About 200 years ago Sir Edmund
Halley discovered an anomaly in space around the stars of
the Pleiades. A hundred years later Friedrich Wilhelm
Bessel confirmed Halley's findings. In 1961 Paul Otto
Hesse defined and measured this anomaly. It's an energy ring
of incredible size, 760 thousand billion miles wide, and is due
to intersect the earth just about any minute now. He also
calculated that this is part of a 25,000-year-long cycle
that our solar system goes through.
It's expected that once we're into the Photon Belt,
electricity won't function and there will be three to five days
of total darkness. All indigenous cultures and religions
prophesy three days of darkness to mark the "end times."
Scientists discussing the Photon Belt have been fired,
moved, or denied access to the equipment used to study it. If
you cast around on, say, the Internet for information, folks
with CIA or NSA credentials likely will show up
and say it would be in the best interest of your family if you
gave up the quest.
So my question is, what can you tell us about the Photon Belt?
Any hard data?
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Get off it. Nobody wants hard data.
If hard data were the filtering criterion you could fit the
entire contents of the Internet on a floppy disk. My mission in
life is a little different: you provide the bubble, I provide
The "photon belt" has been a hot topic in New Age circles
since 1991, when a story about it appeared in
Australia's Nexus magazine. In
1994 it received a book-length treatment in
You Are Becoming a Galactic Human
by Virginia Essene and Sheldon Nidle. Essene and
Nidle claimed to be "channeling" members of the "Sirian
Council," beings from a distant planet.
Exactly when we're going to enter the photon belt is a matter of
debate. Originally it was thought that the arrival of the belt
would lead to a vast transformation of society starting in 1992.
So what did we get instead? Bill Clinton. Not to be critical in
any way, but I for one would have expected something a little
grander than a hike in the minimum wage.
The next target date was May 5, 1997, though there was to
be a long buildup.
"Apparently, by the end of
Summer ," one newsletter noted, "most of us will be
having conversations with Masters, the spiritual hierarchy,
and space commanders of all kinds."
Don't know about you, but all I've
been seeing is more Bill Clinton. As a fallback, some
New Agers are saying the photon belt won't get here until
The question is not whether it's nuts to believe in the photon
belt. Of course it's nuts. How many great scientific discoveries
do you know of that were channeled from aliens? For the record,
however, I feel obliged to say that:
(1) No photon belt or
other such region of increased energy has been discovered.
Photons in any case are merely particles of electromagnetic
energy, which we commonly experience as light. Upon exposure
to excess photons the most common transformation of your
being is sunburn.
(2) There's no "anomaly" near the Pleiades star
cluster. The Pleiades are surrounded by a nebula, or gas
cloud. This cloud is composed not of photons but of dust and
(3) The earth isn't heading toward the Pleiades but
away from them. In the 1850s it was conjectured that the
earth orbited the Pleiades, but this has long since been
(4) Paul Otto Hesse is unknown to astronomers.
Someone dug up a reference to a 1986 book by him in German
whose title translates as "Judgment Day: A Book to
Mankind That Speaks of Things to Come." 'Nuff said.
What puzzled me was where the
photon-belt story came from. The 1991 Nexus article was
based on a 1981 article in an Australian UFO mag. I spoke to
Colin Norris, head of the Australian UFO society that
publishes the magazine, and he said it was coauthored by a
"middle-aged mother" and a college undergraduate. Norris
denied it was a prank, but it seems clear these folks didn't
have detailed technical knowledge, unless of course they were on
the horn with the guys from Sirius.