Hawaiians are from Pleiadian Star System & Volcano Formation tour with Michael Salla [Ep 1]
Today on Edge of Wonder. The special guest is none other than Dr. Michael Salla. Ben and Rob finally get the chance to spend the day with Dr. Salla and tour around the Big Island, learning about its deep history, culture, people, and how it’s become the U.S. state it is today. Then go on a fascinating journey and discover breathtaking scenery that only Hawaii has to offer. An Edge of Wonder exclusive. Dr. Michael Salla starts now. Should we clap? Clap. Okay. Dr. Salla tell us about where you’re taking us right now. So where I’m taking you now is a place where there was a historic battle between the Hawaiian ali’i.
This was just after the death of King Kamehameha I who unified the Hawaiian islands. And so the kingship that passed on to his son, but the wife of King Kamehameha I still had a lot of influence, and so she wanted to She became a Christian. She wanted to introduce Christianity and do away with the traditional Hawaiian belief systems. and so there were those that aligned with the two factions. So the one faction was the son of King Kamehameha II and his mother that wanted to basically introduce Christianity, and have it squared and just completely forget, well move away from the old ways, which were kind of, described as the kapu system, a very severe system.
And there were those that were the defenders of the kapu system, the traditional Hawaiian beliefs systems, which stretched back many centuries, even millennia. And they believed that adopting western ways was the betrayal of the Hawaiian traditions. Right. And so, at a commemoration for the former king, King Kamehameha I, the two sides split, there was an attempt to reconcile them at this commemoration for the king. but the two sides split, because one of the traditions was that women and men would not eat together. It was a strict separation many different ways in which the kapu system operates, which could be very severe in terms of the consequences if you broke these traditions. Oh wow. So one of the traditions was that men would not eat with women. So at this feast commemorating King Kamehameha I, the mother of the new king told him, well let’s break kapu and let’s eat together. because all of the aliʻi are going to be here commemorating the dead king, this will be showing the people that we no longer will be observing the old kapu system.
And so they agreed to do that at the commemoration for the old king, the queen sat down next to the new king, to her son. And so the son of the aliʻi stood up in revolt and said, no this is breaking kapu. You’re going against our centuries old traditions, you’re adopting these ways of the westerners and we can’t agree with this. and there will be war. And so they left in a fury that the kapu system had been broken right in front of them.
And so the two sides, King Kamehameha II using rifles because they’ve been equipped by the British, become a modern army. and then the traditional Hawaiian lords aliʻi using more traditional weapons systems, far less sophisticated. The two sides separated in great anger and the two armies are met at where we’re going now. This was the great battle that ended the traditional Hawaiian cultural system and with Christianity and Western culture, spread unimpeded to all of the islands.
And because the Kingdom of Hawaii was established here on the Big Island, this was a decisive battle for the entire Hawaiian islands and the Christianizing, all of them. that must be, it might be like the way in which the kapu system is talked about today and remembered is that it was a very draconian or very strict system where men and women were segregated in terms of eating, when royals were in play, or walking, the aliʻi or the king, if you stepped on the shadow. Then you could be put to death. Wow that’s crazy. So there were a lot of these very strict aspects of the kapu system, which today we would see as quite draconian, ruthless and barbaric. But we have to ask ourselves, was it really that barbaric at the time? You know, I mean, certainly the Christian, the Christian missionaries came in and they wanted to discredit the old system and say this is barbaric and we want it become modern and adopt Christianity.
So I think the way in which the kapu system was remembered, we need to consider that a lot of that are through the filters of Christian missionaries who really introduced a lot of propaganda in favor of the whole introduction of Western values and the abandonment of the traditional Hawaiian practices. This is an area where there was a lava flow and yes, it was here where the battle was fought. Basically many Hawaiians believed that they had descended from Pleiadians visitors, and that the Pleiadians arrived here in Polynesia, in Hawaii, and that this is where they basically began seeding the Hawaiian people. So their ancestry is connected to the Pleiades. And that’s their belief system and of course it’s an ancestral system they had in place. So they tracked the genealogy going back many thousands of years. There are some Hawaiians that can track the Hawaiian lineages all the way back to the gods, the time of the gods, which came from the Pleiades.
So the traditional Hawaiians believe that the different gods that they worship all connected to the Pleiades . This is very interesting because the Hawaiians believe that the spirits of the dead warriors still wander these lands. So it is sacred land to them now. and there are people who are psychics in today and intuitives who kind of sense the warriors here, and sometimes they can do things, visitors tourists can be even harassed by those ancestors of these dead warriors because they might not be welcomed. They might not like you. Right you have something that they don’t like. That’s interesting. So for many Hawaiians, this is their Gettysburg, this was the decisive battle in the civil war over the direction the Kingdom of Hawaii was going to take. And because of the great bloodshed and what emerged later, it still is an event that is commemorated by the Hawaiians. This was the way in which back in the 1800s, the Hawaiians would travel the length and breadth of the island.
There were these pathways just made out of rock that were flattened. And so this is how commerce and old trade and diplomacy was conducted. So this was one of the trails, and this is the you would have the two sides meeting on this trail. One would come from both sides. And the battle was fought here at this section, And King Kamehameha I he died from war or just passed away from age? No he passed away from age, He had successfully reunified the Hawaiian islands and he just passed away from all day. we have a friend who was born in Hawaii actually, and I guess his understanding was somebody was gonna colonize Hawaii eventually. So he was like, it’s probably better that maybe, maybe it was better that the U.S. did it than another country. But Hawaii under King Kamehameha I was a kingdom that was eventually recognized by all the world’s major nations. So it was a kingdom that had a diplomatic status at all the major events right up until 1893. So we’re talking a period of like for much of the 1800s from the time King Kamehameha I, Hawaii was an independent kingdom that was recognized by Britain, France, Russia, United States, all the major powers.
and originally Hawaii was a protectorate of the British crown of the British empire, and they helped the Hawaiians develop a modern nation state in that time. And so during the Crimean war in the 1850s, Hawaii was the first nation to declare itself a neutral nation. And so that way it didn’t take sides and would allow both Russian and British ships to take anchor here in Hawaii.
And so the kingdom was recognized. And so in the 1890s, when there was this coup by American settlers, Hawaiians resisted that, but they did it, they chose to resist nonviolently. And the nonviolent resistance continues to the present day. Many Hawaiians strongly believe that Hawaii was illegally annexed that the kingdom needs to be restored, and that Hawaii is under military occupation, and that under international law, those that collaborate with the federal or state Hwaii governments are actually violating international law.
Very interesting. Now that makes more sense now. It does for sure. So there definitely is a lot of history here and this place is a critical point of departure for understanding the very different perspectives that Hawaiians have in terms of their relationship with a Western civilization. Thanks so much for bringing us here. Yeah this is awesome. We are looking forward to our next adventure for sure. With Michael Salla. So let’s get into the car and see where we go next. Great. When was Hawaii was officially registered as a U.S. state if you know. As a state in the United States, It was 1959, 1960. It was recognized as a state, and previously it was recognized as occupied territory by the United Nations that’s registered as that.
That I remember, just wasn’t sure on the exact date. And the people were given a choice. Do you want to continue to be a territory? Or do you want to become a state within the United States, but they were not given a third choice, which was do you want to have your kingdom restored? Right. Interesting. That is something that Hawaiians have been nonviolently resisting nonviolently agitating for since the annexation back in 1999, and the coup from 1893. Yeah you know part of me feels like, kind of be curious to hear what you think. listening to all of this, I can totally understand why Hawaiians would feel that they do. And maybe coming from like zooming out a little bit and looking at the entire global world situation. And to me like what I would be most concerned about is that the culture of Hawaii doesn’t disappear right. Even though that happened the way that it did does not sound good, but if Hawaii was left open, I really think that communists would have come in and taken it over or something. Cuz I mean it just feels like it could have been a much much worse situation, especially if China came over.
Exactly. think about where Hawaii is, like its strategical position. That’s why the U.S. started building basis here. I think of course it is, of course it is. But if you look at what’s happened to places like China, like North Korea right? Like if a much more nefarious entity had taken over Hawaii, I’m not sure this place would be the beautiful place that it is anymore. I’m kind of curious what you think about that. Well I think come to kingdom hadn’t been illegally annexed, Because the kingdom did and the king and the queen, they had great reverence, but the real crux of that system was the aliʻi system. The lords that ran the kingdom and they certainly would have been deeply opposed to communism, and communism is all about working class. So you know the aliʻi, the kingdom itself would have been deeply opposed to communism, and because the aliʻi regarded by in great reverence by all Hawaiian subjects, I don’t think you would have had any kind of communist take over here. So I don’t think communism would have really made much headway here in the Hawaiian islands if the kingdom had survived.
We were citizens of a kingdom that was internationally recognized. Native American Indians were never part of the kingdom that was internationally recognized by the major powers that signed treaties. And that was part of the international postal union. Right. And the supporters of the kingdom of Hawaii say that this is something that was an illegal annexation. So we’re on the slopes of Mauna Loa, which is the world’s biggest shield volcano, its height is about 30,700 ft, but it extends all the way down to sea level. So if we measure if from sea level right up to about up to its summit, it’s the world’s biggest mountain, bigger than Everest, and it’s a shield volcano which means that when the lava erupts, it just flows out gradually, and forms these kind of rivers of lava flowing down aside, you don’t have an explosion as you have in place by Krakatoa or Popocatépetl in Mexico City, the people, the Hawaiians who live on the slopes of Mauna Loa have gone through centuries of recognizing Mauna Loa as an embodiment of Pele who’s the goddess.
I was hoping you would tell us more about Pele. Right so she is amongst the Hawaiian pantheon. She’s one of the most loved of the gods. She is very much involved with creativity creation, very fiery energy obviously, Very jealous God in Hawaiian folklore. The Hawaiians are very cognizant of the fact that when Pele erupts, often the lava flow comes from fissures destroying the farms the agriculture of the Hawaiians in that village. But the Hawaiians recognize that this is part of the renewal process. They just recognize that Pele has a way of operating which is beyond any kind of linear conceptional pattern. It’s like it’s all about recognizing her power, honoring her and that way they have a relation with her so that when she does flow, they believe that well if she averts their lands because of their prayers to her, And if it gets overrun that’s because it was meant for renewal, so Hawaiians understand that. So Mauna Loa is very much associated with the goddess Pele, and so when the state of Hawaii approved the beginning of geothermal testing on the slopes of Mauna Loa, a lot of the Hawaiians protest it very vigorously, this is it, right here, this is it.
Definitely taking photos here Look at the waves hitting the side over there too. That is nuts. Okay should we need to stop these things? Yeah. We actually made a stop- a little pit stop here along the side… You can see the volcano in the distance Dr. Salla’s going to tell us about the area because it’s super important It’s very beautiful On the slopes of Kilauea that extend out into the ocean That’s the Hilina Slump And that’s a massive region of volcanic eruption that falls into the ocean And because of the regular earthquakes here, earthquakes can trigger rockslides and sections of the Hilina slump breaking off and when it breaks off, you have tidal waves And there have been a number of tidal waves created by sections of the Hilina Slump breaking away That have hit the coastal regions such as this area here that we see now Okay ready? Okay.
Dr. Salla I had a question for you. Ben was just talking about the earthquake that we were in the other day. It was a 5.2 earthquake and after it happened, this question came to my mind. Like how exactly are the earthquakes related to the volcanoes in Hawaii? From my understanding earthquakes happen from tectonic plates shifting, my understanding, volcanoes might be a part of that, but I’m not exactly sure the mechanics of that. Right. What generates earthquakes typically is some kind of seismic activity, either due to two tectonic plates colliding, or as in the case of the Big Island of Hawaii that we are over a hotspot.
And that basically means that there is a plume of lava that connects all the way into the earth’s mantle. And the earth mantle is approximately 120 miles or so below the crust. So this hotspot goes all the way down to the mantle. And so there’s tremendous energy that comes up into the form of lava, molten rock coming up. And as that lava flows, it creates earthquakes. so that’s one of the ways in which we often had the earthquakes occurring here on the Big Island. So the earthquakes can actually come from the lava moving. Totally exactly yea. So the lava is moving and as it moves down there, it’ll just generate an earthquake. So that’s why they’re so, I mean, there’s tremors all the time right here. I mean you guys feel tremors all the time. So maybe once a week I heard there’s like a, we get like a hundred tremors in a day.
Really, especially around here Kilauea. It all depends on just how much lava flows as to how big the earthquake can be. Amazing. So I heard the story that you’re not supposed to taking any rock from the volcano. Yeah that’s one of the Hawaiian urban legends. People that take lava rock with them that they have a lot of bad luck. Yeah I heard a lot of stories like people’s dog died. And is that just kind of like a myth or is it like pretty legit, a lot of people say that when they take the black lava rock with them to the mainland, that they have bad luck and they send it back. So there’s a lot of stories about that so I would not discount that. Hawaii truly is a magical place in many many ways. And certainly the lava and the connection to Pele, I think we shouldn’t discount such stories. Okay hey here we are. what’s the name of this area Dr. Salla? We are now at the summit of the Kilauea volcano, which is about 4,000 feet.
And what we can see over, we’re overlooking the main crater, which is called Halema’uma’u crater. And that’s the crater that really has been the one that has been most active for the last a hundred years or so. And so a volcano house, which is where we are standing now, this was created over a century ago. And because they wanted to view the explosions happening here at the summit of Kilauea, what happened recently was that the Halema’uma’u crater, what you can see there, like this depression in the ground, that was only the 10th of the size of what it is now.
And what happened was that when the lava started to flow into the lower Paunalu’u area, the east rift zone, the lava that had accumulated here at Kilauea volcano drained out. And because we’re at a 4,000 foot elevation, it drained out with a lot of force because that potential energy being at 4,000 feet translates into kinetic energy as it’s flowing down. And so all of that flowed down into the lower east rift zone, creating over 20 fissures down there in Leilani estates. And so it created the most massive lava flow in recorded history here, as a result of all of the lava draining out of the summit of Kilauea. What happened was that the walls that were previously around the Halema’uma’u crater, they collapsed. And so it made the crater 10 times bigger. And that’s what we’re seeing now. If you look down there now, you’ll see some of the edges of the floor of the Kilauea volcano. Some of the edges look like they’re about to fall away crack.
That’s going to fall into the Halema’uma’u crater and all of the lava’s been drained out. But now because the eruption stopped in September of 2018, they expect that the lava will begin to accumulate again. Right. So one thing I noticed when we came in here was like, the whole area is cracked around that, so it looks like that’s like the rock that’s starting to split. And then I don’t know if you can see it on the camera, but you can actually see the smoke coming from the crater actually. That’s really interesting. I wasn’t really, I didn’t think we could actually see the smoke. And that’s from like the lava itself correct? That’s right. Yeah the steam and the sulfur coming from the lava, which is at the bottom of the Halema’uma’u crater there. That’s what we’re seeing, typically the lava would fluctuate in terms of how deep it is within the crater. Often it would be like a hundred feet or maybe 50 feet below the floor of the crater where Halema’uma’u is. But because it all drained away, there wasn’t anything left. And so that’s what led to the walls collapsing, but now it’s starting to come back.
Interesting. Yeah. So just to give you guys an idea of what it’s like up here, it’s a lot higher. So it’s cooler at this elevation that we’re at and the smell, a lot of times when people think of sulfur, they think of this like a rotten egg smell right? But this actually smells more like firewood or burning, like something burning. It’s not the same kind of sulfur that you’d normally think of when people say that. Why is that exactly? Do you know? I mean that smell you get from burning eggs or burnt eggs. I mean that’s kind of like sulfur dioxide. and so this is just sulfur burning with a water vapor and so it has a slightly different smell.
Right interesting. That’s really interesting. So I mean really put this into perspective, that hole, just to reemphasize this was one 10th the size that it currently is. I mean, if the wall of that, which looks like it can fall in any time was to break more, I mean it could easily move this way. I mean am I right? Well that’s right. As you see up in the right there, and you see the Jaggar Museum and the wall has begun collapsing nearby it. And so that’s what has led to it being closed now because it’s unsafe, because you can see part of the cliff face has collapsed, and so that’s made that area something that they reevaluate in terms of maintaining a lookout, whether they repair that or relocate, it looks like they might relocate that.
this all happened recently right? Well that’s right, this really accelerated on May 3rd of 2018 and from May up until September of 2018, you had all of the lava draining out of here. And the other thing to keep in mind is because all the lava was draining out, that led to a lot of earthquakes. There was a lot of earthquakes. And so that was going on throughout the six months that the lava was flowing from the summit of, from draining, from the summit of Kilauea down into the lower Puna region. And all of these earthquakes that were being generated as the lava drained out, they were impacting throughout this entire region, and most importantly, affecting the Hilina Slump.
And the Hilina Slump is not that far from where we are now on the summit of Kilauea. And that’s an area which is very unstable. And if a sufficiently large chunk of the Hilina Slump fell into the ocean, that’s when you would have these tsunamis that would be like a thousand foot high hitting the Hawaiian islands and 100 foot high that would hit the west coast at speeds of around 500 miles an hour. Yeah. So one more question I have for you is, how does the drilling exactly, the geothermal drilling, how did that impact this area right here? The geothermal drilling, that was something that actually occurred in an area near here called kavilaha, just to the east of where we’re standing about 10 miles away, and that initial geothermal testing that happened in 1993, what that did was that, it initially initiated the first lava flows that became the Pu’u ‘Ō’ō vent.
And so where the Pu’u ‘Ō’ō vent is, which is the vent that actually opened up and led to lava decimating the region of Kalapana in the lower Puna area, From 1983 right up until the early two thousands, there was lava flowing out of the Pu’u ‘Ō’ō vent that just covered that entire region. We’re talking thousands of homes were affected. And all of that began in 1993 when there was the initial tests drilling for establishing a geothermal plant, here up in the vicinity of where the Pu’u ‘Ō’ō vent is right now. And that used to be a state park, a very pristine area. But now that’s been covered over and I believe the name was the area was Kavalahei. Okay. Awesome. Cool. Well I think we’re going to move on to the next location right? We’re keep going down.
Get some coffee first. So thanks you guys. We’ll be back. .