"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Monday 31 January 2011

Humans are on autopilot nearly half the time

Humans are on autopilot nearly half the time

Mentally checked out, unhappily, nearly half the time

by Dr. David Rock

A new study by Daniel Gilbert (who wrote a great book called 'Stumbling on Happiness') and Matthew Killingsworth, confirms something we've all suspected: most of us are 'mentally checked out' a good portion of the time.

It turns out that just under half the time, 46.9% to be exact, people are doing what's called 'mind wandering'. They are not focused on the outside world or the task at hand, they are looking into their own thoughts. Unfortunately, the study of 2,250 people proposes, most of this activity doesn't make us feel happy.
The study was designed to find out what kind of activities people did throughout a day, and which made them happiest. Mindwandering was just one of 22 possible activities people could list.
Researchers found that people were at their happiest when making love, exercising, or engaging in conversation. They were least happy when resting, working, or using a home computer.
People reported that they mind wandered no less than 30% of the time, during everything except love making. And here's the kicker: people report being unhappy during mind wandering. Something that we do nearly half the time makes us unhappy! No wonder there are so many spiritual and religious traditions trying to implore people to 'live in the present'.
Whether people are mind wandering turns out to be a better predictor of happiness than the actual activities people are engaged in. Think about just one implications of this finding: it explains why one person's hell on earth (say, filling in forms) can be another person's heaven, if they find themselves focused on the task.
This finding, for me, connects back to the whole idea of the 'narrative' circuitry, versus the circuitry for 'direct experience', that I wrote about in an earlier post, called the neuroscience of mindfulness. I think it's worth reposting some of this here, as it's so relevant.


A 2007 study called
"Mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference" by Norman Farb at the University of Toronto, along with six other scientists, broke new ground in our understanding of mindfulness from a neuroscience perspective.
Farb and his colleagues worked out a way to study how human beings experience their own moment-to-moment experience. They discovered that people have two distinct ways of interacting with the world, using two different sets of networks. One network for experiencing your experience involves what is called the "default network", which includes regions of the medial prefrontal cortex, along with memory regions such as the hippocampus. This network is called default because it becomes active when not much else is happening, and you think about yourself. If you are sitting on the edge of a jetty in summer, a nice breeze blowing in your hair and a cold beer in your hand, instead of taking in the beautiful day you might find yourself thinking about what to cook for dinner tonight, and whether you will make a mess of the meal to the amusement of your partner. This is your default network in action. It's the network involved in planning, daydreaming and ruminating.
This default network also become active when you think about yourself or other people, it holds together a "narrative". A narrative is a story line with characters interacting with each other over time. The brain holds vast stores of information about your own and other people's history. When the default network is active, you are thinking about your history and future and all the people you know, including yourself, and how this giant tapestry of information weaves together. In this way, in the Farb study they like to call the default network the ‘narrative' circuitry. (I like the ‘narrative circuit' term for everyday usage as it's easier to remember and a bit more elegant than ‘default' when talking about mindfulness.)
When you experience the world using this narrative network, you take in information from the outside world, process it through a filter of what everything means, and add your interpretations. Sitting on the dock with your narrative circuit active, a cool breeze isn't a cool breeze, it's a sign than summer will be over soon, which starts you thinking about where to go skiing, and whether your ski suit needs a dry clean.
The default network is active for most of your waking moments and doesn't take much effort to operate. There's nothing wrong with this network, the point here is you don't want to limit yourself to only experiencing the world through this network.

The Farb study shows there is a whole other way of experiencing experience. Scientists call this type of experience one of direct experience. When the direct experience network is active, several different brain regions become more active. This includes the insula, a region that relates to perceiving bodily sensations. The anterior cingulate cortex is also activated, which is a region central to switching your attention. When this direct experience network is activated, you are not thinking intently about the past or future, other people, or yourself, or considering much at all. Rather, you are experiencing information coming into your senses in real time. Sitting on the jetty, your attention is on the warmth of the sun on your skin, the cool breeze in your hair, and the cold beer in your hand.

A series of other studies has found that these two circuits, narrative and direct experience, are inversely correlated. In other words, if you think about an upcoming meeting while you wash dishes, you are more likely to overlook a broken glass and cut your hand, because the brain map involved in visual perception is less active when the narrative map is activated. You don't see as much (or hear as much, or feel as much, or sense anything as much) when you are lost in thought. Sadly, even a beer doesn't taste as good in this state.
Fortunately, this scenario works both ways. When you focus your attention on incoming data, such as the feeling of the water on your hands while you wash up, it reduces activation of the narrative circuitry. This explains why, for example, if your narrative circuitry is going crazy worrying about an upcoming stressful event, it helps to take a deep breath and focus on the present moment. All your senses "come alive" at that moment.
Let's recap these ideas. You can experience the world through your narrative circuitry, which will be useful for planning, goal setting, and strategizing. You can also experience the world more directly, which enables more sensory information to be perceived.
Experiencing the world through the direct experience network allows you to get closer to the reality of any event. You perceive more information about events occurring around you, as well as more accurate information about these events. Noticing more real-time information makes you more flexible in how you respond to the world. You also become less imprisoned by the past, your habits, expectations or assumptions, and more able to respond to events as they unfold.
In the Farb experiment, people who regularly practiced noticing the narrative and direct experience paths, such as regular meditators, had stronger differentiation between the two paths. They knew which path they were on at any time, and could switch between them more easily. Whereas people who had not practiced noticing these paths were more likely to automatically take the narrative path.
This isn't just a theory. A study by Kirk Brown found that people high on a mindfulness scale were more aware of their unconscious processes. Additionally these people had more cognitive control and a greater ability to shape what they do and what they say than people lower on the mindfulness scale. If you're on the jetty in the breeze and you're someone with a good level or mindfulness, you are more likely to notice that you're missing a lovely day worrying about tonight's dinner, and focus your attention onto the warm Sun instead. When you make this change in your attention you change the functioning of your brain, and this can have a long-term impact on how your brain works too.

Why we need to keep being reminded about mindfulness

John Teasdale, recently retired, was one
of the leading mindfulness researchers. Teasdale explains, "Mindfulness is a habit, it's something the more one does, the more likely one is to be in that mode with less and less effort... it's a skill that can be learned. It's accessing something we already have. Mindfulness isn't difficult. What's difficult is to remember to be mindful." I love this last statement. Mindfulness isn't difficult: the hard part is remembering to do it.

Practice, but you don't have to sit down and breathe.

So practicing mindfulness is important,
as you're more likely to then remember to do it. The key to practicing mindfulness is just to practice focusing your attention onto a direct sense, and to do so often. It helps to use a rich stream of data. You can hold your attention to the feeling of your foot on the floor easier than the feeling of your little toe on the floor: there's more data to tap into. You can practice mindfulness while you are eating, walking, talking, doing just about anything, with the exception of drinking a beer in the sun, which works for only a limited time before your attention leaves to go and party (the neuroscience of all that will have to wait for another book).
Building mindfulness doesn't mean you have to sit still and watch your breath. You can find a way that suits your lifestyle. My wife and I built a 10 second ritual into the evening meal with my kids, which involves just stopping and noticing three small breaths together before we eat. The added bonus is it makes a great dinner taste even better.
What ever practice you do develop, practice it. The more mindful you become, the better decisions you will make, and the more you will achieve your own goals, rather than other people's goals for you.
And, it turns out, the more mindful you are, the less you mind wander, and the happier you are too.
There's more on this whole topic in my new book 'Your Brain at Work'

Dr. David Rock founded the NeuroLeadership Institute and is CEO of Results Coaching Systems, a global consulting firm.


Images - Author's @ http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150103576484546&set=a.10150092996624546.299245.692854545
Author's @ http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150161548549546&set=a.436316154545.225056.692854545

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Sunday 30 January 2011

Worlds in Collision: The Suppressed Works of Velikovsky

Worlds in Collision

The Suppressed Works of Velikovsky

An examination of ancient texts leads to an inescapable conclusion: the Earth has had recent close encounters with our planetary neighbours

Immanuel Velikovsky was Professor Emeritus at Princeton, a brilliant scientist, even editing Einstein's papers for him. Late in life, he developed a love for psychology and received a doctorate in that discipline. He began to focus on speech as the basis for human expression, and began research into early languages.
As a professor Emeritus at Princeton at the time, he had all the resources of Princeton's vast language libraries at his disposal. In his studies, he began to notice a lack of written information or 'black holes' in certain time periods, and this void seemed to appear in each hemisphere at the same times.
He also noticed reports in Aztec writings which spoke of a period of time when the Sun refused to rise, while in the Chinese writings a perpetual 'morning' occurred when the Sun would rise and set in a small circular pattern, never coming overhead.
Immanual Velikovsky, a Jew, was quite familiar with the writings of the prophets, and though he never pretended to believe "God" handled anything, he always believed the events written there actually happened. He was sure there was a logical natural explanation. After several years of research, he was convinced he had found it. It required a disruption of the theory of evolution and virtually negated all the profound theories of the proud theoreticians of the day.
As a scientist, he knew the uproar his works would cause, so he had them so well documented with footnotes and references that they were (and still are) irrefutable through any reason. The main claim that the Earth has suffered more than three cataclysms in the past 12,000 years is what mainly set them off. It turns out that scientists jealous of their beliefs are without reason.
His books were mostly  published in the mid-1950s and early 60s and were the subject of the most bizarre uproar among "scientists" since the inquisition. Even though his first published book "Worlds in Collision" was a national best seller in no time it was abruptly pulled from publication in the US, and even today the mere mention of his name among scientists draws disdain immediately.
They were subsequently published in Great Britain, but not in nearly the volume they deserved. As a result most of his works are no longer available from any source except a used book store if you are lucky enough to find them. I have managed to obtain four of the five in my forays.
What follows is a fragmentary scenario based on three of Immanuel Velikovsky's five books,
"Worlds in Collision", "Earth in Upheaval" and "Ages in Chaos".


"Global cataclysms fundamentally altered the face of the Earth more than once in historical times. The terrestrial axis shifted. Earth fled from its established orbit. The magnetic poles reversed. In great convulsions, the seas emptied onto continents, the planet’s crust folded, and volcanoes erupted into mountain chains. Lava flows up to a mile thick spilled onto vast areas of the Earth's surface. Climates changed suddenly, covering lush vegetation with ice, while green meadows were transformed into deserts.
In a few awful moments, civilizations collapsed. Entire species were exterminated in continental sweeps of mud, debris, sea and ice. Tidal waves of water and rocks crushed even the largest of beasts, tossing their fragmented bones and meat into heaps tangled with splintered trees into valleys and rock fissures, preserved to this day in Alaska and Siberia in frozen limbo....
Mammoths in Siberia were instantly killed by great bolts of electric discharge, quick frozen and buried with their last meal undigested in their bellies. The surviving generations of people recorded these events in detail by every means available to them. They recorded them in myths, legends, temple constructions and drawings, monuments to the planetary gods, precise charts of the heavens, sacrificial rites, astrological canons, detailed records of planetary movements, as well as tragic lamentations amid the fallen cities and destroyed institutions.
Aware of some link between the circuit of heavenly bodies and the catastrophic ruin of previous generations, the ancients tirelessly watched the planetary movements. Their traditions recalled that when old epochs dissolved, the new "age" or "Sun" was marked by different celestial paths. Astrologers and Seers, the most important office in a kingdom, watched diligently for any change which might portend approaching destruction and the end of an age.
Prior to 2000 BC, the ancient Hindu records spoke of four visible planets, and excluded Venus. The Babylonians, meticulous in their observations, likewise excluded Venus. This is very strange, since nowadays Venus is easily the brightest planet in the heavens at times. But, long before 1500 BC, Jupiter, chief among the deities for centuries, shattered the serenity of the skies. A brilliant, fiery object, expelled from that planet, entered on a long elliptical orbit around the Sun. The feared god Jupiter had given birth to the comet and protoplanet, Venus.
Terrified, men watched helplessly as the "bright torch of heaven" traversed its elongated orbit, and began a turn toward Earth. Venus, as a Chinese astronomical text recalls, spanned the heavens, rivaling the Sun in brightness. An ancient Rabbinical source records that "Venus blazes from one end of the cosmos to the other."
The fears of the star watchers were justified. As Venus arched away from perihelion passage, during the middle of the 15th century BC (ie 1450 BC), the Earth approached this intruder, entering first the outer reaches of its cometary tail. A rusty ferrignous (iron oxide) dust filtered down upon the Earth, imparting a bloody hue to land and sea. The fine pigment chafed human skin, and men were overcome by sickness. Those who sought to drink, could not. Rivers stank from the rotting carcasses of suffocated fish, and men dug desperately for water uncontaminated by the alien dust.
"Plague is upon the land, blood is everywhere" bewailed the writings of the Egyptian scribe Ipuwer. "Men shrink from tasting, human beings thirst after water -- that is our water! That is our happiness!! What shall we do in respect thereof -- All is ruin".
Meanwhile, as recalled by the Babylonians, the blood of the celestial monster Tiamat poured over all the world.
As the Earth's path carried it ever deeper into the comet's tail, the rain of particles grew ever more coarse and perilous. Soon a great hail of gravel pummelled the Earth ...
The author of the Exodus writes ...."there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation". Fleeing from the torrent of burning meteorites, men abandoned their crops and livestock to seek shelter. Fields of grain that was to feed great cities perished. Cried the Egyptian scribe Ipuwer... "No fruits, no herbs are found. That which was seen yesterday has vanished. The land is left to it's weariness like the cutting of flax". These things happened, say the Mexican Annals of Cauahtitlan, when the sky ... "rained not water, but fire and burning stones."
As the Earth plunged still deeper into the comet's tail, hydrocarbon gasses enveloped the Earth, and when contacting the Earth’s oxygen became ignited by the falling meteorites, exploding in fireball bursts in the lower atmosphere. Unlighted streams of pure petroleum poured onto the planet, sinking into the surface, floating on the seas, and making great asphalt tar pits in many places. From Siberia thru the Caucasus to the Arabian desert, huge spills of naphtha burned for years, their dark billowing smoke lending a shroud for human despair.
Earth was pursuing a near collision course with the comet. Suddenly, caught in an invisible grip, the Earth rocked violently: it's axis tilted. In a single convulsed moment, cities were laid waste, great buildings of stone levelled, and populations decimated. Ipuwer writes..."The towns are destroyed... Egypt has become waste... all is ruin... the residence is overturned... in a minute."
Around the world, oceans rushed over mountains, and poured into continental basins. Rivers flowed uphill. Islands sank into the sea. Displaced strata crashed together, while the shifting Earth generated a global hurricane which destroyed forests and swept away the dwellings of men. In China the emperor Yahou spoke "of waters which overtopped the great heights, threatening the heavens with their floods". Arabia was thus transformed into a desert by the same type of paroxysms which may have sank the legendary Atlantis beneath the ocean west of Gibraltar millennia earlier.
With dulled senses, survivors lay in a trance for days, choking for breath in the smoky air. The tilted axis left part of the Earth in protracted darkness, and the rest in an extended day. From the Americas to the Middle East, records tell us darkness persisted for the time equivalent of several days. On the edge of darkness, the peoples of Iran witnessed a "threefold night" and a "threefold day". Chinese sources speak of a holocaust during which the Sun did not set for many days and the land and sky was aflame. Peoples and nations everywhere, uprooted by disaster, wandered from their homelands.


Led by Moses, the book of Exodus records, the Israelites fled the devastation which brought Egypt's middle kingdom to ruin. As they rushed toward the sea of passage, the glistening comet, in form like a dragon's head, shone thru the tempest of dust and smoke like a beacon.
The night sky glowed brightly as the comet's head and its writhing serpentine tail exchanged gigantic electrical bolts. The great battle between the comet's head and the column of smoke -- between a light god and a leviathan serpent -- was memorialized in primary myths around the Earth. Babylonians told of Marduk striking the dragon Tiamat with bolts of fire. The Egyptians saw Isis and Set in deadly combat. The Hindus saw Vishnu battling the 'crooked serpent'. The Greeks saw Zeus, in the account of Appolodorus, in a struggle with the coiled viper, Typhon.
The fleeing Israelites, having reached Pi-ha-khiroth, at the edge of the Red sea, were pursued by the Pharaoh Taoui-Thom (Typhon). The Red Sea is perhaps so named because of the red colour it inherited from the plague of iron dust. There is no logical reason to name it ‘Red Sea’ based upon its surroundings today. It is a beautiful blue.
The great sea lay displaced before the Israelites, its waters lifted into wall-like ridges by the movement of the Earth and the pull of the comet's field. Crossing the dry sea bottom, the main body of Israelites escaped from Egypt. As the comet made its closest approach to Earth, Taoui-Thom was moving his armies into the dry sea bed in pursuit of the fleeing Israelites. Even before all the Israelites had cleared the sea, a gigantic electrical bolt flew between the comet and the Earth, neutralizing the main body of charge which held the waters aloft. Instantly, the waters collapsed. The pharaoh, his armies and chariots, as well as those Israelites who lagged behind were cast furiously into the air, and consumed in a gigantic whirlpool.
The battle in the sky raged for weeks. A column of smoke by day and a pillar of fire by night, Venus meted destruction to nations large and small. To the Israelites, however, it was God's instrument of salvation. Through a series of close approaches, the comet's tail, a dreadful shadow of death, cinctured the Earth, wreathing the planet in a thick gloomy haze that lasted for decades. And so, in darkness, a historical age ended.
Probably, the human race would have become extinct, except for the mysterious, life-giving substance precipitated in the heavy atmosphere --  the nourishing "manna" and "ambrosia" described in the ancient records of all peoples. It fell with the morning dew, a sweet, yellowish hoarfrost. It was edible. The ambrosial hoarfrosts were carbohydrates derived from Venus' hydrocarbons through bacterial action with Earthly microbes. The aroma filled the atmosphere with sweet fragrance. Streams flowed with "milk and honey". When heated, this 'bread of heaven' dissolved, but when cooled, it precipitated into grains which could be preserved for long periods or ground between stones. Its presence allowed mankind to survive.
In the new age, the Sun rose in the east, where formerly it set. The quarters of the world were displaced. Seasons no longer came in their proper times. The orbital path of the Earth around the Sun was changed from before . "The winter is come in summer, the months are reversed, and the hours are disordered"... reads an Egyptian Papyrus. The Chinese emperor Yahou sent scholars throughout the land to locate north, east, west and south and to draw up a new calendar.
Numerous records tell of the Earth "turning over". An Egyptian inscription from before the tumult says that the "Sun riseth in the west".
While men attempted to determine the times and seasons, Venus continued on a threatening course around the Sun. Under Joshua, the Israelites had entered the Promised Land, and again Venus drew near. It was while the Canaanites fled from before the hand of Joshua in the valley of Beth-Horon - some fifty years after the Exodus, that the daughter of Jupiter again drew near, and unleashed her fury a second time.
"The Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them in Azekah, and they died." The terrestrial axis tilted again. Once more, the Earth quaked violently. Cities burned and fell to the ground. Above Beth-Horon, the Sun stood still (its apparent movement ceased as the Earth slowly tilted) for hours. On the other side of the Earth, Mexican Annals recorded a prolonged night, punctuated by a burning sky and landscape. This occurred according to the records, 50 years after an earlier destruction.
As in it's earlier encounter with the young comet, the Earths surface was torn with great rifts and clefts., and hurricanes (typhoons) scourged the land. Anticipating renewed devastation after another 50 year period, nations bowed down before the great fire-goddess. With bloody orgies and incantations, they enjoined the "Queen of heaven" to spare them further misery. "Spare us, O lady of Heaven and Earth", prayed the Babylonians. "We Sacrifice unto Tistyra" declared a priest in Iran, "the bright and glorious star, whose rising is watched by the chiefs of understanding". Mexican high priests sacrificed virgins and young men so that they would be spared further destruction.
In both hemispheres, men fixed their gaze anxiously on the comet as for centuries, it continued its circuit, crossing the orbits of both Mars and Earth. Before the middle of the 8th century BC, astrologers recorded dramatic irregularities in its wanderings. Viewed from Babylonia, Venus rose, disappeared in the west for over nine months, then reappeared in the east. Dipping below the eastern horizon, it was not seen again for over two months, until it shown in the west. The following year, Venus vanished in the west for 11 days before reappearing in the east.
But, this time it was Mars, pulled from its orbit by a much larger planetoid, that endured a cometary jolt. It was sent from this encounter with the comet to a meeting with Earth. A new agent of destruction was born in the unstable solar system.

This occurred in the days of Uzziah, King of Judah. Aware of the baleful meaning of irregular celestial motions, the prophet Amos, echoed by other observers of the sky, warned of new cosmic upheavals. Events soon proved him right.
As Mars drew near, the Earth reeled on its hinges. West of Jerusalem, half a mountain split off and fell eastward. Flaming seraphim leaped skyward. Men were tossed into the streets filled with debris and mutilated bodies. Buildings crumbled, and the Earth opened up. These same cataclysms were associated with the founding of Rome in 747BC. And with the death of Rome’s legendary founder, Romulus, Ovid reports "both the poles shook". Thus, Mars, the lord of war, became the national god of Rome.
Much smaller than Earth, Mars could not equal the destruction caused by the earlier encounter with Venus, but Earth was forced to alter its course around the Sun again. The old calendar with its 360 day years and 30 day months became outdated. Emperors and kings again directed their astrologers to make new calendars.
Mars and Venus now competed for the allegiance of men. Tribes moved from their homelands, confronting new enemies while petitioning Mars or Venus for a swift victory. Cities and temples were dedicated to the two planetary gods who determined the fate of nations.
The era of conflict between Mars and Earth continued until 687-686 BC. Hebrew prophets after 747 BC cried apocalyptically of upheavals yet to come. Reminding the Israelites of their passage out of Egypt, they declared once more that the whole Earth would darken and quake, the moon turn to blood, the Sun darken, and the Earth would be engulfed yet again in blood, fire and pillars of smoke.
The catastrophe, as Mars hurtled past the Earth, came in the year 721 BC, on the very day Judah's King Ahaz was buried. Under the influence of Mars passage, the Earth's axis tilted and the poles shifted. Earth's orbit swung wider, and the length of the year was increased yet again. Israelites observed the Sun hastening by several hours to a premature setting. Thereafter the solar disk made its way across the sky 10 degrees further to the south.
Seneca records that on the Argive plain, in central Greece, the early sunset came amid great upheaval. The tyrant Thyestes beckoned to the entire universe to dissolve. The Great Bear dipped below the horizon. In the days that followed, states Seneca, "the zodiac, which, making passage through the sacred stars, crosses the zones obliquely, guide and sign-bearer for the slow moving years, falling itself, shall see the fallen constellations".
Once a peaceful, barely noticed planet, Mars became the "king of battle". Mars was not yet finished with it's disruption on Earth. In 687 BC, a powerful Assyrian army led by Sennacherib marched toward Jerusalem. On the evening of March 23, the first night of the Hebrew Passover, Sennacherib made camp outside the walls of Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Mars was making one last approach to Earth. A "great thunderbolt" -- a "blast from heaven" -- charred the bodies of the soldiers, leaving their garments intact. The dead numbered 185,000. Ashurbanipal, Sennacherib's grandson, later recalled "the perfect warrior", Mars, the "Lord of the storm" who brings defeat.
On the same night, Mar 23, 687 BC, in China, the Bamboo Books reveal a disturbance of the planets caused them to "go out of their courses. In the night, stars fell like rain. The Earth shook". The Romans celebrated the occasion. "The most important role in the (Roman) cult of Mars appears to be played by the festival of 'Tubilustrium" on the 23rd of March."
The Sun retreated by several hours. In certain longitudes the solar disk, which had just risen, returned below the horizon. In others, the setting Sun changed it's course, rising in the sky. The Hebrews witnessed the prolonged night of Sennacherib's demise.
The Sun's retreat, due to a 10 degree tilt of the Earth's axis, corrected the shift of 721 BC. "So the Sun returned 10 degrees, by which degrees it had gone down", reads Isaiah 38:8.
From one continent to another, men, oppressed with the terror, watched Mars battle Venus in the heavens, speed fiercely towards the Earth bringing blasts of fire and rocks, retreat and engage Venus once more. Perhaps the most startling account of this "battle of the gods" is contained in Homer's Iliad. (Velikovsky's chronology places Homer later than 747 BC). As the Greeks besieged Troy, Athena (Venus) "would utter her loud cry". And over against her spouted Ares (Mars) dread as a dark whirlwind...
All the roots of many-founted Ida were shaken, and all her peaks". The river "rushed with surging flood, and the fair streams seethed and boiled". Mars was thrown out of the ring; Venus emerged a tame planet pursuing a near perfect circular orbit between Mercury and Earth. Where it once had ranged high in the zenith, now it became the morning and evening star, never retreating more than 48 degrees from the Sun. Isaiah, who had witnessed the planet;s destructive power, sang of its disgrace: "How art thou fallen from heaven, o Lucifer, son of the morning, How art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God."

Immanuel Velikovsky

The above book(s) review was brought to you by sore-fingered, slow typing Bob.
It is taken from I. Velikovsky's books, Worlds in Collision, Ages in Chaos, and Earth in Upheaval
From Things that cause @

and see http://newilluminati.blog-city.com/index.cfm?search=velikovsky  or the search box @ http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com  

and this video -

Egypt Devastated 3550 years ago

' @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T-rvd9SPQY


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Saturday 29 January 2011

Roswell Debris Confirmed as Extraterrestrial

Roswell Debris Confirmed as Extraterrestrial
Lab Located, Scientists Named

by Anthony Bragalia


Newly discovered documents reveal that in the months immediately following the purported 1947 UFO crash at Roswell, secret government studies began on a material that was previously unknown to science. The "memory metal" that was studied precisely matches some of the debris material reported by several witnesses to the crash.

Evidence shows that - under military direction - these unique metal studies were undertaken by a contracted laboratory that possessed advanced technical capabilities that the U.S. government itself did not have at the time. A former high-level scientist employed by the involved laboratory has offered a confession that he was tasked to study the crashed UFO material. Information provided by two U.S. Air Force Generals also offers direct support for this discovery.
The documents suggest that after the crash, the US government attempted to develop a unique material that is today referred to as memory metal. This shape-recovery alloy was reported by several witnesses to the Roswell crash in the summer of 1947. The lightweight "morphing" material was able to be crumpled or deformed and then return itself instantly and seamlessly to its original state. The metallurgical discoveries that resulted from these studies were then "seeded" for further technology development to other government agencies (including NASA) and through a series of military contracts to universities and industry.
The laboratory contracted by Wright Patterson Air Force Base to perform these studies was Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, OH. It has been credibly reported that Wright Patterson Air Force Base was the very base where the Roswell UFO debris was flown after the crash.

Recently obtained documents reveal that these studies for Wright Patterson were conducted at Battelle under the direction of Dr. Howard C. Cross. In the late 1940's, H.C Cross was Battelle's expert scientist in exotic metallurgy and Titanium alloy research.
Curiously – although he was a research metallurgist - Cross was also Battelle’s "point person" in later studies on UFOs that Battelle conducted in the early 1950s for the U.S. Air Force's official UFO study, Project Bluebook. Cross is likely an author of Project Bluebook's still-missing Report Number 13. He is also the author of a strange letter from Battelle to Wright Patterson known as "The Pentacle" memo. Dr. Cross' historic role will be detailed in a forthcoming article.
Founded in 1929, Battelle is engaged in research, development and commercialization of technological innovation. They specialize in materials science and engineering, life sciences, energy science and national security. Battelle contract operates many of our country's National Laboratories. This includes some of the U.S.'s most sensitive installations such as Oak Ridge, Lawrence Livermore and Brookhaven laboratories. Battelle is headquartered in proximity to Wright Patterson- and remains one of the nation's leading defense contractors. Their metallurgical capabilities and technical talent continue to be recognized as world-class.
The full story of the Roswell-Battelle connection is related in the newly published sequel book "Witness to Roswell " (Revised and Expanded Edition, 2009) by Tom Carey and Don Schmitt in chapter contributions made by this author. Scientific citations, references and report images are also included in this updated edition.
The direct connection between the Roswell debris and the Battelle studies is revealed in a material known as Nitinol.
Nitinol is a specially processed combination of Nickel and Titanium, or NiTi. It displays many of the very same properties and physical characteristics as some of the crash debris materials that was reported at Roswell. Both are memory metals that "remember" their original shape and both are extremely lightweight. The materials are reported to have similar color, possess a high fatigue strength and are able to withstand extremely high heat.
Today Nitinol is incorporated in items as far ranging as medical implants and bendable eyeglass frames. It is produced in many forms including sheet, wire and coil. Newer "intelligent metal" systems are being studied by NASA in the creation of bendable or flappable wings, as self-actuators and as a "self-healing" outer hull "skin" for spacecraft. It is believed that the memory metal found at Roswell came from the outer structures of a downed extraterrestrial spacecraft.
The earliest known combination of titanium and nickel reported in the scientific literature was in 1939 by two Europeans. However, this crude sample was a "by-product" of research entirely unrelated to the study of nitinol. Its "memory metal" potential was not sought or noted. The scientists would have been unable to purify Titanium to sufficient levels at that time - and they would not have known about the energy requirement needed to create the "morphing" effect.
The next time that we see the unique combination of titanium and nickel emerge in science is by military scientists associated with Naval Intelligence at the US. Naval Ordnance Lab. It was there that nitinol was "officially" created in the early 1960s. But nitinol's official history  – including the date and reasons for discovery - is conflicting. More on this murky history will be detailed in a future article. Recently gained information suggests that it was in fact Battelle's metallurgist and UFO researcher Dr. Howard Cross who "fed" the US Navy information (including the “phase diagram” and details on Titanium processing) that is required to create nitinol.
Research by this author has confirmed that nitinol studies actually began at Battelle immediately after the Roswell crash - and not in the early 1960s. And it was Wright Patterson (the base where the crash material was flown) that contracted this secret work.
This confirmation is given in a brief footnote found in a study by one of nitinol's "official" inventors at the U.S. Naval Lab. In that military report on nitinol, the author footnotes a 1949 Battelle study which clearly pertains to the refinement of titanium and nickel. The citation relates to a "phase diagram" that examines states of matter and how the two metals could be successfully alloyed. If processed in the right way, the result is nitinol memory metal. It is possible that the “official” co-inventors of nitinol were unaware that the memory metal’s impetus was to be found in the study of the Roswell debris - or perhaps not.
Only three other references to this titanium and nickel memory metal report by Battelle have ever been found. In each case, they appear only as buried footnotes - and only in metals studies which were themselves conducted under U.S. military auspice. In one case this included having a "Project Monitor" present from Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
A historical analysis of the scientific literature shows that no other alloys had ever been studied by the U.S. military as a potential "memory metal" prior to this late 1940's time frame and Battelle's Wright Patterson study contract.

Wright Patterson needed Battelle to accomplish this work. Much of the reason for this is because Battelle had something that Wright Patterson did not - an advanced arc furnace that was capable of melting and refining titanium to the purity required to make memory metal.
The history of titanium (which is required to make nitinol) is itself also very revealing. We learn through review of the literature that, according to Encyclopedia Britannica: "After 1947, Titanium changed from a laboratory curiosity to an important structural metal." According to the Industrial Arts Index, the number of science abstracts published on titanium spiked dramatically from 1946 (and prior years) as compared to abstracts on titanium written after 1947. In Rand Corporation's 1962 abstract "The Titanium Decade" we learn that: "A far larger Titanium industry arose from the point of view of production capacity than was needed to produce the material that was actually used in aircraft. The time period of 1948-1958 involved virtually all of the costs." An astonishing $2.5 billion (in today's dollars) was spent on Titanium research by the US government in the years immediately following 1947.


The Battelle memory metal report is titled "Second Progress 
Report on Contract AF33 (038)-3736" and was completed for Wright Patterson Air Force Base in 1949. It is authored by C.M. Craighead, F. Fawn and L.W. Eastwood. It appears to be part of a series of such contracts conducted through the early 1950s.
Interestingly, the scientists who authored the report were very closely associated with Battelle's chief titanium metallurgist (and later, Battelle's UFO researcher for Project Bluebook) Dr. Howard Cross, previously mentioned. The scientists went on to author reports on exotic metallurgy that related to such areas as "metal and superplasticity," "metal transformation," and "metal microstructures."
Based on the sections of the studies that were found that reference this Battelle report we know that this “progress report” offers the first “phase diagram” ever produced to attempt to successfully alloy titanium and nickel. This would be required to make memory metal. We can also infer that it examined refinement of titanium to high purity levels. High purity titanium is required to create the shape-recovery effect.
No references have ever been located to something that must surely exist - Battelle's "First Progress Report" on the memory metal. While the Second Progress Report (completed in 1949) refers to techniques to process the alloy, the First Progress Report (authored in 1947 or 1948) probably relates to the actual analysis of "Roswellian" memory metal.
Although nitinol is not identical to the Roswell debris material, it represents our best attempts at re-creation of the found memory metal. The impetus for this "shape-recovery" metallurgical research has to be the crash debris discovered at Roswell in the summer of 1947.


A year long effort was made by this author to locate Battelle's First and Second Progress Reports on memory metal. Though footnotes have been located to the reports in military sponsored studies on memory metal, access to the actual reports remains impossible.
Battelle's own Historian/Librarian was unable to locate the documents. In a later follow-up call to Battelle, Sarasota Herald Tribune reporter Billy Cox was told that Battelle is still unable to find the report and that it remains a "mystery." Likewise, Wright Patterson Air Force Base's own Archivist and Manager of its Special Collections was unable to locate the documents. Both librarians from each organization worked together to find them. They are baffled and suggest that it may mean that the reports were destroyed (though there is no record of this) or that they may remain highly classified.
The U.S. DOD's Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) is the master repository of our nation's military-sponsored technical reports and studies. Their database also fails to locate the Battelle reports. Finally, with the guidance of reporter Billy Cox, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Secretary of the Air Force/WPAFB was filed by this author. Information has yet to be provided that is responsive to this request.
It is hoped that the Second Progress Report will one day be located. This is because if it does contain "phase diagrams" for the alloying of Nickel and Titanium- it will confirm the work on memory metal. It would strongly suggest that shape-recovery alloys were precisely what Battelle was attempting to create for the military in the time period directly after the Roswell crash. The likelihood that the First Progress Report by Battelle on memory metal will ever be found is even more remote.


In an interview conducted in the 1990's, former Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Brigadier General Arthur Exon confirmed the existence of the Roswell metal reports. Exon, the Base Commander of Wright Patterson in the 1960s, related that he was privy to some of the details on the composition of the crash debris and the variety of tests that were performed on it. Astonishingly, Exon stated of the debris: "It was Titanium and some other metal they knew about, and the processing was somehow different." Of course, special "processing" of titanium and the “other metal” that “they knew about” (nickel) is required to create nitinol.
Exon added tellingly, "And it wouldn't surprise me if the material wasn't still around, certainly the reports are." Exon was likely referring to the Battelle Progress Reports on memory metal done for Wright Patterson in the late 1940's.

General Arthur Exon:
Air Force General George Schulgen (who led Intelligence at the Pentagon at the time of the Roswell incident) authored a previously-marked “secret” draft memo on the flying saucer issue on October 30, 1947- about four months after the crash.
In the verified version of this memo is found a section entitled "Items of Construction." Schulgen instructs his officers to be aware of flying objects and their materials of construction. He specifically notes the "unusual fabrication methods to achieve extreme lightweight" and that the material is of a "composite construction... using various combinations of metals."
Schulgen is describing precisely some of the very characteristics of nitinol. Just like the Roswell debris material, it is an "extreme lightweight" intermetallic alloy. As a novel "composite construction," it is created by an "unusual fabrication" method that "uses a combination of metals"- perhaps like Titanium and Nickel.

General Shulgen’s 1947 Memo

U.S. Pentagon 1947:
Battelle scientist Elroy John Center has stated that he analyzed metal from a crashed UFO when he was employed by the Institute. Center was a Senior Research Chemist who worked for Battelle for nearly two decades, from 1939 to 1957. This has been confirmed by both his University of Michigan alumni files and by the location of scientific papers that he authored during his employment while at Battelle.
A graduate Chemical Engineer, Center authored papers that appeared in highly technical journals. His areas of research included the chemical testing of metals; the microdetermination of metals in alloys; and the spectroscopic analysis of unique materials. Center was likely involved in early analysis of the Roswell debris. A groundbreaking metals analysis technique that Center developed has been found cited in studies related to the “polygraphic determination of titanium” in alloys. Specially-selected titanium is required to create the Roswell-like "memory metal" nitinol.
Center's family members confirm that he had an intense interest in UFOs and the extraterrestrial. In May of 1992, noted historical researcher Dr. Irena Scott of Columbus, OH (herself a former Battelle scientist) interviewed a close professional associate of Elroy Center. Elroy had privately related to him in June of 1960 that while he was employed at Battelle he had been involved in a very strange laboratory project. Center said that earlier he had been tasked by his superiors to assist on a highly-classified Battelle study that was contracted by the government. He said that the project involved work on a very unusual material.
Center understood that this debris material was retrieved by the US government from the earlier crash of a UFO. Center referred to the item he studied as a "piece." He explained that this "piece" was not something with which anyone was familiar. He also said that the debris had been inscribed with strange symbols that he called "glyphics." Similar markings have of course been reported by some of the witnesses to the Roswell crash debris. Center stopped short of providing any further details. The Battelle scientist passed away in 1991.

Forthcoming details on the Battelle-Roswell Connection will document:
- Battelle metallurgist Dr. Howard Cross' other secret studies on UFO sightings and UFO debris
- The identities of Battelle's Wright Patterson "paymasters"
- Bizarre "mental influence" tests conducted on Nitinol by the US military and NASA using purported psychics to "morph" the material with “mind energy”
- Why “morphing” may be the key to the UFO mystery
- How today's research on "intelligent metals" and "adaptable metals" is guided by NASA, the US military and Battelle


The Battelle-Roswell Connection is fast becoming established. Its implications are profound. In 1947 a spacecraft not of earth - whose materials of construction were unknown to science - fell from the sky to forever change history.

Original article from ufocon.blogspot.com
Read ‘The Day After Roswell’ by Lt Col. Phillip Corso, Ret. (who headed the US Army R&D department which administered reverse engineering of Roswell debris and other unearthly material).

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