This was to be my first EU conference. As I left Tucson on I-10, the temperature was hot. Arizona in June is like Venus. Temperatures always hover above 100ºF, but when it exceeds 110ºF, it’s life threatening.
First, you seem to stop sweating. You still release sweat, but it evaporates immediately and you remain dry as a bone. There is no moisture in the air. No matter how much water is consumed, lips chap, pee turns orange and scratchy salt crusts form in armpits.
It got hotter and dustier as I traveled north into the Phoenix basin. When I arrived in Mesa at noon, it was 120ºF in the shade.
Since I was a speaker and a last minute addition to the roster, I went straight to the auditorium to get checked out on the A/V system. I needed to know how it worked right away, because I didn’t have my presentation committed to memory. I needed to know if I could read my notes on the screen at the podium, or if I’d need to carry a sheaf of papers, or simply stand up there and look foolish. The last time I gave a presentation, flip charts were the state of the art.
Before I could do that, I found Susan Schirott. She took me under wing, stray cat that I was, and gave me the low-down on the conference.
Susan introduced me to the EU. I found Thunderbolts while surfing the web, became convinced for reasons too numerous to get into now and contacted Susan to pitch a guest blog. Susan gave me that opportunity and made everything else happen. I simply had to write what I learned and she handled the rest. Susan is the engine of Thunderbolts, but made time to make sure I was taken care of.
We’d had a bit of drama over adding my presentation at the last minute, including my own moments of high anxiety. Susan let me know the current status and that things were okay. She got me settled in and at ease.
The A/V system turned out to be a piece of cake and gave me all the capability to present that I could hope for, if I could just remember which buttons to push. So, unable to stand there forever pushing buttons to get used to the mechanism, I retired to the bar to relax and trust to fate.
Conference bars are where the action is, in my humble opinion. You have to see the presentations, of course. At least most of them. And you have to socialize in the halls and workshops, but the bar is where people let down their shields. I was to be here for three days, followed by the geology tour for another two days. I hardly knew anyone in the EU community. This seemed the best place to be.
My first encounter was with a young couple from the Phoenix area. Since I wore a speaker ribbon on my name tag, but few people had heard of me, I had a brief advantage. It rose people’s interest, which I need since I’m an introvert. But they didn’t know what to ask since they didn’t know what I was there to talk about. It allowed me attention and still a comfortable anonymity.
I was vague about my presentation, simply saying it had to do with geology and some electrical features. This raised the mystery. They assured me they would watch me speak. So far things were working well – two attentive listeners would be at my talk and I hardly had to do anything. They even bought my beer.
Then a bloke bounded up to our table and began hugging everyone around. I’ll call him Leo. In fact, I’m going to call everyone in this story Leo. I have to protect the innocent. More importantly, I have to protect myself.
Every Leo was different. Every Leo was interesting. Every Leo is my brother and sister, now, but that is getting ahead of the story. Leo came from British Columbia, Montreal, New Brunswick, Colorado, California, UK, Australia, Belarus, Germany, Tibet and at least one from another planet. Leo wore tattoos and buzz cuts; tie-dyeds and chinos; safari hats and bandanas; piercings and goatees; or in one case, a beaded, braided fu-manchu. All points on the globe, all types of people, representing a common interest in our Electric Universe.
This Leo was from the UK. UK Leo sat down and immediately ordered a beer, and I ordered a second. Little did I know at the time, UK Leo would be at the bar every time I went there. UK Leo, I recognized eventually, was a professional beer drinker.
As we got acquainted, a certain cadence set into our discussion. His thick accent was impossible to understand. So I would say, “uh huh”, when I thought he’d made a point. He would reply, “eehah, mate?” because he couldn’t understand me either. In other words, we were perfect drinking partners – the burden of making sense wasn’t on us.
The young couple left. I don’t think they understood UK Leo either. He and I talked nonsense through our beers and then I left to circulate. At the bar I spotted Southern Comfort Leo. Southern Comfort Leo was someone I wanted to get to know, because I’d seen him present in a video of the previous year’s EU conference. His topic had direct bearing on mine. He held court at the corner of the bar, a place only a talkative person would take.
I sidled up beside him to see if I could start a conversation (it’s not something I’m very good at). I call him Southern Comfort Leo, because when I asked where he was from, he listed every southern State he’d ever lived – which was all of them. He said he’d “been around.” Much to my surprise, starting this conversation was easy, and he bought my beer.
I still had the advantage of anonymity, so the talk centered around him and his work. I simply listened to the fascinating work he did and the kind of information he got from it. Others joined us. We held court like Norm Petersen and Cliff Claven at the corner of the bar. But as the evening wore on, the crowd dwindled until there were just four of us left. Room Mate Leo, Boorish Leo, Southern Comfort Leo and me.
As I found with all EU conference participants, they are fiercely independent thinkers who fear no topic. In this case, our conversation turned to God and the relative merits of belief in HIS existence. Dangerous ground for a late night at the bar.
Leo held a belief in God’s existence, while the other Leo disagreed. As it became heated, Southern Comfort Leo wisely took his leave, begging the need to rest for his morning presentation. I was to speak in the afternoon, so I stayed.
Having been raised by a devout Christian mother, I have a respect for most beliefs provided it doesn’t involve hacking heads off. So I attempted to mediate the rougher edges in the conversation, but to no avail. Boorish Leo launched into a devastating destruction of Room Mate Leo’s character flaws, which the younger Leo had guilelessly laid bare for our examination.
We finally agreed to disagree around four AM. Leo and I, being room mates dragged ourselves, shirttails hanging, to the room. The emotions scraped bare at the bar were still bleeding however. Leo and I continued to talk in the room, he giving me intimate glimpses into his troubled yet valuable life. Valuable because he’s brilliant, curious and courageous – the earmarks of an EU scholar. Troubled because he carries baggage – we all do.
I noticed the sun was shining through a gap in the curtain. I sealed the gap before we finally gave up talking and went to sleep. I woke in time to catch Southern Leo’s talk mid-morning.
The conference room was a comfortable place. Dark, with a casual and attentive audience and the most interesting subjects to hear about, delivered by some of the most knowledgeable people in the world. What could be better. I lost myself in the ambience, surprisingly relaxed, without any building apprehension for my own talk that afternoon.
In fact, my talk went well. I think. Except the lights were blinding my sensitive eyes, which were only closed for an hour and a half that morning. Remember that when you watch the replays on Thunderbolts.
I did almost electrocute myself trying to drink some water with the microphone at my lips. It could have been a great display of Arc Blast – the subject of my talk, had I thought of it. I didn’t trip at the podium, or say anything stupid as far as I can remember.
Following the talks, I and my brother Richard, who was attending the conference to graciously provide moral support, and even more gratifying to me – learn more about our Electric Universe, met-up with Susan. Our timing was perfect, because she and David were heading to dinner with another speaker and an attendee who seemed to have a long association with the EU.
It was a delightful dinner. My brother, a former PR and public affairs professional, enjoyed trading anecdotes about conference organization with Dave and Susan while I stuffed my face with baked grouper. Dave Talbott is a sincere and gentle-hearted man who kept the conversation light and engaging. He suffered a dozen questions about Velikovsky and EU that he must have answered a zillion times before, but he spoke with absolute enthusiasm about the things he champions.
After dinner, of course, Rich and I retired to the bar, while the sensible people went about other business, like sleep. After one drink, my brother left to meet his son in Scottsdale, leaving me with the Leo’s again. It was pretty much the same crew, UK Leo, Southern Comfort Leo, Roommate Leo and me. Many other Leos were there, too.
This night was less talk and more drinking. Those of us who were speakers had finished our talks and were ready to unwind. Everyone else was just ready. Michael Claridge-Leo strode in with an electric bicycle to show off. The evening was a hoot, everyone in cheery little clusters around the bar and outside at the pool..
The day had been hot and it began to take its toll. People drifted away to bed, leaving only dead-enders. You know us by now. Leo and I had both shifted from beer to vodka at this point, so my recollection may be out of sequence. What I recall is that Leo began speaking gibberish.
We were having a perfectly rational conversation when he suddenly became agitated, and in perfectly articulated English said something that made absolutely no sense. It was as if Neil DeGrasse Tyson had entered his body. I hadn’t the foggiest notion what he was talking about, but it seemed urgent. Then he simply walked away.
The remainder of us carried the night to a quiet conclusion after the waiters stacking chairs refused us any more post closing drinks. We retired to our rooms, confident that, except for the hotel staff, we were the last people standing and our duty had been satisfied – to be the last people standing – somewhat stooped, but standing.
When I arrived in the room, I found Leo. Leo was passed out in the bathroom, undressed, pants around his ankles. This was not the behavior I expected from Leo. I immediately became suspicious. There was a pool of fluid on the floor. I shook him by the shoulder and called his name. He slid to the floor like a greasy snake, taking the toilet seat with him.
I won’t go into any more detail. It took a good two hours to get him to bed. There was a period of time he simply stood, incapable of moving. Dehydration, heat stroke and vodka don’t mix. I gave him water.
Leo was only the first of the heat casualties. The sun was peaking through the blinds again when I finally laid down. The damn thing wouldn’t stay down. It was already up and blazing people into an ultraviolet-brain cooked stupor and I hadn’t had a wink of sleep yet.
Eight AM came , literally, in the blink of an eye. I met my brother and we enjoyed the talks, seeing almost every one. Incredibly, I never felt tired even though that auditorium could lure a meth addict to sleep. All of the talks were good.
After the banquet there was a gathering at the bar. I happened to join in. Imagine that… Leo was there, too. All of the Leos, in fact. This was the big finale. It wound down as the sun rose and it was too late, or perhaps too early…whatever, to buy beer at the Circle K. I spent my time engrossed in conversation with a charming Leo from UK, this one a female, about documentary film making.
There wasn’t much point in sleep now, since the Geology tour was leaving in less than two hours. UK Leo said he’d just wait-up. I slept until the vans were running downstairs. I had time to simply bundle my kit in a wad and run downstairs and throw it in the StRange Rover. The vans were just loading, so I ran back inside to Starbucks. I wanted to kill the person in front of me ordering a triple mocha hoopla-drip machiacappucinoamericano hand-blended smoothy with sprinkles. After what seemed like a month, I ordered my BIG coffee (I refuse to say Grande) and shuffled out to the StRange Rover and fired her up. I pulled into last place in the caravan and waited.
There is a mathematical rule that relates the number of people in a party to the time it takes that party to actually do anything. It is called the ‘milling factor’. The more people there are, the larger the milling factor becomes by logarithmic scale. If there are enough people, the milling factor will prevent anything from happening and the situation devolves to chaos. With well over twenty people the milling factor was enormous.
As I watched light refract through heat blistering off the hood, the StRange Rover’s vinyl dashboard disintegrated before my very eyes in the UV, X-ray and gamma radiation from the Sun. The organizer and leader of our caravan, Herr Leo, was circling the vans attempting to get people inside and strapped in.
Some folks refer to this as ‘herding cats’. I disagree. Cats tend to scatter and move. High milling factor creates a kind of paralysis where people just stand and stare at each other, waiting for someone else to make a move. Milling has a more bovine nature to it. My BIG coffee was almost finished when the vans actually started rolling. Now I had to pee. I held on because I wasn’t about to run inside when everyone else was finally ready, so we took off on the Geology tour.
Southern Comfort Leo joined me in the StRange Rover at the first stop. It was my first chance to pee and survey the group I was with – in that order. I noticed all of the essential Leo’s, meaning the drinking ones, were on the geology tour. We must run in crowds, I thought, mutually attracted by intense heat, miles of driving, lack of sleep and an excuse to party every night.
As I focused my bleary eyes (I don’t think Leo would have climbed in with me if he knew how much sleep I’d had in the past three days) I saw geologic features I’d written about. I was going to point them out to Southern Comfort Leo, when Leo pointed out to me what he’d been noticing. Leo in the car ahead was swerving off the road occasionally.
Why would Leo do that, I wondered. We found out a few miles later, when on a steeply diving switchback road with no shoulder, Leo in-the-car-ahead, swerved off road and punctured his tire. As it happened, he was passing-out from dehydration and heat. Apparently he came from a place where air conditioning is not a life support system.
He was bundled in the back of a van to re-hydrate and sleep, while someone else took over command of his car, now driving on a spare. We spent a couple of hours getting a new tire for Leo in-the-car-ahead and ended up split into two groups somewhere in Verde Valley because of lunch preferences. We regrouped in Oak Creek Canyon, just past Sedona. Here, everyone cooled their feet in the water under the shade of cottonwoods at Oak Creek’s shore.
The heat, the fact we hadn’t made it to Meteor Crater that day, Leo in-the-car-ahead’s travails, all melted away as the group laughed and splashed in the creek. It was a fine moment. All of the Leo’s felt better. We were all Leo now. Regrouped and refreshed, the caravan drove on to Flagstaff.
As the group checked-in to the motel and got settled, Southern Comfort Leo and I walked to the bar/restaurant across the parking lot to have a cold one. UK Leo joined us next, then others drifted in. I hadn’t paid much attention, but did notice an older gentleman sitting alone drinking beer at a table in the back.
The Leos and I stood at the bar, while all the other Leo’s congregated at a table behind us. I heard a commotion and turned around to see the distinguished looking gentleman sprawled on his back. Several of our Leo’s were attending to him.
I said, “who’s that guy?” to our little group at the bar, but they paid me no attention, struggling as they were to understand each other – Southern drawl vs. UK soccer slang. I sipped my beer and surveyed the situation. The man was still prostate, being given wet towels and water. Someone was calling 911. What else could I do. I sipped my beer. “Do you guys see what’s happening behind us?” I asked. This time I broke through and they turned to look. “Why that’s Seattle Leo,” said Southern Comfort Leo.
I vaguely knew we were to meet Seattle Leo in Flagstaff. I didn’t know details though, so hadn’t connected the distinguished man at the back table with being a Leo. As the paramedics wheeled him away, I said something lame like “take care” and laid my hands over his. They were cold as ice. Our third victim of heat stroke.
One part of our group driven by Colorado Leo, or as I thought of him: the spitting image of Jeff Bridges, were eclectic Leo’s from around the world. They decided to camp-out in the National Forest instead of staying at the motel. They were a lively and entertaining bunch, so some of the motel Leo’s and I decided we’d visit their camp for a few beers.
They were camped somewhere in Coconino National Forest. Since Coconino National Forest covers approximately 1.8 million acres, I thought our prospects of finding them dubious. Nevertheless, we took two cars, bought some beer and departed Flag for the ‘campground’ they were supposedly at. They weren’t. The location was the Forest Service headquarters. No campground in sight.
This called for an unmanly admission that we didn’t know where we were going and needed directions. A cell phone was produced. I’m not sure if it was a bad connection, or if UK Leo was doing the talking. In any case the directions seemed uncertain.
We tried, but eventually gave up and parked in a dense, dark forest of Ponderosa and Spruce. I kept my eye out for bears and Sasquatch. At least we had beer and other essentials among us, and we stood in the dark and talked about magnetism, mountains and made a toast to Michael Steinbacher. A freight train roared past within a hundred yards of where we stood. It must have been a mile long and it left us feeling pumped from the noise and vibration.
I was driving, so only sipped on my beer. Still, lack of sleep had me seeing pinpoints of light in the corners of my eyes as we drove back to the motel. I followed Room mate Leo as he missed the exit and drove around the longest way conceivable to get back on track. I was almost beside myself thinking we’d entered a never ending road somewhere in the twilight zone. The Leo’s in my car had turned into bobble-heads and didn’t seem to notice we were being sucked back to Sedona, no doubt by the vortex.
I got a solid night’s sleep, rooming with Sacramento Leo. It’s usually a little strange to sleep in a room with a stranger, but in this case my head hit the pillow and didn’t lift until Leo belatedly advised me the vans were ready to roll in five minutes.
No time to shower – day three. I was beginning to stink. Well, not really. I stunk. You either stink or you don’t, there’s really no ‘beginning to’. I felt some pity for my StRange Rover-mate, Southern Comfort Leo.
After that first devastating day of heat, others began to notice – in addition to how bad I smelled – how I always parked in shade if I could find it, or aim the car away from the sun so the seats didn’t blister my ass when I got back in. At 120ºF, a car’s interior surfaces exposed to sun can reach 195ºF. By comparison, pork is considered safe to eat at 145ºF. I don’t comb my hair either, otherwise I’ll get a sunburned part. Tricks of the desert rat.
Our intrepid leader, Herr Leo, stepped up to a major feat of organization at meteor crater, advising us of the time to regroup. Things went smoothly until I had the sudden urge to (once again) use the bathroom at the last minute, hence I was the one who held up the group. It’s no fun walking out of a restroom, zipping up your fly, while thirty people sit in a parking lot staring at you.
I learned a lot about Michael Steinbacher on the trip. What a vagabond life he led, and how many loyal friends he had who gave him a couch, or bed, and traveled with him to rocky, windswept corners of the southwest, looking at evidence of the vast catastrophic forces that shaped our planet.
It gave me a tremendous morale boost. I recognized in the stories about Michael something I’ve found to be true for me. To truly clear the eyes of mud… to see things clearly for what they are, demands a rejection of convention.
I gave up income, home and stability to find the Electric Universe. Hanging on to what people expect of you will keep you locked into their paradigm forever. All notion that theoretical science explains anything at all had to be discarded and understood as a gross misinterpretation of the physics that govern our universe. I had to disconnect to see that.
Michael understood and looked at landscape in a way no one else had really captured. His inspirations inspired many more. We came to spread his ashes at the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon. Herr Leo had selected Geology Point as an appropriate place. It was.
Being a generally agnostic group to begin with, and knowing Michael was too, there was not much in the way of spiritual context. Herr Leo and a couple of the female Leo’s took a moment to reflect on Michael’s influence in their lives and his appreciation for truth.
Truth does exist. We could see it with our own eyes in the canyon. The obvious carving of scalloped edges in the ninety degree, boxed side canyon we stood above spoke more to the validity of Michael’s interpretation of geology than anything anyone could have said.
I spoke with Michael’s friends about the formation of the Grand Canyon. I agree with Michael’s assessment, in general. The canyon was carved by an explosive current locked to the river’s channel. I’d looked into, and written about breccia pipes; karst-like formations of broken rock that fill vertical tunnels emanating from a limestone formation above the inner gorge. These breccia pipes emerge from the ground all over the south rim, concentrated along the rim and even split open in places along the canyon wall.
My belief is these were the result of current flows from the inner gorge that blasted out the stubby, 90 degree angled side canyons by coursing through the limestone aquifer and up through the crust, forming the breccia pipes. Everything I saw standing over Geology Point confirmed my intuition, and Michael’s hypothesis, which I think conforms with mine. It made me feel good we laid his ashes there.
The canyon left me uplifted, but feeling small, knowing how few are the people who even fathom what we could see.
Herr Leo took the caravan speeding down an empty two lane road to Utah, past miles of open country I wanted to walk through. Shallow canyon fingers dipped right away from the roadside, to disappear into dark cavernous gorges that led a mile deep to the Colorado. How were they formed – not by water erosion. There is no evidence of water erosion on the walls of the Grand Canyon – anywhere, except the very lowest reaches of the inner gorge – the only place the river has ever flowed.
The only evidence given for water erosion creating the canyon is that there is a canyon there. Ergo, typical mainstream circular logic says it must have been carved by water. It ain’t evident in the rocks though. A fact neatly and blithely ignored by geologists.
We crossed the Little Colorado and skirted the Navajo Nation, heading north. At Cameron, Arizona we stopped for lunch. It made sense, since one of our Leo’s was named Cameran-Leo; wrong spelling, but close enough to earn a sandwich. This was also where I departed, leaving to drive home to Tucson through the best part of Arizona, Highway 191. I’ll tell about that in a moment.
I hate goodbyes. This one didn’t hurt though. I knew I would be seeing these Leo’s again.
Every Leo hugged me. There wasn’t a single hand shake, or fist bump. Just hugs. It was a striking moment for me, when Sacramento Leo gave me a memento from Michael. Something Michael raised on his own, infused with his love of life and our world. I fired it up as I drove alone to Kayenta.
As the StRange Rover hummed along, the sun began to set on a landscape I could only imagine had been etched. Magnificent undulating, layered and cap-rocked dunes scalloped and gouged around the edges. A different electrical scarring than I’d been studying. Something to look into in the future.
Near Kayenta is where Dave Talbott’s photo of a petroglyph was taken. The one Tony Perratt identified as a plasma instability – rock hard evidence of an aurora in the ancient sky that our ancestors witnessed. I marveled to myself that his paper had been published over a decade ago and so few people had even noticed. Yet it gave up so much truth. It was the very thing that had brought me to look into EU.
As I drove through Tsegi, I looked into the canyon. Tsegi Canyon holds deep mystery for me. This is where the Kayenta Anasazi – the Pueblo people of Northern Arizona spent their final days in cliff dwellings, before, in sudden diaspora they fled to Mexico. Something like the Exodus.
What happened? Why did they live in the cliffs? Mainstream theories of drought and infertile crops is simply a weak and unintelligent answer to the true plight of the Pueblo people of the Four Corners area. Scientists blame everything on climate change now – that’s the paradigm. Something else happened to the Pueblo in 1100 to 1300 AD, when after living in the open for centuries, they turned to living under rocks before simply leaving the area, en masse.
They were either hiding from something from above, or below – lightning perhaps, or a swarm of hungry bigfoot (cannibal demons in the native Hopi) come down from the San Juan’s. I don’t know which yet, but I’m going to Tsegi some day to figure it out and write a novel about it.
As I looked into the deep reaches of the canyon, the setting sun shone through, framed by the vertical, black canyon walls and sheets of illuminated virga hanging from the clouds above.
It was damned ominous looking, but spectacular. A few miles beyond Kayenta, there is a mountain feature visible from the road I had used an image of in my presentation. I knew it was there and hoped to see it under the full moon. I couldn’t see it though, because storm clouds blocked the light. Too bad.
I continued non-stop through Navajo lands because I had to. There are no Motel 6’s on the Res. Nor is there any alcohol. Two reasons to keep driving. As I drove South from Four Corners past Canyon De Chelly, the StRange Rover rolled over giant fingers of the Chuska mountains that stretched across the desert. In the sky, the clouds made giant feathered strokes of lichtenberg figures. I knew the land under my feet looked the same, and it was no coincidence.
After a night in a cheap motel along I-40, where I closed thick drapes and slept late, I departed on my final day. This I knew would be an epic drive. Highway 191 (renamed because Highway 666 seemed to disturb some people) runs down the eastern edge of the State. It is an age-old corridor for migration and trade. The Anasazi traded with the Aztecs along this route. It led to the region’s giant center of trade, Chaco Canyon. The Puebloans retreated on this route during the diaspora.
It was used by Coronado and the conquistadors, when they came as the first tourists to the Grand Canyon. Renegades and outlaws used this trail in the days of Apache wars and stage coach robberies.
It climbs into the White Mountains through lava fields and hills that appear like huge, low windblown dunes. Near St. John there is a lake right off of the highway, named Lyman Lake. I turned in to look at the State Park campsites and take a break. As I drove in a sign pointed to a road that said “Petroglyph Trail.” I made the turn and parked at the trail head.
It led into some small hills on a peninsula in the lake. The hills have a cap rock that is black with patina on the top surface. Broken blocks of it are scattered down the hillsides. On these I found a perfect ‘squatter man’ pecked into a flat, patina covered block.
I also noticed the patina appeared to be burnt onto the rock’s surface. There were marks of hot ablation, as if a sheet of flame had seared the cap rock from above. I wondered if it was a thing people had witnessed. Perhaps that is why they chose this place to commemorate the auroras that surely would have preceded such a flash.
A few miles further up the road, I passed volcanic cinder cones and rode over vast lava flows. On the lava flows, lightning began to strike. It flashed with an almost constant frequency, close enough to hear the peel of thunder, but far enough to enjoy the show. I pulled to the side on a hill and lowered my tailgate to watch – the reason I drive the StRange Rover is it has a classic drop-down tailgate – essential for such moments. I also celebrated Michael’s green thumb again as I watched the lightning strike and listened to the thunder. It was a fitting spectacle to end the journey and my formal introduction to the Electric Universe.
Thanks to Leo’s gift of Michael’s homegrown, I missed my turn in Springerville, and drove fifteen miles into New Mexico on Highway 60 before I realized I was going downhill when I should be going up. Things were going too well, I suppose. Where I turned around was a dirt road to Luna, New Mexico. I was in a curious feature of land I had spotted on Google Earth before. The dramatic sweep of land before me was a shallow valley, closed in by windswept dunes of sandstone. The name Luna was appropriate. This trip just kept giving surprises. I didn’t take the road, but committed to coming back, to Luna, to the Leo’s and to uncovering the simple majesty of our Electric Universe.
StRange Rover Leo.
Update: Leo is now engaged to Leo. I have confirmation, so feel free to announce it. And I thought I was having fun…apparently not as much as those two.
13 thoughts on “After Dark at EU2016”
Thank you. Honor is due. Your work, to this observer, both extends and clarifies what I’ve seen of Mr. Steinbacher’s pioneering efforts. When I found your first Space News video I whooped and danced a few steps. I am a very old man. I have known since my boyhood in the Feather River Canyon area of the Northern Sierra Nevada that the available information about how my beloved mountains were formed was total crap. Where I played on the North Branch of the North Fork in the early 1940’s, water had smoothed stone for about twenty to thirty feet above the summer water level. Beyond that, though somewhat eroded, everything was much sharper. That made no sense. The 90 degree canyon walls didn’t either. I hand watered a large garden every day and played in creeks and rivers and I knew water meanders in a dance with resistance. Also, when I saw the relief map of the state in the State Capitol, it looked to me like something really big had gouged out California’s Great Valley… I could kind of duplicate it with some sandy mud and a garden trowel if I got it just to right wetness it would do little mountains if I jiggled the trowel just right. Anyway… Thanks for sharing your experience and learnings with us. If you have studied my part of the world I would very much like to hear what you have to say about it. Thanks again. I’ve signed up for your blog.
Great article and made me wish I was at the conference. Love the desert of Arizona and the idea of seeing it with new eyes.
I live on Vancouver Island, Canada and I was told by a geologist that our local mountains are a result of pillow lava, forming underwater. Is it possible this is a faulty theory or is your Arc Blast theory only applicable in certain landscapes? I can send picture if you’d like of the mountains.
Kat from Canada
P.S. If/when I get to an EU Conference, I will be ‘Single Malt Scotch Leo’. 😉
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Hey SMS Leo,
Volcanic mountains are a different process, however there are some mountains I believe are misinterpreted as volcanoes that aren’t. In fact it’s kind of a joke among the EU Geology folks about the many ‘volcanoes’ without calderas. Given that the Pacific NW is highly volcanic, the explanation you were given may be correct. I would need to look at Vancouver Island closely to make any assumptions about it. Arc Blast is only one process that results in shock wave induced features. Shock features can be seen in volcano calderas also, but they are made by the shock from the eruption which comes from below, not above, and there are physical differences in the land form created. I’ll be addressing in future articles.
Pictures are always welcome. Thank you for your comments.
I’d love to read an unabridged version of the whole conference… enjoyed the dig at Neil deGrasse Tyson especially. Looking forward to seeing your presentation @ the Thunderbolts site/youtube.
As THX1138 (arguably George Lucas’ best film) noted it hasn’t been obvious to casual/lay people/EU followers how much esteem Michael Steinbacher is held in among the EU fraternity. So this is a really satisfying read.
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Thanks for your comment Arc. I hope you don’t mind the nickname – I’m partial to that word. T-Bolts told me to expect publication of the conference in four to six months. Sorry you have to wait that long, but you can see most of my material on Space News and Thunderblogs, if you haven’t already. Take care.
Boorish Leo thinks Long Winded Leo is an excellent writer. Keep up the good work — God is watching you even if you don’t believe.
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You were a bit harsh on RM Leo, but we are all Leo’s and therefore fine people. Thanks for a good sense of humor, Leo.
This is freaking me out. My first-Year Geology lecturer was Leo McKenzie.
I think the EU geology part is the best. Wish I were there in a way. In another way I don’t want to go to USA.
Thank you THX1138,
I wish you could make next year. I’d like to meet you. The EU folks did make tribute to Michael at the conference which I was glad to see, for the same reason you point out. He brought many enthusiastic people to EU and I was fortunate to meet a few. Great people. Take care my friend.
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I don’t blame you. Just avoid LA and NY and come to Arizona. I’ll show you beautiful mountains.
Andrew did you get back to my message at Facebook/A. D. Hall? The quote is from private comm.
Thank you for your perspective on the EU conference this year. You are a very entertaining and clever writer. I very much enjoyed this post. I doubt that I’ll ever be able to attend an EU conference, since I live in poverty, but this post gave me a wonderful insight on what I’ve been missing.
Thank you, too, for your very nice memorial of Michael Steinbacher. I’ve been annoyed that the main EU people have never done him justice after his death. Not a peep. I don’t know, maybe they don’t think it is appropriate to do so in their writings?
I think you’ve hit upon, or developed more detail about electrical rock formation than Michael did, and have carried the concepts forward with good plausibility and clarity, exactly what a true scientist should do. Thank you for that. I’m looking forward to watching you on a conference video (unless they put it behind a paywall).
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