Kloosterman: A man before his time



Trevor Palmer and the fine folks across the pond at the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies were thoughtful to contribute a newly translated 2000 monograph by Tusk favorite, Dutchman Han Kloosterman. It is a wonderfully prescient and learned piece that places Kloosterman’s field evidence (the Usselo layer) into centuries of context for catastrophic geology.

The publication was a year before Firestone and Topping’s article in The Mammoth Trumpet presenting evidence for an ice age catastrophe and a full seven years before Firestone and 22 others’ seminal paper in PNAS: Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling. As elegantly acknowledged by Kloosterman, however, his paper follows Whiston’s work by 304 years, Cuvier by 168 years, and — I would add — Plato by 2348 years.

But Kloosterman includes something more I find compelling and little discussed in the recent or old school literature: The ice age cataclysm served to catalyze modern civilization. As Kloosterman concludes:

…If the catastrophic events had not occurred, we would still be painting mammoths, bison, and rhinoceroses and we would still be eating roasted reindeer meat.

I have always believed that this possibility undermines the ‘improbability’ argument against such a recent cosmic impact cited by Boslough and others (See 2.3). From Boslough’s temporally provincial point of view ‘we’ are technologically and culturally isolated from the YD impact — not created by it. But if Kloosterman is right, The Bos and his technological toys are themselves the extraordinary evidence for the extraordinary claim The Bos rejects.

Download (PDF, 491KB)

  • George Howard

    Steve, not sure what you mean but happy to look into it. Do you want a “Open Thread” like the one hear on a blog that I lurk obsessively?: http://www.e-catworld.com/2013/10/26/always-open-e-cat-world-thread/

    Han, quit being a grumpy old man. Take a bow!

  • Tom Holsinger

    Cevin, I’ll dig up my 7th edition of _Effects of Nuclear Weapons_ by Glasstone and Dolan this weekend. It has a nifty circular slide rule in a back pocket for figuring blast and thermal pulse effects for a given yield and distance from ground zero, based on either “groundburst” or “optimal airburst blast effects”.

    A groundburst nuclear weapon is defined as one in which the fireball touches the ground. “Optimal height airburst” is, for American nuclear attack planners, one which maximizes the radius of “five pounds per square inch” overpressure, which I vaguely recall means maximum _dynamic_ overpressure.

    I’ll look up a 20-megaton yield detonation airburst on the calculator and post what overpressure and thermal effects it says will be felt at 20 miles from ground zero.

  • Trent Telenko


    The USAF and the Forest Service did some damage assessment studies in the 1970’s on the effects of high yield (multi-megaton) nukes American forests.

    The assessment was that yes you could start large fires, especially in dry seasons, but it was not worth the effort compared to the fires from striking cities.

    I posted some excerpts on one of the YDB threads here, but I can’t find them.

  • Cevin Q

    Happy New year,
    To you George, and all of the tuskers

  • Tom Holsinger

    Cevin, a 20 megaton airburst at the optimum height to maximize the 5 psi overpressure area will produce a 2.35 psi overpressure at 20 miles, with a wind speed of about 75 miles an hour. This will blow in almost all windows and do sufficient damage to woodframe single story buildings to make them technically uninhabitable – the roofs will leak, etc. Additionally the thermal pulse can create fires in some flammable surfaces.

    The 5psi zone is generally considered the zone of “total destruction” from fire and blast. Soviet planners said it was the 7psi zone. The 2 psi zone was considered by many, including me, as the limit of a eventual burn-out zone. Basically everything in the 5psi zone would be definitely burnt out, and this burned out area, depending on fuel load, would gradually reduce to nothing by the 2 psi zone. This assumes detonation over an American metropolitan area with extensive suburbs.

    The 5 psi zone for a 20 megaton airburst is the area within 12 miles of ground zero.

  • Steve Garcia

    George – It wasn’t me who asked for the change in thread presentation. It was Paul.

    The thing I would like it search within comments. But I found out that WP doesn’t offer that, and the one App I found for it didn’t work at all.

  • Steve Garcia

    CevinQ – I am with you – HAPPY 2016 to everyone on CosmicTusk!

  • Steve Garcia

    George – Perhaps I myself misunderstood. I didn’t finish reading your comment. Paul had just asked for a different way of threading comments – I THINK with replies to comments indented and immediately below the referenced previous comment.

