- "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing
its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents
eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
- --Max Planck, German Theoretical Physicist
- "Credibility is currency." One day, this phrase
popped into my mind, and thinking myself quite clever, I "Googled"
it, hoping I might have originated it. Well, I had not. An author whose
name I cannot find wrote, "Credibility is currency; it's hard to get,
and easier to lose."
- This statement applies to virtually every human endeavor,
perhaps none more so than theoretical science - an inherently idealistic
endeavor to advance human understanding. A "credible" scientist
can have the whole world's ear, and nothing says "credibility"
better than those three little letters PhD.
- The work of scientists has an enormous impact on everyday
life. We do not just rely on scientists to help us understand the natural
world. We rely on their viewpoints to guide us in critical personal decisions,
including health and lifestyle (remember the short-lived fervor around
the Atkins' Diet?) The respectable, bespectacled scientist whom the media
cites as an "expert" has the power to change the way we think,
and thus to change the world.
- But credibility is a complex tapestry. In addition to
the tangible requirements that any "credible" scientist must
possess, there are intangibles such as honesty, integrity, and openness
to new possibilities. On an individual level, most accredited scientists
may indeed possess those traits. But one cannot judge the validity of a
scientific opinion based on an individual's "accreditation."
- I suspect that most people find little reason to question
the scientific Establishment. Most of us just assume that the expert knows
what he's talking about and that he has no reason to deceive us. But few
who are removed from the leading edge of science know that beneath the
noble exterior of many institutions lie many tendencies toward political
maneuvering and manipulation, often with highly destructive consequences.
This state of things should not surprise us. Money, reputations, limited
fields of view, and the momentum of earlier beliefs have always had the
power to corrupt free inquiry and to subtly dissuade individuals from challenging
- But the more severe problem today is unique to the twentieth
and twenty-first centuries, and it is inseparably tied to the centralized
funding of scientific investigations. There are those who believe that
science is not just mistaken on some interesting theoretical possibilities,
but IRREDEEMIBLY wrong on the most fundamental questions science can ask.
But to whom should we listen in order to sort all of this out? If the critics
are correct, billions of tax dollars have been misdirected and/or completely
wasted chasing chimeras. Your response might be, "OKbut who the heck
are you?" The answer is, I'm a layperson who has followed discovery
with a particular interest in the work of independent researchers who are
skeptical of the current scientific consensus. But the term "skeptic"
has been so debased and misused over the years that some interpret the
word to mean an opposition to anything unconventional (i.e. "skepticism"
of the paranormal, UFO's, conspiracies, etc.). In reality, the word "skeptic,"
has the precise OPPOSITE meaning. As defined by the American Heritage Dictionary,
it means "One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or
disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions."
- In science today, the "generally accepted conclusions"
are routinely presented as inarguable "facts". From the Big Bang,
to the evolution of planets, from the nature of comets, to highly speculative
and hidden phenomena such as black holes, dark matter, and dark energy,
the big cosmological picture is presented with such confidence that media
in this country have almost never questioned it. But the picture may be
much less clear than we have been led to believe. Far removed from the
spotlight of scientific media, critics have suggested that a single, fundamental
error has infected the theoretical sciences.
- This error is the notion that the Universe is electrically
neutral - that electricity does not "do anything" in space. It
is a perverse stance given the overwhelming importance of electricity in
- The most dramatic recent discoveries have consistently
challenged the interpretations of conventional theorists on this point.
At the same time, they have fostered considerable interest in an alternative
hypothesis - the Electric Universe.
- In the study of comets, for instance, researchers have
been so confounded by unexpected discoveries that conventional comet theory
no longer exists! Yet comets are touted as "Rosetta Stones" allowing
us to decipher the formation of the solar system. The "dirty snowball"
hypothesis, considered theoretical bedrock for decades, has failed resoundingly
at predicting comet behavior and, more recently, comet composition. The
most dramatic surprises began in 1986, with the discovery of negatively
charged ions in the coma of Comet Halley, the signatures of energetic electrical
activity, and the absence of any proof of water on the nucleus. In subsequent
years, comets have produced a steady stream of "mysteries" that
have had astronomers heading back to the drawing boards. These include:
- - Highly energetic supersonic jets exploding from comets'
- - Narrowly confined, filamentary comet jets spanning
distances that defy the expected behavior of neutral gases in a vacuum.
