The Great Year is a compelling documentary that explores the possibility that the fall of ancient civilizations around the globe and the subsequent rise of modern ones might be related to our Sun’s motion around a companion star. The film examines evidence that ancient civilizations may have known of this celestial cycle and that our Sun may indeed display the characteristics of binary motion.
Just as the Earth’s spin on its axis causes day and night and our planet’s annual orbit around the Sun is responsible for the ongoing cycle of the seasons, what if there is some greater celestial cycle, lasting thousands of years, slowly influencing the rise and fall of civilization across the globe? Where is the evidence? What could be the cause?
To many ancient cultures, the answers lie in the stars. In their view, time and civilization did not progress forward in a strict linear path, but moved in a cyclical pattern, with human civilization and consciousness rising and falling as great ages came and went. To the ancient Mayans, we are entering the time of the Fifth Sun; Hindu and Vedic scholars spoke of the Yuga Cycle as a great circular progression of ages; and in ancient Greece, Plato taught of a large cycle of time which would slowly return us to a “Golden Age”. He called this cycle The Great Year.
The Great Year investigates the common thread in these beliefs and looks back in time, seeking answers to the questions that still dominate science today. How far back into history do mankind’s roots really go? What did the ancients know about the stars and their movements and what can we learn from them? Why was the “Precession of the Equinox” universally revered? Many of these cultures spoke of an unseen sun that drives this movement of the stars across the sky over thousands of years and causes great ages to rise and fall. Could there be an unseen binary partner to our Sun? The Great Year examines this theory and finds growing scientific evidence to support it.
What makes The Great Year so compelling is that it reveals a startling truth embodied in the number one ancient mystery: the Precession of the Equinox. By showing cutting edge scientific evidence that challenges the current theory, this film is sure to set off debates in the scientific, archaeological, and astronomical communities.
This provocative film, narrated by James Earl Jones, is accompanied by 18 minutes of animation and a moving original musical score. The message behind the film may be the beginning of a whole new way to look at time and history and just might set off a new scientific movement to find our Sun’s binary companion.
Making a documentary that traces the connection between the movements of the stars and the beliefs of ancient cultures was no easy task. It is only within the past few decades that archaeology has begun to realize the true depth of knowledge that our ancestors had in this area. The challenge is made doubly so by the fact that one of the main celestial motions, the slow backward movement of the stars across the sky over thousands of years, the Precession of the Equinox, upon which so many of the peoples of ancient times based their lives and beliefs, is a celestial motion hardly heard of, much less widely discussed today.
The idea of marrying two seemingly disparate sciences, archaeological discovery and modern astronomical theory, is unique but necessary in order to present a complete picture of ancient beliefs and ideas about the movements of the heavens and to investigate the relevance they may have in today’s world. The Great Year looks at the way people of ancient times viewed the stars and their movements, specifically Precession, as integral parts of their daily lives, and the commonality of these beliefs in civilizations across the globe. It then compares these ideas with modern astronomical theory about this phenomenon.
“It is really quite interesting. Here you have evidence that all of these cultures, from the Egyptians, Mayans, to Vedic Indians, were literally obsessed with Precession,” says Walter Cruttenden, Executive Producer, “and all had these ideas that it somehow marked the rise and fall of civilization. It’s fascinating.”
To tell its story, the film brings together a team of well-credentialed experts, including professors from USC, UCLA, Marquette University, and noted Egyptologist John Anthony West, to present the evidence and speculate on the possibilities.
The documentary, ultimately, is a search for truth. “The idea that Precession is caused by a binary star and that this motion could somehow cause the rise and fall of civilization is controversial, but that is what makes it really interesting,” says Cruttenden. “This is a search for knowledge. Only time will tell if the theories in the documentary are correct. But the fact they are based on mythic tales, the scientific language of yore, that hint at stellar concepts we are only just discovering, makes them worthy of our closest examination.”
Werner Dappen is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at USC, who aims at using the Sun as a plasma physics laboratory. To pursue this goal, he participates on the one hand in state-of-the art solar modeling and the analysis of helioseismic data. On the other hand, helioseismology is the first accurate ”experiment” that puts strong constraints on the thermodynamic quantities of the plasma of stellar interiors. Dappen has ongoing collaborations, supported by his NSF grant, with the leading groups that model the statistical mechanics of reacting Coulomb systems (Livermore, Lyon, Rostock/Greifswald). Dappen’s own contribution to the field (the Mihalas-Hummer-Dappen equation of state) is currently being used by several international solar and stellar modeling groups.
Uwe Homann is an astronomer and theorist with the Sirius Research Group, specializing in stellar transit measurement and alternative theories in solar system dynamics. Mr. Homann is also an author and is currently involved in several projects related to the theory that the observed precession of the equinox is a result of the Sun’s motion around a binary rather than Earth wobble.
Dr. Kehoe is a retired Professor of Anthropology at Marquette University. She is an acclaimed expert on Native American culture and specializes in Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. She is the author of several books, including Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians, The Land of Prehistory: A Critical History of American Archaeology, and Humans: An Introduction to Four-Field Anthropology.
Ronald Mellor received his doctorate in Classics at Princeton University in 1968 and first taught in the Classics department at Stanford University. Since 1976, he has been teaching Greek and Roman History in the History department at UCLA. He has been a Visiting Fellow/Scholar at University College London, the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University, the American Academy in Rome, and the Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies.
His research has centered on ancient religion and Roman historiography. His seven books are: QEA RWMH: The Goddess Roma in the Greek World (1975); From Augustus to Nero: The First Dynasty of Imperial Rome (ed. 1990); Tacitus (1993); Tacitus: The Classical Heritage (1995); The Historians of Ancient Rome (ed. 1997); The Roman Historians (1999); and Text and Tradition: Studies in Greek History and Historiography in Honor of Mortimer Chambers (ed. 1999). He is also author of the principal articles on ancient Rome in the CD-ROM encyclopedia, Encarta 2000.
From 1992 to 1997 Mellor was Chair of the UCLA History Department. He is the statewide Principal Investigator of the California History-Social Science Project, which brings university faculty together with K-12 teachers at ten sites in California. The CHSSP was given the 2000 American Historical Association Beveridge Award for K-12 teaching.
Mellor is currently working on a study of oriental religion in Roman Pompeii. He is also general editor of a series of volumes on ancient world history to be published by the Oxford University Press.
John Anthony West is a writer, scholar specializing in Ancient Egypt. He is the author of The Traveler’s Key to Ancient Egypt, and consulting editor for the Traveler’s Key series. His previous book, Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt is an exhaustive study of the revolutionary Egyptological work of the French mathematician and Orientalist, the late R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz.
In The Case for Astrology, John Anthony West presents compelling new evidence that proves the astrological premise: that correlations exist between events in the sky and on earth, and that correspondences exist between the human personality and the positions of the planets at birth.
Mr. West has published a novel and many short stories; his plays have been produced on stage, television and radio, and he writes articles, essays and criticism for The New York Times Book Review, Conde Nast’s Traveler and other general interest and specialized newspapers and magazines in America and abroad. He won an Emmy Award for his 1993 NBC Special Documentary The Mystery of the Sphinx, hosted by Charlton Heston.
Brother Achalananda has for the past 43 years been a monk in the Self-Realization Fellowship monastic communities founded by Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi and widely regarded as one of the preeminent spiritual figures of our time. Presently Brother Achalananda serves as senior minister at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple in Los Angeles. He has for many years lectured extensively on the ancient science of yoga meditation and Yuga theory.
Every groundbreaking project is successful because of the people behind it. With a strong team of visionary people in charge of creative direction and artistic leadership, so much can be accomplished. Large strides in communication (O2 Priority) can only be made with experts in charge, presenting a clear and dynamic story or product. The Great Year owes its excellence to the filmmakers here below.
Walter Cruttenden is the founder of the Binary Research Institute (BRI); an archeoastronomy think tank focused on celestial knowledge of ancient civilizations, with an emphasis on precession mechanics. Based on this research Cruttenden has put forth the “Binary Model” to better explain the Precession of the Equinox, the little- understood, third motion of the Earth.
Cruttenden has had a life long interest in the science of archeoastronomy, mythology and esoteric teachings. Prior to founding BRI, he was in the investment banking business and one of the largest providers of IPO and private financing to science and technology companies in the under $100 million market cap range. He sold his banking interests to Fidelity and E*Trade and now devotes fulltime to BRI.
Geoff Patino is the Director of Production for the Binary Research Institute, and is an experienced producer and creative developer. Prior to joining BRI, Geoff founded and served as Creative Director of NetChemistry, a web development firm specializing in large-scale interactive sites ranging from the entertainment to financial services in industries. Before NetChemistry, Geoff served as a Web Design Consultant at E*Offering, and Art Director for Genesis Intermedia, where he developed interactive media systems for several international companies. Geoff currently sits on the board of directors for the Yogananda Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides grants to individuals and groups dedicated to the promotion of spiritual growth in modern society. He has earned a BA in Visual Arts Media from the University of California, San Diego.
