This is a beautiful example of what might be called dilettante physics: science conducted as if thoroughness, accuracy and care were optional extras to the process. Maurice B. Cooke (with the help of two unnamed collaborators) offers an alternative set of theories to replace the models of modern physics, because, he says:
... science has failed in its primary purpose, to give the enquiring mind a coherent, non-contradictory conceptual picture of reality.
His two particular bugbears are Quantum Theory and Einstein's Theory of Relativity presumably because, as with much in modern physics, they do not accord with “common sense” and they are not easily represented by simple mental models. (My challenge to anyone who thinks that physics is obliged to explain matters in such terms is for them to provide an simple interpretation of Young's Double-Slit Experiment.)
Cosmic Vortices and Vibrations
Cooke is not averse to weird ideas, though, as long as they are his weird ideas, and can be illustrated simply, with arguments based on analogy and rhetoric rather than rigour. Like most exponents of alternative physics he has a firm belief in the existence of the aether, in this case argued on the basis that if space is curved then there must be something to have this curvature, and that thing is the aether. Curvature of space and the fourth dimension in general are key elements of Cooke's thesis, as for example in his model of the atom, in which the electron is:
not an actual particle at all, but purely a rotational motion or vortex [...] in the aether.
Cooke thinks the electron is a sort of miniature whirlpool, sucking the aether down a tiny cosmic plughole. But, as he asks, “where does the removed aetheric substance go?” The answer is that it forms a little bridge in the fourth dimension and reappears through a neighboring proton. “What we have just described may sound preposterous on first exposure”, he acknowledges. Actually it can continue to sound preposterous indefinitely.
His explanation of gravity is just as crackbrained. Space, he claims, is filled with a constant vibration in all directions. Bodies shield one another from this vibration, somehow, and as a result they are pushed together: hence the gravitational force. Perhaps it's no worse than claiming that gravity is a manifestation of universal love between atoms. I presume he simply forgot to include the detailed workings which show how these vibrations transmit force and the mechanism by which the shielding effect operates, not to mention his mathematical derivation of Newton's Law of Gravitation.
The vibration referred to enters our universe through what he calls “primary points”. These, he decides in a breathtaking leap to illogical conclusions, are to be found in the atoms of so-called inert gases:
The question which [..] arises is, why are members of the inert series all gaseous, when one might expect at least Krypton and Xenon to be solid or liquid?
The only reasonable answer we can find is that the elements of the inert gas series are constantly in a vibrational state which is greater than that which would result from temperature alone. In our view there must be two “inputs” to the vibrational level of any inert gas atom: that which is accounted for by the temperature of the gas, and that which is constributed by an internal vibratory effect arising spontaneously and continuously within the atom itself.
Leaving aside the contradiction inherent in a vibration which prevents a gas from liquefying but does not raise its temperature, the underlying premise that there is some mystery about these gases is simply wrong. As the Wikipedia article linked to above says: “The noble gases have very weak inter-atomic forces of attraction, and consequently very low melting points and boiling points. This is why they are all gases under normal conditions, even those with larger atomic masses than many normally solid elements.”
Cooke reckons that the presence of primary points within inert gas atoms means that when placed in a magnetic field an inert gas will emit some sort of beam, and he provides detailed instructions for building apparatus to test this effect. Strangely the effect is detectable only by direct contact with the human body, as:
A “prickly sensation”, “heat” or “coolness”.
Absolutely no chance of any observer error there, then. But Cooke also performed a number of experiments of a different design in an attempt to measure bending of the aether by a strong magnetic field, using a form of interferometer.
Here is part of one of his reports from this experiment:
One day our observation in the morning showed a shift equal to 4 fringe widths. At noon of the same day, a quantity of fish was fried in the kitchen, one floor above the laboratory. The house had central air heating, which meant that all the air in the house was generally circulated through all of the rooms. As a result, the strong aroma of frying fish soon invaded the laboratory. At about the same time we again ran the fringe experiment. This time, there was no fringe shift whatever. It was as if something in the molecules responsible for the fish smell had 'locked up' the aether to such an extent that it would not respond in any way to the magnetic field.
It was after this that Cooke added to his apparatus a pan of boiling water, as shown in the diagram above, in order to “cleanse” the aether.
Stubborn Thought-Forms of the Fat
What migh be termed “Cooke's Fish Odour Effect” deserves further investigation, I feel, though practical applications are hard to envisage, unlike his Inert Gas Beam which apparently has wide-ranging medical uses documented in the final section of this volume - providing that one is prepared to swallow the idea that certain diseases are caused by “thought-forms” accessible to psychic perception:
In early 1980, I became acquainted with a woman who had the gift of total clairvoyance. She was able to 'see' not only auras, astral entities and the like, but also thought-forms of the kind discussed in the previous chapters [...]
[In treating a subject's obesity] I attempted to use 'hand-healing' with the guidance of the clairvoyant in terms of colors to visualize. The recommended colors were first green, then blue. My hand was held just above the throat of the subject, palm down - the location where the thought-form was attached. The effect was that strands of color threaded themselves through the thought-form and seemed to remain intertwined with it even after the 'healing' was stopped. However this procedure did not cause the thought-form to diminish in size or intensity.
If you had any remaining doubts about the value of Cooke's work, the above will surely have dispelled them. As for Cooke himself, he is something of an enigma. He has been described as a “Toronto businessman” and the blurb of this book says he and his co-authors “have been involved in various branches of physics for most of their adult lives”. He has written some books on astrology but he is mainly known for “channelling” a being called “Hilarion”, who seems to generously spread himself around a number of individuals including one Jon C Fox, who also shares Cooke's passion for inert gases. Disappointingly, in all his channellings thus far, Hilarion seems not to have said anything about the smell of fried fish and its effect on the aether. Maybe we on Earth are not ready for that one.