Episode 90: Investigation into Billy Meier's Alleged Foreknowledge About Stuff About Jupiter and Saturn
Recap: It is claimed by many that Billy Meier is a UFO contactee. As partial evidence of this, it is claimed that he wrote about things well before anyone on Earth (including scientists) knew about them. In this episode, I go through a lengthy process of exploring some such writings that people have claimed are good evidence of this, specifically ones related to Jupiter and Saturn.
Puzzler for Episode 90: There is no puzzler in episode 90.
Answer to Puzzler from Episode 88: There was no puzzler in episode 89.
Q&A: There was no Q&A in episode 90.
- Reference Material
- Contact Reports Referenced (Note: This is a Wiki site and technically anyone could edit it; in general, I treated these as original writings, however)
- Some Additional Meier Material
- General References for Science Sections (all Wikipeda just to be easy)
- Material for the Discovery of Moons Around Jupiter
- Actual Discovery Paper (subscription required): Jewitt et al. (1979) "Discovery of a New Jupiter Satellite"
- Material for the Rings of Jupiter
- Vsekhsvyatskii, S.K. (1962) "Possible Existence of a Ring of Comets and Meteorites Around Jupiter"
- Zotkin, I.T. (1962) "On the Ring Encircling Jupiter"
- Gold, T. (1978) "The Possible Combination of Radiation Belts and Dust Rings on Jupiter"
- Hubble Space Telescope observes Jupiter's Rings (Subscription Required): Meier, R. et al. (1999) "Near Infrared Photometry of the Jovian Ring and Adrastea"
- General Information about Jupiter's Rings (including composition/source) from the Jupiter book: Chapter 11
- NASA Press Release with Hubble Space Telescope image of Jupiter's Rings and the moon Metis: How did Jupiter's Rings Form?
- Material on the Volcanic Activity of Io
- Morrison, D., and D.P. Cruikshank (1972) "Thermal Properties of Io and Ganymede from 20-µm Eclipse Radiometry in 1971"
- (Subscription Required): Hansen, O.L. (1973) "Ten-micron Eclipse Observations of Io, Europa and Ganymede"
- Morrison, D. (1973) "Rotational Variations of Io and Europa: Photometric and Radiometric Observations"
- (Subscription Required): Nelson, R.M., and B.W. Hapke (1978). "Spectral Reflectivities of the Galilean Satellites and Titan, 0.32 to 0.86 micrometers"
- The Explicit Prediction Paper (Subscription Required): Witteborn, F.C. et al. (1979) "Io: An Intense Brightening Near 5 Micrometers"
- Material on Sulfur Around Jupiter from Io
- Material on Jupiter's Aurorae
- (Subscription Required) Bigg, E.K. (1964) "Influence of the Satellite Io on Jupiter's Decametric Emission"
- Dulk, G.A. (1967) "Lack of Effects of Satellites Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, and Amalthea on the Decametric Radio Emission of Jupiter"
- (Subscription Required) Goertz, C.K. (1980) "Proton Aurora on Jupiter's Nightside"
- Lewiston Morning Tribune (March 12, 1979): "Jupiter Not So Simple, Probe Found"
- New York Times (February 28, 1979): "Voyager Discovers Jupiter Has Dazzling Lights Similar to Those in the Arctic Regions; Could Determine Atmosphere"
- Material on Jupiter's Moon Amalthea
- (Subscription Required): Rieke, G.H. (1975) "The Temperature of Amalthea"
- Logical Fallacies / Critical Thinking Terms addressed in this episode: Retrodiction, post-hoc rationalization, special pleasing, moving the goalpost
- Relevant Posts on my "Exposing PseudoAstronomy" Blog
Claim: I want to start this by being incredibly specific with what I am saying in this episode up-front: The claim has been made by some people who follow alleged UFO-contactee Billy Meier's material that he was told many years ago about certain facts about things, some of them being about the outer solar system planets, in particular (for this episode) things about Jupiter and Saturn.
The claim by some Meier followers is that these statements by the alleged extraterrestrials to Meier and then published by Meier were before they were known to humans on Earth, therefore the information published by Meier proves he was and is in contact with extraterrestrials. For example, Michael Horn, his Authorized American Media Representative, wrote, "... with literally dozens of other such documented examples of Meier's having published specific, accurate information years, and even decades, before terrestrial scientists, the case must be recognized as being authentic based on these irrefutable facts alone." Elsewhere, Michael Horn has written that Meier published "volumes of specific, previously unknown information."
The purpose of this episode is to see how irrefutable these "facts" are and when they were actually known to terrestrial scientists.
For the purposes of this episode, I'm going to assume that the English translations of Meier's material are correct as published on Michael Horn's website and the futureofmankind.co.uk wiki except in one case that I'll explain towards the end. I'm also going to assume that the dates on them are correct, such as the Contact Report 115 being published on October 19, 1978.
The question then, for this episode is the very specific one of: Is the material published by Meier (a) correct, and if it is correct, was it (b) known before it was published by other people on Earth. The two weaknesses to this approach are first that I cannot possibly go through every single claim, so I'm going to go through some of the ones that have been argued about the most by others as being more iron-clad evidence of the contacts and ones that I find particularly interesting.
