Thursday, November 28, 2013

Comet ISON rapidly approaching perihelion, and some thoughts on fear-mongering, manipulation, and thinking for yourself

Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) is plummeting towards the Sun, and is now approaching perihelion (its closest point of approach).

The comet will slingshot around the sun at 2pm Eastern time on November 28th (which is 11am Pacific time, and since Pacific standard time is 8 hours behind Greenwich time, that means it will be 1900 Greenwich or Universal Time).

For intrepid observers who wish to try to observe the comet at or near perihelion, this helpful article from Sky & Telescope explains how to do it.  Note that you will have to block the Sun with a solid object, and use your naked eye.  Do not use a telescope or binoculars, which magnify the light and channel it right into your eyeball, and which can cause serious permanent damage.

Of course, you will have to be on a section of the globe that is facing towards the sun during the hours that Comet ISON is making its slingshot turn around the Sun -- that is to say, it will have to be daylight where you are, although if the Sun is just dropping below the horizon of the Earth's curvature, that would be a very handy "object" that you could use to block out the Sun and look for the comet.  If it is night-time where you are when the comet is reaching perihelion, you will be unable to see the comet's perihelion turn from that location using normal vision, since the entire bulk of our planet will be in your way.

That article also says that the comet will be within one "sun diameter" of our daystar during the three hour period from 1700 UT until 2000 UT (which is from 12 noon Eastern time or 9am Pacific standard until 3pm Eastern time and 12 noon Pacific).

Depending on the comet's condition after its "sungrazing" journey around the turn, it could become a spectacular object in the night sky (visible just prior to sunrise and just after sunset), and in some scenarios could become bright enough to see during full daylight.  And, as we have been told over and over, conditions could also lead to a scenario in which Comet ISON doesn't become very spectacular at all.

The video embedded above shows NASA footage of Comet ISON approaching the Sun over the  five-day period from 20 November through 25 November, composed of HD images snapped by the STEREO-A spacecraft and its Heliospheric Imager.  Here is a link to a page about the STEREO spacecraft (there are two of them, working in tandem, as you might expect) containing an outstanding graphic animation which shows where STEREO A was located when it took the sequence shown above.  The still-frame shot below shows where STEREO A was in relation to Comet ISON, the Sun, the Earth, and the planet Mercury on November 24 (near the end of the video sequence shown above).

Using the upper diagram, you can see why the Sun is located just out of the field of view to the right edge of the video above, and why Mercury is seen to the left and our planet Earth to the right.

In the video at top (not shown in the animation or the screenshot) you can also see very clearly Comet 2P/Encke, the comet with the shortest period of all known comets (only 3 years per round trip).  It is actually visible from the beginning of the video, heading "downwards" as if it wants to intersect the more "horizontal" path of Comet ISON.  Encke does not show much of a tail until towards the end of the video, so it looks in the video much the way a satellite looks moving through the night sky to a viewer on earth -- but it is a comet, not a satellite.

There are actually five comets visible in the night sky from the northern hemisphere right now for those using binoculars or small telescopes, including C/2013 R1 Lovejoy (the most easily-visible of them all right now, discussed briefly in this previous post, and currently visible to the naked eye in the pre-dawn morning sky near Bootes the Herdsman, who sits near the Big Dipper smoking a pipe which is very close to the handle of the Dipper),  Comet C/2013 V3 Nevski (just discovered this month!), Comet C/2012 X1 LINEAR, Comet 2P/Encke, and Comet ISON.  Descriptions of these comets, and directions for locating them in the sky, can be found on the Comet Chasing page from Skyhound, the makers of SkyTools 3 observing software.  The Comet Chasing page also describes a comet visible with small telescopes and binoculars to viewers in the southern hemisphere, as well as other comets visible only for those with larger telescopes.

Until the discovery of Comet Nevski, the appearance of four comets in the sky at the same time (with one of them, ISON, getting so much notoriety from various commentators) was prompting some comparisons to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (who are found in the book of the Revelation or Apocalypse -- both words literally mean "the unveiling," although the word "Revelation" is the way to say "unveiling" that is descended from the Latin, and the word "Apocalypse" is the Greek way to say it).  They are described in Revelation chapter 6.

Here is an article from Clyde Lewis of Ground Zero Media that pulls together an impressive array of connections between the comets, predictions in the Revelation, the Maya calendar cycle that was the subject of so much discussion at the end of last year, and worrisome current events (including volcanic eruptions).  The article also points out that elsewhere in the Revelation (in fact in Revelation chapter 8:10-11), a great star is described which fell from heaven, "burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters" -- the name of this star is called Wormwood.

While not mentioned in that "Four Horsemen" article, there have been several troubling articles appearing on various internet sites arguing that dangerous levels of radiation or radioactive materials from the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster are now reaching the west coast and beginning to play havoc with marine wildlife.  However, some analysts have challenged some of these sensationalist claims, such as this article from deep-sea biologist Andrew David Thaler published on the Southern Fried Science blog.  Personally, I do not buy all of Andrew Thaler's arguments in this article, and believe some of those arguments are not well supported (at one point, he engages in a blatant ad hominem attack with no other evidence cited besides the ad hominem attack itself).

This controversy highlights the importance of doing some of your own "due diligence" when it comes to investigating matters that might be of great importance to your future.  When it comes to questions about the status of the fallout from the Fukushima disaster or questions about whether the current array of comets (and Comet ISON in particular) have anything to do with ancient apocalyptic prophetic literature, it is probably advisable to avoid being swept up by those who want to stir up fear (for whatever reason).  At the same time, while being wary of "fear mongering," it is equally important to avoid making the opposite error of complacency, or of too-rapidly dismissing possible dangers that might really be associated with these events.  For instance, just because some articles about the impact of the Fukushima radiation might be deliberately misleading and designed to create the maximum amount of fear and uncertainty among the widest possible number of people, it does not mean that we can dismiss the dangers of Fukushima altogether, or brand everyone who sounds an alarm bell on the subject as a "fearmonger."

For the record, none of the above statements should be interpreted as an accusation that Clyde Lewis's "Four Horsemen" article is being deliberately misleading or engaging in speculative fearmongering.  His article draws a number of interesting connections to a variety of ancient and modern subjects, and he tells his readers several times during the article that it is not meant to be read as a declaration that the apocalyptic doom some were trumpeting at the end of 2012 was "off by a year" and due at the end of 2013, but that on the other hand he thinks all these matters are worth being aware of.  That seems to be a responsible enough way to approach the subject.

However, I personally believe that the Maya calendar event of December 2012 referred to an astronomical event caused by the phenomenon of precession, and that "end of the world" prophecies  in sacred traditions around the world and across millennia generally refer to the end of a precessional age, not to physical or geological catastrophes that take place on the planet (they are referring to events in the sky).  Previous posts explaining the concept of precession include this one (which contains a video) and this one (which should make the impact of precession on the position of the stars completely clear).  For discussions of the Maya Long Count and 2012, and the connection to precession, see "The Maya Long Count and Galactic Alignment: the work of John Major Jenkins," and "The Staggering Implications of the Maya Long Count," among other posts from last year.

Similarly, I believe that most if not all of the events described in the book of the Revelation (or the Apocalypse) also refer to celestial phenomena.  For some discussion of this subject, see "The Scorpion and the Smoky Abyss."  That article discusses some verses in Revelation which some have taken to be referring to literal events on earth (for example, identifying the "locusts" of Revelation chapter 9 as helicopters in some horrific modern war that was being described by a vision given in ancient times), but which probably refer to constellations (the locusts of chapter 9 probably refer to the zodiac constellation of Sagittarius).  As Clyde Lewis states in the article linked above, the Four Horsemen have very clear astronomical connections as well.

