Andy Lloyd's Dark Star Blog

Blog 18   (September 2014)


The Secrecy Surrounding the 1983 IRAS Discovery


Over ten years ago, I had the pleasure of corresponding with a researcher who, at the time, was almost 80 years old.  John Bagby had come across my work on brown dwarfs and a possible companion object in the outer solar system over the internet, and took the time to send me some of his papers from California (1).  


He had been interested in similar ideas for some years, it transpired, and had written several scientific papers outlining his theories, and the evidence he had accumulated regarding candidate objects.  One, in particular, ticked a number of boxes for me, and I wrote about his contribution to the field in 'Dark Star'.

"An amateur astronomer who long argued for the existence of a substantial tenth planet was the engineer John Bagby.  He wrote several papers outlining evidence he had put forward for the existence of a Massive Solar Companion, or ‘MSC’.  Bagby was quite sure that such a body existed, and he claimed to have data to prove it, if only someone would listen to him.  He shared his information with astronomers including Drs Harrington and Van Flandern at the US Naval Observatory,  Dr Anderson at JPL, and Dr Marsden, who collates sightings of new solar system bodies.   He also publicly presented his work at seminars and scientific meetings in the 1970s.

"Bagby wrote unpublished papers between 1978 and 1980 that set out his observational data and theoretical underpinning for either a tenth planet, or a massive solar companion.  He claimed that the discovery of Pluto in Gemini was located 180 degrees opposite to the massive undiscovered planet, and that the pre-discovery prediction work of Lowell and Pickering could be put down to a classical "direction finding and distance ambiguity".  In other words, Lowell had been right, but had looked in the wrong direction.  Planet X lay in Sagittarius, Bagby claimed.

"This proposal from the late 1970s finds itself in accordance with my own analysis of the location of the Dark Star. Was Bagby onto something?  Problems emerge when we come to look at his proposals about the size and distance of the binary companion.  Bagby was proposing a full-blown brown dwarf in the vicinity of the Kuiper Belt.  We’d be able to see such a massive object with a regular telescope.  How had he arrived at this fantastic, utterly impossible, conclusion?

It turns out that Bagby was interested in the work of one E.R. Harrison who, in 1977, postulated the existence of a massive nearby body, lying in Sagittarius, required to explain observational anomalies regarding a "pulsar period time derivative".  Pulsars are highly regular emitters of strong radiation.  If a gravitational field comes between a pulsar and us, as observers on Earth, then the highly specific data from them pulsar will be altered slightly.  This will allow us to imply the existence of a dark gravity field in the way of the light from the pulsar, which is what Harrison proposed in Sagittarius.  Is this anomalous gravitational field due to the Dark Star?" (2)

Now, I happen to agree about the Sagittarius theory for the approximate aphelion position of Nibiru, so these considerations were of quite some interest to me.  This work by Harrison (3) seemed to provide good evidence (4), particularly as this academic paper is cited by Richard Muller, et al in their landmark paper on extinction event periodicities and Nemesis (5).


The information provided by Bagby seemed even more relevant when looking through one of his papers which sought to draw a connection between a massive solar system object and periodicity of earthquakes (a subject close to the heart of many modern Planet X enthusiasts).  One of his proposed candidate objects has an implied orbital period of 3652 years (6), very similar to that proposed by Zecharia Sitchin for the planet Nibiru.  Indeed, in a footnote Bagby makes this very point:

"Dale Welsh of Ace Electronics loaned me literature (7) suggesting that these values almost coincide with the period of a long-ago (1958) hypothesized "twelfth planet" due to Zecharia Sitchin.  It was anticipated to have had a very eccentric orbit and was called Nibiru by him." (6)

One should be just a little bit wary though.  Bagby was an engineer who carried on his scientific studies well into his retirement.  Some of his methods included "gravitational astronomy", but using some not-exactly-box-standard equipment for the measurement of gravity waves:

