Delivered at the SIS Silver Jubilee Conference, Friday 17th – Sunday 19th September 1999
- For those who are not familiar with the Saturnian configuration, the theory, bizarre in the extreme, can be reduced to its simplest form by positing that the planets Saturn, Venus, Mars, and Earth were once much closer to each other. More than that they were strung out in a linear conformation, in the order given above, which Frederic Jueneman once jocularly described as a celestial shish-kebab. In other words, the planets in question were strung out, one ‘below’ the other rather than circling around each other. Tins would have meant that the planets composing this unheard-of configuration were all sharing the same axis of rotation. What this also means is that, from Earth, man would have seen the planet Mars centered on Venus which, in its turn, would have appeared centered on Saturn.
- I will make no apologies here for the fact that this theory was constructed on the basis of the mytho-historical record rather than through astrophysical considerations. I will only say in passing that, other than its mythological content, the mytho-historical record also incorporates the world-wide astronomical beliefs of our ancient forefathers, and that these beliefs coincide with their mytho-religious convictions. Ancient astronomical beliefs can therefore be considered together with mythology as a unified whole regardless of the fact that what comes to light in an in-depth research of such subjects ends up describing a Solar System that was entirely alien to the one we now inhabit.
- The reconstruction of this model, together with its attendant event-filled scenario — first by David Talbott and myself, later by Ev Cochrane, and now even by Wallace Thornhill — is the fruit of decades of research. Speaking for myself, I must honestly confess that the impetus for this reconstruction derived directly from the writings of Immanuel Velikovsky, even though this led to the complete abandonment of Velikovsky’s own scenario. It has often been stated by those who now oppose Velikovsky’s particular cosmic scheme as presented in his Worlds in Collision, that the good doctor might have been incorrect in details while correct in his overall reconstruction. As the years went by, I came to exactly the opposite conclusion and, today, I can claim that Velikovsky was correct in details, but entirely wrong when it comes to his overall presentation. He seems to have had the pieces correct but, unfortunately, he displaced them in time.
- Be that as it may, the outlandishness of what my research was uncovering made me disbelieve the entire thing and I must honestly say that it was not until I had read Hamlet’s Mill that I finally accepted all that I had unearthed. If, as I reasoned at the time, scholars of the caliber of Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, the authors of Hamlet’s Mill, had been able to unearth the same set of bizarre situations, I could not be that far off` the mark myself. If the authors in question could discuss the ancient belief of a Saturn that was permanently fixed in Earth’s north celestial sphere, then so could I. That de Santillana and von Dechend chose not to accept what they themselves discovered was their business. But the lameness with which they ended up explaining away what they had brought to light made me all the more ready to accept it all.
- Even so, I am not here about to retrace the meandering path that led me to my conclusions. Nor am I about to attempt a validation of the physical feasibility of the model. As Talbott once said when asked whether he should suggest some physical principles which could account for his scenario, he replied with the words: ‘I’m not a physicist.’ And neither am I. All I will do here is add a reminder to the effect that many were the things once thought impossible which were eventually found to be possible, and that many of these ended up becoming dogmas of science. Easily coming to mind in this respect are the occurrence of meteoric falls, the non-illusory nature of comets, and continental drift. But let’s put all that aside for the time being. Allow me instead to concentrate on the demands which the Saturnian configuration theory itself raises, and whether or not these can be met.
- ‘Those interested may consult my two papers, “The Road to Saturn” AEON I:1 (January 1988), pp. 108-129, and “The Road to Saturn”,* Part II, AEON I:3 (May 1988), pp. 109-138.
- J. Gibson, “Saturn’s age,” Research Communications Network Newsletter #3 (October 15, 1977), p. 4.
- What do I mean by ‘demands’? Theories do not stand, if they are to stand at all, in isolation. They raise certain demands. For instance, the theory concerning the nuclear fueling of the Sun demands that the Sun shed a vast amount of neutrinos. To date, only about two thirds the amount predicted have been detected. The theory concerning the Big Bang demands a vast amount of matter that should be there. To date, this so-called dark matter is still being looked for. These two theories should not be allowed to stand, but because science is still optimistic in that it will eventually detect both the missing neutrinos and the missing dark matter, they are allowed to stand. Personally, I shall not use similar optimism as a crutch in an endeavor to validate the Saturnian configuration theory. On the contrary, I aim to present a series of demands which this theory raises, both within itself as also through hard science, and how these can be met. The list is not meant to be comprehensive, but it should suffice to illustrate the significance and consequence of the evidence. In fact, to be sure, I neither have the space nor the time to deal with all the planets that once constituted the Saturnian configuration. I have therefore decided to concentrate on the two most important bodies of the alignment-namely Saturn and Earth itself The roles which Venus and Mars played in the events I am about to relate in brief will have to await a future work.
- But let’s not beat about the bush. Let’s go straight to the heart of the matter.
Full paper includes: