That "all things come from heaven" may be untrue, yet even in these last peaceful centuries the quantity and variety of things reported to have fallen upon Earth is astonishing. For two hundred years, scientific establishments sought to resist the flow of accounts, making out those who appeared with such claims to be culturally retarded and childish, clowns, cranks and religious fanatics. Now the door is open to claims, and some scientists are tripping over each other's footnotes in their eagerness to go to through it. Since most chemical elements and compounds can be either found beyond the Earth or conjectured to have once formed from the thermal and electrical conditions that occur exoterrestrially, scenarios of past events to explain present processes are becoming as common, prolonged, and disastrous as the "soap operas" of radio and television.

Contemporary man is motivated to come to grips with the sky by economics, politics, militarism, and the need to survive. Poisonous hydrocarbon, radiation, aerosols, carbon dioxide, acid pollution, radio microwaves, ion disturbances, acoustical turbulence, supersonic stresses in flight, and civil and military thrusts into outer space amount to a major challenge to human modes of existence. To cope with such developments, ever more scientific knowledge is required and this in turn leads to discoveries of processes occurring in outer space that influence the Earth, and thereupon present new problems and possibilities -solar energy, weather control, incursions of hitherto unrecognized chemicals and particles, and even, say some, life forms contributing to evolution and diseases. A modern pragmatic preoccupation with the skies, it would appear, is now being laid on top of the age-old preoccupation with the forces and gods believed to dominate the celestial sphere.

The gases that we discuss are mainly effective in the biosphere. We address not only their chemical qualities but their behavior in mixtures and their propulsion by winds. The poisons we discuss are cell destroying chemicals. The food consists of the rare occasion of the descent of digestible cell-building chemical compounds. Hydrocarbons are considered here as poisons; petroleum deposits are dealt with in a chapter to come. Radiation is treated as a poison, though it may be a creator at times. Electricity, as was said earlier, is everywhere and can go onstage with a number of the processes involving gaseous behavior.

Comets and meteoroids, like volcanos, can emit gases. Explorer and scientist Humboldt thought it probable that the vapor of the tails of comets mingled with our atmosphere in the years 1819 and 1823. When, on March 24,1933 a fireball of six miles diameter sped across the American South, it trailed a tail one mile wide that carried a thousand cubic miles of dust. The people who were beneath its passage smelled a peculiar sulphurous odor for hours and for several days suffered from throat irritation [1] . If the intruder is admitted, one may grant the occurrence of gases. An actual impact is not necessary.

Can a gas cloud descend through the atmosphere without exploding or burning? It would have to be charged oppositely to the Earth's surface and buffered during descend by a plasma. Even under normal conditions, the positions of light and heavy gases are sometimes reversed in the disorderly atmosphere. The Great Chicago Fire, and forest fires which burned out millions of acres of land in Wisconsin, Michigan, Western America and Canada broke out on the same day in the fall of 1871. E. K. Komarek speaks of a peculiar fire weather and cites this case; Donnelly claimed that all were due to gas drifts from the tail of Biella's Comet which had not been seen on its expected three previous visits but was glimpsed without its tail in 1872, a year later, at which time a spectacular meteoritic display occurred [2] . Donnelly offered a number of testimonials that the fires referred to leaped incessantly from different locations above the houses and forests and behaved as electricity in some ways (fusing without burning) and as a gas in others (asphyxiating people away from the blaze).

A few years later another comet neared Earth and the Earth passed through its tail. The comet broke up on September 9, 1882. Krakatoa exploded on August 26, 1883, after months of eruption. A great many people were burned, smothered in the choking gases, and nearly blinded. We should recall how the Krakatoa ash is negligible in the sea today when compared with the layers described in earlier pages. Mass asphyxiation would be a logical deduction from the conditions cited.

Just as research has shown sunspot gaps to be connected with climatic disaster, and has correlated planetary-solar conjuctions with earthquakes, it may establish that cometary passbys have occasioned violent volcanism -all of this during the uniformitarian Solarian period. All the more may have happened, then, during ancient periods of catastrophes.

