A Near Miss
On April 8th I saw Walter Bradbury, the managing director of Doubleday,
and my editor. He offered to write to the astronomers in Washingtonthough
I told him not to expect anything favorable for me in their response.
The same day he wrote this letter:
April 7, 1955
[read April 8, 1955]
Dr. Bernard F. Burke
Dr. Kenneth L. Franklin
Dept. of Terrestrial Magnetism
Dear Drs. Burke and Franklin:
We note the New York Times article of Wednesday, April 6 describing
your detection of radio waves from the planet Jupiter.
In this connection I would like to bring to your attention the following
In Jupiter and its moons we have a system not unlike the solar
family. The planet is cold, yet its gases are in motion. It appears
probable to me that it sends out radio noises like the sun and the stars.
I suggest that this be investigated.
This passage appears in the manuscript of a book entitled Earth
in Upheaval by Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky. This passage occurs in a
supplement to Dr. Velikovskys manuscript which comprises an address
given on the Princeton University campus, Forum of the Graduate Students
in October 1953. The manuscript including this passage has been in our
possession since last Spring and this particular paragraph was edited
in our offices in the summer of 1954 by Mrs. Kathryn Tebbel, our copyeditor.
I understand that it was surprising for an astronomer to find these
strong discharges on a planet. I would like to suggest that you might
be interested in discussing with Dr. Velikovsky the theory behind his
statement in the quoted passage. In any case I would appreciate your
reaction to the fact of Dr. Velikovskys prediction of what you
have subsequently discovered.
Walter I. Bradbury
The answer, signed by Bernard F. Burke and Kenneth L. Franklin, was written
on April 12, 1955, and in order not to return to this issue for a while,
I give already here the answer:
Mr. Walter I. Bradbury
Doubleday and Co., Inc.
575 Madison Avenue
New York 22, New York
Dear Mr. Bradbury:
Your letter of April 7, 1955, referring to our recent radio work has
In his previous work Dr. Velikovsky has shown a willingness to make
frequent speculations on the vaguest (and frequently incorrect) physical
grounds. It is not surprising that an occasional near miss should be
found in the large number of wild speculations that Dr. Velikovsky has
produced, but such a coincidence could never be regarded as a true prediction.
We do not feel anything would be gained from a meeting with Dr. Velikovsky.
Bernard F. Burke
Kenneth L. Franklin