- - Comet surfaces with sharply carved relief the
exact opposite of what astronomers expected under the "dirty snowball"
- - Unexpectedly high temperatures and x-ray emissions
from comets' comas.
- - A short supply or complete absence of water and other
volatiles on comets' nuclei.
- - Mineral particles that can only be formed under extremely
- - Comets flaring up while in "deep freeze",
beyond the orbit of Saturn.
- - Comets disintegrating many millions of miles from the
- - Comet dust particles more finely and evenly divided
than is expected for sublimating "dirty ices".
- - Ejection of larger particles and "gravel"
that was never anticipated under the idea that comets accreted from primordial
clouds of ice, gas, and dust.
- - Minerals that can only be created at high temperatures.
- All the above findings pose enormous difficulties for
the "dirty snowball" model; all are predictable features of the
electric model. Nevertheless, the odds are pretty good that you have never
even HEARD of the electric comet hypothesis! (But if you had lived at the
end of the 19th century you could have). This is because the space sciences
have been constructed throughout the 20th century on the theoretical assumption
that bodies in space are electrically neutral. An electric comet would
strike at the foundations of the theoretical sciences today.
- If a foundational assumption is incorrect, the ramifications
would reach far beyond comet theory. According to Wallace Thornhill and
other proponents of the Electric Universe, the electric comet is inextricably
linked to the electrical model of the Sun, a model with sweeping implications:
- Dr. Charles E. R Bruce of the Electrical Research Association
in England set the stage for a scientific model of an "electric sun"
in 1944. According to Bruce, the Sun's "photosphere has the appearance,
the temperature and the spectrum of an electric arc; it has arc characteristics
because it is an electric arc, or a large number of arcs in parallel."
This discharge characteristic, he claimed, "accounts for the observed
granulation of the solar surface." Bruce's model, however, was based
on a conventional understanding of atmospheric lightning, allowing him
to envision the "electric" Sun without reference to external
- Years later, a brilliant engineer, Ralph Juergens, inspired
by Bruce's work, added a revolutionary possibility. In a series of articles
beginning in 1972, Juergens suggested that the Sun is not an electrically
isolated body in space, but lies within a larger galactic field. With this
hypothesis, Juergens became the first to make the theoretical leap to an
external power source for the Sun.
- Juergens proposed that the Sun is the most positively
charged object in the solar system, the center of a weak radial electric
field and the focus of a "coronal glow discharge" fed by galactic
currents. This is why a comet, moving rapidly through the strengthening
electric field as it approaches the Sun, begins to discharge under the
- To avoid misunderstanding of this concept, it is essential
that we distinguish the complex, electrodynamic glow discharge model of
the Sun from a simple electrostatic model that can be easily dismissed.
Throughout most of the volume of a glow discharge the plasma is "quasi"
neutral, with almost equal numbers of protons and electrons. A similar
situation exists inside a fluorescent light tube. The current is carried
primarily by a drift of electrons in a weak electric field toward the positive
electrode (the Sun). It is only beneath the corona, close to the Sun,
that the electric field becomes strong enough to generate all of the brilliant
and energetic phenomena we observe on the Sun.
- In the electric model, the Sun's external energy source
is the reason why temperatures rise SPECTACULARLY with distance from the
surface of the Sun - precisely the reverse of what one would expect if
heat were radiating from the Sun's core. From about 4400 degrees K at 500
kilometers (300 miles) above the photosphere, the temperature rises steadily
to about 20,000 degrees K at the top of the chromosphere, some 2200 kilometers
(1200 miles) above the Sun's surface. At this point an abrupt increase
occurs, eventually reaching 2 million degrees in the corona. And even farther
from the Sun, the energetic activity of ionized oxygen atoms reaches an
astonishing 200 million degrees! This is the last thing one would expect
of a nuclear furnace hidden in the core of the Sun. But it is the observed
nature of a corona discharge.
