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Auroras at the Tree-Tops!

Low-Level Auroras, Low-Altitude Auroras, Surface Auroras, Ground-Level Auroras...

Observations by Ordinary People, versus Scientific Theory

Open Questions and Discussion, by James DeMeo, Ph.D.
Director, Orgone Biophysical Research Lab Ashland, Oregon, USA

"Aurora is a living creature,
and when we blow a whistle,
they will come near to us out of curiosity."

Eskimo Myth

Classical physics says aurora phenomenon originate at heights from 60 to 400 km, and don't go lower than this because the atmosphere is too dense to allow for ionization. Aurora, from this perspective, requires a partial vacuum containing only rarified, ionizable gases which are excited by the solar wind, causing the air to glow. The different colors of the aurora are thereby described as a function of the kind of gas predominating (nitrogen, helium, hydrogen, etc.) at a given high altitude.   The living and organic quality of aurora movements are basically ignored from this perspective, which assumes empty space and a dead universe.

An atmosphere similar to what exists within the troposphere (where clouds and weather exist) or even in the lower stratosphere is simply to weak of a vacuum, and too filled with ordinary atmospheric gasses to allow ionization to occur.  Therefore, orthodox science claims all observations of aurora at lower levels are but optical illusions, or otherwise faulty.   And from this, there is dismissive treatment of the many credible reports of audible sounds from the aurora, especially those reports which claim the coordinated movement of aurora with audible sounds.  These are "impossible" according to most classical theorists, given the problems with the slow speed of sound through the atmosphere.

Classical aurora theory demands that aurora phenomenon occur only at altitudes many times higher up than even a high-flying jet aircraft.  We know the roar of multiple jet engines from a passing high-altitude jet will arrive at the earth's surface only many tens of seconds after the jet has passed overhead, the sound propagating downward at a speed of approximately 1000 km per hour, depending upon atmospheric density.   If auroral sounds were really transmitted from 100 km altitude, it would require at least six minutes for the sound to propagate downward, and this would only be possible if the aurora were exceedingly loud (louder than a jet aircraft), and in any case, most all of the audible frequencies would be dissipated long before they arrived.  And, there could be no possibility of coordinated observations of auroral movement and auroral sounds.

Some efforts are being made to explain (and in some cases, to "explain away") aurora sounds as due to some kind of electrical or electromagnetic phenomenon, which people pick up in their skull bones, or in the metal fillings in their teeth, or in their eye-glass frames.  This approach has not been too successful in convincing anyone, especially the people who report the audible hearing of aurora, and doubly-so for those who have observed the aurora moving "at tree-top level". The phenomena of audible auroras is a rare phenomenon, so if it were merely caused by electrical or electromagnetic transmissions from a high altitude, one would expect a lot more people to report hearing them -- but that's not the case. Audible tree-top auroras are something a person living in Alaska or Canada might witness only several times over a decade or even a lifetime, and this problem confounds the efforts of those who would forever banish the auroras to the edge of space.

I can relate my own direct observation on this issue, made during a jet-flight to Europe in the 1990s, via the polar route from San Francisco over Canada at around 10,000 meters elevation. It was during wintertime at night, when all was fully dark outside. I observed out the window what initially appeared to be a solid line of thunderstorms with intermittent rain coming down to the ground. Upon consideration, however, I realized these were too gigantic to be thunderstorms, which would in any case not be easily visible during the dark night. In fact I was viewing a streaming portion of the gently-glowing aurora from the side, and from a great distance away. The part I confused with the "thunderstorm line" was the main body of the aurora. However, the "rain" was in fact portions of the aurora which clearly reached down to the ground level, though in a broken manner. Unfortunately at the time I had no camera to record it. This is part of what got me questioning the conventional theories.

The observations audible tree-top aurora, correlated with its very organic, life-like movements are highly suggestive of basic life-energetic processes as originally described by Wilhelm Reich in the 1950s (ref: Cosmic Superimposition). Such movement and activity of the aurora seem to excite ordinary people much moreso than today's crop of "unnatural" scientists, who spend more time in front of computer screens pouring over their data, than outdoors, directly observing living nature, from which their data are but only a tiny slice of reality. From this perspective, the glowing streaming currents of the aurora can be considered a primary expression of the Earth's life-energy system, in a manner analogous to the life energy which flows through the human body along acupuncture meridians, and forms an energy field which can be measured and even photographed through various methods.

There are other phenomenon which could be classified in a similar manner, notably anomalous lights which occur shortly before, during and after large earthquakes, and anomalous bluish glows observed in forested regions in daytime. There also are experiments from the work of Reich, where vacuum tubes containing almost no ionizable gasses, being evacuated well below the level necessary for ionization, will show aurora-like soft blue coloration after being charged up inside his orgone energy accumulators. We have several of these tubes at our laboratory in rural Oregon, and they emit a soft blue-grey glow simply after being stroked with the hand, without electrical excitation. Most all of these kinds of observable phenomenon have been routinely dismissed by all but a handful of scientific people, but they have been observed for generations by ordinary people. We will try to post several photos of these other phenomenon to this web page in the near future.

In a way, the "theoretical necessity" to reject audible auroras moving at close to the ground level parallels the prior rejection of meteorites by the scientific community, which steadfastly refused to believe that rocks could fall from the sky.    The rocks fell, however, and the aurora does occasionally come down to the trees, even if only on rare occasions, and then apparently only for those whom the life-force chooses. Some specific examples are given below.

Scientist observes and describes loud, ground-level aurora:
"In March 1897, I was making a trip over the portage from Behring Sea to Anvik, on the Yukon River.  By getting an early start on the last day we could reach Anvik before dark, so we got on the way about three o'clock in the morning.  We noticed an arc form of auroral glow on the northern horizon, which seemed very quiet.  Before long the shafts of color began to shoot from it toward the zenith, and in a few minutes the entire heavens were aglow with soft, golden, iridescent lights, so bright that they cast a deep shadow under the dogs and sled as we traveled along.  The stratum of rarefied atmosphere producing this display, evidently was very low, for it settled down over us until the natural horizon was obscured; in fact it created its own horizon.  The activities appeared to be just above the tree-tops.  The intermingling and rapid shifting of the golden waves and shafts were easily distinguished.  The crackling, swishing sound of the sparks seemed to be immediately around us, which was very distinct and so all-pervading as to have no location of direction.  The intensity of the display lasted for about half an hour, and then gradually faded away into higher altitudes.  This was the most unusual display witnessed during several years of northern experience.
        These low displays and crackling sound of the Aurora are questioned by the advocates of most all theories, as these features cannot be reconciled with them.  However, they are absolute facts as could be evidence by every person who has spent a winter in the north."

From: Polar Electric Theory of the Aurora Borealis-Australis and Terrestrial Magnetism, by N. V. Hendricks, Adrian, Michigan, 1945. (A photocopy of this book is available.)

Here's a Site FILLED with ear-witness hearings of audible auroras,
and eye-witness notes that generally confirm, the brighter the aurora and the closer it appears to the ground, the louder the sounds!:
"Conditions necessary to hear auroral sounds: It is not clear which conditions should be satisfied for the auroral sounds to be heard. However, most of the observations indicate that sounds are heard during periods lasting a few minutes or more during which a powerful display of the aurora can be seen right above the head. ..."
"They seemed very close to use, just above the tree tops. " Ken Lamprecht, Isle Royale Nat'l Park
"...Extremely bright white with a pale blue tint. It was so close to me, I thought I could reach up and touch them. .." Kim Urr, Fairbanks, Alaska
"...the sound became evident as the lights seemed to move closer to the ground..." Steven H. Rice, Anchorage, Alaska

Infrasound, By John D. Cody
    "  ... The aurora borealis is heard to "swish, crackle, sizzle, and...thunder". Quantitative analysts "cannot understand" how these sounds can be "heard" but not recorded. It is obvious that certain auroral sounds stimulate physiological responses which will never register in biologically unmodified electronic systems. Though debates continue when referring to higher auroral tones, the "thunder" of the aurora stimulates aerial infrasounds which can be measured.
    Low level auroras have been actually seen and felt. The sounds and odors associated with this rare phenomenon are unmistakable. In one instance a chemist was fortunate enough to have lived, after witnessing the effect of auroral grounding throughout his laboratory. The incredible luminescence produced in several platinocyanides, electro-phosphorescent chemicals, were duly noted and reported. Another such incident involved the grounding of the aurora into an elevated radio tower. The radio engineer suddenly heard a crackling sound "from everywhere", was unable to transmit any signal power, felt completely electrified, smelled ozone everywhere, and heard the "crackling" sound. Numerous witnesses who saw the event, describing the colored column of light which suffused the tower, feared he might have been killed by its power.
    The auroral high pitched sizzling sounds are augmented by deep and ominous thrumming. These deep tones sweep through the bodies of listeners who are fortunate enough to survive the dangerous encounter. These permeations produce an irritability and a dizzying nausea. These sounds were always equated with evil by the Eskimo. Their legends of the aurora are always fear-filled. The trademark of anxiety and dread highly characteristic of infrasonic influence, their tales also recount the "taking" of souls by the "ground walking" aurora. English observers reported that the aurora actually "swept along the ground" like a column descending from the sky. It took a multicolored appearance all along its meandering path. ..."

The Ghostly Green Light. (what causes the northern lights) ANN ZWINGER.
"...As long as records of the northern lights have been kept, observers have reported a wide variety
of noises--from crackling and popping to swishing and whistling. Upon hearing any of these,
one may engage the aurora in conversation if one knows the proper technique. One Eskimo
myth claims that if you are out alone at night and hear the northern lights whistle, they will
come closer, possibly out of curiosity, if you whistle back.
    Akasofu disagrees; if there is sound, about which he is dubious, it would be of a frequency too
low for the human ear to hear. And the German geographer Alexander von Humboldt noted
more than a century ago that the "northern lights appear to have become less noisy since their
occurrences have been more accurately recorded."   " Audubon, Jan 1999 v101 i1 p22(1)

Eyewitness Report of "earthquake lights" appearing similar to "ground-level aurora":
John Perry Barlow
Sunday, June 28, 1992
    "...But the most singular phenomenon was the lights. The house is somewhat on the slopes of Mount Hollywood. (The one with the Sign.) To the south one could see a lot of LA bathed in large, spreading patches of softly throbbing lights. They were diffuse and a sick green in color. They looked a lot like ground level Aurora Borealis. Which, I conclude, Is pretty close to what they must have been.
    At first I thought they might be coming from downed power lines and exploding transformers, but there was no arc flash. They had the same soft and decay that I've observed in the Northern Lights which can be seen in the high mountains of Wyoming quite frequently in the fall and spring.
    My best guess is that there is some kind of piezoelectric energy release which causes phosphorescence in the atmosphere's own natural neon. But why have I never heard of this effect before? (It wasn't just my hallucination either. I have since talked to a number of people who saw them, though there was no mention made of them by any of the media.)
 The quake went on for an amazingly long time...about 45 seconds...but I never felt motivated to grab my kids and make a run for the lawn. Nor did it ever get strong enough to wake them  back up. If I was frightened it was more on account of the of the lights, which really did have some ominous End of the World quality to them. LA in the Latter Days. ..."

A Very Interesting Report...
June 10, 1982. Near Sturgis, Michigan. About 3:00 A.M., two young women were driving in a semi-rural area. Fog made visibility poor. It began to rain -- a brown jelly-like slime that smeared the windshield. A rotten-egg odor pervaded the area. The car engine stopped, and the two began to walk to find assistance. After 50 yards, they encountered millions of small rays of "lightning" flashing everywhere. They were 2-3 feet long and reached high into the sky. Looking back toward the car, they saw a reddish fluorescent glow with streams of light coming down from the sky to the glowing region. Grass and weeds along the roadside were standing straight up and glowing. Deep-red lines of light were seen dancing on the road. They returned to the car, and it felt hot to the touch! Soon, clouds moved in and the display was over.
The authors of this article personally investigated this event within a few days of its occurrence. They found the two witnesses obviously very shaken, but believe that the accounts are fresh and unadulterated.
Also pertinent is the fact that a large solar flare had just occurred, and intense auroral displays had been predicted. Also, the two women were apparently the only witnesses of this phenomenon.
(Swords, Michael D., and Curtis, Edward G.; "Atmospheric Light Show," Pursuit, 16:116, 1983.)

On Eskimo Mythology:
"Aurora is a living creature, and when we blow a whistle, they will come near to us out of curiosity."

The University of Troms in Norway site, containing illustrations from 16th and 19th century art of
folklore from Europe and the New World on Northern Lights.

New Scientist article "Sizzling Skies" making a good try at classical explanations for aurora sounds.

Are Auroral Sounds A Real Physical Effect?
Colin Keay, University of Newcastle
"...auroral sounds... only occur during extremely intense auroral displays, when, according to Olsen (Pure & Applied Geophysics vol 84, 1971) abnormally high electric fields have been measured..."

Discussion on electronic methods to record aurora sounds
(EM signals from aurora in the sferics frequencies of 300 Hz to 10KHz, not audible sounds):

Some Standard Aurora Sites:

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