Apocalyptic Physics:
The End Is Nigh!
by Wes Thomas

Self-taught physicist Charles Cagle is on a mission from God. The world will end in the year 2000 and he has a Web site and some cool PhotoShop images to prove it.
Amateur scientist Charles Cagle must have *really* weird dreams. He predicts huge CME's (coronal mass ejections -- see from the Sun, a magnetic pole reversal, and catastrophic planet-wide destruction (
The CME's will "raise the temperature of the atmosphere for regions as large as a million square miles several hundred degrees in as little as 4-5 minutes," he predicts on his Wrath Of God Web page ( "Whole crops will destroyed over a large geographic area which will lead to widespread famine for many of those left who have yet survived the other catastrophic events. Large forest lands, like the Brazilian rain forest system would undergo extensive devastation. Rapid heating of the ocean surface will generate extreme weather conditions.... [There will be] rapid thinning and subsidence of island and mountain chains which have hot basements. The Hawaiian chain will subside more rapidly that [than?] it will be possible to evacuate people from them (some of the islands will go down in a day). Likewise will most new major mountain chains like the Himalayas, Rockies, Andes, Alps and many others begin rapid subsidence. Sea floor spreading zones will become very active and the planet will begin to expand.".
He says he based these predictions on the fact (read: assumption) that Cycle 23 (the one we're now entering -- see graph at will be larger than Cycle 19 (the largest ever recorded). "The fact is that many scientists are predicting that cycle 23 will be the largest solar maximum ever recorded." (
Proof: I read it on the Internet
When I asked him to produce names, he said he read it on the Internet and didn't have any names. He further admitted to me when I pinned him down that he didn't have any data on solar emissions and was not even a solar scientist.
Reality check: According to a panel of top scientists assembled by NOAA and NASA: "The conditions presently being observed in the Sun-Earth environment are not consistent with those observed prior to Cycle 19 and do not support the idea that Cycle 23 will be as large as Cycle 19." (
In another deceptive (but transparent) attempt ( to impress the non-scientist, Charles quotes solar scientist Cary Oler:
"There is strong evidence that we may now be within the rapid rising phase of new solar cycle 23. July and August had high mean sunspot numbers. In fact, August's mean sunspot number of around 36 (unofficial) is the highest observed since the decline of solar cycle 22 several years ago. The continued formation of new active regions (of the correct new cycle polarity) together with the increasing levels of sunspot numbers and associated solar flux levels suggests we are very likely now entering the rapid ascension phase of cycle 23."
I asked Cary: Do you feel your quote is out of context? It appears that way to me. He replied (I'm quoting with permission):
"Based on what you've said, YES! Very certainly it has been taken out of context. What I stated is true and factual. But it has no relationship whatsoever to his apocalyptic prediction. I merely stated that we are in the ascending phase of the new solar cycle. And that is in fact exactly what is happening. But this happens every 11 years, as he is very much aware. There is nothing unusual about it. It's a natural cycle of the Sun. It is progressing normally, with the usual number of odd spurts and burps that have always accompanied the arrival of the ascending phases. If you'll look at predictions with actual sunspot numbers, you'll see that we're well within prediction limits. I don't see what he's getting at. Nothing unusual is happening!
"He knows very well I would not consent to his request to accept his theory as a valid one. Why he would say that the paragraph you quoted justifies his theory is really beyond me. It sounds like he is desparately trying to grasp at straws that don't exist. I think most psychologists out there would probably agree that this is a natural reaction from someone who can't admit defeat but knows they don't ha7ve the support to win a debate.
"Let's look at this objectively. In the over 300-years since we have been observing the sun religiously, there has never been a coronal mass ejection with a strength large enough to even come close to proving his theory. In fact, I can't recall a single episode which may have even proven a small part of his theory correct. I'm sure (and I hope) he will refute me if I'm mistaken (and I hope you will pass me his comments to confirm his evidence). For several millenia prior to our earliest telescopic observations, the Earth has not undergone anything as serious as he suggests may happen this solar cycle.
"So, if nothing has happened in over 300 solar cycles, I think it's fairly safe to say (simply by persistent predictions alone!) that cycle 23 is not going to result in an apocalyptic tragedy.
"If the Sun and Earth are capable of interacting in the violent manner he predicts, then there must be some form of evidence indicating that it happened at least one time in the distant past. The scale of the destruction and the level of radiation that would supposedly be introduced into living tissues would almost certainly be traceable in a large-scale (even global) way."
Besides, God told me
Charles further based his catatrophe prediction on his "catastrophe physics" model. When I asked him for numerical details on the model and for the results of peer reviews by scientists (the normal scientific discovery process), he launched into an irrational tirade about the wrath of God. His APOCALYPTIC PHYSICS (, he explained, is "taught to men by the LIVING GOD."
Right, in other words, when challenged to produce the most basic facts to support his speculations, he appeals to religious authority -- or at least his private tortured apocalytic interpretation of it. An admission that his speculations are groundless pseudoscience.
Charles further bases his predictions on magnetic pole reversal resulting from the CME, while providing no evidence for it. Rice University Space Sciences Department of Space Physics & Astronomy physicist Andrew Urquhart <, who compiles a comprehensive list of Web sites on Sun-Earth interaction (Space Weather Resources,, comments: "The terrestrial [magnetic pole shift] cycle operates on geologic time scales and isn't of particular concern now." Meaning that shifts occur over hundreds of thousands of years. For a sanity check, see the geomagnetic polarity time scale at
Das Master Plan

It used to be that wild-eyed prophets predicting "the end is nigh" would be ignored as they carried signs on the street and gave out tracts. Today they have Web sites and appear on the Art Bell show, so they're taken seriously. I guess the Internet, apocalyptic pseudoscience, and aliens here to save us fill the gap left by religion. "I want to believe," as the X-Files poster says.
Or is this part of a grand Illuminati scheme by the Secret Government to convince the scientifically naive (most of us) that's it's so hopeless we should give up and agree to their conveniently-timed Year 2000 one-world-government master plan, spearheaded by a messianic dictator?
"The only acceptable sacrifice which is a broken heart and a contrite spirit," as Charles puts it (
No thanks.

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