My Theory of Gravitation

By Steve Bartholomew


[For motivation in developing this theory, I am greatly indebted to Dr Craig Menefee, PhD.]

...Did you know the average American weighs 25 pounds more today than in 1960???

Lucy: "I have a theory that Beethoven would have written greater music if he had been married."

Linus: "How can you prove your theory?"

Lucy: "The best theory is one that can neither be proved nor disproved."


Sometimes when I lie awake at night, thoughts range across my brain like wild horses on a darkling plain…

Most often the thoughts and ideas evaporate, forgotten, with daylight. Yet now and then, some persist, returning like flashes in the night. This is about one of those notions, which I have developed into an elaborate theory, explaining many diverse phenomena. Yet, the idea began as an attempt to explain a single, nagging question:

Why is it that, despite a rigorous program of diet and exercise, I weigh more now than I did ten years ago?

This may seem, to some, a silly question. Many other people, with the same problem, might simply assume that it’s somehow their own fault. (This is called "blaming the victim.") Many might shrug fatalistically and think there is no answer, or might even assume the question unimportant.

Yet, one night, the answer came to me like brilliant lightning: Gravity increases!

Of course, you will wonder how this is possible. If Earth’s gravity is increasing, why has no one else noticed it before? Reasonable questions, so I embarked on a lengthy and thorough program of research (mainly by cruising the Internet).

Have you ever gone outside on a dark, clear night and watched the sky for a while? If you are away from a large, brightly lit city and there is no moon, you will see meteors. This is true of any average night, even without a meteor shower. You will witness a shooting star on average every 15 or 20 minutes. When there is a good shower, which occurs several times a year, you may see hundreds.

Most of these bright objects are no larger than a grain of sand – they quickly burn up in our atmosphere. Now and then one is big enough to reach the ground and becomes a meteorite. In all cases, they add themselves to Earth’s mass.

I began to wonder exactly how much mass this adds up to in an average year. So I checked various sources. I found there’s no easy or exact answer, but most experts agree that Earth picks up around 40 thousand metric tons of stuff every year. Now, admittedly this isn’t much compared to the total mass of Earth. Earth weighs out at around 10 25 kilograms. In other words, every day we gain about one quadrillionth of one per cent of our total mass. (I mean Earth, not our individual bodies!)

This doesn’t sound like much – but in the remote past, this amount may have been much greater. In the early days of our solar system, there was a great deal more dust, rocks and debris flying around in space. We see evidence of this fact on the surface of our Moon and other airless planets, where meteor craters in the thousands have endured for eons. Also, consider we don’t necessarily see all the material that falls into our atmosphere even today. A lot of it may be hydrogen gas or water vapor, undetectable as it drifts down.

There is yet another factor – the "exclusive" nature of meteors. That is, the fact that orthodox Science categorizes meteors as either rocky or metallic in nature. Anything else that falls from the sky is by definition not a meteor.

Many readers may not be aware that there was a time when Establishment Science denied the existence of any type of meteor at all. In the late 18th Century, the French Academy of Sciences, led by Lavoisier, investigated reports of a meteorite seen to fall in France. Lavoisier’s conclusion: "Rocks do not fall from the sky because there are no rocks in the sky."

The American writer Charles Fort delighted in cataloging other kinds of material that have been seen falling from the sky. He included such objects as live frogs, coal, spider webs, burnt paper and ice. The reader may easily do his/her own research on this topic. Such events have been consistently reported and documented for hundreds of years. Here I am suggesting only that conventional science may be vastly underestimating the amount of material arriving on Earth from outer space each year.

Again, the amount of debris may have been much higher a million or so years ago.

When I was in high school, I took an interest in science, among other things. My science teachers managed to discourage me from taking up the field as a profession. One day our teacher gave the class a list of subjects classified as "pseudoscience." These were topics forbidden from discussion in any serious scientific surroundings. Among these were astrology, alchemy, UFO’s, Atlantis, and the theory of drifting continents.

Now, this last topic has since become an item of orthodox scientific dogma. According to this theory, all continents of our world were once united in a single land mass, often referred to as Pangaea. Over time, this primeval continent broke up and began to drift apart into a number of separate masses, which continue to move to this day.

So far, so good. I have no problem with this theory – except for one question: Why did Pangaea break apart in the first place? And why do the continents continue to move?

Now, consider this: What if, millions of years ago, Earth was much smaller than it is now? What if there was a smaller amount of water on this planet, so that the oceans did not take up two thirds of Earth’s surface, as they do today?

What if Earth has been continually expanding, like a balloon?

