Monday, 23 April 2018

Dinosaurs and the gravity problem...

by Ted Holden
Summer 1994
from Scribd Website

Scientists delight in devising explanations for the great dinosaur extinctions.

But there are several questions which they have failed to even ask, much less tried to answer.
  • Why, for instance, in all of the time claimed to have passed since the dinosaur extinctions, has nothing ever re-evolved to the sizes of the large dinosaurs?
  • If such sizes worked for creatures which ruled the Earth for tens of millions of years, then why would not some species of elephant or rhinoceros have evolved to such a size again?
  • What kinds of problems, if any, would sauropod sizes entail in our world as it is presently constituted?
  • Could it be that some aspect of our environment might have to be massively different for such creatures to exist at all?
A careful study of the sizes of these antediluvian creatures, and what it would take to deal with such sizes in our world, has led me to believe that the super animals of Earth's past could not live in our present world at all.

A look at sauropod dinosaurs as we know them today requires that we relegate the brontosaur, once thought to be one of the largest sauropods, to welterweight or at most middleweight status. Fossils found in the 1970's now dwarf this creature.

Both the brachiosaur and the supersaur were larger than the brontosaur, and the ultrasaur appears to have dwarfed them all.1 The ultrasaur is now estimated to have weighed 180 tons.2

A comparison of dinosaur lifting requirements to human lifting capabilities is enlightening, though there might be objections to doing so. One objection that might be raised is that animal muscle tissue was somehow "better" than that of humans. This, however, is known not to be the case.

According to Knut Schmidt-Nielson, author of Scaling: Why is Animal Size So Important?, the maximum stress or force that can be exerted by any muscle is independent of body-size and is the same for mouse or elephant muscle.3

Another objection might be that sauropods were aquatic creatures. But nobody believes that anymore; they had no adaptation for aquatic life, their teeth show wear and tear which does not come from eating soft aquatic vegetation, and trackways show them walking on land with no difficulty.

A final objection might be that dinosaurs were somehow more "efficient" than top human athletes. This, however, goes against all observed data. As creatures get bulkier, they become less efficient; the layers of thick muscle in limbs begin to get in each other's way and bind to some extent. For this reason, scaled lifts for the super-heavyweight athletes are somewhat lower than for, say, the 200-pound athletes.

By "scaled lift" I mean a lift record divided by the two-thirds power of the athlete's body weight.

As creatures get larger, weight, which is proportional to volume, goes up in proportion to the cube of the increase in dimension. Strength, on the other hand, is known to be roughly proportional to the cross-section of muscle for any particular limb and goes up in proportion to the square of the increase in dimension. This is the familiar "square-cube" problem.4

Consider the case of Bill Kazmaier, the king of the power lifters in the 1970s and 1980s.

Power lifters are, in my estimation, the strongest of all athletes; they concentrate on the three most difficult total-body lifts, i.e. bench press, squat, and dead-lift. They work out many hours a day and, it is fairly common knowledge, use food to flavor their anabolic steroids. No animal the same weight as one of these men could be presumed to be as strong.

Kazmaier was able to do squats and dead lifts with weights between 1,000 and 1,100 pounds on a bar, assuming he was fully warmed up.

Standing Up at 70,000 pounds
Any animal has to be able to lift its own weight off the ground, i.e. stand up, with no more difficulty than Kazmaier experiences doing a 1,000-pound squat.

Consider, however, what would happen to Mr. Kazmaier, were he to be scaled up to 70,000 pounds, the weight commonly given for the brontosaur. Kazmaier's maximum effort at standing, fully warmed up, assuming the 1,000 pound squat, was 1,340 pounds (1,000 pounds for the bar and 340 pounds for himself). The scaled maximum lift would be 47,558 pounds (the solution to: 1,340/340.667 = x/70,000.667).

Clearly, he would not be able to lift his weight off the ground!

A sauropod dinosaur had four legs you might say; so what happens if Mr. Kazmaier uses arms and legs at 70,000 pounds? The truth is that the squat uses almost every muscle in the athlete's body very nearly to the limits, but in this case, it does not even matter.

A near maximum bench press effort for Mr. Kazmaier would fall around 600 pounds. This merely changes the 1,340 pounds to 1,940 pounds in the equation above, and the answer comes out as 68,853 pounds. Even using all muscles, some more than once, the strongest man who we know anything about would not be able to lift his own weight off the ground at 70,000 pounds.

To believe then, that a brontosaur could stand at 70,000 pounds, one has to believe that a creature whose weight was mostly gut and the vast digestive mechanism involved in processing huge amounts of low-value foodstuffs was, somehow, stronger than an almost entirely muscular creature its size, far better trained and conditioned than any grazing animal.

That is not only ludicrous in the case of the brontosaur, but the calculations only become more absurd when you try to scale up to the supersaur and ultrasaur at their sizes.

How heavy can an animal get to be in our world, then? How heavy would Mr. Kazmaier be at the point at which the square-cube problem made it as difficult for him to stand up as it is for him to do 1,000-pound squats at his present weight of 340 pounds?

The answer is 20,803 pounds (the solution to: 1,340/340.667 = x/x.667). In reality, elephants do not appear to get quite to that point.

Christopher McGowan, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Royal Ontario Museum, claims that a Toronto Zoo specimen was the largest in North America at 14,300 pounds,5 and Smithsonian personnel once informed me that the gigantic bush elephant specimen which appears at their Museum of Natural History weighed around 8 tons.

Sauropod Dinosaurs' Necks

A study of the sauropod dinosaurs' long neck further underscores the problem these creatures would have living under current gravitational conditions. Scientists who study sauropod dinosaurs now claim that they held their heads low, because they could not have gotten blood to their brains had they held them high.6

McGowan mentions the fact that a giraffe's blood pressure - which at 200-to-300 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) is far higher than that of any other animal-would probably rupture the vascular system of any other animal. The giraffe's blood pressure is maintained by thick arterial walls and by a very tight skin that apparently acts like a jet pilot's pressure suit. A giraffe's head might reach to 20 feet.

How a sauropod might have gotten blood to its brain at 50 or 60 feet is the real question.
"Gravity is a pervasive force in the environment and has dramatically shaped the evolution of plants and animals," notes Harvey Lillywhite, a zoologist at the University of Florida at Gainesville.
As some land animals evolved large body sizes,
"cardiovascular specializations were needed to help them withstand the weight of blood in long vertical vessels. Perhaps nowhere in the history of life were these challenges greater than among the gigantic, long-necked sauropods"
For a Barosaurus to hold its head high, Lillywhite has calculated that its heart,
"must have generated pressures at least six times greater than those of humans and three to four times greater than those of giraffes." 7
Faced with the same dilemma, University of Pennsylvania geologist Peter Dodson remarked that while the Brachiosaurus was built like a giraffe and may have fed like one, most sauropods were built quite differently.
"At the base of the neck," Dodson writes, "a sauropod's vertebral spines, unlike those of a giraffe, were weak and low and did not provide leverage for the muscles required to elevate the head in a high position.

Furthermore, the blood pressure required to pump blood up to the brain, thirty or more feet in the air, would have placed extraordinary demands on the heart and would seemingly have placed the animal at severe risk of a stroke, an aneurysm, or some other circulatory disaster." 8
Within recorded history, Central Asians have tried to breed hunting eagles for size and strength, and have not gotten beyond 25 pounds or thereabouts. Even at that weight they are able to take off only with the greatest difficulty.

Something was vastly different in the pre-flood world.

The only way to keep the required blood pressure "reasonable," Dodson goes on to add,
is "if sauropods fed with the neck extended just a little above heart level, say from ground level up to fifteen feet..."
One problem with this solution is that the good leaves were, in all likelihood, above the 20-foot mark; an ultrasaur that could not raise its head above 20 feet would probably starve.

Dodson, it should also be noted, entirely neglects the dilemma of the brachiosaur. And there is another problem, which is worse. Try holding your arm out horizontally for even a few minutes, and then imagine your arm being 40 feet long.

Given a scale model and a weight figure for the entire dinosaur, it is possible to use volume-based techniques to estimate weight for a sauropod's neck. An ultrasaur is generally thought to be a near cousin - if not simply a very large specimen - of the brachiosaur.

The technique, then, is to measure the volume of water which the sauropod's neck (severed at the shoulders and filled with bondo or auto-body putty) displaces, versus the volume which the entire brachiosaur displaces, and simply extrapolate to the 360,000-pound figure for the ultrasaur. I did this using a Larami Corporation model of a brachiosaur, which is to scale.

To make a long story short, the neck weighs 28,656 pounds, and the center of gravity of that neck is 15 feet from the shoulders, the neck itself being 38 feet long.

This equates to 429,850 foot-pounds of torque.

If we assume the sauropod could lift its head at least as easily as a human with an 18-inch neck can move his head against a neck-exercise machine set to 130 pounds, then the sauropod would require the muscular strength of a neck 17.4 feet in diameter.

With a more reasonable assumption of effort, equivalent to the human using a 50-pound setting, the sauropod would require a neck of over 20 feet in diameter. But the sauropod's neck, at its widest, apparently measured about ten feet by seven feet where it joined the shoulders, then narrowed rapidly to about six or seven feet in diameter over the remainder of its length.

McGowan and others claim that the head and neck were supported by a dorsal ligament and not muscles, but we know of no living creature using ligaments to support a body structure which its available musculature cannot sustain.

In all likelihood, sauropods, in our gravity at least, could neither hold their heads up nor out.

Antediluvian Flying Creatures
The large flying creatures of the past would also have had difficulties in our present-day gravity.

In the antediluvian world, 350-pound flying creatures soared in skies which no longer permit flying creatures above 30 pounds or so. Modern birds of prey, like theArgentinian teratorn, weighing 170 to 200 pounds, with 30-foot wingspans, also flew. Within recorded history, Central Asians have been trying to breed hunting eagles for size and strength, and have not gotten them beyond 25 pounds or thereabouts. Even at that weight they are able to take off only with the greatest difficulty.

Something was vastly different in the pre-flood world.

Nothing much larger than 30 pounds or so flies anymore, and those creatures, albatrosses and a few of the largest condors and eagles, are marginal. Albatrosses, notably, are called "goonie birds" by sailors because of the extreme difficulty they experience taking off and landing, their landings being badly controlled crashes, and this despite long wings made for maximum lift.

In remote times, the felt effect of the force of gravity on Earth must have been much less for such giant creatures to be able to fly. No flying creature has since re-evolved into anything of such size, and the one or two birds that have retained this size have forfeited flight, their wings becoming vestigial.

Adrian Desmond, in his book The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs, has a good deal to say about some of the problems the Pteranodon faced at just 40-to-50 pounds. Scientists once thought this pterosaur was the largest creature that ever flew.

The bird's great size and negligible weight must have made for a rather fragile creature.
"It is easy to imagine that the paper-thin tubular bones supporting the gigantic wings would have made landing dangerous," writes Desmond.

"How could the creature have alighted without shattering all of its bones? How could it have taken off in the first place? It was obviously unable to flap 12-foot wings strung between straw-thin tubes. Many larger birds have to achieve a certain speed by running and flapping before they can take off and others have to produce a wing beat speed approaching hovering in order to rise.

To achieve hovering with a 23-foot wingspread, Pteranodon would have required 220 pounds of flight muscles as efficient as those in humming birds. But it had reduced its musculature to about 8 pounds, so it is inconceivable that Pteranodon could have taken off actively." 9
Since the Pteranodon could not flap its wings, the only flying it could ever do, Desmond concludes, was as a glider.

It was, he says,
"the most advanced glider the animal kingdom has produced."10
Desmond notes a fairly reasonably modus operandi for the Pteranodon.

Not only did the bird have a throat pouch like a pelican but its remains were found with fish fossils, which seems to suggest a pelican-like existence, soaring over the waves and snapping up fish without landing.

If so, then the Pteranodon should have been practically immune from the great extinctions of past ages. Large animals would have the greatest difficulty getting to high ground and other safe havens at times of floods and other global catastrophes. But high places safe from flooding were always there, oceans were always there, and fish were always there.

The Pteranodon's way of life should have been impervious to all mishap.

There is one other problem. The Pteranodon was not the largest bird.

The giant Teratorn finds of Argentina were not known when Desmond's book was written. News of this bird's existence first appeared in the 1980s. The Terotorn was a 160-to-200 pound eagle with a 27-foot wingspan, a modern bird whose existence involved, among other things, flapping wings and aerial maneuvers.

But how so? How could it even have flown?

How large can an animal be and still fly?
"With each increase in size, and therefore also weight," writes Desmond, "a flying animal needs a concomitant increase in power (to beat the wings in a flapper and to hold and maneuver them in a glider), but power is supplied by muscles which themselves add still more weight to the structure.

The larger a flyer becomes the disproportionately weightier it grows by the addition of its own power supply. There comes a point when the weight is just too great to permit the machine to remain airborne. Calculations bearing on size and power suggested that the maximum weight that a flying vertebrate can attain is about 50 pounds..."
It is for this reason that scientists believed Pteranodon and its slightly larger but lesser known Jordanian ally Titanopteryx were the largest flying animals of all time.

The experience from our present world coincides well with this and, in fact, don't go quite that high. The biggest flying creatures which we actually see are albatrosses, geese, and the like, at 30 to 35 pounds.

The Pteranodon's reign as the largest flying creature of all time actually fell in the early 1970s when Douglas Lawson of the University of California found partial skeletons of three ultra-large pterosaurs in Big Bend National Park in Texas. This discovery forced scientists to rethink their ideas on the maximum size permissible in flying vertebrates.

The immense size of the Big Bend pterosaurs may be gauged by noting that the humerus or upper arm bones of these creatures is fully twice the length of Pteranodon's. Lawson estimated the wingspan for this living glider at over fifty feet.

The Big Bend pterosaurs were not fishers. Their remains were found in rocks that were formed some 250 miles inland and nowhere near any lake deposits. This led Lawson to suggest that these birds were carrion feeders, gorging themselves on rotting mounds of dismembered dinosaur flesh.

