An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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Joining The Dots


Joining The Dots

I have now published my new book, Joining The Dots, which offers a fresh look at the Atlantis mystery. I have addressed the critical questions of when, where and who, using Plato's own words, tempered with some critical thinking and a modicum of common sense.


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Asteroids

Civilisation Collapse

Civilisation Collapse has occurred many times over past millennia in all parts of the world. Joseph A. Tainter[1539] defines collapse as “a rapid shift to a lower level of complexity(a) .” Societal disintegration immediately brings to mind the Maya, the Indus Valley and in what are relatively more modern times, the Western Roman Empire.

The causes are usually a combination of factors, such as, climate change, warfare, disease or excessive expansionism. Global catastrophes such as encounters with comets or asteroids are rare, while more local events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tsunamis can also be thrown into the mix. These have all been encountered from time to time, but have rarely been blamed for the collapse of a society; recovery from such limited regional events is usually possible.

The Mediterranean has seen its share of all these catastrophic events. A major tsunami on Sardinia, volcanic eruptions in Italy, earthquakes in North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. Close encounters with extraterrestrial bodies have also been proposed in that region.

Perhaps the best documented civilisation collapse is that which occurred around 1200 BC and affected many societies, particularly in the Middle East(b) . Israel Finkelstein, a leading Israeli archaeologist, has attributed this event to climate change and is of the view that this disruption was global in extent.

Inevitably, Atlantis has been cited as an example of civilisation collapse, particularly supporters of the Minoan Hypothesis, who link the 2nd millennium BC eruptions of Thera with the demise of the Minoans on Crete. Also popular is the idea that Atlantis had been a large island in the Atlantic Ocean destroyed by a cometary impact or the rising sea levels as the glaciers melted at the end of the last Ice Age.

A variety of other theories have associated Atlantis with the collapse of a civilisation. For example, Frank Joseph claims that 40,000 years ago “sudden sea-level rises triggers migration from Mu around. The Pacific motherlanders settle on a large, fertile island about 380 kilometers due west from the Straits of Gibraltar. There, the newcomers merge with the native Cro-Magnon inhabitants, resulting in a new, hybrid culture – Atlantis.”

*(a) http://www.historytoday.com/christopher-chippindale/collapse-complex-societies (link broken June 2018)*

(b) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Bronze_Age_collapse

Palmer, Trevor (L)

Trevor Palmer (1944- ) is an English Professor of Biology now living in Scotland. Apart from his day-job of enzymology and the study of genetic disorders, which led to an interest in evolution, which in turn brought him to research catastrophism, he has written a number of books on these subjects, including Perilous Planet Earth[888],  which places today’s “concern about the threat to Earth from asteroids and comets within an historical context.” He devotes two chapters of this comprehensive work to the subject of Atlantis, in which he reviews (chap.13) some of the late 19th and early 20th century theories as well as more recent developments (chap.28) exposing many of the weaknesses in the arguments on offer.

While Palmer does not express any personal views on the subject, it is noteworthy that he wrote an introduction to the 2005 Barnes & Noble edition of Lewis Spence’s The History of Atlantis. After a brief look at Spence’s life, Palmer gives an overview of the principal strands of Atlantology today and concluded that many of the issues debated 80 years ago are still unresolved and for that reason Spence’s book continues to be worth studying.

Palmer wrote a short paper(a) in 1987 which he was cautiously sceptical of the Atlantis story, particularly the possibility that it was destroyed during the Late Pleistocene era, with which I concur. He also touched on the subject of the Carolina Bays, apparently adding support to the now discredited idea that they were created by wind action. I expect that he may have modified his views by now.

(a) http://saturniancosmology.org/files/.cdrom/journals/workshop/w1987no2/12late.htm  (offline July 2016) See Archive 3026

Warmkessel, Dr. Barry

Dr. Barry Warmkessel is the author of an extensive website(a) dealing with extraterrestrial impacts. He speculates(b) on the existence of a brown dwarf star, he calls Vulcan, in our solar system Barry Warmkesselwith an orbital period of around 5,000 years. Warmkessel claims that Vulcan has been responsible for capturing bodies from the Kuiper Belt leading to regular impacts(c) with Earth over many thousands of years. I suppose it was inevitable that the subject of the then impending disaster of 2012 was included(d) and so we are told that ‘Planet X’ or Nibiru is in fact a comet swarm that should be detectable from August 2012!

Atlantis has not been overlooked by Warmkessel who has included(c) a number of related papers (a third of the way down the page). He appears to favour circa 9600BC as the date for the destruction of Atlantis but includes links to various commentators who differ greatly on details such as cause and location.

In March 2014, Warmkessel published another wideranging paper(e) on Atlantis and asteroid impacts (Updated July 2015). In it he identifies a site off the west coast of Cuba as the location of Atlantis, which was destroyed by an asteroid impact. Which coincides with the views of Kelso de Montigny and others. He also predicts that next passage of a comet cluster through the inner solar system are 2016 to 2017.”

*(a) http://barry.warmkessel.com/*

(b) http://barry.warmkessel.com/vulcanrevealed.html

(c) http://barry.warmkessel.com/4related.html

(d) http://barry.warmkessel.com/2012impact.html

(e) http://barry.warmkessel.com/ATLANTIS.html

 

Pole Shift

Pole Shift is a term used to describe a range of theories that includes an alteration to or even the complete reversal of the magnetic poles, a change to the axis of rotation of the entire planet as well as a possible sudden movement of the outer crust of the Earth relative to its axis.

The magnetic poles are always on the move and well documented, while their complete reversal is a much slower process, previous reversals have left us geological ‘fingerprints’. It is suggested that another reversal is imminent, while some ‘prophets of doom’ have nominated late 2013 for the event, with dire consequences for mankind(f).