    But in reading your comment, I realized I may have long ago asked for some way to post general comments and ones that are off-topic to any of the recent posts. I’d forgotten all about asking for that, and am not really clear that I had.

    BUT, all that aside, yes, an Open Thread would be nice – especially if it is readily available all the time. I think people would go to the Open Thread a LOT.

  • Steve Garcia

    Tom –

    A very interesting comment, about you and Singer and Sagan.

    Singer was one of the early and foremost skeptics of global warming, from what I know. I am one, too, though not THAT early nor certainly not foremost. But staunch, yes. I had no bone to pick with anyone, when out of curiosity about 15 years ago I thought I’d go looking at the science. I thought it was time I did. HOLY CRAP! I still haven’t found the science. It is all people with confirmation bias, reading things into the evidence that isn’t there or they completely ignore counter evidence. And they never used the process of elimination to rule out ANY of the possible natural causes. The conclusion was jumped to and everything after that was read as positive confirmation. NO. IT WASN’T.

    Terrible, terrible science. And once the governmental money started rolling in, the backwater of science that climatology used to be was a money tree.

    I hope and pray that impact science never goes in that direction. Given the topic, it would be very easy for us all to run around screaming about the End of the World being upon us any moment now.

    Alarmism isn’t science.

  • Steve Garcia

    Paul: “If we can all agree that there have been impacts and that these impacts have had material impacts on the environment and on humans; then we can start discussing the magnitude and the characteristics of these events.”

    Paul, you may be surprised, but I don’t agree that there have been impacts as you say, that has affected human history. I think there is SOME evidence of them, but we are very far from turning SOME evidence into a solid conclusion. I think it is a completely open question. It is a conclusion I FAVOR, but if there isn’t enough to convince someone who is new to this or – especially – who is somewhat skeptical, then we don’t have enough, and if we don’t have enough, to me that leaves it an open question.

    Whatever happened to neutrality in scientific inquiry?

    Paul: “It would be very impossible to construct physical models to test our theories, so we do have to try with mathematics.”

    I don’t quite agree with this, either. If we go off in that direction, then we go the way of Boslough, with his cutesy cartoons that may OR MAY NOT represent reality. The global warming people have run off into La-La Land with their models that are proving to be non-correlated with the recent reality/history. I hope that impact science never does that.

    All of this (and global warming) are far too early to jump to conclusions. It is my thinking that 95% of what we and the orthodoxy now think is real will be shown in the future to be wrong. So all we can do is pick out the best directions we can find and try to glean what we can from it all. Recognizing the 5% that isn’t a false lead is a tricky thing. Everyone is weighting the various pieces of evidence differently and coming up with multiplicities of hypotheses, in many different directions. It is a good bit like the early days of electricity, when every inquirer had a different take on everything. That took quite a few decades to sort out, even with everyone very open-minded.

    Today we are hampered by an orthodoxy every bit as lame as pre-Galileo and pre-Copernicus, and pre-Bretz and pre-Wegener. The orthodoxy is not run by the Catholic Church, but it is every bit as big of an obstacle to any open, objective inquiry. Many directions are anathema to them, and every one of those barricades is a hindrance to finding the truth of the matter. Peer review, while it SOUNDS like a good idea and often is, has also stood in the way from time to time. Those who “stand in the way of scientific progress” do it for very good and solid reasons (sometimes), but they over do it.

    So, I don’t agree with the orthodoxy, because they say just about everything we are thinking is impossible. And I don’t agree that what we have is a done deal, either, that every idea we have is possible. Reality doesn’t work either way. It takes hard work and luck and insight and TIME – as well as efforts on a broad swath by lots of people. SOME of that will be math/quantitative (which Han is arguing against, it seems), and some of it will be insight and qualitative. But it is not going to be resolved in a weekend or a decade.

    Though my own leanings are strongly in agreement with what people write here, I know that taking sides doesn’t make something true.

  • Steve Garcia

    Jonny –

    Nope. I entered before as 2,000 meter, not 2 meters, I re-did it and came up with the same zero effects.

    Every box on the page shows no effects. No radiation, no crater, no nada.