Robert Ballo is an image-maker and a storyteller. With over 20 years of industry experience, Robert has acted as the Director of Photography on numerous films and television programs. Award-winning productions for clients such as ABC, TBS, PBS, Discovery Channel, Air Touch Cellular, and singer Michael Jackson – to name only a few – have aired on national network television, cable networks, and internationally in Asia and Europe.
As President of GOAL Productions, Robert serves variously as producer, director and cinematographer. Recent directing credits include the award-winning The Student Ambassador Experience and America’s New Year Celebration for the Tournament of Roses. Other directing credits include The Granddaddy of Them All (ABC), Ballooning in Europe and The Great European Balloon Adventure (both Discovery Channel).
As Producer, Robert has supervised numerous “behind-the-scenes” documentaries for DVD release, corporate projects for Fortune 500 companies like Boeing and Miller Brewing Company, and commercials for Strouds and Sharp Seating Company. Television projects he has produced include A Child’s Voice in Court and Alpine Ballooning. He also produced exhibits including interactive video kiosks for the Pasadena Museum of History and the Tournament of Roses.
Robert has more than two decades of cinematography and producing experience, and has shot several projects for Warner Brothers – All on Accounta Pullin’ a Trigger (10th anniversary special for Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven), The Making of Space Cowboys, and Dirty Harry: The Original (30th anniversary television broadcast on the Encore Cable Network). His additional work includes featured segments for the popular morning show Good Morning America (ABC) and weekly talk shows Leeza (Paramount Pictures) and Caryl & Marilyn (Viacom). Weekly cable television series credits include Movie Magic and Hollywood’s Greatest Stunts (Discovery Channel), How’d They Do That? (The Learning Channel), Sci-Fi Buzz (Sci-Fi Channel), and Running and Racing World (ESPN). PBS Documentary experience includes a number of specials – The Gift, The Jack Lewis Story: A Time to Live, Surviving Loss, and many more.
Robert is an active supporter of High Definition Television and other digital technologies. The documentary College Sports in America, which he shot and produced for GOAL Productions, was made using the first Sony/Panavision 1” tube HD camera and went on as a finalist at the Montreux Electronic Film Festival in Switzerland in 1986. He also shot The Hole, a dramatic short that screened at the Sundance Film Festival Digidance sidebar. Corporate clients like Light Value, Pioneer, and Hi-Vision have all used Robert’s HD images in their HD projection systems. Robert’s most recent HD production is the feature film Runnin’ at Midnite, which he also co-produced.
Serving as both project coordinator and producer at GOAL, Bud recently produced several documentary shorts for independent film studio Nu Image, including Behind the Scenes of Undisputed, Inside Try Seventeen and the award-winning Grounded: The Making of Air Panic.
Bud serves as director on various GOAL projects as well. Most recently, he directed two television commercials for retailer Strouds and two commercials for Rose Parade vendor Sharp Seating Company. As director, he is currently in production on Beyond the Twilight Zone, a retrospective television special planned for release in 2003. Previous directing credits include the educational feature Life in the Spotlight: How Kids Can Break into Showbiz, the science fiction feature Assault on Dome IV and 2nd unit work on the ABC series Ellen.
Prior to joining GOAL, Bud developed and refined his ability to oversee set operations and manage production staff through years of on-set experience as a First Assistant Director in the feature film arena. Among his feature film credits are the Lou Diamond Phillips action film Route 666, the Nastassja Kinski romance Cold Heart, and the James Brolin detective thriller Blood Money. His reputation for bringing films in “on time and on budget” earned him a staff position with Hit Entertainment, where Bud supervised several feature films like the Robert Carradine sci-fi thriller Firestorm and the Hulk Hogan comedy The Secret Agent Club.
No stranger to television, Bud served as First Assistant Director on the AMC cable network series The Lot and performed production coordinator duties on the sitcoms Temporarily Yours for CBS and Ellen for ABC. Additionally, he assisted with the development and founding of start-up cable entity America National Network (ANN), serving as Line Producer on the High Definition pilot episode of the network’s premier series, Dawn of Our Nation, which is scheduled to air when the network launches.
Bud has a BA degree in Motion Pictures/Television from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a graduate of the Dale Carnegie School of Public Speaking and Human Relations. Bud is married to his best friend Beth, with whom he has two daughters – Sara and Jenny.
Ed Bishop is the senior editor at GOAL, having been with the company for almost two years. He has cut several award-winning productions for GOAL during this time, including Road to the Rose Bowl for Lawry’s Prime Rib Restaurant (Telly Award), The Student Ambassador Experience for The Pasadena Tournament of Roses (Crystal Award of Excellence), and Grounded: The Making of Air Panic for Nu Image Films (Communicator Award of Distinction). Working with PR firm Burson-Marsteller, Ed also edited Video News Releases and Virtual Press Releases for the debut of Dean Kamen’s Segway Human Transporter, a campaign that was recognized by The Holmes Group with a Bronze SABRE Award from for Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation.
Ed began his professional career in 1989 as an editor, then segment producer on a national video newsmagazine for the American Library Association. Throughout the early 90’s he produced and edited award-winning music videos, commercials, training and promotional videos for such clients as DuPont, Polygram Records, and PRS Guitars.
In 1997 Ed teamed with director Pericles Lewnes on the independent documentary Fast Game, Fast Money: The Grifters of New York. An irreverent expose of Three-Card-Monte and Shell Game con artists, the “documentary-noir” earned critical accolades and numerous awards, including the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle and Grand Prize in the Rosebud Film Festival. The film screened at the Kennedy Center AFI Theatre in DC, The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Atlanta Film Festival. It also aired in several markets on PBS. Ed and Pericles followed that success with the production of Fighter, a documentary feature following the rise of Ultimate Fighting Champion Randy Couture.
While working on Fighter, Ed co-produced, co-wrote, and edited the Bogart, Cagney, Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Kirk Douglas installments of Movie Stars On Film, a documentary series released on DVD by Delta Entertainment. Ed also co-produced and/or edited several short films and worked on post-production and digital effects for Disney Channel, Planet Hollywood, ABC, ESPN, Mattel, Britney Spears, and the features Highlander: Endgame, Terminal Error and Driven. He most recently edited a short demo for the documentary Egypt Is In Africa, directed by Michael Schultz (Boston Public, The Practice).
James Earl Jones, considered one of the great actors of the 20th century, is noted for his particularly deep voice. His distinctive voice has become well known through his character of Darth Vador in the films Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, as Mufasa in The Lion King, and through many television commercials.
James attended the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor and initially studied medicine. However, he changed his major after his freshman year and graduated with a degree in drama. He moved to New York City in 1955 to pursue a stage career, and was united with his father, actor Robert Earl Jones, who had left the family before his birth. After years of playing bit parts, Jones won recognition for his performance in Jean Genet’s The Blacks and in 1962 won an Obie Award (given for off-Broadway theater work) as best actor. James Earl Jones gained more prominence with his classical acting ability after work in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Othello in 1964. It was that same year that he made his film debut in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove.
Jones won national recognition and a Tony Award in 1969 for his portrayal of Jack Johnson, the first black world heavyweight-boxing champion, in The Great White Hope, and he won a second Tony for best actor in 1987 for his performance in Fences.
James Earl Jones has gained national recognition lending his voice to numerous documentaries, making appearances in a variety of television shows, and starring in several feature films throughout his career. Among his most memorable roles are those of Terence Mann in Field Of Dreams, and his portrayal of Adm. James Greer in The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, and Clear And Present Danger.
Jones holds honorary doctorates from Yale, Princeton, Columbia and New York Universities and Emerson College. He was a presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts from 1970 to 1976. In 1992, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bush. He is also the recipient of the prestigious NAACP Hall of Fame Image Award for his contributions to the arts. James Earl Jones is a widely recognized and beloved actor whose broad appeal has made him one of the most famous voices of our time.
JAMES EARL JONES
Animation and Title Design
RED GYPSY ANIMATION
“Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)”
Words and Music by Pete Seeger
Published By Melody Trails, Inc. – BMI
Scientific concepts developed by Walter Cruttenden, Karl-Heinz Homann, and Vince Dayes based on the work of Sri Yukteswar.
Film Footage courtesy of Image Bank Film by Getty Images
and NASA / Caltech
Still Photos courtesy of
Getty Images: George C. Beresford, Ewing Galloway, Ernst Haas, Kurt Hutton,
Reuters, Arthur Rothstein, John Thomson & Roger Viollet
Additional Images courtesy of
Dr. Kathleen Cohen, San Jose State University
Alice B. Kehoe, Ph.D
Swami Satyananda, Atma Jyoti Ashram
Library of Congress
J. McKim Malville
Museum of Antiquities of the University and Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Self Realization Fellowship
Space Telescope Science Institute
Mary Ann Sullivan, Ph.D, Bluffton College
University of Chicago
Special Thanks To
The Binary Research Institute
Alice B. Kehoe, Ph.D.
Ronald J. Mellor
John Anthony West
The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino
© 2003 The Yuga Project, LLC
Dwapara Year 303