Robert Bauval (1948- ) was born in Egypt of Belgian and Maltese extraction. He is probably best known as the original promoter of the Orion Correlation Theory (OCT), which claims that the layout of three principal Giza pyramids mirrors ‘Orion’s Belt’ in that constellation. This received widespread coverage when it was outlined in The Orion Mystery  written by Bauval and Adrian Gilbert and in Keeper of Genesis  written with Graham Hancock, published two years later. In fact, Bauval had first published his theory in 1989 in Discussions in Egyptology(a).
Nevertheless, Andrew Collins has In a recent paper(h), has disputed Bauval’s OCT and has instead offered evidence that the alignment of the three principal Giza pyramids matches more closely the ‘wing’ stars of the Cygnus constellation than the ‘belt’ of Orion!
Greg Little in considering the Orion vs Cygnus debate concluded that “the truth is that Cygnus fits the three pyramids at Giza far better than Orion does. Does that mean that Cygnus is correct? No, not really. It means that there is a lot more investigation has to be done. It also means that we may never know. I’m sure that somewhere in the night sky there are three stars that can be fit rather precisely onto Giza.” (i).
Another writer, Wayne Herschel, is claimed to have reinterpreted Bauval’s Orion theory in his book The Hidden Records  and not only claims that the Giza pyramids reflect the layout of stars in Orion’s Belt, but that a similar arrangement of ‘pyramids’ in the Cydonia region of Mars is also to be found. Emilio Spedicato is another supporter of this Cydonia-Giza-Orion association(g)!
Herschel’s volume is a glossy collection of balderdash, which includes such delights as the Martians having a penal colony on Earth, as well as a promise of a sequel that will reveal “two further shocking secrets of the Sphinx.” Eventually, The Alpha Omega Taurus Star Gate was published with a new collection of balderdash. The odd idea of Earth as an alien penal colony has also been put forward by Dr Ellis Silver an American ecologist(f).
During one interview Bauval declared that “To be very honest, I am not a believer in Atlantis.”(b) However, he has no difficulty in adopting the idea of ancient astronaut visitors a la von Däniken, as revealed in Cosmic Womb , written with Chandra Wickramasinghe and reviewed by Jason Colavito(c).
Zahi Hawass, the former Egyptian Minister of Antiquities has repeatedly clashed with Bauval, particularly in connection with the proposed Orion correlation. In April 2015, Hancock was due to engage in debate with Hawass on the subject of their conflicting views of ancient history. However, when Hawass saw that Hancock included an image of Robert Bauval in his presentation, he refused to continue with the arranged format(d)(e) and after a lot of shouting, from Hawass, he stormed out.
(a) Discussions in Egyptology, volume 13, 1989, pp. 7-18
Donald W. Patten (1929-2014) was an American researcher and keen supporter of catastrophism. He was also a dedicated creationist. His cosmological theories were comparable to those of Velikovsky, who claimed that some of the planets in our Solar System were rearranged within the memory of man. This reorganisation involved a number of damaging close encounters by some planets with the Earth. While Velikovsky was to a great extent focused on the movements of Venus, Patten was more concerned with the activities of Mars.
>Stuart Harris noted in a 2017 paper(c) that “Donald W. Patten modeled flybys of Mars as a fIxed sequence that alternated spring and fall, spaced 108 years apart. He sequenced flybys from 701 to 1404 BCE using historical records. Flybys altemated between the night of March 20-21 on odd years, and during the day of October 24 on even years.”
Harris’ paper “extends Patten’s methodology to March 7137 BC by recognizing that the 108-year interval was not constant but occasionally increased in increments of four years. Two important milestones are March 3161 BC, the Biblical Flood, and March 3761 BC, the start of the Hebrew calendar.”<
Patten wrote a number of books and papers, two of which were with Samuel R. Windsor entitled The Recent Organisation of the Solar System, and The Mars-Earth Wars, which are also available online(a)(b).
Bode’s Law or more correctly Titius-Bode’s Law is named after two German astronomers, Johann Daniel Titius and
Johann Elert Bode, who proposed in the 18th century that there was a mathematical relationship between the then six known planets and their distance from the sun, with each one roughly twice the distance as the previous planet. Although the idea was conceived by Titius, it was Bode who gave it greater prominence, when he used it to predict the existence of Uranus and later Ceres in the Asteroid Belt. At that point it was accepted as a ‘law’.
In the 19th century, Urbain LeVerrier and John Couch Adams working independently, used the Titius-Bode model combined with calculations based on Newton’s Law of Gravity to predict where the next planet, Neptune, should be found. Kamienski wrote a short paper comparing the formulae of LeVerrier & Adams with that of Titius-Bode(m).
The subject has been debated throughout the 20th century. I.J. Good, a British mathematician who worked with Alan Turing during the war at Bletchley Park, offered a paper in support of Titius-Bode in 1968(b). Bradley Efron, an American statistician, proposed an opposing view(c). Both papers are best suited to the mathematically advanced.
The late Timo Niroma has offered some interesting observations(j) on the mechanics behind Titius-Bode and developed a cosmology based upon atomic weights, noting that “What happens in small scale seems to obey the same laws on a much grander scale.”
Georgi Gladyshev, a Russian scientist, has proposed a explanation for Titius-Bode based on the work of Raphael Liesegang(g) who proposed the concept of ‘periodic precipitation’. Gladyshev applied Liesegang’s theory to the early stages of the formation of our Solar System(h)(i). Hopefully, this may bring us closer to the physics behind the distribution of the planets!
It has also been proposed that a Titius-Bode-Type ‘rule’ seems to be applicable to planetary satellite systems(d) and there appears to be evidence(a) that Titius-Bode is also applicable to exoplanetary systems!
The Titius-Bode Law has also been linked with the Fibonacci Series(e) as well as the Golden Mean(f).
Velikovskian catastrophism proposes[0037.152] that Atlantis was destroyed as a result of the periodic close encounters of our planet with Venus and/or Mars during the 2nd millennium BC.
Louis Jacot (1906- ) was a Swiss economist and jurist who added the study of science and philosophy to his intellectual toolkit. He developed some novel cosmological theories, including enthusiastic support for Bode’s Law which he described as “the great key to the mysteries of the Universe.”  While this may be overstating his case, I cannot help feeling that Bode’s Law is an expression of cosmological principles operating in a manner not as yet identified! At its simplest the question is, are we to believe that the spacing of the planets came about purely by chance or are there unrecognised force or forces at play?
For my own part, I have always felt that Bode’s Law was a highly convincing concept, but unfortunately I do not have the mathematical or astronomical ability required to objectively verify its reality, nor the proposed Fibonnaci Sequence and the Golden Mean relationship with it. It would appear that acceptance of Bode would create difficulties not just for the Saturn Theory but also for Velikovsky’s idea that Venus was just a large piece of ejecta from Jupiter that had catastrophic close encounters with Earth and Mars, within human experience, just a few thousand years ago. Such an idea would mean that prior to the Saturnian rearrangement of the planets or the Velikovskian creation of Venus, the positional relationship of the planets probably did not conform to any known mathematical model but after this/these calamitous events everything ‘coincidentally’ settled into orbits that are now claimed to conform to Bode, Fibonacci and the Golden Mean! Can we believe that after careening around the solar system including a number of close encounters with Earth that all the planets adopted new orbits that conformed with Bode’s Law. Surely, this is a coincidence too far?
Although the ‘Law’ has been generally abandoned by mainstream scientists, there is still interest in some quarters. One of those was the British astronomer, the late Michael Ovenden (1926-1987) who produced a modified version of the original formula(k). Another version involvesan interpretation of quantum mechanics, called pilot wave theory(l)!
(m) Atlantis, Volume 13, No.1 December 1959
Joseph P. Skipper has devoted a number of years to the study of apparent Mars anomalies as seen on Google images. His interest in satellite imagery led him to a review of images of a number of sites in the Atlantic that appear to show features on the sea floor that are too regular in shape to be considered natural. These are located off the west coast of Ireland. A close look at the image used by Skipper shows what appears to be striations, which run east – west and look exactly the same whether they run over higher or lower sections of the seafloor. They also cover an area greater in size than the British Isles and so cannot be streets. The lines shown would indicate ‘streets’ many kilometres wide!
Google’s explanation that these are the result of some sort of sonar glitch is not accepted by Skipper. This might be a valid view to hold, but his additional claim that other images show what he considers to be ancient writing on the ocean bed inscribed on a gigantic scale does little to portray him as a rational commentator.
