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Maximum Strangeness & Danger During the Maunder Minimum

Updated on March 28, 2015
retrojoe profile image

MUFON UFO Journal author (March 1995, June 1996). Self published on UFO Window website from 1997 to 2002. Hubpages articles began late 2011.

This depicts a UFO in Robozero, Russia in August, 1663.  It was during the winding down of a worldwide UFO wave that is presented in this hub (which also relates detailed information about this sighting).
This depicts a UFO in Robozero, Russia in August, 1663. It was during the winding down of a worldwide UFO wave that is presented in this hub (which also relates detailed information about this sighting). | Source

Some of my earlier hubs have looked into what I am convinced is a connection between solar activity and both earthquakes and UFO sightings. Something similar to that notion (a connection between sunspots and earthquakes or earthquakes and UFOs) has been suggested by others in the literature before, but my reasoning may be a bit different than theirs. I believe that what may make large/damaging earthquakes more likely to happen may also make UFO sightings more likely due to cyclic influences that interact with the earth's magnetic fields with the output of the sun being one such influence.

In one of these hubs, I indicated that there appeared to be a definite correlation between heightened earthquake activity during the Maunder Minimum. For those not familiar with that time, the period was from approximately 1645 to 1715 and was the result of the sunspot cycle of our star, the sun, going into hibernation for a few decades. One result of this was that the weather on earth was effected so that winters were longer and summers shorter. Growing food was difficult for many years during this time and many countries were suffering from famine.

I have already found that there was a noteworthy rise (that appears to be significant) in damaging earthquakes during the Maunder Minimum. Now I look at the possibility that UFO sightings or, at the very least, high strangeness events were more likely during this time as well. In the graphic depiction below I have sorted high strangeness events (mostly from with 52%, that site presently unavailable due to its being hacked, but also with 31% (this last site now unavailable also), followed by with 12%, and finally with 5%) during a 209 year period which is centered on the year 1682 or two years after the center of the 71 year Maunder Minimum. It is joined by data for destructive earthquakes that were responsible for at least 800 deaths each (source: during the same period.

Progression of High Strangeness and Destructive Earthquake Activity during the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715) and for 66 years before and 70 years after.
Progression of High Strangeness and Destructive Earthquake Activity during the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715) and for 66 years before and 70 years after.

There are earthquake peaks before and after the Maunder minimum, but they don't produce the significant concentrations shown in the more substantial double peak within the Maunder Minimum, with the highest intensities during a 16.4 month period from 4/6/1667 to 8/17/1668 (in the first half of the Maunder Minimum period) when there were 5 quakes that caused at least 5,000 deaths each and totaling over 150,000 killed and a 9 month period from 10/20/1687 to 7/10/1688 (during the second half of the Maunder Minimum period) when there were 4 such quakes totaling 47,500 killed. These concentrations were unusual and one would have to wait till the year 1976, or about 300 years later, to see a similar pattern.

There is also a significant peak for high strangeness events after the Maunder Minimum period from 1743-1764, but they lack the high concentration of 6 events in a 3 year period of 1660-1662 which was during the first half of the Maunder Minimum. One thing that both the peaks within the Maunder Minimum and the ones 30-50 years after it have in common is that the significant earthquake peaks follow on the heels of significant sightings peaks. The second set of peaks also show that there was some overlap with the sightings winding down but still significant as earthquakes increased. There was greater contrast between earthquake and high strangeness events for their peaks within the Maunder Minimum period.

Due to details becoming spottier as one goes back centuries in time (since records end up being destroyed, having less educated people then, and because worldwide communications were so much more limited at the time), it is estimated that there were actually at least 8 times more worldwide quakes of this destructive power back then (with a minimum of 800 deaths per event) than what we have a record of. However, the most destructive quakes (ones with at least 5,000 deaths each) were more likely to have a record of them survive to the present. This also follows for the high strangeness cases as well (spotty too, but the stranger the case, the more likely for it to still be available in the historical literature). For the 209 year period studied, there were 100 high strangeness cases and 103 earthquake events. This equates to just under 1 event every other year. Although this may seem like a small number, it should be pointed out that during the years of highest concentration, the earthquake events and high strangeness cases reached levels of as high as 5 events per year (quakes) or 2 per year (high strangeness). Since for high strangeness this rises to the level of 4.2 times greater than average, a wave of the phenomena would be considered present at the 1660-1662 period of time (it was also 2.1 times greater than the average for the 1663-1665 period that followed those three years).