The latest data shows drift of about 40 miles a year, with a recent movement of 161 miles in just six months, creating navigation problems and the re-designation of airport runways which are named after their compass orientation(i).

Jason Colavito has unearthed an early reference to some form of axial pole shift, proposed as early 1883 in a book [1595] by the somewhat eccentric Australian, John Wood Beilby (1818-1903)(q). However, according to Colavito there was an even earlier reference to a Pole Shift by Brasseur de Bourbourg in his Historical Chronology of the Mexicans of 1873 (r) . He also linked this event to the destruction of Atlantis(n).*

The idea of wandering (magnetic) Poles was first proposed by the German priest Damian Kreichgauer(1859-1940)(g) in 1902[513], although at the time he found little support for the concept. The late Terrence Aym was of the opinion(l) that a magnetic pole reversal was a sign that the next Ice Age was beginning! Today, NASA provides us with a more sober view of the phenomenon of magnetic pole shifts.(k).

There are a number of variations on the basic concept of an axial change and an array of suggestions for the date of the last displacement. Generally speaking the mechanism required to cause such a catastrophe is believed to be an impact by or close encounter with a large asteroid or comet. The continuing discovery of huge impact craters around the globe reinforces this possibility. However, recent studies have identified other processes that may have led to polar changes in the past(e).

The suggestion of an Antarctic location for Atlantis, as proposed by Rose and Rand Flem-Ath[062], is totally dependent on a pole shift. The Flem-Aths have interpreted the characteristics of our present icecaps as strong evidence for a number of previous pole shifts. This idea was inspired by the work of Charles Hapgood[369], who was convinced by such evidence as the Piri Reis Map and other ancient maps that seemed indicated the existence of an Ice Age civilisation now partly covered by the Antarctic icecap. Hapgood has noted[1494.71] that in the 1950’s Karl A. Pauly[1496 and George W. Bain[1498 also supported a form of crustal shift, the former building on the work of A. S. Eddington[1497 of some decades earlier.

‘Project Atlantis’ is the title of an assignment(p) given to first-year geology students at Malaspina University-College in British Columbia. It was set by lecturer Professor Steven Earle with intention of developing the critical thinking of his students. The objective of the task is to investigate the Crustal Displacement theory of the Flem-Aths, whose ‘Atlantis in the Antarctic’ hypothesis is totally dependent on the occurrence of a pole shift.

Pole Shift[0795] by John White, frequently associates the destruction of Atlantis with a pole shift and anticipates another one in the near future, but unfortuntely, most of the ‘evidence’ he offers in support of this contention comes from psychic sources, which cannot be accept as reliable. However, it seems that some years later White completely revised his opinions according to a 1996 report(m).

Although the majority opinion is that pole shifts occurred as a result of encounters with extraterrestrial bodies, Hapgood contended that only the outer crust of the earth shifted and that this was the result of a build-up of ice at the Poles causing instability. However, it has since been calculated that the polar ice constitutes such a small percentage of the mass of the crust that it could not possibly have caused the slippage proposed by Hapgood. This idea and others are discussed on the Pole Shift Forum(o).

Another researcher, S.F.Wells, was prompted by Flem-Ath’s work to examine the Avebury stone circle to see if there was any evidence of a pole shift there. To his surprise he did discover at Avebury and at other ancient monuments in the locality clear evidence of a pole change of up to 30° in the past. In 2003 he wrote a paper outlining his observations(c).

A number of facts are proposed to support the idea of a pole shift. One of the most popular is the extermination of the mammoth, which once again was central to a recent book by Charles Ginenthal, The Extinction of the Mammoth[0514], who dates the last pole shift to around 1500 BC. Perhaps the most impressive evidence came from Sweden in November 2009(b) when settlements dated to 9000 BC were discovered in the north of the country in a region that according to accepted theory should have been covered by ice at that time.

Wolter Smit points out that the orientation of some Mayan Temples is apparently out by around 17 degrees from what would be expected. A structural feature at the 4,000 year old temple of Saar in Bahrain is believed to have been used to record the summer solstice is now out by 10 degrees. Similar anomalies were noted by G.F. Dodwell during his study of ancient gnomons. A further indication that our present knowledge of polar changes may be flawed is highlighted by the fact that on April 15th 136 BC we have a record of an eclipse that completely darkened Babylon that should have had its zone of totality over the Balearic Islands in the Western Mediterranean. This is a difference of nearly 50 degrees and implies that either the Earth has slowed or the polar axis has shifted.

*The idea that Pole Shift(s) can be linked to the location and orientation of many ancient sites is explored by Mark Carlotto in his new book, Before Atlantis [1600].*

Amy Smith also claims that the Earth ‘tilted’ around 10,000 BC(d) referring to two ancient quotations that may support the reality of this Pole Shift – one from Plato (Tim.22d) and the other from the Book of Enoch/Noah (65.1).

The Hutton Commentaries(a) contain many articles relating to an impending pole shift based on the readings of Edgar Cayce.

In October 2004, Alexander Chechelnitsky, a Russian astrophysicist claimed that Atlantis was located in the Yukon River valley in Alaska[515]. This, he believes, was the result of a pole shift although he admits that scientific evidence is lacking for this theory!

A recent overview of the Pole Shift theory was published in July 2014(h).

