Scientists have been concerned about the active Sun cycle we have been in and how a massive geomagnetic storm could drive the entire civilization mad. Historically, these solar disturbances may have started the mythology of vampires; namely, Velku, the Sun Demon from Greek folklore. Through a weird and non-intuitive property of electromagnetism, the electricity coursing through the atmosphere will begin to induce currents on Earth’s surface. This could trigger massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions while significantly disrupting our electrical grid. How does civilization prepare for such a cosmic onslaught? Tonight on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis talks about VELKU – THE ARRIVAL OF THE SUN DEMON.
So last night in order to relax, I sat down and did some channel surfing and found myself on one of those nostalgia channels that run reruns of sold science fiction shows. The Twilight Zone was on –and I decided to watch. It was the episode called “The Midnight Sun.”
Rod Serling gave the low and foreboding narration:
“The word that Mrs. Bronson is unable to put into the hot, still, sodden air is ‘doomed,’ because the people you’ve just seen have been handed a death sentence.
One month ago, the Earth suddenly changed its elliptical orbit and in doing so began to follow a path that gradually, moment by moment, day by day, took it closer to the sun. And all of man’s little devices to stir up the air are now no longer luxuries—they happen to be pitiful and panicky keys to survival. The time is five minutes to twelve, midnight. There is no more darkness. The place is New York City and this is the eve of the end, because even at midnight it’s high noon, the hottest day in history, and you’re about to spend it in the Twilight Zone.”
Science fiction has a way of becoming reality.
Scientists have been concerned about the active sun cycle we have been in and how a massive geomagnetic storm could drive the entire civilization mad.
Activity on the solar surface follows a cycle of roughly 11 years. At the beginning of each cycle, clusters of sunspots form at the middle latitudes of both solar hemispheres. These clusters grow and migrate toward the equator. Around the time they’re most active, known as solar maximum, the sun’s magnetic field flips polarity. The sunspots wane, and solar minimum comes. Then it happens all over again.
Today, in the 25th solar cycle since regular record-keeping began, scientists don’t have much to show beyond that migration pattern. They don’t fully understand why the poles flip. They cannot explain why some sunspot cycles are as short as nine years while others last 14. They cannot reliably predict how many sunspots will form or where coronal mass ejections will occur.
What is clear is that a big one can happen in any kind of cycle: In the summer of 2012, during the historically quiet Cycle 24, two mammoth coronal mass ejections narrowly missed Earth. Still, a more active cycle increases the chances of that near miss becoming a direct hit.
Without a guiding theory of solar dynamics, scientists tend to take a statistical approach, relying on strong correlations and after-the-fact rationales to make their predictions.
Sun spots are tricky and sometimes they can be seen as cosmic muzzles on a gun.
Photons flare in every direction, and a slug of magnetized plasma fires outward like a bullet.
When the next solar storm approaches Earth and the deep-space satellite will send out an alert —maybe an hour in advance, or maybe 15 minutes, if the storm is fast-moving—alarms will sound on crewed spacecraft.
Astronauts will proceed to cramped modules lined with hydrogen-rich materials like polyethylene, which will prevent their DNA from being shredded by protons in the plasma. They may float inside for hours or days, depending on how long the storm endures.
The plasma will begin to flood Earth’s ionosphere, and the electron bombardment will cause high-frequency radio to go dark. GPS signals, which are transmitted via radio waves, will fade with it.
Cell phone reception zones will shrink; your location bubble on Google Maps will expand. As the atmosphere heats up, it will swell, and satellites will drag, veer off course, and risk collision with each other and space debris. Some will fall out of orbit entirely. Most new satellites are equipped to endure some solar radiation, but in a strong enough storm, even the fanciest circuit board can fry.
When navigation and communication systems fail, the commercial airline fleet—about 10,000 planes in the sky at any given time—will attempt a simultaneous grounding.
Pilots will eyeball themselves into a flight pattern while air traffic controllers use light signals to guide the planes in. Those living near military installations may see government aircraft scrambling overhead; when radar systems jam, nuclear defense protocols activate.
