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is the "peer review" system of scientific and educational
institutions and media. Too often the words mean, "reviewed by peers
who agree with us." But a lot has changed in recent years. The
Internet now offers the best opportunity for reaching open-minded
explorers in the sciences and other fields of inquiry. We therefore
ask for your help in circulating the review below. We are eager to
stimulate discussion of the hypotheses presented here, and ask that
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THUNDERBOLTS OF THE GODS, by
David Talbott and
Wallace Thornhill, is the first in a series of volumes
presenting a convergence of ancient testimony, high-energy plasma
laboratory experiments, and space age discoveries. The authors
contend that large scale electrical phenomena led to a series of
global catastrophes in ancient times. These electrical events,
though similar in principle to the aurora borealis today, were
intensely energetic and often punctuated by devastating
Talbott and Thornhill claim that earthshaking upheaval
occurred so recently as to have profoundly affected early human
cultures. And the two authors suggest that the myths and religions
of all ancient peoples memorialized these events.
The study of plasma discharge is a new and exciting
development in space age astronomy. Talbott and Thornhill
show particular interest in these developments because they see
space plasma as a bridge between the ancient and modern worlds. To
advance their case, they present side-by-side comparisons of
laboratory plasma experiments and globally recurring symbols of the
ancient sky. The evidence, they report, shows an ancient obsession
with extremely violent electrical discharge formations in the
At the core of this reconstruction is the unique behavior of
plasma. This "fourth state of matter" has been
studied for less than a hundred years, and only in the recent
decades of the space age have astronomers begun to realize its
importance to the understanding of structure in space. Astronomical
objects ranging from supernovas and intergalactic
filaments to interstellar banks of excited gasses and all
of the stars in the heavens are now known to be constituted of
plasma-a conductive medium that also permeates the near-vacuum of
space. Celestial objects move in and through cells of plasma.
Because the plasma state is defined by
the presence of charged particles, electrical and magnetic forces
often dominate gravitational forces. Many structures now revealed in
space, while defying gravitational equations, are predictable under
the laws of plasma behavior observed in the laboratory. From
these discoveries, a new approach to the understanding of the
physical universe is emerging. This approach is called plasma
Through unimaginable labors, millions of our ancestors carved
unexplained pictures on stone, numbering in the tens of millions.
But what inspired this massive endeavor around the world? The
laboratory experiments make clear that the ancient artists
were copying spectacular electrical phenomena in the heavens.
Indeed, the global correspondence between laboratory discharge
configurations and the pictographs on stone is so detailed that
same-scale images from the laboratory and from archaeological
investigation can be overlaid with astonishing precision.
By systematically comparing these images to the most prominent
mythological themes, the authors reach a revolutionary conclusion.
In ancient times, electrical activity produced gigantic and
violently metamorphosing formations above the ancient witnesses.
According to Talbott and Thornhill, these terrifying
apparitions were the true source of the enigmatic celestial
serpents, dragons, cosmic mountains, long-tongued demons, and
metamorphosing gods, goddesses, and heroes of the ancient world.
Perhaps the authors’ most radical tenet is the role of the
Solar System’s planets in these events. For
they contend that at least some of the planets moved on different
orbits than observed today, appearing as giant spheres extremely
close to Earth and anciently celebrated as towering gods.
Thus, the demonstrable power of the electric force to override
the weak force of gravity is vital to their hypothesis. From
this new vantage point, the pervasive ancient reverence and fear
directed toward planets and toward comets as harbingers of
destruction finds a new interpretation -- a gauntlet thrown down to
challenge the stable and predictable solar system of modern theory.
For more than three decades, Talbott and Thornhill
have each been major contributors to the study of catastrophe in
ancient times. Talbott was publisher of Pensée magazine’s
"Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered" series in the early
seventies, which provoked a surge of international interest in the
questions raised by Velikovsky. Talbott then offered his own
reconstruction of the past in THE SATURN MYTH (Doubleday,
1980). His hypothesis was also depicted in the 1996 documentary, "Remembering
the End of the World."
Thornhill has delivered numerous presentations on the "electric
universe" at symposia and workshops in the United States and
abroad. His CD, "The Electric Universe," was published in
1998. His website at
www.holoscience.com, with its
challenge to theoretical assumptions in astronomy and archaeology,
has gained increasing popularity.
The authors are now completing a full color layout of volume one,
supplemented by substantial portions of two later volumes.
With this material in hand, they will begin publishing a series of
full color monographs in early summer 2004, representing
complementary portions of the three volumes - a comprehensive
analysis of global mythology, ancient rock art, and religious
symbolism in the light of scientific discovery. THUNDERBOLTS
is the first complete work on the subject available to general
readers, though the scientific evidence is now finding its way into