VII. Ice Age Theory


In later years, out of the quixotic zeitgeist of the 60s ground zero culture, Owsley would often play down his role as an alchemist, one who transforms the base materials into the gold of the soul. But he did, he was that archetype, and although the planetary intelligence no longer needed him to repeat the same role, he still had an intimate connection with it, an inner resonance with higher consciousness shaped by his acid years.

In January, 1982 Owsley was back in San Francisco, temporarily sharing a house with Paul Kanter from Jefferson Starship and his partner at the time, Cynthia Bowman. “I had an infant [Alex] that I was breast-feeding,” Bowman told the Clevland Examiner. “My mother was visiting from Cleveland to help out at the same time. Owsley suggested that he, or any man, could breast-feed a baby. He told my mother that he would be happy to demonstrate. She grabbed Alex and RAN to another wing of the house, mumbling that he was ‘out of his mind.’ Little did she know!”

Around March 21st, on the Spring Equinox, Owsley and some friends consumed a ritual high dose of LSD to attune to the planetary energies and grok the vibe. For up to three weeks after, Owsley was to have a recurring, lucid dream–some would say a transmission–that would shape the remainder of his life. As he told John Swan when he visited Kesey’s Pleasant Hill, Oregon farm in late June, 1990 (a ten part video of which is on YouTube), it was “one of the most intense trips I’ve ever had.” It was all about the planet and it’s cycles, and it directly involved what would later be called ‘global warming’ and its part in forming ice ages.

Owsley describes his ice age theory and the principles he discovered behind it on his website and in fragmented talks and chats that all helped fuel the public image of him in his later years as a slightly whacked out acid crank–or genius, or both. Taken out of context or without full appreciation for the true facts, Owsley’s ideas would come to rest in what the political correct would term ‘climate denial’. They are, however, nothing of the sort: in fact, they aim to understand and contextualize what is going on in our larger planetary and galactic cycles. The transcript that follows is thus the most thorough delineation of Owsley’s ice age theory in his own words. It fits with his earlier ideas about psychedelics as planetary activators and thus builds upon his consciousness raising endeavors to see that flowering in light of the larger cycles of nature.

And as he told the crowd at EGA in late 2009, Owsley felt it was more than a dream–it was a message, and one that he was in the service of delivering. “I’ll tell you a story… I tell everybody–I’m obliged to. The message came to me–I didn’t ask for it. For three weeks it came to me and it drove me nuts. Drove me nuts. I thought, holy shit this is an amazing thing.”

This is Owsley’s last great contribution to those who have the ears to hear, and the eyes to see: a map and at times a compass for the days ahead. For as Owsley says: “The idea is to try be more prepared each year, more prepared.”

How this message resonates, and what you do with it, just like the acid, is up to you.



23 June 1990

JOHN SWAN, interviewer

KESEY: Tell us the story of the ice age, Owsley...

OWSLEY: Well, we’re living in the midst of a cycle, it’s got a real long period to it, like thousands of human lifetimes, 115,000 a cycle. So the only traces we have of this are in our myths. Every group of man on the planet has deluge myths ...

We’ve been on this planet for millions of years, which means every one of us has ancestors that have survived this particular phenomenon. Every one of us, so that all of the stories that are handed down from generation to generation concern the different things that people have experienced. And until the invention of writing it was perfect, because people memorized. They memorized and memorized it perfectly.

In my case it was kind of interesting because I just had a dream. And the dream reocurred over and over again for maybe three or four weeks, I dunno exactly when it stopped–I didn’t realize it had stopped for a while … But I never had any repeating dreams that I can think of. I mean, when you’re a kid you sort of have categorical type of nightmares that are sort of similar and have the same motif, but they’re different.

But this was the exact same thing, like watching TV or something, getting a 60-second spot or commercial. It was like watching the planet from outer space. I was on a satellite watching the planet. And the northern part of the planet was all wrapped up in cloud. And I knew that the rains were moving really fast at sea level, although you could hardly see it moving. I just knew that. And I knew that near the north pole there was a place that was both hot and cold. I knew that was the center of it.

And at the same time I knew that it had something to do with the deluge, and that it was involved with the ice age. That was all. I knew that, without experiencing any voices telling me or anything else. It was just sorta like you look at an apple and you know it’s a red, ripe apple–you just know that when you look at it, as if you had seen it before, but I had never seen it before but I knew those things about it.

I didn’t think too much about it the first time I had the dream, it was after, y’know, taking a little equinox acid trip with some friends, nothing unusual, maybe 300 mcgs, it felt good. It didn’t get weird, nothing got weird, we hung out and raved about different things. The sky started getting heavy and I thought, maybe the ice age is coming, I’d read some stuff in papers and …

[Now an ice age] … has happened eighteen times or so–it’s hard to tell because each succeeding glaciation wipes out traces of the one before. The only thing that they’ve got a lot of data on was the last one. The glaciers reached their peak about 18,000 years ago, more or less, and after that they rapidly melted away. We’ve experienced about 11,000 years of relatively warm, constant weather like we’re having now … In recent history for the last 10,000 years, man has lived on a planet that has a temperate climate. The only ice is at the poles; in the winter it snows and in the summer it melts away. But for most of the last 115,000 years the northern part of the planet has experienced these huge glaciers that are up to 4,000 meters thick and weigh millions of tons.

[Now] the glaciers are melting off, the seas are melting, the planet is becoming… well actually, it’s not really becoming warmer, that’s the thing. All these people talk about Greenhouse Effect, and yet they’re finding that the planet hasn’t altered hardly at all. [Note: this conversation was in June, 1990 and the exponential effect of global warming, climate change and the body of scientific evidence around it has both increased–and been politicized–in the two decades since Owsley made these statements.]

It isn’t that the planet’s getting warmer–it’s just that something is about to happen. We’re close, we’re very close. In fact, we’re in the process, we’re already deep within the process of this thing happening.

…What I dreamed about was this image that I saw. In addition to that I started having dreams with this other stuff, like about ancient Egypt, all kinds of things. And after the second of third recurrence of the dream I thought this is really unusual, what does this mean? [So] I started trying to figure it out. And I figured that if the dream is about something that is real, than it has to occur in the ordinary world, it can’t be part of the dreamworld, it has to be the real world. In the real world there’s certain laws, like you drop something, it falls. If you put water on a fire it boils at the same temperature every day. There’s rules which we call rules of nature or rules of physics which are just the rules by which everything fits together. So I figured nothing on this world can work that violates any those laws, so if there is something like this I’m watching then there must be a real physical principle involved. Perhaps one that hasn’t been discovered.

[Previous cultures may have known this]. The Hopi are people that live closest to … what’s called the ‘Meeting of the Ways’. People migrated back into this hemisphere when the glaciers started to melt off about 11,000 years ago. Right at the end of the last glacial period people migrated across the Darien Straight and when they got to the middle of North America they split off; some of them went to the east, some of them went to the west, some of them went on down to the fartherest tip of Patagonia. And the Hopi lived at the crossroads. And a lot of their myths and things talk about this, a lot of their stories and whatnot are all about this migration. So in that way they’re integrated with this ice age cycle...

[Anyway] I just really plugged into something that I think was happening in 1982. And so I got all this stuff ... It stopped when that Mexican volcano went off [El Chichon in the Chiapas, April, 1982] … I think the Mexican volcano altered the time cycle on this thing. That perhaps it was going to happen that year but the volcano throwing all that sulphuric acid in the stratosphere slowed it all down. So it didn’t happen that year.

It’s sort like you can get a fire, you can start a fire with kindling and paper and all this stuff, and get the match on it and in almost no time at all you’ve got a huge conflagration. But if about half way up you throw a bucket of water on it, it might smoulder for days before it finally catches. It would build its intensity much more gradually. I think that that might be what happened. That’s why the dreams stopped. They’ve not recurred.

[Now as for the science, it starts like this:] Physics is how a cyclonic storm works … Tornadoes are small, a small, intensity storm. Thunderstorms have these kind of structures inside of them anyway, they’re full of these little cyclones. A hurricane is a larger one, it can be several hundred miles in diameter; it occurs in the tropics where there’s a lot of heat in the water.

And the storm that I dreamt about is half the planet big. It’s huge. And the core of it, the central part, is in the Arctic circle near Greenland. And it occurs up there because of heat in the water that’s flowing into the Arctic Ocean during the early part of winter. The Arctic Ocean has been exposed to sun 24 hours a day during summer and it heats up, the ice moves back and the ocean water warms up, and as it warms up it expands and moves out to the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. It turns out that these inlets are very shallow, they're not very big, so there’s an appreciable and measurable current that flows outwards. In winter time when the pole turns away from the sun, the same exposed water now radiates heat away and it starts to contract, it cools. And when it does it draws water in from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Which because the inlets are shallow, is the warmest water from the top of the ocean.

And inside the inlet called Baffin Bay is an area where the ocean currents force this warm water to agitate enough so it doesn’t freeze. There’s an unfrozen area which is very warm. The air might be 40 or 50 below zero but this water can only be at the freezing point of water, it can’t be any colder than that, so it’s a ‘hotspot’. It generates heat just like the tropical ocean does and it supports a cyclone on top of it. And this cyclone is dependent upon not just the heat from the water below, but also whatever heat it can get from the air it’s processing …

As the cycle that we’re in progresses the high glaciers in the mountains are melting off and this is raising the sea level. As the sea level rises more and more water can fit through these shallow passages, so the amount of heat that is available for these cyclones has been increasing. This has been going on for 10,000 years. We’ve gotten to a point about maybe thirty years ago that the amount of heat available causes the cyclones intensity to increase to a point where a process is started…

In the process [of figuring all this out] I started to go to the library and read all types of stuff. I even called a scientist who had given a lecture before Congress about carbon dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect, all of that, ice ages and all that sort of thing. He said well, he didn’t write the paper it was a guy in Berkeley that was an ice age climatologist named George Kukla. He was a professor at Columbia University and he said you should talk to him, so I did. I called him and he said well, as it happens I’m on my way to California and a weather meeting at La Jolla. Why don’t you call me down there. He was real tired and fell asleep on the phone–and I though, Jesus, did my story put him to sleep or what? So I thought I’d better go down there.

So I went down there and it was this closed meeting and they said you can’t attend. It didn’t look like they were taking passes so on the last day I slipped in the back, sat down and it was this guy from Canada giving a lecture. And he was talking about how all of a sudden the atmospheric waves were not declining in intensity but they were actually increasing in intensity and it was causing a shift in the pressure patterns. And he thought that was a reason why the weather all of a sudden in ’82 got weird.

…It was a heavy El Nino year… It was a very intense El Nino year. El Nino turns out to be a by-product of this process. But anyway I’m sitting in the back looking at this guy and he’s up the front and has a big diagram on a board, highs and lows and so forth. And he’s talking about stuff I didn’t know shit about, I didn’t know… I never studied meteorology, I had no idea what he was talking about. But it sorta made some kind of sense.

