Laurentide Ice Sheet
The Bering Strait between Asia and America has been a source of ongoing controversy regarding the peopling of America.
James Howell (1594-1666) relates how even in the 17th century the existence of the strait, then known as the Anian, was disputed, although at the same time there was also a theory that the nomadic Scythians had originally crossed over the Strait from America.
By the end of the 18th century the importance of the Strait had been recognised, when Paul Felix Cabrera wrote “That most troublesome of all the difficulties hitherto started by authors respecting the passage of animals to America, particularly of the ferocious kinds at enmity with man, even retaining in full force the plausible reasons so ingeniously urged, if not entirely removed, is nearly surmounted by the discovery and examination of Anian or Behring’s straits’ which are of no greater breadth than thirteen leagues from shore to shore, and where, by means of the ice, the two continents of Asia and America are connected; this would afford a practical route not only for animals but men, from whom it is possible to suppose that those who inhabit the most northerly countries from the straits as far as Hudson’s and Baffin’s Bays, and from the Frozen Sea to California, New Mexico, and Canada to the southward, are descended.” (s)
In certain circumstances, it is still possible to walk across the Bering Strait. “A 2.5-mile stretch divides Russia’s Big Diomede island from Alaska’s Little Diomede island. In the winter, the water separating the two islands freezes, allowing you to trek from one destination to the other.”(n) Wikipedia notes that “numerous successful crossings without the use of a boat have also been recorded since at least the early 20th century.” (o)
There is little doubt that at some point in prehistory a landbridge linked the two continents.
Although it is frequently claimed that the Hadji Ahmed Map of 1559 shows a landbridge between the two continents, it only appears to be so because of the way the map is drawn.
A recent paper(a) by Heather Pringle and Krista Langlois offers evidence that the link was more than just an isthmus, but was in fact a vast area of land, Beringia, the size of Australia and that it provided a crossing point, for humans and animals earlier and for longer than previously believed (See map above right).
After crossing the Strait there were two southward routes, one along the coast and the other via what is known as the Ice-Free Corridor Route which ran between two vast ice sheets, the Laurentide to the east and the Cordilleran to the west(c). According to a 2018 report(i), the coastal route which followed deglaciation “was physically and environmentally viable for early human migration to the Americas.” Another report in 2018 claims that the earliest settlers in America were island-hopping sea-farers from Asia(j)(k).
However, there is now compelling evidence that people reached South America before the existence of the northern ice-free corridor, suggesting the alternative coastal migration route, which, so far, has little evidence to support it. This recent report is the result of excavations at the Huaca Prieta ceremonial mound, 600 Km north of the Peruvian capital, Lima. Human activity there has now been dated to around 15,000 years ago(e). Further evidence has now emerged(p) that the peopling of America was not carried out by a single group, but by immigrants from different geographical areas.
Professor Jody Hey of Rutgers University published in 2011 the results of his North American DNA studies, which confirmed the arrival of the first migrants from Asia around 14,000 years ago in a group of not more than 70 people(r).
Pre-Columbian contact between Asia and Alaska was confirmed by a report(b) from Purdue University in September 2016. Artifacts were discovered in a house dated between 700 and 900 years old. The bronze items were identified as having been smelted in Asia, while a leather strap was radio carbon-dated to between 500 and 800 years old.
Another 2016 report(d) added genetic evidence for the Beringia migration route, when the remains of two infants, dated to around 10,000 years ago were discovered at the Upward Sun River site in Alaska.
