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        Catastrophism:  (Natural Catastrophes..)

 

The now famous K/T boundary records the almost complete destruction of the dinosaur dynasty which itself lasted over 130 million years. This single event is believed to have been caused by an impact from a large meteorite impact in the Gulf of Mexico, and most life on earth today is indebted to it.

The K/T event was not the first, and it will not be the last

There is also a body of evidence to support the idea that we (humanity), have witnessed the more recent of these events and recorded them into our mythologies and traditions.

Photo: Barrington Crater, 40 - 25,000 B.P. 1.2 km diameter.

 

 

   Mass extinctions.

The Largest 5 mass-extinctions of all time.

Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction, about 65 million years ago, probably caused or aggravated by impact of several-mile-wide asteroid that created the Chicxulub crater now hidden on the Yucatan Peninsula and beneath the Gulf of Mexico. Some argue for other causes, including gradual climate change or flood-like volcanic eruptions of basalt lava from India's Deccan Traps. The extinction killed 16 percent of marine families, 47 percent of marine genera (the classification above species) and 18 percent of land vertebrate families, including the dinosaurs.

End Triassic extinction, roughly 199 million to 214 million years ago, most likely caused by massive floods of lava erupting from the central Atlantic magmatic province -- an event that triggered the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. The volcanism may have led to deadly global warming. Rocks from the eruptions now are found in the eastern United States, eastern Brazil, North Africa and Spain. The death toll: 22 percent of marine families, 52 percent of marine genera. Vertebrate deaths are unclear.

Permian-Triassic extinction, about 251 million years ago. Many scientists suspect a comet or asteroid impact, although direct evidence has not been found. Others believe the cause was flood volcanism from the Siberian Traps and related loss of oxygen in the seas. Still others believe the impact triggered the volcanism and also may have done so during the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction. The Permian-Triassic catastrophe was Earths worst mass extinction, killing 95 percent of all species, 53 percent of marine families, 84 percent of marine genera and an estimated 70 percent of land species such as plants, insects and vertebrate animals.

Late Devonian extinction, about 364 million years ago, cause unknown. It killed 22 percent of marine families and 57 percent of marine genera. Erwin said little is known about land organisms at the time.

Ordovician-Silurian extinction, about 439 million years ago, caused by a drop in sea levels as glaciers formed, then by rising sea levels as glaciers melted. The toll: 25 percent of marine families and 60 percent of marine genera. (7)

 

How Fast do Extinctions Occur?

Quote from: 'The misread record' (1921):

'There have been mammoths found with food in their stomach undigested, the very pupil of the eye and the blood vesicles of the eye preserved. Dr. Hertz's mammoth of 1901 was found buried in glacier ice with grass in its mouth still un-masticated'.

 

 

Catastrophe Events:

(Meteorite Impacts, Volcanic Explosion, Flood (Tsunami), Earthquake, Disease)

Humanity has  clawed its way up the food-chain over the last few million years,  and stands today along with all life on earth as one of the current holders of the genetic 'torch' of 'life'.  Until recently, it was believed that our path had been one of gradual progression - however, recent research is starting to show a new picture :

'Proof of our fragility comes from new research which shows that 60,000 yrs ago humanity became almost extinct. Reduced in numbers to an isolated group of just a couple of thousand members, a common 'y' chromosomes has been determined to exist in all males on the planet originating from that date, and from an area in eastern Africa'.

 (Ref: National Geographic: The search for Adam'. April 2007)

(Ref: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2975862.stm)

 

   Meteorite Impacts:

 

Article: EurekaAlert.com (May, 2013)

'About 12,800 years ago when the Earth was warming and emerging from the last ice age, a dramatic and anomalous event occurred that abruptly reversed climatic conditions back to near-glacial state. According to James Kennett, UC Santa Barbara emeritus professor in earth sciences, this climate switch fundamentally –– and remarkably –– occurred in only one year, heralding the onset of the Younger Dryas cool episode.

The cause of this cooling has been much debated, especially because it closely coincided with the abrupt extinction of the majority of the large animals, as well as the disappearance of the prehistoric Clovis culture, known for its big game hunting.

"What then did cause the extinction of most of these big animals, including mammoths, mastodons, giant ground sloths, American camel and horse, and saber- toothed cats?" asked Kennett, pointing to Charles Darwin's 1845 assessment of the significance of climate change. "Did these extinctions result from human overkill, climatic change or some catastrophic event?" The long debate that has followed has recently been stimulated by a growing body of evidence in support of a theory that a major cosmic impact event was involved, a theory proposed by the scientific team that includes Kennett himself.

