Camille Flammarrion,

 Camille Flammarion

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  Camille Flammarion  

Nicolas Camille Flammarion

February 26, 1842 - June 3, 1925

Nicolas Camille Flammarion was born in 1842 at Montigny-le-Roi in the department of Haute Marne, France. He first studied theology, but early got interested in astronomy. At age 16, in 1858, he wrote a 500-page manuscript, Cosmologie Universelle, and became an assistent of LeVerrier (the man whose calculations had led to the discovery of Neptune) at Paris Observatory. From 1862 to 1867, he temporarily worked at the Bureau of Longitudes, then returning to the Observatory where he got involved in the program of double star observing. This project resulted in publishing a catalog of 10,000 double stars in 1878.

Besides, Flammarion observed the Moon and planet Mars. In 1873 and 1885, he brought up the hypothesis that Mars' color might be attributed to vegetation. He published several popular books (L'astronomie Populaire in 1879, of which over 100,000 copies were sold and an English translation by J.E. Gore appeared in 1894, as well as a book on Mars, La Plančte Mars, supporting the existence of "canals", built by an advanced civilisation, Vol. 1 in 1892 and Vol. 2 in 1909), and encouraged amateur astronomy. In 1877, Flammarion founded the Astronomical Society of France. In 1882, he was donated a private observatory and estate by a M. Meret who admired his work.

In 1922, he was made a Commander of the Legion of Honor for his astronomical life-work.

Camille Flammarion passed away on June 3, 1925 in Juvisy-sur-Orge (Essonne, France).

Flammarion was honoured by the naming of a Moon Crater (3.4S, 3.7W, 74.0 km diameter, in 1935) and a Mars Crater (25.4N, 311.8W, 173.0 km, in 1973). Asteroid (1021) Flammario has been discovered by Max Wolf on March 11, 1924 and provisionally known as 1924 RG; also as A910 CE and 1977 UM from independent findings.

In 1877, Camille Flammarion had found and acquired Messier's personal copy and notes of the Messier Catalogue from an old book store. He used this as reference for various works including a revised version of the catalog. Evaluating Messier's handwritten notes, he tentatively identified M102 with NGC 5866 before 1917, and in 1921, he added M104 to the Messier Catalogue, which he identified with William Herschel's H I.43 or NGC 4594. This was the first of a number of additions to Messier's catalogue.

Camille Flammarion was born in Montigny-le-Roi, Haute-Marne, France. He was the brother of Ernest Flammarion (1846--1936), founder of the Groupe Flammarion publishing house. He was a founder and the first president of the Societe Astronomique de France, which originally had its own independent journal, BSAF (Bulletin de la Societe astronomique de France), first published in 1887. In January, 1895, after 13 volumes of L'Astronomie and 8 of BSAF, the two merged, making L'Astronomie the Bulletin of the Societe. The 1895 volume of the combined journal was numbered 9, to preserve the BSAF volume numbering, but this had the consequence that volumes 9 to 13 of L'Astronomie can each refer to two different publications, five years apart of each other.

The "Flammarion engraving" first appeared in Flammarion's 1888 edition of L'Atmosphere. In 1907 he wrote that he believed that dwellers on Mars had tried to communicate with the Earth in the past. He also believed in 1907 that a seven tailed comet was heading toward Earth. In 1910 for the appearance of Halley's Comet, he believed the gas from the comet's tail "would impregnate [the Earth's] atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet

Because of his scientific background, he approached spiritism and reincarnation from the viewpoint of the scientific method, writing, "It is by the scientific method alone that we may make progress in the search for truth. Religious belief must not take the place of impartial analysis. We must be constantly on our guard against illusions." He was chosen to speak at the funerals of Allan Kardec, codifier of Spiritism, on 2 April 1869, when he re-affirmed that "spiritism is not a religion but a science"

His Spiritist studies also influenced some of his science fiction. In "Lumen", a human character meets the soul of an alien, able to cross the universe faster than light, that has been reincarnated on many different worlds, each with their own gallery of organisms and their evolutionary history. Other than that, his writing about other worlds adhered fairly closely to then current ideas in evolutionary theory and astronomy.

What intelligent being, what being capable of responding emotionally to a beautiful sight, can look at the jagged, silvery lunar crescent trembling in the azure sky, even through the weakest of telescopes, and not be struck by it in an intensely pleasurable way, not feel cut off from everyday life here on earth and transported toward that first stop on the celestial journeys? What thoughtful soul could look at brilliant Jupiter with its four attendant satellites, or splendid Saturn encircled by its mysterious ring, or a double star glowing scarlet and sapphire in the infinity of night, and not be filled with a sense of wonder? Yes, indeed, if humankind -- from humble farmers in the fields and toiling workers in the cities to teachers, people of independent means, those who have reached the pinnacle of fame or fortune, even the most frivolous of society women -- if they knew what profound inner pleasure await those who gaze at the heavens, then France, nay, the whole of Europe, would be covered with telescopes instead of bayonets, thereby promoting universal happiness and peace." -- Camille Flammarion, 1880