>Further supportive evidence of the use of the Beringia landbridge was uncovered at Alaska’s Swan Point site where human occupation has been dated as far back as 14,000 years ago. “Another notable aspect of Swan Point is the role it has played in understanding the prehistoric migration of peoples into the Americas. A type of stone tool, the microblade, which was unearthed at the site, has been found to resemble those used by the Dyuktai people, who lived in Siberia around the same period. This shows that people crossed from Siberia to Alaska on the Beringia land bridge.”(t)<
The ‘received wisdom’ regarding the origins of the Clovis people was that they had crossed into the Americas from Asia via the Bering Strait 12,000 years ago. This has been challenged in a book by two archaeologists, Dennis J. Stanford and Bruce A. Bradley, who claim “that the first Americans crossed the Atlantic by boat and arrived earlier than previously thought. Supplying archaeological and oceanographic evidence to support this assertion, the book dismantles the old paradigm while persuasively linking Clovis technology with the culture of the Solutrean people who occupied France and Spain more than 20,000 years ago.” In 2014, Stephen Oppenheimer endorsed the work of Stanford and Bradley(h). Coincidentally, an article(m) in the August 2017 edition of Antiquity offers evidence that humans lived in Brazil more than 20,000 years ago, which is many millennia before the Clovis people arrived in North America.
A sceptical view of their work should also be read(f). Furthermore, in 2016 the Solutrean Hypothesis also appears to have been contradicted by recent genetic studies(g).
Late August 2019 saw the dating controversy surrounding the arrival of the First Americans re-ignited with a study that pushes the date back to over 16,000 years ago(l). This is based on archaeological discoveries at Cooper’s Ferry in Idaho. This earlier date suggests that the ice-free corridor would not have been available to these people, but are more likely to have used the coastal route from Asia via the Bering Strait. A secondary matter raised by these finds is that “Based on their analysis of the stone tools from Cooper’s Ferry, the researchers suggest that they are most similar to artifacts of the same general period found on the other side of the Pacific. Specifically, they appear to share many traits with tools produced on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido 13,000-16,000 years ago!”
The idea that the Clovis people were the first Americans is gradually losing support as the evidence found at Cooper’s Ferry and other sites indicate otherwise. A recent paper on the National Geographic website supports such a revised view(q).
The only direct connection of the Bering Strait with Atlantis has been suggested by Albert. M. Chelchelnitsky, who proposed that Atlantis had been situated in Alaska and placed the Pillars of Herakles in the Strait itself.
The Carolina Bays are named after the bay trees found growing in the 500,000 mysterious oval-shaped depressions, principally located in the eastern states of North America. In Maryland, the bays are called Maryland basins. In Mississippi and Alabama, they’re called Grady ponds. In Kansas and Nebraska, they’re called Rainwater basins. In Texas, they’re called Salinas (because they often contain salty water).
Their characteristics have been presented as evidence of impact damage from a comet or asteroid. This view is hotly disputed, as is the idea that they are of relatively recent origin at the beginning of the Holocene. Emilio Spedicato is one proponent who considers that a relatively recent impact to have been a contributory fact to the ending of the last Ice Age leading to the demise of Atlantis.
A more mundane explanation has been recently offered by Jon Pelletier, assistant professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has just published a paper on a series of uniformly shaped and oriented lakes on the North Slope of Alaska. Pelletier has offered a credible ‘thaw slumping’ rationalisation for their annual growth. However, I have not seen his explanation for their existence in the first place. Pelletier’s explanation(a) for the Carolinas is based on the dissolving of the underlying limestone in a manner that generated lakes with a uniform orientation. Although he admitted that at that time (2005) his solution is “very speculative”.
The cometary explanation was given additional support in 2007, when a team of researchers from Oregon University outlined evidence that included the Carolinas, for the disintegration of a comet over Eastern Canada around 10900 BC. They claim that apart from the initiation of the Younger Dryas period, it caused widespread destruction across North America and also led to the disappearance of the Clovis culture. Further evidence supporting this view(b) was advanced by other academics in 2008.
Nevertheless, there is also evidence from optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating that the bays were formed 80,000 -100,000 years BP, which conflicts with the YD date! My layman’s view is that after 80,000 years I would expect the bays to be much more eroded than they appear to be.
A more recent paper(e) by Antonio Zamora offers an important new concept, namely that the ‘bays’ were created by a meteorite striking the Laurentide Ice Sheet that existed in the Great Lakes region, during the last Ice Age, which in turn produced an enormous hail of ice ejecta which rained down on the eastern seaboard of what is now the United States. In his conclusion, he claims “that the new model of slow-velocity impacts from ice ejecta resulting from a meteorite impact on the Laurentide ice sheet explains many of the characteristics of the Carolina Bays, including the lack of shock metamorphism and meteorite fragments.” Zamora has also published an impressive LiDAR image of a section of the bays, which is best viewed on a large screen(o).
