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NHNE News Brief 37
Friday, November 22, 1996

"A thought-provoking exploration
of the extraordinary times in which we live."

Star Trek's "First Contact!" Opens Today

Millennium Countdown:
1,135 days until January 1, 2000

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CONTENTS:
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QUOTABLES:
Seek Fiber

NEWS WATCH:
GM's First Commercial Electric Vehicle
The Implications of Being Wired
New Age Entrepreneurs Cash In
Robot Programs Another Robot
Early Birds

NEWS BRIEF SPONSOR:
Spirit of Sedona: Experience of a Lifetime

NHNE FINANCIAL REPORT:
Online 6, Offline 2, Total List 746

A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER:
Where No One Has Gone Before

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
A Strange Sort of Regret
Freedom from Fear
Terrific Article on Pole Shifts
Hale-Blip Comet
What of the Photon Belt?

CROP CIRCLE WATCH:
Say It Ain't So!

SKY WATCH:
Strange Object Spotted Near Hale-Bopp
Hale-Bopp Primer
The Myth of the Photon Belt

WORLD WATCH:
Global Paradigm Change

WEB WATCH:
EcoMall

NHNE STAFF
ABOUT NHNE & HOW TO JOIN US

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QUOTABLES:
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SEEK FIBER

"Live hard, not soft;
Eat hard, not soft;
Seek fiber in foods and in life."

---Helen Nearing, "Simple Food for the Good Life"

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NEWS WATCH:
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GM'S FIRST COMMERCIAL ELECTRIC VEHICLE
(Source: REUTERS, 11/14/96)

On November 14, 1996 GENERAL MOTORS produced their first commercial electric vehicle, marking what they dubbed, "The start of a new era in the auto industry." The EV1 model will go on sale December 5 at Saturn dealerships in Los Angeles and San Diego in California, and Phoenix and Tucson, in Arizona. GM spent $350 million and more than six years to develop the two-passenger coupe. While other automakers are already selling electrically-powered hybrids, GM says the EV1 is the first vehicle to be designed from the ground up as an electric car. The vehicle is powered by 26 12-volt lead-acid batteries. It can travel up to 90 miles before it needs recharging. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than nine seconds, has a top speed of 80 mph, and retails for $33,995 -- $2,000 battery charger not included. California buyers are eligible to receive a $5,000 credit from the state. The GM plant in Lansing has the capacity to make about 2,000 of the vehicles annually. GM says the initial focus is not on volume but on generating a positive shopping and ownership experience. (JG)

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THE IMPLICATIONS OF BEING WIRED
(Source: NEWSWEEK, 11/25/96)

The November 4 issue of NEWSWEEK ran a cover story on homosexual couples having children. This week, the news magazine reports that reader response was vociferous and curiously split along technological lines. Users of the Internet for the most part sent ardent email thanking NEWSWEEK for pointing out, as one reader stated, "that gay and lesbian couples can raise happy, healthy families." However, many who wrote using ordinary "snail mail" disagreed angrily, such as a Pennsylvania woman who wrote, "We are swiftly falling into a country where there are no morals." This raises the question: Is it the liberal thinkers who are going online or does the act of becoming "wired" lead a person to develop a more liberal outlook? (JG)

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NEW AGE ENTREPRENEURS CASH IN
(Source: Gray Scott, THE BUSINESS PRESS via KNIGHT-RIDDER/TRIBUNE,
11/13/96 via Karol Ann Barnett)

There are only 1,135 days left until the new millennium, a period some feel will be one of profound spiritual and psychic change, so it is not surprising that entrepreneurs are responding to supply the needs of this latest trend in spiritualism. Laurel Dove, owner of THE CRYSTAL CAVE in Claremont, California has observed that "New Age trends change almost instantaneously. For that reason, CRYSTAL CAVE doesn't carry angels, the latest de rigueur New Age product. "Angels," Dove remarks dryly, "will go the way of the unicorn." Paul Ray, a sociologist and Executive Vice President for San Francisco-based AMERICAN LIVES INC., tells companies how to market to a "culturally creative" population that he numbers in the U.S. at 44 million -- a group that is relatively well-off, mostly female and concerned about global issues and the environment. If the definition is broadened to include those who rely on alternative medical treatments - like aromatherapy, acupuncture, acupressure and chiropractic - the market grows to over 100 million. (That's roughly one third of the entire U.S. population!) (JG)

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ROBOT PROGRAMS ANOTHER ROBOT
(Source: REUTERS, 11/18/96)

A robot at the cybernetics laboratory of READING UNIVERSITY in London, England has, without human intervention, used the Internet to program another robot at the STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK how to move around in its environment. British scientists say it is a world first. "We're trying to show that computers can learn the same way as humans, by communicating learning," said Dr. David Keating who started the research program six years ago and devised the idea of the Internet link-up. The tricycle-like robots require no remote control or human input once they are switched on. Asked whether he was concerned if computers would be able to overtake mankind, Warwick said, "We're all right for the next 10 years, but after that it starts to get worrying." (JG)

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EARLY BIRDS
(Source: REUTERS, 11/14/96)

Scientists have unearthed new evidence challenging the theory that birds descended from dinosaurs. A team of researchers has discovered bird fossils in northeastern China that date to the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous periods, about 140 million years ago. The fossils point to a separation of birds into two distinct lines -- one of which flourished for a time and then became extinct along with dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous Period, the other which gave rise to modern birds. "The discovery that the line leading to modern birds co-existed almost from the earliest occurrence of birds in the fossil record with an archaic group of now-extinct birds is the most important discovery in fossil birds since Archaeopterys," said Larry Martin of KANSAS UNIVERSITY, one of the paleontologists of the team. Archaeopterys, the first bird, lived during the Jurassic period. (JG)

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NEWS BRIEF SPONSOR:
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NHNE is sponsoring a 7-day, all-expense-pad trip to Sedona, Arizona, USA, for two people from anywhere in North America. Activities include sacred hikes, tours, vision quests, body and healing work, massages, hot air balloon rides, and a special banquet with some of Sedona's movers and shakers (including David Sunfellow, the founder and publisher of NHNE, and James Gregory the Editor-in-Chief of the NHNE News Brief). All you have to do is write an essay about why you want to come to Sedona and include a donation ($50.00 is suggested). The contest ends March 1, 1997. Winners will be announced March 15, 1997. Seven runners up will also receive prizes.

Via regular mail, send your essays and donations to:

NewHeavenNewEarth
P.O. Box 2242
Sedona, AZ 86339

Via email, send your essays and a credit card number indicating what size of donation you would like to make to NHNE to:

angels@sedona.net

For more information, including a growing list of participating individuals and business, visit our Web site:

http://nen.sedona.net//nhne/spiritofsedona/

Current number of entries: 2
Current amount of money raised: $80.00

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NHNE FINANCIAL REPORT:
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ONLINE 6, OFFLINE 2, TOTAL LIST 746

Here is our financial report for the week of November 22:

New Online Subscribers this week: 6
New Offline Subscribers this week: 2
Total Paid Online Subscriptions: 49
Total Paid Offline Subscriptions: 9
Total Online Mailing List: 746

Subscriptions: $338.00
NHNE Video 1: $20.00
Sponsors & Donations: $0.00
Total Income: $358.00

This Week's Expenses: $513.22
This Week's Deficit: $155.22

Money Needed To Upgrade Computer System: $2500.00
Money Received To Upgrade Computer System: $0.00

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A MESSAGE FROM THE PUBLISHER:
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WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE

From the beginning, our intention has been to uncover the truth about bogus stories and shine the light on credible ones. We've reported the famous Loch Ness monster photograph was a fake (News Brief 1 ), Marlo Morgan's "Mutant Message" was a fairy tale (News Briefs 1 & 14), the natives -- rather than ET's or advanced Earth Civilizations -- really made those big heads on Easter Island (News Brief 9), the legendary Big Foot film was a hoax (News Brief 15), the loudly trumpeted alien photograph that appeared in PENTHOUSE MAGAZINE was really a Hollywood dummy (News Brief 24), and we also systematically challenged many of Gordon-Michael Scallion's predictions. Lately, we've been tackling the larger subject of planetary-wide geological changes and doing our best to track rumors that tend to pop up like wildfire around new phenomena, like the Hale-Bopp Comet. We are also continuing to track purported ancient Egyptian discoveries, potential monuments on Mars, crop circles, Marian appearances, and a host of other controversial topics -- and, at the same time, give you a solid dose of current events and inspiring articles that will help you improve your lives.