And he was saying well, in this place where there’s a ridge there’s normally a low. And I looked, and there was a high and there was a low, and the low was right on Barring Straight. There was another low over near Greenland. They’re somehow connected, the waves from one of those things… Where the low is I figured out was a cyclone. This is maybe a week into this dream and I was starting to understand some of the physics at this point.

It sounded like there’s an amplification taking place. And the amplification seems to be taking place right where this low is. So maybe the low is like an amplifier. And by that time I’d read a bunch of stuff on meteorology and whatnot and I discovered that the lows were the active ones. Low pressure centers are the heat engines where the actual energy was being developed. They were the motors. The highs were passive, that’s just heavy cold air coming back down to sea level.

So here we were with a low underneath this wave and it seemed to be amplified, the wave was amplified. So I thought, maybe the low, since it’s an engine is adding energy to that wave. And then I thought, gee, that sounds a little bit like electronics, where you have a amplifier or a transistor vacuum tube that’s actually amplifying the signal, where a small change causes a large change in the output.

And then I thought, that’s funny. It reminded me about something I’d read about as a kid in a Scientific American … that I thought was maybe Maxwell’s Demon [An imaginary creature proposed by mathematician James Clerk Maxwell to contradict the Second Law of Thermodynamics]. You built a little vortex thing like taking a tube of steel stock and drilling a hole through it and drilling a hole in from an angle so it intersected with the edge of that hole.

And then on one side you put a pipe that was big and on the other side you put a pipe that was small. When you put compressed air into it, the air had to spin around in a circle. And you put a valve at the big end where the big tube came out. The other end was small. If you adjusted the valve you could get super cold air coming out of one end and super hot air coming out of the other. The room temperature air would go like, minus 60 or 70 and plus 140 [degrees F]. Unbelievable temperature differences.

I somehow connected that in my head and thought that had something to do with it, that’s really important. … It’s not an undiscovered law but it’s an undiscovered application. The law that’s involved is the law of centrifigal force. Say you take a string three of four feet long. Put a rock on it, weighs a pound. You spin it round your head going about maybe 10 rpm or something. You put a scale on it look at it and it says two pounds of stress, right. And so now you increase the speed to 20 rpm and you look at that thing and all of a sudden instead of two pounds of stress it’s four pounds. So you spin it a little faster. Every time you double the speed it goes up as a square. That’s in order to keep it going in the same orbit. But if you lengthen the string you can keep the same force on it.

Turns out it’s a square law. It’s the thing which makes transitors amplify. The input current change causes a square change in the output current that amplifies…

If you take air and spin the air around you’re dealing with something that’s not uniform. The air’s composed of molecules and each molecule is moving at it’s own speed. So some are going real fast and some are going real slow. They go in all directions of course, but when you have wind moving in one direction, and most of them are going in that direction, the net result is they’re going in that direction. And some of them are going faster than the others, so you start to make the air go round in a circle, and it acts like a cream separator. The faster ones go to the outside and the slow ones drift inward. But the slow ones are the cold ones, the faster ones are the hot ones.

In this case, in the atmosphere with a tornado or something, the air goes up. So it goes away from the operation of the thing. In the Hilstube some of the air goes out one end, that’s the hotter part, and some of it has to be siphoned off from the very middle, that’s the cold part, you get the cold part out. Now the thing of it is that this is a statistical thing. So it has a bell shaped curve, it goes up and it goes down. There’s a certain number of hot ones, there’s a certain number of cold ones, but the majority of them are the average temperature. They’re all moving at sort of an average speed. And so you’re making that division …

As you adjust the valve over here you have some super cold air and warmer air, but not super hot. If you move the thing up to the middle, they’re about the same. If you move it the other way you get more hot and less cold. So you’re limited in the heating and cooling effect. They use these things like little point refrigerators but they’re not very efficient because there’s only so much cold air.

But when you apply this same principal to a circuation like a tornado, or a hurricane or some other circulating storm, lots of air and lots of flow, and it always occurs in warm, moist air anyway… Moisture’s taken out of the air, the heat comes up, the sucker separates heat and makes a flywheel effect by storing that heat. That’s why the tornado has a sudden wall inside, where the pressure suddenly drops; hurricanes have the same sort of thing with a wall effect, like the inside edge of this mass…

What happens is, you’ got a flywheel and all the heat gets caught. It’s going too fast so it can’t go in, and yet it’s forced to stay in by the air that’s flowing in towards it. So it represents a lot of stored energy. It’s like the flywheel on a motor on a car. The flywheel keeps the motor going, it stores energy, and in a cyclonic storm all that air that’s the hottest part gets trapped in there like a flywheel, it keeps it turning so the faster it goes the more efficient it is. And because of the stored energy the thing exists like an entity. It’s an engine, it’s now got a working part. It’s all composed of the working fluid so it’s a machine that has no moving parts, it’s a working fluid. But it actually represents a real physical thing.

It’s got a lot of hot air stuck like a spinning donut, it’s keeping the thing going. But it exists on the surface of the planet, which is curved. So that means that at any given place one part of it is furthest from the axis of the earth than another, so it doesn’t move steadily–as it moves closer to the axis it has to speed up with relationship to the direction the earth is turning because the other end slows down. Generally there’s a name for that: it’s called Coriolis Force. In an actual tornado or something, what it does is, it causes it to wobble. So when it’s wobbling it’s generating sound, it’s generating pressure waves which are sound. So people talk about tornados and they say it was really noisy, it sounded like a rushing train, y’know, lots of vibration.

