James M. McCanney's book, Planet X, Comets and Earth Changes
(for more information about this book, "click" HERE) is sub-titled: a scientific treatise on the effects of a new large planet or comet arriving in our solar system, and expected earth weather and earth changes. [1]

In his book McCanney makes a strong case for,

(1) the fact that the new electrodynamic paradigm in astronomy and astrophysics has already been established

(2) that it is being vehemently opposed and denied by the scientific, academic establishment, including and especially NASA.

(3) that there is overwhelming evidence for the reality of and existence of a new large planet or comet arriving in our solar system and that
(4) NASA and a majority of the astronomic and astrophysical establishment, have a vested interest in completely denying all these points

(5) that he has written his book in order to place before the public the truth as he sees it.

(6) that the reason for the urgency is that the new "intruder" into the solar system is going to cause massive earth changes. The question, he states, is not whether the changes will occur, but when.

The authors of this review have written it in the spirit of point (5) above.


That is to say, for them there is only one reason for writing the review. It is to pass on, as best they can, the evidence that McCanney presents, in order that readers may make up their own mind, and draw their own conclusions.





The old paradigm for understanding the origin and functioning of the solar system is overwhelmingly dominated by gravitational mechanics. It dates back to Newton when little was known about electricity. Similarly, the Kant-Laplace hypothesis concerning the nebular original of the solar system knows only gravitation; electro-magnetism plays no part in either the origin or functioning of the system.


The same is true of the next major step in the history of scientific cosmology – Einstein’s 1917 “Cosmological Considerations Concerning the General theory of Relativity”.

In the 1940’s and 1950’s, Velikovsky championed the importance of electromagnetic phenomena in the solar system, both in his books, and in his correspondence and discussions with Einstein, in which Velikovsky insisted that, “celestial mechanics …without taking into account the electromagnetic fields…is in conflict with the facts.”


At about the same time, this theme was taken up by the mathematical physicist Hannes Alfven, in great experimental and theoretical detail as described below.





The nature and importance of “the fourth state of matter”, and specifically of matter in an electrically charged state, has a history that goes back to Crookes in the 19th century. Crookes realized that gasses through which an electrical current has been passed, themselves acquire a charge.


In 1928, Langmuir coined the term ‘plasma’ to describe that mixture of gas, charged ions and electrons. The advent of plasma physics has created a revolution in science which has not yet been fully recognized. Indeed, partly by accident, and partly with cold deliberation, the reality of the plasma revolution in cosmology has been utterly played down.

The groundwork for the new electromagnetic dimension of cosmology, crystallized around a single outstanding figure - Professor Hannes Alfven and his team at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

1942 marked the beginning of Alfven’s application of hydrodynamic theory to plasma physics. He created the magnetohydrodynamic equations describing the motion of plasma as a fluid in electromagnetic fields. He drew attention to the fact that,

Waves of electrons and ions are found not only in laboratory plasma but also in the atmospheric and solar plasmas.” [2]

Such waves are now known as Alfven waves, and for this work, Alfven shared the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physics.

In 1946, Landau formulated the equations that describe the interaction between particles and waves in plasma, and about the same time Bohm used the term plasmons to refer to the concerted behavior of electrons in a plasma.

Let us take a brief look at the first two editions of Alfven’s Cosmical (sic) Electrodynamics, published by the Clarendon Press, Oxford, in 1950 and 1962 respectively. The second edition was co-authored by Falthammar, and the English of both editions has an interesting Scandinavian flavor. In 1954, Alfven published On the origin of the Solar System which, in 1975, was expanded as Structure and Evolutionary History of the Solar System, co-authored with Gustaf Arrhenius.

In the Preface (written in 1948) to the first edition of Cosmical Electrodynamics, Alfven spoke softly, but already sounded a big drum:

“Recent discoveries have revealed that electromagnetic phenomena are of greater importance in cosmic physics than used to be supposed. The time now seems to be ripe for an attempt to systematically trace the electromagnetic phenomena in the cosmos…”

In the General Survey, Alfven continued :

“It seems very probable that electromagnetic phenomena will prove to be of great importance in cosmic physics. Electromagnetic phenomena are described by classical electrodynamics which, however, for a deeper understanding, must be combined with atomic physics. This combination is especially important for the phenomena occurring at the passage of current through gaseous conductors which are treated by the complex theory of ‘discharges’ in gas. No definite reason is known why it should not be possible to extrapolate the laboratory results in this field to cosmic physics.” (op.cit. p.1)

What emerges from a comparison of the two editions is the consolidation of the densely mathematical and cosmological arguments of the first, into the virtual certainty of the new paradigm in the second.


As the authors point out in the preface to the second edition:

A The purpose of the first edition...was to draw attention to a field of research in an early state of the fundamental principles of plasma physics and magneto-hydrodynamics...the magnetosphere...interplanetary space, to solar physics and to cosmic radiation. During the 15 years that have elapsed since the first edition was written, the subject has been developed by two of the largest research efforts of our time: thermonuclear research has increased our knowledge of magneto-hydrodynamics and plasmas, and... space research has been devoted to the exploration of the magneto-hydrodynamic conditions around the Earth.

Consequently, the second edition incorporates all the relevant findings from these new fields of research - plasma physics as developed in thermonuclear research etc., along with the early space data into the consolidation of the crucial importance of electrodynamics in astronomy and astrophysics.

Thus Alfven states,

“In cosmic physics, electromagnetic processes have recently attracted a rapidly increasing interest, and it is now generally realized that they are of fundamental importance…In the interior of the Earth there exist electromagnetic processes by which the earth’s general magnetic field is generated. In the ionosphere electric currents change the earth’s magnetic field, especially during magnetic storms, and also produce luminous phenomena, aurorae, in certain regions around the geomagnetic poles…


In the magnetosphere, a complicated and rapidly varying system of currents [were] found by space research measurements. In certain regions (the radiation or Van Allen belts) there is also a flux of high-energy charged particles trapped in the magnetic field.”

(Cosmological Electrodynamics, 2nd edition, p.1)

Furthermore, “The conditions in the ionosphere and the magnetosphere of the earth are influenced by the electromagnetic state in interplanetary space, which in turn is affected by the sun. There are a number of solar electromagnetic phenomena …sunspots, prominences, solar flares, etc. In other stars electromagnetic phenomena are of importance, most conspicuously in the magnetic variable stars.” (ibid., p.1.)

Alfven goes on to point out that it was not “until classical electrodynamics had been combined with hydrodynamics to form magneto-hydrodynamics, which further must be combined with plasma physics in order to allow a deeper understanding of electromagnetic phenomena in cosmic physics.” (ibid., p.2.)

The term ‘plasma’ refers to an ionized gas, an ensemble of neutral molecules, electrons, positive and often also negative ions, together with the energy released from the excited atoms.


Alfven stresses the crucial importance of plasmas for cosmology.

“The properties of plasmas are of paramount interest in cosmic physics because most of the matter in the universe is in the plasma state. In the interior of stars, the gas is almost completely ionized. In the photosphere of the sun (and other stars) the degree of ionization is not very high, but above the photosphere, in the chromosphere and the corona, the ionization is …again almost 100%.


Vast regions of interstellar space, particularly around the hot stars of early spectral type, are highly ionized…In the sun and interplanetary space, probably also in interstellar and intergalactic space, the plasma is penetrated by magnetic fields…As a consequence, the astrophysicist’s interest in plasma physics is mainly concentrated on magnetic plasmas.”

(Alfven, op.cit. p. 134)

In their volume Structure and Evolution of the Solar System , (published in 1975 by Reidel), Alfven and Arrhenius continue to refine their astrophysical model. In their Introduction, they assert that

“Many of the ‘generally accepted’ theories [in this field] lack a valid foundation” (p.xv) One such theory “which cannot stand critical examination is the Laplacian concept of the formation of the sun and the solar system by non-hydromagnetic processes”. (p. xv)

They go on to criticize the fact that whereas,

“[I]n most other fields of cosmic physics it was realized already 25 years ago that electromagnetic processes have a dominating influence on the dynamics of cosmic gas clouds (plasmas), the majority of cosmogonic papers published today are still based on the assumption that such forces can be neglected”

(p. xv)

This is only marginally less true today than when it was stated by Alfven in 1975.

Alfven and Arhenius insist that,

“The processes involved in the formation of celestial bodies in our solar system requires us to use not only the methods of ordinary chemistry and ordinary celestial mechanics, but also those of plasma chemistry and magnetohydrodynamics …generally ignored or incorrectly applied…”

(op.cit., p. 4)

Here is how Falthammar, a colleague of Alfven described the situation in 1988:

“ It was widely believed that cosmic plasma would have negligible resistivity…From that it was  [mistakenly] concluded that the electric field would be a secondary parameter, of little importance…Therefore, electric fields, and especially magnetic-field-aligned electric fields, which we now know to be of crucial importance, were long disregarded. Even today, only a few space missions in the outer magnetosphere have included measurements of electric fields.” [3]

“It is a sobering fact”, adds Falthammar, “that even after hundreds of satellites had circled the earth, the concept of our space environment was still fundamentally wrong in aspects as basic as the existence and role of electric fields…of the near Earth plasma itself.”

Leaving these earlier, but absolutely essential contributions to our understanding of the fundamental electromagnetic component of the solar system, which complement, and certainly do not exclude, the classical gravitation/inertia view of celestial dynamics, let us see how and where McCanney fits into the picture.





McCanney took up the baton in 1979 and the early 1980's at the Physics and later the Math departments at Cornell. Given the retardation effect with respect to the electromagnetic component, that Alfven has made clear, it is easy to understand, yet utterly lamentable that McCanney was not given tenure at by either department.


The other side of that coin is that McCanney was free to take up the role of “an independent scientist, not subject to the pressures of the scientific community, peer pressure or governmental non-disclosure agreements and funding.” (ibid. p. 32)

Cornell had certain advantages: the Library was part of the Library of Congress network, so if a book was in print, it was available. Even more importantly, it was a repository of data from NASA. As we read in the introduction to his book,

Armed with his existing theoretical work, and this incredible source of information and with the timing that coincided with the daily arrival of new data from the Voyager and other space craft, he [McCanney] was in a totally unique position to do what he has done (loc.cit. p.iii)

In other words, schematically speaking, McCanney took over where Alfven left off. Here is the core of McCanney’s position with respect to the electromagnetic part of the paradigm.





(1)       “Our solar system acts like a large electrical circuit… Our sun forms an electric capacitor (a separation of electrical charge as done by a simple DC battery in a flashlight)

(2)       This solar capacitor has its negative pole at the surface of the sun, and also has a negative pole far out beyond the outer planets in the form of a sparse nebular cloud of dust and gasses.


(3)        “An excess current of protons… continually generates and supports the solar capacitor by way of the ‘solar wind’ (literally a wind of such particles leaving the sun and blowing outwards into space)

Solar Wind

(4)        All stars and galactic nuclei, and even unlit small stars such as our ‘planets’ Jupiter and Saturn are producing …cosmic batteries around themselves.

(5)         This is a natural by-product of the nuclear fusion process (the burning of nuclear fuel such as hydrogen, helium, etc.) in the atmospheres of these celestial objects.” (McCanney, op.cit. p.10)

(6)        “The sun is powered at its atmospheric surface by an electrical fire of hydrogen and helium that we call ‘fusion’ that is constantly ignited by energetic lightning bolts in its turbulent atmosphere. It is the local electric field at the outer surface of the sun (the solar corona of high energy electrons) that hurls the vast solar flares out into the far reaches of the solar system. The positively charged protons are accelerated outwards, while the negatively charged electrons are retarded, thus causing what I have called the excess current of protons in the solar wind. The sun produces far more energy in the form of electrical energy than it does in the form of light energy.” (ibid. p.13)

(7) To give an idea of the stupendous magnitude of solar flares, they “release the force of 10 million volcanic eruptions in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, a single coronal mass ejection (CME) can carry “more than 10 billion tons of hot, electrically charged gas” [i.e. plasma] from the sun’s corona into space, “ a mass equivalent to that of 100,000 battleships” packing a punch “comparable to that of 100,000 hurricanes” and traveling at “between 1-5 million miles an hour.”

(8)        “The power of CME lies in its ability to drive currents in the Earth’s magnetosphere” and “if the magnetic field carried by The CME has a southward orientation (opposite Earth’s northward-flowing magnetic field lines) the magnetosphere gets a major jolt…transferring…millions of amperes of electric current to the magnetosphere.” (Carlowicz and Lopez, op.cit. p.89) This can knock out power lines and electric generators, and disrupt all forms of electronic communication.

(9)         That is as far as the establishment position goes - and Carlowicz & Lopez represent the establishment viewpoint which McCanney denounces, because it deliberately fails to warn against the far greater dangers which the solar storms hold – namely their capacity, when triggered by comets or planets intruding into the solar system, to produce major earth changes such as polar shifts, flash freezing of continents, which certainly occurred in the past. That Carlowicz & Lopez do in fact mislead their readers is evident from their statement, on p.91, that “storms from the sun cannot harm life on the surface of the Earth.”

(10)      “In the summer of 2001, at the recommendation of a panel of space and solar physicists, NASA announced the cancellation of the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) program. The Agency decided that ‘official co-ordination of the international missions was a scientific luxury it could no longer afford.’ NASA withdrew its support for the (solar) Wind mission, and for participation in Japan’s Geotail mission.


Funding for some of the key elements of the ISTP success story – the theory and modeling programs, the data centers, the ground-based observatories – was almost entirely cut off.” [6]


Why? Because the co-ordination of the data from all of those sources would have let the cat out of the bag and made it a lot more difficult to sustain the two illusions that,

(1)   electromagnetism plays a negligible part in solar physics and

(2)   there is no real, imminent threat of major catastrophic Earth changes.





When celestial body such as an asteroid, a comet or a planet enters the solar capacitor,

“it will cause a localized and then more extended electrical discharge of the capacitor. This much like the backyard bug killer or ‘zapper’ that discharges when a bug flies between the high voltage screens.”


What happens next is that,

“the increased electrical activity imparted to the solar atmosphere ignites a higher level of nuclear fusion causing the sun to become excited above its normal levels and may ignite small to very large solar flares. Small comets have many times been observed to directly cause solar flares as they pass near the sun.”

(ibid., p.16)


Planet X being pulled into our solar system

(watch Video - "click" on photo)

“Small comets generally discharge only the small localized regions of the solar capacitor, whereas the very large ones can discharge up to and including the entire capacitor… These are the ones (such as the anticipated Planet-X) which are growing much larger and pose a serious threat to the existing planets including Earth.”


Now here is the crux of the matter:

“The sun is currently at levels never experienced before and it is increasing to record levels of activity every day. We were supposed to have peaked in the year 2000 with the ‘solar maximum’… We are currently over two years beyond that, and there is no end to the increases in sight. It definitely indicates that the sun is currently interacting with a large intrusion into the solar capacitor.”


The intruder is capable of “action at a distance” in the following manner.

“The comet would discharge to the solar surface causing a significant solar flare that could blow a huge wall of high energy protons our way, causing an alteration of [Earth’s] magnetic field structure [which under ordinary circumstances, acts as a protective shield] and cause electrical and cyclonic storms at the surface of the earth.” (pp.21-22)

This in turn could trigger massive Earth changes of the kind that are known to have already occurred in the geological record.




“Earth has been subjected to a close encounter by at least one massive new comet becoming a planet in the time frame of no more than 10,000 years ago. The time frame that clearly makes] sense for the last event is approximately 3,500 years ago, the time we see a dramatic transition between ‘pre-history’ and the digging of ‘modern man’ out of the devastation. There is no longer any other possible scenario and modern science is impeding progress each day that it holds the reins of power and prevents this reality from blossoming forth.” (op. cit., p.100)

It was Velikovsky who fifty years ago pioneered the above hypothesis and McCanney has a special tribute to Immanuel Velikovsky in which McCanney insists on the value of Velikovsky’s insight: says McCanney:

“NASA scientists have been repeating…for 25 years that ‘Velikovsky has been proven wrong.’ It is time to set the record straight. It was NASA that was [and is still] wrong. Velikovsky single-handedly did more for the advancement of true science than all of the NASA scientists in the last 3 decades combined.”

(p. 102)

The proceedings of the Second IEEE International Workshop (published in Astrophysics and Space Science Vol. 227, 1995, and reprinted in book form the same year by Kluwer Academic Publishers as Plasma Astrophysics and Cosmology ed. Peratt, A.L.) fully support the immense importance of electromagnetism in the practical and theoretical study of cosmology.


The most obvious reason for this importance lies in the fact that 99% of the matter in the universe is in the form of plasma –which is composed, precisely, of electromagnetically charged gas, ions and electrons.

McCanney goes on to assert that, on the basis of the electromagnetic theory of solar system and planetary formation, the solar system was not born at a single point in time. It began with the Sun and Jupiter. All the other planets were integrated into the solar system by capture.


They began as comets in elliptical orbit, but as they accreted more and more debris by virtue of their electrical charge and attraction, they slowed down and their orbits settled into circular motion around the sun.

“We clearly know today that the pre-planet comet [that became Venus] was CAPTURED by Jupiter, a process that is very common, and well understood mathematically, and has been observed as every one of the major planets…have associated families of comets that were captured. …Venus is a hot new planet.”


A similar process of capture is happening with Planet X. The perturbations of the solar corona bear witness to its entry into the solar system. The question is not whether it is there or not, the question is when will its presence cause major earth changes.

Planet-X on 01/28/02 and 03/03/03

“The Sun is currently at levels never experienced before, and it is increasing to record levels of activity every day…


It definitely indicates that the sun is currently interacting with a large intrusion into the solar system”


However, McCanney states that the timing of the earth changes cannot be accurately predicted because “even if a large new object were known about today with exact location and orbital information, its orbit will change on a daily basis and the true orbit and location will elude prediction… although rough estimates can be made if an actual candidate is identified.”

(McCanney, op.cit., p. xii)




It is a major contention of McCanney’s that NASA and the academic astronomy and astrophysical establishment have been, and still are, engaged, not only in peddling the antiquated pre-electrical paradigm of celestial functioning, but also that they are engaged in a massive cover-up. He says, therefore, “ It is imperative that the public turn to the truth of what is really going on, and force NASA to release any data regarding new planets or other large objects.”

However, McCanney fears that the opposite is going to happen:

NASA will work harder and harder to put their name, and their incorrect and borrowed information (mixed with their outdated and incorrect theories) in the public eye through news releases, TV and weather specials and newspaper articles.” (McCanney, op.cit. p. xii)

“It is essential that the public recognize them for who they are and what they are. It is also important that the public understand the correct information so they’re not lead down the wrong path by what appear to be well-educated scientists who stand behind their Ph.D.’s and government funding”

“It is safe to say that the NASA scientists are in complete denial. They hide behind a news release system in which no one can ask them questions, they hide behind their own referee system in which they referee their own articles, or, as in the case of automatic publication in SCIENCE or NATURE journals, articles are not refereed at all.”


What really is at stake, according to McCanney, is that “for every day that NASA sits back, says nothing and collects an ill-gotten paycheck, it is…another day that the human civilization on this planet goes unprepared for a critical time of survival as a species.”


McCanney brings before the bar of public opinion the following statements:

NASA was caught lying and producing doctored photos to prove that the comet Hale-Bopp did not have a companion…NASA began blatantly hiding data from many space investigating facilities including the Hubble Space Telescope, the SOHO solar observatory…NASA developed public relations offices whose …function was to…fend off problematic people like myself with planned disinformation campaigns.”  

(McCanney, p.44)

“The NASA news release system is strict and comes only from designated NASA news points in Goddard Space Center, and Jet Propulsion Labs. Individual scientists are under strict non-disclosure agreements…These scientists …cannot discuss or admit publicly any event that might cause ‘public alarm’. That is why the data regarding a new arrival like Planet X will not be allowed from the halls of NASA. They are under strict contract NOT to tell the public.”

(McCanney, op.cit. p.49)

“ [It] is clear…that NASA has observed such objects [as Planet X] and is hiding the data from the public.” (p.32) Similarly: “There is clear evidence that NASA is now hiding data that would prove that there is another massive object inbound into the solar system with potential for devastating effects on planet Earth.”

(p. 101)