Here in the UK, we’re preparing for what scientists are calling a ‘solar tsunami’. All predictions are on that we will have a rare glimpse of Northern lights — a vivid neon glow of solar activity if the grey cloud perpetually engulfing England lifts tonight.
In many locations around the world, the inhabitants are regularly entertained by earthlights—strange, recurring balls of light in the sky. Even more strangely, when earthlights appear, UFO sightings, religious visions and all manner of anomalous visions are also reported.
In the early 1980s, the inhabitants of Hessdalen Valley in Norway, which lies 120 km south of Trondheim, began reporting strange lights — sometimes several hundred a day.
In 1983, Erling Strand, an engineer and lecturer at Østfold University, set up Project Hessdalen to examine these inexplicable light phenomena. He rigged up an elaborate system of gadgetry to capture any data or images of earthlights at monitoring stations dotted throughout the valley. These stations are activated every time an earthlight interrupts one of the electronic beams connecting the stations. During his first investigation in the winter of 1984, 53 earthlights were observed.
The frequency of Hessdalen’s earthlights is now diminishing from their heyday in the 1980s; nevertheless, some 20 observations are made every year. Several years ago Hessdalen joined forces with the small Italian town of Cecina, to host the largest-ever conference on the earthlight phenomenon.
Occasionally, the explanation for earthlights is decidedly earthbound. Texas Physicist Hal Puthoff studied the famous lights in Marfa, part of Texas’ Big Bend country. He and researcher Paul Devereux, along with the International Consciousness Research Laboratories, found that, in many instances, the Marfa lights were actually mirages caused by car lights on roads 30 or more miles away, or the lights of trucks traveling over rough terrain.
However, in spots some 80 miles away from Marfa, they witnessed what Devereux is convinced was a true earthlight.
When they are genuine, what causes these mystical lights? Neuroscientist Michael Persinger, of Laurentian University in Canada, has made a particular study of earthlights and, according to his Tectonic Strain Theory, earthlights are the result of tectonic stress — the movement of massive underground plates — in the earth’s crust.
The theory portrays the inner surface of the earth as wild and unstable. The constant shifting creates force fields, which tend to zero in on fault lines, hills, rock formations and other areas of geographic instability. Many earthlights precede earthquakes as well as moments of high meteorological activity, precipitation or subterranean activity.
Grumbling and glowing
In 1986, Persinger joined forces with geologist John Derr to study the lights observed on the Yakima Indian Reservation in Washington. They noticed that these earthlights were accompanied by noisy rumblings from the earth and glowing clouds, indicating an increase of electromagnetic field activity.
In one study, Persinger examined the incidence of rainfall and earthquake activity in the San Francisco basin for the years 1950–1969 and compared them with the number of reports of ‘luminous phenomena’ within 400 km of the city. Those years when the January rainfall exceeded 8.5 inches and the number of earthquakes in the basin increased were associated with the largest numbers of sightings, particularly during times when the previous year was drier and quieter.
The Canadian sightings have corresponded with high earth activity. Furthermore, Devereux, who had set up camp in the Australian Outback to monitor the ‘Min Min lights’, recorded the appearance of a glowing red-orange ball of light hurling across the sky. That appearance coincided with their magnetometer recording a large blip — an 800 per cent increase in amplitude — suggesting a huge change in the local geomagnetic field.
Although Persinger’s theory (which is still just a theory) may not explain all sightings of one variety or another, what his studies show is that the brain is highly affected by unusual geomagnetic and electromagnetic activity. For instance, it is well known that both animals and humans register the geomagnetic changes, which precede an earthquake. Many animals engage in bizarre behavior before an earthquake, and human mystics and other ‘sensitives’ are known to experience an increase in precognitive dreams.
A Zero Point Field effect?
According to Paul Devereux, earthlights possess a number of strange aspects that suggest they are different from ordinary electromagnetic phenomena:
• They are often visible from only one direction. In a 1905 sighting in Barmouth-Harlech in Wales, he says, a huge bar of light was visible to one group of observers on one side of the Egryn chapel, but not on the other.
• They appear to be switching on and off all the time, even strobing. They can also change direction instantly, without slowing down, which suggests a ‘thing’ with no mass.
• They are often described as not quite existing in space as we know it. Devereux says that they seem to be flat and to have depth, and to be both flat and revolving at the same time.
Dr Puthoff believes that earthlights may be a physical manifestation of Zero Point Field energy. Although Field effects are usually on the subatomic level, this may be one example of the phenomenon, with all its strange effects, on a ‘macro’ level.
“Perhaps,” writes Devereux, “ the lights are a kind of doorway between quantum and large-scale physical realities.”
I always think of these kinds of bursts of geomagnetic activity, whether solar or earthbound, as a little message to us from the universe.
Despite our view of ourselves as the most influential entity in the universe and at the very apex of the chain of being, we and all the other living things of the earth are simply part of a vast, complex energy system and entirely at the whim of the universe’s planetary geomagnetic activity.
Rather than a discrete entity, we ourselves are an energetic system far more dependent upon other outer forces than we ever care to admit.