I believe that this soundwave that propagates out from a tornado is part of the thing which compresses the air going into it, makes it work, like a jet engine has a compressor stage. This energy is actually forcing the water out of the air and making it work, giving it heat, giving it speed. It goes into the thing and it traps it.

The faster it goes, the more efficient it is at trapping the heat. And this energy is actually forcing the water out of the air and making it work, giving it heat, giving it speed.

Tornados are limited because they’re small, they’re real small in diameter, so they can only process so much air. Also, the tornado is a complicated structure. The down draft is usually down the middle of the tornado, wrapped around it like a rope, like sections of a rope … spiralling around. The funnel that you see is way outside of this, that’s the point where the water droplets, the smallest possible water droplets that are too heavy to go any further, they have too much mass because mass is part of that equation. So you don’t really see the active part that’s inside a tornado, you can’t really look at it from a distance, you just see where the water vapor is. But inside of there is this really intense, relatively small cyclonic storm.

So it’s limited in that no matter how fast it goes it’s got it’s own down draft feeding cold air into it and it can only reach out so far for heat and moisture to get it. And the faster it moves forward the longer it will last. Usually it lasts anywhere from a couple of minutes to a few hours. But if it’s traveling with a cold front, a storm front, and that thing is really moving, like 50 or 60 miles an hour, it can often cover a thousand miles.

[Now back to the dream…] This has started and we’re now pretty deep into it. In 1982 the cyclone in Baffin Bay became strong enough to actually upset the other two cyclones in the northern polar region and increase their intensity. It’s sort of like three fountains going up in the atmosphere, each one of them is pushing air upwards, making waves. And as the waves go outwards they have to pass over the others so all of them are affected, they’re all affected by each other.

Up to a certain point, because the law of centrifugal force is a square law, if you increase the speed you increase the force by the square of the speed. You increase the separation of heat by the square of the speed. So a little stretch that makes the cyclone smaller causes it to spin a little faster. And it spins a little faster and it gets to draw more heat and so it grabs some heat. And then when the following wave passes over and wants to slow it down it won’t slow down because it’s got more energy in it. It resembles a kid’s top with the plunger on the top; you push down and she speeds up, you pull up and nothing happens. So each time you push down you pump a little more speed in.

They reached this point in ’82. At that point cyclones in the Arctic started putting out just enough energy so that each of them was increased a little in intensity and gave a little kick to the wave, increasing the wave in intensity, like the kid on the swing that starts to swing his feet right with it… Just a little more energy, a little more energy, a little more energy. This has now been going on for eight years [1990].

The energies are going to higher frequencies, which means the wavelengths are getting shorter. So when you look at a weather map, instead of seeing a few large highs and large lows, you see lots of clusters, clusters of highs and clusters of lows, which indicates that the energy is at a higher harmonic. As you shorten the wavelength by one octave at the same amplitude you go up 60dcb of energy. So as energy is added to the atmosphere, because it’s only so thick, you can’t make the waves any bigger than a certain size, you get shorter waves. And as the wavelength shortens all the ocean currents have changed, because wind drives the ocean currents. This is where El Nino comes from, and this is also what’s pushing the heat from the tropics towards the poles, which is warming the oceans and driving CO2 up, pushing up the CO2 balance in the atmosphere.

It’s causing all this strange rainfall where you don’t expect it, drought where you don’t expect it, changing all the pressures on the earth because water’s very heavy, so you change stresses on the crust and you get earthquakes, you get volcanos. Because of the nature of the smaller and more intense circulations you get more hurricanes, you get more tornados, you get more thunderstorms. And each year this goes on the amplification goes up, too, so it amplifies more each year. So each year the rate of change is increasing.

And the critical moment happens in December… because of the orbit of the earth, which is an ellipse, the sun is near one end of it, so every year you have one day where the earth and sun are closest together, its called the perihelion. Now it’s the first day or two of January. Every year about the 21st of December on our calendar the North Pole is pointed directly away from the sun, the winter solstice. At that point you have the maximum amount of cold in the Arctic, or if it lags about the first of January. At that point you have perihelion, which means you have the maximum amount of heat coming from the sun, because we’re the closest. So you have the maximum amount of heat and the maximum amount of cold at the same time. This is the trigger for the ice age storm.

That’s the greatest slope, the greatest heat, the greatest cold and the greatest intensity, it’s like rolling a snowball down a hill; the steeper the hill the more effective the thing will work.

So every 23,450 years the perihelion and winter solstice come together. When this occurs you have a condition that can allow one of these storms to happen. Before that happens the energy level in the atmosphere builds. When that energy level gets to a certain point… eventually one of these storms reaches a point where it’s producing more power than the physical drag of the air, the friction drag against the surface of the atmosphere, requires. So it’s not limited any longer and it starts to pull air so powerfully that it reaches as far around the planet as it can, halfway around. And it makes that half of the planet it’s body, that’s it’s storm, right, air rushes in at sea level, it goes through this thing that extracts the heat, the air comes out the top and goes back down till it gets half way around. That was the storm, that was what I saw, that was what that image represented …

Here’s how it works: The atmospheric circulation is increased in intensity. Every year around the 15th or 16th of December the waves in the atmosphere suddenly increase dramatically. Every year–this goes back to the 40s when they started making these measurements, accurate measurements. At that time when enough energy exists and the speed of these cyclones is strong enough, this one in Baffin Bay literally just goes off the edge. It just goes until it goes as fast as it can. And it’s a heat separator. So it traps the heat, which it tries to radiate away. And because it’s during the Arctic night it radiates away into a constant dark background, which can absorb a lot of heat. The background of outer space is only about the liquifying point of helium, it’s really cold.