"In addition to my own studies of the IR and EF/EF* [empty field] evidence for a massive belt of MSC-type objects and/or tenth planets, considerable gravitational perturbation evidence also has been found.  This includes evidence I derived from earthquake and volcano incidence as well as from several "gravitational wave antennas" of my own construction and the vibrating earth itself." (6)

His work really does seem remarkably cutting-edge for 1996, especially when you consider the sheer scale of the technology brought to bear in the emergent field of 21st Century gravitational-wave astronomy:

"There are currently several scientific collaborations hoping to make the first direct detection of gravitational waves. There is a world-wide network of ground-based detectors, these are kilometre-scale laser interferometers...It is hoped that ground-based detectors shall make their first detection by the end of the decade.  An alternative means of detection is using pulsar timing arrays (PTAs). These use existing radio telescopes, but since they are sensitive to frequencies in the nanohertz range, many years of observation are needed to detect a signal and detector sensitivity improves gradually. Current bounds are approaching those expected for astrophysical sources.  Further in the future, there is the possibility of space-borne detectors." (8)

So, does this put Bagby into the tin-helmet brigade, knocking up pseudo-scientific kit in his shed?  I don't think so.  He was evidently successful as an industrial engineer (he had been chief principal engineer at Bell and Howell, and a senior scientist at Hughes Aircraft), and he clearly spent a lot of time poring over infrared, radio microwave data in the hunt for hidden outer solar system bodies.  He also showed some keen insight into the political side of science, and what it was like to be an outsider presenting what he considered to be important, cutting-edge ideas to a selectively deaf scientific academic establishment.  That sceptical view of the establishment may have influenced the tone of this letter he wrote to me in 2003:

"Dear Andy,

At the time I sent you the large packet of papers, I could not find this Boston Globe reprint (9).  Walter Sullivan of the New York Times called me to see if I was being invited to attend the meeting, but I certainly was not.. The subject was soon dropped from all further discussion after IRAS.  My opinion is that when the UK and Dutch people agreed to let our JPL "manage" the data, it was (IRAS) heavily censored, and has been ever since"

John" (1)

The article he discusses appeared in the Boston Globe on Saturday 29th October 1983, and described the soon-to-be-released discovery of an enormous ring circling the solar system at a distance of approximately 100AU, or just less than 10 billion miles away.  It's not clear to me whether this ring turned out to just be the Kuiper Belt, or was something quite different.  The discovery that was actually announced - as promised by NASA on 9th November of that year - became the subject of the famous Washington Post article of 30th December 1983 (10). 


NASA presented what was a pretty vague notion of what IRAS had so unexpectedly picked up, including the potential for it to be a Jupiter-sized planet beyond Neptune.  It's interesting to see the preceding Boston Globe article that John Bagby sent me, which was full of speculation about what NASA was about to announce.  Bagby highlighted the sections of the article that dealt with the secrecy surrounding the IRAS discoveries:

"Both scientists asked not to be identified because the space agency has gone to great lengths to maintain secrecy." (9)


"IRAS is a joint project by scientists from the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands.  The secrecy surrounding the new IRAS results was imposed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and many astronomers are critical because the findings haven't been released yet.  "This is the tightest-kept thing I've seen," one scientist complained.  "I can't imagine them being able to keep it so long."" (9)

One has to wonder, then, why was there so much secrecy over an announcement that, in the end, was so vague?  Was Bagby right to be sceptical about the way JPL took over the latter part of the project, a charge also levelled against the Americans by British science journalists Martin Redfern and Nigel Henblest (11)?  The article was published in "New Scientist" on 10th November 1983 (the day after the aforementioned NASA press conference), and discussed the discovery of an object in space by the infra-red space telescope in the constellation of Sagittarius, of an object potentially ‘several times heavier than Jupiter’. 

It appears as though British scientists at the time were accusing their American colleagues on the IRAS project of keeping the information of this find to themselves.  The British scientists publicly questioned why the Americans had "been keeping quiet about it in recent weeks" (11).  If, as is often implied, this discovery was much ado about nothing, then why all the fuss about the preceding secrecy?


Written by Andy Lloyd, 18th September 2014



1) Correspondence from John Bagby, 23 May 2003

2) Andy Lloyd "Dark Star: The Planet X Evidence" Timeless Voyager Press, 2005, pp80-1

   The Dark Star

3) Edward Robert Harrison wiki

4)  Harrison, E.R. "Has Sun a Companion Star?" Nature, 270: 324-326, 1977 articles

5) Marc Davis, Piet Hut & Richard A. Muller "Extinction of species by periodic comet showers", Nature, 308, 715-717, 19 April 1984 article

6) John P. Bagby "Outer-solar-system Bodies as a Source of Periodicity in Earthquakes", Geophysical Cycles, 46(1): 21-2, 1996

7) David Hatcher Childress "Extra-Terrestrial Archaeology" Adventures Unlimited Press, 1994

   Extraterrestrial Archaeology, New Revised Edition

8)  "Gravitational-Wave Astronomy" wiki

9) Robert Cook "Ring Around Solar System is Discovered by Satellite" Boston Globe, 29 October 1983

10) Thomas O'Toole, Washington Post Staff Writer "Possibly as Large as Jupiter; Mystery Heavenly Body Discovered" 30 December 1983 archive

11)  M. Redfern & N. Henbest "Has IRAS Found a Tenth Planet?" New Scientist, 10 November 1983



A Martian Riddle


The Maven Orbiter has secured its position around Mars, and will shortly begin its investigation into why the Martian atmosphere has eroded so badly over time:

"The present-day atmosphere of Mars, composed mostly of carbon dioxide, is extremely thin, with atmospheric pressure at the surface just 0.6% of the Earth's surface pressure.  The Martian landscape, though, retains channels that were evidently cut by abundant, flowing water - proof that the planet had a much denser atmosphere in the past.  Some of the air would certainly have reacted with, and been incorporated into, minerals at the surface.  But the most likely explanation for its loss is that the solar wind - the great outflow of energetic particles from the Sun - has simply eroded it through time.  This has been possible because, unlike Earth, the Red Planet lacks a protective global magnetic field, which is capable of deflecting the abrasive assault from our star.

"Some of Maven's instruments will concentrate on the Sun's influence, looking at how much energy it puts into the planet and its atmosphere.  Others instruments will investigate the composition and behaviour of the atmosphere itself, and this will involve some "deep dip" manoeuvres that take Maven closer to Mars' surface so it can sample air molecules directly.

"The intention is to measure the rates at which these different molecules are being lost today, distinguishing between the various processes responsible.  Scientists will use this information to get some insights into the history of the Martian climate - from the time billions of years ago when it was warmer and wetter, and potentially habitable to life, to the present environment which is cold and desiccated." (1)

I have a bit of a problem with this theoretical concept as to why the atmosphere has eroded.  The deep, wide river channels across the Martian surface indicate that at some point there was an abundance of water flowing on Mars - which indicates a once healthy weather system transporting water about through the atmosphere to regenerate the flow on the surface.  That meant a much thicker atmosphere. 


But how long ago?  Billions of years, they say.  For instance, here was the thinking when the Curiosity sent back remarkable images of an ancient river bed in 2012

"Curiosity's telephoto camera snapped shots of three rocky outcrops not far from the rover's landing site inside Gale Crater. One of them, called "Goulburn", had been excavated by the rover's own landing gear.  The other two were natural outcrops dubbed "Link" and "Hottah". All three, and Hottah in particular, were made of thin layers of rock that had been cemented together.  When the rover zoomed in, it saw rounded pebbles in the conglomerates and in surrounding gravel that were fairly large – up to a few centimetres in diameter. On Earth, roundness is a tell-tale sign that rocks have been transported a long way, since their angular edges got smoothed out as they tumbled. The Mars rocks are too big to have been blown by wind, so the team concluded it must have been flowing water. This dovetails with orbital images hinting that the rover landed in an alluvial fan, a feature that is formed on Earth by water flows.

The best Mars scientists can do is estimate the age of the surrounding surface based on counting craters. On a large scale, the older an area is, the more craters it likely accumulates over time.

"We think what we're looking at is several billion years old," Dietrich says of the region around Gale Crater. "How to get better than that, I don't know. This is a common discussion point." (2)

Michael Malin, who runs the Curiosity camera system and analyses the data returning from Mars, makes the same point:

"It's difficult to say when the water flowed. "We have no real way of estimating ages on Mars quantitatively," said Michael Malin, "Probably several billion years would be the canonical estimate by most scientists about how old things are in this region of Mars."" (3)

And on that consensus also hangs the potential for atmospheric erosion to be taking place over billions of years through the action of solar radiation - although, quixotically, that cosmic process of high atmosphere erosion would surely be taking place gradually, as the solar wind ionises and then drives off upper atmospheric gases lacking any planetary magnetic field to protect them.   If the atmosphere was lost in this way, then it must have been ripped away early on in the planet's history - perhaps during the late, heavy bombardment ~3.9 billion years ago which destroyed Mars' shielding magnetic field:

"Earth's global magnetic field comes from an active dynamo - that is, circulating currents at the planet's liquid metallic core.  A similar dynamo once churned inside Mars, but for reasons unknown it stopped working four billion years ago.  The patchwork fields we see now are remnants of that original magnetic field.

"How do scientists know when the dynamo turned off? "Mars has been kind to us," explains [Dave] Mitchell [a space scientist at the University of California at Berkeley]. "There are two large impact basins, Hellas and Argyre, about four billion years old that are demagnetized. If the dynamo was still operating when those impact features formed, the crust would have re-magnetized as they cooled. The dynamo must have stopped before then."" (4)

So, all of this change must have taken place around 4 billion years ago: major impacts wiping out the shielding magnetic field, thus the loss of Martian atmosphere and the subsequent drying out of the entire planetary landscape to leave it in some kind of dead stasis for the next four thousand million years.  Now, that's one heck of a long time for the surface of Mars to remain essentially unchanged.  Which then begs the question; why haven't the alluvial river bed surface features eroded over time through other mechanisms? 

Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS and PSI


The rounded pebbles in the river beds are still extant on the surface, unimpeded by debris and detritus accumulated over such an immense time period.  Consider:  Mars is famous for its dust storms, which fluctuate seasonally and regionally but are regular enough, and often spectacular.  These storms self-evidently shift and subsequently dump dust onto the surface.  They must, therefore, also contribute to landscape erosion through the action of wind-swept dust, even if the force driving them is less than that on Earth.  The dumping of the dust itself is evidently non-negligible:

"Besides the research value in better understanding storm behavior, monitoring the storm is also important for Mars rover operations. If the storm were to go global, the Opportunity rover would be affected most. More dust in the air or falling onto its solar panels would reduce the solar-powered rover's energy supply for daily operations." (5)

Okay, so this might not be significant over a few months or years, even if NASA express anxiety about the effect it might have on Opportunity's solar panels.  But over billions of years, this surely must work significant cumulative geophysical effects upon the landscape.  I don't know about you, but those images of dry river beds on the Martian surface look pretty fresh to me, with their chiselled surface features and bare river-bed pebbles.  Which leaves me with a quandary.  We are given to understand, essentially, that Mars is some kind of museum, held in a static position since it lost its water and atmosphere billions of year ago.  This might work on a planet with no atmosphere at all (the Moon, Mercury etc) but Mars evidently continues to enjoy significant atmospheric events, despite its low pressure and temperature atmosphere.  So, why is its surface assumed to have been frozen in time for billions of years?

My gut feeling is that the Maven orbiter scientists will discover that there is too little current erosion of the upper Martian atmosphere by the action of the solar wind to account for the long-term erosion of almost the entirety of the planet's atmosphere.  Given that the Sun was not substantially hotter or fiercer in the distant past, that means that something catastrophic took place to drive change.  That would support the consensus view that substantial catastrophic change took place 4 billion years ago, to essentially kill the planet.  I would also add that this event, which took place during the late, great bombardment, was one and the same as Sitchin's Celestial Battle between the watery precursor Earth called 'Tiamat' and Nibiru/Marduk (6), which I contend is a sub-brown dwarf Dark Star (7).