Cosmic dust can be struck by particles from the Sun or stars and emit gases. David Tilles explains only 20% of the argon 36 and 38 on Earth as an effect of the solar wind upon space dust and debris. The balance he believes to be derived from an unquiet sun of long ages ago acting upon then larger dust clouds surrounding the Earth [3] . However, argon has been unexpectedly detected in the thin atmosphere of Mars, and if Mars has been recently in gaseous exchange with Earth, as Velikovsky wrote in 1950, it would have given argon to the Earth or taken it away [4] .

Gibson and Moore, investigating subsoil samples from the Moon, found so many differences in volatile elements between North Ray Crater and other sampled locations that they concluded it to be the site of a cometary impact. They agree with Kopal that "the total amount of gas which can be acquired by the Moon in a catastrophic encounter with a comet is far from negligible." [5] The Earth is a bigger target for comets than the Moon. We would expect the Earth, then, to have also picked up many elements from foreign sources. Traces of gases and hydrocarbons were found some distance from the crater. Gases emitted by an impacting body would probably cause significant surface phenomena on Earth as well.

In the year 687 B. C., at a time when natural phenomena, attributed to Mars, were verging upon the catastrophic in many places on Earth, the great army of the Assyrian king Sennacherib was destroyed as it was preparing to assault Jerusalem. "The angel of the Lord" is credited with the deliverance from the enemy by the Bible. The angel is identified as the Archangel Gabriel. He is connected with divine fire, with the founding of Rome, with the planet Mars. It was "a consuming blast" that rabbinical sources say burnt the souls of the Assyrians but not their bodies.

An analysis is contained in Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision (230-41) in several fine passages. The grotesque incident was coincidental with several other documentable events around the world, and with a probable interruption in the Earth's movement. As happens when a mega-force is operating, one force incites another: the destruction might have been occasioned by gas and "celestial fire" acting together.

A charged gas would have descended, possibly lured by the concentration of metal weaponry and myriad campfires. The gas cloud would have sent an electrical leader to the camp grounds and the subsequent exchange of potentials would have killed the Assyrian host. Sennacherib the king escaped, he was probably camped high and far from the multitude of soldiers. Even in modern times of untroubled skies, verified reports of flocks and herds being annihilated by a lightning blast occur.

The destructive meteoroid in this case would have been a plasmoid, preserving its integrity as it passed through space and the atmosphere by the repulsion of its surroundings, but driven down to Earth's surface by decrease in the repulsion, until ultimately a "soft explosion extinguished the oxygen available to human and replaced it by methane, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or these together.

We turn next to the famous case of the mammoths, not waiting for the chapter on extinction [6] . One almost should say the "deathless" case, for it has endured the whole battle between catastrophists and uniformitarians, two hundred years -except that now it may even become the case of the "deathless" mammoth, for a late news report tells us that certain Russian experimenters are seeking to unfreeze and clone a mammoth cell with an existing elephant to give birth to a live mammoth. Were the original mammoths gassed into extinction? Instant death, fractured limbs, destroyed sometimes in herds and sometimes alone, discovered on hills (not in river channels), some found with their skins and innards intact, several found with food in their stomachs, even their mouths, often associated with an incongruous assembly of other species, they lived and died where they were found, several still standing, one with a rooted tree buried with it. The mammoth and almost all other large animals of the same period were extincted between 5,000 and 30,000 years ago over the face of the globe. The extinctions occurred from over practically the whole arctic area and down to the southern part of the United States, Europe and Middle Asia, where their close relatives, the mastodon, now-extinct elephants, and modern elephants browsed. It is strange that no human skeletons have yet been found, since we have their drawings of the mammoth.

Obviously if the date of each specimen were to be taken seriously, we would have, as one writer argued, a series of local catastrophes. All over the world, he might have added. Nor were the frozen elephants found encased in ice, but rather in a muck of pebbles and clay, which is the same kind of muck that is widespread over hundreds of thousand of square kilometers in the frozen arctic regions and contains the mangled remains of millions of animals and plants. It is hard to dispute claims of a sudden, widespread, simultaneous, and single catastrophe.

