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Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Steve Cole ponders various thoughts that came to mind.

1. Why are there pyramids all over the world? Did they use plans left by ancient astronauts? Hardly. A pyramid is the logical shape of a loose pile of dirt, rocks, or anything else. The sides slope inward because with low-tech building technology that is the only real way to produce a massive structure that is stable. If you build a cubic structure from stacked stones or mud bricks you cannot get it very high (fifty feet is pushing it with good cut stone blocks) because the internal pressure will cause it to sag outward, split apart, and fall down. Having the sides slope in results in the pressure going inward against other stones leaning in the other direction, producing a stable structure. Steel beams will allow you to build vertical walls, but those weren't really available in ancient times.

2. Why are UFO abduction stories so consistent that they must be real? I don't really know. Could it have anything to do with people reading the books by other abductees? A better question my by why the alien who examined Betty and Barney Hill looked remarkably like the one on Outer Limits a few weeks before their interrupted journey.

3. Immanuel Velikovsky was the earliest of the non-mainstream science writers. A Russian-born psychologist, he began to write astronomy books while seeking answers to the question of why so many humans had so many psychological problems. His general idea was that some astronomical event had so deeply scared the psyche of the entire human race that we were all crazy. In his view (expressed in is book Worlds in Collision), the original Solar System was Mercury, then Mars, then Earth, then the asteroids, then the four gas giants. At some point something ran into Jupiter causing it to emit a blob of material that became the planet Venus. This planet then spiraled into the inner system, narrowly missing Earth (but inspiring many ancient legends), and stabilized in the second orbit. This pushed Mars out of the second orbit, past Earth (another narrow miss, causing another round of ancient legends a few centuries later) to eventually end up in the previously unoccupied fourth orbit. While his theory was nonsense, he was the first writer to theorize that planets moved around in the early Solar System (turns out they did, but not those planets or that way) and that astronomical events could have an impact on human history. He also proved that if the book was interesting enough, there were millions of people willing to read scientific nonsense. Except for his books, we might never have had the whole ancient astronaut thing.