Zamora has also published in 2012 an ebook entitled Meteorite Cluster Impacts(f), and in his 2015 book, Solving the Mystery of the Carolina Bays, he expands on his theory that the ‘Bays’ were created as a result of an extraterrestrial impact with the Laurentide Ice Sheet. He describes in great detail the mathematical basis for his views.
Zamora has now had a new paper on the ‘Bays’ published in the peer-reviewed journal, Geomorphology(i), which may help to rekindle discussion on the subject. Although, in my opinion, they are not directly related to the Atlantis narrative, the existence of the Carolina Bays provides very obvious evidence of our catastrophic past.
Ralph Ellis believes that Zamora’s ‘blocks of ice’ ejecta created by the impact should be thought of instead as being more akin to softer ‘slushballs’(g)(h).
Robert W. Felix, an American architect totally rejects the ice ejecta theory, principally on the grounds that the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) should have disappeared before the creation of the Carolina Bays(l). However, conventional wisdom dates the decline of the LIS to around 9,600 BC(m), coincidental with the arrival of the Carolina Bats! Felix contends in one of his books  that the Bays were formed by millions of gigantic explosions in the sky, explosions triggered by a magnetic reversal!
The serial sceptic, Paul Heinrich, claims(d) that there is dating evidence, which indicates varying dates for the creation of different Carolinas. The most recent popular work to discuss comprehensively, the origin as well as the conflicting dating evidence for the Carolinas, is The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes by Firestone, West and Warwick-Smith. This is an important book that is primarily concerned with a cosmic catastrophe that wiped out the North American mammoth along with other large animals at the same time that the Clovis People disappeared 13,000 years ago. This was also the time of the colder Younger Dryas period.
When the Russian investigator Leonard Kulik studied the Tunguska River area, over which a meteor/asteroid exploded in 1908, he discovered a number of neat oval bog holes that might offer support for either the impact theory or more improbably the theories of Pelletier.
Now, over a century after the Tunguska event, an Italian research team have concluded that it was an asteroid that struck the earth and that nearby Lake Cheko is the impact crater(c).
In 2013 Gernot Spielvogel co-authored Sonnenbomben in which it is suggested that the Tunguska event was caused by a solar plasma ‘bomb’! Even Nikola Tesla was blamed by some as the perpetrator of the Tunguska event(n).
>However, although the impact theory does appear to have widespread support, there appears to be a move to look at a natural earthbound explanation. The U.S. Geological Survey is now identifying the Bays as ‘relict thermokarst lakes’(q).<
A 2020 article reviews the theories relating to the origin of the bays as well as the extraordinary biodiversity to be found within the bays(p).
Nevertheless, various other theories are still under investigation, including serious consideration of the possibility of an alien spaceship explosion!(j)
(a) See: Archive 2042
(g) https://independent.academia.edu/ralphellis4 see (h)
The Deglaciation that occurred at the end of the last Ice Age has attracted a lot of attention from Atlantis seekers because it coincides with Plato’s apparent date for the destruction of Atlantis and provides us with a possible source of the flood that subsequently not only wiped out the Atlanteans but possibly also the Athenians. However, meltwater from deglaciation causes global sea levels to rise very, very, slowly and so is extremely unlikely to have caused the destruction of the Atlanteans or Athenians as described by Plato.
The melting of the ice caps gradually caused the ocean levels to rise over a period of thousands of years and at times the retreat of the glaciers was halted and occasionally reversed. Although the melting of the ice was relatively steady, the water produced did not always reach the sea in a steady flow. Instead, it was frequently punctuated by enormous discharges of water particularly where ice dams had retained vast melt water lakes.
