Anthony L. Peratt has an impressive CV. He is recognised as a leading expert on high-energy-density plasmas and plasma related phenomena.
He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, and a former graduate student of Hannes Alfvén (the father of plasma physcis and plasma cosmology). He is also a former scientific advisor to the United States department of Energy, and he is a member of the Associate Laboratory Directorate of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has also worked on nuclear fusion and the monitoring of nuclear weapons.
The Mythology and Catastrophism pages of this Ancient Testimony section discuss the possibility of planetary catastrophism; the idea that the planets of our solar system shifted on their orbits within human memory, with tumultuous results here on terra firma. This view is generally ascribed to Immanuel Velikovsky, although many before him promoted similar ideas.
Like comparative mythologist and historical linguist Rens van der Sluijs on the previous page, however, plasma physicist Anthony Peratt is not a Velikovskian in any sense, although he also accepts that plasma phenomena in antiquity can explain much in 'myth and legend', as per the below.
"The recurring petroglyph patterns are reproductions of plasma phenomena in space." Anthony Peratt, 2003
See also previous page. The realisation that objects and artwork from the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age carry patterns associated with high current Z-pinches provides an insight into the origin and meaning of these ancient symbols. It has been discovered that many archaic petroglyphs can be classified according to plasma stability and instability data. As the same morphological types are found worldwide, the comparisons suggest the occurrence of an intense aurora, as might be produced if the solar wind had increased between one and two orders of magnitude, millennia ago.
The Ouroboros as an auroral phenomenon
Again, see also the previous page. Following an exhaustive survey, Peratt and Rens van der Sluijs have suggested that the Ouroboros has a specific origin in time, no later than the 5th or 4th millennium BCE, and was ultimately
based on globally independent observations of the intense aurora.
Specifically, the ouroboros could have represented an auroral oval seen as a whole, at a
time when it was smaller and located closer to the equator than now. That could have been the case during geomagnetic excursions; when the geomagnetic field weakens, its
minor poles gain in strength and some of the magnetic poles shift places.
Tok Thompson and Gregory Allen Schrempp allow that this new idea might "mark a bold new interdisciplinary venture made possible by modern science."
Petroglyphs/rock art in antiquity
What are the ancients, with their strained voices echoing across the
centuries, trying to tell us?
From around 50,000 BC rock art focussed on
hunting, animal, and fertility symbols, as might be expected, but this suddenly
changed. Between roughly 12,000 BC and 500 BC it found a more abstract form which
is uncannily reminiscent of reproducible plasma phenomena. Dragons, serpents,
spirals, and 'stick men' et al are recurring motifs throughout this period. (It is very difficult to be precise about the date of rock art.) The orientation and location of the petroglyphs is clearly important, and there morphology dependent on latitude. Furthermore, they were very often created in inaccessible and perilous locations, such as on precipices and escarpments, and with a clear view north or south. It is as if the ancients wished to observe and shield their eyes, in turn, from the phenomena.
The following PDF is strongly recommended. Although a little technical, it is the definitive paper detailing the relationship between petroglyphs and Plasma
phenomena in antiquity.
A selection of images from the paper:
"...modern astronomical evidence does not support the common supposition that the night sky has been unchanging for 5000 years." William Napier, astronomer, Armagh Observatory
Birkeland currents and the magnetosphere.
"In volume, 99.999% of all the observable matter in the universe exists in the plasma state. This led to the coinage of the term Plasma Universe." Timothy Eastman
56 and 28 fold symmetry
The Earth's aurora pictured from a satellite.
Plasma columns tend to filament into 56 individual currents (Birkeland currents). The number is usually 56 regardless of the current or size of the column. Above left is a depiction of an auroral tunnel, and above right a witness plate with filament hole locations.
The 56 and 28 fold symmetry of objects in antiquity is ubiquitous. These range around the world from geoglyphs (stone-rings), megaliths, and other constructs, to concentrical petroglyphs. The most famous 56 fold symmetric megalith is probably Stonehenge, pictured right, which is a unique megalithic structure near the town of Amesbury in Wiltshire, UK. Concentric in shape, it has two outer banks of earth, approx. 100m in diameter. The structure is circular with gaps. Adjacent the surrounding banks are circular and half-circular ditches, each with a radius of 5m to 6m and each having a three-concentric pattern. Within the banks are the Aubrey Holes. Now filled, these marker holes are equally spaced at 56 points around a great circle that cuts across the small concentric ditches.
Native American headresses very often sport 56 feathers, too. A few more randomn examples of 56 fold symmetry are pictured below.
"Plasma seems to have the kinds of properties one would like for life. It’s somewhat like liquid water—unpredictable and thus able to behave in an enormously complex fashion. It could probably carry as much information as DNA does. It has at least the potential for organizing itself in interesting ways." Freeman Dyson
Top left, pictograph in northern Arizona, United States. Top right, the Lightning Brothers, Ingaladdi, Northern Territories, Australia. Above left, Grandatirum, Saudi Arabia. Above right, Windjana pictograph, Australia.
SIS Talk at Redhill, UK
Peratt gave this fascinating talk at the SIS (Society for Interdisciplinary Studies) meeting in Redhill, UK, 2005. Significantly, at 2:20 he recalls his surprise at seeing many of the images for the first time outside a classified plasma environment, when they were presented to him by mythologist David Talbott! He was therefore inspired to spend many years researching rock art in the field, inadvertently becoming an authority on plasma mythology in addition to plasma physics.
During the questions section at the end, he also mentions the difficulty in getting related research published. Specialists who may have spent decades in their respective areas are generally not happy when new research suddenly undermines their 'expertise,' needless to say. Workarounds exist, but the 'money trees' (research funds) tend to support the prevailing 'wisdom.' Hannes Alfvén often spoke out about these problems inherent with peer review.
"The 'myths' are very accurate." A Peratt
"The peer review system is satisfactory during quiescent times, but not during a revolution in a discipline such as astrophysics, when the establishment seeks to preserve the status quo." Hannes Alfvén