The second weakness to this approach is not so much a weakness as a statement beyond what is possible for anyone to attest to other than Meier: I'm not going to try to figure out how Meier could have gotten the information from a terrestrial source. I am stating that IF that source was available, THEN the claim Meier knew it before anyone else on Earth is falsified, and I'm stating that IF that source was available, that Meier could have gotten it from that source or another, and that source (such as a newspaper article, or simply a friend of his who was an astronomer) is a more likely mundane explanation than he was told it by an ET. After all, the claim for his prophecy is that this stuff was known "before terrestrial scientists," not that it may have been known by Earth scientists first but unknown to Meier therefore Meier got it from ETs instead of the source on Earth.
So, going in, to re-cap: One-armed Swiss farmer claims he's in contact with ETs and he publishes material on lots of stuff. People claim that he publishes stuff before it's known to anyone on Earth, therefore the ET contact must be real. I'm going to go through some of those claims and see what I find. I also want to thank a few podcast listeners for volunteering their time to read over some of what I'm going to talk about for omissions or inconsistencies.
Through this exercise, I'm going to pay most attention to the objective statements. For example, whether something is there or not, has a specific number of things or is a certain size. If Meier says that something is "similar" to something else, that's not objective enough to definitively say one way or another. For example, in Contact Report, 210, he said that he saw a "similar ring on Jupiter as to the one on Saturn." What does "similar" mean in this case? Since I can't know what's going on in his mind, I can't objectively score that statement, though I might be of the opinion that Jupiter's ring system is very dissimilar to Saturn's, but that's my opinion and my interpretation of the adjective "similar."
And now, with that very, very long preamble, let's get started.
Number of Jupiter's Moons and Number of Saturn's Moons
Perhaps one of the most objective things one can discuss is the number of something. One might think that, though it's a bit less objective when one has built-in "outs." In this case, the first allegedly confirmed prediction or statement by Meier has to do with the number of moons that Jupiter has and the number of moons that Saturn has.
Listed by Michael Horn as part of Corroboration 163, Billy states in Contact Report 115, written October 19, 1978, that Jupiter "has 17 larger moons and several smaller ones."
Unfortunately, this is too vague to score as an accurate prophecy. What's the cut-off for a larger versus smaller one? The four Galilean satellites make up >99.9% of all the mass of the moons of Jupiter. By diameter, the smallest Galilean satellite is 3,122 km in diameter, and the next-largest moon is Amalthea with a long radius of 250 km ... more on Amalthea in a bit. There's another break in size between Leda and Callirrhoe, where Leda is 16 km and Callirrhoe is 9 km across, but that's 16 moons Leda and larger, not 17. Most astronomers refer to Jupiter as having 4 large moons and then a gaggle of smaller ones. The number of known Jovian satellites now is 66, which is not enumerated in Meier's writings. One might be tempted to say this is a miss, but I'm going to be conservative and generous and say it's simply too vague without a specific definition of "several smaller ones."
The next line in the Contact Report, or "CR" for short, is by the alien Semjase, who stated, "... for certain reasons, that may not become known on the Earth before the month of September, 1979." So, we wouldn't know for at least 11 months after this CR was written that Jupiter had more than 14 moons that were known to that time.
Now we get into more specifics. There were 14 moons known prior to Voyager 1's encounter with Jupiter. They started the Jupiter observation phase on January 6, 1979. The closest encounter with Jupiter was around noon on March 5, 1979. Jupiter observations stopped on April 13, 1979. Voyager 2 started its observation phase on April 4, 1979, and ended August 5, 1979. Two were discovered by Voyager 1 and one by Voyager 2 and announced in 1979 and 1980. While the images were taken in 1979, the actual discovery of the moons from Voyager 1 images were not made until 1980 in two papers by Synnott in Science and Science News. However, the discovery by Jewitt and others of Adrastea was made in August, submitted that same month as an abstract to the Division of Planetary Sciences meeting scheduled for October 1979, and embargoed and published in Science in November 1979 as well as presented at that DPS meeting in October. It's true that the press release was not made available until October. Remember, the prophecy was that we wouldn't know about them before September.
One could look at this in a few different ways. First, objectively, one must admit that this was known to some people on Earth before September 1979. Second, cynically, one could easily predict that moons would be discovered in the Voyager images. After all, they were searching for them, just like we'll be looking for more moons from New Horizons as it gets to Pluto, and the thirteenth and fourteenth moons had just been discovered 5 and 4 years earlier. Given that the encounters were in March and July, and there is a major planetary science conference in October, it is logical to say that moons would be discovered in 1979, but not announced until that DPS meeting in October, hence, "not become known on the Earth before the month of September." This happens all the time where the mission teams work furiously as soon as the data are downloaded, get their abstracts written and submitted, get the papers written and submitted and reviewed, and everything is embargoed until the meeting so they can get their big timed press release and the whole team is at the meeting to talk to the journalists. That's what happens, it's not a leap to expect that. And so, I would argue that this claim is both falsified - they were known before September - but it was also a pretty safe one to make that they at least would not be known to the general population until after September, as in during October's DPS meeting. Given that and the probability and expectation of finding moons, this is a classic type of safe prediction to make that has a high chance of coming true, especially when ignoring that the information was known to the mission scientists before the big release.
This situation also illustrates the dangers of using only press releases as your source for when something happens because a press release only happens months if not a year or two after something has been discovered. You have to make the discovery. You have to run it by colleagues. You have to write the paper. You have to submit the paper. You have to have the paper peer-reviewed. You have to revise the paper and re-submit and have it re-reviewed. Then you can get it published which can take months. Then, if it's big enough, you get the sexy press release when your paper is finally published. Meanwhile, dozens if not hundreds or thousands of people already know about it because of this lengthy process.