Skipper’s review of the Atlantis narrative is fairly standard(a), placing Atlantis in the Atlantic and probably established during the last Ice Age.
Nibiru was a Sumerian astronomical term used to describe a planetary body that periodically approached Earth. This account was hijacked by the late Zechariah Sitchin to construct his Planet X theory in which he claimed that this planet had an orbit that took it to the outer limits of the solar system returning every 3600 years to the vicinity of Earth. Sitchin claimed that during one of these visits some of its inhabitants came to earth and become the ‘gods’ of the Sumerians. However, Sitchin failed to explain how the inhabitants of this Planet X survived the lack of heat and light that it would have had to endure as it moved away from the proximity of the Sun. For us inhabitants of Earth, a drop of just a few degrees is fatal.
However, Emilio Spedicato has a radically different and certainly more rational view of this Sumerian planet. He ascribes a much shorter orbital period of 20 years to Nibiru and claims that close encounters with this planet (and its satellites) had a dramatic physical effect on the prehistory of our planet including the capturing of our Moon, the destruction of Atlantis and later the biblical Exodus! His scenario has elements that can be traced to Velikovsky, Ackerman and Hörbiger.
Robert Solarion was a keen follower of Immanuel Velikovsky and like him was convinced that in the first and second millennia BC the Earth had suffered a catastrophic Pole Shift as a result of a close flyby of a large extraterrestrial body or bodies. Velikovsky identified these as Venus and Mars, but Solarion differed, suggesting that it was the putative Nibiru!(h)
Professor Spedicato’s November 2012 paper, From Nibiru to Tiamat, an Astronomic Scenario for Earliest Sumerian Cosmology, can be read or downloaded from the excellent Diffusion and Migration website(a). A number of his other papers can be found on the same website and are certainly worth studying.
In sharp contrast to the serious work of Spedicato, for the past couple of years, we have been subjected to a barrage of silly articles(b) linking Nibiru with the promised 2012 global catastrophes ‘predicted’ by the Mayan calendar.
A debunking of both Sitchin’s scholarship and the existence of Nibiru has been offered by a number of sites(c).
However, some people, such as David Meade (a pen-name) who describes himself as a ‘Christian numerologist’ predicted that Nibiru would collide with Earth on September 23, 2017! When this did not happen he moved the event to October, but again nothing happened. But he persisted and subsequently moved our demise to March 2018, then April, with a final suggestion for that year of between May and December(d).
>In early 2021, an article on the BBC offered a potted history of the search for Planet X from the time of Percival Lowell until now(i). Although, Planet X has proved elusive, “either way, the search for the legendary ninth planet has already helped to transform our understanding of the solar system. Who knows what else we’ll find before the hunt comes to an end.”<
It is poorly translated and includes four, apparently important, checklists all in Spanish! He places Atlantis in the region of the Azores which sit on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) and considers all other proposed locations as mere colonies of Atlantis. He refers erroneously to the MAR as a subduction zone, but that is a minor matter compared to his insistence on a connection between Atlantis and features on Mars! He also includes the claim that Atlantis was destroyed by the Earth-Mars Orbital exchange, based on the ideas of creationist Donald Patten (not Alan Patten).
Martinez would also appear to suffer from chronic pareidolia, seeing giant heads in rock outcrops, guardian animals and a view of a queen about to give birth at Machu Picchu. You could not make this up unless you were experimenting with Colombia’s biggest export.
The Expanding Earth Hypothesis.
For thousands of years it was accepted that the surface of the earth was in a static state. This belief persisted until the discovery of America in 1492 and the cartographic improvements during the following century before Abraham Ortelius in his 1596 Thesaurus Geographicus proposed that the Americas had once been joined to Europe and Africa. It is often claimed that in 1620 Francis Bacon commented on the close fit of the eastern South America with the west coast of Africa, however, this, according to G.L. Herries Davies, is an exaggerated interpretation of what he actually said(o).
A number of others concurred with the jig-saw suggestion until 1858 when the French geographer Antonio Snider-Pellegrini offered a theory of crustal movement that was more fully developed in 1912 by Alfred Wegener, which he came to label ‘continental drift’(e). Snider-Pellegrini also thought that the Earth had been much smaller at the time of the biblical Genesis(ac)! The big objection to the theory was a lack of a convincing mechanism to explain it(f).