The assigned dates are hardly defensible. In the preliminaries of such a catastrophe, valid carbondating would be extincted along with the large animals. The supplemental dating is provided by the complicated ice age series, of which more later, but which, we can say, is something of a muck itself. With the unreliable dating shunted aside, a global scenario can be provided, an extravaganza, to be sure, but one is driven to it by the facts.

One may speculate that a large body passed by the Earth perhaps 6,000 years ago. It drew up tides of water and air below its path by hundreds of meters. It drew along and up, then, water and atmosphere from the extreme northern and southern latitudes. It tilted the globe at the same time. Most animals were asphyxiated during the hours of the withdrawal of air. Simultaneously they were deep-frozen by temperatures reaching in directly from outer space in the range of -150°F.

The intruding body departed. The columns of air and water collapsed, and rushed up to the north and south. The winds and tides collected most of the dead animals, tore up the ground, and finally deposited the remains in a muck that sometimes reaches to 1,000 feet of depth, even to 4,000 feet in one that the Soviets have excavated. Much of the air never returned; the supply from the larger envelope around Earth was depleted and the immediate atmosphere was thinned. As the legends say, it was now the bitter, cold age of the "God of the Bright Skies", Jupiter. The mammoths, dry frozen in a vacuum, rested in their packages of muck until the present day.

After relating so dramatic a story, it would be excessive to speak of the dinosaurs and other mass extinctions, and these shall be saved until the appropriate chapter. Other issues remain to be discussed here relating to gases and poisons.

One has to do with human experiences with atmospheric pressure, not only in moments such as asphyxiated the great mammals, but time and time again in primeval history. Sudden electrical events, not encounters alone, must have raised and lowered the air pressures under which humans lived. At times, mankind must have endured miserable headaches. Anthropologist Kennedy once referred briefly to "certain ritual practices like trepanation (which also developed obsessive proportion in Late Neolithic and Beaker time in Western Europe)." The practice extended in North Africa from the Canary Islands through the Berber lands at least as far as Egypt. It was performed in Mesoamerica as well. George Sarton writes in his history of science of prehistoric skulls that have come down to us with evidences of trepanation (trephination) performed upon them in life. The trepan is a saw for cutting holes in or removing pieces from the skull. It is a dangerous operation, hardly on a plane with piercing the nostrils to hold decorative devices. (But why are these devices so near the sinuses, too?) Extreme headaches and fury can thus be relieved. Trepanning, we surmise, was an indication that some considerable part of the population could not cope with a periodical fluctuation or definite change in atmospheric pressure.

A second issue has to do with ozone. Having discovered that aerosol devices and supersonic transports might destroy the ozone layer, several scholars have ventured to say that such events have occurred in the past. Ozone, or atomic oxygen, exists in a thin layer in the upper atmosphere, where it blocks solar and cosmic particles from penetrating to the Earth's surface, here to cause innumerable mutations and cancers. Ozone, too, is a poison in itself.

Associating ozone layer destruction with the periods of a reversal in the Earth's magnetic field and these with the extinction of a number of species, discoverable in ocean bottom drilling, Reid, Isaksen, Holzer and Cruzen theorize " that current concern about possibly anthropogenic destruction of stratospheric ozone may be well-founded since it is possible that major depletions occurring in the distant past have had profound effect on the development of life as we know it." [7] Anticipating again what is to be developed later, we can give credence to the theory, but would add that the destruction of the ozone layer will have occurred during any catastrophe involving turbulence in the stratosphere, especially with the passage of a large body.

Furthermore, the authors say, "the harmful effects accompanying polarity reversal, whatever they may be, form only one component of the total environmental stress on a given species." Beland and Russell point out that solar flares of extreme power, of a kind never observed and perhaps occurring once in 200,000 years by probability theory, would have to coincide with the reversal of GMF in order to account for a large number of species extinctions [8] .

The Sun might well have become agitated by changing movements of large bodies within its field and add a heavy dose of radiation to what might be occurring on Earth in reaction to an intruding body or bombardment of meteoroids. Ozone problems would have to take their place among many disturbing chemical and radiation changes. As Waddington pointed out in 1967, particle radiation increases inversely with magnetic shielding [9] .

