall the prior discussion respecting boiling oceans. If the Ice Age ended, as Velikovsky claims 3,500 years ago, then there should be evidence of a quite sudden change in the temperature of the oceans. Cesare Emiliani .;of the University of Chicago is an Earth scientist interested in the question of the ocean’s temperature. He did discover a new dating process that Sagan mentioned above developed from the field of atomic physics. His method measures the amount of an isotope of oxygen in the shells of oceanic organisms and in particular, oyster shells. We are informed by Macbeth that,

“Cores of undisturbed sediment were brought up from the ocean floor. Careful study showed changes in temperature from layer to layer in the cores, enabling Dr. Emiliani to chart the climates of the past and trace the ups and downs of the Ice Age. The results were disturbing because they cut the duration to a third or less of what had been assumed to be the proper figure.

“I do not assert that Dr. Emiliani was correct. I only want to show that geological and biological projections into the past (like most extrapolations) have a precarious base and that a shift in chronology would shake the foundations on which Lyell .;and Darwin .;constructed their theories.”[248]

Thus, it is seen that the absolute dating of past events can give diverse results.



Another example of climate changes that appears to be in accord with Velikovsky’s claim that the climate changed twice—once drastically 3,500 years ago and a second less drastic change 2,800 years ago—is seen in the following. According to Jonathan Weiner .;in Planet Earth, p. 99, Reid Bryson, .;a climatologist at the University of Wisconsin, has concluded that the Harrappan empire ended because of a major climatic change that occurred 3,600 years ago. From analysis of pollen from varves (mud layers) in salt marshes around Harrappa in India he claims,

“Between 10,000 and 3,600 years ago…rainfall was at least three times what it is now. Then, about 3,600 years ago, again judging by the pollen record, plants began changing from those characteristics of fresh water to those that grow around salt water. And then there’s no lake at all—the lake dried up and there’s barren sand.””

‘That period lasted about 700 years and ended some 2,900 years ago,’ says Bryson. ‘That is a very long drought.’ All the vegetation in the region disappeared. Rainfall afterward increased but never returned to the level it had reached in the heyday of the Harrappan’s…they were so totally dependent upon the monsoon rains. When, about 3,600 years ago…drought began, their agriculture, the economic base of their culture, disappeared.”

This evidence appears to support Velikovsky. There is also evidence that during the period of the Ice Age, there was much greater rainfall than during the interglacial period such as the one we are currently enjoying. Robert Silverberg .;in Clocks of Ages, (NY 1971), p. 94, writes, “During the glacial epochs, such regions as Africa, South America, central Asia, and the southern United States experienced ‘pluvial’ periods [of greatly increased rainfall]… During these pro­longed rainy spells, lakes and rivers grew, basins now dry filled with water.” Thus, there also appears to be a close correlation between the fall of the Harrappan civilization and the end of the Ice Age.


Sagan states that if, as Velikovsky claims,

“‘that in the days of the Exodus, when the world was shaken and rocked…all volcanoes vomited lava and all continents quaked’… Volcanic lavas are easily dated, and what Velikovsky should produce is a histogram of the number of lava flows on Earth as a function of time.”[249]

This might take 20 or 30 years to do and Velikovsky would naturally never be able to finish his work in several other areas. But since Sagan seems so intent on disproving Velikovsky’s thesis, perhaps he ought to undertake a 20 or 30 year study to prove his case against Velikovsky by making a histogram of all the lava flows on Earth. Velikovsky has a chapter in Earth in Upheaval p. 136, that shows there was greater volcanism in the past than at present:

“All in all only about four or five hundred volcanoes on Earth are considered active or dormant, against a multiplicity of extinct cones. Yet only five or six hundred years ago many of the presently inactive volca­noes were still active. This points to a very great activity at a time only a few thousand years ago. At the rate of extinction witnessed by modern man, the greater part of the still active volcanoes will become extinct in a matter of several centuries.”

Francois Derrey .;in Our Unknown Earth, (NY 1967), p. 186 confirms this:

“K. Sapper, .;a geologist tried to add up the volcanic activity of the last five centuries. Retaining only very moderate figures, and supposing that this activity was always kept at its present rate—we have seen that it was certainly much more considerable in the past.”

Charles Hapgood .;concluded that the last Earth-wide upheaval occurred 3,400 years ago, around the same time as the catastrophe described by Velikovsky and shows that there was a volcanic maximum that coincides with the end of the Ice Age. He writes,

“There have been times in the past when the quantity of volcanic action has been extraordinary. As an example of this, there appears to be evidence that in a small area of only 300 square miles in Scandinavia, during Tertiary times, there may have been as many as 70 active volcanoes at about the same time. Berquist, who cites the evidence remarks, ‘Volcanic activity on this scale erupting through 70 channels and concentrated in a relatively short period must have been very impressive.’”[250]

Hapgood goes on to show that the period that ended the Ice Age was one of volcanic maxima but he does not date every lava flow. He claims that based on his list,

“it is, of course impossible to come to any conclusion as to the amount of volcanism throughout the world at any one time during the glacial period; perhaps 5,000 radiocarbon dates would be necessary for this.”[251]

But, just as Velikovsky, he argues that in the recent past there was much more active volcanism than now.

Frank C. Hibben in The Lost Americans, pp. 176-177 tell us, “There is no doubt that coincidental with the end of the Pleistocene [Ice Age] at least in Alaska, there were volcanic eruptions of tremendous proportions.” And, J.P. Kennett .P.;and R.C. Thunell in Science, Vol. 187, pp. 497-502 state that, “Volcanicity in Iceland during the last 10,000 years has been three to five times more vigorous than during previous Late Cenozoic intervals.” Their paper argues that the Ice Age period of volcanism was a maximal volcanic era. Francois Derrey .;in Our Unknown Earth, (NY 1967) p. 184 states,

“…it is probable that they were infinitely more frequent and above all more violent in the past. In our time, the craters of active volcanoes hardly exceed six-tenths of a mile in diameter, while the mouths of former volcanoes measure tens of miles.”

However, one researcher undertook to make a histogram for Iceland only. Dr. Euan W. Mackie .W.;of the University of Glasgow and assistant keeper of the Hunterian Museum states,

“peaks in the histogram of dates of volcanic eruptions must coincide with peaks in that of sea level changes if [global catastrophic theory] is correct. If such correlations do appear, it is difficult to see how a Uniformitarian interpretation could explain them away as a coincidence.”[252]

From the evidence of his histogram, Mackie concludes “some of these eruptions appear to have occurred at about the same time as the sea level changes.”[253] Thus, there is some evidence albeit not full nor conclusive for Velikovsky’s contention.

How accurate is the dating method that Sagan wishes Velikovsky employ on the lava flows of all the worlds volcanoes? According to Funkhouser, .;Barnes and Haughton in an article titled, “The Problem of Dating Volcanic Rocks by the Potassium-Argon Method”, which appeared in the Bulletin of Volcanoligique 29, for 1966, some lava flows known to be in place for only 200 years were potassium-argon dated to be hundreds of millions of years old. There are also volcanoes whose lavas flow into the sea. These too would presumably have to be dated. According to C.S. Noble .S.;and J.J. Haughton .J.;in a paper titled, “Deep-Ocean Basalts: Inert Gas Content and Uncertainties in Age Dating” published in Science, Vol. 162 for 1968, pp. 265-26, “The radiogenic argon and helium content of three basalts erupted into the deep ocean from an active volcano (Kilauea) have been measured. Ages calculated from these measurements increase with sample depth up to 22 million years for lavas deduced to be recent.” Thus, the dating methods Sagan asked Velikovsky to employ on all volcanic lava flows is flawed. Sagan, however, does not inform the reader of this. Why not?

Therefore, Velikovsky writes regarding radiocarbon dating,

“Already there is an accumulation of similar results that do not fit into the accepted [dating] scheme, even if the Ice Age is brought as close to our time as 10,000 years. Professor Johnson says: ‘There is no way at the moment to prove whether the valid dates, the ‘invalid ones,’ or the ‘present ideas’ are in error.’ He says also, ‘Until the number of measure­ments can be increased to a point permitting some explanation of contradictions with other apparently trustworthy data, it is necessary to continue to form judgments concerning validity by a combination of all available information.’”[254]

And to the best of his ability, this is what Velikovsky has done. Using several evidential routes, he unwinds the clock that brings us back to dating the events he has enumerated in Worlds in Collision. It is this evidence that Macbeth .;tells us is “shattering”.



Sagan states,

“Velikovsky believes (p. 115) that reversals of the geomagnetic field are produced by cometary close approaches. Yet, the record is clear—such reversals occur about every million years…[though] not in the last few thousand; and they occur more or less like clock work.”[255]

If this were true, it would certainly be a surprise to those working in the field. Velikovsky’s chapter, “Magnetic Poles Reversed” in Earth in Upheaval, asks,

“When was the terrestrial magnetic field reversed for the last time? Most interesting is the discovery that the last time that the reversal of the magnetic field took place was in the eighth century before the present era, or twenty-seven centuries ago. The observation was made on clay fired in kilns by the Etruscans and Greeks. The position of the ancient vases is known. They were fired in a standing position, as the flow of the glaze testifies. The magnetic inclination or the magnetic dip of the iron particles in the fired clay indicates which was the nearest magnetic pole, the north or the south.

“In 1896, Giuseppe Folgheraiter .;began his careful studies of Attic (Greek) and Etruscan vases of various centuries, starting with the eighth century before the present era. His conclusion was that in the eighth century the earth’s magnetic field was inverted in Italy and Greece. Italy and Greece were closer to the south than the north magnetic pole.

“P.L. Mercanton .L.;of Geneva, studying the pots of the Hallstatt age from Bavaria (about the year 1000) and from the Bronze Age caves in the neighborhood of Lake Neuchatel, came to the conclusion that about the tenth century before the present era the direction of the magnetic field differed only a little from its direction today, and yet his material was of an earlier date than the Greek and Etruscan vases examined by Folgheraiter. By checking on the method and results of Folgheraiter, Mercanton found them perfect…

“These researches continued and described in a series of papers by Professor Mercanton, presently with the Service Meteorologique Universitaire in Lausanne, show that the magnetic field of the earth, not very different from what it is today, was disturbed sometime during or immediately following the eighth century to the extent of a complete reversal.”[256]

Manley .;speaks of, “the possibility of its (Earth’s magnetic field) reversal in historic times, 2.500 years ago to be cleared up by more research.”

However, since its publication in 1896 by Folgheraiter and 1907 by Mercanton, this evidence has stood firm and was reported in Nature, Vol. 242 for 1973, p. 518, a year prior to Sagan’s presentation of his paper. It may be “clear” to Sagan that such reversals have not occurred in the last few thousand years, but this can only be clear by blinding oneself.

Furthermore, there is evidence of a magnetic reversal for 3,500 years ago. Thomas McCreedy .;reported that in Turner and Thompson’s Earth and Planetary Science Letters, for 1979, (number 42, pp. 412-426), that,

“Other recent papers support the viewpoint. Turner and Thompson (1978), examining sediments from Loch Lomond, Scotland, reported a large magnetic declination swing in the middle of the first half of the first millennium B.C. This is in very good agreement with similar findings at Lake Windermere, England (1971).”[257]

In Science News, Vol. 125 No. 24 (June 16, 1984, pp. 374ff) is evidence of geomagnetic excursions on Crete.

“Researchers (Downey .S.;and Tarling.H.;) from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England, report that the destruction of late Minoan sites on Crete occurred in two events separated by as much as 30 years… The researchers found that the magnetic signatures at archaeological sites on eastern Crete were identical to one another. They differed though from sites on central Crete where the ages were consistent… They also were surprised to observe that the direction and intensity of magnetic signals for central Crete matched those of the heavy ashfall deposits on Santorini, whereas the directions from sites in eastern Crete matched those of the deposits that followed the volcano’s paroxysmal eruption. During this second phase, the volcano collapsed forming the huge caldera.”

This evidence corroborates the evidence from Loch Lomond and Lake Windermere of geomagnetic changes around 3,500 years ago. In fact, two West German scientists, Hans Pilcher .;of the University of Tübingen and Wolfgang Schiering .;of Mannheim University, claim that the separation in time between the Theran eruption and the earthquake that followed it is 50 years. In New Scientist, for July 7, 1977, p. 17, we learn that these scientists point out that the difficulty

“stems from disparities in the dating of the devastation on Santorini which undisputedly followed Theran’s eruption, and that of the Cretan ruins (60 miles to the south). The latter appear to have occurred some 50 years after the former…

“The two German researchers claim that no modification of the ceramic chronology, on which the dating is based, is possible and that the calamity which struck Crete…cannot, therefore, have been connected with the Theran explosion.”

The direction of the magnetic signals indicates different alignments of the magnetic field and the period between the two alignments is in complete agreement with Velikovsky’s 50 year period that separates the two catastrophes.

Thus, here also Sagan’s assertion is in contradiction of the evidence. There are magnetic reversals at the time of Velikovsky’s catastrophes. Susan Schlee, .;in her book, The Edge of an Unfamiliar World, a History of Oceanography, tells us “North and South poles may even switch places several times in a million years.”[258] [emphasis added]

J.P. Kennett .P.;and N.D. Watkins .D.;in Nature, Vol. 227 (1970) pp. 930-934 state that, “Geomagnetic field reversals occurred more than twenty times during the past 4 M.Y. [million years] and probably more than one hundred times during the Tertiary.” Apparently Sagan’s million year clock is in need of repair.



Sagan states, “Velikovsky’s contention that mountain building occurred a few thousand years ago is belied by all the geological evidence which puts those times at tens of millions of years ago and earlier.”[259]

With respect to how long ago the major mountain ranges of the Earth rose, Sagan claims they rose millions of years ago, not during historical times. Velikovsky, however, in Earth in Upheaval, reports,

“In the Alps.;,, caverns with human artifacts of stone and bone dating from the Pleistocene (Ice Age) have been found at remarkably high altitudes. During the Ice Age the slopes and valleys of the Alps, more than other parts of the continent, must have been covered by glaciers; today in central Europe, there are great glaciers only in the Alps..; The presence of men at high altitudes during the Pleistocene or Paleolithic (rude stone) Age seems baffling.

“The cavern of Wildkirchli, near the top of Ebanalp, .;is 4,900 feet above sea level. It was occupied by man sometime during the Pleistocene. [According to G.G. MacCurdy, .G.;Human Origins, (1924), I, p. 77], ‘Even more remarkable, in respect to altitude, is the cavern of Drachenloch at a height of 2,445 meters [8,028 feet],’ near the top of Drachenberg, south of Ragaz. This is a steep, snow covered massif. [MacCurdy adds], ‘Both of these stations are in the very heart of the Alpine field of glaciation.’

“A continental ice sheet thousands of feet thick filled the entire valley between the Alps and the Jura, .;where now Lake Geneva lies, to the height of the erratic boulders torn from the Alps and placed on the Jura Mountains. In the same geological epoch, between two advances of the ice cover, during an interglacial intermission, human beings must have occupied caverns 8,000 feet above sea level. No satisfactory explanation for such location of Stone Age man has ever been offered.

“Could it be that the mountains rose as late as in the age of man and carried up with them the caverns of early man? In recent years evidence has grown rapidly to show, in contrast to previous opinion, that the Alps and other mountains rose and attained their present heights…

“[According to R.F. Flint, .F.;Glacial Geology and the Pleistocene Epoch, pp. 9-10], ‘Mountain uplifts amounting to many thousands of feet have occurred within the Pleistocene epoch [Ice Age] itself.’ This occurred [according to Flint] with ‘the Cordilleran mountain system in both North and South America, the Alps.;-Caucasus-Central Asian system, and many others…’

“The fact of the late upthrust of the major ridges of the world created, when recognized, great perplexity among geologists who, under the weight of much evidence, were forced to this view. The revision of the concepts is not always radical enough. Not only in the age of man, but in the age of historical man, mountains were thrust up, valleys were torn out, lakes were dragged uphill and emptied…

“[According to B. Willis, .;Research in Asia, II, p. 24], ‘The great mountain chains challenge credulity by their extreme youth,’…[discussing the] Asian mountains.

“The Himalayas, .;highest mountains in the world, rise like a thousand mile-long wall north of India. This mountain wall stretches from Kashmir in the west to and beyond. Bhutan in the east, with many of its peaks towering over 20,000 feet, and Mount Everest reaching 29,000 feet, or over five miles. The summits of the lofty massifs are capped by eternal snow in those regions of the heavens where eagles do not fly nor any bird of the sky.

“Scientists of the nineteenth century were dismayed to find that, as high as they climbed, the rocks of the massifs yielded skeletons of marine animals, fish that swim in the ocean, and shells of mollusks. This was evidence that the Himalayas had risen from beneath the sea. At some time in the past, azure waters of the ocean streamed over Mount Everest, . Everest;carrying fish, crabs and mollusks, and marine animals looked down to where now we look up and where man, after many unsuccessful efforts, has until now succeeded only once in putting his feet. Until recently it was assumed that the Himalayas rose from the bottom of the sea to their present height tens or perhaps hundreds of millions of years ago. Such a long period of time, so long ago, was enough even for the Himalayas to have risen to their present height. Do we not, when we tell young listeners a story about giants and monsters, begin with: ‘Once upon a time, long ago…?’ And the giants are no longer threatening and the monsters are no longer real.

“According to the general geological scheme, five hundred million years ago the first forms of life appeared on earth; two hundred million years ago life developed into reptilian forms that dominated the scene, achieving gigantic size. The huge reptiles died out seventy million years ago, and mammals occupied the earth—they belong to the Tertiary. According to this scheme, the last mountain uplifts took place at the end of the Tertiary, during the Pliocene; this period lasted until a million years ago, when the Quaternary period, the age of man began. The Quaternary is also the time of the Ice Age or the Pleistocene—the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age; and the very end of the Quaternary, since the end of the Ice Age, is called Recent time: the Neolithic (Late, or polished, Stone), Bronze, and Iron Cultures. Since the appearance of man on earth, or since the beginning of the Ice Age, there have been no uplifts on any substantial scale. In other words, we have been told the profile of the earth with its mountains and oceans was already established when man first appeared.

“In the last few decades, however, numerous facts have emerged from mountains and valleys that tell a different story. In Kashmir, Helmut de Terra .;discovered sedimentary deposits of an ancient sea bottom that was elevated at places to an altitude of 5,000 feet or more and tilted at an angle of as much as 40 degrees; the basin was dragged up by the rise of the mountain. But this was entirely unexpected: [According to Arnold Heim .;and August Gausser, .;The Throne of the Gods, an Account of the First Swiss Expedition to the Himalayas, (1939), p. 218], ‘These deposits contain Paleolithic fossils’ and this according to…Heim, Swiss geologists, would make it plausible that the mountain passes in the Himalayas may have risen, in the age of man, three thousand feet or more, ‘however, fantastic changes so extensive may seem to a modern geologist.’

Studies on the Ice Age in India and Associated Human Cultures, published in 1939 by de Terra, working for the Carnegie Institution, with the assistance of Professor T.T. Paterson .T.;of Harvard University, is one long argument and demonstration that the Himalayas were rising during the Glacial Age and reached their present heights only after the end of the Glacial Age, and actually in historical times. From other mountain ridges came similar reports.

“De Terra divided the Ice Age of the Kashmir slopes of the Himalayas into Lower Pleistocene (embracing the first glacial and interglacial stages), Middle Pleistocene…and Upper Pleistocene (comprising the last to glaciations and an interglacial stage).

“[According to de Terra and Paterson, p. 223], ‘The scenery which this region presented at the beginning of the Pleistocene must have differed greatly from that of our time… The Kashmir valley was less elevated, and its southern rampart, the Pri Panjal, lacked that Alpine grandeur that enchants the traveler today…’ Then various formation groups [they add] moved, ‘both horizontally and vertically, resulting in a southward displacement of older rocks upon foreland sediments accompanied by uplift of the mobile belt.’

“[They continue on page 225 that], ‘The main Himalayas suffered sharp uplift in consequence of which the Kashmir lake beds were compressed and dragged upward on the slope of the most mobile range… Uplift was accompanied by a southward shifting of the Pri Panjal block toward the foreland of northwestern India.’ The Pri Panjal massif that was pushed toward India is at present 15,000 feet high.

“In the beginning of this period the fauna was greatly impoverished, but thereafter, judging from remains, large cats, elephants, true horses, pigs and hippopotami occupied the area.

“‘In the Middle Pleistocene, or Ice Age, there was a ‘continued uplift.’ ‘The archaeological record prove that early paleolithic man inhabited the adjourning plains.’ De Terra refers to ‘abundance of paleolithic sites.’ Man used stone implements of ‘flake’ form, like those found in the Corner forest-bed in England.

“Then once more, the Himalayas were pushed upward. [de Terra and Paterson state on page 222], ‘Tilting of terraces and lacustrine [lake] beds’ indicates a ‘continued uplift of the entire Himalayan tract’ during the last phases of the Ice Age.

“In the last stages of the Ice Age, when man worked stone in the mountains, he might have been living in the Bronze stage down in the valleys. It has been repeatedly admitted by various authorities—quoted subsequently in this book [Earth in Upheaval]—that the end of the glacial epoch may have been contemporaneous with the time of the rise of the great cultures of antiquity, of Egypt and Sumeria and it, follows, also of India and China. The Stone Age in some regions could have been contemporaneous with the Bronze Age in others. Even now there are numerous tribes in Africa, Australia, and Tierra del Fuego, the southern tip of the American, still living in the Stone Age, and many other regions of the modern world would have remained in the Stone Age had it not been for the importation of iron from more advanced regions. The aborigines of Tasmania never got so far as to produce a polished—neolithic—stone implement, and in fact, barely entered the crudest stone age. This large island south of Australia was discovered in 1642 by Abel Tasman; .;the last Tasmanian died in exile in 1876, and the race became extinct.

“The more recent uplifts in the Himalayas took place also in the age of modern man. [de Terra and Paterson state on page 223], ‘The postglacial terrace record suggests that there was at least one prominent postglacial advance [of ice],’ and this, in the eyes of de Terra and Paterson, is indicative of a diastrophic movement of the mountains. [They add], ‘We must be emphatic on one particular feature—namely the dependence of Pleistocene glaciation on the diastrophic [upward motion] character of a mobile mountain belt. This relationship, we feel, has not been sufficiently recognized in other glaciated regions, such as Central Asia and the Alps, where similar if not identical, conditions are found.’

“It has been generally assumed that loess—thin windblown dust that is built into clays—is a product of a glacial age. However, in the Himalayas, de Terra reported finding neolithic, or polished stone, implements in loess and commented: ‘Of importance for us is the fact that loess forma­tion was not restricted to the glacial age, but that it continued…into postglacial times.’ In China and in Europe, too, the presence of polished stone artifacts in loess prompted a similar revision. The neolithic stage that began, according to the accepted scheme, at the end of the Ice Age, still persisted in Europe and in many other places at the time when, in the centers of civilization, the Bronze Age was already flourishing.

“R. Finsterwalder, .;exploring the Nanga Parbat massif in the western Himalayas (26,600 feet high), dated the Himalayan glaciation as post-glacial; in other words, the expansion of the glaciers in the Himalayas took place much closer to our time then had previously assumed. Great uplifts of the Himalayas took place in part after the time designated as the Ice Age, or only a few thousand years ago. [See R. Finsterwalder, “Zeitschrift Der Gesellschaft Fur Erdkunde Zu Berlin” (1936) p. 32ff.]

“Heim, .;investigating the mountain ranges of western China, adjacent to Tibet and east to the Himalayas, came to the conclusion (1930) that they had been elevated since the Glacial Age. [See J.S. Lee, .S.;The Geology of China, p. 207]

“The great massif of the Himalayas rose to its present height in the age of modern, actually historical man [Heim and Gausser, Throne of the Gods, p. 220 state], ‘The highest mountains in the world are also the youngest.’ With their topmost peaks the mountains have shattered the entire scheme of the geology of the ‘long, long ago.’

“The Siwalik Hills are in the foothills of the Himalayas .;north of Delhi; they extend for several hundred miles and are 2,000 to 3,000 feet high. In the nineteenth century their unusually rich fossil beds drew the attention of scientists. Animal bones of species and genre, living and extinct, were found there in most amazing profusion. Some of the animals looked as though nature had conducted an abortive experiment with them and had discarded the species as not fit for life. The carapace of a tortoise twenty feet long was found there, how could such an animal have moved on hilly terrain? [See D. Wadia, .;Geology of India (2nd ed.; 1939) p. 268]. The Elephas ganesa, an elephant species found in the Siwalik Hills, had tusks about fourteen feet long and over three feet in circumference. One author [J.T. Wheeler, .T.;The Zonal Belt Hypothesis, (1908) p. 68] says of them: ‘It is a mystery how these animals ever carried them, owing to their enormous size and leverage.’

“The Siwalik fossil beds are stocked with animals of so many and such varied species that the animal world of today seems impoverished by comparison. It looks as though all these animals invaded the world at one time: ‘This sudden bursting on the stage of such a varied population of herbivores, carnivores, rodents and primates, the highest order of the mammals, must be regarded as a most remarkable instance of rapid evolution of species,’ writes D. Wadia in his Geology of India [p. 268]. The hippopotamus, which ‘generally is a climatically specialized type’ (de Terra), pigs, rhinoceroses, apes, oxen, filled the interior of the hills almost to bursting. A.R. Wallace, .R.;who shares with Darwin the honor of being the originator of the theory of natural selection, was among the first to draw attention, in terms of astonishment, to the Siwalik extinction.

“Many of the genre that comprised a wealth of species were extinguished to the last one; some are still represented, but by only a few species. Of nearly thirty species of elephants found in the Siwalik bed, only one species has survived in India. [According to Wadia, p. 279], ‘The sudden and widespread reduction by extinction of the Siwalik mammals is a most startling event for the geologist as well as the biologist. The great carnivores, the varied races of elephants belonging to no less than 25 to 30 species…the numerous tribes of large and highly specialized ungulates [hoofed animals] which found such suitable habitats in the Siwalik jungles of the Pleistocene epoch, are to be seen no more in an immediately succeeding age.’ It used to be assumed that the advance of the Ice Age killed them, but subsequently it has been recognized that great destructions took place in the age of man, much closer to our day.

“The older geologists thought that Siwalik deposits were alluvial in their nature, that they were debris carried down by the torrential Himalayan streams. But it was realized that this explanation ‘does not appear to be tenable on the ground of the remarkable homogeneity that the deposits possess’ and a ‘uniformity of lithologic composition’ in a multitude of isolated basins, at considerable distance from one another. [Wadia, p. 270] There must have been some agent that carried these animals and deposited them at the feet of the Himalayas, and after the passage of a geologic age…[are] signs of more than one destruction. There was also a movement of the ground: [Wadia states, p. 264], ‘The disrupted part of the fold has slipped bodily over for long distances, thus thrusting the older pre-Siwalik rock of the inner ranges of the mountains over the younger rocks of the outer ranges.’

“If the cause of these paroxysms and destruction was not local, it must have produced similar effects at the other end of the Himalayas and beyond that range. Thirteen hundred miles from the Siwalik Hills, in central Burma, the deposits cut by the Irrawaddy River [according to Wadia, pages 274-275] ‘may reach 10,000 feet.’ ‘Two fossiliferous horizons occur in this series separated by about 4,000 feet of sands.’ The upper horizon (bed), characterized by mastodon, hippopotamus, and ox, is similar to one of the beds in Siwalik. [Wadia adds], ‘The sediments are remarkable for the large quantities of fossil-wood associated with them… Hundreds and thousands of entire trunks of silicified trees and huge logs lying in the sandstones’ suggest the denudation of ‘thickly forested’ areas. Animals met death and extinction by the elementary forces of nature which also uprooted forests and from Kashmir to Indo-China threw sand over species and genre in mountains thousands of feet high.

“In the Andes, .;at 16° 22´ south latitude, a megalithic city was found at an elevation of 12,500 feet, in a region where corn will not ripen. The term ‘megalithic’ fits the dead city only in regard to the great size of the stones in its walls, some of which are flattened and joined with precision. It is situated on the Altiplano, the elevated plain between the Western and Eastern Cordilleras, not far from Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world, on the border of Bolivia and Peru.

“[Clemens Markham, .;in The Incas of Peru, (1910), p. 21 states], ‘There is a mystery still unsolved on the plateau of Lake Titicaca, which if stones could speak, would reveal a story of deepest interest. Much of the difficulty in the solution of this mystery is caused by the nature of the region, in the present day, where the enigma still defies explanation…’ [Markham also states, p. 23], ‘Such a region is only capable of sustaining a scanty population of hardy mountaineers and laborers. The mystery consists in the existence of ruins of a great city at the southern side of the lake, the builders being entirely unknown. The city covered a large area, built by highly skilled masons, and with the use of enormous stones.’

“When the author of the quoted passages posed his question to the scholarly world, Leonard Darwin, .;the president of the Royal Geological Society, offered the surmise that the mountain had risen considerable after the city had been built.

“‘Is such an idea beyond the bond of possibility?’ asked Sir Clemens. [p. 23]; Under the assumption that the Andes were once some two to three thousand feet lower than they are now, ‘maize would then ripen in the basin of Lake Titicaca, and the site of the ruins of Tiahuanacu could support the necessary population. If the megalithic builders were living under these conditions, the problem is solved. If this is geologically impossible, the mystery remains unexplained.’ [Markham .;p. 23]

“Several years ago another authority, A. Posnansky, .;[in Tiahuanacu, The Cradle of American Man, (1945), p. 15], wrote in a similar vein: ‘At the present time, the plateau of the Andes is inhospitable and almost sterile. With the present climate, it would not have been suitable in any period as the asylum for great human masses’ of the ‘most important prehistoric center of the world.’ [On pages 1 and 39 he writes], ‘Endless agriculture terraces’ of the people who lived in this region in pre-Inca days can still be recognized. ‘Today, this region is at a very great height above sea level. In remote periods, it was lower.’

“The terraces rise to a height of 15,000 feet, twenty-five hundred feet above Tiahuanacu, and still higher, up to 18,400 feet above sea level, or to the present line of eternal snow on Illimani.

“The conservative view among evolutionists and geologists is that mountain making is a slow process…there never could have been spontaneous uplifting on a large scale. In the case of Tiahuanacu, however, the change in altitude apparently occurred after the city was built, and this could not have been the result of a slow process that required hundreds of thousands of years to produce visible alteration.

“Once Tiahuanacu was at the [lake] water’s edge; then Lake Titicaca was ninety feet higher, as its old strand line discloses. But this strand line is tilted and in other places it is more than 360 feet above the present level of the lake. There are numerous raised beaches; and stress was put on ‘the freshness of many of the strandlines and the modern character of such fossils as occur.’ [See H.P. Moon, .P.;“The Geology and Physiography of the Altiplano of Peru and Bolivia,” The Transacts of the Linnean Society of London, 3rd Series, Vol. I, Pt. 1 (1939), p. 32]

“Further investigation into the topography of the Andes and the fauna of Lake Titicaca, together with a chemical analysis of this lake and others on the same plateau, established that the plateau was at one time at sea level, or 12,500 feet lower than it is today. [According to Posnansky, Tiahuanacu, p. 23], ‘Titicaca and Poopo, lake and salt bed of Coipagna, salt beds of Uyuni—several of these lakes and salt beds have chemical compositions similar to those of the ocean.’ As long ago as 1875, Alexander Agassiz.; demonstrated [in Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1876] the existence of a marine crustaceous fauna in Lake Titicaca. At a higher elevation, the sediment of an enormous dried-up lake, whose waters were almost potable [according to Posnansky, Tiahuanacu, p. 23], ‘is full of characteristic [sea] mollusks, such as Paludestrina and Ancylus, which shows that it is, geologically speaking, of relatively modern origin.’

“Sometimes in the remote past the entire Altiplano with its lake, rose from the bottom of the ocean. At some other time point a city was built there and terraces were laid out on the elevation around it; then in another disturbance, the mountains were thrust up and the area became uninhabitable.

“The barrier of the Cordilleras that separates the Altiplano from the valley to the east was torn apart and gigantic blocks were thrown down into the chasm. Lyell, .;combating the idea of a universal flood, offered the theory that the bursting of the Sierra barrier opened the way for a large lake on the Altiplano, which cascaded down into the valley and caused the aborigines to create the myth of a universal flood. [See Lyell, Principles of Geology, I, p. 89, p. 270]

“Not so long ago an explanation of the mystery of Lake Titicaca and of the fortress Tiahuanacu on its shores was put forward in the light of Hörbiger’s .;theory: A moon circled very close to the earth, pulling the waters of the oceans toward the equator; by its gravitational pull, the moon held day and night, the water of the ocean at the altitude of Tiahuanacu. [H.S. Bellamy, .S.;Built Before the Flood: The Problem of Tiahuanacu Ruins, (1947), p. 14, states], ‘The level of the ocean must have been at least 13,000 feet higher.’ Then the moon crashed into the earth, and the oceans receded to the poles, leaving the island with its megalithic city as a mountain above the sea bottom, now the continent of the tropical and subtropical Americas. All this happened millions of years before our moon was caught by the earth, and thus the ruins of the megalithic city Tiahuanacu are millions of years old, that is, the city must have been built long ‘before the Flood.’

“This theory is bizarre. The geological record indicates a late elevation of the Andes, and the time of its origin is brought ever closer to our time. Archaeological and radiocarbon analyses indicate that the age of the Andean culture and of the city is not much older than four thousand years. [According to F.C. Hibben, Treasure in the Dust, (1951), p. 56] Not only the ‘built before the Flood’ theory collapses; so does the belief that the last elevation of the Andes was in the Tertiary, or more than a million years ago.

“Sometime in the remote past the Altiplano was at, or below sea level, so that originally its lakes were part of a sea gulf. The last upheaval, however, took place in an early historical period after the city of Tiahuanacu had been built; the lakes were dragged up, and the Altiplano and the entire chain of the Andes rose to their present height.

“The ancient stronghold of Ollantaytambo in Peru is built on top of an elevation; it is constructed of blocks of stone twelve to eighteen feet high. [According to Don Ternel .;in Travel, April 1945], ‘These Cyclopean stones were hewn from a quarry seven miles away… How the stones were carried down to the river in the valley, shipped on rafts and carried up to the site of the fortress remains a mystery archaeologists cannot solve.’

“Another fortress or monastery, Ollantayparubo, in the Urubamba Valley in Peru, northwest of Lake Titicaca, [according to Bellany’s Built Before the Flood, p. 63], ‘perches upon a tiny plateau some 13,000 feet above sea-level, in an uninhabitable region of precipices, chasms and gorges.’ It is built on red porphyry blocks. The blocks must have been brought [Bellamy continues] ‘from a considerable distance…down steep slopes, across swift and turbulent rivers, and up precipitous rocks—faces which hardly allow a foot-hold.’ It has been suggested that the transportation of the building blocks was feasible only if the topography of these localities was different at the time of the construction. However, definite proof in this connection is lacking, and changes in topography must be deduced from abandoned terraces, from [sea] mollusks of the dried up lakes, from tilted shorelines, and from other similar indications.

“Charles Darwin, .;on his travels in South America in 1834-35 was impressed by the raised beaches at Valparaiso, Chile at the foot of the Andes. He found that the former surf line was at an altitude of 1,300 feet. He was impressed even more by the fact that sea shells found at this altitude were still undecayed, to him a clear indication that the land had risen 1,300 feet from the Pacific Ocean in a very recent period. [In his Geological Observations on the Volcanic Islands and Parts of South America. Pt. II, Chap. 15, Darwin states], ‘within the period during which upraised shells remained undecayed on the surface.’ And since only a few intermediary surf lines can be detected, the elevation could not have proceeded little by little.

“Darwin also observed [on the same page] that ‘the excessively disturbed condition of the strata in the Cordillera, so far from indicating single periods of extreme violence, presents insuperable difficulties, except on the admission that the masses of once liquefied rocks of the axes were repeatedly injected with intervals sufficiently long for their successive cooling and consolidation.’

“At present, it is the common view that the Andes were created, not so much by compression of the strata, as by magma, or molten rock invading the strata and lifting them. The Andes also abound in volcanoes, some exceedingly high and enormously large.

“The foothills of the Andes hide numerous deserted town and abandoned terraces, monuments…that go up the slope of the Andes and reach the eternal snow line and continue under the snow to some unidentified altitude prove that it was not a conqueror nor a plague that put the seal of death on gardens and towns. In Peru [E. Huntington .;in Hyluings-Skrift, (1935), p. 578 states], ‘aerial surveys in the dry belt west of the Andes have shown an unexpected number of old ruins and an almost incredible number of terraces of cultivation.’

“When Darwin mounted the Uspallata Range, 7,000 feet high in the Andes, and looked down on the plain of Argentina from a little forest of petrified trees broken off a few feet above the ground, he wrote in his Journal [Of ResearchesDuring the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle .M.S. Beagle;entry of March 30, 1835], ‘It required little geological practice to interpret the marvelous story which this scene at once unfolded; though I confess I was at first so much astonished that I could scarcely believe the plainest evidence. I saw the spot where a cluster of fine trees once waved their branches on the shores of the Atlantic, when the ocean—now driven back 700 miles—came to the foot of the Andes. I saw that they had sprung from volcanic soil which had been raised above the level of the sea, and that subsequently this dry land, with its upright trees, had been let down into the depths of the ocean. In these depths, the formerly dry land was covered by sedimentary beds, and these again by enormous streams of submarine lava—one such mass attaining the thickness of a thousand feet; and these deluges of molten stone and aqueous deposits five times alternately had been spread out. The ocean which received such thick masses must have been profoundly deep; but again the subterranean forces exerted themselves and now I beheld the bed of that ocean, forming a chain of mountains more than seven thousand feet in height… Vast and scarcely comprehensible as such changes must ever appear, yet they have all occurred within a period, recent when compared with the history of the Cordillera; and the Cordillera itself is absolutely modern as compared with many of the fossiliferous strata of Europe and America.’ But how extremely young the Cordillera of the Andes is, only the research of recent years has brought out.”[260]

Henry H. Horworth .H.;in Nature, Vol. 5, (March 28, 1872), pp. 420-422 cites Darwin respecting the height of the raised elevation when Darwin was discussing Hacienda of Quintero, in central Chile. Darwin claims, “The proofs of the elevation of this whole line of coast is unequivocal…” and speaking of northern Chile states, “I have convincing proofs that this part of the continent of South America has been elevated near the coast at least 400 to 500 feet, and in some parts 1,000 to 1,300 feet, since the epoch of existing shells, and further inland the rise may have been greater.” [From Darwin’s Naturalist’s Voyage]

When did the Andes mountains rise? According to the New York Times, (Oct. 3, 1989), pp. C1 and C14, “Archaeologists working in Peru have unearthed stunning evidence that monumental architecture, complex societies and planned developments first appeared and flowered in the New World between 5,000 and 3,500 years ago.” [emphasis added] The author of the article, William K. Stevens .K.;goes on to say, “Around 4,000 to 3,700 years ago, activity abruptly shifted and irrigated agriculture replaced fishing as the main economic resource.” Why would a civilized people leave a thriving, hospitable environment to go live inland in an inhospitable region? Stevens states,

“It is something of a mystery to archaeologists why any major civilization would develop in the Andean valleys and on the Peruvian coast. The region’s altitude and aridity make it ‘grossly hostile’ said Dr. [Michael] Moseley .;[an archaeologist at the University of Florida who has long worked in the region] who added: ‘That anyone ever lived there is a bit of a surprise.’”

People do not move from more comfortable regions to ones that are ‘grossly hostile.’ They move instead to regions that are distinctly more conducive to life. In all texts that deal with Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese, and Mesopotamian civilizations, the authorities claim that these civilizations moved into hospitable river valleys from arid regions, not the other way around. Stevens adds, “The emerging picture of this earliest American civilization is that of a people tied initially to the sea, but then moving abruptly—no one knows why—into the Andes .;highlands to build a flourishing economy based on irrigated agriculture that prospered in spite of the harsh, cold, arid climate at altitudes around 10,000 feet.”

But it is much more reasonable and probable that these cities were built at lower elevations and were uplifted with the Andes about 3,500 years ago when civilization there declined.

The evidence presented by Velikovsky is highly conclusive. Why then do Sagan and his colleagues hide from it? Macbeth .;informs us that the Alps, Himalayas and Andes

“Apparently all…have risen extensively since men moved in, and much of the upthrusting has occurred in the short period since the retreat of the glaciers. It is impossible to express this precisely in years, but the span of time is almost infinitesimal when compared to the figures commonly used by geologists. Needless to say, the upthrusting was not a quite everyday event. Checking a couple of college textbooks used by my children, I found that practically nothing was said about mountain building and that the subject seems to baffle the scholars.”[261]

What is most baffling is Sagan acting as if this information is non-existent. His explanation of this evidence of the very recent rise of the mountain ranges to support his assertion would be most welcome. One can only suspect that he does not deal with it because it probably cannot be explained away to fit his uniformitarian time table.



Sagan states,

“The idea that mammoths were deep frozen by a rapid movement of the Earth’s geographical pole a few thousand years ago can be tested—for example, by carbon-14 or amino acid racemization dating. I should be very surprised if a very recent age results from such tests.”[262]

The use of amino acid racemization which Sagan suggests to carry out these tests has been found to be of little worth with porous bones. According to Gregory Heisler, .;“The Dating Game,” in Discover, (September, 1992), p. 82,

“In the 1970’s a flush of excitement over a technique called amino acid racemization led workers to believe that another continent—North America—had been occupied by humans fully 70,000 years ago. Further testing at the same American sites proved that the magical new method failed by one complete goose egg. The real age of the sites was closer to 7,000 years.”

On page 83 Heisler adds that, “amino acid racemization scorned for the last fifteen years, thanks to the discovery that the technique, unreliable when applied to porous bone, is quite accurate when used on hard ostrich egg shells.” To date mammoth bones requires dating of its porous materials, and therefore, the mechanism for dating of mammoths suggested by Sagan is of no value. With respect to Carbon-14 that is a different story.

What can one say then except that on page 275 of Charles Hapgood’s .;The Path of the Poles, we learn that “Radiocarbon” American Journal of Science, No. II, p. 43, had dated mammoth’s bone, M774, found in Santa Isabel Iztapan, State of Mexico, that was found associated with stone implements. Its radiocarbon date is 2,640 years old, plus or minus 200 years. This dates it quite close to Velikovsky’s last catastrophe of 2,700 years ago. In Radiocarbon, (Vol. 15, No. 1), a mammoth tusk from Bavaria, Germany, on the basis of averaging three separate dates is dated around 1900 B.C. Jim Hester’s .;“Late Pleistocene Extinction and Radio-carbon Dating,” in American Antiquity, (Vol. XXVI, 1960), pp. 57-77 has presented data that mammoth bones found in Florida mixed with other extinct animals and human artifacts was found to be 2000 years old based on radio carbon dating. These dates are simply dismissed because of a 10,000 year credo.

L. Krishtalka .;in Nature, Vol. 317 (1984) pp. 225-226 makes the explicit point that dating the extinction of the mammoths is used by theorists to maintain this 10,000 year credo. He states, “their selective acceptance of only ‘good’ dates—those that fit the model…for example, dates for human beings in North America no older than 12,000 yr B.C., and those for mammoths younger than 10,000 B.P.—may play fast and loose with evidence that doesn’t fit.” these assumed dates. What Krishtalka is claiming is that theorists will not accept when found, nor publish when found, dates of mammoth bones that are younger than 10,000 years. Only a few of these dates have somehow escaped detection and were printed. In our discussion of Carbon-14 dating, we will demonstrate that this selective acceptance of only dates that fit the accepted theory is common.

However, B. Bower .;reports that “Dwarf mammoths outlived last Ice Age” in Science News, (March 27, 1993), p. 197, “Woolly mammoths, those icons of the ice age that most paleontologists assumed died out around 9,500 years ago survived in miniature form…until about 4,000 years ago on a Arctic Ocean island according to new findings. Mammoth teeth found in 1991 on Wrangel Island located 120 miles off the coast of northeast Siberia range from approximately 7,000 to 4,000 years old, report Andrei V. Sher .V.;and Vadim E. Garutt, .E.;paleontologists at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.” According to Discover (January 1994), p. 54, “The tusk and bone fragments [of the Wrangel pigmy elephants] were younger still, just 3,730 years old.

Even Carl Sagan has come to the conclusion that certain Ice Age members of the elephant family survived well into historical times. In his book Comet, p. 273 Sagan suggests, “The last mastodon died perhaps as recently as 2000 B.C.” But if the mastodon survived into historical times is it really improbable that its cousin, the mammoth did not? Surely, if one form of elephant survived longer than assumed is it reasonable and plausible that the other forms did not, because dates for mammoth survival do exist in spite of the suppression of these findings.



Sagan then writes,

“Velikovsky believes that the Moon, not immune to the catastrophes which befell the Earth, had similar tectonic events occur on its surface a few thousand years ago, and that many of its craters were formed then… There are some problems with this idea as well: samples returned from the Moon in the Apollo mission show no rocks melted more recently than a few hundred million years ago.”[263]

It seems apparent that Sagan is quite sure about his evidence even though he states his position without citing where the evidence is found. The Moon formed with the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago and was heated then by its radioactive elements. Thus, the Moon was molten then and atomic dating processes will prove this. Let us see how old the Moon is by these dating processes to determine when it supposedly was last molten. Ian T. Taylor .T.;informs us that,

“The oldest rocks on earth have a reported age of 3.8 billions years. However, it was realized that the moon would have crusted over at about the same time as the earth; since there is no wind or water to cause erosion, it was believed moon rocks would provide a direct radiometric age for the earth. Sure enough, after retrieval of the moon rock samples in the Apollo program, Holme’s estimation was claimed to be exactly confirmed, and the age of the earth confidently stated in the popular press and textbooks to be 4.5 billion years. However, the official reports and scientific journals, in which actual results of the radiometric determinations were given, showed that the ages of the moon rock samples varied between 2 and 28 billion years [according to Whitcome and DeYoung .B.;who cite earth and Planetary Science Letters for 1972-77; Science, 1970, Vol. 167, pages 462-555]. Quite evidently, the data for public consumption had been selected to confirm the theory.”[264]

Based on modern theories, the universe was born about 20 billion years ago. If the Moon was molten when it was born, as Sagan seems to imply, it was molten 28 billion years ago or before the universe was born. Apparently Sagan does not wish to discuss this information or other relevant data about the Moon that contradicts his assertion about the age of the Moon’s last melting.



Sagan, in his book Comet, states,

“In its annual voyage around the Sun, the Earth runs into particles of the zodiacal [dust] cloud, mainly in the dawn hemisphere; more rarely, faster moving debris catches up with the Earth in its twilight hemisphere. The total being accumulated all over the planet is about a thousand tons of dust a day. The number of fine particles collected by stratospheric aircraft —U-2’s and others—is about what we would expect for particles in the zodiacal cloud captured by the moving Earth.”[265]

Ian T. Taylor .T.;informs us that,

“Petterson .;(1960) of the Swedish Oceanographic Institute, working on high mountain tops filtered measured quantities of air and analyzed the particles he found. Since the meteorites that have survived contain an average of 2.5 percent nickel, then the nickel content of the dust extracted, represented that which came from meteors rather than from terrestrial sources. From a knowledge of the total volume of the earth’s atmosphere, Petterson reckoned that 14 million tons of meteoric dust settled on the Earth’s surface each year; however, because of some variability in results, he concluded with a more conservative figure of five million tons… Isaac Asimov, .;the popular science writer, took the more liberal figure and concluded that at that rate, the dust piles up to about ten-millionths of an inch per year. This is certainly not much to get excited about. However, he then pointed out that over nearly five billion years, this would add up, if undisturbed to a layer of fifty-four feet deep over the entire surface of the earth. [See Isaac Asimov in Science Digest, January 1959.] Recalling that this dust is mostly iron and nickel oxides, it will be evident that no such layer or any trace of it is to be found; then, of course, it is argued that wind and water carried it all away and it is now in the ocean sediments.

“Asimov, writing at about the time the Apollo moon landing was being planned, was reflecting a concern among scientists that in the absence of wind and rain, a similar depth of dust would have accumulated on the moon’s surface… There was before them the prospect that the Apollo lunar module would land only to disappear by slowly sinking into the moon dust! To avoid this very possibility, the lunar module was equipped with large pad feet. On 21 July 1969, more than 600 million people watched as television transmitted mankind’s first footstep onto the Moon’s surface. Neil Armstrong’s .;reply to CBS interviewer Walter Cronkite .;is worth quoting since the opening dialogue, reported by Wilford .N.;of The New York Times, (21 July 1969, page 1), concerned the depth of the dust: ‘The surface is fine and powdery. I can pick it up loosely with my toe. It does adhere in fine layers like powdered charcoal to the sole and sides of my boots. I only go in a small fraction of an inch, maybe an eighth of an inch.’ As if to confirm this, astronauts Armstrong .;and Aldrin.; had great difficulty planting the American flag into the rocky and virtually dust-free ground, yet not one comment was made on the significance of the absence of the great depth of dust.”[266]

Furthermore, meteorites and comets also strike the lunar surface. These bodies are not slowed by an atmosphere, like that which covers the Earth. Upon impact, these bodies are traveling at such great velocity that they vaporize much of the impact area and throw dust in all directions that would fall back on the lunar surface. Donald Goldsmith .;in his book Nemesis the Death Star and Other Theories of Mass Extinction, (NY 1985), p. 25, informs us that a meteorite upon impact produces a crater, “five to ten times the object’s diameter, and would eject a vast quantity of matter upward and horizontally…most of the material ejected by the impact would be dust and grit.” In addition, passing comets would occasionally approach the Earth-Moon system and the dust from their tails sweeping over the Moon would cover the lunar surface with more dust. Kenneth Hsu .;;in his book The Great Dying, (NY 1986), pp. 189-190, states that, “A large comet need not even hit the earth to produce dust; a near miss would leave enough debris in the earth’s atmosphere to produce a complete blackout…” of the Sun over the entire globe. The same condition would most certainly also occur to the Moon even though the Moon lacks an atmosphere. Over the history of the solar system, a great many such close encounters must have occurred and left cometary dust on the lunar surface. In combination, the influx of interplanetary dust with the dust created by cometary and meteorite impacts and the close passages of comets that give off great amounts of dust, would produce a considerable depth of dust on the Moon. It is inconceivable that the dust layer on the Moon over a 4.6 billion period would only be one-eighth of an inch deep.

Harold Slusher .;in Age of the Cosmos, (San Diego 1980) has a chapter titled “Cosmic Dust Influx”. On page 41 he states,

“The Moon moves through the same region of space that the Earth does, and consequently, should have about the same influx of cosmic dust on its surface as on the Earth. Astronomers had been concerned that a lunar spaceship upon landing would sink into the supposed huge amount of dust that should have accumulated on the surface of the Moon in about 4.5 billion years of assumed time. The rocket would be stuck in layers of ‘mud’ and not be able to leave the Moon. Also, in the ‘sea’ [maria] areas, where lunar ships landed, there should have accumulated more dust than elsewhere on the Moon. Yet, the amount of dust is amazingly small. What could have happened to all the dust, assuming a 4.5 billion year old Moon?”

According to Bevan M. French .M.;in The Moon Book, (NY 1977), p. 144, there is only “1 to 2 percent of meteoric material [that] has been mixed with the ground-up lunar rock.” This presents a great problem. Based on the age of the Moon, its soil or regolith, as some astronomers refer to this debris on the lunar surface, should have a much greater percent of meteoric material. After all, the Moon has supposedly been bombarded by large and small meteors for 4.5 billion years. There is no process by which meteoric material that was pulverized by impact with the Moon could be removed. The present influx of meteors from meteor showers has supposedly been occurring periodically over these same billions of years. There is no plate tectonic motion on the Moon to subduct this material deep below the surface. The lunar soil is several meters or yards thick. Again, based on any reasonable analysis, the lunar soil should have a great deal more meteoric material than 1 or 2 percent.

Patrick Moore .;in Star and Sky, Vol. 1, p. 10 for April 1979 remarks that on the Moon, “meteoric material does seem to be in strangely short supply, and one of the world’s leading authorities on meteorites, G.J.H. McCall .J.H.;has even asked plaintively, ‘Where have all the mete­orites gone?’ if the Moon is 4.5 billion years old. The materials that should have collected over the long history of the Moon, namely dust and meteorites, are in extremely short supply.” Sagan does not discuss this; but perhaps he should explain this discrepancy. Now, should the layer of dust be far less deep by employing a very conservative estimate of it, nevertheless, it is not there in anything like the depth required to fit the notion that the Moon has been acquiring dust for 4.5 billion years. However, if much of the Moon with its surface dust melted because it had a catastrophic encounter with a huge comet-like body recently, then the enigma of its thin dust layer and the small meteoric content of its soil is in accordance with what is known.

In fact, Sagan in his book Comet, tells us that,

“If this cometary dust had fallen on the Earth over its entire history at the same rate that it does today, and if nothing destroyed it after landfall, there would be a dark, powdery layer about a meter thick everywhere on Earth. [And then Sagan adds]… If a single large comet were pulverized, and all its debris were spread smoothly over the Earth, a layer about a centimeter thick would result.”[267]

A centimeter is somewhat less than half an inch; therefore, if only a part of the dust of the passing comet fell on the Moon, as is clearly seen, the dust layer appears to be explained. Bevan M. French in The Moon Book, (NY 1978), pp. 203-204, states,

“The exposed surface of a lunar rock is a natural particle counter. The tiny, fast moving particles of cosmic dust that strike the rock produce tiny, glass-lined microcraters. If the exposure age of the rock is known, we need only count the craters on the exposed surface to calculate the rate at which the rock has been bombarded…

“So far as we know, the impact rate of small dust particles onto the moon has been constant throughout the past few million years. However, some recent studies have raised questions about this assumption. Scientists who make a complete study of the microcraters on a large Apollo 16 sample (60015)…were able to date the formation ages of single microcraters by studying the solar flare particle tracks preserved in the glass linings of each crater. The rock had been exposed on the lunar surface for about 80,000 years, but the data indicates that more microcraters had formed during the last 10,000 years than in the earlier stages of the rock’s exposure.

“Such a recent increase in microcrater formation would imply a sudden influx of dust size particles into the earth-moon region about 10,000 years ago. [Around the time of Venus’ birth from Jupiter] One possible explanation is the arrival of a new comet which began to shed dust as it passed close to the sun.”



This then brings us back to the question of when the Moon was last molten. NASA was indeed quite interested in this question as was Velikovsky who sent a letter to the New York Times, on August 5, 1971 in which he requested that core samples of lunar soil be extracted from a depth of three feet and be subjected to thermolumi­nescence testing. Velikovsky contended this would show that the Moon was molten in historical times. NASA did have such tests performed of which Sagan should be aware. The tests were carried out by R. Walker .;of Washington University, St. Louis, as reported in Kronos, (Winter-1977), pp. 37-38. However, the cores were from only six inch soil depths and not three feet as Velikovsky suggested. Thus, the material would be affected by the long 14 day lunar day period. Since the Moon lacks an atmosphere like the Earth’s, it is subject to greater solar radiation. In spite of all this, the shallow lunar core sample tested by Walker showed that the Moon had been molten less than 10,000 years ago—not hundreds of millions of years ago as Sagan had represented.

How reliable is a thermoluminescence test? From New Scientist, we learn about a priest, Father Eugene Stockton, .;who discovered tools that apparently were made by Paleolithic man of Australia. He brought his find to the University of Woolongong where it was subjected to tests.

“Initially, the investigators at the university dated the tools as being 27,000 years old. But when Gerald Nanson .;and Bob Young .;reanalyzed the tools last year (1986) with a more reliable technique called thermolumi­nescence, they established their true age.[268] [emphasis added]

The science writers of New Scientist say that “thermoluminescence tests” are “reliable”. The space scientists of NASA are certainly aware of the reliability of this dating method. That is clearly why they undertook testing of lunar soil by Walker. Thus, once again, when Sagan claims that the Moon was last molten millions of years ago, he was ignoring plain evidence. Furthermore, the fit of the small amount of dust on the Moon taken together with the date indicated by the thermoluminescence test indicates the Moon was molten only a few thousand years ago.

If indeed the Moon was heated by tidal effects 3,500 to 2,700 years ago, it should still retain some of this residual heat. Velikovsky claimed in the New York Times, for July 21, 1969, a few feet under the lunar surface a steep thermal gradient would be discovered. The space scientists held that the Moon was a cold body and that there would be hardly any heat in the gradient. Time magazine, p. 67, reported that the lunar heat gradient was “surprisingly high.”[269] Bevan M. French .M.;in The Moon Book, (NY 1978), p. 103, states,

“The Apollo 15 astronauts drilled two holes 1 to 2 meters deep and about 2 centimeters in diameter into the lunar soil. Into each hole they lowered a long probe with sensitive electrical thermometers placed along its entire length… Data from the thermometers revealed that the temperature was 1 degree Celsius higher at the bottom of the hole than at the top.”

Some scientists were so upset by these high readings that they “suggested…instrument malfunctions.”[270] This corroborates the ther­moluminescence tests and the dust layer evidence as well.

Further, Velikovsky writing in Pensée, Vol. 2, No. 2 (1972), p. 19, “When Was the Lunar Surface Last Molten?” cites Thomas Gold’s .;“Apollo II Observations of a Remarkable Glazing Phenomenon on the Lunar Surface”, Science, Vol. 165 (1969).

“Gold looking for a cause of the glazing assumed ‘a giant solar outburst in geologically recent times’… How recent? ‘The glazing occurred less than 30,000 years ago: otherwise, the glaze would have been eroded and dusted over by slow bombardment of the moon by cosmic dust…the event must have taken place some thousands of years ago…to allow enough time for the metal-plating process to coat the glass.”

Thus, the glass patches lying on the lunar soil give evidence of very recent large thermal changes on the Moon.



There are additional points regarding the age of the dust found in interplanetary space. First, J.P. Bradley, .P.;et. al., in a discussion of dust in interplanetary space published in Science, Vol. 226 (1984), p. 1432, states,

“Nuclear tracks have been identified in interplanetary dust particles (IDP’s) collected from the stratosphere. The presence of tracks unam­biguously confirms the extraterrestrial nature of IDP’s and the high track densities (1010 to 1011 per square centimeter) suggest an exposure age of approximately 104 years [10,000 years] within the inner solar system.”

Thus, even the age of interplanetary dust can be no older than 10,000 years. Although some scientists believe the dust may be replenished by short-period comets, some others such as Bradley feel comets represent an inadequate source. Nevertheless, the large quantities of youthful dust strongly imply very recent catastrophism in the solar system. The dust should show a variety of ages going back at least 30,000 years!

Bradley’s view is now accepted as correct. Sky and Telescope, March 1989, p. 243, informs us that, “For some time, astronomers have known that comets do not [at present] produce enough dust to main­tain the zodiacal dust clouds.” Research indicates forty percent of this dust could come from asteroid collisions.

Second, the question is, where is this dust found distributed in the solar system? According to Velikovsky, the catastrophic events he described all occurred inside and between the orbits of Jupiter and Mercury. Therefore, interplanetary dust should be located inside this space. In giving birth to Venus, an enormous amount of dust would have been produced inside the orbit of Jupiter, and that is what is found. Mitchell M. Waldrop .M.;and Richard Kerr .A.;in an article titled “IRAS Science Briefing” in Science, Vol. 222, (1983), p. 916, claim that the Infrared Astronomy Satellite found a vast ring of dust between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Velikovsky also pointed out in Earth in Upheaval, p. 288, back in 1955 that,

“The zodiacal light, or the glow seen in the evening sky after sunset, stretching in the path of the sun and other planets (ecliptic), the mysterious origin of which has for a long time occupied the minds of astronomers, has been explained in recent years as the reflection of the solar light from two rings of dust particles one following the orbit of Venus.”

Hence, the rings of dust are located where the cataclysms described by Velikovsky also occurred. If, as Velikovsky claimed, proto-planet Venus was a comet whose orbit decayed and changed from an ellip­tical one which brought it close to Earth to the one it currently follows only a few thousand years ago, then it should have also left zodiacal dust as a ring between the Earth and itself. Over a few thou­sand years this dust ring should have migrated so that its materials are distributed inward, that is, closer to the Sun. It should be remembered that the dust tails of comets point away from the Sun.

C. Leinert, .;et. al., have discovered this torus of zodiacal dust and in their article, “The Zodiacal Light From 1.0 to 0.3 AU as Observed by the Helios Space Probes”, Astron. Astrophys., Vol. 103, (1981), pp. 177-188. Their paper discusses several years of analyzing zodiacal light by the Helios Space Probes. They report that both probes show a torus of zodiacal dust between the orbit of the Earth and 0.3 AU. Furthermore, the dust thins out over this distance. Interestingly, the authors admit that they can find no explanation for this unusual discovery.

This dust evidence again supports Velikovsky’s thesis respecting the changing orbit of Venus.

Third, according to Waldrop and Kerr, the dust is swept into the Sun by the Poynting-Robertson effect in at most 20 to 30 thousand years. However, the measured age of the planetary dust particles, based directly on counting nuclear particle tracks, is only about 10,000 years. Both results imply that these dust clouds in orbit about the Sun are extremely young.

The evidence of the interplanetary dust is surprisingly in full accord with Velikovsky’s hypothesis. It is young; it is found at the places where celestial catastrophes are described to have occurred, and it has not been removed by the solar wind and/or drawn into the Sun.

On the surface of the Moon, on the ice cap in Greenland and in interplanetary space, the evidence from celestial dust is in full accord with Velikovsky’s thesis.



Sagan then states,

“Furthermore, if lunar craters were to have formed abundantly 2,700 or 3,500 years ago, there must have been a similar production at the same time of terrestrial craters larger than a kilometer across. Erosion on the Earth’s surface is inadequate to remove any crater of this size in 2,700 years. There are not large numbers of terrestrial craters of this size and age, indeed, there is not a single one.”[271]

In Earth in Upheaval, Velikovsky devotes a chapter to this topic titled “The Carolina Bays” in which we find,

“Peculiar elliptical depressions or ‘oval craters’ locally called ‘bays’, are thickly scattered over the Carolina coast of the United States and more sparsely over the entire Atlantic coastal plain from southern New Jersey to northeastern Florida. The marshy depressions are numbered in the tens of thousands and according to the latest estimate, their number may reach half a million [See Douglas Johnson, .;The Origin of the Carolina Bays, (1942) W.F. Prouty .F.;“Carolina Bays and Their Origin”, Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, LXIII, (1952) pages 167-224].

“Measurements made on more prominent ones seaward from Darlington, show that the larger bays average 2,200 feet [2/3 of a kilometer] in length and in single cases exceed 8,000 feet. [Over 2 1/2 kilometers or more than a mile and a half.] A remarkable feature of these depressions is their parallelism: the long axis of each of them extends from northwest to southeast, and the precision of the parallelism is ‘striking.’ Around the bays are rims of earth, invariably elevated at the southeastern end. These oval depressions may be seen especially well in aerial photographs. Any theory of their origin must explain their form, the ellipticity of which increases with the size of the bays; their parallel alignment; and the elevated rims at their southeastern ends.

“In 1933 a theory was presented by Melton and Schriever of the University of Oklahoma, [See F.A. Melton .A.;and A.W. Schriever, .W.;‘The Carolina Bays—Are They Meteorite Scars?’, Journal of Geology XLI, 1933], according to which the bays are scars left by a ‘meteoric shower or colliding comet.’ Since then the majority of authors who have dealt with the problem have accepted this view, and it has found its way into textbooks as the usual interpretation. [See D. Johnson .;above, The Origin of the Carolina Bays, p. 4.] The authors of the theory stress the fact that ‘Since the origin of the bays apparently cannot be explained by the well-known types of geological activity, an extraordinary process must be found. Such a process is suggested by the elliptical shape, the parallel alignment, and the systematic arrangement of elevated rims.’

[According to Melton and Schriever above, Journal of Geology, XLI p. 56], The comet must have struck the northwest, ‘If the cosmic masses approached this region from the northwest, the major axes would have the desired alignment.’ The time when the catastrophe took place was estimated at sometime during the Ice Age. …The deposition of sand and silt, a process which doubtlessly occurred while the region was covered by the sea during the terrace-forming marine invasion of the Pleistocene [glacial] period. But the possibility was also envisaged that ‘the collision took place’ through ‘the shallow ocean water during the marine invasion’ [after the end of the Ice Age]. The swarm of meteorites must have been large enough to hit an area from Florida to New Jersey.