Through a weird and non-intuitive property of electromagnetism, the electricity coursing through the atmosphere will begin to induce currents at Earth’s surface. As those currents race through the crust, they will seek the path of least resistance. In regions with resistive rock (in the US, especially the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes, and Eastern Seaboard), the most convenient route is upward, through the electrical grid.
This could trigger massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
The weakest points in the grid are its intermediaries—machines called transformers, which take low-voltage current from a power plant, convert it to a higher voltage for cheap and efficient transport, and convert it back down again so that it can be piped safely to your wall outlets.
The largest transformers, numbering around 2,000 in the United States, are firmly anchored into the ground, using Earth’s crust as a sink for excess voltage. But during a geomagnetic storm, that sink becomes a source. Most transformers are only built to handle alternating current, so storm-induced direct current can cause them to overheat, melt, and even ignite. As one might expect, old transformers are at higher risk of failure. The average American transformer is 40 years old, pushed beyond its intended lifespan.
Prolonged national grid failure is new territory for humankind.
Documents from an assortment of government agencies and private organizations paint a dismal picture of what that would look like in the United States. Homes and offices will lose heating and cooling; water pressure in showers and faucets will drop.
Subway trains will stop mid-voyage; city traffic will creep along unassisted by stoplights. Oil production will grind to a halt, and so will shipping and transportation. The blessing of modern logistics, which allows grocery stores to stock only a few days’ worth of goods, will become a curse. Pantries will thin out within a few days.
The biggest killer, though, will be water. Fifteen percent of treatment facilities in the country serve 75 percent of the population—and they rely on energy-intensive pumping systems. These pumps not only distribute clean water but also remove the disease- and chemical-tainted sludge constantly oozing into sewage facilities. Without power, these waste systems could overflow, contaminating the remaining surface water.
Water is also used to cool nuclear reactors in power plants — we could see radiation accidents happen as well.
History has given us horror story after horror story about what happens when the earth goes dark from a cosmic storm.
It is where all of your most horrific fantasies become reality.
The sun has played this game of Russian roulette with the solar system for billions of years, sometimes shooting off several coronal mass ejections in a day. Most come nowhere near Earth. It would take centuries of human observation before someone could stare down the barrel while it happened.
On September 1, 1859, Richard Carrington, a 33-year-old brewery owner and amateur astronomer, was in his private observatory, sketching sunspots—an important but mundane act of record-keeping. At that moment, the spots erupted into a blinding beam of light. Carrington sprinted off in search of a witness. When he returned, a minute later, the image had already gone back to normal. Carrington spent that afternoon trying to make sense of the aberration. Had his lens caught a stray reflection? Had an undiscovered comet or planet passed between his telescope and the star? While he stewed, a plasma bomb silently barreled toward Earth at several million miles per hour.
When a coronal mass ejection comes your way, what matters most is the bullet’s magnetic orientation. If it has the same polarity as Earth’s protective magnetic field, you’ve gotten lucky: The two will repel like a pair of bar magnets placed north-to-north or south-to-south. But if the polarities oppose, they will smash together. That’s what happened on September 2, the day after Carrington saw the blinding beam.
Electrical current raced through the sky over the western hemisphere. A typical bolt of lightning registers 30,000 amperes. This geomagnetic storm registered in the millions. As the clock struck midnight in New York City, the sky turned pink and then there plumes of yellow and orange. Fearful crowds gathered in the streets. Over the continental divide, a bright-white midnight aurora roused a group of Rocky Mountain laborers; they assumed morning had arrived and began to cook breakfast. In Washington, DC sparks leaped from a telegraph operator’s forehead to his switchboard as his equipment suddenly magnetized. Vast sections of the nascent telegraph system overheated and shut down.
The Carrington Event, as it’s known today, is considered a once-in-a-century geomagnetic storm–and scientists say that of course, it can happen again — and it can even be much stronger than what happened in 1859.
To understand those cosmic events you have to go back thousands of years — and at this moment in time the magnetic fields shifted causing animals and humans to become more feral and beastly — it arguably was the very event that sparked the mythologies about vampires.