Presently one speaks of background radiation, or low-level radiation, and a pressing problem of the future is how to keep radiation at the same low level at least. Sternglass finds even now indications of birth defects, infant mortality, and old-age respiratory problems traceable to low level radiations [10] . Evidently both long-term increases of level and single bombardments can cause damage to most people. Latest medical reports (1983) are more ominous.

Prehistoric cases can exchange ideas with future cases. J. W. Gofman has predicted that "a nuclear-based (U. S.) economy with 99.9% perfection in plutonium containment could mean a 25% annual increase in total death rate from this source alone," amounting to over 25 million extra cases of lung cancer over 50 years [11] . One must evaluate prehistoric indications of abnormal radiation and high-energy explosions in this light.

Vera Rich, reviewing knowledge of the Tunguska (Siberia) meteor of 1908, brings forward evidence of scabrous infection of the local reindeer in that year, a great acceleration of tree ring growth beginning then, and an increase in the radioactivity of surrounding trees [12] . Another report has it that certain plants mutated as well. The event was exoterrestrial in origin and probably is of the category of "gas-bag" explosions, since scarcely a ton of exogenous particles has been recoverable from the immense scene of destruction.

Perhaps the body entered the Earth's atmosphere with great speed, electrically attracted as well as driven by inertial differences, and thoroughly ablated until it became a gas projectile without a casing, that exploded before striking. Or perhaps it was a "Sennacherib plasmoid" from its inception. Generally speaking, the radiation effect of a single meteor or cometary train passing through the atmosphere would be heavier than many hydrogen bombs (unless these latter are deliberately "dirtied" by cobalt or other chemicals) because of its great heat, its compression of the ambiant air, its wide path of fall-out, and deep and large explosive cratering. During the disasters of Exodus, several documents give indications of radiation effects. The widespread "leprosy" effect may denote radiation disease, as I have explained in my study of Moses. Eating fallen quail killed many persons, reports Jewish legend. The manna, too, had to be eaten under supervision; to argue that it was" holy" and thus had to be treated ritualistically is a modern sociological notion overlooking that it might have become "holy" for several reasons, one being that priests, the savants, were called upon to distinguish the edible from the poisonous manna. The Egyptian Ipuwer papyrus conveys the impression that women became barren and that people lost their hair. The cattle herds died of scabrous diseases. The most substantial theory of Exodus times regards them as part of a much larger, a global, event, involving the close passage of a comet, so that radiation effects are logically to be expected.

Recent studies have discovered high levels of radiation in fossil flora and fauna, going back far in conventionally dated geological time. Kloosterman writes of " anomalous high radioactivity" in a fish from the same Old Red Sandstore beds in which the Pterichtyades occur, "fishes often invoked by catastrophists..." and quotes Hugh Miller (1841) on a quiet but potent agency of destruction erasing "innumerable existences of an area perhaps ten thousand square miles at once, and yet the medium in which they had lived left undisturbed in its operations." [13] We mention the case again when discussing extinction; electric shock probably accompanied the poison, and was succeeded immediately by great tides of slurried water. In 1975, Bramlette described deep fossil beds a plankton in the sea bottom that he tied to cosmic radiation storms [14] .

Radiology is a new field of knowledge, whose development is producing a new attitude toward what can be transformed, in biology, geophysics, meteorology, and geology. Oparin some time ago began to call upon it to explain the long chain of chemo-biological events leading up to The Origin of Life. He wrote of inorganic meteoric material suffering far-reaching transformation from inter-stellar radiation before arriving upon the Earth, of transmutations, for instance of iron and nickel into aluminum and silieni and of these into magnesium, sodium, and helium.

An instance of how rapidly old problems can be tendered new solutions by seemingly remote scientific developments occurs in the case of perhaps the most famous of fall-outs , that of manna, ambrosia to the Greeks, soma to the Hindus, and other names to other peoples. The insistent claim of the ancients takes on enhanced validity in the context of operations of modern technology.

