Kerr Watch

Elapsed time since Richard Kerr failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 6 years, 3 months, and 1 day

Halley’s Comet lays waste: Abbott at AGU on the 530’s Event

dallas abbott

Dallas Abbott

Grail Tale?

Live Science article

Baillie Year

Did a 6th Century Comet Bring Global Famine?

Evidence from tree rings and ice cores suggest that parts of Europe, Asia and North America saw protracted cooling in the 530’s, which has been linked to drought and famine. Some scientists hypothesize that Halley’s Comet may have caused this, by leaving a dust trail that the Earth later intercepted during its orbit. Dust in the air could have blocked the sun’s rays. Abbott finds evidence in ice cores drilled from Greenland: as much as 10 times more dust is found in the layer corresponding to 533 A.D. than at other intervals, she says. This dust is rich in markers of extraterrestrial origins such as nickel and iron oxide spherules. She finds that neither volcanism nor solar cycles can fully explain the cooling seen in various records during this decade. Furthermore, spikes of the ice-core dust appear to match the timing of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, known to be triggered by Halley.

Wednesday, Dec. 11, 8 a.m.-12:20 p.m., Posters A-C Moscone South. PP31B-1869

CONTROL ID: 1810251
TITLE: What caused terrestrial dust loading and climate downturns between 533 and 540 A.D.?
AUTHORS (FIRST NAME, LAST NAME): Dallas H Abbott1, Dee L Breger3, Pierre E Biscaye1, John Arthur Barron4, Robert A Juhl2, Patrick McCafferty5
INSTITUTIONS (ALL): 1. Lamont-Doherty Earth Obs, Palisades, NY, United States.
2. Independent Researcher, Tokyo, Japan.
3. Micrographic Arts, Saratoga Springs, NY, United States.
4. USGS, Menlo Park, CA, United States.
5. Queens University, Belfast, Ireland.
ABSTRACT BODY: Sn-rich particles, Ni-rich particles and cosmic spherules are found together at four stratigraphic levels in the GISP2 ice core between 360 and 362 meters depth. Using a previously derived calendar-year time scale, these particles span a time of increased dust loading of the Earth’s atmosphere between 533 and 540 A.D. The Sn enrichments suggest a cometary source for the dust. The late spring timing of extraterrestrial input best matches the Eta Aquarid meteor shower associated with comet 1P/Halley. The increased flux of cometary dust could explain a modest climate downturn in 533 A.D. The profound global dimming during 536 and 537 A.D. cannot be explained merely by a combination of cometary dust and a modest volcanic eruption. We found tropical marine microfossils at the end 535-start 536 A.D. level that we attribute to a low-latitude explosion in the ocean. This additional source of dust is probably needed to explain the solar dimming in 536-537 A.D. In addition, we found high-latitude marine diatoms and silicoflagellates at a second time horizon, circa 538 A.D. Some of the fossils are pre-Pleistocene in age, as old as Eocene. Both of these fossil-bearing stratigraphic levels contain enrichments of nitrate and ammonium in their supernatant water.
KEYWORDS: 0305 ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION AND STRUCTURE Aerosols and particles, 4306 NATURAL HAZARDS Multihazards, 0724 CRYOSPHERE Ice cores, 6015 PLANETARY SCIENCES: COMETS AND SMALL BODIES Dust.
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Additional Details
Previously Presented Material: 10% previously presented at March 2013 meeting on Volcanism, Impacts and Mass Extinctions-material is submitted to a special GSA volume from that meeting

Contact Details
CONTACT (NAME ONLY): Dallas Abbott
CONTACT (E-MAIL ONLY): 
  • E.P. Grondine

    http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/ce082202.html

    To this should be added the Tuscarora “myth” of the contest of the four “wizards”, an account of a small impact tsunami. And that should show up in the geology of coastal North Carolina.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_weather_events_of_535%E2%80%93536

    It looks to me like none of you are familiar with the Baillie-Keys debate.

    For once Dennis is correct:
    a volcanic eruption does not preclude a cometary dust load from occurring at the same time.
    For the more wide eyed among you, there is no causatory relationhip shown, period.

  • Hermann Burchard

    Don’t dismiss the Krakatoa evidence, Dennis mentioned this on Tusk. Wikipedia has two dates, AD 535 and 416 (from a Japanese source), less certain, may refer to 535:

    “Java and Sumatra were divided into two parts.”

    All speaks for the 535 comet to have caused islands to split and create Krakatoa as a super-volcano, recurrent caldera, just like Yellowstone (impact Modoc Plateau 40.994 N,121.809 W at 16.5 Ma).

    If the Japanese date of 416 is correct, then this explanation falls flat.

    Jim, Cevin: For the 250 Ma events, look toward the Hawaiian super-volcanc, its hotspot track can be traced back to Norilsk, W Siberia, where two giant basalt basins suggest an impact w/ Ural Mt craterwall double-S around both. The Pacific Ocean testifies to the impacts destroying vast continental area, lowering sea level by sea water ejection into space. Dismiss Gulf of Mexico.

  • Steve Garcia

    Ed does it again. Obscure reference like

    “It looks to me like none of you are familiar with the Baillie-Keys debate.” and never a link provided or a direction. Ed, stuff before the internet doesn’t usually have places we can go to to find it. Personally I don’t have a library here that would have it, nor would I, in a town of 70,000.

    So, go ahead and do you nose-looking-down thing – but YOU are the one who is trying to elicit a dialog here, so if you want anyone to bite, you’ve got to put more than a scrap of toilet tissue on your fishhook.

    IOW, put up some link or some text.

    Otherwise this is just more of your vague references. Hell, I bet no one here has a CLUE what you are even getting at. And that doesn’t make us dumb. It only makes us uninformed about something you brought up.

    So, do you want to help all of us out? Or sit there in your smugness?

    Oh, I’m sorry! You aren’t here to educute.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Hermann –

    Your scenario does not work – did not happen, in other words.