We are being told that our days have been numbered. We either hear it from the New Age thinkers who see doomsday in ancient calendars, or we are told by politicians and scientists that our days on Earth will be cut short because of Earth changes and dire predictions of environmental disaster due to the abuses we have allegedly committed against nature.
In the so-called science fiction apocalypse, movies and books often show us what comes after nature‘s various tests and trials. It is a form of predictive programming that wishes to paint a picture of how a few survive among the dead and the sick.
In the movies and in the comic books we arrive on the scene in the aftermath of a catastrophe. It is then the characters have to fight off the zombie hoard or deal with the alien invasion — arriving before an event that triggers the catastrophe makes the story drag a bit and then someone decides that maybe a prequel is in order — that maybe someone does care about how the protagonists went from event A to event B and why there was a need to survive after a worldwide catastrophe.
During the show last night — I was completely fixated on the Pink Black theory — that I did not get to something that I have been semi-obsessed with.
I was reading one of the websites I frequent and there was a picture that haunted me. The picture was that of an ancient Greek terracotta statue of what looked like the classic face of Nosferatu — the vampire.
The Terracotta sculpture was found on the site of Lefkandi (Euboea), dated to c. 950 BCE.
From what I surmised the statue represented some sort of monster or mutant that appeared after a geomagnetic event. The sun sent a bolt of plasma to the earth and years later the people there were allegedly visited by what were called sun demons.
They were hairless creatures with sharp teeth and were known to eat humans and feast on their organs.
This wasn’t the first time I had seen something like this. I once worked on a documentary, where I narrated several stories about cosmic catastrophes. There was a segment that dealt with Paleolithic art or art from the Old Stone Age.
The artists of that epoch in time would paint pictures of animals, trees and vegetation on the walls of caves and dwellings. Then the artists disappeared and new artists emerged.
These Neolithic artists created artwork that rarely depicted animals and vegetation.
They depicted their surroundings as barren with ghostly and alien-looking images.
Most people claim that these strange-looking beings were extraterrestrial visitors to our earth. However, there are new theories that claim that Neolithic artists had to hide in their caves as the earth went through a magnetic shift. The art reflected a shift in brain chemistry and a shift in the natural order.
The images on the caves reflected what mankind saw at the time under the electronic cloud and magnetic pole shift changes that had a lasting effect on brain chemistry.
Many walls and rocks show that the artists drew what appear to be stick figures of men.
However, there were other figures that were drawn showing stick figures with larger heads and many arms and legs. Some were depicted with huge lightning bolts coming down out of the sky and touching the heads of these unknown creatures.
It was of course theorized that they could have been aliens, but some scientists believed that a plasma discharge from the sun created a magnetic current enough to change some of the men and kill some of the animals.
Progressively the artwork became erratic and some of the theorists believed that whatever the cave dwellers were drawing eventually attacked and killed off their group.
It seems a bit coincidental that in the tales of vampires that go all the way back to ancient Greece — the creatures are nocturnal and fear the direct sunlight.
This raises the question yet again about mega events and what happens to us mentally and physically when the Earth decides to shake off the excess baggage.
I did some more research on the sun and the magnetic field and how it affects civilization — and how it has triggered many different events –that have seriously affected the climate, the environment and populations.
It is also the source of many stories of people turning on people, creating mental instability much like we see in science fiction films depicting the zombie apocalypse.
I wanted to cover this on the show last night but we did not have time — but it was still relevant and important to understand.
We humans have almost vanished off the face of the earth many times than we realize. It is true that we all seem to think that civilization would not be wiped clean from the planet but using mega risk theory, we learn that perhaps mini deaths occur, and little by little, Earth mega risks build up over time.
Add all of us up, all 7 billion human beings on earth, and clumped together we weigh roughly 750 billion pounds.
This is more than 100 times the biomass of any large animal that’s ever walked the Earth. And we’re still multiplying. Most demographers say we will hit 9 billion before we peak.
Populations have waxed and waned — and even though people are demanding we save the planet, they probably won’t tell you that if the earth wants a species to go — it will find a way to devour it little by little.
Once in our history, the worldwide population of human beings skidded so sharply we were down to roughly a thousand reproductive adults. One study says we hit as low as 40.
Forty sounds really bad — and it sounds unbelievable– Well, the technical term is 40 “breeding pairs” (children not included). More likely there was a drastic dip and then 5,000 to 10,000 bedraggled Homo sapiens struggled together in pitiful little clumps hunting and gathering for thousands of years until, in the late Stone Age, we humans began to recover.
Then came the magnetic bombardments, causing earthquakes, violent storms, and volcanic eruptions.
Around 70,000 B.C., a volcano called Toba, on Sumatra, in Indonesia went off, blowing roughly 650 miles of vaporized rock into the air. It is the largest volcanic eruption we know of, dwarfing everything else.
That eruption dropped roughly six centimeters of ash — the layer can still be seen on land — over all of South Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian and South China Sea. According to the Volcanic Explosivity Index, the Toba eruption scored an “8”, which translates to “mega-colossal” — that’s two orders of magnitude greater than the largest volcanic eruption in historic times at Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which caused the 1816 “Year Without a Summer” in the northern hemisphere.
With so much ash, dust and vapor in the air, it’s a safe guess that Toba “dimmed the sun for six years, disrupted seasonal rains, choked off streams, and scattered whole cubic miles of hot ash and mud across acres and acres of plants.
African game became scarce; early humans, living in East Africa just across the Indian Ocean from Mount Toba, probably starved.
Then — and this is more a conjectural, based on arguable evidence — an already cool Earth got colder. The world was having an ice age 70,000 years ago, and all that dust hanging in the atmosphere may have bounced warming sunshine back into space.
There’s in fact evidence that the average temperature dropped 20-plus degrees in some spots,” after which the great grassy plains of Africa may have shrunk way back, keeping the small bands of humans small and hungry for hundreds, if not thousands of more years.
So we almost vanished.
But now we’re back.
It didn’t happen right away. It took almost 200,000 years to reach our first billion which was in 1804. We reached 3 billion by 1960, another billion almost every 13 years since then, and by October 2011, we zipped past the 7 billion marker.
The lesson of Toba the super volcano is that there is nothing inevitable about our domination of the world. With a little bad luck, we can go too.
We once almost did.
Then came the stories of the Vrykolakas or the Velku. They were described as harmful, undead creatures in Greek folklore.
It shares similarities with numerous other legendary creatures but is generally equated with the vampire of the folklore of the neighboring Slavic countries. While the two are very similar, a Velku eats flesh, particularly livers, rather than drinking blood, which combined with other factors such as its appearance brings it more in line with the modern concept of a zombie or ghoul.
The Greeks traditionally believed that a person could become a vrykolakas after death due to a sacrilegious way of life, an excommunication, a burial in unconsecrated ground, or eating the meat of a sheep that had been wounded by a wolf or a werewolf. Some believed that a werewolf itself could become a powerful vampire after being killed, and would retain the wolf-like fangs, hairy palms, and glowing eyes it formerly possessed.
They do not decay; instead, they swell and may even attain a “drum-like” form, being very large, have a ruddy complexion, and are, according to one account, “fresh and gorged with new blood”. People with red hair and gray eyes at this time in history were thought to be vampires according to accounts near the region of modern Serbia.
Science fiction has given us these scenarios to think about and most of them have the Zombie outcome.
Reality may or may not be as terrifying.
The book, “Severe Space Weather Events–Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts Workshop Report” is a fictitious account that is available for free online and gives us an up close and personal look into a “fictitious “massive coronal ejection.
The Coronal Ejection Electromagnetic Pulse or EMP from the sun is detailed in the book with a fictitious scenario that happens at midnight on September 22nd, 2012. In the fictitious account, “The skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of pinkish purple light.
Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment.
Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power. The earth begins to rock and a devastating earthquake is felt over a large area.
A year later, millions of Americans are dead and the nation’s infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China, and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event – a violent storm, 150 million kilometers away on the surface of the sun.”
The novelty of the apocalyptic worst-case scenario is hard to fathom and we marvel at what would happen but being in a situation like this should urge you to be ready for anything.
Even vampires, werewolves, and zombies.