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No. 5: November 1978

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Sunspots And Flu

The last six sunspot peaks have coincided with flu pandemics. During the sunspot maxima of 1947, 1957, and 1968, the influenza-A virus underwent anti genic shifts that allowed the virus to bypass the immunity built up in the populace. In 1937, a pandemic occurred but no genetic change was detected, although one might have gone unnoticed. The deadly worldwide 1918-1919 epidemic transpired just after the 1917 sunspot peak and before the discovery of the flu virus. The sunspot maximum of 1928 may have signaled a major shift from the virus causing the 1918-1919 pandemic to the type now afflicting us.

(Hope-Simpson, R.E.; "Sunspots and Flu: A Correlation," Nature, 275:86, 1978.)

Reference. The curious phenomena of epidemics are cataloged at BHH6 and BHH7 in Biological Anomalies: Humans II. This Catalog is described here.

From Science Frontiers #5, November 1978. 1978-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987