“Some critics disagree with the idea that the bays originated in the Ice Age or ‘are relatively ancient,’ and place their origin in more recent time. [See D. Johnson, Origin of the Carolina Bays, p. 5] The craters were produced by meteoric impact, either by direct hits or by explosion in the air close to the ground, thus causing the formation of vast numbers of depressions. Some of the bays, it is assumed, are on the bottom of the ocean. It was stressed [by C.P. Olivier, .P.;Meteors, (1925), p. 240] that ‘a very large number of meteorites have been discovered in the southern Appalachian region, in Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee.’”[272]

It should also be noted that this coastal region is subjected repeatedly by seasonal hurricanes, to weathering and erosion. But these storms of wind and rain have not erased these craters; hence their fresh circular rims indicate that they are only a few thousand years old.

A very short lived geological phenomenon, for example, is a small lake. Over a few thousand years, detritus flowing into lakes fills them with sediment and they disappear. This is made explicit by geologist Ronald B. Parker of the University of California at Berkeley in The Tenth Muse, (NY 1986), p. 76 wherein he states,

“As any geologist will tell you, lakes are temporary features in the long term…be assured, that in the time frame of geologists, a life span of a few hundred or a thousand years is temporary. The fact is that lakes do become filled in with sediment and accumulated organic matter over periods of many years to form rich agricultural land in temperate climates, dry playas in desert regions… [etc.]”

In this regard, an article in the Journal of Geology, Vol. 57 (1949), titled “Oriented Lakes of Northern Alaska” described lakes quite similar in structure to the Carolina Bays. The distribution of the Alaskan lakes is spread out over an area of 25,000 square miles of the Arctic coastal plane which is equivalent in the area to the Carolina Bays. There are, according to the authors, tens of thousands of lakes or lake basins. The sizes of the lakes are from a few tens of feet; the largest lakes are 9 miles long and 3 miles wide, many with averages between 1 and 3 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. Their shapes are generally elliptical, cigar shaped, rectangular, ovoid or egg shaped, while others are deformed by ice action. The lakes are parallel to each other, intersect or overlap one another just as the Carolina Bays. Often the lakes are arranged in rows also just as the Carolina Bays.[273]

In New Scientist, evidence of cratering on the ocean bottom is reported. We are informed that,

“The topography of the sea floor around Britain, like that of its land area, has formed over many thousands of years and results from many well understood processes. So it is surprising that recent studies have discovered a wide expanse of a sea bed in the middle of the North Sea—15,000 and 20,000 square kilometers in area -which appears on the sonar pictures to have a topography much like a miniature lunar landscape…”[274]

The craters are between 33 and 330 feet in diameter. The authors of the article go on to say that the craters are generally elliptical and tend to have a common direction of elongation. This is like the Carolina Bays and Alaskan lakes and, like those craters, the North Sea craters tend to form lines in the same direction. Small meteorites falling into the sea would lose much of their force and thus, produce shallower and smaller craters in general. This is what is observed in the North Sea.

However, a swarm of larger meteors falling at a higher angle to the surface of the Earth would create more highly circular craters. In this respect, it is interesting that Commander Jacques-Yves Cousteau, .;the famous French sea explorer, discovered such circular craters in the Caribbean Sea. His discovery is reported by Janet Gregory in FSR. She relates that Cousteau, after returning home to his base in Monaco in the south of France, told of strings of circular blue holes that he and scientists aboard the Calypso observed on the floor of the Caribbean. These circular blue holes, when they were explored, were discovered to be highly circular depressions, each about 300 yards (900 feet) in diameter, but only a few feet deep. Apparently, some formed lines about 25 miles long. This would extrapolate to between 300 to 400 shallow craters for each linear arrangement. Thus, there would be thousands or tens of thousands and possibly a few hundred thousand of these craters in the sea bed of the Caribbean. What Cousteau claimed was that these craters were scooped out of rocks in the sea bed. This implies explosive force.[275]

I.N. Lancaster, .N.;in the Geographical Journal, Vol. 144, (1978), p. 81, states of oriented lakes in the Kalahari Desert that,

“The pans or small dry or ephemeral lakes, of the southern Kalahari in Botswana, are contained in shallow, sub-circular to sub-elliptical, enclosed depressions in the surface sandwich mantle of the region.”

No one knows the precise cause of these oriented lakes, but S.J. Shand .J.;in the Scientific Monthly, Vol. 62, (1946), p. 95 describes one of these lakes which is 1,500 yard long and 1,000 yards wide and is surrounded by a sandy rampart 30 to 50 feet high. He claims that there are thousands of similar such lakes on the coastal plain of South Africa, with many more in the dry interior. The closeness in similarity to the Carolina Bays is found to be quite strong, implying a similar origin. No such lakes are being formed anywhere on the Earth at present.

L.P. Killigrew .P.;and R.J. Gilkes .J.;in Nature, Vol. 247, (1974), p. 454, describes playa lakes of southwestern Australia. These lakes number in the thousands and range in size from 4 thousandths to over 100 square kilometers. Large numbers are elliptical and exhibit a slightly west to north orientation. From aerial photographs in the article, these lakes also show many features similar to the Carolina Bays. In “Oriented Lakes and Lineaments of Northeastern Bolivia”, George Plafker .;writes in the Geological Society of American Bulletin, Vol. 75, (1964), p. 503, stating that these,

“Oriented lakes occur over an area of roughly 45,000 square miles in the Beni basin where the water table is at or near the surface. They extend from the margin of the Brazilian shield outcrop, westward to within 20 miles of the sub-Andean zone. In the area of detailed study there were 104 oriented and dry lakes more than 1 km in length, and almost an equal number of lakes less than 1 km in maximum dimension. Lakes constitute 3 percent of the total area with roughly one lake more than 1 km long per 40 square miles… Most of the lakes in the Beni basin have axes or long straight segments of shoreline that tend within 10 degrees of N. 45 degrees E. or 45 degrees W. Lake shorelines in the mapped area either oriented in one or both of these two directions or are completely unoriented. The lakes range from about 1,000 feet square to 12.4 miles long by 5.4 miles wide.”

Plafker also tells us about lakes he observed on the Old Crow Plain of Canada in the Yukon Territory which are also oriented and appear to be similar to those he described in Bolivia. It is quite probable that all these oriented lakes were formed around the same time by meteoric explosions and then affected by the wind, water and ice if they are located in areas with cold climates. But it should be remembered that lakes have lifetimes of only a few thousand years and thus, these lakes are quite young. Sagan claimed that there was not a single recent crater over a kilometer in diameter to be found on the surface of the Earth. In a sense he is correct because there is not one, but several thousand such recent craters. In this sense he is also quite wrong. Thus, when discussing the question of recent craters, he writes, “On these questions [of terrestrial cratering] Velikovsky seems to have ignored critical evidence.”[276] When the evidence is examined, it strongly contraindicates Sagan’s assertion.

As to more accurately dated craters of recent origin, Lewis M. Greenberg .M.;states,

“As it happens, the Barringer crater in Arizona (1.2 km in diameter) whose presently accepted age is 50,000 years, once had it age fixed at 2,000 to 3,000 years by Barringer .;and from 5,000 to 10,000 years by Tilghman. (See E.L. Krinov, .L.;Giant Meteorites, Oxford, (1966), p. 104) The Indians who settled in this district are well acquainted with the crater’s existence. ‘They have a legend that at one time one of their gods descended from Heaven in blazing magnificence to find rest beneath the ground.’ (Krinov pp. 82-83) Since archaeologists estimate that man did not appear in this region until 20-25,000 years ago, the Indian legend has proven to be somewhat disconcerting. It has even caused Nininger .H.;to note ‘the possibility of a discrepancy in the estimates of the crater’s age.’ The New Quebec Crater (3.2 km in diameter) has been estimated by Meen to be between 3,000 and 15,000 years [old] (Krinov, p. 52). I would also refer Sagan to the work of F. Dachille .;(“Interactions of the Earth with Very Large Meteorites, Bulletin of South Carolina Academy of Sciences, Vol. 24, 1962), who mentions the discovery of a possible crater basin, 240 km in diameter and 5-10,000 years [old] in date, under the Antarctic ice near Long. 14 degrees E. Lat. 70 degrees S.

“Of more than passing interest is a ‘proven’ meteorite impact crater at Kaalijarvi, Estonia SSR (150 m) which has been dated to ca. 710-580 B.C. (See Radiocarbon, Vol. 8, (1966), p. 436). Independently, Krinov (op. cit., p. 40) considers that the age of this crater is approximately 4,000 -5,000 years.”[277]



Sagan states,

“Velikovsky believes that the close passage of Venus or Mars to the Earth would have produced tides miles high [that is]…hundreds of miles high. This is easily calculated… To the best of my knowledge, there is no geological evidence for a global inundation of all parts of the world at any time between the sixth and fifteenth centuries B.C. If such floods had occurred, even if they were brief, they should have left some clear trace in the geological record.”[278]

As was stated earlier, Velikovsky’s theory is that the Ice Age ended by a catastrophe which among other events caused oceanic flooding of much of the Earth’s land masses. Thus, let us examine the evidence. Stephen J. Gould .J.;informs us that,

“In 1923, J. Harlan Bretz .H.;proposed a striking and unorthodox explanation for the channeled scablands of Eastern Washington. This peculiar topography is developed within a series of elongated basins called coulees… They are traceable up gradient to the southern extent of the last glaciation and down gradient to the Snake or Columbia rivers…the peculiar features [of the area suggest]…that the channels were once filled with water to a great height; the deep gouging of basalt within the channels…[and other evidence] does not look like the ordinary work of rivers…

“Bretz concluded, therefore, that the coulees had been carved by a single gigantic flood that had filled them to a depth of more than 1,000 feet, had cut through hundreds of feet of basalt in places and had ended in a matter of days. He envisioned the scope of the event as follows:

‘Fully 3,000 square miles of the Columbia plateau were swept by the glacial flood, and the loess and silt cover removed. More than 2,000 square miles of this area were left as bare, eroded, rock cut channel floors, now the scablands, and nearly 1,000 square miles carry gravel deposits derived from the eroded basalt. It was a debacle [catastrophe] which swept the Columbia Plateau. (Bretz 1923, p. 649).’

“Bretz’s hypothesis evoked from the geological establishment a flood of commentary, nearly all of it negative. The common theme running through all of this criticism was the rejection of his ideas in favor of gradualistic explanations, often on à priori grounds.”[279]

Today the truth of a gigantic flood is accepted by the scientific community, but only on the à priori ground that the flood was caused when an ice dam broke and a huge glacial lake emptied. However, a tidal wave sweeping the glacier would produce the same effect. In fact, W.C. Hunt rejects the suggestion that an ice dam could hold water estimated to be 2,100 feet deep. He writes in Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology, (1977), Vol. 25, p. 468, that the depth of water in Lake Missoula held by an ice dam “is an impossibility” and goes on to state, “When one considers that modern engineering employs bedrock grouting for securing the footings of 500 foot (150 m) dams, it must strike any reader as virtually frivolous to suggest that chance emplacement of glacial ice might have dammed Clark Fork across a 7 mile (11 km) span lacking in intermediate abutments, and then retained water at four times the pressure of modern engineered concrete dams!” Hunt proved that the dam was actually emplaced elsewhere and “would have had an unsupported length of approx­imately 50 mi (80 km).” Such a length of dam made of chance-placed ice is incredible. Thus, it is highly probable that the flood was not caused by a dammed lake. To flood this area, the tidal wave must have come either from the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico which were not covered by the ice sheet during the last Ice Age.

In this respect we return to the thesis of Warren C. Hunt published in the Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology. Hunt presents just this hypothesis, that a tidal wave swept over North America from the ocean at the end of the Ice Age. He claims that the erratic stones of Alberta, Canada lie on materials that are radiocarbon dated to be quite young. Therefore, the erratic boulders, some of them huge, which lie upon the young detritus could not have been pushed by the ice into this area after the detritus was laid down because the ice had melted. Hunt maintains that the only way to produce this phenomenon is to have an oceanic tidal wave do the job. He writes,

“If such a tide had come in…and inundated the Athabaska Valley, up to 5,000 feet (1823 meters) or so above sea level, it would have floated the glacier in the 50 or so miles (80 km) comprising the probable rock source. That such a phenomenon could have happened and, in fact, probably did happen, is the thesis of this paper.

“Violent earthquaking would have been the first event, perhaps due to proximal passage of a cosmic body. Seismicity is conceived to have caused collapse of mountains and ridges with consequent avalanching out upon the surface of the Athabaska Valley glacier. That event was followed by a great tide from the Gulf of Mexico.”[280]

Hunt then gives evidence of relic beaches and evaporate deposits of Lake Bonneville to reinforce his thesis. In summation Hunt states that, “The concept of a celestial body interfering with Earth gravity to cause great tides is not alien to the theory of uniformitarianism.”[281]

Velikovsky states in the chapter titled “Sea and Land Change Places” in Earth in Upheaval,

“The most renowned naturalist to come from the generation of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars was Georges Cuvier. .;He was the founder of vertebrate paleontology, or the science of fossil bones, and the science of extinct animals. Studying the finds made in the gypsum formation of Montmarte in Paris and those elsewhere in France and the European continent in general, he came to the conclusion that in the midst of even the oldest strata of marine formations there are other strata replete with animals or plant remains of terrestrial or fresh-water form; and that among the most recent strata, or those that are nearest the surface, there are land animals buried under heaps of marine sediments.” [Cuvier wrote] ‘It has frequently happened that lands which had been laid dry, have been again covered by the waters, in consequence either of their being engulfed in the abyss, or of the sea having merely risen over them… These repeated irruptions and retreats of the sea have neither all been slow nor gradual; on the contrary, most of the catastrophes which had occasioned them have been sudden; and this is especially easy to be proven, with regard to the last of these catastrophes, that which, by a twofold motion, had inundated, and afterwards laid dry, our present continents, or at least a part of the land which forms them at the present day.’”[282] [See Georges Cuvier, Essay on the Theory of the Earth, (5 ed.; 1827), pp. 13-14 English Translation]

Cuvier contends that he is not speaking of Europe only, but that the flood inundated “our present continents.” Velikovsky presents a great deal of evidence to support this flood episode. Now, if indeed the continents were flooded, then the level of the oceans would have been lowered. Is there evidence that there was a drop in the ocean level 3,500 years ago? In fact, Velikovsky presents a chapter, “Dropped Ocean Level” in Earth in Upheaval, in which we find:

“In many places of the world the seacoast shows either submerged or raised beaches. The previous surf line is seen on the rock of raised beaches; where the coast became submerged, the earlier water life is found chiseled by the surf in the rock below the present level of the sea. Some beaches were raised to a height of many hundred feet, as in the case of the Pacific coast of Chile, where Charles Darwin .;observed that the beach must have risen 1,300 feet only recently—‘within the period during which upraised shells have remained undecayed on the surface.’ He thought also that the ‘most probable’ explanation would be that the coast level, with ‘whole and perfectly preserved shells,’ was ‘at one blow uplifted above the future reach of the sea,’ following an earthquake. In the Hawaiian Islands there is a 1,200 foot raised beach. On Espiritu Santo Island in the New Hebrides in the southern Pacific, corals are found 1,200 feet above sea level…

“In numerous instances evidences of submergence and emergence are seen on the same rock. One such case we have…the Rock of Gibraltar. To a lesser degree the phenomenon is repeated in Bermuda…

“These changes date from different ages, but common to all of them is the absence of intermediate surf lines; if the emergence or submergence had been gradual, intermediate surf lines would be seen in the rock.

“R.A. Daly .A.;observed that in a great many places all around the world there is a uniform emergence of the shore line of eighteen to twenty feet. [That is, the sea level dropped 18 to 20 feet] In the southwest Pacific, on the islands of Tutuila, Tau and Ofu and on Rose atoll, all belonging to the Samoan group but spread over two hundred miles, the same emergence is evident. In Daly’s opinion, this uniformity indicates that the rise was due to ‘something else than crustal warping.’ A force pushing from inside would not be ‘so uniform throughout a stretch 200 miles long.’ [See R.A. Daly, Our Mobile Earth, p. 177] Nearly halfway around the world, at St. Helena in the South Atlantic, the lava is punctuated by dry sea caves, the floors of which are covered with water-worn pebbles, ‘now dusty because untouched by the surf.’ The emergence here is also twenty feet. At the Cape of Good Hope caves and beaches ‘also prove recent and sensibly uniform emergence to the extent of about 20 feet.’

“Daly proceeds: ‘Marine terraces, indicating similar emergence, are found along the Atlantic coast from New York to the Gulf of Mexico; for at least 1,000 miles along the coast of eastern Australia; along the coasts of Brazil, southwest Africa, and many islands of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans; and in all these and other published cases, the emergence is recent as well as the order of magnitude. Judging from the condition of the beaches, terraces and caves, the emergence seems to have been simultaneous on every shore.’ [See Our Mobile Earth, p. 178]

“Of course Daly also found many places where the change in the position of the shoreline was of a different magnitude, but ‘these local exceptions prove the rule.’ In his opinion, the cause of the world-wide emergence of the shore lies in the sinking of the level of all seas of the globe, ‘a recent world-wide sinking of ocean level’ which could have been caused by water being drawn from the oceans to build the ice caps of Antarctica and Greenland. Alternately, Daly thinks it could also have resulted from deepening of the oceans or from an increase of their area.

“P.H. Kuenen .H.;of Leyden University, in his Marine Geology, finds Daly’s claims confirmed: [in Marine Geology, (1950), p. 538, Kuenen writes], ‘In thirty-odd years following Daly’s first paper many further instances have been recorded by a number of investigators the world over, so that this recent shift is now well established.’

“Whatever was the cause of the phenomenon observed, it was not the result of a slow change; in such a case we would have intermediate shore lines between the present surf line and the twenty-foot line on the same beaches, but there were none.

“Of special interest is the time of change. According to Daly [in Our Mobile Earth, p. 179], ‘This increase of the ice cap or caps has been tenta­tively referred to late Neolithic time, about 3,500 years ago. At that approximate date, there was some chilling of the northern hemisphere at least, following a prolonged period when the world climate was distinctly warmer than now. Late-Neolithic man lived in Europe 3,500 years back.’

“As to the date of the sudden drop of oceanic level, Kuenen writes [in Marine Geology, p. 538], ‘The time of the movement was estimated by Daly to be probably some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. Detailed field work in the Netherlands and in eastern England has shown a recent eustatic depression of the same order of magnitude as deduced by Daly. Here the time can be fixed as roughly 3,000 to 3,500 years ago.’ Thus, the work in the Netherlands and in England confirmed not only Daly’s finding, but also his dating. The ocean level dropped, of course, all over the world. It was not a slow subsidence of the bottom, or a slow spread of the ocean over land, or a slow evaporation of oceanic water: whatever it was, it was sudden and therefore, catastrophic.”[283]

Some scientists have challenged Daly’s thesis. R.T. Walcott, .T.;in Quaternary Research, Vol. 2 for 1972, claims that the beaches should be understood as the result of the rebound of the Earth’s crust because of postglacial rebound. This would only make sense if all the continents were covered by the ice cap or that there were many intermediate beaches. There is no such evidence for this conclusion. In addition, the Samoan Islands and Marquesas in the Pacific Ocean and other tropical islands of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans are not part of the continents, but show the same oceanic change. To maintain that both glaciated and non-glaciated shore lines emerged because of postglacial rebound on all continents and that this same phenomenon produced the same evidence on islands at great distances from the continents is without a mechanism and thus, lacks foundation.

Let us examine this from another view point. If there were enor­mous tidal waves on the oceans, would they not annihilate human inhabitants that probably lived on the islands of the oceans, and there­fore, human habitation of these islands would date only from after 3,500 years B.P.? In this respect, Brian M. Fagan .M.;in The Great Journey, (London 1987), p. 75, tells us that,

“The tropical routes [from Asia to America] are thousands of miles longer [than the Aleutian route] and involve unpredictable wind patterns, prolonged calms, and weeks-on-end out of sight of land. Whatever Pacific route might have been followed, prehistoric migrants would have to possess a technology capable of building strong boats to use on the open sea. And here crucially we can consider the evidence of the first colonization of Polynesia, the vast Pacific region that includes New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island. Countless excavations have shown that not until 3,500 years ago, with the advent of the outrigger canoe, did this whole area begin to be colonized. Before then, there were simply no human inhabitants at all.”

Again, the date 3,500 years ago corresponds to the evidence that Velikovsky developed.

This concept that ancient man could not travel the seas prior to 3500 B.P. is now known to be in error. It is contradicted by what we know of the Indian Archaic of North America who lived 8,000 to about 4,000 years ago, and then suddenly disappeared. They are known to have been able to travel on the oceans in large ocean going canoes. Thus, the appearance of humans in the Pacific indicates that the Pacific was swept by tidal waves around 3,500 years ago and within a century ancient man began to recolonize the islands. The oceans all dropped about 20 feet 3,500 years ago and this is observed by mass extinctions found on the continents. Thus, Sagan’s statement that “there is no geological evidence for a global inundation of all parts of the world either in the eighth or in the fifteenth centuries B.C.”[284] shows once again, his great reluctance to approach the evidence produced by fellow scientists that supports Velikovsky.



Sagan wishes to know, “Where are the extensive faunal extinctions…” if such a catastrophe as Velikovsky describes in Worlds in Collision had taken place.[285] Critics of Velikovsky’s theory would argue that the fossil remains of animals that became extinct when the Ice Age ended are at least 10,000 years old and not 3,500 years old. To discuss this argument scientifically, evidence of the recentness or lateness of the mass extinction that accompanied the end of the Ice Age is necessary. In this respect, an article from Science News Letter, sheds some light.

“Radical changes in our ideas of the course of events in recent geological time—say the last half million years or so—may be brought about by the discovery in Utah of the unfossilized skull of an extinct camel, with a bit of dried flesh still clinging to the bone. The relatively fresh condition of the specimen argues that its one-time possessor died only a few centuries or millennia ago; present ideas hold that this particular sort of camel did become extinct a half-million years ago. If this camel really died so long ago, the bone should have been largely or wholly replaced by stone, and there should have been no flesh on it at all.

“The find was reported by Prof. Alfred S. Romer .S.;of the University of Chicago. The skull was sent to him by Prof. A.L. Mathews .L.;of the University of Utah for examination.

“Prof. Romer’s first guess was that it might be a relic of a herd of dromedaries imported into the Southwest during the 1870’s as an experiment which terminated unsuccessfully. But a critical examination of its anatomical details showed many points of close resemblance to the skulls of very ancient extinct American camels, and marked differences from those of existing Asiatic and African forms. In his opinion, the animal belonging to the genus Camelops which is supposed to have been extinct for at least half a million years.

“Prof. Romer’s tentative answer to the riddle is not that the skull has remained unfossilized, yet undestroyed, for half a million years, but that the species did not become extinct then, surviving instead until comparatively recent times.

“Such an answer, he points out, would also help to settle the conflict over the antiquity of man in America. Many scientists refuse to accepts as authentic the occasional finds made on the continent of stone or bone implements associated with the remains of animals supposed to have been extinct for hundreds of thousands of years. Prof. Romer states that other recently discovered remains of camels, lions and other animals in the West also hint at a longer survival of these extinct beasts than has hitherto been supposed.”[286]



What is, furthermore, pertinent to the evidence is radiocarbon dating. W. Dort .;published results in the Antarctic Journal of the United States that freshly slaughtered seals when subjected to radiocarbon analysis are dated to be 1,300 years old.[287] B. Hubner .;published results in The Physiology of Forest Trees that wood from a growing tree when radiocarbon dated was found to be 10,000 years old.[288] And M. Keith .;and G. Anderson .;published results in Science that the shells of living mollusks when radiocarbon dated was found to be 2,300 years old.[289] Thus, the dating by radiocarbon, though much respected by the scien­tific community, is not without serious problems. It is believed that such a method is perhaps accurate back no more than 50,000 years. However, dinosaur bones, coal and oil that are supposed to be mil­lions of years old have yielded radiocarbon dates.[290] This is supposed to be impossible.

In fact, J. Ogden .;of a Carbon-14 testing laboratory wrote an article titled, “The Use and Abuse of Radiocarbon” in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science, where we learn that an investigator that brings a specimen for testing is actually to supply the date that he will accept for the age of the material. Then if a date is found that is close to the figure that has been requested, it is published with plus and minus tolerance levels that appear to make the test appear honest. Ogden states, “It may come as a shock to some, but fewer than 50 percent of the radiocarbon dates from geological and archaeological samples in northeastern North American have been adopted as ‘acceptable’ by investigators.”[291] R.E. Lee .E.;in an article titled “Radiocarbon: Ages in Error”, in Anthropological Journal of Canada, (1981) 19 (3):9 p. 25, states,

“The necessity for calibration over the last 7,000 years is well recognized and attended to, while the probable error in older dates receives no practical consideration at all. At a range of 20,000 to 30,000 years, it is true, one can only guess at the full extent of the problem. But one can be reasonably sure about its trend: too young.” [Lee’s emphasis]

He goes on to say on page 27, “Radiocarbon method is still not capable of yielding accurate and reliable results. There are gross discrepancies, the chronology is uneven and relative, and the accepted dates are actually selected dates.” Lee then cites R. Stuchenrath .;in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, (1977), Vol. 288, p. 188, who informs us that “This whole blessed thing is nothing but 13th century alchemy and it all depends upon which funny paper you read.”

These statements from workers in the field of radiocarbon dating show that such evidence is not to be relied on as many textbooks have claimed.

Frank C. Hibben in The Lost Americans, revised and updated (NY 1968), in his chapter “Radioactive Times” discussed the process of Carbon-14 dating. After outlining several of the problems associated with using this method, he states on pp. 139-140, “Even with these drawbacks and pitfalls…archaeologists and laboratory technicians began to hammer out the exact history of the earliest Americans. The dates badly out of line were disregarded.” [emphasis added] What we are told is Carbon-14 dates show extinct animals and trees may well have lived into historical times; but because these dates do not fit the preconceived theory that the Ice Age ended far more recently than the Carbon-14 evidence shows, these dates are simply disregarded.

How common is the activity of disregarding Carbon-14 dates that contradict the chronological expectations? Apparently it is quite common. Ron Willis .;in Info Journal, Vol. 3, (1973), pp. 1-7, also deals with this dating process. In discussing this he states, “There are anomalous dates in the series which do not fit. This is common in the C-14 process. Like any good archaeologist, I will ignore the dates that do not fit.” [emphasis added] Thus, the archaeologists corroborate the state­ments cited above that the relics brought for dating are not accepted if they do not agree with the preconceived assumptions regarding their age by the archaeologists.

Hibben, cited above, page 140 then informs us that, “The early workers were amazingly accurate in their guesses as to the antiquity of the earliest American hunters.” This accuracy was only obtained by throwing away all the dates that were “badly out of line.” These statements clearly indicate that “all good archaeologists” organize the evidence so the à priori expectations are validated. Therefore, when­ever Carbon-14 dates show that the Ice Age ended far more recently than theory allows, it is bad contaminated evidence and is disregarded. On the other hand, when this same method gives dates that fit the expected chronology, it is hailed as “amazingly accurate,” because this is good uncontaminated evidence. The major criteria for the distinc­tion between the good, accurate, acceptable evidence and the bad, inaccurate, unacceptable evidence, we are told by the archaeologists, and paleontologists is whether or not it fits the expectations of the chronology.

This approach to evidence is no different than the methods employed by the astronomers when they find ancient documents that describe the lunar month as being of a different length than expected. In both cases, when evidence contradicts the expectations, the incon­venient data is ignored. Finagling with scientific evidence is called “culling” in the parlance of the scientists. As can be clearly seen, the uniformitarian researchers have no qualms about culling their data because their scientific philosophy cannot be in error; only the evidence may be. Thus, the textbooks that support the present chronology as accurate, do so with “culled” data. Carbon-14 dating is not so much 13th century alchemy as it is 20th century scientific fraud.

In fact, it was reported in New Scientist for September 30, 1989, p. 26 in an article titled “Unexpected errors affect dating techniques,” by Andy Coghlan .;that, “Britain’s Science and Engineering Research Council…commissioned a trial that compared the accuracy with which 38 laboratories around the world dated artifacts of known age [by Carbon-14 dating]. Of the 38, only seven produced results that the organizers of the trial considered to be satisfactory.” The fact of the matter was that not one testing laboratory got the exact date and 31 of the 38 world’s leading Carbon-14 testing laboratories were off by hundreds to thousands of years. This clearly indicates that the dates offered for past events based on Carbon-14 dating is a myth. On the basis of this evidence we find that if 7 out of 38 laboratories produced acceptable results than only 18.5 percent were acceptable while 81.5 percent were erroneous. Would anyone be willing to accept a dating methodology that was shown in error four times greater than the acceptable results. Such a finding would be the death knell to any scientific technique.

Therefore, a more acceptable method of dating would be the examination of human fossils and human artifacts that are known to be very recent. However, if there was a great flood that produced the extinctions, the fossils should show evidence of this immense catas­trophic flooding. This then brings us to Velikovsky’s evidence.

To produce all of it in Velikovsky’s words would require almost one-third of his book. It seems best that only the most germane material be cited.



If many types of fauna actually lived into historical times and were destroyed by a catastrophe, then ancient man of Mesopotamia, Egypt and even of Mexican civilization should have left a record of their existence. Geologists of Sagan’s persuasion maintain these organisms became extinct at least 10,000 years or more ago. But what do the archaeologists say? Velikovsky states in Earth in Upheaval, p. 187 that,

“K.S. Sandford, .S.;writing of the conflict of views between geologists and archaeologists in England says [in Nature (Dec. 2, 1933)], ‘The difference of opinion in some instances is so complete that one or the other must assuredly be wrong.’ Those who measure the time in terms of cultural or physical anthropology and archaeology stand in very definite opposition to all estimates [of the time of extinction] based on a geological or on a paleontological time scale.

“As an additional argument, the archaeologist points to pictures of extinct animals in Babylonian and Egyptian bas-reliefs…”

On page 87 of Earth in Upheaval, Velikovsky cites L. Frobenius .;and Douglas C. Fox’s, Prehistoric Rock Pictures in Europe and Africa, (Museum of Modern Art, 1937), p. 38 respecting,

“Orientalists of the last century…[that] decided that [rock] drawings in the Sahara were the work of Phoenicians. It was likewise observed that on the drawings discovered by Barth, the cattle wore discs between their horns just as in Egyptian drawings. Also, the Egyptian god Set was found pictured on the rocks. And there were rock paintings of war chariots drawn by horses, ‘in an area where these animals could not survive two days without extraordinary precautions.’ [P. LeCler, .;Sahara, (1954), p. 46]

“The extinct animals in the drawings suggest that these pictures were made sometime during the Ice Age; but the Egyptian motifs made in the very same drawings suggest that they were made in historical times.”

Thus, there are bas reliefs in Egypt and Babylonia of extinct animals and rock drawings made by Saharans who knew the Egyptian god Set and the war chariot which had to be of an historical period also drawing pictures of extinct animals.

The animals depicted on the walls of Babylonian and Egyptian buildings and Saharan rock drawings had, according to the geologists, been extinct for at least 8,000 years at the time of those early civi­lizations. The bones of extinct animals are rarely found complete or properly assembled in any location. Yet somehow the stone sculptors of these early times and rock painters were able to accurately represent their forms. Similar evidence of elephants is found in the Americas, that is, depictions of extinct elephants. These forms had been extinct at least 8,000 years as well. Yet, they are represented by ancient Mexican artisans. How can such a state of affairs exist? If Sagan is correct that these faunal forms died out over 10,000 years ago, then one must assume that in Babylonia, Egypt and Mexico universities existed where artisans went to study paleontology—the science of reconstruction of extinct organisms from only a few bones. Or perhaps the Babylonians, Egyptians and Mexicans traveled to the ancient caves of Europe to sketch the drawings of stone age man that were already 8,000 years older at that period. What is apparent is that these animals lived into historical times and early civilized man had observed them and sculptured and drew them accurately.



