Planet X is back in the news everyone, or at least, is trying to be:

Planet X, or Tyche

Now that you've read that, let's do a little remembering, because this article is a case study on how modern science - and the reporting of it - is not working. First, we note the reference to the Oort cloud, one of "orthodox astronomy''s" many dogmas. This is supposedly a cloud of space debris and space junk floating out beyond the orbit of Pluto, that accounts for the orbits of comets and their wildly eccentric orbits. According to this theory, the gravitational field of "passing stars" kicks this debris into the wild orbits that comets are seen to have. Now enter planet Tyche, a planet supposedly four times the size of Jupiter, that is responsible for kicking a bunch of this debris into orbits where statistical analysis can trace them back. Once this is done, so the idea runs, one ends up with a particular region and a very strong gravitational field of a super-large planet way out there kicking new comets into orbit.

Whether there is or is not an Oort cloud doesn't interest me. What interests me here it that the alternative explanation - Dr. Tom Van Flandern's revival of the nineteenth century Exploded PLanet Hypothesis - is not even mentioned in the article as the alternative explanation for the origin of comets. And this reflects the impasse to which science, and science journalism, has come.

I can only envision two scenarios here, as to why Dr. Van Flandern's work was not even mentioned. The first is that the "journalists" here simply were lazy in their research. They went on line, searched a few places to follow up on the story, found the contacts, and did a quick phone or email interview with them, and that was that. The second scenario ties into the first, and that is, that when the interviewed scientists were asked about the hypothesized planet Tyche and the whole Oort Cloud, they simply did not mention that there were any alternatives at all.

The loser in this whole exchange? The public, who would never even know, from reading this article, that there are scientists who not only question the existence of Planet X, but also scientists who question the whole hypothetical foundation upon which some scientists posited the existence of Planet X, namely, the Oort cloud!

It is symptomatic of a wider problem, especially in the physics community. One hears over and over of the favorite dogmas, the idolization of Einstein, the promotion of string theory, and so on, but never hears of the alternative views (and there are alternatives to string theory); there are even respected scientists who have questioned the whole Einstein edifice...but when is the last time you heard of Herbet Ives of Bell Laboratories? On and on we could go. For science to work again, and for people to become genuinely interested in it again, I submit it must start acting less and less like a religion, a kind of secular version of churchianity, and more like what it claims to be: an inquiry into truth, a revealing of God's handbook, nature, and an honest inquiry into truth. Not all ideas or hypotheses are of equal merit, but it is time for a Protestant Reformation in the hallowed halls of the scientific magisterium and its priesthoods and solemn orders.  It's time to allow people to know the major alternatives and to form their own conclusions.

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Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".


  1. marcos anthony toledo on February 25, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    The exploded planet theory was brought up in a issue of Science 80s magazine that read in the liberary when I lived in New York the planet was suposely four times the size of Earth and was a water world it suposely exploded four million years ago. We mustn’t leave out Imanuel Veliskosky and his theory of Venus which prove to right years before the scientist prove the truth of his theory. And we mustn’t leave Deloys ape when CNN had it’s science and technology program they reported the find of a five million fossial that match with the photo of the afore mentioned creature but the dumb reporters didn’t connect the dots. So here more egg in the face of the scientsts face as for Tyche if it found to exist another feather in Sitchen cap and more embrassement for the scientist by the way the Venus story was in a December 2003 issue of NEXUS.

  2. Archytype on February 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I have followed this Planet X hypothesis for 4 years or so now.
    Another alternative hypothesis that helps explain a number of things which orthodox astronomy does does not do very well at is the Binary System.

    Our Solar System may well have a Binary partner to our Sun. Although no one has identified a suitable candidate as yet.

    The Binary Companion Theory to my mind is very plausible…; and explains the purtubations in the so-called Oort Cloud and the fact that so many comets originate from a particular portion of the sky.

  3. Gary Hunter on February 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    And perhaps “our” moon was “its” moon?

  4. Vince DeWald on February 18, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Off of the subject of this blog post. Have you heard the comment of Zahi Hawass that he made right before the time that he became the cabinet minister? He said that the looters of the museum were looking for red mercury. It was in many newspapers. Google it and you will find it. Im just wondering if your viewpoint on the matter regarding what Zahi said about the red mercury and why he would mention such a thing. This I first read in the wall street journal and Im sure you could still find it there if you search for it. Thanks Doc.

  5. Paul on February 18, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Dr. Farrell, I wonder if you might be giving “journalists” a little too much credit here.

  6. Bill on February 18, 2011 at 6:00 am

    This whole Tyche affair is just a rehashing of that “Nemesis” hypothesis back in the 1980s when some were thinking there was a 26 million year periodicity pattern for mass extinction events on the earth whereby comets were getting the blame for the causal agency! What these mostly young just-out-of-college science journalists are likely not very much aware of, Dr. Tom van Flandern, as former chief of the celestial mechanics branch at the US Naval Observatory, was an acredited expert in celestial mechanics, so he’s not just grasping at straws when he, through very thorough and methodological work, finds testable and VERIFIABLE evidence of explosion signatures for the orbits of comets and asteroids, along with other lines of testable and VERIFIABLE evidence that the chemical makeup of comets and asteroids indicate that they are the remnants of a water-bearing rocky world that EXPLODED sometime in relatively recent solar system history. It seems the majority of the scientific establishment is still so full of “ROID RAGE” over van Flandern’s and Ovenden’s work!

    • Gary Hunter on February 18, 2011 at 10:57 pm

      As I understand it, the real “meat” of the late Dr. Van Flandern’s work was his mathematical methodology using the very precisely known math of gravitation to play the record backwards, so to speak, to trace the origins of the trajectories of comets and asteroids. Apparently they all seem to converge in an area of conjectural impact of planetary bodies. This would at least superficially support Sitchin’s reading of the Sumerian clay cylinders and their tale of planetary collision. Agreed, Bill, the really high quality research seems to be buried under quasi-tabloid contemporary science. To me, one of the most significant curveballs that Einstein and some of his contemporaries were unwittingly thrown, was the redactment of Maxwell’s original quaternion based field theory. Bearden goes into this quite a bit, but the significance to the theories and conclusions of scientists who incorporated the simpler but less accurate redacted equations cannot be overstated. The impact and effect of a real but non-material (a)ether, changes EVERYTHING. We must continue to question everything we think we know as a result. One of the things that raised immediate questions in my mind were fly-by pics of asteroids that had multiple craters with smooth interceding areas resembling sections of a planetary surface. Any significant impact to an asteroid sized object would shatter it or send it ouside local solar orbit. Could the majority of our comets be the remnants of Mars’ ocean? It sure would be nice to hear Tom’s perspective.

      • Jon Norris on February 18, 2011 at 11:23 pm

        Or maybe Einstein WAS the curve ball! Given his plagiarism of others, his refusal to cite references (it was beneath him), and the way in which the establishment PR shot him to worldwide prominence despite other, far better scientists publishing better work (Whittaker, for example), perhaps he was just a shill.

        Had Whittaker’s work been followed with as much fervor as Einstein’s, we would be living in a far different world today.

        • Joseph P. Farrell on February 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

          I wholeheartedly agree….someday I want to do a history of hidden physics… will be expensive to research, but it is time.

          • Bruce on February 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm

            Now THAT’s a history worth paying for!!!!!

      • Bill on February 19, 2011 at 6:02 am

        The hypothesis I’ve been mulling over lately suggests to me that comets as well as asteroids are remnants of the planet that suffered a planetary explosion event and Mars, as its possible moon, got clobbered and flooded catastrophically. My speculation is that the exploded planet was something of a “second earth,” meaning it was largely about the same size and mass as the earth or Venus. A civilization might once have thrived there. If it were a so-called “super-earth” with a mass several times greater than our earth’s, its higher gravity would likely include a dense and massive atmosphere which would probable preclude the likelyhood of civilization or life on its surface, or at least life that makes human lifeways possible. I do remember, however, reading a report somewhere that the chemistry of the comet Hale-Bopp included salt water, which can only form in an ocean!

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