A number of writers have attempted to bring the theory of Continental Drift (CD) into the Atlantis debate. They seem to overlook the fact CD was proposed as a very very slow process, while Plato describes the demise of Atlantis as occurring in a single day and a night.
Wegener’s theory was debated until the late 1950’s when it morphed into the theory of Plate Tectonics (PT) following new developments in earth sciences in particular the recognition of seafloor spreading at mid-ocean ridges. However, PT as we know it demands subduction(z), which in itself has created new problems(aa)(ab).
The theory divides the lithosphere into a number of plates which are constantly moving in various directions at rates of a few centimetres a year. Competing with PT in the early years was the theory of Earth Crustal Displacement advocated by Charles Hapgood which claims that the entire crust of the earth moved as a unit. Endorsed by Albert Einstein it is fundamental to the theory of an Antarctic location for Atlantis proposed by Rose & Rand Flem-Ath.
Unfortunately, Plate Tectonics does not explain everything and ever since it gained the pre-eminence it currently enjoys, various writers have questioned what they perceive as its shortcomings(g)(h)(i).
A totally different proposal is that the earth is expanding. Although the concept did not get much attention until the 1980’s there are antecedents stretching back to 1888(a), when the earliest suggestion was made by the Russian, Ivan Yarkovsky (1844-1902). A year later the Italian geologist (and violinist) Roberto Montovani (1854-1933) proposed(I) a similar mechanism. In 1933, Ott Christoph
Hilgenberg(t) published Vom wachsenden Erdbal (The Expanding Earth) .
>In 1963, a Russian lady, Kamilla Abaturova, wrote to Egerton Sykes expressing the view that although her theory of an expanding Earth involved a ‘slow’ process, she proposed that at the time of Atlantis’ the radius of the Earth was 600 km shorter(af). In geological terms this is far from ‘slow’!<
The leading proponent of the theory today is arguably the geologist Dr. James Maxlow(b). A detailed outline of the theory is also offered on his website(c). For laymen like myself a series of YouTube clips(d) are probably more informative. I have stated elsewhere that I am sympathetic towards the idea of earth expansion finding it somewhat more credible than plate tectonics. The truth of the matter is that since Ortelius first suggested that the continents of our planet had moved, all that has emerged since is a refinement of that basic idea leading to CD which became PT and as the latter still does not answer all the questions it raises, it is clear that further modification will be required. The Expanding Earth Hypothesis may, as its proponents claim, supply all those answers. Others do not think so, which brings me to J. Marvin Herndon who has ‘married’ the theory of an expanding earth with the idea of crustal plates(j) , naming his 2005 concept Whole-Earth Decompression Dynamics (WEDD).
The Thunderbolts.info website has a three-part article seeking to offer “an alternative to plate and extension tectonics”. The anonymous author suggests than an electrical element is involved in the development of our planet. An extensive look at mountain building is also included(y).
Keith Wilson, an American researcher, has also developed a website(k) devoted to the EEH and linking it to Pole Shift. However, he goes further and introduces Mayan prophecies into the subject, which in my view is unwise in the light of recent events or rather non-events!
In the meanwhile a number of Atlantis researchers have endorsed the EEH including, Stan Deyo, Georg Lohle and Rosario Vieni. Nicolai Zhirov referred to the growing support both in Russia and elsewhere for the EEH citing a number of its supporters, adding that “the idea of the Earth expanding (within reasonable limits) cannot be ruled out altogether as absurd.”[458.126]
A number of websites have dismissed the EEH as pseudoscience, which is confirmed by satellite measurements.(m)(n).
There is also a variation of the standard expansion theory which proposes(q) that expansion may have occurred in fits and starts. There also seems to be evidence that the Earth is not alone with Venus expanding(r) and Mercury contracting(s).
Another matter that may be related to the claim of an expanding Earth is the question of the size of dinosaurs and other creatures and plants millions of years ago, which is claimed to have been impossible if gravity then was the same as today. A book by Stephen Hurrell has expanded on this idea. There is an interesting website(p) that deals with the enormous size of the dinosaurs as well as other creatures at the same period and the support it may offer the EEH.
Neal Adams, a respected graphic artist(u), is a vocal supporter of the EEH(v), but, he has gone further and has also proposed a growing Moon as well(w). Not content with that, he has extended his expansion investigations to other bodies in our Solar System, such as, Mars, Ganymede & Europa(x). Adams considers the term “Expanding Earth” a misnomer and has named his proposed expansion process ‘pair production’.(ad)
A December 2018 paper by Degezelle Marvin offers some new support for the EEH(ae) . The author includes an interesting comparison of the problems of the currently accepted paradigm of plate tectonics with possible solutions offered by EEH. The author concludes with;
“The problems with plate tectonics were presented in this paper. Earth scientists dogmatically follow the plate tectonics theory that is falsifed by geological data while Earth expansion is clearly a viable candidate to replace plate tectonics. Analysis map of the age of the oceanic lithosphere showed that the isochrons only ft on a smaller Earth with calculated radius. Mountain formation has even been presented as a logic result of the Earth’s expansion. The average rate of the growth of the Earth’s radius is 1.22cm/year, obtained by geological methods.”
Finally, I cannot help thinking about those Victorians who thought that they had reached the pinnacle of scientific understanding. They were wrong and, I believe, that so are we, although we are slowly, very slowly, edging towards the truth, which may or may not involve the vindication of the Expanding Earth Hypothesis.
(y) https://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16534 (link broken Oct. 2019) See: https://atlantipedia.ie/samples/archive-3326/
(af) Atlantis, Volume 16, No. 1, February 1963.
The Saturn Theory(b) suggests a radical revision of our understanding of the recent history of our solar system. It involves the re-positioning of Saturn, Venus, Earth and Mars and that this complex celestial drama was recorded in the mythologies of the ancient world. There are a number of competing models the theory, one has Earth as a satellite of Saturn, while another has our planet at least closer to Saturn. The late Amy Acheson (1946-2005) suggested that a vindicated Saturn Theory will demonstrate that “Atlantis was not an earthly location” but was a celestial “variation of the mythical home of the gods” (a).
Although I am a supporter of catastrophism I find it hard to accept any of the Saturn Theory’s variants. I am also a convinced euhemerist and believe that myths often contain cores of historical reality. Unfortunately myths can be notoriously ambiguous and consequently where they record remarkable sights in the sky what is interpreted as a close encounter by one person can with equal conviction be seen as an approaching comet by another.
For me the clincher is that the previous arrangement of the solar system, posited by the Saturn Theory, would conflict with the relative harmony of Bode’s Law, even if we do not understand its underlying principles. A 1974 paper(c) by Oreste and Margaret Lombardi compared Bode’s Law with the Fibonnaci Sequence and the Golden Mean when applied to our solar system. The authors concluded “that there is some underlying law involving gravitation and the golden mean that determines both aphelion and apogee distances.” With respect to some underlying gravitational principle, R. Louise, the French astronomer, remarked(d): “that satellite systems mimic the planetary system suggests some possible unsuspected property of gravitation.”
For my own part, I have always felt that Bode’s Law was a highly convincing concept, but, unfortunately, I do not have the mathematical or astronomical ability required to objectively verify its reality, nor the proposed Fibonnaci Sequence and the Golden Mean relationship with it. It would appear that acceptance of Bode would create difficulties not just for the Saturn Theory but also for Velikovsky’s idea that Venus was just a large piece of ejecta from Jupiter that had catastrophic close encounters with Earth and Mars, within human experience, just a few thousand years ago. Such an idea would mean that prior to the Saturnian rearrangement of the planets or the Velikovskian creation of Venus, the positional relationship of the planets probably did not conform to any known mathematical model but after this/these calamitous events everything ‘coincidentally’ settled into orbits that are now claimed to conform to Bode, Fibonacci and the Golden Mean! All this is a coincidence too far.
Emilio Spedicato (1945- ) was born in Milan. He graduated in physics and is now working in numerical analysis and applied mathematics. He has held a full professorship at Bergamo University since 1984. In addition to his more conventional academic pursuits, he also researches ‘non-standard models of planetary evolution and non-standard interpretation of myth and ancient religions.’
Spedicato has developed a list(a) of ‘54 theses for reconstructing Earth and human history during the catastrophic period 9500 to 700 BC’(l). This list is partly based on the work of Velikovsky, DeGrazia and Ackerman and is intended to be the basis of a larger work in book form. Some of his ideas will be seen as highly controversial such as the genetic manipulation of humans by extraterrestrial visitors. He locates the Garden of Eden and the ‘creation’ of Adam and Eve in the Hunza valley of modern Pakistan(e).