Now, in one of the most comprehensive related investigations ever, the group has documented a wide distribution of microspherules widely distributed in a layer over 50 million square kilometres on four continents, including North America, including Arlington Canyon on Santa Rosa Island in the Channel Islands. This layer –– the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) layer –– also contains peak abundances of other exotic materials, including nanodiamonds and other unusual forms of carbon such as fullerenes, as well as melt-glass and iridium. This new evidence in support of the cosmic impact theory appeared recently in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences'.

(Link to Full Article)

 

Over 150 large impact craters have been found so far world-wide.(1)  Comets are cyclic. We are now able to predict a behaviour of the following comets:

Cycle duration:

Name of comet:

   

   3.3 years.

   Encke's - i.e. Tunguska - June 30th - (also beta-taurid meteors).

   6 years.

   Pons-winnecke -

   6.5 years.    Giacobini-zinner -

   6.9 years.

   Holme's -

   16.2 years. 

   Schwassman-wach

   76.3 years.

   Halley's - (i.e. 1066 Bayeux, 1986 Giotto probe).

   5,700 - 75,000 years

   Kohoutek - (Passed earth by 75 million miles, 1974).

   2,800,000 years.

   The 'Great comet' of 1864 -  

 

Significantly Sized Impact Sites:

210 mill yrs - Lake Manicougan, Quebec. Canada. 60 km diameter.

65 mill yrs - 'Chicxulub' - Yucatan Penninsula (10 km diameter.) 75-80% extinction including most Dinosaur extinction. (K/T Boundary).

In 1980, Luis Alvarez and his geologist son, Walter, proposed that a giant asteroid or comet struck the Earth approximately 65 million years ago and caused the mass extinctions of the dinosaurs and over 70% of all life on Earth. The collision occurred on the Yucatán platform and is centred near the port city of Progreso, Mexico. The 200–300-kilometer wide crater lies buried beneath 1100 meters of limestone laid down in the intervening years and few clues of its presence remain at the surface. (2)

In recent years, several other craters of around the same age as Chicxulub have been discovered, all between latitudes 20°N and 70°N. Examples include the Silverpit crater in the United Kingdom, and the Boltysh crater in Ukraine, both much smaller than Chicxulub but likely to have been caused by objects many tens of metres across striking the earth. This has led to the hypothesis that the Chicxulub impact may have been only one of several impacts that happened all at the same time. (3)

(Left) 'Gravity map' of the Chicxulub Crater, Mexico (after Hildebrand et al), (Right) Geographic map of Yucatan peninsular

 

39 mill years. - Popigai crater, Siberia. 100 km diameter.

50,000 years - Barringer crater, Arizona. 1.2 km diameter. (Photo - right).

When Europeans first discovered the crater, the plain around it was covered with chunks of meteoritic iron - over 30 tons of it, scattered over an area 8 to 10 miles in diameter

Scientists now believe that the crater was created approximately 50,000 years ago. The meteorite which made it was composed almost entirely of nickel-iron, suggesting that it may have originated in the interior of a small planet. It was 150 feet across, weighed roughly 300,000 tons, and was travelling at a speed of 28,600 miles per hour (12 kilometres per second) according to the most recent research. The explosion created by its impact was equal to 2.5 megatons of TNT, or about 150 times the force of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. (4)

 

It is interesting to note that many of the planets and their moons show impact-craters on one side only, as if they were all bombarded at a particular moment. Also interesting is that some of the moons in our solar system exhibit single, large 'umbilical' impact sites.

In 1994, the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (D/1993 F2) was seen to collide with Jupiter, providing the first direct observation of an extraterrestrial collision of objects in our solar system..

Other links..

Over 40 images of impact craters: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/publications/slidesets/craters/

Site offering several useful links: http://www.pibburns.com/catastro/impactim.htm

 

 

   Volcanic Explosions:

About 50-60 volcanoes erupt every year. About half are effusive (lava flows) and half are explosive (6).

Krakatoa erupted in 1883, in one of the largest eruptions in recent time. In May, 1883, a series of eruptions commenced which continued until August 27, 1883, when a cataclysmic explosion blew the island apart. The island exploded with the force of 100 megatons (the Hiroshima bomb was about 20 kilotons). (1)

1. The explosions were heard on Rodriguez Island, 4653 km distant across the Indian Ocean, and over 1/13th of the earth's surface.

2. Giant waves reached heights of 40 m above sea level, devastating everything in their path and hurling ashore coral blocks weighing as much as 600 tons.

