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No. 68: Mar-Apr 1990

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Periodical Invasions Of Aliens

Forget those contemporary tales of UFO landings and human contacts with their alien navigators. Aliens have been land-ing here and mixing with the human populace for centuries. In fact, their traffic peaks about every 11 years, just when the solar cycle reaches its maximum. By now, you've probably guessed that F. Hoyle and N.C. Wickramasinghe are again talking about flu pandemics and sunspots. You must admit, however, that their correlation is becoming more and more convincing.

Yearly means of daily sunspot numbers
Yearly means of daily sunspot numbers correlated with dates of flu pandemics
First, we have their graph covering the past 70 years which speaks for itself. You can add the 1990 flu outbreak to the curve yourself! To strengthen the correlation Hoyle and Wickramasinghe tabulate flu and sunspot data back to 1761. They find that flu pandemics and sunspot maxima have kept in step for the last 17 cycles.

Key to the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe argument is their contention that simple life forms (viruses, bacteria, etc.) not only exist in outer space but likely evolved there. If so, how do they ride in to afflict us on the peaks of the solar cycle? Here's how, in their words:

"In conclusion, we note that electrical fields associated with intense solar winds can rapidly drive charged particles of the size of viruses down through the exposed upper atmosphere into the shelter of the lower atmosphere, the charging of such particles being due to the photoelectric effect. This could define one possible causal link between influenza pandemics and solar activity."

(Hoyle, F., and Wickramasinghe, N. C.; "Sunspots and Influenza," Nature, 343: 304, 1990.)

Reference. Periodic epidemics are cataloged in BHH3 in: Biological Anomalies: Humans II. To order, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #68, MAR-APR 1990. 1990-2000 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