Professor Alfred De Grazia, the late Prof. Emeritus of Chicago, passed away in July this summer; he was 95 years old.
I’m going to be re-presenting his writings here for you to read, adding my own abstracts made using tools from JKU.
Since even his short books are still long when posted into a blog, I’ll present to you, my readers, a chapter or a part of a chapter at a time. Tonight’s excerpt
is from the Lately Tortured Earth, Chapter 5, Electricty.
Part 3 of 3:
Silification is abundant around igneous metamorphism. In a hot and fast reaction, siliceous fluid is introduced hydrothermally and replaces the host rock, such as limestone, into which it intrudes. Such is the case where an electric charge is seeking an exit from far below. With or without water, a hot electric discharge current can assemble and proceed quickly up the core of a hill, heating and silicifying as it move. On top of the hill, it forms acap just as caps will form on the sparking end of a discharging rod. The charge, that is, uses the plastically flowing rock as a conductor and then builds a deposit from which it may discharge more easily. The taller the mountain, the less time and chance for the siliceous fluid to reach and cap its peak. At the same time, electricity of this type may even build mountains. Juergens has suggested that mounds may have been formed on the planet Mars by the same process. An electrical process may also be involved in the vigorously erupting mountains of Io, satellite of Jupiter. These are casting material to heights of several hundred kilometers from caldera-like structures. Unless Io is newly emplaced, all water or carbon dioxide would have long agobeen exhausted as propellant media. Spectroscopy evidences no water on Io, moreover. Sulfur would be too heavy to gain the speed of eruption required for such lofty explosions. Therefore, Thomas Gold turns to the electric current of 5×106 amperes that cyclones upwards from the Jovian surface arguing that it is “largely conducted through the body of Io . The current contracts along a narrow tube of passage which is kept hot and therefore more conductive. As it emerges into cold space, the current encounters conductive resistance and, hence, forms heat spots of several thousands of degrees kelvin. “Most current spots are likely to be volcanic calderas, either provided by tectonic events within Io or generated by the current heating itself.” The electric volcanism is steadied by the “accurately repeating” electric arc from Jupiter. So now we find here a model for processes that may once have occurred on Earth as well, supposing a sufficiently intense terrestrial discharge were occurring at a weak spot for even a few days. The “slow lightning” may shape not only eminences but also subterranean cavities. Von Fange writes that “The same phenomenon has been observed in the mounds and barrows of the British Isles. Some have at one time been filled with an intense heat. Their walls are melted and their contents fused. The stones of the innermost cell of a long barrow near Maughold on the Isle of Man have been fused together like the mysterious vitrified towers of Scotland and elsewhere.” Many Egyptian tombs and the interiors of pyramids are scarred by intense heat. Caliche (CaCO3) adhering to bones and rock undersides in a California burial cairn provide radiometric dates of 19,000 to 21,000 years, whereas archaeological estimates of the many such cairns give 5,000 B.P. or less . The famed caves of Aquitaine (France) whose primeval users carved and sculpted images upon the walls, may surprise the naive visitor. One expects to find a general similarity of the interiors. Not at all. Each interior is unique. Some are serpentine, others like grand ballrooms; some have magnificent silicate columns and startling naturally formed shapes; others are plain and dull, save for the signs of human occupancy. All are of limestone; all are elevated, if only slightly, above the flat river and stream valleys around. Why are they so different? Caves are said to be formed by the percolation of water through weak stone, cracked stone, or interstices of layers of stone. The filtering drops become trickles, and then streams. The cavity is enlarged. The river deviates or dries up and the interior is prepared for occupancy. Time elapsed may be “millions of years.” However, Worrad reports that limestone caves can be rapidly formed by water – “that in one year a cave of 3ft. x 6ft. cross section x 120ft. long would be formed per square mile of the surface,” and opines that the Deluge [not to mention other floods] provided huge amounts of water for limestone solution and cave foundation . Dripstone would be formed rapidly, too. A National Geographic Magazine photograph (1953) carried a picture of a bat “entombed” inside a stalagmite, which, therefore, could not have formed at the “0.001 inch per annum or so rates ” usually assumed . In Brixham caves (Devonshire), the bones of fossil mammals, of the types drawn in the Caves of Dordogne, are stuck in the ceiling – so writes a correspondent, U.E. Ramage, to this author -as well as in the sides and floor. In as much as these species’ extinctions were quite recent, this shows that it may not take long to hollow out a cave. Furthermore, the small cave is “prettily ornamented with concrete growths.” So we would appear to have a very recent catastrophic bone assemblage of animals, then or soon extincted as species, followed by a geologically instant cavemaking, and prompt furbishing with stalagmites and stalactites. Although water may quickly hollow out caves, the role of electricity is not to be ignored. Electric fields, as Asakawa hasdemonstrated experimentally, enhances heat transfer in nearby gases ( up to 1.5 times); liquids (up to 2.0 times) and solids (up to 1.6 times), depending upon the positioning of electrodes and the strength of the applied fields . Perhaps caves are ancient hotspots, electrical calderas, where creation time is shortened by the blasting impatience of electrical arc currents.
Notes (Chapter Five: Electricity)
Cf. 44 abstracts of such experiences in Wm. Corliss,
Sourcebook GLD-001 to 044, GI-81 to 110.
Pliny, Natural History, Rockham tr. (Cambridge: Harvard
Press, 1967), II. LIII; N. Rilli, Gli Etruschi a Sesto
Fiorentino (Florence: Giuntina, 1964).
Guy Underwood, The Pattern of the Past (London: Abacus,
1972) Treats dowsing, electricity, geodetic lines, and
cultural associations all together.
Fred Soyka and Alan Edmonds, The Ion Effect (Toronto:
Seal Books, 1978); S.W. Tromp, op. cit., 112-5.
Fernando Sanford, Terrestrial Electricity (Stanford, Calif.:
Stanford U. Press, 1931), Chapter 4.
“Solar Activity and Terrestrial Thunderstorms,” 81 New
Scientists (1979), 256.
A View Over Atlantis, (1969).
See the survey of unusual ground effects by B.L. Goodlet, J.
Inst. of Elec. Eng. 81 (1937), 1-26.
Jerry Ziegler (pseud. Zeromiah II), YHWH, Princeton:
Metron Publns., 1977.
Hock, God in Greek Philosophy, 99, cited in Ziegler.
“Why the Oracles Cease to Give Answers,” IV, 56. See
Ziegler, Chapter 19.
Erich A. von Fange, “Strange Fire on the Earth,” 12 Creat.
Res. Soc. Q. (Dec. 1975), 132.
Q-CD vol. 4: The Lately Tortured Earth, Ch. 5: Electricity 95
Op. cit., 210 ff.
James Anderson, 5 Archaelogia (1777), 241-66; ibid.,
(1980), 87-99. and see the materials reprinted in W.R.
Corliss, Strange Artifacts (Glen Arm, Md.: Sourcebook
Project, 1974) vols. M-1, M-2, under “Forts.”
A. de Grazia, “Paleo-Calcinology: Destruction by Fire in
Pre-Historic and Ancient Times.” I Kronos (April 1975),
25-36; II Kronos (August, 1975), 63-71.
The author thanks geologists Dr. Gerd Roesler and Dr. Poul
Andriessen, who aided me notwithstanding their scepticism.
“Electrical Origin of the Outbursts of Io,” 206 Sci (30 Nov.
1979), 107 1-3. On sulphur as the medium, cf. Guy J.
Consolmagno, “Sulfur Volcanos on Io,” 205 Sci (27 July
Op. cit., 132.
P.J. Wilke, “Cairn Burials of the California Deserts,” 43
Amer. Antiquity (1978), 444-8.
Inter alia cf. J.P. Rigaud and B. Vanderneersch, eds., Sud-
Ouest (Aquitaine et Charente): Livret-Guide de 1′
Excursion A4, IX Congrés U.I.S.P.R. Paris, 1976.
Worrad, Creat. Sci. Res. Q. 197; see also letters by D.
Cardona and B. Raymond in 3 Pensée (Winter, 1973), 48-
50; and E.L. Williams and R.J. Herdklotz “Solution and
Deposition of Calcium Carbonate in a Laboratory
Situation,” 13 Creat. Res. Sci. Q. (March 1977), 192-9.
Ltr. of Felix Fernando, III Pensée (1973), 50, citing Nat.
Geog. (Oct. 1953).
8 Sept. 1967 from Ceylon; Villey Aellen And P. Strinati,
Guide des Grottes d’Europe (Paris: Delachaux, 1975), 130.
Q-CD vol. 4: The Lately Tortured Earth, Ch. 5: Electricity 96
Y. Asakawa, “Promotion and retardation of heat transfer by
electric fields,” 261 Nature (20 May 1976), 220-