Science of the third millennium


This is a beautifully written piece which pretty much sums up the impact Wallace’s work has on a lot of people including yours truly.

The Electric Universe: Slide Presentation & Notes by Wallace Thornhill
(KRONIA, Beaverton, Oregon, 1997)

Reviewed by Amelia Acheson

Thornhill’s presentation offers a visual invitation to toss aside the
straightjacket of paradigm paralysis and to explore the Solar System
from an electric point of view. He covers an enormous range of
phenomena, from subatomic particles through stellar evolution,
floodlighting our understanding of the universe with insights garnered
from mythical symbols, space probes, and the plasma physics lab. As an
illustration, let me compare the received explanation re the tail of
Halley’s Comet with Thornhill’s electric account, both presented in
light of photographs returned by the ESA spacecraft Giotto in March,
1986. The standard theory has it that: “Comets grow tails only when
they get warm enough for ice and dust to boil off…[O]n the [sunward
side], jets of gas and dust spurt from active holes in its surface and
are illuminated by the sun.”[1]

Thornhill’s electrical theory of the same data reads: “The fly-by of
Comet Halley didn’t show material being boiled away, instead it showed
plasma beams centered on craters facing the Sun. What we saw were
circular craters being formed right in front of the Giotto cameras —
producing the same kind of scarring seen on asteroids and moons. That
the material was being electrically removed was confirmed by the
discovery of x-rays and high energy ions near the nucleus.”

Thornhill goes on to discuss non-gravitational orbital anomalies, then
attacks received opinion which states that a comet is defined by its
size and composition. He claims instead that it is the eccentricity of
the orbit of a celestial body, moving it into regions of increasing
electrical stress, which creates the visible tail. “A planet on such
an orbit would put on a spectacular cometary display…” (p. 48.)

Thornhill found his motivation to leave the comfortable highway of
orthodox astronomy and explore the lonely out-back of a new paradigm
in the study of catastrophist mythology. Along the way, he
incorporated insights from plasma physics and atmospheric electrical
phenomena. The process of synthesizing these viewpoints into a new
paradigm involved years of research, but Thornhill summarizes it
admirably in a single picture, one so startling that it appears three
times in this notebook. The photo in question shows an ancient statue
of Zeus, thunderbolt poised in his up-raised hand. But the object
called “thunderbolt” isn’t the familiar zigzag lightning symbol.
Instead, it’s a bundle of corkscrew filaments within a football-shaped
envelope, a form recognizable today as a plasmoid. The ancient artist,
who presumably had no experience in plasma labs, sculpted a likeness
that has been meaningless for centuries — until a replica was
produced in modern times by connecting two electrodes in a vacuum to a
high-voltage source. Is this a coincidence, or were the thunderbolts
of Zeus interplanetary electrical discharges?

Thornhill recommends Eric J. Lerner’s, The Big Bang Never Happened,[2]
as an introduction to the concepts of the electrical universe. I
agree, but with a couple of reservations. It should come with a
warning: Lerner’s political and religious opinions (including, but not
limited to, barbs against catastrophism) may be offensive to some
readers. In addition, while describing the scalability of plasma
phenomena, jumping from events in the lab to similar events in
galaxies, his imagination fails him at the stellar scale. Once inside
the orbit of Pluto, Lerner drops the electric paradigm for the more
conventional gravitational Solar System and nuclear powered Sun. This
— the electric Solar System — is precisely the arena that
Thornhill’s notebook covers.

Thus, Thornhill challenges us to drop the accepted view of the Sun as
an isolated fusion factory and think of it as a focal point of
galactic electrical energy. He tells us: “…although it is true that
a plasma is a good conductor, it is very limited in its ability to
carry current. So, if the rate of charge separation within the galaxy
exceeds the capability of the plasma threading the spiral arms to
carry it, the plasma will be under constant stress and current will
flow continuously, powering the stars within it.” (p. 28.)

In defense of this outrageous claim, Thornhill points out that stellar
electrical discharges provide a simple explanation for solar phenomena
that have baffled the atomic energy paradigm. Among these mysteries
are: Where did all the neutrinos go if the Sun is fusion-powered? Why
is the corona so much hotter than the surface of the Sun? Why do the
outer layers of the Sun rotate faster than the inner? Why does the
solar wind accelerate as it gets farther from the Sun? And what are
sunspots, anyway? Thornhill’s presentation compares close-ups of
sunspots to Birkeland currents — the distinctive twisted filaments
that plasmas form because of their long-range attraction and
close-range repulsion. He speculates that sunspot activity, as well as
the size and color of a star, are functions of the strength of the
galactic plasma field the star is embedded in. In this viewpoint, even
gravity becomes a variable, dependent on the electrical field in which
an object is orbiting.

Of course, no new theory can stand without predictions against which
it can be tested, and Thornhill’s predictions are no less outrageous
than the rest of his theory. For example: “…there are no
supermassive stars. The masses of close orbiting stars, where plasma
sheaths touch, are incorrectly deduced from gravitational forces
alone…I believe there are no such things as neutron stars…[and] we
are left with none of the necessary precursors to the infamous
black-hole…[T]hey are an unnecessary fiction required simply because
astronomers consider gravity to be the only force driving the cosmos.
An infinitely weak force requires an infinite concentration of mass to
create the energetic events witnessed in deep space. The mathematical
necessity does not make it real.” (p. 32.)

The questions packed into the seven pages from 25 to 32 of Thornhill’s
notebook titled “What is the Sun?” are enough to inspire many volumes
of research. But Thornhill goes on for another 70 pages, describing
how the electrical paradigm affects our understanding of the rest of
the Solar System. At every scale, on every planet, satellite, asteroid
and comet, he finds evidence to support an electrically driven system,
one involved in recent turmoil. He compares discharges in the
high-voltage lab to lightning scars on golf courses to lava tubes in
Hawaii to sinuous rilles on the Moon. He finds that these enormous
scars on the Moon, called rilles, have more in common with lightning
scars than with collapsed lava tubes, which is the conventional
astronomical explanation.

On Mars, Thornhill claims that Valles Marineris, the gash across the
face of the planet which the North American Indians called Scarface,
is an example of a cathode discharge, like the lightning scars on a
golf course. He interprets Olympus Mons, the biggest “volcano” in the
Solar System, as an anode discharge, a giant “blister,” comparable to
fulgamites found on lightning conductors after a strike.

When it comes to Venus, Thornhill displays photographs of unique
arachnoid, or spider web, patterns of craters and rilles, along with
on-channel cratering and parallel channels terminating in craters. All
are characteristic of electrical discharges. Astronomers haven’t yet
agreed with catastrophists that Venus is young, but they now refer to
its pristine appearance as “recently resurfaced.”

Thornhill’s theory replaces the impact model of crater formation with
an electrical discharge model for a majority of the craters in the
Solar System. In defense of this viewpoint, he points out that most
craters are round, whereas impact craters would more likely be
elliptical. They appear in lines along the bottom of, and parallel to,
sinuous rilles on many celestial bodies. Often, the craters on
asteroids and the smaller moons are so large that if they were formed
by impact the entire body would have been destroyed. (Mars’ moon,
Phobos, appears in one photograph as an illustration of this point.)

When I first saw Thornhill’s original slide presentation on which this
notebook is based, one slide stood out for me as the most dramatic
moment of the entire show. Near the end of the lecture (p. 91 in the
notebook), the room was buzzing with side conversations. Without
waiting for the whispers to die down, Thornhill projected his next
picture. Someone gasped, and I turned to look. On the screen I saw
twenty-one comets stretched out in a celestial shish kebab, one that
remained coherent (the few off-line bodies actually moved continuously
into straighter alignment) for a full two-earth-year-long orbit. Until
I saw that slide, my view of the Saturn thesis was darkened by the
skeptical thought: “Sure, catastrophism is probable. Even the
electrical nature of the cosmos is beginning to make sense. But who in
their right mind, no matter what the ancient sources state, could
accept the concept of celestial bodies strung out in a coherent line?”
But this slide wasn’t a cave artist’s interpretation from the dim
reaches of myth. It was a photograph taken through a telescope in
1994: Comet Shoemaker-Levi 9. An observer looking toward Jupiter from
any one of the outer bodies would have seen the others centered on
Jupiter, their cometary tails layered into a cosmic mountain or tree.

Hubble image of Shoemaker-Levy 9 on 1994-05-17 21 icy fragments stretched across 710 thousand miles (1.1 million km) of space, or 3 times the distance between Earth and the Moon.

Emotionally, Thornhill’s presentation was the event that, for me,
changed the polar configuration from an interesting interpretation of
mythology to an astronomical possibility. In addition, Thornhill has
given me the richness of a new paradigm through which to view the
universe. But Thornhill isn’t asking for followers, only for
objectivity. He thus sums up the notebook with:

“…it is up to you to
decide whether what I am presenting is merely science fiction — or
the beginnings of the science of the third millennium of the present
era. If the latter, it is a far richer science which has no rigid
disciplinary boundaries and encompasses all of human experience. That
is the kind of science I would wish for my grand-children.”


[1] J. R. Spencer & J. Mitton, The Great Comet Crash (Cambridge,
1995), p. 2.

[2] (N. Y., 1992).

Amateur Astronomer and Thunderbolts team member Amy (Amelia) Acheson (1946 – 2005) edited the Thoth ‘catastrophics’ newsletter. If you wish to immerse yourself thoroughly in the Science of the third millennium that is probably not a bad place to start getting up to speed. Thoth archives here:

I found her beautiful text buried on this website via a google search. It doesn’t seem to be linked to the main work so I have republished it. A bit more digging shows it was published in a  Velikovskian magazine Aeon V:2 (Apr 1998) ( Ev Cochrane the publisher is also deceased so I’m not really sure who to write to for permissions – probably editor Dwardu Cardona ( awesome Star Wars name 🙂


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