This article first appeared in:|
SIS Chronology & Catastrophism Workshop 1993 No. 1
Editor's note: this is a corrected and revised version of the article published in Workshop 1992:2, with proper references.
This article was first drafted in 1978, shortly after the publication of 'The Primordial Light' (SIS Review, Vol 2 1977). It is not surprising that now, as then, supportive or complimentary 'scientific' evidence is, to say the least, sparse. Accordingly, a lateral approach to circumstantial evidence has been the main tool in assembling the data for these proposals. There have been many oblique references from the scientific world that all is not well with their conventional approach, invariably combined with those observations that unsettled them. Some of these we have used. Other catastrophist researchers have made important connections in their publications (indeed SIS itself is the most valuable source) and where appropriate we have adopted their ideas. As far as is possible an attribution has been made. However, the writer apologises for any oversight in acknowledging ideas without reference.
The Review Article 'The Primordial Light' (SISR VII No.2) investigated the mythology surrounding the planet Saturn. It was proposed that such mythology indicates that Earth was once a satellite of what is now known as Saturn. A catastrophic disruption of this Saturnian system led to radical changes in the conditions on Earth. We intend to investigate whether our present knowledge can uphold our support for such a view of Earth History.
Part 1 - The Golden Mesozoic Age
Thesis: We propose that Earth was a satellite of Saturn, or more correctly a body which the ancients identified as Ouranus and which we shall refer to as proto-Saturn. The present day Saturn is all that remains of the once larger primary which we orbited as the closest and innermost satellite . As such, in the same way as our moon is now in a synchronous rotation and always presents the same face to the Earth , Earth as a satellite of proto-Saturn would also have been in synchronous rotation. Just as measurements have shown that the moon is slightly egg-shaped with the small end towards the Earth , the Earth in rotation around proto-Saturn would also have been slightly pear-shaped with the crustal land mass concentrated in a bulge turned towards its primary.
At the centre of Pangaea where Earth was closest to proto-Saturn there was the mythological World Mountain , a place of continuous electrical discharge and activity . The continents would have formed the one land mass, surrounded on all sides by a large shallow sea. Observations have shown that most Saturnian moons at present also show synchronous rotation which means that the same face of the satellite is always presented to the planet .
It is also proposed that proto-Saturn gave out its own light and heat. At present it radiates two to three times the energy it receives from the Sun  and its internal temperature is estimated to be in the region of 20,000K . The structure of both the giant planets, with their preponderance of hydrogen and helium, is regarded as more like the Sun than the inner planets such as the Earth . If what we see today is the remnant of its former condition it must have radiated enough energy to sustain life on Earth. As the land mass and the shallow seas around it would be permanently turned towards the primary, there would be no diurnal variation in light and heat, nor seasonal changes.
As space exploration continues it becomes more and more obvious that electro-magnetism cannot be ignored. Planets have magnetic fields and magnetospheres extending millions of miles into space. Interactions take place between these and the solar winds. In the case of the Earth at present, because of rotation, such interactions take the form of a dynamo effect which powers an electrical discharge process around the Earth, as evidenced by the Aurora . Only a small variation in cosmic flux or sunspot activity leads to a large disturbance in the lower atmosphere via such electric fields .
Around Saturn, hydrogen extending outside the ring system glows faintly as it is excited by electromagnetic radiation from the Sun. The rings themselves lie in an area of low density plasma and are now thought to be influenced by electromagnetic forces. Ideas that their complexities are controlled by the gravity of shepherding moons have failed for lack of evidence . Voyager results show that lightning discharges across the rings are of the order of millions of volts, 100,000 times the power of terrestrial lightning .
Within such a sphere of influence, the Earth would have been highly charged electrically and, because of the polarisation induced between two charged bodies, the charge would have been largely concentrated on the surface of the bulging land mass upon which life was centred. A description of the effects and manifestations is described by Ziegler . Writers such as Immanuel Velikovsky , Hugh Auchincloss Brown , C.E.R. Bruce  , and Ralph Juergens  have all ventured to suggest that the cosmos is electromagnetically ordered, not gravitationally, and some have suggested that gravity is, in effect, only a function of electrical charges. We postulate that as a result, 'gravity' would have been greatly reduced on the Earth's charged land mass bulge.
