3,732,468 viewers can’t be wrong

I came across the video below this morning on a 2012 site. As regular readers may guess, I don’t get too worked up about next year. But as the 2012 worry-warts research their subject, more and more are coming across the YDB group’s field research and incorporating it into their presentations and arguments regarding the pending Apocalypse.

This is good news – bad news. The good news is that the word is getting out about the research into the past. All publicity is good publicity. The bad news is that many of these folks speculating about the future toss in all sorts of outrageous predictions and assumptions.

I found the video below flattering and pretty middle-of-the-road (relative to other 2012 propaganda). It gave the Firestone paper top billing, and then takes the viewer on a wilder, speculative tour regarding the astral alignments of megaliths, the timing of Jesus’ birth, etc. All the while managing to stay just inside the white lines and off the exit to Kookytown, in my estimation.

(Yeah, he claims the pyramids are times times as old as Zahi Hawass claims.  But then again Zahi Hawass himself is three times older than Zahi Hawass claims).

The video has intriguing production values, not top-flight Hollywood CGI, but not basement video stuff either. The Apocalypse scenes seem to match the storyline, but where do they get all these kinda-special effects and crowd shots? I doubt they hired actors for a YouTube video of this nature, but it also doesn’t seem the material is lifted from another source, at least not from any “comet movie” I’ve ever seen.

In the end, here is what is surprising and, I suppose, encouraging. Nearly 4,000,000 people have viewed this video. Think about that. Think about that relative to the number of readers of the recent fit pitched by Vance Holliday over the Clovis Comet theory. I betcha (maybe) a thousand people or so have read Holliday’s essay on my site and his. For each of those readers there are 4000 viewers of the video below.

I would get a big broom if I wanted to sweep away the Clovis Comet theory.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi George –

    Its also strange when you think about it, but more money has been spent on impact disaster films than on finding NEOs.

    I was hoping that I’d sell more books, but then I did not write disaster porn, but history instead.

    The major advice I got was to remove the history, and leave the disasters. I’ll comment a little more on this phenomena later.

  • E.P. Grondine

    To paraphrase:

    “Certainly the history which you related just now, Joseph, concerning the peoples of the Earth, are little better than children’s tales; for, in the first place, you remember but one deluge, though many have occurred previously”

    As usual, all of the impacts and the memories thereof are combined into one impact; mythical great white fathers come along and teach the ignorant natives; all supported by atrociously bad, and “easily” destroyed archaeological claims (though people believe what they want to believe).

    The 14C dates for Tihaunaco are pretty firm, though some recalibration will be needed. Tihaunaco lies in an active fault zone, so if the remains astronomical alignments aren’t exactly right, that’s no surprise. No, its not a lost port of Lemuria.

    Egyptians built the Pyramids during the third millenia, and the workers quarters are being excavated.

    The Mayan Calendar predicted nothing of the sort about 2012:
    http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=2385.0

    At the core of the various cons lies the “mysteries of the megaliths”; As one of these com men put it to me, “No, it has to have big rocks in it to sell”

    This guy stole a lot of good footage and pasted it together.

    They’re making more money with this crap than I am with the hard truth, and it pisses me off.

    I call it “Worlds in Denial”, and we have to figure out how to turn this situation around to positive action.

  • Terry Egolf

    I think I saw Godzilla in one of the Oriental sequences around 07:26. 8^)

  • Hermann Burchard

    Sci results often are uncertain in “soft sciences,” anthro and archeo being two notable cases in point. Some journals in those areas routinely post letters of opposing opinions along with rebuttals. There is even a tradition of having a dozen comments published along with a review article, so other experts can affirm or deny conclusions. Not so in maths. Of course mistakes do occur in proofs, hopefully caught by a referee. But my ears perk up whenever I hear “group think” or the “academic community has reached a consensus.” Baloney! Nothing ever is final. But we must allow partial truths, Newtonian mechanics is valid in a wide range of experiments but not in relativistic or quantum situations. The point I am trying to make: If certain truth is so elusive in science my suggestion is to discount 100% of popular science, especially the coincidence stuff.
    BTW, the megalith monuments in Britain and on the continent are almost surely related to burial practices, have little to do with astronomy, except for having the sun shine into a tomb at equinoxes or solstices. The upright stones probably supported platforms on which the corpses were laid to be eaten by birds. This kind of “non-burial” is still being practiced and was common in America and Malaysia, a witness to widespread cultural diffusion in the long, long ages of prehistory. – TO ADD: Recently anthro officialdom has acknowledged it may have been “Out of Asia” not “Out of Africa.” This is because of Liang Bua Cave, Flores Island, and nearby lithic tools from 1 M BP, and from Dmanisi we have 2 M BP hominids, near Tblisi, Georgia, Caucasus. The truth will emerge with work of thousands of bright minds over many decades! See remarks like that in the Nobel lecture by Frank Wilczek, “asympotic freedom:” Why 3 quarks make a proton and can rattle around inside but cant’t get out.

  • Barry Weathersby

    I miss the ‘like’ ‘dislike’ buttons to click. When I don’t know enough to make a coherent comment I’d like a way to make my dumb-ass opinion known. Just because I’m ignorant about the subject doesn’t mean I don’t have the ability to express what I think about your opinion.

  • Hermann Burchard

    Now to explain my previous post a bit more: Popular science is not the same as amateur science. We are all amateurs when it comes to planetary science, or call it Earth-affected-from-space science. The discipline barely exists, there are few people expert simultaneously in astronomy, archeology, cosmo-geo-chemistry, dendro chronology, etc etc, although important work has been done by some people whose names we all know in each one of those areas. Still, as planetary scientists they are amateurs. But they do science even as amateurs, unlike popular science like UFO, Yeti, etc stuff.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hermann, while impact studies is a recent field, and interdisciplinary, in the end it relies on the hard data of impacts.

    Why this movie is so wrong is that it obscures the smaller and more recent impacts. The reason why it is dangerous is the model of brain function it is being used to promote: the two are not related.

    As far as your analysis of the megaliths goes, I’ll have to differ with you. It is clear that ancient man’s astronomical knowledge was far more advanced than was thought earlier.

    Since the YD denial mechanism is being based on arguing nano-diamonds, the way around this is by finding one or more of the larger YD impact sites, in my opinion.

    We still have no public coverage of the INQUA session.

  • Steve Garcia

    That is nice, except for two things:

    1. It is not a popularity contest. Science has nothing to do with public consent or audience share.

    2. Sites and videos like that are populated by “sloppy thinkers,” who never learned how to discern fact from “I want it to be so,” and how are susceptible to people who get them to nod their heads in agreement with little regard to what is actually being said. There is a sizable population who actually – for some reason – WANT the world to be destroyed, and think the world DESERVES to be destroyed. They are suckers for every end-of-the-world scenario that is put out there. And there are people who pander to them.

  • Steve Garcia

    Hermann and Ed –

    I would gently disagree with Hermann, too. I also am beginning to think that the astronomical aspect of them is put into the wrong context. I have little to base this on except my high respect for whoever built them, plus the huge effort that must have gone into building megalithic sites. Just to be able to track the planets or discern what exact day is the equinox or solstice – this doesn’t justify the huge effort. For example, our own early astronomers were almost all individuals doing it out of their own pockets and involved very few people. These very ancient sites were the exact opposite. One absolute certainty about them is that they could not have been done by single individuals.

    Another certainty (IMHO) is that the reason for their size was that they needed accuracy. This was also done with astronomical observatories of the 1700s and 1800s, before machining capabilities improved enough to make the instruments small enough to fit into labs. And even now, when we want a very very precise telescope, it is accepted that bigger is better, more precise.

    But HOW were those individuals then able to convince the leaders and populace to put so much (apparent) effort into them? There must have been some overriding importance for doing so. I have my ideas on this, but have not put the pieces together yet.

    I am not trying to win anyone over with this comment, just presenting part of the picture that I can see, the part that hints at something much more. I do not think we have come even close to understanding any of this, and I am certain that the reason is that no one has found even the right starter questions to ask – myself included.

    The speculations of the early religion-centered, white Anglo-Saxon, male archeologists of the 18th and 19th century have been accepted as gospel, which is very surprising. This is possibly the only discipline which has not tossed out early notions as being simplistic and misguided. No one seems to be willing to challenge them – e.g., pyramids are still presented as tombs. It doesn’t occur to anyone that burial practices are over-emphasized simply because most of what we find are tombs. So, even when we find things that are NOT obvious burials, it is (somehow) accepted as rational that those ruins are also seen as burial connected or after-life connected. I can think of no more clear comparison than to ask how much future archeologists would know about our society by studying our cemeteries. And the answer is this: almost NOTHING. As support for that, I would point to Rome and Greece, and how MUCH of their societies we DO know, beyond burials and after-death concepts – and we DO know that those aspects of their societies are minor influences. Those cultures had well-developed infrastructures and interdependent economies. So, I argue and argue, that burials and after-life evidence is overrepresented, to the point of tainting our thinking on other artifacts and other ruins.

    But what do we replace those interpretive paradigms with? I would argue that it is not sufficient to argue that in the absence of alternatives, we should default to burials and after-death mumbo-jumbo as central to their societies. I argue that we should simply admit that we don’t know, rather than force our interpretations into the overr-represented evidence we have. After all, 100% or 80% of the 5% we know about them is still not much. I use 5% there because I think our knowledge of those societies is very minimal, and may not even come up to that level – so that 5% is, IMHO, a high estimate. How much do funeral practices today represent of our overall society? 1%? 1/2%? To project more than 5% would be the height of irrationality, I think. And if that is the bulk of what we know, how can we rationally suggest it was so much more in their time?

    Astronomical they DO seem to be. I would also argue that if they are astronomical, they are NOT double-use facilities – i.e., they aren’t BOTH astronomical AND burial/ceremonial. No more than our observatories are ceremonial or connected with burials. If they were astronomical, that is ALL they were. Were they for telling the seasons? That is within the range of what observatories can be used for, so, yes, almost certainly that.

    But there are many features built into them that do not – within OUR technology paradigm – seem to serve any purpose. I think we can stipulate that. But they would not have put the effort into those features if there was no purpose to them, so I would argue that there were astronomical positions/alignments that were important to them that we put no stock in, meaning that those features are going right over our heads. Our “modern is best” hubris makes us look for equivalents to OUR way of looking at things – and if we see nothing from our POV, we blow those features off as not significant.

    But in engineering there is a RULE: “Form follows function.” I posit that this has always been so. Unless features are obviously decorative, therefore, we must look at them as having a function – even if we can’t comprehend that function. When I see something at a megalithic site that I can’t interpret (and I DO try to fit it into OUR paradigm first), I simply accept my ignorance and hope that someone in the future will be able to see its function for what it was.

    I also suggest that such features might be astronomical in ways we haven’t guessed – such as predicting the return of comets. We assume that it was impossible for them to know that comets and meteor showers returned in predictable cycles. Perhaps in this we are wrong. I would bet good money (if I had it to bet) that no one has looked for alignments to the Geminids, Leonids, or Perseids, for example. Since there is attrition – by definition – from these meteor showers, it is logical that 4,000 or more years ago the showers were much more populated than today. Ed knows that with Comet Encke certainly was true. It was true of the others, too. But how much more? If impactors, for example, came out of the debris field for Comet Encke, that would have been known. If they followed some of the fixed stars and some of the planets, then I think annual meteor showers would have been MORE notable in those times, with their clearer skies, their shooting stars and (then more common) larger flaring objects, and would have been more emotionally impactful than Venus or Mars or Jupiter, or Sirius, or the constellations. I would suggest that if at ANY time a large object actually impacted, then this would have frightened them enough to make an effort to predict the arrival of the meteor shower in future years. I am arguing that they paid enough attention to know that the showers happened to come out of the same radiant point, and to also be aware that it happened when the radiant was at a certain height or above a certain point on the horizon.

    I also would posit that adding such an alignment to the existing solar/lunar megalithic “observatory” could have been done without affecting the other features and would have been deemed a good added use of the observatory area. Having a little warning about when the showers were due would allow them to, perhaps, seek shelter in caves for a week or so.

    The fact that the vast majority of possible alignments have not seemed purposeful to us (as against the background of the fixed stars or planets) might even indicate that most of the purposes of the megalithic observatory sites would have been for meteor showers. That idea is certainly falsifiable, isn’t it?

    …Most of this was thinking out loud, because I had not thought this through this far before. If it didn’t come across as well-thought-out, sorry, guys…:-)

  • Terry Egolf

    Steve, I think that mainstream science, especially historical science, that creates inferences based on worldviews rather than repeatable, empirical data, IS a product of majority consensus (or a popularity contest, if you will). Look at the rise of uniformitarianism and biological evolution over the past two centuries. Both had their roots in philosophical movements to discredit biblical creationism (rather than empirical science) and to elevate naturalism, which is itself a philosophical child of Newtonian physics. It was much more fashionable and accepted to propose naturalistic theories for origins and unexplained phenomena than to remain true to biblical origins. And after the higher criticism movement ravaged the historical inerrancy and authority of the Bible, most segments of society uncritically accepted the scientists’ theories and models. That doesn’t mean they are right or even plausible. It was a popularity contest after all.

    As a current-day example, I offer the recent article by NASA scientists in the journal Remote Sensing that aggressively debunks the basic assumptions used by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regarding the amount of heat the earth radiates back into space. It basically guts the dire predictions that we are heading into catastrophic global warming if “something isn’t done soon.” The idea was and is very popular, but it’s wrong. See: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/pdf

  • Hermann Burchard

    Colin Renfrew wrote a Sci Amer article decades ago about a dig he did at Stonehenge, and he found all the typical things expected at a funeral site, including scatterd bones.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Steve, all, at least I have a good title for the history of the science of impact studies when it is written some years from now: “Worlds in Denial”.

    I took a look at the wikipedia article on extinctions the other day, and was surprised to find no mention of Chicxulub or Shiva. Apparently all extinctions are now due to global warming.

    Steve, your analysis is excellent, particularly of the amount of effort ancient societies put into astronomy. But structures did serve Dual purposes, as religion and astronomy were tightly tied in unified world views. Mankind had no way of dealing with impacts except to fall back to magic.

    Steve, Comet Encke would have been particularly visible during most of the recent past, at least from 13,000 years ago. And tracking it would have had a very high priority, as you point out. And almost nothing has been done even up to now in terms of studying the abilities of ancient astronomical structures in tracking it.

    Steve, Timo Niroma reached the same conclusions you have over 15 years ago.

    It was his insights into ancient man’s response to the impact hazard that got me started in this.

  • E.P. Grondine

    The link to Timo’s site:

    http://personal.eunet.fi/pp/tilmari/tilmari.htm

    I see he’s updated it, using yet more of his Finglish. If time permits, I’ll have to check with him about editing it again.

    Steve, Timo first noted that the building phases of Stonehenge were timed to impact. And first noted the amount of effort ancient communities would into astronomy.

    “Worlds in Denial” – I like that title.

  • E.P. Grondine
  • E.P. Grondine

    Oh J****.

    Another laugh for the day:

    http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/science/contenthandler.cfm?id=2467

    Someone needs to tell these guys about 14C produced by impact, and clue them in to look for the black mat nanodiamonds in their samples.

  • Barry Weathersby

    I read this some time ago and just found it again. But I have probs with these old ‘cultures’ tracking history better than we can now…

    http://www.sis-group.org.uk/abstract/steel2.htm

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Barry –

    Thanks for the link. I don’t know if Steel or Niroma has priority for this observation.

    You may also enjoy:
    http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/ce102103.html
    along with several other of my essays.

    As far as your “prob” goes, maybe later on I’ll send George a little piece I did years ago on the European loss of impact lore.

    In the Americas caves may have been used for impact shelters, but there is little evidence that survived the conquest, and NO ONE besides myself looking for it, and I’ve had a stroke, and the work takes tens of thousands of dollars, and multiple people insist on putting their arms down my throat.

    Perhaps someday George will post the Trempeleau Petroglyph here.

    Right now everyone is focusing on the YD events. My guess is that the YD is going to have to be proved beyond doubt before work will advance on the smaller and more recent impacts.

  • Barry Weathersby

    I didn’t mean I doubt they attempted to predict the impacts… I just have my doubts about the accuracy of their predictions given their knowledge base.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Barry, all –

    I should revise my earlier comment to read “while multiple people insist on shoving their arm down my throat”.

    I’ll agree with you completely, Barry, given the spans of time between impacts, and the complex mechanics involved.

    Also, it was rare for any astronomical system to survive anywhere for too long, often due to the effects of impacts, see above.

    What seems to have occurred is the construction of immense “magical” structures intended to keep the sky in place. Hence the dates of the building phases of Stonehenge.

    One amazing thing about all of this is the lack of archaeoastronomers actually trying to look at these structures in terms of Comet Encke. Another is the lack of work done on ancient astronomical texts and traditions as regards comet impacts.

    Adding into the complexity, one has to remember that comet orbits change over time as well.

    I suppose whenever John Carlson and the archaeological community as a while accept that ancient comet impacts occurred some of these problems will be addressed.

    In the meantime, the search is on for some of the larger YD impacts.
    And you can watch the denial process at work in that.

    (My G*d, but I’m tired.)

  • Hermann Burchard

    Ed,
    What seems to have occurred is the construction of immense “magical” structures intended to keep the sky in place. Hence the dates of the building phases of Stonehenge.

    Sorry, but we all must get used to the fact that Stonehenge was a funerary complex, not looking sky-ward primarily. The ancient faith was not to bury or burn corpses because this would have polluted the ground or the fire. This is why the dead were placed on tall structures for carrion crows and vultures (both plentiful in Eurasia) to devour. The Mandan had a similar practice. The dig by Colin Renfrew proved that (we need the issue # of Sci Amer).

    Each village in Britain had its tall upright stones, described by M Scott Peck, “In Search of Stones,” just like now a graveyard. In a cemetery headstones are lined up for orderliness, for the same reason longe lines of tall upright stones were lined up. The astronomical alignment makes sense despite the funerary purposes, but should not be seen as the main motive of construction. A little science by Renfrew goes a long way to avoid romanticizing the past.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hermann, I’m familiar with excarnation, but I’ve not been convinced by Renfrew, ever, except that 14C calibration was wrong. I’ll have to see if its different this time.

    Re: Renfrew, while diffusion is important, its not all diffusion. See Man and Impact in the Americas for a summary of the possible interactions between two human groups.

    The point is kind of moot, for as you point out, the two uses are not exclusive.

    The timing of the construction phases of Stonehenge are what they are. They happen to coincide with impacts.

    There has been no check done of them for Encke alignments.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hermann, I don’t see how you got that from what Renfrew wrote about Stonehenge.

    Do you have a link handy?

  • Hermann Burchard

    Ed,
    sorry this was a long time ago, article in Sci Amer maybe in the nineties or even earlier. It was before M Scott Peck’s book which appeared in 1995 [I could ask our Library do to a search on Mon].

    He reached the conclusion of “towers of silence” (Dakhma in Persian) mainly because scattered human bones in the trench or moat (?) which had filled in over time, and which he excavated, the bones falling off of the platforms. Andrew Colin Renfrew, Baron Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, is an excellent archeologist, who earned his peerage. But he is not so good as a linguist. When I read his book on IE languages, I was appalled by his insidious anti-Celtic bias, which is very apparent (and maybe common in England).

    So I do trust Renfrew’s work on Stonehenge, but it sure isn’t a popular idea and I understand why anybody would be reluctant to accept it. But I was amused to read M Scott Peck’s book and to see no mention whatsoever of funerary function of the stones.

  • Hermann Burchard

    Sorry about the italics.

  • Hermann Burchard

    Colin Renfrew 1983:

    The social archaeology of megalithic monuments. Scientific American 249:152-163.

    http://archaeology.about.com/od/rterms/g/renfrewc.htm

  • Hermann Burchard

    Better: The social archaeology of megalithic monuments, Scientific American 249, No. 5, (November 1983), 128-36

  • Steve Garcia

    @Ed:
    Ed, and all, I am pleased that my thinking the other day had some coherence and plausibility to all of you.

    Steve, Timo Niroma reached the same conclusions you have over 15 years ago.

    It was his insights into ancient man’s response to the impact hazard that got me started in this.

    Nice to see my thinking is supported by Naroma. Thanks for that. And I think it is cool that his work on this is what got you started. Your work on this helped me get started, so I am at least a little bit standing on the shoulders of some pretty good thinkers. Though I pieced this together in that form only as I wrote it, I was leaning on info picked up around here as much as anywhere.

    …structures did serve Dual purposes, as religion and astronomy were tightly tied in unified world views. Mankind had no way of dealing with impacts except to fall back to magic.

    Ed, I agree. That dual use concept does sound plausible, due to what was their likely reactions to impacts. How to make that falsifiable, though, is another story. IMHO.

    It would be a VERY cool thing to do field work on alignments to Comet Encke. If I was financially independent already, I would do it myself.

    It actually makes the ancients/indigenous people seem a lot LESS mumbo-jumbo, if they went all religio-magic as a reaction to impacts rather than noticing that some points of light appeared in different places in the sky over time. I could NEVER buy into them giving them names of gods. Think of it: in importance gods are way up the importance list, and points of light wandering (“planet” means “wanderer” as I recall) über slowly across the sky are way DOWN on their impact on the consciousness. Science’s/archeology’s take on that seemed absurdly weak, from the first time I heard it. I’ve been trying to make sense of it for decades.

    At the same time, if people had the technology to build megalithic observatories, it seems much less likely that they would go mumbo-jumbo unless something REALLY BAD scared the bejeezus out of them. THAT I can sign onto, paradigmatically and intuitively. That doesn’t make it true, but it seems to hold more water than anything else I’ve run across.

    But intuitive glimpses are good places to start. And the first thing is to logically try to pick holes in them, to falsify them right off the bat. If anyone wants to play devil’s advocate, jump all over it!

  • Steve Garcia

    Ed –

    In that arctic article, this I argue loudly:

    The prevalent (though by no means definitive) theory behind the cause of the Younger Dryas, named after the white flower that grows near glaciers, involves the shutdown of ocean circulation in the northern Atlantic Ocean by the influx of fresh water when the North American ice sheets melted.

    I argue it on two points. First, they are putting the cart before the horse. And secondly, the principle of the sinking water being the driving force behind the Gulf Stream and other currents – the “oceanic conveyor” is just WRONG.

    Let me address the second one first.

    In order for the sinking to actually suck water north from the Florida coast, there has to exist two things:

    A.) a sufficient pressure drop to do it. “Pressure drop” means pressure differential, with flow traveling from higher pressure to lower pressure. Now, all pressure does no work (in the physics definition of “work,” which is measured in HP or watts) at all except where the pressure is unbalanced, in which case we are talking about FORCE. There has to be adequate FORCE in order for the work to be done, of moving all that water NNE for about 4,000 miles.

    B.) A sufficiently CLOSED SYSTEM between the start of the flow and the end of the flow. This affects the amount of force available to do the work. The less closed, the less available force.

    That is what this hypothesis (I will never give it enough credence to all it a theory) is all about. But the pressure drop isn’t just from the end points of that flow path (the length of the Gulf Stream). At EVERY intermediate stretch along that path, there has to be an adequate pressure drop. If it fails at any point the water cannot go the full distance, not based on suction anyway.

    And if the system isn’t closed, water will flow into the path from the sides (and below). And for each cubic meter that leaks in from the side, that takes the place of suction of a cubic meter immediately “downstream” (not to mention all the way back upstream to the start of the Gulf Stream).

    This means that in any fluid system the flow will preferentially come from closer sources, rather than farther sources. The suction from sinking water (which is really low suction in the first place, because the sinking itself is based on the DIFFERENTIAL densities of the waters involved, which isn’t much in the first place) will cause suction in all 360° directions, not just in one direction. The infilling water is as likely to come from the direction of Spitzbergen, Ireland, Scotland, Greenland, or points SE as any point to the SSW, toward the Gulf Stream. The proponents may argue that the flow will more likely come from the SSW because of the Gulf Stream, but that is arguing in a circle – the Gulf Stream can’t be both the source of the flow AND the resultant, too.

    The bottom line is this: The system is NOT closed. Therefore water WILL be “sucked” from all directions. The available force from the SSW will be essentially equal to the force from ANY other direction. And the force is inadequate in any event.

    In all of that, I am talking about what is currently happening. They are misguided in their thinking that present sinking causes adequate force to suck warm water north. I am certain they are 100% wrong. The motive force behind the Gulf Stream is the rotation of the Earth and the Coriolis Effect, the same that drives atmospheric winds. This is directed eastward by the shape of the American east coast.

    To back this up, I will point to the Pacific Ocean, with the Japanese Current flowing north along the east coast of Asia and then rotating East and then South along the western coast of North America.

    Similarly, the atmospheric Hadley Cells and Mid-Latitude Cells are driven not by sinking cold air at their northern boundaries, but by rising air at/near the Equator, heated by the Sun. The air flow of the NH Hadley Cells does not have a strictly N-S bearing, but has an eastward slant to it, because of the Coriolis Effect.

    The currents INTO the Gulf of Mexico are driven from the Equator WNW along the coast of South America and enter the Gulf south of Cuba. This flow slows down massively in the Gulf because it widens after passing the Yucatan peninsula. It is pushed westward by the incoming flow from the east, and follows the Mexican coastline clockwise around to Texas and east past LA, MS, then south along the western coast of FL. During this time it has traveled slowly, all the while absorbing heat energy. This is the heat that warms Europe, though some hair-brained study recently argued against this being the reason for Europe’s mild temperatures. This water exits the Gulf north of Cuba, where it encounters the northern part of the flow that comes westward along the SA coastline and is diverted northward by the West Indies. These two flows merge more or less and head north, driven by the Coriolis effect and water pressure behind them. After all, what goes INTO the Gulf of Mexico must come OUT, too – in equal amounts. So, there is a good amount of force to kick start the Gulf Stream northward. The Coriolis Effect adds to it, and the Coriolis Effect and the American east coast combine to add an eastward vector to the northward vector.

    The water is PUSHED to the NNE, not pulled by suction. They have their entire concept bass-ackward.

    Now as to the first point, the cart before the horse:

    No one has yet found out where any fresh water came from. They hypothesize that it came from Lake Agassiz. But the outlet to the east was not open until well into the Y-D Interglacial. They are now in the process of claiming that it flowed north into the Arctic. I think that most of the water flowing over the ice sheet would have frozen if it took a northward path.

    I think the assertion of Lake Agassiz being the source of fresh water is a speculation, a result of them looking high and low for some way to connect “global warming” at the Y-D with global warming today. Lake Agassiz was just the best thing they could find, so they put their eggs in that basket. And THEN they started looking for how it could have done it. And every step along the way, there is a hole in it, so they redirect to something other way. In this case, they thought they had it nailed – until the eastward, St Lawrence, was found to not be possible. But there are still scientists out there pushing that eastern flow.

    Rodney Chilton knows more about this stuff than I do. He talks about it in his book – and why it didn’t work that way.

  • Steve Garcia

    For the record: I do accept that there is enough evidence for the Y-D impactor(s), even without an impact site located. I think Firestone et al are on the right track, and as the evidence comes in, I am more persuaded. They certainly didn’t get all their conclusions right, nor the way it all fits together. Not yet. It looks to me like the skeptics will have to eat crow or die off for the Y-D Impact Theory to win out. The skpetics’ counter research seems to have flaws in it every bit as large as the Y-D Team’s flaws. I think the skeptics’ challenges have been rebutted successfully.

    The inclusion in this 2012 video/film is, I believe regrettable. But no more regrettable than that Deepak Chopra including quantum theory and the Heisenberg Principle in self-help New Age workshops. No one is shutting down physics labs around the world because silly season gullibles are spouting quantum theory to support their claims of being one with God, or having been behind their getting over their latest divorce.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Steve, one of the amazing things here is to watch a shift in scientific paradigms up close. The history of this is going to make a fascinating read some day.

    “Worlds in Denial” will probably be a pretty good title for that book. IMO, that is about the only part of Velikovsky’s work that MIGHT have future use.

  • Steve Garcia

    Ed –

    Let’s hope the “some day” comes before a big impactor does. The odds are highly in favor of that being the case – but if we end up back in the stone age, I am really going to be pissed off at the SOBs for failing to just do the engineering and get something in place. Another Y-D baby comes along and we won’t just have ice flying around through the stratosphere.

    That brings to mind a phrase from my first trip abroad (in care of New York Billy – “cuttin’ through the air, like a piece of feta cheese.

    You had to be there, but I am laughing… 🙂

  • Barry Weathersby

    I have always assumed the ancient peoples had no ability to discern between science and magic and therefore none of the tales they told had any basis in scientific fact. They were all simply made up stories of magical happenings they told and retold. Now I think maybe the opposite is true. Maybe I dismissed as magic the factual science they saw and told of in their own wierd way.

    I know, “Any sufficiently advanced technology will always appear as magic”. But I never thought, “Any sufficiently observed astronomy will always appear as magic”. Or, “Any sufficiently magic handed down in legunds might actually be science”.

    Thanks for this blog… it has opened my tiny little mind a tiny little bit.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Barry –

    Peoples remembered the important things that happened to them. Of course they did not use modern scientific language to do that – they used the languages and conceptual frameworks that they had.

  • Hermann Burchard

    E.P., Barry:
    Also, our ancient ancestors were able to use intuitive spherical geometry and kinematics. But they lacked maths formulas, and instruments, telescopes, spectrometers, etc.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Hermann –

    I doubt if our ancient ancestors used any higher maths. It most likely was simply the scaling up of devices and technologies gradually developed over time.

    For example, wood henges preceded stone henges, and those wood henges were set out on the basis of a developed celestial navigation system.

    The mechanics used for Stonehenge were probably stone rowing, along with piling and unpiling dirt.

    How and why they chose those particular stones? Don’t know – No one has really tackled the quarries yet for most megalithic structures, and that includes Gobekli Tepe. That is also one of the reasons the Pyramids are so mysterious.

    By the way, one form of burial does not preclude the use of another form of burial at the same time, and the functions of a structure can change over time, particularly if a site/structure is occupied by another people.

  • Steve Garcia

    Ed –

    FYI, it is well known that the Giza pyramids’ main material – limestone – came from the quarry in the Moqattam hills, east of present-day Cairo.

    [This is one reason the “poured-concrete-in-place” theory is so absurd. As if no one can tell the difference between a poured slurry that has hardened and a limestone that is sedimentary.]

  • Steve Garcia

    Barry –

    The beginnings of archeology and most of the physical sciences was a bunch of white Anglo-Saxon Christian men of the idle rich class, and they had little more than their impressions to base conclusions on. Some of them were out there to prove the correctness of the Bible, and some were out to find something – anything – that would help in their pre-Darwinian attempt to get out from under the Church and establish super-solid arguments against catastrophe (read: Noah’s Ark). In addition, they were completely convinced of the superiority of white Anglo-Saxons, in particular males and rich. So their conclusions of necessity had to play to their class. That meant – among other things – painting early peoples as savages barely above animals.

    The fact that little outside megalithic architecture, graves, and arrowheads survived didn’t help. The fact that they were crude in their undertakings didn’t help, and they often destroyed much more than they discovered. And they missed the small stuff (for example the very stuff that proved that Monte Verde in Chile was older than Clovis) – which they likely would have thought was too mundane for them; they were looking for the big score, the one that would put their name on headlines.

    The only nod they seemed to give to the ancients was to “give them credit for having some form of religious bent.” But any nod was accompanied by assertions that any religions were crude, simplistic, and utterly based on fear of the gods. ALL of this was projected from the minds of the researchers. In fact, if you go looking around, you will find that just about anything the archeologists do not understand (i.e., fit into “burial practices” or “overgrown egos of kings”) is to this day labeled “ceremonial.” The only partial exceptions to that are the Mayan calendar and the Babylonian and Mayan astronomy records (which Babylonian ones the archeologists usually assume are for astrological reasons). I say “partial” because they DO think even those things were for essentially ceremonial purposes.

    There simply is a mindset that says “ancients were dumb.”

    No allowance is given for the fact that translations usually translate a term for “sky” as “heaven,” which, of course, throws a religious slant on something that might just as well be astronomical or a simple observation, perhaps of clouds or storms. Or even “sunny day.” Since it is the archeologists who do the translations, they get to control not only the wording, but the meaning, too.

    It is my understanding that about 90% of the things Ed’s research touch on these days is about issues under the heading of “archeology” or “anthropology.” Between you and me and the fly on the wall, I’ve been so under-impressed by the work of archeologists, that I don’t even consider them scientists anymore. Science is about quantifying so that data can be compared and curves can be drawn. Quantification is something few archeologists actually do. C14 dates and sonoluminescence are done on samples archeologists carefully extract, but the dating isn’t done by them; scientific labs do that. The archeologists do the interpreting – and that is not a scientific process, but a historical one, sometimes not even that. All the stories about Cahokia or Pacal in Palenque, or reading hieroglyphics – sorry, but it is all interpretive and historical.

    So, when we run across articles in which archeologists assert certain things, we need to be aware of how little basis there is for much of what they say.

    And that does include accounts from indigenous peoples. There is a heavy load of interpretation and jury-rigging of timelines. And timelines are important – yet what are they based on? I am posting next a synopsis of the history of C14 dating, the one quantifiable evidence usually used in archeology. It isn’t long, and I had my eyes opened like you did, Barry. It seems the certainty in C14 dates isn’t so certain, after all.

  • Steve Garcia

    Here is the best thing I’ve ever found on C14 dating – how it was originally determined and what the state of affairs is now.

    This Professor Fairbanks claims to have the absolute most reliable dataset and calibration curve in existence, so I evidently found the best source available. That is good.

    A hopefully brief note by me follows:

    From http://knol.google.com/k/prof-richard-g-fairbanks/carbon-14-half-life/177rhcgybaj5l/4#

    Carbon-14 Half-Life
    Radiocarbon Half-Life

    Professor (emeritus) Richard Fairbanks, Columbia University

    ‘‘Conventional 14C age’’ reported in the literature and from radiocarbon dating laboratories is currently based on the definitions in Stuiver and Polach (1977) using a 14C half-life value of 5568 years (Libby, 1955). The value of 5568 years was later proved inaccurate based on multiple measurements in the 1960s (Godwin, 1962) that indicated that the half-life was several hundred years older (Table 1). After the Fifth Radiocarbon Dating Conference at Cambridge, a consensus value, 57307 years, was proposed (Godwin, 1962) based on published determinations of the 14C half-life by Mann et al. (1961), Watt et al. (1961) and Olsson et al. (1962). Godwin (1962) stated, ‘‘Inasmuch as further experiments may lead to an even more reliable result, we recommend, as a temporary expedient, that radiocarbon age results continue to be reported on the basis of the ‘Libby half-life’ 5568 yr used heretofore.’’ This statement acknowledged that ‘‘5730 years’’ was considered an improvement, but concerns with the methodologies and the spread in half-life measurements (Table 1) appeared to prevent the new consensus value from being adopted. The latest determination of the 14C half-life was ‘‘56607 years’’ (Bella et al., 1968), and to our knowledge no additional measurement was published after that study. Archaeologists and paleoclimatic scientists, among the principle users of radiocarbon dates, may not have considered it crucial to know the half-life with great accuracy because conventional 14C ages are routinely converted to calendar ages using calibration data sets. In principle, as long as radiocarbon calibration curves such as the tree ring/varved sediment/coral-based curve (InCal04; Reimer et al., 2004), the tree ring/coral-based calibration of Fairbanks et al. (2005) http://radiocarbon.LDEO.columbia.edu/ are readily available, any conventional 14C age can be converted to an estimated calendar age regardless of what value of 14C half-life is used in the calculation. However, it is essential to know the 14C half-life accurately when interpreting the geochemical and geophysical causes of atmospheric carbon-14 variations.

    A review of the history of the determination of 14C half-life reveals that values anywhere between 4700 to 7200 years have been reported (Libby, 1955; Mann et al., 1961; Watt et al., 1961; Olsson et al., 1962; Bella et al., 1968). Earlier gas counter measurements (in the late 1940s and early 1950s) seem to cluster into two groups: 5600 years and 6400 years. Each methodology had its own inherent sources of error, and assumptions pertaining to the shape of the beta spectrum, and most were subject to significant instrumental bias or 14C contamination in the gas splitting steps (Miller et al., 1950; Libby, 1955). The most recent measurements of 14C half-life were made in the 1960s using gas counters (Mann et al., 1961; Watt et al., 1961; Olsson et al., 1962; Bella et al., 1968), and a value of ‘‘57307 years’’ was proposed based on the first three publications. This consensus value, 57307 years, was considerably less than the reported 14C half-life based on the calorimetry technique, 6030 years (Jenks and Sweeton, 1952). The calorimetry method of half-life measurement is today a technique favored by some investigators because its simplicity generally leads to accurate results. The main assumption in calorimetry measurements of the 14C half-life is the average energy of b-decay. Clearly, the most convincing result would be the determination of the 14C half-life by various methods that yield the same value, which unfortunately is not the case.

    Table 1. Measurements of 14C half-life by gas counters in the 1960s

    Reference source Reported 14C half-life (years)

    Mann et al. (1961) 57607* Mann’s regressions for counter wall effect

    Mann et al. (1961) _6200 Discarded by Mann et al.

    Mann et al. (1961) 58107 The average value of Mann’s reported data

    Watt et al. (1961) 57807*

    Olsson et al. (1962) 56807*

    Bella et al. (1968) 56607

    * Represent the data included in the calculation for the consensus 14C half-life (Godwin, 1962) This observation alone warrants new measurements of the 14C half-life via multiple techniques.

    First of all, the FIVE-digit numbers I do not understand at all. The “57307” number from Godwin (1962) is referred to as “5730.” Anybody else have some input on this?

    The last four sentences (italicized by me) are alarming. The calorimetry method gives 6030 years? And this somehow gives “generally correct readings” when it is 362 years higher than Godwin?

    Godwin evidently averaged (in some way) the numbers from the four papers that actually took the measurements. I tried to find the original papers, but so far no luck.

    Note that after Godwin’s summary/averaging, NO overall averaging has really been done. A value of “57307” was proposed – but it was based on the 1961/2 papers and did NOT include the 1968 Bell paper. It states “a value of ‘57307’ years was proposed based on the first three publications” – which excludes Bella 1968.

    The range of (assuming first-four-places are whole years) are (latest) from 5660 to 5810, a range of 150 years. AND THIS IS PER HALF-LIFE. And this is PER SINGLE MEASUREMENT. If multiple samples are tested, they will often claim to have the whole population of samples within that +/- 50 year range.

    Wikipedia (for what it is worth) flat out states:

    The half-life of carbon-14 is 5,730±40 years.

    While 5730 is the number I’m most familiar with, the article states clearly that “This statement acknowledged that ‘‘5730 years’’ was considered an improvement, but concerns with the methodologies and the spread in half-life measurements (Table 1) appeared to prevent the new consensus value from being adopted.” (Table 1 is not available, unfortunately.)

    So the Y-D, being 12.9kya is more than 2.0 half-lifes. This shocks me. C14 dates are often claimed to be accurate to within +/- 40 years or +/- 50 years, and I think I’ve seen some that claim sometimes +/- 30 years. NO scientist in his right mind would publish a date based on a single data point, so since multiple data points (test results) must be used, I am completely doubtful of C14 datings’ ranges, not to mention their dates themselves.

    Add to all this that they don’t USE those dates, but the C14 dates are calibrated to “calendar time,” which is the numbers we are always presented with. Prof. Farirbanks’ web page actually has a calculator that is USED by archeologists to arrive at the final calendar date BP.

    (FYI: I know that 1950 is considered the ZERO date for C14 samples. I am virtually certain that the time since 1950 has to be added to the calendar date.)

    And ONE MORE comment (something from Prof. Fairbanks’ web page) follows, of particular interest to Y-D fans everywhere…

  • Steve Garcia

    As promised in my last comment

    http://radiocarbon.ldeo.columbia.edu/research/radiocarbon.htm

    Ed and George may know what I am going to point out here, but it is new to me… [emphasis added by me]

    Radiocarbon Calibration

    The records of the 14C content of the atmosphere and oceans contain a remarkable array of information about Earth history. Produced by cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere, 14CO2 rapidly mixes throughout the troposphere and exchanges with the reactive carbon reservoirs of the oceans and biosphere, where it decays. For the past 11,000 years, fluctuations in the atmospheric 14C have been largely produced by changes in the solar magnetic field. Many researchers believe that carbon cycle changes, tied to deep ocean circulation changes are a significant cause of atmospheric 14C fluctuations between 11,000 and 15,000 years before present. On longer time scales, changes in the Earth’s magnetic field intensity impact the 14C content of the atmosphere, producing positive 14C anomalies during intervals of weaker geomagnetic field.

    Of practical importance to a wide range of scientific disciplines is the radiocarbon calibration, which is used for converting radiocarbon ages to calendar years; essential for measuring time and rates of change for numerous scientific fields.

    I repeat the emphasize portion:

    Many researchers believe that carbon cycle changes, tied to deep ocean circulation changes are a significant cause of atmospheric 14C fluctuations between 11,000 and 15,000 years before present.

    Ed’s/Firestone’s Y-D impact happened right smack in the middle of that 11,000-15,000 BP period.

    Not only that, but the “tied to deep ocean changes are a significant cause” may not be correct. This seems clearly to be referring to the “oceanic conveyor” of which I am so critical.

    The Y-D impact and the oceanic conveyor are, in fact, direct competitors for being the cause of the Y-D stadial. One or the other caused the stadial. The interruption of this “conveyor” is a guess that stands on flimsy ground. They use as the proof of its occurrance the very resultant they say it caused, and this is accepted widely – while Y-D advocates are asked to produce a crater in order to prove that an impact even happened. The oceanic conveyor people have not produced a solid fresh water source, only a guess that “somehow” Lake Agassiz emptied out to the N Atlantic. So far, they haven’t proven it even happened, but all the while their scenario is held to be the best scenario. They get away with “somehow” while Firestone et al get attacked on all sides.

    THAT the C14 calibration curve has an anomaly centered right on the Y-D beginning ADDS to the likelihood that we are right.

  • Hermann Burchard

    Steve,
    The beginnings of archeology and most of the physical sciences was a bunch of white Anglo-Saxon Christian men of the idle rich class, and they had little more than their impressions to base conclusions on.

    Actually the Babylonians knew enough maths to predict solar and lunar eclipses. They had regular maths classes as we know from cuneiform tablets found in palace ruins. The clay tablets were fired unintentionally when conquerors burnt down the palaces and the vats full of olive oil caught fire. There are tablets by students marked by the teacher with corrections of errors showing.

    Egyptian priests knew how to make electric batteries, to use the current for fooling the faithful with “miraculous” lights, etc.

    Pythagoras learnt his theorem from Egyptians I believe, so science dates from before WASP males reading the bible.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Steve –

    Anthropogenic Global Warming is a debate into which I do not wish to be drawn. I’ve had a stroke, and I have too much on my plate already.

    That said, the US has got to end its dependence on foreign oil; and with 6 billion people living on this planet, I don’t think we can continue to use the atmosphere for a dump.

    I try to remain focused on data recovery. I am pretty sure that the northern Pacific data is key to the YD transition. I am still waiting for George to post the INQUA news.

  • Steve Garcia

    Hermann –

    If anything I stated sounded like I said that science itself started with 1600s or 1700s WASPs, I either misstated it or you misread it. I was talking only of archeologists.

    All the points you made I acknowledge and agree with.

    I was saying that their narrow backgrounds and belief in their own superiority colored their conclusions – and those conclusions still carry weight. And archeology is the only field of study that seems to have not tossed out early conclusions. Instead they still consider them those conclusions the foundations against which everything else must be compared and measured. Those conclusions should go the way of the ether and “vapors.”

  • Steve Garcia

    Ed –

    Yes, we will someday end our dependence on oil.

    For any who don’t know where the solution is, may I suggest you Google “Thorium reactor.” I’ve actually seen two versions – pebble-bed and molten salt reactor (MSR), sometimes referred to as a Fluid Lithium Thorium Reactor (LFTR).

    90% of the negatives of current nuclear reactors do not exist for Thorium reactors. AND they are cheaper. And they can be sized down for small communities and even for companies. The safety level is many times higher. If the Japanese reactors were Thorium, they would not have been a danger after the earthquake/tsunami.

    Check it out. It IS the energy source of the future. It is the direction China and India are going in. After they engineer it, ours will be obsolete – and easy to shut down and replace.

    And BTW, there is enough Thorium in China – without mining anymore – to last them 200,000 years. The US has 300,000 tons in storage right now, and don’t know what to do with it. Gasoline was originally a useless byproduct of petroleum. And Thorium is one of the most plentiful elements on Earth.

    Thorium is the future.

  • Steve Garcia

    Oops! I meant to include meteors along with comets as objects on/in which viruses and seeds of life are found.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Steve –

    In my thinking, theres’s no question that the Atlantic Conveyor folks are suffering from a bias towards Atlantic data, and confuse melt water outflow with initial outflow. Melt water outflow to the Atlantic is well documented.

    Keep in mind that Ice Ages have been cyclic for a while. Thus for impact to be the initial outflow mechanism for the end of the last one is met with scepticism, as it would be unlikely for impact to have caused the earlier initial outflows, as they were periodic.

  • Hermann Burchard

    In a later article, Colin Renfrew as editor (Proceedings of the British Academy, Oxford University Press, Oxford: Setting the scene: Stonehenge in the round, 1997) writes about Stonehenge, with mild allusion to funerary function: We can situate the first phase of Stonehenge, a simple circular structure around 2900 BC, in the Neolithic landscape, where burial mounds (long barrows) were the local centers, [. . .] Reference is made in Sci Amer (1983) to work by Roger Mercer on “causewayed camps,” precursors of henges. A much more comprehensive account is “Understanding the Neolithic” by Julian Thomas, reading which one finds a subject matter of confusing complexity.

  • Steve Garcia

    Hermann, this makes my point, that they are so locked into the “burials and egos” mentality of archeologists, due to the fact that all they HAVE as evidence are megalithic sites and burials. Especially for older sites. So they weave all their interpretations around funerary concepts and massive egos of kings.

    Is it true that the ancients peoples centered their societies around funerals? Or is it more likely that modern-day archeologists misinterpret?

    How many modern day stone age cultures have funerals as the center of their society? Do any? Most have one day a year (usually around Nov 1), when they have a day to revere their dead, and the rest of the year it is life as usual. And what society centers everything in cemeteries? Would you?

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Hermann –

    You probably want to check the dates from the new excavations at Stonehenge. Particularly the Blue Stone phase.

  • Steve Garcia

    Ed –

    Again, thanks for the Timo Niroma reference. I am catching up on stuff of his (and others), thanks to you.

    From “The Third Millennium BC (3100-2100 BC)” at http://personal.eunet.fi/pp/tilmari/tilmari2.htm#first there is this, and confirms my reasoning. Hats off to Timo and others. I think they got it dad nuts right on.

    Continuing with selections from “Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets” by Duncan Steel

    “The outrageous suggestion that I am going to make is that the Taurid Complex was producing phenomenal meteor storms between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago, accompanied by multiple Tunguska-class atmospheric detonations, and that Stonehenge I was designed to allow the (awestruck, terrified) culture of southern England to make observations of the Phenomena and to perhaps predict their recurrence. Peter Lancaster Brown, in his book on megalithic sites, wrote that “Eclipses, comets and meteorites were astronomical phenomena widely observed by the ancients. But probably only eclipses were predictable.”

    (Steel means to imply that Stonehenge I was needed to make observations because meteorite falls are far more unpredictable, but and at the same time may be long-lasting and recurring. – TN.)

    Steel continues this theme in Peiser et al.: Natural Catastrophes (Oxford, 1998) by commenting that he sees no connection between the original Stonehenge I (built in 3100 BC) and the thousand year later Stonehenge II and Stonehenge III except the place. The original one was a scientific observatory, not for Sun, or Moon, or eclipses, but for watching dangerous meteorites, asteroids and comets. The later Stonehenges with their stones (the image of Stonehenge that we have of it today), was more that of a ritual and sanctuary than for any practical/scientific purpose. Of course it could be used for some trivial astronomical calculations (solstices, eclipses), but its original purpose was hardly known for the later builders. The world’s first scientific astronomical observatory changed to a ritual place, because it was not anymore needed for its original purpose when the Taurids did not at that moment bother mankind, in fact the Taurids lived only in legends.

    One thing I would add, from reading “Uriel’s Machine” by Chirstopher Knight and Robert Lomas, is the principle of the “gates” that those in “the utter north” showed Enoch. As I tried to describe to you, Ed, I believe that such gates could be used to determine if a comet was on a collision course or not. From sailing there is a principle that if a boat on a crossing course to yours keeps the same position on your gunwhale, then a collision will occur if no adjustments are made (and the boat on the starboard tack has the right of way). If this also applies to comets approaching Earth’s orbit, then an impact will occur.

    Since comets coming “out of the sun” will also be toward the sun, then sighting the object at dawn and/or sundown will show it to be in the same position relative to a point on the horizon (or a standing stone or gate) over several days.

    Since the path is not a straight line, however, but is an ellipse with the Sun at a focus, the position would not be the same – but I submit that the gates could be arranged such that a certain pattern of movement observed through the gates would be able to tell them an impact is going to happen. Since this can only be determined from previous experience, it would mean that they had previous impacts to go by.

    To that point, I would paste in this, from the same page (quoting Steele again):

    “Although we know that 5,000 years ago the Sun, the Moon, and the planets were behaving as they do now, we cannot be sure that there were not some additional celestial features that are no longer seen. Quite apart from Stonehenge, many other megalithic sites seem to have been constructed, starting around 3000 BC, by cultures spread across the globe, having no communication with each other, but watching a common sky. … For example, a Neolithic passage grave at Newgrange in Ireland has a gap in its roof through which the Sun illuminates its main chamber at sunrise on Midwinter Day, or at least it did so 5,000 years ago. … Why were the ancients suddenly so interested in the sky? Obviously, the special events happening in the sky must have been short-lived phenomena (because the megalith- building phase seems to have sprung up and then receded). … The precession of meteoroid streams leads to periods of activity only a few centuries long. This gives us a clue.”

    And (Timo):

    The Taurid complex is a comet/meteor swarm complex, whose main body is the periodic comet Encke with an unknown number of meteoroid swarms plus possibly some small body pieces. When the Taurid complex intersected Earth 5000 years ago, maybe around 3100 BC, it may have caused a 100 year long period of tunguskans and mini-tunguskans.

    The scenario then is that an impact occurred, which caused widespread damage and death. Then a second one hit, with it being 50-50 that it was the same time of year. After that one hit, everyone who had been affected had to figure out how to gauge if future comets were going to impact, also. The stone circle building craze took off, with people at the various sites coming up with somewhat different designs. Part of that reason might have been due to latitude differences, part from the local topography, and part from how smart or knowledgeable the people were. Certainly the designers became VERY important personages, since the survival of their cultures depended on how good their designs were at telling them when to take cover.

    This totally explains why so much effort was put into building these sites. Everyone’s lives depended on it.

    It also tells why people were freaking afraid of things moving around in the sky.

    Speculation:
    It is even conceivable that the better circles may have been able to predict WHERE and/or WHEN an impact would occur. It is doubtful, but at least slightly possible. This is falsifiable, I think – but maybe only with actual impactors on their way. Certainly even a few days warning could be the difference between survival and extinction, if caves were close enough. Outside of caves I can’t imagine what would have possibly been a refuge.

    Corollary:
    Does this in any way at all tell why other patterns were built, such as the long rows at Carnac in Brittany, with thousands of standing stones?

  • Hermann Burchard

    Duncan is one astronomer who is well positioned to make conjectures on astronomical implications of megalithic monuments, as he has in his expert books on comets and impacts, but his beliefs are not supported by, and seem odd in the light of the research Colin Renfrew, Roger Mercer, and Julian Thomas (cf. posts above).

  • E.P. Grondine

    Steve, Hermann –

    Too bad I never got to write “Man and Impact in Europe”, in which I would have straightened this all out for you.

    I am not going to try to cover it in a post here. The events ca. 3100 BCE I have written on before.

    The only thing I want to mention to you here today is that the population of the island of Malta suddenly disappeared from the face of the Earth in 2,360 BCE.

    Now please help me find the GSA October meeting sessions schedule and abstracts.

  • Herman Burchard

    As a personal favor to Steve, here is is latest post, reformatted.

    Steve Garcia August 15, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Ed – Again, thanks for the Timo Niroma reference. I am catching up on stuff of his (and others), thanks to you. From “The Third Millennium BC (3100-2100 BC)” at http://personal.eunet.fi/pp/tilmari/tilmari2.htm#first there is this, and confirms my reasoning. Hats off to Timo and others. I think they got it dad nuts right on. Continuing with selections from “Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets” by Duncan Steel “The outrageous suggestion that I am going to make is that the Taurid Complex was producing phenomenal meteor storms between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago, accompanied by multiple Tunguska-class atmospheric detonations, and that Stonehenge I was designed to allow the (awestruck, terrified) culture of southern England to make observations of the Phenomena and to perhaps predict their recurrence. Peter Lancaster Brown, in his book on megalithic sites, wrote that “Eclipses, comets and meteorites were astronomical phenomena widely observed by the ancients. But probably only eclipses were predictable.” (Steel means to imply that Stonehenge I was needed to make observations because meteorite falls are far more unpredictable, but and at the same time may be long-lasting and recurring. – TN.) Steel continues this theme in Peiser et al.: Natural Catastrophes (Oxford, 1998) by commenting that he sees no connection between the original Stonehenge I (built in 3100 BC) and the thousand year later Stonehenge II and Stonehenge III except the place. The original one was a scientific observatory, not for Sun, or Moon, or eclipses, but for watching dangerous meteorites, asteroids and comets. The later Stonehenges with their stones (the image of Stonehenge that we have of it today), was more that of a ritual and sanctuary than for any practical/scientific purpose. Of course it could be used for some trivial astronomical calculations (solstices, eclipses), but its original purpose was hardly known for the later builders. The world’s first scientific astronomical observatory changed to a ritual place, because it was not anymore needed for its original purpose when the Taurids did not at that moment bother mankind, in fact the Taurids lived only in legends. One thing I would add, from reading “Uriel’s Machine” by Chirstopher Knight and Robert Lomas, is the principle of the “gates” that those in “the utter north” showed Enoch. As I tried to describe to you, Ed, I believe that such gates could be used to determine if a comet was on a collision course or not. From sailing there is a principle that if a boat on a crossing course to yours keeps the same position on your gunwhale, then a collision will occur if no adjustments are made (and the boat on the starboard tack has the right of way). If this also applies to comets approaching Earth’s orbit, then an impact will occur. Since comets coming “out of the sun” will also be toward the sun, then sighting the object at dawn and/or sundown will show it to be in the same position relative to a point on the horizon (or a standing stone or gate) over several days. Since the path is not a straight line, however, but is an ellipse with the Sun at a focus, the position would not be the same – but I submit that the gates could be arranged such that a certain pattern of movement observed through the gates would be able to tell them an impact is going to happen. Since this can only be determined from previous experience, it would mean that they had previous impacts to go by. To that point, I would paste in this, from the same page (quoting Steele again): “Although we know that 5,000 years ago the Sun, the Moon, and the planets were behaving as they do now, we cannot be sure that there were not some additional celestial features that are no longer seen. Quite apart from Stonehenge, many other megalithic sites seem to have been constructed, starting around 3000 BC, by cultures spread across the globe, having no communication with each other, but watching a common sky. … For example, a Neolithic passage grave at Newgrange in Ireland has a gap in its roof through which the Sun illuminates its main chamber at sunrise on Midwinter Day, or at least it did so 5,000 years ago. … Why were the ancients suddenly so interested in the sky? Obviously, the special events happening in the sky must have been short-lived phenomena (because the megalith- building phase seems to have sprung up and then receded). … The precession of meteoroid streams leads to periods of activity only a few centuries long. This gives us a clue.”

    And (Timo): The Taurid complex is a comet/meteor swarm complex, whose main body is the periodic comet Encke with an unknown number of meteoroid swarms plus possibly some small body pieces. When the Taurid complex intersected Earth 5000 years ago, maybe around 3100 BC, it may have caused a 100 year long period of tunguskans and mini-tunguskans. The scenario then is that an impact occurred, which caused widespread damage and death. Then a second one hit, with it being 50-50 that it was the same time of year. After that one hit, everyone who had been affected had to figure out how to gauge if future comets were going to impact, also. The stone circle building craze took off, with people at the various sites coming up with somewhat different designs. Part of that reason might have been due to latitude differences, part from the local topography, and part from how smart or knowledgeable the people were. Certainly the designers became VERY important personages, since the survival of their cultures depended on how good their designs were at telling them when to take cover. This totally explains why so much effort was put into building these sites. Everyone’s lives depended on it. It also tells why people were freaking afraid of things moving around in the sky. Speculation: It is even conceivable that the better circles may have been able to predict WHERE and/or WHEN an impact would occur. It is doubtful, but at least slightly possible. This is falsifiable, I think – but maybeonly with actual impactors on their way. Certainly even a few days warningcould be the difference between survival and extinction, if caves were close enough. Outside of caves I can’t imagine what would have possibly been a refuge. Corollary: Does this in any way at all tell why other patterns were built,such as the long rows at Carnac in Brittany, with thousands of standing stones?

  • Steve T.

    Forgive my ignorance, because I’m fairly new to this issue and still playing a lot of catch-up, but has anyone considered to develop (or have they done) a robust stratified-random sampling effort, that samples soils throughout the region of N.A. thought to have been impacted by this event? I mean, not just at known 13K ybp Clovis sites, but ANYWHERE across the landscape. This ‘black mat’ layer, if it is what some are proposing it to be, should conceivably be present throughout the entire region affected — and NOT just at known Clovis sites.

    Certainly doing this won’t tell us that such a layer if present everywhere is at the same age level as found at Clovis sites, but the point of my suggestion is to determine if the black mat layer is ubiquitously occurring throughout the proposed affected region. And so, if it is, then these nano-diamonds, carbonized glass, microspicule spheres should all be fairly consistently present in association with such a black mat layer. One would think it to be a good test of its existence, by using a statistically robust sampling approach and not relying entirely on a systematically biased sampling where only known 13K ybp cultural sites occur.

    Right??

  • Steve Garcia

    Thanks, Hermann. I will take that under consideration.

    Money being a factor for me right now, would you be able to point me to any particular web pages? I know, that is not as good as reading their books and/or papers, but reality insists I be frugal.

  • Herman Burchard

    Steve, the Renfrew 1983 article mentions Mercer, the library made a copy for me. Julian Thomas’ book “Understanding the Neolithic” (279 pages) was a PDF download (Google) but I lost the URL. Here is a ling paragraph on astronomy which is fairly typical of his thought process:

    “The simultaneous emergence of ‘linear’ monuments and an enhanced interest in celestial phenomena is worthy of note. The ‘roof slots’ and aligned passages of the passage tombs have already been mentioned, but one could add the probable astronomical significance of certain cursus monuments. While Penny and Wood’s (1973) claims that the Dorset Cursus represented a complex observatory are probably overstated, the monument does incorporate a solar alignment. From the Bottlebush terminal, the midwinter sun sets directly over the Gussage Cow Down long barrow, set between the two banks of the cursus (Barrett et al. 1991, 50). Bradley (in Barrett et al. 1991) emphasises the way in which this phenomenon could only have been witnessed from within the cursus itself, indicating the exclusion of outsiders which the monument creates. Equally significant is the focal role taken on by the barrow itself, equivalent to that of the timber circles in other cursuses, so that movement within the structure becomes movement toward the dead. These alignments on the sun and moon are not to be ignored, but monuments are just as often oriented upon other monuments, or upon prominent features of the landscape. For instance, the henge monument at Old Yeavering is so oriented as to provideea view through its entrance of a notch in the hills around Kirknewton (Harding 1981, 129). This might easily be either a place of some spiritual or mythic significance, or a pass providing contact with an important group of strangers. What these orientations indicate is that astronomical phenomena were not privileged over ancestral monuments or landscape features. In the case of the Dorset Cursus, the experience of watching the sunset over Gussage Hill depended upon the momentary coincidence of chalk from the earth, the descending sun, the dead in their barrow and the surrounding forest. This does not indicate any scientific observation of the heavens, so much as a perceived unity of earth and sky, life and death, past and present, all being referenced to bring more and more emphasis on to particular spaces and places. This would tend to heighten the significance of whatever transactions and performances took place there. At the same time, it would also limit access to these spaces in terms both of direction and of timing, and would contribute to the way in which the space was experienced by promoting the impression that it stood at an axial point of an integrated cosmos.”

  • Hermann Burchard

    Steve, Renfrew mentions Mercer in his 1983 article which the library copied for me. Julian Thomas’ book “Understanding the Neolithic” (279 pages) was a PDF download (Google) but I lost the URL. Here is a long paragraph that is fairly typical of his thought process:

    “The simultaneous emergence of ‘linear’ monuments and an enhanced interest in celestial phenomena is worthy of note. The ‘roof slots’ and aligned passages of the passage tombs have already been mentioned, but one could add the probable astronomical significance of certain cursus monuments. While Penny and Wood’s (1973) claims that the Dorset Cursus represented a complex observatory are probably overstated, the monument does incorporate a solar alignment. From the Bottlebush terminal, the midwinter sun sets directly over the Gussage Cow Down long barrow, set between the two banks of the cursus (Barrett et al. 1991, 50). Bradley (in Barrett et al. 1991) emphasises the way in which this phenomenon could only have been witnessed from within the cursus itself, indicating the exclusion of outsiders which the monument creates. Equally significant is the focal role taken on by the barrow itself, equivalent to that of the timber circles in other cursuses, so that movement within the structure becomes movement toward the dead. These alignments on the sun and moon are not to be ignored, but monuments are just as often oriented upon other monuments, or upon prominent features of the landscape. For instance, the henge monument at Old Yeavering is so oriented as to provideea view through its entrance of a notch in the hills around Kirknewton (Harding 1981, 129). This might easily be either a place of some spiritual or mythic significance, or a pass providing contact with an important group of strangers. What these orientations indicate is that astronomical phenomena were not privileged over ancestral monuments or landscape features. In the case of the Dorset Cursus, the experience of watching the sunset over Gussage Hill depended upon the momentary coincidence of chalk from the earth, the descending sun, the dead in their barrow and the surrounding forest. This does not indicate any scientific observation of the heavens, so much as a perceived unity of earth and sky, life and death, past and present, all being referenced to bring more and more emphasis on to particular spaces and places. This would tend to heighten the significance of whatever transactions and performances took place there. At the same time, it would also limit access to these spaces in terms both of direction and of timing, and would contribute to the way in which the space was experienced by promoting the impression that it stood at an axial point of an integrated cosmos.”

  • Steve Garcia

    Hermann –

    Thanks for pasting that in. The latter part is quite disappointing, in that the author is projecting and interpreting motives from the same-old same-old archeological POV: They were all simple peoples with simple Earth-Sky-Nature religious purposes, and interpreting anything they can’t understand as ceremonial and mumbo-jumbo. It never occurs to them that anyone ancient can be anything but that. I argue that in no way did they place even ONE stone in ONE position without there being a solid reason for it being placed exactly there.

    No individual or group working with stones of several tens of tons at any time in history goers to all the massively huge effort to move a mega-stone unless someone has convinced them that there is a real and practical value to moving it to that specific place – and why in the heck it had to be a stone that big and not smaller.

    I am just approaching all this from an engineer’s perspective. We have a saying “Form follows function.” That goes for size. It goes for shape. And it also goes for location. Why did THAT stone need to be THAT size and in THAT location? NO PART of any building or observatory is extraneous, decorative facades being the only real exception. But 10 or 20-ton stones are not decorative facades. The fact that these sites have shown themselves to align with one movement in the sky tells us the site is an observatory, for certain. Therefore, the direction archeologists need to look is in that direction, in order to find a function.

    Though these sites have sometimes five or ten times the stones needed for solar observations, the rest of the stones are inexplicably fobbed off as something akin to decorative facades – as part of their nature-worshiping religion. But that religion may not have even existed. It is possibly only in the minds of the archeologists, and no where else.

    For example, that notch at such a long distance would give great precision to angular observations of objects in sky, on or near the horizon. But that is seen as impossible. So, it is, instead, we get, “…watching the sunset over Gussage Hill … the momentary coincidence of chalk from the earth, the descending sun, the dead in their barrow and the surrounding forest.” Mumbo-jumbo. People of the past were idiots, according to today’s archeologists. Those people didn’t have the sense to come in from the rain, since they would expend vast man-hours and millions of horsepower of human labor to set up sites – all for the aggrandizement of the priesthood, who would wow everyone once or twice a year in order to keep the populace in awe.

    Yoy.

    It is not a theory I ever embraced, even as a kid. SOMETHING motivated those people, and it wasn’t their journey through the afterlife. I completely and vociferously disagree with the POV of archeology. I am certain they are dead wrong, and as long as they keep these dead-end ideas in their heads, we will never know what happened. Whatever it was, it had a huge impact on these people, over a large portion of the globe. And it wasn’t a religious phenomenon; those are never so uniform over large areas – everyone has their own idols and local gods. It was something real. And it filled these people with a motivation.

    Whatever it was, it WAS associated with the sky. The author’s assertion that, “This does not indicate any scientific observation of the heavens,” is based on nothing but a belief in the ascent of homo sapiens to our lofty and self-congratulatory present time – that as one looks farther and farther back in time, humans were dumber and dumber. Certainly a suggestion such as “… a pass providing contact with an important group of strangers” does not argue very strongly about our current temporal superiority. Such speculative, pulled-out-of-their-arses concepts are unworthy of archeologists even calling themselves scientists.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Hermann, Steve –

    To sum up, besides astronomical functions, structures may also be constructed for a role within a tribal area and/or a role for those people as part of a larger political entity. (Wherein a “tribe” controls the resources of a geographic region.)

    Note the author’s assumption that the barrow only served the purpose of burial.

    The possibility of dual simultaneous use exists, as well as the possibility of an earlier structure re-used for burials later.

    Now can someone help me find the GSA meeting’s sessions schedule and abstracts?

  • Barry Weathersby
  • E.P. Grondine

    PS – I’m not masochistic, nor obsessed, nor do I have some kind of martyr complex. I’m not a “useful idiot” for Russia or China either.

    The facts are what they are. I just respond in a rational way, and report them.

    And I am just very very tired right now.

  • E.P. Grondine

    And there’s plenty of good people to staff that FENA office working with B612.

    http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/smart-takes/b612-foundation-working-to-prevent-8216biggest-threat-possible-asteroids/18559

  • Barry Weathersby

    I always hear the comment, ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’… We (San Diego) are looking at spending that or more on a new stadium for the Chargers. Most movies cost a lot more than that… but that’s an idea. Use the idea to make a movie about real research! But then, a movie budget would pay for a Mars mission.

  • E.P. Grondine

    George, when are you going to post the news from INQUA?

  • George Howard

    Working on it. All good. Summer doldrums.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi George –

    There are also going to be major sessions on impact at the GSA annual meeting this year (8 October in Minneapolis).

  • E.P. Grondine
  • james

    I think these claims of structures aligning with the star formations is intriguing, as it causes issues with Pangaea. Maybe there is an Expanding Earth Theory which is more complementary.

    Didn’t know about the flash freeze. Interesting. Makes me wonder if all ice comets burst