So it’s actually removing so much heat from the air that it starts to liquefy some of it. And it’s this liquid air coming out of the top and falling to the ground which actually causes the glaciers to form. The Russians back around the turn of the century [1900] dug up a bunch of mammoths in Siberia. These mammoths had been frozen so quickly that none of their intestinal contents had fermented. They still found the things that they swallowed intact in their stomach. No composting. [It happened] so quickly that none of the bacteria in their gut had a chance to ferment.

You know when you see a dead animal on the road it’s blown up like a balloon. Things ferment. An elephant sized animal, a mammoth sized animal, you can literally put it in a deep freeze and it would swell up. It’s generating heat. The bacteria generates heat, you know how hot a compost heap gets, you dig into it it’s smoking, right? So the inside of an elephant which eats grass would be composting when the elephant died. It would be generating heat which would flow outwards to its skin faster than you could take it away from the skin. Because the elephant is large and it has a lot of interior. So what they were saying was at the time they dug it up no one knew any method that you could freeze an animal that quickly.

It wasn’t until we started liquifying air that they discovered that a mist of liquid air would do it, like the foggers they use on airplanes that are on fire. The tiny droplets can make it though the heat and actually hit the metal and cool it. … The same thing happens with air. Liquid air, little droplets of it, a mist, could actually freeze the animal. But no other method would freeze the animal. And these animals exist so it proves that liquid air came to the ground at some time. And that was the thing that led me to understand that. I knew that the mammoths had been frozen. So I thought… this storm liquifies air. Of course.

And if it liquifies air and that comes to the ground, it’s going to cool the ground so much it’s going to cause a lot of ice making, like a block of dry ice makes all kind of snow around it, right, as it tries to warm up. So you’ve got this thing making liquid air. Something else: even if the temperature of this hot ring of trapped heated air, even if that was 100,000 degrees it couldn’t radiate heat in six weeks… which seems to be the length of this storm, it couldn’t radiate that much heat away that 100,000 years of glaciers were needed to replace it. So I had a problem: how did the heat leave?

Well, when I’m having this dream I’m reading everything I can get, so I start reading all kinds of deluge myths, stories that people have about deluges, because obviously this storm is a huge rainstorm; all that cold dry air going south and all that wet warm air, a huge wave pouring rain out of the skies till all the surface looks like it’s covered by water. It’s a deluge, like the story of Noah and the Bible. 

So I started reading all the deluge myths, and some tropical people have a deluge myth that says ‘lightning strikes the moon’ during the deluge. So I thought, yeah, why not, thunderstorms generate electricity don’t they …

This thing is like a giant thunderstorm, because positively charged ions in the air are lighter than negatively charged ions, because the negative ones have gained an electron they’re more massive. This thing sorts ions like it sorts heat. The lightest ones, which are positive, tend to go to the middle. So a thunderstorm generates lightning because it’s pumping positive electricity to the top of the cloud. And the bottom becomes negative. And then you get the lightning strike. The lightning is equalizing the charges. This thing is a huge storm and is doing the same thing. All this intense friction, 10,000 mile an hour winds, generates a huge amount of charge and it pumps mostly the positive stuff to the top, so the northern pole area of the planet is covered by a huge cloud of positively charged air ions.

The sun throws out what’s called the solar wind, which is ions, mostly positive ions, and they’re moving at great velocities … The channel that lightning goes down is … about the same density of plasma, which is conducting the lightning. So it’s highly conductive. What happens is the earth’s magnetic field focuses this solar wind and makes it even more concentrated. It drifts outward away from the sun in what’s called a ‘magnetic tail’. The moon goes around the earth and every month it passes through that magnetic tail when it goes full, full moon. The moon has to go full at least once, maybe twice in a six-week period. When it does it passes the magnetic tail, this huge cloud of positively charged air ions, it goes down this channel of solar wind until it impacts the surface of the moon and melts areas. We call them the Maria. The dark areas on the moon. They’e melted by this thing. Every 100,000 years. The moon gets a changed face every 100,000 years.

I figured that out, I went to trace it. I said okay, if that’s true and all that air is going down to the moon, then the next thing that would happen would be that it would be attracted back to the earth, because lightning goes down and up, down and up, etc., ten thousand times, it’s a radio frequency oscillation. That means that if the energy goes to the moon then it has to come back. That’s physical stuff, so when it blasts into the moon it must’ve blasted a lot of rocks up into the air, into the space around the moon. And when it came back it must have drawn some of those [rocks] with it.

And they’ve discovered what they call tektites, which is a kind of meteorite. Tektite has the same structure as moon rock. They’re identical. And it’s a big mystery, why are they the same, okay? I kept looking and found where tektites are found, and they’re found in little compact areas they call ‘strewn fields’. And so I looked at all the ages of all the tektites, all the strewn fields of tektites, and then I looked how old they were, and then I looked at continental drift and calculated where they were when they went back in the atmosphere–and they were all at the equator. That’s where the storm turns, downwards. That would be the negatively charged area.

So when the stream heads back it can’t go back where it came from as that’s positive, because of the storm. It goes for the negative, right, because it’s positively charged air ions. So it carries all this shit with it and when it comes into the atmosphere they melt, and when they pick them up they know the last time they melted, that’s the age of the [strewn] field, the tektites composition is the same as moon rocks–it’s the same stuff. It corroborates the story.

