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World Mountain
By David Talbott

When it comes to the model of the "polar configuration" no complete accord should be expected, though the points of agreement between those researching the Saturn theory far outweigh any areas of disagreement. This is particularly true in the case of the mythical "world mountain," about which volumes could be written, while only the Saturn model will account for many and varied themes.

Dwardu Cardona writes (in a recent issue of THOTH): This tapering appendage has been explained in various ways. Rose compared it to the so-called flux tube which stretches between Jupiter and its satellite, Io. In his own Martian, as opposed to a Saturnian, model, Jueneman sees the axis as a colossal Rankine vortex. David Talbott, on the other hand, had originally explained the polar column as a stream of debris stretching between Saturn and Earth, but later amended this to a stream of debris attracted from Mars toward Earth Additionally, Wallace Thornhill believes he has recognized this ethereal pillar as a sustained plasma discharge in the form of Birkeland current.

David Talbott responds: While acknowledging the advantages of Thornhill's "Birkeland current" explanation of the polar column, Dwardu opts for the vortex or "tornado"-like aspects of the column, as emphasized by Fred Jueneman.

Amy summarizes: Cardona then expresses his opinion that, although Thornhill's Birkeland currents fit most of the criteria of the polar column, they would not be able to suck material up from the earth, which he believes the myths describe. Cardona prefers Fred Jueneman's proposed Rankine vortex, an interplanetary tornado, as an explanation for the axis mundi.

Talbott: This, I would say, puts too much emphasis on "disagreement" and a little too much emphasis on the "tornado" aspect of the polar column. In fact, when I first conveyed the idea of the "world mountain" or "world pillar" to Fred Jueneman in the fall of 1972, I specifically used the phrase "tornado-like" to describe the appearance of the column in its "churning", or "writhing" phase. So I do not see later discussion of this tornado-aspect as an alternative "explanation" for the column. Rather, it needs to be distinguished from the column in its more stable or undisturbed aspect. Many images of the cosmic pillar suggest nothing of the violent celestial whirlwind, whirlpool, tornado, or ascending, spiraling serpent you see in connection with a disturbance of the system, when the World Mountain became a "churning" stake, pole, or spear stretching along the axis.

I would not want to suggest that the tornado-aspect of the column is an "alternative" to Wal Thornhill's explanation either. I see the column as one of the more striking points of convergence between the historical reconstruction and the plasma physics which Wal has illuminated for us. Ancient descriptions should not be taken as explanations of physical principles. The more violent phases certainly did present the APPEARANCE of a "tornado" overtaking the land of the gods. But the dynamics of a terrestrial tornado do not represent the situation particularly well when you have visible gases, ice, dust, or other material stretching BETWEEN PLANETS. A vortex cannot exist in isolation from the movement of a surrounding medium, while the polar column appears as a discrete, well-focused stream or jet of material retaining a consistent structure over a considerable distance. This itself is most remarkable and should encourage us to look for any analogies either in the laboratory or in other regions of the universe, even if conventional dogma on the behavior of planets offers no encouragement whatsoever. What happened in ancient times WILL find (IS finding) an explanation, as open-minded theorists explore the emerging fields of evidence.

In fact, thanks to Wal's summaries of plasma dynamics on the one hand, and recent revelations from the Hubble and Chandra telescopes on the other, we now have possible analogies for the polar column at all levels of observation. Contrast that with the situation only a few years ago.

A focusing of energy to transport material over great distances and along a single path has never had any place in conventional theory. What, in Newtonian perspectives, would allow a jet to retain its structure across a vacuum, spanning distances (in the Saturn model) counted in tens of thousands of miles? Electrical phenomena are another matter, however. We know that electromagnetic frequencies ARE focused in a laser beam. We know that plasma focus devices DO produce well-defined jets and a flow of electric current on a linear path. Considering the great volume of historical evidence suggesting highly visible electrical phenomena in the Saturnian configuration, the electrical model is really the hands-down winner, I would say. The fact that a plasma environment will produce spiraling, vortex-like phenomena through which currents flow is also highly relevant to the dynamics of the polar column.

Moreover, it can hardly be insignificant that astronomers have recently discovered POLAR or AXIAL jets on a mind-boggling scale: from "jetted stars" to massive galaxies—jets from billions of miles to light-years in length, where the coherent linear structure of the jets defies everything previously believed. The only theorists who anticipated such jets were those of the electrical schools. By comparison, the much, much smaller-scale axial jets in the Saturn model, where the charged bodies are planets, seem very tame indeed. And when you are considering the Saturn version, please do not forget that, at the time I first proposed these axial, interplanetary streams, I had no knowledge of laboratory-based plasma analogies, and the distant stellar and galactic analogies were unknown to science.

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