Member Gary Gilligan has responded to the question – noctilucent clouds; what would our ancestors have made of them? (particularly during periods of heavy meteoric activity or electro-magnetic activity of an unusual nature). In his research on the Sun God Ra he was puzzled, he says, why it was pictured as sailing the heavens in a 'solar barque'. Similarities exist with myth across the world and this concept is not confined to Egypt – but it is interesting. What could have caused them to think there was a boat in the sky sailing a heavenly sea. He came up with the idea noctilucent clouds (see above image) which have distinctive ripples that look like waves on a celestial sea.
We might view the 'solar barque' as sailing on a heavenly river Nile rather than an open sea – the plane of the ecliptic (therefore it is not as simple as first perceived). Gary provides some excellent links to noctilucent clouds … www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-23781411 or www.universetoday.com/104021/beautiful-noctilucent-clouds-2013-the-movie/ or http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130819.html
Gary notes that copious amounts of dust and debris may once have littered the solar system and the atmosphere of the Earth. This may have caused the Sun to develop a red haze (the idea of Re as the red Sun) an enhanced version of the phenomenon of the red sun at sunset (but more so). The hazy Sun itself would have granted visibility to the phenomenon of noctilucent clouds – and it may not have been solely confined to twilight. Various kinds of atmospheric phenomena, transient or otherwise, would have been seen more clearly and over a wider area of the surface of the Earth – including especially aurora, the ecliptic haze (zodiacal lights), rings around the Earth (moisture and icy crystals on a band of dust and debris), and of course, noctilucent clouds. Were the latter observable in a general way, in the sky, during catastrophic events (ignoring here what might have caused those events)?
Gary also raises the question of the Nile in the sky (interpreted also as rivers in other cultures, usually a river of renown in local topography). Could noctilucent clouds have given the impression of a world envoloped in a watery chaos, temporarily blotting out the Sun. As they dissipated it revealed the primeval mound of so many myths – the world mountain and so forth. This would have been a heavenly phenomenon of some kind. Was it a space rock looming close to the Earth or what looked like a mound arching across the sky (a ring of dust and debris). His response reminded me of Moe Mandelkehr, former contributor of a series of articles in SIS journals, and the author of a three volume work, 'The 2300 BC Event' Outskirts Press, Denver (see www.outskirtspress.com)