So then, I called the guy who measured all the magnetic remnants on the moon rocks, he’s at Penn State University, his name is Frank Daschille. And I described this idea, and I asked him if the magnetic remnants that he found in the moon rocks could be accounted for with this phenomenon, and he said yes. He said that the amount of energy involved would have been about 10 to the 30 ergs. This is a huge amount of energy. It’s like the rotational momentum of the earth itself. And something like that could represent 100,000 years of glacial building. So all the heat that melts the moon has to be heat that’s come from the earth, because the equations always balance. What you take from one place you put them in another place, the equation always balances, that’s one of the laws of nature, one of the rules. So that’s where the heat goes. And we get glaciers from it.

And people survive, but they only survive in certain places… And one of those places is Australia. Another one’s Indonesia. Another one is equatorial Africa. Well, a lot of those places are not a place where white English-speaking guys are likely to be comfortable in times of intense stress. But Australia… now you see why I go to Australia … So see, it’s a pretty intense trip, it’s a pretty intense trip.

The ice builds up because it takes so long to replace that heat that the ice continues to build for 100,000 years, so every 23,400 when the perihelion-winter solstice thing happens, during four of those there’s ice all over that area, so there’s no water up there so it can’t happen. It’s like a gun you can pull the trigger all you want but if you don’t cock it, it doesn’t do any good. So eventually all that heat gets replaced and the ice melts off, it takes maybe three, four thousand years to melt off–which has happened 11,000 years ago.

18,000 years ago the glaciers were maximum, 11,000 years ago it was all gone after 7,000 years of glacial melt back it was all gone. For 10-11,000 years we’ve had this kind of climate. Now we’re at the end. Now the storm event occurs, the result of which the climate changes, and we go into glacial building. The glaciers build, the water table drops, and the trigger, even though it comes around, doesn’t do anything. Then it all melts off, conditions like today occur again, and then the next time the perihelion and winter solstice come together–bang! It happens. You get a tremendous destructive storm, the deluge, and new glaciers. This cycle’s gone on 18 times…

[This is going to happen] … Sometime within the next few years. I cannot tell you. There is no way of knowing until Christmas… The point is, is that it’s like a railroad track that is long unused. If you pitch your tent on a railway track, when a train comes through you’re finished. But if you’re over there–you watch the train go by. Everything doesn’t go, people are still here, our ancestors were here.

[I live in Australia] up a mountain. You can stay on a tourist visa six months out of the year… and you only need to be there at the critical time in December… It’s warm there, it’s a beautiful place, it’s a lot of fun. It’s just a lucky place. They call it the “Lucky Country”. It’s the right place, but it’s not the only place. People survive on Java, they survive on Bali, they survive on New Guinea, they survive on southern parts of Indonesia… Several million people will probably survive this event. But lots of them won’t.

… It’s not real till it happens. When this storm happens it’s very real for about 95-98% of humanity. They’re going to flatten out, whether they believe it or not, it’s going to happen. That’s the thing. Just like you and I, you know. We were born and one day we’re going to die. Believe it or not, one day we will die. It’s part of the trip. It’s punched into the ticket. And that happens. This particular phenomenon that I figured out is going to happen, I think it is. I don’t see anything that turns me away from it. All the changes I see fit right into the predictions.

… The dream didn’t tell me when… I figured out what time of year it has to happen–I have no idea which year. Each year I expect it could be that year–until it happens, I don’t know. But I think we’re going to get very, very, very, very weird weather as we work up to it. As we get closer it’s going to get very weird. But how weird is very weird? Right? … The idea is to try be more prepared each year, more prepared.

When all of this comes the people that are left over are going to sit down and say hey: what type of government are we going to have? What kind of rules are we going to live by? So if people are thinking about it, we’ll try not to make the mistakes we made before. It’s an opportunity if it occurs. I could be wrong and it’s just some crazy dream. It’s put me on some hell of trip, I tell ya … It might not happen, it might just be some trip that I’m on, but I’ll tell ya. It’s one of the most intense trips I’ve ever had. It’s lasted real well for eight years [1990].

[Sixteen years later Owsley wove in the connection between his ice age theory and his carnivorous diet, when he wrote on the Active Low-Carber forums:]

"The reason there are 6 billion people on the planet is entirely DUE to the eating of the food of our natural prey, which allowed us to move DOWN the food-pyramid and spread out and grow to become a major planetary burden with our dangerously high population level. IF we truly only ate what the prey we are trying to replace ate, we would not be a huge burden on the ecosystem, but NO, we STILL mostly eat a LOT of meat and since we are no longer population-restricted by food availability, we are now raping the system bigtime.

The only way ‘back’ to a sustainable pure carnivory would require a massive depopulation- all the way down to about 50-100 million, which is highly unlikely on a voluntary basis (!). Although if my theorem about a very imminent ice-age initiating storm is true, and not just some weird repeating dream that has held my attention for 24 years now [2006], and led to my having seen most of my predictions of 1982 coming good, the Earth’s own natural processes may do the job of reduction for us."

Owsley kep tabs with his ice age theory over the years, absorbing new information as it came to light and testing it against his hypothesis. In 1998 when he was interviewed by Bruce Eisner for the Psychedelic Island Views magazine he gave more context to the growing global warming movement of the late 1990s and the vested interests that he believed supported it:

Mostly what people know or think about ‘global warming’ stuff, and the other questions that I address, comes from the media, the public media. Most of them are reporting on scientific work that’s been done, but they often only report on one side of it. There’s a lot of discussion going on in the scientific literature about each of the various points that I address, unlike the seeming united front the media present. For instance, there are several ways in which researchers can measure the temperature of the planet. One of the ways is by taking all of the reports from weather station readings, which are mostly in the populated areas of the Northern Hemisphere, and averaging them.

