PO Box 441Livingston, MT 59047Dear editor,Just received
# 8, and was very pleased with it. I have just one teeny quibble:In “The Mayan Calendar Mystery” by Kathie Garcia (
# 8, pp. 41, 73), the author says thatthe Mayans “referred to Venus as the eighth planet and the earth as the seventh. This and other archaeological evidence has led Sitchin to suggest that they knew of the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune,and Pluto as well
and had obtained their knowledge from aliens, whose ‘count’ began at farther reachesof the galaxy.
” [Italics mine.]The implication is that if the Mayans were aware of the existence of the outer planets, it could
have been through contact with aliens, or at least with a culture that had telescopes. I disagree. Uranus, unlike Neptune and Pluto, is a naked-eye planet; a person with normal vision can see it from the Los Angeles basin on many nights of the year! The problem is that it moves very slowly through the heavens, a mere4 degrees per year, as opposed to the much faster motion of Saturn and the other inner planets. Butregular observation of the heavens night after night, especially in ancient times, when there was neither light pollution nor smog to obscure the night skies, would fairly quickly reveal Uranus for what it was:unlike a star, but like a planet, it does not twinkle; it is much brighter than most stars; though it movesslowly, its motion along the ecliptic is enormously faster than the proper motion of a true star; andunlike a star, but like a planet, eventually it does return to the same celestial longitude. In fact, many“primitive” cultures have known Uranus for just what it is, a planet, and the Mayans almost certainlymust have known this, too, through systematic observations of the skies taken over hundreds or thousandsof years. Unlike European-based civilization, the Mayans weren’t hampered in their astronomical work by iron-clad assumptions, based upon theologically oriented ideas, about the maximum “permitted”number of Planets. The West required a telescope to “discover” the “new” planet Uranus only becauseup until then, Western belief-systems blinded Western astronomers to just what was out there and what itimplied.As for Neptune and Pluto, while they cannot be seen with telescopes, their existence can be inferred fromirregularities in the orbit of Uranus. Again, unlike Europeans, the Mayans had no reason not to build acosmological model in which the Earth and other planets went around the Sun. Once they had done that,they would have been able to associated irregularities in planetary orbits with the presence of other planets, whether or not they ever had a theory about gravity. From there, knowing Uranus existed, itwould have been a short step to the obvious conclusion that irregularities in Uranus’s orbit unaccountedfor by the inner planets had to have been due to the presence of other planets still further out. No aliensrequired at all – just good, hard, relentlessly meticulous mathematical and scientific reasoning.Other than that, it was a great issue, one I enjoyed very much.Sincerely,
. (Ms) Yael R. Dragwyla, K.S.G.HydroDragon Enterprises******************************************************Subj:FWD: If the Founding Fathers Had Been WiredDate:96-08-03 19:58:27 EDTFrom:Nebet HetBCC:Polaris93Date: Fri, Aug 2, 1996 10:30 AM CDTFrom: Sermoner1Subj: If the Founding Fathers Had Been WiredTo:email@example.com