However, just because those ancient sacred texts may not have been written to be understood in a strictly literal manner does not mean that certain people might not be using them as a script to try to follow: after all, the fact that millions of people believe that those ancient texts refer to literal events could give a huge boost in potential "fearmongering impact" to anyone who wanted to manipulate current events in conjunction with widely-known ancient verses.

Here is a link to a recent interview on Red Ice Radio with Richard C. Hoagland, who states during the second half of the interview that he believes Comet ISON might actually have been manipulated by humans who have access to extremely advanced forms of space travel (the so-called "secret space program") in order to arrive on specially-selected dates at a location and elevation which would produce significant numbers when measured from the site of major ritualistic events in early 2014 (such as the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics).

Whether or not you agree with this theory (I personally have not seen enough evidence to make a dogmatic assertion either way on that one, although it is certainly worth investigating), all of the above discussion seems to argue the importance of understanding the principles of the mechanics of the celestial objects whirling through our solar system, as well as the connections to the ancient sacred traditions of mankind, all of which reveal an extremely sophisticated scientific understanding of celestial phenomena, as well as a level of interest in these phenomena which implies their belief that these events are of more than just "academic interest" to men and women living on this planet.

When it comes to issues of major potential impact on our lives, we owe it to ourselves to do some analysis of our own and reach our own conclusions, and to avoid letting others tell us how to think, or manipulate us through fear.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Who has the right to spray silver iodide on his or her neighbors?

Here is a link to a post on this blog published in July of this year, urging readers to do their own due diligence on the possible existence of "geoengineering," just as this blog urges doing "due diligence" on any subject that might have a serious impact on their lives.

For many years, the suggestion of the possibility that the long-lasting trails of visible clouds etched across the sky by high-flying aircraft might be deliberately sprayed from those aircraft was viciously derided as a "conspiracy theory."

Those who believed that these trails, which many of us have seen on different days, sometimes criss-crossing one another so vigorously that they leave clouds that eventually grow to blanket the entire sky, are the result of the deliberate spraying of chemicals often refer to them as "chemtrails." The word "chemtrails" is a take-off on the word "contrails," which itself is a contraction of the words "condensation trails," and which refers to the simple condensation of water vapor in the exhaust of aircraft engines, leaving brief trails behind a high-flying aircraft under certain atmospheric conditions.

True contrails do not stay in the sky for hours after the aircraft goes by -- in fact, they usually remain visible for only a few seconds, and an observer can watch the back of the contrail line disappearing just about as fast as the aircraft is moving at the front end of the line.

However, those who dismiss the notion that trails such as those pictured in the image above could be the result of the deliberate spraying of chemicals refuse to call them "chemtrails."  Instead, they refer to the very idea of "chemtrails" as a "conspiracy theory," and say that this phenomenon simply represents "persistent contrails."  For example, here is a screenshot of the Wikipedia entry which will come up in the US if you search Wikipedia for the word "chemtrails" -- it is not even an entry on "chemtrails" but is instead entitled "Chemtrail conspiracy theory":

Although Wikipedia disingenuously purports to be a neutral source of information, the term "conspiracy theory" is a very loaded phrase, and its use here is clearly an attempt to prejudice the reader against the possibility that these persistent clouds produced by aircraft could be anything nefarious.  The use of this phrase suggests that anyone who entertains such a possibility is simply "paranoid," looking for conspiracies where none exist.  The entry insists in calling these aircraft trails "persistent contrails," and in the first paragraph declares: "This theory is not accepted by the scientific community, which states that they are just normal contrails, as there is no scientific evidence supporting the chemtrail theory."

Well, that settles it -- if the "scientific community" (whoever they are) has not found any "scientific evidence," then anyone who believes that these trails could be the result of chemical spraying must be a "conspiracy theorist" who deliberately ignores Science.  Notice that this sweeping assertion that "no scientific evidence" supports the "chemtrail theory" is completely un-footnoted; the reader may assume from this confident declaration that "the scientific community" has been hard at work examining the evidence, and conducting tests, to find out if there is anything to support this theory, but no such experiments are described and no such evidence is offered.  This statement is completely worthless -- in fact, it is quite possibly dishonest, which makes it worse than worthless, and reflects somewhat poorly on the standards and impartiality of Wikipedia as a source.

Just eleven days before the screenshot of the above Wikipedia entry was taken, the Sacramento Bee published an astonishing article entitled "Cloud seeding, no longer magical thinking, is poised for use this winter."  The article informs us that "cloud seeding," which consists of the spraying of silver iodide from aircraft or from ground-based aerosol sprayers, was "once considered fringe science" but has "now entered the mainstream" and is practiced all the time in California!

In fact, quotations from people whose careers appear to involve the routine practice of such spraying make it sound like cloud seeding has been going on for years, and has gotten so advanced that it is far more efficient than it was back in "the old days" of cloud seeding!  One Jeff Tilley, whose job title is "director of weather modification"(!) for the Lake Tahoe Basin and eastern Sierra Nevada, tells us: "The message is starting to sink in that this is a cost-effective tool.  The technology is better; we understand how to do cloud seeding much better.  And because we understand how to do it more effectively, it's definitely taken more seriously."

Somebody better call Wikipedia -- apparently someone has some "scientific evidence" about spraying chemical compounds from aircraft, and their evidence shows that we're getting "better" at doing it!  There's so much evidence that it is going on, in fact, that people have careers as "directors of weather modification," although you'd never suspect that if you read the Wikipedia article above. 

The quotations from the article do not really give any context to the words "better" and "more effectively" --  presumably these words are comparisons to past versions of cloud seeding, and if so then it means that these programs have been going on for some time, just like all those "chemtrail conspiracy theorists" were alleging.

Another quotation later in the article comes from an individual who is a civil engineer at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and who "manages the utility's cloud-seeding program."  This is astonishing.  For years the suggestion that aircraft are spraying chemicals into the sky has been derided as the province of conspiracy theorists who obstinately ignore the settled opinion of the unanimous "scientific community" (whoever they are), and now we discover that a municipal utility district in the capital of the country's most-populous state has the job of managing a cloud-seeding program?

The article is accompanied by a drawing of an aircraft spraying lines of silver iodide particles into the air (see here).  Apparently, the planes launch this silver iodide using propane (not something I'd want to have on an airplane with me in large quantities).  Below that is a map of California, showing the areas that this practice is going on.  

Most of the regions being sprayed are indeed lined up west of the Sierra Nevadas, which jives with the assertion in the article (and the drawing insert) that the spraying is intended to produce snowfall, increasing the snowpack in the mountains, the runoff from which feeds the water reservoirs and rivers that water the entire state.  

However, there are two large conspicuous regions shown on the map along the Central Coast beginning in Monterey and stretching all the way down to the area north of Los Angeles which are also being sprayed.  I happen to live, raise my family, and grow my garden right underneath one of these ominous grey blobs designated as "cloud-seeding projects" on that map, and I can assure the reader that there is no snowfall being "seeded" by the spraying over the sunny coastlines of Monterey, Santa Barbara, or San Luis Obispo!  

This in and of itself casts serious doubt on the possibility that this article is being completely candid and truthful in its statements.  That, and the fact that the article treats the spraying of silver iodide as (yawn) something that's been going on for a long time and not as a revelation that completely contradicts the dominant storyline that anyone who suggests that airplanes spray chemicals into the sky is a quack and a conspiracy theorist, show that this article is not being completely forthcoming.

