“Grand Canyon from space. credit: Rick Searfoss, retired Space Shuttle commander”

The Grand Canyon: Part One
by Michael Armstrong  /  Sep 29, 2008

“The Grand Canyon is approximately 400 kilometers long, 28 kilometers wide, and almost two kilometers deep. Could erosion by the Colorado River be the only factor in its formation? The face of the earth presents many problems for geologists, not the least of which is that the Grand Canyon is supposed to have been formed by the Colorado River.

As recently as six years ago geologists were working with four different and mutually exclusive models of the canyon’s creation. At a special meeting they managed to winnow the four theories down to two—neither one of them satisfactory—with more than one reason to refute them both. One geologist noted that the only way the Colorado River could have carved the canyon is if it came out of the sky. A few basic facts are necessary to gain a perspective. The Grand Canyon is surrounded by an elevated landscape with the canyon running through it from east to west.

The underlying rock strata in the region rises and falls over an area known as the Kaibab Upwarp, while the river descends through an elevation differential of 2100 meters. Water does not flow up over a mountain range nor does it run sideways along sloping terrain, so all theoretical models that insist on water erosion propose that the entire area was slowly uplifted at the same rate as the river eroded the canyon. This process is said to have taken place in a time span of between four million and 400 million years. The geological models also incorporate natural dams across the river channel that caused reversals in the river flow and were then subsequently breached, allowing the river to resume its previous course.

However, a pertinent objection to that theory is that there is no evidence water flowed back into the ends of the giant side channels that join the chasm with the river. Perhaps the most significant challenge to the prevailing theories is the disappearance of almost 1300 cubic kilometers of material that is supposed to have been washed downstream—there is no large delta at the mouth of the Colorado River containing the debris. Satellite images, as well as pictures taken by astronauts in orbit, seem to indicate that the Grand Canyon is an enormous Lichtenberg figure, in other words, a gigantic lightning scar.

As the Electric Universe hypothesis suggests, electric discharge machining (EDM) might account for the Canyon’s appearance: steep walls, thousands of layers, brachiated side canyons at practically every scale, and periodic, hemispherical “nips” cut into each rim. Geologists possess few tools that can help them understand planetary scars caused by EDM because there are no courses in electricity needed to obtain a degree.

But electrical engineers and plasma physicists are taught that charged objects immersed in electric fields develop protective sheaths known as Langmuir sheaths, named after plasma pioneer Irving Langmuir. The sheaths isolate the charged objects (or plasma clouds) from one another in envelopes made up of double layers. If the charged objects are planets, then they are normally surrounded by tear-drop-shaped, double layer plasmaspheres.

It is known from laboratory experiments that if two charge sheaths touch one another there is an exchange of electrical potential until they reach equilibrium. If the current flow is large enough, there will be a visible arc and a flash, otherwise known as a lightning bolt. The planetary scarring hypothesis interprets the laboratory experiments using a scaled-up approach. If the smaller charge sheaths interact in a certain way, then the larger planetary plasmaspheres will act in similar fashion, releasing gigantic lightning bolts.

Discharges of such magnitude are capable of stripping rock and gas from a planet with far greater energy than the comparatively puny force of gravity. Since the rim edges of the Grand Canyon are sharp and do not show much erosion, then an argument could be made for a recent formation. It is therefore possible that the Grand Canyon, as well as the entire Southwestern region was recently etched with EDM forces on a colossal scale in an encounter with another planetary body. The surface biota, soil and rock, and most of the water was obliterated.

A Birkeland current in contact with the Earth might act like a rotating augur, drilling deeply into the bedrock, removing the material, and accelerating it up and away from the point of contact. The effect might be thought of as an electric vacuum, charging the debris in an expanding electric field and then blasting it upward through the power of like-charge repulsion. EDM effects in machine shops strip uniform layers from the substrate while leaving essentially a vertical wall and a flat, new surface. In an interplanetary EDM, the rotating current would tend to lift up sections of strata that would leave a terraced effect and layered appearance, much like what is seen in the Grand Canyon.”

The Grand Canyon: Part Two
by Michael Armstrong  /  Oct 01, 2008

“Simple observation of the Grand Canyon’s geological formations calls the water erosion hypothesis into question. A few variables in an electric discharge can produce a wide variety of shapes and patterns. The polarity makes a difference, so cathode discharges create different patterns than those from an anode.

When we speak of charged planets imbedded in the sun’s plasmasphere, they may be positively charged or negatively charged—the important factor is whether they touch one another. When the teardrop shaped double layers, or Langmuir sheaths, surrounding planets come close enough a discharge connection is made. The nature and strength of an interplanetary discharge might depend on a number of factors: charge accumulation, potential, conductivity of the surface strata, and current flow.

If electric current discharges stick to a surface they tend to rotate around a point and leave a circular crater with a raised center area. If the discharge is narrow and intense like a lightning bolt, it will leave a deep, sharp cut in the substrate and the material will be accelerated away from the point of contact.

Where the electric arc contacts and runs along or under the surface, Birkeland currents might create a rille, or canyon-shaped excavation. Often, this type of discharge forms a series of overlapping craters, imparting a sculpted effect to the canyon wall with periodic notches in the rim. Finally, the discharge energy dissipates and forms a kind of “wash” that is generally lower in elevation than the initial touchdown point.

In any heavy discharge the surrounding terrain swells and becomes uplifted. In that case, the result is a “blister” or raised area called a fulgamite. The size and shape of the fulgamite depends on the underlying material properties as mentioned above. The Grand Canyon’s tributaries are generally short with little evidence of the necessary water flowing into the ends from the high desert floor. The jagged tributaries are deeply cut and are characterized by nearly vertical walls. They join the main canyon at right angles, a distinctive sign of electric discharge phenomena.

Another unusual aspect to the Grand Canyon is the “islands” that rise up from broad bases to the rim level. They are delicate in comparison to the size of the canyon. They are close to the canyon walls and demonstrate parallel stratigraphy. How the water flow remained diverted around these islands, or how erosion over millions of years could have created them without undercutting and subsequent collapse is difficult to explain.

In conclusion, the lack of eroded debris cannot be passed over lightly. Not only is a vast amount of material from the Grand Canyon missing, but a much greater amount of material is missing from the same general area. Zion, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyonlands, and the Colorado Plateau have been extensively eroded.

Rock and soil has been removed to a depth of more than a kilometer. The top strata of the Grand Canyon makes up the bottom strata of Zion, and the top of Zion continues to the bottom of Bryce Canyon. The region of missing material is known as the Great Denudation. Together with the Grand Canyon the volume of missing debris amounts to tens of thousands of cubic kilometers. How can this be?”

Lightning Strike on Mars / Oct 03, 2005

“New craters on Mars show the unmistakable signature of electrical discharge and confirm the ongoing electrical activity of the solar system. These images show a new crater on Mars not long after it formed and again 5 years later. The conventional explanation is that the dark streaks are “ejecta” thrown out by the “impact” of a meteoroid. Over time, the ejected material changes color to match the rest of the surface.

In the Electric Universe view, the crater is the strike point of a Martian lightning bolt. The dark rays are a Lichtenberg pattern burned into the soil as the impinging discharge channel pulls in electrons from the surrounding area. Such patterns are frequently seen around Earthly lightning strike points. Earth’s atmosphere is denser than Mars’, and it contains much more water vapor. Lightning is able to “break down” the atmosphere at much lower voltages than in the thin and dry atmosphere of Mars. So Martian lightning bolts are apt to do more damage.

This likely explains the chains of craters on the ridge to the lower right of the new crater. The chains can be traced back to the dark rays, indicating that the secondary currents that created the Lichtenberg figure were being pulled away from the surface at this greater distance, “popping” up and leaving craters behind.

“Kilometer high dust devils with glowing tops are visible in this image at middle right and upper left. Credit: Mars Global Surveyor”

The usual form of a discharge in Mars’ atmosphere is the dust devil. But both the dust devil and the crater-producing discharge scorch the surface,  leaving a visible signature. The little weathering that occurs on Mars is enough to eradicate the marks over a few years.”

“Left: Dry river valley in southern Yemen. Credit: NASA Space Shuttle. Right: Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. Credit: Landsat 7.”

Electric Scars on Venus / Feb 16, 2005

“Perhaps the fastest way to understand the surface features on rocky bodies in the solar system is to look at the behavior of electric arcs. How does the electric discharge behave in different conditions, and what are the effects on different surface materials? The beautiful arc on the left below is provided by John Dyer, who has experimented with arc formations for many years. On the right is an analogous “coronal” feature on the surface of Venus.

The complexity of the “fine brushstroke” pattern has provoked exclamations of wonder. Some planetary scientists refer to the filamented striations as “cracks” or “graben” caused by upwelling sub-surface lava. But the pattern is typical of massive scarring across the entire equatorial region of Venus. The lava must be welling up around the entire circumference of the planet like air being blown into a balloon!

“Magellan radar image of lava channels north of Ovda Regio, Venus.”

In the electric hypothesis, these coronal features are sinuous rilles, spidery filaments of “Lichtenberg figures” created by planet-wide discharge. Ancient peoples around the world knew the planet as “the long-haired” or “fiery-haired” star. On this basis alone one would find the similarity between Dyer’s electric arc and the surface feature of Venus to be predictable.

Electric arcs, similar to John Dyer’s arc but scaled up to the size of continents, flared across Venus’s surface and etched their thread-line forms into the rock. Dyer’s arc also bears close similarities to the tails of comets. This convergence of form and theory from laboratory to comet to ancient description provides new insight into the ancient insistence that the planet Venus was once a brilliant and terrifying form in the heavens, its long-flowing and disheveled “hair” streaming across the sky.”

For more pictures of electrical arcing:

Giant Lightning to Space / Mar 22, 2006

“The pilots who saw it wouldn’t talk about it for fear of ridicule or worse. The pilots whose airplanes were hit by it wouldn’t talk about it because they were dead. Then in the early 1990s investigators began to take the rumors seriously and to look for evidence of lightning above the clouds. Right away they found images on archived satellite pictures, and they recorded hundreds of flashes above distant storms.

Giant neon-light-like haloes would appear 85 kilometers above storms. The glows would propagate downward to form red balloons of interlaced filaments. The currents would squeeze into 30-meter-wide channels scattered over areas of a hundred square kilometers and disappear into the clouds. The glows were so diffuse that they seemed hardly a danger to airplanes. The investigators named them “sprites”.

The investigators soon discovered another form of lightning above the clouds. “Blue jets” would spout upwards from storms as much as 15 kilometers toward space. Several giant jets shot up to 80 kilometers. The jets were more compact than the sprites. And under the clouds the investigators documented extraordinary strikes of “positive” lightning. These bolts were six times as powerful as ordinary “negative” lightning, and they lasted ten times as long. Where ordinary lightning could punch a tiny hole in a wing, positive lightning could burn through struts and wires and rip pieces apart.

These bolts carry forces many times greater than what airplanes are designed to withstand. In one crash, rivets had been melted. In another, a pipe had been crushed and twisted. Crash specialists suspected these planes had been brought down by strikes of positive lightning. Investigators finally were able to correlate their observations. They realized that every time there was a sprite above the clouds there was a bolt of positive lightning below the clouds. The sprite and the positive bolt were parts of a single discharge that stretched from space to the Earth’s surface. Sprites and jets and positive bolts are common.

Now that scientists have stopped believing that such phenomena are impossible, they find them in old photographs. Pilots are talking about seeing sprites since they began to fly. Certainly there is a cultural bias: People tend to disbelieve anything that is unfamiliar. And there is likely a sensory bias: Humans have no sensory organs that detect electric and magnetic forces, and they tend to believe that if they sense nothing, nothing is there. There is also a theoretical bias: Without a theory with which to understand an observation, we tend not even to perceive it. Believing in a theory that already explains a phenomenon will turn your attention away from discrepancies and anomalies associated with that phenomenon.

Recognizing the megalightning connection between Earth and space opens consideration of other possibilities. Perhaps the current between Earth and space is part of a larger circuit. Perhaps the storms don’t generate the lightning but the lightning generates the storms. Venus, after all, has extensive lightning, more powerful lightning than on Earth, and it has an atmosphere of smog: Lightning in smog contradicts the thunderstorm theory of lightning generation.

Perhaps lightning also powers the wind. Neptune has the strongest winds of any planet in the Solar System, yet it is farthest from the Sun and its heat: Cold gales contradict the thermal model of air movement. Perhaps hurricanes and tornadoes and even dust devils are electrical vortices. Only recently have investigators thought to look for electric fields in dust devils—and have found quite strong ones.

Astronomers are trying to explain the spokes and waves and movements of Saturn’s rings with the familiar theory of gravity, but even if they succeed they will have ignored the pervasive influence of electrical currents in the Solar System. The explanations will be merely instrumental, accounting for the familiar aspects but oblivious to the ground from which those aspects arise.

Such an instrumental theory can be a dangerous thing when it has more practical applications: The tethered satellite experiments ignored electricity in space and likely resulted in the sparking and burning through of the tethers. The space elevator program will bring the full voltage of this oversight down to Earth. And let us not forget the image of the shuttle Columbia on its last reentry being chased down by a bluish-red corkscrew of what may have been a bolt of aircraft-destroying megalightning.”



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