Donald W. Patten (1929-2014) was an American researcher and keen supporter of catastrophism. He was also a dedicated creationist. His cosmological theories were comparable to those of Velikovsky, who claimed that some of the planets in our Solar System were rearranged within the memory of man. This reorganisation involved a number of damaging close encounters by some planets with the Earth. While Velikovsky was to a great extent focused on the movements of Venus, Patten was more concerned with the activities of Mars.
Stuart Harris noted in a 2017 paper(c) that “Donald W. Patten modeled flybys of Mars as a fIxed sequence that alternated spring and fall, spaced 108 years apart. He sequenced flybys from 701 to 1404 BCE using historical records. Flybys altemated between the night of March 20-21 on odd years, and during the day of October 24 on even years.”
Harris’ paper “extends Patten’s methodology to March 7137 BC by recognizing that the 108-year interval was not constant but occasionally increased in increments of four years. Two important milestones are March 3161 BC, the Biblical Flood, and March 3761 BC, the start of the Hebrew calendar.”
Patten wrote a number of books and papers, two of which were with Samuel R. Windsor entitled The Recent Organisation of the Solar System, and The Mars-Earth Wars, which are also available online(a)(b).>One of the consequences of this ‘reorganisation’ and encounters with our neighbouring planets was a lengthening of our solar year from 360 to 365+ days(d)!
It is interesting to compare Patten’s ideas with the the 366 day year proposed by Alan Butler in The Bronze Age Computer Disc , based on his interpretation of the Phaistos Disc. His explanation has been endorsed by Sylvain Tristan(e).<
Bode’s Law or more correctly Titius-Bode’s Law is named after two German astronomers, Johann Daniel Titius and
Johann Elert Bode, who proposed in the 18th century that there was a mathematical relationship between the then six known planets and their distance from the sun, with each one roughly twice the distance as the previous planet. Although the idea was conceived by Titius, it was Bode who gave it greater prominence, when he used it to predict the existence of Uranus and later Ceres in the Asteroid Belt. At that point it was accepted as a ‘law’.
In the 19th century, Urbain LeVerrier and John Couch Adams working independently, used the Titius-Bode model combined with calculations based on Newton’s Law of Gravity to predict where the next planet, Neptune, should be found. Kamienski wrote a short paper comparing the formulae of LeVerrier & Adams with that of Titius-Bode(m).
The subject has been debated throughout the 20th century. I.J. Good, a British mathematician who worked with Alan Turing during the war at Bletchley Park, offered a paper in support of Titius-Bode in 1968(b). Bradley Efron, an American statistician, proposed an opposing view(c). Both papers are best suited to the mathematically advanced.
The late Timo Niroma has offered some interesting observations(j) on the mechanics behind Titius-Bode and developed a cosmology based upon atomic weights, noting that “What happens in small scale seems to obey the same laws on a much grander scale.”
Georgi Gladyshev, a Russian scientist, has proposed a explanation for Titius-Bode based on the work of Raphael Liesegang(g) who proposed the concept of ‘periodic precipitation’. Gladyshev applied Liesegang’s theory to the early stages of the formation of our Solar System(h)(i). Hopefully, this may bring us closer to the physics behind the distribution of the planets!
It has also been proposed that a Titius-Bode-Type ‘rule’ seems to be applicable to planetary satellite systems(d) and there appears to be evidence(a) that Titius-Bode is also applicable to exoplanetary systems!
The Titius-Bode Law has also been linked with the Fibonacci Series(e) as well as the Golden Mean(f).
Velikovskian catastrophism proposes[0037.152] that Atlantis was destroyed as a result of the periodic close encounters of our planet and Moon with Venus and/or Mars during the 1st & 2nd millennia BC. According to Velikovsky, Venus was a relatively recent newcomer to the Solar System and the orbit of Mars had been disturbed, which would suggest that prior to the arrival of Venus and the displacement of Mars, 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(n).