The bits of suggestive evidence come from all quarters. We begin with a famous 1945 experiment of S. L. Miller (in consultation with H. Urey) and ask Bernard Newgrosh to describe it for us:

On the suggestion of H. C. Urey he took a mixture of water, hydrogen, methane and ammonia (which were then thought to be the constituents of Earth's primordial atmosphere but which are now known to be the constituents of cometary matter), boiled the water and ran an electrical discharge through it continuously for a week. The end products were an assortment of organic compounds, including some sugars, cyanides and small quantities of amino-acids. It was the latter which evoked the most interest and sparked off a whole new avenue of research into "the creation of life on Earth." Miller had boiled his liquid only to prevent the growth of (and therefore contamination by) micro-organisms. Later experiments used far less energy, and it transpired that the shorter and smaller the amount of heat used, the greater the yield of amino-acids obtained since these are denatured by heat. Other workers tried different mixtures of gases including, in some cases, oxygen and hydrogen sulphide. As long as the mixture was basically reducing in nature, the organic compounds and aminoacids were produced [15] .

M. G. Reade and Wong Kee Kuong have more recently discoursed theoretically upon methods by which carbohydrates, such as the manna which fed the ancient survivors of the Exodus disaster, could be produced with the aid of cosmic lightning [16] . Formaldehyde (a compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen) is a partially combusted gas, of which "there will be no shortage.. in a burning fiery cloud, almost whatever its origin." In mixtures of free oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, this is the only product. It has to be synthesized into sugar in an alkaline environment (already done) which is not poisonous and can be converted into starch, rolled into "coriander seed" sizes and dropped at dawn. So goes the argument of Reade, himself a confectioner and engineer. The necessary procedures and formulas are presently at the threshold of laboratory chemistry, he asserts.

On the processes required to produce edible carbohydrates in the form described by the ancient sources, all are present in the environmental setting described by the same sources, although without making the scientific connection that present knowledge affords. The analysis of Reade is especially literal in matching edible product and the natural "chemical apparatus" within the Bible.

In a yet unpublished manuscript on the Vedas of India, Ziegler brings forward many ancient statements about dust and gases pervading the skies, including the fact that the dust was falling and carrying the dew of heavenly waters (soma) with it.

In Hindu rite, the soma-devi are celebrants of sacrifices using soma. As a libation to Agni, soma is now superseded in India by ghi. Now the deva is a goddess practically identical with Venus, and the devi are her cohort. Venus, east and west, is worshiped at times in the form of a cow, the sacred cow of India, for instance. Ghi is clarified butter. The "golden calf" of the Hebrews in Exodus is the equivalent Baal-Venus image. These few (from a great many) observations are made solely to point out and complete the coincidence of a great celestial presence (a cometary body), a turbulent atmosphere full of dust and lightning, the availability of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, oxygen, methane, formaldehyde, and water in large amounts, the presence too of many enormous laboratory vessels from which would fall not one but several products, and, of course, the desperate survivors who would eat anything (regardless of its nutritional value) and reverence the imagined donor.

At the same time as the Hebrews, Hindus, Mexicans, Greeks and others were munching manna, they were vitally concerned with a certain redness in their environment. The most astonishing and fearful color had fallen out of the skies and penetrated the surface. Again we take leave to quote copiously from Newgrosh:

Dr. Velikovsky has produced numerous citations from ancient sources to show how falls of a blood-like substance occurred when a "new" comet (later to become the planet Venus) came into catastrophic contact with the Earth: the Manuscript Quiche of the Maya, the so-called Papyrus Ipuwer from Egypt and the Book of Exodus all record the fact that the water in the rivers was turned into "blood". In addition to these examples, Dr. Velikovsky refers to the Greek myth of Zeus and Typhon, the Finnish epic Kalevala and the lore of the Altai Tartars. However, a more exhaustive survey of such legends would include the Sumerian myth of Inanna (a Venus goddess) who filled the wells of Sumer with "blood", the Egyptians story of the goddess Hathor (also Venus) whose visits to Earth were associated with the covering of the land with a blood-like "beer", and the Norse legends of the "raining of blood" associated with the Valkyries. These myths are widespread and all tell the same story. There can be little doubt that something looking like blood fell from Venus during its close contacts with Earth.