3. At least 36,417 people were killed, (100,000 including tsunami, disease etc - ref: 6), with 165 coastal villages destroyed.

4. Incoming solar radiation decreased 25 percent and remained 10 percent below normal for about three years.

 

The Thera (Santorini) event c.1600 BC.

(Thera), Santorini, GreeceCurrent estimates based on radiocarbon dating indicate that the eruption occurred between 1627 BCE and 1600 BCE.

"Precise and direct dating of the Minoan eruption of Santorini (Thera) in Greece, a global Bronze Age time marker, has been made possible by the unique find of an olive tree, buried alive in life position by the tephra (pumice and ashes) on Santorini. We applied so-called radiocarbon wiggle-matching to a carbon-14 sequence of tree-ring segments to constrain the eruption date to the range 1627-1600 B.C. with 95.4% probability. Our result is in the range of previous, less precise, and less direct results of several scientific dating methods, but it is a century earlier than the date derived from traditional Egyptian chronologies." (5)

For a long time the Thera explosion was believed to have been directly responsible for the destruction of the great Minoan culture. However, given that the Minoan decline is usually dated to 1450 B.C., the gap between cause and effect seemed too large. Scientific maps drawn in the 1960's and 1970's showed its ash as falling mostly over nearby waters and Aegean islands. By the 1990's, however, affected areas had mushroomed to include lands of the eastern Mediterranean from Anatolia to Egypt. Scientists found ash from Thera at the bottom of the Black Sea and Nile delta.

Peter Kuniholm, an expert at Cornell on using tree rings to establish dates, found ancient trees in a burial mound in Anatolia, what now is in the Asian part of Turkey. For half a decade those trees had grown three times as fast as normal - apparently because Thera's volcanic pall turned hot, dry summers into seasons that were unusually cool and wet. More intrigued than ever, McCoy of the University of Hawaii two years ago stumbled on more evidence suggesting that Thera's ash fall had been unusually wide and heavy. During a field trip to Anafi, an island some 20 miles east of Thera, he found that the authorities had just cut fresh roads that exposed layers of Thera ash up to 10 feet thick - a surprising amount that distance from the eruption.

Factoring in such evidence, McCoy calculated that Thera had a VEI of 7.0 - what geologists call colossal and exceedingly rare. In the past 10,000 years only one other volcano has exploded with that kind of gargantuan violence: Tambora, in Indonesia, in 1816, It produced an ash cloud in the upper atmosphere that reflected sunlight back into space and produced the year without a summer. The cold led to ruinous harvests, hunger and even famine in the United States, Europe and Russia.

In scholarly articles, Jan Driessen, an archaeologist at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, and Colin MacDonald, an archaeologist at the British School in Athens, Greece, have argued that changes to Cretan architecture, storage, food production, artistic output and the distribution of riches imply major social dislocations, and perhaps civil war.  By 1450 B.C., Mycenaean invaders from mainland Greece seized control of Crete, ending the Minoan era. Thera's destructiveness was probably the catalyst, Driessen and MacDonald wrote, "that culminated in Crete being absorbed to a greater or lesser extent into the Mycenaean, and therefore, the Greek world."

Note: The vivid imagery of the 'Plagues' and 'Exodus' of the Jews in the Bible is often claimed to be related to the Thera explosion.

The volcano plume would have had to be 30 miles high to have been seen in Egypt, "staff by day, torch by night." The most recent large volcano, Pinatubo in the Phillipines, had a plume 26 miles high. The earthquakes and tsunamis could well have led to the 'parting of the sea.'

(More about the Minoans)

The 'Toba' Theory: According to the 'Toba catastrophe theory', around 70,000 to 75,000 years ago a super-volcanic event at Lake Toba on Sumatra, reduced the world's human population to 10,000 or even a mere 1,000 breeding pairs, creating a bottleneck in human evolution. The theory was proposed in 1998 by Stanley H. Ambrose of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (9), and has gained weight in the scientific community.

 

 

   Flood Events:

Although the great flood is a feature of ancient traditions, none make mention of the preceding 200,000 year ice age.

There are myths of floods from all around the ancient world, some even included in the origin myths of ancient cultures. Their importance on the unconscious mind of humanity cannot be ignored. The Greeks recorded several flood events into their mythologies as the following examples illustrate.

Zeus sent a flood to destroy the men of the Bronze Age. Prometheus advised his son Deucalion to build a chest. All other men perished except for a few who escaped to high mountains. The mountains in Thessaly were parted, and all the world beyond the Isthmus and Peloponnese was overwhelmed. Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha (daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora), after floating in the chest for nine days and nights, landed on Parnassus. When the rains ceased, he sacrificed to Zeus, the God of Escape. At the bidding of Zeus, he threw stones over his head; they became men, and the stones which Pyrrha threw became women. That is why people are called laoi, from laas, "a stone." [Apollodorus, 1.7.2]

'The first race of people was completely destroyed because they were exceedingly wicked. The fountains of the deep opened, the rain fell in torrents, and the rivers and seas rose to cover the earth, killing all of them. Deucalion survived due to his prudence and piety and linked the first and second race of men. Onto a great ark he loaded his wives and children and all animals. The animals came to him, and by God's help, remained friendly for the duration of the flood. The flood waters escaped down a chasm opened in Hierapolis'. [Frazer, pp. 153-154]

'An earlier flood was reported to have occurred in the time of Ogyges, founder and king of Thebes. The flood covered the whole world and was so devastating that the country remained without kings until the reign of Cecrops'. [Gaster, p. 87]

'Nannacus, king of Phrygia, lived before the time of Deucalion and foresaw that he and all people would perish in a coming flood. He and the Phrygians lamented bitterly, hence the old proverb about "weeping like (or for) Nannacus." After the deluge had destroyed all humanity, Zeus commanded Prometheus and Athena to fashion mud images, and Zeus summoned winds to breathe life into them. The place where they were made is called Iconium after these images'. [Frazer, p. 155] 

"Many great deluges have taken place during the nine thousand years" since Athens and Atlantis were preeminent. Destruction by fire and other catastrophes was also common. In these floods, water rose from below, destroying city dwellers but not mountain people. The floods, especially the third great flood before Deucalion, washed away most of Athens' fertile soil. [Plato, "Timaeus" 22, "Critias" 111-112]

 

Recent Examples of Floods:

1212 AD, 1287 AD. Netherlands. Storm surges over 100,000 deaths total.

1887. Yellow river, China. 9 Million deaths. (8).

1931. Tze-Kiang River, China. 3.7 million deaths. (6)

(Flood Myth's from the Ancient World)

 

 

   Earthquakes:

Recent Examples of Earthquakes:

1906, California, America - 3,000 dead. Magnitude 7.8 - 8.0.

1999, Izmit, Turkey. 17,000 dead. Magnitude 7.4.

2003, Bam, Iran - 40,000 dead. Magnitude 6.6.

2004, Indian Ocean - Tsunami, Earthquake - 225,000 + dead. Magnitude 9.0.

2005, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan - 73,000 dead. 3 million homeless.

2006, China - SW Sichuan province, 65-99,000 dead. Magnitude 7.9.

 

 

   Polar Shifts and Geomagnetic Reversals:.

Both of these geological processes are known to occur, but the exact process or effects have yet to be recorded.

 

 'Last geomagnetic reversal of poles - 10,400 BC'.

Ref:  Nature Vol 24, 27 Dec 1971, P17.

Ref: New Scientist, 6 Jan 1972, P7.

'Next expected reversal of magnetic poles - 2,030 AD'.

Ref  : Nature, 12 Feb. 1976.

 'The reversal is occurring now'.

Ref: BBC. Open university 2004.

 

Supporting Evidence for past 'Geomagnetic-reversals' -

An old star chart, showing the zodiac and other constellations, was found on the ceiling of Senmet's grave. He was the architect of Queen Hatshepsut. The Southern view is reversed and the constellation of Orion seems to move towards the East in the opposite direction. All in all, the chart displays a switching of North and South, East and West. (Could this be an image of the skies as they were before the poles switched). The grave contains one more map, its arrangement of celestial bodies looks as we know it today. However, all constellations have been shifted. The range of procession cannot sufficiently explain this strong deviation. It is claimed that the map was passed down from distant generations, in which at some point in the 26,000 years of the processional cycle the constellations actually coincided with the locations given in the chart. Upper and Lower Egypt are named in reverse geographically. Egyptian texts clearly state that the 'South became the North and the Earth bends forward', that the stars stopped living in the West and now appear from the East. They had different names for the Western and Eastern sun.

The Koran names two Easts and two Wests.

According to the old Chinese chronicle "Schu-King", the cardinal points were redefined, the motion and rising of sun, moon and the constellations recalculated and recorded, as well as the length of the seasons accordingly adopted. During the lifetime of their ancestors, the sun is said to have risen where it now sets. The Chinese spoke of a new order and it is only since then have the stars been moving from East to West. Velikovsky observed that the Chinese signs of the zodiac follow each other in the reversed direction - opposite to the course of the sun today.

In the second book of his 'Histories', the Greek historian Herodotus (ca. 490-425 BC) wrote about conversations with Egyptian priests whom he had interviewed when he visited the country. He was told about 341 generations of kings and that the sun rose from the opposite direction four times during their reigns. Twice the sun described the course we know now and twice did she set where she rises today.

In 'Electra', the Greek Euripides (ca. 485-406 BC) mentions stars in backward motion and a similar trajectory for the sun. In addition to that, he writes in 'Orestes': "…the sun chariot's winged rush…changing its westward bound course through the vault of the sky, to where the dawning day rose flaming red". Another Greek, the philosopher Plato (ca. 427-347 BC), in his dialogue 'The Statesman' wrote about the change in the rising and setting of the sun, as well as other celestial bodies. Apart from that, the universe is said to have turned in reversed direction.

Central American cultures define four pre-worldly suns, with four motions. They gave four names to these suns, indicating the different periods of the skies. According to the 'Hopi ' indians, we live in the fourth world. The first was destroyed by fire, the second, with the displacement of the Earth, and a flood destroyed the third.

 

 

   Polar Shifts:

The idea that the Poles of the Earth changed position over time was confirmed first by geologists who were able to detect magnetic variations in ferrite bearing rocks from different ages. Charles Hapgood theorized that when the ice on the North pole builds up to a critical load, it 'slips down' pulling the crust of the earth with it. This is called the 'crust displacement theory', suggesting that the crust slides freely over a bed of molten magma. Einstein agreed with Hapgood's suggestion and it is now accepted by scientists worldwide.

Supporting evidence for past 'Polar-shifts' -

Early Jesuit scholars, who were among the first Europeans to visit China had the opportunity in the imperial library, to study a vast work consisting of 4320 volumes, said to have been handed down from ancient times and to contain 'all knowledge'. This great book included a number of traditions which told of the consequences that followed when mankind rebelled against the high gods and the system of the universe fell into disorder': 'The planets altered their courses. The sky sank lower towards the north. The Sun, moon and stars changed their motions. The earth fell to pieces and the waters in its bosom rushed upwards with violence and overflowed the earth'

Geologists have found that the Antarctic was covered by tropical vegetation at least until the last ice age 10,000 BC, and that it has been covered with ice from at least 4,000 BC. This suggests that it was not in the same position it is now. In addition, the dramatic freezing (and extinction) of Mammoths across Siberia, still with undigested food in their stomachs and even mouths, and most standing as if frozen to the spot, suggests that they were caught in a fast climatic change. The extinction of the Mammoths was only a small part of what is now realized was a mass extinction of species worldwide. Otto Muck suggested that the region of Siberia was shifted by approx 3,000 - 3,500 KM south over a period of hours to days only. This accompanied a shift of the Earths axis of rotation by about 20º. He believed that the shift was a result of a violent asteroid impact. (Our present tilt is approx 21.5º). Should this theory be correct, it suggests that before the impact, Earth rotated without any tilt. This would have the effect of eliminating the seasons and creating a true 'true-north' pole star for long term observations.

The Talmud and other old sources mention a disturbance in the suns movement at the time of the Jews exodus from Egypt.

In the Bundahish, a Zoroastan scripture it is said that when angry Mainyu sent the 'vehement destroying frosty', he also 'assaulted and deranged the sky'.

Old Astronomical charts from India, Sumeria and Babylonian origin often include inexplicable deviations, as if they had been taken down at a distant place thousands of miles away, either the position of Earth changed in its firmament or they made some incredibly stupid mistakes.

The Writer Solinus wrote about the myths of the people living along the southern border of Egypt. These ancient accounts mention a course of the sun, different from today's.

 

Article: '2012 - The Elephant in the Room'. (Quick Link)

(2012: The Mayan End Time.?)

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References:

1). http://www.lakepowell.net/sciencecenter/catastrophic.htm
2). http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/sharpton.html
3). http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Mexicoweb/factfile/Unique-facts-Mexico4.htm
4). http://www.barringercrater.com/science/
5). Science 28 April 2006: Vol. 312. no. 5773, p. 548, Santorini Eruption Radiocarbon Dated to 1627-1600:
6). http://www.geocities.com/dtmcbride/hist/disasters-war.html
7). http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/extinction_sidebar_000907.html
8). Trimble, Stanley Wayne . Encyclopedia of Water Science. CRC Press. pp. 383. (2007)
9). Stanley H. Ambrose. "Late Pleistocene human population bottlenecks, volcanic winter, and differentiation of modern humans". Journal of Human Evolution 34 (6): 623–651. (1998)

 

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