Louis Jacot (1906- ) was a Swiss economist and jurist who added the study of science and philosophy to his intellectual toolkit. He developed some novel cosmological theories, including enthusiastic support for Bode’s Law which he described as “the great key to the mysteries of the Universe.”  While this may be overstating his case, I cannot help feeling that Bode’s Law is an expression of cosmological principles operating in a manner not as yet identified! At its simplest the question is, are we to believe that the spacing of the planets came about purely by chance or are there unrecognised force or forces at play?
For my own 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 Fibonnaci 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 prior to 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! Can we believe that after careening around the solar system including a number of close encounters with Earth that all the planets adopted new orbits that conformed with Bode’s Law. Surely, this is a coincidence too far?
Although the ‘Law’ has been generally abandoned by mainstream scientists, there is still interest in some quarters. One of those was the British astronomer, the late Michael Ovenden (1926-1987) who produced a modified version of the original formula(k). Another version involvesan interpretation of quantum mechanics, called pilot wave theory(l)!
(m) Atlantis, Volume 13, No.1 December 1959
Normally I would ignore such drivel but as M. Dolciani has also ventured into the area of Atlantology, I feel free to comment on his views. He has decided that when Plato referred to ‘island’ he actually meant ‘centre of civilisation’, which he identifies as Egypt, the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia! His explanation for Plato’s 9000 ‘years’ is that they were in fact periods of 73 days because it agrees with both the synodical revolution of Venus and our solar year!! With reasoning like that we have little to fear from 2027.
Nibiru was a Sumerian astronomical term used to describe a planetary body that periodically approached Earth. This account was hijacked by the late Zechariah Sitchin to construct his Planet X theory in which he claimed that this planet had an orbit that took it to the outer limits of the solar system returning every 3600 years to the vicinity of Earth. Sitchin claimed that during one of these visits some of its inhabitants came to earth and become the ‘gods’ of the Sumerians. However, Sitchin failed to explain how the inhabitants of this Planet X survived the lack of heat and light that it would have had to endure as it moved away from the proximity of the Sun. For us inhabitants of Earth, a drop of just a few degrees is fatal.
However, Emilio Spedicato has a radically different and certainly more rational view of this Sumerian planet. He ascribes a much shorter orbital period of 20 years to Nibiru and claims that close encounters with this planet (and its satellites) had a dramatic physical effect on the prehistory of our planet including the capturing of our Moon, the destruction of Atlantis and later the biblical Exodus! His scenario has elements that can be traced to Velikovsky, Ackerman and Hörbiger.
Robert Solarion was a keen follower of Immanuel Velikovsky and like him was convinced that in the first and second millennia BC the Earth had suffered a catastrophic Pole Shift as a result of a close flyby of a large extraterrestrial body or bodies. Velikovsky identified these as Venus and Mars, but Solarion differed, suggesting that it was the putative Nibiru!(h)
Professor Spedicato’s November 2012 paper, From Nibiru to Tiamat, an Astronomic Scenario for Earliest Sumerian Cosmology, can be read or downloaded from the excellent Diffusion and Migration website(a). A number of his other papers can be found on the same website and are certainly worth studying.
In sharp contrast to the serious work of Spedicato, for the past couple of years, we have been subjected to a barrage of silly articles(b) linking Nibiru with the promised 2012 global catastrophes ‘predicted’ by the Mayan calendar.
A debunking of both Sitchin’s scholarship and the existence of Nibiru has been offered by a number of sites(c).
However, some people, such as David Meade (a pen-name) who describes himself as a ‘Christian numerologist’ predicted that Nibiru would collide with Earth on September 23, 2017! When this did not happen he moved the event to October, but again nothing happened. But he persisted and subsequently moved our demise to March 2018, then April, with a final suggestion for that year of between May and December(d).
In early 2021, an article on the BBC offered a potted history of the search for Planet X from the time of Percival Lowell until now(i). Although, Planet X has proved elusive, “either way, the search for the legendary ninth planet has already helped to transform our understanding of the solar system. Who knows what else we’ll find before the hunt comes to an end.”
The Expanding Earth Hypothesis.