Of course, the article does not directly state that this "cloud-seeding" program has anything to do with the chemtrails that one sees in the sky.  Its diagram shows a little turbo-prop plane dispensing the silver iodide, not a big jet like the ones that appear to be responsible for the chemtrailing, but that diagram is just a drawing, not a photograph -- we don't really know what kind of aircraft they are using because the article never says.  Furthermore, if these "cloud-seeding" programs that are now admitting to spraying silver iodide are not the same programs that are leaving the chemtrails shown in the photograph above, then this only leads to the question, what else is being sprayed from those other aircraft and leaving those other trails?

But what kind of airplane or airplanes are being used is not the point -- the point is that this article declares that silver iodide is being sprayed from planes, and that it has been going on for some time (long enough for people to have careers with titles such as "manager of the cloud-seeding program" and "director of weather modification").  In fact, it has been going on long enough for some of those career weather modifiers and cloud-seeding program managers to be able to declare that the technology has gotten "much better," and that they are now modifying the weather "more effectively" than ever before. 

This admission brings us, at last, to the real point: who on earth believes that they have the right to spray silver iodide in massive quantities over the people (and animals, and food crops) of California?

Who cares how "effective" or beneficial the outcome of this spraying is supposed to be -- does anyone think they have the right to spray chemicals over their neighbor?  Do I have the right to spray chemicals over my neighbor's house if I believe that doing so is "good for him" (or good for the collective)?  Do I have the right to sneak into his house and put chemicals in his food if I think that they are good for him?  If so, is it OK to lie about it if my neighbor asks me if I am sneaking around putting chemicals into his air or onto his food, and call him a kook and a conspiracy theorist for even suggesting the idea (even though I am, in fact, sending such chemicals his way)?

To ask the question is to answer it -- an individual does not have the right to spray his neighbors with chemicals, or to put chemicals into his neighbor's food.  Saying that those chemicals are "good for him" or "good for all of us" does not change that.  It is a violation of my neighbor's innate rights as a man or a woman -- and as such it is a form of violence.  It is a deliberate disregard for natural law (those certain unalienable Rights with which all Men and Women are endowed by their Creator -- see below).

The question then arises, does a government (whether it is a municipality or a state or any other government) somehow get the right to spray chemicals on people, even if we admit that individuals may not spray chemicals on one another?  The answer is a resounding no.  One does not get the right to violate the natural law and do violence to another man or woman (let alone a large number of men and women) just because one says he is now part of a "government."  

he authors of the Declaration of Independence were very clear on this point in 1776.  The second paragraph of that declaration begin with these magnificent and famous words:
We hold these Truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed [. . .] 
These lines assert that governments are never rightly instituted to trample upon the Creator-endowed rights of Men and Women -- they are only instituted to secure those Rights.  The Declaration of Independence unequivocally rejects the idea that the just Powers of any instituted government can include the violation of the unalienable Rights.  

The idea, then, that a government can be in any way justified by spraying chemicals on its citizens (and their livestock, and their food crops) is completely false.  There is also the little phrase at the end of the quoted passage above about the "Consent of the Governed," which is a bit difficult to argue in the case of the spraying that apparently has been going on for years over California, since this program has been a big fat secret and anyone who suggests that it is taking place is marginalized and labeled a conspiracy theorist who doesn't care about the settled opinion of the "scientific community."

The proper response to this blatant, callous, massive, deceptive, and long-running policy of violating the rights of the men and women of California should be outrage.  Outrage similar to the outrage that many people demonstrated during the Vietnam War.  Outrage similar to the outrage that many people in various parts of the US demonstrated when legislators recently threatened to pass laws taking away their right to bear arms (which would also be an illegal violation of natural law and the unalienable Right to protect one's own Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness).  

Has anyone been demonstrating any such outrage over the revelation that they are being deliberately and routinely sprayed with silver iodide (and who knows what other chemicals)?  There does not seem to be much evidence of it, for some reason.

Many people in California spend a lot of time and extra expense shopping for and purchasing organic foods, because they are suspicious of chemicals being routinely sprayed on their foods.  They may even spend a lot of time and effort and some extra expense growing their own foods in their own gardens.  Many of them would be outraged if they were told they could not eat organic food any more, or if the government insisted on spraying chemicals over their organic food before they took it home to consume it.  But they don't seem to be upset about having silver iodide (and who knows what else) sprayed over themselves and their food on a routine basis.  

Many people in California also avoid tobacco products such as cigarettes, because they fear the chemicals with which the tobacco is usually treated, and the idea of inhaling substances which may be harmful to their bodies and their health.  They pass laws against smoking in places that young children might be forced to breath in the chemicals and smoke that might be harmful to their young bodies.  Many of them would be outraged if they were told that someone was going to come into their homes and their cars and their children's schools and preschools and daycares, and smoke big cigars and cheap cigarettes and fling the ashes all over their gardens.  But they don't seem to be upset about having silver iodide (and who knows what else) sprayed over their homes and their gardens and their places of business (and their surf spots).

Many people in California spend a lot of time worrying about global warming, or climate change, or how much carbon their cars are emitting, or how much environmental impact their lightbulbs are having, and they seek to limit the impact they and their "carbon footprint" are having on our incredibly beautiful planet, the planet that will have to sustain the lives of their children and their children's children and all of the amazingly diverse life forms with which we share our planet earth.

They would be outraged if they were told that, while they were spending extra money to buy hybrid vehicles and low-impact lightbulbs and going out of their way in a thousand different ways every day in order to stop global warming or climate change or the pollution of the air and the forests and the rivers and the oceans, airplanes were being flown over huge portions of the state and dumping silver iodide (and who knows what else) over the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Nevada and the foothills and the forests and the valleys, and which certainly has an impact on the climate, because it is deliberately designed to have an impact on the climate.  But there doesn't seem to be an overwhelming number of people worrying about the airplanes spraying at this time (Wikipedia doesn't even seem to be aware that it is going on).

The photograph at the top of this page was taken in one of the coastal regions south of Monterey which are shown to be areas with "cloud-seeding programs."  So were the other photographs below.  The fact that aircraft spraying substances that leave these kinds of chemtrails in an area prominently identified in the Sacramento Bee as having a "cloud-seeding program" suggests that the spraying described in the article and the chemtrails shown in the photographs might be related.  But so far, we do not have any official admission that chemtrails are the product of these deliberate weather modification programs.

We do, however, now have official admission that silver iodide spraying from airborne aircraft for the purpose of weather modification (geoengineering) is taking place.  This activity is unconscionable.  It is even more unconscionable that this activity has been going on in secret for so long, and that anyone who suggested the possibility that such spraying was taking place was branded a conspiracy theorist.  

All people everywhere should be outraged, even though the article only says it is happening in California, and the map only shows some parts of California as being part of the spraying program (the population centers of San Francisco and Los Angeles are notable free of such programs, according to the map).  Those who have been writing about and documenting chemtrails and geoengineering for many years have shown evidence that this deliberate clandestine spraying is taking place in many other parts of the US, and in many other parts of the world.  

The truths articulated in the Declaration of Independence are timeless truths.  They do not go in and out of style -- they outline rights that are inherent to all men and women, in all times and in all places.  The massive, deliberate, secret, program of spraying (and the accompanying campaign to marginalize anyone who points it out and to label them as an unscientific quack) is a clear demonstration that governments which are supposed to be instituted to secure those rights and to derive their just powers from the consent of the people are not doing so: that in fact they are trampling on those rights instead of protecting those rights.  

