What Is Going On With Our Sun?
Are Hysterical Claims Really True?
by M. Theroux and James Borges
"Not since ____ have such violent outbreaks been seen on the surface of the sun as have been reported this year."
The quote is from Harlan True Stetson, the date in the blank is August 1917, and the year Stetson wrote this was 1937. It sounds like it could have been written today. I'm a little dismayed at the hysteria being generated by the media about our current solar condition. We seem to be witnessing "grasping at straws" attempts to point the finger at anything suspect of causing total chaos as we approach the new millennium. At first it was Y2k that was supposed to end the world as we know it, and as that died out due to challenges and rational thought from real computer experts and industrialists (note: the computer industry is preparing for sales in the year 2000 — not the end of the world), now the Sun is the most recent victim to blame for our upcoming Armageddon. Mind you, most of these claims are coming from the alternative media, who again treasure alternative media sources for their documentation and confirmation. These media types do not consult scientists who are respected in the fields in which they work, rather they consult with so-called alternative spokespersons, prophets, and pseudo-scientists (yes, I said that dreaded word) who profess "radical changes are a coming" and "head for the hills" mentality.
A classic example of this kind of behavior was presented to us at BSRF last year. We received several faxes from a couple of groups who had claimed that there was an extraordinary seismic event that occurred and had lasted for hours. They suggested that it had originated from deep inside the earth, and was unprecedented in that it was not felt by anyone. They had also suggested that it was probably a precursor to other potentially devastating seismic events. I perused the seismic databases in search of this anomaly and found nothing, so I asked the group if they could provide any data on the event. I received another fax with several seismograms from the internet's Live Seismic Server which appeared to detail this event with a statement from the group that the USGS was silent on the event — that they may be involved in a coverup. After a quick glance at the seismograms it was easy to correlate the data exactly with a known event that had occurred on the day in question, and that their speculation on the duration of the event had stemmed from their inability to properly interpret the seismograms! Needless to say, after I replied to the group with the correct analysis, it was never mentioned again.
Of course, the USGS was not involved in any coverup — they simply had no idea what these groups were talking about and chalked it up to more lunatic hysteria — as do many mainstream scientists when confronted with such data. I can hardly blame them for their reactions as this is becoming more commonplace as the millennium approaches. Many in the scientific community are being bombarded with allegations of covering up data and research even when they try to present their findings openly. In order for the alternative science community to properly liaison with mainstream science this will have to cease. It is our hope that these attacks do not encourage elements of quantitative science to withhold rather than reveal.
So then, what is really happening with our Sun? Is there something unusual and extraordinary about the recent rise in sunspot numbers? Are communications satellites, automobiles, computers, power plants, etc. going to be rendered useless? Is the sun going to explode soon or lash out with a gigantic fireball to consume the earth and her inhabitants? It's always a possibility, but I don't think so. There are some things that solar activity might be responsible for, but we'll check into that a little later. First, let's look at sunspot activity through recent history. It has been stated by some media personalities that the recent rise in sunspot numbers may be the highest ever recorded — that the jump to over 300 (or 340) is simply unexampled. [note: "Sunspot Number" is comprised of a daily index of SUNSPOT activity (R), defined as R = k (10 g + s) where S = number of individual spots, g = number of sunspot groups, and k is a variable scaling factor (usually < 1)].1 Historical solar and geomagnetic data from 1956-1991 show that unsmoothed sunspots numbers 2 have indeed reached levels and higher many times. Now, let's look at a graphical comparison of solar cycles 21, 22, and our current Cycle 23 (as of 01-01-00):
And, here is a graphical comparison of solar cycles 10, 13, 17, 20 and the current Cycle 23 (using the international monthly smoothed sunspot number):
We can see from the above graphs that Cycle 23 (our present cycle) is about average. While Cycle 23 (our present cycle) has been predicted to be slightly above average (See: Cycle 23 Will Be Above Average But No Record Setter 3) where Dr. David Hathaway of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center said, "It's like saying we're going to have a mild or cold winter." It is now quite probable that the Earth's climate may be linked to sunspots. The "Little Ice Age" corresponded with a 70-year period, 1645-1715, when sunspots were thin in number, the Maunder minimum. Also, there are strong statistical associations linking current trends in climate (surface temperatures) to trends in solar activity (See these two excellent papers by Dr. Theodor Landscheidt from the Schroeter Institute for Research in Cycles of Solar Activity, Nova Scotia, Canada entitled, Solar Activity: A Dominant Factor in Climate Dynamics 4, and Solar Activity Controls El Niño and La Niña 5).
Now that we have fairly determined that Cycle 23 is not really any different than previous cycles, what is it that the sun will affect, and what is it that we should really concern ourselves with?
Sunspots and Human Behavior
The recent Solar Maximum gives us a wonderful opportunity to observe the Sun in action. Borderland Sciences has been investigating the relationship of the Sun and human behavior for many years, and we are quite confident that we can predict behaviors based on sunspot fluctuations over very short and long durations within the Solar Cycle of 11 years. Historically, research has been conducted to link the 11 year cycle of the sun to changes in human behavior and society. The most famous research had been done by professor A.L. Tchijevsky, a Russian scientist, who presented a paper to the American Meteorological Society at Philadelphia in the late 19th century. He prepared a study of the history of mass human movement compared to the solar cycle, beginning with the division of the Solar cycle into four parts: 1) Minimum sunspot activity; 2) increasing sunspot activity; 3) maximum sunspot activity; 4) Decreasing sunspot activity. He then divided up the agitation of mass human movements into five phases:
- provoking influence of leaders upon masses
- the "exciting" effect of emphasized ideas upon the masses
- the velocity of incitability due to the presence of a single psychic center
- the extensive areas covered by mass movements
- Integration and individualization of the masses
By these comparisons he constructed an "Index of Mass Human Excitability" covering each year from 500 B.C. to 1922 A.D. He investigated the histories of 72 countries in that period, noting signs of human unrest such as wars, revolutions, riots, expeditions and migrations, plus the number of humans involved. Tchijevsky found that fully 80% of the most significant events occurred during the years of maximum sunspot activity. He maintained that the "exciting" period may be explained by an acute change in the nervous and psychic character of humanity, which takes place at sunspot maxima.
Tchijevsky discovered that the solar minimum is the lag period when repression is tolerated by the masses, as if they lacked the vital energy to make the needed changes. He found that during the sunspot maximum, the movement of humans is also at its peak. Tchijevsky's study is the foundation of sunspot theory on human behavior, and as Harlan True Stetson, in his book Sunspots and Their Effects (available from BSRF), stated, "Until, however, someone can arrive at a more convincing excitability quotient for mass movements than professor Tchijevsky appears yet to have done, scientists will be reluctant to subscribe to all the conclusions which he sets forth." Stetson did acknowledge that the mechanism by which ultraviolet radiation is absorbed was still a puzzle biologists had to solve.
The mechanism behind the stimulation of human behavior is still a mystery, but the theories of Georges Lakhovsky may shed some light. He considered his book, "The Secret of Life" (reprinted by BSRF), the extension of a scientific hypothesis of a new theory of life. The Sun is one of Earth's primary sources of cosmic radiation. While the Sun does produce its own radiations, solar winds actually capture passing cosmic dust and radiation and blow it into the earth's atmosphere. While it may seem frightening to some, this can actually be considered the Primal Vibration that sets the cells vibrating with Vital Force. This is the Prana, that Cosmic Breath, which is meant to vitalize man, and is the source for our evolution.
Dr. George Crile, a distinguished American surgeon, studied the sun in light of its radiant energy. In the ‘Preliminary Remarks' to Lakhovsky's The Secret of Life, Professor d'Arsonval quotes Crile: "It is clear that radiation produces the electrical current which operates adaptively the organism as a whole, producing memory, reason, imagination, emotion, the special senses, secretions, muscular action, the response to infection, normal growth, and the growth of benign tumours and cancers, all of which are governed adaptively by the electric charges that are generated by the short wave or ionizing radiation in protoplasm."
He felt that the entire energy system of living beings is controlled by radiant energy and electrical forces. D'Arsonval points out that Lakhovsky and Crile found that living cells are electrical cells functioning as system of generators, inductance lines, and insulators. The underlying mechanism is the oscillating circuit. An oscillating circuit is a circuit containing inductance and capacity,  which when supplied energy from an external source, is set in electrical vibration and oscillates at its natural frequency. D'Arsonval explains further that a conductor is said to possess inductance if a current flowing through it causes a magnetic field to be set up round it. The capacity of a condenser of an isolated body is a measure of the charge of the quantity of electricity it is capable of storing. From such a circuit, energy is readily given off in the form of waves. According to Lakhovsky, the nucleus of a living cell may be compared to an electrical oscillating circuit. The nucleus consists of tubular filaments, chromosomes, mitochondria, made up of insulating material and filled with a conducting fluid containing all the mineral salts found in sea water. These filaments are thus comparable to oscillating circuits endowed with capacity according to a specific frequency.
The cosmic radiation from the Sun is a blessing of Vital Force. As Lakhovsky has postulated, it is the cosmic radiations that give the cells their vibrant oscillations. While the sunspot maxima is occurring, the solar flares and the subsequent geo-magnetic reactions effect the many subtle reactions that take place within our bodies at the atomic level. It has been theorized that this has a direct relationship to the metabolism of the body. We know it is the subtle magnetism of positive and negative charges that pulls certain particles across membranes in cells to produce energy. These magnetic exchanges result in the stimulation of enzymes and the production of energy like ATP. The increase of penetrating waves during a solar storm causes an excitation in these electro-chemical reactions within the body. Tchijevsky also identified correlations between changes in solar magnetic activity with biological processes. In light of Lakhovsky's theory in his own words, " . . . with the aid of elementary analogies, that the cell, essential organic unit in all living beings, is nothing but an electromagnetic resonator, capable of emitting and absorbing radiations of very high frequency." A plausible mechanism is provided to understanding the stimulating effects the radiation from the Sun has on human behavior. In an abstract entitled "Automated Experiment on Macro-fluctuation Monitoring" Bruns A.V. & Visolimsky B.M. also find a close relationship with the solar activity and bio-chemical reactions. "Phenomenologically obtained data could be treated like an effect of the surface (controlled by solar activity) on the physico-chemical kinetics. This effect was realized, evidently through the mechanisms close to nuclear magnetic resonance in geomagnetic field." In another historical study Suitbert Ertel writes in his article "Synchronous Bursts of Activity in Independent Cultures; Evidence for Extraterrestrial Connections" that evidence has been reported suggesting a link between historical oscillations of scientific creativity and solar cyclic variation. Eddy's discovery of abnormal secular periods of solar inactivity (Maunders minimum type) offered the opportunity to put the present hypothesis to a crucial test. Using time series of flourish years of creators in science, literature, and painting (A.D. 600-1800) It was found as expected:
1) Cultural flourish curves show marked discontinuities (bursts) after the onset of secular solar excursions synchronously in Europe and China;
2) During periods of extended solar excursions, bursts of creativity in painting, literature, and science succeeded one another with lags of about 10-15 years;
3) The reported regularities of cultural output are prominent throughout with eminent creators. They decrease with ordinary professionals. The hypothesized extraterrestrial connection of human culture has thus been strengthened.
The evidence seems to show that during the maxima of sunspot activity human behavior is stimulated.
There is some Russian research that shows an increase in cardiac problems during sunspot maxima. The solar activity probably sets off a preexisting condition and no one is suggesting that people will drop dead in the streets. We could see the stress of solar activity on the biology of living things as an evolutionary agent weeding out the old and sick and strengthening those who can resonate with its radiations. In his ‘Preliminary remarks to Lakhovsky's The Secret of Life the Professor d'Arsonval gives several examples of research done in the last hundred years that shows the most malefic effects from solar activity come at the sunspot minima. He notes from the British Medical Journal, March 7th & 14th of 1936 that both Colonel C.A. Gill and Dr. Conyers Morrel found increases in pandemics of deadly diseases during the period of minimal sunspot activity. In Gill's study he showed that every pandemic of malaria since sunspot records were taken had occurred when sunspot numbers were lowest. Similar trends were observed in East Africa and elsewhere with Yellow fever epidemics since 1800 occur during the sunspot minima. Dr. Conyers Morrel also finds that, " . . . waves of epidemic diseases covering considerable periods exhibit a very close correspondence with the phases of sunspot periods. Diphtheria, Typhus, and Dysentery seemed to prosper when there was an absence of solar activity. We also see an increase in disease in Solco W. Tromp's study. Without the stimulation from the Sun human health seems to diminish. The immune system seems to grow unresponsive during the solar lull and diseases can more easily gain a foothold in the body. Not only human health but Life itself seems hampered by the lack of solar activity. William Hershel wrote in 1801, "It seems probable analyzing the period between 1650 and 1713, and judging by the normal yields of wheat, that a scarcity of vegetation occurred whenever the sun appeared to be free from spots." The depressed state of metabolism and lack of food in agricultural centers may have seemed very inviting to the Mongols. Goncharov, in an abstract on the "Asian Nomadic Invasions and Solar Cycles", aid, "From the 4th to the 16th centuries the Central Asian Steepe was the cradle of the series of great nomadic tribal invasions into agricultural regions of Europe, China, and South Asia. Those invasions had similar features. They arose in middle latitudes and recurred every 160-220 years — exactly after solar abatements."
- Moore, Carol. Sunspot Cycles and Activist Strategy, http://www.kreative.net/carolmoore/sunspot-article.html
- Lakhovsky, Georges. The Secret of Life. BSRF, 1985. [Available in our standard xerographic format: <#B0216, "The Secret of Life">]
- Petersen, William. Man, Weather, Sun. Charles C. Thomas, 1947. <http://amzn.to/1AYb2aq>
- Stetson, Harlan True. Sunspots in Action. The Ronald Press Company, New York, 1947. [Digital: <http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001485895>]
- Stetson, Harlan True. Sunspots and Their Effects. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1937. [Available in our standard xerographic format: <#B0124, "Sunspots and Their Effects">]
- Botezat-Antonescu, L., and Predeanu I. "Possible Heliogeophysical Influence on Human Health in Romania" (Abstract). Relations of Biological and Physicochemical Processes with Solar Activity and Other Environmental Factors, 1993.
- Breus T.K., Halberg F. and Cornelissen G. "Effect of the Solar Activity on the Physiological Rhythms of Human Being" (Abstract). Relations of Biological and Physicochemical Processes with Solar Activity and Other Environmental Factors, 1993.
- Ertel, Suitber. Solar Activity and Bursts of Human Creativity, http://www.knowledge.co.uk/frontiers/sf067p17.html
- Freitas, Robert A., Sunspots and Disease, http://www.knowledge.co.uk/frontiers/sf034p12.html
- Goncharov, G.G. "Asian Nomads Invasions and Solar Cycles" (Abstract). Relations of Biological and Physicochemical Processes with Solar Activity and Other Environmental Factors, 1993.