He ventured into further controversial territory with his support for an updated version of Hörbiger’s moon capture theory(f) and endorsement for pole shifts(g) after long periods of stability following encounters with large extraterrestrial bodies. He considers the last of these to have taken place in the 10th millennium BC.
Spedicato, in a series of papers delivered to the Atlantis Conference on Melos in 2005, linked the biblical Exodus with the Flood of Deucalion, which he dates as 1447 BC(d). He contended that these events were connected with the explosion of a large extraterrestrial body over Southern Denmark remembered in Greek tradition as Phaëton.
Atlantis has not escaped Spedicato’s attention and he has put forward the Caribbean island of Hispaniola as the home of Atlantis(b), specifically suggesting that Lake Enriquillo in the Cul-de-Sac Depression, which runs from Haiti across the border into the Dominican Republic. Spedicato accepts the possibility of the destruction of Atlantis around 9600 BC and has written an interesting paper(c) that links the demise of Atlantis with a direct asteroidal impact or a close encounter with a planet-sized body. Not without significance is the fact that Hispaniola is not submerged, in spite of the sea level rising hundreds of feet since the very early date proposed by Spedicato for the destruction of Atlantis, which should have sent it even deeper beneath the waves of the Caribbean.
Furthermore, leaving aside the question of submergence altogether, Spedicato does not explain how an Atlantis in the Caribbean could, in 9600 BC, have attacked Greece or Egypt, which did not exist as structured societies at that time.
Even more intriguing is why they would plan such a venture, considering a distance of 10,000 kilometres lay between them.
Spedicato has contributed at least a dozen papers to the Migration and Diffusion website including one on a possible Indian inspiration behind the Giza pyramid complex(h) as well as a paper(i) on the planet known to the Sumerians as Nibiru and today sometimes referred to as Planet X. He controversially claims that a close encounter with Nibiru around 9500 BC ended the last Ice Age and brought about the demise of Atlantis! A difficulty with that idea, is that if the encounter with Nibiru destroyed Atlantis AND ended the Ice Age how could the location where Atlantis was submerged still be marked by mud shoals 9,000 years later when sea levels had risen by 300-400 feet, as confirmed by Plato in Timeaus 25d?
Another radical idea put forward by Spedicato was expressed in a paper delivered to the 2005 Atlantis Conference [629.411], in which he claimed that what he called ‘the ancestors of the Greeks’ had visited Canada. Based on his interpretation of excerpts from the writings of Plutarch, he specifies a region at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River as the point of contact. Manolis Koutlis goes further, suggesting that the Greeks had colonies there, from 1500 BC until 1500 AD. Then in his book In the Shadow  he adds the even more extraordinary claim that Atlantis had been situated on an island at the entrance to the St. Lawrence!
In 2010, Spedicato published Atlantide e L’Esodo (Atlantis and Exodus) which is currently being translated into English.
>In February 2015, Spedicato published another paper(j) with the radical proposal that the alignment of the three main Giza pyramids was not intended to be a reflection of the three stars in Orion’s belt according to the Orion Correlation Theory (OCT), as proposed by Gilbert & Bauval, but instead were more closely matched to the arrangement of three volcanoes on Mars! He claims that these volcanoes were visible from Earth during Mars periodic close encounters with our planet between 7000 BC and 700 BC, during a 54-year cycle. However, Andrew Collins has also disputed the OCT and has instead offered evidence that the alignment of the three principal Giza pyramids matches more closely the ‘wing’ stars of the Cygnus constellation than the ‘belt’ of Orion! (m).<
Later in 2015, the prolific Spedicato published another paper(k) in which he linked Mayan catastrophes with those of Hesiod, Plato and the Bible.
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. Nigel Cawthorne, has decided to cheer us up with his book, Doomsday , which lists 50 possible global catastrophes on the future horizon!
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.
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 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 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 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 , has published a paper(n), highly critical of Velikovsky’s work. Dunbavin has researched the evidence for a number of pole shifts that are not dependent on what he describes as the “naïve astronomy” of Velikovsky.
In 1964, the Belgian mathematician René Gallant (1908-1985) published Bombarded Earth 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 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 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 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 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 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 (2010) is available online(m) with a 2020 update now available(o).
>(i) http://www.astrosurf.com/macombes/index.html (French)<