For thousands of years it was accepted that the surface of the earth was in a static state. This belief persisted until the discovery of America in 1492 and the cartographic improvements during the following century before Abraham Ortelius in his 1596 Thesaurus Geographicus proposed that the Americas had once been joined to Europe and Africa. It is often claimed that in 1620 Francis Bacon commented on the close fit of the eastern South America with the west coast of Africa, however, this, according to G.L. Herries Davies, is an exaggerated interpretation of what he actually said(o).
A number of others concurred with the jig-saw suggestion until 1858 when the French geographer Antonio Snider-Pellegrini offered a theory of crustal movement that was more fully developed in 1912 by Alfred Wegener, which he came to label ‘continental drift’(e). Snider-Pellegrini also thought that the Earth had been much smaller at the time of the biblical Genesis(ac)! The big objection to the theory was a lack of a convincing mechanism to explain it(f).
A number of writers have attempted to bring the theory of Continental Drift (CD) into the Atlantis debate. They seem to overlook the fact CD was proposed as a very very slow process, while Plato describes the demise of Atlantis as occurring in a single day and a night.
Wegener’s theory was debated until the late 1950’s when it morphed into the theory of Plate Tectonics (PT) following new developments in earth sciences in particular the recognition of seafloor spreading at mid-ocean ridges. However, PT as we know it demands subduction(z), which in itself has created new problems(aa)(ab).
The theory divides the lithosphere into a number of plates which are constantly moving in various directions at rates of a few centimetres a year. Competing with PT in the early years was the theory of Earth Crustal Displacement advocated by Charles Hapgood which claims that the entire crust of the earth moved as a unit. Endorsed by Albert Einstein it is fundamental to the theory of an Antarctic location for Atlantis proposed by Rose & Rand Flem-Ath.
Unfortunately, Plate Tectonics does not explain everything and ever since it gained the pre-eminence it currently enjoys, various writers have questioned what they perceive as its shortcomings(g)(h)(i).
A totally different proposal is that the earth is expanding. Although the concept did not get much attention until the 1980’s there are antecedents stretching back to 1888(a), when the earliest suggestion was made by the Russian, Ivan Yarkovsky (1844-1902). A year later the Italian geologist (and violinist) Roberto Montovani (1854-1933) proposed(I) a similar mechanism. In 1933, Ott Christoph
Hilgenberg(t) published Vom wachsenden Erdbal (The Expanding Earth) .
>In 1963, a Russian lady, Kamilla Abaturova, wrote to Egerton Sykes expressing the view that although her theory of an expanding Earth involved a ‘slow’ process, she proposed that at the time of Atlantis’ the radius of the Earth was 600 km shorter(af). In geological terms this is far from ‘slow’!<
The leading proponent of the theory today is arguably the geologist Dr. James Maxlow(b). A detailed outline of the theory is also offered on his website(c). For laymen like myself a series of YouTube clips(d) are probably more informative. I have stated elsewhere that I am sympathetic towards the idea of earth expansion finding it somewhat more credible than plate tectonics. The truth of the matter is that since Ortelius first suggested that the continents of our planet had moved, all that has emerged since is a refinement of that basic idea leading to CD which became PT and as the latter still does not answer all the questions it raises, it is clear that further modification will be required. The Expanding Earth Hypothesis may, as its proponents claim, supply all those answers. Others do not think so, which brings me to J. Marvin Herndon who has ‘married’ the theory of an expanding earth with the idea of crustal plates(j) , naming his 2005 concept Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics (WEDD).
The Thunderbolts.info website has a three-part article seeking to offer “an alternative to plate and extension tectonics”. The anonymous author suggests than an electrical element is involved in the development of our planet. An extensive look at mountain building is also included(y).
Keith Wilson, an American researcher, has also developed a website(k) devoted to the EEH and linking it to Pole Shift. However, he goes further and introduces Mayan prophecies into the subject, which in my view is unwise in the light of recent events or rather non-events!
In the meanwhile a number of Atlantis researchers have endorsed the EEH including, Stan Deyo, Georg Lohle and Rosario Vieni. Nicolai Zhirov referred to the growing support both in Russia and elsewhere for the EEH citing a number of its supporters, adding that “the idea of the Earth expanding (within reasonable limits) cannot be ruled out altogether as absurd.”[458.126]
A number of websites have dismissed the EEH as pseudoscience, which is confirmed by satellite measurements.(m)(n).