At this point I wish to present some of the high strangeness experiences from the peak years during the Maunder Minimum period. One such case was presented in a picture at the top of this hub (more information about that sighting to follow).

During the evening of October 17, 1660, in Shenly, Hertfordshire, England, five naked men were seen in the sky and appearing "exceeding bright and glorious" according to “Mirabilis Annus” (source: Chris Aubeck, Return to Magonia).

A case with a much longer description is from the same source as the last one (Chris Aubeck from the Magonia Group), also quoting “Mirabilis Annus Secundus” from the year after the event which occurred in October 1661 at River Seavern, near Bristol England:
"Several persons (to the number of 15 or 16) having been at a wedding, did after dinner walked abroad by the riverside, some of them walked upon the bank close by the water, others of them at a greater distance, but they all, as they have since reported, saw a cloud rise up out of the water, much resembling the kites flown by local boys. It rose higher and higher until it became a direct cloud in the proper region, and as they stood looking up and gazing upon it, they plainly saw the cloud open, and therein beheld the form and proportion of a tall black man, with a thin meager countenance, who seemed to move to and fro very swiftly, and then suddenly vanished. After this the cloud closed again and within a very little while they saw it open the second time, and then there appeared a man on horseback, who moved to and fro with great swiftness for a very short space of time, and soon disappeared, upon which the cloud immediately (as before) was shut up, but presently opening again the third time, there appeared the form of a very comely and beautiful lady, who after she had for a while moved backwards and forwards (as the other two had done before) suddenly vanished also, and then the whole cloud dispersed. None of the spectators are in the lest suspected to have any inclination to fanaticism therefore we doubt not but upon that account the relation will gain credit amongst those, who otherwise are too slow of hear to believe these things."

At noon on August 6, 1662 at High Tatras, Mt. Slavkovsky Stit, Slovakia, a luminous body smashed into and shattered the top of Slavkovski Hill. The UFO, which had come from the Polish side of the border, then was said to land in the village of Strba but quickly vanished from sight. This event, which was witnessed by many, was described in the Levoca town’s chronicles (source: Robert K. Lesniakiewicz).

The next strange event was witnessed by Russian farmer Levka Federov and others who saw a fiery object estimated at 40 meters in diameter, with beams that burnt nearby fishermen and produced loud sounds and blue smoke, left the scene of pandemonium that it created but then returned an hour later. Here is the verbatim report from the Saint Cyril monastery:

To His Highness the Archimandrite Nikita, to His Eminence the Starets Paul, to their Highnesses the Starets of St. Cyril Monastery, Most Venerable lords, salutations from your humble servant Ivachko Rievskoi.

"The farmer Levka Fedorov, from the village of Mys of Antusheva of your monastery estate Losy, has related to me the following facts: On this Saturday, the 15th day of August of the year 7171 (that is 7171 year of old style or 1663 of modem style; the new style date is also August 25th), the faithful from the district of Bieloziero, Robozero volost, had assembled in great number in the church of the village of Robozero, in the present holyday of Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

"While they were inside, a great sound arose in the heavens and numerous people came out of God's house to watch it from the square. There, Levka Fedorov, the farmer in question, was among them and witnessed what follows, which, for him, was a sign from God. At noon, a large ball of fire came down over Robozero, arriving from the clearest part of the cloudless heavens. It came from the direction whence winter comes, and it moved toward midday (south) along the lake passing over water surface. The ball of fire measured some 140 ft from one edge to the other and over the same distance, ahead of it, two ardent rays extended. The people seeing the terror of God gathered in the church and prayed to God and the Blessed Virgin, with tears and crying, and the big fire and two smaller ones disappeared.

"Less than an hour later, the people again came out to the square and the same fire suddenly reappeared over the same lake, from the same place where it first disappeared. It darted from the south to the west and must have been 1500 ft away when it disappeared. But it appeared, in a short while, back again, from that another place, moving this time to the west; the third time the same fireball appeared more terrific in width, and disappeared, having moved to the west, and it had been remaining over Robozero, over water, for an hour and a half. And the length of the lake is about 7000 ft, and the width is 3500 ft.

