Hmmmm, I wonder if they thought the end was near in 1960? Yes, the answer is yes; they did think the end was near. Bwahahahaha.
***w60 4/1 pp. 218-219 pars. 22-25 Part 35—"Your Will Be Done on Earth" ***
Not to be dismissed from consideration as "fearful sights" and "great signs" from heaven are new things that modern science is discovering and bringing to the people’s attention, to their own and the people’s mental agitation and rising fears. The so-called cosmic rays are more and more commanding scientific study. Only as far back as 1911 scientific experiments on the absorbing of penetrating gamma rays from radium in the air led a Dr. V. F. Hess to suspect that not all the ionization in air was due to this alone. Experiments later with balloons developed the right conclusion, that there was some extremely powerful radiation coming from above; there were cosmic rays. With the speed of light the cosmic rays are carried along through earth’s atmosphere and finally hit the earth with still enough energy to penetrate and be measurable to a depth of two hundred feet underground. Cosmic rays reach an energy of many billions of electron volts. The sun of our solar system plays its part in these cosmic rays.
It has been observed that there has been an intensifying of cosmic ray showers during what appear to be patches of something on the face of the sun. What? Patches of darkness, to us. Sunspots, we call them. They are in actuality great flares of energy on the surface of the sun. In December, 1957, during the International Geophysical Year, it was reported that "in recent months" the sun had co-operated with the scientific studies being made. How? By "displaying what is regarded here as the greatest number of flares in its recorded history. . . . In recent months the sun has been at the peak of its eleven-year sunspot cycle. This has produced an unusual number of flares. These are thought to spray out particles, which strike the earth’s atmosphere a day or two later and cause magnetic storms and other phenomena." The sunspot activity was reported as having "disrupted radio and television waves." Studies have shown that, accompanying a solar flare, there is a sudden increase of cosmic radiation and radio fade-outs. About a day after the appearance of the flare a magnetic storm is felt all over the world. During the period of greatest cosmic ray intensity some areas of the earth are almost completely blacked out with respect to radio communication. Lead-encased cables for communication and for transmitting power have also been burned completely through, and unexposed X-ray film has been rendered useless.
What is the source of these cosmic rays? Not the stars. It has been scientifically established that the total energy carried by all cosmic ray particles is much more than all the energy ever emitted by stars. Cosmic rays seem to come from all directions with such great energies that scientists have not arrived at any satisfying explanation of their origin. Those of highest energy evidently come from beyond our Milky Way.
Studies have been made of the effect of cosmic rays on living cells in animal bodies, particularly with respect to disorders of the mind. What effect do they have or will they have on the way men behave here on earth? Certainly the Creator of cosmic rays, Jehovah God, could use these to affect the minds of his enemies, including the king of the north and the king of the south, and could drive them to mutual slaughter: "every man’s sword shall be against his brother." (Ezek. 38:21, AS) In this prophecy God warns that he will also use other natural forces that are at his disposal, possibly a rain of antimatter that has the property of annihilating any material thing that it meets. He warns all scoffers that he will do an ‘unusual work.’—Isa. 28:21.