by Laura Knight-Jadczyk & Henry See
Signs of the Times
20 Mar 2007
Are we past our due
Often, some of the most important news
comes from local papers, stories that don't make it up the feeding
chain and onto the news wires or major newspapers or nightly network
news. It can be news that at first glance wouldn't appear to have a
national or international impact. Second glance, and a good memory,
can reveal that the impact may well be quite significant.
The other day a reader sent us an article link that he found on
another alt.news website:
Bad news - we are way past our 'extinct
Since we had run the same story back when it first came out, we
thought "yeah! Flashback!" After all, with all the talk about Global
Warming, it served to remind readers that human caused CO2
levels are not all there is to what is going on here on the BBM
Later in the evening, we had a conversation here at SOTT Central
about this article and how it relates to a book that is currently
being passed around in the house here:
The Cycle of Cosmic
Catastrophes: Flood, Fire, and Famine in the History of Civilization
by Richard Firestone, Allen West, Simon Warwick-Smith.
This book is about the "Event" that took
place about 12,000 years ago that is recorded in myth and legend
variously as the Fall of Atlantis and Noah's Flood.
Plato describes a destruction that occurred in a day and a
night, and the Bible recounts the story of torrential rains and an
immense flood in which most of the life on earth perished. There is
also a rich body of Native American literature about a worldwide
cataclysm of fires, followed by floods and death raining down from
As many as fifty different cultures
around the globe record versions of this story, and physicist
Firestone, along with his geologist co-authors, have put
together a book, based on hard scientific evidence, describing a
cosmic chain of events that they believe culminated in the global
catastrophe of 12,000 years ago. They believe that the Event was
triggered by a nearby supernova that occurred 41,000 years ago.
Regular readers of SOTT are familiar with
Cassiopaea website and the
experiment in superluminal communication that I began in 1992 which
finally bore fruit in 1994 on the day that the fragments of
Comet Shoemaker Levy began
impacting the planet Jupiter.
We find it amusingly synchronous that
of the themes of the Cassiopaean information is planetary
destruction via a Comet Cluster that cycles through the solar system
every 3,600 years as a consequence of the orbit of our Sun's
solar Companion, a smaller, dark, Twin Sun.
As it happens, Firestone, West
and Warwick-Smith also talk about a bombardment of Planet
Earth by literally thousands of asteroids, comets, or other debris,
though they attribute it to the supernova 28 or 29 thousand years
earlier; it took that long for the ejecta from the supernova - along
with debris it kicked out of the Oort cloud - to reach Earth.
Shoemaker-Levy Hitting Jupiter
With the idea that there is a
Cometary Bombardment Cycle, we have naturally been alert to the
fact that the last few years have brought increasing evidence that
this theory may very well be the correct one.
This evidence includes the fantastic
increase in the number of "moons" attached to Jupiter that have so
recently been "discovered", as well as the increase in frequency of
comets over the past few years, along with the astonishing increase
in meteorites and fireballs entering Earth's atmosphere and falling
to earth. In some cases, these events have resulted in damage to
human beings and property, and one recent case even resulted in
deaths as we will see further on...
Anyway, to get back to our conversation about humanity being past
its "extinct by" date, I mused that anybody with eyes and ears and a
bit of scientific knowledge can look around and see that something
is going on "out there". It's in the news everyday, you just have to
search for it (or read SOTT: we do the searching for you).
The problem is, of course, that the
masses of humanity are so distracted by all the concerns of everyday
life - many of which are quite serious nowadays, especially the
threat of nuclear war brought to us by
George W. Bush
and the Ziocons - that most of them haven't got a clue
that they probably don't have to worry about Global Warming. (And
just because I say that people don't have to worry about Global
Warming doesn't mean they don't have to worry!)
The evidence that is all around us
nowadays even helps us to realize that there was nothing really
magical or mysterious about the story of Noah.
The Bible tells us that God told Noah
that something was up, something was coming, and that he should
build an ark and that would enable him and his family and a few
critters to survive. But obviously, in this day and time, we really
don't need God to tell us that
Something Wicked This Way Comes. Noah
probably didn't either.
Then, of course, it was pointed out to me that it was the Cs that
told me about the cycle of Cometary disasters. I thought
about that for a moment and said, "well, partly". I did write about
all of this in my book The Noah Syndrome back in 1985, long before
the Cs proper ever introduced themselves. (This book was never
published, but much of it is incorporated into
Of course, back then, I had started from
a purely metaphysical question:
"Is there going to be an end of the
world as described in the Bible, and if so, what does it really
It was that question that lead to a deep
study of the Bible, which then led to a realization that the
destruction described in the book of Revelation was almost identical
to what was described in the story of the Exodus, so whatever
happened then, was being predicted to happen again.
It wasn't until
I read Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision that I realized that this
was very likely talking about a bombardment of the Earth by rocks
and bolides from space.
Velikovsky, of course,
attributed it to an errant planet Venus that came careening into the
solar system just as Firestone et al attribute it to a supernova
41,000 years ago. The Cyclic Comet Cluster related to a
Companion Sun explanation is a better fit to all the data,
though a supernova could also be involved as well as a "Newcomer" to
the Solar System.
Reading Velikovsky changed the flavor of
my research from metaphysical to scientific, and the result was
"The Noah Syndrome."
In any event, what is perfectly clear is that the story of Noah and
the story of
Atlantis are apocryphal: many small groups of people
around the world survived the event of 12,000 years ago here and
there, and very likely many of them survived because they realized
what was coming - they "read the signs". Afterward, in their stories
and legends their descendants ascribed their survival to the
intervention of their particular deity to give that deity more
Bottom line is: anybody can be a Noah
today if they are informed and pay close attention to what is going
Getting back to the article that started the discussion:
- we are way past our 'extinct by' date
We are told that some say the world will end in fire,
some say in ice, wrote Robert Frost. But whatever is to be
our fate, it is now overdue.
After analyzing the eradication of millions of ancient species,
scientists have found that a mass extinction is due any moment now.
Their research has shown that every 62 million years - plus or minus
3m years - creatures are wiped from the planet's surface in massive
Even worse, scientists have no idea about its source.
'There is no doubting the existence
of this cycle of mass extinctions every 62m years. It is very,
very clear from analysis of fossil records,' said Professor
James Kirchner, of the University of California, Berkeley.
'Unfortunately, we are all completely baffled about the cause.'
This part of the article is actually
quite disingenuous. It is well known that there are other major
extinctions and the cycle is not ONLY every 62 million years!
There is also a very strong signal for a
26 million year extinction cycle. The different estimates of the
number of major mass extinctions in the last 540 million years are
due mainly to what the individual researcher chooses as the
threshold for naming an extinction event as "major" as well as what
set of data he selects as the determinant measure of past diversity.
As it happens, the 62 million event data stems mainly from marine
The report, published in the current issue of Nature, was carried
out by Professor Richard Muller and Robert Rohde also from the
Berkeley campus. They studied the disappearances of thousands of
different marine species (whose fossils are better preserved than
terrestrial species) over the past 500m years.
Their results were completely unexpected. It was known that mass
extinctions have occurred in the past. During the Permian
extinction, 250m years ago, more than 70 per cent of all species
were wiped out, for example. But most research suggested that these
were linked to asteroid collisions and other random events.
But Muller and Rohde found that, far from being unpredictable, mass
extinctions occur every 62m years, a pattern that is 'striking and
compelling', according to Kirchner.
But what is responsible? Here, researchers ran into problems. They
considered the passage of the solar system through gas clouds that
permeate the galaxy. These clouds could trigger climatic mayhem.
However, there is no known mechanism to explain why the passage
might occur only every 62m years.
Alternatively, the Sun may possess an undiscovered companion star.
It could approach the Sun every 62m years, dislodging comets from
the outer solar system and propelling them towards Earth. Such a
companion star has never been observed, however, and in any case
such a lengthy orbit would be unstable, Muller says.
Or perhaps some internal geophysical cycle triggers massive volcanic
activity every 62m years, Muller and Rohde wondered. Plumes from
these would surround the planet and lead to a devastating drop in
temperature that would freeze most creatures to death.
Unfortunately, scientists know of no such geological cycle.
'We have tried everything we can
think of to find an explanation for these weird cycles of
biodiversity and extinction,' Muller said. 'So far we have
failed. And, yes, we are due one soon, but I would not panic
Coming Our Way?
Well, they have a problem, don't they?
They think it's coming and, based on the ancient legends, it happens
very fast and almost without warning.