But this hypothesis raised numerous questions in author Desmond's mind.
"How they could have taken to the air after gorging themselves is something of a puzzle," he wonders.

"Wings of such an extraordinary size could not have been flapped when the animal was grounded. Since the pterosaurs were unable to run in order to launch themselves they must have taken off vertically.

Pigeons are only able to take-off vertically by reclining their bodies and clapping the wings in front of them; as flappers, the Texas pterosaurs would have needed very tall stilt-like legs to raise the body enough to allow the 24-foot wings to clear the ground.

The main objection, however, still rests in the lack of adequate musculature for such an operation."12
The only solution seems to be that they lifted passively off the ground by the wind. But this situation, notes Desmond, would leave these ungainly Brobdignagian pterosaurs vulnerable to attack when grounded.

While Desmond mentions a number of ancillary problems here, any of which would throw doubt on the pterosaur's ability to exist as mentioned, he neglects the biggest question of all: the calculations that say 50 pounds are the maximum weight have not been shown to be in error; we have simply discovered larger creatures. Much larger.

This is what is called a dilemma.

Those who had estimated a large wingspan for the Big Bend bird were immediately attacked by aeronautical engineers.
"Such dimensions broke all the rules of flight engineering," wrote Colorado paleontologist Robert T. Bakker, in The Dinosaur Heresies, "a creature that large would have broken its arm bones if it tried to fly..."13
Subsequently, the proponents of a large wingspan were forced to back off somewhat, since the complete wing bones had not been discovered.

But Bakker believes these pterosaurs really did have wingspans of over 60 feet and that they simply flew despite our not comprehending how. The problem is ours, he says, and he proposes no solution.

So much for the idea of anything re-evolving into the sizes of the flying creatures of the antediluvian world. What about the possibility of man breeding something like a Teratorn? Could man actively breed even a 50-pound eagle?

Berkuts are the biggest of eagles.

And Atlanta, an eagle that Sam Barnes, one of England's top falconers in the 1970s, brought back to Wales from Kirghiz, Russia, is, at 26 pounds in flying trim, as large as they ever get.14 These eagles have been bred specifically for size and ferocity for many centuries. They are the most prized of all possessions amongst nomads, and are the imperial hunting bird of the Turko-Mongol peoples.

The only reason Barnes was allowed to bring her back is that Atlanta had a disease for which no cure was available in Kirghiz and was near to death. A Berkut of Atlanta's size, Barnes was told, would normally be worth more than a dozen of the most beautiful women in Kirghiz.

Elephants are simply too heavy to run in our world. The best they can manage is a kind of a fast walk. Mammoths were as big and bigger than the largest elephants, however, and Pleistocene art clearly shows them galloping.

The killing powers of a big eagle are out of proportion to its size. Berkuts are normally flown at wolves, deer, and other large prey. Barnes witnessed Atlanta killing a deer in Kirghiz, and was told that she had killed a black wolf a season earlier. Mongols and other nomads raise sheep and goats, and obviously have no love for wolves.

A wolf might be little more than a day at the office for Atlanta with her 11-inch talons, however, a wolf is a big deal for an average-sized Berkut at 15-to-20 pounds. Obviously, there would be an advantage to having the birds be bigger, i.e. to having the average Berkut weigh 25 pounds, and for a large one to weigh 40-to-50 pounds. It has never been done, however, despite all the efforts and funds poured into the enterprise since the days of Genghis Khan.

The breeding of Berkuts has continued apace from that day to this, but the Berkuts have still not gotten any bigger than 25 pounds or so.15

It is worth recalling here the difficulty which increasingly larger birds experience in getting airborne from flat ground. Atlanta was powerful enough in flight, but she was not easily able to take off from flat ground. This could spell disaster in the wild. A bird of prey will often land with prey, and if take-off from flat ground to avoid trouble is not possible, the bird's life becomes imperiled.

A bird bigger than Atlanta with her 10-foot wingspan, like a Teratorn with a 27-foot wingspan and weighing 170 pounds, would simply not Survive.

Assorted Other Evidence

There are other categories of evidence, derived from a careful analysis of antediluvian predators, to show that gravitational conditions in the distant past were not the same as they are today.

It is well known, for example, that elephant-sized animals cannot sustain falls, and that elephants spend their entire lives avoiding them.

For an elephant, the slightest tumble can break bones and/or destroy enough tissue to prove fatal. Predators, however, live by tackling and tumbling with prey. One might think that this consideration would preclude the existence of any predator too large to sustain falls. Weight estimates for the tyrannosaurs, however, include specimens heavier than any elephant.

That appears to be a contradiction.

Moreover, elephants are simply too heavy to run in our world. As is well known, they manage a kind of a fast walk. They cannot jump, and anything resembling a gully stops them cold. Mammoths were as big and bigger than the largest elephants, however, and Pleistocene art clearly shows them galloping.

Finally, there is the Utahraptor. Recently found in Utah, this creature is a 20-foot, 1,500-pound version of a Velociraptor.16

The creature apparently ran on the balls of its two hind feet, on two toes in fact, the third toe carrying a 12-inch claw for disemboweling prey. This suggests a very active lifestyle. Very few predators appear to be built for attacking prey notably larger than themselves; the Utahraptor appears to be such a case.

In our world, of course, 1,500-pound toe dancers do not exist. The only example we have of a 1,500-pound land predator is the Kodiak bear, the lumbering gait and mannerisms of which are familiar to us all.

And so, over and over again, this same kind of dilemma-things which cannot happen in our world having been the norm in the antediluvian world.

An Explanation Ventured
The laws of physics do not change, nor does the gravitational constant, as far as we know.

But something was obviously massively different in the world in which these creatures existed, and that difference probably involved a change in perceived gravity. This solution derives from the continuing research of neo-catastrophists, that is, followers of the late Immanuel Velikovsky, and is known as the "Saturn Myth" theory.17

The basic requirement for an attenuated perception of gravity involves the Earth being in a very close orbit around a smaller and much cooler stellar body (or binary body) than our present Sun. One pole would always be pointed directly at this nearby small star or binary system. The intense gravitational attraction would pull the Earth into an egg shape rather than its present spherical shape, so that the planet's center of gravity would be off center towards the small star.

This would generate the torque necessary to counteract the natural gyroscopic force and keep the Earth's pole pointed in the same direction as it revolved around the star.

The consequences of this intense gravitational pull would be dramatic. It would allow, first of all, for gigantic animals like the dinosaurs (just as any change in gravity to the present situation would likely cause their demise). It would also tend to draw all of the Earth's land mass into a single supercontinent (Pangea).

Why else, after all, should the Earth's continental masses have amassed in one place?

And finally, with the Earth's pole pointed straight at this star or binary system, there would be no seasons. All literature of the distant past points out that the seasons did not appear until after the flood.
The state of the present solar system indicates that this previous system was eventually captured by a larger star, our present Sun.

