Velikovsky's Sources

4 Feb 2012

Bob Forrest wrote a couple of articles published by SIS and it seems he was in regular communication with Rene Gallant, author of Bombarded Earth (as we know from the private letters of Eric Crew as well as Gallant). Bob Forrest is forthright in defence of his series of articles, Velikovsky's Sources, and made the observation that a lot of 'educated people', impressed by Worlds in Collision, for example, had not checked out what Velikovsky's sources really said - and he had been surprised himself as he had not set out to be anti-Velikovsky but was looking for confirmation. People in general simply accepted the sources were quoted correctly and supported his hypothesis - and the same seems to go for the Ages in Chaos series too (not covered by Forrest). This is in fact something to bear in mind as Eric Aitchison has recently found a similar mismatch with some sources and is obviously perplexed by them. Some people, such as Eric Crew, were interested in the science and technology side of Velikovsky's hypothesis rather than the mythological - which was Forrest's speciality as he was heavily involved in folklore at the time. In other words Forrest was claiming that lots of the 'educated general public' accepted Velikovsky 'on trust' as he described it his letters to Rene Gallant. This is remarkably similar to the 'trust' educated people have placed on the theory of co2 induced global warming - but what that might mean in the context of Forrest is down to individual interpretation. He added, SIS and Kronos thought it was just a matter of time before Velikovsky was vindicated.

Gallant appears to have written to Forrest accusing him of being not a well qualified person - which Forrest quite happily acknowledged. He even went as far as to say his initial two articles were a bit 'crude' and needed tidying up. Gallant also accused Forrest of being a diehard uniformitarian - which Forrest denied. He was prepared to see catastrophism as a result of a collision with meteorites or comets - but not by the planet Venus, or Mars. He went on to say he also thought Clube and Napier were misguided when they claimed myths such as the Exodus, Typhon, or the Phaethon chariot that ran loose in the sky, as well as the Papyrus Ipuwer, were a record of a single 'event'. Indeed, Forrest said Velikovsky's intepretation of Phaethon was better than that of Clube and Napier (presumably a reference to their book, The Cosmic Serpent, that had been published shortly before the time Forrest and Gallant were communicating). 

When it came to the length of year and changes in the number of days, Forrest said that Old Kingdom 'pyramid texts' mention the 5 epagomenal days contrary to Velikovsky (and see also Paul Dunbavin in Under Ancient Skies, SIS Book Service). Forrest was still communicating with Gallant in 1984, discussing folklore - where Forrest was on firmer ground. Gallant's wife was also into folklore, they were living in Devon, so they had material to share - such as the Devil's Footprints. In this letter to Gallant Forrest narrows down the references to the 5 epagomenal days (added to the numerically more fulfilling 360 days of the year = 12 times 30), to a source with the number 'Urk.1.25' (wherever). This, he said, was supported by Herodotus, II:4 where he said, 'the Egyptians make each of the 12 months 30 days and then add 5 days to make up the year ...'. In addition, Weill accepted there were 365 days in the Old Kingdom year - what he doubted was that Egyptian reckoning since the OK was 'uninterrupted' and thereby casting an aspersion on Sothic Dating which relied on no such 'interruption' in the chronological run of events. It is worth noting that neither Parker or Gardiner thought there had been any 'interruption' and accepted the Palermo Stone at face value. This post came about after Eric Crew's widow asked SIS if they were interested in letters and cuttings in the possession of her husband, some of which were between Velikovsky and Crew, Gallant and Crew, and Velikovsky and Gallant.