Now that I've beaten Jupiter's moon number to death, let's look at Saturn. CR 150 states in part, from Billy, "more satellites orbit [Saturn] than what was previously assumed." Given what I just said about Jupiter, and given that CR 150 was written October 10, 1981, one and two years after the three moons from the Voyager program were announced, this was a very, VERY safe bet, especially because moons are stable within a region called a Hill Sphere around a planet, and we had barely begun to tap that region looking for satellites of Saturn from Earth.
Moving on, he states, "To my knowledge, it has been argued until now that Saturn only has its 10 or 12 moons; although, it is true that there are 29, if I omit the Adoniden." Meier then goes on to ask whether these additional moons will be discovered by terrestrial scientists.
The alien Quetzal replied in part, "there revolve around Saturn 29 moons. ... After the discovery of the moons around Jupiter, scientists now reckon that they will also still find some undiscovered satellites around Saturn ..." So there, he's acknowledging effectively what I just said.
But, what's the number? Prior to 1980, there were 11 known, which just conveniently happens to be between 10 and 12. In 1980, there were an additional 6 discovered, according to Wikipedia, though I think it was 3 in 1980 and 3 in 1981. So already, at least his "to my knowledge" was incorrect because in 1980, a year before this CR, we already had at least 14 known.
Moving on, just as with Jupiter where there are 66 known moons, not 17 plus a bunch of undefined small ones, Saturn now has 61 known moons. One can either say that Meier's statements are therefore either false or too vague since the term "Adoniden" does not have a specific definition. On the side of them being false, we can do the same exercise of ranking that we did with Jupiter: there are 22 known moons within 2 million km, since he says elsewhere that many more moons are millions (plural) of km from Saturn. But 22 is not 29. Or, one could say that there are 17 known moons as of 1981, when this CR was made, but Phoebe was also known and it's 13 million km from Saturn. Within Phoebe's orbit, we now know of 26. Still not 29.
Or, looking at diameter, there's Titan at over 5000 km and the next-largest is Rhea at only 1500. There's another natural diameter break between Tethys and Enceladus, 1100 km vs 500 km, which is 5 moons Tethys and larger. Another natural break by a factor of 2 between Siarnaq and Pandora, but that's 13 Pandora and larger. There's no other good natural break in size nor mass that get you with 29 on one side and the rest on the other.
Nor is there a natural break in discovery year. There were 11 known by 1977. There were another 3 at least discovered in 1980 by terrestrial telescopes which was before Voyager's encounter with Saturn. Another three from Voyager 2, and then 1 in 1990. Not 29. Then a whole bunch in 2000 that took the number past 29.
So again, either Meier is simply wrong OR this prediction has a built-in "out" and is simply too vague to confirm or refute by not telling you what Adoniden are. And I looked in other CRs and could not find it.
Discovery of Jupiter's Rings
Let's take a break for a bit from the moons and go to Jupiter's rings. In 1975, Contact Report 31, Meier wrote, "whereby I also see once again that Jupiter has a fine ring, similar to the rings of Saturn ..."
As I already said in the intro, I wouldn't consider them to be similar to the rings of Saturn, but that's less objective. What about the bigger question of whether Jupiter has rings? It's true that no one knew FOR A FACT that Jupiter had rings before their official discovery by Voyager 1 in 1979. That doesn't mean that no one thought there were there, and predicted them, and that a betting man would put them into a prediction.
The fact that the Voyager team even looked for rings around Jupiter should tell you that some people thought they would be there.
To quote from the book, Planetary Rings, by my current boss, Larry Esposito, on page 12:
Six years earlier, Pioneer had detected a disappearance of radiation belts near the planet that could be explained by their being removed from that particular location by absorption due to a Jupiter ring. After some argument, Tobias Owen convinced his colleagues and the Voyager project management to invest precious minutes as the Voyager 1 spacecraft passed above the Jupiter equator to stare at apparently blank space in the direction of a possible ring. This investment paid off when the smeared image clearly showed a fuzzy ring surrounding the planet!
So, in 1973, which was two years before this CR, and in 1974, one year before this CR by Meier, we have people openly discussing the possibility of rings being found. In fact, you can go to again the DPS abstracts from 1974 and read the title of a submission, "The possible combination of radiation belts and dust rings on Jupiter" by T. Gold, hypothesizing that "Jupiter may provide similar circumstances [to Saturn], and its rings may simply be too weak to have been observed. A sharp increase in impact rate was in fact noted by Pioneer 10 in the vicinity of Jupiter." In other words, another line of evidence to expect rings - this time not from radiation, but from particle detection itself. These were repeated in papers by Fillius et al. (1975) and Acuña and Ness (1976), though this latter one is of course after Meier wrote this Contact Report.
But, if you really wanted to, you could go to TWELVE years before this contact report, to 1962, when there were two papers in the journal Soviet Astronomy, one titled, "On the Ring Encircling Jupiter," and the other "Possible Existence of a Ring of Comets and Meteorites Around Jupiter."