One of the hypotheses for the extinction is that early man hunted these animals to extinction. But if man did so in America, where the human population was relatively small and man did so in Europe and Asia where the human population was greater, why did the elephant survive in Africa and India? Were the Africans and Indians inferior hunters or did they have inferior appetites compared to their American, European and North Asian cousins? If early man hunted the horse in America to extinction, which can run swiftly for great distances, why didn’t he do so with the musk-ox which is slower and when frightened forms a standing circle to stand off attackers? Standing still in a circle, the musk-ox was a perfect target for ancient man. Furthermore, several species of birds also became extinct. It is difficult to understand how these avians were hunted to extinction. In Science News, Vol. 132, (1987), p. 285, Paul S. Martin .S.;of the Univer­sity of Arizona-Tucson states that, “…overkill is unlikely to have killed 10 classes of North American birds at the end of the last Ice Age.” Martin “contends that nearly all of the bird extinctions occurred among scavengers that feed on carnivore leftovers” But, since not all the classes were scavengers, what could have killed the birds? Not climate changes, since the climate became warmer. Martin goes on, “Radiocarbon chronologies are bad in North America, worse in Europe.” He states that, “There are some species extinctions that will probably never be reliably dated.”

The geologists’ other extinction hypotheses tells us that the climate changed. But the extinctions occurred not only in the high latitudes toward the poles, but also in the tropical latitudes around the equator.

The concept that animals were hunted to extinction can be shown to be incorrect by the example of the horse. In Earth in Upheaval, Velikovsky writes on page 208,

“Fossil bones of horses indicate that this was a very common animal in the New World in the Ice Age. But when the soldiers of Cortes, .;arriving at the shores of America, rode their horses which they had brought from the Old World, the natives thought that gods had come to their country. They had never seen a horse.

“Of the horses the Spaniards brought to America some went astray, became wild, and filled the prairies, traveling in herds; the land and its vegetation and its climate proved to be exceedingly well suited for the propagation of this animal.”

If the horse had been hunted to extinction in earlier times, why didn’t the American Indians hunt it to extinction once these herds of horses spread over the continent? If they could have hunted these animals to extinction in an earlier period, they most certainly could have hunted them to extinction soon after these animals were reintroduced into the region. Thus, the hunting hypothesis for extinction appears to be meaningless. Furthermore, the very ability of the horse to thrive in North America makes the climate hypothesis for extinction also meaningless. If the climate change was responsible for the extinction of the horse, why was the horse, when reintroduced into the same climate that supposedly destroyed it, able to thrive and multiply so fruitfully? Thus, there is no explanation of the mass extinction that ended the Ice Age. However, if a global catastrophe occurred and the bones of animals and trees along with human artifacts and bones are found together in great masses all around the globe, we can expect that huge tidal waves swept over the lands.



Thus, Velikovsky describes muck deposits filled with millions upon millions of broken bones of extinct mammoth, mastodon, super bison and horse found throughout the lower reaches of the Yukon and according to F. Rainey .;in American Antiquity, 1940, Volume 5,

“may be considered to extend in greater or lesser thickness over all unglaciated areas of the northern peninsula” [of Alaska and into northern Canada. The] “millions upon millions of animals torn limb from limb [are]…mingled with uprooted trees.”[292]

Throughout these masses of shattered bones and trees is volcanic ash. And the depth of these masses of bones, trees and ash is great, “as much as 140 feet.” F.C. Hibben of the University of New Mexico [“Evidence of Early Man in Alaska”, American Antiquity, VIII (1943), p. 256] states that,

“Although the formation of deposits of muck is not clear, there is ample evidence that at least portions of this material were deposited under catastrophic conditions. Mammal remains are for the most part, dismembered and disarticulated, even though some fragments yet retain, in their frozen state, portions of ligaments, skin, hair and flesh. Twisted and torn trees are piled in splintered masses… At least four considerable layers of volcanic ash may be traced in these deposits, although they are extremely warped and distorted.”

Velikovsky then informs us that, “In various levels of the muck, stone artifacts were found, ‘frozen in situ’ at great depths and in apparent association, with the Ice Age fauna, which implies that ‘men were contemporary with extinct animals in Alaska.’ [See Rainey, American Antiquity, V, p. 307] Worked flints, characteristically shaped, called Yuma points, were repeatedly found in the Alaskan muck, one hundred and more feet below the surface. One such spear point [according to Hibben, American Antiquity, VIII, p. 257] was found there between a lion’s jaw and a mammoth’s tusk. Similar weapons were used only a few generations ago by the Indians of the Athapascan tribe, who camped in the upper Tanana Valley. [See Rainey, American Antiquity, VI, p. 301] [And Hibben in American Antiquity, VIII, p. 256 writes] ‘It has also been suggested that even modern Eskimo points are remarkably Yuma like,’ all of which indicates that the multitudes of torn animals and splintered forests date from a time not many thousands of years ago.”[293]

William N. Irving .N.;and C.R. Harington .R.;in Science, report having found the jaw bone of a child

perhaps eleven or twelve years old in the graveyard of the permafrost of the Yukon.[294]



In Siberia on the other side of the Arctic Ocean are found mass graveyards of mammoth bones by the millions upon millions as well as on the New Siberian Islands.

“In the stomachs and between the teeth of the mammoths were found plants and grasses that do not grow now in northern Siberia. ‘The contents of the stomachs have been carefully examined,’ [according to Whitney .D.;in the Journal of the Philosophical Society of Great Britain, XII (1910), p. 56] they showed the undigested food, leaves of trees now found in Southern Siberia, but a long way from the existing deposits of ivory. Microscopic examination of the skin showed red blood corpuscles, which was a proof not only of a sudden death, but that death was due to suffocation either by gases or water, evidently the latter in this case. But the puzzle remained to account for the sudden freezing up of this large mass of flesh so as to preserve it for future ages.

“What could have caused a sudden change in the temperature of the region? Today the country does not provide food for large quadrupeds, the soil is barren and produces only moss and fungi a few months in the year; at that time the animals fed on plants. And not only mammoths pastured in northern Siberia and on the islands of the Arctic Ocean. On Kotelnoi [according to Whitney above, p. 50] ‘neither trees, nor shrubs, nor bushes exist…and yet the bones of elephants, rhinoceroses, buffaloes, and horses are found in the icy wilderness in numbers which defy all calculation.’”[295]

Interestingly, at the Bird’s Eye Division of General Foods Corpo­ration, New York, experiments were carried out with carnation and gladioli flowers that were placed in a solution of stomach acid,

“to find out the minimum rate of temperature decrease required in order to preserve parts of the flowers such that they would still be identifiable. Then, from the dimensions of the mammoth and the known rates of heat transfer (heat loss) through fur, skin, fat, flesh, etc., an outside temperature was computed that would reduce the stomach temperature at the previously determined rate in order to preserve the buttercup flowers. The staggering conclusion was that the mammoth, and presumably all the tens of thousands of other frozen animals in the north was overcome in mid-summer by a cold blast with temperatures lower than minus 150 degrees Fahrenheit… The lowest recorded temperatures on earth have never reached this extreme, while the temperatures in these polar regions today have never since recovered to the point where buttercups will grow again.”[296]

But Velikovsky informs us that,

“On Maloi, one of the group of Liakhov Islands [in the Arctic Ocean above the Arctic Circle] Toll .;found bones of mammoths and other animals together with the trunks of fossil trees, with leaves and cones. [Whitney, above, p. 50 states] ‘This striking discovery proves that in the days when the mammoth and rhinoceroses lived in northern Siberia, these desolate islands were covered with great forests, and bore a luxuriant vegetation.’”[297]

The point is that large trees should not be able to grow on these Arctic islands nor on the tundra of Alaska and Siberia. According to Ivan T. Sanderson, .T.;The Dynasty of ABU, (NY 1962), p. 80, “pieces of large treetrunks of types that do not—and can not—live at those latitudes today for purely biological reasons [were found]. The same goes for huge areas in Siberia.”

How is it possible to freeze mammoths in mid-summer with a drop in temperature to -150 degrees Fahrenheit? Siberia is known to have a short, but very hot summer. In this respect, Sir Fred Hoyle, .;the noted British astronomer, tells us,

“Some years ago, I had reason to work out mathematically which place on Earth receives the most solar radiation at mid-summer. I found to my astonishment it was the pole. It is obviously not the pole that receives the most radiation at midday, but because the Sun never sets at mid-summer for latitudes inside the Arctic Circle, sunlight is received there for the full twenty-four hours.”[298]

Velikovsky contends that the mechanism responsible for what we find in Alaska and Siberia was a shift of the Earth’s pole by the close passage of a stupendous comet.




Before leaving the Arctic region one may ask, if the climatic conditions were so much warmer in the Arctic area, would not human settlements be found there? Velikovsky informs us that,

“It is assumed here that in historical times, neither northeastern Siberia nor western Alaska were in the polar regions, but that as a result of the catastrophes of the eighth and seventh centuries [B.C.] this area moved into that region. This assumption implies that these lands, to the extent that they were not covered by the sea, were most probably places of human habitation…

“In 1939 and 1940, ‘one of the most startling and important finds of the century’ (E. Stefansson) was made at Point Hope in Alaska, on the shores of Bering Strait: an ancient city of about eight hundred houses, whose population had been larger than that of the modern city of Fairbanks [in 1950] was discovered there, north of 68 degrees, about 130 miles within the Arctic Circle.

“Ipiutak, as the location of this ancient city is called by the present Eskimos, must have been built before the Christian era; two thousand years is thought a conservative estimate of its age. The excavations have yielded beautiful ivory carvings unlike any known Eskimo or other American Indian culture of the northern regions. Fashioned of logs, the strange tombs gave up skeletons which stared up at the excavators with artificial eyeballs carved of ivory and inlaid with jet… Numerous delicately made and engraved implements also found in the graves, resembled some of those produced in North China two or three thousand years ago; others resemble carvings of the Ainu people in northern Japan and the natives of the Amur River in Siberia. The material culture of these people was not a simple one, of the kind usually found in the Arctic, but elaborate and that of a sophisticated people, in this sense more advanced than any known Eskimos and clearly derived from eastern Asia.”[299]

[The above citation is from Evelyn Stefansson, .;Here in Alaska, (1943) pp. 138ff] Altogether there were some 800 buildings uncovered at Ipiutak. Thus, its population was 4,000 inhabitants or more. How did they survive in such numbers during the six months of winter dark­ness? Unless the arrangement of the polar axis were different so that the climate was milder, it appears impossible that these early city dwellers could survive the long, dark, cold winter. The people who excelled the Eskimo “did not have seal oil lamps, sleds or slate tools” we are told by National Geographic.[300] Without seal oil lamps, how did they supply light for themselves for six months of night? Without sleds, how did they transport logs for the graves? How did they travel? Clearly what is found strongly points to a different climate and position of the polar axis.



What about on the other side of the Arctic Ocean? Velikovsky informs us that,

“In recent years, Russian archaeologists have discovered abundant remains of human culture in northeastern Siberia in the frozen taiga where frozen bodies of mammoths are found and where nobody suspected human abodes in ages past. There was human population in northeastern Siberia in paleolithic time, in neolithic time and in the bronze time too.

“Paleolithic artifacts were found in Yakutia; rock drawings very similar to the Paleolithic drawings on the rocks and in the caverns of France and Spain, were found in the valley of the Lena, near the village Shishkino. [A.P. Oklidnikov, .P.;“Excavation in the North”, published in the Soviet Union, English title Vestiges of Ancient Culture, (1951) states] ‘In the neolithic age, about two to three millennia before our era, neolithic races, descendants of earlier inhabitants of Yakutia…spread to the very coast of the Arctic Ocean in the north and the Kolyma in the east…’

“On the lower Lena, [river] north of the confluence with Viliy, inside the polar circle, monuments are found of a characteristic culture; outstanding finds were made near the lake Yolba, not far from Jigansk.

“As soon as the archaeologists started a methodic investigation of the area, in Yakutsk itself, was found a workshop of an ancient metallurgist in which, at the end of the second millennium before the present era, he made bronze axes similar to the axes manufactured about that time in the Near East and in Europe.

[Oklidnikov continues] “In the Yakutsk taiga two and a half [or three] thousand years ago, there already lived artisans in metals who were able to extract copper from ore, to melt it and pour it into forms, and to make axes, beautiful bronze tips for the spears, knives and even swords.”

“These relics of a civilization in the taiga of northeastern Siberia imply that the climate changed there in the age of advanced man. Before the ice froze the region, voracious members of the elephant family roamed there in large herds.”[301]

Furthermore, Hapgood .;writes,

“The Soviet publication Sputnik, in its issue of November, 1968, reported the discovery of evidence of human occupation of the New Siberian Islands, as well as of Spitzbergen, during the ice age. Both archipelagoes are virtually uninhabitable now, especially the New Siberian Islands, which lie only 10 degrees, or about 600 miles from the [north] pole. Sputnik gives the source of information as the newspaper Kommunist Tajikistana, and says, ‘Archaeologists have discovered traces of a Stone Age settlement on the Novosibirsk Islands (New Siberian Islands)… They have found bone implements and arrowheads as well as needles and axes skillfully fashioned from mammoth tusks.’

“Spitzbergen [a group of islands about 800 miles from the North Pole] was once inhabited too. Proof of this can be seen in the fragments of prehistoric cliff drawings found near the present day settlement of Ny Alesund. On the rock face are well-preserved incised outlines of whales and deer.”[302]



Velikovsky discusses the lakes of the Great Basin in the western part of the United States. These lakes do not have outlets and thus, the salt and mineral content of their waters can be measured against the feeding sources to determine their age. Velikovsky writes,

“Abert and Summer Lakes in southern Oregon have no outlets. They are regarded as remnants of a once large glacial lake, Chewaucan. W. van Winkle .;of the United States Geological Survey investigated the saline content of these two lakes and wrote [in U.S. Geological Survey, Water Supply Paper 363. (Washington 1914) that], ‘A conservative estimate of the age of Summer and Abert Lakes, based on the concentration and area, the composition of the influent waters, and the rate of evaporation, is 4,000 years.’”[303]

Owen Lake, east of Mount Whitney in California also has no outlet. Velikovsky reports that,

“H.S. Gale .S.;analyzed the water of the lake and of the river for chlorine and sodium and came to the conclusion that the [Owens] river required 4,200 years to supply the chlorine present in the lake and 3,500 years to supply its sodium. Ellsworth Huntington of Yale found these figures too high, because no allowance was made for greater rainfall and ‘freshening of the lake’ in the past and consequently he reduced the age of the lake to 2,500 years [in Quaternary Climates, monographs by J. Claude Jones, Ernst Antevs, .;and Ellsworth Huntington .;(Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1925) p. 200] which would place its origin not far from the middle of the first millennium before the present era.”[304]

Lake Lahontan in the Great Basin in Nevada also lacks an outlet. As it dried up, it split into several smaller lakes. Velikovsky states,

“More recently, Lahontan and its residual lakes were explored anew by J. Claude Jones, and the results of his work were published as ‘Geological History of Lake Lahontan’, by [I. Russell .;of] the Carnegie Institution of Washington. [Monograph 11 (1886)] He investigated the saline content of [residual lakes], Pyramid and Winnemucca…and of the Truckee River that feeds them. He found that the river could have supplied the entire content of chlorine of these two lakes in 3,881 years. ‘A similar calculation, using sodium instead of chlorine gave 2,447 years necessary.’”[305]

However, I. Russell .;“found bones of Ice Age animals in the deposits of the ancient lakes. Bones of horses, elephants and camels, animals that became extinct in the Americas, were found in the Lahontan sediments, as well as spear points of human manufacture.”[306]



In the La Brea tar pit on the western outskirts of Los Angeles are found in the asphalt, clay and sand according to J.C. Merriam in Memoirs of California, Vol. I, No. 2 (1911), “a most remarkable mass of skeletal material.” Velikovsky informs us that,

“these fossils were regarded as representing the fauna of the late Tertiary (Pliocene) or early Pleistocene (Ice Age)… The animal remains are crowded together in an unbelievable agglomeration… Among…animals unearthed in this pit were bison, horses, camels, sloths, mammoths, mastodons and birds including peacocks [and saber-toothed tigers]… Separate bones of a human skeleton were also discovered in the asphalt of La Brea… However, it does not show any deviation from the normal skulls of Indians.”[307]

J.C. Merriam, cited above, informs us that the skeletal remains of Felix atrox, a species of lion found in La Brea asphalt as well as horse and a camel are so alike to those found in the sediments of Lake Lahontan that they must have been contemporaneous. Antevs .;and Jones, also cited above, “On the basis of his analysis…came to the conclusion that the extinct animals lived in North America into historical times.”[308]



“On the Atlantic coast of Florida, at Vero in the Indian River region, in 1915 and 1916, human remains were found in association with the bones of Ice Age (Pleistocene) animals, many of which either became extinct, like the saber-toothed tiger, or have disappeared from the Americas, like the camel… W.H. Holmes, .H.;head curator of the Department of Anthro­pology of the United States National Museum, who investigated the pottery…from Vero [said that the bowls found] ‘such as were in common use among Indian tribes of Florida.’ When compared with vessels from Florida earth mounds, ‘no significant distinction can be made; in material, thickness of walls, finish of rim, surface finish, color, state of preservation, and size and shape,’ the vessels ‘are identical’… But the bones of man and his artifacts (pottery) were found among extinct animals… E.H. Sellards, .H.;state geologist of Florida, and a very capable paleontologist, wrote in the debate that ensued: ‘That the human bones are fossils normal to this stratum and contemporaneous with the associated vertebrates is determined by their place in the formation, their manner of occurrence, their intimate relation to the bones of other [extinct] animals, and the degree of mineralization of the bones.’ This ‘degree of mineralization of the human bones is identical with that of the associated bones of the other [extinct] animals.’… In 1923-1929, thirty-three miles north of Vero, in Melbourne, Florida, another such association of human remains and extinct animals was found, ‘a remark­ably rich assemblage of animal bones, many of which represent species which became extinct at or after the close of the Pleistocene [Ice Age] epoch.’ The discoverer, J.W. Gidley, .W.;of the United States National Museum [in the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Vol. XL, pp. 491-502], established unequivocally that in Melbourne—as in Vero—the human bones were of the same stratum and in the same state of fossilization as the bones of the extinct animals. And again human artifacts were found with the bones… I. Rouse .;[in Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences, Ser. II, Vol. 12 (1950), pp. 224ff] a recent analyst of the much debated fossils of Florida [states] that, ‘the Vero and Melbourne man should have been in existence between 2000 B.C. and the year zero A.D.’”[309]

William R. Corliss .R.;in Science Frontiers, (Glen Arm, MD 1994), p. 217 describes another bone bed in Florida,

“A new bone bed has been discovered south of Tampa. Paleontologists say it is one of the richest fossil deposits ever found in the United States. It has yielded the bones of more than 70 species of animals, birds, and aquatic creatures. About 80% of the bones belong to plains animals, such as camels, horses, mammoths, etc. Bears, wolves, large cats, and a bird with an estimated 30-foot wing span are also represented. Mixed in with all the land animals are sharks’ teeth, turtle shells, and the bones of fresh and salt water fish. The bones are all smashed and jumbled together, as if by some catastrophe. The big question is how bones from such different ecological niches—plains, forests, ocean—came together in the same place?”



“In Sioux County, Nebraska, on the south side of the Niobrara River, in Agate Spring Quarry, is a fossil-bearing deposit up to twenty inches thick. The state of the bones indicate a long and violent transportation before they reached their final resting place… The animals found there were mammals…small, twin horned rhinoceros…(Moropus) [a horse with legs and claws] like those of carnivorous animals; and bones of a giant swine that stood six feet high… A few miles to the east, in another quarry were found skeletons of an animal which, because of its similarity to two extinct species, is called a gazelle camel.”[310]

“A.L. Kroeber .L.;[in The Maya and Their Neighbors, (1940), p. 476] sees no easy way to avoid the conclusion that ‘some of the associations of human artifacts with extinct animals may be no more than three thousand years old.’”[311]




Not only that, but the American Indians also made representations of elephants. Ignatius Donnelly .;in his book Atlantis, (NY 1985), pp. 169-170 states,

“There are in Wisconsin a number of mounds of earth representing different animals—men, birds and quadrupeds. Among the latter is a mound representing an elephant, ‘so perfect in its proportions, and complete in its representation of an elephant, that its builders must have been well acquainted with all the physical characteristics of the animal which they delineated.’”

“On a farm in Louisa County, Iowa, a [smoking] pipe was ploughed up which also represented an elephant. We are indebted to the valuable work of John T. Short .T.;(The North Americans of Antiquity, p. 530) for a picture of this singular object. It was found in a section where the ancient mounds were very abundant and rich in relics. The pipe is of sandstone, of the ordinary mound builder’s type and had every appear­ance of age and usage. There can be no doubt of its genuineness. The finder had no conception of its archaeological value.

“In the ruined city of Palenque we find, in one of the palaces, a stucco bass-relief of a priest. His elaborate head-dress or helmet represents very faithfully the head of an elephant.”

Thus, like the bas-reliefs of Egypt and Babylonia, the elephant which supposedly had been extinct at least 10,000 years, is faithfully depicted. Again we are asked to believe that for many thousands of years American Indians kept the image of the elephant in their memory. But the bones of elephants are rarely found complete or properly assembled in any location. The implication is clear. Their forms were not extinct in historical times and the early American Indians had observed them and copied them accurately. And there is other evidence as well.

Ivan T. Sanderson .T.;in The Dynasty of ABU, (NY 1962), pp. 125-26, discusses stellas discovered in Copan in Central America.

“The two top and dominant figures on each edge of one stele are most perfectly and naturalistically represented heads of elephants—not loxodonts, mammoths, or mastodons but obviously elephants… [These were presented and discussed by G. Elliott Smith, .E.;“Pre-Columbian Representations of Elephants in America,” Nature, Vol. 15, (Nov. 1915), pp. 340-341, and Nature, Vol. 16, (Dec. 1915), p. 425]

“To summarize the arguments, we may say that because elephants in ancient Central America did not then, and still do not fit into the prescribed scheme of history, but because these carving were undeniably authentic, everything possible and impossible was immediately put forward to ‘explain them away.’ They were not elephants at all, said some of the learned, but the enlarged heads of the giant parrot like bird of that country known as the macaw; or representations of turtles, or of a ‘bat-god’ wearing a symbolic headdress, or such forth. All these things are well known from Mayan carvings, but each is invariably quite distinct, for the Mayas were very accurate in their animal representations. Anything seemed acceptable as long as it was not an elephant.

“The Copan carvings are of elephants and they are perfectly executed with their trunks slightly curled to one side and backward, but nobody was prepared to admit the fact. What clinched the matter, however, was a careful search for and reappraisal of the extant original Mayan codices—hieroglyphic texts on scrolls, done in many colors, a few of which survived the wholesale burning by the Church in the early days. Brought to light were several dozen quite obvious elephants, elephant symbols and figures of men wearing elephant headdresses…”

Other evidence of elephants living into recent times is reported by Neill J. Harris, .J.;“The Riddle of America’s Elephant Slabs’“ Science Digest, Vol. 69, (March 1971), pp. 74-77.

“Commonly known Elephant Slabs, the carved rocks were found in 800 year-old Indian ruins located on the south side of the Animas River just opposite Flora Vista. According to a famous archeologist, the late Earl Halstead Morris, the small boy sold the carvings to archeologist Charles Avery Amsden, .A.;who reportedly took Morris to where the boy had found the slabs. Morris, an expert on primitive Southwestern artifacts dated these Indian ruins at about A.D. 1200, based on potsherds found lying on the surface of the Flora Vista site.

“‘I can see no reason to doubt the authenticity of these specimens,’ wrote Morris concerning the Elephant Slabs ‘but how to explain them I would not say. In all my experience I have seen nothing similar’…

“The principle slab measures six inches wide, six inches long; a deep groove on the left-hand side shows where it was probably broken off from a larger stone. The unknown petroglypher meticulously chiseled 55 signs and pictures into exceeding hard stone and left no obvious traces of tool slippage or overcrossing lines.

“The second slab measures six inches wide, 14 inches long, and bears only ten faintly incised signs including outlines of an elephant—the surprising fact that gave the slabs their names—a bird, and what looks like a mountain lion. [The first slab contains glyphs of two birds and two elephants]. Both slabs, particularly the larger one, closely resemble the stone hoes or knives of the Southwest…”

George F. Carter’s .F.;“A Note On The Elephant In America,” Epigraphic Society, Occasional Publications, (Vol. 18), 1989 p. 90 informs us that,

“A very late kill of a mastodon has been recorded for Equador. The creature was mired in a gully, and attacked by man and killed… The key element in this case, the mastodon, was cooked in place by heaping earth over it, and then building huge fires to cook the creature in an earth oven effect. The earth [that] heaped the carcass contained potsherds… This places the kill within the pottery period of that area and a very early date would be 3000 B.C. Since some of the pottery was said to be decorated, a later date is quite possible. The sherds were destroyed in a fire in the museum where they were housed and so the exact age cannot be determined. The excavation was by a well known archeologist and equally well known paleontologist. There is no reason to question any of the facts.”

Why are the facts of recently dated finds of elephants dismissed? Carter in “The Mammoth In American Epigraphy”, Epigraphic Society, Occasional Publications, (Vol. 18), 1989, p. 213 tells us,

“We have a case of basic assumptions ruling the conclusion. It is assumed as established fact that the mammoth died out 10,000 years ago… If the mammoth became extinct 10,000 years ago, how does one explain the Eskimo, the Algonquin and other eastern United States Indians’ vivid memory of the mammoth? The Indian descriptions are very graphic. They surely were describing elephants. (mammoths, mastodons and elephants are lumped together) One legend says that the agricultural Indians complained bitterly to the Great Spirit against the mammoth damaging their corn fields. The Great Spirit then killed them off by hurling thunderbolts at them. This was told to Thomas Jefferson .;in Washington and Cotton Mather .;in New England, and that is just what is portrayed [on relics found] in the Bucks County and Holly Oaks specimens. Now why would the Indians invent a tale like that? And how could they describe the elephant as to size, trunk, tusks and all if they had never seen one?”



If the extinctions are so prevalent in North America should not evidence of like nature also exist in South America? Charles Hapgood .;in his chapter titled, “The Pleistocene Graveyards of South America” writes,

“The discoveries of vast quantities of animal remains in almost every part of South America have invariably been made in recent [within the last 10,000 years] formations. As long ago as 1887 Sir Henry H. Horworth .H.;in his monumental work, The Mammoth and the Flood…summarized our knowledge of these beds as follows, ‘In South America, the Pleistocene beds are developed on a very large scale. They cover plains of the Argentine Republic, in the form of modified lehm or loess, to which the name Pampas mud was given by Darwin…’.;

“According to Burmeister, they are richest in organic remains in the province of Buenos Aires, becoming less rich as we travel westward and northward. Rich deposits of this [Pleistocene] age have also been found in the Banda Oriental, at various points on the river Parana and at Berrero in Patagonia.

“Burmeister says, ‘the diluvial deposit containing bones of animals of this [Pleistocene] age extends over the whole Brazilian plains from the flanks of the Cordilleras to the borders of the Atlantic.’ They have also been found abundantly in Bolivia on the great plateau; and also west of the mountains in Peru and Chile.

“From Caracas in the north, to the Sierra of Tandel in Patagonia in the south, they have, in fact, occurred in more or less abundance over the whole continent…

“That the surface beds of the Pampas and the deposits in the caves were synchronous, is admitted by all explorers…

“Nor is there any doubt that both sets of beds date from the same horizon as the mammoth beds of other countries.

“The fauna of the Pleistocene beds of the southern states of North America, is, in fact, largely identical with that from the beds we are now discussing.”[312]

Were human remains found associated in the same manner as those found in North America? Hapgood states,

“In a limestone cavern on the borders of the Lagoa do Sumidouro, some three leagues from Santa Lucia, Dr. P.W. Lund .W.;excavated the bones of more than thirty individuals (human) of both sexes and various ages. The skeletons lay buried in hard clay overlying the original red soil forming the floor of the cave and were found mixed together in such great confusion—not only with one another, but with the remains of Megatherium and other Pleistocene mammals—as to preclude the idea that they had been entombed by the hand of man. All the bones, whether human or animal, showed evidence of having been contemporary with one another.

“In other caves investigated by Lund, bones of ancient man were found alongside those of the formidable Smilodon, a giant feline which became extinct during the last Pleistocene times. Referring to the evidence from these and other Brazilian fossiliferous caves, the Marquis de Nadaillac .;wrote:

‘…Doubtless these men and animals lived together and perished together, common victims of catastrophes.’[313]

Hapgood gives several such examples and adds,

“the groups or caches of animal fossils unearthed at widely separated South American localities in which incongruous animal types (carnivores and herbivores) are mixed promiscuously with human bones [are widespread]. These are found not only in the Pampas formation, but also in Brazilian caves and in volcanic ash at Punin and elsewhere.”[314]

A. d’Orbigny .;maintains that,

“It would seem that one cause destroyed the terrestrial animals of South America, and that this cause is to be found in great dislocations of the ground caused by the upheaval of the Cordilleras.

“If not, it is difficult to conceive on the one hand the sudden and fortuitous destruction of the great animals which inhabited the American continents, and on the other the vast deposit of Pampan mud.

“I argue that this destruction was caused by an invasion of the continent by water, a view which is completely en rapport with the facts presented by the great Pampan deposit, which was clearly laid down by water.

“How, otherwise, can we account for this complete destruction and the homogeneity of the Pampas deposits containing bones? I find an evident proof of this in the immense number of bones and of entire animals whose numbers are greatest at the outlets of the valleys, as Mr. Darwin shows.

“He found the greatest number of the remains at Bahia Blanca, at Bajada, also on the coast, and on effluents of the Rio Negro, also at the outlet of the valley [exactly as the deposits of Alaska and Siberia]. This proves that the animals were floated, and hence, were chiefly carried to the coast.

“The hypothesis necessitates that the Pampas mud was deposited suddenly as the result of violent floods of water, which carried off the soil and other superfluous debris, and mingled them together. This homogeneity of the soil in all parts of the Pampas, even in places 200 leagues apart is very remarkable.

“These are not different strata differently coloured, but a homoge­neous mass, which is more or less porous, and shows no signs of distinct stratification. The deposit is also of one uniform colour, as if it had been mixed in one muddy flood slightly tinted by oxide of iron.

“The bones again are only found isolated in the lower strata, while entire animals occur on the circumference or the upper part of the basin.

“Thus, they are very rare at Buenos Aires, while they abound in the Banda Oriental and in the White Bay. Mr. Darwin says they are heaped up in the latter place, which again supports the contention.

“Another argument may be drawn from the fact that the Pampas mud is identical in colour and appearance with the earth in which the fossil remains occur in the caverns and fissures of Minaes Geraes in Brazil, and the fragments brought by M. Claussen .;are completely like the others in colour and texture.

“My final conclusion from the geological facts I have observed in America is, that there was a perfect coincidence between the upheaval of the Cordilleras, the destruction of the great race of animals and the great deposit of Pampas mud.”[315]

How fresh are these South American fossils? Charles Darwin .;in Voyage of the Beagle, (1876 edition), p. 181, states, “…it is difficult to believe that they have lain buried for ages underground. The bones contain so much animal matter, that when heated in the flame of a spirit lamp, it not only exhales a very strong animal odor, but likewise burns with a slight flame.” Very ancient fossil bones do not burn with a flame.

Charles H. Hapgood’s .;Earth’s Shifting Crust, (NY 1958), p. 225 cites A. Geike who discussed Charles Darwin’s analysis of extremely young ocean beaches found high in the Andes Mountains .;stating,

“On the west coast of South America, lines of raised terraces containing recent [sea] shells have been traced by Darwin as proof of a great upheaval of the part of the globe in modern geological times. The terraces are not quite horizontal, but rise to the south. On the frontier of Bolivia, they occur from 60 to 80 feet above the existing sea level, but nearer the higher mass of the Chilean Andes they are found at one thousand, and near Valparaiso at 1,300 feet. That some of these ancient sea margins belong to the human period was shown by Mr. Darwin’s discovery of shells with bones of birds, ears of maize, plaited reeds and cotton thread…”

If the Andes Mountains .;took many millions of years to rise to their present height, as Sagan assures us, why haven’t these ancient beaches with all their detritus been eroded away? The only way such sea shore terraces could exist and not have been eaten away by erosional processes is that they were only uplifted recently. And, if the beaches were raised gradually, as Sagan suggests, we should find numerous intermediate beaches between the highest levels and the sea. Where are these numerous beaches? One cannot suggest that they were nearly all eroded away, but that the highest beach miraculously avoided being weathered out of existence since it is the oldest beach. Again this points to the sudden recent uplifting of the Andes Mountains.

Another form of evidence comes in that of plant fossils. Edward W. Berry’s .W.;“The Age of the Bolivian Andes”, in the National Academy of Science Proceedings, Vol. 3, for 1917, provided evidence that the Andes .;were lifted to their present height in Pleistocene times. He reported the finding of fossil plants at the site of Corocoro, which is some 13,000 feet above sea level and also at Potosi, which is at 14,000 feet. Significantly among the flora were found tropical fern trees similar to those of the Amazon basin. Berry (p. 283) states, “The sea deposited a part of these strata [high in the Bolivian Andes] .;in late Tertiary or Pleistocene time, and since that time there have been differential vertical movements amounting to a minimum of 13,500 feet.” Berry’s conclusion is that, “There is then, definite evidence that parts of the high plateau and the eastern Cordillera stood at sea level in the late Tertiary.”



How similar is the mud of the Pampas to the muck of the Arctic coast? The implication of this question is that both were laid down by a catastrophe of enormous flooding over wide expanses of the land; but the Pampas material is not frozen, while the Arctic muck is. The catastrophe for each appears to be an enormous flood. In Pursuit, for October 1969, appeared this article titled, “Much About Muck.”

“In a fine report on a highly informative talk given by a Mr. E.M. Benson, .M.;Vice President of the North American Producing Division of the Atlantic Richfield Oil Company, to the Long Beach Petroleum Club of California on the new oil field in northern Alaska, there appeared a rather noteworthy quote. This read: ‘Drilling down through the 1,000-foot thick frozen earth can produce some surprises. One of our wells brought up an 18 inch long chunk of tree trunk almost 1,000 feet below the surface. It wasn’t petrified—just frozen,’ the oil company executive said. The reason this statement is noteworthy is not because the reporter seems to have been impressed, but rather that a man of Mr. Benson’s experience—and he started as a worker in the fields—should use the word ‘surprise’ in this case.

“We are going to hear a lot about this frozen earth or ‘muck’ from now on because of this vast oil strike on the Arctic shores of the Alaskan peninsula. It is indeed full of surprises; but a tree trunk in it, and even at a depth of a thousand feet, is not at all surprising. What surprise there was on this occasion was probably due to the fact that it came to light in an area devoid of trees today and hundreds of miles from any forest growth. The nature of muck is not generally understood, and the theories on its origin are even less widely known…

“A world map of the distribution of this frozen soil and muck reveals several very interesting things, the most outstanding aspect being that it lies low, level plains or tablelands. Unless it was caused by some cosmic forces that we have not yet detected, it would appear to be a subaerial [flood] deposit derived from massive erosion of higher grounds and with steeper slopes [as the mud of the Pampas was carried from the detritus of the higher ground of the Cordilleras]. However, its depth in some places, and over enormous areas, has always caused even the most open-minded geologists to boggle. The Russians, who own the major land areas covered by this substance have conducted prolonged studies on it for half a century and have in some places drilled down to over 4,000 feet, but still without reaching solid rock. The conundrum is, of course, how do you get that thickness of what is manifestly surface-derived material if it is the result of mere run-off? To this there would appear to be but one answer.

“First, the lands now blanketed with this material must at one time have been much higher above sealevel, so that stuff could be deposited upon them, rather than running on beyond and out into the sea. Alternatively, the sealevel would have been much below than that of today; but in this case we are asked to suppose that universal sealevel was not too long ago, geologically speaking, more than 4,000 feet lower. If neither of these situations pertained when the first, and lowest layers of this muck were laid down, just what were the conditions, since no such strata could be laid down even under shallow, tranquil coastal seas? To suggest that the uplands from which this stuff came were once much higher and had a steeper run-off is begging the question, and doesn’t help at all. Yet, there is the bloody muck lying all over the lot and to enormous depths. It has to be accounted for…

“[The tree trunk 1,000 feet down] comes as no surprise at all to geologists who have specialized in the surface constitution of the Arctic regions. A mere section of tree trunk is a mild relief compared to some of the things that the muck has yielded. In the New Siberian Island, for instance whole trees have turned up; the trees of the family that includes the plums; and with their leaves and fruits. No such hardwood trees grow today anywhere within two thousand miles of those islands. Therefore the climate must have been very much different when they got buried; and, please note, they could not have been buried in frozen muck which is [as hard as] hard rock, nor could they have retained their foliage if they were washed far north by currents from warmer climates. They must have grown thereabouts, and the climate must have been not only warm enough, but have had a long enough growing period of summer sunlight for them to have leafed and fruited.

“Ergo, either what is now the Arctic was at the time as warm as Oregon, or the land that now lies therein was at that time elsewhere. Geophysicists don’t go for an overall warming of this planet to allow such growth at 72 degrees north; otherwise everything in the tropics would have boiled! Thus, we are left with the notion that either the whole earth’s crust [or the pole] has shifted, or bits of it have drifted about. But then comes another problem—the Time Factor.

“Along with the plum trees, and other non-Arctic vegetation there are found associated animal remains of many kinds. One of these is the famous mammoth. Now everybody has somehow got the totally erroneous idea that these great hairy beasts are found in ice. Not one has ever been found in ice: they are all in this frozen earth of muck. Then, just because of their layer of fat and their covering of long hair, everybody likewise thinks that they were Arctic types. A moments consideration will disclose just how ridiculous an idea this is. A large elephantine needs some half a ton minimum of fresh green food a day to maintain itself, and there were apparently (at least according to the number of their bones and bodies that have [thus far] been found in the muck) hundreds of thousands of them up till only a few thousand years ago. For a minimum of eight months out of the year there is nothing for such large animals to eat north of the tree line in the Arctic, though some Barren Ground Caribou and a few Muskox get along by scratching through the shallow snow to get at tundra moss and lichens. Therefore, these elephantines must have migrated far south for the winter or the climate must have been much milder than it is today, or the land they lived in was elsewhere.

“But not even this pinpoints the reason for the muck or explains just how all the junk that is found in it, even down to thousands of feet, got there.”[316] [emphasis added]

Thus, the muck of the Arctic could well be the result of a shift of the polar axis which gave rise to an enormous flood that did in the Arctic region what d’Orbigny claims occurred in South America to form the mud of the Pampas.

What then of the middle latitudes? Are there deposits of material found in these regions that are thick and extensive and uniform in nature just like the Pampas mud and the Arctic muck, and are also filled with the bones of Ice Age mammals? Such material has been known to exist for a long time; it is called loess. The great problem, like the Pampas mud and the Arctic muck is, how to account for these enormous loess deposits. Two major explanations for the loess have been presented by the geologists. One is that it was deposited by wind action. But if this were indeed the case, the grains of loess blown from one region to another, over the surface of the Earth, would cause the grains to collide and rub against each other and the surface rock. The many abrasions would have produced grains of matter that were highly rounded in shape. Loess, by contrast, is everywhere found to be highly angular in shape and this categorically denies its eolian deposi­tional origin.

On the other hand, it is argued by the geologist that the loess could not have been deposited by water because under such conditions it would show a layering or stratified structure which it distinctly lacks. However, this analysis is based strictly on the uniformitarian supposi­tion that the loess was deposited gradually over many thousands of years. But if the loess was deposited as a huge flood of slurry mud, its nature would be in full accord with the phenomena attributed to it.

The loess is uniform in color, texture and composition like the Pampas mud and Arctic muck.

In places it is 1,500 feet or more in thickness and covers extensive areas.

It has not changed the terrain upon which it lies, but simply fills in all valleys between hills.

It contains very large quantities of the bones of mammals among which is the mammoth and other Ice Age fauna and also man and his artifacts.

It contains innumerable tubes and capillaries running down through the loess, through which the water in it drained.

The major objection of the geologists to the concept that the loess was deposited by water is that this hypothesis can only be congruent with the known facts if the loess was deposited by a catastrophic flood. Nevertheless, its similarity to the Pampas mud and the Arctic muck strongly suggest its origin was also of a similar and catastrophic nature.

However, Sagan need only read Velikovsky’s book to gather the evidence for how great an extinction occurred at the close of the Pleistocene. Velikovsky cites L.C. Eiseley regarding “species… believed to have been destroyed to the last specimen” in the closing Ice Age.

“Animals strong and vigorous, suddenly die out without leaving a survivor. The end came, not in the course of the struggle for existence—with the survival of the fittest. Fit and unfit, and mostly fit, old and young, with sharp teeth, with strong muscles, with fleet legs, with plenty of food around, all perished. These facts as I have already quoted [according to Eiseley] drive ‘the biologist to despair as he surveys the extinction of so many species and genres in the closing Pleistocene [Ice Age].’”[317] [See L.C. Eiseley, American Anthropologist, Vol. XLVIII, (1946), p. 54.]

Frank C. Hibben in his book The Lost Americans, gives a description of the extinction. Hibben writes:

“The Pleistocene period ended in death. This is no ordinary extinction of a vague geological period which fizzled to an uncertain end. This death was catastrophic and all inclusive… The large animals that have given their name to the period became extinct. Their death marked the end of an era.

“But how did they die? What caused the extinction of forty million animals? This mystery forms one of the oldest detective stories in the world. A good detective story involves humans and death. The conditions are met at the end of the Pleistocene. In this particular case, the death was of such colossal proportions as to be too staggering to contemplate…

“The ‘corpus delecti’ of the deceased in this mystery may be found almost everywhere…the animals of the period wandered into every corner of the New World not actually covered by the ice sheets. Their bones lie bleaching on the sands of Florida and in the gravels of New Jersey. They weather out of the dry terraces of Texas and protrude from the sticky ooze of the tar pits of Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. Thousands of these remains have been encountered in Mexico and even in South America. The bodies lie as articulated skeletons revealed by dust storms, or as isolated bone and fragments in ditches or canals. The bodies of the victims are everywhere in evidence.

“It might at first appear that these great animals died a natural death; that is, the remains that we find in the Pleistocene strata over the con­tinent represent the normal death that ends the ordinary life cycle. However, where we can study these animals in some detail such as in the great bone pits of Nebraska, we find literally thousands of these remains together. The young die with the old, foal with dam and calf with cow. Whole herds of animals were apparently killed together, overcome by some common power.

“We have already seen that the muck pits of Alaska are filled with the evidence of universal death. Mingled in these frozen masses are the remains of many thousands of animals killed in their prime… The evidences of violence, they are as obvious as in the horror camps of Germany. Such piles of bodies of animals or men simply do not occur by an ordinary natural means.”[318]



If indeed the sea in a gigantic tidal wave covered vast areas of the Earth, should there not be evidence of oceanic life that would be tossed on top of the land and that died there? Velikovsky tells us,

“In bogs covering glacial deposits in Michigan, skeletons of two whales were discovered. Whales are marine animals. How did they come to Michigan in the post glacial epoch? Whales do not travel by land. Glaciers do not carry whales, and the ice sheet could not have brought them to the middle of a continent. Besides, the whale bones are found in post glacial deposits. Was there a sea in Michigan after the glacial epoch, only a few thousand years ago?

“In order to account for whales in Michigan, it was conjectured that in the post glacial epoch, the Great Lakes were part of an arm of the sea. At present the surface of Lake Michigan is 582 feet above sea level.

“Bones of whale have been found 440 feet above sea level, north of Lake Ontario; a skeleton of another whale was discovered in Vermont, more than 500 feet above sea level, [See Dana, .D.;Manual of Geology, p. 983] and still another in the Montreal-Quebec area, about 600 feet above sea level. [See C. Dunbar, .;Historical Geology, p. 453]

“Although the Humphrey whale and beluga occasionally enter the mouth of the St. Lawrence, they do not climb hills. To account for the presence of whales in the hills of Vermont and Montreal, at elevations of 500 to 600 feet, requires the lowering of the land to [below] that extent. Another solution would be for an ocean tide, carrying the whales, to have trespassed upon the land. In either case herculean force would have been required to push mountains below sea level or to cause the sea to irrupt, but the latter explanation is clearly catastrophic. Therefore the accepted theory is that the land in the region of Montreal and Vermont was depressed more than 600 feet by the weight of ice and kept in this position for a while after the ice melted. [But then salt water should have entered the lakes with the whales and the Great Lakes should be saline and not fresh water lakes.]

“But along the coast of Nova Scotia and New England, stumps of trees stand in water, telling of once forested country that became submerged. And opposite the mouths of the St. Lawrence and the Hudson rivers are deep canyons stretching for hundreds of miles into the ocean. These indicate that the land became sea, being depressed in post-glacial times. Then did both processes go on simultaneously in neighboring areas here [in Michigan and Vermont and Montreal] up, there [in Nova Scotia, the St. Lawrence and the Hudson river areas] down?

“A species of Tertiary whale, Zeuglodon, left its bones in great numbers in Alabama and other Gulf states. The bones of these creatures covered the fields in such abundance and were [according to George McCready Price, Common-Sense Geology, (1946), pp. 204-5], ‘so much of a nuisance on the top of the ground that farmers piled them up to make fences.’ There was no ice cover in the Gulf states; then what had caused the submergence and emergence of the land there?”[319]

It was also reported in The New York Times for March 12, 1987, p. A22, that scientists had found whale bones in the high Andes Mountains, .;“Scientists have found fossil whales and other marine animals in mountain sediments in the Andes, indicating that the South American mountain chain rose very rapidly from the sea.” Since the bones of whales were found at an altitude of 5,000 feet, it is assumed that the whales died, then settled to the sea floor 15 million years ago and were covered by marine sediments. Then they were gradually raised to their present height. However, this analysis is denied by the evidence. A great many whales and other sea animals had to all have died in the very same area of the ocean at the same time; most would have become bloated with gas and floated to the surface. To settle on the same seabed location they would have to have drifted over days or weeks together and not be eaten. But according to the article,

“Nearly all of the fossils were embedded in surface rock and easy to pick up… Best of all, despite weathering, many of the smallest fossils were remarkably intact and will be easy to study… Assemblages comparable to these are virtually unknown in the Andes since geological upthrusting generally destroys fossil beds.” [emphasis added]

If the uniformitarian analysis is employed, the gradual upthrusting of the Andes from the bottom of the sea would obliterate nearly all the fossils and would not have left such a large assemblage of bones intact. However, a huge tidal wave would throw the whales on the land and buried them in a light covering of sediment. The evidence shows that these whales were found at the surface with many other sea animals. It was also reported that in the ground were found strata that contained land animals such as camel and rhinoceros.

In Discover, (May 1991), pp. 45-48, James Trefil .S.;discusses large numbers of whales found in a valley one hundred miles southwest of Cairo, Egypt in the Sahara desert, in which 243 fossil whale skeletons has thus far been discovered. The fossils are Zeuglodon, like those discovered all over the southern parts of the United States. The whale bones are scattered among sand dunes and the whales are just falling out of the rocks or are buried in the sand. When the wind exposes parts of the whale bones, the paleontologists dig them out as rapidly as possible because the windborne sand erodes away the bones that are exposed. Thus, it is probable many other whales have been exposed and destroyed by erosion over time. As is accepted, the Sahara was covered by sand only after the Ice Age ended. Therefore, the whales had to somehow have gotten into the sand after the Ice Age ended and the Sahara became a desert.

Allan O. Kelly .O.;and Frank Dachille .;in Target Earth, (Carlsbad, CA 1953), p. 168 describe,

“deluge lakes…found in other parts of the world. In Tunisia and Algeria there are a number of salt lakes, some of them below sea level, which show elevated shore lines of Pleistocene age. The University of California’s Expedition of 1947-48 found the bones of whales along with those of present day mammals in these old lake beds.”

In Nature, Vol. 38 for 1888, p. 134 is a discussion on whale bones 330 feet above sea level in Sweden which states,

“At a recent meeting of the Scientific Society of Upsala, Dr. C. Aurivillius read a paper on the skeleton of the so-called Swedenborg whale (Eubalana svedenborgii, Lillj), discovered last November in the province of Halland, in a layer of Marl 50 feet above the sea. Remains of this species of whale have only been found once before, viz. early last century, when some parts of one were discovered in the province of Western Gothland, 330 feet above the sea, and 70 miles inland… The skeleton has been presented to the Upsala Museum.” [emphasis added]

In Nature, Vol. 183, 1959, p. 272 D.L. Dineley .L.;and P.A. Garrett .A.;write,

“The preservation of Pleistocene or recent land mammals in the Siberian permafrost has long been known, but the literature does not appear to include mention of marine mammals preserved in ice. Particular interest, therefore, is attached to the discovery in 1958 of part of a whale carcass entombed in the ice cored moraine of Sveabreen, Ekmanfjord, in Vestspitsbergen…”

“This question of how and when the animal became entombed is a difficult one. One would expect a dead whale to float and hence, de­compose during the summer months, even if it died in the winter… As long as it remained in the permafrost, the animal would not decompose. It is surprising that the body remained intact during the movement. (Of the ice cored moraine) The estimate of the event is thought to be 2,500 years ago, but radiocarbon dating may narrow the time when the whale died.”

Stephen Jay Gould .J.;in Hen’s Teeth and Horses Toes, (NY 1983), p. 323, states, “Falling sea level has accompanied nearly every mass extinction that the Earth has suffered; this correlation is about the only aspect of mass extinction that evokes general agreement among geologists.”

Thus, the evidence speaks clearly of an enormous extinction a few thousand years ago notwithstanding Sagan’s statement that he cannot find this evidence. There is a great deal more information in Earth in Upheaval, that deals with evidence from the other continents, the oceans and recent geological publications. The small amount of infor­mation presented above will give some idea of what is available in the literature in greater depth and detail. The evidence from the other continents, islands and oceans shows that there is indeed plenty of scientific data to support the thesis that a catastrophe of world-wide dimensions shook the globe only a few thousand years ago.



Sagan asks, “And what of the archaeological…evidence?”[320] The reader will recall that earlier, Velikovsky claimed that there were four world ages or four world-wide catastrophes of varying intensity. In Worlds in Collision, he cites Hesiod in his chapter titled “The World Ages”. “Hesiod, one of the earliest Greek authors, wrote about four ages.” In Tibet, Velikovsky writes,

“Analogous traditions of four expired ages persist on the shores of the Bengal Sea and in the highlands of Tibet.” In the Americas, Velikovsky cites Brasseur’s Histoire des Nations Civilisées de Mexique (1857-1859), Vol. I p. 53, which states, “The ancients [of Mexico] knew that before the present sky and earth were formed, man was already created and life had manifested itself four times.”[321]

Therefore, if the world experienced four catastrophes, there should be evidence of at least these four events and even of earlier ones as well.

Claude F.A. Schaeffer, .F.A.;the greatest archaeologist of the twentieth century, carried out an archaeological survey across a vast area of the Middle East. Velikovsky, in Earth in Upheaval, in a chapter titled “The Ruins of the East” summarizes Professor Schaeffer’s work.

“In the ruins of excavated sites throughout all lands of the ancient East, signs are seen of great destruction that only nature could have inflicted Claude Schaeffer, in his great recent work, [Stratigraphie comparée et chronology de l’Asie occidentale, Oxford Univ. Press, (1948)] discerned six separate upheavals. All of these catastrophes of earthquake and fire were of such encompassing extent that Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, the Caucasus, the Iranian plateau, Syria, Palestine, Cyprus and Egypt were simultaneously overwhelmed. And some of these catastrophes were in addition, of such violence, that they closed great ages in the history of ancient civilizations.” [emphasis added].

Velikovsky continues,

“The enumerated countries were the subject of Schaeffer’s detailed inquiry; and recognizing the magnitude of the catastrophes that have no parallels in modern annals or in the concepts of seismology, he became convinced that these countries, the ancient sites of which he studied, represented only a fraction of the area that was gripped by the shocks.

“The most ancient catastrophe of which Schaeffer discerned vestiges took place between 2,400 and 2,300 before the present era. It spread ruin from Troy to the valley of the Nile. In it, the Old Bronze Age found its end. Laid waste were cities of Anatolia…Tarsus, Aligar and those of Syria, like Ugarit, Byblos, Chagar, Bazar, Tell Brak, Tepe Gawra, and of Palestine, like Beth Shan and Ai; and of Persia, and of the Caucasus. Destroyed were the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Cyprus, and the Old Kingdom in Egypt came to an end, a great and splendid age. In all cities, walls were thrown from their foundations, and the population markedly decreased. [Schaeffer states], ‘It was an all encompassing catastrophe. Ethnic migrations were, no doubt, the consequence of the manifestation of nature. The initial and real causes must be looked for in some cataclysm over which man had no control.’ It was sudden and simultaneous in all places investigated. [The above and the following quotations are from Schaeffer, Stratigraphie Comparee, pp. 534-567]

“In a few centuries, migrating and multiplying themselves, the descen­dants of the survivors of the ruined world built new civilizations: the Middle Bronze Age. In Egypt it was the time of the Middle Kingdom, a short, but glorious resurrection of Egyptian civilization and might. Liter­ature reached its perfection, political might its apogee. Then came shock that in a single day made of the empire a ruin, of its art debris, of its population corpses. Again it was the entire ancient Near East, to its uttermost frontiers; that fell prostrate; nature which knows no bound­aries, threw all countries into a tremor and covered the land with ashes.

“This brilliant period of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, during which flourished the art of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt and the exquisite art and industry of the Middle Minoan Age [on Crete], and in the course of which great centers of trade like Ugarit in Syria enjoyed remarkable prosperity, was suddenly terminated…”

“The great activity of international trade which, during the Middle Bronze Age, had been characteristic of the eastern Mediterranean and most of the lands of the Fertile Crescent, suddenly stopped in all this vast area… In all the sites in Western Asia examined up to now a hiatus or a period of extreme poverty broke the stratigraphic and chronological sequence of the strata… In most countries the population suffered great reduction in numbers; in others settled living was replaced by a nomadic existence.” [Thus writes Schaeffer.]

Velikovsky continues,

“In Asia Minor the end of the Middle Bronze came suddenly, and a rupture between that age and the Late Bronze is evident [according to Schaeffer] in ‘all sites that were stratigraphically examined.’ Troy, Bog­hazkoi, Tarsus, Alisaar, present the same picture of life vanishing with the end of the Middle Bronze.

“In Tarsus, between the strata of the ‘brilliantly developed civilization’ of the Middle Bronze and those of the Late Bronze, a layer of earth five feet thick was found without a sign of habitation—a ‘hiatus.’ [This is similar to the mud of the Pampas or Muck of the Arctic, but on a much smaller scale.] At Alaca Huyuk the transition from Middle Bronze to Late Bronze was marked by upheaval and destruction and the same may be said of every excavated site in Asia Minor.

“On the Syrian coast and in the interior [Schaeffer writes], ‘we find a stratigraphic and chronological rupture between the strata of the Middle Bronze and Late Bronze at Qalaat-er-Rouss, Tell Simiriyan, Byblos, and in the necropoles [graveyards] of Kafer-Djarra, Oraye, Majdalouna.’ All the necropoles examined in the upper valley of the Orontes creased to be used and habitation of the great site of Hama was interrupted at the moment the Middle Kingdom in Egypt went down. Also, in Ras Shamra, there is a marked gap between the horizons of the Middle and Late Bronze.

“In Palestine, at Beth Mirsim, there was an interruption in the habitation of the site after the fall of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt. In Beth-Shan, between the layers of the Middle Bronze and Late Bronze, the excavators came upon an accumulation of debris a meter thick. [Schaeffer states], ‘It indicates that the transition from the Middle Bronze to the Late Bronze was accompanied by an upheaval that broke the chronological and stratigraphical sequence of the site.’ A similar situation was found at Tell el Hesy by Bliss. Earth tremors played havoc also with Jericho, Megiddo, Beth-Shemesh, Lachich, Ascalon, Tell Taanak. The excavator of Jericho found that the city had been repeatedly destroyed. The great wall surrounding it fell in an earthquake shortly after the end of the Middle Kingdom. [See J. Garstang .;and G.B.E. Garstang, .B.E.;The Story of Jericho, 1940]

“Concussions devastated the entire land of the Double Stream. The Russian-Persian borderland also shows that there was no continuity between the Middle Bronze and Late Bronze. In the Caucasus, not an archaeological vestige was found of the centuries between these two ages.

“A sea tide broke onto the land on the coast of Ras Shamra bringing further destruction in its wake.

“It appears also that the end of the Middle Kingdom was marked by volcanic eruptions and lava flows. On the Sinai Peninsula, at an early and undisclosed date, a flow of basaltic lava from the fissured group—the Sinai massif is not a volcano—burned down forests, leaving a desert behind. [This according to Flinders Petrie, Ancient Egypt, 1915] In Palestine, lava erupted, filling the Jezreel Valley. Early in this century a Phoenician vase was found embedded in lava. Geologists have asserted that volcanic activity in Palestine ceased in prehistoric times. [H. Gressman, in Palastinas Erdgeruch In der Israelitischen Religion, (1909), pp. 74-75 states], ‘The assertion of the geologists thus becomes very questionable’… The vase found in lava proves volcanic activity there [according to Gressman, p. 75] ‘in historical times.’ The verdict of the archaeologists is that [according to A. Lods, Israel, (1932), p. 31, That] the vase ‘dates from the fifteenth century before the present era.’”[322]

Regarding archaeological evidence from the Americas, we have already discussed Tiahuanacu in the Andes .;of South America and Ipiutak in Alaska. But what of the civilization of Mexico?

Byron Cummings’ .;article “Ruins of Cuicuilco May Revolutionize Our History of Ancient America”, appeared in National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 44, for 1923, pp. 202-220. In it Cummings describes a pyramid and possibly a city lying in the central Mexican valley on the great plateau near Mexico City. It is considered one of the oldest structures in the Americas and some archaeologists suggest that it may even pre-date the pyramids of Egypt.

All around the pyramid and the surrounding area is, what may be called Pedregal lava. Cummings’ team dug down through this lava which is 25 feet thick and then uncovered several layers of archaeological occupation that were interspersed with thick layers of volcanic ash. That is, each level of culture was destroyed and buried beneath volcanic material upon which the next developed.

Below the Pedregal lava was an archaeological stratum that is currently classified as Early Classical, which roughly spans the period between 200 to 400 A.D. Beneath this stratum lay a thick layer of ash below which was found the remnants of an earlier culture which was quite different than that above it. It did possess some characteristics of the latter society; but the fact that there were far greater differences than the few superficial similarities, shows that the earlier culture was terminated by violent destruction and buried under volcanic ash which when removed, showed archaeological artifacts of a very primitive society.

The Carbon-14 dating of the materials carried out many years later on biological artifacts also showed sharp breaks between the major cultural layers. But what is most significant is that the hiatuses are dated closely to the two catastrophes described in Worlds in Collision. Sometime after around 1870 to 1770 B.C., there is a complete break in the stratum and another between 610 to 710 B.C. These dates come relatively close to 1500 and 689 B.C. dates as suggested by Velikovsky. This indicates that in the America, great catastrophes closed these periods of human development in the same manner as Schaeffer .F.A.;described in the Near East.

Furthermore, Cummings also found fine water deposited silt between the facing stones of the pyramid. He estimated that the pyramid was immersed in as much as six feet of water in the ancient past, giving evidence of an inundation in the heart of the Mexican plateau.

The dating of these layers is further corroborated by K.V. Flannery, .V.;et. al. in Science, Vol. 58 for 1967, pp. 445ff in an article which deals with Mesoamerican Zatopec culture. Flannery gives the starting dates of the major periods in Mesoamerica as 8000, 1500 and 600 B.C. C.J. Ransom .J.;who first reported Flannery’s work in The Age of Velikovsky, p. 181, also points out that,

“The timing may not be exact, but largely because of carbon dating it is now apparent that the general periods suggested by Velikovsky are reasonable, and the legends generated during these periods correlate to those of other countries. Frank Waters is well-known for his writing about the history and myths of Native Americans and Mesoamericans. In 1975 he published Mexico Mystique, which is divided into two parts and describes the history and then the myths of the Aztecs, Olmecs, Mayas, Toltecs, and other groups in Mexico. In his analysis of the mythologies of these cultures, Waters reviewed the work of Velikovsky which is relevant to these areas. He concluded that although the timing of some events still creates some problems, ‘…Velikovsky’s theory runs parallel to Mesoamerican myth in general outline.’”

Thus, from Alaska in the north to the Andes in South America, and the Valley of Mexico, is archaeological evidence that apparently supports Velikovsky.



Norman Macbeth .;in Darwin Retried, (Ipswich MA, 1971), pp. 111-112 describes Velikovsky’s evidence of the Columbia Plateau thus,

“Something like 200,000 square miles in Idaho and eastern Washington and Oregon are covered with lava, which in many places is 5,000 feet or more in depth. All the volcanoes in the world, working at their present paltry scale and tempo through any period of time, could never produce such quantities of lava; hence this is a direct challenge to the uniformitarian theory. To make matters worse, much of the lava seems to be fresh and a figurine of baked clay was found at a depth of 320 feet. If men were present and making figurines before the eruptions ceased, the eruptions must have been very recent.

“I found this report fully confirmed by Ruth Moore, .;[in The Earth We Live On), (Knopf 1956), Chapter 17] an able popularizer in the earth sciences. Miss Moore actually gives far more astonishing details on the lava than Velikovsky does, but she never mentions the figurine or the freshness. She is an ardent admirer of Lyell and maintains a conviction in the uniformitarian theory that allows her to say [on p. 345]… ‘nothing has ever indicated that Lyell .;was wrong about the general uniformity of the earth’s behavior.’”

By ignoring evidence like this, Sagan can claim that there is no evidence.

Thus, we are brought full circle. The geologists maintain the disrup­tion that ended the Ice Age was slow and happened 10,000 years ago. But in Egypt and Babylonia, ancient men saw and depicted supposedly long extinct fauna on the walls of their buildings. The geologists say volcanic activity did not occur in Palestine in historical times; but pottery 3,500 years old—or of historical time is found embedded in lava there. And there is other archaeological evidence some of which, like Ipiutak in Alaska or depictions of extinct elephants by American Indians or Tiahuanacu in the Andes or Cuicuilco in Mexico or a bronze workshop in the muck of the Arctic tundra of Siberia, or stone-age relics of ancient man in Spitzbergen above the Arctic Circle, or caves with relics of stone-age man high in the Alps mountains .;many miles inside a glacial ice field that we have discussed. But there is more in Velikovsky’s book Earth in Upheaval.



Finally Sagan asks, “Where is the evidence of extensive melting in these centuries near where the tidal distortion is greatest?”[323] In Worlds in Collision Velikovsky writes,

“The great seas of dried lava and the great craters on the dead planet [the Moon] devoid of air and water bespeak the dreadful devastations, even death itself, that interplanetary contacts can leave in their wake. The great formations of craters, mountain rifts, and plains of lava on the moon were formed not only in the upheavals described in this book, but also in those which took place in earlier times. The moon Moonis a great unmarked cemetery flying around our Earth, a reminder of what can happen to a planet.”[324]

If the Moon suffered great catastrophes 3,500 and 2,700 years ago, and was shaken by large meteorite impacts and powerful perturbations, it would still be vibrating from these events. This, indeed, is now known to be the case. Sagan, in his book Cosmos, pp. 85-86 discusses this lunar wobbling or libration stating,

 “When an object impacts the Moon at high speeds, it sets the Moon slightly wobbling. Eventually the vibrations die down, but not in…[a] short period… Such a quivering can be studied by laser techniques… Such measurements performed over a period of years reveal the Moon to be librating or quivering with a period (about three years) and amplitude (about three meters)…”

Sagan assumes the wobbling was caused by another later event than that suggested by Velikovsky. Nevertheless, Velikovsky’s catastrophes would certainly create just such a libration of the Moon.

Now, if the Moon suffered during these catastrophes, wouldn’t the Earth also have undergone violent perturbations; and shouldn’t it also be librating or wobbling as the Moon does? This also is indeed the case. The discoverer in the last century of this strange wobble, Seth Carlo Chandler, has had this phenomenon named after him—it is called the Chandler Wobble. The Earth’s poles wobble back and forth in a period of about 14 months over a distance of a few meters.

Velikovsky, in Earth in Upheaval, p. 113 stated that, “Simon New­comb, .;foremost American mathematical astronomer in his paper, “On the Periodic Variation of Latitude” [Astronomical Journal, XI (1891); Cf. idem, in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, LII (1892), No. 35] wrote,

“‘Chandler’s remarkable discovery that the apparent variation in terrestrial latitudes may be accounted for by supposing a revolution of the axis of rotation of the earth around that figure…is in such discord with the received theory of the earth’s rotation, that, at first, I was disposed to doubt its possibility.’ However, on reconsideration he found a theoretical justification: ‘Theory then shows that the axis of rotation will revolve around that of a figure, in a period of 306 days and in a direction from west to east.’”

“G.V. Schiaparelli,.V.; the Italian astronomer, in his research, De la rotation de la terre sous l’influence des actions geologieques (1889), pointed out that in the case of displacement the pole of inertia (or of figure) and the new pole of rotation would describe circles around each other, and the earth would be in a state of strain. ‘The earth is at present in this [wobbling] condition and as a result the pole of rotation described a small circle in 304 days, known as the Eulerian circle.’ This phenomenon of wobbling points to a displacement of the terrestrial poles sometime in the past.”

If the Chandler Wobble produces a strain on the Earth’s rotation, it should be damping [getting smaller and smaller] because over time, strains on the Earth will disappear unless some force can account to keep the Earth wobbling. But, as a matter of fact, measurements over time show that the Chandler Wobble is damping. The Encyclopedia Britannica, Macropedia, Vol. 17, (London 1986), p. 555 informs us that, “Chandler’s Wobble, an oscillation of the Earth’s axis with a period of about 14 months, appears to be damping with an amplitude reduction factor of 1/a about 15 years. There are problems in assessing the damping accuracy and determining this nutation [irregular motion] accuracy.” Since the very nature of the Earth situated as it is in space, tends to damp this polar motion, the Chandler Wobble cannot be generated by the present internal nor external conditions of the Earth. John Wahr, .;in “The Earth’s Inconstant Motion”, Sky and Telescope for June 1986, p. 549 admits, “The Chandler Wobble is a good example of our great (though diminishing) ignorance. In truth, we don’t know much more about its origin than we did in Chandler’s time a century ago.” However, the Chandler Wobble, like the wobble of the Moon, can both be explained by a catastrophe to both in the recent past and Velikovsky’s theory does explain the Moon and the Earth’s wobbling motions.

Velikovsky claims the great maria of the Moon are the result of immense gravitational stresses that heated the surface and actually melted it. Therefore, if this is the case, one side of the Moon would show this phenomenon much more than the other. This we showed earlier to be the case. Thus, what other scientific evidence supports this view?

If the Moon was tidally melted by a large passing body, then the maria should show this by a pattern that runs in a great circle arc across the Moon’s surface. R.J. Malcuit .J.;et. al.; in an article titled “The Great Circle Pattern of Large Circular Maria” in The Moon, (1975) Vol. 12, p. 55, which states,

“The circular maria—Orientale, Imbrium, Serenitiatis, Crisium, Smythii, and Tsiolkovsky—lie nearly on a lunar great circle. This pattern can be considered the result of a very close, non-capture encounter between the Moon and the Earth early in solar system history.”

However, earlier we showed that dust on the Moon indicates its craters are extremely young; therefore, the arcurate pattern of large maria must be of recent tidal melting. What is also significant is the interpretation that these large lunar basins were produced by tidal melting and not by impact.

If a large body crashed into the Moon when it first formed, it would find the Moon melted from radioactive elements and thus, it too would melt. If, on the other hand, it crashed into the Moon after the Moon had cooled and solidified it, would on impact, have been so hot that it would have vaporized. However, if a planetary sized body approached the Moon, it would have distorted the shape of the Moon on one side, pulled the dense material of the lunar core toward the surface and where this hot material of the core came to the surface together with tidal forces of the passing body would have created huge seas of melted material. Thus, the side of the Moon with these maria which faces the Earth should show all these phenomena and more.

If the catastrophes described by Velikovsky occurred, the last event should cause the Moon to reverberate, that is, to experience earthquakes. There are two types of moonquakes, one type that recurs every 28 days or about once every lunar month. However, the location of this type of quake is not random; according to Bevan M. French .M.;in The Moon Book, (Westford, MA 1978), p. 228,

“In addition to being deep, (about 600 to 800 kilometers below the surface) most moonquakes are also localized; that is, they occur again and again at specific places on the moon. At present, 40 such ‘centers’ of moonquake activity have been identified, all but one on the near side of the moon. The centers are not distributed at random. With only a few exceptions, they lie along two great belts that are 100 to 300 kilometers wide and run for about 2,000 kilometers across the moon.”

These belts of weakness are precisely what one would expect if the Moon had recently undergone enormous catastrophic stresses. What makes these deep seated moonquakes so difficult for the geophysicists to explain is that they should not exist. Moonquakes located 600 to 800 kilometers below the lunar surface cannot occur at that depth because of the high pressure and high lunar temperature gradient. In Scientific American, Vol. 260, for Jan. 1989, Cliff Frohlich’s .;article “Deep Earthquakes”, p. 48, discusses the problem related to deep-focus earthquakes. The reason on the Earth that such deep-focus earthquakes cannot occur is that at a depth of 60 kilometers, rocks should be so hot that they become ductile. Under stress, the rocks do not break violently but flow to deform. A similar condition pertains to the Moon. At some point below the surface, perhaps 200 km, its rocks will be so hot that they will deform and not break catastrophically. Thus, it is probable that the Moon recently experienced an enormous catastrophe that created unevenly distributed pressure centers that are correcting themselves after the event. G. Latham .;et. al., in Science, Vol. 174, (1971), pp. 687-692 admit, “The moonquakes appear to be releasing internal strain of unknown origin.”

The same should also hold true for the Earth. Frohlich shows that since 1964, over 60,000 earthquakes have originated well below the Earth’s surface in the same deep regions in which such events are considered impossible. This also implies that both the Earth and the Moon experienced a large catastrophic recent event to leave these pressure signatures of the event that are relaxing.

French goes on to state, pp. 229-230 that,

“not all moonquakes are regular or related to tides. The lunar seismome­ters have also detected another kind of moonquake that occurs in groups at apparently random times, apparently unrelated to the moon’s motions around the earth. These moonquakes are similar to the swarms of small, shallow earthquakes that often accompany the eruption of volcanic lavas on the earth.”

But, magma in the upper regions of the Moon would have cooled billions of years ago based on present theory. French states, p. 237 that there are numerous observations reported by astronomers for hundreds of years, “such as glows, hazes, brief color changes and temporary obscurations of lunar surface features. Many of the observations, made in recent times by careful observers, are convincing, although no ade­quate explanation has yet been proposed…” to explain these volcanic gas emissions. This being the case, there must still be volcanic activity occurring near the lunar surface. However, the Moon cannot be ancient and still possess magma at or near the surface. French states, p. 237, “Present-day volcanic eruptions are hard to reconcile with the ancient ages of all the lunar lavas.” However, volcanic activity near the Moon’s surface is exactly what is expected based on Velikovsky’s theory. If the Moon recently experienced a cosmic catastrophe, it would have created pockets of magma below the lunar surface which it seems to possess. The shallow moonquakes reflect volcanism.

Related to this is the finding by the astronomers of several types of volcanic features primarily on the near side of the Moon where volcanic activity has been observed as glows, hazes, etc. Nicholas M. Short, .M.;in Planetary Geology, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ 1975), p. 109, writes,

“Most of the more than four hundred lunar domes, the dark-halo craters, rings, wrinkled ridges, straight and sinuous rilles, and other endogenic features of volcanic origin are associated with mare lavas, volcanic fillings in large craters or, in some instances, the smooth plains… The majority of these features are concentrated on the near side of the Moon, as would be expected from the prevalence of the maria on [that] face.”

It has been known for a considerable time that the side of the Moon that contains the major maria has a slight bulge. It seems the lunar core has been pulled by some force toward the side facing the Earth. This cannot be explained only by the fact that this side of the Moon faces the Earth; and that the pull of the Earth’s gravity created this bulge.

The basic problem with the Moon’s bulge is explained by the fact that the Moon possesses a high thermal gradient; that is, it becomes hotter with depth. Based on rheology—the science of the deformation of solids caused by gravity—bulges on large bodies will sink. S.K. Runcorn .K.;in Scientific American, Vol. 257 in an article titled “The Moon’s Ancient Magnetism”, for Dec. 1987, p. 63 explains,

“What caused the [lunar] bulge? Laplace supposed that strains might have developed when the Moon initially cooled from a molten state, and the shape resulting from these strains had been retained after solidification. Later, Sir Harold Jeffreys .;suggested that the strain could have been caused by the tidal action of the Earth. By this explanation, the bulge would have been frozen in when the Moon was about 40 percent of its current distance from the Earth.

“Both Laplace .S.;and Jeffreys assumed the rigidity of the Moon would have guaranteed that an early distortion (such as a bulge) would remain to the present day. Yet, if solid state creep occurred in the Moon at one-trillionth the rate at which we now know it occurs in laboratory materials at modest temperatures, such a primeval bulge would have disappeared long ago.”

Dr. Runcorn has his own catastrophic theory for the Moon’s bulge. Velikovsky’s hypothesis that the Moon suffered a tidal interaction with proto-planet Venus some 3,500 years ago would also produce a lunar bulge. It is clear that the Moon’s bulge was caused by a relatively recent and, quite probably, a very recent event.

However, the side of the Moon with the major maria also possesses “Mascons” or large concentrations of mass below the surface. M. Zeilik .;tells us, “The fact that almost all maria have associated mascons implies that some common process produced large amounts of dense material under the maria.”[325]

Now, Carl Sagan believes the Moon formed billions of years ago. But if the Moon was then internally heated by radioactive elements, the large bodies that would impact to form the mascons would have melted. We know from previous discussion of the Moon that it still possesses a high thermal gradient. Therefore, a large body that entered the Moon’s interior must have melted billions of years ago. According to Allen L. Hammond .L.;in an article in Science, for 1972,

“[the] heat flux from the moon of 3.3 microwatts per square centimeter (about half of the heat flux from the Earth), a value that is considerably higher than was expected. The result is also higher than that predicted by thermal calculations based on geochemical models of the moon’s interior, and, if sustained by further measurements…it might lead to a revision in estimates of the amount of material (whose decay is thought to be the heat source) present within the moon.”[326]

Thus, the mascons, even with a lower thermal gradient, are not explained by the accepted evolutionary model. And Peter Cadogan .;in The Moon—Our Sister Planet, (Cambridge 1981), p. 271, states, “Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of mascons is their survival.”

However, it is a well-known geological fact that the youngest rocks on Earth are also the most radioactive. Therefore, the maria that were formed most recently should contain the highest concentration of radioactive materials. Hammond goes on to say, about these nearside areas,

 “The region around the Imbrium basin, however, appears to have some unusual features. Observations of the gamma rays given off by radioactive materials showed much higher concentrations of uranium, thorium and potassium in Mare Imbrium and in the neighboring lava flows of Oceanus Procellarum than elsewhere on the moon. [These are the largest maria on the moon and would, therefore, contain the deepest radioactive materials in their surface lavas.] The observations were made from lunar orbit, and the…Apollo 15 spacecraft allowed about 15 percent of the moon’s surface to be mapped. The results of the experiment, conducted by a team headed by James Arnold .;of the University of California at San Diego, indicate concentrations of about 10 parts per million of thorium in the Mare Imbrium soil, compared with 1…ppm in the eastern part of the moon…why the Imbrium and Procellarum regions should be the overwhelming source of the radioactive elements on the moon’s surface, as they appear to be, has been difficult for geochemists to explain.”[327]

It is only difficult to explain if one believes the Moon’s surface has not recently undergone tidal distortion which brought radioactive material from inside the Moon to its surface. Thus, the near side of the Moon exhibits arcs of maria, mascons, moonquake zone belts, domes, dark halo craters, rings, wrinkled ridges, straight and sinuous rills, high radio activity all associated with recent volcanic activity which still lingers as clouds and hazes.

Further, if the Earth, during the catastrophe, was not subjected to a strong magnetic field, should not the Moon also show a strong remanent magnetism in its rocks? Hammond, cited above, tells us,

“Even more disturbing to many geochemists is evidence that the moon had a magnetic field, and hence, presumably a molten iron core through­out most of its first 1.5 billion years. Residual magnetism has been found in many of the lunar rock samples. In an experiment conducted by Paul Coleman .;and his colleagues at the University of California in Los Angeles, a magnetometer in a small satellite launched into lunar orbit by the Apollo 15 crew has now recorded measurable amounts of residual magnetism over much of the moon, an indication that the magnetized samples are not isolated phenomena. Coleman believes that the residual field is due to a magnetized crust, which would imply that the moon was immersed in a strong magnetic field at the time the crust was formed.

“Neither the magnetic field associated with the solar nebula nor the dipole magnetic field of the Earth, according to S. Runcorn of the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England, could have magnetized the moon’s crust because of the orientation of the field in the solar wind and the length of period during which the moon would have had to be very close to the earth…

“The magnetic evidence, therefore leads to a picture of the Moon’s evolution that conflicts with [uniformitarian] models based on geochem­ical considerations.”[328]

Thus, neither the Earth’s nor the Sun’s magnetic fields are responsible for the Moon’s magnetic field. According to Peter Cadogan .;in The Moon—Our Sister Planet, (Cambridge, England 1981), p. 312,

“there is simply not enough metallic iron inside the Moon to carry the required magnetism. Even with 4.8% [iron] a magnetic field as high as 75 oersted would be necessary, and it is difficult to see how this could have been generated in the early solar system. For any reasonable solar field, the amounts of metallic iron necessary would be incompatible with the Moon’s measured density, moment of inertia and magnetic permeabil­ity.”

This simply means the Moon could never have generated its magnetic field in its early history.

If neither the Earth nor the Sun nor the Moon could generate the magnetic field where did the field come from? According to Cadogan, p. 314, “the rocks of the lunar crust have been magnetized externally, rather than internally.” For this to occur, a body had to come close enough to the Moon to melt its rocks and at the same time immerse the Moon’s surface in a strong magnetic field. Venus is described as expelling planetary thunderbolts. Hence, it was at that time, a highly electric and magnetic body which could melt and magnetize the Moon’s rocks.

All the evidence discovered on the Moon supports Velikovsky’s hypothesis and contradicts the views that Sagan supports.

Lastly, the Moon, as discussed, still seems to have a good deal of radioactive elements. This evidence produces a problem for the Moon’s craters being ancient. The theory of Earth’s and other terrestrial bodies formation currently accepted by most astronomers is the gradual condensation and accretion process. According to Raymond Siever .;in The Solar System, (San Francisco 1975) a Scientific American book, p. 59,

“As the planet grew it began to heat up as a result of the combined effect of the gravitational infall of its mass, the impact of meteorites and the heat of radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and potassium… Eventually the interior became molten. The consequence of the melting was what has been called the iron catastrophe, involving a vast reorganization of the entire body of the planet. Molten drops of iron and associated elements sank to the center of the earth and there formed a molten core that remains largely liquid today.

“As the heavy metal sank to the core the lighter ‘slag’ floated to the top—the outer layers that are now termed the upper mantle and the crust…”

But if this was the way all the terrestrial planets and the Moon formed, then they also melted to differentiate their materials into layers. Thomas A. Hockey .A.;in The Book of Moon, (NY 1986), p. 198 asks “Is the Moon differentiated in this way?” He answers, “The geologic and geophysical evidence says ‘yes’ but not as much as the Earth.” Hockey adds, p. 199, “Currently, it is believed that the Moon of today does consist of a crust, a mantle, and possibly a core like that of the Earth.” Thus, whatever ancient craters had existed would have melted and disappeared. It is thought the Moon went through this same process.



Albert Einstein, .;prior to the publication of Earth in Upheaval, felt Velikovsky’s evidence important enough that he read and reread the manuscript and added margin notes. Einstein’s serious and thoughtful attitude contrasts quite strongly with Sagan’s unreasoning view that the book, with its evidence, does not even exist and displays quite well the narrow and unscholarly nature of Carl Sagan’s approach.

Sagan’s refusal to admit that the evidence in Earth in Upheaval exists is in great measure like the professors of Galileo’s time who refused to look through the newly invented telescope at phenomena that contra­dicted their own scientific concepts. Giorgio De Santillana .;in The Crime of Galileo, (Chicago 1955), p. 11, writes,

“Certain doctors, who at least had the courage of their convictions, did actually and steadfastly refuse to look through the telescope, as has been recounted many times. Some did look and professed to see nothing; most of them, however, gave it the silent treatment, or said they had never gotten around to looking through it but that they knew already that it would show nothing of philosophical value.” [emphasis added]

Sagan, like the learned doctors of yore, has also given Velikovsky’s geological, archaeological and paleontological evidence the silent treatment. But he has outdone them in one significant way: while knowing Velikovsky has produced a book which deals with the evidence, Sagan asks where is this evidence to be found. Thus, he asks for evidence to be produced, but when it is produced and documented, Sagan refuses to acknowledge its existence. Sagan has put Velikovsky into a double bind. Putting a person into the position of “damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t” speaks most eloquently of Sagan’s attitude and method.

De Santillana, on p. 97 cites Galileo’s answer to those who would condemn his work. “…I am proposing not that this book be not condemned, but that it be not condemned, as they would, without under­standing it, without hearing it, without ever having seen it.” [emphasis in original] Sagan condemned Velikovsky’s work without attempting to understand it, by being unwilling to hear or let others hear its evidence, even without having seen it. Sagan’s whole approach is to keep his mind shut to this evidence because it contradicts his funda­mentalist uniformitarian scientific philosophy.

Sagan aptly captures the feelings of establishment scientists in his co-authored book Comet, wherein he states, “…the idea of periodic (or at least episodic) mass extinctions, visited on the Earth from space, [is] more palatable; but for many scientists and others, it remains a bitter pill to swallow.”[329] It is bitter medicine because Sagan and his colleagues have heaped denunciation on Velikovsky for stating this in Worlds in Collision and then acting as if his evidence was non-existent. Stephen Jay Gould .J.;of Harvard University, in a paper delivered on the topic of catastrophism states, “The zeitgeist [of gradualism] is now in for an overhaul… I believe that much of this current advocacy of punctuational [catastrophic] change represents nature reasserting herself against the blinders of our previous gradualistic prejudice…we should reject gradualism as a restrictive dogma.”[330] Among the “literature cited” to support evidence of “punctuational change” are, on p. 31, Velikovsky, I, 1950, Worlds in Collision…(and) Earth in Upheaval. Three words or phrases by Professor Gould apply to the treatment by Sagan of Velikovsky’s Earth in Upheaval. The first states science’s dogma of gradualism has acted as a “blinder” to evidence. Sagan’s strong aversion to such evidence caused him to deny its very existence. Gradualism has been a “restrictive dogma”; Sagan and his colleagues have restricted themselves from thinking along catastrophic lines, but have restricted others, not just Velikovsky, by denunciation if they challenged gradualism; and in this sense it has been not only restrictive, it has been “suppressive.” Lastly, Gould says, gradualism is in for an “overhaul.” Of course, he does not envisage Velikovsky’s brand of catastrophism winning the race, but a fair and honest appraisal of the evidence is most certainly in order. Sagan’s whole discussion of this material reflects a glib and cavalier attitude. One unfortunately can expect the denunciations to continue.

Sagan stated, “On these questions, Velikovsky seems to have ignored the critical evidence,” while the fact is that Sagan totally ignored all the evidence presented by Velikovsky. WHY?








Sagan states, “Velikovsky’s thesis has some peculiar biological and chemical consequences, which are compounded by some straight-forward confusions of simple matters. He seems not to know (p. 16) that oxygen is produced by green-plant photosynthesis on the Earth.”[331] Let us, therefore, examine p. 16 of Worlds in Collision to see just what Velikovsky did say.

“If, in the beginning, the planet was a hot conglomerate of elements as the nebular as well as the tidal theories assume, then the iron of the globe should have been oxidized and combined with all the available oxygen. But for some unknown reason this did not take place; thus the presence of oxygen in the terrestrial atmosphere is unexplained.”

Velikovsky’s statement is straightforward and the chemical conse­quences are very simple to understand. Iron, which is a very abundant element in the Earth, would naturally unite with oxygen in the early period of Earth formation. Because iron is a heavy element, thereafter, it would also naturally sink deep into the early molten Earth to form the Earth’s iron-nickel core. Thus, there would be no oxygen avail­able to form in the atmosphere. Sagan tells us Velikovsky is confused, but I think it is Sagan who has the problem. The thesis Velikovsky proposed on page 16 respecting atmospheric oxygen is neither idiosyncratic nor unknown to science. Robert H. Dott, Jr. ., R.H.;and Roger L. Batten .L.;in their book, Evolution of the Earth, discuss this very same problem wherein they say,

“The greatest single problem facing any hypothesis of atmospheric development is to explain the abundance of free oxygen… It has long been assumed that the early atmosphere did not have free oxygen…”[332]

Sagan has informed us that oxygen originated in the early atmosphere from green plants. There are great problems with this idea. One of the problems is the green plants themselves; they are made up of a few simple elements, one of which is “oxygen.” If there was no oxygen in the atmosphere, how could plants form—let alone produce oxygen? Theo Loebsack in .;Our Atmosphere, (translated from German by E.C., and D. Rewald), .;(NY 1959), p. 19 explains. “Other scientists [as Sagan] believe that plants gave rise to the greater part of the oxygen found in the air to-day. This theory has one drawback. How could plants have existed without oxygen, for although they give off oxygen, they also need it to live? How could plants evolve if there were no free oxygen on Earth?” For green plants to grow and produce oxygen they must live in an oxygen environment. But since there was no oxygen for them to carry on metabolism, live plants could not exist. Jeremy Rifkin .;in his book Algeny says this about oxygen in the early atmosphere of the Earth,

“To begin with, most scientists would agree that life could not have formed in an oxygen atmosphere. If the chemicals of life are subjected to an oxidizing atmosphere, they will decompose into carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen. For this reason, it has long been assumed that the first precursors of life must have evolved in a reducing [oxygen free] atmosphere, since an oxidizing atmosphere would have been lethal… But, in order to posit the theory that life evolved from nonlife, it is essential to assume a reducing atmosphere, because an oxygen atmo­sphere would destroy the chemicals of life before they could be fashioned into organic compounds by oxidizing or decomposing them back into carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, and oxygen…

“[A] reducing atmosphere overcomes this first giant hurdle, [but we are] immediately faced with a second hurdle, which is insurmountable. Without oxygen there would be no ozone shield to screen out most of the ultraviolet rays, life could not exist, even on the most primitive level.”[333]

Even Sagan is aware of this; in Broca’s Brain he states that, “If the thin protective ozone layer in our atmosphere, made by sunlight from oxygen, did not exist, we would rapidly be fried by ultraviolet light from the Sun.”[334]

Rifkin continues, citing R.L. Wysong .L.;who sums up the obvious Catch-22,

“If oxygen were in the primitive atmosphere, life could not have risen because the chemical precursors would have been destroyed through oxidation; if oxygen were not in the primitive atmosphere, then neither would have been ozone, and if ozone were not present to shield the chemical precursors of life from ultraviolet light, life would not have arisen.”[335]

To solve this dilemma, the biologists move the precursors of life under water to protect the molecules from the deadly ultraviolet radiation. Does this solve the problem? Robert Shapiro .;in his book Origins informs us that,

“Water happily attacks large biological molecules. It pries nucleotides apart from each other, breaks sugar-to-phosphate bonds, and severs bases from sugars. These reactions are taking place in our cells at this very moment. Fortunately, after billions of years of evolution, our bodies are well equipped to deal with these events. We have developed elaborate mechanisms to repair the damage to our molecules caused by continual attack by water.

“On the early earth, such defenses did not exist. Water continually opposed the assembly of large biomolecules and attacked those that had successfully formed.”[336]

Carl Sagan in his co-authored book, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, (NY 1992), p. 26 agrees:

“Oxygen generated today by green plants, must have been in short supply before the Earth was covered by vegetation. But ozone is generated from oxygen. No oxygen, no ozone. If there’s no ozone the searing ultraviolet…from the sun will penetrate to the ground. The intensity of UV at the surface of the Earth in those days may have reached lethal levels for unprotected microbes, as it has on Mars today.”

Sagan then performs a feat of magic and pulls out of nothing a fully developed plant that lived on the early ocean shores called a Stromatolite which came into existence in an environment of lethal ultraviolet light. In essence, Sagan has created a form of plant life different than the forms we commonly know today that could live, thrive and reproduce in the presence of ultraviolet light. The entire concept is in reality nothing but legerdemain created with smoke and mirrors.

True, something is peculiar and confused, but it is not Velikovsky’s work.

There is a further problem with Sagan’s view that the green plants produced the first oxygen of the atmosphere. Sagan informs us in his book Cosmos, p. 32, that,

“By one billion years ago, plants working cooperatively, had made a stunning change in the environment of the Earth. Green plants generate molecular oxygen. Since the oceans were now filled with simple green plants, oxygen was becoming a major constituent of the Earth’s atmo­sphere, altering it irreversibly from its original hydrogen rich character and ending the epoch of Earth history when the stuff of life was made by nonbiological processes.”

Sagan does not explain how the plants could form and survive in an atmosphere that permitted ultraviolet waves to penetrate and fry these first plants. If Sagan is correct, then about one billion years ago oxygen became plentiful and there should be evidence of this in the Earth. The problem for Sagan is that there were great amounts of oxygen produced two billion years ago, or a billion years before the green plants began to change the character of the atmosphere. According to Fred Hoyle .;in his book The Intelligent Universe, (NY 1983), p. 64, oxygen united with iron to form what are termed “red beds” two billion years ago. Hoyle states, “This rusting has been occurring for a very long time; indeed the oldest red beds were formed about 2,000 million [two billion] years ago. However, in spite of extensive world-wide geological surveys, none much earlier than this have been discovered.” The evidence from the two billion year old red beds implies that although plants existed about a billion years ago, they somehow produced great amounts of oxygen about two billion years ago. This is no small problem for Sagan and other scientists. They have concrete evidence that plants changed the atmosphere one billion years ago, yet they have concrete evidence that these same green plants produced oxygen from a period perhaps a billion years earlier. Thus, Sagan’s argument respecting how green plants generated the oxygen in the atmosphere is beset by problems which present day science has not solved completely. For a discussion of this see Ronald B. Parker’s .B.;Inscrutable Earth, (NY 1984), Chapter 4.



Sagan states,

“Velikovsky holds that the manna that fell from the skies in the Sinai peninsula was of cometary origin and therefore that there are carbohydrates on both Jupiter and Venus. On the other hand, he quotes copious sources for fire and naphtha falling from the skies, which he interprets as celestial petroleum ignited in the Earth’s oxidizing atmosphere (pages 53 through 58). Because Velikovsky believes in the reality…of both…events, his book displays a sustained confusion of carbohydrates and hydrocarbons, and at some points he seems to imagine that the Israelites were eating motor oil rather than divine nutriment during their forty years’ of wandering in the desert.”[337]

Sagan has made so many mistakes in this paragraph that it is intriguing to choose just where to begin a response. Firstly, Sagan confused the petroleum liquids that fell to the Earth with the hydrocarbon gases that remained in the Earth’s atmosphere. Thus, Sagan argues that liquids and gases fall at the same rate which cannot be. Water vapor is a gas and forms clouds, but when water condenses to form a liquid, it falls as rain. Lastly, Sagan thinks that having fallen to Earth by some new laws of atmospheric dynamics, both at the same rate of descent, the petroleum liquids and hydrocarbon gases were so tempting and that the Israelites were so hungry that they must have eaten the motor oil, or perhaps he thinks they ate the hydrocarbon gases. Sagan’s whole paragraph is gas. The confusion I suspect is that when Sagan sees hydrocarbon, he reads carbohydrate; when he reads carbohydrate, he sees hydrocarbon; when he sees liquid, he reads gas, etc. However, the major confusion seems to be that Sagan does not appear to know the difference between the chapter “Naphtha” and the chapter “Ambrosia” of Worlds in Collision.

The chapter “Naphtha” deals with the earlier period of the near collision between the Earth and an immense comet. There Velikovsky cites ancient sources from around the globe that the Earth burned in many places where liquid petroleum fell from the comet. The chapter “Ambrosia” deals with the later period, after the near collision when hydrocarbon gases left in the atmosphere were converted into carbohydrates. There also, Velikovsky cites legendary evidence of manna forming with the morning dew again from ancient sources around the globe.



If the comet was indeed expelled by some fission process from Jupiter and it had hydrocarbons, then Jupiter should also possess these materials. Sagan tells us that,

“He [Velikovsky] makes no note of the fact that Jupiter is composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, while the atmosphere of Venus, which he supposes to have arisen inside of Jupiter, is composed almost entirely of carbon dioxide. These matters are central to his ideas and pose them very grave difficulties.”[338]

The questions are:

1) Are hydrocarbons found on Jupiter?

2) Do comets contain hydrocarbons and liquids?

3) Are there conversion processes to convert hydrocarbon gases into carbohydrates?

4) Does Venus possess hydrocarbons? This last question will be taken up in Sagan’s seventh problem, “The Clouds of Venus”.

Sagan states that because “Jupiter is composed primarily of hydrogen and helium” it lacks hydrocarbons. Therefore, let us see what a well-known astronomer has to say on this matter which poses “grave difficulties” for Velikovsky. The astronomer just happens to be Carl Sagan, who stated the following at a NASA symposium:

“…Jupiter is a kind of remnant of the chemistry which was around in the early history of the solar system. It preserves for us the circumstances which were about on the earth in the early history of our planet, and, in particular, the atmosphere of Jupiter is composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, and smaller quantities of methane, ammonia and almost certainly water, although water hasn’t been directly detected yet, because it freezes out at the temperatures which we can see in the atmosphere of Jupiter. Now, that same mixture of gases is thought to be the primary mixture of gases in the early atmosphere of the earth at the time of its origin of life. So it is possible to do experiments in which we mix to­gether those gases, primarily hydrogen, methane, ammonia and water—we can also add, for example, hydrogen sulfide—and supply some energy and see what molecules are made… One such experiment done several years ago in our laboratory at Cornell, in which we had a glass reaction vessel, into which is inserted an ultraviolet source surrounded by a quartz jacket, and in this reaction vessel at this moment are the gases I’ve just mentioned. They are colorless; the only color…is from the irradiation. The gases are irradiated, and circulated out of the light and then back into it.

“…After the same reaction vessel…and you can see that we have produced some material that is brownish colored, in very high yield. This material we have spent a lot of time trying to analyze. It is a very complex mixture of organic molecules, that is, carbon-based molecules, some of very high complexity. Most of them of the kind called straight chain hydrocarbons.[339] [emphasis added]

The same information can also be found in the Encyclopedia Britannica for 1972 which states, “…independent lines of research have led to the suggestion that the upper atmosphere of Jupiter is a giant organic factory producing complex organic molecules that include many of biological importance.”[340] Tom Gold, .;in New Scientist, (June 26, 1986), p. 42 states, “Jupiter…contain[s] enormous amounts of methane and other hydrocarbons in [its] atmosphere.” Thus are hydrocarbons found on Jupiter? According to Gold and Sagan, apparently they are.

What then of the possibility of life in the clouds of Jupiter? William J. Kaufmann III .J.;in Planets and Moons, (San Francisco 1979), pp. 147-148, informs us five years after Sagan presented his criticism of Veli­kovsky that scientists also suggest life may exist in the clouds of Jupiter. After discussing Harold Urey, and Stanley Miller’s .;experi­ments which produced some types of amino acids he states,

“This experiment has been performed and studied many times, most recently by Cyril Ponnamperuma .;at the Laboratory of Chemical Evolu­tion at the University of Maryland. Although we are far from being able to create life directly from inorganic chemicals, it is clear that many of the molecular building blocks of living matter are produced in these experiments. Remarkably, the murky brew that is manufactured by these experiments has a distinctive reddish-brown color—exactly the same hues and tints seen in the belts of Jupiter.

“It seems entirely reasonable to suppose that the same chemical reactions are occurring in Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere… The chemicals are there; the electrical sparks are there. So why no amino acids and nucleotides? And since this chemical processing has been occurring for billions of years (rather than a few days, as in the laboratory experiments), perhaps enough time has elapsed for the development of living organisms. At a depth of only 100 kilometers below the Jovian cloud-tops, temperatures and pressures are hospitable—even by terrestrial standards. Simple one-celled creatures could easily survive floating among the clouds at these depths.”

These one-celled organisms are therefore considered probable by the scientists just as Velikovsky hypothesized. Kaufmann III, goes on,

“…the Jovian clouds seem to be the next obvious target in the search for extraterrestrial life…

“In 1977, Carl Wose .;of the University of Illinois announced his identification of extraordinary previously unidentified form of life here on Earth. Unlike bacteria or plant and animal life, this newly discovered life form exists only in oxygen-free environments such as the deep hot springs of Yellowstone National Park and on the ocean floor. These simple organisms superficially resemble bacteria, but they take in carbon dioxide, water and hydrogen and give off methane… These ancient organisms are ideally suited to Earth’s primordial atmosphere. And, in addition, they would thrive in Jupiter’s clouds. Indeed, it is tantalizing to speculate that some of the methane…we detect in the Jovian atmosphere might actually be caused by biological processes in the belts and zones.”

Thus not only are organics known to exist in Jupiter’s atmosphere, but the scientific community also speculates that living organisms exist there just as Velikovsky speculated. The scientists suggest these organisms may be responsible for the production of methane, a hydrocarbon gas, just as Velikovsky did, who wrote in Worlds in Collision, p. 369, “…Jupiter must possess an organic source of petroleum.” One is left to wonder why Velikovsky is so savagely attacked for conceiving of a concept many present-day scientists put forth?



The second question is, Do comets contain hydrocarbons or organic molecules? Again we turn to our well-known astronomer Carl Sagan for information. In his book Comet, he states,

“Astronomers tend to be nervous about the word organic—concerned that it might be misunderstood as a token of life on another world. But ‘organic’ only refers to molecules based on carbon. And organic chemicals would be produced and destroyed even if there were no life anywhere in the universe… Cometary silicates are probably intimately mixed with—perhaps coated by—complex organic compounds… One possible explanation is a large proportion of complex organic molecules (or just plain carbon) in the cometary nucleus which are involatile or which do not produce accessible spectral features. If this interpretation is correct, comets might be as much as 10 percent organic.”[341]

In Earthlike Planets, Sagan writes on the back cover, “This book is an important one and provides the first serious glimpse in any book that I know of the emerging science of comparative planetology.” On page 10 of this book we read, “Such ‘trans-jovian’ objects have long been inferred to be the source of comets, which are known to contain large amounts of organic matter and water.[342] [emphasis added]

But is this organic matter hydrocarbons? In Astrophysics of 1951 we learn that, it was reported by Bobrovnikoff .T.;of the Perkins Observatory that he had found from spectrographic analysis the presence of hydrocarbons in the tail of comets.[343]

In Sky and Telescope, for March 1987, p. 250, we learn that,

“The Vega infrared team made an important discovery bearing on the carbon in…[Halley’s] comet. The spectral features at the position marked ‘C-H’ on the chart at the upper right signal the presence of carbon and hydrogen joined by a chemical bond. These bonds are ubiquitous in carbon rich materials, such as hydrocarbons and other organic molecules.”

Therefore, if an immense comet derived from Jupiter, which Sagan informs us contains hydrocarbons, and like immensely smaller comets, which Sagan informs us possesses organic molecules, or as Bobrov­nikoff relates possesses hydrocarbons, what would happen if its materials entered the Earth’s atmosphere? Those that were in liquid form would fall to Earth; those that were in a gaseous state would circulate in the atmosphere.



The third question is: are there conversion processes by which hydro­carbon gases can be converted into carbohydrates in the atmosphere of the Earth? Yes, indeed there are. In fact, there are six such natural occurring processes by which the conversion can be accomplished. W.K. Kuong .K.;informs us that if:

“…hydrocarbons shrouded the Earth, part of it would mix with hydrogen of the hydrogen layer and another would be oxidized by the oxygen of the oxygen layer. The main products of combustion are carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and water vapor through cosmic irradiation, as laboratory experiments suggest. The action of cosmic radiation on the carbon dioxide/hydrogen/carbon monoxide/water vapour mixture would generate formaldehyde. Once formaldehyde is formed, various types of sugars and starches would be generated by the process of polymerization and aldol condensation. The general formula for the process is,

nCH2O = (CH2O)n

“In the above equation n is any integer. In n=5, the product is pentose; if n=6, the product (isomers also exist) is a hexose, etc.

“Formaldehyde should be formed during the day when the gaseous mixture is bombarded by particles from the solar furnace. The product would polymerize in the cool of the night, particularly on dust particles, and rain down in the early morning. If one refers to Exodus and Numbers, one finds that manna was deposited early in the morning with the dew.

“Dr. A.J. Swallow, .J.;in his text Radiation Chemistry of Organic Compounds, writes, ‘The synthesis of organic compounds through the agency of high-energy radiation had been amply demonstrated in the laboratory, an elementary example being the alpha-induced reaction between carbon dioxide and hydrogen to give formaldehyde, which then reacts further. Carbon monoxide can be reduced similarly. The main final product of irradiation in both cases appears to be a white solid composition (CH2O)n, which is presumably produced by polymerization of formaldehyde.’”[344] [emphasis added]

In fact, it was pointed out in the Biblical Archaeology Review for May-June 1988 by C.L. Ellenberger, .L.;L.M. Greenberg, .M.;and Dr. Shane Mage, .;the process described in the article cited above produces “edible carbohydrate or protein-like substances. The product of a similar, if not identical, process of conversion of petroleum into concentrated nutrition [which] is today sold in food stores everywhere as ‘primary growth torula yeast.’”

It is quite interesting to note that the description of manna from around the world describes it as milky or honey like just as the experiment by Dr. Swallow produced.



If this analysis is correct, every once in a great while a very tiny comet, laden with hydrocarbons should enter the Earth’s atmosphere and if it does not completely burn up, should leave a small cloud of such material. Therefore, if the hydrocarbons were indeed converted to carbohydrates, they would fall as rain, sleet, hail, snow, or possibly other forms. Charles Fort .;who reported on materials that fell from the sky, and presented several examples of falls of manna, writes,

“The subject of reported falls from the sky of an edible substance, in Asia Minor is confused, because reports have been upon two kinds of substances… In July 1927, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem sent an expedition to the Sinai Peninsula to investigate showers of ‘manna.’ See The New York Times, Dec. 4, 1927. Members of the expedition found what they called ‘manna’ upon leaves of tamarisk trees and on the ground underneath, and explained that it was secreted by insects. But the observations of this expedition have nothing to do with data, or stories of falls from the sky of fibrous convoluted lumps of a substance that can be ground into edible flour. A dozen times since early in the 19th century—and I have no definitely dated data upon still earlier occurrences—have been reported showers of ‘manna’ in Asia Minor… The substance that occasionally falls from the sky in Asia Minor, comes from far away. The occurrences are far apart, in time, and always the substance is unknown where it falls, and its edibleness is sometimes found out by the sight of sheep eating it. Then it is gathered and sold in the markets.

“We are told that it has been identified as a terrestrial product. We are told that these showers are aggregations of Leconora esculenta, a lichen that grows plentifully in Algeria. We are told that whirlwinds catch up these lichens lying loose, or easily detachable, on the ground. But note this:

“There have been no such reported showers in Algeria.

“There have been no such reported showers in places between Algeria and Asia Minor.

“The nearest similarity that I can think of is of tumble weeds, in the western [United] states, though tumble weeds are much larger. Well then, new growths of them when they are not much larger. But I have never heard of a shower of tumble weeds. Probably the things are often carried far by whirlwinds, but only scoot along the ground. A story that would be similar to stories of lichens, from Algeria, falling in Asia Minor, would be of tumble weeds, never falling in showers on western states, but repeatedly showering in Ontario, Canada, having been carried there by whirlwinds.

“Out of a dozen records, I mention that in Nature, Vol. 43, page 225, and in La Nature, Vol. 36, page 82, are accounts of one of the showers, in Asia Minor. The Director of the Central Dispensary of Baghdad had sent to France specimens of an edible substance that had fallen from the sky, at Meriden and at Diarbekis (Turkey in Asia) in a heavy rain, the last of May 1890. They were convoluted lumps, yellow outside and white inside. They were ground into flour from which excellent bread was made.”[345]

Elsewhere in his book, Fort describes manna falls in Milwaukee, Wis­consin (1881), and Montgomery, Alabama (1898). Of La Nature for 1883 Fort states,

“A correspondent writes that he sent a sample of a substance said to have fallen at Montussan (Gironde), October 16, 1883. According to a witness, quoted by a correspondent, a thick cloud accompanied by rain and a violent wind had appeared. This cloud was composed of a woolly substance in lumps the size of a fist, which fell to the ground. The Editor (Tissandier) says of this substance that it was white, but was something that had been burned. It was fibrous. M. Tissandier .;astonishes us by saying that he cannot identify this substance.”[346]



Furthermore, if the hydrocarbons were not completely converted by the processes described by Kuong .K.;above, then they would still preserve their oily composition. Thus, if this is true of the past, should it not also be true of the present? In this regard Fort .;informs us:

“That [in] March 1832, there fell, in the fields of Kourianof, Russia, a combustible yellowish substance, covering at least two inches thick an area 600 or 700 square feet. It was resinous and yellowish: so one inclines to the conventional explanation that it was pollen from pine trees—but when torn, it had the tenacity of cotton. When placed in water, it had the consistency of resin. ‘This resin,’ [the Annual Register states], ‘had the color of amber, was elastic, like Indian rubber, and smelled like prepared oil mixed with wax.’”[347] [emphasis added]

On the next page, [64], Fort states:

“April 11, 1832—about one month after the fall of the substance of Kourianof—fell a substance that was wine-yellow, transparent, soft and smelling like rancid oil. M. Herman, .;a chemist who examined it named it ‘sky oil.’”[348] [emphasis added]

Thus, it is quite clear that both hydrocarbons and carbohydrates can, and do fall to Earth from the sky probably from tiny comets.



This brings us to Sagan’s view that “petroleum arises from decaying vegetation, of the Carboniferous and other early geological epochs, and not from comets.”[349] One of Sagan’s arguments against Veli­kovsky’s hypothesis is that the cometary origin of petroleum is invalid because “It is also very difficult to understand on his [Velikovsky’s] hypothesis how it is, if oil fell from the skies in 1500 B.C., that petroleum deposits are intimately mixed with chemical and biological fossils of tens of hundreds of millions of years ago.”[350] This statement clearly shows that Sagan does not understand Velikovsky’s hypothesis. His misconception lies in his belief that Velikovsky claims the Earth only experienced catastrophes in historical times. Because Sagan refuses to acknowledge the book Earth in Upheaval, he could not bring himself to read,

“As important as the ‘world catastrophes’ conclusion is, it grows in significance for almost every branch of science when, to the ensuing question, ‘Of old or of recent time?’ the answer is given, ‘Of old and of recent.’ There were global catastrophes in prehuman times, in prehistoric times and in historical times.”[351]

That is why “petroleum deposits are intimately mixed with chemical and biological fossils of tens to hundreds of millions of years.” Sagan raises this point.

“The amount of downward seepage of petroleum in 2,700 years would not be very great. The difficulty in extracting petroleum from the Earth, which is the cause of certain practical problems today, would be greatly ameliorated if Velikovsky’s hypothesis were true.”[352]

Unfortunately, these problems exist today based strictly on Veli­kovsky’s hypothesis. Firstly, Sagan does not seem to understand or remember that the celestial petroleum deposits Velikovsky described were laid down, not as Sagan stated 2,700 years ago, but 3,500 years ago. Secondly, Sagan’s inability to understand Velikovsky on Velikovsky’s terms, had led him to believe that oil moves downward only by slow seepage or that these events did not occur in earlier periods.

In Worlds in Collision, chapter 2, is a subchapter titled “Naphtha” and in the same chapter is a subchapter titled “Earthquake”. Earth­quakes of the magnitude that Velikovsky describes produce great rents in the Earth’s strata. Oil at the surface would run down these cracks deep into the Earth and thus be difficult to extract. Also, Sagan has forgotten that comets would have brought petroleum millions of years ago. Sagan’s inability to see outside his gradualist blinders will continue to lead him to evaluate catastrophic evidence by applying gradualistic analyses.

However, let us take Sagan on his own gradualistic terms regarding the age of oil. Sagan apparently accepts the view that oil takes a mil­lion years or more to form. He also accepts radiocarbon age dating analysis. Radiocarbon analysis supposedly can age date a substance that is no older than 50,000 or possibly 100,000 years old. Since oil is at least a million or more years old, according to Sagan, it should not give a radiocarbon date. P.V. Smith .V.;in a paper in Science, titled “The Occurrence of Hydrocarbons in Recent Sediments from the Gulf of Mexico” reported on the radiocarbon date of the oil. He held that the oil radiocarbon dated to be no older than 9,000 years.[353] How can oil take a million years to form and yet be only 9,000 years old by being radiocarbon dated?

If, as Sagan informs us, oil is produced by the decay of green vegetation, we run into still another impossible situation. Grover E. Murray .E.;wrote an article in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, that methane with minor amounts of propane were found in Precambrian rock in central Australia.[354] Precambrian rock is rock that solidified in the Earth before vegetative life existed. Such materials in the Earth are supposed to be byproducts of petroleum production. How can byproducts of petroleum production be formed in rocks where there were no green plants available to be processed into petroleum? While Newsweek, July 8, 1985 p. 56 reports oil from billion year old rock beds in Siberia. Tom Gold, .;writing in New Scientist says,

“There were dissenting voices [regarding the explanation for the origin of petroleum from biological debris in sediments]… The most prominent was Dimitri Mendeleyev, .;the great Russian chemist. He wrote a treatise on the origin of petroleum which concluded that it had come from the depths of the Earth. He gave many arguments for this viewpoint most of which are still valid today… The geographical distribution of petroleum seemed to point to much larger scale features than the scale of individual sedimentary deposits. The quantities of oil and gas that geologists eventually found turned out to be hundreds of times larger than initial estimates, based on the assumption of biological origin.

“The viewpoint that hydrocarbons could not arise without biology became quite untenable when astronomers discovered that hydrocarbons are the most common form of carbon in the solar system. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune contain enormous amounts of methane and other hydrocarbons in their atmospheres… The comets and the asteroids contain various types of hydrocarbons. Recent investigations into the core of Halley’s Comet showed that the core has a surface as ‘black as pitch’—most probably because it is of pitch or a similar hydrocarbon. It is most unlikely that biology created any of this material.[355] [emphasis added]

Professor Gold states that,

“…the greatest problem for the theories of biological origin was the association with helium. Many of the areas of the Earth that bear petroleum and methane are also rich in helium. Natural gas is the source of all commercial helium. Very few areas of the Earth have high concentrations of helium in underground gases without methane being the dominant partner. It is impossible to explain this relationship if the methane originated from biological materials buried in the sediments. Biology can have no part in the process of concentrating helium a chemically inert gas.”[357]

Gold then goes on to discuss the problems of petroleum distribution in the Earth based on biological formation.

“The way in which hydrocarbons occur globally also provides problems for the theories of biological origin. Why is the Middle East so rich in hydrocarbons? The mountains of southeastern Turkey, the valley of the Tigris, the folded mountains of Persia, the Persian Gulf and the flat plains of Saudi Arabia have little in common with each other, except that they form one connected region that is enormously well supplied with oil and gas. No one has discovered a unifying feature for the region as a whole. The oil fields span different geological ages, have different rocks, called cap rock, holding down the contents of the reservoirs. Attempts to find sediments rich in biological debris have generally failed, and there is no consensus as to the source that produced such a wealth of oil and gas.

“In many other parts of the world, one can also recognize geographically, patterns in areas where oil and gas is found, spanning quite different geological settings.”[358]

Gold is not alone among the scientists who oppose Sagan’s view that oil is a product of decay of vegetation. V.B. Porfir’ev .B.;in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin concludes that,

“the organic theory of the origin of petroleum does not correspond to the modern state of knowledge in the fields of geology, geochemistry, geophysics, thermodynamics, astrophysics and other sciences; in fact, it is an outdated concept. Instead, the general inorganic theory of petroleum meets the requirement of the new knowledge completely…” Porfir’ev goes on to state that the “blind acceptance of organic theory (has) been a waste and a failure. This is witnessed in the summary work of Hedberg; full of disappointments at the indefinite results of many years of scientific work on this problem, he noted that not a single question is solved, nothing is understood and all contradictory hypotheses enjoy equal rights.”[359]

Based on Sagan’s statement that oil originates from dead plants of the Carbonaceous period, it would be impossible for deposits of oil to develop beneath the ocean far from land. The Atlantic Ocean, accord­ing to the currently accepted theory of plate tectonics was formed gradually beginning about sixty five million years ago, long after the Carbonaceous period. Furthermore, it was always an ocean and trees and great amounts of other vegetation do not grow at great depths on the ocean floor. The North Sea, a branch of the Atlantic Ocean, would therefore be a very improbable area from which one might expect to extract oil. It is covered by basalt rock and not sedimentary rock from which oil is ordinarily derived. Yet Thomas Gold .;iin Power From The Earth, (London 1987), p. 128 tells us,

“The early predictions were that the North Sea was a hopeless location for petroleum, and it is said one advisor [probably a scientist] told the British Government that he would drink every cup of oil that was obtained out of the North Sea… [However this region] proved most fruitful…”

How can oil develop under the sea many hundreds of miles from land if it never had immense vegetation growing?

Respecting oil, P.A. Dickey, et. al. .A.;in Science, Vol. 160 for May 10, 1968 discussed a problem. Taylor .T.;summarized it, thus,

“When drilling for oil and gas, the drill passes through solid rock for thousands of feet, and well drillers have been accustomed to increasing pressure with depth at the rate of about a half pound per square inch per foot depth, so that at 10,000 feet the pressure is 5,000 [units] per square inch. Fairly massive equipment is required to handle these pressures, but occasionally a zone is encountered where the pressure more than doubles, causing difficulty and some danger in the drilling operation. In these circumstances, the drill passes from a zone of high pressure to an adjacent zone of exceptionally high pressure, and structural geologists have wondered how it is possible for such great pressure differences to have existed side by side for [as Dickey writes in Science] ‘scores of millions of years’… After all, the reported ages of the oil and gas by the C14 method were only a few thousand years, yet these results are usually dismissed, not for actual technical reasons, but because they do not meet the expectation of a much greater length of time… The high pressures in oil and gas wells are, rather evidence for a youthful age, indicating perhaps thousands of years—rather than millions of years—for rock units.” [I.T. Taylor, .T.;In the Minds of Men, (Toronto 1984), pp. 336-337]

This implies that the Earth was subjected to a catastrophe in recent times and that the pressures in the Earth are still adjusting to the changes caused by this recent event.

Apparently Sagan has all the answers to problems experts in the field have found lead to dead ends based on the organic concept of oil. Velikovsky in 1950 claimed the Earth’s petroleum is derived from hydrocarbons in comets. In 1962 A.T. Wilson .T.;in Nature claimed that all the oil of the Earth was of extraterrestrial origin.[360] In Sept. 16, 1966 J. Oro .;and J. Han .;in Science described how petroleum can be formed through the interactions of comets with planets. And in 1987 Sagan’s Cornell University colleague, Thomas Gold, .;came to the very same conclusion as Velikovsky. A letter to the editor in The New York Times by Robert R. Gallow .R.;informs us that,

“It appears that Prof. Thomas Gold of Cornell University has discovered natural gas and oil beneath a meteorite crater in Sweden (news article, March 22). If this finding is confirmed, then vast amounts of hydro­carbons lie deeply hidden in the Earth’s crust. This finding would have far reaching implications for energy related industries.

“According to Professor Gold’s hypothesis, once the planets were forming, they generated enough gravity to alter the orbits of comets and asteroids. Many of these objects rich in hydrocarbons and other organic compounds struck the Earth. Therefore, natural gas and petroleum were derived from substances that fell from the sky. The conventional view of most scientists is that natural gas and petroleum originated from fossil remains of living organisms. However, the extraterrestrial source of hydrocarbons was suggested much earlier by Immanuel Velikovsky in 1950 in his book Worlds in Collision. Velikovsky argued that the Earth’s petroleum deposits came from comets. The idea that petroleum came from space was ridiculed at the time. Now it is put forward by others in perfect seriousness…”[361]

Is Sagan unaware of this? In his book Comet, he writes, “if the Earth never outgassed at all, comets may still have brought an atmosphere, an ocean and huge quantities of organic matter.[362] [emphasis added] to the Earth. Thus, according to Sagan, “petroleum arises from decaying vegetation,” but “comets may still have brought…huge quantities of organic matter.” This is double talk. In an article in Science, Vol. 249, p. 366 titled, “Commentary Delivery of Organic Molecules to the Earth”, a few scientists attempted to assess how much of the Earth’s organic materials were brought by comets. One of the scientists who co-authored this article is none other than Carl Sagan. Zdnek Kopal .;in The Moon, (NY 1960), p. 100 explains,

“the solar system is known to be fairly infested with hydrocarbons-the atmospheres of the major [giant] planets contain tremendous amounts of them—and although oil on the Earth has so far been found under sedimentary deposits, it is perhaps because these rocks are easy to drill and because nobody has looked for it under igneous rock. At any rate should further astronomical work strengthen the conjecture that Lunar carbon may be due to the composition of hydrocarbons, the current theory of the origin of oil on Earth might be due for a drastic revision.”

Thus the oil under the basalt rock cover of the North Sea is the coup de grace to any suggestion that oil only originates from vegetation.



Sagan next turns to Mars and states,

“Reading the text is made still more difficult by the apparent conclusion (page 366) of Martian polar caps made of manna, which are described ambiguously as ‘probably in the nature of carbon.’ Carbohydrates have a strong 3.5 micron infrared absorption feature, due to the stretching vibration of the carbon-hydrogen bond. No trace of this feature was observed in infrared spectra of the Martian polar caps taken by the Mariner 6 and 7 spacecraft in 1969.”[363]

There are two aspects of the Martian ice caps that exist—materials in it that sublimate (change from a solid state to a gaseous state without becoming liquid) and therefore, disappear in the summer. The other material or materials do not disappear because they require higher temperatures to either melt or sublimate. Sagan has already informed us that,

“Astronomers tend to be nervous about the word organic—concerned that it might be misunderstood as a token of life on another world. But ‘organic’ only refers to molecules based on carbon. And organic chemical would be produced and destroyed even if there were no life anywhere in the universe.”

Thus, in Earthlike Planets, we find “Capping all the units (in the polar regions) are the seasonal accumulations of frozen carbon dioxide and the permanent ice caps.”[364] The author concludes that the permanent ice caps are also made up of “carbon dioxide.” But, if carbon dioxide sublimates during the Martian summer, how is it that all of it does not sublimate; some form of white material remains. Sagan has assured us it cannot be hydrocarbons and definitely not carbohydrates. However, ten years after Sagan’s attack, Harold Masursky .;of the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona, who was involved in analysis of data sent to Earth by spacecraft from Mars, has this to say in Science Digest, “The ice caps of Mars have seasonal ice, but then there is the permanent ice… We do not know if it is all water ice, or if there are other fancy constituents that are mixed up with it.”[365] Thus, there is carbon, oxygen and hydrogen in the permanent ice caps—carbon from carbon dioxide, oxygen and hydrogen from water. Needless to say, these elements are the bases of both hydrocarbons and carbohydrates. We also know that ultraviolet rays reach the Martian surface and Dr. A.J. Swallow .J.;claims that hydrocarbons can be formed through the agency of high energy radiation which is what ultraviolet rays represent. Thus, hydrocarbons can certainly be formed. And isn’t this the energy Sagan used in the glass reaction vessel to produce hydrocarbons. But hasn’t Sagan informed us that from these constituents “organic molecules could be produced.” Thus, the white material Velikovsky describes “probably in the nature of carbon” could most certainly be what Sagan calls “organic” which “refers to molecules based on carbon.” According to V.A. Firsoff .A.;in Life Beyond the Earth, (NY 1961), p. 48 the constituents found in Mars polar ice caps—carbon dioxide and water—can be converted into carbohydrates. Firsoff states,

 “Formaldehyde can be formed from carbon dioxide and water vapor without the intervention of chlorophyll or other organic molecules if the mixture is exposed to short ultraviolet rays, as it would be in an atmosphere devoid of oxygen, which in the triatomic form of ozone absorbs these radiations. Ultraviolet rays (in much the same way as chlorophyll) break up the water molecule into its constituent oxygen and hydrogen, and nascent hydrogen thus produced reacts with carbon dioxide to form formaldehyde, the simplest of carbohydrates. Formaldehyde polymerizes readily to sugars…”

Therefore, all the ingredients for the production of “manna” are available and there is a well known process employing ultraviolet radiation, which is known to penetrate the Martian atmosphere and reach the surface, capable of manufacturing it.

Apparently Sagan also tends to be nervous about the word “organic.” In his book The Cosmic Connection, (NY 1973), p. 118, Sagan tells us this regarding the Martian polar ice caps, “…at the present time its composition is unsettled.” The impression that Sagan seemed to give, was that the issue was indeed settled which it most certainly is not.



In discussing the catastrophe, Velikovsky states on pp. 184-185 of Worlds in Collision,

“When Venus sprang out of Jupiter as a comet and flew close to the earth, it became entangled in the embrace of the earth. The internal heat developed by the earth and the scorching gases of the comet were in themselves sufficient to make the vermin of the earth propagate at a very feverish rate, like the plague of the frogs (‘the land brought forth frogs’) or of the locusts must be ascribed to such causes. Anyone who has experience a khamsin, (sirocco), an electrically charged wind blowing from the desert, knows how during the few days that the wind blows, the ground around the villages begins to teem with vermin.” On page 187 Velikovsky discusses extraterrestrial life. “Modern biologists toy with the idea that microorganisms arrive on the earth from interstellar spaces, carried by the pressure of light. Hence, the idea of the arrival of living organisms from interplanetary space is not new. Whether there is truth in this supposition of laval contamination of the earth is anyone’s guess. [emphasis added]

These statements by Velikovsky make it quite clear that he believes that the various plagues described in Exodus, and in texts of other cultures, are produced by heat and electrical winds that cause vermin that originate here on Earth to propagate. Nor does Velikovsky know if life can travel through space to Earth on extraterrestrial bodies. Thus, to accuse him of believing that such events occurred, would be dishonest. Sagan states,

“Even stranger are Velikovsky’s views on extraterrestrial life. He believes that much of the ‘vermin’, and particularly the flies referred to in Exodus, really fell from his comet—although he hedges on the extraterrestrial origin of frogs while approvingly quoting the Iranian text, the Bundahis (page 183), which seems to admit a rain of cosmic frogs. Let us consider flies only. Shall we expect houseflies or Drosophila melanogaster in forth­coming explorations of the clouds Venus and Jupiter? He is quite explicit: ‘Venus—and therefore, also Jupiter—is populated by vermin.’ (page 369) Will Velikovsky’s hypothesis fall if no flies are found?”[366]

Thus, although Velikovsky states directly that one cannot know if life came from outer space, Sagan emphatically attacks Velikovsky and omits the statement that damns his entire conclusion respecting this topic. Velikovsky states explicitly in Worlds in Collision, page 369,

“Venus and Jupiter most possess an organic source of petroleum. On preceding pages, it was shown that there are some historical indications that Venus—and therefore, also Jupiter—is populated by vermin; this organic life can be the source of petroleum.”

Nowhere in the literature of petroleum production is there evidence offered to suggest that insects can generate petroleum. However, it is well-known that bacteria can be involved with sources of petroleum. Thus, it seems clear that Velikovsky believes these life forms are bacteria and not insects.

Sir Fred Hoyle, .;in his book The Intelligent Universe, (NY 1983) p. 88 writes that,

“Particles of bacterial size have been detected in the atmosphere of Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, observations which are not so easy to pass off as coincidental. The particles in the atmosphere of Venus have the same refractive index as biological spores, and those in the atmosphere of Jupiter have the refractive index of rod shaped bacteria, the agreements in both cases again being rather precise—within an accuracy of about half a percent, a figure that speaks against coincidence.”

Thus, there is spectroscopic evidence that supports Velikovsky’s contention that bacterial life forms may exist in Venus and Jupiter’s atmospheres.

Sagan discusses his own conjectures of life on Jupiter in his co-authored book, Intelligent Life in the Universe, which says,

“It is much more difficult to say anything about the possibility of the origin and the present existence of life on Jupiter. For example, we can imagine organisms in the form of ballast gas bags, floating from level to level in the Jovian atmosphere, and incorporating pre-formed organic matter much like the plankton-eating whales of the terrestrial oceans.”[367]

Thus, it seems that Sagan believes life can possibly exist in the atmosphere of Jupiter and eat hydrocarbons for energy. How inter­esting, since he earlier implied Jupiter lacks hydrocarbons. Only Sagan conceives of large organisms while Velikovsky and Hoyle conceive of microscopic bacteria.

What is Sagan’s view of life in the atmosphere of Venus? At the International Astronomical Union Symposium 40 held October 26-31, 1969, Sagan presented a paper titled “The Trouble With Venus”, published in Planetary Atmospheres, by the I.A.U., edited by Carl Sagan, T.C. Owen and H.J. Smith .J.;(NY 1971), on pp. 125-126 Sagan states the following,

…[life], particularly “life based on familiar chemistries, seems implausible on the Venus surface… This leaves the clouds. Especially if the clouds are composed of condensed water—but even if they are not—life in the clouds is not by any means out of the question. There is water vapor, there is carbon dioxide, there is sunlight, and very likely there are small quantities of minerals stirred up from the surface. These are all the prerequisites necessary for photoautotrophs in the clouds. In addition, the conditions are approximately S.T.P. The only serious problem that immediately comes to mind is the possibility that downdrafts will carry our hypothetical organisms down to the hot, deeper atmosphere and fry them faster than they reproduce. To circumvent this difficulty, and to show that organisms might exist in the Venus clouds based purely on terrestrial biochemical principles, Harold Morowitz .;and I (1967) devised a hypothetical Venus organism in the form of an isophycnic balloon, which filled itself with photosynthetic hydrogen and maintained at constant pressure level to avoid downdrafts. We calculated that, if the organism had a wall thickness comparable to the unit membrane thickness of terrestrial organisms, its minimum diameter would be a few centimeters… While it is not out of the questions that life exists in the Venus clouds it seems unlikely to have arisen there.”

Thus, Sagan has big wind bags in the atmosphere of Jupiter and inch sized wind bags in the atmosphere of Venus. The thought occurs that if life could not have arisen in Venus’ clouds, then the little wind bags of Venus are somehow descendants of the big wind bags of Jupiter. Instead of the possibility of vermin, Sagan offers us wind bags.

Could bacteria survive in comets? In his book Comet, Sagan discuses the work of Sir Fred Hoyle .;and N.C. Wickramasinghe who “hold that bacteria and viruses are sprinkled throughout interstellar space; indeed, they boldly propose that interstellar grains—which have about the same size and atomic composition as bacteria—are in fact, bacteria. If true, bacteria would have been incorporated into comets…”[368] Although Sagan shows numerous problems with Hoyle and Wichramasinghe’s hypothesis, he tell us, “Just possibly, at some time in the future we will find the right sort of comet, and drill down to the still liquid ocean” to see if bacteria exist there. But, he concludes, “It does not seem likely, though, that anything would be alive down there.”[369] Although Velikovsky’s idea is still ridiculed by Sagan, it is also held by respected members of the scientific establishment. But they are not ridiculed for their views.

Could Venus have bacteria in its atmosphere? Again Sagan tell us in The Comic Connection that, “there are organic molecules—for example, some with a complex ring structure—that would be quite stable under the conditions of Venus.”[370] Hence, if bacteria exist in the clouds of Jupiter, and survived in Venus when it was a comet, they may yet exist in the atmosphere of Venus based on Velikovsky’s thesis and Sagan’s analysis.

This becomes more interesting when we investigate Sagan’s other views on life. Bruce Murray .;in Journey Into Space, (NY 1989), pp. 59-61, informs us,

“Sagan had become the chief spokesman for the possibility of extraterrestrial life everywhere, and especially on Mars. Carl’s devotion to search for life sprang from his belief that it is the fundamental underlying question in the solar system exploration, not because it was necessarily likely. In public and in private, he elaborated tirelessly on speculative possibilities not absolutely excluded by…Mariners 4, 6 and 7. Inevitably, Carl and I were drawn into scientific conflict. To me, the extraordinarily hostile environment revealed by the Mariner flybys made life there so unlikely that public expectations should not be raised. In one private moment of sharp debate, Carl charged, ‘Bruce, you at Caltech live on the side of pessimism.’ I thought to myself, ‘And, Carl, you at Cornell live on the side of optimism.’”

Sagan it seems believes life once existed on Mars as Velikovsky had speculated. Murray tells us on page 65,

“Perhaps during Mars’ brief, early aqueous phase, the chemical means for life to develop did appear. Perhaps microbial life crept forth at that point and then progressively adapted to the much more hostile conditions of the present. Perhaps microbes still lived on Mars. At least this is what Sagan speculated as NASA prepared for the Viking mission of 1976.”

Although the tests carried out on the Martian soil seemed to give no evidence of life, Murray tells us, “Carl [Sagan] and a handful of others still cling to the hope that life now exists on the surface of Mars de­spite Viking’s negative results. Virtually all other space scientists dismiss such hopes as unrealistic…”

Sagan has ridiculed Velikovsky’s speculations regarding life in the solar system. His own speculations, he seems to believe, are justified even if the face of evidence is negative to it. He believes that life can exist on the Martian surface where ultraviolet radiation would “fry” it rather quickly. He believes life can exist at temperatures below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, where there is extremely little water. And he seems to believe this today. Nearly all scientists dismiss his viewpoint and yet he maintains the possibility of it. Thus, the logic Sagan employs is that the speculations of Velikovsky about extraterrestrial life are unsupported although Velikovsky made it quite clear he does not know if the answer to his speculations are correct. Sagan, however, dogmatically maintains Mars must have life. The contradiction is so glaring that it speaks for itself. Interestingly, if, as Sagan seems to believe, life forms exist on Mars, what do they eat? If there are no organic substances there, they cannot exist. But if they exist, wouldn’t these organic materials somehow get into the ice caps?

This contradiction was picked up by Michael Rowan-Robinson .;in a brief comment titled, “Rebel Without a Cause”, in Nature, Vol. 276 (Nov. 9, 1978), pp. 150-151, who states,

“Why should Sagan be allowed to speculate about life on Mars, extraterrestrial civilizations and ‘galumping [sic] beasts’ out there, and then ridicule Velikovsky’s notion of fly larvae in the tails of comets? More generally, why is it okay for Hoyle .;and Wickramasinghe to speculate about world-wide epidemics brought by cometary dust, and for Sagan to speculate about the evolution of human intelligence, but not okay for Velikovsky to speculate about astronomy?”



Next, Sagan states that in Exodus, chapter 9,

“It is said the cattle of Egypt all died, but of the cattle of the Children of Israel there ‘died not one.’ In the same chapter, we find a plague that affects flax and barley but not wheat and rye. This fine tuned host-parasite specificity is very strange for cometary vermin.”[371]

Sagan cites the Bible and then implies that this is what is written in Velikovsky’s book. Although he gives a chapter as citation from the Bible, he strangely gives none from Worlds in Collision. Apparently Sagan believes it proper to cite Worlds in Collision and the Bible as if they were the same book. This is a straight-forward distortion of  the evidence, though perhaps not for Sagan. Nevertheless, Velikovsky never claimed that the cattle or the flax and barley of the Hebrews was unaffected by the plagues. Sagan does not cite any evidence for this in Worlds in Collision because there is no such statement that he can cite. This is merely more of Sagan’s disinformation.

Sagan, having misstated Velikovsky’s view respecting life in space, then asks about “fly ablation”; that is, if Venus was incandescent it would surely have fried Velikovsky’s flies. However, since Velikovsky clearly stated that whether there is life on bodies in the solar system is anyone’s guess, Sagan’s assertion is nothing more nor less than another of his balloons full of hot air. This is so because Sagan postulated the concept of tiny balloons surviving between the extremes of the hot surface and the freezing cold of space. Venus, on a cometary orbit, even if it were incandescent, would have an expanded atmosphere in which the extremes of temperature would still produce a region somewhere between these extremes which would be comfortable for life. If Sagan’s hot air balloons can survive in just such a region, why couldn’t Velikovsky’s bacteria?



Sagan ends this section with: “Finally, there is a curious reference to intelligent extraterrestrial life in Worlds in Collision. On page 364.”[372] By intelligent extraterrestrial life, Sagan implies advanced forms such as man that would have left traces of civilization on Mars. This is not what Velikovsky wrote. He wrote, p. 364,

“The contacts of Mars with other planets larger than itself and more powerful make it improbable that any higher forms of life, if they previously existed there, survived on Mars. It is rather a dead planet; every higher form of life, of whatever kind it might have been, most probably had its Last Day.” [emphasis added]

The dinosaur is an example of a higher form of life, but one would hardly refer to it as intelligent in the sense Sagan implies. Sagan continues,

“But when we examine Mars as seen by Mariner 9, and Viking 1 and 2 we find that a bit more than one-third of the planet has a modified cratered terrain somewhat reminiscent of the Moon and that it shows no sign of spectacular catastrophes other than ancient impacts. The other one-half to two-thirds of the planet shows fewer signs of such impacts, but instead displays dramatic signs of major tectonic activity, lava flows and volcanism several hundred million years ago. The small, but detectable amount of impact cratering on this terrain shows that it was made much longer than several thousand years ago. There is no way to reconcile this picture with a view of a planet recently so devastated by impact catastrophism.”[373]

Clark R. Chapman .R.;in The Inner Planets, (NY 1977), p. 16 tells us that “In 1965, scientists and laymen alike were shocked when Mariner 4 revealed a moonlike landscape on the planet Mars rather than the mountains and valleys to which we are accustomed.”

Somehow Sagan seems to have forgotten the view his fellow scientists had of Mars prior to Mariner 4’s fly-by of the planet. Patrick Moore .;in his book Armchair Astronomy, (NY 1984), pp. 73-74 tells us that,

“In the summer of 1964, I was invited to give a lecture at Cambridge University. My subject was ‘Mars.’ It was well attended and I gave a general summary of what we knew, or thought we knew about the planet. I made a series of twelve profound statements, each of which was backed up by the best available scientific evidence—and everyone of which turned out to be wrong. “…Before Mariner 4, we had been confident that Mars had a flattish or at most a gently undulating surface.” [emphasis added]

Kenneth F. Weaver’s .F.;“Voyage to the Planets”, in National Geographic, for Aug. 1970, p. 169-173 describes Mars as Sagan’s colleagues expected to find it. Professor Robert Leighton .;of the California Institute of Technology stated,

“When men first land on Mars—as they may actually do before the end of this century—they will find rather uninteresting terrain for the most part… Everything in the Mariner pictures indicates very gentle slopes on Mars. There are no mountain ranges, no great faults, no extensive volcanic fields, in fact, no evidence of volcanic activity. You could stand in a crater on Mars and never know it—even one that appears sharp and clear in the pictures.”

Carl Sagan in an article titled, “Mars A New World To Explore”, in National Geographic, for Dec. 1967 p. 828 also claims that Mars will appear to have a surface of softly undulating hills without sharp variations in elevation. He states “…when men arrive [on Mars], after an eight-month voyage through space, they will wander over a gently sloping landscape and by enormous numbers of eroded flat-bottomed craters.” However, the landscape that the scientists saw was totally different than the scientist expected.Clark R. Chapman .R.;in The Inner Planets, (NY 1977), p. 147 states that the pictures made by Mariner 4 were “shocking” to the scientists.

The expected description is in no way reflective of the Martian landscape. Mars shows all the signs of a recent violent history. P. Moore in The New Guide to the Moon, (NY 1976), p. 193 states, “The Martian scene proved to be utterly unlike what most people had expected. Instead of gentle, rolling plains, there were mountains, valleys, craters and volcanoes.”

Velikovsky’s view of Mars Worlds in Collision, written before 1950 said (pp. 364-365) that Mars, “…is rather a dead planet… The ‘canals’ on Mars appear to be a result of the play of geological forces that answered with rifts and cracks…” Tidal forces that tore its surface would leave Mars very much with its present appearance. This can be seen in all of the following.

Alan B. Binder .B.;and Donald W. McCarthy, Jr. ., D.W.;in an article titled, “Mars: The Lineament Systems” in Science, Vol. 176 (1972), p. 279, which informs us that,

“The photographs from the Mariner 4, 6 and 7 flights were analyzed for linear features, such as polygonal crater walls, linear rilles, linear ridges, linear albedo boundaries and linear scarps. When these features are plotted, they demonstrate the existence of a well developed, planet-wide system of lineaments. This system of fractures might be the consequences of changes in the planets rate of rotation, polar wandering, or similar stresses.”

What seems clear is that Mars was subjected to such sudden, strong orbital changes that the planet’s surface fractured creating a system of lineaments. This is well in accord with Velikovsky’s views of Mars, but not with Sagan’s view.

Since the Earth and the Moon also had near collisions and changes in their orbital parameters, especially the Earth with respect to rota­tion, should there not also be lineaments running along longitudinal directions. According to Binder .B.;and McCarthy, the Earth and Moon exhibit the same preferential trends in their lineaments as does Mars. Binder suggests these lineaments were caused by sudden changes in the rotation of these bodies. Since neither Mars’ tiny moons nor the Sun could be responsible for Mars’ lineaments, some other objects are required.

There is further proof that Mars’ crust has been literally violently moved by some immense force. It is generally accepted by planetary scientists that Mars has not experienced a plate tectonic development similar to the Earth which supposedly permitted its surface to wander over the planet. Michael H. Carr .H.;in Solar System, (Scientific American Book 1975), p. 88 specifically states, “Martian tectonism differs in a very important aspect from tectonism on the Earth. The Earth’s crust is divided into a series of plates that are slowly moving with respect to one another and constantly rearranging the Earth’s geography. On Mars there is no sign of horizontal crustal motions. The lack of plate motion on Mars may explain why the planet’s shield volcanoes are so gigantic.” But in Science News, Vol. 119, (1981), p. 216, an article titled “The Poles of Old Mars” reports that, “Three spots on the surface of Mars, all of them within 15 degrees of the equator, show signs of once having been at the poles, according to Peter H. Schultz .H.;and A.B. Lutz-Garihan .B.;of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston… Viking spacecraft photos from orbit, he (Schultz) says, shows the region to have carved valleys, like those in the present polar caps, ‘pedestal craters’ whose shapes suggest that they formed in now vanished ice and signs of laminated terrain reminiscent of the present caps familiar layering, which could indicate cyclic climatic changes.” What Schultz and Lutz-Garihan suggest is that the whole Martian crust was redistributed by internal forces and that its poles moved. What is clearly indicated is that Mars’ present equatorial region was once near the poles, but was then catastrophically reoriented either by huge meteoric impacts or a near encounter with a large body. But this evidence is clearly in full accord with Velikovsky’s analysis.

In fact, to explain the catastrophic appearance of the Martian terrain, one geologist, Bill Beatty, .;believes Mars must have experienced a Velikovskian episode. Randolph R. Pozos .R.;in The Face of Mars, (Chicago 1986), p. 60 informs us that Beatty thinks “a Velikovsky type scenario such as a passing close encounter event [occurred to Mars] in the early days.” Michael Carr, .H.;p. 69, “believes a sudden disaster occured on Mars…”

Nevertheless, is there evidence that shows that the features of Mars were produced by violent forces quite recently?



And, in fact, it is very easy to demonstrate that Mars has recently been devastated by a planet wide catastrophe. Let us once again assume that the scars and markings on Mars are ancient as Sagan has informed us. According to the scientific estimates, the craters in the southerly hemisphere of Mars are at least 3 billion years old and perhaps older. However, Mars has a small atmosphere which during it northern hemispheric winter season of 6 months often produces dust storms for 3 to 6 of those months over the entire planet. In fact, during one of those planet wide dust storms, Mariner was unable to photograph the surface of Mars because the dust obscured it. Dust storms weather (break down) rock and wind erodes (carried small debris) away from where it was weathered. Thus, one would wish to know what the erosion rates are on Mars. In Aviation Week and Space Technology, is an article titled “Mariner 9 Data Stir New Questions”. We are told that,

“Using Mariner 9 wind data, Dr. Carl Sagan of Cornell University calculated erosion rates, assuming a dust storm peak wind of 100 mph blowing 10 percent of the time. This would mean erosion of 10 km (6.2 miles) of surface in 100 million years.”[374]

Therefore, on the basis of Sagan’s own figures, Mars currently should not have a single small surface feature surviving and few large ones and the entire planet should be a flat, sandy desert. The author adds, “there is no way to reconcile this picture with a view of a planet” having been eroded by dust storms with its present appearance. Many of the craters supposedly in the southerly hemisphere of Mars show sharp, crisp edges. This completely contradicts Sagan’s erosional view of Mars. Using Sagan’s erosion rate, in 300,000 years, some 100 feet of material would be eroded. This corresponds to the height of a 10 story building removed from the entire Martian surface.

Furthermore, Mars possesses what appears to be river beds. These are not eroded away even though they are often not very deep. But on the other hand, Mars has some of the largest, most spectacular volcanoes in the solar system. Using Sagan’s calculations, they should have been eroded away in about 100 million years or so. In Science, Allen Hammond .L.;writes,

“…According to Hal Mazursky .;of the U.S. Geological Survey Laboratory in Flagstaff, Arizona, eolian (wind) erosion is a dominant feature of Mars and is apparently so intense in some areas as to have completely eroded away pre-existing volcanoes. The edge of the largest volcano on Mars, Nix Olympus, is apparently being rapidly eaten away exposing a 1 to 2 kilometer cliff around its base.”[375]

The absurdity of Sagan’s argument is expressed in Aviation Week and Space Technology wherein we find,

“Crater counts in old cratered volcanic terrain indicate ages of 3 billion years. Mazursky said, so if this rate of erosion [calculated by Sagan] were extrapolated over an assumed Mars age, the same as the 4-4.5 billion years of existence of the Earth and Moon, Mars would now be about the size of Phobos, one of its two [tiny] moons, he said.”[376] [Phobos is only a few miles in diameter.]

Even Sagan is thoroughly aware of this problem of erosion. In his co-authored book, Intelligent Life in the Universe, Sagan states,

“Since Mars is much closer to the asteroid belt than is the moon, it should be subject to many more impacts—perhaps 25 times as many. Yet the number of craters of a given size in a given area…must mean that processes exist on Mars which efficiently erode even large impact craters…we see a very large crater, over 100 kilometers across whose ramparts have been seriously breached. Major erosion of its walls has occurred.”[377]

Sagan concludes, “Because of the efficiency of Martian crater erosion—regardless of the mechanism—the surface we see is not that of a very ancient Mars.”[378] Thus, the “3 billion year old” craters should not exist or be extremely young, nor should river valleys exist, nor small, crisp features exist; but they do.

The problem is that no one seems to know how if water flowed as rivers on Mars it then disappeared. In the journal Space World for Feb. 1986, Ray Spangenberg .;and Diane Moser .;state on page 14 that, “like the Mona Lisa, the Red Planet is tantalizing us with mysteries. Perhaps the biggest—the story of water—keeps taunting experts with a jumble of apparent contradictions.” There is also the question of when the water on Mars disappeared. On page 15 Spangenberg and Moser report:

“While just about everyone agrees that water-a lot of it-must once have flowed on the surface of Mars, controversy has raged long and furiously over the question of how recently it last flowed.

“Planetary geologist Hal Masursky .;of the U S Geological survey at Flagstaff, Arizona now believes he has evidence that effectively ‘drives the nail in the coffin’ of the idea that all Mars water channels are very ancient. He said so in a presentation at a recent meeting of the Geological Society of America in Orlando, Florida.

“For the past three years, Masursky has worked on detailed studies of high-resolution Viking photos—mapping selected areas [of Mars]…

“In just the past six months, Masursky says excitedly, ‘we’ve found a whole different kind of geology that we hadn’t seen before.’ At high resolution he and his team were able to distinguish what Masursky calls ‘geologic sandwiches’—channels cut by water and overlain by volcanic deposits. ‘In other words,’ he explains, ‘the channel come out of the hills and flows out onto the plain; sitting on top of the channel and burying it are younger geologic-volcanic units.’

“But that’s not all: ‘We found channels that had formed, and then the lava flow that buried it and then another channel episode that cut a little tiny channel on top of that flow, and then another lava flow on top of that channel.’

“Masursky put the most recent of these in the last 200 million years-only yesterday in terms of planetary geology. ‘We have a very interesting complex geologic story of lava flows, of faulting, of stream channel formation. And it’s not ancient. It’s not 2.4 billion years old. It’s within a couple of hundred million years, and it may be younger than that.’”

Since Mars had water flowing on its surface for a few billion years, rainfall had to also exist to supply the ground water for runoff to feed the rivers and their dendritic systems that are observed on Mars. Water erosion on Mars, like that on Earth, would have removed nearly all the ancient craters long ago as it did on the Earth. Furthermore, because the Martian water and atmosphere were stable for billions of years, Mars could not have lost its water by currently understood uniformitarian processes. Only a recent catastrophe could be expected to dispose of Mar’s water and atmosphere. With respect to the recentness of the catastrophe the evidence of erosion strongly suggests that Mars lost its water only a few thousand years ago.

Thus, how do the scientists deal with the fact the Mars’ surface cannot be even millions of years old? Patrick Moore .;in The Unfolding Universe, (NY 1982), p. 78, tells us that, “…there is a paradox here. [In the channel-river systems] There is no sign of marked erosion even though the Martian atmosphere is dusty, and dust—even fine dust—is highly abrasive. The channels and the craters do not look as though they have been filled up, so that they can hardly be very ancient; tens of thousands of years perhaps, but not millions.” What to do with such evidence? Apparently ignore it or say the erosion rate contrary to all evidence is minute.

Now it is quite apparent that with such a powerful erosion rate, the amount of sand created by the dust storms would be enormous. The sand would not, of course, have blown away into space, but have settled back on the surface of Mars. Based on Sagan’s analysis, Mars should be today a sandy Sahara with nothing but sand dunes and a few volcanoes rising above the sandy desert floor as its only features. But this strangely is not the case. Why? There is very little sand on Mars compared to what one could expect based on Sagan’s calculation alone. There is a huge sand ring region circling the northern hemi­sphere of Mars, but this is still insufficient for Sagan’s analysis.

Are the rock materials of Mars harder than any known type of rock? If this were so, we would have an answer. However, Henry J. Moore, .J.;et. al. in the Journal of Geophysical Research analyzed this is an articled titled “Surface Materials of the Viking Landing Site” stating in the “Concluding Remarks” that, “Bulk densities of surface materials of Mars cover the range found in natural terrestrial materials” and “It is clear, however, that the surface materials are erodible and can be transported.”[379] Furthermore, Michael H. Carr in .H.;The Structure of Mars informs us that it is near to impossible to reconcile the features of Mars with the efficient erosion by Martian dust storms. He states,

“That wind erodes the Martian surface…cannot be doubted. We have observed storms that stir up so much dust that most of the surface of the planet becomes hidden from view. We have monitored changes in surface markings from storms… The uncertainty regarding wind is not whether it has modified the surface but where and to what extent. Given the violence and frequent occurrence of dust storms, it is somewhat surprising the eolian [wind] effects are not more pervasive. An ancient cratered topography, probably over 3 billion years old, survives over much of the planet. Yet, it has been exposed to wind action for billions of years, and perhaps to hundreds of millions of dust storms comparable to the ones we observed in 1971 and 1977. Many of the plains, such as Chryse Planitia may also be billions of years old, but at a scale of 100m [meters] they do not look very different from the lunar maria, having crisp wrinkled ridges and well defined craters. Wind erosion appears to have been highly selective, being very obvious in some areas and negligible in others.”[380]

To illustrate the highly improbable nature of Carr’s statement, let us assume that the craters are ancient impact creations. Since the southerly hemisphere of Mars has most of the craters we would expect that here the erosion selectively decided not to wear away the evidence of cratering. The largest crater on Mars’ southern hemisphere is Hellas and it is expected that the broad plane inside the crater would, over 4 billion years, be impacted many times by smaller meteors. Martin Caiden, .;in Destination Mars, (NY 1972), p. 119, informs us that,

“The portion of Hellas studied by Mariner 6 and 7 covers at least 1,200 miles of surface, and to that resolution of 1,000 feet, not a single feature could be observed on the desert floor. Scientists were astonished by this fact for another reason—there is no way in which Hellas could have been sheltered from impact by meteorites. The only acceptable conclusion to explain the featureless surface, of course, is that some process is at work on Mars to erase fairly rapidly the effects of meteoroid impacts in the area of Hellas. Scientists admit that higher resolution cameras might well show small craters on the floor of Hellas, but that isn’t the point. Large craters should be in evidence and they aren’t. So the scientists are left with the most likely conclusion which is that the material making up the floor of Hellas, responds more rapidly than other Martian materials to whatever process of erosion exists on Mars.”

Thus, the scientists have little or no erosion in the southerly hemisphere of Mars to save the supposedly ancient cratered terrain there. But inside Hellas in the southern hemisphere either high erosion is at work or the material there is super erodible. This is turning away from logic and evidence and substituting sophistry for them.



The problem for uniformitarian scientists is how to explain the fact that Mars is asymmetrically cratered according to Michael Zeilik’s .;Astronomy: The Evolving Universe, (4th ed.) (NY 1985), p. 169 “extensive photographic survey [of Mars] showed that the two Martian hemispheres have different topographic characteristics: the southern hemisphere is relatively flat, older and heavily cratered: the northern hemisphere is younger, with extensive lava flows, collapsed depressions and huge volcanoes.” The boundary between these two hemispheres, however, does not run parallel to the equator, but is inclined to it roughly by about 50 degrees.

It is proposed again and again that geological processes only affect the northern hemisphere but not the southern. What uniformitarian scientists ask be accepted is that some geological process acts exclusively on one hemisphere—the northern—dividing the planet into two distinctly different regions, one with a great many craters, the other with very few at all. What is the unique geological process that can account for this dichotomy? One suggestion offers the idea that volcanism removes craters in the northern hemisphere. The major problem with this concept is that the northern hemisphere is some 3 to 5 kilometers lower than the southern. Volcanism is, geologically speaking, one of the constructional forces of geology in that it builds up continents by adding material over the surface. J. Guest, et. al., .;in Planetary Geology, (NY 1979), p. 145 states that, “Why the northern of the two ‘geologic hemispheres’ should have apparently been depressed with respect to the other hemisphere is one of the greatest of the planet’s mysteries.”

This unique planetary asymmetry, which is in some respects quite like the bulge on the Moon, is precisely what one would expect to find according to Velikovsky’s thesis. One side of the Moon exhibits several geological formations rarely seen on the other. So too on Mars this dichotomy is evident.

Interestingly Mars also has mass concentrations—mascons—like the Moon below its surface. Mark Washburn .;in Mars at Last, (NY 1977), p. 138 informs us that, “Mascons had been discovered on the moon, but they hadn’t been anticipated on Mars.” On page 151 he shows that “Mariner 9 discovered the mascons that were responsible for Mars’ lumpy gravitational field…”

Although it is difficult to explain the Moon’s mascons it is even harder to explain those of Mars. Mars has volcanoes found on various points of its surface near the mascons, which means magma—molten rock—is found near them below the Martian surface. Victor R. Baker’s .R.;The Channels of Mars, (Austin, TX 1982), p. 22, states that on Mars, “…the volcanoes certainly were active within the last few hundred million years, and it is possible that Olympus Mons is still active today. Crater counts on the volcanoes flanks and margins [are found which] indicates that volcanoes were active over an extremely long time span, certainly for hundreds of millions of years.” These molten materials would destroy mascons rather quickly. Since Mars does possess mascons in spite of these hot subsurface phenomena it requires that the mascons are quite young. Again this evidence supports Velikovsky’s hypothesis respecting Mars.

Michael H. Carr .H.;in The Planets, (1987), p. 96, tells us that around many craters is what can only be called “mud”. “Particularly striking is the appearance of the material that was thrown out of the craters by the impacts. It appears to have a mudlike consistency and to have flowed across the surface after it fell back to the ground following ejection. The excavated material appears to have contained significant amounts of water.” We are once again expected to accept the notion that mud was thrown out and over the Martian surface by the projectiles some 4 billion years ago, but was also not eroded away by dust storms. Thus, we have an intriguing kind of selectivity of erosion on Mars. Whole volcanoes were selected by the wind and dust and were eaten away, but material with a muddy consistency was not.

This brings us to a further contradiction of the evidence. That there has been erosion of Mars cannot be doubted. This is of special interest respecting “Pedestal Craters”. These craters stand on elevated mounds that appear to be highly circular. The mounds rise to elevations of several hundred yards above the surrounding ground, but the craters themselves are a great many times too small to have ejected all the material that forms the pedestal mound. These formations are quite unique. Michael H. Carr, .H.;“The Surface of Mars: A Post Viking View”, Mercury, Vol. 12, (Jan/Feb 1983), p. 2) states,

“Modification of Martian craters also produces patterns not found on other planets, especially at high latitudes. Of particular interest are the so-called pedestal craters. These craters occur at the center of a roughly circular platform that stands several tens of meters above the surround­ings. In most cases the platform cannot be formed of ejecta from the crater since the volume of the platform far exceeds that of the craters bowl. Most planetary geologists now view the pedestal craters as indicating that thick blankets of debris used to lie on the surface. In the area between craters, the old debris has been removed, but the debris is retained around craters because of armory of the surface ejecta. The craters are thus left standing at the center of what remains of the old debris blanket. The pedestal craters are found mostly at high latitudes, both north and south, and are regarded as evidence of complex erosion and deposit histories at these latitudes…”

Here then is the further contradiction. Both in the high north and south latitudes and even 15 degrees from the equator several hundred yards of surface has been removed by erosion since the times of last cratering, but somehow mud thrown out by cratering impacts has not been removed. Finally, one is left to ask: Since pedestal craters imply an enormous amount of erosion of the terrain where is all of the eroded material deposited? These prodigious amounts of material had to be deposited somewhere, but its location is undiscovered. One wonders if it is not the scientists who are being selective and not the wind and dust.

A good place to deposit some of this material is the great rift valley, the Valles Marineris, a system of canyons extended over 3,000 miles along the Martian equatorial belt. In places the canyon complex is 300 miles wide and 4 miles deep. Its walls are precipitously steep with well defined edges. While dust and debris should easily accumulate in the chasm over billions of years, it too is subject to erosion, and land slides are observed on its flanks. In the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, (1987), Vol. 10, “Mars” p. 477, we are told, “While erosion continues to eat away at the canyon walls, that is an unlikely origin for Valles Marineris and similar complexes. These enormous chasms have no outlets, and the only obvious way to remove debris is by wind; yet the material to be transported out of the canyons is so great as to cast serious doubt on the effectiveness of this mechanism operating by itself.” Thus, there is no explanation of why the canyons are not filled. Yet, over such enormous periods of time, they ought to have been filled. Again, perhaps the dust was highly selective as to where it should settle.

A more honest analysis would state that space scientists do not know how to reconcile powerful erosion with well defined crisp features. The concept that the dust storms were selective about what features to erode will not wash. One cannot have it both ways—dust storms that cover an entire planetary surface, but only erode selectively are unimaginable.



Finally, dust or sand abrasion of rock produces a smooth often shiny surface on the rock. In the geology text, The Earth’s Dynamic Systems, by W. Kenneth Hamblin .H.;is a description of wind abrasion of desert rock which states,

“The effects of wind abrasion can be seen on the surface of bedrock in most desert regions, and in some areas where soft, poorly consolidated rock is exposed, wind erosion can be both spectacular and distinctive. The process of wind abrasion is essentially the same as that used in artificial sand blasting to clean building stone. Some pebbles called ventifacts are shaped and polished by the wind… Such pebbles are distinctive in that they have two or more flat faces that meet at sharp ridges. Generally, they are well polished and can have surface irregularities and grooving aligned with the wind direction.”[381]

However, when we look at pictures of the rocks on the surface of Mars taken by Viking 2, we do not see wind abraded rock. Michael Zeilik .;in his book Astronomy: The Evolving Universe, states,

Viking landers touched down on Mars in 1969. Seen close up, the Martian surface is bleak and dry. Large rock boulders are basaltic. Some contain small holes…from which gas has apparently escaped; the holes make the rock look spongy.”[382]

The rocks shown by the pictures do not look anything like rocks that have been eroded and polished by wind abrasion over billions of years. Mark Washburn in .;Mars at Last, (NY 1977), p. 237, states that pictures of the boulders on Mars, “Contrary to expectations, [show] that there were very few rocks that had been ventifacted to any significant degree. There were wind tails of dust behind many of the rocks, but it did not look like an area where massive sand blasting was occurring.”

In Sky and Telescope is an analysis in which we find laboratory simulation of Martian conditions. “R. Greeley .;and his colleagues have used a wind tunnel at NASA’s Ames Research Center to simulate erosive conditions on Mars. Atmospheric pressure on Mars is only a few thousandths of that at sea level on Earth, so Martian winds must possess very high velocities to transport dust particles. These high wind speeds should produce a highly erosive environment. Based on these factors, and on wind patterns derived from Viking lander data, the researchers calculated that Mars should be eroded at rates of up to 2 centimeters [0.8 inch] per century. But if this were the case, they note the craters visible at the Viking sites (which are hundreds of millions of years old) should have been worn away long ago.” The researcher’s erosion rate was 0.8 inches per century. In five centuries that equals 4 inches; in 1,500 years, a foot; in 15,000 years, ten feet; in 150,000 years, one hundred feet of erosion of Mars’ surface, twice the rate calculated by Sagan. One hundred feet is equal in height to a ten story building.

If this much surface material were eroded on Mars, the planet would possess no crisp features; they would all be eroded away or rounded off. All small features, such as small craters and shallow river valleys with their tear drop islands would disappear. These islands are made up of soil and sand, and such materials are easily eroded. All rocks would be abraded down to smooth surfaces. The planet would be a sandy desert with only large features rising above the desert sand dunes. The actual amount of erosion on Mars is about a few feet; thus, its features can only be a few thousand years old.

In fact, there is evidence for extreme erosional effects of the Martian surface. In Discover, for November 1987, p. 10 and 14, is a discussion of tornadoes on Mars which states,

“If astronauts ever make it to Mars, they may want to avoid summer in the southern hemisphere. To begin with, that’s the season when huge storms tend to blanket the Red Planet with a nasty yellowish dust. And in the late summer, when the dust storms die down, conditions don’t improve much; according to a new study, that’s when tornadoes scour the Martian surface.

“Tornadoes themselves have not been seen on Mars, but planetary scientists John Grant .;and Peter Schultz .H.;of Brown University think they have seen their tracks: dark lines, less than six tenths of a mile wide, but as long as 46 miles, that cut across hills, faults, and craters. The lines are visible on images made by the Viking orbiters between 1976 and 1980. Other investigators had noticed them before, but decided they had to be either sand dunes or thin cracks in the Martian crust. Grant and Schultz think both explanations are unlikely, in part because the lines are so indifferent to topography, but also because they appear in late summer and then disappear.

“Dust devils, less intense whirlwinds that are a common sight here on Earth, have been seen on Mars, but they are not likely in late summer. The conditions then, say Grant and Schultz, are just right for tornadoes: There is a deep layer of warm air above the sun-baked surface, and cold fronts much like the ones on Earth, pass at regular intervals. A wedge shaped front nudges the warm air upward, which is where it wants to go anyway; the strong frontal winds set the updraft a-spinning; and a first class twister ensues.

“So far the tracks have been seen chiefly in a few southern areas, but the two investigators think that’s only because the light, sandy surface in those areas makes the dark lines easy to spot; tornadoes are probably just as common in the north. Actually, “common” is an understatement: Grant and Schultz counted between 55 and 60 tracks, formed in a single season, in a typical 400 square mile area—an area smaller than Oklahoma City.

“Visitors to Mars in tornado season won’t have to worry about being swept up by dramatic black funnel clouds—there’s almost no water vapor in the Martian atmosphere, and so tornadoes would be dry. But they might well encounter winds of 100 to 200 miles an hour. And, says Grant, they’d get very intensely sandblasted.”

This type of erosion over billions of years would have hastened the removal of all the ancient features long, long ago.



Thus, one may pr