What was its nature? Dr Velikovsky noted that it was a soluble pigment: "In sea, lake and river this pigment gave a bloody coloring to the water. These particles of ferruginous or other soluble pigment caused the world to turn red." Moreover, the accounts of Exodus 7: 24 and of Ipuwer lamentations agree that this bloody colored water was unpleasant and maybe poisonous. It is recorded of the Nile that "the river stank" (Exodus 7: 21). There was disease among the cattle which, Dr. Velikovsky claimed, was due to dust of an irritant nature.

Another writer, Peter James, asks whether legends of red falls from periods before 3,500 years ago might not refer to geological occurrences that deposited red sands or ferratites around the world [17] .

In Greek myth the Sky-god Ouranos, the first ruler of the universe, was castrated by his son Kronos and his blood fell to the Earth, impregnating it with a number of dreadful deities. To turn to Roman literature, we have a very graphic description of fall of blood in Ovid's "Metamorphoses" in his account of the fall of the Giants. "The terrible bodies of the giants lay crushed beneath their own massive structures, and the Earth was drenched and soaked with the blood of her sons." Egyptian myth tells a tale of the Sungod Re similar to the Greek myth of Ouranos -it was said that Re mutilated himself and that new deities sprang from his blood as it fell. In another Egyptian myth, Re decides to punish mankind by sending down the Goddess Hathor/ Sekhmet. She performs her task enthusiastically, gorging herself in the blood of men, but Re does not want Man utterly destroyed, and he has to devise a stratagem to stop here in her path of destruction. He mixes red ochre with beer, and pours a vast quantity over the Earth during the night, to a depth of three palms (about nine inches). The goddess sates herself on this "blood", and intoxicated she returns to heaven having forgotten her task.

Newgrosh refers back to the Miller experiment, for a crucial detail that has long gone unnoticed.

Miller wrote: "During the run the water in the flask became noticeably pink after the first day, and by the end of the week the solution was deep red and turbid. Most of the turbidity was due to colloidal silica from the glass. The red color is due to organic compounds absorbed on the silica."

To conclude, electric discharges between the intruder and Earth synthesized organic compounds in the cometary gases, including an edible component and an inedible red silicate that showered down to color the Earth and water a turbid red. Newgrosh adds, "being organic compounds, they would be speedily denatured, leaving no trace -except, that is, in the memory of mankind." Also, an iron compound of partially hydrated FeCl2 has been reported present in heavy concentration in the clouds of Venus today [18] . Considering that a possible source of Venus is the "Great Red Spot" of Jupiter, together with the material already mentioned, if this analysis remains valid, this is a significant quantavolutionary indication, perhaps a better test than the hotly debated question of hydrocarbon clouds.

On many occasions in the past several centuries, falls of gelatinous material have been reported in connection with meteors. The literature in part has been compiled by Corliss [19] . Luminous and therefore probably electrified while falling, the stuff is transparent and colorless, texturally a jelly, stinks when disintegrated, and dissolves into a few grains of residue after some hours. One may guess that the Earth's reducing hydrogen-rich top atmosphere is carried into contact meteorically with an oxidizing lower layer, gathering dust particles and vapor, including metallic catalysts, to form a semi-solid type of formaldehyde glob the size of a drinking cup. These are certainly poor imitations of manna, but a similar process is entailed.

To portray its relation in volume to a smallpox virus, a single crystal of salt would have to be enlarged to a five-meter cube, on a ratio of one centimeter to 1 micron (10 -4 cm) for the virus to be visible [20] . There is certainly room for viruses to ride on cosmic dust. There is not yet a definite answer to the question whether meteoroids and comets do now carry or ever have carried organic molecules and primitive life forms. Brigham, in 1881, following Hahn and Weinland, reported a collection of some six hundred specimen of fossil life obtained by analysis of meteorites [21] . Their work was discarded as imaginative to the extreme, for they were discovering corals, sponges, and crinoids. In the thirties, Lipman and Roy debated the former's findings of rods and ovoid cells in meteorites [22] . Recently, Claus, Nagy, and others have discovered inherent organic compounds, carbonaceous chrondrites, in meteoritic material.