While there is no shortage of controversial topics to unravel, something remarkable is happening: a global network of seasoned, credible, solidly-grounded people is beginning to form that is starting to compare notes and quickly discern the true nature of both new and old controversies. When controversial topics arose in the past, they often lingered for years, or decades, or a millennium. Those who knew the truth about a particular rumor were often so far removed from the source, and the rumor itself was so widespread, that there was simply no way to counteract it. Now, however, thanks to the power of the Internet, all that is changing. It won't be long before what is true will emerge very quickly, while what is not true will be put out of circulation -- permanently.

This News Brief contains a few more reports on controversial topics. Some of these reports should help put the lid on some recent rumors, while others will help stir things up so we can find out what is really going on.

In the meantime, tackling controversies isn't the only thing NHNE is working on. Here's a rundown of a few NHNE projects that are presently underway:

First, we're putting the finishing touches on an in-depth Special Report on Remote Viewing. Dealing with everything from what remote viewing is and what some of today's most well-known remote viewers are predicting, to how valid it is, this Special Report will be sent out next week to all of our paid subscribers. (See the end of this News Brief for information about how you can become a paid subscriber.)

Second, we are also finishing up an interview with Ted Daniels who is one of the world's foremost experts on millennium groups. Having been featured on numerous television shows (including Primetime Live, CBS News, CNN, BBC, Ancient Prophecies, Sightings) and in countless newspapers, magazines and radio interviews (including THE NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, LOS ANGELES TIMES, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO), Daniels will be sharing some of his personal observations with us. This special interview will be sent out to all our paid subscribers the first week in December.

Third, as reported in our last News Brief, we are accepting orders for our first video. "NHNE Video 1" includes a tour of Sedona (the town, magnificent red rocks and sacred hiking trails), interviews with locals involved in the NHNE project, comments from James and myself, and the KHOU-TV special report on Gordon-Michael Scallion, which features yours truly. This video is available to whoever is interested. While NHNE Video 1 is free, we are asking for a donation to help defray our costs and support the work of NHNE. $20.00 is suggested. You can order your copy via regular mail, email, or by calling our toll free number: (888) 293-1833

And finally, our "Spirit of Sedona: Experience of a Lifetime" essay contest is beginning to pick up steam. From now until the contest officially ends March 1, 1997, we will be carrying regular updates concerning how many entries we've received as well as how much money the contest has generated. Along with having its own Web site (http://nen.sedona.net//nhne/spiritofsedona/), which includes rules about the contest and a growing list of participating individuals and organizations, the Spirit of Sedona also has a number of offline publishers have also promised to help us get the word out in their part of the North America. We've also been sending out packets of information to those of you who have offered to tack up posters in your part of the world. Finally, thanks to an inspiration on the part of the folks at LATERAL THINKING in Australia, we are now offering prizes to seven runners up. The LATERAL THINKING folks donated the first gift (a software program they developed called, "The Mind Surge Program"), and we are lining up other gifts as well. If any of you have a gift or gifts you would like to donate to our seven runners up (and have your company or business mentioned on our Web site as participating sponsors), drop us a line at "nhne@nhne.com".

And that's it. With your support (which seems to be getting more and more enthusiastic), we're beginning to make a real difference!

With Love & Best Wishes,
David Sunfellow
Publisher

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
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A STRANGE SORT OF REGRET

"I read with interest the article in NHNE NEWS BRIEF 36 about John White's change of heart concerning pole shifts. A strange sort of regret creeps up on me when I think about it not happening. I looked forward to the peace and cleansing I'd hoped it would bring. Perhaps it's too easy an out for us, requiring no work on our part to find compromises for sustaining all life. If it doesn't happen what will we do? How can we fix all of these wrongs without some sort of a planetary wake-up call?"

