Migrant Crisis


The Migrant crisis is one of the most important and complex issues now facing national and regional governments and the international community. The best analysis requires detailed and informed knowledge of 1) the location of and volume of refugees leaving conflict zones or deprivation zones 2) the transit methods available for refugees to migrate to their intended destination including the extent to which they have recourse to people smugglers and 3) the governmental and NGO response in the host countries including where the access is maritime the reaction of coastguard and naval forces. The analysis presented here is purely based on a day by day analysis of all major migrant incidents reported by major newspapers and news agencies (see www.timelines.ws). The aim is, from this data, to chart over time where evident the rise and fall in the volume of migrants, the change in volume of migrant fatalities and the level and seriousness of the host country or region response. The Hypothesis to be tested is that the Migrant crisis shows a verifiable cyclical pattern – or cyclical patterns. The correlation put forward is with one longterm cycle and two short term cycles – all three cycles can be seen as matching different aspects of this complex issue.

Please look to see if the selected three cycles below show a match with the development of this issue and whether the birth, challenge and surge, maximisation and terminal challenge cycle stages match the evolution of this key issue



From a cyclical point of view at its most generic the migrant crisis could be seen as the reverse of the Colonialization wave of the late 19th century – though this is not a helpful formula for understanding today’s problems. Nevertheless the rapid growth phase and peak of Colonialisation do correspond with the last longterm Uranus/Pluto cycle quarter stage and half way stage (Out Square and Opposition). The real colonial push for Empire building did start around 1880 (URA/PLU Quarter stage 1873 – 1880) and peaked around 1905 (URA/PLU Half way stage 1898 – 1905). The terminal three-quarter stage of that URA/PLU cycle came between 1928 and 1937. It was during these years that the Great Depression had a significant economic impact on the colonies especially in that agricultural prices fell much harder and faster than industrial goods and in that the colonial powers concentrated on domestic issues, protectionism and tariffs. In addition the Axis nations made unashamedly ruthless colonial moves – in 1935 the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, in 1936 the use of the Spanish civil war as a proxy war by Germany (and Russia) and in 1937 the Japanese invasion of China – making colonialism appear a matter more of naked self interest than ‘development’.

Though the start of the present 1965 – 2104 URA/PLU cycle may have coincided with a wave of decolonisation, the decolonisation programme matches a different and much shorter cycle – see SAT/URA 1942-1988 http://cyclesofhistory.com/saturnuranus-1942-1988  What the new Uranus/Pluto cycle start in 1965 does coincide with is a complex of revolutions or rebellions that have at heart one principle – that human rights are paramount. Black Rights, Women rights and Gay rights are obvious examples – but so are the rights of the oppressed or disadvantaged seen to be the concern of others. The 1960s, as it happened, was almost wholly concerned with the rights of minorities in advanced countries – and not the rest of the world with the possible exception of Vietnam. Here at the new cycle quarter way point (2009 to 2020) the rights pressures are coming not from the actions of those in the West but from the actions of those in the Third world. The Uranus/Pluto Out Square makes 7 exact hits between 2009 and 2020. If we can show these closely match when the Migrant crisis surges to the top of the crisis list we shall be going some way to show the crisis does form part of a longterm cyclical dynamic


The two cycles are very similar in length but appear to match two quite separate sides of the Migrant problem. The two cycles are first the 12 year Jupiter-Pluto cycle running from 2007 to 2020 and second the 13 year Jupiter- Neptune cycle running from 2009 to 2022. We shall need to examine whether and how the third cycle already referred to – the Uranus/Pluto cycle – interfaces with these shorter cycles and whether that connection is needed to complete the picture. The first cycle’s correlates generally with the relation between violent developments and society’s expectations (here the violence that forces people to flee their country or the violent clashes their arrival at the destination country can sometimes occasion), the second cycle correlates with humanitarian issues often with a maritime connection – typically lives endangered or lost at sea or the worldwide wave of compassion these events have elicited. We shall follow the 8 years from Autumn 2007 to Autumn 2015 and see if the rise and fall in reports of major migrant incidents do match these two cycles – in particular noting the periods where both cycles are OUT of orb when there should be no continuous surge in any reported incidents nor any quite new developments. We shall also examine whether the humanitarian issues occur or surge at different times than the violent conflicts that first produced them or which subsequently and indirectly result from them. When any of the cycles comes into exact aspect (e.g. when Jupiter and Neptune are exactly at the same location in the solar system) this will be highlighted in bold. Major incidents will be confined to those citing 50 migrants or the deaths of 20 or more migrants. Those figures exceeding 150 will be in BOLD – enabling the user to quickly see the frequency of major migrant disasters. The analysis is quite exhaustive and may take time to read – so summaries of each stage (in the colour corresponding to the relevant cycle) appear above each time period. There appear to be 10 periods which roughly correlate with meaningful changes in the Migrant crisis.



1) From mid October 2007 to early February 2008 the Jupiter/Pluto Conjunction is in orb. There are 10 major migrant events in this short period all involving between 20 and 60 migrants drowning. The vessels they were in capsized approaching the destination shores of Mexico, Yemen, Myanmar, Turkey and the Canary islands – a very dispersed set of destinations and with a relatively spaced frequency. The Cycle formula would suggest this period does not see a migrant crisis accelerating but rather an explosion of the sort of conflicts that generate huge and desperate numbers of refugees – and indeed the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts in fact do surge exactly during this period


 2) From February 2008 to May 2009 neither of the 2 cycles are in orb. Hence we should expect few reported migrant incidents or certainly few clusters of major incidents during this period. In fact there were no reported incidents in February or March 2008. In April the US Coastguard recovers the bodies of 20 migrants whose vessel had been aiming for the Bahamas. In May Spanish coastguards rescue 65 migrants off the Canary Islands coast. In June the Libyan authorities recover 40 bodies off their coast. In July 2008 a boat carrying 148 illegal migrants successfully lands on a beach on the Canary Islands while Spanish coastguards rescue 33 out of 48 African migrants heading for the province of Almeria. In August as many as 70 migrants from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan are reported to have successfully reached the shores of Malta. In September a cluster for a time builds up – Spanish authorities find 13 bodies and 46 survivors on a migrant boat near the Canary islands while Egyptian authorities suspect 83 Egyptian migrants did not reach their destination in Greece and at least 52 migrants die off the coast of Yemen. But there are no major incidents in October, November or December 2008 though in November 90 refugees from the Dominican Republic do not arrive at their intended destination of Puerto Rica and in December the bodies of 24 Somalis are washed ashore in Yemen. However on 17 January 2009 there is a definite surge in the volume of migrants cited in one incident. Hundreds of people are missing feared dead after three boats carrying about 400 migrants from Somalia capsize. Unfortunately as neither cycle is anywhere near in orb we have to dismiss this as a cyclical match.


 3) From 11 March 2009 to 13 Feb 2010 the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction is in orb. We should now expect to see the emergence of either larger scale maritime disasters or more frequent maritime disasters and the earliest beginnings of a wave of public or governmental concern for the victims. On 27 March an overcrowded migrant boat capsizes off the coast of Libya – of the 257 migrants on board including 72 women and children only 20 survive ! Two days later a second boat with 350 migrants is safely rescued off the same coast. These certainly appear to be migrant incidents with an unprecedented number of migrant passengers and more importantly of migrant fatalities. Moreover they are increasingly taking place in the Mediterranean – on the edges of Europe. It is here that the worldwide media attention will later focus

April sees 20 migrants drown off the coast of Yemen and fatalities when a blast tears apart a boat carrying more than 40 Afghan refugees off Australia’s northwest coast. Two boats with 140 refugees are intercepted on reaching the Australian coast safely. April also sees Italy agree to accept 140 migrants stranded aboard a Turkish cargo ship ending a standoff with Malta about who would take them in. In May and June the focus is still on Australia but more on rescues than drownings – On May 9 60 migrants do survive. (May 27 2009 is the 1st Exact Jupiter/Neptune Conjunction) and on June 28 a boat carrying 194 migrants is intercepted. (July 10 2009 is the 2nd Exact Jupiter/Neptune Conjunction) But on July 26 the focus changes to the Caribbean where 85 Haitian migrants are feared drowned . On August 20 Italian authorities find a migrant boat of whose 75 passengers only 5 remain alive. In September the El Salvador navy finds some 76 migrants aboard a boat in the Pacific – the boat had set sail from Ecuador a week previous, while between Sept 12 and Sept 20 the Australian authorities stop three boats with a total of 200 migrants and the Moroccans stop a boat with over 40 migrants. On September 22 the focus switches to one of the key hotspots in Europe – the French port of Calais just a 20 mile tunnel distance from the UK. The French police clear out, then bulldoze, a squalid forest camp detaining hundreds of illegal immigrants hoping to slip into Britain. In October Canada detains a vessel containing 76 migrants trying to reach its Pacific coast. In November a boat carrying 40 migrants capsizes in the Indian ocean – most of the migrants being rescued by merchant ships. (December 21 2009 is the 3rd Exact Jupiter/Neptune Conjunction) On Jan 22 2010 124 North African refugees land on the shore of Corsica. On 13 February 2010 the Jupiter/Neptune Conjunction goes out of orb. There are NO major incidents reported, indeed no incidents at all during February, March, April and the first week of May 2010.


4) From 8 May 2010 though to 11 April 2011 the Jupiter/Pluto cycle quarter stage comes into orb. It will coincide with an explosive situation developing in North Africa which is shortly to hugely influence the migrant crisis – the so called “Arab Spring’. It coincides with government actions but it will not match a surge in migrant deaths. For instance, apart from an incident off the Australian coast on May 9 involving five migrant deaths there are no reported migrant incidents in June, July and August 2010 and only one incident in September off the coast of Yemen involving 13 deaths. And again no incidents reported in October and November. In December 2010 off Australia’s Christmas Island at least 48 refugees die after their wooden boat shatters. On 16 January 2011 a ship carrying some 263 migrants sinks off the island of Corfu – 22 passengers fail to get rescued.

Then on 11 February 2011 the crisis ramps up as Italy warns it faces a humanitarian crisis with some 1,600 would-be refugees from Tunisia arriving in its waters over the previous two weeks. The cause – starting in Tunisia and Algeria the ‘Arab Spring’ breaks out moving then into Egypt and Libya. The Arab Spring conclusively matches the Saturn/Uranus 45 year cycle http://cyclesofhistory.com/saturnuranus-1988-2032/ but is just one cause of the migrant crisis. By March 1 the UN refugee agency says that the situation on Libya’s border with Tunisia is reaching a crisis point after some 75,000 people flee from the violence in Libya. On March 25 a boat leaves Tripoli carrying 72 people. It drifts for two weeks after running out of fuel, water and food – only 9 people survive.

By the end of March ministers from around the Asia-Pacific region sign an agreement to tackle smuggling networks and humanely process the large numbers of migrants moving through that region. In Europe Italy’s Premier Berlusconi promises to appease local concerns by evacuating the thousands of North African migrants who have overwhelmed the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa. On April 5 Italy and Tunisia sign a deal to choke off the flood of Tunisians heading to Italian shores. France and Italy also announce an agreement for joint sea-and-air patrols. The following day up to 150 people are reported missing, some dead, after a large boat carrying refugees from Libya capsizes south of Sicily. On 10th April, just before the Jupiter/Pluto Out square goes out of orb a boat leaving Libya carrying 72 Africans runs out of fuel. The boat drifts for days but no viable rescue operation is mounted – all but nine of the passengers die. An inquiry by the Council of Europe blames the disaster on a “catalogue of failures” and recommends Europe overhauls its immigration policy. The UN declares that all migrant vessels in the Mediterranean be considered “in distress.”


5) From 11 April 2011 to mid May 2012 neither of the 2 cycles are in orb. Recall what we should expect to happen if the two cycles do indeed match the Migrant crisis – first we should expect the explosive conditions behind the migrant crisis to continue growing but not yet peak, second we should not expect the frequency of major migrant incidents to surge yet nor to see rising popular or government concern yet. Overall in this period though the crisis will still remain severe we should expect no major developments. However the longer Uranus/Pluto cycle Out Square is now coming into orb for the first time (here at 6 degrees) – and one aspect of this long 2009 to 2020 cycle stage is that social unrest will surge – though perhaps not in the way many analysts had been forecasting. Here we see the first signs off the clash between refugees and potential hosts.

On April 17 a ship carrying up to 600 migrants fleeing Libya sinks off the Libyan coast – no definitive indication of fatalities is reported but it is reported that since late March up to 800 people are believed to have perished at sea trying to reach European shores. On May 14 Italian border police escort a boat with 218 Tunisians aboard to tiny Lampedusa island to join the thousands of other illegal migrants there. On June 1st Tunisia’s coastguard launches a rescue to save some 800 migrants trapped on a fishing vessel en route for Italy that has stalled off the country’s coast – at least 583 survive its sinking. On July 5 a boat carrying some 200 African migrants catches fire off the coast of Sudan – only a handful are rescued. On August 1 25 African migrants trying to reach Italy from Libya die in the hold of a rickety boat so packed with people that the migrants could not breathe. The next day a boat carrying 330 migrants from Libya arrives on the island of Lampedusa. On 21 September migrants clash with police on that tiny island a day after setting their overcrowded holding centre on fire to protest Italy’s policy of forced repatriations.[24 June 2012 1st Uranus/Pluto Out Square exact hit]


6) From 12 May 2012 to 17 April 2013 the Jupiter/Neptune cycle Quarter stage comes into orb. We should now expect to see a real surge either in scale or frequency of maritime disasters and a possible surge in public compassion or concern for the victims. On 7 June 2012 an Israeli court clears the way for the deportation of an estimated 1,500 South Sudanese. Within days Israeli authorities start rounding up these African migrants. On June 12 Bangladesh turns away 3 boats carrying 1,000 Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar having already blocked the entry of 500. On June 18 in Malawi a boat carrying about 60 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia capsizes on Lake Malawi – all aboard are drowned. On June 21 Indonesian and Australian navies rescue survivors after a Sri Lanka refugee boat carrying about 200 migrants, mostly men from Afghanistan, sinks with scores feared drowned. [25 June 2012 Only Jupiter/Neptune Out Square Exact hit] On June 26 in Tanzania a truck driver abandons Ethiopian and Somali migrants after letting over 40 of them suffocate to death inside his vehicle. On July 6 Israeli immigration police begin a nationwide crackdown on the estimated 60,000 illegal African migrants living in Israel. On July 9 over 50 migrants trying to reach Italy die of thirst when their inflatable boat ruptures in the Mediterranean. On August 6 Greek police detain some 6,000 people in Athens on suspicion they have entered the country illegally and say they will deport more than 1,600 of them to their home countries. There are some further major incidents in August. On Aug 16 Malta’s navy rescues 160 Eritrean and Somali migrants from two boats which got into trouble in the Mediterranean. On Aug 20 Aug 20, Sri Lanka’s navy stops two Australia-bound trawlers carrying 83 would-be asylum seekers. On Aug 29 a boat carrying 150 asylum seekers heading for Australia disappears off the Indonesian coast – two thirds of the passengers appear to have perished. [19 September 2012 2nd Uranus/Pluto Out Square exact hit] In October there are no major incidents. In November a boat capsizes off the coast of Bangladesh with some 50 migrants missing. In December in the Gulf of Aden 55 people drown after an overcrowded boat capsizes off the Somali coast. But in January and February 2013 there are no major incidents. In March a fishing boat carrying 100 asylum seekers capsizes off Australia’s west coast – most are rescued. In mid April the Jupiter/Neptune Out square goes out of orb. The surge has definitely petered out.


7) From 17 April 2013 to 27 June 2013 neither of the 2 cycles are in orb and there is no surge in the volume of migrants or fatalities though Malta faces a large influx of African migrants. Otherwise there are few major incidents. [20 May 2013 3rd Uranus/Pluto Out Square exact hit] In June there is one incident in which 13 die, Even in July there are just 2 incidents – a boat capsizes off the coast of Indonesia killing 15 and off the coast of Libya killing up to 30.


8) From 27 June 2013 to 13 June 2014 the Jupiter/Pluto Opposition is in orb. We would expect a maximisation of explosive conflict situations building up the flow of refugees but also that conflict should be erupting in the countries the migrants illegally enter. The question in nearly all cases is who should take in the migrants and here we start to see some measure of agreement but a far greater volume of disagreement. As to major migrant tragedies they continue but still have still to peak. In August Australia’s PM and the President of Nauru sign an understanding providing for asylum seekers arriving by boat to be sent to Nauru where they can opt for resettlement after their claims for refugee status are processed. On Aug 7 Italy allows 102 migrants stranded on a tanker in the Mediterranean to disembark on the Sicilian coast after Malta refused them entry. [August 7 2013 1st Jupiter/Pluto Opposition] Then on Aug 10 in Greece dozens of illegal immigrants being held in a detention centre hurl stones at police guards and set mattresses on fire in protest over the extension of their detention. On September 17 hundreds of Africans seeking to enter Europe make a coordinated assault on the triple wall that divides Spanish enclave Melilla from Morocco – with about a hundred of them getting over. On September 21 near Sicily Italy’s coast guard intercept more than 400 refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war. On Sept 25 the Italian Coastguard reports that three boats carrying more than 700 asylum-seekers, many Syrian refugees, have landed on the island of Lampedusa – some drown in the attempt. On 3 October 2013 a boat carrying migrants from Eritrea, Ghana and Somalia, capsizes off Lampedusa – 160 bodies are soon recovered though the death toll later rises to over 360. Of the 155 people rescued police say dozens had been raped and tortured in Libya before starting their journey. On Oct 17 Moroccan police battle back 400 African migrants trying to break through the country’s border into the Spanish territory of Ceuta. On Oct 25, the day Italian vessels rescue another 700 migrants, a two-day EU summit fails to reach agreement to take new action to ease the plight of the thousands of boat refugees. In November a boat carrying 70 Muslim Rohingya capsizes and sinks off the coast of Myanmar – nearly all drown. [1st November 2013 4th Uranus/Pluto Out Square exact hit] On Nov 10 in Saudi Arabia thousands of illegal migrants targeted in a nationwide crackdown surrender to police. On Nov 11 Morocco announces an “exceptional operation” to give official papers to some of its 25,000 plus illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, many of whom hope to reach Europe. On Nov 20 a rights group says Iran is forcefully deporting Afghans by the thousands in violation of its international obligation to protect refugees. On 25 November 2013 a boat passing through the Bahamas islands with about 150 Haitian migrants on board capsizes killing some 30 people. Turkey signs a long-awaited deal with the EU to send back people who enter the bloc illegally from its territory in exchange for talks on visa-free travel for its citizens. On Dec 20 the scale of refugee migration is pointed up when the UN says 34,000 people in South Sudan are seeking refuge at UN bases. In January 2014 Morocco starts to give residency permits to tens of thousands of illegal migrants after the king expresses concern about their harsh treatment by the police.

On January 2 2014 the Italian navy rescues more than 1,000 migrants from boats trying to reach Europe. In Tel Aviv, Israel over 30,000 African migrants protest against a new detention law. On Jan 20 while the Greek coastguard is towing a migrant boat to an island it capsizes killing a dozen. On Jan 26 Italian police say 13 Moroccan migrants held in a reception centre for more than two months have sewed their mouths shut in protest. [31 January 2014 2nd Jupiter/Pluto Opposition] On February 6 fifteen migrants drown while trying to swim to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Authorities say “around 400 sub-Saharans” had taken part in the desperate bid to reach EU territory, which was countered by police using rubber bullets allegedly in an indiscriminate manner. Ten days later, armed with sticks and stones a further wave of over a hundred migrants succeed in their bid. On Feb 18 Human Rights Watch says Saudi Arabian authorities have deported more than 12,000 migrants held under “appalling conditions” back to their native Somalia. On March 4 Moroccan police turn back some 700 people trying to cross into Spanish Ceuta. On March 18 (JUP/PLU 2 degrees) it is claimed up to 500 manage to break through the barrier. By March 28 a similar attack is more firmly repelled. [20 April 2014 3rd Jupiter/Pluto Opposition] [21 April 2014 5th Uranus/Pluto Out Square exact hit] Although there are no incidents in April a further 140 people manage to break through in early May and a further 500 on May 28. On May 31 some 60 migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia drown off the Yemen coast. At the end of May French police raid makeshift camps in the port of Calais, clearing out ramshackle shelters that housed hundreds of illegal migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Africa heading for England.


9) From 13 June 2014 to 7 Aug 2015 neither of the 2 cycles are in orb but the last of the Uranus/Pluto cycle Out square exact hits come close together. Does the scale and frequency of migrant incidents change ? Maybe the frequency slips but not the scale. Quite the reverse. On July 7 Italy’s navy says its search and rescue mission saved more than 2,600 migrants from boats in the Mediterranean over one weekend. In one case off the coast of Sicily the corpses of 30 migrants are found on a boat carrying 600 migrants. In July there are minor fatal incidents near the Aegean island of Samos and off the coast of Malaysia and Libya. In early August French police intervene in clashes between Sudanese and Eritreans migrants as they mass in Calais in a bid to cross the English Channel. On August 12 the Spanish sea rescue service picks up more than 900 migrants trying to enter Spain clandestinely by crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in boats from north Africa. Hundreds try storming border fences to enter Spain’s African enclave city of Melilla – though few succeed. On August 22 a migrant boat sinks off the coast of Libya – though 16 people are rescued more than 250 migrants are believed drowned ! On August 24 Italian rescue operations claim to have picked up over the weekend some 3,500 refugees. On Sept 14 a boat carrying some 200 African migrants sinks off the Libyan coast – only 36 survivors are rescued. With other incidents as many as 500 migrants are feared missing. At the end of October hundreds more migrants attempt to scale the fences bordering the Spanish enclave of Melilla. However it is Thailand and Italy that have the highest numbers of migrants attempting entry. From Western Myanmar on average every day in this period 900 Rohingya Muslims flee by boat to Thailand, a wave that has been increasing since violence broke out two years ago. In Italy its “Mare Nostrum” search and rescue operation has saved the lives of tens of thousands of boat migrants in the Mediterranean. On November 15 Italian authorities state that more than 900 people have been rescued at sea in the previous 24 hours. [15 December 2014 6th Uranus/Pluto Out Square exact hit] On the last day Dec 31 of the year some 970 mostly Syrian migrants arrive in Italy on a cargo ship apparently abandoned by its crew in the Adriatic Sea. The UN later announces that during 2014 219,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean – nearly four times more than a year earlier.

On January 2 2015 Italian rescue teams manage to tow a cargo vessel with about 450 migrants aboard after it was abandoned by smugglers without a crew in rough seas. In early February Italian patrol boats pick up 105 migrants from a boat drifting in extreme sea conditions – at least 29 migrants die of hypothermia. Survivors later confirm the existence of a fourth rubber boat that left Libya with as many as 300 people unaccounted for. On Feb 15 Italy’s coast guard rescues some 1,000 migrants in difficulty in the sea between Europe and North Africa. In early March Italy’s coast guard rescues 121 people after their boat capsized some 50 miles north of Libya – ten drown. Tunisian naval forces rescue 81 migrants on board another boat. On March 3 several merchant ships help rescues from seven separate boats in a 24-hour period, bringing to safety almost 1,000 migrants. 7 March 2015 7th (final) Uranus/Pluto Out Square exact hit. On 12 March Turkish coastguards open fire to stop a cargo vessel carrying 337 mainly Syrian migrants heading towards EU waters, arresting the traffickers. On 4 April Italian navy and coast guard ships rescue around 1,500 migrants aboard five boats. In mid April in a matter of days 42 boats are intercepted with over 6,000 migrants rescued. Then on April 19 over 800 migrants are believed drowned after their packed boat capsizes overnight off Libya, the deadliest such disaster to date in the Mediterranean. On May 3 Italian Coast Guard and commercial vessels rescue some 16 boats of migrants, saving at least 652 migrants from Ghana, Nigeria and Gambia while a 130-foot yacht, carries 369 Eritrean migrants. On May 10 in Indonesia rescuers bring ashore 469 migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh. Malaysia states it would turn away any more migrant boats unless they are sinking and launches high-level talks with its neighbours to try to solve the deepening problem. At the end of May Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency says that it will begin the repatriation of 720 Bangladeshi migrants. On May 29 in Italy the Italian Coast Guard rescues more than 4,000 migrants off Libya’s coast in 22 separate operations in one day. On June 4 over 500 would-be migrants are arrested in Tripoli. While in Italy the Northern Regions refuse point-blank to accommodate any more migrants. On June 10 the EU urges its 28 nations to swiftly endorse its plan to relocate 40,000 migrants as yet another 1,000 more migrants arrive in Greece in just one day. Meanwhile Austria and France have been turning back migrants to Turkey.


10) From 6 August 2015 to 29 July 2016 the Jupiter/Neptune Opposition is in orb. This is when we might expect the Migrant crisis to peak – to be more specific first we should expect the volume of migrants who have made it into the host countries to peak, second the problems this poses for host nations to reach breaking point and third for public compassion and concern to reach fever pitch. Of course the flood of refugees into Italy continues unabated:

On August 1 Italy’s coast guard rescues some 1,800 migrants from seven overcrowded vessels. On Aug 5 the Italian Coast Guard rescues 367 migrants after a fishing boat carrying nearly 600 capsizes north of Libya.- at least 185 migrants are feared drowned. On Aug 11 Italian rescuers pick up more than 1,500 migrants from some seven vessels – up to 50 migrants drown. On Aug 15 50 migrants die in the hold of an overcrowded fishing boat off the Italian coast. On Aug 22 Italy’s coastguard says it is coordinating the rescue of up to 3,000 migrants from waters off Libya after receiving SOS calls from 18 different crowded vessels. Operation Triton rescues some 4,400 migrants on this day alone. On August 21 Turkish security forces detain 435 migrants while Italian rescue operations save over 700 others. On Aug 27 an overcrowded boat sinks off the Libyan coast – only 198 of some 500 migrants are rescued, the rest die.

In August the EU approves 2.4 billion euros ($2.6 billion) of aid over six years for countries including Greece and Italy struggling to cope with a surge in numbers of immigrants. As September 2015 ends it is estimated that the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean now exceeds the half a million mark.

However the real pressure points have now moved beyond islands and coastal beaches to Central European borders – where they still are manned.

The first example is Hungary – it becomes the first Central Europe nation to take decisive action. In July Hungary’s parliament overwhelmingly approves the construction of a controversial fence on the border with Serbia to keep out migrants. Over 80,000 migrants and refugees have reached Hungary so far in 2015, about 80 percent of them from war-torn countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. On September 14 Hungarian police round up a total of 7,437 migrants crossing the Serbian border, by far the highest daily figure in 2015. As Hungary’s right-wing government shuts the main land route for migrants into the EU, Germany calls for an EU summit on Europe’s biggest migrant crisis since World War II.

The second example is France – at this very same time the situation in Calais near the Channel tunnel has gotten significantly more serious. One man dies as overwhelmed authorities for several nights fight off desperate attempts by 2,000 migrants to enter the Channel Tunnel. This prompts France to beef up its police presence and tactics. On August 1 French riot police spray migrants with a chemical irritant as they try to storm the Channel Tunnel. Some 200 migrants break down security fences but are forced to retreat by riot police. On August 4 migrants in Calais make hundreds of attempts overnight to penetrate the Channel Tunnel, when an “anomaly” in the tunnel slows traffic.

The third example is Macedonia – On August 21 at least 1,000 migrants press against Macedonian police lines on the Greek-Macedonian border. On Aug 22 thousands of rain-soaked, mostly Syrian, migrants storm across the border as police lob stun grenades and beat them with batons, struggling to keep them back. Police finally re-open the border with Greece, allowing thousands to travel north towards Serbia in the next stage of their bid to enter the EU.

The fourth example is AustriaOn Aug 31 Austria steps up vehicle inspections at its Hungarian border, creating a huge traffic jam on the main Budapest-Vienna highway. A train carrying hundreds of migrants heads to Vienna after being held for hours at Austria’s border with Hungary. On September 3 Hungarian police halt a train packed with migrants bound for the Austrian border and try to force them to disembark in a town with a detention camp. On Sept 5 Austria and Germany throw open their borders to thousands of migrants, bussed to the Hungarian border by its defensive government overwhelmed by the sheer numbers. On Sept 9 all train services are halted between Germany and Denmark after Danish police stop hundreds of migrants arriving by train from crossing the border. Denmark goes on to say its police will no longer try to stop migrants and refugees from transiting through the country to get to Sweden and other Nordic countries. On Sept 13 in Austria some 6,000 migrants are recorded entering the country a figure expected to surpass 10,000. On Sept 14 Austria and Slovakia state they are reinstating border controls to cope with the flood of refugees, following a similar move by Germany, anticipating up to one million migrant arrivals by 2016. On Sept 20 some 10,700 migrants walk into Austria from Hungary and a motorway passing through the border has to be partially closed.

The fifth example is Croatia –  More than 7,300 people enter Croatia from Serbia in one day after clashes between Hungarian riot police and stone-throwing refugees. On Sept 17 Croatia says it cannot cope with the flood of migrants after Hungary had kept them out by erecting a fence and by using tear gas and water cannon against them. On Sept 18 Croatia’s PM warns matters are out of control and that his government would no longer be able to register or accommodate the migrants. Hundreds of migrants cross into Hungary from Croatia adding to the 8,000 migrants already there. On Sep 22 EU interior ministers approve plans that require all member countries to take their share of the hundreds of thousands of migrants, overriding strong opposition from eastern states. The pressure on those eastern states can be seen in one figure – in one week more than 30,000 migrants, many of them Syrian refugees, enter Croatia from Serbia.

The first barrier within the ‘no borders’ Schengen zone is erected On October 20 in Munkedal, southern Sweden arsonists attack asylum seekers’ housing. Since the start of the year 15 arson attacks throughout Sweden have targeted refugee centres and apartments. The next month will see in Poland thousands of flag-waving nationalists march through Warsaw shouting anti-migrant slogans. On 28 Oct 29 people die and 274 people are rescued when their wooden boat falls apart in rough seas off the Greek island of Lesbos. On that very day Austria says it will build a fence along its border with fellow EU state Slovenia to “control” the migrant influx, in what would be the first barrier between two members of the passport-free Schengen zone.


Our research suggests this triple cyclical pattern might be actually peaking between July 2013 and July 2016 before reaching a terminal stage in 2019 and ending some three years later. If correct this does not mean the migrant issue could end in 2020-22. Of course not. But what it may mean is that the key determinants of the migrant crisis could undergo a significant change leading to a major scaling down of the problem.  Remember we are forecasting the timing of anticipated changes (when they come) rather than seeking to define what those future changes will be. However changed determinants include – in Europe 1) the abolition or severe modification of the 30 year old Schengen Agreement that over time has abolished border checks 2) a major UN or EU programme that financially supports regions willing to take in sizeable numbers of immigrants and 3) a locally and internationally supported peace solution in the Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria conflict regions and a degree of political normalisation in the horn of Africa – Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and both halves of Sudan.

However though the Migrant crisis may diminish the issues that seem likely to remain to a lesser degree are 1) extremely hazardous maritime efforts by some of those dwelling in conflict zones or deprivation zones assisted by unscrupulous smugglers to reach neighbouring country shores 2) the continuing difficulty for potential host nations to distinguish and deal separately with on the one hand refugee migrants, large numbers of whom are women and children, and on the other hand so called ‘economic’ migrants, the majority of whom are young and male and 3) the near impossibility of detecting in either of these groups any terrorists pretending to be refugees, or simply refugees harbouring terrorist sympathies.


PLEASE NOTE: These forecasts are primarily for the timing of the next key stage in the development of the crisis not what that stage may involve. This site does not have the capability or expertise to say exactly what these developments will be, though because of the cyclical stages involved we shall venture an opinion on whether this development will involve 1) a wholly new nature of the crisis 2) a clear surge in the crisis 3) a clear peaking in the crisis or 4) a surge in the crisis which clearly involves a re-definition of the problem.

TIMING FORECAST ONE: 28 Feb 2016 to 29 July 2016. This period is likely to see a further peaking in the volume of migrants attempting to enter their destination host country or region (in particularly Europe) with attendant fatalities. In many ways this will be a repeat of the Summer to Autumn 2015 period with the key distinction that in Spring 2016 there will be a much stronger battle between defensive attempts to stem the invasion and compassionate attempts to make the migrants transit safer and reception more organised. Defensive moves are increasingly likely to coalesce into a strategy.

TIMING FORECAST TWO: 21 July 2016 to 3 Nov 2016. In this period the crisis is likely to present a quite different picture – in particular there will be a gradual decline in the volume of migrants attempting to enter potential host countries and the defensive side of the equation will have clearly won out. Though this will still be a major crisis the direction of its development becomes clearer.

Outside Europe : Australia (NW), Bahamas, Canada, Canary Islands, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Puerto Rica, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey, USA (SW states)

Europe : Austria, Croatia, France (Calais & Corsica), Germany, Greece (espec Lesbos, Samos, Corfu), Hungary, Israel, Italy (espec Lampedusa & Sicily), Macedonia, Malta, Spain (Ceuta, Melilla, Almeria), Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom (UK)

MAIN MIGRANT ORIGIN ZONES (alphabetical) : Afghanistan, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar (Rajhine), Mali, Mexico, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Tunisia.

WARNING : The numbers of migrant passengers and migrant fatalities in major incidents may be understated as even major news agencies such as Reuters and Press Association, two of the sources on www.timelines.ws , cannot guarantee estimates in breaking news reports. However it is the rise and fall in reported numbers that is the key to this site’s analysis. And yes, it is possible for a major incident not to be reported especially in Asia and the Far East – but highly unlikely in the West.