Evidence: Palaeomagnetic, fossil and geological evidence all point to there having been one supercontinent, namely Pangaea, for most of this period. The land was relatively low lying, with perhaps only ancient Caledonian, Appalachian and the Ural mountains in the form of prominences . The individual oceans did not exist but one large ocean surrounded the one continental mass . Marine deposits during this era indicate large areas of inland freshwater shallow seas. The disposition of land and sea during this era is, therefore, precisely what we have postulated it would be, had Earth been in orbit around proto-Saturn. We pause to wonder how Pangaea, a single land-mass, could have been formed if the Earth had been rotating: this must have been inherently unstable .
Glaciations leave characteristic signs upon the landscape and these have been observed on rocks from the earlier Palaeozoic period and in abundance during the later Pleistocene but there are no signs of any glaciation during the Mesozoic itself . Descriptions of climate during the various periods of the Mesozoic range from mild to subtropical with an equable, stable weather system.
Warm seas are indicated by a wide distribution of reef-forming corals, which will only grow in such profusion today in areas of warm, shallow seas. The land flora consisted of the lower plants, tree-ferns and conifers. The bulk of the survivors of this type of vegetation are today confined to the tropics and subtropics . Some primitive trees do show growth rings and Mesozoic belemnites show indications of seasonal change, but these are very slight compared to today . The flora and fauna across Pangaea were also very similar, indicating that conditions were the same all over the area. All the Palaeotological evidence shows, therefore, that conditions on Earth during the Mesozoic period are difficult to explain with Earth's present orbit but do fit the scenarios we have postulated.
The most obvious characteristic of Mesozoic flora and fauna was the upper limit of size. Pangaea's forests contained giant lycopods, horsetails and pteridophytes, trees over 100m in height. Today the survivors of these primitive groups are mostly small plants; the tallest fern is only 20m high and height is only achieved by the conifers and flowering plant trees with specially strengthened trunks and good root systems .
The dinosaurs included the largest terrestrial animals the world has ever known. Some weighed more than 80 tonnes, as much as 20 large elephants, but old views that they were slow, clumsy animals have been superseded by evidence that they were fast, active and probably warm-blooded , . The weight of an animal's body is proportional to the cube of its linear dimensions but the strength of its legs is proportional to only the square of their dimensions; for this reason, larger animals have proportionally shorter and thicker the limb bones but there is a limit to the possible size of an animal living under the direct action of gravity . The dimensions of an elephant's limb bones are approaching the maximum limits of size which physical forces permit and are already tending towards disproportionate thickness .
Dinosaurs were of such a degree of magnitude heavier than modern animals that the larger herbivorous sauropods were traditionally thought of as wallowing permanently in swamps to take the weight off their feet  . However, there is evidence that they were completely terrestrial  and the large, bipedal carnosaurs, such as Tyrannosaurus, were manifestly built for running with hind limbs more slender in proportion to their bulk than those of an elephant. If gravity were less, then animals could be larger and still be active with relatively more slender limbs than an elephant .
The Pterosaurs (flying reptiles), are another case in point. Fossil specimens with wing spans up to 8m were once regarded to be at the limit of size for any airborne creature, even given that their bone structure was lighter and stronger size for size than modern birds. Then Quetzalcoatlus specimens were found with wing spans up to 15.5m and pronounced to be beyond the engineering limits for a living flying machine . Recent considerations of the circulatory systems of the larger dinosaurs suggest that the normal heart/lung construction would be insufficient to keep the brain supplied with oxygenated blood .
The problem of explaining away the apparent defiance of physical laws by so many of the Mesozoic plants and animals is solved easily by an assumption of lowered gravity. Is it just coincidence that such forms of life should be abundant at the very period when all the continental areas were grouped into one land mass ?
Part 2 - The Cretaceous Catastrophe
Proposal: It is proposed that the stable, warm and reduced gravitational conditions of the proto-Saturnian/Mesozoic era were all suddenly altered when proto-Saturn underwent a disruption, precipitating Earth into its present orbit. Any form of disruption would produce chemical fall-out and high-energy radiation from the primary, as is seen today by the large flux of X-rays produced in the early stages of a supernova outburst, or that detected on Earth after solar outbursts, and this would have immediate and catastrophic effects, with drastic effects upon climatic conditions .