(a) http://www.huttoncommentaries.com/index.php

(b) http://www.thelocal.se/23546/20091129/ (offline July 2015) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20091130170746/http://www.thelocal.se/23546/20091129/

(c)  http://grahamhancock.com/wellssf1/

(d) http://www.angelfire.com/ar/josephus/Atlantis.html#Support

(e) http://archive.cosmosmagazine.com/news/pole-dancing-earths-dramatic-polar-shifts-explained/  (offline July 2016) see Archive 3029

(f) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztaWff0TtHU

(g) http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/Arrhenius%201906,%20final.pdf

(h) http://canadanewslibre.com/2014/07/29/antartica-atlantis-and-the-earth-crustal-displacement-theory/

(i) http://deusnexus.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/north-pole-shifts/ (link broken Nov. 2016) See {2268} 

(j) https://endtimesand2019.wordpress.com/my-newest-magazine-article-pole-shifts/

(k) http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012-poleReversal.html

(l) https://www.sott.net/article/223364-The-Beginning-of-Ice-Age-Magnetic-polar-shifts-causing-massive-global-superstorms

(m) http://www.nhne.com/articles/sapoleshift.html

(n) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/greek-sculptors-in-ancient-china-plus-a-very-early-claim-for-a-pole-shift-destroying-atlantis

(o) http://www.poleshift.org/index.html

(p) http://www.nagt.org/files/nagt/jge/abstracts/Earle_v51n3p290.pdf

*(q) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/the-forgotten-nineteenth-century-pole-shift-claim-and-its-connection-the-great-pyramid-of-egypt

(r) http://www.jasoncolavito.com/historical-chronology-of-the-mexicans.html*

 

Exploded Planet Hypothesis (t)

The Exploded Planet Hypothesis (EPH) has its origins in the 18th century when the regular spacing of the orbits of the then known six planets, with the glaring exception of the apparently empty theoretical position between Mars and Jupiter, led to the formulation of the Titius-Bode Law. The discovery of Neptune in 1846 in a position that did not conform to the rule of Titius-Bode, led to its gradual abandonment. However, the discovery of Pluto in the 1930’s brought the ‘Law’ back into consideration as Pluto was in the position that should have been occupied by Neptune. The exceptions to the Titius-Bode law are the lack of a planet where the Asteroid Belt is and the position of Neptune. In 2003, a further planet, Sedna, was discovered at a distance of 8 billion miles from the sun, as predicted by Doug Yurchey on the Internet in 2002(a). Since then, further bodies have been discovered in the outer region of our solar system, one of which was larger than Pluto.

As you will see below, a credible explanation for the Asteroid Belt is on offer and if correct, it means that now ten of the eleven planetary orbits in our Solar System correspond with the prediction of Titius-Bode. Statistically, this must have some significance. Therefore, in order to reinstate the Titius-Bode ‘law’ back on the statute book it is important to find an acceptable explanation for Neptune’s orbit.

Particular planets with satellite systems also confirm Titius-Bode, such as the principal satellites of Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. Furthermore, even at this early stage in our investigation of extrasolar planetary systems, one, 55 Cancri, has at least four planets whose orbits appear to follow a similar pattern(c).

The 19th century saw the discovery of more asteroids in the orbit where a planet would have been expected. As early as 1802 the suggestion that an exploded planet had originally occupied this position was considered. As more asteroids were discovered the idea gained support. However, there remained one major problem with the theory, namely, that the total mass of the known asteroids would not constitute one thousandth of our earth. So where did all the matter go?

Tom Van Flandern (1940-2009), the leading exponent of the EPH, explained; ‘Consider what would happen if the Earth exploded today. Surface and crustal rock would shatter and fragment, but remain rocks. However, rocks from depths greater than 40 km are under so much pressure at high temperature that if suddenly released into a vacuum, such rocks would vaporise. As a consequence, over 99% of the Earth’s total mass would vaporise in an explosion, with only its low-pressure crustal and upper mantle layers surviving’. This explanation would clearly account for the low total mass of the objects in the Asteroid Belt. Van Flandern has expanded on his theory in what many consider a landmark book, Dark Matter, Missing Planets and New Comets[293].

Van Flandern ascribes a date for this planetary explosion that is well before man existed on Earth. However, many of our ancient myths have been interpreted as describing celestial events in the vicinity of Earth that had a direct physical effect on our planet. Immanuel Velikovsky wrote extensively on these ancient tales and concluded that they referred to close encounters between Earth and Mars and separately with Venus.

The date of the Asteroid Belt collision or explosion was estimated in 2015 to be 470 million years ago after the identification of twin impact craters in Sweden(d).

If Titius-Bode is valid and Velikovsky’s planetary encounters real, we need to explain how they left their orbits in the first place and then must explain how they returned to their original positions. Ralph E. Juergens, an American engineer, supports Velikovsky with the idea that electromagnetic and electrostatic forces and not conventional celestial mechanics alone were responsible for the cosmic encounters witnessed and recorded by our ancestors(b). My personal hunch is that Van Flandern is correct about the explosion of a planet but wrong about the date of the occurrence.

The EPH may have a bearing on the demise of Atlantis in the shape of an asteroidal collision with Earth that in turn precipitated the ending of the last Ice Age and the consequential flooding of large areas of exposed land.

Alan Alford has a different view in his recent book[009] in which he attempts to prove that Atlantis originated in ancient myth concerning an exploding planet. However, this would require an event that occurred within the experience of speaking man for it to have been passed on in the form of myth.

(b) http://www.worls-mysteries.com/sci_8htm#Exploded

(a) http://www.thunderbolts.info/pdf/Reconciling%20Celetial%20Mechanics.pdf

(c) BBC Focus magazine (No. 169, October 2006 p.58-63)

(d) http://phys.org/news/2015-09-globally-unique-crater-sweden.html
Also See: Asteroids, Catastrophism

Catastrophism

Catastrophism today is the name given to a school of thought that supports the idea that the history of the Earth has been punctuated by natural events such as floods, fires and asteroid strikes that have caused widespread if not global devastation and that some of these events occurred within the memory of man and are recorded in worldwide mythologies.