The classical "Big Five" mass extinctions identified by Raup and
Sepkoski in 1982 (interestingly, right about the same time I started
asking questions about the End of the World as prophesied in
Revelations culminating in The Noah Syndrome in 1985!) are widely
agreed upon as some of the most significant.
The late Ordovician period
(about 438 million years ago) - 100 families extinct - more
than half of the bryozoan and brachiopod species extinct.
78 million years later:
The late Devonian (about 360 mya)
- 30% of animal families extinct.
106 million years later:
At the end of the Permian period
(about 245 mya) - Trilobites go extinct. 50% of all animal
families, 95% of all marine species, and many trees die out.
37 million years later:
The late Triassic (208 mya) -
35% of all animal families die out. Most early dinosaur
families went extinct, and most synapsids died out (except
for the mammals).
143 million years later:
At the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T)
boundary (about 65 mya) - about half of all life forms died
out, including the dinosaurs, pterosaurs, plesiosaurs,
mosasaurs, ammonites, many families of fishes, clams,
snails, sponges, sea urchins and many others.
As you can see from the above, using the
number "62 million years" and building a theory on it is really a
Raup and Sepkoski are mentioned as identifying the "Big Five", but
the fact is that Sepkoski, a University of Chicago paleontologist
actually suggested that the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million
years ago was part of a 26 million year cycle!!
However, I would like to mention that if
you multiply 26 there are interesting results such as: 3 X 26 is 78 -
which just happens to be the time between the Ordovician and
Devonian extinctions; 4 X 26 is 104 which is very close to the 106
million years between the Devonian and Permian extinctions; and 5 X
26 is 130, which (when dealing with these kinds of numbers) is close
enough to the gap between the Triassic and K-T extinction to be in
So, maybe there is something to this 26
million year thing after all, only each "return" has varying effects
based on many other solar system variables. A companion star with a
26 million year orbit might be more stable, since Muller has
suggested that a 62 million year orbit is too great to be stable.
As it happens, if we postulate the 26 million year orbit of a
Companion Star, using the Big Five Extinctions as our jumping off
point, we would find that there ought to have been a return about 39
million years ago, and then another 13 million years ago, which
would put us half-way in the Companion star orbit cycle now.
Question: is that half-way as in
aphelion or perihelion?
Wherever the theorized Twin Sun might be at
the moment, what we know is that there are other extinction events
of great magnitude that seem to have little to do with just a 62
million year cycle and a great deal to do with some other cycle.
Another thing that is a fact is that extinction events occur far
more frequently than the general public is aware of and yes, we are
way overdue for one.
Leaving the possible triggers for mass extinctions for the moment,
let's look at some hows extinctions might occur. Here is a
handy little run-down of the problem:
Ways to Destroy Life
Of all the ways
scientists have proposed to cause a mass extinction here are a
few of the front runners.
Conceptually there are 4 main ways:
Freeze it (Snowball Earth)
Boil it (Greenhouse Earth)
Drop a meteor on it ( Meteor
Cover it with ash and Lava
(Giant Volcanic Eruption)
It is important to realize that
numbers 3 and 4 are essentially ways which have been put forward
to explain 1 and 2, though Snowball earth and Greenhouse earth
are still theories in their own right, as they are to some
extent self replicating, i.e. we rather get stuck in vicious
circles as the more we warm the earth, the more greenhouse
gasses we can potentially release, (at least in theory).
Now that's all very well and good but, how do these physical
effects [1 and 2 alone] cause mass extinctions?
The simplest answer to this is climate. Every species alive on
earth today and so presumably in the past is adapted to a
certain range of conditions. In the same way that if we were
suddenly whisked off to the North Pole and expected to live
there for a year with only a woolly jumper and a Mars bar, we
would surely die.
It is the same in an extinction
event, climatic zones essentially shift around the globe (so us
being placed on the north pole is not as far fetched as you
first thought), or ecosystems are starved of light or nutrients.
This results in plants and animals being out of equilibrium with
their surroundings, this not only causes the death of
individuals but whole species.
With the death of a species there is
a gap in the food chain, and so even animals which have adapted
to the new climate find themselves with no food so die out and
EXTINCTION PROBLEMS IN A STRANGE ECOSYSTEM
If we consider the example of us at the North Pole, but this
time with a whole box of Mars bars, assuming we did not freeze
to death in the first day, we would slowly become more
accustomed to the cold, maybe we would find shelter from the
cold, but either way as soon as our prey (the Mars Bars) ran
out, unless we found an alternative source of food we would
To create a more dynamic ecosystem
let us assume we provide a food source for another organism such
as a polar bear, now if we died what would the polar bear eat?
Unfortunately my example falls down here as no one is going to
believe that without us eating Mars bars they're going to
reproduce uncontrollably. However, in our North Pole ecosystem
of Mars bars, us and Polar bears, let us assume we find extra
clothes and shelter, so the cold no longer controls our numbers,
and we manage to find the recipe and ingredients for mars bars
(and by some freak coincidence they provide us with all the
essential nutrients for life), in this case it would be the
polar bears controlling our numbers since they are our direct
So if polar bears were wiped out,
then our numbers would no longer be controlled, so our
population would over many generations grow, until eventually we
could no longer supply ourselves with mars bars, or we may have
even eaten all the mars bars in the world. This would cause a
huge population crash, or maybe even extinction of the human
race (or at least those dependent on Mars Bars).
This rather abstract example helps
illustrate the point that all the trophic levels of a food chain
(or web) need to be in place, otherwise there will be
instability in all other populations.
The above description of how
cooling can cause mass extinctions is clever, but it does
not take into account the creativity of human beings.
there could be massive reductions in the human population as a
consequence of Global Warming or Cooling, but it would be unlikely
to produce a mass extinction such as those for which we have
evidence in the past.
Let me quote a bit from
Back in the 1940s Dr. Frank C. Hibben, Prof. of Archeology at the
University of New Mexico led an expedition to Alaska to look for
human remains. He didn't find human remains; he found miles and
miles of icy muck just packed with mammoths, mastodons, and several
kinds of bison, horses, wolves, bears and lions.
Just north of Fairbanks, Alaska, the
members of the expedition watched in horror as bulldozers pushed the
half-melted muck into sluice boxes for the extraction of gold.
Animal tusks and bones rolled up in front of the blades "like
shavings before a giant plane".
The carcasses were found in all
attitudes of death, most of them,
"pulled apart by some unexplainable
prehistoric catastrophic disturbance."
[Hibben, Frank, The Lost
Americans (New York: Thomas & Crowell Co. 1946)]
The evident violence of the deaths of
these masses of animals, combined with the stench of rotting flesh,
was almost unendurable both in seeing it, and in considering what
might have caused it. The killing fields stretched for literally
hundreds of miles in every direction.
There were trees and
animals, layers of peat and moss, twisted and tangled and mangled
together as though some Cosmic mix master sucked them all in 12000
years ago, and then froze them instantly into a solid mass.
[Sanderson, Ivan T., "Riddle of the Frozen Giants", Saturday Evening
Post, No. 39, January 16, 1960.]
Just north of Siberia entire islands are formed of the bones of
Pleistocene animals swept northward from the continent into the
freezing Arctic Ocean. One estimate suggests that some ten million
animals may be buried along the rivers of northern Siberia.
Thousands upon thousands of tusks created a massive ivory trade for
the master carvers of China, all from the frozen mammoths and
mastodons of Siberia. The famous Beresovka mammoth first drew
attention to the preserving properties of being quick-frozen when
buttercups were found in its mouth.
What kind of terrible event overtook these millions of creatures in
a single day?
Well, the evidence suggests an enormous tsunami raging
across the land, tumbling animals and vegetation together, to be
finally quick-frozen for the next 12000 years. But the extinction
was not limited to the Arctic, even if the freezing at colder
locations preserved the evidence of Nature's rage up to our present
Paleontologist George G. Simpson considers the extinction of the
Pleistocene horse in North America to be one of the most mysterious
episodes in zoological history, confessing,
"no one knows the
answer." He is also honest enough to admit that there is the larger
problem of the extinction of many other species in America at the
[Simpson, George G., Horses,
New York: Oxford University Press - 1961]
The horse, giant tortoises living in the Caribbean, the
giant sloth, the saber-toothed tiger, the glyptodont and toxodon.
These were all tropical animals.
These creatures didn't die because
"gradual onset" of an ice age, "unless one is willing to
postulate freezing temperatures across the equator, such an
explanation clearly begs the question."
[Martin, P. S. & Guilday, J.
