Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history

#Pebblegate over; Tall el-Hammam paper remains published

James Lawrence Powell again defends the integrity of science

The Bunch et al. paper concerning the biblical city of Tall el-Hammam and co-authored by the Tusk has proven a dramatic publication. Arguably the most popular scientific journal article on earth, the paper has by turns been reported to millions; smeared by anti-Christian bigots; spared by a secular publisher; and most recently employed by James Lawrence Powell to defend the scientific method itself.

Immediately after publication, a twitter mob of sciency people decided that the Tall el-Hammam cosmic impact paper was simply unacceptable. The smear was christened by the Tusk as #Pebblegate. Scientific method and centuries of epistemological discipline notwithstanding, these narrow minded ideological actors decided that an archaeologically experienced bible school, joined with a well-credentialed, multidisciplinary, but controversial team of impact scientists, should not be allowed to present their discovery — and must be suppressed.

In an opaque request, elements of the mob petitioned Science Reports, claiming the photographs in the publication were fraudulent. The impact scientists immediately responded to the nuisance claim carefully and appropriately. I have not mentioned the controversy or the CRG response here, and allowed the matter to play out in the intervening months.

(For more context of where the critics are coming from, read these two high profile hit pieces here and from The Bos here. You can also see the nature of the challenges here at PubPeer and Retraction Watch. See the dripping condescension and anti-science attitude? Any reasonable person would. The antagonists bare their woke fangs with zero attention to the scientific method, or the data presented in the paper. How scientific.)

The bottom line with regard to the challenge to the paper, is that Science Reports made an admirable if counterculture decision to allow the “wrong people” to publish properly obtained data the right way. Despite the howls of the hyper-politicized, hyper-secular, sciency left, Nature’s Science Reports stood by the publication, but required an appropriate clarification regarding the photos to accompany the paper.

Some of the figure panels have been manipulated to remove the features irrelevant to the scientific content depicted in those (e.g. measuring tape, previous image labels, visible fingers etc.). The Authors recognize that this level of manipulation was inappropriate, and provide original images. [Emphasis added.]

The rejection of the petition to retract was a fine outcome, and worthy of a final report here on the Tusk.

But then, James Lawrence Powell came along. Originally a skeptic of the YD Impact Hypothesis, Powell has become a vigorous and skilled champion of our evidence after he closely examining the data. But more significant to science broadly, JLP has become an invaluable documentarian of the pathological rejection of inconvenient information, which is applicable to many other areas of contested research.

Dr. Powell first outlined the solid pedigree of our work in a must read book on the history of the theory. Last fall he condensed his thinking on the debate into a masterful article revealing the malicious misrepresentations and anti-science maneuverings of the critics.

And then, just this week, he released a preprint paper providing the same critical inspection of the controversy concerning Tall el-Hammam, in particular the pseudoskeptical rantings of Mark “The Bos” Boslough, the ever present, hyperbolic troll of our work.

And Powell takes The Bos DOWN. Anyone but the Tusk might feel sorry for his ass. See below.

Sometimes, and in particular these times, data alone cannot stand against the force of deniers. It takes a gentleman with Powell’s integrity, experience and class to defend  the scientific method. You can see him here on the podcast, Out of the Blank.  At first I was surprised to see Dr. Powell on a podcast, but then it made sense, Powell stands up when others are demanded to kneel.


25 Responses

  1. Congratulations George , the Tusk team, James L Powell and the authors of the Bunch et al paper. The French archaeologist Claude Frederic Schaeffer was the first to speculate the circa 1650 BCE Middle Bronze Age interregnum violent destruction layers [ the ash and soot are meters thick at some sites ] that extended across the Middle East , Near East and Asia Minor were conterminous . Schaeffer suspected ‘earthquake waves’ were the cause. However , although he conferred with Velikovsky and Fred Whipple and his colleague Hamid were undertaking research into the Taurid Complex at Helwan Observatory in the 1950’s , the great archaeologist did not spot the elephant in the room . The Jordan valley bolide was almost certainly the cataclysm that gave rise to the Biblical legend of Sodom and Gomorrah [ the other candidate date was 2350 BCE and Marie Agnes Courty’s northern Syrian ‘anomalous petrographic assemblage codified in the ‘Curse of Akkad ‘] and yet it may not have been a lone cosmic airburst . Attention should be turned to Jericho , Megiddo and other regional destruction layers .As I have pointed out elsewhere, the Tall el Hammam air-burst coincides with the 3600 BP Cobalt /REE crest in the Franzen and Cropp peat mire index which suggests the 1700 – 1500 peak was one of Clube and Napier’s Bronze Age bombardment episodes. Then there is this curious passage in the historian Josephus’s transmission of the Egyptian chronicler Manetho on the eve of the Hyksos invasion of Egypt and the start of the Second Intermediate Period tentatively dated to 1640 BCE : ” Tutimaeus . In his reign ,for what cause I know not , a blast from God smote us ” . The ‘blast from God ‘ may be a record of the distant high altitude airburst over the Dead Sea analogous to Hecker’s account of the prelude to the 1347 Cyprus disaster [ ” a fiery meteor which descended on the Earth far in the East .. destroyed everything within a circumference of a hundred leagues , infecting the air far and wide “]