If they think they have the right to spray chemicals on people, in secret, while denying it and slandering those who point it out, what else do they think they have the right to get away with?

Those who are aware of this ongoing conspiracy must give them notice that they are in violation, and that they must stop it.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Is this really Comet ISON's first trip into the inner solar system?

The much-anticipated Comet C/2012 S1(ISON) has been plummeting towards its near-rendezvous with the sun, picking up speed as it does, and this week the comet suddenly brightened dramatically and changed its appearance.  

This article from Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy, writing over at Slate, showcases some of the outstanding photographs which observers around the world have been capturing of the comet as its appearance becomes more and more spectacular.  

His article also discusses the reasons Comet ISON might have suddenly brightened, the reasons comets begin to sport multiple tails as they approach the sun, and the factors which influence the coloration of those different tails.  Here's a link from that article to an incredible photograph captured on November 15th by talented photographer of the heavens Damian Peach.

Comet ISON is now inside the orbit of our planet, closer to the sun than we are, which means that we on earth need to look towards the sun in order to locate it.  That means that, like Mercury or Venus (which are also, of course, orbiting closer to the sun than we are), it must be observed near sunrise or sunset, depending on its location.  In its current location, Comet ISON is found by looking to the east prior to the sunrise.

There are several good resources to help observers who want to look for Comet ISON.  While some skilled observers with excellent viewing conditions have reported locating Comet ISON with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope are recommended.  Over the next few days, the comet is very close to the important star Spica, in Virgo, early in the morning prior to sunrise (Spica rises a little after 4 am right now for observers at the latitude of the Great Pyramid, and rises about four minutes earlier each morning).

Here are several resources which give directions to help observers locate Comet ISON in the predawn sky:
  • Skyhound's "Chasing Comet ISON."
  • Sky charts from Sky & Telescope showing the paths of Comet Lovejoy (higher in the morning sky than Comet ISON and nearly as bright!) and Comet ISON.
  • An excellent article with sky diagrams written on November 16 by Paul Sutherland at his Skymania site.
There are also numerous previous posts on this blog discussing the location of the constellation Virgo and how to find it, including this one, this one, and this one.

While almost every article you see about Comet ISON will declare that this is its first time through the solar system after being ejected from the hypothetical Oort cloud, there are solid reasons that individuals with open minds should question this assertion.

First of all, there are tremendous problems with the Oort cloud theory.  While the Oort cloud theory has many different variations, all of them posit an origin for comets at an incredible distance, and that poses some king-sized problems for subscribers to that theory.  This previous post discusses some of those problems, and refers to the work of Thomas Van Flandern, former Chief of Celestial Mechanics at the US Naval Observatory, who pointed out the huge problems with the Oort cloud theory and offered his own counter-hypothesis, which was that comets came from an exploded "fifth planet" in the solar system (which would have been located between Mars and Jupiter).  He also pointed out that Jan Oort himself "always maintained that an origin of comets from within the solar system, perhaps in connection with the event which gave rise to the asteroid belt, was the most probable" (footnote "e"on page 191 of Dr. Van Flandern's book Dark Matter). 

While Dr. Van Flandern maintains that an exploded planet from inside the orbit of Jupiter is the "only dynamically viable" alternative to the theory that comets come from far outside the solar system in the hypothetical Oort cloud (an assertion he makes on pages 179 and 218 of the book), the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown also proposes a theory that would explain aspects of comets that the Oort cloud cannot explain: that comets were ejected from earth during a catastrophic event, an event which also explains several hundred other pieces of evidence in the solar system and on earth which pose king-sized problems of their own for conventional theories.

In his online book, Dr. Brown devotes an entire chapter to discussing the origins of comets, and the evidence which defies explanation by hypotheses that have been proposed thus far, including the exploding planet theory and the various Oort cloud theories.  One of the biggest problems for the Oort cloud theories is the difficulty of explaining the very high number of comets in "Jupiter's family" -- comets whose orbit takes them to an aphelion (farthest point from the sun) that is between 4 and 6 astronomical units (AU -- defined as the average distance of the earth from the sun), whose orbital distance is 5.2 AU.  Dr. Brown discusses this problem on this page in his comet chapter.

The problem posed by Jupiter's family stems from the fact that if a comet really originates in the hypothetical Oort cloud, thought to be around 50,000 AU from the sun, that comet's velocity by the time it comes into the solar system is so high that slowing it down enough to join Jupiter's family is very hard to accomplish without ripping the comet apart completely.  It is possible that just the right interactions with multiple planets on the way into and/or out of the solar system could have slowed a comet down in just the right way to allow it to fall into Jupiter's family, but the high number of comets in Jupiter's family, and the fact that astronomers have noted that life in Jupiter's family is also very dangerous for a comet (with increased chance of collision with Jupiter, among other factors), bringing the life expectancy of a comet in Jupiter's family down to 12,000 years, makes an Oort cloud origin extremely unlikely.

Another important grouping of comets is composed of comets with aphelions far beyond those in Jupiter's family -- reaching distances beyond 500 AU before falling back towards the sun.  These comets have orbits that are "nearly parabolic" -- if they were to accelerate just a little more on the way out, they would escape the gravity of the sun altogether and never return.  A comet with enough energy to escape the solar system has an orbit that is termed "hyperbolic" (the boundary line between an elliptical orbit and a hyperbolic orbit is a parabola).

However, despite of the large number of comets with orbits that are near-parabolas ("just this side" of going hyperbolic), and despite the fact that incoming near-parabolic comets sometimes receive a boost in velocity and exit the solar system on a hyperbolic trajectory, no comets come in towards the sun with hyperbolic orbits.  As Dr. Brown explains in the discussion surrounding diagram 165 in his current online version of his book, "Incoming hyperbolic comets have never been seen -- a very important point" (italics in original).

This means that comets may be coming back into the inner solar system for the first time, but that based on their trajectories we cannot dogmatically declare that they have never been here before.  If they have orbital trajectories that are nearly parabolic, but that were not hyperbolic on their incoming journey, it is possible that they came from an explosive event in the inner solar system (either from earth or from an exploded "fifth planet")  and that their initial velocity was insufficient to allow them to escape.  Some comets from that initial catastrophe may have had enough velocity to escape, but of course they did not come back.  Those that we see coming back may be coming back for their first return journey, but if they are not coming in with an incoming hyperbolic trajectory it is possible -- even likely -- that they have been here before, at least once.

Thus, if the hydroplate theory is correct (and it would provide very satisfactory explanations for numerous other pieces of comet evidence discussed by Dr. Brown in his book [as well as the recent discovery of an object in the asteroid belt behaving like a comet], in addition to the large numbers of comets in both Jupiter's family and in the group with near-parabolic orbits), Comet ISON is not coming in for its very first visit to the inner solar system.  It has been here at least once before, even if only on its way out.  All the blogs and articles declaring that this is the comet's first visit (such as this one from the NASA website declaring that Comet ISON is "made of pristine matter from the earliest days of the solar system's formation" making it extremely valuable to scientists -- "a time capsule from when the solar system first formed") are wrong.  That in itself is an extremely important possibility which should cause scientists to carefully consider the hydroplate theory.

However, Dr. Brown discusses an even more astonishing possibility.  Apparently, Comet ISON is coming in so fast that it appears to have an incoming hyperbolic trajectory -- a first, and one which seems to be a huge problem for the hydroplate theory.  But Dr. Brown points out that Comet ISON's path is incredibly similar to the path of the Great Comet of 1680, as he discusses in an inset halfway down this page of his comet chapter, under Figure 167 (showing a contemporary painting by a Dutch artist of the comet's appearance).

Dr. Brown notes that some analysts soon after Comet ISON was first discovered were so struck by the similarity in trajectories between Comet ISON and the Great Comet of 1680 that they thought the two must have been the same comet in the distant past, and split apart.  Obviously this suggestion would not be possible if Comet ISON has never been in the inner solar system before and if it is really coming in on an inbound hyperbolic trajectory.

But why would those astronomers have suggested that Comet ISON was a split-apart piece from the Great Comet of 1680, instead of the return of the Great Comet of 1680 itself?  Because, based on their theories of the mass of the solar system, they believe that the Great Comet of 1680 will travel 880 AU from the sun and take 10,000 years to return.  However, Dr. Brown believes that they have underestimated the true mass of the solar system, and that additional mass lying outside the planetary region of our solar system will pull it back much sooner than conventional theorists believe -- that in fact Comet ISON is the return of the Great Comet of 1680!

There is good evidence to suggest that Dr. Brown is correct.  First, as the Pioneer spacecraft entered the region where Dr. Brown believes there is unexpected mass orbiting the sun at a great distance, they slowed down, to the surprise of scientists.  This phenomenon has since been dubbed "the Pioneer effect" or the "Pioneer anomaly."

Second, as Dr. Brown shows in Table 15 on this page of his comet chapter, there are perhaps two dozen other comets with remarkably similar orbit, which conventional scientists believe are different comets, but which Dr. Brown argues are the same comet returning earlier than conventional models would predict.  He calls these comets "strange pairs" and argues that they are not "pairs" at all.

Third, other comets have returned ahead of schedule.  Comet 153P Ikeya-Zhang, with an aphelion near 101 AU and the longest known orbital period of the "periodic comets," returned ahead of schedule, as did Comet 35P Herschel-Rigollet, as Dr. Brown discusses in the upper half of the same page in his comet chapter.

In addition to all the above, the possibility that Comet ISON is the return of the Great Comet of 1680 would then be yet another piece of evidence that -- far from posing a problem for the hydroplate theory -- adds strong additional supporting data which argues that Dr. Brown and his theory is correct!

As Dr. Brown points out, like the Great Comet of 1680, Comet ISON is going to make an extremely close approach to the sun -- to a distance of only 0.012 AU.  It is extremely unlikely for two different objects to come from so far away, from an almost identical direction, and pass so close to the sun.  It's as if, he says, it is "almost like barely missing a bull's eye from a distant star's solar system light years away."

You can see the trajectory for yourself in this excellent "orbit diagram" tool from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which enables the viewer to zoom in and zoom out, and to spin the solar system around on different axes in order to view the comet's path from the side, from "overhead," and from any other direction in space imaginable.  With it, you can get a real perspective at how difficult it is to accept that two different bodies coming from that far away could just randomly follow that path and get that close to the sun without hitting it (see two screen shots below as an example, although zooming in and out yourself is far more effective at conveying the enormous scale of the comet's orbit).

So, as you go out to look for Comet ISON in the early pre-dawn hours, you may actually be looking at the unanticipated return of the Great Comet of 1680!  And, at the same time, you may be looking at one of the most dramatic confirmations of Dr. Walt Brown's hydroplate theory.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Surveillance and self-enslavement

[note: as of 12/2013, the above video introducing Argentina's SIBIOS surveillance system has been removed from YouTube.  A version of the same video, with English subtitles, is available here.]

The study of human history -- and the study of the overwhelming evidence from around the globe which argues that the truth about ancient history is far different from what we have been led to believe by those promoting the conventional storyline -- is fascinating enough for its own sake, but takes on a far more profound importance when we realize that the story of mankind's ancient past has a direct connection with the subject of human consciousness.

Many authors and analysts and alternative theorists have demonstrated that the question of consciousness was of tremendous importance to our ancient ancestors.  John Anthony West has gone so far as to assert that the ancients believed that "we human beings are not accidental glitches in an accidental universe, but rather that we have a specific role to play, which is the acquisition of a level of consciousness that we are not born with, but that we have the potential to reach, and that this is what in Egypt is called 'The Doctrine of Immortality.'"

This quotation from John Anthony West was discussed in previous posts "John Anthony West on the meaning of human existence" and the subject was explored further in "John Anthony West on creativity, discipline, and consciousness."

However we define this "consciousness" that John Anthony West (rightly) asserts we should seek to acquire during our sojourn in this life, it should go without saying that enslaving human beings does violence to their pursuit of "the acquisition of a level of consciousness that we are not born with."  There appears to be some evidence to support the idea that there are elements who actively seek to thwart the pursuit of consciousness by others.  It is even possible that the deliberate suppression of the truth about ancient history is part of this war on consciousness.

The ability of modern technology to enable the state to impose constant surveillance on men and women adds a dangerous new level of intensity to the war against consciousness.  In the name of providing "security," technology is now being deployed which can use "biometric" identification to track individuals wherever they go, and which can listen to and record their every conversation or spoken word.

The video above describes the biometric identification system being deployed by the state of Argentina to monitor the movement of citizens.  It explains that the collection of the faces and fingerprints of all citizens will form the foundation of the system, which will then allow facial recognition by cameras linked to computers, as well as the creation of biometric identification which is linked to a database containing information on each individual, allowing one's fingerprints to serve the same function as the "papers" that some notorious states in the past have required everyone to carry to present to state agents upon request.

The video, which was obviously produced by the government, shows smiling citizens giving a "thumbs-up" to this new system, and it begins with the slogan (shown at the 0:03 mark): "Si nos conocimos mejor, nos cuidamos mas" (which basically means, "If we know ourselves better, we protect ourselves more."

A year ago, Wired magazine published an article entitled, "Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones to Record Passenger Conversations."  The article reports that in the United States, cities are receiving millions of dollars in funding from the Department of Homeland Security to deploy buses containing advanced audio-visual monitoring and recording systems, capable of pairing audio recordings of individual conversations with images captured by cameras installed in several places on the buses, "in order to produce synchronous recordings."  The article states that:
Audio and video can be monitored in real-time, but are also stored onboard in blackbox-like devices, generally for 30 days, for later retrieval.  Four to six cameras with mics are generally installed throughout a bus, including one near the driver and one on the exterior of the bus.
According to some reports cited in the article, these microphones are technologically enabled to have the capability of "distilling clear conversations from the background noise of other voices, wind, traffic, windshields wipers and engines," which basically means that someone monitoring the systems or sifting through the data later can zero-in on everything you say while on the bus (or even outside the bus).

This is not something that is being debated or being considered: this technology has already been rolled out and is in use in the United States right now (see image below, taken on a public transit bus equipped with this new technology).

This pervasive surveillance, both in the US and in Argentina, is a clear violation of the inherent rights of men and women.  Placing people in a situation in which they know that their every conversation is being recorded is a violation of their freedom and dignity as human beings.

Some will argue that those who are not committing any crimes have nothing to worry about from such monitoring, and that these systems can help the state respond more rapidly to criminal activity or to a sudden health problem.  While it may be possible to think up scenarios to support such a position, the possibility that someone else will commit a crime is no justification for treating every passenger as a potential criminal whose every conversation, whether with their spouse, their boyfriend or girlfriend, their son or daughter, or just with a friend or even a stranger next to whom they happen to be sitting, is fair game for recording by unseen supervisors.  This reduces free men and women to the status of children in a playroom, supervised by authority figures, or to the status of convicted criminals, supervised by their guards and wardens.

Some also argue that conversations in public have no expectation of privacy, and that because the cameras and microphones are not hidden (and because their presence is announced by signs and placards), they are perfectly legal and even moral.  This argument is also false.  If my neighbor is yelling down the street, he has no right to expect his shouting to remain private.  But if I use sophisticated technology to snoop on him -- and to record him -- while he is sitting on the curb having a private conversation with his wife, or while he plays baseball in a public park with his children, I am doing violence to the freedom which is his birthright, and which is the birthright of every human being.  People do not suddenly get the right to electronically eavesdrop on other human beings just because they put on a certain costume and give themselves a title -- in other words, the state and the agents of the state do not get a pass to trample on the natural rights of another man or woman, any more than private individuals get a pass to trample on the natural rights of their neighbors.

Furthermore, announcing constant surveillance does not somehow make it any less of a violation.  Even if one is not actually doing anything wrong, the knowledge of constant surveillance will cause the individual under surveillance to start to second-guess how his or her words might be perceived, not by the person to whom he or she is talking (someone who probably knows him well), but by some invisible, and possibly hostile, agent of the state.  The individual under surveillance will thus begin, consciously or unconsciously, to alter what he or she says, to make sure nothing can be misconstrued by the unseen listener.  The unseen listener, in fact, may even be a computer software application, which might certainly misconstrue the conversations of human beings.

This means that the person under surveillance will begin to self-censor himself or herself.  He or she will refrain from saying things that might be taken the wrong way.  He or she will avoid certain vocabulary.  In time, this process of self-censorship will begin to be applied (perhaps unconsciously) to that person's thoughts themselves.  As the person under constant surveillance by the unseen, shadowy agents of the state begins to avoid saying certain words or figures of speech or topics of conversation, that person will actually begin to self-censor thoughts.

Thus, constant surveillance is actually a form of oppression, and even potentially a form of mind-control.  It is a form of violence.  It is a form of enslavement.  It is absolutely a violation of human rights.  It is also a manifestation of the war against consciousness.

Now, it is certainly true that oppression and violence against the natural rights of mankind have been going on for centuries, and that we do not have to wait for such oppression to disappear completely in order to pursue that "acquisition of a level of consciousness that we are not born with" which John Anthony West describes in the quotation above.  If we had to wait for a perfect environment in which to pursue consciousness, we might have to wait forever.  Men and women have pursued consciousness in conditions of terrible oppression.

However, this fact of history does not mean that we should focus only on the pursuit of consciousness and passively accept the violation of the rights of others or ourselves.  If someone next to you is being violated, and you have any ability to stop it from taking place, you have a moral duty to do so, and not to stand idly by and work on your own pursuit of consciousness.  In fact, it may well be the case that your own pursuit of consciousness specifically involves your standing up to the violation that you see taking place at that moment.

When it comes to violations that are being inflicted by a state, the most effective way to stop those violations may well be the withdrawal of support for the state, along with the expression of outrage at the violence that is taking place, and an explanation to others of why those actions are an outrage.

Those working at companies making such technology (some of which are listed in the Wired article, but there are many others) should be given a clear explanation as to the immorality of the use their technology is being put to, and the leaders of those companies should be asked to desist from the sale of such equipment to those who will use it to do violence to the rights of others.  If people at those companies became convinced of the immorality of such use, they themselves would pressure their leaders to stop allowing it to be used for oppression.

Standing up against violence and the violation of human rights is not always easy.  It is not always comfortable.  It is not always convenient.  However, the immortal words of Chief Sitting Bull Tatanka-Iyotanka quoted in yesterday's post warn against the acceptance of enslavement, or (even worse) of the act of self-enslavement, when he said to his fellow free-born Lakota:  "You are fools to make yourselves slaves to a piece of fat bacon, some hardtack, and a little sugar and coffee."

Monday, November 11, 2013

A November 11th meditation, 2013

If you had been alive in the United States during the years 1868 to 1876, would you have uncritically "supported the troops" who were providing the force of arms that backed up the policy of stealing the land of the American Indians such as the Lakota Sioux and deliberately destroying their way of life, so that others could take what they wanted from them (which turned out to be basically everything)?

Would you have given up your seats in the first-class section of the train and given them to the troops coming back from the "Indian campaigns," the way people today give up their seats in the first-class sections of airplanes for members of the US military?

Would you have reflexively said, "Thank you for your service" whenever you met someone who had participated in those campaigns?

In 1868, representatives of the US government (namely General Sherman, General Harney, General Terry, General Augur, and others) signed a treaty with the Lakota Sioux acknowledging the right of the Sioux to all the territory from "the east bank of the Missouri river where the 46th parallel of north latitude crosses the same, thence along low-water mark down said east bank to a point opposite where the northern line of the State of Nebraska strikes the river, thence west across said river, and along the northern line of Nebraska to the 104th degree of longitude west from Greenwich, thence north on said meridian to a point where the 46th parallel of north latitude intercepts the same, thence due east along said parallel to the place of beginning," which basically included all of what is now delineated as the state of "South Dakota" located to the west of the Missouri River.*

The treaty stipulated that the country named would be "set apart for the absolute and undisturbed use and occupation of the Indians" and, further, that "the United States now solemnly agrees that no persons, except those herein designated and authorized so to do, and except such officers, agents, and employees of the government as may be authorized to enter upon Indian reservations in discharge of duties enjoined by law, shall ever be permitted to pass over, settle upon, or reside in the territory described in this article, or in such territory as may be added to this reservation for the use of said Indians."  This treaty was ratified by the US Senate.

In spite of this treaty, however, in 1874 an army unit under General Custer went into the Black Hills (sacred to the Lakota and called Pa Sapa in their language, and within the area off limits as described in the above treaty) to confirm the presence of gold there, after which prospectors began to pour into the region, demanding military protection by the US Army from the Sioux.

There followed negotiations in which the US government tried to buy back the Black Hills, but the Lakota declined.  So, the US government decided to declare war on the Sioux, after which they "began to look around" for an excuse to justify going to war, according to Stephen Ambrose in Crazy Horse and Custer, who cites former Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs George Washington Manypenny (1808-1892).  On page 396 of that book, Ambrose writes: "After making the decision to declare war (according to George Manypenny, a former commissioner of Indian affairs), the government then began to look around for a causus belli."  They found one in a report of a raid by the Sioux agains the neighboring Crow: "Although such raids had been going on since time out of mind, the government announced with a straight face that it was reluctantly making war on the wild Sioux in order to protect the Crows" (396).

In other words, the United States was involved in a grave injustice, one which would lead to the death and misery of an entire nation of people, and the soldiers who engaged in backing up that policy by force were also involved in a grave injustice.  The attitude of the military leaders can be seen in a letter from General Sherman, a lead signatory of the treaty which had been signed in April of 1868, to General Sheridan, written in October of 1868, just a few months after he signed the treaty, in which Sherman said: 
Go ahead in your own way and I will back you with my whole authority.  If it results in the utter annihilation of these Indians, it is but the result of what they have been warned of again and again.  [. . .] I will do nothing and say nothing to restrain our troops from doing what they deem proper on the spot, and will allow no mere vague general charges of cruelty and inhumanity to tie their hands, but will use all the powers confided to me to the end that these Indians, the enemies of our race and our civilization, shall not again be able to begin or carry out their barbarous warfare on any kind of pretext they may choose to allege.  Cited in Ambrose, 303.
These are hideous statements and hideous sentiments.  While not everyone under Sherman's command may have harbored sentiments as odious and inhuman as those expressed in this letter from Sherman to Sheridan, the fact is that every single one of the soldiers in that campaign, and in many others like it which took place against other tribes throughout the American west as the United States expanded into territory that it wanted to take away from the people who had lived there for hundreds or thousands of years before them, was involved in a completely unjust and immoral violation of natural law.  By extension, so was the public that provided support to the government that was carrying out these acts.