E., "Bestiary for Pleistocene Biologists", Pleistocene Extinction,
Yale University, 1967]
Massive piles of mastodon and saber-toothed tiger bones were
discovered in Florida. [Valentine, quoted by Berlitz, Charles,
Mystery of Atlantis (New York, 1969)] Mastodons, toxodons, giant
sloths and other animals were found in Venezuela quick-frozen in
mountain glaciers. Woolly rhinoceros, giant armadillos, giant
beavers, giant jaguars, ground sloths, antelopes and scores of other
entire species were all totally wiped out at the same time, at the
end of the Pleistocene, approximately 12000 years ago.
This event was global. The mammoths of Siberia became extinct at the
same time as the giant rhinoceros of Europe; the mastodons of
Alaska, the bison of Siberia, the Asian elephants and the American
It is obvious that the cause of these extinctions must be
common to both hemispheres, and that it was not gradual.
"uniformitarian glaciation" would not have caused extinctions
because the various animals would have simply migrated to better
pasture. What is seen is a surprising event of uncontrolled
[Leonard, R. Cedric, Appendix A in "A Geological Study of
the Mid-Atlantic Ridge", Special Paper No. 1 ( Bethany: Cowen
In other words, 12000 years ago, a time we have met before and
come across again and again, something terrible happened - so
terrible that life on earth was nearly wiped out in a single day.
Harold P. Lippman admits that the magnitude of fossils and tusks
encased in the Siberian permafrost present an,
difficulty" to the theory of uniformitarianism, since no gradual
process can result in the preservation of tens of thousands of tusks
and whole individuals, "even if they died in winter."
Harold E., "Frozen Mammoths", Physical Geology, (New York 1969)]
This is true especially when many of these individuals have
undigested grasses and leaves in their belly.
William R. Farrand of the Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, who
is opposed to catastrophism in any form, states:
"Sudden death is
indicated by the robust condition of the animals and their full
stomachs... the animals were robust and healthy when they died."
William R., "Frozen Mammoths and Modern Geology", Science, Vol.133,
No. 3455, March 17, 1961]
Unfortunately, in spite of this admission,
this poor guy seems to have been incapable of facing the reality of
worldwide catastrophe represented by the millions of
all over this planet right at the end of the Pleistocene.
sums up the situation in a single statement:
"The Pleistocene period
ended in death. This was no ordinary extinction of a vague
geological period, which fizzled to an uncertain end. This death was
catastrophic and all inclusive."
[Hibben, op. cit.]
The conclusion is, again, that the end of the Ice Age, the
Pleistocene extinction, the end of the Upper Paleolithic,
Magdalenian, Perigordian, and so on,
and the end of the "reign of
the gods," all came to a global, catastrophic end about 12,000 years
[The Secret History of the World]
This is the event that Firestone,
West and Warwick-Smith discuss in
The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: Flood, Fire, and
Famine in the History of Civilization, mentioned above.
But if the above accounts are the result of such a catastrophe, what
might the catastrophe itself be like?
The following is condensed and
adapted from Chapter 11 of Firestone, West, and Warwick-Smith's
It begins with meteors failing like
raindrops, a few here and there. Perhaps a few hit the sun,
provoking large solar flares. The solar flares provoke colorful
auroras even in the daytime sky. Then the day of the comets
arrive. From horizon to horizon, growing larger every second,
they streaked into the atmosphere, lighting up brighter than the
Heated to immense temperatures by its passage through the
atmosphere, the lethal swarm exploded into thousands of
mountain-sized chunks and clouds of streaming icy dust.
smaller pieces blew up high in the atmosphere, creating multiple
detonations that turned the sky orange and red.
Then the largest comet smashed through the sheet of ice covering
part of the northern hemisphere in what is now Hudson Bay.
comets struck in Lake Michigan, Canada, Siberia and Europe. Then
the ground shock waves hit, shaking the earth violently for ten
minutes in great rolling waves and shudders. Fissures opened,
trees shook and fell, and rivers and streams disappeared into
the cracked earth.
Within seconds of the impact, the blast of superheated air
expanded outward at more than 1,000 miles an hour, racing across
the landscape, tearing trees from the ground and tossing them
into the air, ripping rocks from mountainsides, and
flash-scorching plants, animals, the earth, as well as any
humans in its way.
The only living things to survive would have
been those who had sought shelter underground or underwater.
Across the upper part of North America and Europe, the immense
energy from the multiple impacts blew a series of ever-widening,
giant, overlapping bubbles that pushed aside the atmosphere to
create a near vacuum inside. As the bubble passed by, the air
pressure dropped making it difficult to breathe.
expanding edge of the bubble, the Earth was stripped of the
protective shield of the atmosphere. The blast had ejected tiny,
fast-moving grains in all directions through the thin air. Some
lodged into trees, plants and animals, while others went up only
to fall back again at incredible speeds as there was no
atmosphere to break their fall.
At the same instant, high speed
cosmic rays bombarded the area with radiation. Animals and
humans dropped dead on the spot from the bombardment. Inanimate
objects appeared to come to life and shiver and quake on the
ground from the barrage.
When the outward push of the shock wave ceased, the vacuum began
to draw back the air. As the expanded atmosphere rushed back
toward the impact site, the bubbles collapsed, sucking white-hot
gases and dust inwards at tornado speeds and then channeling
them up and away from the ground. Some of the dust escaped from
the Earth's atmosphere while the rest flowed out as a red
mushroom cloud that flattened out for thousands of miles across
the upper atmosphere, blocking the sun and engulfing the Earth
The dust and debris that was too heavy began crashing back down
to earth. Still super hot from the blast, it gave off a powerful
lava-like glow. The pieces landed on the continental ice sheet,
instantly melting untold gallons of water that coursed off the
ice sheet in all directions causing flooding.
The raging updraft through the hollow bubbles created an equally
powerful downdraft of frigid, high-altitude air, traveling at
hundreds of miles per hour. With temperatures exceeding 150
degrees F below zero, the downward stream of air hit the ground
and radiated out from the many blast sites in all directions,
flash-freezing within seconds everything it touched. The
howling, frigid blast turned trees and plants into brittle ice
statues and flash froze mastodons and mammoths with food in
their mouths that we have uncovered still frozen in Siberia.
The rapid temperature fluctuations meant the end of millions of
plants and animals... but the destruction was only beginning.
The impacts and shock waves triggered enormous earthquakes along
existing fault lines from the Carolinas to California while
shaking awake dormant volcanoes from Iceland across to the
Pacific. Erupting with furious activity, they spewed hot lava
across the landscape and noxious chemicals into the air, adding
to the already heavy cloud cover.
The impacts, the blast waves, and the eruptions started
thousands of ground fires wherever there was fuel to feed them,
some of which continued to burn for days. Fast-moving,
wind-driven wildfires formed spiraling tongues of raging flames
that twisted for thousands of feet into the air and the inferno
raced through forests faster than birds and animals could flee.
The roar of the fire shook the ground, and the fierce heat blew
apart trees like bombs, exploded rocks like shrapnel grenades,
and set off steam explosions wherever the fast-moving fire-front
jumped across frozen ponds and streams. When the fires had
finally burned themselves out, there was little left besides
smoldering stumps and telltale charcoal strewn across the
The noxious chemicals in the atmosphere fell back to earth as
poisoned rain. In some places, the air was too toxic and
oxygen-depleted to support life.
The impact in Hudson Bay sent up 200,000 cubic miles of the
glacier, throwing off the icy debris that followed the pieces of
the comet out across the continent. A rain of incandescent
debris and chunks of steaming ice showered down across most of
North America, Europe and Asia. Within minutes, the massive,
low-flying clumps crashed into the Carolinas and the eastern
seaboard, exploding into fireballs and gouging out the Carolina
Bays, over 500,000 of them.
Other lumps exploded across the
plains from Nebraska and Kansas to Arizona.
Surveys for the Ocean Forest Company
Aerial view of some of the Carolina Bays taken in 1930
Pieces of flying ice and debris,
large and small, fell from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the
Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic, from Europe over to Asia and even
down to Africa. More than one-quarter of the planet was under
But even that was not all.
The impact through the glacier at Hudson Bay sent high velocity
melt-water surging under the ice sheet. The surges lifted and
floated large sections of ice, causing monolithic ice blocks to
slide southward along hundreds of miles of the ice front. Moving
nearly as quickly as a horse is able to run, the blocks plowed
over forests, shearing off the trees.
The oceans, too, were targets. Thousands of ice chunks and
clouds of slushy water hit the Atlantic, exploding with colossal
detonations. The multiple concussions triggered immense
underwater landslides off the Carolinas and Virginia, releasing
thousands of cubic miles of mud. In turn, the mud unleashed a
1,000 foot high tidal wave that raced away towards Europe and
Africa at 500 miles an hour.