    Now , the Hyksos invaders are thought to be ethnically related to the Canaanite and Arabian cultures that would have borne the brunt of the Jordan Valley cataclysm .[ .Or perhaps there was another airburst near Egypt ] The mud walled fortifications of the Hyksos capital Avaris in the Nile Delta appear reminiscent of the mud rampart structures described in the archaeological studies of Tall el Hammam . Did the displaced survivors and neighboring Canaanite tribes opportunistically pour into and pillage a stricken Egyptian Middle Kingdom in conditions not dissimilar to the 530s and 540s or the 1340’s to rule for a century ?… I believe so . There are so many leads George Goodwill to whoever wants to pursue them

    Further afield in the Americas , the Peruvian coastal Supe civilization had thrived for centuries before a sudden collapse around 1650 – 1600 BCE . Researchers found ‘ that a massive earthquake ,or series of quakes ,struck the seismically active region ,collapsing walls and floors and launching landslides from barren mountain ranges surrounding the valley – layers of silt indicate massive flooding followed ” What was so unusual about these quakes and landslides in a tectonically tenuous region ? https://nbcnews.com/id/wbna28752630

    Was the 1650 – 1600 BCE event in the Middle Bronze Age cooling period associated with multiple as yet undiscovered Tunguska class impacts ….Should another look be taken into the floating Middle Bronze Age chronology demise of the Chinese Xia dynasty , the Heaven sent fiery calamities [ examine the original texts specific ‘character ‘ etymology for calamities ] in the regicidal speech of T’ang Mike Baillie explored in Exodus to Arthur ?

  2. Another line of inquiry is the florid stylized Quranic [ sura 15 : 74 ] description of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah :

    ” When our command came ,We turned the cities upside down and rained down on them clustered stones of baked clay [ Dr Mustapha Khattab translation ]

    ” …….rained down upon them brimstones hard as clay” [ Yusuf Ali translation ]

    The same Quranic metaphor or allegory ‘stones of baked clay ” is cited in the context of Quran 105’s obliteration and scattering of the Christian Abyssinian army led by Abraha al Ashram in Yemen conventionally dated to 570 /71 …. Muhammad Lamsiahs essay published in Academia [ ” The Elephant Story in the Qur’an Myth ,History or Both ? “] notes the similarities between Quranic verse 105 and the metaphorical language of Musegh II’s letter pertaining to the AD 591 Battle of Ganzak ..Muhammed Lamsiah and other exegetical researchers however did not comprehend the ‘impact’ imagery of Musegh II’s correspondence or the Quranic verses 15 :74 and 105

    ..Readers of the Cosmic Tusk and those familiar with the AD 570’s – 580’s fireball flux chronicled in Gregory of Tours History of the Franks [ debated by myself and ‘ “Anonymous / Jonny” in recent times much to his chagrin ] would understand the common denominator of the sixth century AD and the 1650 BCE cosmic airburst destruction of the Jordan valley settlements . At least one Islamic source understood the connection : ” A knowledgeable Companion of Muhammad ….Abdul Rahman Ibn Abza [ AD 689 ] states that these are the stones that came down of the people of Lot ” Hence the choice of trans – historical descriptive metaphor ‘ clustered stones of baked clay ‘ for a Tunguska class airburst or meteor swarm

  3. I’m not a scientist. Just a curious mind with an insatiable appetite for “Alternative” theories. Since I was a boy, I found mainstream explanations rather hollow. Seemingly always favoring ritual explanations over practical functional ones.

    One day I stumbled across Randall Carlson on YT talking about the YDIH and and rekindled many of my old curiosities. Which brings me here, to The Tusk.

    I am constantly gob smacked at the level of detail in these papers. The knowledge gained through the study of evidence at such a nano scale.

    Thank you all for your work, and sharing it here.

  4. So the integrity of the researchers Bunch et al., is confirmed following hysterical outbursts and baseless accusations of fraud against their “airburst hypothesis as proximate cause of the well-documented destruction observed in the excavation of Tall el-Hammam, middle Bronze age community of the Jordan Valley.” The journal of initial publication rejects the attacks as baseless, and confirms its support of the researchers and their conclusions.

    If it weren’t so comical it would be tragic, that academics once respected and regarded as responsible, sober investigators had marked themselves as hysterical clowns by their mean-spirited and gratuitous attacks.

    But they have repeatedly revealed their willingness to abandon rigorous intellectual evaluation of evidence challenging long-accepted dogma, to indulge instead in half fast attacks that are swiftly and deftly demolished.

    One is reminded of the decades-long free-for-all slag-fest that profoundly marred the lives of paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh.

    Lastly, it is wonderful to find a forum in which commenters frequently provide perspective and insights matching the high level already established by our host Mr. Howard. Thanks to Several in the current stream, pointing to fertile areas for further reading.

  5. Very much appreciate your contribution David March …. This is where things get interesting George and fellow Tusker’s concerning the Quranic ” [ brim ]stones of baked clay” said to have dropped from the sky and mauled the Christian Abyssinian army in Yemen around 570 /71 at a time of intensified meteor flux chronicled in the annals of Gregory of Tours . The Marib Dam of Yemen was mysteriously demolished – presumably by an ‘earthquake” or voluminous rainfall – in 570 or 575 leading to the diaspora of 50 000 inhabitants from the surrounding region.

    ” [ The Marib Dam ] suffered numerous breaches [ …in 449, 450 ,542 and 548 ] and the maintenance work became increasingly demanding ….In 570 or 575 the dam was again overtopped resulting in the Flood . The breaching and destruction of the Dam of Marib was a historical event …alluded to in the Quran ”

    Abraha al Ashram’s Abyssinian army and the Marib Dam may have been destroyed by one and same disaster [ circa 570 – 575 ] possibly over the Red Sea coast . https://psychlander.com/ancient-dam-of-marib/

  6. ” Jason M ” the Jordan Valley meteor airburst hypothesis and the YDIH are based on
    practical empirical evidence …They are not in the realm of the ‘alternative’ pseudoscientific fringe ….Randall Carlson is a popularizer of the YDIH not one of the original YDIH papers authors and on the principle of Occam’s Razor many ‘mainstream ‘ explanations are usually more plausible

  7. After the briefest search I found many dozens of photos, some of great detail, showing the astounding remnants of the Great Dam of Marib. Thank you, Mr. Hamish. That Beautifully Designed and Crafted Stone Structure seems to have been completed by the for-Pete’s-sake 800th year B.C.E.!!!
    Just a few years back, I chanced upon photos of what was described as a dam across the river course of the Nile near ASWAN built in antiquity, several thousand years ago. I have not found descriptions of it beyond the caption. (I grovel at my rotten scholarship.) Elsewhere I find one article that describes the Quatinah Barrage or Lake Homs Dam, located in Syria, as “the oldest oldest operational dam in the world. The article (https://www.water-technology.net › features › feature-the-worlds-oldest-dams-still-in-use) describes it so: ” The dam was constructed during the reign of the Egyptian Pharaoh Sethi between 1319-1304 BC” … with improvements by several later “civilizations.”
    But another article (https://www.sanskritimagazine.com › history › worlds-oldest-dam-grand-anicut-dam) describes “The Grand Anicut, also known as the Kallanai,” an ancient dam built by the Chola king Karikalan near 200 BCE, as “one of the oldest water-diversion or water-regulator structures in the world, still in use.” Even allowing for Normal Cultural Contention over bragging rights, One is left a little confused.

    I’m guessing that archeologists need STRENUOUSLY to avoid using phrases like, “The Earliest!” “The FIRST EVER!” “THE OLDEST EVER!” or “The BIGGEST AND OLDEST AND MOST SPECTACULAR in the Known Universe!” and adopt a more moderate list, “Earliest Yet Discovered…” or “Oldest so far excavated” or “Yet Once More, recent digs extend the antiquity of human culture and technology deeper and further into the remote past…”

  8. For those interested head over to Paul Homewood’s Not a Lot of People Know That page, google ‘Jim Le Maistre’s’ weird rambling hypomanic posts, [ noting his idiosyncrasies ] in the comments sections and compare the prose to ‘ “David March’s” last offering above .

  9. Where’s ‘Jonny / Anonymous”? …….Did he land a job at Gaslight Inc ” ?

  10. Why don’t you load the link and your arguments here ‘E.P “? …..Having just examined the chart on page 166 of Clube and Napier’s ‘The Cosmic Winter ‘ I see no close grazing ascending or descending intersection nodes of Comet Encke’s orbit with the Earths ecliptic plane centered on 3650 or 3550 BC …..These however are retro – calculations from 30 years ago and one can not rule out any number of extinct or inert Taurid Complex asteroids that may have once flared as active comets travelling in a corollary orbit to proto -Encke … Or ancient disintegration episodes that may have flooded the inner planetary system with debris as probably occurred in the 6th century AD ,the 14th century AD. and the 4th millennium BC ..Clube and Napier summarize thus : .

    ” In neolithic and early historical times ….a string of naked eye comets was moving along the zodiac ……still active debris from a hierarchy of disintegrations of the major body .Enckes comet could be the remnant core of the original body ; or it could be one of the several hundred remnant Apollo asteroids which was reactivated for a few centuries ……..At any one time it is likely there were one or a very few dominant bodies .It is expected that there were major splitting’s from these from time to time over the centuries .Some of the smaller fragments would be transient in the extreme ; others respectable comets in their own right ,would persist for centuries or millennia “

  11. Sorry “E.P.” it was a typo error [ I meant 3650 – 3550 BP – not BC ] on my part. The Thera volcano erupted in the mid 16th century BC preceded by a lesser Sanitorini eruption in 1628 BC ….Then again you could have deduced that petty mistake . Or perhaps I made it deliberately ….Nonetheless there are no Comet Encke nodal intersections approximate to 3650 – 3550 BP visible on the Clube and Napier chart in The Cosmic Winter …So raise the matter with the comet astronomers and their retro-calculations … Flood and catastrophe myths and legends are almost impossible to affix calendrically to precise years or even centennial timescales that far back in time with rare exceptions such as the Tall el Hammam air-burst that inspired the Sodom and Gomorrah story … That said there is some evidence for devastating paleo- floods in Bronze Age China and Greece that may speculatively have given rise to the semi – mythical Yao and Deucalion floods [ Much of the ‘Argive Plain ‘ was submerged in a circa 2300 BC event . Benny Peiser included this in a late 90’s Cambridge Conference SIS paper ] As for the Mayan records most of the Mayan palimpsests were burned on the Aztec warlords and Inquisition friars bonfires .so forgive me for not “wondering” …Your last sentence is essentially irrelevant to this debate

  12. E.P. Grondine you assigned the Thera eruption to 1628 BCE here once again yet ” Jonny McAneney / Anonymous ” informed you in a debate thread back in January that the Aniakchak volcano was the source of the 1628 event … I had assumed the old date as well however although it is plausible there was another 17th BCE Sanitorini eruption [ 1614 , 1640 or even the same year 1628 ] there is a 95% probability Thera erupted in the mid 16th century BCE . The reign of pharaoh Ahmose , the founder of the New Kingdom , in the revised chronology is circa 1550 – 1525 BCE so the ‘Tempest Stela of Ahmose’ cited in your academia.edu contribution ‘ is not in the vicinity of 1628 BCE
    ” Annual radiocarbon record indicates 16th century BCE date for the Thera eruption ” , Pearson , Brewer et al , Aug, 2018 :

    ” The 1560 BCE date which represents the first proxy marker for a volcanic event in the bristlecone pine record …….would fit with the earlier proposed start for the New Kingdom in Egypt , the revised reign of Ahmose and the description of an unusual and catastrophic storm from the Ahmose Tempest Stela , Equally other bristlecone growth anomalies at 1546 and 1544 BCE also warrant further investigation given the 95% credible intervals for the new radiocarbon ranges and compatibility with conventional archaeologically derived dates for the start of the New Kingdom “

  13. EP Grondine , the first sky and space telescopes were in use in the 17th century and yet the short period Comet Encke was only detected in 1786 . That doesn’t add up …It is conjectured that Encke was an inert Taurid asteroid that was only spotted when it flared into an active comet again in the 18th century possibly after it had shed some of its outer rind exposing its volatile ice and gases to solar radiation ……So your note aside how can an ancient cultural site be associated with Encke anymore than a rotten green Tomato when there is no evidence it ever existed as a bright comet millennia ago ?….Quite the conundrum that . Notwithstanding the hundreds of short and long period comets in the solar system there are a plethora of other candidates as the Northern and Southern Taurids extend from late September to early December , the daytime Zeta Perseids May -July and the Beta Taurids June – July . Czech astronomers discovered a new branch of the Taurid meteoroid stream a few years ago … There could have been any number of inert asteroids in these streams that were once active comets that intersected the Earths orbit in the Bronze Age ..

  14. And the classical era well into the Middle Ages .For example entry 39 in the Tian Shan chronicles [ Have you accessed and read this document George ?] : ” Ancient Chinese Observations of Meteor Showers” , Chinese Astronomy I ,1977 . The translated date is 22 May ,12 BC . Implied is a spectacular Beta Taurid or Zeta Perseid daytime swarm curling around the sun containing substantial debris producing aerial percussions :

    ” Dynasty Han , Reign Yuan -yan ,Year 1 Month 4 , Day Ding-you . At the hour of rifu , the sky was cloudless . There was a rumbling like thunder . A meteor with a head as big as a fou and a length of some ten odd zhang, colour bright red and white ,went south-eastward from below the Sun . In all directions meteors ,some as large as basins others as large as hens eggs brilliantly rained down .This only ceased at evening twilight ” …..

    The May 22 12 BC [ This is close to the proposed date of the destruction of Antioch circa 524 AD ] Taurid fireworks may not literally have ‘ceased in the evening but rather only from the perspective of Chinese observers.. The Earths rotational spin meant that other sunward facing regions of the planet may have experienced the fusillade although not recorded for posterity ..The sky we see in the modern age is not the one our ancestors witnessed.

  15. The Tusk comment section is BACK! Thank you for your contributions. Grondine, keep it in the road.

  16. “Hi EP ” …….You can drag this out indefinitely ….Nice to see you are a good faith debater who can comprehend evidence pointed out to you multiple times

  17. Repeating a debating opponents words tu quoque is puerile and boring ‘defend gaia’ ? Jonny McAneney / Anonymous alerted you to the current status of the Thera eruption in the Deep Tusk Talk comments thread on January 31 : ” …while progress is being made on the true date of the Thera eruption ….we still do not know the exact date . What we can now say though ,is that Thera most likely did not erupt in 1628 or 1627 BC ; recent radiocarbon analysis now appears to rule this date out ” ……. You did not challenge him afterward either ………….Whoever you are today

  18. Hello Stuart –
    Here you go:
    I was going to write “Man and Impact in the Ancient Near East”, but I had a stroke instead.
    While I am extremely pleased at the work being done on the “Sodom” impact, carefully note that there were other impact events in the Ancient Near East.

    In today’s news, a massive comet has entered ourr solar system:
    I did as well as I could. Let’s all pray we’re ready.

  19. Yes I was aware you had suffered a debilitating stroke , had fallen on hard times [ You are not the only one ] and I was sorry to learn of your circumstances EP ….But I will not condescend you in discussions ….. The composition of olive trees [ for example the Sanitorini timber fragments ] means they are not dendrochronologically reliable ,the calibrated radiocarbon analyses show there is a 95% probability Thera erupted in the mid 16th Century BCE and this figure accords with the dates of Manfred Bietak’s Egyptian tephra deposits. This has nothing to do “opinions ‘ or in your words a near religious intensity of disagreement ..It is deductive correlative logic ..The dilated or contracted rings themselves cannot prove what the traumatizing environmental event was

  20. The massive comet on the edge of the solar system is not ‘todays news ‘ and the orbital projections are nothing to worry about

  21. Good morning, stuart,

    I have watched academic experts publicly argue chronology with intensity and been amused by it
    But when dealing with impact events accurate dating is essential.

    Astour based his Hittite chronology on an eclipse event. I used his middle chronolgy, not the low. I worked this problem as hard as I could, relying on his middle chronology:

    The only problems I now have are a list of comets visible in the Bronze Age, and identification of comets in Mayan hieroglyphic inscriptions, which will solve the GMT controversy. These comet appearances will likely be more accurate than tree rings for these early periods.

    I keep my friends in the Ukraine in my prayers.

  22. ” These comet appearances will likely be more accurate than tree rings for these early periods ” …. No one believes that – including you ..

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