---Sherry, Walla Walla, Washington

[If the kind of pole shift that John White discussed in his book occurred, there wouldn't be much left. The few human beings who managed to survive would have a very difficult time staying alive, let alone building a new world. That said, we all can take comfort in the fact that millions of people all over the planet are beginning to "wake up." While we've got a major mess on our hands to clean up, there is every indication that humanity will be equal to the job. ---DS]

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FREEDOM FROM FEAR

"Thank you for your discriminate evaluation and communication of valid information. The universe is wondrous in its diversity and deserves to be observed free from fear."

---Stan Kendz, New York State

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TERRIFIC ARTICLE ON POLE SHIFTS

"Thank you for the terrific article on pole shifts in NHNE NEWS BRIEF 36. I'd love to get an idea of what a magnetic shift would do to our own body's fields. Would it feel like being in South America, or way more peculiar? How would it affect electronic gear and everything else? I believe flight maps are now adjusted every six months instead of every few years because Magnetic North is shifting so fast. Is this a precursor to the big event?"

---Joya Pope, Fayetteville, Arkansas

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HALE-BLIP COMET

"Thank you for the News Flash on the Hale-Bopp Comet. Though I wouldn't be as disdainful as Alan Hale, I'd agree that, according to my sources both astronomical and visionary, in all probability this comet is not as apocalyptic as some people make out. Why are people so paranoid or so overwhelmingly hopeful? As far as I'm concerned, world transformation will take 50 to 100 years, and there's a lot of blood, sweat, tears and hard work to go. Can't people understand they're a part of human history, and that God doesn't do overnight deliveries?"

---Paldywan Kenobi, Glastonbury, England

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WHAT OF THE PHOTON BELT?

"I am so glad that NHNE is around helping to provide a balanced and grounded view of the many theories being put out there. What do you pick up on the Net regarding the Photon Belt? Are their any astronomers that have a report on this, or is strictly the stuff of Sheldon Nidle and other channelers?"

---Antoinette Moltzan, Dallas, Texas

[Thank you for your kind words. We were prompted by your query to look into the matter of the Photon Belt. Our preliminary findings appear later in this issue.]

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CROP CIRCLE WATCH:
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SAY IT AIN'T SO!
(Source: Michael Lindemann, CNI NEWS, 11/16/96)

As reported in NHNE NEWS BRIEF 35, this has been a banner year for crop circles, especially the 915-foot-long, 149-circle Julia Set that occurred July 7 near Stonehenge and the 1,000-foot, 194-circle Triple Julia Set found later in the same month on the slopes of Windham Hill.

By mid-August, Julia Set images adorned Web sites, posters and T-shirts across Europe and America. Believers in the paranormal genesis of crop circles waxed triumphant. Here at last were formations so vast and intricate that they simply couldn't be human creations. Noted researcher Colin Andrews expressed the sentiments of many when he said at several public conferences in September and October, "If these Julia Sets can be proven to be made by humans, then we can all pack our bags and go home."

Thus it is with some trepidation that Michael Lindemann, Editor of CNI NEWS, reported an interview he had on October 27, 1996 with Rod Dickinson, a member of group of British "circle artists" who deliberately create large formations in the grain fields in the dead of night. While preferring anonymity, Dickinson and company have still laid claim to a large number of impressive crop glyphs found in England over the past ten or more years.

Dickinson claims that the famed Stonehenge Julia Set was not of paranormal origin, and that he knows the people who made it -- and how. He says the creators used a design that for the first three-quarters of its arc followed a Fibonacci Series and in the last quarter became a circular arc. He went on, "You start with the large central circle, which is placed right next to a tram line. You have to have a large central area already flattened down from which you can measure out diameters to other parts of the formation. After making the first circle, they measured out a work line for the rest of the formation. This is how the spiral was made, drawing portions of the arc from different center points inside that first circle, using a tape measure. You keep moving the center point around that first circle, and lengthen the tape for each new part of the arc. You make the work line by just stepping down the grain with your feet. All the centers of all the main circles in the formation are along that line."

When it was pointed out to him that the Stonehenge Julia Set had appeared in broad daylight in a span of 45 minutes, he countered, "That isn't true. It was made the previous night, by three people, in about two and three-quarter hours." As to the fact that it is next to a busy highway, he explains, "If you went there, you'd see how the field slopes down and away from the road. Going by in a car, you couldn't see it." And as far as air traffic, he adds, "Lots of [pilots] just didn't see it, and the rest didn't think to report it, until that doctor reported it in the evening. I know this can happen, because I've made quite a few big formations and then waited for a day, even several days, before they're discovered."

When asked about the fact that crops are commonly layered and laid down in alternating directions, he answered, "These are just artifacts of the process. If we're working from the center of a circle outward, for example, the crop splays out and tends to forms spiral layers." He continues, "The best circle-making tool is a board about three feet long with rope handles. Depending on how you angle it -- straight ahead or turned left or right -- you can get the crop to go down in different ways. That impresses the researchers a lot."

Dickinson says that the same people who made the Stonehenge Julia Set also made the Triple Julia. While Dickinson doesn't claim that all of the drop circles in England are hoaxes, he did say, "I can definitely account for most of the major pictograms [in England] from 1991 on. I made several dozen of them myself. I think all the big pictograms were made by people."

"The Circle Makers" even have their own Web site: (www.geocities.com/SoHo/3671/index.html). And there seems to be no limit to their ingenuity -- according to information on the Web site, these "artists" sometimes even dowse the fields they work in to make sure their formations are aligned with dowsable earth energies. (JG)

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SKY WATCH:
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STRANGE OBJECT SPOTTED NEAR HALE-BOPP
By James Gregory

In the past week there have been some dramatic and rather bizarre developments concerning the Hale-Bopp Comet. On November 14, amateur astronomer Chuck Shramek of Houston appeared on the Art Bell Radio show with the amazing claim that he had discovered a huge, ringed object four times the size of Earth following the Hale-Bopp Comet and apparently moving under its own power. The surface of the object was smooth and the object was glowing with an internal luminescence. Shramek had photographed the object and posted it on his Web site: http://paradise.pplnet.com/ shram/comet.htm. The national news media picked up the story which spread rapidly across the nation.

The next night, remote viewer Courtney Brown, appeared on the Art Bell Show to provide detailed information about what was by now dubbed the "Saturn-like object" (SLO) because of its size and the fact that it had rings. Before the show, Brown, who is the President of the FARSIGHT INSTITUTE, had his team of remote viewers scan the object. Based on their detailed report, he claimed that the object was artificial, hollow, and moving very fast. It was an ET craft -- a joint project of Greys, humans, Martians, and others. It was not a weapon. Governments on Earth already knew of the object but they didn't know what it was for. They were trying to keep its existence a secret. The object was broadcasting a message, but as of yet it had not been decoded. The purpose of the object was galactic evolution and was humanitarian in application. It was fulfilling a destiny. It would provide radical information to help ease humans through the coming transition. The object would accomplish its mission and will not be stopped. Though some would view it as an end, the object represented a new beginning. There were more of them coming.

On November 16, the professionals stepped in. Alan Hale, co-discoverer of the Hale-Bopp Comet takes over the story:

"I've been following the comet on a pretty regular basis, and I have not noticed anything unusual about or around it. The mere fact that this [object] was discussed on the Art Bell show is enough in itself to raise suspicions. A check of Chuck Shramek's home page reveals writings full of government conspiracies and cover-ups, charges of lies by scientists.

"Shramek does not give a scale or orientation to the image, but I was finally able to determine that the image's long axis is oriented roughly northwest to southeast. For comparison, I downloaded an image from the Digital Sky Survey (http://stdatu.stsci.edu/dss/) corresponding to the comet's ephemeris position for the time in question. This image's long axis is oriented north-south, with the comet's position in the exact center. If you rotate this image counter-clockwise about 45 degrees, and compare this to Shramek's image (with it oriented with the long axis top-down and the "object" on top), you see that the bright two stars above the comet in Shramek's image will match the two brighter stars above center in the DSS image." [For purposes of comparison, both images are posted side by side on the Hale-Bopp Web site at: http://www.halebopp.com/slo3.htm.]

"Shramek's 'mysterious object' is nothing more than the bright 9th-magnitude star appearing in the DSS image. The 'Saturn-like rings' are a diffraction effect, a phenomenon which has been known and understood for centuries."

Alan Hale concludes, "There are many 'fringe' people trying to attach apocalyptic significance to Comet Hale-Bopp. Incidents like this are sure to increase as we get closer to the comet's perihelion. I ask readers to treat all these irresponsible reports with the disdain they deserve, and instead enjoy the beauty of the comet for its own sake."

To wrap up this report, we include excerpts of an email from Chuck Shramek to Russell Sipe following the posting of Alan Hale's November 16 comments on Sipe's Halebopp.com Web site:

"Sipe is such a lying bastard! That 8th magnitude star is well out of my CCD's [type of camera for taking pictures of stars] field of view. What I [saw] was brighter than the 4.5 magnitude Hale-Bopp and therefore much brighter than [an] 8th magnitude [star]. I think a big reason for Sipe's and Halebopp.com's existence is to discredit guys like me. One of the few times Halebopp.com has added new and timely information is to try to shoot me down with lies. Their agenda from the start was to try to shoot down 'strange' information about HB..."

Russell Sipe gets the last word about the matter:

"Up until this message from Mr. Shramek my thought was that he had made an honest mistake based on improper user-defined settings... However, it is clear now that Mr. Shramek cares nothing for the facts as presented in the Palomar photo, as well as other star charts and programs...

"Finally, I have to say that after 20 years of service to the amateur astronomical community in a number of areas, and the gestures of appreciation that I have received over the years, none will be as cherished to me as receiving this email from Mr. Shramek. He is absolutely correct when he says 'a big reason for Sipe's and Halebopp.com's existence is to discredit guys like me.' After learning of the discovery Comet Hale-Bopp and realizing how incredible this comet could be I decided to start www.halebopp.com to help inform the non-astronomically oriented general public (including the press) about the comet and astronomy in general. I was well aware that misinformation for sensationalist causes would certainly attend the growing public awareness of Comet Hale-Bopp. What a prophet I turned out to be. Hey, Art Bell, when is your next Prophets of the 20th Century segment, I'm your man!" (Source: Alan Hale and Russell Sipe, Hale-Bopp Web site <http://www.halebopp.com/>, 11/16/96; with special thanks to Mary Koch and Goro Adachi for alerting us to the controversy)

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HALE-BOPP COMET PRIMER
(Source: Russell Sipe, HB Magazine, http://www.halebopp.com/z06mag.htm)

With all the media attention on the Hale-Bopp Comet lately, we thought it would be a good idea to give a brief primer on the heavenly body we are going to be hearing lots about over the next six months.

On July 22, 1995 two "amateur" astronomers (a reference to their lack of formal academic credentials, not their dedication to astronomy) discovered the new comet simultaneously and gave its name (comets are named after their discovers). Alan Hale of New Mexico is such a serious "amateur" astronomer that he has graduated into the ranks of being a professional. Two years ago he founded the SOUTHWEST INSTITUTE FOR SPACE STUDIES. Up to the night he discovered the comet, he had spent more than 400 hours scanning the skies searching for one. Tom Bopp of Arizona doesn't even own a telescope. On that fateful night, he was looking through his friend Jim Steven's telescope. The hobby of amateur astronomy is one of sharing views with friends and strangers.

At the time of its discovery, Comet Hale-Bopp was already 250 times brighter than Halley's Comet at the same distance. It reaches its closest approach to the Sun in April 1997. Professional astronomers' best guess places the size of its nucleus from 40 to 60 kilometers in diameter. Comet Halley, by comparison, was 15 kilometers long by 8 kilometers wide. The orbit of Comet Hale-Bopp suggests that it last visited our neighborhood 5,900 years ago. On its current trajectory, the comet will miss the Earth by more than 120 million miles.

At the moment, the comet still is beyond the orbit of Mars, but it is picking up speed and its tail grows longer as it falls towards the Sun. Its apparent position in the night sky places it in the constellation Ophiucus near the planet Jupiter, which at the moment is low in the western sky at sunset. At the beginning of December it will become unviewable due to its proximity to the Sun. The comet swings into view again in mid-January as it climbs out of the sun's glare, at which time it should be visible to the naked-eye in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

With the dramatic flyby of Comet Hyakutake in May of this year, it's natural to wonder how Hale-Bopp will compare with the show we just saw. First off, Hale-Bopp is one of the largest comets that has ever been observed. Hyakutake was much more typical in size, about the same diameter as Halley's Comet. On the other hand, Hyakutake passed within 9.5 million miles of Earth, whereas Hale-Bopp, at it's closest, will be almost 13 times further away. Hyakutake was near its peak brightness for a period of only two or three nights. Hale-Bopp, on the other hand, should be at least as bright as Hyakutake was for a period of three months (mid-February through mid-May 1997), and when at its peak brightness in late March and early April it should be quite a bit brighter than Hyakutake at its brightest. In addition, Hale-Bopp will not be as well placed in the night sky as was Hyakutake, and most likely its tail will not be as long as Hyakutake's was, although Hale-Bopp's tail should be brighter. All things considered, it's likely that Hale-Bopp will be the "better" of the two comets. (JG)

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THE MYTH OF THE PHOTON BELT
By James Gregory

The Photon Belt is reportedly a band of intense photon (light) energy that is on a collision course with Earth. When it gets here, things are predicted to change dramatically. There are reports of five days of darkness, no more electricity, mass UFO landings, photon energy conversion devices, psychic abilities for all humans, transformation of our human bodies, and much more. The Photon Belt has been predicted to arrive by the end of 1996.

The legend of the Photon Belt began with a satellite in 1961 detecting what came to be known as the Photon Belt encircling the Pleiades star cluster. Our Sun was said to orbit this system every 24,000 years, during which time we alternated between the dark and the light of the PHOTON BELT. It seems when our planet enters the light of the PHOTON BELT, all beings on Earth are be transformed. The Photon Belt is also supposed to be preceded by an electromagnetic null zone completely lacking in electromagnetic fields.

The Photon Belt was first mentioned in an article published in 1981 in the AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL UFO RESEARCH SOCIETY MAGAZINE. According to people at the research society, who are somewhat embarrassed to discuss the matter, the article was co-authored by a woman who intended to write sensational articles and a young university student.

There is no evidence of a satellite in 1961 carrying the instruments capable of detecting something like a Photon Belt around Pleiades. Nor have subsequent satellites and probes, with their more sophisticated instrumentation, ever detected anything of that nature. One would think that as a minimum, the null zone should have certainly shown up in sky surveys of cosmic microwaves carried on in recent years. This background radiation is remarkable because it is so evenly distributed over the entire sky. There are no gaps. The electromagnetic null zone does not exist.

The Pleiades is an open cluster of approximately 100 stars in the constellation of Taurus the Bull with an average age estimated at 78 million years. These are very young stars, much younger than our own Sun, which is estimated to be 5 billion years old. They have not yet moved away from the interstellar gas cloud, or nebula, from which they formed. Remnants of this nebula can readily be seen in photographs of the group. It has been suggested that this misty nebulosity, shining with the light of the stars within, is what has given rise to the myth of the Photon Belt.

Our Sun is not part of the Pleiades system and neither does it orbit the Pleiades. The Pleiades are approximately 408 light years from our solar system. A quick calculation shows that if our Sun were in this orbit, then its orbital velocity would have to be over 32,000 Km/sec. If this were true, this velocity would be apparent, as the constellations would change quite dramatically in the course of a single lifetime.

It is the conclusion of this reporter that the concept of the Photon Belt has absolutely no basis in fact. This mythology seems to be based on a heady mixture of pseudoscience, channeled messages from alleged space entities, biblical prophecy, ignorance, and a general disregard for the scientific method. (Source: Andy Lutts, The Photon Belt Web Page, http://www.salemctr.com/photon.html; NEXUS, Feb-Mar/91)

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WORLD WATCH:
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GLOBAL PARADIGM CHANGE
By James Phillip & Jane Murphy

In 1992, 1,600 scientists, including the majority of the living Nobel laureates, signed a Warning to Humanity declaring that "human beings and the natural world are on a collision course that may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the matter that we know." Humanity is confronted with the challenge of building a future together that is in harmony with the Earth's physical ecology, in harmony with others, and at peace with our souls. Where can we look for guidance in imagining a culture capable of integrating and balancing these three ecologies?

THE STATE OF THE WORLD FORUM is a global network of individuals from around the world who engage in a non-partisan assessment of the major developments shaping our future and seek solutions to the fundamental challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century. In preparation for a meeting held in San Francisco in October, the Forum commissioned Duane Elgin ("Voluntary Simplicity" (1981)) to prepare a report to explore a new, global paradigm. The result was a 23-page preliminary overview called "Global Paradigm Change: Is a Shift Underway?"

According to Elgin, there appears to be a general pattern-shift happening about which he is able to draw the following general conclusions:

-- A sizable majority of the world's people place a higher priority on a concern for the environment than economic growth, and say that they are willing to pay for that protection.

-- Over the last 25 years, a dozen industrialized nations have demonstrated a shift away from maximizing growth towards maximizing subjective well-being, gender equality, democratic participation, and reliance on personal authority.

-- In this cluster of a dozen nations, a spiritual shift is underway as people are turning from traditional religious institutions and seeking a new synthesis to balance an inner exploration of self-experience and meaningful connections to the outer world.

-- A majority of people on Earth seem to be aware that the human family would benefit from living sustainably, but at this point it is uncertain if this is actually being reflected in new ways of living. What is known is that in the U.S., 10 percent of the population are pioneering new ways of living.

-- A deep and profound revolution is occurring in our ability to communicate at a global level. In the next few decades, the communications revolution will enable the human family to achieve a "global brain" for the species.

No doubt Elgin was chosen to write this report because "Voluntary Simplicity" has become fashionable again. Individuals, and even whole classes, are realizing that they didn't need a third car, a second TV, and a high-flying lifestyle. But what about those who have not yet acquired their first working TV -- are they included in this report? People can sacrifice economic growth when they are not of the poorest populations whose pressing concern is economic survival.

Studies such as "Global Paradigm Change" which are based on opinion polls comparing conditions in developing and industrialized nations, though of interest in a general sense, are very often non-specific and tend to miss such things as ongoing class struggles and the effects of foreign policy and foreign aid. For example, it would be important to know in this report whether the polls consulted the poverty fringe and those outside the political and economic power base. And as for a "brain" to be truly "global," the communications technology has to include those historically underrepresented.

As this is a preliminary report, many more observations are required before its conclusions are useful as a comprehensive planning tool for the future.

[For more information on the STATE OF THE WORLD FORUM, see the article in NHNE NEWS BRIEF 16 or contact Coleen LeDrew at: cledrew@hooked.net or by writing Indicators Project, 125 Pine St., San Anselmo, CA 94960.]

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WEB WATCH:
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ECOMALL
http://www.ecomall.com

Touting themselves as "a place to help save the Earth," EcoMall has launched Internet's first green nationwide environmental database. The eco-database tracks 8,785 recycling centers, 13,434 health food stores and 13,541 parks in the U.S. Users simply type in the city and state they live in and are given the nearest resources (complete with name, address, phone number and interactive maps). Tom Kay, President of the EcoMall comments, "We believe that the eco-database is an example of the great potential and value of the Internet to educate and empower people on ways they can incorporate environmental awareness into their everyday life." (JG)

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NHNE STAFF:
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Deb Jamerson (DJ)
Mary Koch (MK)

NHNE Web Page Programming:
David Sunfellow

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