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Velikovsky Under Fire

28 April 2019

It seems that not only has Velikovsky recently come under fire in SIS journals, particularly by one author who has a copy of Bob Forrest in one hand and his internet connection in the other, which has coloured some of our recent journals. Checking out Velikovsky's sources is becoming a habit as one of the latest Thunderbolts missives is also critical of Velikovsky's sources – go to www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2019/04/26/smoke-without-fire-part-one-2/ … which refutes the idea that the Aztecs referred to Venus as a smoking star (which sounds like a comet). Velikovsky used this 'evidence' in his categorisation of Venus as a comet (not realising there was a prominent comet at the time of writing that came remarkably close to the Earth, as far as millions of miles are concerned). Velikovsky had the brain wave that the Exodus event involved a comet but back in the 1940s and 1950s comets were regarded by scientists as fluffy and mostly harmless objects incapable of doing the things Velikovsky wished them to do, via his interpretation of mythology and legend. Hence, he came up with the idea of Venus as a comet – very large and threatening. If he was writing nowadays he would not have required to invoke Venus – let alone a smoking Venus. The author of the Thunderbolts piece suggest that what is described by the Aztecs (and written down by friars) was some kind of transient phenomena (which would include a passing comet) and what exactly this was will be disclosed in Part Two.

In part 2 the author said the smoking Venus was a portent – and clearly occurred on more than one occasion. These events appear to occur throughout the historical record on a decadal or centennial scale. If we rule out a dramatic scenarion such as Velikovsky's comet the most promising option is an atmospheric optical effect, as suggested some years ago by von Humbolt. He thought a halo around Venus might correspond to the the phenomenon as at times feebly luminous corona can be seen around Venus, Jupitern and some brighter stars. Another option might be scintillation (the green or blue flash seen on planets caused in heliacal positions by disturbances in Earth's atmopshere). Venus and Mercury do scintillate when very close to the horizon. Thirdly, it is possible Venus can produce its own 'counter glow' (a subtle and roughly circular reflection of dust particles in the ecliptic plane). These optical effects are modulated by the composition of our atmosphere and depend on how much volcanic dust has been dispersed. The events logged in the Aztec chronicle may be related to the eruption of Cotopoxi (a volcano in Ecuador) in 1532 and 1534. The later, Pipil event, may be related to the Krakatoa eruption in 1883 (although exact dates do not tie in). The depiction of Venus smoking in the Aztec codex is consistent with an optical phenomenon – an orange aureole surrounds the central star Venus (and various other stars it appears as sparks) while the bits of emitted smoke could represent a wispy cloud. The aureole is variously oval or circular and the general Meso-American obsession with Venus would guarantee the signficance attached to simple diffractionism.

The author ends by saying that although such a solution to the smoking Venus removes a brick from Velikovsky's construct other ancient traditions (from around the world) appear to provide robust evidence for the nature of a morning/evening star that was a comet.

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