The Moon and its origin have been the subject of speculation for centuries, examples of which are reviewed below. Professor Robert M. Hazen of George Mason University tells us in The Origin and Evolution of the Earth(ad) that “three competing theories—the fission theory, the capture theory, and the co-accretion theory—were all in contention prior to 1969, but the treasure trove of Apollo Moon rocks provided the answer: None of the pre-1969 theories worked……….The Moon is now thought to have formed as the result of an epic impact with a Mars-sized planet that was competing for the same solar system real estate as Earth. Earth was bigger and won, but the Moon was formed from the debris of the impact.”
The impact theory received a boost from the results of a study carried out at Durham University involving the use of a supercomputer for modelling(ag).
The Moon has little connection with Plato’s Atlantis story apart from the more extreme speculations of some writers. One of the wildest is that the Atlanteans had established a research facility on the Moon(a), an idea rivalled by that of Alan Butler & Christopher Knight in their book, Who Built the Moon, in which they propose that the Moon was ‘constructed’! This idea has now been revived by Rob Shelsky. In 1965, the Umland brothers proposed that the Moon was a communications relay station for the Maya to make contact with their home planet!
In his recent book, Dead Men’s Secrets [1910.299], Jonathon Gray suggested that ancient texts support the idea that man has visited the Moon in the distant past! This is available as a pdf file(ac).
In 1970, Michael Vasin and Alexander Shcherbakov, of what was then the Soviet Academy of Sciences, advanced a hypothesis that the Moon is a spaceship created by unknown beings.(k) These ideas inspired the title of Don Wilson’s 1976 book, Our Mysterious Spaceship Moon . Two years later Arnold L. Lieber published The Lunar Effect  in which he put forward his theory of ‘biological tides’ that proposes that the Moon affects human behaviour. This seemed to reinforce the popular belief that aggression and even suicides were affected by the phases of the Moon. Commenting on Lieber’s theory at the time, astronomer Dr Nicholas Sanduleak debunked his claims(aa).
The idea that the Moon was to some extent hollow was given impetus in the 1970s when a study of moonquakes revealed that the Moon ‘rang like a bell’ (i). Now, nearly half a century later, Wallace Thornhill, a leading Electric Universe proponent, has endorsed the hollow Moon idea and seems sympathetic to the idea of a hollow earth. This was expressed at a recent EU conference and be viewed at the 40-minute mark of a YouTube video.(j)
Neal Adams, a respected graphic artist(s), is probably best known for his work on the DC Comics characters Batman and Green Arrow. He is a vocal supporter of the Expanding Earth Hypothesis(t), but, he has gone further and also proposed a growing Moon as well(u)(r). Not content with that, he has extended his expansion investigations to other bodies in our Solar System, such as Mars, Ganymede & Europa(v). Adams considers the term “Expanding Earth” a misnomer and has named his proposed expansion process ‘pair production’!
The origins of the Moon have also been the subject of extensive controversy with one side claiming that it had been ‘captured’ by the earth, while the other extreme argues that it had been ‘expelled’ from our planet. The expulsion theory posits(b) that a collision with another celestial body tore material from the Earth, which in time became our Moon(h). Nils Olof Bergquist writing in the 1940s supported the expulsion scenario and had his original Swedish book on the subject translated into English as The Moon Puzzle.
Aloys Eiling (1952- ) is a German researcher who has offered a variation on the Moon capture theory, suggesting that it took place when our planet was already populated – somewhere between 40,000 and 13,000 BC. He notes(ab) that “the capture of the Moon caused worse than a flood; it changed the geography of the world. Earth’s surface was devastated, millions died, and life in total was brought to the brink of extinction. In the collective memory of mankind, the event indelibly remained in the myths about a Deluge.”
The most radical of the captured moon school was Hanns Hörbiger, who proposed that there had been a series of Moon captures. Many of his ideas were adopted by H.S. Bellamy, who added that the capture of our current satellite had destroyed Atlantis. Kurt Bilau has also proposed a moon capture theory that incorporates two near encounters before finally becoming our current satellite(ah)(ai).