Hoyle and Wickramasinghe have tackled the problem vigorously over the past few years and emerged with two relevant hypotheses: one that life forms originated in space and a second that plagues also descend from space. Comets carry the appropriate chemicals and can carry on the necessary varying experiments naturally, over millions of years, until "photosynthetic bacteria, able to oxidize hydrogen sulfide anaerobically," emerged.

If a cometary impact led to the start of life, the question arises: would subsequent arrivals of cometary material carry biological or prebiological material which might affect terrestrial biology? The boldest answer must be yes; that is to say, extraterrestrial biological invasions never stopped and continue today. These invasions would take the form of new viral and bacterial infections that strike our planet at irregular intervals, drifting down onto the surface in the form of clumps of meteoritic material probably similar to those studied by Dr. Rajan and his colleagues [23] .

The authors propose a perpetual vigil and a screening of stratospheric contents for microbes. If their theory is correct, one might expect veritable plagues to have had a hand in the great extinctions of species that have marked geological history. The causes of death would not only be mechanical -flooding, wind, hailstones etc. -and radiation, but also should include "biological warfare" against the Earth. Actually there is yet another dread possibility, chemical poisons, such as cyanide.

Iridium, osmium and arsenic occur in quantities hundred of times above the normal in strata of the cretaceous-tertiary when the dinosaurs and many other species, both terrestrial and marine, extincted. Kenneth Hsu discerns at the same time a double blow to the biosphere in the form, first, of heavy atmospheric heating owing to a cometary pass-through and explosion, which killed off large terrestrial animals, and cyanide poisoning that wiped out calcacerous marine plancton [24] . The cyanide effect would be stressed by a catastrophic rise in calcite-compensation depths in the oceans after the cyanide was detoxified.

During these disastrous events, which may have happened on several or more occasions, not one alone, the ground forces would be highly energized. Velikovsky found it impossible to determine whether, in the plagues of Exodus, "the comet Venus infested the Earth with vermin," or "the internal heat developed by the Earth and the scorching gases of the comet were in themselves sufficient to make the vermin of the Earth propagate at a very feverish rate." That many forms of life are comfortably buried below ground surface is well-known. But a thermal rise, flooding, earthquake, volcanism, and electrical discharging, will bring them out in incredible numbers. Thus the frogs of Exodus, the locusts, and the vermin also. One need only retroject modern reports, and raise the scale of intensity, to imagine the succession of events. In the area of the Krakatoa explosion, the nether world of animals was stirred up even while the gases burned, choked, blinded, and smothered people.

There is normally more in the soil than the erosion of terrestrial rocks: this has become apparent. Equally, new elements are discoverable that convey surprise, mostly unpleasant. The Dow Chemical company of Midland, Michigan, has been for several years in a quarrel with local authorities and environmentalists. The latter claim that Dow has manufactured chemicals that deposit dioxins, a carcinogen, in the soils. Dow says " we now think dioxins have been with us since the advent of (fire). It is perhaps uninformed to discount the company's research, that is apparently discovering dioxins everywhere. Adding more dioxins to the ground, of course, makes matters worse.

A parallel can be cited from the research into "Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons is Soils and Recent Sediments," conducted by Blumer and Youngblood, on behalf of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution [27] . Samples were drawn from "depositional and chemical environments ranging from continental and coastal soils to marsh and subtidal marine deposits, and from high to low oxidation-reduction potentials." The PAH component is significant; PAH is carcinogenic; ancient burning may be producing some of today's cancers; it would be well to perform statistical correlations on populations, cancer incidences, and "background PAH" of soils. PAH are formed at elevated temperatures by incomplete combustion.

Our interpretation would imply that carcinogenic and mutagenic hydrocarbons occurred on the earth's surface during geological times spans. This raises the question whether these compounds might have contributed significantly to the processes of natural selection of mutation, and to the evolution of species.