"As the fireball was coming over water, peasants who were in their boat on the lake followed it, and the fire burned them by the heat, not allowing them to get closer. The waters of the lake were illuminated to their greatest depth of 30 ft and the fish swam away to the shore, they all saw that. And where the fireball came, the water seemed to be covered with rust under the reddish light; it was then scattered by the wind and the water became clean again.

"And I, your humble servant, sent a message to the priests in Robozero district, exactly for this reason, and they responded to me with a letter confirming that they had such sign in that day. And you, most Venerable lords, would know about this. And this Robozero district is about 6 miles away from Antusheva village of your monastery estate Losa.

Reference for the above text is: Wonders in the Sky, by Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck, pp. 215-217, © 2009. Original reference: Arkheografischeskaia Kommissiia, Vol. 4 (covering years 1645-1676) (Saint Petersburg, 1842), 331-332. Courtesy of Thomas Bullard.

Less than four years after this last event, a worldwide destructive earthquake swarm occurred of five quakes causing at least 5,000 deaths each in a less than 1.5 year period. The three largest ones occurred within a 9 month window (from late 1667 through the middle of 1668) and killed a total of 140,000 people. Another disaster, the Great London Fire of 1666, of course occurred between these earthquakes and the high strangeness cases that were just presented. It reminds me of John Keel's book "The Mothman Prophesies" that related the strange appearances of the Mothman which mostly faded from the scene not long after the local bridge collapse (in Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1967; or 300 years later). The Mothman's first appearance was one month before that tragedy and it's repeated visitations leading up to it seemed to herald the event. One note of interest is that there were several sightings of a strange and tiny humanoid creature a few times during the year of 1665 in Lutzen, Germany, where it was said to have been living in a cellar.

This next high strangeness case is the last that I will be presenting here. It occurred during the day in May 1664 in a small village named Grenoble in the south of France. A devout, 17-year old shepherdess named Benoit Rencurel had just finished her rosary while she was looking over her sheep on a hillside when an elderly man in a red robe appeared. He presented himself as Saint Maurice and lead her to a spring of water that she was unaware of. He then instructed her to take her sheep and go to a small valley near St. Etienne where "a great grace would be granted her." The next day she did as she was instructed and at a spot called Les Fours she witnessed the first of several visions of a lady and child that occurred often during a two month period. When the girl asked who she was the lady replied: “I am Mary, the Mother of Jesus. It is the will of my son that I should be honored in this parish though not in this spot. You will therefore ask the priest to come here with his people in procession.” During some of the apparitions "delicious perfumes" or odors accompanied the phenomena. Ecclesiastical authorities who came to investigate accepted the subsequent claims of healings and miraculous cures of those who flocked to the site afterwards (Source: Marian Apparitions; Appearances of The Blessed Virgin Mary Our Lady of La Laus).

Interestingly St. Etienne, where the shepherdess witnessed the Virgin Mary, is only 30 miles from Mount Bugarach. That location, or the small village of Bugarach at its feet, was called "The place of strangers" in the mid-17th century because of the unusual people (cone heads?) from a far off land who immigrated there at the time. It is also where believers in end times for the end of this year are either flocking to or planning to do so before 12/21/2012 to be protected by the benevolent aliens that are said to occupy the cavernous interior of the mountain.

Some solar scientists are seriously suggesting that the next Grand Solar Minimum (to follow the last Grand Solar Maximum that we have been experiencing the past 80 years) could begin as early as the year 2020. Since the last Grand Solar Minimum effected the years 1620-1724 and strange events, including great earthquakes, occurred near the center of that period and extended 15 years before and after that, the next such period could be a 30 year period starting as early as 2060-2089. I don't expect to be around at that time but maybe some of you younger folks will. Oh, and I expect my hypothetical Planet-X to return to the inner solar system in around the year 2525 (if man is still alive...).

Progression of Worldwide High Strangeness Destructive Earthquake Activity during the period 1495-1864 (in 37 year increments) centered on the Maunder Minimum period (1645-1715).
Progression of Worldwide High Strangeness Destructive Earthquake Activity during the period 1495-1864 (in 37 year increments) centered on the Maunder Minimum period (1645-1715).