Nikolay Bonev, the astronomer, caused a stir in 1961 when he expressed the view that our Moon had once been an independent planet(d) that had experienced violent volcanic eruptions that were powerful enough to have produced a ‘recoil’ effect, which nudged it towards our Earth’s orbit and was eventually captured as our satellite.
In 1948, an amateur astronomer, L.C. Suggars, endorsed the idea of the Moon as a captured planet, based on its diameter/density ratio, which was consistent with that of the other minor planets (Mercury, Mars, Venus & Earth).(w)
More recently Emilio Spedicato expressed similar ideas(c) and in another paper(aj) he wrote “we consider the Sumerian tradition of a planet, called Nibiru, claimed to approach Earth every 3600 years. We argue that the real period was 20 years and that a close passage of that body near Earth around 9500 BC ended the last Ice Age and the Atlantis civilization. Moreover Earth a satellite of Nibiru became our Moon, in addition to the previous satellite, that was Mars. We discuss ancient statements that Moon originally looked bigger and brighter than now and that the period of about 2400 years when there were two satellites explains the myth of Isis and Osiris. We argue that Nibiru around 6900 BC disappeared in a giant impact on Jupiter.“
Stuart L. Harris has proposed(m) that the planet Nibiru had a close encounter with our Earth in 9577 BC that destroyed Atlantis, followed by another visit in 9417 BC during which it lost one of its satellites, which became our Moon!
Immanuel Velikovsky wrote a short paper(af) reviewing the three most popular theories regarding the origins of our satellite and concluded that “Since mankind on both sides of the Atlantic preserved the memory of a time when the Earth was without the Moon, the first hypothesis, namely, of the Moon originating simultaneously with the Earth and in its vicinity, is to be excluded, leaving the other two hypotheses to compete between themselves.” I think it noteworthy that Velikovsky makes no reference to the theories of Hörbiger in this paper. In 2020, Velikovsky’s unfinished book, In the Beginning , promoted as a prequel to Worlds in Collision, was finally published, where he returns to the matter of the Earth without its Moon.
John Ackerman, a keen follower of Immanuel Velikovsky claimed that there were two catastrophic events related to “the capture of the Moon into its current orbit,” marking both the beginning and the end of the Younger Dryas period(p). Although Ackerman was an admirer of Velikovsky’s work, he was also critical of some of his conclusions(x).
The Moon controversies continue with the recent suggestion by Erik Asphaug, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who claims that originally the Earth had two moons that coalesced into a single satellite (n)! A few years earlier, Dr Martin Jutzi from the University of Bern, Switzerland put forward a similar theory involving a smaller second moon that had a slow-motion collision with the larger satellite. He proposed that this event explains “why the near side of the Moon – the one visible from Earth – is flat and cratered while the rarely-seen far side is heavily cratered and has mountain ranges higher than 3,000m.”(z) Jutzi thought that samples from the far side of the Moon might confirm the theory.
Gary Gilligan, a catastrophist, also supports the concept of moon capture but dated this event to as recent as 2000 BC(f) and then later advanced it to 1200 BC(g). He claims that he can “show that the moon could not have existed during prehistory as evidenced by the absence of the moon in Neolithic artwork and artefacts.” A comment that ignores the maxim ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.’
Researcher, Mark Andrew commenting on Gilligan’s claims wrote that “Although Gilligan promises more evidence to come, his theory has to contend with the varied evidence of an earlier Moon, including the earliest known written myth of the Moon’s death and rebirth, the epic poem Descent of Inanna (dating from 1750 BC), and also the oldest known map of the moon (dating from 2800 BC).”(l)
Ticleanu, Constantin & Nicolescu in their paper delivered to the 2008 Atlantis Conference very briefly touched on the origin of the Moon. They claim that our Moon, a former planet, was captured by our Earth sometime within the last 40,000 years [750.368].
Two American commentators, Kevin A. & Patrick J. Casey maintain that a globally catastrophic event occurred 13,000 years ago(ae). The kernel of their theory is that originally the Earth had two moons that at some later point collided, producing our current Moon, while the remnant of the second one eventually exploded over North America kick-starting what we refer to as the cooler Younger Dryas period. They are adamant that it was not a comet or asteroid that caused the devastation, and so clash with the conclusions of Richard Firestone and his colleagues.>They refer to this as the 13K Event, which is also known as the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis (YDIH).<
Unexpectedly, the orbital speed of the Moon appears to vary on its trip around the Earth(e).
