Holocene Impact Working Group
The Holocene Impact Working Group (HIWG)(a) was created by researchers into different aspects of geosciences, who believe that cometary impacts were more frequent during the recent past than generally accepted. It is concerned with the growing number of impact craters being discovered and the evidence of consequent mega-tsunamis. Its membership includes Mike Baillie, Richard Firestone and Bruce Masse(b).
>I note that the idea of such a Holocene impact is denied by some, such as Jennifer Marion who presents in a 2012 paper “arguments and evidence against the hypothesis that a large impact or airburst caused a significant abrupt climate change, extinction event, and termination of the Clovis culture at 12.9 ka. “(d)<
The New York Times reviewed the work of the HIWG in 2006(c).
Italian geologist Luigi Piccardi along with Masse were co-editors of Myth and Geology where it was noted that “Myths are largely event-based, in that they are triggered to a large part by an event, or combination of events, that catastrophically impact society, then these myths provide a window upon those events that can be recovered, retrieved and even dated.”(b)
The publication of Myth and Geology gave a boost to the development of the new discipline of ‘geomythology‘.
In particular, Masse studied 175 flood myths among which two gave clues to a major event that occurred in 2807 BC, which Masse linked to a cometary impact south of Madagascar creating the Burckle Crater and producing a 600-foot tsunami that swept around the world(a). Masse implied a connection with the destruction of Atlantis when he co-authored a paper that was presented to the 2005 Atlantis Conference on the Burckle Crater.
Similarly, many biblical fundamentalists have adopted the Burckle theory as the most likely cause of Noah’s Deluge, although Masse, as far as I can determine, has not endorsed such a linkage.
Masse is a leading member of the Holocene Impact Working Group.
The Burckle Abyssal Impact Crater is named after Dr Lloyd Burckle of Columbia University in the United States. It is a 30km wide underwater crater around 1500km southeast of Madagascar, considered by some to have been the result of a cometary impact less than 6,000 years ago. Wikipedia describes it as a hypothetical underwater feature(a) founded on a study of chevron dune formations in Madagascar and Australia. The Holocene Impact Working Group has an interesting article on the global extent of these dunes(b).
The chevron-tsunami linkage is disputed by University of Washington geologist and tsunami expert Jody Bourgeois(e), among others.
>A paper(l) presented by Burkle et al<at the 2005 Atlantis Conference explored the possibility that this impact resulted in one of the inundations referred to by Plato that preceded the flood of Deucalion. Acceptance of this view would add weight to the claim that Plato’s Atlantis story contains some historically factual details. However, if Plato’s floods were localised in the Mediterranean, it is difficult to understand how an impact in the middle of the Indian Ocean could have caused them.
In 2010 a South African writer, Alewyn J. Raubenheimer, published Survivors of the Great Tsunami , in which he linked the Burckle Impact with the inundation described in the widely discredited Oera Linda Book. He placed his megatsunami in 2193 BC, borrowing the date from the Oera Linda Book. Raubenheimer’s defence of the OLB has generated widespread support(c)(d).
The suggestion that Burckle impact was the possible cause of a global deluge was given due consideration in a paper(h) by a team of prominent scientists, including Lloyd Burckle, which concluded that “We have strong evidence for at least one large oceanic impact event during Holocene time. This event produced the Burckle crater and its ejecta layer. It may also have produced numerous subsidiary craters that are too small to see with our present data. We infer that the Burckle impact was part of a Shoemaker-Levy-type impact of a comet, which vaporized enough seawater to produce a global deluge. It also produced megatsunamis in many parts of the world. An expanded sample of deluge myths, additional study of the Burckle crater site, studies of potential megatsunami locations, and the search for contemporaneous craters in the Pacific will help refine and validate our inferences.”
Raubenheimer’s dating of the megatsunami is rather different from that of Kevin Curran in his Fall of a Thousand Suns, in which he offers more compelling evidence for a date of 3067 BC. Readers may find it useful to read Curran’s book along with the work of Dallas Abbott who has dated the Burckle Event to 2870 BC and sees the impact as just one of a number generated by a fragmented comet(f).
Dallas Abbott is described by Wikipedia(j) as “a research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and is part of the Holocene Impact Working Group. The primary focus of her present research is on submarine impact craters and their contribution to climate change and megatsunamis. She also has presented research regarding a large impact crater in the Gulf of Maine.” Abbott has dedicated years to the study of the Burckle Crater and the gathering of evidence that will convince her more sceptical colleagues of the reality of the impact theory(i).
>In 2020 Indian astronomy site had an article(k) by Dr Manish Pandit supporting this idea, dating the event to some time between 2800 and 3050 BC and speculating that the impact was caused by the Comet Soho which was seen in Feb. 3030 BC and may have led to the destruction of Dwarka.<
A recent paper by Bibhu Dev Misra on Graham Hancock’s website has also proposed that the comet or cometary fragment that created the Burckle Crater generated a megatsunami that submerged the legendary city of Dwarka. Drawing on the Mahabharata, archaeology and geology, the author has deduced that the impact event took place around 3700 BC(g). However, I have some difficulty with this as tsunami floodwaters eventually return to the sea!