What would have been the proper thing to do if one were in the military of the US at that time?  It would have been to renounce participation in such an immoral and unjust action and to tender one's resignation.  Likewise, the proper response of the public should have been outrage at this shameful and illegal use of deadly force to steal the country of the American Indians and destroy their way of life.  

Every individual aware of what was going on should have registered this outrage in the strongest terms possible, should have attempted to explain what was going on to others, should have removed their approval and support from the government that was perpetrating this atrocity until the situation was rectified, and should have encouraged others to remove their approval and support from that government as well.

Instead of providing automatic and reflexive words and displays of approval and encouragement to the individuals in the military who were under the command of men such as Sherman, citizens should have clearly and plainly told them that what they were doing was utterly wrong, and helped them to understand why it was wrong, and why the only proper course of action was the immediate renunciation of any support or participation in the ongoing criminal violence.

It was absolutely justified for the Lakota Sioux to resist with force of arms the unjust incursions of the US Army, even though their resistance was ultimately doomed to failure.  In 1876, led by Tatanka-Iyotanka (Sitting Bull, pictured above) and Tashunka-Witko (Crazy Horse, whose stated policy was never to be photographed and of whom no undisputed photograph exists), warriors of the Lakota and other allied tribes completely annihilated a force of the US 7th Cavalry led by General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

In exhorting his people to continue their free way of life rather than consent to being made into slaves who were bound to obey the dictates of others, Sitting Bull said:
I don't want to have anything to do with people who make one carry water on the shoulders and haul manure.  The whites may get me at last, but I will have good times till then.  You are fools to make yourselves slaves to a piece of fat bacon, some hardtack, and a little sugar and coffee.  17.
In explaining the difference between those who believe they have the right to tell others what to do (and enforce those orders with violence, even to the point of killing), Crazy Horse's fellow Oglala warrior He Dog (pictured below) related these words of Crazy Horse:
I said, 'Does this mean that you will be my enemy if I move across the creek?'  Crazy Horse laughed in my face.  He said, 'I am no white man!  They are the only people who make rules for other people, that say, "If you stay on one side of this line it is peace, but if you go on the other side I will kill you all."  I don't hold with deadlines.  There is plenty of room; camp where you please.' xv.
Both leaders in these admirable quotations are expressing disgust at those who enslave others, or enslave themselves.  They were willing to fight against the violation of natural law that was being perpetrated against them and their people.  That is admirable; to fight on the side that is violating natural law is despicable.

Ultimately, however, there was no way that the Lakota could militarily resist the overwhelming numbers that the US government could muster, nor the wholesale destruction of the buffalo herds on which their traditional way of life depended.  The only thing that could have stopped the US government from pursuing its unjust policy would have been widespread outrage and removal of support from the people on whom the US government relied for its existence, and on whose sons it relied for its military.

That widespread outrage and removal of support never happened.  Every human being today should carefully consider this fact, and commit to memory the quotations of the two Lakota leaders cited above, and the view of mankind and the natural rights of every living soul expressed in those words from the past.

* the size of the portion of country ceded by the US to the Sioux including the entire state of South Dakota to the west of the Missouri River can be seen on any map of the US; the "104th degree of longitude west" describes the western north-south running boundary of modern South Dakota, and the "46th parallel of north latitude" describes the northern east-west running boundary of modern South Dakota.

Friday, November 8, 2013

What do you know? Astronomers discover an asteroid that acts like a comet, active asteroid P/2013 P5 (it's a UFLO)

In August of this year, astronomers monitoring the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii discovered a space object in the asteroid belt which was described as "unusually fuzzing-looking" -- a rather strange description and one that perhaps coins a new word ("fuzzing").**

The use of this strange new word, used in a way that seems to defy normal grammatical and syntactical conventions, may have been appropriate in this case, because the strange new object seems to defy normal assumptions about our solar system.  Less than a month later astronomers using imagery from the Hubble Telescope were astonished to observe the object, which was orbiting with asteroids along the inner edge of the asteroid belt, ejecting as many as six comet-like tails!  The object, which was designated "active asteroid P/2013 P5" or simply "P5" for short (a rather ungainly moniker, which might have been better left as the "UFLO," or "unusually fuzzing-looking object") seemed to combine characteristics of an asteroid and a comet, completely defying conventional models of either comets or asteroids, and causing lead investigator Professor David Jewitt to say that he and his team were "literally dumbfounded." 

The reason this asteroid-shaped object, located in the main asteroid belt but spewing tails that resemble comet tails, causes difficulty for many adherents of conventional models is that those models propose very different mechanisms for the origin of comets and the origin of asteroids.  An object located among the main asteroid belt exhibiting some comet-like properties exposes problems with the conventional model for the origin of both comets and asteroids.

The paper published today (November 07) in Astrophysical Journal Letters by Dr. Jewitt, along with Jessica Agarwal, Harold Weaver, Max Mutchler, and Stephen Larson entitled "The Extraordinary Multi-Tailed Main-Belt Comet P/2013 P5" does a good job of explaining the problems that this UFLO poses for the conventional models.  

The paper explains that P5 has an "asteroid-like orbit and comet-like appearance" (page 2).  The ejection of streams of vaporous matter can be explained for comets, which contain ice as well as mineral particles and which are thought to come from the "Oort cloud," a hypothetical shell of orbiting comets situated extremely far from the sun, but scientists are at a loss to explain how a comet from the Oort cloud could have possibly ended up in an asteroid-like orbit among the other asteroids in the main asteroid belt. 

Similarly, the Kuiper Belt (which is much closer to our sun than the hypothetical Oort cloud) contains ice and other gasses, as well as rocky objects, but again it is difficult to explain how anything from the Kuiper Belt could have joined the asteroid belt in an asteroid-style orbit like the orbit of P5.  In fact, the physics appear to rule out the possibility of either an Oort Cloud object or a Kuiper Belt object ending up following the path around the sun that P5 is following.  In their paper, Professor Jewitt et al. explain the problem:
No known dynamical path connects the main-belt to the Kuiper Belt or Oort cloud comet reservoirs [page 2 of the paper by Jewitt et al.]. [. . .] Neither is it likely that P5 could be a comet captured from the Kuiper Belt or Oort cloud comet reservoirs; numerical simulations show that such capture is effectively impossible in the modern solar system (Fernandez et al. 2002 [page 5 of the paper by Jewitt et al.].
This is a king-sized problem.  If this object, which appears to be behaving like a comet by spewing out long tails of matter, did not and could not have come from the outer fringes of the solar system (or far beyond the outer fringes, in the case of the proposed Oort cloud) where scientists believe that comets originate, then where did it come from?  Are we to suppose that comets can come from the inner solar system?  "Preposterous!" say the supporters of the conventional models.

But if P5 is not a comet (since comets can only come from the Kuiper Belt or even further away), then its comet-like tails must be explained as material that an asteroid or other solar system object might throw off, and the difficulty is in explaining how an asteroid could throw off the comet-like tails that P5 exhibits. 