But the pieces of this old system have not vanished. The influential small star or binary system of the past remains, though its reign of power has ended. The star or stars are Jupiter and Saturn, the next largest objects to the Sun in our present system.

It is instructive that the ancients worshiped Jupiter and Saturn as the two chieftain gods in all of the antique religious systems.

If the present solar system was present in the distant past, one would expect primitive peoples to have worshiped the most visible of the astral bodies:
There is no conceivable reason they would worship as gods two planets which most people cannot even find in the night sky - unless, of course, these bodies occupied a far more prominent place in the heavens than they do today.


1. David Lambert and the Diagram Group Staff, Field Guide to Dinosaurs: The First Complete Guide to Every Dinosaur Now Known, New York, 1983, p. 118.
2. Christopher McGowan, Dinosaurs, Spitfires & Sea Dragons, Cambridge, 1991, p. 118.
3. Knut Schmidt-Nielson, Scaling, Why is Animal Size So Important?, Cambridge, 1984, page 163."It appears that the maximum force or stress that can be exerted by any muscle is inherent in the structure of the muscle filaments. The maximum force is roughly a 3 to 4 kgf/cm2 cross-section of muscle (300-400 kN/m2). This force is body-size independent and is the same for mouse and elephant muscle. The reason for this uniformity is that the dimensions of the thick and thin muscle filaments, and also the number of cross-bridges between them are the same. In fact the structure of mouse muscle and elephant muscle is so similar that a microscopist would have difficulty identifying them except for a larger number of mitochondria in the smaller animal. This uniformity in maximum force holds not only for higher vertebrates, but for many other organisms, including at least some, but not all invertebrates."
4. The normal inverse operator for this is to simply divide by 2/3 power of body weight, and this is indeed the normal scaling factor for all weight lifting events, i.e. it lets us tell if a 200-pound athlete has actually done a "better" lift than the champion of the 180-pound group. For athletes roughly between 160 and 220 pounds, i.e., whose bodies are fairly similar, these scaled lift numbers line up very nicely. It is then fairly easily seen that a lift for a scaled up version of one particular athlete can be computed via this formula, since the similarity will be perfect, scaling being the only difference.
5. McGowan, op. cit,. p. 97.
6. Ibid., pp. 101 -120.
7. Harvey B. Lillywhite, "Sauropods and Gravity", Natural History, December, 1991, p. 33." a Barosaurus with its head held high, the heart had to work against a gravitational pressure of about 590 mm of mercury (Hg). In order for the heart to eject blood into the arteries of the neck, its pressure must exceed that of the blood pushing against the opposite side of the outflow valve. Moreover, some additional pressure would have been needed to overcome the resistance of smaller vessels within the head for blood flow to meet the requirements of brain and facial tissues."
8. Peter Dodson, "Lifestyles of the Huge and Famous," Natural History, December, 1991, p.32.
9. Adrian J. Desmond, The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs: A Revolution in Paleontology, New York, 1976, p. 178.
10. Ibid, p. 178.
11. Ibid, p. 182.
12. Ibid, pp. 182-183.
13. Robert T. Bakker, The Dinosaur Heresies, New York, 1986, pp. 290-291.
14. David Bruce, Bird of Jove, New York, 1971.
15. Ibid.
16. Tim Folger, "The Killing Machine," Discover, January, 1993, p.48
17. David Talbott, The Saturn Myth, New York, 1980.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Dangerousness of Mercury Vapor

The Dangerousness of Mercury Vapor
By Alfred Stock, Berlin-Dahlem
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut fuer Chemie
(Eingeg. Febr. 9, 1926)
Translated by Birgit Calhoun

