A horseman from another universe
On February 3, 2011, a live Euronews video feed from Cairo, Egypt appeared to show a shimmering green horseman riding through a crowd of protesters. Many observers proclaimed the apparition the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, citing Revelation 6:7-8:
When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature call out, “Come!” I looked and there was a pale green horse! Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed with him; they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, and pestilence, and by the wild animals of the earth.
Skeptics claimed the horseman was merely a reflection from a nearby fire, although the rider and his mount kept a constant appearance while the fire did not.
To me, the glowing green image of the Cairo horseman resembled the aurora borealis, which is created by the interaction of solar winds with the earth’s magnetosphere. I thought the image might be that of a horseman in a parallel universe and the mini “aurora” was the result of a crack in the barrier between universes, not unlike those fissures that were depicted in the TV show Fringe.
By “coincidence,” the Wikipedia entry on aurora mentioned both horses and parallel universes. Wikipedia cited a Bulfinch’s Mythology reference, alas unsupported, to a Norse myth:
The Valkyrior are warlike virgins, mounted upon horses and armed with helmets and spears. /.../ When they ride forth on their errand, their armour sheds a strange flickering light, which flashes up over the northern skies, making what men call the "aurora borealis", or "Northern Lights."
English author Philip Pullman’s trilogy of novels, His Dark Materials, explores the nature of the aurorae from a science-fiction standpoint, specifically in Northern Lights, in which aurorae are explained to be areas where the boundaries between parallel universes are especially weak. In the world of Lyra Belacqua, when one peers into the aurora borealis, he or she can faintly see the skyline of a city beyond, in another universe.
However, the Pullman reference was deleted from Wikipedia on August 2, 2011.
Crusades The Cairo horse’s large flowing saddle pad suggested medieval tack like that worn by both the Christians and their Muslim foes during the Crusades from 1095 and 1291. If we are peering into a parallel universe, we may be seeing an Earth frozen in time: Muslims and Christians locked in a perpetual struggle, never advancing beyond the 13th century, a world where there was no Renaissance or Industrial Revolution.
The Cairo apparition could be a warning that the West and Islam have become trapped in an endless struggle that will stifle or even destroy our civilization.
Another possibility is that the horseman is the ghost of Saladin. He was the Muslim hero who defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin in 1187, which took place near Tiberias in present day Israel. The victory led to his re-capture of Palestine. Saladin became the first sultan of Egypt and Syria, and at the peak of his power, also presided over Mesopotamia, Hejaz and Yemen.
Perhaps the spirit of Saladin has returned to wage war against the New Crusaders and reclaim Palestine. Perhaps the ghost rides with the jihadists.
Image Cairo horseman, Euronews, fair use