Mobil and Exxon won’t like it. Neither will the nuclear power industry. Even solar power enthusiasts may frown in disbelief. But give them time. All new ideas, especially those that reverse conventional wisdom (180 degrees exactly), fall on deaf ears, unwilling ears.
Take polar energy, for example: that glorious spectacle of colored lights painting the night sky of the northern and southern latitudes. Auroral readings taken in the Van Allen Belt are on the order of 3 million megawatts. That’s four times the power used in the U.S. at peak (summer) demand!
Can atmospheric conditions be used as power? Some think so.
Alaskans have begun to investigate the possibility of harnessing energy from those stunning nocturnal displays, known to us as aurora borealis, to the Maoris as Burning-of-the-sky, and to Europeans as Merry Dancers, shimmering, swaying and waltzing across the firmament with dazzling grace and ineffable beauty. Yet, chances of tapping this almost occult power are slim, barring a revised (really, reversed) view of terrestrial mechanics; we need to know where auroras come from before launching the intriguing business of capturing their energy for the use of mankind. And, if Ray Palmer was right, those flickering fireworks of the polar skies originate, not from the heavens above, but from the very bowels of the earth. “Our recent ISIS satellite,” commented Palmer, a founding editor of Fate magazine, “has just [ca. 1970] confirmed … that the energy that causes the northern lights flows upward from the north pole, rather than downward from outer space (from the sun) as previously held by scientists.” Ray’s “previously” was optimistic; for today’s science stronghold, stubbornly ignoring its own findings, would have us believe that our cascading, gliding auroras are triggered by the far-off sun. And here’s the explanation, the sciencespeak, that makes it so—Entrapment: Solar particles that “get trapped in our planet’s magnetic field” bump into atmospheric gases, causing them to glow.
But can it be?—given the perfectly well-known fact that gases of earth’s atmosphere occur only in molecular form, while auroral wavelengths are frequently atomic, i.e., atomic nitrogen, atomic oxygen, etc. Where does this atomic energy come from if, as scientists have observed, ordinary energy from the sun cannot radiate these lines, i.e., auroral rays?
With science to the rescue, a new kind of “high energy particle” (from the sun) is quickly postulated to fit the bill. And the explanation becomes: Solar Wind. Conveniently, the fancied solar wind (invented in 1958), is also assigned the difficult task of pushing the auroras toward the earth’s polar regions (missing all other latitudes), thus killing two birds with one stone; for how else may we account for the fact that a “donut” of light (auroral ring) favors the poles, as pictured by satellite images over the Arctic and Antarctica? And why would the solar wind perform this prodigy only at night? Let’s just stand this thing on its head and see how right Ray Palmer may have been. Let’s change the direction of this auroral energy and suffer it to emerge, nightly, from the center of the earth. This powerful current, the earth’s own motor or dynamo, thus completes its round trip by emerging from “the northern pole…in flames of fire, which are called borealis.”
Picture it: the earth-body breathes in by day, and out by night; the north pole, nicely dented (no one knows why), serving as the primary vent, the chute, for earth’s powerful effluvium. And what is aurora, then, but her own beautiful aura?
Careful observers, like William Corliss, have quietly admitted that “some auroras may record the slow discharge of terrestrial electricity to the upper atmosphere.”
And so it is…away from the earth, to the atmosphere, gushing, shooting outward and loaded with bolts of free and clean energy. Such currents, Corliss goes on to observe, “that create auroral displays are accompanied by similar currents in the earth’s crust.” In fact, the same researcher is struck by “puzzling observations linking auroras to….earthquakes and mountaintop glows.”
Yet, not so puzzling once the terrestrial origin of the Merry Dancers is allowed; and, too, once the various “vents,” (secondary vents) are identified. Especially on dark nights, the Brown Mountain Lights of North Carolina rise brilliantly over the ridge like “a bursting skyrocket.” Interesting that the area is seismically active; just as British studies show “a clear connection between these light displays and the presence of fault lines”—giving us our “vents.” The Brown Mountain Lights, just like auroras with their famous split-second changes, “suddenly wink out.” The phenomenon, generally known as the Andes Glow—occurring also in the Alps, Rockies, etc.—involves bright flashes of colored light emitted from mountain peaks and shot high into the sky at great speed, sometimes seen hundreds of miles off.
Striking is the family resemblance between auroras, earthquake lights, Andes Glow, airglow, reykir, marine phosphorescence, volcanic glow, spontaneous earth fires, spooklights and will-o-the-wisps.
The poles are by no means the only path of escape for the boundless energy which, after sunset, surges through the heart of the planet on its way back to the atmospheric dynamo (vortex) from whence it came. Ruptures deep in the earth give us volcanoes and earthquakes, the latter—in Chile, Japan, China, California—at times filling the sky with “earthquake lights” discharged from the depths. Tall blue flames, just before the great San Francisco quake of 1906, played over foothills and marshland. Such wastelands, swamps (and even graveyards) produce phenomena intriguingly similar to auroras.
Yet, the most prevalent of marshland lights—will-o’-the-wisps—are so strange and mysterious that “serious scientific studies are non-existent.” These playful phosphorescent flames, small armies of which magically erupt at night over swampy land, command the selfsame descriptions as the floating auroras. The “soft eerie light” of will-o’-thewisps compares readily with the ethereal curtains and supple draperies of the northern lights. The “ghostlike quality” of the swampland flames matches the “ghostly veils” of auroras. If will-o’-the-wisps prance and hop, auroras are Merry Dancers. If will-o’-the-wisps change colors instantaneously and disappear in a flash (“like a cinder”), auroras do the same. Appearing just a few feet off the ground, these small but bright pyrotechnics of the marshlands are nocturnal only, and they are of the earth—like Andes Glow, spooklights, “money lights,” “fairy lights,” airglow, ginseng glow, and assorted terraqueous luminosities—all of which manifest only at night. What is that “special earth vitality” that, according to the Chinese, makes ginseng glow at night? (That’s how hunters find them.) And what exactly is the energy that enables vegetable growth to take place mostly at night?
We could have none of these “marvels” if the earth itself did not possess a specifically nocturnal energy as yet undreamed of by the science of man, the cabal which would repudiate the well-known ghost lights of various locales, attributing them to some dull, prosaic cause, such as refraction from headlights (even though the phenomena predate the invention of automobiles); or blame it on natural gas (even when these marsh flames burn cold); or invoke that old standby—collective hallucination! Yet the enigmatic earthlights are real, and their spectral quality faultlessly imitates the gliding auroras—mobile and shape-shifting, “blinding” (Esperanza Light), “dancing in the dark” (Marfa Lights of Texas), color-changing (Summerville Light of South Carolina), and “blinking out” (Ozark Spook-light, near Joplin, Missouri). Arising from the ground, our ghost lights, witnessed constantly by thousands, are strictly nocturnal, like auroras, and speak the language of earth’s effluvium in their every tour de force. Only nature’s nightside can produce these spectacular visions which, like Puck, the British hobgoblin, emerge only at night. They are not freaks of nature; they are part of nature, part of the same grand plan that gives us day and night, and they are endowed with all the idiosyncrasies of the northern lights, which are spewed in lavish array from the planet’s primary vents—the poles.
Everything that spouts from the nightside earth is marked by the same implacable force that thrusts auroras high in the sky, like volcanic ash that is propelled 20 miles into the stratosphere. We recognize in these prodigious earth-lights the familiar pigments—greens, yellows, blues, reds—of the colorful auroras. The sulfur/ozone smell of auroras is also perfectly analogous to that of waterspouts, earthquakes, volcanoes, surprising beach flames and mud fires. Too, the vast and wondrous rotating wheels of light, perfectly geometrical and witnessed by astonished observers on the seas, are identical to auroral wheels. These marine wheels, enormous and accompanied by “swishing sounds,” have been sighted in the East Indian Archipelago and “bear an intriguing resemblance to the sounds reported during low-level auroras,” according to Corliss, who adds that the luminous marine waves “emulate the auroral fogs.” No one knows why these radiant mists should occur mainly in the Indian Ocean. But given a major seismic chain running under those waters (and hundreds of volcanoes in Southeast Asia), is it any wonder that the hidden forces of the earth erupt there? (This is the same area of the disastrous tsunamis of 2004.)
Dame Science remains silent on the subject of that awesome power. Nonetheless, the vortexyan powerhouse that envelops the earth, and the polar outcropping which is its nightside, are “very close indeed to our atomic energy.” The extraordinary heat of the interior of volcanic fountains—over 2,000 degrees F—also bespeaks atomic energy, as does the piezoelectric effect of earthquakes. The incandescence and rocket speed of ghostlights and mysterious fireballs also suggest a rarefied power. Indeed, the blue glow so frequently associated with earthlights may be traced to the chemistry of atomic nitrogen, as are the blue auroras. And if auroral wavelengths correspond to oxygen in its atomic form, so does night airglow—that soft, faint light which, absent moonlight, is brighter than all the starlight together. Does airglow come from the upper atmosphere, as science teaches? Perhaps it is the planet’s gentle and diffuse outbreath, quietly oozing out the earth from dusk to dawn. A “fictional” view of inner earth, envisioned by the prophetic Jules Verne in his Journey to the Center of the Earth, pictures our planet’s interior “lit up like day…the illuminating power…flickering [and] evidently electric; something in the nature of the aurora borealis…light[ing] up the whole of the ocean cavern.” His ideas, far in advance of the times, were one part imagination and one part ear to the ground. When a 13th century Norseman speculated that auroras “radiate at night the light which has [been] absorbed by day”; when Scandinavian folklore insists that auroras originate from the depths of the sea; when Eskimos tell of auroras so low they have killed people—shall we dismiss their folk science as superstition?
Though many have dreamed of drawing power (free energy) from the earth’s magnetic envelope, precious few have warmed to the secret of the northern lights. And with auroras romanticized as “a breath from beyond this planet,” commentary on the auroras flip-flops from sentimental doggerel to scientific dogma. In fact, the “solar wind” theory bogs when we take a look at the Van Allen Belt where the northern lights are supposedly manufactured by solar radiation. But—have a look—the belt girdles the earth like a donut, straddling every latitude except the poles (where the earth’s vent-stream cuts its own swath into the atmosphere). If the northern lights were rained down to earth from the Aurora Factory in the Sky (Van Allen Belt), they would not cover the poles but would head for the equator and mid-latitudes. But they don’t. What is the sciencespeak that will emasculate this obvious fact?—The chimerical solar wind is supposedly empowered by something called “Alfven waves” which “accelerate particles down from space,” nicely accounting for the fact that auroral rays are actually “more intense as [they] converge near earth”! And “fade away rather gradually” into the atmosphere. But NASA has it the other way around!—filmed at Antarctica, their footages show “the aurora emanating from an orifice in the continent…spouting out from the opening [and] shooting up luminous streamers…directed toward the zenith.” Indeed, physicists, led by the giant Karl Gauss, recognize the magnetic nature of the earth’s interior, arguing that the earth’s force field is in fact generated by electric currents in the interior.
So why haven’t we connected the dots?
Madame Science, for her own reasons, prefers to remain mum on the simple question of why auroras are nocturnal. Why can’t they, like rainbows, occur at any time? Do Alfven waves/solar wind sleep by day? Or—was Ray Palmer right, after all, in calling our attention to that nocturnal energy which “flows upward from the north pole”?
Have you ever wondered why most earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur at night or in early morning?
Now you know.
What about the 24-hour delay between “solar flares” (read: vortexyan surges) and exceptionally large auroral displays?
Now you know, for that same energy must first pass through the earth in the nightwatches before streaming out the polar vents. And it has nothing to do with the sun.
The natural earth receives her energy by day and discharges her powerful magnetic flux by night. Is this “anomalous”? (and therefore beneath the purview of science)? Shall we banish these lights, sounds, motions, smells, flames, surges, and commotions of our dynamic planet to the siberia of scholarship, to do time with other rogues and mavericks of “fringe” science? In place of a thousand and one “sophisticated” explanations of Dame Science, a few, very few, principles will surely underlie the great panorama of earth’s mysteries.
Geysers are tapped to heat the Icelandic city of Reykjavik.
Volcanoes, which release the energy of atom bombs, have proven an immense source of cheap power.
Huge (natural) steambath galleries heat the towns of Antarctica with hot underground water.
And the auroras, one of the wonders of the world—the great light-show in the sky—may yet prove a greater wonder when their awesome power is tapped for the good of mankind.
The force of the vortex [roughly, geomagnetic field] is toward its own center, but turns at the center and escapes outward at the north pole—as one may draw a line from the east to the center of the earth, then in a right angle due north, which would be the current of the vortex.
The author is currently book review editor at the journal of spirituality and paranormal studies, and is the author of The Psychic Life of Abraham Lincoln, to be released by New Page Books in the fall.