- Electrical theorists point out some two dozen or more
defining features of the Sun that pose problems for standard theory, ranging
from "difficult" to "impossible" to explain. In each
case, the observed feature follows logically from the glow discharge model.
Perhaps the most telling illustration of this contrast is the issue of
the solar wind. The Sun continually emits a stream of positively charged
particles, but these particles are not only unaffected by the Sun's gravity,
they continue to accelerate away from the Sun. Since the discovery of this
mysterious behavior decades ago, solar theorists have never set forth an
explanation that could withstand scrutiny. They thought they had a partial
explanation when they claimed that solar radiation (the light from the
Sun) continued to push the charged particles outward. To the electrical
theorists, this was not only a feeble explanation but also one that lacked
any support in experimentation, which should be the first resort.
- Electrical theorists are, in fact, disturbed by the inability
of the scientific mainstream to see what they regard as obvious. All electrical
engineers know that there is a simple way to accelerate charged particles
- they do it regularly with electric fields. If the Sun is a charged body
at the center of an electric field, the acceleration of charged particles
by this field is a given.
- The most compelling example of this principle occurred
between January 15th and 19th of 2005, when four powerful solar flares
erupted from "sunspot 720." Then on January 20th, the fifth explosion
produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) with velocities well beyond the
ability of any conventional model to account for. As summarized on the
Thunderbolts Picture of the Day, "While it often takes more than 24
hours for the charged particles of a solar outburst to reach the Earth,
this one was a profound exception. Just thirty minutes after the explosion,
Earth (some 96 million miles from the Sun) was immersed in what NASA scientists
called "the most intense proton storm in decades." It is particularly
telling that it is almost impossible to find, in any mainstream attempt
to explain the solar wind, any memory of this event.
- The point here is not just that the electric model accounts
for the most troubling difficulties faced by standard theory. The model
is part of a larger, more unified picture of the cosmos. Just as the electric
comet leads inevitably to the electric Sun, both the electric comet and
the electric sun suggest a radically new perspective on all of the theoretical
sciences reaching from planetary history to the origins of the cosmos.
- Wallace Thornhill, for example, suggests that the electric
comet offers the best model for comprehending the surface features of planets
and moons. Unacknowledged evidence accumulated in the Space Age makes clear
that planets are charged bodies. Unstable motions within the electric field
of the Sun, or motions bringing planets into close encounters, would lead
to devastating electrical discharge events, with planets themselves taking
on possible "comet-like" attributes. It is essential, therefore,
that an open reconsideration of planetary history be given a high priority.
And this investigation must include the possibility that planets were,
in earlier times, immersed in electrical discharge, their surfaces carved
by high-energy electrical events. In other words, what is occurring on
active comets is a direct pointer to the forces acting on planets in an
earlier epoch of planetary evolution.
- Space exploration has continually revealed features on
planets and other rocky bodies that cannot be explained by impacts from
space or familiar planetary geology (volcanism, water erosion, or surface
spreading.) Since we first pointed telescopes at the Moon, the single geologic
feature that has most entranced astronomers is craters. For decades, the
unresolved issue was whether craters on the moon were formed by volcanism
or impact. With the Apollo space program, astronomers believed that the
issue was settled. The dominating craters on the moon were created by celestial
objects striking the surface, planetary scientists said.
- This conclusion seemed so clear that virtually no one
paused sufficiently to notice the litany of facts about lunar craters that
throw the entire hypothesis into doubt. Once the impact model took hold,
astronomers and geologists sought to replicate experimentally the unique
patterns of cratering on the moon and elsewhere in the solar system. On
occasion, news releases touted the "successes" of such experiments,
but at a more fundamental and scientific level, where detailed cratering
patterns demanded experimental confirmation, the experiments proved to
be a failure. The features of high-velocity impact craters do not match
the features of the lunar craters. Nor do they match up with the features
of craters we observe so abundantly on the surface of Mars or on the moons
of Jupiter and Saturn and other rocky bodies in the solar system. This
failure of impact experiments, however, does not appear to have been the
subject of any news releases.
