influenza 1918

13 Oct 2014

At ... there is a discussion on the 1918 influenza epidemic, overshadowed as it was by WWI (which ended in the same year) and the idea it was space born in origin, specifically in the wake of strong geomagnetic storms close to inferior conjunctions of Venus with the Sun.

Its an interesting idea as new strains of influenza periodically 'drop in' anywhere in the world. They have been blamed on various other animals such as horses, birds, anything in close contact with humans - but are horses and birds subject to the same space born viruses as we humans? Interestingly, the planet Venus has a sort of tail that can, at times, stretch across enormous distances of the sky. The solar wind appears to play a role in the stretching process - but does Venus provide a suitable environment to nurture bacterial life forms?

Hoyle and Wickramasinghe discussed comet tails as delivery systems for extraterrestrial biology -or Panspermia. They also looked at outbreaks of influenze - including the pandemic of 1918.

At ... in 1950 Velikovsky said ancient texts implied that various life forms, including insects such as flies (which he classified as vermin) existed in the atmosphere of Venus (one of his ideas rarely taken up by others). In 1953 Hoyle was critical of Velikovsky in his normal blunt manner. However, he later became a champion of the idea that pathogenic bacteria and viruses could be brought to Earth by comets and meteor streams. Chandra Wickramasinghe, at one point, thought about the influenze outbreaks having a corollory with sun spot activity. Hence, the idea that a Venus facing coronal mass explosion may have caused the solar wind to distribute dust and bacterial life in the direction of the Earth is not too far away, and far from outrageous. In AD2000 Jalent Narlikar, another one time colleague of Hoyle, said there was evidence of living cells (from space) in air samples as high as 41km above the surface. Lately, the International Space Station has reported biological matter on the windows (see earlier post on the subject).

At ... there is more influenza when we go back to the Bird Flu flaps and alarmism of the early 2000s. It seems a dust cloud from the region of China crossed the Pacific and came down with rain from Alaska to Florida. Contaminated water supplies may also have been part of the problem leading to stomach upsets and cramps as well as Flu. See also more at