"This end of the world will occur without noise, without revolution, without cataclysm. Just as a tree loses leaves in the autumn wind, so the earth will see in succession the falling and perishing all its children, and in this eternal winter, which will envelop it from then on, she can no longer hope for either a new sun or a new spring. She will purge herself of the history of the worlds. The millions or billions of centuries that she had seen will be like a day. It will be only a detail completely insignificant in the whole of the universe. Presently the earth is only an invisible point among all the stars, because, at this distance, it is lost through its infinite smallness in the vicinity of the sun, which itself is by far only a small star. In the future, when the end of things will arrive on this earth, the event will then pass completely unperceived in the universe. The stars will continue to shine after the extinction of our sun, as they already shone before our existence. When there will no longer be on the earth a sole concern to contemplate, the constellations will reign again in the noise as they reigned before the appearance of man on this tiny globule. There are stars whose light shone some millions of years before we arrived … The luminous rays that we receive actually then departed from their bosom before the time of the appearance of man on the earth. The universe is so immense that it appears immutable, and that the duration of a planet such as that of the earth is only a chapter, less than that, a phrase, less still, only a word of the universe’s history." -- Camille Flammarion, Le Fin du Monde (The End of the World)


French astronomer and author of more than 70 books, who did more to encourage public interest in the subject than anyone else of his day, although many of his scientific and philosophical arguments were eccentric. Born in Montigny-le-Roi, he served for some years at the Paris Observatory (beginning in 1858) and at the Bureau of Longitudes, but in 1883 he set up a private observatory at Juvisy, near Paris, and continued his studies, especially of double and multiple stars and of the Moon and Mars. His first book, La pluralite es mondes habite (The Plurality of Inhabited Worlds), originally published in 1862, secured his reputation as both a great popularizer and a leading advocate of extreme pluralism. By 1882, it had gone through 33 editions, and continued to be translated and reprinted well into the 20th century.

Flammarion's passionate belief in life on other worlds was nurtured by his readings of previous pluralist authors such as Fontanelle, Cyrano de Bergerac, Huygens, Lalande, and Brewster. He, and another French writer, J. H. Rosny, were the first to popularize the notion of beings that were genuinely alien and not merely minor variants on humans and other terrestrial forms. In his Real and Imaginary Worlds (1864) and Lumen (1887), he describes a range of exotic species, including sentient plants which combine the processes of digestion and respiration. This belief in extraterrestrial life, Flammarion combined with a religious conviction derived, not from the Catholic faith upon which he had been raised, but from the writings of Jean Reynaud and their emphasis upon the transmigration of souls. Man he considered to be a "citizen of the sky," others worlds "studios of human work, schools where the expanding soul progressively learns and develops, assimilating gradually the knowledge to which its aspirations tend, approaching thus evermore the end of its destiny." His linking of pluralism with transmigration, though an old idea, helps explain why these doctrines are often found together in writings from the closing decades of the 19th century.

Flammarion's best-selling work, his epic Astronomie populaire (1880), translated as Popular Astronomy (1894), is filled with speculation about extraterrestrial life. An entire chapter is taken up in arguing the case for lunar life, while Mars he considers "an earth almost similar to ours [with] water, air ... showers, brooks, fountains ... This is certainly a place little different from that which we inhabit." In 1892, he speculated further on the fourth planet in his La planč Mars et ses conditions d'habitabilite though in prose less florid than his earlier work. Concerning the canals (see Mars, canals of), he is open-minded, suggesting "they may be due to superficial fissures produced by geological forces or perhaps even to the rectification of old rivers by the inhabitants for the purpose of the general distribution of water ..." As to martian life, he concludes "the actual habitation of Mars by a race superior to our own is in our opinion very probable"

Flammarion's fertile imagination moves from romantic science to scientific romance in his Recits de l'infini (1872) and La fin du monde (1893). The former includes several tales which describe the reincarnation of a spirit on other worlds in various alien forms, while the latter has been seen as a precursor to Stapledon's Last and First Men.

His later studies were on psychical research, on which he wrote many works, among them Death and Its Mystery (3 vols., 1920–21). Flammarion earned the amorous attention of a French countess who died prematurely of tuberculosis. Although they never met, the young woman made an unusual request to her doctor, that when she died he would cut a large piece of skin from her back, bring it to Flammarion, and ask that he have it tanned and used to bind a copy of his next book. (The woman also had a picture of Flammarion tattooed on herself!) Flammarion's first copy of Terres du Ciel was bound thus, with an inscription in gold on the front cover: "Pious fulfillment of an anonymous wish/ Binding in human skin (woman) 1882".

In 1919, Camille married his second wife Gabrielle Renaudot (1876--1962) and for six years they worked side by side to promote astronomy in France. After Camille died, Gabrielle continued to maintain Juvisy Observatory and even made arrangements for work to continue after her death. She is buried next to her husband in the observatory park.


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From the page Direct Voice 4 through the Mediumship of Leslie Flint

With this communication so began for George Woods, Betty Greene and their reel to reel tape recorder a 15 year series of regular sittings with the independent direct voice Medium Leslie Flint that culminated in over five hundred recorded first hand accounts from those passed on to the next stage of existence beyond the grave referred to by most as 'death.'

As a reward for her efforts Betty Greene presents these recordings to the world to enlighten mankind :


Camille Flammarion - 3853K - 20 minutes - recorded 1972 :-

A background roar but still intelligible the French astronomer, psychic researcher and author says it is a tragedy that Physical Mediumship is no longer developed to the degree that it has been in the past - more Physical Mediums should be developed for the scientists of tomorrow to work with - speaks about  the Medium Estelle Roberts

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