- The anomalies include (to name just a few):
- - remarkable circularity of almost all craters of all
sizes. Oblique impacts should form many oval craters;
- - lack of collateral damage expected if the crater circularity
were due to a near-ground explosion like a thermonuclear detonation;
- - flat-bottomed, melted crater floors instead of dish
shaped excavation from impact blast. Impacts and high-energy explosions-even
atomic bombs-do not melt enough material to create flat floors.
- - many craters with steep walls rather than the shallow
dish shape expected from a supersonic impact blast;
- - unexpected terracing of large crater walls, with melted
floors of some terraces;
- - inordinate numbers of secondary craters centered on
the rims of larger craters;
- - absence of larger craters cutting through smaller craters;
- - intricate chains of small craters along the rims of
- - far too many crater pairs and crater chains;
- - minimal disturbance where one crater cuts into another;
- - repeated, highly "improbable" associations
of craters with adjoining cleanly cut gouges and rilles, from which material
has simply disappeared;
- - rays of "ejecta" tangential to the crater
- - concentric rings.
- Rather than consider these challengers, planetary scientists
have stopped asking the most important questions. Indeed, they have yet
to consider a fact of overwhelming importance to the future of planetary
science: All of the primary cratering patterns in the solar system can
be produced by electric discharge in the laboratory. This cannot be said
of any other causative agent explored in the space age.
- Our neighbor Mars, the most studied planet in the solar
system (outside the earth) offers almost limitless examples. The Martian
surface reveals global evidence of violent electric scarring.
- The stupendous chasm Valles Marineris stretches across
more than 3000 miles - the equivalent of hundreds of Grand Canyons. In
the early 70s, engineer Ralph Juergens posited that in an earlier period
of planetary instability, electrical arcs between charged celestial bodies
created many of the features on Mars. In 1974, Juergens wrote of Valles
- "[T]his region resembles nothing so much as an area
zapped by a powerful electric arc advancing unsteadily across the surface,
occasionally splitting in two, and now and then weakening, so that its
traces narrow and even degrade into lines of disconnected craters."
More recently, Wallace Thornhill has argued that the entire VM region has
identical morphology to the grandest electric discharge phenomenon in the
universe the barred-spiral galaxy. (See Spiral
Galaxies & Grand Canyons)
- At first, planetary scientists speculated that water
erosion was the agent that created Valles Marineris, but this notion was
refuted by higher resolution images. Now, some favor surface spreading
and rifting. But upon close examination, no surface spreading is evident.
So what happened to all of the "missing" material? In the electrical
hypothesis, it was excavated explosively by a process called electric discharge
machining (EDM). And the resulting debris not only was strewn across the
surface of Mars but also much of it was accelerated electrically into space.
From this vantage point, it is not a coincidence that even today meteorites
from Mars are falling upon the earth.
- One of the most fascinating geologic anomalies on Mars
is the presence of so-called "blueberries" - blue-gray bb-sized
spherules embedded in the iron-rich Martian soil. After spectroscopic analysis,
the spherules were identified as "hematite concretions." The
formative process of the "blueberries" remains enigmatic to planetary
scientists. Plasma physicist Dr. CJ Ransom of Vemasat Laboratories, however,
conducted his own experiment to test the electrical explanation of concretions
and Martian blueberries. He blasted a quantity of hematite with an electric
arc, and the result was embedded spherules with features similar to the
blueberries on Mars. No other laboratory experiment has produced a similar
result. (See Martian
"Blueberries" in the Lab)
- A significant feature of electric discharge is its SCALABILITY
- what is observed on a small scale is also observed on larger scales.