In the 1920’s a maverick geologist, J Harlen Bretz (1882-1981), postulated that a huge ice-age flood had carved the landscape of Eastern Washington state, in just a few days. In spite of acrimonious opposition from the geology establishment of the day, Bretz persevered with his investigations, which eventually led to the identification of Lake Missoula as the probable culprit. Bretz was finally vindicated in 1979 when, in his nineties, he was awarded the prestigious Penrose Medal for his work(f). There is a beautifully illustrated National Geographic online article that reviews Bretz’s work(i).
These discharges of huge quantities of water are recognisable as relatively sudden spikes in the rate of sea level increases and are referred to as Melt Water Pulses WMP).
Lake Missoula in what is today the state of Montana is one of the best studied of these glacial lakes. The regular discharges from Lake Missoula, following ice dam collapses, were responsible for the creation of the dramatic Scablands of the North-Western United States. Studies have revealed that between forty and eighty such floods were released from Lake Missoula alone.
However, an alternative to Lake Missoula as the cause of the scablands has been recently proposed(g), namely, the younger-dryas comet impact event. This event was highlighted by Richard Firestone and his colleagues in The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes. My problem with the idea of the comet impact is that it was a single event, whereas the Missoula discharges were according to some authorities quite numerous!
The power of fast flowing water was recently highlighted by a report published(c) in the journal of America’s National Academy of Sciences, where a study of Iceland’s unpronounceable Jokulsargljufur canyon indicated that this huge feature was created in a matter of days. In Iceland, such glacial outburst floods are known as Jökulhlaups(d).
It has now been estimated by scientists that around 6200 BC the ancient glacial Lakes Agassiz and Ojibway discharged into the Atlantic Ocean. These lakes were more than twice the size of the Caspian Sea and on their own are estimated to have raised sea levels by up to 4 feet. The freshwater flow is calculated at between 25 and 50 times the flow of the Amazon River and recent studies suggest that this sudden inflow of fresh water brought the Gulf Stream to a halt for more than a hundred years. A 2016 report(e) from CAGE (Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment) suggests that the Gulf Stream was not interrupted during the Ice Age.
*Graham Hancock, in his Magicians of the Gods , reviews, at length, the theories of J Harlen Bretz and after a shared field trip and lengthy discussions with Randall Carlson, concluded that Bretz had probably only revealed part of the Scablands story. Hancock has pointed out that Bretz was unaware of the cometary impact identified by Richard Firestone et al., which coincided with the start of the Younger Dryas period 12,800 years ago. This impact theory continues to amass confirmatory data, but opposition has not abated yet. The cometary impact, the creation of the Scablands and the start of the Younger Dryas cooling period all seem to coincide temporally to a degree that strongly suggests an interconnection.*
Nick Thom has suggested that an even more dramatic consequence of the discharge from Lake Agassiz was the tilting of the Earth’s axis leading to the biblical Deluge and recorded around the world in hundreds of flood myths!
Similar melt water lakes across Northern Europe retained by ice dams produced equally dramatic discharges as the dams periodically broke. One of these occupied what is now the Baltic Sea and was 30 metres above the then ocean level before bursting into the North Sea around 10,000 BC. Less well known is the flooding that took place further east resulting in the creation of a vast inland sea of which the Black and Caspian Seas were just a small part. Ronnie Gallagher has written a revealing paper on the subject(a).
It is worth noting that, although on a smaller scale, two thirds of the thousands of Himalayan glaciers contain glacial lakes, which because of global warming today are growing at risk of bursting with consequent catastrophic results. As these glaciers retreat, apart from the damage to people and property the discharges will gradually reduce the downstream flow of water to rivers such as the Ganges.
paleoclimatologist, Hartmut Heinrich, who as recently as 1988 published evidence that there had been at least six massive discharges of icebergs from the Laurentide Ice Sheet during the last Ice Age. These discharges could have contained millions of cubic kilometres of ice and must have caused substantial sea level rises. This Laurentide Ice Sheet was an enormous mass of ice that stretched from the Arctic through eastern Canada to the northern half of the United States that covered over 5 million square miles. The weight of this ice sheet was so great that it has been calculated that it depressed the earth’s crust by nearly half a mile. A recent paper contends that it was the collapse of this ice sheet, 8000 years ago causing a sea level rise that led to the breaching of a ridge damming the Bosporus and the inundation of the then freshwater Black Sea, which flooded over 73,000 square km of land.
In the southern hemisphere it was discovered a few years ago (Science, Dec.22, 2000) that the River Amazon had experienced a doubling of its outflow between 9800 BC and 9700 BC, probably as a consequence of the melting of Andean glaciers and perhaps increased rainfall during this period. The dates proposed are very close to the 9600 BC date provided by Plato for the submergence of Atlantis.
All these worldwide discharges must have resulted in the inundation of low-lying landmasses, such as the Celtic Shelf or Sundaland, in fits and starts forcing the inhabitants of these regions to regularly migrate to higher ground.
Since it is reasonable to assume that a large percentage of human settlements were then, as now, located along coasts, particularly at river mouths, the consequence for these embryonic cultures must have been catastrophic. It is very easy to see how legends of sunken civilisations probably have a very sound basis in fact. Two books by Graham Hancock and Stephen Oppenheimer have covered this idea in greater detail, lending credibility to the idea of a sunken island such as Atlantis.
However, it can be reasonably argued that the effects of deglaciation are not what Plato described. He spoke of earthquake and a flood that overwhelmed both the Athenians and the Atlanteans. This would more closely match the aftermath of a large seismic or tectonic event that generated enormous tsunamis rather than the gradual rising of sea levels, which even at its most dramatic could never have produced the effect of sinking Atlantis overnight.
However, the waters of tsunamis eventually flow back to the sea, but Plato’s account describes the event resulting in the creation of muddy shallows. To me it sounds more like liquefaction which occurs in soil with particular characteristics when subjected to an earthquake(b), similar to the destruction of the cities of Canopus and Herakleion near Alexandria.
A website that graphically illustrates the process of deglaciation after the last Ice Age is available(h).
Ralph Ellis is an airline pilot by profession with a passion for ancient history and religions. His revisionist views has been heavily criticised. He has authored a number of books(a) focussing in the main on ancient Egypt. As noted elsewhere he has drawn attention to evidence for re-dating the pyramids. In a 2015 article(e) he claims that the four small shafts in the Great Pyramid had nothing to do with alignment with stars but were associated with the value of pi, an idea first suggested in 1859 by John Taylor (1781-1864)(i) in a book entitled The Great Pyramid: Why was it Built, and Who Built it? 
Ellis’ 2013 book, Eden in Egypt , locates the Garden of Eden in Egypt and claims that Adam and Eve were Akhenaton and Nefertiti! He has also proposed(f) that Flavius Josephus was in fact St. Paul! This idea has been taken up by others(g).
He has also co-authored a number of articles with Mark Foster(b).
In his trilogy, The Gospel of King Jesus, Ellis ‘reveals’ that Jesus was the great grandson of Queen Cleopatra and was King Izas of Edessa, in what is now northern Syria. Understandably, this has stirred up quite a controversy(a).
Ellis first touched on the subject of Atlantis in his book Thoth locating Plato’s island in the Atlantic, but in a later book, Tempest & Exodus he changed his opinion and subscribed to the Minoan Hypothesis.
Ellis has now turned his attention to ice age theory, since the exact cause of the onset of an ice age is still a matter of active debate. He has now proposed a new theory based on a cyclical alteration of polar albedo by atmospheric dust(c).
In a recent paper published(d) in Atlantis Rising magazine, Ellis reviews the mystery of the Carolina Bays, but offers little that is new and supports the growing consensus that the ‘Bays’ were the result of a cometary impact in the Great Lakes region, which was at that time covered by the Laurentide ice sheet. The impact shattered the ice and ejected millions of ‘slush balls’, many of which survived their high-speed journey through the atmosphere, creating the ‘Bays’ on landing.
Another of Ellis’ weirder claims is that “there exists a large copy of the Great Pyramid way up in the Himalayas, highlighted in an article(h) and book, K2: Quest of the Gods” !
(d) See Archive 3025