You can easily visualize the result. Take some wet clay and apply it to the surface of a partly inflated balloon. Let it dry, then pump more air into the balloon. The clay will break apart into separate fragments. If they don’t fall off, they will continue moving away from each other as the balloon expands.

This is clearly what happened to Pangaea. Earth continues to grow, the continents move apart. Except, of course, that Earth is not a balloon. It is growing from without, not from within. The reason we have so much water in the oceans today is that there is so much water in outer space.

Now, this theory has the virtue of explaining a number of diverse phenomena. One of them is the enormous size of animals in past ages. Many dinosaurs were quite huge. How were they able to move all that body weight around? In fact, how could a brontosaurus manage to consume enough food in a day to keep its heart pumping and blood moving? After all, the size of its mouth and throat were quite small relative to its body.

I submit that the brontosaurus did not weigh as much then as he would now. Because Earth was smaller, and gravity therefore weaker.

Before dismissing this idea as yet another crackpot theory, please consider this datum: In the remote past, it was possible for creatures to be much larger and more massive than today. The further back in time we look, the larger the animals. Brontosaurus (or Apatosaurus) was 80 feet long and today would weigh 35 tons!

Here, I must digress. In the 1920’s my role-model Charles Fort published several books, the first of them The Book of the Damned. At the time he expressed skepticism about all those dinosaur skeletons displayed in museums around the world. How can we be sure, he asked, that someone didn’t just pick up a lot of bones from different animals, in different places, and put them together any way he felt like? At the time Fort was widely ridiculed for this opinion.

However, Brontosaurus is proof he was at least partly right. Strictly speaking, Brontosaurus never existed.

In 1874 a paleontologist named O.C. Marsh discovered bones of an enormous animal in the Utah desert. It was the largest skeleton yet found, and highly impressive except for one flaw – the head was missing. Not to be deterred from his chance at fame, Marsh obtained the head of another dinosaur from a different site, a hundred miles or so distant. He stuck the skull on his skeleton and declared the creature a brand new discovery. The hoax wasn’t revealed until a hundred years later. The skeleton he’d found was from an Apatosaurus. The head was from a closely related animal, the Camarasaurus.

Moral of the story: Always remain skeptical, especially of established authorities.

Be that as it may, there were some humongous animals around in those days. Things you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. Tyrannosaurus, of course, is familiar from all the movies he’s appeared in. There was also a flying reptile called, believe it or not, quetzalcoatlicus. He had a 40 foot wingspan.

Later, in the Age of Mammals, creatures were not quite so big, but there were many a lot huger than anything around today. Baluchitherium, for example, found in Pakistan, had a head one meter long.

He was 8 meters, or 27 feet long. He was as tall as a two story building, weighed 30 tons, and could run like a horse.

Then there was Megistotherium:

He lived only 24000 years ago. Baluchitherium was the largest of all land mammals, but Megisto was the biggest carnivore. He weighed about a ton and ate elephants for dinner.

I could go on, but I’ll just mention Gigantopithecus, the largest of all primates. He stood 10 feet all, weighed up to half a ton. A giant gorilla – who apparently suffered from tooth decay. There are some who believe his descendants still survive today, known as Yeti in Asia, Bigfoot in America.

So how is it that these huge creatures could exist in Earth’s past, but with a few exceptions are no longer around? What I propose is that gravity used to be weaker, and that therefore animals could grow to larger size. As Earth’s mass increases, sweeping up debris from interstellar space, animals grow heavier and must adapt by breeding smaller, less massive species.

My friend Dr Menefee has suggested that even during historical times, Earth’s growth rate may have been markedly more rapid than at present. During Medieval times, we had reports of "fiery dragons" often witnessed in the sky. Were people seeing more meteors then than now? As recently as the 19th Century, there were strange weather phenomena which might be explained as small asteroid impacts. In addition, Charles Fort cited many reports of "slow meteors," objects which did not fall fast enough to burn up in the sky or even to cause much of an impact. After all, this makes sense if you think about it. There must be many objects in outer space which are traveling in the same direction as Earth’s orbit, and at nearly the same speed. If Earth overtakes such an object, we might match orbits gradually enough to reduce the impact of collision. Once more, cosmic debris goes unnoticed.

Well, there you have my theory. Earth continues to grow: as her surface area and mass both increase, she picks up more and more space material even as the supply may become diminished. This is the real reason I have gained weight since ten years ago. Not only is my body heavier, but the very food I consume weighs more. I think this is a lovely theory. The best part is, it can neither be proved nor disproved.