And the Martian "blueberries" may have a much larger analog in
the form of domed craters on the planet. Orbiting cameras have found numerous
craters with domes or spheres resting within them. These domed craters
range in size from a hundred meters or less (the limit of the camera's
resolution) up to a kilometer or more. The similarities between these domed
craters and the laboratory "blueberries", many of which form
inside craters, are striking. This alone should be more than sufficient
to encourage further investigation. (See Domed
Craters on Mars)
- To proponents of the Electric Universe, the geologic
evidence of electric scarring on planets and other rocky bodies is a compelling
testament to planetary violence and instability in the past. The notion
of an unstable solar system in the recent past was put forth by Immanuel
Velikovsky in his 1950 bestselling book Worlds in Collision. Although Velikovsky
was summarily dismissed by the scientific mainstream, the Space Age has
done more to support Velikovsky than to refute him!
- While Electric Universe proponents Wal Thornhill and
his colleagues acknowledge that Velikovsky was wrong on several points,
they agree with Velikovsky that electromagnetism was the key to an earlier
epoch of planetary catastrophe. And today, evidence has become overwhelming
that we live in an "electrically connected" solar system.
- In the case of Jupiter, we see this electrical connectivity
between the planet and its closest moon, Io. In 1979, Cornell astrophysicist
Thomas Gold proposed in the journal Science that the "volcanoes"
on Io were actually plasma discharge plumes. Gold's hypothesis was dismissed
in the same journal by Gene Shoemaker, et al. But in 1987, plasma physicists
Alex Dessler and Anthony Peratt supported Gold's interpretation in an article
published in the journal Astrophysics and Space Science. Dessler and Peratt
argued that both the filamentary penumbra and the convergence of ejecta
into well-defined rings are plasma discharge effects that have no counterpart
- Later, the Galileo probe recorded amazing images of the
"volcanoes" and found precisely what was predicted by electrical
theorist Thornhill: temperatures so high that they saturated the cameras;
MOVEMENT of the "volcanoes" across the surface; and location
of "volcanoes" along the cliffs of previously excavated valleys.
It is now indisputable that the basis of Shoemaker's "rebuttal"
of the Gold hypothesis was incorrect. It is also indisputable that Thornhill's
highly specific predictions were correct. And yet, neither the journal
Science, nor any other scientific publication, has even revisited the question.
- On Mars, monstrous "dust devils" - some ten
times larger than any tornados on Earth - have exposed planetary scientists'
disinterest in all things electrical. A NASA press release stated, 'When
humans visit Mars, they'll have to watch out for towering electrified dust
devils." But they attribute the electric fields of the "dust
devils" to solar heating and the resulting mechanical energy of air
convection (despite the fact that the Martian atmosphere is less than one
percent as dense as Earth's, and the mechanical ability of its air to move
dust particles is at best improbable). In the Electric Universe interpretation,
rotating columns of air and dust are a natural consequence of atmospheric
electric currents. (See NASA
on Martian Dust Devils "They're Electrified!")
- In meteorological phenomena on Earth, we witness planetary
charge as well. It is no longer possible to think of the Earth as an isolated,
electrically neutral body when we observe giant bolts of lightning from
above storm clouds discharging INTO space. Since the early 1990s, investigators
have been documenting forms of lightning called "sprites" and
"blue jets" leaping upwards from storms as much as 15 kilometers
towards space. Some giant "jets" shot up to 80 kilometers. These
investigators found that every time there was a "sprite" above
the clouds there was a bolt of positive lightning below the clouds. They
were each parts of a single discharge that stretched from space to the
Earth's surface. (See Giant
Lightning to Space)
- It has been said that mathematicians, when considering
questions of physics, "have no principles." They do not consider
themselves bound by physics. And there is obvious glee when some "unexplained"
phenomenon seems to offer the possible discovery of a "new" physical
law or principle. This can be much more appealing than a straightforward
answer from a discipline in which the mathematician is untrained. None
of the evidence we've noted here, for example, is a violation of any existing
physical law or principle. The patterns we've noted find ready explanations
in electrical phenomena. Yet space science continues to ignore the electric
force in favor of speculative solutions, clinging to assumptions that are
no longer tenable.
- At first, astronomers were convinced that space was a
perfect vacuum, and electric currents seemed inconceivable. Then astronomers
discovered that space is pervaded by charged particles, or plasma. In the
face of this discovery, astronomers wrongly concluded that charge separation
could not be maintained in space; any charge would be quickly neutralized
by the movement of charge (electric current). But as every electrical engineer
knows, that conclusion depends upon the current-carrying ability of the
plasma. In the sparse plasma of space, current-carrying ability is undeniably
present, but limited. The result is that cosmic scale currents generated
by the relative movement of dissimilar plasma regions can be sustained
over long time spans. The signature of such electric currents is their
magnetic fields. But when magnetic fields were detected in space astronomers
considered them to be "frozen in" to the plasma as if the
plasma were superconducting in order to maintain the notion of electrical
neutrality. But space plasma is not a superconductor. External electrical
energy must be supplied to maintain the observed magnetic fields in space.
- From the larger circuit of the Milky Way, currents flow
into the Sun's domain. At planetary distances from the Sun, the field is
imperceptibly weak. But as the current "pinches down" toward
the Sun, the electric power is sufficient to light the Sun. A comet spends
most of its time in the weakest part of the field far from the Sun and
may balance its voltage with that field. But as the comet accelerates nearer
the Sun, it grows profoundly out of balance with its environment and begins
to discharge. Astronomers have missed such fundamental points for a reason
no one wants to admit: they are embarrassingly untrained in electrodynamics.
This is why electrical engineers have a tremendous advantage in understanding
electrical activities in space. An arc welder could more easily understand
the rilles and craters on solid surfaces than a planetary scientist. But
rather than expand their knowledge to include electricity, astronomers
and cosmologists have instead contracted the space sciences into a narrow
field of "elegant" (pretentious or irrelevant) theories.
- Every day we hear of great advances and discoveries in
the quest to identify invisible - and supposedly ubiquitous - things such
as dark matter, dark energy, neutron stars and black holes. These conjectures
are necessary because cosmologists remain unaware of plasma's ability to
organize structure in space. (See Plasma
Galaxies) And the WEIRDNESS of their conjectures continues to grow,
to the point that the current picture of the cosmos resembles the most
"spacey" Star Trek episodes.
- It is tragic that the scientific Establishment - working
hand in hand with popular media - has succeeded in convincing many that
the largest cosmological questions are the sole domain of mathematicians.
The very fact that mathematics is commonly looked to for a "theory
of everything" reveals the blunder of this thinking. As Electric Universe
proponent Thornhill writes, "The very notion that some scientists
are within grasp of a 'theory of everything' is a fantasy on a par with
the flat Earth theory. It is not possible to have a theory of everything
until we know everything about the universe. And given the almost continual
surprises from space, we evidently know very little."
- Thornhill continues, "Those who would aspire to
a theory of everything are told they must undertake 'the grueling complex
and abstract mathematics' required for the task. Who says so? Mathematicians,
of course. It is a chronically narrow view, like looking through the wrong
end of the telescope and imagining you see stars. This view has led to
elitism in physics based on mathematical ability. Most bizarre have been
those who claim to see God in their own image - as a mathematician."
- It is not the least bit audacious for the common person
to question the tenability of popular scientific theories. In fact, it
is often the non-specialist, one who is less encumbered by prior beliefs
and conflicts of interest, who can more easily discern what is before his
eyes. This is particularly true when it comes to the challenges posed by
the Electric Universe hypothesis. The electric theorists, as opposed to
pure mathematicians, deal more strictly with what can be predicted, observed,
and repeated. Thanks to the Space Age, the evidence is there for those
willing to see it.
- Increasingly, the public is expressing doubt about the
directions of popular theory. What they get in response is assurances that
the "pieces of the puzzle" are falling into place. But those
who follow discovery with a "skeptical" eye see things much differently.
The credibility of science cannot be sustained through self-congratulation.
And it is only in the best interest of scientific institutions to open
to the door to discussions long ago excluded. In fact, the future of science
depends on it.