Once freed from its synchronous rotation around proto-Saturn the polarisation of electrical charge would be instantly lost, resulting in a sudden increase in gravitation over the land mass. This would mean that none of the life forms over a certain size could survive, and there would be preferential survival of smaller forms.
The effects of proto-Saturn having been lost, the Earth's rotation would bring its own forces to bear upon the crust, with the result that the one-side bulge would disappear and an equatorial bulge develop instead. The land mass upon the bulge would therefore be shattered as the radius of curvature of its underlying mantle increased, causing rifting and thinning. Massive flows of molten magma would ensue, together with volcanoes and earthquakes. The shattered plates of what once was Pangaea would be redistributed under the new rotational forces, to form separated continents. Where crustal plates or sections of continental mass were forced together, compression and uplift would result in the rapid formation of high mountain chains; where there was rifting between plates, trenches would be formed, for example, the Mariana Trench .
In orbit around the Sun and with a tilt and rotation around its own axis, the Earth would now be subject to diurnal and seasonal fluctuations in light and heat, leading to the development of complex climatic variations and the development of polar ice-caps, and an overall decrease in the mean global temperature. The remnants of surviving flora and fauna, possibly already undergoing massive mutation due to radiation effects, would explosively adapt to a whole range of entire new conditions.
The geological boundary between the Cretaceous and the Tertiary periods marks a radical change in conditions on Earth. Massive extinctions of life took place, including entire major groups and an estimated 70% of total species . The boundary is marked physically by a world-wide thin layer of clay which chemical analysis has shown to be considerably enriched in several elements, notably iridium, over and above the levels normally found on Earth. The obvious explanation for the presence of the elements is that they were derived from an extra-terrestrial source .
The upheaval of the catastrophe caused widespread elimination of many species and the decimation of many lifeforms. The apparent increase in 'gravity' had a disastrous effect on the larger lifeforms, causing the extinction of many surviving species. On land, giant trees, and few animals weighing more than about 2,500 kilograms survived . The huge flying reptiles disappeared along with the early, apparently 'flightless' birds. (The earlier Archaeopteryx shows adaptations to flight, despite the lack of a large bony keel to the breast bone for flight muscle attachment . The keel is a notable development in flying birds after the Mesozoic period and is a feature which increased gravity would render necessary.)
The general picture of the breakup of Pangaea is indeed one of initial shattering in all directions, followed by a longitudinal rifting and separation of blocks outwards along the Earth's rotational plane. Wherever continental crustal sections were separated there was a thinning and rifting of the underlying crust with outpourings of molten mantle material. After separation from proto-Saturn, rotation followed about a new pole, the World Mountain being located in the new equatorial region.
Northern Laurasia separated from southern Gondwanaland and a huge rift opened up, splitting northwards and then southwards, to form the Atlantic basin which eventually separated the Americas from the rest of the land masses. Where the western edges of the Americas were being thrust against the Pacific crust, massive crumpling of the continental crustal edges produced the Rockies and the Andes. Another rift opened up the Indian Ocean, with Greater India moving north and eventually impinging on Laurasia and throwing up the Tibetan plateau. An Australian Antarctic block moved southwards.
Later a new rift developed, separating Australia from Antarctica and, splitting northwards, separated Arabia from Africa and formed the East African Rift. The later movements of Greater India and Africa, thrusting against Laurasia, crumpled the trapped continental crust between them and formed the great Alpine chain of mountains from the Atlas, through the Alps, Carpathians and Turkey across to the Himalayas . Associated with the rifted continental margins are huge basaltic outpourings such as the Ethiopian highlands, the Deccan plateau in western India and the Columbia River in the Western USA. These basaltic layers are 10-30m thick and up to a million cubic kilometres in volume . During the later movements there were extensive outpourings in Greenland, Scotland, South America, and Greater India .
In the accepted time scale all these movements took place over millions of years and were initiated at various times during the Mesozoic. However, some geologists consider that if the crust lies over a plastic mantle, certain irregularities of the surface should have settled out more quickly than they appear to have done . This would indicate a shorter time scale than normally accepted, the major parts of the separation taking place in hours rather than millions of years; current plate movement is the settlement of this earlier rapid process as it approaches continental stability.
As to the sequence of rifting events, some fossil evidence poses problems for the accepted timing. Two species of large sauropod dinosaur found in both North America and Africa indicate that the two continents were still connected in the late Jurassic and three more species of dinosaur from the late Cretaceous appear to connect South America, Africa, Europe and India . This belies certain scenarios which suggest that these continental separations occurred before the end of the Mesozoic.
Earth's new rotation changed its shape from pear-shaped, centred on the World Mountain, to an oblate spheroid, bulging around the new equator. One uniformitarian premise questioned by a few is the constancy of the Earth's dimensions. Hugh Owen of the Natural History Museum, after work trying to 'reassemble' Pangaea from the new scattered land masses, has come to the conclusion that an expanding Earth is indicated . The present continental margins only fit together on an Earth of present diameter if we assume the existence of several gaps for which there is no geological evidence. There is also fossil evidence to back up the theory of an expanding Earth.
One of the unexplained gaps is the assumption of a huge Tethys Sea dividing the Eastern side of Pangaea into widely separated African and Laurasian margins. Yet in the early Mesozoic the land-dwelling dicynodent reptiles are found with little variations in both Laurasia and Gondwanaland, indicating no impassable barrier which a wide sea would form . Just after the Mesozoic one group of crocodile fossils is found in South America, North Africa and Europe but not North America, which indicates that they migrated from South America via Africa and North America. Yet, if the Tethys Sea were as wide as an Earth of constant dimensions would indicate, it would have formed a barrier across to Europe .
There appears to be too much evidence that the radius of curvature, at least under the Pangaean land mass, did increase around the time of the break up of Pangaea; such an increase would itself provide the initial force for rifting. The subsidence of a land bulge would also lower the land relative to the sea and there is fossil evidence of wide incursions of the sea on to the land soon after Pangaea broke apart . A change of planetary proportions from the pre-separation pear shape, to the now rotational oblate spheroid, is in keeping with observations above.
After the break up of Pangaea and the mass extinctions which marked the end of the Mesozoic, the world became a very different place. The early part of the succeeding Tertiary period showed considerable tectonic activity due to the settling of the rifted land masses which are still observed today. With the opening of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific gaps, the newly created deeper ocean waters began to cool, though these oceans were not as deep and did not cover as much area as we see today. By the middle of the Tertiary the youngest mountain ranges were being thrust up where rifted continental masses had collided.
The predominance of the lower orders of plants was over; the survivors which still relied on constant warmth and moisture were confined to what is now the tropics and the conifers were represented mostly by the pines which are adapted to colder conditions. The flowering plants had exploded into a vast variety of new types adapted to a myriad of harsher ecological niches from tundra to desert, mountain top to plain, and a significant new group, the grasses, became widespread.
Their type and distribution shows that the climate had become seasonal - trees showed prominent growth rings and many species became deciduous - with a marked zoning from tropical to temperate at higher latitudes. By the late Tertiary, ice-caps were developing at the poles and by the Pleistocene the world was undergoing ice-ages , .
The world's fauna had also undergone a radical change. Smaller reptiles survived and today largely inhabit the warmer areas. Surviving birds and mammals expanded into a vast range of new types, adapted for browsing or grazing upon the new types of plants, or preying upon each other. The dinosaurs had completely disappeared leaving the old ecological niches empty, so if the new conditions developed as slowly as convection-powered continental drift theories would suggest then the new types of animal should have developed differently on the different continental blocks. Yet the fossil record shows that the faunas of all the land masses were extremely similar, although already diverse, immediately after the extinction of the previous fauna .
There appears to be a case to answer in the idea that whatever caused the extinctions was also responsible for massive mutations among the survivors. Only later, in the final stages of separation of the rifted continents, did the faunas adapt to meet the altered conditions and become distinct in the different areas.
During the Mesozoic, proto-Saturn (Ouranos) orbited the Sun in what is now the asteroid belt. It was probably the only body orbiting the Sun, its immense size locking it into a binary system which astronomers believe to be the more usual solar system formation. Earth and other satellites orbited proto-Saturn, which dominated the skies to the almost complete exclusion of the Sun and other celestial bodies; in comparison, the Sun was an insignificant body, proto-Saturn being the main source of heat and light.
The Earth was dominated by the large single super-continent Pangaea, with the World Mountain at its epicentre, and surrounded by a fresh-water shallow Sea. Only a non-rotating synchronous orbit, with the super-continent locked into and facing proto-Saturn, would account for this stability.
The climate was sub-tropical with high humidity. The synchronous (syn-, chronous: 'together with Saturn'?) orbit meant constant light and heat, and hence no variation in temperature. There were no tidal forces in the large shallow Sea, and hence no sedimentation. There were no seasons and hence minimal tree rings.
Birds, mammals and our ancestors inhabited the planet during the Mesozoic and coexisted with the dinosaurs . In much the same ways as our diversity exists today, cultures varied from the sophisticated, who lived towards the World Mountain, to the primitive who lived towards the edges of the super-continent. Giantism was common in this era of reduced gravitation and size and bulk were no disadvantage.
The Earth and original satellites of proto-Saturn separated some 15,000-20,000 years ago and the Golden Mesozoic Age came to an end. Proto-Saturn separated into many parts, to form the gas giants Neptune and Uranus. Proto-Saturn became Saturn. Some of the smaller debris became moons of the outer planets and much remained in the original orbit as the asteroid belt. The events were witnessed by the peoples of the Earth and became the basis of the ancient catastrophic mythologies , beginning with the Genesis event 'Let There be Light'. During separation, Earth was saturated with radiation from proto-Saturn, which caused much mutation and was the catalyst for new sequences of evolution for many generations. The same radiation rendered all forms of radiometric dating useless, causing grossly exaggerated time-scales .
Separated from proto-Saturn, planet Earth commenced rotation and the charge focused on the World Mountain dispersed. The Earth lost its inherent stability and, with the new centrifugal force, the super-continent separated and 'drifted', changing the pear-shaped Earth into its present shape. The dispersion of the charge, together with piezo-electro effects in the rocks, enabled the separation to take place in hours, rather than millions of years .
The survivors of the catastrophe found themselves in a completely new environment: lower temperatures, seasons, diurnal variations, a changed atmosphere and an apparently greater gravitational effect. This was neither the environment, nor the 'solar' system, in which life had evolved .
The writer acknowledges the assistance and research provided by Jill Abery, Alasdair Beal and Ian Tresman. It is true to say that without their encouragement and persistence this article would never have been published. Acknowledgement is also due to the copious works of Dwardu Cardona , David Talbott , Alfred de Grazia , Melvin Cook  and many others.
1. We have been unable to find any references in mythology or folklore referring to any planetary sized body or moon passing between the Earth and proto-Saturn.
2. Soderboa and Johnson: 'The Moons of Saturn', Scientific American, June 1982, pp. 73-86.
3. Beatty, O'Leary and Chalkin: The New Solar System, Sky Publishing Corpor-ation, 1981.
4. David N. Talbot: Saturn: Universal Monarch and Dying God, Research Communica-tions Network, 1977.
5. Jerry L. Ziegler: YHWH, Star Publishers, 1977.
6. The New Solar System. Op cit.
7. Ibid, p. 119. See also . Patrick Moore: The Guinness Book of Astronomy, 1992.
8. Ibid. p 128.
9. Ingersoll: 'Jupiter and Saturn', Scientific American, Dec 1981. pp. 66-80.
10. S.I.Akasofu: 'The aurora: an electrical discharge process around the Earth', Endeavour Vol.2 No.1, 1978.
11. Hale and Croskey: 'An auroral effect on the fair weather electric field', Nature Vol.278, 15.3.79.
12. Pollack and Cuzzi: 'Rings in the Solar System', Scientific American , Nov 1981, pp. 79-93.
13. The Washington Post, 31.8.81, reporting Voyager results as reported by Romig, Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasedena, California.
14. YHWH, Op. cit.
15. I. Velikovsky: Cosmos without Gravitation, Scripta Academica Hierosolymatana, 1946.
16. Hugh Auchincloss Brown: Cataclysms of the Earth, Twayne Publ. Inc., 1967.
17. C.E. Bruce: A New Approach to Geophysics, London 1944.
18. C.E. Bruce: Problems of Atmosphere and Space, Elsevier, 1965.
19. Ralph Juergens: 'Reconciling Celestial Mechanics', Pensée, 1972.
20. Chris Paul: The Natural History of Fossils, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1980.
21. Steel and Harvey: The Encyclopaedia of Prehistoric Life, Mitchell Beazley, London, 1979.
22. Murphy, Nance: 'Mountain Belts and the Supercontinental cycle', Scientific American, April 1992 v.266 No.4, p. 84,
23. The Natural History of Fossils. Op. cit.
24. The Encyclopaedia of Prehistoric Life. Op. cit.
25. The Natural History of Fossils. Op. cit.
26. Bellamy: Botanic Man, Hamlyn, 1978.
27. Charig: A New Look at Dinosaurs, Heinemann, 1979.
28. Desmond: The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs.
29. D'Arcy Thompson: On Growth and Form, Paperback Edition 1981, Cambridge University Press, p.22.
32. Daniel Choy of Columbia University's St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital has proposed that the Barosaur, with its 25´ neck, would have needed eight hearts to provide an adequate blood supply when standing on its hind legs. A single heart would have reqired a blood-pressure seven times that of a human, placing it in danger of a stroke. Discover, January 1993.
33. The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs. Op. cit.
34. On Growth and Form. Op. cit.
35. Langston: 'Pterosaurs', Scientific American, Feb 1981.
36. The Guardian, 28 August 1992, referring to paper published in The Lancet.
37. Russell and Tucker: 'Supernovae and the Extinction of the Dinosaurs', Nature 19.2.91, Vol.229, pp. 553-4.
38. M J Brendan and N J Damian: 'Mountain Belts and Supercontinent Cycle', Scientific American, April 1992.
39. Surlyk: 'The Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary event', Nature 22.5.80, Vol.285, p. 187ff.
40. 'Alvarez Theory Gains Support', SISW 3:3, pp16-17.
41. The Mass Extinctions of the Late Mesozoic. Op. cit.
42. Feduccia: The Age of Birds, Harvard University Press, 1980.
43. Steel and Harvey: The Encyclopaedia of Prehistoric Life, Mitchell and Beazley, London, 1979.
44. Mehr: 'Ethiopian flood basalt providence', Nature 16.6.83, Vol.303, pp577-583.
45. The Encyclopaedia of Prehistoric Life. Op. cit.
46. Tindall and Thornhill: Rock and mineral guide, Blandford Press, 1975.
47. Hallam: 'Continental drift and the Fossil Record', Scientific American, Nov.1972. pp. 56-64.
48. Paul: The Natural History of Fossils, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1980.
49. The Encyclopaedia of Prehistoric Life. Op. cit.
50. Buffetaut, Nature, Vol.300, p. 176.
51. Charig: A New Look at Dinosaurs, Heinemann, 1979.
52. The Encyclopaedia of Prehistoric Life, Op. cit.
53. The Natural History of Fossils, Op. cit.
54. The Encyclopaedia of Prehistoric Life, Op. cit.
55. Dale Russell and his colleagues at the Canada Museum of Natural History believe that the majority of dinosaurs only existed in outlying areas of Pangaea, which are now North America and Eastern Asia. New Scientist, 25 July 1992.
56. G. de Santillana and H. von Dechend: Hamlet's Mill, (London 1979).
57. Richard Milton, The Facts of Life, Fourth Estate, London 1992.
58. The piezo-electric effect is thought to be connected with earthquake lights and related to the rippling and 'flowing' of rock during an earthquake.
59. At this point, Earth did not have its Moon, so there were still no tides or sedimentation. Nor did this planet have the large volume of oceans, which were also to be acquired later.
60. Dwardu Cardona, see Kronos and the SIS Review.
61. David Talbott, Universal Monarch and Dying Gods, unpublished.
62. Alfred de Grazia, in conversations with this author.
63. Melvin Cook, Prehistory and Earth Models, Parrish,1966.
Editor's note. The author would be most interested to hear from any member who can provide further evidence to support the hypothesis outlined in this article.