The scientists assess the possible origins of the PAH deposits. They exclude weathering, seepage and spills, they exclude biosynthesis; they doubt early diagenesis in process of formation; they settle upon pyrolysis. This burning might be thought to occur on the site, but "the consistency in the PAH distribution among our samples suggests a predominant single mode of origin;" the sites are distant from one another. The chemistry does not permit regarding the PAH as "urban air particulates." Forest fires are "possible but unproven:" low temperature burning could provide the homology among the samples and air transport of PAH carbon ash from a great central fire somewhere might preserve the similarity. The ash layers are not noticeable, however.

The authors do not consider typhonic meteoric explosions and fall-out. This could raise to great heights the combustion residue of large vegetal areas and drop it around the world. Nor do they consider a cometary pass-through with a burning hydrocarbon tail that could deliver the PAH where and how found today. The time would be recent, for the PAH are in surficial sediments.

In sum catastrophes, especially if exoterrestrially invoked, display much chemical creativity. Great typhonic explosions on Earth, probably exoterrestrially induced, will behave more modestly, but similarly. Numerous gases, poisons, and foods have fallen out in natural history, and very recently. Precarious life situations have been widely and abruptly generated. Multiple reports of gaseous and fall-out processes in space and atmosphere challenge the credibility of radioactivity rates that have been established under guidelines consistent with presently observable rates.

Back to Contents

Notes (Chapter Nine: Gases, Poisons, and Food)

1. F. W. Lane, The Elements Rage (Phila: Chilton, 1965), 179.

2. Donnelly, op. cit., 102-6.

3. David Tilles, "Atmospheric Noble Gases...," 148 Science (21 May 1965), 1085-7.

4. L. M. Greenberg, "The Martian Atmosphere," II Pensée I (1976), 5-9.

5. 179 Science (5 Jan. 1973), 69-71.

6. W. R. Corliss has compiled and reprinted numerous extracts from the scientific literature, Strange Planet (Glen Arm, Md.; Sourcebook Project, 1975), section EBM. An important update and new material is contained in L. Ellenberger, et al., "Catastrophism and the Mammoths," VII Kronos 4 (Summer 1982), 62-96.

7. G. C. Reid et al., "Influence of ancient solar-proton events on the evolution of life," 259 Nature (22 Jan. 1976), 177-9.

8. 263 Nature (16 Sept. 1976), 259.

9. Science (17 Nov. 1967)

10. E. J. Sternglass, Low Level Radiation (NY: Ballantine, 1972).

11. Report prepared for the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility (Yachats, Oregon).

12. 274 Nature (1978), 207.

13. J. B. Kloosterman, 2 Catas. Geol. 2 (Dec. 1977), 49.

14. 187 Science (17 Jan. 1975). 4172.

15. 4 S. I. S. Workshop 1 (July 1981), 2-3.

16. Wong, Kee Kuong, "The Synthesis of Manna," 3 Pensée (Winter 1973), 45-6; M. G. Reade, "Manna as a Confection," I S. I. S. R. 2 (Aug. 1977), 9-13, 25.

17. I Catas. Geol. (Dec. 1976), 5.

18. G. P. Kuiper, "On the Nature of the Venus Clouds," Planetary Atmos., Intl Atmos Union, Symposium 40 (Dordrecht: Reidel, 1971).

19. See W. R. Corliss, Strange Phenomena, (Glen Arm, Md., 1974), 2v.

20. Kees Boeke, Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps (NY: John Day, 1957).

21. F. Brighan, 20 Pop. Sci. (1881), 83-7.

22. Work by C. B. Lipman; S. K. Roy; E. Anders et al. and R. L. Levy is extracted by W. R. Corliss ed., in Strange Universe (Glen Arm, Md.: Sourcebook Project, 1977), 2v.

23. "Does Epidemic Disease come from Space?" New Sci. (17 Nov. 1977), 403.

24. 285 Nature (22 May 1980), 202.

25. Worlds in Collision, 192-3, 268.

26. R. Jeffrey Smith, 202 Science (15 Dec. 1978), 1166-7.

27. Science (4 Apr. 1975), 53; see also R. A. Hites, Laflamme and Farrington, "Sedimentary Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons...," 198 Science (25 Nov. 1977), 829-31.