When I am making the decision to report without hesitation to a wider circle about my personal problems, which ordinarily wouldn't concern others and would not be worthy of publication, I am driven by the intense desire to warn emphatically all those who have to deal with metallic mercury about the dangers of this unstable metal, and to save them from the horrible experiences which have spoiled a great part of my life. Today I can speak about them freely because luckily they have been concluded, and they are behind me with sufficient distance.
The insidious horror of mercury is not nearly sufficiently well known and is being taken note of too little in those places where one is particularly threatened by it, in chemical and physical laboratories.
For nearly 25 years I have suffered from ailments, which, in the beginning, arose only occasionally, then gradually got worse and worse and finally increased to unbearable proportions so that I disparingly doubted my ability to continue to work scientifically. The cause was understood neither by me nor many outstanding physicians. They thought that it was possible that it could be found in the especially narrow built of the nasal passages and an unusual irritability of the nasal mucosa. Because of this, I underwent decades of treatments of the nose with cauterizations, burnings, massages, electrification, and bloody operations. Without success. Two years ago--a few of my colleagues fell ill with similar symptoms--it was accidentally discovered that it had to do with an insidious poisoning by mercury vapor. In my chemical work, which involves testing of volatile substances by the "vacuum method," which uses mercury-tubs, -pumps, -manometers, and -valves1), I had been in constant contact with mercury for 25 years.
Today there is no doubt about the diagnosis any more because all my symptoms, although not gone completely, have more or less been diminished2), after having avoided inhaling mercury vapors for the last two years without the use of any other healing methods.
First I am describing the difficulties as they developed in me over time. They are identical to an insidious mercury poisoning in every detail. I was able to convince myself of this through my colleagues and other peers, who suffered and still suffer from mercury vapor poisoning. Some of them, it is noted, were not cognizant of the origin of their difficulties. Many pertinent symptoms have, up to now, been insufficiently described. At any rate, insidious mercury vapor poisoning has not received the attention it deserves.
With me the situation began with slight intermittent headaches and mild drowsiness, which increased gradually, over the years, to constant nervous restlessness and "jitteriness." Head-pressure impaired the ability to think. It worsened and finally became an almost uninterrupted vexing headache (sits mostly over the eyes). I had strong vertigo, which was occasionally connected with visual disturbances (unclear and double vision). Soon the upper air passages were involved as well. This started with a slight transient nose cold. This was followed by a constant "stuffy nose," which later turned into severe nose, throat and sinus infections. They were followed, one by one, almost without interruption, by pussy, often bloody, mucosal discharge and scabbing, frequent sore throats and ear aches connected to auditory loss and loss of smell (some sense of smell remained; e.g. cyanic acid). There was a distaste for tobacco smoke. During the last years prior to recognition of the poisoning, there were added signs: a strong flow of saliva, a sour, insipid taste in the mouth, infections of the eyes and oral mucosa. There were little blisters, sensitive and sore areas on the tongue, the palate, the gums and the insides of the lips and cheeks. There was reddening of the gums and slight bleeding while brushing the teeth. There were toothaches, receding of the gums and formation of "pockets" and temporary loosening of individual teeth. The mouth and tooth signs revealed themselves only (in part they only reached their peak months after recognition of the poisoning) because, since my youth, I have been taking good care of my teeth (among other things nightly long rinses with 1 and 1/2% hydrogen peroxyde solution and sodium bicarbonate). If this hadn't been the case, I might possibly have become aware of the cause of my problems through mouth infections.
Other signs were: Mental weariness and exhaustion, lack of inclination and inability to perform any, particularly mental, work, and increased need for sleep. There were tremors of the spread-out fingers and also sometimes the eyelids. There was pain in various locations of the body, tearing in the back and limbs, and pressure in the liver area. At times, there were disturbances of stomach and intestinal activity, loss of appetite, sudden bladder pressure, isolated bouts of diarrhea, which occurred without other possible causes. There were sudden blistery rashes, e.g. on the insides of the arms and thighs.
The most depressing accompanying sign relating to mental work was the diminshment of memory. My memory, which had previously been excellent, left more and more to be desired and became worse and worse until, two years ago, I suffered from nearly complete memory loss.
Only with the help of extensive notes and great effort was I able to put together a scientific paper or deliver a lecture. I forgot the telephone number on the way from the telephone book to the telephone. I forgot everything that I had once learned by heart. I forgot the content of the book or theater play I had just read or seen as well as my own work, which had been published. It was impossible for me to remember numbers and names. Often even the names of good acquaintances were lost. Specifically, I lost the ability for arithmetic and mathematical figuring. Also my chess playing ability suffered. The impairment of memory, particularly that of people memory and the worsening ability to do arithmetic, seem to be signs peculiar to insidious mercury vapor poisoning. This showed itself in blatant form in my co-workers and other people whom I got to know who had been under the influence of mercury for a longer period of time. Soon after all of us in the laboratory had found out what was wrong with us, we sat down together to put down on paper a completed piece of work where we had to do a lot of mathematics. None of us was able to add up columns of ten to twenty multi-digit numbers without making mistakes.
While my physical ability, e.g. mountain climbing, did not seem to have been weakened, the ability to work mentally suffered a little, although not in as devastating a fashion as had been the case with memory. Added to that were depression, and a vexing inner restlessness, which later also caused restless sleep. By nature companionable and loving life, I withdrew moodily into myself, shied away from the public, stayed away from people and social activity, and unlearned the joy in art and nature. Humor became rusty. Obstacles, which formerly I would have overlooked smilingly (and am overlooking again today), seemed insurmountable. Scientific work caused great effort. I forced myself to go to the laboratory without being able to get anything useful accomplished in spite of all efforts. Thought came laboriously and pedantically. I had to deny myself working on solutions to questions beyond the nearest tasks at hand. The lecture that used to be a pleasure became a torture. The preparations for a lecture, the writing of a dissertation, or merely a simple letter caused unending effort in styling the material and wrestling with the language. Not seldom did it happen that I misspelled words or left out letters. It was not nice to be aware of these shortcomings, not to know their cause, not to know a way to their elimination, and to have to fear further deterioration.
All attempts to improve the situation went awry. Staying in the mountains for many weeks did not help. I felt hardly less ill than in Berlin. The nose treatments and operations sometimes brought short-lived, yet never lasting relief. It was peculiar that all mental difficulties disappeared for hours when the physician treated certain areas of the mucosa of the upper nose with cocaine. When the right spot was hit, headache and vertigo disappeared sometimes in a few minutes; memory, inclination to work, and good mood reappeared, but, sadly, only as fleeting guests. Sometimes I made use of this possibility to call them up before a lecture, an important meeting etc.
As already indicated, my colleagues in the laboratory, my assistants, doctorants [PhD Candidates], and female lab workers had already suffered for some time from all kinds of problems: Fatigue without recognizable cause, worsened memory, mild headaches and drowsiness, occasional digestive disturbances, limb aches, slight mouth inflammation, nose colds [runny nose], sinusitis etc. The difficulties expressed themselves differently from person to person, whereby they came to light foremost in the areas of lowest resistance. All of them showed fatigue and diminished ability to perform mental tasks [work]. But nobody had the idea that the cause of it could be the same for all of us. Only the convergence of several lucky/unlucky circumstances finally opened our eyes.
In 1921, out of frugality, we had switched off the much more expensive power consuming electrical ventilation system of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institute for Chemistry. Since the middle of 1923, two of my colleagues, an assistant and a Spanish guest, were working on gas density measurements, which required maintaining a constant temperature, and for this reason kept the windows and doors closed if possible. The work had to be done by the spring of 1924 because my assistant wanted to go into industry, and the Spanish colleague wanted to return home. The work was performed hastily so that our ordinarily scrupulous cleanliness suffered in every room. Spilled mercury remained unattended, and much of it lay under tripods, in cracks and slits between the floor boards and on tables. Thus the conditions presented themselves that, instead of the slow insidious mercury poisoning, the more easily recognizable acute mercury poisoning became apparent. The assistant fell ill more seriously, not only with headaches, mental fatigue etc., but also with stronger bodily deterioration; with tooth abscesses and such. His brother, a physician, suspected that the symptom complex pointed to mercury poisoning. The experienced poison researcher L. Lewin [Louis Lewin, 1850-1929] whom we consulted checked out all laboratory personnel and declared that, based on his experience, he was certain that all of us were suffering from mercury poisoning. Indeed the test showed (according to the procedure described in the following memorandum) mercury in the air of the workrooms as well as in the urine of all involved. The mercury content of the air in the individual rooms was quite varied: Depending on the results of the specimens it showed thousandth or hundredth of mg, i.e. only a small fraction of what the air under saturation with mercury vapor can accomodate. At room temperature, taking .001 mm mercury saturation pressure as its base value, this figures to be about 12 mg per cubic meter. Since man breathes in about 1/2 cubic meter air per hour, and the inhaled mercury apparently3) is retained for the most part in the lungs, it would require a very extended period of time in mercury saturated air to suffer from acute mercury poisoning. However it takes a long time after inhaling mercury containing air before the poisoning becomes obvious. For one or more years the signs may be limited to fatigue and slow diminuition of mental performance and memory. Thus the already mentioned Spanish colleague, for example, showed outward signs of inflammation of the oral cavity only at the very end of the year he stayed in our laboratory. The symptoms reached their climax months after he had left us, and after he was removed from the influence of mercury. He had noticed the mental effects much earlier without being able to explain the cause. "For me, it was," he said, "as if I was getting dumber and dumber in Germany." And I had to make similar observations with my remaining co-workers. Thus all my PhD candidates had difficulty withstanding the rigors of the doctor's exams. The PhD candidates and assistants recovered after a few years, once they had left the laboratory without being aware of the mercury poisoning. As for me, the effects of the minute amounts of mercury increased over the course of decades as described in the following narrative.
Particularly significant for insidious mercury poisoning is a noticeable coming and going of symptoms. Following a few days or weeks of improved well-being comes, sometimes setting in suddenly, a time of increased ill health. This also happens in the form of frequent relapses during the recovery period. As soon as my illness had reached its pinnacle, there were, as a rule, one or two tolerable days. Then the saliva flow, runny nose, and sinusitis, starting from the nose down to the throat and sliding down to the bronchi, increased again. There were tooth inflammations, highest fatigability and drowsiness, vexing headache, often also tearing and diarrhea. Headache, drowsiness and memory loss are connected to the irritation of the nerves leading to the upper part of the nose seen in the already mentioned effect of cocaine application on the nasal mucosa.
Apparently there are many similarities between insidious mercury poisoning and the better known lead poisoning. The [latter] is more thoroughly researched because it happens more often in industry. It, too, concerns mainly the nervous system and shows the same waxing and waning of the symptom complex4). "After a period of health the poison can suddenly, without cause, display its effects again by evoking an attack of lead colic or other symptoms. This phenomenon can only be explained by the poison having been encapsulated for a long time in a place in the body to which, suddenly, the circulation has access again..."5). According to F. Schuetz and H. Bernhardt6) lead deposits itself preferably in the spleen, gall bladder, and brain, and is primarily excreted with the bile, possibly also through the colon wall. The kidneys, in this case, are less involved in the acute and chronic course of poisoning. Mercury seems to act similarly. After one year of excluding mercury as the cause of mercury poisoning, it could not be detected in my urine, in spite of the fact that there were still very strong signs of illness. The saliva, however, still contained mercury7).
After we had recognized the source of our illness, our first worry was how to protect ourselves from mercury in the future. The first thing, of course, was to remove carefully everything on tables, in drawers, slits, cracks and joints, and under damaged areas of the linoleum flooring, whereby a modified "vacuum cleaner" (consisting of suction connection, suction bottle with a long rubber hose in front of which was attached a cut-burner type widened glass nozzle) served us well. We had the linoleum repaired. All cracks in the work tables were eliminated. The dangerous corners between floors and the so-called scrub molding were rounded off (putty, painted with oil paint) so that they were more easily accessible for cleaning. Wherever tripods stood for a longer period of time, the joints between tripod and table tops were also closed off with putty. All open mercury surfaces on tubs, manometer holders etc. were covered as completely as possible with fit-cut cellon plates. We avoided eating in the work rooms or saving food and took especially good care cleaning our hands (particularly brushing our finger nails) after handling mercury. We also paid good attention so that no mercury fell into pockets and folds of the work coats. Moreover we gave full attention to the airing out of the work rooms by testing the success with air analyses (Compare the following memorandum). It was soon apparent that the reinstallation of the strong house ventilation system (very strong ventilators in the attic suck the air out through hoods; fresh air enters from channels through flaps above the doors) was not nearly sufficient enough to make the air mercury free. The situation in our laboratory is inopportune in that we are working with particularly many mercury apparatuses whereby open mercury surfaces and occasional sprinkling of mercury is not altogether avoidable. An added factor is that the work rooms in the very modern and well-built and furnished Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut for Chemistry are so large (several hundred cubic meters air space) that the air does not get renewed fast enough by the ventilation system. In this regard smaller rooms may be advantageous because, naturally, the same ventilation works better and causes faster replacement of the air8). Sufficiently airing ventilation, in this case, as it turned out, is obtainable only through constantly opening windows and creating a draft (regulated by temperature, windspeed, and -direction). At the same time the ventilation system is at work. Because it rests at night, the laboratory is being supplied with fesh air through opening the windows wide. This measure is repeated at noon. Thus we have succeded in keeping the laboratory air so clean that traces are detectable only in small quantities, and we can continue working with our mercury apparatuses without having to fear new health problems.
Whenever one deals with mercury one should devote great care to the testing and cleanliness of the air. One should check the airstream situation in the work space9)and provide for as much fresh air as possible. It goes without saying that all work with mercury, if at all possible, should be performed under hoods10). That is the only way that protects from damage with certainty. These precautions are necessary even if one has to choose the path through the Scylla of mercury poisoning and the Charybdis of a cold. A chemical removal of mercury cannot be obtained according to our experiences. It had been suggested to distribute sulfur powder or zinc dust in the work place. We also tried large foil flags that were hung in long rows from the ceiling. Although tin foil amalgamates quickly if you put it into a closed container next to mercury, it failed in this case: The mercury content in the air did not lessen noticeably; one tin flag (33 X 100cm area; weighing 57g), which had hung for 11 months over a mercury apparatus, was weighed afterwards. It contained only .005 mg mercury.
The recovery from insidious mercury poisoning, after the removal of the poison source, takes place very slowly. Professor Lewin predicted this, and the development of our wellbeing confirmed this. The time period is visibly connected to the duration of the poisoning, and possibly also to how old you are. My co-workers who had left the laboratory were, thankfully, rid of their problems in the course of 1 - 2 years and have fully recovered the freshness of their thinking ability and memory. Nevertheless, even they had to suffer for a long time from relapses not only of mental but also of physical nature (particularly mouth inflammation). Some assistants and female lab workers continued to work here where they, unfortunately, cannot operate without mercury. Even today, after two years, they are still suffering from clearly visible, but steadily diminishing, after-effects of the poisoning. As for me, who was exposed to the damaging influences for over 20 years, the recovery apparently is taking the longest. All in all, I recovered the ability to work. I had only occasional relapses (headaches, drowsiness and mild mouth inflammation). Considering the course of the recovery up to now, I do not doubt, however, that my last co-workers and I will lose our symptoms completely. It seems that you have to count on it to take years to excrete the mercury again that took years to build up in the body. In this regard the following case has been educational to me recently, which at the same time proves that it is irrelevant for the course of insidious mercury poisoning whether the poison gets into the body via the lungs or through the skin11)
A medical assistant who had applied mercury salve therapy on his patients fell ill in 1905 with those symptoms (moodiness, headache, vertigo), which gradually got worse (fatigue, unbearable headache, oral inflammation, loosening and loss of teeth, constant runny nose, sinusitis, sore throat, ringing in the ears, hearing and vision disturbances). Only in 1911 was the situation recognized as mercury poisoning. The man stopped applying the salve therapy, but still needed many years before he lost his symptoms. After 1914, when he went to war he suffered from headaches and drowsiness. Today as a fifty-five-year-old he is again the picture of health and quite youthful.
It seems that an existing mercury intoxication preconditions a special sensitivity vis-a-vis renewed exposure from mercury vapor. Some of us who, at our work, and also during occasional mistakes with ventilation, had come in contact again with more mercury, noticed this soon because of the stronger symptomatology after the relapses. That is not surprising because, as the long development period of the insidious illness shows, a certain borderline value has to be reached before noticeable symptoms appear. The borderline value is certainly exceded for a long time, even during recovery, so that each added amount of mercury worsens your wellbeing at once.
On doctor's orders we tried to hasten the recovery in various ways through use of diuretics and emetics, through hot baths and prolonged use of small amounts of sodium iodide. I do not get the impression that healing was particularly accelerated. The iodide has the reputation of bringing the metal into soluble form from insoluble organic mercury compounds. This is the form in which the mercury is probably anchored in the body. As far as I am concerned, there was no proof that significantly more mercury was excreted after addition of iodide. No progress was to be expected from diuretics, as already mentioned, since the mercury excretion in the urine had stopped relatively soon altogether. The healing arts are sadly lacking in medicines that detoxify mercury in the body 12).
Exercize in fresh air is still best suited to make the subjective symptoms less noticeable. With milder headaches and vertigo Novalgin has been proven worthwhile as a palliative. All in all, it has to be left to time to become master over this destroyer of peace. For me even a four-week long stay in the high mountains and an ocean voyage to southerly latitudes brought hardly any progress, (which normally occurs with unaffected people), although, naturally, the mental relaxation helped the nerves.
Why were our illnesses not recognized sooner as being mercury poisoning? I have often asked myself this question, not without self-accusations. The first signs, those that preceded the oral signs of slow mercury poisoning, are hardly known by the medical profession.13) They consist only of fatigue, lowering of thinking and memory skills, slight headaches and drowsiness and rare occasional diarrhea. In the same way, it was little known until now that the nose and remaining breathing passages are being compromised in the form of a runny nose and sinusitis. But exactly these symptoms brought me and the physicians who treated me on the wrong track, and have been misleading in other cases that I have come to know about. Thus one of my assistants was treated for a long time for a sinus infection before the true cause came to light. By the way, balanced judgment of the bad situation becomes impaired in those who are affected exactly because of the existing drowsiness: "Quem Mercurius perdere vult, dementat prius!" [Whom Mercury wants to destroy, he first robs of his mind!]
At this time I would like to warn about a little known source of insidious mercury poisoning: It is amalgam tooth fillings. Professor Lewin suggested to me at once, when he noticed mercury poisoning in me, to replace all amalgam fillings--of which I had a considerable number in my mouth since early youth--with other fillings. Telling me this, he recalled a case of a university colleague who was at the edge of mental and physical collapse when the cause was found just in time. It was found in the numerous amalgam fillings stemming from the time when he was young. After their removal slow recovery followed.14)
Dentists used to prefer copper and cadmium amalgams and now often use the so-called silver amalgams for tooth fillings because these amalgams are easy to work with and fill out the cavities well. Silver amalgam is superior to the earlier named amalgams, which corode and rot over time. However it, too, releases mercury at room temperature as the following assays15) proved to us:
We enclosed silver amalgam samples in an evacuated glass tube, which was bent [in the middle] at a ninety-degree angle with the ends melted shut. The horizontal tube shank with the amalgam piece was kept warm at 30-35 degrees C; the other shank serving as a recepticle, was cooled with ice or liquid air. We then measured the mercury that had sublimated in the receptacle in all cases.
  • I. Amalgam piece carefully made for this purpose by dentist in the state-of-the-art method from metal powder and mercury: .801 g. Enclosed by melting into glass tube 24 hours after manufacture. Warmed [30-35 degrees] for 23 days. Receptacle in ice. Distilled mercury = 11.2 mg

  • II. Same as above: .810 g. Kept for three weeks to make hardening as complete as possible. Only after that period of time was it enclosed by melting into glass tube. Warmed [30-35 degrees] for 12 days. Receptacle in liquid air. Distilled mercury = 15.3 mg

  • III. Amalgam piece made by taking care using as little mercury as possible: 1.000 g. As in II. was kept in the open for three weeks. Warmed [30-35 degrees] for 9 days. Receptacle in ice. Distilled mercury = 8.2 mg

  • IV. Amalgam filling, which had been in a tooth for years and had fallen out: .894 g. Warmed [30-35 degrees] for 14 days. Receptacle in liquid air. Distilled mercury = 29.4 mg
Without doubt, the fillings that were used here in the laboratory would have allowed mercury to evaporate from the mouth as well and supplied the inhaled air with a small amount of mercury, which, in the long run, has to be harmful. The old copper and cadmium amalgams are likely to be even more harmful.
For some time, one of my faculty colleagues had been suffering from occasional headaches and drowsiness the cause of which he couldn't explain. After he had an old amalgam filling removed, which had caused a slight infection near the tooth in question, his symptoms disappeared gradually. After its removal the filling showed itself as crumbly and laced with mercury droplets, throughout.
Dental medicine should do without the application of amalgam as means for filling teeth altogether or, at least, wherever at all possible. There is no doubt that many complaints such as fatigue, memory weakness, oral inflammation, diarrhea, lack of appetite, chronic runny nose and sinusitis are sometimes caused by mercury that has been directed to the body from amalgam fillings, maybe only in small quantities, but constantly. The physicians should give this fact the most serious attention. Then it will probably become apparent that the frivolous introduction of amalgams as tooth filling device was a nasty sin against humanity.
Insidious mercury poisonings are certainly much more common than ordinarily thought. This is true particularly for chemists and physicists who so often have to work with it. The great danger here is being noted much too little, and the true cause of symptoms and illness is often not recognized. In literature you find almost nothing about this.16) Since the discovery of our misfortune I have found out about a dozen certain cases of insidious mercury poisoning, just in the circle of my acquaintances. They almost always have the same symptoms. Often the correct cause was missed and therefore the correct treatment was missed as well. An important example is that of a foreign colleague who had been working with mercury apparatus' for a long time. When he visited me and I asked him whether he had ever felt any mercury poisoning, he decidedly said that he had not. Upon further questioning about his health he then admitted: "I am in bad shape. For years I have been suffering from neurasthenia and had to stay away from the laboratory from time to time." The doctors had tried all kinds of things with him. They had treated him for stomach, intestinal, and ribcage disease with a special diet etc. In reality what he had been dealing with was full-blown mercury poisoning without doubt.
One unknowing victim of mercury poisoning has probably been Faraday. In the last two to three decades of his life, which came to an end in his late seventies, he was bothered increasingly by health problems, which made his scientific work more and more difficult, and which played a significant role in his letters and descriptions of his life. They were diagnosed by physicians as neurasthenia and early onset arteriosclerosis. They consisted of, at times, strong mental and physical fatigue, "irritable weakness," headaches, vertigo, "rheumatism" and, more than anything else, constant increasing memory loss.17)
Faraday, being spared serious "bodily" illnesses, was even in old age a strong hiker and swimmer. But he avoided people for the last third of his life. Scientific work, including his lectures, were continued with long interruptions into the last decade of his life. It is heart rending to read in the great researcher's letters that he went to see his physician friend so often to complain to him about vertigo and headache, that he couldn't remember names, that he was losing the connections with his colleagues, that he was forgetting his own work and notes, that he was forgetting his letter writing, and that he didn't know any more how to write words. "The affected organ is my head. The result is loss of memory and clarity and vertigo." All these symptoms make it most likely that Faraday suffered from an insidious mercury poisoning from the vapors used in the laboratory. It makes you shudder to think how, in all likelihood, this rich intellect could have been freed from this suffering, and what gifts he could have given to science if the cause of his illness could have been recognized and remedied.
Maybe--Professor Jaensch (Marburg) brings this to my attention--the mysterious sickness the mathematician, physicist, and philosopher, Blaise Pascal (1623-1661), succumbed to when he was still young was mercury poisoning. Pascal worked with mercury in his well-known barometer research. His suffering from sustained headaches, vertigo, toothache, loss of appetite, and lasting bad colic complete the picture of advanced slow mercury poisoning.
No doubt mercury, the use of which sadly cannot be done away with in research, has done heavy damage to science in the past as it still does today in the way it curtailed the output of many a researcher. May this present-day warning help us pay better attention and avoid the dangers of this insidious metal.
Please view the bibliography in the original article: Die Gefaehrlichkeit des Quecksilberdampfes, von Alfred Stock (1926)

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Swastika on Arizona and Peruvian Pottery

Someone sent in a comment about an ancient Moche vase he had seen in a picture on display at a Peruvian museum. I thought it not only interesting, but yet another example of someone drawing a conclusion based on modern knowledge without looking into the ancient meaning of his view. His comment was:  “How do you explain the Nazi swastika showing up on pottery in Peru, as well as in Arizona? This hardly seems like a connection between the ancient Jews and your Book of Mormon people. Looks like another proof of the hoax Joseph Smith laid on you!”
The answer is simpler than it might seem. First of all, the two pottery vessels he mentioned, interestingly enough, are actually another proof of the Jewish-South American connection, not the opposite as he supposes.
The first vessel was found in a pyramid along the north coast of Peru and dates to the early Moche-Sican-Lambayeque period, beginning around 100 B.C., and currently on display in the Huaca Rajada Site Museum.
Left: The remains of the Moche-Sican mud-brick pyramid in Lambayeque; Right: The swastika-adorned pottery vessel found in the pyramid
The second, a Hohokam pottery vessel, now on display at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, was found in the Hohokam village ruins dating to about 400 A.D. The Hohokam once inhabited a large area from southern Utah-Colorado far into northwestern Mexico to the Durango border.
Left: 1500 year-old Hohokam village ruins near Phoenix, Arizona; Right: The Hohokam vessel found in the ruins with a swastika. Note the outside lines are angled
The Swastika, contrary to his inference and most people’s opinion, did not originate with the Nazi movement in Germany. The so-called “swastika” is actually an adaptation from the early Hebrew symbol meaning “eternity in motion.” It was also found on American plains Indians of the U.S., specifically drawn on teepees, etc. In fact, the word "swastika" comes from the Sanskrit words su, meaning "well," and asti, meaning “to be.”
An ancient symbol, the swastika was used in various forms by many civilizations all over the world. It was the sign of Thor's hammer for Scandinavians, used by early Christians as an alternative cross to avoid persecution, and by later Christians as a decorative emblem. It was used extensively by the Hittites, Celts and Greeks, and was a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It was widespread among Native American peoples, and appeared in ancient Oriental, Egyptian, and Irish cultures. India associates the swastika with good luck and protection from wrath, and mark it on doors, walls, shrines, and their own bodies. It can represent the sun, the god Vishnu, or the 'world-wheel.' It is one of the 24 auspicious marks in Jainism.
Top: Left: An Iranian necklace excavated from Kalunaz, Guilan, first millennium B.C.; Center: Ancient Roman tile design; Right: Pre-Christian Polish symbol of Slavic diety Svarog; Bottom: Left: Children light lamps in the shape of a swastika on the Diwali, eve of Hindu new year; Center: Ancient Buddhist temple in Korea; Right: 1920 Arizona highway marker
The swastika was the Indian sun symbol conferring good luck and the Sanskrit word meaning “fortunate” or “well-being,” and to the Romans it meant “peace,” while to the Hindus it meant “good fortune,” and to the plains Indians it meant “good luck.” To the Windsor, Nova Scotia, team in the early days of hockey, it meant both “power and good fortune,” and to the fans it meant a high-scoring top-notch hockey team whose players proudly displayed the symbol on their jerseys and who were almost impossible to beat by other teams in the area.
Left: The 1912 Windsor, Nova Scotia, hockey team in their uniforms with the swastika on their jerseys; Right: The women’s 1916 Edmonton Swastikas Hockey Team
Since the early Middle Ages the sign of the swastika was well-established among all Slavic lands, where it was known as swarzyca, and primarily associated with one of their gods named Swarog. With time the significance of the symbol faded, but it was preserved in numerous cases as a personal symbol of various personalities, as was the case of the Boreyko Coat of Arms. It was also preserved in the folk culture of the region of Podhale, where it was used as a talisman well into the 20th century. As a solar symbol, it was painted or carved on various parts of houses in the Tatra Mountains and was thought to save the household from evil.
In America, the 45th Infantry Division of the United States Army used a yellow swastika on a red background as a unit symbol until the 1930s, when it was switched to a thunderbird, and the U.S. Navy base at Coronado, California, has a swastika-shaped building, which predates World War II. In 1925, Coca-Cola made a lucky watch formed in the shape of a swastika with the slogan, "Drink Coca Cola five cents in bottles." The Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building at Indiana University, which was built in the 1920s before the Nazis came to power in Germany, contains decorative Native American-inspired reverse swastika tilework on the walls of the foyer and stairwells on the southeast side of the building, which now creates enormous controversy.
Left: 45thInfantry Division Patch; Center: Coronado U.S. Navy Building; Right: Coca-Cola lucky watch charm
Shortly after the beginning of World War II, the Native American tribes Navajo, Apache, Tohono O’odham, and Hopi, published a decree stating that they would no longer use the swastika in their artwork, because it had come to symbolize evil to them. The decree states: ”Because the above ornament which has been a symbol of friendship among our forefathers for many centuries has been desecrated recently by another nation of peoples. Therefore it is resolved that henceforth from this date on and forever more our tribes renounce the use of the emblem commonly known today as the swastika or fylfot on our blankets, baskets, art objects, sandpainting, and clothing.”
In the late nineteenth century, the swastika symbolized a movement celebrating Germanic culture, heritage, and nationalism, however, by 1920 this movement began to take on anti-Semitic undertones. Later, Adolph Hitler chose the swastika to be the symbol of the Nazi Party.
There are many other historically documented uses of the swastika as a totem, a decoration, or a good luck "charm" in ancient civilizations including the Mesopotamians, Hindu, Native Americans (both North and South) and Scandinavians. To the Hopi’s, the swastika symbol represents the path of the migrations of the clans. The center of the cross represents Tuwanasavi or the Center of the Universe, which lay in what is now the Hopi country in the southwestern part of the US. Tuwanasavi was not the geographic center of North America, but the magnetic or spiritual center formed by the junction of the North-South and the East-West axes along which the Twins sent their vibratory messages and controlled the rotation of the planet. Three directions (pasos) for most of the clans were the same: the ice locked back door to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Only 7 clans—the Bear, Eagle, Sun, Kachina, Parrot, Flute and Coyote clans—migrated to South America to the southern paso at it's tip. The rest of some 40 clans, having started from somewhere in South America, regarded this as their southern paso, their migration thus forming a balanced symbol. Upon arriving at each paso all the leading clans turned right before retracing their routes.
The symbol itself, probably originating anciently in the Hebrew geometric symbols, where a vertical line represented the spiritual realm, a horizontal line represented man and his existence or the temporal sphere, and the circle represented eternity with no beginning and no end. When you put those together you have a circle with a cross inside. By removing parts of the circle, you have eternity in motion, which looks somewhat like a swastika.
This is just another example and proof of how the ancient Hebrew or Jewish culture of Lehi’s time can be seen in many ways within the Western Hemisphere.