by David Talbott

from Thunderbolts Website


Apr 08, 2005


One of the great wonders of the solar system, Valles Marineris on the planet Mars still defies every conventional attempt to explain it. From an electric viewpoint of the cosmos, it is the scar of a cosmic thunderbolt.

Valles Marineris is four times deeper than the Grand Canyon, and stretches for almost 3,000 miles across the face of Mars. Its presence has continued to baffle scientists. When the Mariner probes returned the first pictures of this continental-scale trench, many proposed catastrophic flooding as its cause. But scrutiny of later images revealed no outwash or debris field left by erosion, and no sign of ponding. Nor did the short “tributaries”, ending in cleanly cut alcoves, fit any reasonable profile of a drainage system. Later probes revealed the signature of olivine in deep strata of the chasm. Since olivine readily reacts with water, its presence clearly excluded water erosion.

What force, then, could have removed two million cubic kilometers from the Martian surface? Geologists began to speculate about “unknown” causes of surface spreading and “mass-wasting” on a scale never before imagined. Prior models of planetary evolution had envisioned an isolated and inactive surface remaining undisturbed for billions of years. At best only modest internal geology was anticipated, and certainly nothing on the scale presented by Valles Marineris.

In the early 1970s, however, one of the true scientific pioneers of the 20th century, Ralph Juergens, proposed that in an earlier epoch of planetary upheaval, electrical arcs between celestial bodies created many geologic features of the Moon and Mars. As for Valles Marineris, Juergens wrote in 1974—

“..this entire region resembles nothing so much as an area zapped by a powerful electric arc advancing unsteadily across the surface, occasionally splitting in two, and now and then-weakening, so that its traces narrow and even degrade into lines of disconnected craters.”

In the years that followed Juergens’ groundbreaking work, Wallace Thornhill and his collaborators have greatly extended the investigation of electricity in solar system evolution. A flood of data from other planets and moons has reinforced their work, all pointing to the role of electric discharge in sculpting the surfaces of these bodies. According to Thornhill, “Valles Marineris was created within minutes by a giant electric arc sweeping across the surface of Mars. Rock and soil were lifted into space and some fell back to create the great, strewn fields of boulders first seen by the Viking and Pathfinder landers.”

Thornhill suggests that the discharge across the Martian surface took the characteristic form of one of the most majestic cosmic discharges in the Universe – the barred-spiral galaxy. See “Spiral Galaxies & Grand Canyons”. It includes the enigmatic “chaos” regions and vast scoured channels to the east and west.

As in arc welding, material from the electrode will be accelerated upwards against gravity. This means that any electrical event capable of creating the Valles Marineris on Mars would likely throw huge volumes of rock into space, creating vast debris clouds. Some of the ejecta would encircle Mars or fall back to the planet, while other material would presumably escape the battlefield altogether, to be encountered by the Earth and other planets across the millennia.

The electric interpretation thus removes another conundrum. It explains why Martian meteorites have arrived at Earth to perplex physicists and geologists. Until the signature of Martian atmosphere in these meteorites was identified beyond any reasonable doubt, the experts said that such rocks could not achieve escape velocity from Mars without being vaporized by the explosive force required. Electrical acceleration, however, faces no such dilemma. For millennia afterwards we might also expect the Earth to periodically encounter clouds of rusty red dust, the residue of Martian surface material removed by interplanetary lightning. This too appears to have occurred right up to the twentieth century.

The event that created Valles Marineris lofted into space something like 10,000 trillion tons of rock and dust. This can only mean that there have been far more Martian meteorites and falls of dust on Earth than geologists have recognized.

Is it possible then, that the “planet of mysteries" has remained obscure through the space age primarily because of mistaken beliefs? In earlier Pictures of the Day, we have noted the
evidence for electric activity still occurring on Mars, as dust devils and dust storms. We have reported the experimental work of plasma physicist C J Ransom who, inspired by the confidence of the electric theorists, reproduced the Martian “blueberries in a simple electrical experiment. This, in turn, provided a direct analog for one of the most baffling mysteries of all — the Martian domed craters. Yet even more baffling from any conventional vantage point is the repeated proximity of these domed craters to wormy” trenches.

Not one of these paradoxes, however, lies outside the predictive and explanatory power of the Electric Universe.