Georges Cuvier (1768-1832) is sometimes referred to as ‘the father of paleontology’ and an early exponent of catastrophism.

Worryingly, it is now more generally accepted that further catastrophes will occur as a result of future cometary/asteroidal strikes. One such close encounter, around 2800 BC, was considered by the Christian catastrophist, Donald W. Patten, to have generated the Deluge of Noah(j) and was the source of the flood legends found around the world! Patten nominates Mars as the intruder(l), an idea also advocated by Elsar Orkan, who, however, proposes a date of around 8000 BC for this encounter[1442].

Some readers may think that the subject has no direct connection with Plato’s Atlantis, however, his text refers to a number of catastrophic events that clearly brought devastation to Athens, Atlantis and beyond. The Flood of Deucalion and earlier inundations, Phaeton and other cosmic encounters, plus conflagrations and earthquakes all point to periods of great instability in the early prehistory of the Aegean region and quite probably much further afield.

Jürgen Spanuth devotes chapter 4 of his Atlantis of the North[0015] to an examination of “the natural catastrophes of the 13th century BC” that deals with Phaeton and the blizzard of floods, earthquakes and eruptions that beset the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Some of these matters have been recently expanded upon by Nur & Cline(f)(g) and endorsed by Stavros Papamarinopoulos[0750.73].

August 2013 saw studies published(h) which pointed the finger at climate change as the cause of the widespread political instability in that region during the second millennium BC.

Claude Schaeffer, a celebrated French archaeologist, declared in 1948[0806] that on at least five occasions during the Bronze Age the Middle East had been subjected to widespread catastrophic destruction as a result of natural events rather than human activity.

Immanuel Velikovsky is arguably the best know of the 20th century catastrophists, who published two books[0037][0038] in the 1950’s that provoked widespread controversy that continues today. There is an interesting albeit a sceptical review of catastrophism in the last century by Patrick Moore & Bob Forrest in Chapter 14 of More Things in Heaven and Earth(k).*Paul Dunbavin, author of Towers of Atlantis [1627]has published a paper(n), highly critical of Velikovsky’s work.*

 Rene Gallant

René Gallant

In 1964, the Belgian mathematician René Gallant (1908-1985) published Bombarded Earth[0748 which dealt in great detail with the consequences of meteorite impacts with the earth. Gallant, perhaps because of his amateur status as a geologist, never received the attention he deserved.

More recently Allan & Delair produced another book[0014] that identified 9500 BC as the date of a global catastrophe following an encounter with a comet. Their conclusions are at variance with Velikovsky’s, particularly regarding dates. Professor Mike Baillie of Queens University, Belfast is a well-known dendrochronologist who has recently entered the debate with his book, Exodus to Arthur[0111] that adds evidence from his discipline to support the theory of cometary or asteroidal impacts with the Earth. Unfortunately his work is confined to the last 4,500 years and so casts no further light on the 9,500 BC date apart from offering support for the possibility of extraterrestrial impacts.

However, Richard Firestone and his co-authors have researched[0110] an impact ‘Event’ the occurred 13,000 years ago and caused devastation in North America including the creation of the hundreds of thousands of Carolina Bays and some of the outbursts of Lake Missoula. Like Baillie, they claim that a memory of this event has been preserved in the folktales of many of the North American Indians. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the latest developments in catastrophist research.

The destruction of Atlantis has been linked to a number of possible catastrophic events including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods and asteroid strikes. Plato’s account cites a flood as the immediate cause of the disappearance of Atlantis. In the 18th century Giovanni Carli was probably the first to link a cometary encounter with the Earth as the cause of Atlantis’ demise. This idea has been supported by numerous writers ever since with Emilio Spedicato being one of its leading exponents today.

There are numerous sites on the Internet relating to catastrophism of which one(a) can be recommended as a good starting point for further study. Andy Blackard has listed(b) events connected with global upheavals around 3200 and 2000 BC. An Australian archaeologist, Peter Jupp, is the creator of the Ancient Destructions website(e) which deals with a number of historical mysteries including, Baalbek and Antarctica.

A more recent book by Robert Argod[0065] postulates that many of these historical catastrophes were caused by an irregular series of accelerated tectonic movements, although he does not offer a credible mechanism to explain the triggering of such upheavals. Is it possible that the strikes by or near misses with extraterrestrial objects, proposed by so many, generated the tectonic shifts proposed by Argod?

Professor Trevor Palmer has written a comprehensive history of catastrophes and catastrophism from the earliest times and its relevance today. His Perilous Planet Earth[0888] includes a couple of chapters in which he reviews Atlantis theories in the context of catastrophism.

Dr Michel-Alain Combes has a PhD in astronomy from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI). He has an extensive website(i) dealing with catastrophism, which translates quite well.

2012 was been promoted as the date of the next worldwide catastrophe based on a highly questionable interpretation of the Mayan calendar. New Age gurus were promising a change in global consciousness, whatever that means. If interested  you can read more of this nonsense online(c) or consider a more balanced view(d).

A huge catastrophist bibliography is available online(m).

(a) http://www.pibburns.com/catastro.htm

(b) http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/BlackardA1.php

(c) http://www.thecityedition.com/Pages/Archive/2009/2012_Doomsday_Prediction.html

(d) http://www.skepdic.com/maya.html

(e) http://www.ancientdestructions.com/

(f) http://academia.edu/355163/2001_Nur_and_Cline_Archaeology_Odyssey_Earthquake_Storms_article

(g) http://academia.edu/355162/2000_Nur_and_Cline_JAS_Poseidons_Horses_article

(h) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130814191916.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Ffossils_ruins%2Fancient_civilizations+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Fossils+%26+Ruins+News+–+Ancient+Civilizations%29

(i) http://www.astrosurf.com/macombes/index.html (French)

(j) http://www.creationism.org/patten/PattenBiblFlood/index.htm

(k) http://www.cantab.net/users/michael.behrend/ebooks/MoreThings/pages/Chapter_14.html

(l) http://www.creationism.org/patten/PattenMarsEarthWars/

(m) http://www.creationism.org/english/BibliographyCelestialCatastrophism2010_en.htm

*(n) https://www.third-millennium.co.uk/home-2*

 

Baillie, Mike

Mike Baillie is Emeritus Professor of Palaeoecology in the School of Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen’s University, Belfast. He is a dendrochronologist[113] of world renown, who outlined in his recent book [111] the evidence for catastrophic encounters with asteroids or comets over the past five millennia that opened a whole new chapter in the search for the truth about our past. Baillie ascribes these events to 2354-2345 BC, 1628-1623 BC, 1159-1141 BC, 208-204 BC and 536-545 AD. He touches on a number of Baillielegendary and historical events such as the Deluge, the Exodus and King Arthur, but seems to studiously avoid any direct reference to Atlantis. Nevertheless, his theory in conjunction with the suggestions of writers such as Emilio Spedicato enhances the possibility of the destruction of Atlantis being a consequence of a more widespread catastrophe.

In 2004 it was revealed that a very large comet or asteroid, estimated to  be ¾ of a mile in diameter, crashed into what is now Germany. The date is calculated at 200 BC, which coincides with one of Baillie’s dated catastrophes. A crater field stretching from the town of Altoetting to Lake Chiemsee is all that remains today.

Perhaps even more relevant to our study was a PowerPoint presentation(b) from Baillie to a Quantavolution Conference in Athens in 2011, which offered compelling evidence for a catastrophic event in 2345 BC. His data reinforces the work of George Dodwell who demonstrated with his study of ancient gnomons, decades earlier, that something dramatic happened to the rotational axis of the Earth in 2345 BC, which is possibly the same 2346 BC encounter with a comet proposed by William Whiston in 1696. At the same conference Baillie also presented evidence for dating the eruption of Thera to 1628 BC.

Baillie is also co-author with Patrick McCafferty of a fascinating work[112] that reinterprets some of the heroes and gods of Celtic mythology as a coded account of our ancestors’ observation of a close encounter or impact of comets with the Earth. However, Baillie’s books should be read in conjunction with an equally compelling volume[148](a) by David Talbot and Wallace Thornhill who offer a complementary but rather than conflicting interpretation of early man’s perception of highly visible cosmic events. Talbot and Thornhill have linked ancient myths and thousands of petroglyphs with their view of an electric universe, where large-scale plasma phenomena were witnessed and recorded by preliterate man. Their book has drawn extensively on the work of Dr. Anthony Peratt, who has gathered and classified an enormous database of petroglyphs from all over the world that are apparently a record of celestial demonstration(s) of plasma physics.

Nevertheless, Baillie also has his critics, particularly in relation to his attitude towards proponents of the ‘New Chronology’ such as Peter James and David Rohl(c).

(a) www.thunderbolts.info

(b) http://www.qconference-athens-2011.grazian-archive.com/the2345topicmbai/index.html

(c) http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Religions/non-iranian/Judaism/Persian_Judaism/book6/pt1.htm (half way down page)

Asteroids

Asteroids, Comets and Meteoroids are all relatively small objects that inhabit  our Solar System. When any of them have orbits that intersect with that of the Earth they are known as Near Earth Objects or NEOs. Asteroids (a word coined by William Herschel [1738-1822]) used to be known as minor planets, while meteoroids is the name applied to asteroids that are less than 50 metres in diameter, although some use 10 metres as the classification threshold.

Meteorites have had a history of being considered divine in origin, leading to different levels of veneration in various cultures(v). In the 2nd century, Clement of Alexandria is said to have concluded that “the worship of such stones to have been the first, and earliest idolatry, in the world.”

What is probably the first recorded death from a meteorite strike took place in India in February 2016(z).

Comets, until recently, were generally thought to be composed of  just dust and ice, ‘dirty snowballs’, which have orbits that periodically bring them close to the sun at which stage the interaction of the comet’s dust trail with the solar wind produces a highly visible coma or tail. The nucleus can have a diameter of a couple of kilometres.

The chemical composition of comets is now known to be varied and much more complex than previously believed. In 2015, Comet Lovejoy was ejecting the equivalent of “500 bottles of wine every second” when it was closest to the sun, in the form of ethyl alcohol(w). A close encounter with the Earth would have been interesting!

In 1883 a large comet is estimated to have come within a few hundred miles of Earth. It was photographed and some years later the image was hailed as the first image of an UFO!

In recent years comets have come to been seen as potentially more dangerous than asteroids in the event of a collision. This view was graphically demonstrated when the Levy-Shoemaker comet crashed spectacularly into Jupiter in 1994, after breaking up into as many as 21 large pieces before impacting. This comet was originally about 20 km in diameter. However, the distinction between comets and asteroids has been blurred by asteroids sometimes displaying the features of comets, such as asteroid P2013/P5, which in 2013 produced six cometary-like tails.

In 1752, the French astronomer, Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, expressed the view that “However dangerous might be the shock of a comet, it might be so slight, that it would only do damage at the part of the Earth where it actually struck” and with coincidental foresight added Perhaps we should be very surprised to find that the debris of these masses that we despised were formed of gold and diamonds” considering how Richard Firestone and his associates more recently used the existence of nanodiamonds to confirm the cometary impact of 11,000 BC over North America.

Asteroids and comets have blamed for the demise of Atlantis since the end of the 18th century. It was the Italian polymath, Giovanni Rinaldo Carli, who in 1788 declared[087] that part of a passing comet hit the Earth and was responsible for the destruction of Atlantis. A century later in his second book[022] on Atlantis, Ignatius Donnelly similarly claimed that a comet’s collision was the cause of Atlantis’ destruction. Comets rather than asteroids were initially blamed because of their high visibility. However, as our technology advanced and we gradually became aware of the number of large asteroids that intersect with the Earth’s orbit they replaced comets as the more likely cause of historical impacts.

The early part of the 20th century saw the eccentric William Comyns Beaumont[088][089][090]and the mysterious Hans Schlindler Bellamy[091] both supporting the idea of Atlantis being destroyed by an encounter with an extraterrestrial object. The theory has been adopted by a growing number of popular modern writers such as Otto Muck[098], Egerton Sykes, Andrew Collins[072], Paul Dunbavin[099], Karl Jürgen Hepke(a), Frank Joseph explains[102.108] how a number of scholars encouraged by Muck, came forward to publicly state their belief that Atlantis had been destroyed by an extraterrestrial impact or impacts: “They included the world’s foremost authority on Halley’s Comet, Dr. M.M. Kamienski, a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences; Professor N. Bonev, one of the 20th century’s leading astronomers at the University of Sofia, in Bulgaria; and Jack Hills, of the prestigious Los Alamos National Laboratory”.

Emilio Spedicato of the University of Bergamo has written(b) and lectured widely on his hypothesis that the last Ice Age was started by an extraterrestrial impact over a continent and ended with a similar event over an ocean. This second impact was the cause of Atlantis’ destruction and Spedicato specifies Hispaniola as containing the location of its capital.

Spedicato is not alone in believing that impacts by large objects have been responsible for the triggering of past Ice Ages. As we have seen a large number of writers have suggested an impact with the Earth as the primary or at least the secondary cause of the destruction of Atlantis(d). These cosmic collisions have occurred throughout the history of our planet, continuing to this day. Most of the impact material is small and burns up in the atmosphere. Some low-density objects have penetrated the atmosphere, but disintegrated before actually impacting, generating powerful shock waves commensurate with their size. Such an event was the well know Tunguska(i)explosion over that area of Siberia in 1908.

Commenting on the Tunguska event Stephen E. Franklin added that “Less than five hours after the Tunguska object exploded at 7:14 AM local time in Siberia, another fireball was seen over Kagarlyk near Kiev in what is now Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire) at around 7:00 AM local time followed by the impact of a 1.912 kg stony meteorite.”(ad)

Two similar explosions occurred over South America in the 1930’s. However, some are large enough to survive the journey to the surface.  Depending on the size, density, speed and angle of approach, the consequences of a large impact are difficult for the average person to appreciate. As Austen Atkinson wrote[109] “A single impact by a rock the size of (London’s) Millennium Dome could devastate the surface of the globe with an explosive release of energy five times more powerful than the entire world’s nuclear arsenal. On 19 May 1996, just such an object came within 280,000 miles of Earth: six hours from collision. Humankind could have been eradicated.”

The most famous impact is probably that which in the Yucatan took place 66 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs. A recent (2019) paper(ae) reports that “excavations in North Dakota reveal fossils of fish and trees that were blasted with rocky, glassy fragments that fell from the sky. The deposits show evidence also of having been swamped with water – the consequence of the colossal sea surge that was generated by the impact.”

11 million years later another impact in the Atlantic is credited with the expansion of the mammals according to a new study by co-author, Dennis Kent from Rutgers University.

An online calculator of impact effects was developed by scientists at Purdue University and Imperial College, London was first published in 2004 and recently updated(g).

By 2009 175 large impact craters have been discovered all over our planet, many more are undiscovered having been destroyed over time by wind and water erosion or hidden by vegetation. In 2006, a crater with a diameter of 30 km was discovered in the Southern Egyptian desert. This discovery may solve a mystery in the same region that has baffled science for over seventy years, namely, the Libyan desert glass that covers an area 60 x 100 km. However, the largest known impact crater is the Vredefort crater in South Africa with a diameter of 300 km (186 miles). But this may have to take second place to the 300 mile wide crater identified in Hudson Bay in North America.

The spectacular collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy with Jupiter in July 1994 and the manner in which it disintegrated into a number of huge pieces before impacting over seven days, may offer one possible explanation for the mechanism that could produce the apparent clustering of 3rd millennium BC impacts on Earth.

The current estimate is that there are more than 2,000 asteroids exceeding a kilometre in size together with 10,000 over half a kilometre plus millions of smaller items in Earth-crossing orbits; collectively known as ‘Apollo objects‘. The meteor that exploded over central Russia in February 2013 belonged to this Apollo group. Add to this the risk from comets, normally larger than asteroids, and it is obvious that large-scale impacts are inevitable, however infrequent. The good news is that in 2011 it was reported that a NASA space telescope recorded a 40% reduction in their earlier calculation(j) which should be compared with the assessment referred to(f) at the end of the last paragraph of this entry. May 2012 saw further estimates being published(l).

Terminology, definitions and number estimates are constantly changing. Asteroids that are in excess of 100m across with orbits that that come within 7.5 million km of Earth are now referred to as PHAs (Potentially Hazardous Asteroids). As of June 2014 the IAU has listed 1,466 PHAs, while NASA estimates put the actual total in excess of 4,700(q).

