, 2 May 1999 From: Leroy Ellenberger <c.leroy@rocketmail.com>

Evidence Against Pole Shift

A friend just referred me to your pole shift web page. I hope it does not take you long to understand that Hapgood was wrong, since his ideas were superceded by the perfection of plate tectonics, if not mere physics. We know the crust has not shifted en masse over the mantle for two very good reasons: 1) the continuity of hot spot volcanism, as at Hawaii and Iceland, which is known from seismic tomography to be rooted deep in the mantle shows no gross slipping has happened, aside from ordinary plate motions (hence the island chains) and 2) any Hapgood-type crustal shift would decapitate subducting slabs, but no such shear effects are shown by seismic imaging of subducting slabs.

Furthermore, J. Laskar showed in early 1993 that Earth has not experienced gross polar wander, as Mars has, because the Moon's pull on our equatorial bulge stabilizes us from such action, unlike the case with Mars whose two moons are too small to exert such an influence. Last July when I posted remarks similar to these to Rand Flem-Ath's web page, he was none too pleased, replying that the slipping zone must be below the source of the hot-spot volcanism, which is really no solution at all for it increases the size of the slipping mass and, hence, the required torque that Hapgood's thin shell model intended to minimize.

Below find a rejected letter to GNOSIS and an excerpt from a letter in Venture-Inward bearing on pole shifts. BTW: My arguments were good enough to convince John White, author of the 1980 Pole Shift!, that such was not on the cards, now or ever; but that does not stop the A.R.E. folks from selling his book.

Here is the letter I sent to GNOSIS last year in reaction to their interview witht Graham Hancock, one of the Hapgood wannabes: GNOSIS Forum:

Let no one be deceived by the sophistry in Granham Hancock's notion about Atlantis in Antarctica (Interview, GNOSIS #38, Winter 1996). Hancock speculates on the possibility of events whose occurrence is precluded by well-known evidence which he ignores.

Despite at least five current popular books on the subject, we know the crust has not shifted as a whole over the mantle (as claimed by Hapgood) because of the continuity of hot spot volcanism, as at Hawaii, whose sources are deep in the mantle.

We know the pole has not wandered, as Mars' has because Earth's pole is stabilized by the Moon's gravitational pull on th equatorial bulge, whereas Mars' moons are too small.

We know the Sphinx cannot date to 10,500 B.C because sea level was too low then for the Nile valley to be habitable. The astronomical dating of the Great Pyramid to c. 2450 B.C. by Robert Bauva and Adrian Gilbert in The Orion Mystery (New York, 1994) puts the Giza complex in a better perspective.

Since Hancock's physical model is manifestl absurd, what about Atlantis as "an advanced civilization ...characterized by a wisdom tradition based upon deep knowledge observat-ional astronomy"? The Classicist Harald Reiche interpreted Atlantis as an astronomical allegory in K. Brecher and M. Feirtag (eds.) Astronomy of the Ancients (Cambridge, 1979/93). Professor of Music Ernest McClain showed Atlantis could be seen as a harmonic allegory in The Pythagorean Plato (York Beach, 1978).

As for early advanced astronomical knowledge, Geoffrey Ashe gives a hint of a source in the Altai-Baikal region of Siberia in Dawn Behind the Dawn: A Search for the Earthly Paradise (New York, 1992).

There is plenty of room for speculation about the roots of civilization, as an Assyriologist, Egyptologist, or Vedic scholar would attest. This is not to mention the British astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier who believe civilization and religion arose under the influence of episodic, catastrophic bombardment from the Taurid meteor stream and its parent, Comet Encke.

In The Cosmic Serpent (1982) and The Cosmic Winter (1990), they have shown that the original descriptions of angels and Satan are of comets.

The errant nonsense promulgated by misguided amateurs like Hancock reminds one of Kingsley Amis' "Lucky Jim" revelling in pseudo-research, throwing new light on a non-subject.

Also, here is a paragraph from my letter printed in the Jan/Feb 1996 Venture Inward, p. 35:

The Geologist's approach to the problem of pole shift is entirely too qualitative. He seems to fail to appreciate the stabilizing effect of Earth's equatorial bulge. His talk about mass changes in the crust and mantle affecting stability is inadequate once one realizes that to neutralize the stabilizing effect of the equatorial bulge would require an ice cap, as I have calculated, covering North America to a depth of 260 miles. No one has ever suggested such a massive glaciation.

I hope you find these items informative.


Leroy Ellenberger, "vivere est vincere" http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/velidelu.html

The location of my SKEPTIC 3:4 "An Antidote to Velikovskian Delusions" in 1995

I would also urge you to check out geologist David Leveson's 1971 book A Sense of the Earth, explicitly intended to disabuse the credulous from the seductions of such as Hapgood and Velikovsky.

Also, my "Top Ten Reasons Why Velikovsky Is Wrong About Worlds in Collision":

<http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/vdtopten.html> contains ideas that are transferrable to the pole shift issue.

I shall also forward to you my recent thoughts about the ideas of Flavio Barbiero on pole shift via asteroid impact.


Leroy Ellenberger St. Louis, MO

Back to Thoughts_from_Guests|| Back to Main Page