And if you want to go really "out there" and show that Meier wasn't even the first prognosticator to say that Jupiter has rings, the famed Remote Viewer, Ingo Swann, wrote in 1973, two years before Meier did, that he went on his psychic journey and saw that Jupiter had rings. Again, two years before Meier. So this information was out there in several different circles at the time.
Yet, this is claimed to be proof positive of Meier's prophecy not only of the rings' existence but also their composition in the document, "Absolute Proof of Advance Knowledge of the Rings of Jupiter and their Composition by Billy Meier, from his 115th Contact on October 19, 1978," written by Michael Horn. Michael claims that it was an Astronomy Picture of the Day post from 1995 that was, "the first article to suggest what the rings were composed of ... ." Clearly, it wasn't. There were books written about Jupiter and chapters about the rings well before 1995, and given where they were relative to the moons, and how unstable ice is in the area, we had pretty good ideas what they were made of, and that was dusty-type material. But that gets us a bit ahead of the next topic, the source of Jupiter's rings.
Source of Jupiter's Rings
In CR 115 from 1978, Meier makes another statement about Jupiter's rings, besides saying that they exist. He says, "and so, will it also not be found out that the ring clouds around Jupiter, to a large extent, consist of tiny particles ejected from large volcanoes of the moon Io ... ?" The alien Semjase replies, effectively, "yes." I'm going to talk about volcanism on Io in a bit, but first, what is the source of Jupiter's rings? Meier is stating fairly unequivocally that it's material from Ionian volcanos, or at least the majority is. However, well after the Voyager observations, in CR 201, from 1985, Meier wrote that Jupiter's rings were made from "only a single and small comet." Which is it?
Well, it's not by any stretch primarily made of material from Io. Io does produce a torus - a doughnut-shape - of material around Jupiter, but it is not considered by ANYONE to be part of Jupiter's rings. One main reason is that it is well beyond the ring system, where the Thebe Gossamer Ring extends 226,000 km from Jupiter, and that's the extent of the ring system, while Io and its plasma torus orbits about twice as far away, at 420,000 km. The second reason is kinda what I just said, that it's a plasma torus, not a dust and/or ice ring. Io ejects material that goes into orbit and is made of highly ionized particles that, pretty much by definition, are a plasma torus about the planet. It was thought at the time that Io MIGHT contribute to the rings, but we now know the composition is vastly different. Instead, it's micrometeorite bombardment of the inner-most four moons that replenishes them, primarily from Amalthea and Thebe. Sulfur and other material from Io is NOT by ANY stretch the dominant constituent of Jupiter's rings.
If one wants to claim that the Io plasma torus is what Billy meant, the context belies that claim. Billy stated that Jupiter's would be "similar ... to the one on Saturn," but a torus of plasma - highly charged particles - trapped by Jupiter's magnetosphere in orbit and not visible to the eye, well, then that is a very classic example of post-hoc rationalization. If one wants to claim that some newspaper article, such as the one from the New York Times from March 12, 1979, said, "The extremely ionized sulfur particles found in the huge ring encircling Jupiter at the orbit of Io ..." and therefore since they used the word "ring" it is similar to planetary rings in any normal, common, or scientific use of the word, they would be wrong. It is not unusual for newspapers to use incorrect terminology. It is not unusual for newspapers to use simplistic words to get a general idea across. It is not unusual for press releases to do the same. Instead of evidence for Meier being correct that the Io plasma torus is actually a ring because the NYT used that word, it's evidence that the NYT used incorrect terminology.
So now we move on to CR 201, which if you read them literally, contradicts CR 115 in terms of the source of most of Jupiter's rings. It also reflects one possibility for the origin of the rings that was also once favored, but this was well known in both technical and popular literature at the time. In fact, people as far back as the 1800s with French astronomer Édouard Roche who speculated that planetary rings were made by comets or moons breaking up into a disk around the planet. We also had mass estimates of the rings from the Voyager mission based on how bright they were and many assumptions about particle sizes and density, and that does come out to the mass of a comet. But again, CR 201 was written in 1985, several years after Voygers' encounters with Jupiter. And, it's not what we think the rings are made of today -- they're not ice around Jupiter like they are around Saturn, they're dust, formed from small impacts of the four inner-most moons of Jupiter ... not Io.
Also contained in CR 201 is the statement that ground-based telescopes can't see Jupiter's rings, and that even the Hubble Space Telescope won't be able to observe them. While it was true and known at the time that ground-based telescopes couldn't see the rings, Keck in Hawai'i observed them successfully in 1997. As for HST, it easily observed them in 1999 (Meier et al., 1999), possibly earlier but that was the earliest date I found; it also observed them in 2002 and 2003, and I've linked to an image of them observed by HST in the shownotes along with the moon Metis. This means that again, Billy was wrong -- except actually, in this case, according to the Contact Report it was the alien Quetzal, not Billy, who said that HST wouldn't be able to see them.
In fact, Quetzal stated the "Jupiter ring already stands in dissolution and might already be gone in less than a year," which would eliminate them by 1987. They're still there. While this is perhaps not as objective as one would like since Quetzal said "might ... be gone," an advanced alien cross-dimensional species should be able to tell that the rings are (a) being replenished, and (b) how quickly they're being destroyed versus replenished such that they would not be destroyed within one year.