There is also a variation of the standard expansion theory which proposes(q) that expansion may have occurred in fits and starts. There also seems to be evidence that the Earth is not alone with Venus expanding(r) and Mercury contracting(s).
Another matter that may be related to the claim of an expanding Earth is the question of the size of dinosaurs and other creatures and plants millions of years ago, which is claimed to have been impossible if gravity then was the same as today. A book by Stephen Hurrell has expanded on this idea. There is an interesting website(p) that deals with the enormous size of the dinosaurs as well as other creatures at the same period and the support it may offer the EEH.
Neal Adams, a respected graphic artist(u), is a vocal supporter of the EEH(v), but, he has gone further and has also proposed a growing Moon as well(w). Not content with that, he has extended his expansion investigations to other bodies in our Solar System, such as, Mars, Ganymede & Europa(x). Adams considers the term “Expanding Earth” a misnomer and has named his proposed expansion process ‘pair production’.(ad)
A December 2018 paper by Degezelle Marvin offers some new support for the EEH(ae) . The author includes an interesting comparison of the problems of the currently accepted paradigm of plate tectonics with possible solutions offered by EEH. The author concludes with;
“The problems with plate tectonics were presented in this paper. Earth scientists dogmatically follow the plate tectonics theory that is falsifed by geological data while Earth expansion is clearly a viable candidate to replace plate tectonics. Analysis map of the age of the oceanic lithosphere showed that the isochrons only ft on a smaller Earth with calculated radius. Mountain formation has even been presented as a logic result of the Earth’s expansion. The average rate of the growth of the Earth’s radius is 1.22cm/year, obtained by geological methods.”
Finally, I cannot help thinking about those Victorians who thought that they had reached the pinnacle of scientific understanding. They were wrong and, I believe, that so are we, although we are slowly, very slowly, edging towards the truth, which may or may not involve the vindication of the Expanding Earth Hypothesis.
(y) https://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16534 (link broken Oct. 2019) See: https://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-3326/
(af) Atlantis, Volume 16, No. 1, February 1963.
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 drama 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 be read on the Velikovsky Encyclopedia website(f), which is appropriate given that it was inspired by Velikovsky’s cosmology.
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 Fibonnaci 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 Fibonnaci 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 to 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 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.
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.
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 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, which can be read online(h). 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 claims was subsequently ‘captured’ by the Earth.
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 Electro-Gravitic Theory of Celestial Motion and Cosmology and its possible application to Velikovsky’s theories(v).
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).
John Ackerman (Pseudonym; Angiras) was born in Philadelphia and studied at the John Hopkins University, where he received a degree in physics. After 35 years concerned with satellites and lasers, he retired early to study the work of catastrophist Immanuel Velikovsky and is now a leading exponent of that school of thought.
Ackerman has developed his own particular brand entitled ‘cyclical catastrophism’(b). This particular aspect is developed in his book, Egyptian Astrophysics, which explores the Egyptian texts relating to the cyclical close encounters of the Earth with Mars and Venus between 3700 and 687 BC, proposed by Velikovsky.
Velikovsky claimed a number close encounters with Mars in the 7th and 8th centuries BC. The idea was taken up by, among others, Donald Patten (1929-2014) and more recently expanded upon by Stuart Harris(c).
He claims to have identified two celestial events that occurred some 11,640 and 10,340 years ago, which had a profound effect on the Earth and its inhabitants. Students of the Atlantis question cannot fail to note that the older date coincides exactly with the date that was apparently given to Solon for the demise of Atlantis.
Excerpts from Ackerman’s books are available on his website(a) where he outlines a bizarre view of Atlantis that closely mirrors that of Alan Alford, marrying it with the more extreme ideas of Velikovsky, placing it on Mars during a close encounter with the earth, with “its location now buried under the northern icecap on Mars”.
>Ackerman has also published, To Catch a Flying Star , in which he claims to offer a scientific explanation for the propulsion system employed by UFOs(d)!<