British best-selling author and journalist Graham Hancock (and one of my favorite writers) reports that after more than 20 years of research, he has come to the conclusion that the floods that came at the end of the Great Ice Age (12,800 years ago give or take a few millennia) were almost certainly caused by a great comet or meteors hitting the earth. The floods, known world-wide by various myths such as Noah’s Flood, tales of rampaging waters destroying the homes of the Cowichan people of British Columbia, the Pima of Arizona, the Inuit of Alaska, the Uiseno of California and the Obijawa of the Canadian grasslands, and many more. All over the world, in most ancient cultures, there is a tale of giant deluge swamping the earth.
Most of this has been dismissed by historians who consider myths to be nothing more than tall tales meant to entertain the people around campfires. There also was a prevalent geological theory that change happens to the earth gradually, and that no sudden events transformed the earth or its climate. However, by the 20th century, this gradualist view was being challenged by Russian scientist Immanuel Velikovsky, who said violent events, such as earthquakes and comet strikes had accounted for some of the most drastic changes in the world’s long geological history. By the 21st century, we take it as a given that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a comet.
But Hancock, in an interview with England’s The Daily Mail, goes even further to suggest that a giant comet strike, well detailed by the Ojibwa, was to blame for the ancient melting of the ice caps and the sudden plunge into a watery, cold world. He says that some survivors sailed the earth looking for toeholds where they could once again spread the knowledge of cosmology, writing, and healing. He traces legends of historical holy men and gets into the long-held debate of whether Egypt was settled by such wise people who introduced them to writing and mathematics. It’s a valid argument because Egyptologists still can’t explain how a full language, with beautiful characters, rose out of a desert of no known culture.
Hancock figures the comet’s flood happened about 12,800 years ago. Civilizations older than Egypt such as Babylon, have almost no artifacts left behind, whereas Egypt is replete with carvings, artwork, even the pyramids that many argue were not tombs but places of safekeeping for documents and precious objects. Hancock also goes on to describe Gobekeii Tepe in Turkey, which has the oldest work of monumental architecture in the world, with pillars weighing 20 tons. Gobekeii Tepe is said to be 12,000 years old.
How can Hancock be sure a comet wiped out the early earth? There are nanodiamonds present in the layer of earth that was formed in the Younger Dryas, or the epoch between 10,800 BC and 9,800 BC. These microscopic gems are formed under conditions of great shock, pressure, and heat. They are often recognized by scientists as signs of comet or asteroid impacts.
And the crater? It would have melted long ago when the ice caps unfroze.
But don’t feel so safe about our world now. As scientists have been telling us, there are plenty of giant comets and meteors that could collide with the earth, causing another catastrophe. Many laser-defense systems have been designed, but it’s unclear whether the Earth really has anything in place right now to avoid doomsday. Hancock says such destructive comets could arrive in as little as 15 years when we cross the Taurid meteor stream.
Well, I’m not going to spend nights up worrying about this. Someone will come up with a meteor shield in that time—won’t they? But Hancock’s material is fascinating and certainly the stuff that fantasy readers (and, yes, that include you Atlantis believers out there) will simple devour.