So, one has a couple options here: (1) Billy went out on a limb and was wrong about Io making the rings and tried to cover 7 years later by saying it was a comet instead which is still unlikely for Jupiter's rings, or (2) the aliens were wrong about several things, or, (3) well, that's about it. These statements about the source and observations and lifetime of Jupiter's ring were simply wrong, so either Billy was wrong or if you believe he was told this by aliens, then they were wrong or lying to him.
Discovery of Volcanism on Io
With that in mind, lets move on to the next topic, of which one of the faculty at work said: "I consider the discovery of Io volcanism to be the second most important in the history of planetary geology. The first was Galileo's observations of the moon, which allowed most of planetary geology to be figured out through comparative planetology..."
Meier wrote in CR 115, from October 19, 1978, that Semjase stated, "The moon Io, of which you said something, is, by the way, the most volcanically active planetary body in the Jupiter system." Just before that, Billy wrote what I talked about before in the source of Jupiter's rings, that there are "large volcanoes o[n] the moon Io." This is listed on the Meier Wiki under corroboration 165, that Meier was the first to write that Io was volcanic. And remember: The claim is that Meier knew this before any terrestrial scientist.
This required a lot of investigation on my part, but what I found is that, as with Jupiter's rings, Meier may have been among the first out there to specifically state as a matter of fact that this is the case, but as a matter of speculation and hypothesizing among scientists, this was already out there. And scientists aren't going to be ones to state something as a matter of fact, unlike various types of prognosticators trying to score prophetic hits.
From the book, conveniently called "Volcanism on Io," in the first chapter, section 2, is the heading, "Prediction of volcanic activity." I'll now read from that, because listening to someone read a textbook is the most fascinating thing in the world:
Even prior to Voyager, it was evident from ground-based instruments that Io had unusual far-infrared photometry and radiometry, with higher brightness temperatures at 10 µm than at 20 µm (Morrison et al., 1972) and unusual thermal inertia as Io emerged from eclipse (e.g., Hansen, 1973; Morrison and Cruikshank, 1973). These observations were difficult to interpret in the context of Io's being a dead, inactive world.
Just before the Voyager 1 encounter with Io in March, 1979, a notable discovery was made. Witteborn et al. (1979) announced that an intense, temporary brightening at 2 to 5 µm in the infrared had been observed, which they explained as an isolated surface area at a temperature of ≈600 K (on a planet where the peak daytime temperature is ≈130 K). Another hint at Io's dynamic nature came from Nelson and Hapke (1978), who suggested fumarolic activity as a possible mechanism for producing short-chain sulphur allotropes on Io's surface to explain features in Io's spectrum.
So, what do we have? We have an observation published 6 years before Meier's CR that showed Io had unusual thermal activity that could be interpreted as volcanic. We also have other observations published in 1973, 5 years before Meier's writing, showing the same thing, strongly implying that Io was active in some way.
Fast-forward to 1978, the same year, but published in January, well before Meier's October wiring, and there were suggestions of fumaroles to explain heat and chemical signatures. Fumaroles are opening in the planet's crust OFTEN around volcanoes that emit steam and gases and are hot.
Add to that basic mathematical calculations that had been made many years earlier that showed Io, being the closest large satellite to Jupiter, would be most subject to tidal heating, meaning that it's basically kneaded like a ball of dough by Jupiter's and the other large moons' gravity, and so we KNOW that IF Io is volcanic, it is going to be the most volcanic object in the Jupiter system.
Finally, there's the Science paper that came out weeks before Voyager 1's encounter in 1979 by Witteborn et al. who did explicitly predict there would be volcanoes on Io. You might be saying, "But that's after the Meier prediction!" Yes, that's true. But, they also talked about their early results at the October DPS meeting in 1978, just at the time that Meier was writing this CR. While this last point is coincidental timing-wise and one might not say it's very good evidence, there's still everything else, and not only were all the pieces there to predict Io was volcanic, but people were openly talking about volcanic-driven activity before October 1978, when Meier wrote his CR.
So, under the bar that has been set, that Meier was the first to say these things, that they were unknown to Earthly scientists, I have shown that is not the case for Io's volcanism. It was not yet confirmed, but any person would be able to guess at it and it was being openly discussed, if not necessarily believed yet without the observational evidence from Voyager 1.
This actually leads right into the next statement by Meier, that Io "exhibits no too great crater landscape but rather a fantastic evenness, despite the many craters." I talked with a scientist who was around at the time. He stated that while this material was out there and people were holding out hope for volcanoes, they were fully expecting to count craters on Io's surface to determine an age estimate. While that is of course not documented, written evidence, it goes to the mindset at the time, that the popular discussions expected there to be craters. And, if one adopts the null hypothesis that Meier wrote what was in the popular culture -- if the very recent, cutting-edge popular culture -- then one would expect him to write something like that.
And, because he did, he was wrong. Io shows no craters. Zero.
Sulfur from Io
Still part of what's claimed as Corroboration #165 from Contact Report 115, we have more on Io. Meier wrote that the volcanic material ejected from Io that forms a ring system - which I already pointed out does not - is "a heavy formation of sulfur ions." Michael Horn and others have said this is a strong Meier corroboration of prophecy because of popular newspaper articles written in 1979, one stating, "The Voyager 1 spacecraft, a continuing source of surprises as it speeds toward Jupiter, has startled scientists again by revealing that the enormous planet is ringed by super-hot electrified sulfur particles." Therefore, the thinking goes, we didn't know about sulfur around Jupiter from Io yet.
Again, this is the problem with relying on press releases. I already quoted from a 1978 conference abstract that stated sulfur had been detected on Io. You can also go back to 1977, an abstract talking not only about Io's sodium cloud, hydrogen cloud, and potassium cloud, but also one by Pilcher and Schempp with the title, "The extended sodium and sulfur clouds of Jupiter." It states, "... ionized sulfur ... emissions were observed around Jupiter during the 1976/77 apparition ... . ... The spatial distribution of ionized sulfur emission was observed to vary substantially from day to night. On 17 UT Dec. 1976, the SII [doubly-ionized sulfur] emission was strongly concentrated inside of Io's orbit, in accord with the observations of Munch and Trauger [from 1977]." And I found another abstract from 1977 talking about sulfur from Io and a paper from 1978 about it, all linked up in the shownotes.
So again, one must say that it was well known BEFORE Meier wrote CR 115 that sulfur was in Jupiter orbit where Io was also, and that the press release and news articles from AFTER CR 115 play it up and ignore observations and publications made years earlier.
And it bears mentioning again, there haven't been observations of much sulfur at all in Jupiter's rings. It's mainly rocky dust, which is yet another major difference from Saturn's rings which are mainly ice. And this dust originates from four inner moons, Metis, Adrastea, Amalthea, and Thebe, which spectroscopically match.
Moving forward in time to May 31, 1986, we have CR 209, in which Quetzal allegedly said about Jupiter's aurora, translated, "The moons of Jupiter play a very important role for this phenomenon, but they are not solely responsible for this. In addition, Jupiter's polar lights aren't always uniformly round. The effects of the Sun are also to be mentioned, which play a certain role in connection with the polar lights." This is listed as a Corroboration #92 in some lists of Meier's foreknowledge of something.
Problem is, this was all well known at the time. In fact, some of it was known three decades earlier, at least as far back as 1955 when we detected radio signals from Io that indicated there were aurora that interacted with radio signals we saw from Jupiter that indicated it also had aurora. I have a paper linked in the shownotes that talks about Io affecting Jupiter's decametric radio emission, in other words, its aurora. And one from 1980 about the aurora.
In the popular press, there were numerous news articles in 1979 talking about Jupiter's aurora. Science papers published at the time also discuss it. Given the effects of Io on the radiation from Jupiter caused by its aurora, "predicting" in 1986 that the moons play a role is like predicting in 2013 that Obama would win the 2008 US presidential election. It also follows directly from this that if Io is affecting the aurora, then it's going to perturb them as Io orbits the planet, making them not perfect circles. And as with Earth, the sun also affects Jupiter's aurora, just not as much as on Earth because Jupiter is 5x farther away.
So, while this is listed as a Corroboration in several lists, I consider this falsified as a prediction because, while it's true, it was well known prior to mid-1986.
Jupiter's Moon Amalthea
As another example of something that may not seem to have been known at the time but was, there's the case of Jupiter's moon Amalthea. Going back to CR 115 from October 1978, Billy stated, "Thus, you also told me that the moon, which I designated as an enormous chicken egg, is only about 200 kilometers in length. I think it was the next moon of Jupiter, whose name I no longer remember." In other translations, this last part is written as, "I believe it was the moon closest to Jupiter ..."
After congratulating him on his "admirable memory in all things," Semjase replied, "The moon, which you've just mentioned, is called "Amalthea" among you." This is listed as another part of Confirmation #165 by Horn and others because of another newspaper article from March 3, 1979, which stated, "Amalthea, previously estimated to be 75 to 150 miles in diameter, appeared to be shaped more like and egg than a sphere."
To nip the last part of Meier's statement in the bud, Amalthea is the moon third out from Jupiter that we know of, Metis and Adrastea being interior to it as mentioned when I talked about the source of Jupiter's rings. One could of course get around this being a refutation of Meier's statements by pointing out that he said he THINKS it's closest, and that Metis and Adrastea were not discovered until 1979 ... although, this would then contradict his apparent foreknowledge of their discovery in the same Contact Report, but this is still a somewhat minor point.
As for the size and the moon being shaped like an egg, this is yet another case of using popular press as a "first" without understanding the science of something. A paper from 1975, 3 years before CR 115, estimates that Amalthea "has a radius of 120±30 km," which means it would be 240±60 km in length. So the size was known.
As for the shape, here's where there's nothing specifically written, but where one must rely on general knowledge of planetary science and physics to show that it was general knowledge that it would be a tri-axial ellipse, or egg-shaped. Every object in the solar system larger than a few thousand kilometers is pretty close to spherical. But, even Earth bulges by 10s of kilometers at the equator. Ceres, the largest asteroid, is about 975 by 975 by 909 km, in other words, one axis is 7% shorter than the others. The second-largest asteroid, Pallas, is 580x555x500 km, where the shortest axis is 14% shorter than the longest. The second-most-massive asteroid, Vesta, is 573x557x446 km, with the longest axis 28% larger than the shortest axis.
As you go smaller, you get more ellipsoidal. This is because you simply don't have enough gravity to pull yourself into a spherical shape. Given that it was estimated that Amalthea had a long axis around 240±60 km, half the size of the largest asteroids other than Ceres, what would have been amazing and unusual is if it were NOT egg-shaped. Our best estimates today are that it's 250x146x128 km, giving it an average radius of 167±4 km. Which, if you want to be strict about it, is not 200 km unless you round to the nearest one significant figure. But I'm not going to be strict about that, rather I think the entire point of it being egg-shaped being a prediction and something unknown is false, given what we knew and know about other objects of similar sizes and that basic physics calculations show that an object that size cannot pull itself into a sphere.
This was not something that was unknown to scientists at the time. But it was also not written down, just as they didn't feel the need to write down anywhere that a moon of Jupiter is going to orbit the planet. It's just something that IS.
Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9's Impact into Jupiter
This next topic is a more difficult one, and it's one that I don't like. It's not that I don't like it for what it says, but I don't like it because I think there is evidence of going back and faking one of the contact reports online, and I have not been able to obtain an original to verify or refute my suspicions. I will say this, with full knowledge that I'll probably be quoted and quote-mined: IF the translation of Contact Report 123 is correct, and IF it is verifiable that the German used for that translation was published before 1992 - and the date on the report is 1979 - then this is a case where Meier was incredibly specific and appears to have forecast something that did happen. But, for reasons I'll explain momentarily, I have doubts as to the authenticity.
The subject matter is comet Shoemaker-Levy 9's impact into Jupiter in 1994.
Contact Report 123, as it is currently written and translated online, has the alien Semjase stating that a comet's orbit "will bring it back to Jupiter in the year 1994, between the 10th and 25th of July. It will first appear as a comet, only to explode into about 20 pieces, when it approaches the planet Jupiter. Then, within a number of hours, these fragments will all be attracted to the planet one after another and will crash down on it."
That was written, allegedly, on June 4, 1979. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered in 1993, it broke into about 23 main pieces (not 20), and it impacted Jupiter between July 16 and July 22, over the course of 6 days. Now, there are some admittedly very minor differences, like the number of fragments, the exact dates of impact, how big the original body was, and Meier's whole back-story that I didn't read to you about a so-called "Destroyer" that ripped it from its original Jovian orbit back in 13,384 B.C. One could quibble about them, but I consider those minor and unimportant IN THIS CASE. The question is, did Meier actually write that back in 1979, 14 years before the discovery by the Shoemakers and Levy?
I don't think so. I have two main reasons for thinking that this CR, as it currently is reported, is not genuine. And, if someone can show that it is, I would be very interested. And by that I mean I need to see the original book and get an independent translation.
So, why don't I think this contact report is genuine? It's because of two later CRs themselves. First is #150, written in October 1981, two years and 4 months after CR 123. CR 150 has a part where Meier is reciting back a timeline. He states:
Concurrent with the passage of the Destroyer in the Jupiter system, it pulls a small, ancient moon with a diameter of about 4 kilometers out of its orbit and hurls it with immense speed out into the space of the SOL System on an unknown path, accompanied by several smaller asteroids.
At first, this moon loses itself in a very distant orbital path, where it then reemerges after a long time and moved through the SOL System — time and time again — until one day, it will be recaptured by Jupiter and will crash down into it with great certainty which, according to our calculations, will be around the time of the turn of the twentieth to the twenty-first century A.D.
To me, that is fairly non-specific. It is basically making a statement that could be claimed as a hit or miss no matter what. It mentions an object 4 km across - which is a normal size for a comet but a very small size for a moon, especially one that formed in orbit around the planet - and it says that this moon will hit Jupiter sometime around the turn of the 21st century. One would be able to say that this could be an unobserved hit if we never saw it, that it did happen, we just didn't observe it. It lacks any other specifics and is not something I would say is a very strong, very specific prediction. It also does not reference CR 123, which Meier frequently does when he mentions something specific he talked about in a previous CR.
Then we have CR 248 which came out in February 1994, after Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered and everything was known about it. Billy talks about it and says this:
During the 150th Contact Report, dated Saturday, the 10th of October, 1981, 3:15 AM, Quetzal spoke of the fact that a small moon, about 4 kilometers in diameter, was torn away from Jupiter by the Destroyer in the year 13384 B.C. and was sent on a journey, with which several smaller asteroids followed along. It was then said that this small moon would one day return to its place of origin, even to Jupiter, in order, then, to crash down on it. In addition, now the following: earthly scientists have made the discovery that at present, a small planetoid, about 4 kilometers in diameter, is approaching Jupiter on a collision course, accompanied by several asteroids following it. According to scientific calculations, this small planetoid, which is called Shoemaker-Levy 9, is to crash down on Jupiter in the middle of the year 1994, just beyond the horizon that is visible from the Earth. Is this small planetoid the small moon mentioned by Quetzal, which went on a journey from Jupiter in the year 13384 B.C. and which now “celebrates” its return to its place of origin, or is this another space projectile?
Ptaah then says that this is indeed the moon talked about in that CR.
Notice that there is zero mention of CR 123. Which allegedly had a lot more specifics in it. Instead, Meier takes great pains to point out that he wrote down on Saturday, October 10, 1981, at 3:15AM, in CR 150, that there would be an object that would hit Jupiter sometime around the turn of the 21st century. But again, he makes ZERO mention of CR 123 where apparently ALL of the important, very specific, data was stated, including the number of fragments, the dates of impact, etc. Not a single mention. It's also not mentioned in some of the confirmation reports by others of Meier's material.
Because of that inconsistency, because Meier does not refer back to CR 123 which would seem to be a crowning achievement in prophetic accuracy of this event, I do not think that 123 as it is currently represented is accurate relative to what it stated originally.
I think AT BEST, all that can be said for this particular prediction is that it would seem to be very strong, but there is reasonable evidence to cast doubt on its authenticity.
After going through these admittedly very few examples relative to the entire body of Meier's writings and even the body of allegedly confirmed predictions/statements, where are we?
Well, I started off with pointing out that the claim is that Billy Meier was told these various things before anyone on Earth knew them, and in other places the aim is before any scientist on Earth knew them. Since they later were shown to be true, then Meier must have been told by someone not from Earth. Makes sense.
I then investigated several of these. I focused on the statements about Jupiter and Saturn. I looked not just at what some people have pointed to as confirmed prophecies, but also at where Jupiter or Saturn have appeared in the contact reports that are not claimed verified predictions.
What I showed was that some statements were factually wrong, such as Io having craters or that Jupiter's rings would be gone by 1987. Some statements were too vague to really score as verified or not, like the number of moons of Jupiter and Saturn. I also showed that nearly all statements that were strictly objective and factually correct were, in fact, known to people on Earth BEFORE Meier wrote about them, such as about Jupiter's aurora and Io affecting them. In some cases, the knowledge by terrestrial scientists was by several months, in some, by possibly a matter of weeks, and for some, like whether Jupiter had rings, by over a decade.
There was one main exception to this, and that was with details of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. In that case, Contact Report 123 was highly specific. And yet, in later reports, even after the comet was officially discovered and in a report that refers back to an earlier one, no mention is made of the highly specific CR 123. Because of this, I posit that it has been altered after the fact. If someone can show me the book where it was published, with it written down, prior to 1993, and I can get an independent English translation of the German, then I will re-evaluate that conclusion. Until then, I think the data are highly suggestive of tampering.
So, where are we? For most listeners of this podcast, I will guess that you're not that surprised. Keep in mind that it is very difficult to show a negative in this case -- that the information was NOT known. I could search for weeks and perhaps not find anything, and then someone may find a newspaper story in an old archive I didn't have access to that lays out exactly what Meier said the day before Meier claimed his contact. For the several examples in this episode, I think that I've done a fairly good job showing that this information WAS known before Meier wrote about it.
At the VERY LEAST, this means that these are not strong corroborations of Meier's foreknowledge of something. At the most, one could say that in every case here, except one that is subject to validation of the contact report, I have shown that Meier was (a) simply writing about popular ideas at the time that were already out there and there is clearly no evidence that he was told something that was unknown to anyone at the time, (b) that he speculated about some things and got some of them wrong and (c) was vague enough in some of his writings that regardless of future scientific knowledge, he had "outs" written in so one could not claim he was wrong. And, one could speculate (if they really wanted to) that if they did a similar investigations into other claimed iron-clad prophetic evidence, that they would come up with similar findings as I did here.
If I had to guess, it would be that certain critics of my work will likely now claim that, okay, perhaps this information was known just prior to Meier writing about it, but how could Meier possibly have gotten the information from some obscure journal? I have two pre-emptive answers to that, though they will almost certainly be unsatisfied by both.
First, most of these were known or at least openly discussed months if not years before the writings by Meier. Only in POSSIBLY one case was it a matter of a week or so, that of volcanism on Io. Second, you have moved the goalpost. The claim was that this information was unknown to anyone on Earth. I have shown that to be falsified. Moving the goalpost and now saying that it may have been known to some people but not to Meier is changing the claim to something that neither I nor you could possibly hope to verify or refute. I have no idea how Meier may or may not have had access to the information. Perhaps he had some astronomer friends. Perhaps he read newspapers or listened to the radio. All of that is speculation, and it is not my job nor my goal to speculate on how Meier may have come across the information THAT WAS KNOWN BEFORE HE WROTE ABOUT IT. With that said, let me be very clear that I'm not accusing Meier of lying. I'm stating that the evidence gathered and that I have related to you is most consistent with him having gotten the information from terrestrial sources, making high-probability prediction statements, or being simply incorrect in some cases. That is most consistent with him just writing on his own as opposed to getting information from ETs.
And so, with that in mind, I'll wrap up the main section of the episode with this final statement: Every press release is written to stretch the truth as much as possible to try to make the new work look good. Press releases will often say that this is a novel discovery or new information, and they will fail to tell you that it in fact was known, theorized, discussed, or modeled earlier. Therefore, saying that something was only shown to be known 20 years after Meier wrote about it, and making that claim based on some press release - such as the composition of Jupiter's rings, is not the way to do this kind of investigation.
You have to comb through the primary literature and the popular press, and even then, there are solid examples where even research papers will fail to mention previous work on the subject in favor of trying to say that their work is the first with such a result. In other words, as an example, all because Meier talked about Jupiter's aurorae in 1986 and said that the sun plays a role, and you find a press release from 2006 that says, "New studies of auroras on Jupiter ... are changing how scientists think the biggest light shows in the solar system are formed[; l]ike auroras on Earth, the Sun plays an important role," that does not mean we didn't know that the sun affected Jupiter's aurora before 2006. In fact, in that particular case, which is claimed Corroboration 92, every newspaper that reported on Voyager 1's observations of Jupiter in 1979 - 7 years before this contact report - said that the sun caused aurora on Jupiter.
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Gio Leere Faroe
3:25am on Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
So Meier was right at least once? Well it only takes once in some cases. Like the