    My inputs, as reiterated on the output page:

    Diameter: 2000 meters
    Density: 3000 kg/m^3
    Angle: 20 degrees
    Velocity: 30 km/sec
    Target: Sedimentary rock
    Your distance: 100 km

  • Jonny
  • Han Kloosterman

    Steve, “not resolved in a weekend or decade”.
    It’s easy to make mistakes with such estimates.
    Remember the futurologists?
    In 1987 I wrote an article “Waarom ging het Mesmerisme ondergronds? (Why Mesmerism went underground?) and I was thinking about a comeback, perhaps 2050, perhaps 2100?
    But it is back right now, this decade. And worldwide.
    The Enlightenment ended in 1784 sharp, with De Puysegur, And Romanticism ended in 1860.

    In this comments column I criticized sharply the Northamerican researchers, on the stratigraphical position of the Usselo/Clovis Layer, and on the lack of mineralogical data on the Carolina Bay sands.
    Nobody reacts, as if what I write is of no importance.

    PS. It IS of importance.

  • Paul Repstock

    Han; You may be tripping over your ego.
    There may be many reasons for people to not comment on what you print. Often politeness leads to silence if people have nothing to say, or if they dissagree violently and don’t wish to offend.
    Or perhaps they just have busy lives, outside of paleo-archyology??
    If I were a polite person, I would probably ‘keep my keyboard closed’ rather than post my amatuer musings on a specialist forum like “Cosmic Tusk”. But, sofar nobody has suggested that I do so.

  • Paul Repstock

    Han: Please excuse me. What I meant to say was that I’ve not commented because I don’t know anything! Perhaps George can remove my post.

  • Cevin Q

    I’ll defer to your knowledge, I really wish my friend was still alive so he could clarify what we had talked about. I do know he would not have been ” yanking my chain”.

    I know that here in California, the YDB layer is found at several well documented archeological sites. It also serves a good bench mark in the stratrigraphy of those sites. At all known sites there is a hiatus of occupation immediately following the deposition of this layer.
    The most fascinating thing is that Clovis shows up in central California after this hiatus, approx. 12kya at Witt and 11kya? at farpoint, in Malibu.
    This influx of new people shows up in the history of the Diegueno culture of southern cal. Carter showed that these pebble tool using people changed to blade type tools, for a short period before reverting back to the old ways.
    I find it almost funny when people say that Clovis disappeared, when it’s clear that they moved away from their ancestral homelands.
    It’s also likely that this upset in the climate caused people from South America to migrate into north America, founding the Mesa, Sluiceway and Haskett tool complexes.

  • Han Kloosterman

    Yes I agree, I’ve somewhat of an ego -but only after I became a catastrophist years BEFORE 1980; and I also accused, in 1987, western Academia of obfuscating, post-Romanticism, the psychological data that came to light during the somnambulic trance.
    And Mesmerism is back, this decade of 2010!

    And now my ego imagines that my opinion has some worth.
    But opinions have no worth, it’s facts that count.

  • Paul Repstock

    >”these pebble tool using people changed to blade type tools, for a short period before reverting back to the old ways.”<
    That is very interesting 7.
    Could those "changes" have been the result of knowlegable runaways, rather than "migrations"? That could explain the temporary nature. Once those people died or moved on, the technology could have been lost??
    My part of the World has been too geographically active to retain any fragile records, for even that short period.
    Han; My email is [email protected]

  • Steve Garcia

    Jonny – Looks like we are dealing with two different online impact calculators.

  • Steve Garcia

    Han: “Remember the futurologists?”

    Oh, yes, Otto Hahn and such. A super-genius brother of an old flame got hired by Otto Hahn, back in the ’60s and he was sequestered away for decades.

    “The Enlightenment ended in 1784 sharp, with De Puysegur” – care to elucidate?

    “…And Romanticism ended in 1860.” – again, care to elucidate?

    “In this comments column I criticized sharply the Northamerican researchers, on the stratigraphical position of the Usselo/Clovis Layer” – I remember you bringing it up, and I’ve gone and looked quite a bit at the Usselo layer and the N European Sand Belt, and DID comment. I have MUCH to learn on those – probably more later, but not at this moment. I haven’t gleaned enough yet.

    “…and on the lack of mineralogical data on the Carolina Bay sands.”

    Han, I never saw any comments by you on THIS. Had I seen it, I assure you that I’d have commented. I have found almost zero information on the mineralogy of the CBs. Carbon dating is so problematic as to be utterly useless. And then Michael Davias and Tim Harris came along with their 780,000 ya date, which is far out of any C14 dating. The C14 dating is really dependent on where they take samples and if there was overturning or not. OSL seems to also give radically variant dates.

    “Nobody reacts, as if what I write is of no importance. PS. It IS of importance.”


  • Steve Garcia

    Paul: “If I were a polite person, I would probably ‘keep my keyboard closed’ rather than post my amatuer musings on a specialist forum like “Cosmic Tusk”. But, so far nobody has suggested that I do so.”

    Don’t be polite. Jump in with all four feet and kick and scream.

    Almost all of us here are non-professional scientists. But there are some damned good minds here.

    Put your thoughts and reactions into the fray. THAT IS WHAT BLOGS ARE FOR.

  • jim coyle

    Paul; One more hand on deck is always a good thing. If we don’t agree with you we’ll tell you. And if you don’t agree with us tell us. We’ll get over it. As long as nothing is stupid or mean spirited we’re open to it. Dig in! It will free your mind>

  • Han Kloosterman

    Cevin Q, here exists a similar phenomenon, in Germany near the Rhine valley, downstream of the Laacher See volcano. After the explosion, the Federmesser stone culture was back there for a while.
    At all other sites the Federmesser assemblage is on the surface covered by the Usselo Layer – and/or the volcanic tuff.

    Steve, the Marquis de Puysegur was, in Paris, a pupil of Mesmer.
    Back at his castle in northern France, he treated a young gardener who spoke French poorly, with a regional accent. But in trance he started to speak educated French, with a Parisian accent. and a rich vocabulary. No logic, the Enlightenment was finished. The other personality, the Daimoon of Socratic memory,
    was back, in philosophy (Schelling, Fichte, Maine de Biran, Schopenhauer) and in literature, from Edgar Allan Poe to
    Dostoievski. The Double or Doppelganger.
    See also the essay by Apuleius (known from his novel The Golden Ass), De Deo Socratis.
    The end of Romanticism, in Academia, came in 1859 or ’60, the materialist coup d’etat.
    Perhaps between Fechner and Wundt.
    In psychology (I think) between Fechner and Wundt.

  • Paul Repstock

    >”If we don’t agree with you we’ll tell you. And if you don’t agree with us tell us”<
    That is a very gracious spirit, you all exhibit. Be warned that, though lacking in credentials, I transport an ego as large as Han's…:D

    Han: I'm not sure how these references to Mysticism crept into this conversation. Perhaps there are nuances in the thread I have not caught??
    However, there is probably a relevance to almost any field which we don't fully understand. That may to some extent explain my contributions to this forum and others. I sometimes seem to 'Harvest ideas from the aether' about subjects in which I have no training???? Perhaps I'm just very odd!

  • Han Kloosterman

    Paul, nobody has credentials. Given by whom?? By some sleepy academics?

    Mesmerism is EMPIRICAL, whereas positivism-materialism is a hollow dogma, mid-Victorian. And it happened at the same time, 1860 about, the attack against Romantic empiricism in psychology, and against catastrophism in geology, archaeology, history etc.
    Nothing of an enigmatic coincidence there.
    I just read (in Graham Hough, on Yeats): It is not demanded of followers of the occult tradition that they become like little
    children. That injunction (gospel of John) I got to know in the 1940’s in German-occupied Holland, under a different name – das Fuehrer-Prinzip. Kadaverdisziplin.

  • Steve Garcia

    Han –

    Thanks for all the info and leads for both Paul and myself, if I may speak for him.

    The Kadaverdisziplin – the Discipline of the Corpse, I take it. Yes. And the Fürher-Princip, I know about and agree with you. One English term for them both is Authoritarianism. I have learned about that one from a slightly different angle – that it is the believers in authority who are its energy source. There are always those who would be little emperors, if only they had gullible “little children” or sheep who would adore them and follow.

    I began as much in the occult as in anything, but with a non-follower mentality. 40 years of engineering later (including 7-8 years in R&D), I have a foot in both camps, but mostly in empiricism. There are many little children in the occult. They seek some principle to be led by, too.

    Yes, from what little I know, Mesmerism is empirical. Mesmer and others weren’t imagining anything, and it took courage and certainty to come out against the grain. The Jansenites in France a good bit earlier showed that there is more under heavens than our philosophies will allow for.

    Positivism (by one definition): “…a philosophical system that holds that every rationally justifiable assertion can be scientifically verified or is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and that therefore rejects metaphysics and theism.”

    “…can be scientifically verified…” – Obviously this is in error, because it assumes that all of what will EVER be science is already known. I know of several topics that will be science some day but are taboo today.

    “…is capable of logical or mathematical proof” – I have bemoaned the sad and weak state of mathematics (much less logic) when they make computer models of systems and have to simplify the model inputs with assumptions and estimates because (in their owns terms), “It is too complicated”. The real mathematicians are yet to be born, IMHO.

    As to logical proofs? Show me a proof that isn’t rife with assumptions and I will show you a comet from the Oort cloud that is in my back pocket.

    Empiricism? There is no science but empiricism. Robert Hooke railed about that in the Royal Society 350 years ago, and we STILL don’t have it the way he wanted it. Newton won out and we now have our many scientific journals pumping out a high percentage of scientific inquiry reports/papers that are little more than assumptions and blather and sucking up – abetted by an ending appeal for funding with the term “climate change” or some such.

    (Appeals to reason are not science, but a sophomoric debate club… Only empiricism is science. Skeptical empiricism.)

    Hahaha – I have several science books on pdf from the late 1800s – the early years of the “victory” of uniformitarianism, and it is a joke to look at the logic and reason that was based on uniformitarianism and that is so clearly wrong, from today’s perspective. It all made for a nice fairy tale, with Goldilocks this and Goldilocks that.

    The Goldilocks crowbar of uniformitarianism. Assumption piled on guess, magnified by careerism and cronyism – the house of cards that usurped science.

  • Steve Garcia

    “The Kadaverdisziplin – the Discipline of the Corpse” – the discipline of the abdicated. Those who choose to not be responsible for themselves and their actions. “But, but, but. . . I was only following orders!” Those who don’t think for themselves are already dead.

    Hahaha – After writing that, I decided to see what was out there about this…

    “Certainly, the German was disciplined and obedient, criminally so: Kadaverdisziplin. That came out at the Nuremburg trials. Anyone who received an order, whatever it might be, executed it. The idea of not executing it never occurred to them.” – pg 205 “Nach und Nebel” by Floris Bakels and Herman Friedhoff

    I still have a book project going (barely so at this time) about three powerful Germans in the Nazi era who worked with Hitler and then didn’t – and who all ended up in concentration camps and only by luck did not end up as real cadavers. To think was to risk. One of them – Chief of the General Staff Franz Halder – had to deal with and beat heads with Hitler every day during Operation Barbarossa. What a fun job THAT was, especially since Hitler didn’t respect generals one bit.

  • Paul Repstock

    The Germans of the 1938-44 era were a particularly bad example of an “Authoritarian society”. But, they were hardly unique: Most humans readily exchange the fear of uncertain liberty for the “security” of structure.
    Most don’t even question the basis of “Authority”:
    Here is a book on the subject which should be required reading in all schools:

  • Steve Garcia

    [Authoritarianism is off topic here, so I will try to not get this off on a tangent too far.]

    Yes, Paul, that Altemayer essay/book is a very good one and I agree that it should be required reading in schools. In fact, I had Altemeyer’s essay/book specifically in mind when I mentioned authoritarians. Nice to know you have read it, too!

    I found that a few years ago and was very impressed with it. He understands them quite well. And well he might. As he says in his acknowledgement,

    If it turns out you do not like this book, blame John Dean. You never would have heard of my research if he had not recently plowed through my studies, trying to understand, first, various people he knew in the Nixon White House, and then some leading figures of the Republican Party of 2004.

    John Dean was about as close as one can ever get to the center of the focus of authoritarian citizenry, having been Richard Nixon’s White House Counsel.

    Paul: “The Germans of the 1938-44 era were a particularly bad example of an “Authoritarian society”.” I’d question your choice of the word “bad” in this sentence, because I THINK you meant that the Germans were a good example of the horrors of authoritarionism. Correct me if I am wrong.

    Along with you, I highly recommend the Altemeyer piece. Thanks for the link!

  • Han Kloosterman

    I haven’t read Altemeier.
    I have read Babiak/ Hare, 2006: Snakes in Suits.

  • Jan Brugge

    Han Kloosterman RIP
    Han Kloosterman died 14 nov. about 2AM. Age 85
    His daughter Rebecca was with him and held his hand.
    Cremation was 17 nov.
    Greetings to all of you

  • ron quitoriano

    I am so sorry to hear that,
    Condolences ro thd family.

  • Pierson Barretto

    My condolences to the family. I had the privilege of discussing meteoritic topics with him.