Nine hours later the wave hit [Europe], 1,000 feet tall at 400
miles per hour, probably taking with it some of the survivors of
the first explosions. The wave broke over hundreds of miles
inland, devastating everything in its path. Anything living on
the coast was killed instantly.
Its momentum spent, the churning water paused briefly and then
began its rush backwards to the coast, pulling with it the
battered remains of plants and animals under its tow. The surge
provoked, in turn, offshore landslides in Europe and Africa,
sending a second round of mega-waves back towards North and
South America. Miles of coast land was hit by the 100 foot waves
that triggered yet another wave of tsunamis that hit Europe and
Africa once again.
But little was left to damage.
Within minutes of the impacts, the subzero air and rising water
vapor combined to produce heavy snow and sleet that reached as
far south as Mexico, the Caribbean, and Northern Africa.
south, the snow turned to rain and the northern hemisphere was
under a steady downpour for months, a downpour of noxious water
contaminated and deadly. Anyone lucky enough to survive was now
a potential victim of acid, toxic metals, cyanide, formaldehyde,
and arsenic, a combination that would kill many and render the
rest gravelly ill.
The melted water of the glaciers had another effect: flooding
into the North Atlantic, it turned off the ocean conveyor that
brought warm water to the northern climes. Once shut off,
coupled with the clouds of dust blocking the sun, the
temperature fell drastically. Within days or weeks after the
impacts, continental temperatures fell well below freezing, and
a brutal ice age chill once again spread across the land,
remaining in place for another thousand years.
And all of this in an instant, in less time than it takes to
cook a meal or write an email.
65 Million Years
Ago A Dinosaur Meets Its Doom: Are We Next?
You will, of course, notice that "12,000
years ago" is just a rough estimate because some of the dates of
their data come back as old as 14 KYA and as recent as 10 KYA.
When considering a 3600 year Comet
Cluster Cycle, this range could cover more than one event. But what
is important is that the main event did, apparently, happen in a
single day and based on the scientific data collected by Firestone
et al, it was one of the most horrifying events ever to happen on
planet earth since modern Homo-Sapiens appeared.
Why do I keep referring to a 3600 year cycle? Well, in addition to
having been explicated within the context of the Cassiopaean
experiment, it seems that this 3600 year period was important enough
to certain ancient peoples that it was the basis of their
Around 3,200 BC, the Sumerians devised their numerical notation
system, giving special graphical symbols to the units 1, 10, 60,
600, 3,600. That is to say, we find that the Sumerians did not count
in tens, hundreds and thousands, but rather adopted base 60,
grouping things into sixties, and multiplying by powers of sixty.
Our own civilization utilizes vestiges of base 60 in the ways we
count time in hours, minutes and seconds, and in the degrees of the
Sixty is a large number to use as a base for a numbering system. It
is taxing to the memory because it necessitates knowing sixty
different signs (words) that stand for the numbers from 1 to 60. The
Sumerians handled this by using 10 as an intermediary between the
different sexagesimal orders of magnitude: 1, 60, 602, 603, etc. The
word for 60, ge, is the same as the word for unity.
The number 60
represented a certain level, above which, multiples of 60 up to 600
were expressed by using 60 as a new unit. When they reached 600, the
next level was treated as still another unit, with multiples up to
3,000. The number 3,600, or sixty sixties, was given a new name: ár,
and this, in turn, became yet another new unit.
So, the mystery is:
Why did the Sumerians enshrine the number 60 -
and its multiple 60 X 60 - in their numbering system?
Zecharia Sitchin believed that it was because there was a
planet in the solar system that had an orbit 3600 years long, and
that they based their numbering system on the cycle of this event.
But the evidence for the 10 planet - as a planet - and his related
ideas, is rather skimpy, while the evidence for bombardment of the
earth by masses of cometary debris is growing every day. Examining
the hard data, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that if there
is something that returns every 3600 years, it is more likely to be
a cluster of cosmic bodies than a 10th planet.
And that is bad news.
Santorini. View East from Nea Kammeni Volcano to Phirï? on Crater
COMETS AND DISASTER IN THE BRONZE AGE
At a certain point in our
history, the major civilizations of the world collapsed,
simultaneously it seems.
The Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia,
the Old Kingdom in Egypt, the Early Bronze Age civilization in
Israel, Anatolia and Greece, as well as the Indus Valley
civilization in India, the Hilmand civilization in Afghanistan
and the Hongshan Culture in China - the first urban
civilizations in the world - all fell into ruin at more or less
the same time.
Not long afterward, in
archaeological time, disaster overtook the Myceneans of Greece,
the Hittites of Anatolia, the Egyptian New Kingdom, Late Bronze
Age Israel, and the Shang Dynasty of China.
The reasons for these widespread and apparently simultaneous
disasters - which coincided also with changes of cultures and
societies elsewhere, such as in Britain - have long been a
fascinating mystery. Traditional explanations include warfare,
famine, and more recently 'system collapse', but the apparent
absence of direct archaeological or written evidence for causes,
as opposed to the effects, has led many archaeologists and
historians into a resigned assumption that no definite
explanation can possibly be found.
Some decades ago, the hunt for clues passed largely into the
hands of natural scientists. Concentrating on the earlier set of
Bronze Age collapses, researchers began to find a range of
evidence that suggested that natural causes rather than human
actions, may have been initially responsible. There began to be
talk of climate change, volcanic activity, and earthquakes - and
some of this material has now found its way into standard
historical accounts of the period.
Agreement, however, there has never been. Some researchers
favored one type of natural cause, others favored another, and
the problem remained that no single explanation appeared to
account for all the evidence.
Over the past 15 years or so, however, a new type of 'natural
disaster' has been much discussed and is beginning to be
regarded, by many scholars, as the most probable single
explanation for widespread and simultaneous cultural collapse,
but not only in the Bronze Age but at another times as well.
The new theory has been advanced
largely by astronomers, and remains almost completely unknown
amongst archaeologists (a few notable exceptions include the
dendrochronologist Prof Mike Baillie of Queen's University,
Belfast, and Dr Euan MacKie at Glasgow University). The new idea
is that these massive cultural disasters were caused by the
impact of comets or other types of cosmic debris on the Earth.
Yet what was the cause of these earthquakes, eruptions, tidal
waves, fire-blasts and climate changes? By the late 1970s,
British astronomers Victor Clube and Bill Napier of Oxford
University had begun to investigate cometary impact as the
ultimate cause... Then in 1980, the Nobel prizewinning physicist
Luis Alvarez and his colleagues published their famous paper in
Science that argued that a cosmic impact had led to the
extinction of the dinosaurs.
He showed that large amounts of the
element iridium present in geological layers dating from about
65 million BC had a cosmic origin.
Alvarez's paper had immense influence and stimulated further
research by such British astronomers as Clube and Napier, Prof
Mark Bailey of the Armagh Observatory, Duncan Steel of
Spaceguard Australia, and Britain's best known astronomer Sir
Fred Hoyle. All now support the theory of cometary impact and
loosely form what is now known as the British School of Coherent Catastrophism. [...]
These scholars envisage trains of cometary debris which
repeatedly encounter the Earth.
We know that tiny particles of
cosmic material penetrate the atmosphere every day, but their
impact is insignificant. Occasionally, however, cosmic debris
measuring between one and several hundred meters in diameter
strike the Earth and these can have catastrophic effects on our
ecological system, through multimegaton explosions of fireballs
which destroy natural and cultural features on the surface of
the Earth by means of tidal-wave floods (if the debris lands in
the sea), fire blasts and seismic damage.
Depending on their physical properties, asteroids or comets that
punctuate the atmosphere can either strike the Earth's surface
and leave an impact crater, such as the well-known
Crater in Arizona caused by an asteroid made of iron some 50,000
years ago. At least ten impact craters around the world dating
from after the last Ice Age, and no fewer than seven of these
date from around the 3rd millennium BC - the date of the
widespread Early Bronze Age collapses - although none occurred
in the Near East.
Alternatively, comets and asteroids can explode in the air. A
recent example - known as
the Tunguska Event - occurred in 1908
over Siberia, when a bolide made of stone exploded about 5km
above ground and completely devastated an area of some 2,000 km'
through fireball blasts.
The cosmic body, although thought to
have measured only 60 m across, had an impact energy of about 20
to 40 megaton, up to three times as great as the Arizona example
(about 15 megaton), and was equivalent to the explosion of about
2,000 Hiroshima-size nuclear bombs - even though there was no
actual physical impact on the Earth. [...]
Until recently, the astronomical mainstream was highly critical
of Clube and Napier's giant comet hypothesis. However, the crash
of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter in 1994 has led to a change
in attitudes. The comet, watched by the world's observatories,
was seen split into 20 pieces and slam into different parts of
the planet over a period of several days. A similar impact on
Earth, it hardly needs saying, would have been devastating.
According to current knowledge, Tunguska-like impacts occur
every 100 years or so. It is, therefore, not far fetched to
hypothesize that a super-Tunguska may occur every 2000, 3000 or
5000 years and would be capable of triggering ecological crises
on a continental or even global scale. In the past, skeptics
have demanded the evidence of a crater before they would accept
an argument of cosmic impact, but it is now become understood
that no crater is necessary for disastrous consequences to
The difficulty this leaves scholarship, however, is that
in a Tunguska Event no direct evidence is left behind. It may be
impossible to prove that one ever took place in the distant
The extent to which past cometary impacts were responsible for
civilization collapse, cultural change, even the development of
religion, must remain a hypothesis.
But in view of the astronomical,
geological and archaeological evidence, this 'giant comet'
hypothesis should no longer be dismissed by archaeologists out
[Dr Benny J Peiser: BRITISH
ARCHAEOLOGY, December 1997, No 30, pp. 6-7. Dr Benny J Peiser is
a historian and anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores
University. With Mark Bailey and Trevor Palmer, he is editing "Natural
Catastrophes during Bronze Age Civilisations"
(Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, in preparation) ]
Among the many side-effects of cometary
bombardments is earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.
happens, there was a significant volcanic event at the time of the
collapse of the Bronze Age civilizations that gives us a firmly
fixed date: Thera. Recent developments published in the April 2006
issue of Science fix the date of the eruption between 1627 and 1600
B.C. with 95 % certainty.
This, of course, is rejected by many
archaeologists because they have spent their entire careers trying
to date things according to the Bible, and it really upsets the
apple cart to realize that they've been chasing an illusion.
Rendering of a comet
about to hit the planet Mars
Yoshiyuki Fujii and Okitsugu Watanabe
"large scale environmental changes possibly
occurred in the Southern Hemisphere in the middle of the Holocene."
[Microparticle Concentration And Electrical Conductivity of A 700 m
Ice Core from Mizuho Station Antarctic, published in Annals of
Glaciology (1-, 1988) pp. 38-42] (Within the last 10,000 years).
Their depth profiles of microparticle concentration, electrical
conductivity and Oxygen 18 at circa 1600 BC indicates a spike in
readings for all of these elements. The evidence shows that this
disturbance covered this designated period, but with a "huge spike"
at c. 1600 BC.
Similar evidence exists at 5200 BC. This period shows less severe
but similar climatological stress. The oxygen 18 profile is close to
normal, but there is a visible volcanic dirt band. The dating of
this segment is less close because it is clear that nobody is really
looking for this cycle, but it appears to correspond to the ash band
from the Byrd station core. [cf. G. Cope Schellhorn, Ph.D.:Evidence
of Cyclical Earth Changes, from
When Men are Gods]
In an article in
Nature, November 1980, C.U. Hammer, H. B. Clausen and Dansgaard date
a disturbance from the Camp Century ice core to 5470 BC +/- 120
years. This compares to the proposed Hekla eruption which was
radiocarbon dated to 5450 BC +/- 190 years. There is an appreciably
high acidity signal at these sections of the core which indicates a
high level of volcanic activity - again, right at the 3600 year
It is conjectured that the cycle goes unnoticed because of long-term
after-effects, such as cooling climate, as well as the fact that
each cycle has greater or lesser effects on the earth depending on
the particular dynamical interactions within the solar system at any
What is clear is that something happens at 3600 year intervals as
shown by the ice cores, and is capable of setting off prolonged
periods of earth changes that are above the levels of ordinary
uniformitarian geologic and climatological changes.
Looking further: Michel R. Legrand and Robert J. Delmas of
Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l'Environment published
an article "Soluble Impurities in Four Antarctic Ice Cores Over the
Last 30,000 Years" [Annals of Glaciology (10, 1988, pp 116-120)], in
which they graphed the Oxygen 18 variations and the ionic components
Na, NH4 and Ca2 and H and Cl and NO3 and SO4. The time scale for
each ionic component level as well as the O18 levels stretches back
The graph shows correlations to spikes at 5,200 BC,
8,800 BC, 12,400 BC, c. 16,000 BC, c. 19,600 BC. All of these were
times of great geologic stress.
When looking at the data and taking into account the acknowledged
dating inaccuracies (some of the ranges of dates can go 100 years in
either direction of the spike, even though the spiking is regular
and rhythmic) for the more recent dates, and 3 to 600 years variance
for the older dates - especially when one considers that these are
broad analyses and nobody was really looking for anything specific -
they just said "wow! look at that wavy line!" - we find that the
southern ice cores do not always register the same as the northern
The 1628 BC event that really slammed the tree rings in the
northern hemisphere shows almost no registration in the Antarctic
cores in terms of volcanic activity. But the northern cores show the
activity beginning 1644 BC.
The evidence for the 5200 BC event is strong in the Dome C core. The
8,800 BC event is well marked - in fact, seems to be the strongest
of them all. Keep in mind that this was 10,800 years ago - exactly
within the range of dates reported by Herodotus and Plato.
oxygen 18 isotope variation is noticeable, the rise in sea-salt,
elevated levels of C1 and C1/Na. There is an extreme spike in SO4
and H readings suggesting widespread volcanic activity - great earth
changes were happening at that time, and they registered in the
climate, the oceans, and were preserved in ice.
The 12,400 BC event is also extremely pronounced in the cores. The
graphs show a quick, vast change including the end of the Wisconsin
Ice Age. There is a great Oxygen 18 isotope variation as well as
peaks of Na and very pronounced spikes in Ca, SO4 and H.
There is absolutely no question that the Santorini event occurred.
The acid signal in the ice core is very strong. Which means that
there is very little question about when it occurred. Something very
unusual and specific happened then, starting in 1644, and
culminating in a major cataclysm, and it seems that it walked all
over the Aegean and Anatolian area, leaving tracks that are
impossible to miss. Impossible for anyone, that is, except
Egyptologists and their kin.
All over the Mediterranean there were kingdoms and cultures that
communicated and traded with one another. Reading the many books on
each region, produced by the various experts on the different
cultures, again and again one encounters the fact that a period of
severe disruption was noted in the historical and archaeological
record. Somehow, such an event in one region is not necessarily
connected to a similar event in another region.
The idea that all of
the disruptions in a given general time period may be simultaneous
cannot be considered because it would disrupt the carefully
constructed chronology that is based on endless acts of tetraphyloctomy. [Splitting a hair four ways; coined by Umberto Eco
in Foucault's Pendulum].
In his book Stratigraphic Comparée et Chronologie de l'Asie
Occidentale, [London, Oxford University Press, 1948] Claude Shaeffer's lifelong archaeological investigations led him to propose
that a great natural catastrophe brought about the end of the Middle
Kingdom in Egypt, and also devastated by fire and earthquake almost
every other populated region of Crete, Cyprus, the Caucasus, Syria,
Palestine, Persia, and Asia Minor in general.
That's one heck of a
"local event." It is only logical to conclude that the Santorini
event and the end of the Middle Bronze Age are one and the same
And it happened a little over 3,600 years ago.
In other words, we are overdue.
Now, let's come back to what I mentioned above about being half-way
through a 26 million year Companion Star orbit. We really have no
idea where the theorized critter is or what it is up to, but we do
have some clues. But the first question we want to ask is,
the relation between this companion star -
Nemesis - and extinction?
How can a star, way
out beyond the solar system, have an effect on the third rock from
Far beyond the orbit of Pluto lies the
The Oort Cloud
The Oort cloud, alternatively termed the
Opik-Oort Cloud, is a postulated spherical cloud of comets situated
about 50,000 to 100,000 AU from the Sun.
This is approximately 2000
times the distance from the Sun to Pluto or roughly one light year,
almost a quarter of the distance from the Sun to Proxima Centauri,
the star nearest the Sun.
The solar system
is engulfed by this cloud comprised of billions of comets. Imagine
what would happen if a star passed through that cloud, knocking the
comets in the same way a bowling ball sends bowling pins scattering
in all directions. Imagine then a certain number of those comets
heading towards the centre of the cloud, our sun and its solar
system. The sun, being the largest object in the neighborhood,
would be the attraction point. The comets in the incoming cloud
would be pulled into an orbit around the sun.
Although no direct observations have been made of such a cloud, it
is believed to be the source of most or all comets entering the
inner solar system (some short-period comets may come from the
Kuiper belt), based on observations of the orbits of comets.