Some of the ideas above regarding the origin of the Moon are extremist and are far more radical than a recent theory regarding the Sun proposed by Ev Cochrane, a comparative mythologist, in a YouTube clip(o), where he offers evidence that the Sun as observed in ancient times seemed quite different to how we see it today. This is borne out by the related mythologies and petroglyphs from our ancient past and shows a global consistency that cannot be explained by imagination.
Professor Neil F. Comins of the University of Maine challenged his students with the question ‘what if the Moon didn’t exist?’ The responses were interesting (no eclipses) and amusing (a new word for ‘lunatic would be required), but not always correct (no tides). One important consequence would be an eight-hour day(q).
>Even more challenging are recent comments from Randall Carlson in an exchange between Carlson and Jesse Michels(ak).
JM “Do you believe that there are survivors of ancient Atlantis among us, perhaps with underwater bases or bases on the Moon and advanced technology!”
RC “Now there’s a loaded question, Jesse.” [pause] “I would say, a very provisional – Yes!”
Unfortunately, Michels did not pursue the matter in the clip available.<
(a) See: Archive 3334
(w) Atlantean Research, Vol.1, No.2, September/October 1948
The Saturn Theory(b) suggests a radical revision of our understanding of the recent history of our solar system. It involves the re-positioning of Saturn, Venus, Earth and Mars and that this complex celestial choreography was recorded in the mythologies of the ancient world. There are several competing models of the theory, one has Earth as a satellite of Saturn, while another has our planet at least closer to Saturn.
The late Amy Acheson (1946-2005) suggested that a vindicated Saturn Theory will demonstrate that “Atlantis was not an earthly location” but was a celestial “variation of the mythical home of the gods” (a).
Ev Cochrane has written an overview of the Saturn Theory(e). Some of the theory’s variants can also be read on the Velikovsky Encyclopedia website(f), which is appropriate given that it was inspired by Velikovsky’s cosmology.
David N. Talbott was a keen supporter of Velikovsky’s ideas regarding Saturn’s earlier pre-eminence as a planetary god and wrote The Saturn Myth in support of this contention. This book is now available online(g).
Although I am a supporter of catastrophism I find it hard to accept any of the Saturn Theory’s variants. I am also a convinced euhemerist and believe that myths often contain cores of historical reality. Unfortunately, myths can be notoriously ambiguous and consequently where they record remarkable sights in the sky what is interpreted as a close encounter by one person can with equal conviction be seen as an approaching comet by another.
For me, the clincher is that the previous arrangement of the solar system, posited by the Saturn Theory, would conflict with the relative harmony of Bode’s Law, even if we do not understand its underlying principles. A 1974 paper(c) by Oreste and Margaret Lombardi compared Bode’s Law with the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Mean when applied to our solar system. The authors concluded, “that there is some underlying law involving gravitation and the golden mean that determines both aphelion and apogee distances.” With respect to some underlying gravitational principle, R. Louise, the French astronomer, remarked(d): “that satellite systems mimic the planetary system suggests some possible unsuspected property of gravitation.”
For my part, I have always felt that Bode’s Law was a highly convincing concept, but, unfortunately, I do not have the mathematical or astronomical ability required to objectively verify its reality, nor the proposed Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Mean relationship with it. It would appear that acceptance of Bode would create difficulties not just for the Saturn Theory but also for Velikovsky’s idea that Venus was just a large piece of ejecta from Jupiter that had catastrophic close encounters with Earth and Mars, within human experience, just a few thousand years ago. Such an idea would mean that before the Saturnian rearrangement of the planets or the Velikovskian creation of Venus, the positional relationship of the planets probably did not conform to any known mathematical model but after this/these calamitous events everything ‘coincidentally’ settled into orbits that are now claimed to conform to Bode, Fibonacci and the Golden Mean! All this is a coincidence too far.
Immanuel Velikovsky (1895-1979) was born in what is now Belarus. He was by profession a doctor of medicine, specialising in psychiatry. However, his fame is based on being arguably the most controversial catastrophist of the 20th century. He daringly proposed that the Earth had several close encounters with other planetary bodies that resulted in catastrophic consequences, including interference with the rotation of our planet. He speculated that Atlantis was probably destroyed during one of these cataclysmic events.
John Kettler is an American writer on alternative science and was a frequent contributor to Atlantis Rising magazine. In issue #30(z) of that publication, he reviewed the disgusting manner in which members of the scientific community endeavoured to prevent the publication of Velikovsky’s books. In order to give you the full flavour of the nastiness of their methods, I add three paragraphs here.
“The scientific and academic reaction to the book (Worlds in Collision) was generally presaged by the extortion practised prior to and after publication against the Macmillan Company. As the book began to garner public and in some circles even scientific interest and acclaim, all pretence of genteel discussion went by the boards. Out came the mailed fists, the naked threats and oceans of mud and offal. The attacks targeted three main groups: the public, the scientific and academic community, and Immanuel Velikovsky himself. Nor were such niceties as actually reading the book before denouncing it and its author employed.
Even before the Macmillan Company published the book, renowned astronomer Harlow Shapley arranged multiple intellectual well poisonings by an astronomer, a geologist, and an archaeologist, not one of whom had read the book, in a learned journal. This was a pattern used over and over again.
Shapley and his minions also engineered the sacking of the veteran senior editor (25 years at the Macmillan Company) who accepted Worlds in Collision for publication and got the director of the famous Hayden Planetarium fired for the high crime of proposing to mount a display there, on Velikovsky’s unique cosmological theory. Meanwhile, Velikovsky was systematically attacked in the scientific journals, via distortion, lies, misrepresentation, incompetence and ad hominem attacks, while there never seemed to be space in which he could reply, in order to defend himself.” J. Douglas Kenyon included Kettler’s revealing essay in Forbidden History [802.53].
Some have seen the influence of Ignatius Donnelly’s Ragnarok, written seventy years earlier, in Velikovsky’s cosmic collision theories. Some commentators have noted how Velikovsky seemed reluctant to credit earlier writers, such as W. C. Beaumont and Johann Radlof (1775-1846)(b), with their contributions to the development of the theory of planetary catastrophism. Rens Van Der Sluijs has written an interesting two-part paper(d)(e) listing the catastrophists who preceded Velikovsky demonstrating a certain lack of originality on his part! Others take a more critical view of his ideas(g). In 1950, he responded to this criticism with a defensive piece(n), but I consider it inadequate as he continued to ignore the work of Radlof and Beaumont. Some years ago Ev Cochrane and Phil ‘Pib’ Burns also discussed Velikovsky’s reluctance to credit earlier writers for ideas used by him, compared with the recognition given by Clube & Napier to the work of Velikovsky(x).
Van Der Sluijs has written a two-part(k)(l) article on Velikovsky’s radical views regarding Venus as a comet-like body and how Aztec sources support some of his contentions.
Carl Sagan (1934-1996), was a well-known American astronomer, author and lecturer. He is considered a leading debunker of Velikovsky’s theories. He devoted much of his Broca’s Brain  to this end. Charles Ginenthal (1934-2017) produced an extensive rebuttal of Sagan’s criticisms in Carl Sagan & Immanuel Velikovsky . However, criticism of Velikovsky continues with varying degrees of ferocity, such as that of Leroy Ellenberger, a former supporter of Velikovsky, who contends that the data from the Greenland ice cores fail to support Velikovsky(s).
Velikovsky and Einstein were acquaintances and as Nathaniel Lloyd wrote in his three-part blog on chronological revisionism(y) that when Velikovsky “asked Einstein to read his work and give an opinion. Einstein suggested that Velikovsky might have a hard time finding a publisher, specifically because “every sensible physicist” would realize that the catastrophes Velikovsky described would have completely destroyed the Earth’s crust. Nevertheless, Einstein was kind about his criticism, and Velikovsky was undeterred. But years later, in Einstein’s very last interview, his opinion was less delicate: ‘It really isn’t a bad book,’ he said, laughing. ‘The only trouble with it is, it is crazy’.”
Velikovsky was initially inclined to link the disappearance of Atlantis with the eruption of Thera but later came to support a location between the Azores and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge(i). He was an early questioner of Plato’s figure of 9,000 years for the age of Atlantis, suggesting that it was exaggerated by a factor of ten[0037.152]. ”Whatever the source of the error, the most probable date of the sinking of Atlantis would be in the middle of the second millennium, 900 years before Solon when the earth twice suffered great catastrophes as a result of ‘the shifting of the heavenly bodies.’ These words of Plato received the least attention, though they deserved the greatest.”
Velikovsky offered intriguing evidence that on at least one occasion the early Egyptians experienced the sun rising in the west and set in the east(q)!
His other major contribution was in his questioning of the accepted Bronze Age chronologies of the eastern Mediterranean. Later writers, such as David Rohl and Peter James have built on his chronology work, while Gary Gilligan has added support for Velikovsky’s planetary theories as well. Others have accused Velikovsky of being over-dependent on his belief in the inerrancy of biblical chronology.
One website(a) provides us with a considerable amount of Velikovsky’s unpublished work, while another offers an encyclopedia of his work(c). A more general German site(f), in English, is also worth a visit.
The three of Velikovsky’s most popular books as well as some of his lesser-known papers are available as pdf files(j)(m).
Jan Sammer was an assistant to Velikovsky (1976-1978) and an archivist and editor for the Velikovsky Estate (1980-1983). He advises us that he was involved in the completion of Velikovsky’s unpublished book, In the Beginning(h), which was eventually published in 2020 <. The book’s contents were originally intended to be part of Worlds in Collision. In it, you will find more details of Velikovsky’s claim that within the memory of man there was a time when we had no Moon, which he claimed was subsequently ‘captured’ by the Earth.>He wrote a short paper in 1973 entitled Earth without a Moon and published by the editors of Pensée in Velikovsky Reconsidered [1877.86], but without any reference to Hanns Hörbiger.
According to Velikovsky, Venus was a relatively recent newcomer to our Solar System and the orbit of Mars had been disturbed, which would suggest that before the arrival of Venus, Bode’s Law would have been invalidated! C.J. Ransom has tackled this head-on in The Age of Velikovsky [1880.90]. However, his defence of Bode and Velikovsky was rejected by Dr M. M. Nieto(t).
In 2012, Laird Scranton, published The Velikovsky Heresies, in which he reviews Velikovsky’s controversial theories in the light of scientific discoveries since his death. Not unexpectedly, Scranton does find evidence that supports some of Velikovsky’s contentions.
Ralph E. Juergens, an American engineer, supported Velikovsky with the idea that electromagnetic and electrostatic forces and not conventional celestial mechanics alone were responsible for the cosmic encounters witnessed and recorded by our ancestors(u).
In the late 1990s Sean Mewhinney (1944-2016), a Canadian researcher published a series of papers(w) that was highly critical of Velikovsky’s theories. Much of his criticism was focused on ice-core data. Once again, Charles Ginenthal took up the challenge, responding with an extensive paper entitled Minds in Denial, later the title of an ebook  that include the original paper. Ginenthal also published a book on the Electro-Gravitic Theory of Celestial Motion and Cosmology and its possible application to Velikovsky’s theories(v).
>In 2021, Bob Forrest(aa), a British retired mathematics teacher had re-published a book of over 700 pages entitled Velikovsky’s Sources, which deals with Worlds in Collision. It had been originally issued as a series of seven booklets between 1981 and 1985. These have now been combined in one volume and edited by Donald Keith Mills and available on the Academia.edu website(ab). The content is a critique of Velikovsky’s work and now forty years later Forrest still believes “that Velikovsky was spectacularly wrong.”<
Some readers may wish to see a video by Wallace Thornhill, of Electric Universe fame, in which he discusses Velikovsky’s Astrophysics(o). There are several related papers and books, including some Velikovskian material, freely available online(p).
(z) Atlantis Rising magazine #30 http://pdfarchive.info/index.php?pages/At