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Stargazers and Gravediggers

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With the publication of Immanuel Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collision in 1950 a bombshell burst upon the literary and scientific scene whose reverberations continue to this day. Even prior to publication, the book was the subject of intense controversy.

The academic community was immediately and intensely polarized. Several world-famous “authorities” denounced the book as “rubbish” (without having read it carefully), while other scientists and scholars praised Velikovsky’s method and revolutionary conclusions.

Through a concerted campaign of letter writing, a successful boycott of the original publisher’s textbook department was undertaken by an elite group of American astronomers. Even as Worlds in Collision hovered at the top of the national best-seller lists, the publisher was forced to suspend publication of the book, and another firm, which had no vulnerable textbook division, took it on. Thus one of the greatest controversies in scientific history became one of the most shameful episodes in publishing history.

Here for the first time is the full account of what actually transpired. Writing with kindness as well as candor, Velikovsky tells of the unprecedented treatment he endured at the hands of his critics.

The story of Worlds in Collision is of timely interest, because the problems and solutions Velikovsky pointed out in 1950 are at the forefront of scientific research in the 1980’s:


recent planetary space probes, new proposals in evolutionary theory, and geological and archaeological findings supporting or confirming ideas that just thirty years ago were confidently declared to be “arrant nonsense” by the supposed experts of the day.


Stargazers and Gravediggers is a work of understated triumph that will give both the scientist and the general reader cause to reconsider prior beliefs about science, objectivity, human nature, and the opinions of experts.

Stargazers and Gravediggers (US hardback and in excellent condition) is available to SIS members for as little as £5-7 including p&p. Including p&p, non-members in the UK can obtain the book for £18 and to send elsewhere the price is £20. Please send order and remittance (payable to SIS) to: The SIS Book Service, 10 Witley Green, Darley Heights, Stopsley, Bedfordshire, LU2 8TR, UK.

Books by Immanuel Velikovsky:

Mankind in Amnesia

Immanuel Velikovsky described his work on collective amnesia as follows:

“Mankind in Amnesia has to do not only with the past, like my other books — primarily it has to do with the future, a future not removed by thousands or tens of thousands of years, but the imminent future, on whose threshold we now stand.”

The subject that Immanuel Velikovsky has chosen is the psychological condition and case history of the human race. Virtually every aspect of human behavior, every pattern in human history, and every article of human belief, if examined and illuminated in the light of the thesis of this book, reveals how human thought and action have been shaped and molded by repressed collective memories of cosmic catastrophes that befell our ancestors as recently as one hundred generations ago.

In the section “A Collective Amnesia” of Worlds in Collision, published in 1950, Velikovsky outlined his principal psychological thesis. His theory of collective amnesia explains the inability of people to look at the overwhelming evidence of global catastrophes — from all parts of the world — that is unequivocally there, and the unwillingness to see the implications of that evidence. Velikovsky put this as follows in Worlds in Collision:

The memory of the cataclysms was erased, not because of lack of written traditions, but because of some characteristic process that later caused entire nations, together with their literate men, to read into these traditions allegories or metaphors where actually cosmic disturbances were clearly described.

For detailed accounts of the evidence of our catastrophic past one should read Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collision and Earth In Upheaval. Velikovsky wrote Mankind in Amnesia over the course of many years. Most of it was written in the 1950s and early ig6os, but he added sections as late as 1979, the last year of his life.

Books by Immanuel Velikovsky:

[Buy second hand copies through AddALL]

Ramses II and His Times

Ramses II and His Time, like Ages in Chaos and Peoples of the Sea it can be read independently, but taken as a whole the series carries a monolithic oneness and compels the reader toward agreement with the rewriting of history which Velikovsky considers his opus magnum.

This book settles many problems of historical magnitude. Who were the enigmatic Hittites? Who was Pharaoh Necho, the opponent of Nebuchadnezzar at the battle of Carchemish? Where did the battle of Kadesh take place? When was King Ahiram entombed at Byblos — in the thirteenth century, as many historians claim, or in the seventh century, as others claim?

Ramses II and His Times is a kind of detective story, in which the personae are real historical figures.

For more than thirty-five years Immanuel Velikovsky has worked on a radical reconstruction of ancient history. When the work was in its initial stage, Dr. Robert Pfeiffer, the late chairman of Harvard’s Department of Semitic Studies, wrote:

“Dr. Velikovsky discloses immense erudition and extraordinary ingenuity. He writes well and documents all his statements with the original ancient sources. . . . His conclusions are amazing, unheard of, revolutionary, sensational.”

With the appearance of Ages in Chaos, the leading French Egyptologist and one-time curator of the Louvre Museum, Mr. Etienne Drioton, wrote to the author: “You certainly overturn — and with what zest! — many of our historical assumptions which we have considered established. But you do it with total absence of prejudice and with impartial and complete documentation, all of which is most sympathetic.”

Books by Immanuel Velikovsky:

[Buy second hand copies through AddALL]

Peoples of the Sea

This book is part of the Ages in Chaos series dealing with the reconstruction of ancient history, can be read independently of the other volumes in that series. The entire period of reconstruction covers a span of twelve centuries, from the end of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt, which I claim was synchronous with the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, down to the advent of Alexander the Great of Macedon, and even beyond, namely, to the earlier Ptolemies, Hellenistic rulers of Egypt. The present volume deals with the more than two hundred years at the end of that span.

Ages in Chaos, Volume I, From the Exodus to King Akhnaton, published in 1952, carried the reconstruction through the six centuries ending with the kings Jehoshaphat of Jerusalem and Ahab of Samaria and with the el-Amarna period in Egypt, near the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty, which I place in the ninth century. The promise to supply the reader with the rest of the reconstruction in a short space of time was made in good faith — the second and final volume of Ages in Chaos was already in page proofs. But the subsequent decision, to extend the second volume into three or even four volumes, by itself delayed the execution of the plan. (The concluding events of the Eighteenth Dynasty became the subject of my Oedipus and Akhnaton, published in 1960.)

Peoples of the Sea, as just said, covers the nearly two centuries of Persian domination of Egypt and continues, through the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, down to the time of the earlier Ptolemies. Within this time span I locate both the Twentieth Dynasty (the dynasty of Ramses III) and the Twenty-first Dynasty, which are conventionally placed up to eight centuries earlier; in no other part of the
reconstruction has there been such a great rift with the accepted structure for the chronology of events.

With the Eighteenth Dynasty moved down the scale of time by more than five centuries, the first volume of Ages in Chaos took away one abutment from orthodox history and erected instead an abutment for the reconstruction. With the removal of the Twentieth and Twenty-first Dynasties to the age of Persian domination over Egypt, anchoring them centuries away from their usual places, the present volume erects a second such abutment. On these two abutments now rests the span of ancient history. Conventional ancient history, shown to be misplaced and distorted at both ends, cannot plead for the salvaging of the mid-part intact.

Books by Immanuel Velikovsky:

[Buy second hand copies through AddALL]

Oedipus and Akhnaton

Was Oedipus, the parricide who sired children by his mother, a product of the subconscious mind as Freud thought? Was he a mythological figure? Or was he a real, historical person?

Such questions have provoked interest among historians and authors for centuries. In Oedipus and Akhnaton, Immanuel Velikovsky identifies the scene and all the personages of the Greek Oedipus legend with the life patterns of the family of the Egyptian King Akhnaton, reputedly the first monotheist during the most famous period of Egyptian history.

As a feat in unraveling myth, lore, and fact, Immanuel Velikovsky’s startling new approach can be likened to the evidence of Schliemann’s discovery of Troy, of the discovery of the Minoan civilization, or of the deciphering of Mycenaean.

The legend of the Oedipus cycle, in which Dr. Velikovsky finds a parallel to the House of Akhnaton, involves the family of Oedipus, King of Thebes — his blinding and exile, his curse on his sons who subsequently slew each other at the gates of Thebes, and the courage of his daughter, Antigone, who entombed her fallen brother despite contrary official decree and was herself immured in a pit-tomb as punishment. The tale, filled with unsurpassed suspense, becomes even more compelling as it is related to historical fact.

Dr. Velikovsky uncovers and examines the parallels between the myth and the fact; he solves a number of mysteries concerning the tombs in the Valley of Kings, Tutankhamen’s famed burial ground, which have long puzzled archaeologists; and he brings vividly to life all the figures of both ancient tragedies.

This thoroughgoing analysis, as the author’s far-ranging mind makes clear, has much more than archaeological implications, for it illuminates the nature of classical tragedy and has bearing on Freud’s own unresolved conflicts. It presents, in fact, a rewriting of ancient history at exactly its most renowned period. Oedipus and Akhnaton is an extraordinary literary and historical study.

Books by Immanuel Velikovsky:

[Buy second hand copies through AddALL]

Earth in Upheaval

Earth in Upheaval presents documentation of global catastrophes in prehistorical and historical times: the evidence of stone and bone. This evidence from the natural sciences indicates that these great disturbances which rocked our world were caused by forces outside the Earth itself.

In Earth in Upheaval, Velikovsky brings together a multitude of facts, such as palms found in northern Greenland, corals in Alaska, the unfossilized bones of hippopotamuses in England, and the remains of polar bears and arctic foxes crushed together in one mass with ostriches and crocodiles.

Further data verifies that at the very time that Dr Velikovsky claimed as the date of the recent global catastrophe only 3500 years ago, the level of the world’s oceans dropped sharply, climate was violently altered, and ancient civilizations were plunged into destruction.

Dr Velikovsky’s first book, Worlds in Collision, offered evidence of tremendous cataclysms during historic times, and created a furore of controversy unknown since Darwin’s debate ninety years earlier.

Books by Immanuel Velikovsky:

[Buy second hand copies through AddALL]

Ages in Chaos

Ages in Chaos reconstructs the political and cultural histories of the nations of the world starting from the physical catastrophes described in the book of Exodus and Egyptian documents. This reconstruction places before the reader this question:

Are six hundred years missing in Israel’s history, or have six hundred ghost years crept into Egyptian History?

Documents are collated for each generation over 1200 years. Among the findings which this research has brought to light is:

  • the story of the plagues which preceded the Exodus, as written by an Egyptian eyewitness;
  • the illustrated diary of the biblical Queen of Sheba of her visit to the Holy Land
  • the vessels and furnishings of the Temple of Solomon
  • letters formerly believed written by pre-Israelite princes of Canaan, now shown to have been written by kings of Judah

Dr Velikovsky’s first book, Worlds in Collision, offered evidence of tremendous cataclysms during historic times, and created a furore of controversy unknown since Darwin’s debate ninety years earlier.

“If Dr Velikovsky is right, this volume is the greatest contribution to the investigation of ancient times ever written.” — Dr Robert H. Pfeiffer, Harvard University.

Books by Immanuel Velikovsky:

[Buy second hand copies through AddALL]

Worlds in Collision

Worlds in Collision is a book that proposes that many myths and traditions of ancient peoples and cultures are based on actual events: worldwide global catastrophes of a celestial origin, which had a profound effect on the lives, beliefs and writings of early mankind.

“Worlds in Collision is a book of wars in the celestial sphere that took place in historical times. In these wars the planet earth participated too. […] The historical-cosmological story of this book is based in the evidence of historical texts of many people around the globe, on classical literature, on epics of the northern races, on sacred books of the peoples of the Orient and Occident, on traditions and folklore of primitive peoples, on old astronomical inscriptions and charts, on archaeological finds, and also on geological and paleontological material.” – Worlds In Collision, Preface.

After reaching the number 1 spot in the best-sellers list, Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collision was banned from a number of academic institutions, and creating an unprecedented scientific debacle that became known as The Velikovsky Affair.

In 1956 Velikovsky wrote Earth in Upheaval to present conclusive geological evidence of terrestrial catastrophism.

“I have excluded from [these pages] all references to ancient literature, traditions, and folklore; and this I have done with intent, so that careless critics cannot decry the entire work as “tales and legends”. Stones and bones are the only witness.” – Earth in Upheaval, Preface.

Books by Velikovsky:

[Buy second hand copies through AddALL]

Velikovsky Links

Further study

Reviews and criticisms of Velikovsky's work have tended to be inaccurate, inconclusive or just plainly wrong. Velikovsky did make mistakes, but his key proposal, that in historical times mankind witnessed global catastrophes of cosmic origin, endures with increasing numbers of organisations and people investigating his work.


The Velikovsky Encyclopedia The verifiable guide to the subjects, the people, the criticisms, the rebuttals, and the Affair.

Hundreds of articles, many photographs and images. Referenced with citations.

Immanuel Velikovsky The Immanuel Velikovsky Archive. Maintained by a team of historians to ensure the integrity and preservation of Velikovsky’s unpublished writings, the Archive is strictly non-profit and its sole purpose is the advancement of education and scholarship.
Society for Interdisciplinary Studies The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies
The SIS was formed in 1974 in response to a growing interest in the works of modern catastrophists such as Dr Immanuel Velikovsky, stimulating controversy in the fields of cosmology, geology and ancient history. The SIS publishes two high quality journals which have included articles by and about Velikovsky.
Catastrophism CD-Rom Catastrophisim: Man Myth and Mayhem in Ancient History and the Sciences. Have there been worldwide catastrophic events in mankind's more recent past? This CD-Rom helps you investigate for yourself.
Aeon Aeon, A Journal of Myth & Science
First published in 1988, Aeon builds on the works Immanuel Velikovsky, presenting further evidence of catastrophic planetary interactions in historic times. It is devoted to the collection and exploration of archaeo-astronomical traditions and analysis of common patterns in ancient myths from around the world.
The Velikovskian
The Velikovskian journal offers an open discussion of whether there were global cataclysms in human history, their cause, nature and impact of these upheavals. As an important issue in science, history and humanity, it is deserving of our attention. Also features the book, Carl Sagan & Immanuel Velikovsky.
The Electric Universe
The Electric Universe theory highlights the importance of electricity throughout the Universe, and explains how the Sun and stars are powered electrically.