© 2012 Joseph Ritrovato


Submit a Comment

  • claudiafox profile image

    claudiafox 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    Hi there. Thanks for comment. Glad you got Galileo reference!

    I have sent a few ideas.

  • retrojoe profile image

    Joseph Ritrovato 6 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Guess you are comparing me to Galileo which I can dig except for the part about the church coming down on him and locking him away, unable to make and share any new discoveries till he got so old that he probably didn't care anymore. Fortunately we can now more freely make inquiries into life's mysteries without such interference, however there is the judgement from the almighty scientific hierarchy along with its skeptical servants that attack new ideas that don't fit the accepted paradigm that one has to contend with these days. As for your idea to participate in the March contest; I wasn't seriously considering participating, but I might go along with your plan. It kind of depends on what questions you had in mind (rarely do other peoples questions inspire me the way my own do). On the other hand, I recently came up with a question that I wouldn't mind someone else having a shot at a solution for. If you'd like to email me one of your questions I'll send you mine and we can see whether or not we both are in the game.

  • claudiafox profile image

    claudiafox 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    Rational enquiry into mystery, can lead to science.

    Galileo Galilei looked at Jupiter, night after night. He found found something strange. I believe the Church fathers locked him in his house for many years to stop the strangeness spreading. So collection of data about anomalies; strange things, leads to discovery. So look forward to more on your HS Index.

    On another note as we both like nerdy things, how about we team up to ask really hard Hub questions; then, we can each answer each other's questions with a Hub, for the March contest.

    We can start asking the questions now, and then publish the hub-answers successively throughout March. If others answer the hard questions, then that's good, too.

  • retrojoe profile image

    Joseph Ritrovato 6 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Thanks again for your comments claudiafox. Just want to point out that "high strangeness" is used to categorize sightings that rise above the normal, just lights in the sky segment (something like only looking at 6.7 magnitude earthquakes or higher and concentrating more on those instead of the more numerous and less significant quakes below that level). It isn't a term used in an attempt at or substitute for explaining the phenomena however. At least not directly. In other words, if someone asks what caused a highly strange sighting, I'm not going to say "well, it was highly strange, so there is no real explanation that we can give except to say that it was like magic.." "Highly strange" is just a descriptive term used to separate something highly unusual from the norm. Since it is highly unusual one wouldn't expect it to have a typical cause and thus it is more likely to be a legitimate something other than one we could pin a conventional explanation to. By separating these more distinctive sightings from the rest and concentrating only on them, we may find common factors between them that may clue the researcher into what the source of the phenomena actually was. However, even if a definite answer could be arrived at as to what caused the highly strange phenomena, it wouldn't become scientific until scientists embraced the findings; which I don't expect they would do (except for possibly theoretical physicists). Once more, thanks and I'm glad that you are enjoying my hubs!

  • claudiafox profile image

    claudiafox 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    High strangeness. I like the concept. Like "magic", an effect, with no explanation.

    Once we get an explanation, I guess its just plain old science.

    Until then, the high strangeness index works for me. Look forward to more from you on this HS Index.

  • retrojoe profile image

    Joseph Ritrovato 6 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Thanks for your comment claudiafox. I am not sure I explained myself sufficiently in regards to my theory. What I believe triggers earthquakes and UFO waves is the extreme variation from what is normal. In other words, most of the time there are sunspots, but when there are none (or almost none) or when the sun is extremely active or blasting out a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), then we have a trigger mechanism for either earthquakes or high strangeness cases. It may be easier to correlate earthquakes with CME than sunspot minimum since the focus is narrower for the former and if they trigger something it is likely to be less vague as to when the quake will strike (whereas with solar minimum it just means more destructive quakes within a 1-3 year period).

  • claudiafox profile image

    claudiafox 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    Hi RetroJoe - Love your "Strangeness Index".

    Also your theory "UFO sightings more likely due to cyclic influences that interact with the earth's magnetic fields with the output of the sun being one such influence".

    In this case it seems the UFO slides along the magnetic field at the time of the CME......?@!. Nice thought! This theory suggests more UFO sightings at the time of Auroras