As recently as 1953 an asteroid impact with the Moon was photographed as a flash and only in 2002 was the resulting 2Km- wide crater identified. The estimated energy released by this 300 metre wide object on impact would have been half a Megaton of TNT (35 times the Hiroshima bomb). A hit of this magnitude on Earth could have wiped out a large city.

It must be kept in mind that the immediate damage caused by actual impact itself is only the beginning of the story; tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes together with worldwide long-term dust veils could trigger climate change leading to ongoing adverse effects on vegetation and animal life. For humans this meant death, destruction, floods, repeated crop failures and probably a breakdown in any existing civil order.

It was as recent as the 1930’s that geologists were being told that Meteor Crater in the Arizona desert was the only known evidence that an impact, with worldwide consequences, had ever taken place. It was also in the 1930’s that the first of the Apollo objects were identified. Since then, the number of large identifiable impact craters grew to hundreds and the number of Apollo objects, whose impact would have global implications, became thousands. It then became obvious that the Earth as we know it is at serious risk. World authorities are slowly realising that the probability of similar impacts in the future are simply inevitable.

Until recently, statistical analysis indicates a major impact every 10,000 years; with the last such event occurred 12,000 years ago possibly destroying Atlantis, directly or indirectly. However, in 2006, this estimate was revised downward to a major collision every 1,000 years with the last impact having taken place around 2800 BC, in the Indian Ocean, where an 18-mile diameter crater has been discovered at a depth of 12,500 feet.

However, a paper(x) published in October 2015 has suggested that a study of mass extinctions over the past 260 million year appear to have taken place every 26 million years coinciding with major asteroid/comet impacts.

So far 175 large impact craters(e) have been discovered all over our planet, many more are undiscovered having been destroyed over time by wind and water erosion or hidden by vegetation. In 2006, a crater with a diameter of 30km was discovered in the southern Egyptian desert. This discovery may solve a mystery in the same region that has baffled science for over seventy years, namely, the Libyan desert glass that covers an area 60 x 100 km. However, the largest known impact crater is the Vredefort crater n South Africa with a diameter of 300km (186 miles). But this may have to take second place to the 300 mile wide crater identified in Hudson Bay in North America. A 2015 report tells of two impact zones that total more than 400 kilometres across, which were identified in the Warburton Basin in Central Australia(t).

Although it appears that similar suggestions have been made since the 1950’s, the debate has now reached a new level. The Hudson Bay feature has generated even greater interest since Richard Firestone, a nuclear physicist together with Allen West and Simon Warwick-Smith published[110] their claim that it was created around 11000 BC and had human witnesses who preserved their memory of it in their local folklore and that may have been responsible for the extermination of the Clovis people. Firestone’s tentative 11000 BC date for this event is earlier than Plato’s even more questionable 9600 BC date for the destruction of Atlantis might be connected since the event described by Firestone & Co. would have had global consequences and could have effected any suggested Atlantis location. In 2007, at a news conference during Joint Assembly of the American Geophysical Union, in Acapulco, Mexico, two archaeologists from the University of Oregon, Douglas J. Kennett and Jon M. Erlandson added geological evidence to support to Firestone’s thesis. In 2008 evidence of an exploding comet/asteroid over Canada during the same period was presented(c) by other academics from the University of Cincinnati. However, it must be noted that the Firestone hypothesis has encountered some criticism since the start of 2009 and must therefore be treated with due caution. This criticism appears to be gaining support according to a May 2011 report(h). In June 2012, James Kennett, son of Douglas Kennet mentioned above, was part of a team who announced further evidence of a major impact event 13,000 years ago extending from Pennsylvania and South Carolina as far as Syria(m).

Dr Reinoud de Jonge has written a number of articles(d) that drew on petroglyphs in Brittany to support his contention that the Earth had an encounter with a cometary body in 2345 BC. This would appear to complement the work of Mike Baillie and George Dodwell, who echoed William Whistons proposed date of 2346 BC, for an encounter with a comet that caused the biblical Deluge.

Since only 30% of our globe is exposed land, it is reasonable to conclude that 70% of impacts will have hit water, leaving little lasting evidence. However, at least ten of these identified impact craters occurred after the last Ice Age and at least seven of which date from around the third millennium BC, at period when there were widespread cultural collapses.

In a recent book[111] the renowned dendrochronologist, Mike Baillie, has outlined compelling evidence from his own discipline combined with ancient mythologies to support the idea of extraterrestrial impacts in early historical times. May I suggest that the mythologies that possibly relate to multiple impacts are in fact recollections of a comet that had been visible for some time before breaking up under the gravitational influence of our planet prior to impact? This idea was developed by Baillie in a subsequent book[112] written with Patrick McCafferty that focused on Celtic mythological figures. Comets rather than asteroids are more likely to have contributed to the development of myths since an asteroid would not have been visible long enough for it to develop an identity that would be remembered in legend. Graham Phillips has gone further and proposed[036] that a close encounter with a comet in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC triggered the development of monotheism at that time. Furthermore, he contends that as the Earth passed through this comet’s tail, it introduced large quantities of an amino acid, vasopressin that heightened aggression in humans leading to large scale conflicts worldwide. This comet, 12P/Pons-Brooks is due for another close encounter with Earth in 2024.

A 2012 paper(o) by Fernando Coimbra investigates the influence of unusual astronomical events, in particular comets, on the subject matter of rock art. An earlier paper(p) by Coimbra looks at the swastika as a specific example of a reflection of such an event.

Mythologies, worldwide, offer evidence of these impacts and have been subsequently reinforced by classical writers who describe in non-scientific terms the effects of these extraterrestrial assaults. Pliny wrote in his Natural History (Book II, sec 91) of ‘A terrible comet was seen by the people of Ethiopia and Egypt, to which Typhon, the king of that period, gave his name; it had a fiery appearance and was twisted like a coil, and it was very grim to behold: it was not really a star so much as what might be called a ball of fire.’

Similarly the Greek myth of Phaëton has been interpreted as a record of an encounter with a comet. Edith and Alexander Tollmann also identified an 11,000 BC impact with the Köfels region of the Austrian Tyrol as one of the impact zones. The interpretation of ancient legends and myths is obviously a matter of subjective response, but the volume of such evidence is so great that the probability of a number of major impacts being within the memory of man, who relayed the experience down to us through the medium of tradition, is quite high.

The fact that our Earth is continually at risk of a cosmic collision, the physical evidence of recent and past collisions, the recording of impacts on the Moon and Jupiter compounded with stories in ancient mythologies offer strong grounds for accepting the possibility of Atlantis being destroyed as a result of a collision with an extraterrestrial object as a credible working hypothesis.

While an asteroid impact causing the destruction of Atlantis is relatively easy to accept, some authors have proposed even more dramatic scenarios where the impact was so great that it caused the Poles to change position and/or the Earth’s outer mantle to move relative to the inner core. There is little doubt that cosmic collisions of all the possible natural catastrophes pose the greatest possible threat to life on earth. There is an interesting website(c) that discusses both catastrophes and Atlantis. Another site(e) has a small collection of images of impact craters as seen from space. 2010 produced a frightening upward reassessment of the asteroid threat(f).

In 2001 NASA(k) identified 1,000 asteroids and comets orbiting close to Earth that are capable of causing catastrophic damage to our planet in the event of a collision. An interesting map was published(n) in February 2013 showing the locations of 34,513 impacts dating back to 2300 BC.

Recent deliberate encounters with comets and asteroids have produced images and data that have raised questions about the traditional description of comets being composed of ice and rock. The lines between asteroids and comets are becoming increasingly blurred and new definitions required(r). The trend now is to see asteroids and comets as part of a continuum. Evidence is emerging that the H20 previously associated with comets may have been OH radicals(s).

The 2014 landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko would appear to have destroyed the ‘dirty snowball’ description of comets, coined in 1950 by the noted astronomer, Fred Whipple, and should now be abandoned.

Although large asteroids or comets have caused and will again cause global catastrophes on a scale that we can only imagine, they are not the greatest potential threat to our existence. It is estimated that our galaxy, as in others, are also home to free-floating giant gas planets untethered to any star, which, if they wandered our way, could not only obliterate our planet but de-stabilise our solar system.(u)

Terry Westerman offers a fascinating overview of possible global impact sites on his fully illustrated website(y).

Fortunately, the death and destruction caused by comets is balanced by the probability that they are also the source of life on our planet. This idea is gaining greater acceptance with a further paper(aa) offering additional supportive evidence published in April 2016.

Nevertheless, improved vigilance is required if we are to believe Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario, whose research in 2014 concluded(ab) that hazardous asteroids are 10 times more likely to hit Earth than previously thought!

(a) http://www.tolos.de and http://www.atlis.de

(b) www.unibg.it/dati/persone/636/410.pdf

(c) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-05/uoo-ori052107.php

(d) http://barry.warmkessel.com/dejonge.html

(f)  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1306555/Our-terrifyingly-crowded-solar-How-asteroids-closing-in.html
(g) http://www.purdue.edu/impactearth

(h) http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/comet-claim-comes-crashing-to-earth-31180

(i) http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/30jun_tunguska/
(j) http://www.space.com/13130-dangerous-asteroids-earth-nasa-telescope-results.html

(k) http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/sl9/back2.html

(l) http://www.seeker.com/4700-potentially-hazardous-asteroids-lurking-1765777967.html#news.discovery.com

(m)  http://www.ia.ucsb.edu/pa/display.aspx?pkey=2748

(n) http://news.discovery.com/earth/meteorite-map-130225.htm#mkcpgn=emnws1

(o)  https://www.academia.edu/5354586/Rock_art_and_the_memory_of_unusual_astronomical_events

(p)  https://www.academia.edu/2951519/The_astronomical_origins_of_the_swastika_motif

(q)  BBC Focus Magazine, July 2014, page 67.

*(r) http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=15318 (Link broken Oct. 2019)

(s) http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=15226 (Link broken Oct. 2019)*

(t) http://www.sci-news.com/geology/science-warburton-giant-asteroid-impact-basin-australia-02627.html

(u) http://aeon.co/magazine/science/can-life-exist-on-a-planet-without-a-star/

(v) http://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/falling-stars-and-black-stone-humanity-s-worship-meteorites-001901

(w) http://www.theverge.com/2015/10/26/9615392/comet-lovejoy-ethyl-alcohol-organic-molecules-life

(x) https://phys.org/news/2015-10-scientists-link-comet-asteroid-showers.html

(y) http://www.geoledgers.com/Impacts.html

(z) http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Meteorite-explosion-killed-Vellore-college-bus-driver-Tamil-Nadu-government-says/articleshow/50889270.cms

(aa) http://www.universal-sci.com/headlines/2016/4/9/did-comets-kick-start-life-on-earth-chemists-find-missing-piece-of-puzzle

(ab) http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/telescopes/a10236/the-asteroid-threat-visualized-16490560/

(ac) http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37647049

(ad) https://neros.lordbalto.com/ChapterNine.htm

(ae) https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47755275

Further Reading: Hoyle[602] , Maguire[604], Verschuur[579], Clube & Napier[290], Allan & Delair[014].