So far, only one potential Oort cloud object has been discovered;
90377 Sedna. With an orbit that ranges from roughly 76 to 928 AU, it
is much closer than originally expected and may belong to an "inner"
Oort cloud. If Sedna indeed belongs to the Oort cloud, this may mean
that the Oort cloud is both denser and closer to the Sun than
So, we have a mechanism which can hypothetically trigger the
launching of a swarm of comets into the solar system.
The orbit of
the proposed binary twin of our sun conforms to the cycles of major
extinctions on Earth. But it is still a hypothesis. More
importantly, you might ask, even if we assign a high probability to
the truth of the hypothesis, if these cycles happen every 26 million
years, what evidence do we have that we are alive during one of the,
shall we say, unlucky periods?
One of the corollaries of the
Nemesis theory is that the dark
companion might well become visible as a second sun in the sky when
it was closest to the sun. Is there any evidence that might suggest
that people have ever seen a "second sun"?
In her book
Comets and Popular Culture and the Birth of Modern
Cosmology, Sara J. Schechner writes:
The sunny disposition of the weather
during the coronation (of Charles II) was seen as the
fulfillment of a prophecy. In 1630, at the time of Charles'
birth, a noonday star or rival sun allegedly had appeared in the
Aurelian Cook in Titus Britannicus explained its import:
soon as Born, Heaven took notice of him, and eyed him with a
star, appearing in defiance of the Sun at Noonday....'
For Cook, the extra sun announced that Charles ruled by divine
right. Moreover, the timing of Charles' entry into London on his
birthday was politically calculated to fulfill what had been
portended at his birth. Abraham Cowley, poet, diplomat and spy
for the court wrote:
'No Star amongst ye all did, I believe,
Such Vigorous assistance give, As that which thirty years ago,
At Charls his Birth, did in despight of the proud Suns' Meridian
Light, His future Glories, this Year foreshow.'
Edward Matthew devoted an entire book to the fulfillment of the
prophecy declaring Charles "ordained to be the most Mighty
Monarch in the Universe..."
Charles' return was seen as a rebirth of England and duly
recorded by a special act in the statute book, which proclaimed
that 29 May was the most memorable Birth day not only of his
Majesty both as a man and Prince, but likewise as an actual
Well, that certainly sounds like it fits
the bill: 377 years ago a second sun appeared and no one, so far
as I know, has ever linked this to either a comet or a supernova.
Interestingly, it was followed thirty years later by the sighting of
But the 17th century was interesting for another anomaly involving
our sun: the
Between the years 1645 and 1715, our sun
stayed in a period of solar minimum.
During one 30-year period within the
Maunder Minimum, for example, astronomers observed only about 50
sunspots, as opposed to a more typical 40,000 - 50,000 spots.
The Maunder Minimum coincided with the middle - and coldest part
- of the so-called
Little Ice Age, during which
Europe and North America, and perhaps much of the rest of the
world, were subjected to bitterly cold winters.
published research suggests that the Sun's rotation slowed in
the deep Maunder minimum (1666-1700). At our
current level of understanding of solar physics, a larger and
slower Sun necessarily implies a cooler Sun that provides less
heat to Earth.
Perhaps the close approach,
astronomically speaking, of the dark companion was the cause of this
The lower solar activity during the Maunder Minimum also
affected the amount of cosmic radiation reaching the Earth. The
resulting change in the production of carbon-14 during that period
caused an inaccuracy in radiocarbon dating until this effect was
In total, carbon 14 analysis as well as tree rings and ice core
studies indicate there seem to have been 18 periods of sunspot
minima in the last 8,000 years, and studies indicate that the sun
currently spends up to a quarter of its time in these minima. We can
only speculate at the moment whether these cycles have a
relationship to our dark companion and/or its cometary children.
Returning to our hypothesis, if we are correct, the
dark star was
seen 377 years ago. If it was in fact the companion, Nemesis, then
the comets heading to the inner solar system should be heading our
way. Depending on their locations and orbits in the Oort cloud,
there would be variable groups - variable both in size and arrival
time. Is there any evidence for this?
The third edition of the university textbook
Exploration of the
Universe, by George O. Abell, published in 1975, informs us that
Jupiter has 9 moons as of 1974.
The outer seven, however, have
rather eccentric orbits, some of which have a large inclination
to Jupiter's equator. The four most distant satellites revolve
from east to west, contrary to the motions of most of the other
objects in the solar system. They may be former minor planets
captured by Jupiter.
Please note that Abell is suggesting
that some of Jupiter's moons have been captured by Jupiter's
Now let's time travel back to the future, and see what the latest
information tells us about Jupiter's moons:
Jupiter is now given 63 satellites.
Forty-seven of those satellites have been discovered since 1999.
What if they weren't there before?
What about Saturn. Our 1975 text tells
us that Saturn has 10 satellites. In 2007? Well, there are so many
that one source declines to give a precise number!
However, counting the named satellites on the Timeline of discovery
of solar system planets and their natural satellites gives us a
count of 62, with 41 being discovered since 2000 and another ten in
the 80's and 90's.
Moving outward, we come to Uranus, given five satellites in 1975, it
now has 28, with ten being discovered in the 1980's, six in the
90's, and 7 since 2000.
Neptune had two satellites in 1975, now it has 13.
Number of moons
The explanation given most often to explain this surge in the
numbers of satellites for these planets is that telescopes have
That is, we can see further, with
greater detail, and can therefore find things that we couldn't see
before. It is an explanation that makes sense. One small problem
with this theory is that the "new" moons of Neptune and Uranus
showed up before the new moons of Jupiter and Saturn. One would
think that powerful telescopes capable of finding moons as far away
as the seventh and eighth planets would have found the hard to see
moons of the fifth and sixth first.
Another possible explanation, and one which fits with new moons
appearing around Neptune and Uranus prior to appearing around
Jupiter and Saturn, is that these new moons, or some of them, are
objects that have been trapped into orbits around these planets only
recently, that they were captured by the gravity of these planets
and removed from the incoming comet cloud.
Passing the orbits of the
outer planets first, they would arrive at the inner planets
We also note that the much derided
Immanuel Velikovsky, in his book
Worlds in Collision, gives a time frame of nine years as the time it
would take for a comet to cover the distance between Jupiter and
Earth. The new Jovian moons were discovered beginning in the late
Do the math.
Raindrops keep falling on our heads
Which brings us to a series of local
stories that give impact a less than metaphoric meaning.
Strange noise might have been
Fri, 16 Feb 2007 10:56 UTC
NEWARK - Something
happened at around 9 p.m. Wednesday that a lot of people
heard, or even felt. What it was, though, might forever
remain a mystery.
"It" was a loud bang, something loud enough to be heard
across southern and central Ohio, and loud enough to
make small objects move in houses. Reports have rolled
into The Advocate from Hanover to Heath, from Buckeye
Lake to Granville, and NBC4 heard reports from
Muskingum, Fairfield and Pickaway counties.
Rumors range from an earthquake to a meteor strike, a
sonic boom to something ice-related.
Was it simply falling ice? That's what many, including
NBC4's Jym Ganahl, believe. But many also went outside
to check because it sounded like their houses had been
A few things have been eliminated. Instruments show it
wasn't an earthquake. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
told NBC4 that it didn't have any flights in the area,
and North American Aerospace Defense Command said it
knew of nothing man-made entering the atmosphere.
NORAD did report a flight of National Guard jets out of
Toledo over southern Ohio, but it was not fast enough to
break the sound barrier and create a sonic boom.
While we may never know for sure, at least one scientist
believes the meteor could be the answer.
Mike Hansen, director of the Ohio Seismic Network, said
there's no evidence to suggest an earthquake could have
caused the bang, especially not over the range
specified. NBC4 has fielded calls from Fairfield,
Muskingum and Pickaway counties, and the National
Weather Service heard similar tales from Cincinnati,
Wilmington and Lebanon.
Jeff Gill, of Granville, said he saw a meteor with a
relatively long trail, with red, green and gold
coloration. It was headed east to west and lasted about
three seconds; after it faded, the sonic boom washed
over him, he said.
"I saw it first. It
was the most eerie, cool, scary, wonderful thing.
You just see this dragon tail going across
the sky," said Gill, who also writes a religion
column for The Advocate. "All of a sudden,
everything goes boom."
He said he checked his
watch and thought it said 9:42 p.m., but now he can't be
certain. A seismograph at the Ohio Seismic Network's
office in Alum Creek picked up something that Hansen
said was more than likely something noise-related, but
other seismographs, including a more sensitive machine
in the same building, didn't catch anything.
That report was at 8:42 p.m., which is more consistent
with the other reports.
"His description there
of the colors of it are consistent with a
meteorite," said Hansen, who also has studied
meteorites. "That would be an explanation of a sonic
A sonic boom travels
across terrain behind the aircraft - or meteorite -
creating it, he said. The speed of an average meteorite,
25,000 miles per hour, would certainly allow for similar
reports across the state, and if the object was at a low
trajectory, it could be heard literally far and wide.
The Licking County Sheriff's Office reported about 10
calls between 8:35 p.m. and 3:48 a.m. from residents
hearing loud noises. Five of the calls came between 8:51
and 9:43 p.m.
Hansen said he hears similar time discrepancies all the
time when dealing with earthquakes, which often are
noticed as loud bangs.
notoriously bad at reporting the times," he said.
"You have to look at these peoples' reports with a
bit of skepticism on timing."
Most reported the bang at
or near 9 p.m., roughly around the same time the Ohio
State basketball game was ending on TV. But some reports
came in of multiple bangs, or some as late as 4 a.m.
Aside from the time discrepancies, the profile fits a
meteor, said Christine Pulliam, public relations
specialist for the Smithsonian Astrophysical
"Typically you have
one coming in at a particular time," Pulliam said.
No agency tracks meteors entering the Earth's
atmosphere, however. "If it definitely wasn't
anything manmade, then I guess a meteor's the most
The National Weather
Service's station in Wilmington is equally lost,
especially after hearing calls from the Cincinnati area.
The only common factor is that each area was affected by
Tuesday's ice storm.
"It definitely wasn't
thunder," a meteorologist there said. "We're kind of
stumped on that ourselves."
NewarkAdvocate.com reported similar stories - a bang
loud enough to shake houses, but with nothing apparently
"We live in Indian
Hills (west of Granville off Ohio 16) and the
explosion at approximately 9 p.m. was so loud it
shook our house!" one reader wrote. "We thought a
sheet of ice came off of our roof onto the deck or
our roof had collapsed, but after further
investigation we could find nothing amiss."
Not everyone agreed that
it was a meteor, however. Ganahl said every contact he's
heard about the bang was writing from an area that got
some layer of ice earlier this week.
"I'm 100 percent
certain that it's ice," he said. "It's only the
areas that had a lot of ice. None have been from
areas with just snow."
The reports came in from Ohio to New Jersey.
Notice the reference to the dragon tail. Could reports of
meteorites be the basis for some of the ancient myths about dragons
fighting in the sky? Check out Mike Baillie's book
Exodus to Arthur for more on
Some weeks ago, while much of the United States was watching the XLI
Super Bowl, some people in the Midwest were being treated to a
different type of spectacle:
Local residents witness meteor's flaming
If you saw a bright
light with a flaming tail plummeting to earth Sunday night, you
may have seen a minor meteor shower, according to reports in
Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.
James T. Luedke of Ripon said he was driving in Green Lake
County between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday when he saw a "half-dollar
sized flaming ball falling at a rapid speed to the earth" in the
He described it as a round, orange flaming ball with a
Kay Diederich of St. Cloud was driving out of the village about
7:50 p.m. with a friend when they saw a "ball of fire" shooting
to the south.
"It almost looked like a plane crash," she said.
Her friend is
an EMT and she listened to her scanner, but no reports came in.
People across the Midwest reported seeing balls of fire
streaking across the sky Sunday night, according to state news
A preliminary report does indicate the objects came from a
meteor. Most reports described the objects as bright lights with
a flaming tail. Several of the objects were seen exploding when
they hit the ground, according to WEAU. [...]
Sightings were reported from Minnesota
through Missouri and east through Illinois.
Then we have this report on February 7, 2007 from the United
Meteor lights up the sky.
by Rachel Pegg
A meteor has been spotted falling to the Earth.
The shooting star was engulfed in bright flames as it shot
towards the ground over Hangleton, Hove, at about 8.15pm
Not to mention a report from Turkey:
Meteorite lands in Didim
Friday, February 02
POLICE were inundated with calls from scores of people from
Didim to Bodrum after they heard a big bang and a flash of light
across the skies.
Despite officers being unable to explain the flashing green,
yellow and red lights, Voices has solved the phenomena.
It was not a UFO but a meteorite which crash through the earth's
atmosphere and landed in Yesilkent.
A startled Abdullah Ariturk revealed that the rock had smashed a
hole in the ground at the Green Park Complex, at Yesilkent,
narrowly missing him by ten metres.
Police reported that people from Bodrum, Milas and Didim had
heard a bang and seen the flashing light across the skies at
about 5.30pm on Thursday (Jan 31).
Mr Ariturk said:
"I thought this was it. I thought it was the
apocalypse. I saw the bang and the flashing lights and this rock
smashed into the ground quite near me. It was very frightening."
After telling the Voices of his story, Mr Ariturk is now
awaiting scientists from Aegean University, in Izmir, to take
the meteorite away for closer examination.
Fortunately, no one was hurt with these
meteors, but people in India weren't so lucky:
Three Killed In Suspected Meteorite Fall
In India's Rajasthan
February 8th 2007
Three people were killed and four injured in a mysterious blast
in a village in India's northern Rajasthan state Thursday that
villagers claim was caused by a meteorite, news reports said.
Residents of Banchola village in Bundi district, about 200
kilometres south of Rajasthan capital Jaipur, said the victims
were sitting with some iron scrap in an open field when an
"object" fell from the sky and hit them, IANS news agency
"The matter is under investigation. We know that there was a
blast but looking at the crater it does not seem that it
happened due to a meteorite," a Bundi police official was quoted
as saying by IANS.
He said the crater was just 8-10 inches in diameter and two
inches deep. A team from the state-run forensic science
laboratory in Jaipur was collecting evidence from the site, the
Then there was the meteorite that
crashed into a house in New Jersey recently and embedded itself in
Possible Meteorite Crashes Through New
by Chris Newmarker
posted: 4 January 2007
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - Authorities were trying to
identify a mysterious metallic object that crashed through the
roof of a house in eastern New Jersey.
Nobody was injured when the golf-ball sized object, weighing
nearly as much as a can of soup, struck the home and embedded
itself in a wall Tuesday night.
Federal officials sent to the scene
said it was not from an aircraft.
The rough-surfaced object, with a metallic glint, was displayed
Wednesday by police.
"There's some great interest in
what we have here," said Lt. Robert Brightman. "It's rather
unusual. I haven't seen anything like it in my career."
He said he hoped to have the object
identified within 72 hours, but declined to name the other
agencies whose help he has enlisted.
Approximately 20 to 50 rock-like objects fall every day over the
entire planet, said Carlton Pryor, a professor of astronomy at
"It's not all that uncommon to
have rocks rain down from heaven," said Pryor, who had not
seen the object that struck the Monmouth County home. "These
are usually rocky or a mixture of rock and metal." [...]
And the cottage destroyed by a meteorite
in Germany in October 2006:
German cottage destroyed by meteor
October 20, 2006
BERLIN (Reuters) - A fire that destroyed a cottage near Bonn and
injured a 77-year-old man was probably caused by a meteor and
witnesses saw an arc of blazing light in the sky, German police
said on Friday.
Burkhard Rick, a spokesman for the police in Siegburg east of
Bonn, said the fire gutted the cottage and badly burnt the man's
hands and face in the incident on October 10.
"We sought assistance from Bochum observatory and they noted
that at that particular moment the earth was near a field of
meteoroid splinter and it could be assumed that particles had
entered the atmosphere," he said.
"The particles usually don't reach the surface because they
disintegrate in the atmosphere," he added. "But some can make it
to the ground. We believe this was a bolide (meteoric fireball)
with a size of no more than 10 mm."
And the falling ice that hit a car in
Mysterious, Large Ice Chunk Falls on Tampa
1/28/2007 11pm report
Car dented by falling ice in Tampa.
TAMPA, FL (AP) - Raymond Rodriguez
was changing a tire when an 18-inch chunk of ice plummeted from
the sky with a piercing whistle, then a metallic crunch. The ice
chunk crushed the roof of a nearby Ford Mustang on Sunday
morning. No one was hurt.
"I was scared," Rodriguez said,
who was only feet away. "It's crazy, man."
The Federal Aviation Administration
is reviewing flight schedules to see if the ice fell off a
plane. The ice did not have a blue tint that would indicate it
came from a plane's lavatory.
The National Weather Service said
conditions in Tampa were not favorable for the formation of
large balls of ice, known as megacryometeors.
"It's not an act of God," said
Carlos Javage, whose son's car was wrecked by the mystery
ice. "This came off an airplane."
So, what are we to make of this sudden
appearance of so many "once in a lifetime" meteors across the globe?
Anything? Coincidence? Or something else?
Let's put together an overview of the data we have been collecting
and outline the working hypothesis that we have to explain it. It
isn't very hopeful, we'll tell you that right at the start. It may
well make Tunguska look like a firecracker in comparison.
blast at Tunguska has been
The explosion was probably caused by
the air burst of a meteorite or comet 6 to 10 kilometers (4-6
mi) above the Earth's surface. The energy of the blast was later
estimated to be between 10 and 15 megatons of TNT, which would
be equivalent to Castle Bravo, the most powerful nuclear bomb
ever detonated by the US. It felled an estimated 60 million
trees over 2,150 square kilometers (830 sq mi).
The Binary System
We look out at our sky and we see only one sun. We naturally
conclude that our star system includes only the sun. However, binary
star systems are very frequent.
There is an hypothesis that argues that our sun is part of such a
binary system. The sun's hypothetical companion has been named, as
mentioned above, "Nemesis".
The projected orbit of Nemesis is 26
million years, give or take the time necessary for the rising and
falling of several civilizations.
Studies of the fossil record by Dave Raup and Jack Sepkoski have
shown that there is a cyclic repetition to periods of extinction.
The Nemesis theory was drawn up to explain the extinction cycle.
Chart of the 26 million year extinction cycle
We can offer no proof for the working
hypothesis outlined above. We are working on a limited data set.
most that we can say is that an argument can be made suggesting the
The sun's dark companion, on its 26
million year orbit, came close to the solar system 377 years
ago, showing itself and pushing in front of it comets, a few of
which appeared thirty years after the 1630 showing of the dark
The passage of the companion through the Oort cloud
dragging hundreds of thousands of other bodies in its wake,
swung around in its orbit, and flung a swarm of them our way,
traveling now for nearly four hundred years.
Members of that
swarm have been picked off by the gravitational fields of the
outer planets, increasing the numbers of moons in recent years.
If the swarm has passed by Jupiter, then it may be arriving here
Are the articles pulled from papers
around the world over the last few months the announcement of their
One final point. There have been reports that Earth is not the only
planet being hit by "global warming".
Might it be possible that this
apparently widespread change of "climate" in the solar system is
linked to an incoming comet cloud? We do not know and are sorely
lacking in the means to acquire data to refine or reject the working
hypothesis. Perhaps someone else out there does have the means.
Whatever the explanation for a generalized warming of several
planets, it is clear that we know very little about the fundamental
mechanisms behind it. We are a speck in the universe, a drop in an
ocean more vast, more complex, and more mysterious than we can
To close, I want to quote from the final pages of The Cycle of
Cosmic Catastrophes: Flood, Fire, and Famine in the History of
Civilization because the words there should have meaning for all of
NOT-SO-HARMLESS SHOOTING STARS
If you want more evidence for what happened to the mammoths, you
need only to look up at the clear night sky. In almost any
month, you can see shooting stars from one of many meteor
Nearly every fiery streak you see is the tiny remnant
of some giant comet that broke up into smaller pieces. Of
course, most of those pieces are microscopic, but their parent
comet was not - it was enormous. Astronomers know that, even
today, hidden in those cosmic clouds of tiny remnants, there are
some huge chunks of comet pieces. We pass through their clouds
every year like clockwork, so eventually we will collide with
some of bigger pieces.
In 1990, Victor Clube, an astrophysicist, and Bill Napier, an
The Cosmic Winter, a book in which they
describe performing orbital analyses of several of the meteor
showers that hit Earth every year. Using sophisticated computer
software, they carefully looked backward for thousands of years,
tracing the orbits of comets, asteroids, and meteor showers
until they uncovered something astounding.
Many meteor showers
are related to one another, such as the Taurids, Perseids,
Piscids, and Orionids. In addition, some very large cosmic
objects are related: the comets Encke and Rudnicki, the
asteroids Oljato, Hephaistos, and about 100 others. Every one of
those 100-plus cosmic bodies is at least a half-mile in diameter
and some are miles wide.
And what do they have in common?
According to those scientists, every one is the offspring of the
same massive comet that first entered our system less than
20,000 years ago!
Clube and Napier calculated that, to account
for all the debris they found strewn throughout our solar
system, the original comet had to have been enormous.
So was this our megafauna killer? All the known facts fit. The
comet may have ridden in on the supernova wave, [or was knocked
into the solar system by the Companion Star - LKJ] then gone
into orbit around the sun less than 20,000 years ago; or, if it
was already here, the supernova debris wave may have knocked it
into an Earth-crossing orbit.
Either way, any time we look up
into the night sky at a beautiful, dazzling display of shooting
stars, there is an ominous side to that beauty. We are very
likely seeing the leftover debris from a monster comet that
finished off 40 million animals 12 to 13,000 years ago.
Clube and Napier also calculated that, because of subtle changes
in the orbits of Earth and the remaining cosmic debris, Earth
crosses through the densest part of the giant comet clouds about
every 2 ,000 to 4,000 years [or 3,600 years?].
When we look at
climate and ice-core records, we can see that pattern. For
example the iridium, helium-3, nitrate, ammonium, and other key
measurements seem to rise and fall in tandem, producing
noticeable peaks around 18,000, 16,000, 13,000, 9,000, 5,000,
and 2,000 years ago. In that pattern of peaks every 2,000 to
4,000 years, we may be seeing the "calling cards" of the
Fortunately, the oldest peaks were the heaviest bombardments,
and things have been getting quieter since then, as the remains
of the comet break up into even smaller pieces The danger is not
past, however. Some of the remaining miles-wide pieces are big
enough to do serious damage to our cities, climate, and global
Clube and Napier (1984) predicted that in the year 2000
and continuing for 400 years, Earth would enter another
dangerous time in which the planet's changing orbit would bring
us into a potential collision course with the densest parts of
the clouds containing some very large debris. Twenty years after
their prediction, we have just now moved into the danger zone.
It is a widely accepted fact that some of those large objects
are in Earth-crossing orbits at this very moment, and the only
uncertainty is whether they will miss us, as is most likely, or
whether they will crash into some part of our planet.
That may seem like bad news, but there is a glimmer of good news
too. For the first time in human kind's known history, we have
ways to detect those objects and prevent them from hitting us
again. One such effort is Project Spaceguard, a multinational
cooperative attempting to locate those Earth threatening
objects, and other similar programs include the Near-Earth
Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) telescope and the Spacewatch Project at
the University of Arizona.
Unfortunately, not one of them is
funded nearly well enough to complete the job for many years,
bur they are working at it steadily.
No one knows exactly how many dangerous comets and asteroids are
out there, but astronomers are certain that hundreds to
thousands of them remain undiscovered. The worst part is that
many of those space objects are so dark and difficult to see
that they are nearly invisible until they come very close, and
by then it is too late.
It is certain that one of these monsters
is on a collision course with Earth - we just do not know the
details. Is it days from now or hundreds of years from now? Even
if we were sure one was coming, there is just very little that
we can do about it currently.
We are years away from being able to control our own destiny as
it relates to supernovae and giant comets and asteroids, but
scientists are working on solutions. This is not a high priority
with the world's governments, however, which typically prefer to
confront terrestrial threats rather than cosmic ones. To prevent
one of those giant objects from smashing into us, collectively,
we spend about $10 to $20 million annually, an amount less than
the cost of one or two sophisticated fighter jets. Almost no
money is spent trying to detect imminent supernovae [or comets].
Our politicians are seriously underestimating these severe
threats, which are capable of ending our species, just as they
snuffed out the mammoths a mere 13,000 years ago, only an eye
blink in cosmic terms. There are few threats of that magnitude
facing us today.
The survival of the human race is not seriously
threatened by the avian flu, Al Qaeda attacks, the end of the
Age of Oil, monster hurricanes, giant earthquakes, or enormous
tsunamis; if any of those occur, most of us will continue with
our lives. Furthermore, nothing on that list is broadly accepted
as having caused worldwide extinctions in the past.
cannot be said about supernovae and massive [cometary] impacts.
Those two cosmic events are implicated in many of the largest
extinctions on our planet over the last millions of years.
Fortunately, we survived them, but many of our fellow species
Humankind might not survive the next one. It seems
reasonable to forgo several of our military fighter jets each
year to decrease our chances of being" nuked" from space by a
supernova or a comet.
So, indeed, humanity has passed its
"extinct by" date and, as it was in the days of Noah...
They did eat, they drank, they
married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that
Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they
drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But
the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and
brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Somehow, we don't think it was a