Saturday, August 2, 2008

Disaster in 2012

My dad wanted me to read an article about disaster in 2012, and I couldn't help but write a rebuttal.

The website "Project Camelot" claims to possess a letter from a Norwegian politican that predicts "difficult things ... 2008 till the year 2012". It states that the Norwegian government is building underground bases, that Planet X is coming, and that "Norway has begun with the storage of food and seeds in the Svalbard area ... with the help of the US and EU".

It claims that they will "only save those that are in the elite". It cites Mosjoen as a deep underground military facility and claims that two million Norwegians will be saved and the rest will die. It claims that "all the governments in the world are aware of this".

This same article is mentioned on wikipedia along with several other Planet X doomsday claims. For example, there is Nancy Lieder who claims to channel messages from extra-terrestrials called Zetas. She predicted that in May 2003, Planet X would pass Earth, cause a pole shift and destroy most of humanity. When her prediction proved false, she claimed that the 2003 date was a "white lie" to confuse the elites and insists that Planet X is still coming.


Lets investgate these claims a little.

Planet X

After the discovery of Neptune in 1846, there was speculation that another planet might exist beyond its orbit. The astronomer Percival Lowell (1855-1916) believed that the planets Uranus and Neptune were displaced from their predicted positions by the gravity of an unseen Planet X. His searchs from 1905 to 1916 proved unsuccessful, but the search was continued by astronomers at Lowell Observatory and led to the discovery of Pluto 14 years after his death. The choice of the name Pluto and its symbol were partly influenced by his initials PL.

However, the Planet X theory was incorrect. When Pluto's mass was determined in 1978, it was confirmed that Pluto's gravitational influence on Uranus and Neptune is negligible and does not account for the orbital discrepancies. In 1989 when Voyager 2 provided a precise measure of Neptune's mass and the predicted positions of Uranus and Neptune were recalculated with the more accurate data, the discrepancies between predicted and actual positions were resolved.

That is to say that the discrepancies that Percival Lowell wanted to explain by the existance of an unknown Planet X were actually the result of an incorrect estimate of Neptune's mass.

By 2008, hundreds of objects have been discovered beyond the orbit of Neptune, most of which are recognised as part of the Kuiper belt. Of these, only Eris, discovered in 2003, is larger than Pluto and led to the official de-classification of Pluto as a planet.

In short, you have about about as much justification to fear Planet X as you do to fear that the sun won't rise tomorrow. More details and references are povided on wikipedia at Percival Lowell and Planets beyond Neptune

Pole Shifts

Pole shifts sound scary or fake, but there is lots of legitimate detail on wikipedia

The "pole shift theory" is the hypothesis that the axis of rotation of a planet has not always been at its present-day location or that the axis will not persist there; in other words, that its physical poles had been or will be shifted. This theory has a long history, and in modern science is called true polar wander.

Pole shift hypotheses are not to be confused with Geomagnetic reversal, the periodic reversal of the earth's magnetic field (effectively switching the north and south magnetic poles). Geomagnetic reversal has more acceptance in the scientific community than the pole shift hypotheses.

It is now established that true polar wander has occurred at various times in the past, but at rates of 1° per million years or less. However, in popular literature many theories have been suggested involving very rapid polar shift.

In short, there is lots of interesting informaton about pole shifts, none of which indicates impending disaster. Potential disasters such as the melting of Greenland, the eruption of massive volcanoes (such as at Yellowstone), and impact with a large asteroid are far more valid concerns.

Svalbard

There is in fact an underground base in Svalbard. It is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It lies 120 metres inside a sandstone mountain at Svalbard on Spitsbergen Island. Spitsbergen was considered ideal due to its lack of tectonic activity and its permafrost. It is 130 metres above sea level and locally mined coal provides power for refrigeration units. It is believed that the vault can preserve seeds for hundreds of years. The facility is managed by the Nordic Genetic Resource Center, but there are no permanent staff on-site. Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland began construction of the seed vault in 2006. It officially opened in 2008, and has a capacity to preserve 4.5 million samples.

This seed vault is not secret and is not a new idea. It's mission is to provide a safety net against accidental loss of diversity in traditional genebanks. For example, when genebanks lose samples due to mismanagement, accident, equipment failures, funding cuts and natural disasters. Such events occur with some regularity. In recent years, some national genebanks have also been destroyed by war and civil strife. There are approximately 1,400 crop diversity collections around the world, but many are in politically unstable or environmentally threatened nations. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was precedded by the Nordic Gene Bank which stored a backup of Nordic plant germplasm as frozen seeds in an abandoned coal mine at Svalbard since 1984.

In short, far from being secret or threatening, the base in Svalbard is public, well documented and effectively altruistic. More details and references are povided on wikipedia at Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Source Article

Nexus magazine published the Project Camelot article in April 2008, but did not publish it in full. The full article is available projectcamelot.org. Here are some excerpts.

The marks of the alien presence are also there, and I often see the Norwegian elite politicians are not what they say they are. You can see it in their eyes and in their minds.

There are orange triangle symbols in each base and the check-ins are a kind of energy field that everyone has to go through.

We were then asked to step inside a railcar. They are run by some kind of blue crystal energy. Just before powering up you could see the large purple-blue crystals emitting a purple-bluish light.

If the Nexus article can't be immediately dismissed as totally false, the full article certainly can be.

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