    I suggest that you may want to read both Baillie and Key’s books.

    I know you are looking for relationships between impacts and hotspots/plumes, but in this case it would have been millions and millions of years ago.

  • E.P. Grondine
  • One of the co authors of the paper was Patrick McCafferty. He helped Baillie write his book, The Celtic Gods. He is also the younger generation of neo-catastrophists. Hence, he is one of the people who will take neo-catastrophism forwards into an uncertain future. Why is anyone having a go at him? What is the motive?

  • Hermann Burchard

    Ed,
    my “scenario does not work” you say?? It’s not my scenario at all, the split of Java from Sumatra dated to AD 416 (or 535 perhaps) happened according to a Japanese historical record cited vy Wikipedia.

    Please check my Tusk post again (above, dated December 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm) that you are critical about, and do read up on the Wikipedia article. — I am mystified concerning how you arrive at your date of “millions and millions of years ago.”

  • Steve Garcia

    I stand by my criticism of Keys, about him arbitrarily changing the Japanese date for the Java-Sumatra split. He gave NO reason for changing except that 416 didn’t fit his desired time.

    Even I don’t do that. I stop and wait for the dates to come together through someone else’s work. Such as Dennis Stanford and the former gap between Clovis points and Solutrean points.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Steve, I am pretty sure that you have never read Key’s book.
    You certainly did not read mine.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hermann, better check the geology to make sure that the Kingdom of Java and the Kingdom of Sumatra were not meant.

    If you read Key’s book, you will learn about the difficulties of working with Javanese records.

  • From Wikipedia:

    The Javanese Book of Kings (Pustaka Raja) records that in the year 338 Saka (416 AD):

    "A thundering sound was heard from the mountain Batuwara [now called Pulosari, an extinct volcano in Bantam, the nearest to the Sunda Strait] which was answered by a similar noise from Kapi, lying westward of the modern Bantam [Bantam is the westernmost province in Java, so this seems to indicate that Krakatoa is meant]. A great glowing fire, which reached the sky, came out of the last-named mountain; the whole world was greatly shaken and violent thundering, accompanied by heavy rain and storms took place, but not only did not this heavy rain extinguish the eruption of the fire of the mountain Kapi, but augmented the fire; the noise was fearful, at last the mountain Kapi with a tremendous roar burst into pieces and sank into the deepest of the earth. The water of the sea rose and inundated the land, the country to the east of the mountain Batuwara, to the mountain Rajabasa [the most southerly volcano in Sumatra], was inundated by the sea; the inhabitants of the northern part of the Sunda country to the mountain Rajabasa were drowned and swept away with all property[14] … The water subsided but the land on which Kapi stood became sea, and Java and Sumatra were divided into two parts."

    There is no geological evidence of a Krakatoa eruption of this size around that time; it may describe loss of land which previously joined Java to Sumatra across what is now the narrow east end of the Sunda Strait; or it may be a mistaken date, referring to a later eruption in 535 AD, for which there is some corroborating historical evidence.

  • To all the Tuskers out there: A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HEARTY THANKYOU TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR TIME AND PATIENCE!

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Dennis –

    That is exactly what Keys pointed out.
    May I suggest reading his book?
    His note on the difficulties of working with Javanese records is well taken.

  • Steve Garcia

    Ed –

    Oy vey.

    I AM reading Key’s book and it’s terrible. I have no hore in this race. I don’t give a crap whether Krakatoa blew up in 535 AD, 416 AD or just 1883 AD. But this book is pathetic. Why are you recommending it???

    Keys uses every weasel word/phrase in the dictionary, and never stops using them. Take out his assumptions and premature conclusions and there is basically nothing there – except him wanting it to be true. How people keep on recommending this book I have NO IDEA.

    Weasel words are words like “maybe” “could have” blah blah blah. It seems like every other sentence in the book contains a weasel word. (See below.)

    If Keys is what passes for scientific these days, the world of science is in a world of hurt.

    And ESPECIALLY when addressing Javanese records, Keys is full of cow pies. He ASSUMES – with NO reason other than the wants it to be true – that “The Book of Ancient Kings” is true – even though it was written many centuries after 535 AD. That document has NO provenance whatsoever (read below). If you read HIS assessment of it, it is all wishful thinking. He WANTS it to be true. IT IS NOT SCIENCE. IT IS ONLY MAYBE A FREAKING HISTORY BOOK.

    It should no more be accepted as true than the Vinland map.

    Here is what Keys HIMSELF says in introducing the Ancient Kings book – and this is the “experts” he says are sympathetic to it:

    Rather than characterizing it as fictitious, they [the “others” who “take a slightly more different view”] suggest that it is based on four main types of evidence. First, there is, they suspect, some material in the chronicle that was gleaned by Ranggawarsita from Javanese or Sumatran folklore, drama, and oral traditions. Second, perhaps information was obtained from Western, likely [??? he doesnt’ even KNOW???] Dutch, intellectuals whom Ranggawarsita knew in Java. Third, there may be material Ranggawarsita had a hunch about or simply wanted to have happened, and which was therefore just concocted by him. But fourth, there is information that may well have come from ancient Javanese manuscripts written on palm leaves found by Ranggawarsita III or his contacts, or passed on to him through his family. [The bold terms are weasel words.]

    Keys, David (2000-10-02). Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World (Kindle Locations 4097-4102).

    If that is what its backers are saying, WTF?? – Not very high praise at all.

    Read that! That is his DEFENSE OF “The Book of Ancient Kings”. What kind of authority could that book POSSIBLY have? NONE.

    And HERE is what the critics say, in Keys’s own words:

    It is normally seen solely as an attempt by a Javanese intellectual, Ranggawarsita III, to create a national history.3 Scholars of Javanese literature of this period all too often consider the information in The Book of Ancient Kings to be completely fictitious, the product of what they claim to be Ranggawarsita’s vivid imagination.

    [Ibid]

    “all too often” for Keys, who WANTS that book to be true and treats it as if it is.

    Tell me: WHY are we considering anything based on this book??? WHY would anyone use that book as reference material, without seriously doubting its story???

    And one more gotcha:

    First of all, the surviving manuscript texts were written in the nineteenth century — thirteen centuries after the events described. And the eruption is described as having taken place in the 338th year of the Shaka calendrical era, which in Western terms equates only to the year A.D. 416, not 535.
    [IBID]

    And like I’ve said elsewhere, the ONE thing Keys doesn’t accept in the book is the ONE thing that actually has a NUMBER on it. He doesn’t want it to have been 416 AD, so what does he do?

    The first question that must be answered is therefore whether there was in fact an eruption of the described proportions in that year. The only way to check that is to examine the ice cores for that period—especially those for the Antarctic, as Java is in the southern tropics. Even allowing for the very broadest of error rates (plus or minus twenty-five years), there were no major volcanic eruptions around A.D. 416 in the Southern Hemisphere. [Note that there is no source given.]

    It must therefore be concluded that the 416 date is wrong. But that should come as no great surprise, because in many of the world’s older quasi-historical texts, individual dates are often among the major elements that are incorrect. In the Book of Ancient Kings eruption account, as in other quasi-historical texts from around the world, this chronological error may have been due to a medieval or later misinterpretation of a poorly understood earlier dating system, or to a later exaggeration of reign lengths. Alternatively, the error may have occurred in the initial oral transmission of the information.

    Keys, David (2000-10-02). Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World (Kindle Locations 4165-4173). Kindle Edition.

    This, the ONE actual NUMBER pertaining to the book, and Keys doesn’t think it was important enough to give a source for his “discounting” of the number/date. If he had FOUND such a date, why didn’t he include it?

    He doesn’t even mention WHICH ice cores.

    Keys also does not go into explaining why 535 AD IS supposed to be good, other than that there is ash in the ice core there. (Don’t bring up the verbal “accounts”, because those would be true – or false no matter when the event took place.) He doesn’t go into the chemistry. He simply ends the discussion with the un-sourced assertion that “at 416 AD the ice cores don’t show anything,” and then he moves on as if the matter is settled.

    [Wiki] In the year 56 BCE, Vikrama Samvat era was founded by the emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain following his victory over the Sakas. Later, in a similar fashion, Satavahana king Gautamiputra Satakarni initiated the Saka era to celebrate his victory against the Sakas in the year 78 CE.

    Kys is expecting people to believe that calendar officials in Java were so stupid that they couldn’t count up to 338 (416 AD) from the 0 year (78 AD) of the Saka calendar, but instead counted up to 457 (535 AD). That is an error of 119 years over a span of only 338 years or 457 years, depending on which way you look at the error. That is incredibly insulting to their mathematicians. Not to mention the common people who would have yelled, “HEY! You missed some of those years!”

    Now, there were two calendars started not too far apart that were used by Hindus, including some of those in Java. The other one was the Vikrama calendar, which has a zero date of the spring of 57 BC, making the difference between our calendar and that one 56.7 years. Can THIS calendar be the one actually used in that book “The Book of Ancient Kings”? Might someone have mistaken one calendar for the other? That seems more likely than a 119 year error in only 338 years. Let’s look:

    338 was the date given in the book. But 338 MINUS 56.7 years equals 281.3. Nope, that one is even MORE off. So, we are left with Keys’ insult of Javanese mathemeticians who he asserts couldn’t count to 338 without being off by 119.

    I don’t buy it. And I don’t think anyone else should, either.

    This is supposed to be a document that scientists rely on? When even most ancient Javanese experts say it is fiction?

    I don’t think so. On this issue, I side with the majority of Javanese scholars and conclude that “The Book of Ancient Kings” is bogus.

  • Steve Garcia

    Keys’ dumb Book (Part Deux):

    Now I am going to point out the REAL stupid thing about Key’s book. He wrote:

    Here the evidence takes a fascinating turn. For buried deep in a little-known and normally ignored Indonesian chronicle is an extraordinary passage that may well describe the 535 supereruption itself. Describing a huge volcanic event in the Sunda Straits area (between Sumatra and Java), where Krakatoa is located, the chronicle says that a “mighty roar of thunder” came out of a local mountain (Mount Batuwara, now called Pulosari).

    “There was a furious shaking of the earth, total darkness, thunder and lightning. “Then came forth a furious gale together with torrential rain and a deadly storm darkened the entire world.”

    The chronicle—known as the Pustaka Raja Purwa, or The Book of Ancient Kings, goes on to state that “a great flood then came from Mount Batuwara and flowed eastwards to Mount Kamula [now called Mount Gede].”

    It then claims that the eruption was so massive that large areas of land sank below sea level, creating the straits that currently separate Sumatra and Java. Claiming to describe the dramatic course of events, the chronicle says that “when the waters subsided it could be seen that the island of Java had been split in two, thus creating the island of Sumatra.”

    The earliest surviving manuscript of this chronicle dates from 1869.1 A second, slightly different manuscript of the same chronicle, dating from the mid- to late 1880s, purports to provide a more detailed description of the event, although some extra information in this second manuscript may be additions inspired by observations of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa and extrapolated to the earlier event. This 1880s edition of the chronicle—some of which was potentially contaminated by observations of the 1883 eruption—says that “a great glaring fire which reached to the sky came out of the mountain.”2

    “The whole world was greatly shaken, and violent thundering accompanied by heavy rains and storms took place.

    “But not only did this heavy rain not extinguish the eruption of fire, but it made it worse. The noise was fearful. At last the mountain burst into two pieces with a tremendous roar and sank into the deepest of the earth.

    “The country to the east of the mountain called Batuwara [now called Pulosari] to the Mountain Kamula [now called Gede] and westward to the Mountain Rajabasa [in southern Sumatra] was inundated by the sea. “The inhabitants of the northern part of the Sunda country to the mountain Rajabasa were drowned and swept away with all their property.

    “After the water subsided the mountain [which had burst into pieces] and the surrounding land became sea and the [single] island [of Java/Sumatra] divided into two parts. This [event] was the origin of the separation of Sumatra and Java.” The event described in both editions fits the bill superbly. Its apparent size would have been more than sufficient to produce all the climatic and other effects of 535. And, what is more, it is in exactly the right place—a southern tropical location far to the southwest of Nanjing. And yes, the eruption could have been heard in the south Chinese capital, 2,800 miles away.

    Keys, David (2000-10-02). Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World (Kindle Locations 4056-4085). Kindle Edition.

    What things happened, according to the Ancient Kings book”? Let’s list them:

    1. “mighty roar of thunder”
    2. “a furious shaking of the earth”
    3. “total darkness”
    4. “thunder and lightning”
    5. “a furious gale”
    6. “torrential rain”
    7. “a deadly storm [that] darkened the entire world”
    8. “a great flood then came from Mount Batuwara and flowed eastwards to Mount Kamula [now called Mount Gede]”
    9. “large areas of land sank below sea level”
    10. “the island of Java had been split in two”
    11. “The noise was fearful.”
    12. ““The country to the east of the mountain called Batuwara [now called Pulosari] to the Mountain Kamula [now called Gede] and westward to the Mountain Rajabasa [in southern Sumatra] was inundated by the sea.” Let us assume that this means a tsunami.

    Now let’s take a look at a map of the places mentioned in the text. Open up the following in your browser, hopefully in a separate window so you can look at it while also reading here. Enlarge the image if you can:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/33314128@N06/11580494483/in/set-72157639071948284

    – Gede is to the lower right.
    – Pulosari is in the center.
    – Krakatoa is in the strait.
    – Rajabasa is on the left shore, a little NW of Krakatoa.
    – Djakarta is on the coast NNW of Gede

    Now let’s point out a few things:

    1. Pulosari and Rajabasa rise up from the shore of the Sunda Strait, so they would be affected by any Krakatoa explosion, certainly.
    2. Djakarta is at sea level, and it is closer to Pulosari than is Gede.
    3. The elevation of the base of Gede is measured on GE at ~1450 feet (~440 meters)
    4. The distance from Pulosari to the base of Gede is 63.5 miles (102 km).
    5. The distance from the cost to Gede is 75 miles (120 km).
    6. Any tsunami that reached Gede would come by way of Pulosari. Pulosari is literally on a DIRECT line from Krakatoa as we know it and Gede. The peaks even line up.

    We will focus on the tsunami, because the text is, in effect, saying that Krakatoa caused a tsunami.

    How big was the tsunami run-up? 1450 feet (440 m)

    How far was the run-up? 75 miles (120 km)

    Now let us compare to the recent tsunamis.

    Boxing Day 2013 just passed (3 hours ago here). 9 years ago was the Sumatran tsunami of 2004. it was caused by a 9.0 undersea quake, which caused wave run-up as high as 32 meters, with most being 12 meters and under. In some exposed places near the epicenter the run-up was about 4 km inland.

    Japan’s 2011 9.0 quake and tsunami delivered wave run-ups as high as 30 meters according to NOAA, though one web page said 39. Run-up distance was comparable but slightly less than Sumatra, at about 3 km. Japan’s coastal walls may have minimized the run-up distance.

    So, what we are dealing with here is a book talking about a tsunami with a wave run-up 11 times greater than the two biggest tsunamis of our time. And it had run-up distances 15-20 times as far.

    Is such a thing possible from Krakatoa?

    In addition, though the book said that “The inhabitants of the northern part of the Sunda country to the mountain Rajabasa were drowned and swept away with all their property.”

    Had that happened AND the run-up to the east was 440 meters, one would require that Djakarta would have been hit by the tsunami, too, and all of its citizens have been killed. After all, it is not only equidistant from Pulosari and Krakatoa, but it wasn’t lying at 400 meters. Lying only 155 km from present-day Krakatoa, could a tsunami have missed Djakarta?

    Look at how FAR the 2004 tsunami damage extended. it took out the beaches at Phukhet, 800 km away and 90° around the end of Sumatra. It killed people in Sri Lanka, 1650 km away, even wrapping around the island to killed some. It killed thousands in India, 2,000 km away, knocking over passenger trains even.

    If a tsunami with only a 30 meter run-up could reach across 2000 km of ocean to kill, what chance did Djakarta have, only 155 km from Krakatoa, if the entire Sunda Strait was created by the explosion of Krakatoa?

    If any of this make any sense to you, it sure does not to me.

    I’ve also done a decent quick search of disasters in Djakarta, and there simply isn’t any I can find during the 5th OR 6th centuries. In a land of earthquakes like no other (at least in current times), a tsunami should have been recorded.

    So, Djakarta not having been wiped out by a 440 meter high tsunami – that is pretty important negative evidence.

    David Keys, everyone in this blog is now stupider for your book having come to their attention. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    Yes, something happened in 535 AD, but it sure as hell wasn’t Krakatoa.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Steve,

    Those conditionals are how civilized historians speak when engaged in conversation.

    I myself have no deep expertise with records from Java.

    But I did write this back in 2002:
    http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/ce082202.html

    I circulated that free and immediately to the scientist working in the fields,
    as the research has an urgency which you do not understand. Alongside many other things.

    There is new data on tsunami’s in the area which has just been published.
    Those who work in the field are familiar with it.

  • Steve Garcia

    Right, Ed. Once more I ask you a question and you go off on one of your stroke tangents, mentioning something without saying what it is:

    “There is new data on tsunami’s in the area which has just been published.
    Those who work in the field are familiar with it.”

    What is the point of mentioning things without any link or source?

    Keys’ work is unscientific, but since it sucks up to the gradualism meme, he gets positive attention from the establishment.

    I repeat: The above is the ONLY reference he makes to Krakatoa in ~535 AD, and his only source is a book that most scholars in the ancient Java field think is fantasy. The rest of his book I have no interest in. We all know there was something disastrous that happened in ~535 AD. I thought our angle on it was an impact, like Mike Baillie and Napier. Ed, it looks like something David H. Childress would publish.

    Why anybody here would run with that Keys Krakatoa tin foil stuff, I have NO idea. If that is all he’s got, he’s got nothing.

    And that does include you, too, Hermann. That is the worst source material I’ve seen in decades. Hermann, if you can find something solid in Keys’ “evidence” please point me to it. I just posted 100% of what Keys had. He’s got no more.

  • Hermann Burchard

    Javanese record “Book of Kings” is the main source cited by Wikipedia for a Krakatoa eruption in AD 535 (or 516), not Keys. That “Book of Kings” is authentic ia confirmed on another Wikipedia page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pararaton

    The Pararaton, also known as the Book of Kings, is a manuscript in the Kawi language. The comparatively short text of 32 folio-size pages (1126 lines) contains the history of the kings of Singhasari and Majapahit in eastern Java. The book is also called “Pustaka Raja”, which is Sanskrit for “book king”, or “book of kings”.

    Expert acceptance is good, as stated: .. the majority of scholars accept some historicity in the Pararaton, noting numerous correspondences with other inscriptions and Chinese sources, and accept the manuscript’s frame of reference which a valid interpretation is conceivable.

  • Hermann Burchard

    Yes, and by the work of Dallas Abbott posted above we now know there was a comet in 535, not a volcano. So Krakatoa in 535 wasn’t simply an eruption but a comet explosion. That’s why there were global effects, far more gigapascals than you would get from a volcano.

  • Steve Garcia

    Hermann –

    The WIki entry for Praraton shows dates only going back to some time after 1222 AD.

    “Pararaton opens with a former incarnation of the founder of Singhasari kingdom (1222–1292), Ken Arok (or Ken Angrok).[1]”

    I think you will find it was way too late. That is a different book from the one that talks about Krakatoa in reference to a disaster in the 5th or 6th century.

    The actual book referred to was a different book, “Pustaka Raja Purwa” (The Book of Ancient Kings). The correct one was written by by a Javanese intellectual, Ranggawarsita III, in the 19th century.

  • Hermann Burchard

    OOPS . .!! But the eariest data for a mention by Ranggawartita III of the 535 disaster [comet impact suspected] was 1869, well earlier than the 19th century Krakatoa super volcano eruption.

    Here is just one of several witnesses that are found on the internet, quoting contemporary sixth century Chinese sources with details telling of the devastation, sources which appear to contradict your negative judgement, but I hope will completely convince you of the reality of the AD 535 events as reported on Wikipedia:

    http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/VouteC1.php?p=2

    This has several pages, below part of page1, all of page 2 (two), which mentions the 1869 date, and page 3 (three), of five pages total.

    The Storm that Darkened the Entire World:
    Did a Tsunami Strike Java and Sumatra During Ancient Times? (cont.)

    By Dr. Caesar Voûte and Mark Long
    Central Java’s Book Of Ancient Kings

    Page 1

    But what is not generally appreciated is that an Old Javanese manuscript kept in the royal palace of the Sultan of Surakarta describes yet another natural catastrophe of gargantuan proportions ? one that may very well have played a pivotal role in shaping the development of ancient civilizations across a swath of Southeast Asia extending from Java and Sumatra to the Isthmus of Kra on the Malay Peninsula. It is this last record which so poignantly reminds us of the adage that warns: “Those who fail to remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    Page 2

    In Catastrophe: An Investigation into the Origins of the Modern World, David Keys draws our attention to Java’s Book of Ancient Kings (Pustaka Raja Purwa), which appears in two distinct versions ? one compiled in 1869 and a second that dates from the mid- to late-1880’s. Both documents describe a volcanic eruption on Java that was centered on Mount Batuwara near modern-day Pulosari. The horrendous tsunami that followed in its wake reportedly devastated an area that had ranged from Java’s Mount Kamula (Mount Gede) to Mount Rajabasa in southwest Sumatra.

    Until recently, many scholars viewed Java’s Book of Ancient Kings as nothing more than a veiled attempt on the part of a 19th century Javanese intellectual to remold the island’s history in opposition to Dutch colonial rule. Moreover, some early western historians even thought that the writings of Ranggawarsita III ? the complier of both text versions ? had been influenced by the mammoth Krakatoa eruption that took place in 1883. In light of last year’s devastating tsunami, however, these purported records from the archipelago’s distant past are now demanding a careful reexamination.

    “A great glaring fire which reached to the sky came out of the mountain,” states one version of the text. “There was a furious shaking of the earth, total darkness, thunder and lightning. Then came forth a furious gale together with torrential rain and a deadly storm darkened the entire world,” says the other account. In addition, the younger of the two documents tells us that “not only did this heavy rain not extinguish the eruption of fire, but it made it worse.”

    The volcanic eruption described in the text appears to have unleashed boiling tidal waves of steam, sulfur, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide, which subsequently spread outward in all directions. The volcano subsequently collapsed and sank into the earth with a tremendous roar.

    Sunda Strait
    Fig. 2: Sunda Strait

    The explosion was so massive that it also caused large areas of land to sink below sea level. Afterwards, “when the waters subsided it could be seen that the island of Java had been split in two, thus creating the island of Sumatra.”

    This last report is not as far-fetched as it might seem at first glance. According to the British consul in Batavia Alexander Cameron, the explosive eruption of Krakatoa that occurred in 1883 had triggered the tsunami that submerged Poeloe Teemposa as well as other small islands in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Moreover, a reef subsequently formed in “the channel usually taken by steamers” between Krakatoa and the Sibesie Islands. Cameron also believed that the entire southeast coast of Sumatra “must have suffered severely from the effects of the sudden influx of the sea, and thousands of natives inhabiting the villages on the coast must have almost certainly perished.”

    Page 3

    In The Golden Khersonese, the historian Paul Wheatley presents a list of the known tribute missions that the Malay Peninsula city-states sent to China during the 6th century of the Common Era (CE). These tiny Malay kingdoms were economically important to China because they stood in the vicinity of the Isthmus of Kra – the shortest route for sending goods across the Malay Peninsula from one coastline to the other. Indeed, China’s History of the Liang Dynasty (502-556) reports that over 10,000 men came from both directions to meet in the city-state of Tun-sun on each and every market day.

    It is not too difficult to understand why at least one tribute mission from the Malay city-states is known to have arrived at the court of the Chinese emperor during each of the years between 529 and 536 CE. The Chinese emperor always made a point of sending valuable gifts to the rulers of the Malay city-states that rendered him annual tribute. The local Malay kings also obtained official recognition as well as other diplomatic advantages by sending their trade representatives to China.

    Isthmus of Kra
    Fig. 4: Isthmus of Kra

    Then for no apparent reason, these highly lucrative annual events ground to a complete halt after the departure of the Malay trade mission of 536. The ensuing four-year gap in visits to the Chinese royal court is most curious given the importance of these exchanges to both sides. However, a possible resolution of this mystery is to be found in China’s History of the Southern Kingdoms. In the year 535, two roars of thunder emanating from the southwest were heard as far away as Nan-king. Clouds of yellow dust soon followed that “rained down like snow” for an entire year, by which time it had accumulated to such an extent that the Chinese could “scoop it up by the handfuls.”

    Back in the days of monsoon-regulated sailing, ship-captains departing the Malay Peninsula for China scheduled their voyages so that they would coincide with the rainy season that began in late May or early June ? when the prevailing winds blew out of the southwest. It is therefore entirely possible that the Malay trade mission that arrived at the Chinese emperor’s court in 536 had departed prior to the occurrence of the twin explosions that were heard in China during the previous year.

    The Chinese accounts cited above compel us to recall the Mount Tambora eruption that devastated Sumbawa Island in 1815. This modern volcanic event was responsible for releasing about 20 cubic miles of ejecta into the earth’s atmosphere, cooling temperatures globally over the course of a “year without a summer” violently punctuated by crop failures, famines and plagues. A documentary film which recently aired on National Geographic TV suggests that the effects of the Tambora eruption in Europe had exerted far more dramatic effects on the continent’s societies than the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century. Scientists calculate that the Tambora eruption was responsible for the loss of 80,000 lives globally

  • Hermann Burchard

    From the same source, here is page 4, which also is Tusk-worthy, mentioning Greenland ice core evidence,
    but especially local, Indonesian discoveries, etc.

    The Storm that Darkened the Entire World:
    Did a Tsunami Strike Java and Sumatra During Ancient Times? (cont.)

    By Dr. Caesar Voûte and Mark Long
    Trace Remains Of An Ancient Cataclysm

    Page 4

    What is particularly noteworthy about Central Java’s Book of Ancient Kings is that it incorporates elements which are entirely consistent with what modern-day geologists have been able to deduce scientifically about volcanic eruptions. Although these Old Javanese documents date the catastrophe they describe as having occurred more a century before the year 535, this discrepancy in chronology can plausibly be explained as the result of copying and compilation errors. Palm-leaf manuscripts did not survive for very long in Java’s unforgiving tropical environment; for this reason they had to be hand-copied from time to time in order to preserve their original information. Moreover, the Old Javanese Book of Ancient Kings could very well have been based on any number of earlier documents. As one of the leading Javanese writers of his day, Ranggawarsita III most certainly would have had access to earlier chronicles compiled by his illustrious forbearers at the Sultan’s royal court.

    However, before attempting to arrive at any conclusions we must first turn our attention to the geological evidence at hand. Scientists have discovered the trace remains of a mammoth volcanic eruption in ice core samples taken from both the Arctic and Antarctic regions – samples that in each case contain high levels of sulfuric acid in the very core strata that corresponds with the 535-536 time period. In fact, the sulfuric acid amounts recorded for this specific period were higher than for any other time span within the past 2,000 years, which strongly suggests that the event in question had indeed been of cataclysmic proportions. Furthermore, the gathering of similar samples from both polar ice caps is a very good indication that the release of sulfuric acid must have occurred in the earth’s tropical zone, which is located midway between the globe’s two polar regions.

    The Malaysian geologist Dr. T. T. Khoo has reported several interesting facts that have come to light during his 25 years of geological fieldwork along the western coastline of the Malay Peninsula. His geological inspections in the vicinity of the Malacca Strait turned over coral blocks as large as 1 cubic meter as well as large stones of a similar size that might represent broken beach-rock formations. Those with yellowish, powdery surfaces appeared to him to be 6,000 years old. However, Khoo believes that at least some of the coral blocks may be considerably younger.

    The fresher-looking blocks were found at the same places where coral build-ups are currently found offshore, such as Pulau Payar off Kedah as well as Cape Rachado and Pulau Upeh near Malacca. This is just what we would expect to find if huge tidal waves had deposited large chunks of coral along the coastline at some point during the past 2,000 years. However, additional geological and morphological studies in both South Sumatra and West Java will need to be conducted before we can be certain.

  • Steve Garcia

    Bit by bit in rebuttal…

    First of all, Garaham Hancock is an alternative researcher who, anything on his site should be taken with a grain of salt. He is very popular in alternate circles but is not solid in his research or research he supports or presents.

    In light of last year’s devastating tsunami, however, these purported records from the archipelago’s distant past are now demanding a careful reexamination.

    Recognize this as the spin it is. Although arguing that careful reexamination is demanded, in the 9 years since the Boxing Day where is “careful reexamination” other than this piece in Hancock’s alternate site? People on alternate sites argue ALL THE TIME that such and such should be looked into and academics ignore them at every turn.

    Hermann, don’t fall for this as meaning anything whatsoever.

    Then for no apparent reason, these highly lucrative annual events ground to a complete halt after the departure of the Malay trade mission of 536. The ensuing four-year gap in visits to the Chinese royal court is most curious given the importance of these exchanges to both sides. However, a possible resolution of this mystery is to be found in China’s History of the Southern Kingdoms. In the year 535, two roars of thunder emanating from the southwest were heard as far away as Nan-king. Clouds of yellow dust soon followed that “rained down like snow” for an entire year, by which time it had accumulated to such an extent that the Chinese could “scoop it up by the handfuls.”

    Please explain to me why this situation could not also be true for Dallas Abbbott’s impact. An impact causes a roar of thunder, and can cause a “rain down like snow.” In fact, isn’t that kind of “fallout” what is argued spread the YDB materials around the world?

    In a gradualist world they would need to have a volcanic explosion. In a neo-catastrophist world we don’t need a volcano. Dallas Abbott ruled out a volcano, but I can’t get at the paper to see exactly why:

    [Abstract] …The increased flux of cometary dust could explain a modest climate downturn in 533 A.D. The profound global dimming during 536 and 537 A.D. cannot be explained merely by a combination of cometary dust and a modest volcanic eruption. We found tropical marine microfossils at the end 535-start 536 A.D. level that we attribute to a low-latitude explosion in the ocean. This additional source of dust is probably needed to explain the solar dimming in 536-537 A.D.

    What is particularly noteworthy about Central Java’s Book of Ancient Kings is that it incorporates elements which are entirely consistent with what modern-day geologists have been able to deduce scientifically about volcanic eruptions.

    No, it is NOT noteworthy, except to people who don’t live around volcanoes. For Indonesians, it is neither here nor there. It doesn’t take a rocket science when volcanoes are all around you your whole life.

    “The Book of Ancient Kings” is considered a fable, if not an outright fake, no matter what spin this alternative article puts on it, and Keys, who quoted the book and leaned on it extensively, even admits that much, whether you accept it or not, Hermann. It is down in black and white.

    Indonesia is the land of volcanoes and every observant person in the country would know what modern-day geologists know. Give someone a chance to create a fable, and why WOULDN’T he include such tales? It is not my responsibility to show that the tales are not true. It is up to these authors or yourself to show that they are not tales. It is up to me to point out weaknesses in the arguments. I don’t see anything that points to Krakatoa over an impact.

    Although these Old Javanese documents date the catastrophe they describe as having occurred more a century before the year 535, this discrepancy in chronology can plausibly be explained as the result of copying and compilation errors. Palm-leaf manuscripts did not survive for very long in Java’s unforgiving tropical environment; for this reason they had to be hand-copied from time to time in order to preserve their original information. Moreover, the Old Javanese Book of Ancient Kings could very well have been based on any number of earlier documents. As one of the leading Javanese writers of his day, Ranggawarsita III most certainly would have had access to earlier chronicles compiled by his illustrious forbearers at the Sultan’s royal court.

    Every sentence in this is speculative. “…plausibly…” means that that is the conclusion the authors like. The rest of this is spin and conjecture.

    However, before attempting to arrive at any conclusions we must first turn our attention to the geological evidence at hand.

    No, they have shown their hand already and are just setting up to bring in what geology that they also like.

    Scientists have discovered the trace remains of a mammoth volcanic eruption in ice core samples taken from both the Arctic and Antarctic regions – samples that in each case contain high levels of sulfuric acid in the very core strata that corresponds with the 535-536 time period. In fact, the sulfuric acid amounts recorded for this specific period were higher than for any other time span within the past 2,000 years, which strongly suggests that the event in question had indeed been of cataclysmic proportions. Furthermore, the gathering of similar samples from both polar ice caps is a very good indication that the release of sulfuric acid must have occurred in the earth’s tropical zone, which is located midway between the globe’s two polar regions.

    And, again, Dallas Abbott’s paper argues the opposite, that it would NOT have been a volcanic event.

    The Malaysian geologist Dr. T. T. Khoo has reported several interesting facts that have come to light during his 25 years of geological fieldwork along the western coastline of the Malay Peninsula. His geological inspections in the vicinity of the Malacca Strait turned over coral blocks as large as 1 cubic meter as well as large stones of a similar size that might represent broken beach-rock formations. Those with yellowish, powdery surfaces appeared to him to be 6,000 years old. However, Khoo believes that at least some of the coral blocks may be considerably younger.

    Wishful thinking or “belief” counts as science? Not in my book.

    The fresher-looking blocks were found at the same places where coral build-ups are currently found offshore, such as Pulau Payar off Kedah as well as Cape Rachado and Pulau Upeh near Malacca. This is just what we would expect to find if huge tidal waves had deposited large chunks of coral along the coastline at some point during the past 2,000 years.

    One more time:

    A “tidal wave” comes from an oceanic impact every bit as much as by a hypothesized Krakatoa blow-up about 20 times bigger than 1883.

    Things like this cannot so far be distinguished between an impact or that hypothesized Sunda Strait creator, so they should be not included in the discussion.

    SOMETHING big happened at 535 AD. All the evidence for Krakatoa is vague, from a poor provenanced book, or is also applicable to an impact.

    As I pointed out before, the assertion of a tsunami raching the base of Gede would mean that a tsunami reached a run-up of AT LEAST 440 meters, because that is the height of the western base of Gede.

    Address that. THAT is an extraordinary claim. Show some extraordinary proof – and not from a website run by Graham Hancock.

    Literally, I haven’t seen ONE actual piece of solid evidence for Krakatoa. I am 100% unconvinced. It is not even close to 5% convinced.

  • Hermann Burchard

    More endless spin from Steve Garcia . .

    Just a couple of points.

    1.) The Krakatoa event of 535 that split Java in two parts is the same Dallas Abbott’s impact, or so it would appear — it wasn’t a volcano, as you might recall from my several comments posted on Tusk and private emails to a list of Tuskers that included you.

    2.) The article quoted on Tusk above is not by Hancock but by two researchers, Dr. Caesar Voûte and Mark Long, one from Java.

    3.) Hancock specialises in unconventional theories [Wikipedia] and to call him alternative, is that not saying he doesn’t place 100% of his trust in mainline science, like the Tusk?

    4.) Hancock is not nearly as alternative as you yourself, a theosophist if Ed is correct? — As you posted on Tusk, you hold as genuine the fake Piltdown skull, so generally identified as a hoax by anthropologists, with an ape lower jaw attached to a modern human cranium. The hoax perpetrated by Conan Doyle, — all things that you have denied on Tusk: Is that the kind of science you would like the Tusk to pursue?

    5.) The article by Voûte and Long confirms your conclusion that the 535 event at Krakatoa must have killed vast numbers of Javans. The four year hiatus in the trade mission to China was a surprisingly quick recovery, but then the isthmus of Kra is quite a distance from Java.

    Let me conclude this brief reply by praising you for your persistence in doubting the account of 535 as rendered in the Wikipedia article, which I believe is accurate, slightly amended by recognizing the event as being identical with Dallas Abbott’s recent discovery that a comet impact occurred in that year. Had you not been so persistent, I would never have gone to the trouble of studying the situation more deeply myself, and would never have dug up the Voûte-Long piece, — to you goes all the credit for it being posted on Tusk in my comments as of yesterday . .!!

  • Steve Garcia

    1.) That is only inferred. No none has produced one scintilla of evidence that the Sunda Strait hasn’t been there for hundreds or thousands of millennia.

    2.) I am fully aware that the authors were not Hancock himself. Hancock has his hand in dozens and dozens of alternate theories. He has a sharp mind and presents himself well, but he spreads himself all over the place. I am saying that when he points out an article it means neither here nor there as to its veracity. But for them being on his site is no plum.

    3.) Yes, that is correct. Yet I hear you going over to the gradualist side on this one…LOL And if the gradualists can sit back and be skeptical about our stuff, we should be skeptical about and tough on theirs, too. I am not arguing that ours are always correct and theirs always wrong. I am arguing that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Good strong skepticism is a necessary part of science.

    4.) What? Is this going personal?

    Ed is like 1 million percent wrong about me being a Theosophist. Where he dreamed that accusation up I will never know. Moot point.

    I do NOT think or assert that Piltdown Man is genuine. Nor do I assert that it is a fake. I am neutral. No one ever proved that Conan Doyle faked that, though some came away believing it. Why do you bring up stuff I DO NOT ascribe to instead of the ones I do? I don’t get it.

    You are arguing something that has very little to zero solid evidence backing it up. When I show how weak the evidence is, so far you’ve done little to rebut my rebuttals.

    IMHO this Krakatoa idea is weak, with nothing supporting it that can’t also be used to support an impact.

    Please, argue the points I bring up, not things Ed has alleged I “believe in.”

    5.) “The article by Voûte and Long confirms your conclusion that the 535 event at Krakatoa must have killed vast numbers of Javans.”

    Nope. I categorically deny having said any such thing. I have not at any point in here concluded that Krakatoa exploded in 535 AD. I am arguing AGAINST that.

    It MIGHT have happened, but no one has shown any solid evidence of it. My rejection of all of that is why we are having this conversation.

    You may be misreading something I said, such that IF – a HUGE if – such a thing had happened, then there should be all kinds of records in and around present day Djakarta about it because huge numbers of persons WOULD HAVE BEEN killed. All of that is arguing actually that it did NOT happen, because no such records exist that we have turned up or others turned up, either.

    The so-called “evidence” are suggestions only – not even circumstantial in mty book, because circumstantial is at least REAL. A book that is largely seen to be a fake history written in the 1800s is not evidence or circumstantial evidence for something alleged to have happened in the 6th century – especially when the book puts it 119 years earlier (which fact is passed over as inconsequential and “misremembered” or “mis-copied.”

    I am not going to convince you, but when you have included bogus or probably bogus “facts” I thought it necessary to correct the record here on CT.

    Conjecture is not evidence.

    Speculation is not evidence.

    Fake histories are not evidence.

    I categorically refute that any worthwhile evidence exists.

    But feel free to accept evidence I reject.

    I have done my best to dissuade you. Each time I notice that you’ve posted as fact some of the above – conjecture, speculation, or fake histories – I will again endeavor to set the record straight with rebuttals.

    If I myself, in the future, put up fake evidence or speculation that is not labeled as such, or conjecture not so labeled, please return the favor, so that I do not get sloppy.

    I DO consider these efforts about Krakatoa to be sloppy, sloppy research. Or at least sloppy reporting. Other possible explanations SHOULD be pursued.

    At the same time, when the evidence – ON EITHER SIDE – is sloppy, someone needs to point it out.

    That was my original intention, when Ed recommended Keys’ book, you may remember. I felt I cold not let it pass. The book is THAT bad.

    And nothing you’ve found and presented is any better.

    IMHO.

  • Steve Garcia

    Hermann –

    Amazing how you read something into that Piltdown passage that isn’t there. “Not being convinced” of a “hoax” doesn’t mean I believe it is true. Nor being convinced means I think their conclusions were premature. Politics in science can be pretty nasty, as you know. So I was saying that we will never really know for sure, IMHO. That means open-minded and not taking sides. NEITHER SIDE.

    In the next sentence the operative word in “if there was an event” is “if,” as I just stated. “If” means it is a hypothetical – and not even MY hypothetical but theirs. The supposed 535 Krakatoa explosion>collapse>Sunda Strait hypothesis would have repercussions. It cannot stand in isolation.

    I point out one of those necessary repercussions: If it caused an eastward megatsunami to “the foot of” Gede (elev. 440 meters), then it could not have failed to destroy the city that lay where Djakarta is now (elev. 0 meters). And if it DID, then where is the evidence for that happening? Neither they nor you have an answer to that.

    My prediction is that such evidence will never be found.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Key’s summary of the global consequences of that particular climate collapse is excellent, and I recommend his book to anyone interested in its effects and the field.