But could the Martian surface really have remained so untouched by erosion for all of that time?  I would argue that water flowed on the surface of Mars much more recently than 4 billion years ago -  a concept which flies in the face of the current atmospheric conditions, but nevertheless seems self-evident.  The discovery earlier this year of a 'new' Martian crater exhibiting similar alluvial river bed patterns seems to support such a notion:

"New research has shown that there was liquid water on Mars as recently as 200,000 years ago. The results have been published in the international scientific journal Icarus (9).  "We have discovered a very young crater in the southern mid-latitudes of Mars that shows evidence of liquid water in Mars' recent past" says Andreas Johnsson at the University of Gothenburg.  The southern hemisphere of Mars is home to a crater that contains very well-preserved gullies and debris flow deposits. The geomorphological attributes of these landforms provide evidence that they were formed by the action of liquid water in geologically recent time." (8)

In the second quote above, mention is made of how the density of cratering can be used to age a surface region.  That assumes, essentially, that the craters are not subject to the kind of erosion patterns and filling-in that occurs on Earth, causing many to disappear over long periods of time.  In other words, the same issue we have considered with the dry river beds.  As an alternative, one might consider that heavy density cratering might actually present the opposite picture - that of sudden, and relatively recent catastrophism.  The kind of irregular but violent cataclysmic events that could also significantly erode the Martian atmosphere over a long period of time, but also reshape the landscape through the sudden release of trapped water and gas from below the Martian regolithic surface. 

It's not a cold war of atmospheric attrition taking place on Mars, just the usual hot war of cosmic bombardment that has created this riddle, I think.  It's time we reconsider the common set of assumptions about the immutability of the Martian surface over several billions of years that tend to inform this debate.

Written by Andy Lloyd, 22nd September 2014



1) Jonathan Amos "Mars Maven mission arrives in orbit" 22 September 2014 news

2) Lisa Grossman "Why do we think Curiosity found an old Mars riverbed?" 28 September 2012 article

3) Lisa Grossman "Curiosity snaps signs of vigorous stream on Mars" 28 September 2012 (article on longer available online)

4) Tony Phillips "The Solar Wind at Mars" 31 January 2001, with thanks to Barry news

5) Guy Webster "Spacecraft Monitoring Martian Dust Storm" 21 November 2012 mission_page

6)  Zecharia Sitchin "The Twelfth Planet" Avon, 1976

  The Twelfth Planet

7) Andy Lloyd "Dark Star: The Planet X Evidence" Timeless Voyager Press, 2005

   The Dark Star: The Planet X Evidence

8) University of Gothenburg. "Traces of recent water on Mars: Liquid water on Mars as recently as 200,000 years ago" 25 April 2014 release

9) A. Johnsson, D. Reiss, E. Hauber, H. Hiesinger, M. Zanetti. "Evidence for very recent melt-water and debris flow activity in gullies in a young mid-latitude crater on Mars", Icarus, 235: 37-54, June 2014 article/


Blowing Away the Interstellar Fluff


A while ago in Dark Star Blog 4, and more recently in Dark Star Blog 12, I wrote about new findings about the asymmetric nature of the heliosheath surrounding the solar system.  Astronomers put this unexpected asymmetry down to collections of 'interstellar fluff' pressing up against the boundaries of our Sun's magnetospheric domain.  I've always been sceptical of that position, believing the fluff to be a bit of a fudge.   Recent experiments into the presence of interstellar medium within the solar system, including the rather neat 'helium focusing cone', have indicated that the solar system is indeed devoid of the kind of ultra-light cosmic material which comprises the interstellar clouds (1). image


We appear to be living within a bubble, one that was created by all of this material having been driven off by multiple local supernova explosions about ten million years ago:

"Between the planets and the stars of our galaxy is not just empty space. There are gasses, dust, ions - and more - sweeping around. When astronomers poked around in our solar system for it, they found little to nothing. It was like we were living in a virtually empty hole, one that has only a single atom per every liter of space.  Around the same time, sensors launched outside of Earth's atmosphere revealed an abundance of something else coming from all directions - x-ray radiation.  The idea that we live in a bubble was born: So much interstellar medium was gone, because the exploding supernovas have blown it away, and left us surrounded with their remnants of radiating gas." (2)

What is perhaps surprising is the dramatic size of the bubble in which we find ourselves:  it transpires that interstellar space within about a hundred parsecs of the Sun is pretty much devoid of cool absorbing gas, leading to a belief that a searing bubble of hot X-ray emitting gas is to be found beyond this distance (1).  Given that a parsec is about 3.26 light years, then this bubble extends out to beyond 300 light years from the Sun!  Which begs the question of where the interstellar fluff is supposed to have come from that NASA argues is creating the dent in the heliosheath?  If the local interstellar medium has been so comprehensively driven away by multiple supernova events 10 million years ago, then why should there be any remnants obligingly left behind at the solar system boundary?  It all seems too convenient.  More likely, the interaction creating these asymmetries can be explained by something far more substantial than mere fluff.


Written by Andy Lloyd, 22nd September 2014



1) M. Galeazzi et al "The origin of the local 1/4-keV X-ray flux in both charge exchange and a hot bubble", Nature, 512, 171–173, 14 August 2014 article

2) Ben Brumfield "Scientists: Solar system inside a searing gas bubble" 28 August 2014, with thanks to Lee article


Crescent-shaped Monument Raises Questions in Israel


The footprints of the Mesopotamian gods appear to have extended well into Israel.  Archaeologists are puzzling over a remarkable stone structure whose purpose is lost in antiquity:

"A lunar-crescent-shaped stone monument that dates back around 5,000 years has been identified in Israel. the structure is massive - its volume is about 14,000 cubic meters (almost 500,000 cubic feet) and it has a length of about 150 meters (492 feet), making it longer than an American football field. Pottery excavated at the structure indicates the monument dates to between 3050 B.C. and 2650 B.C.


"Archaeologists previously thought the structure was part of a city wall, but recent work carried out by Ido Wachtel, a doctoral student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, indicates there is no city beside it and that the structure is a standing monument. 

"The structure's crescent shape stood out in the landscape. The shape may have had symbolic importance, as the lunar crescent is a symbol of an ancient Mesopotamian moon god named Sin, Wachtel said.  An ancient town called Bet Yerah (which translates to "house of the moon god") is located only a day's walk from the crescent-shaped monument. As such, the monument may have helped mark the town's borders. While the monument is located within walking range of the city it is too far away to be an effective fortification." (1)

It seems quite a lot of effort to go to if you simply wanted to mark out your territory.  A monumental edifice of that proportion, and lacking any obvious defensive properties, can only have one purpose to my mind - to be seen from the air. 

I suspect that if Zecharia Sitchin was still with us, he would have said that this Moon Marker was one of several monuments designed to guide airborne craft into the Sinai peninsula.  He believed that there was a significant spaceport in Sinai, and that some of the major ancient monuments located across the Middle East acted as way markers for spacecraft making their final approach to Earth.  This seems like a pretty outlandish idea, and I for one am not convinced by the practicalities of the ancient ATC system Sitchin proposed, but there may well be merit in considering how the locals wished to express their worship towards the gods of the sky - meaning literally the gods traversing the skies above them.  This huge crescent-shaped tribute in stone might be evidence of that very concept in practice. 


Written by Andy Lloyd, 22nd September 2014



1) Owen Jarus "Massive 5,000-Year-Old Stone Monument Revealed in Israel" 25 September 2014 with thanks to Lee article


Stone Circles on Golan Heights were Bronze Age Habitations


Continuing our occasional series on the remarkably widespread archaeological remains of stone corral-like circles across Africa (1), and the Middle East (2,3).  A report available online by Israeli archaeologist Yonathan Mizrachi describes in detail his group's work at a site called Mithram Leviah, on the lower Golan Heights. 

It appears to share similarities with stone circles found across the Syrian desert.  His team discovered the presence of early Bronze Age occupational remains within the circles, indicating that they were ostensibly used for habitation:

"We believe that it was built by the urban populations who inhabited the Golan during the third millennium B.C.E. The urban population lived in enclosures like Mithram Leviah, described in “Rediscovered! The Land of Geshur,” in this issue. Similar enclosures to Mithram Leviah have been found all over the central Golan, mostly on strategic locations fortified with massive stone walls. Until recently scholars were puzzled as to the function of these enclosures. Some suggested they were central gathering areas for cattle; others interpreted them as large fortified settlements. The Leviah enclosure for the first time established that these Golan enclosures were in fact used for habitation. The excavations there yielded Early Bronze (I–III) occupational remains wherever the excavators dug." (4)

Mithram Leviah is one of several ancient sites in the Biblical area known as Geshur, which is located in the Southern Golan between the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee and west of the fertile plains of Bashan, along the major trade routes (The King’s Highway).  The name Mithram Leviah means "The Enclosure of the Lioness" and was once a densely populated city from the Early Bronze Age (3100-2200 B.C.). 

Rogem Hiri (6)


The specific area in question with the stone circles is Rogem Hiri (meaning 'Stone Heap of the Wild Cat")  which contains five huge stone circles with 125,000 cubic feet of stone, some weighing as much as 5.5 tons, dating back to 3000 B.C. (5).

"This unique site consists of five concentric stone circles, the outer one of which is nearly a third of a mile in circumference.  In the center is a massive, carefully constructed cairn over 60 feet in diameter." (6)

One can imagine ancient Bedouin-style tents distributed haphazardly within the various semi-circular zones marked out by these defensive walls, providing a Bronze Age small city in the desert for the Amorites or Hittites, or whichever semi-nomadic peoples chose to occupy this 5000 year old site over time.  Perhaps there was also a ceremonial or spiritual aspect to this sacred place (7), or archaeo-astronomical function to the site's location and orientation (8). 

What is clear is that this is a fine example of the sort of stone circular structures distributed across the Levant (and down as far as the Southern countries of Africa); one that was evidently used as an ancient Bronze Age settlement.


Written by Andy Lloyd, 22nd September 2014



1)  Michael Tellinger "Michael Tellinger and the Ancient Stone Structures of Africa" 6 October 2012 article

2) Andy Lloyd "Syrian Stone Circles Connection" November 2013,

3) Andy Lloyd "Syrian Circles Update" May 2014

4) Yonathan Mizrachi "Mystery Circles", BAR 18:04, Jul/Aug 1992 with thanks to Lee article

5) "Geographical Divisions: V. The Hill Country of the Amorites"  (article on longer available online)

  6) BAS Library: Yonathan Mizrachi "Mystery Circles: Newly discovered walls in the Golan puzzle archeologists" publication

7) Richard Benishai "Unlocking the mysteries of Rujm-El-Hiri" 2014 (article on longer available online) with thanks to Bruce

8) Anthony Aveni and Yonathan Mizrachi "The Geometry and Astronomy of Rujm el-Hiri, a Megalithic Site in the Southern Levant" Journal of Field Archaeology, 25(4): 475-496, Winter, 1998 article


Cretan Spirals


The above item about the ancient circular habitation on the Golan Heights might draw a parallel with another semi-mysterious archetypal pattern - the Cretan Spiral. 


This pattern forms the basis for a number of esoteric labyrinths, not least of which appears to be at the Glastonbury Tor site in Somerset, as related by Gary Smith:

"During a visit to Somerset England in 1983, I took a trip with my Father to Glastonbury, to climb the Tor, and see the remnants of St. Michael's church, a roofless tower, on top of a 518 foot hill on the outskirts of this small market town. While walking around the Tor, we noticed terraces cut deep into the side of the hill, and we later learned that the terraces are part of what is believed to be an ancient pathway from the Bronze age, running around the hill, and conforming to the design of The Labyrinth, the Cretan spiral of Minoan legend.

"The design of the Labyrinth is very old.  The spiral is so far flung it's not even considered to be of Minoan invention. The same maze can be found as the chief sacred image of the Hopi people in Arizona, called the "Mother and Son." The cross at the centre represents the Sun as well as a child being held by the mother." (1)

My first impression of this is to wonder whether this is a highly distorted Winged Disc or Winged Cross symbol, given its antiquity and Eastern Mediterranean origin.  Either way, it appears to have wound its way across Europe and seemingly as far as the Americas during ancient times (not entirely unrealistic, this, given the widespread evidence for intrepid ancient explorers seeking new lands to the West, usually across the relatively short mid-Atlantic stretch between West Africa and Brazil (2)).   


Lee Covino came across a report of a similar spiral cropping up in the English county of Warwickshire:


What struck me about the spiral pattern of this formation near Coventry is how similar it was to those carved into the Cochno Stone near Glasgow, which I described a couple of months ago on It's amazing how frequently these spirals are appearing at the moment, and I wonder as to what links them all together.  Most likely they are another piece of evidence indicating the migration of ancient peoples and the inter-connectedness of cultures that were previously considered to be isolated from one another. 


Written by Andy Lloyd, 22nd September 2014



1) Gary Smith "The Cretan Spiral Decoded"

2) Frank Joseph "The Lost Colonies of Ancient America" New Books, 2014, see:

3) Duncan Gibbons "Mystery of strange pattern in ground near Coventry" 19th September 2014, thanks to Lee, and to comment on this webpage by Scotty Matthews. news


Planet-X, aka, Kronos and Star of Bethlehem


Correspondence received 23rd September 2014, from Mr Gregory Gross, outlining some of his personal experiences regarding Planet X over an extended period of time, and his beliefs regarding its presence in our skies. 


I'm not quite sure what to make of some of the more outlandish parts of this letter, but I reproduce his comments here in entirety for readers who might find it of interest, or perhaps for researchers who find it corroborates other similar accounts:

Dear Andy Lloyd,

"Did you know there is a photo of Planet-X on the Internet?  I saw it from Los Angeles at the same time it was photographed from a ship off Brazil, on 16 January 1958.  It Appeared to be close to them in the atmosphere at the same time it appeared to be close to me in the atmosphere. At the same time there was a similar report in Clearwater, Florida.  There must not have been anyone looking in Bethlehem, because I know it did look close there too.

I Know it is Planet-X because it traced out an X in the sky. It traced out the symbol for the Star of Bethlehem (that is not the symbol for a Fish). Of course astronomers did see it.  One observatory in Australia published a photo of it in the Los Angeles Times around 1969, before it was seized by the Church of Einstein.

Planet-X seemed to me to be about the size of Saturn, with a bronze ring, and a tiny star in its core, a thousand times brighter than the Sun.  The main surface could be viewed when the bright light was shielded by the ring.  The surface had colored stripes like Saturn but the surface looked exactly like the surface of the Sun, it had sunspots.

Planet-X made a hairpin orbit around the Sun.  It appeared to almost touch the north and south poles. It moved so that its north pole was the front and the ring was on the side, as it passed over the Sun's poles the ring was parallel to the Sun's pole, when it came even with to the Sun's equator on the far side the ring was parallel to the Sun's equator.  Coming to the horizon Planet-X passed behind a telephone pole 10 feet from me, it was twice as wide as the pole.

Planet-X also emitted such a strong magnetic pulse that "the rocks cried out."  When the pulse hit the Griffith Observatory the quartz lens in the telescope beeped and screamed so loud it could be herd (sic) for 20 miles.  The rocks also glowed pink.  I got a sunburn on my back from the star in the planet, a 4 inch wide stripe across my back.  The heat felt like 600 degrees, and lasted about 10 seconds.

At the time of the "WOW Signal" I was in the Smithsonian Museum looking at a big crystal ball when it started blinking extremely bright pink and beeping, the beeping and flashing became faster until it glowed continuously and made a noise like 40 metal chairs being dragged across the floor (there were no chairs there). Then it slowed down until it stopped."

Gregory A Gross


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