Comet tails are composed of icy particles that can stretch for tens of millions of miles through space (or even longer).  The problem that P5 poses is that conventional models for the formation of asteroids in the main belt do not admit to the presence of enough water or ice to create comet-like tails.  The paper by Dr. Jewitt et al. explains that:
The orbit of P5 lies near the inner edge of the asteroid belt, in the vicinity of the Flora family of S-type asteroids.  These objects have been associated with the LL chondrites, which themselves reflect metamorphism to temperatures ~860o C to 960o(Keil 2000).  As such, P5 is an unlikely carrier of water ice, and sublimation is unlikely to account for the observed activity.  5.
With water or ice removed as an option for explaining the tails of fuzzing-object P5, the scientists have to come up with another hypothesis.  They suggest that impacts could raise dust clouds, but the problem is that P5 has been observed for some time now and the ejections are continuing.  See the two images from the Hubble Telescope above, which are available here, along with press releases and other discussion from NASA.   

After rejecting these explanations, the paper's authors conclude: "The surviving hypothesis is that P5 is a body showing rotational mass-shedding, presumably from torques imposed by solar radiation" (6). I other words, the sun is causing the asteroid to spin and the spin is causing it to disintegrate, and as it disintegrates the disintegrating particles are streaming out and looking like six comet tails.


How exactly that is taking place, and why it would look the way it does in the images, is not explained, and the paper's authors note that such a "rotational mass-shedding" has not yet been quantitatively modeled, and has some problems associated with it as an explanation (such as, how fast would the particles really be coming out of an asteroid that is spinning in the way that this hypothesis proposes?)

Not surprisingly, if the scientists were to consider the work of Dr. Walt Brown, whose hydroplate theory posits a very different mechanism for the origin of comets, they would find solutions for all of the above problems.  Dr. Brown's theory contains detailed chapters on the "The Origin of Comets" and "The Origins of Asteroids and Meteoroids," and it argues that both originate from the same source and are in fact related!  In other words, the discovery of a bizarre hybrid like P/2013 P5 is not astonishing at all -- on the contrary, it is exactly the sort of thing that the hydroplate theory would have predicted!   

First of all, the hydroplate theory argues that comets do not come from a hypothetical and currently-unobservable "Oort cloud."  The huge problems with the Oort cloud theory are discussed in this previous post entitled "Comet origins and the mysteries of mankind's ancient past," where former Chief of Celestial Mechanics at the US Naval Observatory Dr. Tom Van Flandern is quoted explaining some of the extremely improbable aspects of the Oort cloud theory.

Instead, the hydroplate theory argues that comets -- and asteroids and meteoroids -- are all products of a violent catastrophic event that rocked one of the planets of the inner solar-system, spewing both rock and water (which froze into ice) deep into space.  That planet of the inner solar-system is the one you are sitting on right now as you read this (unless you have an extremely unusual internet connection using a technology the rest of us do not know about yet). 

In the chapter on comets linked above, Dr. Brown explains why this hypothesis for the origins of comets fits the observed evidence, evidence which causes nearly insurmountable problems for all the other current theories, including the conventionally-accepted theories held by most academics today.

Furthermore, in the chapter on asteroids and meteoroids linked above, Dr. Brown explains that the asteroids in our solar system, including those in the main belt where P5 is orbiting, came from the same catastrophic inner solar system event.  He also explains that many large asteroids are not really solid space rocks, but are instead composed of many smaller particles which have clumped together and which are held together by a relatively weak glue of water ice, and which also contain a lot of empty space.  All of this discussion is supported by physics, which Dr. Brown cites.

This explanation by Dr. Brown explains a plethora of evidence surrounding both comets and asteroids, evidence which causes major headaches for proponents of the conventional theories.  Interestingly enough, Dr. Brown's explanation also explains the "problems" posed by P5 cited in the paper published today.

For starters, if comets do not originate in some very faraway Oort cloud, or even from the Kuiper Belt (both points of origin which cannot get a comet into the orbit P5 follows), then one of the biggest problems that P5 poses goes away immediately.  If comets originated from earth (and the evidence suggests that they did, as Dr. Brown's chapter on comets and as numerous previous posts on this subject -- see this post, this post and this post, for instance -- have illustrated), then the idea that a comet-like object could have ended up in the asteroid belt becomes quite possible.

Further, the fact that comets and asteroids are really all related clears up some of the other difficulties cited in the P5 paper published today as well.  As noted above, Dr. Brown believes that many asteroids contain water-ice, especially the larger asteroids which rotate more slowly (smaller asteroids which rotate very rapidly are probably solid chunks of rock, but large and slow-rotating asteroids are probably big aggregates or conglomerates of smaller chunks, held together by a glue of water ice).  

But what about the difficulty cited in the paper of having water ice on an asteroid, which contains chondrites indicating the rock experienced extremely high temperatures in the past?  Does Dr. Brown's theory deny the presence of these chondrites, or that they indicate extremely high heating and even metamorphism in the past?  

Not at all!  

Dr. Brown's theory explains in great detail that, prior to the catastrophic earth event which launched the rocks and water into space, rock within earth's crust was under tremendous pressure.  Some of the astonishing by-products of the forces at work are examined in the chapter entitled "The Origin of Earth's Radioactivity." It is perfectly consistent with the laws of physics to believe that the pressure and heating that created the signatures cited in today's paper took place while those rocks that are now in asteroids were still part of earth's crust.  

When they were violently launched into space, out of the orbit of the earth (but still in orbits around the sun, with many widely varying paths), along with tons of supercritical water from the earth, the water and debris ended up as today's comets and asteroids and meteoroids.  That water is now frozen, but the presence of frozen water alongside rocks that were once heated up to the point of producing chondrites does not cause any problems for advocates of the hydroplate theory.  It only causes problems for the conventional theories, but the conventional theories have all kinds of other problems that Dr. Brown outlines in his book, problems that involve evidence available for examination long before the discovery of P/2013 P5.

The discovery of P5 only serves as yet another dramatic piece of evidence which suggests the fundamental flaws of the conventionally-accepted theories.  

It also serves as yet another dramatic piece of evidence which suggests that Dr. Brown's theory, explaining the observed evidence on our planet and in our solar system through the mechanism of a catastrophic event in earth's past, has tremendous predictive and explanatory power.  The ability to make correct predictions, and to be able to explain new discoveries that were not even known when the theory was first put forward, may well be the most critical acid test for a scientific theory.

Why hasn't Dr. Brown's theory received the recognition it deserves?  Why haven't scientists flocked to examine it more closely?  Why is it not at least given a place as one of the "surviving hypotheses" when scientists come across new evidence which their favored theories have no way of explaining?

The obvious answer is that Dr. Brown's theory involves a global flood, in line with the flood described in the Old Testament.  This alone places his theory "beyond the pale" and ensures that conventional scientists will not touch it.  However, that is ridiculous behavior.  Accepting the possibility of a catastrophic event in our planet's past does not automatically require those who accept that possibility to suddenly adopt a literal understanding of the entire Old Testament (let alone the New Testament), any more than it requires them to suddenly adopt a literal understanding of the sacred traditions of ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, or of the Ackawois people (of the part of South America that is today called Guyana), or the Hopi people, or any number of other people around the globe who have also believed in a flood.

The fact that Dr. Brown's theory sheds tremendous light on the newly-discovered "active asteroid P/2013 P5" should cause astronomers and scientists around the world to take note and look into his arguments more carefully.  

Refusing to even consider it as a possibility is just an example of "fuzzing-thinking." 

** At least, that's the way it was quoted in this article, which contained links to sources, none of which actually contained the phrase "fuzzing-looking."   It may be that this was just a typo, or it may be that someone coined a new (awkward) descriptor to go along with a new (awkward, at least for conventional solar system models) space object.   See screenshot below: