July 21, 1954

On July 21st, 1954 our meeting again took place in Einstein’s study, and lasted for three hours, from 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm. When in our conversation I reminded him that in 1946 he had agreed that the causes of the global catastrophes were extraterrestrial, he answered:

“I was too rash to agree.”

I replied, “Do you rely on your memory more than on your judgment?”—implying that he agreed when my material was fresh before him, and disagreed when he hardly could remember much of it.

Einstein still found attractive Hapgood’s theory that ice covers growing asymmetrically caused the Earth’s crust to slide. He wished to explain the catastrophes as the result of forces in the Earth itself. I asked how asymmetries of a few degrees could bring the ice covers to latitudes of 45 degrees where the crust would be the most liable to disbalancing. I also pointed out that his rejection of the theory of isostasy, which claims that mountain ranges rest on deep subterranean structures, undermines Hapgood’s position about the sliding of the Earth’s crust.

The conversation turned to my claim of the participation of electromagnetic forces in celestial mechanics. I said, “All the sciences—neurology, physiology, physics, and chemistry—recognize the overwhelming role of electromagnetic forces; only astronomy lives in an age before kerosene, in the age of candles.” Einstein agreed with the thought I had expressed in my letter to him that it is my introduction of electromagnetic forces into celestial mechanics that caused the vehement opposition of the scientists. I explained to him that these matters are not discussed in Worlds in Collision, and read him a sentence from the Epilogue of that book:

The accepted celestial mechanics, notwithstanding the many calculations that have been carried out to many decimal places, or verified by celestial motions, stands only if the sun, the source of light, warmth, and other radiation produced by fusion and fission of atoms, is as a whole an electrically neutral body, and also if the planets, in their usual orbits, are neutral bodies.