Another way is to use the global satellite information, which accurately records the temperature of the entire Earth’s surface from outer space. The coverage is quite extensive, and the data goes back to 1979. The problem is that careful calculation of the corrected satellite data from complete coverage of the planet indicates that the planet has one of the most remarkably well-buffered and stabilized thermal systems known. In fact, they have detected a drop of 0.05 degree Celsius per decade in that period. The planet is extremely stable. But the weather station data indicates that in most places where people live, it is getting warmer a few tenths of a degree.

So you have two different databases that you can access, you’ve got world temperature average, based on the weather station averages, and you’ve got the global mean temperature from the satellite data. The global mean temp is indicating a cooling. The global mean is the only one which can indicate whether the planet is actually undergoing global warming or not. But ‘world temperature average’ gives another indication entirely. So you have a problem, and significant number of scientists are standing up and saying look, we can’t find the evidence of this warming you guys are jumping up and down, screaming and yelling about.

The global warming people are telling you there’s a problem. This problem consists of two things: One thing is the carbon dioxide level. They absolutely insist that the ‘problem’ is caused by our pumping up all the oil, which is trapped carbon, out of the ground and burning it. This is probably the best thing that man’s ever done, I sometimes think we might have been evolved by the oldest and largest organism on the planet, the blue-green algae of the oceans, to do this, because it’s carbon that’s been lost to the life system on this planet. The algae, or plankton, in the ocean fall to the bottom, die and are buried, and all the oil from their little diatom bodies eventually migrates into oil deposits.

It’s carbon that’s lost, there’s very little carbon left on the surface of this planet, there’s only 300 parts per million in the bloody atmosphere, it’s microscopic. Actually, 99.99% of all the free carbon dioxide on this planet is to be found in one place: The ocean, it’s dissolved in the ocean. Carbon dioxide, of all materials, has one of the steepest solubility curves known, which means that cold water dissolves a lot of gas. Warm water doesn’t hold much at all. The slope is very steep. Everyone knows the difference between opening a warm Coca-Cola, and a cold one. You immediately experience this dramatic solubility slope.

A storm cloud forms and rain starts to fall. Rain is very, very cold, close to freezing point when it starts to come down. It’s a very excellent scrubber. Scrubbers designed very much like rainfall are used to scrub chemicals out of gases in industry.

So virtually all of the carbon dioxide in the air under the raincloud is dissolved in this freshly formed, pristine, and very cold water, and carried down to the surface of the planet. Much of it falls into the ocean, which is already saturated. It must be, because it is in contact with the atmosphere, and there’s an equilibrium between the ocean and the atmosphere, a certain percentage is in the atmosphere and it is in balance with the rest dissolved in the ocean at the given temperature. Well, if the rain has more than that amount, some of it will evaporate back into the air. If it’s got less, of course it all will remain dissolved. But it always has more, because it is cold and has dissolved some of the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide, and most likely has more carbon dioxide in it than the equilibrium amount with the warmer ocean.

The actual carbon dioxide found in the atmosphere is therefore determined by the temperature of the sea. The majority of the data that people use when quoting increasing carbon dioxide levels is produced by a single measuring point, especially built for this purpose, on the top of Mona Kea, on the Island of Hawaii. The measurements taken at this place show a gradual rise in carbon dioxide levels from about 200 some odd parts/million when they first started making the measurements, up to 300 or so now. This means a very microscopic amount has only become slightly less microscopic. However, it is still a 50% increase in the measured carbon dioxide.

A close examination of these carbon dioxide level graphs reveals a very interesting thing. They’re not simply a straight, rising line. This line is very irregular, it goes up and down, it is cyclic. This variation is in step with the seasons. During the summer, the carbon dioxide content goes up, during the winter it goes down. You would naturally think, winter... summer... it must have something to do with temperature. Well, you’d be truly surprised at the ways in which people have tried to explain this variation, ‘It goes up and down due to plant growth, etc.’ This is pretty odd, since the summer is when there is greater growth, and if plants were the answer, the CO2 would go down, not up.

The Hilo Observatory, part of NOAA, located at the very foot of Mona Kea, takes regular sea surface temperatures, and publish them. Lo and behold, these charts have the same types of irregularities as the carbon dioxide chart, and if you look more closely at them, you will find that also the sea surface temperatures in the vicinity of Hilo have been slowly increasing. If you go a step further and take identical graphs of the carbon dioxide levels and the sea surface temperatures drawn to the same scale, and superimpose them, they correspond exactly. Sea surface temperature rises, carbon dioxide rises.

Sea surface temperature drops, carbon dioxide drops. The sea surface temperature has slowly been increasing over time by an amount equal to the amount of increase in carbon dioxide. The mystery is solved. The temperature of the sea surface is what is controlling carbon dioxide, not how much carbon you’re burning or anything else. So man’s carbon emissions are unimportant. Or to place them in the true context of the paramount importance of CO2 as a food for plants, our actions to produce more CO2 are so well buffered as to only be of benefit to life on the planet.

Bruce: So that’s an ecological red herring then?

Owsley: You’ve got to say, well gee whiz, who benefits from this? There’s only one major industry that will benefit from this: The nuclear power industry. Because one of the major uses of fossil fuels is to generate electricity, and there’s only a few ways of generating electricity where you don’t burn fossil fuels. You’re limited to how many rivers you want to stuff up. Solar is completely controlled by the petroleum industry, so the cost of solar has not changed much in the last 15 years. Lastly you’ve got wind. Effective wind generation requires a good location with high wind levels, and the investment is pretty high, and they only work a certain percentage of the time anyway. The only other source of generation of electricity is nuclear energy.

