Episode 28: The Fake Story of Planet X, Part 2 (Gilbert Eriksen's Wormwood)
Recap: In the second of at least four episodes on different ideas about Planet X, this time we go into Gilbert Eriksen's ideas about the rusty-red star/planet that is presently causing earthquakes and tsunamis, the likes of which we have never before seen.
- Sources for Audio Clips and Quotes
- Coast to Coast AM, Hour 2, from June 29, 2009
- Additional Resources
- Gilbert Eriksen's "The Millennium Prophecy" website
- Gravitational Waves
- Nigel St. Whitehall's "The Skeptical Review" blog
- SGU 5x5 Episode 52 on Atlantis
- Upcomming Meetups/Conferences
- Relevant Posts on my "Exposing PseudoAstronomy" Blog
The brief background on Gilbert Eriksen is that he's big on Biblical prophecy (given the name he uses for Planet X, "Wormwood," you could probably guess that). Many of the sections on his website are direct references to the Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible, with headings such as, "6th Seal Event List," "Pre-Rapture Events," "The Antichrist," and "Mark of the Beast." I will not be addressing his links to the Bible in this episode as that is for someone else to do, for is it my area of expertise, nor do we need to get into it to critically analyze his claims about Planet X - they should be able to stand on their own. Rather, I will focus on the astronomy/geology/physics that he brings to the stage that is 2012. If for some reason you are more interested in his work, you can visit his website, "The Millennium Prophecy," which I'll link up to in the shownotes.
I also want to say before I get into the real meat of this episode that Eriksen was interviewed on Coast to Coast AM on June 29, 2009. That's the source of a lot of the quotes in this episode, but I'm not going to use the original audio clips. The reason is that there's a lot of extra stuff thrown in and the clips as I originally wrote them down had a lot of ellipses to really get to the crux of what he was saying. So in the interest of time, continuity, and my own sanity, I'm just going to be reading them. With that said ...
Eriksen makes many specific claims about Planet X. First off is its orbit. He claims, "[The solstice] line is the line that Wormwood comes in on, arcs up over the sun, and goes back out on. It follows the solstice line produced. ... Its transit time is about 1800 years … outbound … [so a round-trip of ~3600 years]."
Another area of interest for any astronomical body is its mass, which Eriksen says is "about 60 times Jupiter's mass, it is about 1/17th of a solar mass."
What about its diameter? "From the best that we can tell …, military sources, they think that it's the size of Saturn, possibly as large as Jupiter." (~12 min. in)
And what about the composition of this giant object? "[I]nstead of being a gas, it's an iron-oxide [rust] ball – just a big giant iron ball. And it's really heavy." (~12 min. in) Though this conflicts with what kind of object he claims it is: "Wormwood is a brown dwarf star, it is the sun's binary companion." (~12 min. in)
Let's forego the very basic fact that if an object the size of Saturn or Jupiter were within the orbit of Jupiter that everyone on Earth would know about it. I've addressed this in detail in Episode 23 and its puzzler. To be fair, though, he does claim that an amateur astronomer "can probably find it [Woormwood] now." And it will be visible to any southern hemisphere observer. Of course, none have found it, which to any honest researcher would be a big clue that they should re-examine their hypothesis.
Let's also forego the idea that an object with a 3600-year orbit in our solar system can't work, either, as I've also already addressed that claim.
Rather, let's look at his description of the object – a brown dwarf star, but also an object made of solid iron – and the size and mass.
Let's get the math over with first. The density of pure water at room temperature at sea level on Earth is 1 gm/cm3 (this is by definition). The density of Jupiter is 1.33 times this. So it would sink. The density of Saturn is 0.69 times this, so it would float. Earth's bulk average density of 5.52 gm/cm3.
Eriksen claims that his object is 60 times the mass of Jupiter. But its volume is somewhere between Saturn's and Jupiter's. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt in this calculation and say that it's the volume of Jupiter. That would mean that the density of the object is 60×1.33 = 80. That's right, 80 times the density of water. And yet, the density of iron is 7.85 times the density of water.
For comparison, the average density of the sun is 1.41 times that of water. Though, to be fair, the core is about 150-160x (depending upon what model you trust). But still, having such a high average density is an untenable situation. for an object with the features he claims.
Besides the basic parameters of this object, part of the crux of his argument is that this Wormwood has active surface geology: "It's probably volcanic. It throws massive amounts of iron oxide dust out, which are distributed through the inner node rings." (~12 min. in)
And then we get to the real pseudo-science (as opposed to fake pseudo-science … or as opposed to what he claimed before) about 16 minutes into the second hour of the program:
"What causes the grief is …this thing will spin, too. … This object has a very powerful baryonic field – you know, it has a lot of mass – and you spin it, it develops a node ring or 'distortion field' like a series of concentric hula hoops. These concentric hula hoops are then reflected back from the dark matter / dark energy of space (the dark soup, you know), and what you end up with are these concentric rings. Where those rings are around the sun, that's where the planets orbit. Where the rings are around the Earth, that's where the moons are. The same thing for Jupiter, Saturn. … If you take a planet like Saturn and really rev it up fast … then the thing will not only generate node rings for moons, but rings for ice and junk and all sorts of stuff. And the Cassini space craft got some excellent pictures. … Each one of the rings are spinning at a different speed with the fastest ones on the inside and the slowest ones on the outside. So spinning bodies generate these gravitational distortions. … And that's where the asteroids and the space junk orbits Woormwood."
Let's attempt to dissect what Eriksen is claiming in that long quote. He's basically saying, (1) Objects that have mass and that spin will generate "concentric nodal gravitational rings;" (2) it's on the sun's rings that planets orbit, on the planets' rings that moons orbit, etc.; (3) these rings are also duplicated and made more complicated via reflections off of dark matter and dark energy; and (4) it's on these rings that space junk orbits and will cause destruction on Earth.
Let's address the foundational claim, that of the very existence of these concentric rings. Now, I took 14 physics classes in my undergraduate career, and I took 10 astronomy classes. I don't happen to remember any mention of such a thing as gravitational nodal rings. But, I did a quick Google search just to see if my memory was failing at my ripe young age of 20-something. A Google search of "gravitational nodal rings" turns up only references to 2012, Planet X, Wormwood, or the like. Now, I don't mean to dismiss this out of hand on that evidence, I suppose it's possible that such a thing exists (perhaps they are thinking of gravitational waves that are thrown off by very massive objects like colliding neutron stars or spinning black holes?). But, the fact that the only people who are talking about them on the whole of the internet are Planet Xers should tell you something.
So then why (2) do the planets and moons orbit where they do? Because it's where they happened to have formed or evolved into a resonance with another object. For example, three of the four main moons of Jupiter – Io, Europa, and Ganymede – orbit in a 4:2:1 resonance meaning that for one full orbit of Ganymede around Jupiter, Europa orbits twice, and Io orbits four times. The system probably didn't form that way, in fact there's evidence that Ganymede didn't make it into that resonance until about 1-2 billion years ago, but it has nothing to do with gravitational nodes or rings.
As for (3), Eriksen is throwing out scientific-sounding terms when he has no idea what he's talking about. Dark energy has to do with the expansion of the universe and is not something tangible that something can reflect off. Dark matter is non-baryonic material (you are made up of baryonic material) that we can only detect via its gravitational effects … again, not something that a mystical gravitational node ring could reflect off.
Since I've effectively explained why 1-3 are ridiculous, I really think we can eliminate (4) as there's no longer anything to base it off.
Like any good doomsday-sayer, Gilbert Eriksen of course makes specific claims of how this is going to destroy Earth. He has 6 specific claims that he makes during the second hour of the radio show, between about 18 minutes and 25 minutes. The first is taken as a quote from the radio show, while 2-6 are quotes from his website:
1. "Number 1, a great earthquake. this is where the node rings of Woormwood take ahold of the Earth and just shake the livin' liver out of it. … I think the first [earthquake] was the [December 25/26, 2004] tsunami, and that grabbed ahold of the plates down there."
2. "We get volcanic activity at tectonic plate edges … rims of fire that eject high tonnages of ash plume into the upper atmosphere that block out the sun light over large areas of the earth."
3. "Wormwood throws large tonnages of iron oxide dust and debris between the Earth and the moon or into Earth's atmosphere. When we look through the veil of iron oxide dust, the moon takes on a blood red color."
4. "Wormwood throws asteroids and various forms of space junk into Earth's atmosphere that impact on the surface as meteorites. Expect some severe tsunami events if there are impact pieces landing in the ocean that are of significant size."
5. "At least one of the volcanic eruptions will be a large pyroclastic explosion … a volcanic cone that will "blow its top" like Mt. St Helens in May, 1980. The blast concussion feels like the sky is 'splitting apart' anywhere within sound range of the cone. The curling action of the mushroom cloud when viewed from below looks like a scroll when it is allowed to spring back into the rolled up position."
6. "Tectonic shifting from the Wormwood node ring earthquake will shift the mountains and islands into different places. Displacements may be measured in tens or hundreds of feet of difference but the shifts will be measureable [sic] with modern surveying equipment. Again, with major earthquake activity and island movements expect severe tsunami events to follow for various coastal cities."
For good measure, at 29 minutes into the program, he also states, "It can reach right through the Earth … and pull a continent down under the waves on one side of the Earth and pull a continent up out of the waves on the other side of the Earth and do it in 20 minutes. Does Atlantis ring a bell? What about Lemuria? There's a very good chance you'll see Atlantis rising in 2012 – that's Woormwood talking."
Are we actually going to see this death, mayhem, and destruction? In a word, "no." First, #1, 2, 4, and 5 are very general claims. Earthquakes happen. Space junk falls to Earth and we see meteorites landing on a daily basis. And volcanos also blow their tops. It just happens. #3 won't happen because in the previous section I explained his entire mechanism is fallacious, which then also applies to why #6 will not happen. As for Atlantis, I'll link to some research by others on the subject.
In the end, Gilbert Eriksen is another doomsday proponent with a Biblical twist that has a book to sell for $16.95, people to scare, but nothing to back him up except a lot of misunderstood terms at best and outright deceit at worst. He has no training in relevant physics, astronomy, nor geology fields, but rather is a "psychologist, linguist, and former helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War."
What's strange about him is that he makes specific predictions that are demonstrably false, some now (such as the visibility of this object), and some in the very near future to when the Coast to Coast episode aired, but didn't actually happen (claiming, for example at 15 minutes into the interview, that in "May/June/July [of 2010] … it's gonna get close enough to exchange atmospheric gases with the Earth").
Provide Your Comments:
Comments to date: 3. Page 1 of 1. Average Rating:
Stuart R. Boulder, CO, USA
1:43pm on Sunday, April 7th, 2013
Talksin - try downloading the episode again. I have not personally had audio issues, but the few people who have tell me that re-downloading the MP3 solves them.
7:56am on Friday, April 5th, 2013
I gave it poor only because it appears the episode is broken. It ends just as you say revalations. Your sense of humor this may be intentional. And if thats the case the rating will go up. But so you know this seems to be a broken episode.
Richard Kurgas St. Louis, MO USA
10:48pm on Thursday, March 29th, 2012
By the way, various iterations of "coming" use one "m". And in the podcast, you said, "May/June/July [of 2012]" instead of using 2010, as above in the transcript. Otherwise, great 'cast! By the way, you really don't want to waste your time with the biblical stuff. It ranges from boring to wild-eyed frothing at the mouth, and is based on a 1st Century (or earlier) view of the world, so it's very inaccurate.