Bruce: So it’s the nuclear industry that’s trying to push it.

Owsley: That would be my conclusion, by eliminating all other possible groups who could possibly benefit from this. You have to follow the money. Everything seems to boil down to who is getting a benefit, who is gaining a financial advantage, and only the most naïve people think that money’s not involved in all of this. Money is involved in all things.

Bruce: And the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.

Owsley: Exactly but then, that is also planned. We’ve gotten into a runaway condition with this. It’s a way of continuing the elitist structure.

By 2009, Bear was still delivering the message of his transmission, this time Down Under, at the EGA conference in November:

 “[So] I tried to put myself in a good place for the storm … When this happens six billion people will be reduced to a few million. You don’t have a chance down here by the way [Melbourne]. It’ll freeze up solid, y’know, the bottom part of Australia will be glacial terrain. When this happens and it starts to snow–well just imagine a foot or two feet of snow for every single day for six weeks. What are you going to do? You can’t travel–you’re stuck.

"What happens when the sea level rises 500 feet? There’ll be be no coastal cities left. None. Every city in Australia just about, except Canberra and Alice Springs are on the coast. You can’t build on the coast­–you have to be in the mountains. You can’t be south of Rockhampton, you’ve got to be up north, the more up north the better, it stays warmer. I got as far as I could go north and still have a mountain. That’s inland from Cairns.

“I got the idea when I lived in Berkeley, but no one believed me then anyway. I’ve been telling the story for 28 years … but they’ll see. They expect life to go on. I can’t share [this] because people don’t want to believe me. You’re lucky people; you’re in one of the few places in the world that has safe places. You get inland, you get high enough, you go far enough north and stay away from low lying areas or areas that are so far south … I worry about people down here but no one listens to me …

“When things start to get really bad we’re going to know. I think the weather will get weird. First all the arctic ice will melt off. All of it. That black water up there, when that starts to melt you’re sure of the end. And then the weather becomes so disruptive that in the northern hemisphere there’ll probably be no power lines, no water reticulation, no roads, no one will be flying and this could go on for eight or nine months.

“This world is interconnected and we’ll know that something’s going on up north. And when that happens you’ll have to figure out where to go. Australia’s good.”

Whether you believe it or not, Owsley’s ice age theory is potent food for thought.

From a psychedelic perspective the interesting thing isn’t even the theory itself, but the mode of transmission. Now Owsley wasn’t the only ‘acid prophet’ to be connected to larger intelligences and try to relay some of that message out into the world. Leary, Kesey, Huxley–to some degree many of the intelligentsia experienced otherworldly connection, or a deepening of this world’s knowing. It’s almost cliched to portray ‘acidheads’ espousing cosmic mumbo jumbo and trying to condense their expanded awareness of the natural systems around them down into monkey words. But consider that Owsley wasn’t any mere acidhead–he was an alchemist–he made the acid, he had an ongoing deep, spiritual, alchemical relationship with the material on a physical and an astral level.

The other pertinent character in the story of LSD that was also an alchemist was the High Father, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, who ‘discovered’ the substance in 1943. As we have discussed earlier, Hofmann had his own mystical leanings, a peculiar presentiment, as he called it. “Eureka” comes The ancient Greek, meaning “I have found (it)” and is attributed to the ancient Greek scholar Archimedes, who is said to have proclaimed “Eureka!” when he stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose according to the volume of water displaced. By accurately measuring volume the density and thus purity of objects could be ascertained, like the gold crown of a local king that was suspected of being diluted with silver.

The Eureka effect is that ‘aha!’ moment when the conscious mind breaks through the mental box of previous thought forms, often solving intractable problems and having access to a whole new way of seeing. Like a ‘bolt from the blue’, information previously inaccessible seems to be transmitted and integrated in a flash, whether from the unconscious mind or from outside the individual is still unknown. In Christian theology this was called the ‘epiphany’­–sudden inspiration from the divine, from outside of oneself.

Einstein had his breakthrough on the theory of relativity whilst talking to his friend Michele Besso; Francis Crick had a similar breakthrough whilst working out the DNA code, with the difference there being his documented attribution to LSD as a creativity drug; Kary Mullis, the 1993 Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry told Albert Hofmann himself that “LSD had helped him develop the polymerase chain reaction that helps amplify specific DNA sequences.” LSD did, in fact, help engender insights in Mullis, and many other scientists and intellectuals work through the 1950s and early 1960s. So Owsley is by far from alone in the history books in receiving a sudden knowledge download from larger forces. Indeed, the morphogenetic theory proposed by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake suggests that ‘fields’ of information may be omnipresent in nature. Some higher intelligence–whether it be from within or without its all the same really–is said to transmit across the frequencies and into the minds of its creatures, or so the theory goes.

Owsley could have been another prophet, like Terence McKenna. But where McKenna was New Testament, Bear was the Abrahamic patriarch who went up the mountain and heard the burning bush to bring back the living language of God. Like all prophets, he was simply the messenger. In his own words, he was simply deconstructing and implementing knowledge from the patterns coming through. For when the acid removed the filters it allowed a brilliant mind to see even more clearly through the doors of perception.  

And what he saw was the planet.

Alive and communicating with us, its creation.

This is an extract from the free, non-commercial biography White Lightning, available for PDF download here.

Bear Owsley’s writings can still be found on his website: 

Support The Owsley Stanley Foundation – a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of “Bear’s Sonic Journals,” Owsley’s archive of more than 1,300 live concert soundboard recordings from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s here: