The Doomsday Chronicle
By Anthony Dias Souza
Copyright 2009 Anthony Dias Souza
Table of Contents
Welcome to Doomsday
The world will end shortly – well almost. With luck, a fourth of the human race will survive. At least about that percentage did the last time. Back then, an indeterminate number of living beings ranging in the hundreds of millions died. The physical evidence is there. Remains of carcasses litter the Earth – more than 40 million in North America alone. Elsewhere in the world, on every continent, skeletons have been found buried beneath up to a hundred feet of solidified mud or huddled in caves where they sought refuge in vain. In the latter case, totally incompatible species, predators and prey alike, died catastrophically, their limbs and bodies violently torn apart. This took place in the past over 6000 years ago, and it is about to happen again. Conditions are building toward another worldwide cataclysm and time is growing short. Still the pending disaster receives little publicity and, although the renowned Albert Einstein stated the matter “deserves serious attention”, governments across the globe have failed to respond. The looming holocaust has not been broached by the United Nations where this threat to civilization is not even being discussed. Beyond an occasional mention in the pages of a few isolated scientific journals, it is as if no one really gives a damn.
As will be explained later, there soon will be a radical worldwide upheaval so volatile it will reshape the contours of the Earth. The results will be so horrendous they will exceed the most negative assessment of the aftermath of a global nuclear war.
Operating on the erroneous assumption that this coming cataclysm will not take place within the next few thousand years, the scientific establishment ignores the problem, opting to leave it for future generations to resolve. However, the process leading to universal destruction began about 6000 years ago and is rapidly approaching critical mass. With the suddenness of an earthquake (which we still cannot predict), civilization will self-destruct as our planet distorts and rearranges itself as it has done repeatedly in the past. A 6000 year old yesterday is about to become a violent tomorrow with more than three billion people dead and another hundred million or more on the brink of starvation, plagued by universal chaos and rampant disease.
If the above has managed to capture your attention, read on but be forewarned that, while the possibility of forestalling the approaching cataclysm exists, we shall be bucking the odds. If our technology cannot interrupt and reverse this process leading to a global upheaval, it at least may try to limit the casualties and see that the better part of our progress manages to survive. The time to act is now. Tomorrow may be too little, too late.
To the Reader
The book presented here is written for the absolute layman who finds it necessary to look up geophysics in the dictionary to determine precisely what it means. No confusing technical terminology or distracting citations are given within the text, only a straightforward presentation of the pending global disaster world governments, through ignorance or disbelief, thus far have ignored. Essentially, this book is based upon texts listed in the Bibliography, specifically three authored by the late Charles H. Hapgood, that present compelling documentation to support the conclusions outlined herein. Included is book by the late Hugh Auchincloss Brown who initially suggested the premise Charles Hapgood fully developed in his final book Path of the Poles. Hugh Brown’s book, Cataclysms of the Earth, provides more details in a format the average person readily can understand; however, it contains several flaws, which Charles Hapgood together with a host of eminent scientists including Albert Einstein later resolved. Further more recent information and documentation also can be gleaned texts listed in the Bibliography, some of which have additional notes in brackets [—-] to narrow the specific reference.
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The Dark side of Earth
A realistic physical history of our planet is crucial to understanding the threat to human existence we now face. However, that history as portrayed today is a convoluted assortment of antiquated myths. It is based upon archaic notions that prevailed in the 19th century – an era when state of the art technology consisted of a set of crude mechanical instruments and a laboratory not even on a par with the earliest Boris Karloff movie. During that period, oil lamps and candles were standard forms of illumination for the greater part of the civilized world. Practical means of generating electricity still were unknown. No automotive engines existed and most scholars did not believe man would ever fly in anything other than hot air balloons. Aside from a few innovative minds, the mid 19th century was an era of ignorance, not far removed from the Dark Ages, when machinery was driven either by flowing water or that marvel of technology – steam.
The standard model of Earth’s geological evolution charting its existence from a presumed Precambrian molten state to the Cenozoic era to which only the last 10,000 years were assigned to modern man originated in 1850 and represents what scholars believed at that time. Please note the emphasis. It was pure conjecture based upon notions in vogue 150 years ago! The original six stages of that evolutionary chart were a compromise with religious dogma. They represented the six days of creation in “God Time” as opposed to “human time”. As God was presumed eternal, millions of earthly years could be encapsulated within one “God Day” without raising the wrath of the Christian clerics. Thus, in the 21st century, we still are operating on “God Time”, locked into a scheme of geophysical evolution generated by medieval minds. Most of the concepts embodied within that geophysical scheme have since been contradicted by hard evidence collected over the last fifty years. Few if any geophysicists sustain its fundamental premises evolved in medieval times. The Earth was thought to be cooling from an original molten state. However, data gathered in recent years suggest the contrary – that the planet is growing hotter internally, and analysis of its crust contradicts the notion that it ever existed as a molten mass. Thus, the archaic theory proposing that past earthly upheavals (mountain building, fractures and rifts) were a result of shrinkage caused by cooling is patently false. Crust distortions and displacements are products of a more ominous cause.
The standard model of physical evolution embraces the 19th century notion of Ice Ages. In eons past, several of those were presumed to have occurred. But did they? True, glaciers covered various regions of our planet at different times. They now exist in Antarctica and Greenland, and evidence clearly demonstrates that other parts of the world were at times beneath thick sheets of ice. This has been substantiated by recent research and is accepted universally as fact. However, the popular concept of Ices Ages is a myth. Sheets of ice never expanded from the poles to cover other regions of Earth. It does not require a degree in geophysics to confirm that, merely a bit of common sense.
According to most textbooks. Ice Ages were the result of climate changes. The Earth is said to have cycled between warm periods (almost no ice) and cool periods (where glaciers covered continents). These climatic fluctuations were presumed to be caused by three factors: slight changes in the planet’s orbit, changes in the tilt of its axis, and by a wobble while it revolves. Without hard evidence to support these presumptions, 19th century scholars theorized that these three factors led to a cooling, thus an expanding of the polar icecaps toward the Equator, inciting an Ice Age. These Ice Ages were presumed to be separated by eons, a premise still sustained by the academic world. Therefore, the average person assumes science has a handle on the problem. Nothing to worry about. The next Ice Age is at least 50,000 years off. Wrong! This would be true only if there really were Ice Ages and wandering polar glaciers were not produced by some other cause.
Through careful analysis of the Earth’s crust, physical evidence gathered over the last 50 years confirms that a massive sheet of ice recently covered North America. The glacier centered approximately in the vicinity of the Hudson Bay and extended downward into the upper Mississippi Valley. This much has been established as fact. When it precisely started and ended still is a matter of contention. However, modern dating methods have reduced the span of its existence to a few thousand years, downward from the 19th century estimate of several million. Most geophysicists now agree this North American glacier began and ended abruptly within a geologically short span. However, an overall global cooling definitely did not cause it. Northern Siberia as far north as the 70th parallel, miles above the 60th parallel of the Hudson Bay, was at the same time free of ice! In fact, northern Siberia was experiencing a mild temperate climate while North America was frozen solid and under almost two miles of ice! If this glacier was the result of an overall global cooling, only one portion of the world froze. This is the equivalent of a freezing compartment producing ice at one end while the other end remains warm. Further, as we all know, our glacier was composed of frozen water. More water would have been needed to make it expand downward from the North Pole, an enormous quantity in the least. Since our glacier could not have drawn water directly from the ocean over mountains, water had to reach it via the atmosphere in the form of snow. (This process explained later.) It once was noted that the amount of heat needed to evaporate enough water for a polar glacier would be sufficient to melt an amount of cast iron five times as heavy as the glacier itself. This poses an even more ridiculous scenario. Our freezing compartment now generates ice at one end while the other end produces steam. So much for cool periods. Finally, there is firm evidence that a glacier once covered a part of Africa, a continent now resting at the Equator. If that glacier had extended from the poles during a cold snap, the entire planet froze! In that case, where did all the present living species go to escape freezing? Herds of animals surely would not have grazed on vegetation buried beneath a mile or more of ice. Even for 19th century scholars, the notion is patently dumb.
There are many more technical contradictions inherent within the archaic theory of ice ages, but those given above should suffice to demonstrate that the concept is a convoluted myth. Aside from unique conditions caused by volcanic eruptions or a sizable meteorite crashing into the Earth, warm and cool periods are a natural part of our planet’s climatic cycles. However even during these, the overall global temperature varies by no more than a few degrees, hardly enough to produce or melt huge glaciers in the order of those now threatening the stability of the Earth.
Throughout the history of our planet, the migration of glaciers has been the most violent instrument of destruction. Glaciers repeatedly have relocated and those now existing in Antarctica and Greenland are poised to move again. When they do, the planet literally will be overturned. To quote Hugh Auchincloss Brown (Cataclysms of the Earth, 1967): “The earth today may be quite compared to a top-heavy, dying out, wobbling, spinning top, getting ready to fall over on its side”. Indeed, we are on the eve of destruction. The dawn tomorrow may be our last if we fail to acknowledge the dark side of Earth.
The history of our planet is more than a rather dull course we suffered through in high school. Our very lives depend upon clearly understanding what has transpired in the past. As we know from observing Nature, everything follows distinct, repetitive cycles. This cycle, the relocation of polar glaciers, is one we dare not ignore. If not us, then our children or grandchildren will pay the price for our ignorance. Within three generations at the most, civilization as we know it will self-destruct. The evidence is overwhelming. Shortly before he died, it was enough to convince the eminent Albert Einstein.
Profile of a Serial Killer
Despite its outward appearances, the Earth is not a solid entity. Its crust or outer shell figuratively floats upon a more fluid interior. While we know little about that plasmic interior, much is known about the outer shell (lithosphere). Our planet's external shell is relatively thin and fragmented. It is estimated to range from 3 to 20 miles at its thinnest point beneath the ocean to 40 to 70 miles at its thickest beneath continents, and makes up only about 0.005% of the planet's overall mass. Some geologists believe that the topside of the Earth's crust is a reflection of its bottom side, a mirror image so to speak. However aside from the often conflicting data we have garnered from seismic readings (vibrations traveling across and through the globe), we know almost nothing for sure about the Earth's inner realm. Only one fact is apparent. The outer shell or lithosphere can and does move about upon and across whatever lies beneath it. It exists in fractured segments (tectonic plates) that shift both horizontally and vertically. Of this, we have definite visual, measurable proof. When one segment or plate abruptly slides past an adjoining segment, an earthquake results, causing the abutting segments to move laterally and rise or fall. The movement and height or depth of the displacement is proportionate to the pressures involved. Even after a relatively mild earthquake, it is not unusual to find a difference of a few feet between adjoining boundaries of a fault (the meeting of two tectonic plates or two fractures of a major plate, depending upon how those plates are defined). In 1849, the shore of Yakutat Bay in Alaska rose 47 feet and, in 1923, the coast off Newfoundland dropped 35 feet; each as a result of single separate earthquakes. More recently, on December 26, 2004, an earthquake near the Indonesian archipelago sank the middle part of one of the Nicobar Islands, dividing it in two. Larger nearby islands were moved and tilted; one part upended while another part sank. All of these and many other such events bear witness to the fact that the Earth's crust can and does move.
As said earlier, the planet’s outer shell represents only a fraction of its overall mass. To place this in perspective, the Earth’s crust is proportionately relative to the skin of a peach. The overwhelming bulk of that peach rests within its pulp and pit. We can extend the analogy to the rest of the planet wherein the immediate underlying area somewhat resembles a slippery pulp surrounding a presumed iron core that forms its solid pit. However, this falls into the realm of conjecture. As said earlier, we know nothing for certain about what lies beneath the Earth’s crust, nothing except that whatever rests there permits the crust to move about.
Held together by gravity like so many pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, the fragmented outer shell of our planet is a bit flattened at the poles and bulges out a bit at the Equator. In essence, the centrifugal force generated by a rotating Earth pushes its middle outward toward space while, at the poles where that centrifugal force is least, gravity pulls the outer shell inward toward the center of the planet. The resulting shape is called an oblate geoid. There is an overall difference in diameter measuring around the Equator and around the poles of about 26 miles – a difference that is visually negligible. From the moon, the Earth resembles a perfect sphere.
Besides earthquakes, other forces act upon and slightly distort our planet’s crust. The gravity of the moon, sun and planets have a descending order effect upon the Earth as does the movement of the ocean tides instigated by the moon’s gravity. Large mountain ranges, driven by the centrifugal force of the Earth’s rotation also add a measure of tugging to its crust. Thus, despite its solid stable appearance, the surface of our planet is a quivering mass and, as a whole, it tends to wobble on its axis. We fail to take note of this because of the relative minor movements compared to the experienced stability of the overall planetary mass. These normal movements, when measured in any given locale amounts to minute fractions of an inch, hardly are sufficient to quiver noticeably the coffee in our cups. Still, these movements have a dramatic impact on the overall globe. It causes the poles to twirl slightly, tracing little circles across the heavens as the planet wobbles on its journey around the sun. One of these circles occurs in the span of about 14 months while another takes around 27,000 years. Under normal circumstances, the Earth maintains a delicate equilibrium (isostasy) and, except for an occasional earthquake or volcanic eruption, is a reasonably stable place to live. However, expanding polar glaciers such as the ones at Antarctica and Greenland place an ever increasing stress on the planet’s outer shell and, when they reach critical mass, they become the mega weapons that transform our passive planet into a serial killer bent upon destroying all life on the face of the Earth.
Over the eons, polar icecaps evolve naturally and grow larger as a matter of course. The sun heats the air near the Equator and this hotter air absorbs moisture from warmer seawater, lakes, rivers and soil. This moisture laden air rises and moves toward the poles where it converges from all directions due to the spherical shape of the planet. This convergence creates higher pressure zones that then become colder and heavier, and descends in altitude, moving back toward the Equator to begin the process again. In its transit from pole to Equator, colder moisture laden air sheds its surplus water in the form of rain and snow. However, most of the moisture deposited in the polar regions transforms into glacial ice that continues to amass. Thus, the polar glaciers continue to grow. Contrary to the once popular notion that the glacier at Antarctica was receding, recent data shows the opposite. The Antarctic icecap is expanding in mass at a steady pace, diminished only by cakes of ice that manage to slide through mountain valleys and float off into the ocean as icebergs. To an extent, those valley outlets are being choked off gradually by a persistent buildup of ice and mountain deformation due to the massive weight of the southern icecap. At the present, the Antarctic icecap averages about 1.2 miles thick and covers about 5,500,000 square miles. To put its size into perspective, if located in North America, it would extend from the northern extreme of Canada to central Mexico on the south, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific in width with ice standing almost two miles high! The same process and results are occurring in Greenland where the glacier covers almost 840,000 square miles and is 2 miles high at its center. Again to place this in perspective, if located on the east coast of North America, the Greenland glacier would extend from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Key West, Florida, and from New York to Chicago with ice standing a mile and a half high! It is larger than the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada and Utah combined.
This glacier together with its Antarctic counterpart represents an extremely massive accumulation of ice. Both are offset from the polar centers (axes of rotation), creating an imbalance ranging into the many, many mega metric tons! This represents a tremendous strain placed upon the Earth’s crust in the form of a horizontal thrust (pole to equator) for which there is no countering force. The effect of such a force can be visualized by placing a large wad of gum slightly off center on the top of a basketball, then spinning it. Within seconds, the ball will pivot, sending the gum to its “equator” (center of rotation) due to the centrifugal force exerted by the spinning ball. Eventually in the same manner, the polar icecaps will break the crust free of its anchorage and move toward the Equator, literally overturning the outer shell of the Earth. Hugh Auchincloss Brown called the icecaps “the deadly menace, and the divinely ordained executioner of our civilization”. He, Charles Hapgood and Albert Einstein concluded that a shift of the Earth’s crust was not a matter of if but a question of when.
As implied above, global warming increases and not diminishes the ice caps. The warming takes place near the equatorial regions, causing more evaporation, and increasing the polar snowfall. Thus, although the outer edges favoring the equatorial side of the poles exhibits some melting, the central glacial ice grows larger in metric tonnage. Essentially, the metric tonnage and not the square mile size of the polar caps affect the overall stability of the globe. Those ice caps will not melt until a crust shift occurs.
Glaciers form in normally cold regions where the rate of snowfall exceeds the rate at which that snow melts. The result is a buildup of an icepack or glacier. This is most prominent at the polar extremes (the Arctic and Antarctic Circles). Mountain glaciers outside those polar extremes, forming at colder higher altitudes, while a potential local hazard, are of little consequence to the planet as a whole. The Earth generally compensates for those isolated glaciers, suffering no global ill effects. However at the polar extremes where there are massive buildups of off centered ice packs, glaciers become a global threat. Driven by the centrifugal force of the planetary rotation, they exert a tremendous horizontal thrust on the crust. There is no natural mechanism to compensate for that thrust and, when it exceeds the present inertia of the Earth’s outer shell, literally all hell will break loose.
The probability of crust displacement was proposed first by Damian Kreichgauer in 1926 and later, in an unpublished manuscript by the late Hugh Auchincloss Brown, which Charles Hapgood and a few graduate students at Springfield College in Massachusetts used as a starting point. After several years of research and consultation with top professionals in several fields of scientific endeavor including Albert Einstein who served as a consultant, Charles Hapgood and his chief collaborator, the late James H. Campbell, a noted engineer, published their first comprehensive book on the topic. (The Earth’s Shifting Crust, Pantheon, 1958) After further research utilizing more recent data and incorporating the views of scientists who had reviewed and critiqued that first book, Charles Hapgood revised the manuscript for re-publication. (Path of the Poles, Adventures Unlimited, 1970) It should be noted that Albert Einstein, after reviewing the final original manuscript, declared that the empirical data presented “would hardly permit another interpretation” and he was of the impression that “the hypothesis was correct”. Although in the book’s Foreword Albert Einstein wrote that the matter was “of great importance”, few references to it could be found as late as the end of 2005. One would imagine an endorsement by Albert Einstein, recognized as one of the greater minds of the 20th century, would have merited more than a footnote in a few scientific journals. It leaves one with the distinct impression that the academic establishment is more concerned with maintaining an archaic tradition than in seeking the truth.
Through a thorough analysis of data gathered to 1969 in many fields of endeavor especially geophysics and geology, and after extensive consultation with noted experts in those fields, Charles Hapgood and his collaborators concluded that the Earth’s crust has shifted recurrently over the eons, relocating the Arctic and Antarctic Circles in different regions of the globe, each time dramatically altering the natural environment and more recently having a disastrous impact upon civilization. The upheaval resulted in the wholesale extinction of species, many of which had managed somehow to survive until recent times. With each crust displacement, the physical contours of our planet were rearranged.
According to the hypothesis set forth by Charles Hapgood et al, polar displacement is triggered by a rather simple, natural mechanism:
1. Massive off centered icecaps develop at the polar extremes (the North and South Poles of the internal planet), destabilizing the Earth’s outer shell.
2. Driven by the centrifugal force generated by the Earth’s rotation, these off centered icecaps exert a horizontal thrust on the crust, pushing it in the direction of the Equator, a thrust that increases proportionally to the mass (weight) of the ice.
3. When the icecaps at the poles reach critical mass (a stage where the thrust exceeds the outer shell’s adhesion to the inner realm of the planet), the horizontal push causes the crust to break free as a unit and glide over the plasmic interior of the Earth, carrying the icecaps and the outer shell beneath them toward the Equator.
4. As the icecaps move away from the polar extremes of the internal planet, the horizontal push increases geometrically and the crust’s movement accelerates, sliding faster as the icecaps move nearer the Equator.
5. Eventually as the icecaps enter warmer zones, they break up and melt while new icecaps slowly begin to form at the planet’s internal polar extremes.
6. Finally, after the old icecaps dissipate completely, the movement of the crust ceases and the Earth begins recovering its equilibrium, starting the process over again until the forming new icecaps once more reach critical mass.
Through the mechanism outlined above, regions of crust formerly at the internal polar extremes take up new locations as other regions of crust replace them at the poles. This can be visualized as the skin of a peach twisting around its inner pulp and pit. The pulp and pit remain in the same position, unmoved, while only the skin turns. Essentially, the movement of the skin, a minute fraction of the overall mass of the peach, has little impact on the more massive internal peach. In the Earth’s case, the rotation of its internal bulk keeps it fairly stable in its orbit around the sun and its thin outer crust, while drifting toward the Equator, is pulled along, moving horizontally as it always has done. In other words, the crust’s movement is vertical only, from pole to equator. To this extent, there is no immediate sense of latitude displacement. To the earthbound observer, the effect would resemble a tremendous, continually rolling earthquake during which the trajectories of the sun, moon and stars would change. The actual movement of the crust would be visible only from a vantage point somewhere in outer space.
In his later book, Path of the Poles (Adventures Unlimited Press, 1999) published after his death, Charles Hapgood presented a complete and concise elaboration of this hypothesis including within it the latest available data confirming its validity. A detailed account of the mechanics involved in the process of crust displacement is provided in an extended Appendix of the above book for those who are more technically inclined.
Before the most recent relocation, the region of crust beneath the Hudson Bay of North America rested above the internal North Pole and a section of crust in the Indian Ocean southwest of Australia sat at the inner South Pole. At that time, the landmass beneath the present glaciers at Greenland and Antarctica relatively were free of ice. Evidence for this latter statement was presented eloquently by Charles Hapgood in his book, Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings (Chilton, 1966), wherein he critically analyzed three surviving ancient maps of Antarctic that show the actual contours of the continent now beneath ice, contours only rediscovered through seismic soundings in the International Geophysical Year 1958! Several cartographers including a contingent of the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command verified the authenticity of those contours. The existence of those maps clearly bear witness to the fact that the Earth’s crust did relocate within the span of recorded history. By the latest data gleaned, the North American glacier vanished abruptly somewhere between 6000 to 4000 BCE.
As stated earlier, massive glaciers currently exist at Antarctica and Greenland, stressing the planet’s outer shell. Charles Hapgood included the following warning in his book, The Earth’s Shifting Crust (Pantheon, 1958): “If James Campbell calculations come close to the truth, it seems the bursting stresses on the crust may now be close to the critical point”. It should be noted that those calculations were based solely on the ice mass at Antarctica and on a conservative estimate of its actual weight. The glacier at Greenland, whose horizontal thrust moves in the same direction, was not included. Added to Antarctica, the total accumulation of ice at both poles may be on the brink of critical mass. Charles Hapgood projected the crust will shift again in the not too distant future, moving Siberia to the North Pole. When it does, the world, as we know it will self destruct.
Based upon 19th century theories of Charles Lyell (geology) and Charles Darwin (natural selection), scholars of their day adopted the notion of “uniformity” that presumes our planet has developed slowly and progressively over millions of years. Current research has proven that 150 year old notion wrong. We live on a cataclysmic Earth. Evolution has proceeded rather erratically, cycling between periods of upheaval and relative calm, between the flourishing of species and widespread extinction. Almost at every corner of the globe, there is evidence of mountains springing up out of the ground while other landmasses sank. Competent species well adapted to their environments abruptly became extinct. Indeed, evidence of widespread chaos abounds, most of it uncovered within the last 50 years. Like the notion of ice ages, uniformity of evolution is a myth. Cataclysms occurring on a regular basis are the norm for our planet Earth.
Until Charles Hapgood and the many others who contributed to the highly documented theory of crust displacement, the recurring cycles of upheaval could not be explained. However knowing the cause does not bode well for our future if the archaic perspectives of the academic establishment and governments do not change. Like fools who ignore history, they condemn us to repeating it. Soon, tomorrow will be one day too late.
A contributor to Charles Hapgood’s books suggested that an increased amount of major earthquakes along the next projected trajectory might be a precursor of a pending shift. As will be detailed in the next chapter, that projected trajectory traces a line through the Indonesian Archipelago where, on December 26, 2004 and March 28, 2005, two massive earthquakes occurred, registering 9.1 and 8.5 respectively on the Richter scale. Mother Nature has issued her warning. For the sake of our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren, we best take heed.
Modus Operandi of a Cataclysm
At first glance, a shifting of the Earth’s crust may seem a bit innocuous, as if the net result might be no more than a series of major earthquakes. The world has coped with those in recent years and, while various regions suffered extensive damage and loss of life, civilization has survived. However imagine the worst earthquake possible, add an equivalent tsunami, hurricane, tornado and volcanic eruption, then multiply the devastation a thousand fold, and you will begin to grasp the dimensions of the pending polar shift. The survivors of the last displacement portrayed it as the end of the world and, for a broad spectrum of living species, it was. The extent of the disruption and destruction was beyond words.
When the Earth’s outer shell begins turning, the crust beneath the poles will move toward the Equator. The glacier and land mass of Antarctica will slide northward toward the Indonesian Archipelago while the glacier and land mass of Greenland will slide southward into the Atlantic as the entire crust turns. If this drift mimics the last one, it should continue for about 2000 miles. A line drawn around the globe through the center of the glacier at Antarctica and adjusted slightly to compensate for the one at Greenland will be the meridian (trajectory of movement). The farthest distance of travel will take place along this line. All land masses on this meridian will be relocated about 2000 miles, altering their climate zones. On the Pacific side of the drift, those land masses south of the Equator will move toward the equatorial zone, with areas moving over the Equator into the northern hemisphere. Those land masses above the Equator will move toward the planet’s northern extreme, creating a new North Pole. The reverse will occur on the Atlantic side of the drift. Land masses north of the Equator will move toward the equatorial zone, with areas moving over Equator into the southern hemisphere. Those land masses below the Equator will move toward the planet’s southern extreme, generating a new South Pole. During this transition, the interior mass of the planet below the crust will remain in its original position in relationship to the sun, moon and stars, held in place by the momentum of its rotation. Only the thin outer shell (lithosphere) will turn. That outer shell will pivot at sites on opposite sides of the globe (the axes) at right angles to the meridian (the line along which the crust moves). This displacement can be visualized by placing an index finger from each hand on opposite sides of a basketball and rotating the ball about a quarter turn. The points at which you place your index fingers are the axes while an imaginary line drawn midway between your fingertips, top to bottom, around the center of the ball will be the meridian of drift. You will note that the center of the ball travels the greater distance while the points beneath your fingertips merely rotate in place. If you place a series of evenly spaced dots from fingertip to fingertip then turn basketball once more a quarter turn, you will note that each dot travels progressively farther, the closer it is to the meridian while the dot on the meridian moves the farthest of all. The same scenario will be repeated on a global scale when the Earth’s crust shifts. As the axes experience the least movement, theoretically, those sites should be the safest places on Earth. Crust upheaval will be the greatest along the meridian, gradually diminishing in scope as the axes are approached.
If Charles Hapgood’s projections hold true, the next meridian of shift will be along the 105° East and 75° West Longitudes, through central China, Laos, Cambodia and the Indonesian Archipelago and through eastern Canada and the United States, the Bahamas, Colombia and Peru on the opposite side of the globe. Northern Siberia will move further into the Arctic Circle, locating the new North Pole in the vicinity of Lake Baikal, Siberia. Northern America will drift toward the Equator while northern China enters the lower Arctic Circle. The temperature will elevate to tropical in Northern America while northern China will become a frozen arctic waste. It also would be safe to assume that the eastern seaboard of North America as far south as Key West, Florida, virtually will be destroyed as well as the western half of South America since these regions will sit on the new meridian. The west coast of North America should suffer from an equal “domino effect” as it sits on the opposite end of the North American Plate. The Cape Horn region possibly including southern Chile and Argentina will rest within the Antarctic Circle, near the new South Pole. Ninety degrees farther in either direction, the axes of shift will be along the Equator at 15° East Longitude, near or at the Congo in Africa, and at 165° West Longitude, slightly southwest of the island of Palmyra in the Pacific. Again theoretically, individuals at or nearest these two axes will have the greatest potential of survival for these sites merely will rotate, changing only their compass headings.
On a scale of 1 to 90 (degrees of longitude) where 1 is an axis and 90 is the meridian, the upheaval hypothetically will vary incrementally as the meridian is approached. This can be plotted on a standard world globe using axis 15° East Longitude to meridian 105° East Longitude or meridian 75° West Longitude to axis 165° West Longitude depending on the side of the globe. Each axis and meridian is 90° apart and each degree closer to the meridian increases the amount of vertical movement, south to north or north to south. The Indonesian side will move northward and the North American side will slide toward the South Pole. The Equator and degrees of longitude are marked clearly on every standard world globe.
Crust displacement involves much more than a simple moving of the Earth’s outer shell. As stated earlier, our planet is an oblate geoid; that is, it is a bit flattened at the poles and slightly bulged at the Equator. Thus, sections of crust moving toward the polar depressions will sink and those moving toward the Equator will rise. On the periphery of the poles, landmasses may rise due to a convergence of plates. At the poles and at the Equator, this vertical movement, both up and down, could be as much as two miles! Moreover, sections of crust nearing the poles will press against each other and fold over, one rising above the other, fracturing and distorting the topography of the planet’s outer shell. Conversely, those sections approaching the Equator will stretch and pull apart, forming rifts and chasms that immediately will be filled by molten magma rising from the bowels of the Earth. Further, those sections crossing over the Equator may undergo both of the above. They may be pulled apart as they pass over the bulge then be pressed back together more violently after acquiring additional surface area from the molten magma that initially filled the gap when they were pulled apart. It should be expected that plates would fracture, redesigning the tectonic structure of the Earth. As a result of these actions, mountains will spring up where before there were none and others will collapse or rise even higher. According to data gathered from core samplings deep below sea level, a string of islands in the Arctic Ocean sank more than two miles during a past crust displacement. The same happened to a large island in the mid Atlantic. In South America, mountains rose to new heights. Similar occurrences took place at almost every part of the globe as the impact of vertical movement at the meridian extended laterally.
As a further side effect of crust displacement, earthquakes will rumble along the meridian, initiating a chain of massive tremors along all fault lines and rifts. These will reverberate across the entire surface of the planet, spreading destruction worldwide and launching a series of colossal tsunamis that will overrun low lying islands and continental shores. The disruption will trigger volcanic outbursts on land and undersea, filling the skies with clouds of gases, ash and steam, and creating an instantaneous “greenhouse” environment across most of the world. Torrential rains will follow, drenching the Earth for months. Widespread flooding and massive mudslides will accompany the downpour, abetted by raging waves from a violently disturbed ocean that will batter all exposed shores. Finally, when the southern and northern glaciers move into warmer zones, the melting ice will raise sea levels across the globe. It has been estimated that enough ice exists in Antarctica alone to raise the ocean worldwide more than 200 feet! For the greater part of the Earth’s population (animal and human), there will be no safe havens and those who somehow manage to survive the initial onslaught of Nature will face starvation for the bulk of the world’s food supply will have been destroyed. Like repeating aftershocks following an earthquake, most of the above will occur in repeated stages, slowly diminishing as the Earth regains its equilibrium. Without more data regarding the last crust displacement, there presently is no way to estimate how long that recovery will take. However using ancient records and oral traditions as our guides, it appears that the sequence of destruction worldwide spanned about 1500 years with the rate of recovery varying across the globe.
Based upon limited research and trusting in the questioned accuracy of current dating methods (explained later), it seems the last crust displacement may have been delayed for some time. From resulting moraines (unsorted mixtures of debris called till deposited by a glacier), the North American icecap appears to have extended south, paused then receded a bit before expanding again. Charles Hapgood presumed that the leading edge of the glacier began to melt as it entered a warmer zone then halted until the ice buildup at its trailing edge restored it to critical mass. Accordingly when the rate of melting exceeded the rate of restoration, the glacier dissipated and crust movement ceased. Now while this possible incremental displacement may sound reassuring, it best be noted that even a partial shift of the Earth’s outer shell would generate the same destructive sequence of events.
Contrary to Charles Hapgood’s presumption, other evidence suggests that the North American glacier withdrew inward from all sides toward its center about mid Hudson Bay. (Charles Hapgood also noted this in his last book.) These periods of partial withdrawal could have been caused by climatic changes resulting from increased volcanic activity as more recent data indicate. Moreover, moraines are produced by a glacier moving across the crust; thus are not indicative of the crust moving as a whole. During its lifespan, the North American glacier could have experienced several changes in its overall expanse, withdrawing partially in various locales at various times. Several factors could have altered the snowfall, hence the buildup of ice. The last and greatest advance of the icecap appears to have been the catalyst for an immediate and rapid displacement of the crust. The next section will offer evidence in this regard.
When considering the danger presented by the present glaciers at Antarctica and Greenland, it should be noted that the North American icecap relatively stood alone. Its counterpart at the South Pole was, for the most part, a floating sheet of ice on the ocean with little if any continental base. Thus, that sheet of ice reasonably would have been centered at the old South Pole and was displaced only after the crust began to turn. On the other hand, the present glacier at Antarctica is anchored firmly on a very large continent and abetted by a highly off centered ice mass at Greenland. Together, these two glaciers could make the next crust displacement far more volatile than the last. Charles Hapgood cautioned that the next polar shift “could take place at considerable speed”. Considering the combined mass of the icecaps at Antarctica and Greenland (possibly the largest accumulation of ice since the era of the now extinct dinosaurs) the next displacement may be sudden and universally terminal, extinguishing all higher forms of life on Earth.
Because the world has failed to take seriously the hypothesis proposed by Charles Hapgood and endorsed Albert Einstein, funds have not been allocated to necessary research for an accurate evaluation of the pending threat. Geophysical studies have been focused on narrow, less consequential aspects of natural phenomena, tailored toward maintaining the traditional status quo. Although more data gathered over the last fifteen years have lent support to the reality of crust displacement, the hypothesis has been almost universally ignored.
While nations fret over the debatable effects of a global warming, the earth beneath our feet is beginning to show signs of glacial stress. Evidence has long suggested that the process of polar displacement already has started and is beginning to accelerate.
It first should be explained that there are two north and two south poles. There is a geographic pole on the surface where all lines drawn from the Equator converge (the assumed center of the planetary rotation) and a magnetic pole where a compass needle points downward toward the center of the Earth. These two poles, geographic and magnetic, coexist at separate locations, miles apart at the top and bottom of our world globe. That is, there is a North Geographic Pole and a North Magnetic Pole, and a South Geographic Pole and a South Magnetic Pole. The geographic poles, north and south, wobble about in a sort of spiral approximately every 435 days or roughly 14 months. Theories have been offered to explain this wobble; however the bottom line is we do not know for sure why it exists.
In January 1999, measurements made in Greenland by the Danish Meteorological Institute showed the magnetic North Pole was moving northward at 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) per year, 2 kilometers (about 1.2 miles) faster than the previous year. More recently, the Canadian government measured the magnetic North Pole as moving at an accelerated 40 kilometers (about 33 miles) per year. However these measurements were relative to the position of the geographic North Pole (the point at which the internal planetary mass rotates). As said earlier, that point wobbles about sort of erratically. Thus, it fairly is impossible to fix exactly. Moreover, the measurement of the magnetic pole movement is based on the assumption the geographic pole is fixed; that is, except for its wobble, it has remained in the same general location for millions of years. This raises the question: Is the magnetic North Pole actually moving or is the Earth’s crust drifting south toward the Equator at an accelerated pace? The southern movement of the crust in the Greenland region (an apparent northern movement of the magnetic pole) falls within the trajectory predicted by Charles Hapgood and James Campbell for the next crust shift. The mechanism outlined by James Campbell calls for a geometrically increasing acceleration such as that exhibited by the magnetic pole shift. Canadian government figures offer the following: from 1900 to 1968, 6 meters (about 20 feet) shift per year; 1999, 20 kilometers (12 miles) shift per year; and 2004, 40 kilometers (33 miles) shift per year! If this is an indication that the crust is slipping, this continual movement further off centers the glaciers, placing an ever increasing horizontal thrust on the Earth’s crust. Currently, there is insufficient data to determine a breaking point – a time when the outer shell of our planet will tear free of its mooring and again relocate the poles.
A contributor to Charles Hapgood’s research suggested that an increase of significant earthquake activity along the meridian would be a precursor to a violent displacement of the crust. Consider the following list of only the massive earthquakes over the last 100 years:
1906 8.8 Off Ecuador
1950 8.6 Assam-Tibet
1952 9.0 Russia
1957 9.1 Alaska
1960 9.5 Chile
1964 9.2 Alaska
1965 8.7 Alaska
2004 9.0 Sumatra
2005 8.7 Sumatra
2006 8.0 Kuril Islands
2007 8.0 Solomon Islands
2007 8.0 Off coast of central Peru
2008 7.9 Eastern Sichuan China
2009 8.1 Samoa Island Region
2010 8.8 Maule Chile
There have been hundreds of lesser earthquakes registering above 7.5 on the Richter scale in recent years.
In a crust shift, the Pacific Plate would pivot, its west end moving north, its east end moving south. A resulting effect would be earthquakes along the boundaries, in this case, in the Aleutian island chain where Rat Island, Andreanof Island and Prince William Sound are located. Kamchutka, Russia also is in the vicinity of the meeting of the Eurasian and Pacific Plates. Moreover, because of the irregular nature of plate boundaries and their interconnectivity, side effects would move laterally from the meridian at indeterminate places as James Campbell explained in depth. If seismologists seriously considered the reality of a crust shift, they may be able to more accurately predict the next series of major quakes. They already have noticed that the recent rash of quakes is unusual, mimicking a similar pattern shortly prior to 4000 BCE preceding the abrupt demise of the North American glacier. Someone best take notice soon. Given the ineptitude of world governments, it will take five or more years before any concrete action gets underway. Let us pray that Mother Nature will wait.
Referring to the amassed glaciers that now threaten the world, Hugh Auchincloss Brown called for “an awakening to the danger among people at large” and for “an international war in which all nation fought as brothers against a common enemy”. He optimistically declared, “we will all join in the work once we know our lives are at stake”. However to date, few if any have taken heed.
Hugh Brown, Charles Hapgood, James Campbell and Albert Einstein appear to be no more than voices crying in the wilderness: “the Day of Judgment is at hand”. Will we be found wanting and leave no more than a legacy of desiccated skeletons buried like the dinosaurs in the sandstone tombs provided by our executioner, a violently lethal planet Earth.
Mammoths and Other Dead Things
Data collected in the late 20th century suggest that two crust displacements took place within the last 30,000 years. The earlier displacement moved the Hudson Bay region of North America to the North Pole and the later displacement drew northern Siberian and upper Alaska into the Arctic Circle. Dramatic climate changes occurred in these locales as glaciers developed at the new poles. Former temperate zones were inundated with snow and temperatures fell abruptly to sub zero extremes. While geologists argue that these transitions were gradual, spanning thousands of years, physical evidence seems to indicate otherwise.
In each case when a new section of the Earth’s crust moved into the Arctic Circle, millions of animals died suddenly. Entire groups of young and old, mothers with their young, perished side by side. This we know for fact because we have recovered an extensive portion of their remains and no other explanation except a rapid shift in their environments can account satisfactorily for these deaths. Reasons given for the demise of an immense number of varied species have ranged from the implausible to the preposterous, some so outlandish that compatriots have admitted that their colleagues were doing no more than grasping at straws.
An earlier crust displacement froze the upper eastern quarter of North America. From the extent of the skeletons found, it has been estimated conservatively that at least 35 million animals died as a direct result of a drastic change in their habitat. When the North American glacier melted, the remains of those animals were swept up by torrents of water, piled in disorganized heaps, and buried beneath yards of silt. Thus, the actual cause of their demise cannot be determined accurately because the resulting decomposition left us no more than mounds of desiccated bones. All we can conclude with certainty is that complete groups of animals were annihilated when ice overran the terrain they occupied. However, common sense dictates that the habitat change was sudden. Had it been gradual, spanning even a couple of decades, those animals would have fled the expanding mass of ice, migrating south to warmer climates. Only a scattered few would have remained, waiting to die. To kill millions in herd, packs and other family groups, the cause must have been cataclysmic and sudden enough to permit no escape. Dramatic evidence of the validity of this has been provided by the latest displacement of the Earth’s crust.
When northern Siberia moved into the Arctic Circle, its climate immediately transformed from temperature to frigid. Mammoths, rhinoceroses, horses, buffalo, sheep and deer, together with a number of predators, were fast frozen where they stood. Thus far, we have more 35 documented recoveries of intact mammoths whose flesh did not begin to decompose until they were disinterred from the frozen tundra within which they were encased several thousand years ago. In one classic case, the flesh of a mammoth was fed to the sled dogs with no ill effects. According to an observer, the meat was well marbled with fat and had the look of that recently removed from a frozen storage locker. Moreover, temperate zone vegetation was recovered from between its teeth and within its upper digestive tract, proving conclusively the mammoth had been grazing shortly before it froze to death. Other more recent and well documented discoveries of mammoths have corroborated the above find. Although not fully substantiated, a correspondent for an American publication professed he was served mammoth meat in Moscow and Russians claim to have eaten similar meat from other mammoths found in a well preserved state. These are not isolated incidents but typical of many other animals found in the region with fur, flesh and sinew showing no hint of decomposition. An intact rhinoceros was extracted from the bank of the Vilui River in Siberia, intact and never thawed until its carcass was exposed. Although not attracting as much publicity as the mammoths, dozens of more commonplace animals such as bison, deer and sheep have been recovered in a similar frozen state, animals not adapted to an arctic zone.
In 1977, a baby mammoth was uncovered near Dima, Siberia. Other than freezing, there was no apparent cause of death and only after it had been disinterred did its flesh begin to decompose. An analysis of its stomach content produced several varieties of temperate zone vegetation that were cataloged and identified conclusively. With no other recourse, an incredibly farfetched scenario was concocted to explain its sudden demise. According to an archeologist from Moscow, the baby mammoth supposedly was grazing with its mother who accidentally fell into the sea and drowned, her body permanently lost. The distraught baby then began wandering about and, for unstated reasons, clumsily slipped into a distant, very large puddle that was frozen, in midsummer, by a sudden and unusual chilling arctic wind. Subsequently, an avalanche of either snow or icy mud covered the frozen puddle. Alice in Wonderland had a much more plausible plot. Still, the tale graces the pages of several books on the Dima mammoth. The authors should have read Charles Hapgood’s books.
From the number of carcasses discovered, it now appears apparent the mammoth became extinct in the northern hemisphere when the last crust displacement dissolved the North American glacier and propelled Siberia and Alaska toward the Arctic Circle. Hugh Auchincloss Brown and Charles Hapgood independently provided substantial evidence to prove mammoths were temperate zone creatures that never flourished in arctic climes anywhere on Earth. Other species such as the giant beaver and the mastodon were doomed earlier when the Hudson Bay region was thrust to the North Pole. These deaths were sudden and catastrophic, as careful examinations of carcasses have shown.
Immaculately preserved bodies give testimony to the fact that the last crust displacement took place at an incredible pace. Had it been a gradual transition encompassing centuries or millennia as argued by some, mammoths and other species would have migrated to warmer climates to escape the growing chill. It is inconceivable that they would have remained grazing or going about life as usual until they froze to death. In the least, species would have adapted to the colder climate over the span of centuries. Yet no evidence of such adaptation exists. Moreover, mammoths in particular were animals that required an enormous amount of greens to remain healthy; vegetation that would have vanished immediately after the ground was covered by snow or ice. The temperate zone vegetation found in their digestive tracts was not adapted to the arctic chill. Again, no evidence of such an adaptation has been found to date. Thus, proponents of a gradual transition would have to concede the mammoths raced 2000 miles to graze then returned quickly to freeze.
Temperate zone vegetation found buried, frozen and preserved within the Arctic Circle, also attest to the sudden transition in climate. Plants found in northern Siberia, the New Siberian Islands, the Aleutians and in Alaska were as fresh as the vegetables in a supermarket’s frozen food aisle. At one location in the New Siberian Islands, far within the present Arctic Circle where the ground has been frozen for centuries, a preserved fruit tree was uncovered still retaining green leaves and ripened fruit on its branches. Considering that fruit rots in a matter of days, the transition from temperate to arctic must have occurred within a similarly short span. No other explanation is feasible unless archeologists wish to suggest that someone several thousand years ago transported that tree there packed in ice then buried it simply to muddle future minds. The tree was fast frozen with the emphasis on the word fast. To imply otherwise is an affront to common sense.
Both Hugh Auchincloss Brown and Charles Hapgood provided further evidence for a rapid crust displacement in their respective books. However, Charles Hapgood chose to remain conservatively within the bounds of available dating methods and dates, offering no proposition that could not be supported by data broadly accepted the scientific world. Yet, by implication (reading between the lines), he did suggest that the displacements of the Earth’s crust, once the process started, took place at an incredible pace. Hugh Auchincloss Brown was more overt in this respect. He implied that a polar shift would encompass months or even a matter of days.
Based upon the evidence provided by the last displacement of the Earth’s crust, it would be safe to assume prior shifts occurred at a similarly rapid pace. As in Siberia, millions of animals in North America were trapped and encased in snow then ice when the Hudson Bay region migrated to the internal North Pole. When the crust shifted again, the glacier melted and those bodies were thawed and swept up in disorganized heaps by torrents of water. Before buried by settling mud, those bodies decomposed, leaving only disjointed skeletons encased in tons of silt. More ominously, we also can assume the next crust displacement will be as swift and that a similar annihilation of fauna and flora will take place in those regions thrust to the polar extremes. If Charles Hapgood projected the trajectory of this looming shift correctly, most of upper Asia will become an arctic wasteland as a new glacier begins to form in Siberia, centered in the vicinity of Lake Baikal. A billion or more people currently living in Mongolia and China will die; their frozen bodies preserved for future archeologists (if there are any) to uncover and argue over the cause of their demise. For everyone living within these regions, the next crust displacement should be a matter of prime concern. Resting near or at the new pole, they will be the least likely to survive.
Assuming that the current drift of the Magnetic North Pole (explained in the previous section) is in fact caused by the crust moving across the internal planetary mass, at the present rate of drift, the crust could cover 2000 miles in a maximum of 50 years. However, this does not take into consideration a further acceleration of the polar shift. As pointed out by James Campbell, that acceleration, geometrically increasing as the icecaps move further off center, would shorten greatly the time span of a crust shift. In a March 2002 interview with the Cable News Network (CNN), Lawrence Newitt, a scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada noted that the polar drift has picked up its pace in recent years. He projected that, if the pole follows its present course, it will pass north of Alaska and arrive in Siberia within a half century. Charles Hapgood also projected that the new North Pole would be located in Siberia, the site predicted by Lawrence Newitt.
Given sufficient horizontal pressure, the Earth’s outer shell could shift at a fantastic pace. Major earthquakes have provided adequate proof of this. Large tectonic plates have moved several feet in a matter of seconds during a quake, redistributing all boundaries around those plates. Thus, it is not unreasonable to extend this capacity for rapid movement to the overall crust. Pushed by the geometrically increasing thrust exerted by massive off centered glaciers, the entire planetary surface could travel 2000 miles (about one twelfth of its circumference) in a matter of days. The crust would break free of its moorings; accelerate until the old polar icecaps begin to dissipate; glide a bit on its momentum; the brake to a jarring halt when it re-adheres itself to the internal planetary mass. Some evidence in the form of unusual horizontal fractures and smaller rifts (about in line with the Equator) suggest that this is what happened in the past. Horizontal raising and under-sliding (subduction) of plates, creating and collapsing undersea mountains, also suggest an abrupt “slamming together” of tectonic plates.
Dramatic changes are occurring within our planet, most taking place within the last few years. In past decades, the equatorial bulge was receding and the flatness of the poles was rising, making the Earth more spherical in shape. This generally was accepted as post glacial recovery; that is, regaining its shape after being distorted by the North American icecap. However, in 1998, the process suddenly reversed, increasing substantially the equatorial bulge and indicating a large scale mass redistribution from higher latitudes to the equatorial zone. Moreover, the planet’s normal, relatively smooth wobble was deflected abruptly at about the same time. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) satellites, using the latest advanced techniques, measured these and other unusual changes in the Earth’s magnetic sphere with precision. Most researchers now agree that our planet recently has deviated significantly from its norm of the last 100 years. Thus far, only Charles Hapgood (et al) has offered a plausible cause – a looming polar shift.
Evidence gleaned from past crust displacements leave little doubt that they were swift, cataclysmic and worldwide in scope. In each case, the results were horrendous, rendering many species extinct and others greatly reduced in numbers. In a practical sense, human civilization was destroyed each time the planet’s crust moved. Surviving groups were forced to start over, salvaging little from a more productive past.
Cumulatively, all evidence indicates that past crust displacements were swift and universally disastrous and, from what we have observed of the present behavior of our planet, the process is about to repeat. Not much of our current population and technology will survive if we encounter it unprepared. After the next polar shift, we face the prospect of living amid the ruins of our towns and cities, enduring a hundred or more years of deprivation and chaos while our societies slowly regroup and rebuild themselves. This would be the best case scenario and a Pollyanna view of a world turned upside down. Considering what is at stake, it is incumbent upon all to raise our voices in protest and demand that world governments unite and move into action to combat this looming threat. In this one case, it is best to be Chicken Littles crying out “the sky is falling” rather than ostriches with out heads stuck in the sand. Nature will not give us a second chance.
In recent years, researchers dealing with the history of the Earth (geologists, paleontologists and archeologists in particular) have adopted the dogma of atomic dating with the same misguided zeal strict creationists place in the literal words of Genesis. Most religiously swear by its validity, condemning as if heresy all challenges to their accepted truths. After about two hundred years of random guessing the ages of fossils, artifacts and layers of sediment, most doggedly maintain that, finally, they have ways of accurately dating materials from eons past. Fact or fiction? Actually, the truth rests somewhere in between.
Without becoming too technical, here are brief explanations of the three principal methods used.
1. Radio Carbon Dating: This method is used to date dead organic matter; that is, anything animal or vegetable that once lived in the atmosphere, underwater critters excluded. It is based upon the ration between two isotopes (carbon 14 and common carbon 12) existing in a sample of organic matter. An isotope is an atom of the same element (in this case, carbon) that contains equal numbers of protons but different numbers of neutrons in its nuclei. Hence carbon 14 is a carbon atom with 14 neutrons whereas common carbon 12 has 12; both have the same number of protons. We have reliable ways to tell them apart; and by measuring and comparing the amounts of these two existing in a sample of organic matter, a laboratory calculates its age.
While working on the first atomic bomb, Willard F. Libby and his co-workers found a way to detect and measure isotopes. With further research, Libby determined that carbon 14 slowly converts to nitrogen (another element or atomic type) over a set period of time. In about 5,568 ±30 years, half of the carbon 14 becomes nitrogen and half of the remainder becomes nitrogen in another 5,568 ±30 years, and so forth, halving itself every 5,568 ±30 years. With each halving, the amount of the remaining carbon 14 becomes smaller until it no longer can be measured with any degree of accuracy. Cumulatively, this amounts to about 50,000 years. So where does the carbon 14 come from?
During its lifetime on the surface of the Earth, exposed to the atmosphere, every organic entity (animal or vegetable) takes on carbon dioxide containing carbon 14 and carbon 12. This intake theoretically ceases when that entity dies. At that point, the amount of carbon 14 starts to deteriorate, converting to nitrogen presumably with no new intake of carbon 14. Thus, a properly equipped laboratory can examine a once-living specimen, determine how much carbon 14 as opposed to carbon 12 exists within it, and calculate approximately how long that entity has been dead. Please note the emphasis. This also presumably dates the layer of sediment within which that specimen was found. In theory, the process sounds reasonably accurate. In practice, several things can go wrong.
After several years of using the method, scientists discovered it was more than a tad off. Comparing carbon 14 dates with those derived by dendrochronology (basically the study of tree rings), carbon 14 dates were found to deviate by hundreds of years.
To briefly explain, trees generally grow a new ring every year. Several existing trees date back a few thousand years and we have samples of dated wood (structures, furniture and so forth) that are even older still. Thus, by counting the number of rings in a cross-section of trunk, we can determine the approximate age of the tree with a relative degree of accuracy. This process is not infallible but it was sufficient to expose a critical carbon 14 dating flaw.
Meanwhile back at the laboratory, scientists had a dilemma. Their carbon 14 method had to be revised. To solve that dilemma, they used data derived from tree-ring dating (dendrochronology) and created tables with which carbon 14 dates could be modified, establishing what they determined was an “absolute norm”. For the most part, dates derived by the carbon 14 method before this adjustment were unreliable at best or flatly wrong; many of which still are quoted in texts on archeology, paleontology, geology and history. The final adjustment in carbon 14 tables was made around 1985. Laboratory dating prior to that can be regarded as essentially flawed. But is the method now reliable? Somewhat but not quite.
The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at the time an organism died is the foundation upon which the carbon 14 method rests. This was presumed to have remained constant over the eons, about the same concentration of carbon dioxide that now exists. However, several factors can alter that atmospheric concentration. A regional volcanic eruption or fluctuation in cosmic radiation can vary the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide, raising or lowering it and providing a younger or older date. Further, contamination by ground water, soil or foreign matter formerly in contact with a specimen also can modify the derived date as much as a couple of thousand years. Thus, the potential for miscalculation expands geometrically the further we go back in time. This can be corrected somewhat by utilizing other tests on rocks and pottery from the same locale and strata level where the organic specimen was found. However because geological, archeological and paleontological research is usually grossly under funded, this is not done because of the costs involved. Thus, most carbon 14 dates are not cross-corroborated, and those that are not could be far off the mark.
As noted earlier, carbon 14 dating has a cap of about 50,000 years. Beyond that, its halved lives are no longer measurable to any precise degree. It also is not very accurate on more recent samples. The half-life span tends to be exaggerated in these. Moreover, other factors such as its handling can contaminate a sample by introducing carbon dioxide from the present atmosphere. Most universities recommend using a sanitized trowel when unearthing a specimen; avoiding contact with other layers of strata; and, immediately encasing the specimen in a chemically neutral, airtight container once unearthed. These procedures have been adhered to (barring human carelessness) only within the last few years.
More recently, a new technique called Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) appears to produce dates as reliable as those obtained by earlier methods. It accelerates ions to extraordinary high kinetic energies before mass analysis. This method replaces the traditional scintillation counting for precise carbon dating which was time consuming and required relatively large samples. Now, samples containing very small amounts of carbon can be dated without destroying the actual artifacts. Bones, seeds, ceramics and other cultural material can be dated directly by the AMS method, thus simplifying the dating theory. Still all of the potentials for cross-contamination and other anomalies in the amount of carbon 14 in a specimen applies.
Despite progress in this regard, the University of California at Barbara cautions that the carbon 14 method “is not infallible” and “single dates should not be trusted”. It advises its students to secure multiple samples of sufficient size when possible so that “the trend of samples will provide a ball park estimate of the actual date”. For the technically inclined, the full text can be found on the UCSB website under “Limitations of Carbon Dating”. This lists other more complex flaws. For the rest of us, the information provided above should suffice to explain the method and its shortcomings. In essence, carbon 14 dates should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.
2. Thermoluminescence Dating: This basically is a measurement of the faint glow emitted from elements contained in a heated sample of pottery, generated by the discharge of electrons trapped in clay. Presumably, the initial firing of a piece of pottery discharges all of its electrons, resetting its atomic clock. As the fired pottery cools, it begins to regain electrons at an assumed set rate. Thus, by measuring the discharge of electrons (the faint glow) when a sample of pottery is reheated, it appears possible to gauge when that sample was made. In theory, the concept is entirely feasible. Still many technical factors can affect the reliability of the dates achieved. A search of the website of any major university will provide these. At best, thermoluminescence dating offers a fair estimate of a sample’s age with the caveat: Reader Beware!
3. Ionium-Thorium Dating: This is a process for dating marine sediments. It is based on the decay of uranium in seawater whose half-life is about 80,000 years. This decay produces thorium and a thorium isotope ionium. Thus, by measuring the ratio of these, sediments can be dated up to 400,000 years. The method is similar to carbon 14 dating in many ways but a bit more complex, and suffers from its own inherent shortcomings and flaws. After analyzing the method, Albert Einstein could find no fault with the theory upon which it is based. In practice, ionium-thorium dating provides the same “ballpark” estimate of the marine sediments involved. The average encyclopedia will provide sufficiently detailed explanation of the method for the technically inclined.
Two further methods should be mentioned in closing. Rubidium-strontium dating and potassium-argon dating are used to determine the ages of rocks. All of the caveats given for the other three methods apply.
Given the tendency of scholars to list atomic dates with an assumed precision, the flaws and fallibility of the above methods of dating must be kept in mind when reviewing any presentation on the history and evolution of the Earth. A date given as 4382 BCE could differ from the actual date by more than ±1000 years and, in a few cases, could be even further astray. This applies to all current dating methods. While far more reliable than the random guesses put forth in the 19th and early 20th century, none of these methods are immutable divine laws as some scholars tend to imply.
Despite its many flaws, at the moment, atomic dating is the best science has at its disposal. It at least places us “within the ballpark” in determining when an event took place. Whenever possible, surviving texts and orally transmitted tales should be utilized to corroborate and date an event. Aside from the somewhat outlandish overtones of these historical records, they are based upon firsthand accounts of the past. Thus, they must not be dismissed as naive ramblings but accorded the respect given eyewitness accounts in a court of law. Unlike modern archeologists and historians, our ancient predecessors were there at the time when those events took place. We should utilize their testimony to validate our scientifically derived dates.
Ominous Warnings from the Past
The myths of ancient cultures universally tell of widespread natural convulsions. Their theme is remarkably the same and appears to coincide with a given span of prehistory. The Earth is upturned when the heavenly bodies shift their positions. At such times, mountains spring up; portions of the ground is overturned or sink beneath the sea; great rivers change their courses or cease to flow; and lakes are formed while others disappear. Everywhere there is widespread chaos and destruction; and, through an onslaught of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and deluges, all traces of civilization are erased, leaving humanity illiterate and forced to start over again. These concepts echo around the globe, given voice in ancient documents or the oral traditions of every race. The Earth is besieged by upheaval and only the blessed are fortunate to survive.
Traditionally, historians dismiss the myths of our predecessors as allegorical fables generated by imaginative but naive primitive minds, crediting the disasters described to the normal earthquakes, torrential rains, volcanic eruptions or tsunamis that regularly plague our planet. Thus, they pay little heed to the seemingly outlandish cataclysms embodied within oral traditions and ancient texts. With a subliminal bigotry, they fail to credit our ancient predecessors with enough intelligence to distinguish between a calamitous local event and one so tumultuous that it ravaged the entire world.
Accepting the discredited premise of a stable, slowly evolving planet with rigidly fixed poles (the theory of uniformity), historians envision no possible catastrophe on a global scale. At best, they make allowances for an occasional meteorite or comet of significant size striking the Earth, but not within the last million or so years and presumably long before intelligent humans evolved. Thus, the oral traditions and recorded tales of our ancient predecessors are dismissed as not representative of the real world that was. To an extent, ancient authors abetted this illusion of ignorance. They failed to grasp the root cause of the cataclysm they sought to describe and explain. From their earthbound vantage, they correctly observed a shifting of the heavenly bodies. The sun, moon, planets and stars appeared to have altered their paths across the sky. Depending upon the latitude from which they observed the transition, in some locales, the sun or moon seem to pause and even reverse their direction of movement before continuing on their way. Thus the reasons ancient authors gave for what they observed seems fairly bizarre. They relegated the heavenly distortions to the realm of the divine. Somehow, the gods had intervened and, in doing so, brought havoc upon the Earth. Some assumed the gods were angered by the behavior of the human race and sought to destroy it. Afterward, the survivors were deemed by future generations as privileged individuals who had found favor with the divine. However beyond the naive reasons given to explain the cause of a calamitous upheaval of our planet, the tales that were passed down through the millennia were valid eyewitness accounts of the destruction that took place at that time. Immersed within a quagmire of bizarre speculations there rests a solid bed of fact. The Earth was besieged by a universal catastrophe, enduring the monumental disasters our ancient predecessors described. It should be noted at the point that the term prehistory as used here simply indicates the earliest period of civilization for which we have no definite records or direct information. It is used only in this context and does not imply an era of primitive cavemen or the like. Scholars tend to classify all of the earliest cultures as Stone Age primarily because all they find at ancient sites are implements made of stone. However, despite the absence of more advanced artifacts, prehistoric cultures appear to have developed far beyond the parameters historians and archeologists have set for early man.
In prehistoric times, there were many advanced but now extinct civilizations that left spectacular ruins of well-organized cities replete with impressive monuments historians and archeologists alike are at a loss to explain. Vanished cultures that once used massive blocks of stone weighing upwards to 2000 tons which they cut, shaped, polished and moved great distances, must have possessed some sort of technology far beyond the crude implements found at the various sites. Unable to explain rationally such accomplishments, archeologists have chosen to ignore them, classifying them as anomalies, and focus upon the meager trove of lesser artifacts found, deeming those to be the extent of development in prehistoric times. Even the most naive and gullible individual can reason that such pronouncements cannot be true. A bit of surfing on the Internet accessing photographs of ancient sites in South America, Lebanon, India, Asia and the Middle East will put the matter to rest. When we see what had been achieved by so-called primitive cultures, we only can conclude that, barring an unlikely intervention by extraterrestrial aliens, the civilizations of the distant past in many respects were highly advanced. Any other opinion runs counter to common sense. Those civilizations cut and shaped huge blocks of stone, a feat impossible using simple stone, and copper or even bronze tools.
Eager to categorize prehistoric cultures as backward, archeologists overlook the possibility that existing ruins of early civilizations may have been plundered in the past by scavenging survivors of a cataclysm that caused the demise of those civilizations. Other lesser-developed groups have discovered and occupied those sites, leaving behind their own more primitive artifacts. These groups would have attempted some rebuilding, making use of lesser items and leaving intact the huge megaliths they could not move or utilize. Just as the later, less cultured Egyptians tore off the surface covering of the pyramids to use in constructing their cruder houses, squatters have plundered and contaminated original sites. Over the ensuing centuries, other scavengers would have absconded with whatever they could carry off. This and other possibilities must be taken into consideration when we investigate the distant past. Only a faint shadow of ancient technology would have survived if, as ancient authors claim, civilization was decimated by the gods or, as we now realize, by a calamitous shifting of the Earth’s crust.
Surviving ancient texts from all cultures have sought to warn future generations of what they perceived as “the vengeance of the gods”. Early Greek authors from the 8th through the 3rd centuries BCE such as Anaximander, Diogenes, Hesoid and Plato repeated those warnings received from early years. These wrote of worldwide catastrophes that annihilated vast segments of the human race, vanquished entire cities, and retrogressed civilization far back into the Stone Age. Herodotus in the 5th century BCE, drawing upon much earlier authors, taught that the world was destroyed every 10,800 years and, although the span may be questionable, his premise of recurring global destruction has been corroborated by recent discoveries of millions of species inexplicably exterminated en masse at several locations across the globe in episodes thousands of years apart. Similar concepts of worldwide upheaval are echoed in the surviving texts of the ancient Egyptians, Persians, Sumerians and other cultures of the Middle East. In Asia, Chinese history records massive flooding and other widespread natural disasters taking place around 3000 BCE, following which the paths of the heavenly bodies, the points of the compass, and the seasons had to be revised. The Hindu, Buddhist and Japanese texts also voice remarkably the same theme as does the oral traditions preserved by the non-literate cultures throughout the Pacific, North America and Africa. In Central and South America, the Inca, Aztec and Maya recount tales of destruction and rebirth occurring in cycles during which nations were torn apart and human beings were forced to begin again. Of the latter group, the Maya, whose grasp of mathematics and astronomy has astounded modern scholars, were most precise. Their “long calendar” began with the present new star arrangement which, by our calendar, corresponds with August 11, 3114 BCE. They further forecast the current world cycle would end in cataclysm, by our calendar, on December 31, 2012 CE (the Current Era). Ominously, they never bothered to project their calendar beyond that last date even though their system of mathematics (which included the concept of zero as a place holder) was on a par with our own, permitting infinite calculations in both whole numbers and fractions. Considering that the early Maya accurately determined the orbit of Venus as well as the precise length of the Earth year (their figure being off only by two ten-thousandths of a day), their projected date for the next global catastrophe indeed may not be far off the mark. It should be noted that the incredible rise and subsequent sharp decline of their culture implies an acquisition of knowledge from an ancient source, potentially a civilization that may have been destroyed prior to 3114 BCE.
Further corroboration of the onset of the last Maya world cycle can be found in ancient texts from other parts of the globe. It corresponds with the last (present) Hindu world cycle, the Kali Age, which, calculated on the basis of the planetary configuration given in a post-cataclysmic Vedic text, began approximately in 3102 BCE by our calendar, a difference from the Maya date by only 12 years. The early Hindu (Arya) was as skilled in mathematics and astronomy as the Maya. They provided our so-called modern western system of mathematics via Arabia, to Western Europe that, until well into the current era, was using the clumsy Roman and Greek system of letters that we now would find inadequate to compute our restaurant tabs. Moreover, they also proposed the “Big Bang” theory over 7000 years ago, a theory which science modern has adopted with very little modification to explain the origin and expansion of the current universe. In fact, Hindu mathematicians went modern science one better. They calculated the universal cycles, setting the time each expansion and contraction of the cosmos takes in corresponding astronomically large numbers of human years. They also were masters in astronomy, eons before European scholars conceded that the world was round.
The cataclysmic date implied by the Maya and Arya coincides with that reflected elsewhere in the world. In Genesis, the Great Flood of Noah (derived from the Sumerian flood of Gilgamesh) has the world starting over about 3000 BCE. Curiously at Stonehenge, which archeologists believe was built to ascertain correct astronomical cycles and positions, construction began in the year 3113 BCE according to modern dating methods.
Surveying texts and orally transmitted legends from other parts of the world, we find tales of extensive disruptions of Nature taking place within a similar time frame – 3300 to 3000 BCE. These dates correspond with the disappearance of the North American glacier, which research data suggest had vanished about 4380 BCE (a carbon 14 date), a difference of 1380 to 1000 years and a reasonable margin for error in current dating techniques.
A brief survey of later cultures and their emergence worldwide reveals a curious pattern of sudden advancement followed by an equally inexplicable rapid decline. Regions formerly deemed primitive abruptly became organized and highly civilized, giving rise to a revolutionary upsurge in mathematics, astronomy, architecture, farming, and a host of other skills. Within a few centuries, these regions began to regress sharply. Did humanity take a great leap forward or was it merely salvaging whatever it could from an earlier, more advanced past? Following a major catastrophe, social groups would have taken an extensive period to re-organize, possibly centuries. In the interim, much of their former knowledge and skills would start to deteriorate with the deaths of the original survivors. Thus, each new generation would become less competent, especially if the surviving educated elite were few in numbers amidst a group of illiterate herdsmen and farmers as the works of Plato profess. The modern equivalent would be a proficient doctor stranded amongst a group of aborigines. Without textbooks, equipment and medicines, he would pass on only a portion of his skills to the current generation. After he died, the next generation would be less competent as would the succeeding generations. In a few decades, the major portion of his medical expertise would be lost, intermingled with and distorted by traditional superstitions. Within a few centuries, not much of our doctor’s expertise will have survived. This scenario seems to have played across the globe during the period extending from 3300 to 3000 BCE. Rather than experiencing a sudden rise in knowledge, humanity appeared to have been recovering whatever it could from earlier civilizations that were destroyed.
There is a wealth of evidence to indicate that major migrations took place about time the North American glacier vanished. Broad segments of the existing population began to relocate in Asia, the Pacific, Central and South America, the Mediterranean, Europe, India and the Middle East. It is highly unlikely that these migrants simultaneously became disenchanted with their traditional homelands and decided to pack and leave en masse for new locales. Nothing short of a major catastrophe would have prompted such a migration during which prior civilizations inexplicably vanished and new one later almost miraculously arose. For the most part, the original homelands of these migrants are listed as unknown.
In a futile attempt to stay within the bounds of the discredited theory of uniformity, historians point to remnants of much earlier Stone Age cultures in the various regions (some as much as 18,000 years older) in order to simulate an orderly, progressive pattern of growth. This, however, does not explain why those cultures subsequently declined. According to current histories, it seems emerging societies had an awesome burst of intelligence then globally took some stupid pills and became retarded. Life does not function in this fashion unless something momentous intervenes. Traditionally, it has been in vogue to blame regional droughts, land erosion, soil depletion, and other similar natural events for mass migrations even though these conditions have not proven to be the case in recent years. Less developed cultures in parts of Africa and Asia merely have remained where they were after environmental conditions drastically changed. The established rule has been people resist leaving the land of their birth, enduring privation and adapting as best they can, unless absolutely forced to move. Applying this to prehistoric civilizations will enhance our understanding of the distant past.
Several scientists, some of whom have suggested potential causes other than that which Charles Hapgood proposed, have voiced the possibility of a worldwide cataclysm. Each of these deserves serious consideration and investigation for, the cause notwithstanding, we now know for certain cataclysms on a global scale have occurred repeatedly in the past. In the least, this will provide a better understanding of what we are most certainly to face in the near future and, if the next cataclysm cannot be averted, we can insure that all our progress to date somehow is preserved. The alternative is a regression to the Stone Age, for the greater part of the world’s population has not a clue as to how our wonderful technologies work. Science, medicine and even simple processes of manufacturing and food production have been relegated to specialists at the upper end of the present social strata. In a massive upheaval, few of these specialists will survive and with them will perish all we have achieved thus far. As in the past, civilization will collapse and give rise to a period of chaos during which only the strong and the ruthless will thrive. This was the legacy of the last cataclysm, echoed in our own history texts. Power and sustenance fell to those who wielded the sword.
If any of us remain alive beyond the pending global catastrophe, our memories of the upheaval and of our former greatness will be relegated to new 21st century myths, written and oral, which future historians again will ignore while they marvel at the ruins of our once fabulous cities. Santana once said that those who ignore history are bound to repeat it. Maybe in this instance, we could head the warnings of our ancient predecessors and insure that the next generation will not be the last on Earth.
When the Heavens Turned
Early civilizations seemed to have an almost manic obsession with astronomy. They expended tremendous resources charting the courses of the visible planets, constellations and individual stars. Historians generally attribute this preoccupation to various aspects of nature-based religions. However, our ancient predecessors went far beyond the realm of that which would have been of interest to the average individual of their day. Astrological influences played a part in religions but only after the heavenly bodies were well defined and appropriately named. To the untrained eye, planets are at most irregular brighter stars, and constellations no more significant than recurring patterns in the night sky. This hardly is the stuff religions are based on. The worship of the sun and moon had an obvious natural appeal on a par with earthly spirits. Those two major heavenly bodies had an immediate and pronounced impact on daily life and were the principal means of gauging time. The constellations and planets paled in comparison. To the average individual of the prehistoric era, those should have been little more than a part of the billions of heavenly lights. A shepherd tending his flock night after night would have noticed the somewhat different behavior of the planets as opposed to the rest of the stars and that certain patterns (constellations) moved along a recurring elliptical path. Still these should have been no more than curiosities, having little bearing on his daily life. Survival was difficult at the time and, like the shepherd, individuals should have had more pressing concerns to occupy their minds. Even the shamans (priests) should have been more focused upon earthbound spirits, omens and ills to pay much mind to the night’s heavenly lights. It still takes a concerted effort to convince anyone that the planets and constellations have a real impact on their lives. Fortune telling is done easier with tea leaves, bones and the like. The reading of animal entrails was the primary means of divination in prehistoric times. Nature religions should have had little interest in the stars. Moreover, the contours of elliptical constellations were not representative of the names they were ascribed. Even when carefully studied, the Great Bear (Ursa Major) does not resemble that animal in the least. Instead, it looks fairly much like what we commonly call it, the Big Dipper. Its four bright stars almost form a square, hardly the dimensions of a bear. Yet, the Semites and others dubbed it as such. Similar abstract names were given to other constellations, most of which are difficult to locate in the night sky. Sun and moon worship were obvious extensions of nature religions but the rest of the heavens should have been no more than so many pinpoints of light accompanying the Great Heavenly River (the Milky Way) that encircled the habitable world, hardly the basis of popular religion. Still, planets were singled out and elevated to the status of major gods, setting them apart from the rest of the stars. Constellations were isolated and also elevated to the divine. Considering the difficulties involved in simple mundane living, early humanity must have had an extremely important reason to place so much emphasis on the night sky. But what great need prompted this obsession with astronomy? Why did cultures world over, following the cataclysm they portrayed in their myths, seem maniacally possessed with the stars? The answer to both of these questions is obvious to anyone who has sailed on the open sea without instruments: simple navigation. Whether at sea, on a caravan or leading an army, ancient cultures relied upon the heavens to guide them. The sun by day and an intermittent moon at night only provided general headings. These simply were not precise enough. To journey any distance and arrive at a specific location, one needed an intimate knowledge of the heavens. As memory aides, names and myths were ascribed to the various planets and constellations as well as constituent stars. Long before culture became literate, these were passed on orally from father to son and from master to apprentice. Deeper religious significance evolved later as a by-product of the allegorical tales. Intermittent prominent comets were an exception but were treated as no more than auspicious or ominous omens but, beyond this, were not items of enduring concern at the onset. Celestial navigation was the prime necessity that focused emerging cultures upon the stars.
Early astronomical charts were sky maps incorporating readily discernible and predictable patterns of stars. The constituent points of various constellations rose and set at specific places on the horizon and one in particular rotated above the North Pole (or South Pole below the Equator), never setting. Hence, celestial navigation was an extremely reliable way to plot a course whether on land or at sea. Later drawn maps depicting the contours of continents, islands, cities or oases, at best, were crude approximations that more often than not fell short of the mark. By contrast, distant destination could be located with precision by their relationship with the trajectories of rising and setting stars. Thus, ancient cultures invested in charting the heavens. Their celestial graphs offered the equivalent of modern compasses and well-defined maps. Just as the biblical three wise men followed a star to Bethlehem (not a unique one at that), our ancient predecessors used the heavens to travel great distances across the ocean and continents, trading with far-flung cities, without getting lost. As now apparent, celestial navigation was a skill that developed worldwide especially amongst seafaring cultures and the droves of caravans that traded across great expanses of land. It was not a late Mediterranean development as some historians profess.
The later mania with astronomy amongst cultures that appear to have arisen about 5000 years ago was a logical result of the cataclysm their texts and legends described. Imagine the confusion when, amid the chaos of the last crust displacement, the heavenly bodies drifted out of place and no longer conformed to Earth’s known geography. Suddenly, no familiar landmark was in its usual place. Thus, the re-emerging cultures invested huge amounts of resources to calibrate the arrangement of stars with the new contours of a radically changed Earth. A return to reliable celestial navigation, in some cases, must have taken centuries to achieve and only the high civilizations would have made the adjustment. Lesser civilizations could have lost the art, establishing it on a hit or miss basis as the new contours of the Earth was rediscovered by chance. This latter scenario would have been most prominent on the open ocean where many former islands were permanently lost.
In surviving tales from the prehistoric period, there is evidence of both celestial navigation and a stellar shift. One of the earliest and most explicit references appears in the Odyssey credited to Homer (circa 1080 BCE), which recounts a story handed down from a more ancient culture that mysteriously collapsed. In that epic poem, Ulysses, choosing to sail at night, is said to have kept his eyes on the Great Bear (Ursa Major) "which ever turns in one place" (hence, the polar constellation) while keeping Orion in sight. After the heavens shifted, the Ursa Major took to revolving around Polaris, a component star of Ursa Minor (the Little Bear). Lucius Annaeus Seneca (circa 4 BCE- 65 CE) who had much earlier records at his disposal (records since lost) later confirmed the shift. He stated that the North Pole was uprooted by a cataclysm and turned from Ursa Major toward Polaris in Ursa Minor, displacing the constellations and stars. Other authors in ancient Greece also voiced the same perspective, confirming both a crust displacement and, by referencing night sailing, an earlier reliance on the stars.
Despite the many overt and implied references to celestial navigation, traditional historians refuse to acknowledge it was a very ancient art. They insist that early seamen possessed relatively crude ships, driven by oars, with sails only capable of traveling short distances with the wind. Thus, they assume early man never ventured far and did so only within easy reach of shore. According to these historians, distant travel across great expanses of ocean (“blue water sailing”) did not become a reality until very recent times. While this may have been true of the precataclysmic Mediterranean (for reasons discussed in a later section), it does not apply to early man worldwide. A few etchings on stones depicting the heavens made by Neanderthals bear witness that for at least 100,000 years humans have focused on the stars. Possibly like the early-uneducated nomads of the desert, even those Neanderthals charted their courses by the heavens, making celestial navigation the first truly intellectual invention of the primitive reasoning mind.
Intelligent creative beings have existed on Earth for over 1,500,000 years, evolving simultaneously at different points of the globe. A Neanderthal culture archeologists call the Acheulian Industry, from the discovery of tools found at that location, dates over 1,000,000 years ago. Hand axes and knives were manufactured and, at one site, were mass-produced from materials imported from a distant location. This not only suggests an organized settlement and a commercial enterprise but an ability to travel consistently between two remote locales. If the Neanderthals were that proficient, we can ascribe as much or more to later Cro-Magnon man, whom some now believe assimilated, not exterminated, the Neanderthals.
Considering the incredibly long span of productive, organized human existence, early humans had to have evolved far beyond the stage of primitive cave dwellers far sooner than historians now allow. With recurring cataclysms, humanity survived many cycles of advancement and regression as ancient records proclaim; each time salvaging only a portion of its past. Each cycle contributed a little more to the one that followed it until the human race attained the level of development it now enjoys. This sporadic advancement barely is evident in the scant artifacts we thus far have found. An archeologist once conceded that the odds of winning a national lottery were much better than the odds of finding a truly productive historical site, forcing grand generalizations that do not reflect the world that was. Often the entire history of a culture is constructed from no more than a few tools, remnants of structures and some pottery shards.
By acknowledging celestial navigation as an ancient art, we can project a different prehistoric realm, one in which many cultures interacted and shared technologies even though much of this cannot be verified by archeological artifacts. Ideas rarely are cut in stone and knowledge more often is transmitted by example. Even today, observing and mimicking the ways of visitors remain the primary means of passing along mental concepts and ways of life. Inevitably, this transfer of knowledge is revised, adapted to the mode of the recipient. Case in point, New Guinea during World War II. The United States naval engineers landed there to build a temporary airstrip for use in Army Air Corps raids against the Japanese. The pace of construction was hurried with no time to fraternize. Thus, the engineers built a fence around the airstrip to keep out the astounded natives for whom this was their first contact with the outside modern world. In the few short weeks the airstrip was utilized, the Americans gave the natives food and other small items in passing. Later when the war moved further toward the Far East, the airstrip was dismantled and the Americans left. Many years later when westerners went back to the area, they found that the natives had erected a mock airstrip of their own, complete with a thatch replica airplane and control tower, hoping to entice the “gods” to return. It took a generation of re-education to extinguish the newly evolved Airplane Cult and re-acquaint the natives with the modern world. American words, slang and phrases had been adopted into the native language along with physical gestures as a result of that brief military intrusion into a primitive world. Undoubtedly, this same scenario has been replayed many times over in the past where more advanced cultures chanced upon lesser-developed ones. As in New Guinea, some elements of knowledge, language and technology were transferred, most often in cruder forms. In the case of New Guinea, the airstrip with its plane and control tower was remarkably similar to the originals but made of native materials in the same fashion they constructed their huts.
Human beings are extremely imitative, adding their own embellishments to whatever they copy and copying within the bounds of the basic technology they possess. A city erected on the coast of a primitive land by an advanced culture and isolated from the local population will elicit facsimiles further inland, built by those who did no more than watch the “gods” from afar. As in New Guinea, at times, the results can be fairly bizarre.
An interaction of Outer World cultures (as opposed to the Inner World of the Mediterranean) can be established by common sense from the things we now recognize as fact. For example, the Polynesians were excellent celestial navigators and some in Micronesia still are. They migrated across the Pacific from Southeast Asia to Easter Island and Hawaii, transporting families and belongings in their double canoes (early catamarans) then proceeded to trade with each other, sailing thousands of miles across the open sea. This was demonstrated in 1975 when a replica of an ancient Polynesian double canoe, christened Hokule’a (Arcturus), was constructed in Hawaii. A native traditional navigator, Mau Piailug, from the Caroline Islands in Micronesia, relying solely on the stars and the character of the ocean swells, and using no modern instruments, piloted the Hokule’a from Hawaii to Tahiti and back, a round trip encompassing over 4000 miles! The Hokule’a attained speeds up to 12 knots and averaged 100 miles per day. By 1993, it had logged over 50,000 “blue water” nautical miles without instruments, charts or other aids. Later, a second canoe, built strictly from natural materials and christened the Hawai’iloa, set sail from Hilo, Hawaii in spring of 1995. Together with the Hokule’a, it sailed to the island of Huahine, 150 miles west of Tahiti, where traditional seagoing canoes from Tahiti, New Zealand and Cook Island joined the two crafts. This small flotilla then sailed on to Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands before returning to Hilo, Hawaii, a journey well over 6,000 miles!
Besides proving the skills of ancient Polynesians, the achievements of the Hokule’a and Hawai’iloa also challenged the notion that the Americas were populated solely by migrants crossing the land bridge between Alaska and Siberia. Other intrepid voyagers, like those who settled the Hawaiian Islands, may have crossed the Pacific to populate the western shores of the Americas or, in the least, have engaged in cross-Pacific trade. Certain genetic traits and common elements of language seem to indicate that either or both of these activities took place. An existing native population may have assimilated migrants. Some evidence seems to suggest that an indigenous branch of humanity did evolve independently in the Americas. Some human skeletons found have been dated over 100,000 years old.
Given the journeys of the Hokule’a and Hawai’iloa, commerce between South America, Polynesia and Asia was a practical reality. We know for fact that, in the distant past, trade between Hawaii and Tahiti did take place – between islands over 2000 miles apart. Other cultures also made seemingly incredible journeys. Until as late as mid 19th century, Aleuts from Alaska hunted seals and sea otters as far south as Baja California and beyond, traveling in lashed together kayaks. Still, few historians have relinquished the distorted medieval view of the past. The notion that the Pacific Islands were settled by accident, by canoes blown off course, seems to prevail. Since as a rule only men traveled by canoe when fishing, warring or trading, those who would have strayed off course and landed at such places as Hawaii must have been hermaphrodites. Otherwise, how did they reproduce?
As now accepted by most archeologists, a host of cultures arose in Southeast Asia and proceeded to expand halfway around the globe long before the Europeans and their Mediterranean compatriots ventured far into the Atlantic. These were based on a subcontinent-sized peninsula, larger than India, which extended from China toward Australia. When the icecap melted in the Hudson Bay region, their homeland was submerged to a large extent, giving rise to the shallow South China Sea. Its lowlands were flooded, leaving the highlands and peaks to form the extensive Indonesian archipelago. This upheaval sparked one of the world’s greatest exoduses, spreading the Austronesian (south island) family of languages from Easter Island to Madagascar off the African coast, and throughout the Pacific, regions where the Southeast Asians settled and colonized. Somewhere in their past, these hardy seamen established trade routes to India, throughout the Pacific, to the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea. Archeological research in areas bordering their former homelands has produced evidence of the world’s earliest agriculture and metalworking from sites dating back as far as 8000 BCE, most of which was uncovered after 1970 and, for the most part, still has not found its way into recent history books.
Before closing the section, it should be noted that the double canoe, lashed together by an enclosed platform for carrying cargo and passengers, was a stable, seaworthy craft able to sail downwind, crosswind and windward (tacking against the wind). It was the forerunner of the modern catamaran now used in international racing, and much more efficient and faster than the crude vessels used in the Mediterranean by the early Egyptians and Greeks. Similar catamarans, shaped and polished twin log hulls with a cargo-carrying platform, also were used in ancient India. These were capable of sailing with or against the wind but were a bit slower than the Polynesian double canoes. With a proficiency in astronomy paralleled only by the Maya, ancient Hindus could have circumnavigated the globe, ignoring slower and more dangerous overland travel and the enclosed Mediterranean. There are some indications that they were familiar with Ireland and the British Isles before the Romans and Greeks knew of these locales. For an extended period, it appears that the Mediterranean cultures were isolated from the world at large and did not expand contact to include the Atlantic until after the demise of the North American glacier or, as historians wish to phrase it, after the last Ice Age.
Given the reality of celestial navigation embraced by the greater part of the world, prehistoric cultures appear to have been skilled seagoing nations with access to the world. Curiously, there were three distinct races living on Easter Island when the first European arrived (black, brown and white), and their native script bears a startling resemblance to that found cast on seals at Mohenjo-daro in India on the other side of the globe. Then to, Thor Heyerdahl pointed out the similarity between Kon Tiki, the ancient god-chief who sailed west from Peru with his people, and Tiki, the Polynesian god-chief of Micronesia lore. Other similarities in languages limited to a handful of terms also exist between the Polynesians, Peruvians and Southeast Asians, all of whom appear to share certain genetic traits. These and a host of other seemingly odd coincidences should give historians and anthropologists pause. Possibly their neatly organized history of the world is seriously flawed.
A New Prelude to History
As a rule, geologists, archeologists and most of all historians are credited with knowing more about the Earth’s past than they actually do. The physical data they collect and cite are factual but the conclusions drawn from that data represent no more than educated guesses. A geologist examines a rock and defines its structure and composition. This much is hard evidence and can be accepted as fact. However when he projects the history of that rock, this is little more than speculation on his part. Others in his profession might disagree with his assumptions and, more often than not, they will. The same applies to the field of archeology.
When an archeologist uncovers a tomb with a desiccated corpse within it, he seeks hard evidence to identify the deceased, possibly a name etched on the coffin or inscriptions on the walls. A shroud, jewelry or other artifacts will provide further clues. Again, this is the extent of his hard evidence. Items within the tomb may be similar to others found elsewhere, linking the deceased with others in the same general locale. Yet from this point forward, the archeologist begins to speculate. From the design on a piece of pottery or the weave of a segment of cloth coupled with a few carbon 14 or similar dates, he decides the era and the culture to which the deceased belonged, together with a host of other so-called facts that, in reality, are no more than personal conclusions which others may dispute. Consider the possibility of a wealthy foreign merchant traveling through Palestine with his entourage. This affluent Greek suddenly falls dead and his attendants, with the aid of the local citizenry, bury him. Being well paid, the Semites construct and decorate the tomb according to their customs. The dead Greek now becomes a Semitic artifact. The clothing, personal jewelry and other intimate items on the corpse have no direct association with anything else in the tomb. Through a quirk of fate, two distinct cultures are represented within the find, leading the archeologist to assume he may have discovered a new Greco-Semitic culture when, in reality, he merely uncovered a tomb of an unfortunate stranger in a foreign land. Granted, the scenario is a bit extreme but well within the realm of probability, more so if an infectious illness killed thirty or forty people in the same foreign caravan. This would result in a mass burial site totally unrelated to the locale. Thus within the above scenario, the conclusions drawn from hard evidence by our archeologist is entirely wrong. Moreover when only a few items including some pottery shards comprise the entire find, the potential for error is expanded geometrically. Our archeologist seriously is bucking the odds when he ventures a guess as to the nature and significance of his find. Rarely does a site provide enough hard evidence to establish the character of a find beyond a reasonable doubt.
Finally without reliable documents from a specific time period, the hapless historian is in a quandary. He draws upon the consensus of ventured opinions set forth by geologists and archeologists and other related fields with similar handicaps when compiling his histories, speculating even further. Now we have assumptions based upon other assumptions hovering precipitously on the outer perimeters of the realm of fact. Moreover, historians who refuse to give serious consideration to ancient texts and oral legends more likely than not compose histories that are intriguing fictions rather than accurate portrayals of the past.
The rise of civilization as set forth in modern texts reflects a distorted medieval European point of view. It begins with the outrageous notion that Europe is a continent unto itself. It is nothing of the sort. Europe merely is a handful of smaller countries occupying a peninsula on the continent of Asia and properly should be called Western Asia, or the Far West as opposed to the Far East. A quick glance at a world map will attest to this. England tends to identify with Europe but, in typical British fashion, they really are not sure.
Europe deeming itself a separate continent is more insidious than it appears. It grew out of an attempt by early Christian scholars to divorce themselves from the rest of the proclaimed heathen world. Those scholars initially acknowledged Palestine as the birthplace of their religion and laid claim to its holy sites. Later, they withdrew even further, adopting a Roman and Greek heritage by ostracizing the Jews and severing connections with the Middle East. Losing their wars with the Islamic world provided the impetus for this xenophobic withdrawal. Russia with its own brand of Christianity ultimately was left out of the mix, assuming a sort of ugly stepsister role in European affairs.
By the Middle Ages, the western isolation was complete. Europe was deemed a continent unto itself, totally separated from the rest of a perceived inferior world. Within this perspective, the European outlook on history was formed. It permitted a rampage of conquest that led to an attempt to subjugate and colonize the rest of the globe. As the birthplace of the Christian religion, the Middle East was deemed the cradle of civilization. It had provided the primitive culture that, via the Romans and Greeks, the Europeans brought to glorious maturity and propagated to enlighten the rest of the heathen world. (Sarcasm intended.) These were the premises upon which our modern histories were based.
Objectively comparing the cultures of Western Asia (Europe) with the rest of Asia, we find that the eastern part of the continent was much more advanced. Archeologist Wilhelm G. Solheim II stated that “…clear and powerful indications are emerging that some of the earliest steps toward civilization may have been taken in Southeast Asia”. There, chickens were domesticated as early as 6000 BCE by farmers of the region who also crafted exquisite pottery decorated with incised designs and were manufacturing advanced tools by 3500 BCE. Further north, China evolved a system of writing that has been in use for the last 7000 years and modern Chinese can read surviving ancient texts. The first diagrammatic signs (Chinese characters) appeared on pottery dated about 5000 BCE and extensive later texts written on bone and tortoise shells have been uncovered in recent years (post 1970). This clearly demonstrates that civilization was not limited to the Mediterranean or the Middle East. Highly evolved societies existed in China, Southeast Asia and India well before 3000 BCE. For one, the Chinese were cultivating silkworms and weaving clothing on looms while the Germans, French and their neighbors still were wearing animal skins. They also were using rockets in warfare while the Europeans were hurling spears, and a triggered crossbow was used in China 2000 years before the Europeans professed to have invented it. China also used hot air balloons eons before the western world embraced the idea. In fact, most of the so-called European innovations were imported from other parts of the world. Leonardo Fibonacci brought the decimal system mathematics that originated in India and utilized the concept of zero to Europe in the 13th century, a system that had been in use elsewhere for at least 4000 years! It should be noted that European scholars rejected the system for several years to the frustration of Fibonacci. Other so-called European advances were similarly acquired. Marco Polo, his father and uncle brought gunpowder, aspects of medicine and even spaghetti from China about the same period. Basic chemistry, advanced mathematics and astronomy also were acquired from other parts of the world. In fact, when we objectively scrutinize European history, we only can conclude that it was through the influence of other world cultures Europe became civilized.
For many centuries, Europe regressed and nearly destroyed its civilization. During the Dark Ages, European history and science was sanitized and sanctified by the Roman Catholic Church. Nonconforming texts were burnt or otherwise destroyed, and inquisitions killed more people than the Nazi Holocaust simply for disagreeing with Rome’s myopic point of view. As late as 1600, Guidano Bruno was removed from his university post and burnt at the stake in Rome for daring to teach that the Earth was a planet and not the center of the universe. He was but one of thousands who were so executed for failing to conform to the Vatican’s dogmas. Being denounced by cleric was the equivalent to a sentence of death. This does not speak ill of the Christian religion but of the fanatics who usurped and subverted its doctrine as much as Hitler’s regime usurped and subverted Germany. The inquisitors and their rabid following of demented extremists were on a par with the modern terrorists who now are attempting to subvert the nobler Islamic world.
Throughout the Middle Ages, Europe proceeded to ravage thriving cultures around the globe. The Maya, Aztecs and Inca were plundered, their people enslaved, and the bulk of their historical records destroyed. Their gold and silver artifacts were melted down to bullion and shipped back to Spain. Fanatic monks who accompanied the mostly illiterate conquistadors burned other records with no market value. The latter wantonly destroyed many Central and South American historical sites. England, France, Belgium and Portugal in other parts of the globe carried out this process of so-called civilizing. Polynesian cultures in the Pacific were decimated as Europe reached out to conquer the world. Very few cultures were spared.
When reviewing history as currently presented in the western world, all of the above must be taken into account for that is the heritage upon which the current view of physical and social evolution is based. That heritage continues to distort our perspectives, rendering a biased and myopic view of the world at large. It has evolved theories that are no more than thinly disguised religious dogmas such as the six periods of geological evolution which represent the six days of creation in God time or the theory of uniformity which is no more than a presumed orderly development extending from that moment when God created the universe. When we examine closely traditional history and science, we find no more than the religious biases of medieval minds. It is time to brush that traditional history and science aside and revise both based upon secular fact. Religion may be good for the soul but, in history and science, it serves only to blind our eyes and cloud our minds. Real history is about to repeat itself, possibly within the next few decades. For the sake of our survival, we best do our damnedest to see that it does not.
Model for Disaster
As indicated earlier, the ground upon which we stand is unstable. It exists in disjointed, irregular segments (tectonic plates) that slide, twist, bend and fracture, rise and fall. Under normal circumstances, the surface of the Earth moves erratically as it responds to extraterrestrial and terrestrial forces. The gravity of the sun and moon sequentially tug at segments of the crust and the ocean as those bodies pass over them; and the planet wobbles a bit as it rotates, possibly because of slight off-centered bulges above and below the Equator. Then to, ocean tides and shifting currents plus various annual earthquakes add an additional quivering to the mix. Thus in an “uncool” sense, our planet rocks.
If we picture our planet’s outer shell as a number of irregular rafts abutting each other and floating upon a sea of extremely sticky muck, we can visualize the general status of the Earth’s crust. While this is a gross oversimplification, it should serve as a layman’s model of a highly unstable Earth and enhance an understanding of a major displacement of its crust. For the technologically inclined, any modern textbook on geophysics or a visit to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) website should provide a more precise description of the Earth’s outer shell and prevailing theories regarding its inner realm. For the rest of us, the simplistic model given above will suffice.
The transfer of motion across the planetary surface is, for the most part, unpredictable. Each segment of crust reacts as if it has a mind of its own. Some lend themselves to easier movement while others resist to varying degrees. Apparently this non-uniformity is dependent upon the composition of what lies beneath the planet’s outer shell, a region that, at the moment, we know little about. Beyond what we have gathered from probing the deepest mines, from extracted deep core samples, and from analysis of seismic data, the various theories relating to the inner Earth amount to no more than guesswork to the extreme. We should bear this in mind when we view those impressive drawings depicting a cross-section of the Earth with a neatly scribed mantle, inner core or whatever else strikes the artist’s fancy. Bottom line: pure guesses. We really do not know anything for sure about our planet’s inner realm. We even are not sure how many individual segments make up its crust or precisely how thick or thin each is. Moreover, we are not certain how or why segments move about. Some segments appear to slide under others but we have no idea where they go. Others apparently have separated and magma has flowed up to fill the gaps, but we are not certain from where. Since the Earth does not appear to grow smaller or larger, we assume these actions are accounted for somewhere else. When a part of the crust sinks in one locale, we presume that some other region will rise. The buzz words here are presume and assume for the reality is we have far more questions than answers and, concerning the internal planet, we have none. What we do know for certain is that the surface of the Earth is a mobile entity, rocking and shifting about much like the abutting-rafts model given above.
For unknown reasons (but theories galore), motion is transmitted unevenly across the globe. Two seemingly adjoining regions will not respond in kind. A severe disturbance in one could have little or no impact on the other. Various major earthquakes have demonstrated this. Moreover, by-products of movement are unpredictable, spanning the gamut of geometric shapes and producing incredibly distorted after-effects. We see this when we examine mountain ranges. Only those smoothed by eons of erosion have defined similar shapes. Newer ones seem haphazardly stacked like a child’s Lego block pile. The closer we look at our planet, the more chaotic its surface appears. A quick survey of the topographical maps offered by the U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website will reveal a host of odd fractures in many parts of the world, generated by a shifting of its crust. Cracks run erratically across the Atlantic and Pacific bottoms, making the Earth
appear as though a piece of broken crockery hastily assembled with Crazy Glue®. All of this indicates a very violent past during which sudden catastrophic upheavals has been the norm. Gauging by the Earth’s topography, its outer shell seems to have a host of cracking or bursting points that may or may not correspond with the thickness or thinness of its crust. Unfortunately despite the feigned certainty with which scholars explain the workings of our planet, precious little can be deemed fact. The most that science has resolved within the last 100 years is that, during recurring periods, the Earth was deformed abruptly by cause or causes unknown. Charles Hapgood and James Campbell recently provided a reasonable cause. However the traditional academic establishment blindly rejected their hypothesis without giving it its day in court. When Charles Hapgood offered his thesis for peer review and his doctorate, he was asked to modify it to conform to traditionally held views. Like a conscientious researcher, he flatly refused. Although Albert Einstein accepted his thesis, it was rejected outright by academia because it did not conform. So much for an unbiased pursuit of the truth.
From a study of recent distortions, it appears that the last crust displacement did not affect the planetary surface uniformly along the meridian (trajectory) of movement. Some regions on or at the meridian sustained only minor distortion while adjacent regions underwent radical change. Presumably this was due in part to the irregular contours of the individual segments (tectonic plates) and in part to the forces exerted and how they were distributed across the surface of the Earth. Then to, the movement of individual segments may have depended upon how strongly or weakly they adhered to whatever rested beneath them. At best, the most recent distortions appear random. Again, we are not sure. The current maze of fractures and rifts is a cumulative impact of crust displacements over millions of years. Thus, it is almost impossible to determine which occurred when. One element is abundantly clear. We need more research specifically directed toward the last and past displacements of the Earth’s crust. Current data simply falls far short of the mark.
During a crust displacement, our model rafts (tectonic plates) slide somewhat in unison across the underlying muck, slipping further in places and sticking at others. In the process, some will pivot and fracture. Others will be pushed together and buckle upwards, peaking the crust. Still others will overlap, one sliding under while another moves across its top, causing the former to sink and the latter to rise. In other regions, two plates will pull apart with the underlying magma moving upward to fill the gap between them. These four scenarios were enacted in the past.
A pivoting of a tectonic plate distorts its boundaries and alters its topography. Some parts of it will elevate while others are depressed. New highlands and lowlands will be formed and, possibly, fracturing will cause small sections of it to flip over, upside down. Portions of the plate may even pull apart.
Two compressed plates will buckle upward at the point of contact, rising as much as two miles. This is considered to be the process of mountain building in mid continent. The Himalayas are thought to have been formed this way.
A collision of two disproportionate plates can generate an impact similar to the above. One is pushed under the other; the former submerging while the latter is raised. The mountains of the Andes are considered an example of this. A deep trench was formed along the Peruvian coast, collapsing its continental shelf, as its mountains rose to new heights.
Finally, when sections of the Earth’s crust fracture and pull apart, it allows an infusion of molten rock to rise from beneath the crust. Ocean rifts, filled with fresh hardened magma ranging along the Atlantic and Pacific bottoms are thought to have been formed in this manner. The current version of the continental drift theory is based somewhat on this. However, recent studies of opposing forces in the Atlantic and Pacific have offered serious challenges to the validity of that theory. The upsurge of magma would seem to expand the circumference of the planet if not absorbed by some reduction of its crust at some other point. Over eons, it possibly could have caused the continents to drift but not likely. In a practical sense, the point seems moot.
The net above sea level impact of a crust displacement will be an erratic re-contouring of the continents, horizontally and vertical in width, breadth, height and depth. On the meridian (trajectory of movement), continents will drift toward or away from the planetary axis of rotation (internal poles), some crossing over the Equator in the process. One or more of the previous scenarios will occur somewhere along that line. As we move further away from the meridian, the intensity of distortion should diminish but, again, not in any cohesive way. As in our raft model, a shift in a plate at the meridian could be transferred across several others and affect a plate some distance away. Thus, no region of the planet is immune to upheaval even if it rests on one of the axes at which the crust turns. Distortions will continue to a degree until the reverberations of the crust displacement lessen to the point where the planet adjusts to its new poles and begins to recover its equilibrium. After the last crust displacement, it appears this took centuries to achieve.
The instability of the Earth is a given. A simple survey of its overall topography leads to the inevitable conclusion that is has led a rather violent life. Recurring upheaval is the norm for our planet and this upheaval is not confined to eons past. It is an ongoing event that appears on the verge of taking place again. Periods of calm interrupted by cataclysmic disruption have not followed a distinct pattern because crust displacements are dependent upon the rate at which the polar icecaps evolve. Although the poles shift abruptly, new glaciers form at a much slower pace, relative to the evaporation of water and the amount of snowfall at the poles. The process of restoring polar icecaps has encompassed thousands of years. At the onset, sea levels rise dramatically as the old glaciers melted over the course of months. They recede gradually as the new icecaps are formed, trapping water in the form of ice at the poles.
It has been estimated that the initial rise in sea level during the last crust displacement was upward to 400 feet, forcing populations at several points of the globe to abandon their cities and homelands and migrate to higher ground. Remains of sea life 70 or more feet above the high tide line attest to this rapid rise and subsequent decline of the ocean. As in the past, we can anticipate a similar rise when the Earth again turns.
Contrary to the notion that Ice Ages took place during cooler periods, the formation of large icecaps is a product of global warming. A rise in temperature at the Equator and adjacent zones extracts more moisture from plants, soil, rivers, lakes and the ocean. This loads the warmer air with moisture that rises and moves northward to the poles. There, it converges and cools; and the colder air descends, shedding its moisture as hail and snow. Thus, icecaps grow in cubic mass. Had the Earth cooled, the transport of moisture to the poles and the amount of snow would have diminished, reducing the size of the polar glaciers.
Currently, the Earth’s temperature has risen sufficiently to increase the transport of moisture to the poles. Thus the icecaps at Antarctica and Greenland are expanding in cubic mass (metric tonnage) while their land area (square mileage) decreases, greatly increasing the stress they place upon the crust. Currently, The U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports a dramatic increase in metric tons of ice while the square land mass of the polar cap has decreased. Please note the emphasis and difference when reading reports on polar meltdowns. Ice loss articles in the printed media inherently are misleading. For example, one widely reprinted article cites that the meltdown at Antarctica is “raising the prospect of a faster sea level rise” but later states that “the overall loss is a tiny fraction of the miles-deep ice that covers much of Antarctica.” . Thus while the article forebodes a dismal meltdown and sea level rise, the actual data indicates the opposite is occurring inland. Other articles with the same tenor, when read carefully, belie the misguided sense of panic they seek to create over global warming. Alarmists often claim that the melting of the arctic sea ice will significantly raise the levels of the oceans; however, this declaration is preposterous. The bulk of the arctic (excluding Greenland) is composed of sea ice. Water expands when it freezes and contracts when it melts. This can be demonstrated by a simple experiment. Fill a straight-sided glass half full with water and place an ice cube in it. Now, with a marking pen, draw a line at the water level. When the ice melts, the water level will fall, not rise. The same effect occurs when arctic sea ice melts. Sea levels become lower, not higher. Thus, the melting of sea ice, whether in the Arctic or Antarctic, does not endanger the world’s coastal communities. However those communities will be submerged when the land-based ice of Greenland and Antarctic melts as the Earth’s crust shifts. This rise is estimated from 40 to 55 feet!As stated earlier, the melting taking place at Greenland and Antarctica is occurring at the peripheries of the glaciers while the inland ice masses are increasing. Also as explained earlier, the rise in ocean temperature which naturally gravitates toward the poles where it cools and falls. This normal transit increases glacial ice, further upsetting the balance of the globe. Projections show a further increase in world temperature will continue, transferring even more ice to the poles (the real danger of global warming). Historically, a prior rise in global temperatures has been a precursor to what was once deemed an Ice Age but which we now conclude was a radical twisting of the Earth’s crust. While global warming will not kill us, the pending polar displacement will. It will destroy our civilization and those who may be fortunate to survive will face the prospect of beginning again with little salvaged from the past. Our aircraft carriers and other naval ships equipped to spend months at sea with men and women aboard may become the 21st century Noahs for they will be better suited to weather the next upheaval of the Earth if they remain at sea. Tsunamis and land upheavals will have little impact at mid ocean although the surface probably will transform into a violently stormy roller coaster ride. For the majority of the rest of the world’s population, they will have no alternative but to stand quietly and await their demise.
Anatomy of a Catastrophe
The last time the Earth’s crust shifted, the initial displacement of the poles took place at an incredible pace. Frozen animals and vegetation cited in a previous section attest to this. In some regions, major deformities appeared immediately in the planetary outer shell. In others, deformation continued over the course of many years as the Earth reverberated and began to regain its equilibrium. The net impact spanned over a thousand or more years. In some locales, resettlement of the crust has taken eons and still is ongoing, notably off the coast of Scandinavia where the ocean floor continues to sink. Off-centered bulges near the Equator appear to be residual effects of the last crust shift. Apparently the Earth never recovers fully before its outer shell begins to move again. Therefore, the destruction and disruption of civilization worldwide cannot be fixed along a rigid time line. Still, many lost and dispersed cultures can be attributed to the last crust displacement and, like the frozen mammoths, rationally explained.
Following the initial impact of a rapid polar shift, five major events contributed to the demise or ruin of cultures worldwide:
a. The Rise of Aquaria, the Planetary Ocean
A careful survey of a map of the world will attest to the fact that there is only one true ocean on Earth. For convenience, we divide this single body of salt water, Aquaria, into different oceans and seas in the same manner we establish city limits and country borders. Yet the only real separation existing between bodies of water is that between Aquaria and the various landlocked lakes, some of which we also have chosen to label seas. However, Aquaria does not respect our artificially superimposed boundaries. The Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and other so-called oceans respond as a single continuous sea, rising or falling in unison whenever Aquaria’s water level changes. Tides and currents interact worldwide, modified by terrestrial factors and the gravity of the sun and moon. Generally, sea level is the net amount of seawater distributed around the world by Aquaria, the single ocean encompassing the globe.
During the last crust displacement, the water stored in the North American glacier and the ice mass floating on the opposite end of the planet was released as these were thrust into warmer temperate zones. The ice melted rapidly, causing Aquaria to rise worldwide several hundred feet. The rise was swift, spanning no more than a period of months. It submerged vast tracts of land bordering Aquaria, forcing the occupants of those tracts to pack hurriedly and flee to higher ground. Remains of cities found underwater almost devoid of artifacts seem to attest to this. In some locales, it appears that the rise was slow enough to permit the removal of blocks of stone, some of which were discovered in other ruins further inland from the sea. However, inhabitants of low-lying islands without seaworthy craft simply drowned if there were no nearby higher terrain. This rise in sea level, coupled with a downpour of torrential rains, accounts for some ancient tales of a great flood.
As previously cited, a subcontinent-sized peninsula extending from Southeast Asia for the most part was overcome by water when Aquaria rose and isolated the Indonesian archipelago and a host of other islands, giving rise to the shallow South China Sea. It appears that New Guinea was separated from New Zealand in like fashion, as was Alaska from Siberia where a land bridge was submerged. Elsewhere in the Pacific, similar flooding occurred. Islands either vanished beneath the ocean or were reduced in size when sea levels reached new heights. This flooding extended to the Atlantic, separating Ireland from England, which previously had been connected by a low-lying plain. Cities along the coast of Europe, Scandinavia, Africa and India likewise were submerged. As stated, the impact of rising water affected the whole of Aquaria, leaving no coastal region untouched. Remains of settlements have been located underwater off the shores of Brittany, Helgoland and Spain; near the Bahamas, Bermuda and Central America; at Huching, Taiwan; near Yokosuka, Japan and on Ponape in Micronesia. A sunken harbor was discovered in the Gulf of Cambay, India. The existence of these submerged sites attest to the relatively recent occurrence of the last crust shift. However, in most every case, the merciless sea left us little more than remnants of stone and a scattering of embedded or encrusted artifacts unlike in the more passive Mediterranean where a wealth of objects have been found. Aquaria simply absorbed other less durable items as so much debris. As a rule, the world ocean is much to active to permit human, animal or vegetable remains to be preserved in any form. These would have been consumed by the underwater environment, devoured by the host of scavengers that populate the ocean floor. Moreover, wooden or thatch structures would have been demolished and swept away, and even other more durable items relocated possibly hundreds of miles from their original sites. Thus, there is no way to estimate the number of settlements that existed along the shores of Aquaria. Hundreds of smaller, less prominent cultures could have been dispersed or destroyed. Tales of ancient authors like Publius Annius Florus (circa 2 CE) tell of Celts and Germans being driven from their homes by the encroaching sea. Similar stories were echoed around the world, indicating a systematic destruction along the shores of Aquaria when the world ocean rose. An Internet search for “sunken cities” beyond the Mediterranean will reveal a host of these including accounts by ancient sources of cultures destroyed by the raging sea.
Current estimates project that when the present icecap at Antarctica melts, Aquaria will rise several hundred feet, higher with a companion melting of the Greenland glacier. Once again, the world ocean will assault its shores.
As indicated earlier, the melting of the polar icecaps occurred within a relatively short span. However the formation of new glaciers at the poles would encompass hundreds of years. After the last crust displacement, Aquaria rose rather swiftly but began to recede over the course of time as seawater evaporated and became trapped as new ice at the poles. We can expect a similar occurrence when the Earth’s outer shell moves again. If estimates are correct, all regions at 250 feet or less above the current sea level will be submerged with an accompanying disruption of coastal life. In New York, the water would rise to about the 18th floor of the Empire State Building and, on the west coast, most of the city of Los Angeles will grace the bottom of a large bay extending inland to San Bernardino or beyond. Needless to say what will happen if the residents of the Los Angeles and New York areas fail to evacuate in time. For millions along the coasts of Aquaria, it will be the end of their world.
b. The Assault and Aftermath of Torrential Rains
A global impact of the last polar shift was a release of an extraordinary amount of moisture to the atmosphere. This resulted in a dramatic increase in rain and snowfall redirected around the world. Torrents of rain fell in the warmer regions while the colder regions were inundated by snow. Lower inland terrain was flooded both as a result of the downpour and by raging streams and rivers overrunning their banks. Saturated hillsides gave way in massive mudslides, and hapless inhabitants in these areas either were drowned or buried beneath tons of silt. In the process, the environment of extended stretches of land were disfigured or destroyed. Cities were abandoned as their survivors raced for safer ground. This flooding from rainfall and the rise of Aquaria added a more catastrophic global dimension to tales of a great deluge. The Sumerians depicted it as the sky and the earth bursting open with water pouring across the land from above and below, an appropriate description for a people living in a river delta on the doorstep of the ocean. They indeed were assaulted by water that left many of their cities buried deep in the earth. It was remarkable that anyone survived to tell the tale.
Similar stories of a great deluge echoed around the world. The history of China reports a time when a vast region of that country was overcome by water, joining two great rivers into a single gigantic lake that took decades to dissipate. Across the globe, hundreds of former cities have been uncovered, found buried beneath many feet of sediment. There are so many of these that archeological reports have filled volumes, too many to even list. In India alone, almost a thousand settlements thus far have been found. The same can be said of eastern Asia, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. A lesser number have been discovered at various parts of the globe and, as said earlier, far too many to even list. Books on archeology and ancient history generally focus on a traditional few, selectively chosen to support the particular author’s point of view. However, anyone whose curiosity is peaked and who has about three month of idle time can find all of these innumerable cities on the Internet by searching “archeological sites” one country at a time. The majority of these appropriately are called “digs” – sites covered by twenty or more feet of sediment upon which later cities were built.
c. Vertical Distortion
The last shift of the Earth’s crust literally moved mountains as it elevated or depressed various regions of the world. As will be explained in a later section, the Andes in South America rose to new heights, as did other parts of the globe. In Greece, North America and Asia, terrain was lifted several hundred feet. A geologically recent beach now rests at 1500 feet in southern California and others were found in Greece up to 1700 feet. Conversely, a downward movement of the crust created lakes such as the Dead Sea in the Middle East. In this case, the island of Rhodes was said to have risen out of the Mediterranean when the segment that had been the Dead Sea sank. According to Strabo, a Greek geographer (circa 63 BCE-24 CE), the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in that region disappeared “in the ancient past” when the ground beneath them was overturned and separated from the Mediterranean, giving rise to a lake of salt. The story is repeated more graphically in Genesis 19:25 of the Christian Bible. “And he overthrew those cities and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of those cities, and that which grew upon the ground”. A geologist who recently studied the area echoed this biblical account. In her opinion, the section of crust underlying the Dead Sea literally flipped over. If Sodom and Gomorrah were located there as Strabo professed, they were rowdy waterfront cities that in a drastic shift of the earth were buried instantly beneath tons of rock and dirt. The tailing water of the Jordan River slowly filled the depression, giving rise to the saltiest body of water on Earth.
Underwater researchers also have reported the sinking of islands in the Atlantic and Arctic, some immersed to a depth of almost 10,500 feet and geologists have confirmed that, at some time in the past, areas of crust elsewhere on the planet almost capriciously rose or fell. Most of the latter regions generally are credited to severe earthquakes or else listed as cause unknown.
Finally, it should be noted that in many regions, subsidence and the elevation of landmasses possibly has produced an erroneous historical record of sea levels. A mountainside may show traces of sea life at 200 feet above the current sea level because it rose, not the level of the sea. The reverse also could be true for a mountain that sank where former above-surface life is found submerged. This applies not only to islands but also to coastal regions of continents. Thus, the entire topography of a region must be considered when seeking to determine the former levels of the sea.
d. Horizontal Distortion
In the less volatile regions of Aquaria (the bottoms of the Atlantic and Pacific), the Earth’s crust has buckled and pulled apart, creating new ridges and rifts. The impact extended to northern Africa where that continent separated from the coast of Spain, creating the Strait of Gibraltar and flooding the former landlocked Mediterranean Inner World (as opposed to the Outer World of Aquaria). The surviving Ibn ben Zara map of the Mediterranean and Aegean establishes that this flooding of the Inner World took place within the realm of recent prehistory. This map, which is accurate in regards to the continental coastlines and known islands, shows a number of islands that no longer exist above water but evidently did when the map was drawn. Over the course of years, water poured in through the eight mile wide cleft, raising the sea level along the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia (Europe, Turkey and southern Russia) and the Mediterranean coast of Africa. Settlements in these areas were forced to relocate and the abandoned coastal cities were submerged. Mass migrations took place during this period, resulting in the disruption of kingdoms and civic life. A similar occurrence took place further north in the Atlantic where Dover, England was separated from the coast of France, and some believe the same happened near Egypt, creating the Red Sea.
According to Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo (aka Saint Augustine), “in the time of Ogyges” (circa 3000 BCE), a vast lake called Triton disappeared from the vicinity of Morocco “when those parts which lay to the sea were torn asunder”, leaving behind the Sahara Desert. Diodorius Siculus, a Roman historian (circa 100 BCE), also held the same view. This distortion coupled with the rise of the ocean may have submerged the land bridge between Morocco and the Canary Islands, which some geologists believe were once a part of a peninsula extending into the Atlantic, possibly as far as the island of Madeira. However, except for a detected sinkage along the more distant Azores, we have no definitive proof that such a peninsula did exist. Surviving ancient texts and legends are equally as vague regarding the region. Possibly further underwater research in the area eventually will put the matter to rest.
e. Volcanism, Earthquakes and Tsunamis
It must be pointed out at the onset that the root cause of volcanoes still is a matter of conjecture. We have no firm notion as to where lava originates or what causes a volcano to erupt. Theories abound in the field of vulcanology (study of volcanoes) but the fact is we still have no definitive consensus in this regard. Thus the statements made hereafter were selected from a variety of divergent sources. Hence the added caveat: Reader beware! Unsubstantiated opinions to follow. Add the proverbial pinch of salt.
The last immediate and extended impact of a crust displacement is a weakening and compression of the Earth’s lithosphere (the ground we stand on). This combined with the added stresses generated by a settling of the crust tends to trigger volcanic outbursts. In several locales, passive volcanoes experienced a sealing of their vents, leading to a buildup of internal pressure that, when reaching the critical point, caused volcanoes to erupt rather violently. Some believe the movement of the crust liquefies rock and produces an expansion of magma. However all we know for certain is that volatile volcanic activity will accompany a shifting of the Earth’s crust. This appears to be the case since volcanic activity increased dramatically when the North American glacier dissolved. Mountains blew apart; others blasted holes in their slopes; and still others poured forth magma by the metric ton. Notable eruptions took place in western North America, Iceland, Central America, Asia and the Mediterranean. The Maya Manuscript Troano stated these occurred in Central America and Inca legends said the same of Peru. Within the span approximated from 4000 to 2000 BCE, an extraordinary rash of volcanic activity took place around the world. On this point, we have a consensus from geologists and archeologists alike. The time span coincides with the demise of the North American glacier and, according to Charles Hapgood, with the last shift of the Earth’s crust.
A particularly violent explosion took place on Thera (Santorini) when the Stronghyle volcano blew apart a fairly large island, leaving a sizable undersea caldera surrounded by smaller rises of land. The blast is estimated at several megatons of TNT, the equivalent of a substantial nuclear bomb. The explosion undoubtedly triggered a massive tsunami that devastated all coastal regions in the Aegean and, according to some, doomed the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, which would have lain directly in the path of the tsunami. We know for certain that an advanced culture resided on the detonated island and was destroyed by the blast. Other vulnerable settlements and cities in the region also perished at the time. Though this last statement is an assumption, common sense qualifies it as fact. Effects from the wave created have been found as far inland as 40 miles on the opposite Turkish shore.
Earthquakes and tsunamis are potential aftermaths of volcanic eruptions. However, as recently demonstrated in the Indonesian archipelago, they form a deadly duo unto themselves. On land, an earthquake comparatively is more docile than one occurring on the ocean floor. The latter can trigger a tsunami that can travel great distances beneath the ocean surface before it encounters and devastates areas of shore. Thus, an undersea earthquake resulting from a crust shift can impact environments thousands of miles away. One occurring near the meridian (trajectory of crust movement) could strike regions near the axes (points at which the crust rotates) which otherwise would seem to be relatively safe. Islands are particularly at risk. Inhabitants who flee to higher ground to escape the rising ocean could be overcome by a tsunami that came their way. Bottom line: During a crust shift, nowhere on Earth is safe.
Throughout the globe, we have the anomaly of cultures suddenly collapsing, some inexplicably becoming extinct coincidental with the disappearance of the glacier in North America. In the aftermath, other cultures just as inexplicably emerged. These later cultures underwent a period of marked advance in social, intellectual and technological development, and shortly thereafter began to decline. This pattern radically strays from the norm of human evolution wherein successive generations systematically build upon the past. As stated earlier, it appears that following the last crust shift a handful of highly educated survivors were assisting a larger group of illiterates to re-organize. Later, cultures referred to these as their early heroes or gods. This view was expressed by the Egyptian priest quoted by Plato (circa 900 BCE) in his Timaeus and Critias. Speaking with regard to an ancient catastrophic upheaval of the Earth, the priest state that “the stock that survived was a remnant of unlettered [illiterate] mountaineers” and that such an upheaval “leaves you unlettered and uncultured, so that you become young as ever, with no knowledge of all that happened in olden times”. In essence, the survivors of the last cataclysm were forced to start over and became less competent after the educated and skilled elite who weathered the upheaval died. In some respects, humanity never recovered fully and never regained the competency of precataclysmic civilizations for eons. Much of prehistoric technology did not survive. Evidence of this rests in the fantastic monuments those civilizations left behind, feats that, even with our current level of technology, we would be hard pressed to duplicate.
The sequence of annihilation and rebirth noted in the ancient texts of the Arya, Maya, Sumerians and Greeks has defied explanation until the process of crust displacement was proposed. The seemingly unconnected and baffling events across the planet, both geological and archeological, now makes sense and can be attributed to a single cause. It was the simplicity of the mechanism involved that impressed Albert Einstein. Unfortunately, it seems the world has chosen to ignore the renowned physicist’s words.
Given the hypothesis set forth by Charles Hapgood and his collaborators, science now has a fact-based model with which to reconstruct the history of the Earth. However, the more vital task is given to geophysicists and a new breed of planetary engineers. Armed with 21st century technology, these bear the burden of attempting to divert the next cataclysm, possibly evolving new methods of diminishing the icecaps at Antarctica and Greenland to insure that the last crust displacement truly was the last. With an abiding faith in human ingenuity, we yet may prevent history from repeating itself.
Rediscovering the World That Was
Across the globe, we find ancient sites from which we glean artifacts that seem incongruous with other elements of the particular locale. Tools of stone lay within ruins of a settlement whose structures imply access to metal of some sort. Flint adzes or scrapers could not have fashioned the materials with which the walls and statuary were derived. Moreover, we find crude fire pits of hunter-gatherers nearby much more sophisticated sites where permanent settlers dwelt. These are cataloged as anomalies, and a plethora of such anomalies exist. Ignoring the unseemly contrasts and adhering to the premise that cultures systematically evolve, archeologists use the artifacts to date the age of these sites. However in a world given to cataclysms, even normal ones such as major quakes, regional floods or tsunamis, they overlook the reality that the sites they peruse were scavenged, thus contaminated by survivors seeking to regroup.
Human beings are adaptive, versatile creatures who make use of whatever their environment offers at the time. A flint knife will be snatched up by someone who has none, especially if it seems to be lying there with no potential owner in sight. This is much more pronounced amongst stragglers banded together after a major catastrophe. Anything that offers a measure of convenience will be appropriated for use. A pile of stone rubble from a collapsed building would offer material to repair another partially standing. Using the example of the latter, persons seeking shelter would reconstruct it the best they could. They also would appropriate whatever else they found in the area, rebuilding walls for protection and adding their own more primitive artifacts to the mix. Pottery shards from a more advanced culture could be utilized as hide scrapers by a group of wanderers who later could leave it in some cave where they slept. The same could hold true for the remains of cultivated grain that scavengers gleaned at an abandoned settlement whose fields were left partially intact. Given a major catastrophe, the above would be the rule, not the exception. For the most part, it appears that archeologists fail to take this into account. They seem to assume that the artifacts they find are indigenous to the particular locale. Yet on close inspection, many are not.
Across the world, we have evidence of scavenging at prehistoric sites, the most rampant of which are the pyramids at Giza in Egypt where the facing or cover stone of those massive structures were removed to be used for other purposes by the obviously less competent cultures that followed the builders of those pyramids. In a less dramatic fashion, remains of abandoned cities in India, Southeast Asia, South America, China and the Mediterranean were scavenged to some apparent degree. Thus to an extent, we cannot rely implicitly upon the present condition of prehistoric sites. Over the centuries, many groups of squatters made use of those sites, modifying them the best they could in accord with their level of expertise thus leaving their personal imprint.
In prehistory, the world was a mixed bag of cultures where very primitive groups flourished in the same regions as those who were more advanced. This assortment of differing levels of development extended well into the later years of recorded history. The Romans who built well advanced cities replete with magnificent sculptures and an assortment of highly developed crafts lived contemporaneously with the hunter-gatherer tribes of Central and Western Europe. In fact, this contrast of cultures still exists today in many parts of the world. Given a major catastrophe, the primitive are more likely to survive and, with no one to restrain them, they will capitalize upon whatever the more advanced leave behind. This sort of site contamination demands a closer analysis of what we find. If artifacts are incongruous with other elements of a specific locale such as overall construction expertise, we must credit those artifacts to later occupants of an abandoned site. This possibility has been ignored in several regions by overzealous archeologists who rush to date and classify the remains of a settlement based upon the meager trove of artifacts discovered in a particular locale. Even if the dating proved to be accurate (but most often is not), scavengers or squatter contamination must be taken into account. A culture that shaped and sculpted hard stone obviously had more efficient tools at its disposal other than those also made of stone even if such advanced tools are not found within the immediate vicinity where that culture arose.
Attempting to analyze and categorize the past is, at best, a precarious endeavor. It often leans toward the tendency to make everything found within a given region fit together cohesively when, in reality, it rarely does. As a result, we are put upon by historical fictions that superficially sound convincing but are by no means historical fact. Currently, prehistory according to most scholars is as questionable as an account of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible crafted by Cecil B. DeMille. While entertaining, it presents a distorted view of the distant past. The new generation of archeologists and historians would do well forgetting what they were taught and placing more credence upon their own inbred common sense.
Toward the end of providing a different perspective of the past, four regions are revisited in the following sections under Civilizations Lost. Though gleaned from available fact, the perspective presented still is speculative. Therefore, reader beware. This could have been the world that was.
Civilizations Lost: The Indus Mystery
The first great civilization in ancient India apparently arose in the Indus River region of present day Pakistan in the sixth millennium BCE. By about 4000 BCE, it had established a network of urban centers along the old riverbanks, evolved a system of writing, and established a social and economic system that encompassed more than 500,000 square miles. The ruins of two of its major cities at Mohenjo-daro and Harappa were remarkably well planned and executed. These had multilevel houses and citywide plumbing, earthen walls to control annual river flooding and to irrigate the surrounding farmland, fortified complexes, granaries, and large communal baths. Excavations have shown that the inhabitants possessed copper and bronze knives, spears and arrowheads; thus their cities had a military of sorts at least for self-defense. Several more settlements have been uncovered at Kot Diji, Kalibangan, Rupar, Rakhigarhi and Mithathal including port cities at Dholavira, Surkotada and Lothal in the Gulf of Khambhat. However because of the richness and size of its monuments, Mohenjo-daro has been regarded as the capital of this extensive state although Harappa could have been the center of a state of its own. For want of a better, more accurate name, archeologists have designated this expansive and obviously well organized society the Harappan Civilization for in fact no one really knows who they were or from whence they came. Since artifacts in the general region demonstrate a human presence for over 200,000 years, it is assumed the Harappan culture gradually evolved, rising to prominence between 5000 to 4000 BCE.
The Harappan civilization did metalwork copper and bronze; grew cotton for clothing; cultivated wheat, rice and a variety of fruits and vegetables; and domesticated animals including a species of humpback cattle. It was seagoing, trading with Mesopotamia and Southeast Asia, possibly venturing as far as the coast of central Africa and west into the Pacific. Artifacts recovered at several ruins and the presence of port cities attest to Harappan mobility and to its contact with the wider world. As noted earlier, its script bears a striking similarity to that found on Rapanui (Easter Island) on the other side of the globe.
The Harappan culture and social governance continued to evolve for several hundred years until struck by disaster, and then its civilization and people mysteriously disappeared.
Sometime in the distant past, the great Indus River changed its course and another great river in the area ceased running, leaving only traces of its former bed. The cities of the Harappans were inundated and covered with tons of silt. Like the others, the capital at Mohenjo-daro appears to have been inflicted with an abnormal and devastating flood. Under deep deposits of silt, layers of collapsed structures and scattered skeletons have been found. It appears that some of the survivors later returned to rebuild but apparently had lost most of their former skills. Newer houses built at Mohenjo-daro were shoddy in construction and not cohesively planned. Elsewhere, the city near Mehrgarh mysteriously was abandoned about 3000 BCE. Thus, by 2500 BCE, the culture that graced the Indus valley in a practical sense had been dissolved.
The only clue to the demise of the Harappan civilization can be found within the oldest Hindu (Arya) text, the Rig Veda. It states that Indra, the god of storms, “…shook down their castles…” and “…for fear of thee the dark-skinned races, scattered abroad, deserting their possessions…”. Evidence archeologists have uncovered thus far seems to substantiate the words of that ancient text. A natural cataclysm obliterated a nation, destroying its cities and natural habitat. Afterward, returning survivors made a feeble attempt to re-establish their former civilization but their native environment had changed drastically. It appears that they gradually gave up and left, possibly migrating south where they were absorbed. The Arya, newcomers to the Indus region, found little to appropriate when they took control of the land. Scattered in smaller groups, the local inhabitants were easy prey for the conquerors that attained superiority without much of a fight.
The birth and eventual obliteration of the Harappan culture spanned a period of about 3500 years. Yet it left no more than a collection of small clay seals and scattering of skeletons and artifacts amongst the ruins of its cities. We can presume that Nature destroyed the bulk of its people’s possessions and that scavengers later carted off the rest, possibly some of the original inhabitants salvaging whatever they could before leaving to settle somewhere else.
The time frame for the demise of the Harappan civilization is significant. It coincides with the demise of cultures across the globe. The Indus region was not very far from the meridian (trajectory of movement) when the last crust displacement occurred. India and the homeland of the Harappans would have sat on the equatorial bulge, moving north as the Earth’s crust turned. This would have distorted the Indian Tectonic Plate, depressing it and altering its contours. The ocean would have begun rising at that time and, coupled with a deluge from above, would have inundated the Indus region, radically altering its environment and annihilating a major portion of its inhabitants. Domesticated animals would have drowned and organized farms completely destroyed. Satellite survey (Land Sat) photographs of the Indian subcontinent have shown severe changes in its topography in the distant past. Former rivers found new courses and others like the River Ravi ran dry. Moreover, an unusual amount of silt testifies to an abnormally pervasive regional flood. The former port city at Lothal now rests underwater in the gulf and, while we only can speculate about the specifics of the cataclysmic process, we cannot deny its results. In the course of a crust displacement, the Harappan civilization was destroyed.
Civilizations Lost: Peru
The history of the west coast of South America, a region extending from northern Chile on the south to western Colombia on the north and encompassing western Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, is one once beset by catastrophe, conquest and plunder. Little of this region’s true prehistoric past is known, a large part due to Nature and the rest a result of European insensitivity and greed. To comprehend this void of prehistoric data, we must understand the events of the fairly recent past, circa the 14th through 16th centuries CE.
As a rule, the culture of western South America is credited to the Inca whose vast empire spanned almost its entire length and who were in power when the Spanish conquistadors arrived. However historically, there were and still are many diverse cultures in the region with different languages, customs, modes of life and dress. During recorded history, these never were unified even when subjugated by the Inca and, much earlier in history, appear more like remnants of past civilizations than unique cultures of more modern times.
At the onset, the Inca under the leadership of Manco Capac were little more than a well-organized group of illiterate barbarians on a par with the European Huns. They were squatters at a prehistoric site who numbered less than 40,000 at their peak but who managed to usurp power through force of arms.
Initially under the command of Pachacuti Yupanqui, the ninth Inca or emperor, a small army began conquering neighboring more civilized societies, subjugating them and absorbing their cultures to a limited degree. Topa Yupanqui, son of Pachacuti, continued to expand the Inca realm after his father retired from war. Most of the so-called Inca culture was plagiarized by Pachacuti, primarily from the Chimu whom the Inca conquered about the 14th century CE and assimilated into their empire. The Chimu was a high culture based at Chan Chan near modern Trujillo, Peru. They were experts at building elaborate structures, road construction, irrigation, textiles and metalworking; and were the largest and most important political system before falling under the yoke of the Inca. As a stand-apart society that never integrated with its subject cultures, the Inca relocated the Chimu educated elite, primarily artisans and craftsmen, to its capitol near Cuzco as they did with all potentially rebellious groups. The indigenous illiterate peasants were easier to control and the cultured elite, without the support of its peasantry, functioned as more obedient slaves. The latter were never included in the Inca aristocracy but existed to serve that aristocracy’s needs. The Inca assimilated much of the Chimu culture and political organization, and absorbed its extensive network of roadways. In the process, the Chimu civilization was plundered and severely retrogressed.
Later in history, Huayna Capac, a cruder version of Alexander the Great, continued the Inca rampage of conquest with an elite corps bolstered by conscripts from groups under his control. Capac subjugated over 100 diverse ethnic groups, drawing them into the Inca domain. He died a few years before the arrival of the Spanish, leaving his empire divided between Huascar, his son by a lawful wife, and Atahulpa, a son by a concubine. Following his death, a civil war erupted between the two half-brothers which Atahulpa won and first imprisoned then murdered Huascar. The empire Atahulpa gained had been twice decimated, first by the bloody civil war and secondly by the pandemic of European diseases that had reached Peru and overall killed about two-thirds of the native population of the region.
In 1531 CE, Francisco Pizarro and his conquistadors arrived. Pizarro, an unscrupulous mercenary, had gained permission from Emperor Charles V of Spain to conquer Peru and was promised a major part of the spoils. When he and his men crossed the Andes to Cajamarca, the weakened Atahulpa sought to negotiate with the invaders. Pizarro took the Inca ruler prisoner and held him for ransom for a room full of gold. After the ransom was paid, Pizarro murdered Atahulpa and marched on the Inca capitol at Cuzco. Subsequently, the Inca Empire fell and became a slave colony of Spain. The orgy of plunder was so rampant that the Spanish government issued “mining claims” for city and temple complexes throughout the region in order to rein in and organize the looting by the frenzied conquistadors. Artifacts of gold and silver, with the exception of some finely crafted objects, were melted down in crude smelters, turned into bullion bricks, and shipped back to Spain. The fanatical Roman Catholic monks who accompanied the conquistadors and who “converted” the native inhabitants at the point of a gun destroyed most records of the various cultures of the Inca Empire that had no monetary value, deeming such, pagan or devil-inspired artifacts. The Spanish Inquisition was alive and flourishing in Spain and South America at that time. Thus in a span of less than twenty years, almost all vestiges of western South American civilization had been rendered extinct. This final atrocity punctuated the current prehistoric void in the region, leaving us to rely upon archeological excavations, standing ruins and often conflicting oral legends regarding western South America’s past. On the positive side, it now appears that the natives in certain areas had managed to hide a few artifacts from the rampaging Spanish. Some of these have been recovered in recent years. However, none as yet has offered further information on the prehistoric South America that was.
Former sites we now explore were plundered repeatedly. For centuries, native scavengers used many of the ruins as sources of building materials, as did the Inca who, like the Spanish, ravished the conquered cultures for gold, silver and other items of use. Thus beyond the massive prehistoric megaliths and bare skeletons of abandoned cities, we have little to go on when we explore the region’s distant past. Almost everything of value and significance has been removed, defaced or destroyed; and later, illiterate squatters living more primitive lives contaminated the sites. To an extent, this continued into the modern era where native farmers now cultivate many of the prehistoric sites.
Archeological data derived primarily from Bolivia and Peru bear witness to an early rise of civilization in western South America. Fossilized remains of cultivated plants found in the central Andes date back as early as 8000 BCE and evidence of maritime activity along the Atacama Desert (a salt basin) has been placed at 7000 BCE. These and other similar “finds” prove the existence of organized farming and fishing settlements in the region, permanent communities from which civilizations evolve. Yet western history texts still perpetuate the myth that the first vestiges of a Stone Age culture emerged in western South America after 200 BCE and did not flourish fully until about 1500 CE, shortly before the Spanish arrived. However, extensive current research in the region has established that the Chimu culture extends back at least 700 years prior to the Spanish invasion. This culture evolved from the earlier Moche (Mochica) that in turn sprang from more ancient predecessors that we now know existed. During the past years, archeologists in South America have logged a progression of development stretching back more than 3000 years from roots set about 1500 BCE. Over twenty sites in the region have been carbon dated at 2000 BCE or earlier. These were permanent settlements, thus organized societies that built massive structures such as the stepped pyramid of the Mochica that has a 748 by 446 foot base and is 135 feet in height. Given 14 feet per floor, their pyramid is just short of 10 stories high! Some researchers claim that organized societies existed in the region before 7000 BCE. This was the heritage the Inca absorbed and, to a great extent, corrupted before the Spanish came along and destroyed whatever was left.
Prehistoric civilization in western South America is the ultimate anomaly. The earliest inhabitants of the region accomplished phenomenal feats. They moved, shaped and used in their construction massive blocks of stone by means yet unknown. At the prehistoric city near Tiahuanaco, the ruins of which generally bears the same name and is located about 13 miles from Lake Titicaca at the border between Bolivia and Peru, massive blocks of stone ranging upwards to 150 tons were transported from a quarry 10 miles away from the site and mounted upon each other. One giant block is estimated to weigh about 440 tons! Some of these huge blocks were hewn from gray-grained arsenic stone, a material almost as durable as flint. Others were of red sandstone, easier to quarry and shape but as enduring in most respects. One of the former blocks has a 6-millimeter wide precision-cut groove several feet in length and, as machinists say, “perfectly true”. Equidistant drilled holes run the length of the groove, holes that could not have been made by stone, copper or bronze tools. Curiously, some of the stones were left unfinished or partly finished as if the workmen abruptly left. The apparent disarray of the area leads one to the conclusion that some great catastrophe interrupted their chore. This view is supported by the ruins of a huge wharf at the Puma Punku ruins at Tiahuanaco where massive shaped and polished slabs of stones are scattered about, one atop the other, as if tossed in the air and landing where they fell. Ranging in weight upwards to 400 tons, no mere earthquake could have created such a disorganized array. A wealth of pictures of these fantastic monuments and feats of construction can be garnered from an Internet search of Tiahuanaco or ancient Bolivia and Peru. Thus far no one has offered a plausible explanation for how a purportedly primitive culture managed to accomplish what existing structures prove that it did. The popular notion that prehistoric South Americans moved those huge blocks of stone using wooden levers to load them on rafts and float them to the construction site is totally absurd. Obviously those who propose such a scenario never have attempted to load anything of even moderate weight on a raft. A small block of stone weighing no more than two hundred pounds would have to be lifted from shore and placed dead center otherwise the raft will capsize. Water is not a very stable base as anyone who ever has stepped awkwardly into a canoe will attest. Consider how large or how many rafts would be required to support a mere 10 ton oblong block of stone, let alone one weighing in at over 400 tons. The notion is as ridiculous as the one proposed by an archeologist who suggested the natives of Easter Island moved their megaliths a distance of over 4 miles from quarry to shore by sliding them across a bed of crushed yams. Unfortunately apart from quoting the bizarre, we can shed no further light on the megalithic structures of western South America beyond stating the obvious. There existed a highly advanced and technologically proficient prehistoric civilization in the region. Some believe that civilization was contemporary with the predecessors of the Maya of Central America with whom they probably communicated. Arthur Posnansky, a Bolivian scholar who studied the ruins at Tiahuanaco for over 50 years believed that the original construction dates back to about 15,000 BCE. Others have agreed with his point of view although shortening the date to 6000 BCE. Certainly the Inca or their immediate predecessors did not build the site for it definitely is over 5000 years old.
As stated earlier, the western coast of South America is the ultimate anomaly. It appears that for no logical reason several diverse groups were uprooted and scattered about the terrain. Their languages and customs differ greatly and, even after unification under the Inca Empire, they each seemed to go their own separate ways. This diversity stretches back to prehistoric times and, with the exception of the Chimu and their predecessors, no progressive social evolution appears to have been sustained. Most of the groups that flourished into the modern era seem to be people without a past. Little of the talent exhibited by the prehistoric cultures reached forward to the day the Spanish arrived. The Inca used an extensive network of paved roads but had no carts or even knew of any conveyance on wheels. Yet archeologists have unearthed what apparently were much earlier children’s toys, animals and little wagons with wheels! How could such a basic concept be lost across the generations? What monumental disaster could have erased so effectively almost all memory of the past? Even the Inca legends regarding the creation of the world begin at the ruins of Tiahuanaco, the ancient abandoned city they re-occupied briefly before moving on. Their myths appear to be ones of survival and re-emergence, somewhat incoherently garbled, with no evolved sense of the divine. At Lake Titicaca, one tells of a former god-chief who gathered his people and sailed off to the west, a highly unusual tale for a people now living on rafts on a lake, many miles from the ocean, where all the lake shore is visible. Other creation myths tell of ancestors who emerged from caves, lakes and mountain crevices to repopulate the Earth, distinguished from one another by customs and dress. Even the Inca traced their ancestry only as far back as four pairs of brothers and sisters summoned forth by Viracocha who left a cave of Pacaritambo to conquer and rule an ignorant and uncivilized world. Viracocha was described as a fair-skinned bearded man attired in a long white robe and wearing sandals who went about the countryside teaching people how to live. Legends about him are equally confused. In some, he is equated with the god-chief Kon-Tiki who sailed west, promising to return one day. In others, he is said to have died and was buried on the coast after his belongings were destroyed. Indeed, present day versions of South American myths are conflicting. Rather than a cohesive mythological history, they appear to be the ramblings of peasants lost, after their cities and educated elite vanished in some uncertain way. Nothing short of a monumental trauma could have distorted the psyches of so many diverse groups and leave them so disoriented and seemingly in mental disarray. Individuals undergo natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and floods and, accepting the will of Nature, regroup and press on, re-establishing their communities and resuming their normal lives. Their legends record these transitions but historical myths elaborating their beginnings and gods are retained. The only thing that could abort this process is if their entire environment drastically and abruptly changed as it did when the low mountains of southern Peru and northern Bolivia were pressed upward high above the sea.
Based upon the premises set forth by Charles Hapgood and his collaborators, the central part of western South America underwent a catastrophic displacement sometime between 4000 and 3000 BCE. During that period, the topography of the continent radically altered. Evidence gathered across the Andean Cordillera (range of mountains) establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that at least a part of the cordillera dramatically rose to new heights. Farming terraces discovered beyond the eternal snowline, well above 13,000 feet where no vegetation can grow, stretches for miles, placing the date of the cataclysmic change within the realm of civilized man. Even at the ruins at Tiahuanaco the rarefied air precludes the physical exertion necessary to cut level strips of land in hillsides and prevent their erosion with stacked large blocks of stone. Even assuming that this was done on such a lofty mountain, what did the builders expect to grow? The alternative is that the region was a much lower altitude where terraced farms could produce staple crops. This is the only rational explanation dictated by common sense.
Near Tiahuanaco, the disheveled ruins of a dock at Puma Punku are composed of huge blocks of stone in the hundreds of tons. It now rests at an altitude of 12,000 feet where the air is so thin walking any distance places a heavy strain on both heart and lungs. Imagine the effort required to move even a single one of its stones. How did the builders endure if the site had been as lofty as it now is? The ruins at Puma Punku are contemporary with the farming terraces mentioned above. Again, common sense dictates that the region underwent a drastic change, presenting a much more amenable environment when the construction at Puma Punku took place.
Other evidence gathered in the region indicates a dramatic rise along a portion of the Andean Cordillera. At Ollantaytambo, Peru, a construction of 150 to 200 ton blocks now sits at the top of a 1500-foot cliff! Again the question, how did that structure get up there? No non-mechanical device known would have elevated that much stone. Further, at Sacsahuaman, Peru, a stone monument estimated to weigh 20,000 tons literally was flipped upside-down and rests several feet from where it once sat. No earthquake of any magnitude could have overturned and tossed a megalith of such weight. Finally, a room cut into solid stone above Cuzco, Peru was ejected intact from the mountainside as if squeezed out like the pulp of a grape when its skin is compressed. These and other similar events in the same locale demonstrate there was a drastic upsurge of the continental crust. Linear fractures in solid rock near Santa Cruz, Bolivia establish the upsurge as a regional event, spanning an area too broad to have been the result of a single massive earthquake, even if that quake exceeded the Richter scale. Photographic evidence of the above statements readily can be acquired through an Internet search of the listed locales, generally prefaced by “megaliths of” the given site.
Given the evidence provided by Charles Hapgood and his collaborators, the last crust shift pushed the western coast of South America up and over the equatorial bulge and downward toward the planetary South Pole. This transition over the Equator distorted the western half of the continent. A fault line running from about the central coast of Chile to northwestern Colombia (the boundary between the Nazca Plate and the continental South American Plate) expanded as the two then-abutting plates moved across the equatorial bulge. During the transition, the eastern part of the Nazca Plate buckled and descended while the western South American Plate arose. Shortly thereafter as these plates continued southward, they were pushed back together. In the process, the eastern edge of the Nazca Plate was pressed beneath the western edge of the South American Plate. The net result of this latter movement sank the eastern rim of the Nazca Plate and part of South America’s continental shelf, and raised the western region of the South American Plate to new heights. This movement, described above, is suggested by the fact that little or no continental shelf now exists from central Chile well into northern Peru, and that a deep chasm runs along the ocean floor where the two plates now converge. A topographical map of the precise area affected can be obtained from the U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website. That map, paired with a map of the western coast of the continent, will illustrate perimeters of the area that arose.
Western South America’s transit across the Equator elevated a portion of the Andes from sea level to incredible heights and radically altered the contours and conditions of its terrain. Once low-lying mountains became lofty snow-covered peaks. Valleys, plains, hills and ravines dramatically were rearranged as a part of the continental plate twisted eastward from the sea, creating the environment that exists today.
The coastal region of western South America has been an enigma to geologists and archeologists alike. The prehistoric city at Tiahuanaco, approximately 13 miles from the saltwater Lake Titicaca, boasts the remains of a great wharf that once was partially submerged. Stone circles used to sink nets were found in the sediment fronting this ancient wharf and encrusted ocean mollusks, of the type that only live in free moving sea water, dead for several thousand years, were recovered from the sediment of the nearby lake. Presently, sea horses and an ocean variety of fish populate that lake; and, further south in Bolivia, there are other salt lakes of lesser size that ultimately drain into an extensive salt plain. A detailed account of the region with all accompanying references can be found in The Lost Sea of the Andes, Chapter 12, Section 1 of Path of the Poles by Charles Hapgood, authored by J. B. Delair and E. F. Oppe. Sufficient evidence is presented therein to justify the following statements. The ancient city at Tiahuanaco, within the span of recent history (6000 years before the present), was a port city on an extensive inland bay adjoining the Pacific. The region it occupied was thrust upward violently during the last crust shift. As the islands in the Arctic sank over two miles, this section of the Andes rose almost an equal distance above the sea, displacing the local population that prior to the upward transition occupied the lower terrain.
Nothing short of the major cataclysm described above can explain the incongruities we find along the central portion of the west coast of South America. A vast amount of ocean salt exists far inland from the sea. This salt plain extends southward from below Lake Titicaca in Peru to northern Argentina, far more salt than could have been provided by the high Andean salt lake. Moreover, the recent inhabitants of the region as noted earlier seem like a people without a past. They are isolated diverse groups without the sense of history we find almost everywhere else in the world. Even the current residents at Lake Titicaca have no explanation for the nearby ruins beyond a garbled legend that the region was occupied by giants who turned to stone before a wise man-god recreated the world, calling forth people from the surrounding terrain. The cataclysmic distortion of their world was beyond rational explanation. Thus the survivors merely started over, blotting out the past and dealing with the new reality they found.
We know little about the prehistoric civilization or civilizations that existed along the western coast of South America beyond the spectacular ruins we now find. Almost all other lesser archeological sites of later dates appear to be settlements that re-emerged in a post-cataclysmic world. They were new beginnings for predominantly illiterate and unskilled survivors with no more than vague memories of a world that once was. Not much more can be said about them. However, in light of what apparently took place, there are certain speculations that appeal to common sense.
Prior to the sinking of the Nazca Plate, a continental shelf would have extended along the coast of central western South America, making sailing near land and into the Pacific much easier than it now is. The Humboldt (Peruvian) Current that is now channeled northward along the western South American coast abetted by the deep chasm of the Nazca Plate allows only for powered transit within 50 nautical miles of shore. When Thor Heyerdahl attempted to sail his raft, Kon-Tiki, across the Pacific, it had to be towed beyond that 50 miles corridor before successfully making it to the Tuamotu islands near Tahiti, a distance of 6000 miles. The towing of his raft has been a major argument against his theory that seagoing communication existed between South America and the broader Pacific. However, the existence of a continental shelf and an absence of the Humboldt Current would seem to vindicate Thor Heyerdahl. Situated in a slightly warmer region above the Equator, the coast of Peru would have been more amenable to cross-Pacific trade. Intermediate islands along the Sala y Gomez submarine mountain ridge (further discussed in the next section) would have aided that outreach into the Pacific, possibly to Easter Island and beyond. Then to, the ocean voyages of the Hokule’a and Hawai’iloa cited earlier lends even more credence to the theory proposed by Heyerdahl. It also adds substance to the Peruvian legend that the god-chief, Kon-Tiki, took some of his people and sailed away west, promising to return, possibly a promise that, because of the catastrophic crust displacement, was never kept.
In closing, it should be noted that dates given by archeologists and historians for the rise and development of South American cultures do not reflect the existence of a precataclysmic civilization that researchers now believe extended far back beyond 5000 BCE. As a rule, scholars have yet to concede that a catastrophic upheaval occurred in the region and attempt to define its cultures in terms of the physical environment that now exists, to which we might add, ignoring all of the anomalies they cannot explain. Moreover, scavenging at earlier sites by regrouping post-cataclysmic survivors appears evident in several locales. Many sites that remained reasonably intact following the upheaval were reoccupied; some reconstructed to a degree by the later cultures that arose. The ruins at Tiahuanaco is such a site. Its reoccupation has skewed its archeological value by contaminating the former city and its surrounding terrain. This is demonstrated clearly by the prehistoric megalithic structures that now exist. Neither the Inca or the Chimu nor their known predecessors possessed the technological capacity to have created the original urban complex. Even the Inca and Chimu were awed by the incredible megaliths of Tiahuanaco and, as stated earlier, concluded that, in the distant past, a race of giants must have lived at the site. Possibly their explanation should be adopted by historians and archeologists as well. It makes a grain more sense than any the latter thus far have proposed.
Obviously a fabulous civilization or civilizations did exist in South America, but no one has a clue as to who these were or how they accomplished feats that we now would be hard pressed to duplicate. The scope of construction near Tiahuanaco alone has led many sound and logical minds to presume an intervention by extra-terrestrial visitors or a race of beings with incredible psychic powers. However, more serious researchers of the region credit these impressive structures to human ingenuity, the depth of which we have yet to fathom. This appears the more plausible conclusion for similar feats of technology were duplicated at other parts of the globe, leading us to infer that, somehow, various prehistoric civilizations communicated in the precataclysmic world and, again somehow, a transfer of vital technology did occur. That much we can speculate, and speculate we must for, as it stands at the moment, we truly may never know.
Footnote: For those whose interest has been peaked, the Internet can provide a wealth of information regarding the civilizations of South America. University websites in Bolivia, Colombia and Peru are recommended. These generally offer a non-western European, more realistic point of view. Search beyond the Inca for Chimu, Nazca, Moche, Chavin, Chibca, Tiahuanaco, Akapana and other cultures of the region. Meso-American university sites offer Central American cultures such as the Maya, Toltec, Aztec and the like but also provide information regarding Chile, Bolivia and Peru. Ignoring the bizarre pseudo-histories and psychic-inspired ramblings rampant on the Internet, a bit of persistent searching will provide a more relevant picture of the Andean distant past. Some smaller American universities also are helpful in this regard for few, if any, of the larger more prominent American universities have managed to pluck their heads out of the 19th century fog. As always: caveat emptor. Reader beware.
Civilizations Lost: Te Pito 0 Te Henua
On Easter Sunday, a Dutch admiral set anchor off an isolated island in the Pacific that he named Isla de Pascua (Easter Island) in honor of the holy day. The year was 1722 and Admiral Jacob Roggeveen noted in his log that the first natives to come aboard seem to vary in color: “One finds some among them of a darker shade and others quite white, and no less a few of reddish tint as if somewhat burned by the sun”. Not comprehending their language, there was little Roggeveen or his companion Behren could communicate, and sign language discourse was limited to trade. The Dutch admiral put ashore for only one day and found the natives cordial but given to thievery on a grand scale. Anything not guarded carefully immediately vanished from sight. The natives equally stole from the visitors and each other whenever an opportunity arose. Roggeveen observed that some of the inhabitants wore large circular plugs in their earlobes, extending them almost to shoulder depth. These appeared to be the lighter skinned elite. Behrens noted that the long-eared individuals were distinguished from those with normal ones not only by their appearance but also because they showed more reverence to the megalithic statues standing about the island and were more devout. At dawn, Roggeveen had witnessed a religious ceremony high on a cliff that seemed to be directed toward the morning sun. The natives, led by one who functioned as a priest, were offering prayers toward the east, raising their hands with palms clasped together and bowing their heads to the ground. Behrens assumed it was a form of sun worship, apart from the reverence paid to the megaliths.
Upon landing later that day, Roggeveen found huge megalithic statues, 10 to 40 feet high and weighing upwards to 80 tons, poised upright on gigantic stone platforms. However unable to bridge the language barrier, he could do no more than gape in awe. The megaliths seemed to be everywhere and apparently were venerated by the natives all of whom showed particular respect toward one whose elongated earlobes reflected those on the gigantic sculptured megaliths. The latter was presumed to be either a chieftain or a priest.
During his one-day tour of a portion of the island, Roggeveen noted that the local population appeared amply supplied, thriving on well-plotted and tended farms. Curiously for islanders, the inhabitants seemed almost separated from the sea, using one-man woven reed floats and a narrow canoe constructed of pieced together wood that barely held its occupant to reach the Dutch ship. Farming obviously was the mainstay of the local economy; a task the natives performed quite well. These observations led Roggeveen to conclude that the local population was well organized.
Little had changed on Easter Island when Felipe Gonzalez y Haedo arrived in 1770 and spent a few days ashore. Except for the discovery of a local hieroglyphic script, the Spanish sea captain’s report mirrored that of Roggeveen. Both had noted that none of the natives appeared to be armed with weapons of any sort and were most hospitable. However, this was about to change radically within the next few years.
By the time Captain James Cook arrived in 1774, a violent civil war apparently had taken place. Most of the megalithic statues had been toppled over and the island seemed destitute. Farms were in disrepair and unattended with no semblance of social or civil order in place. The surviving population was fragmented, separated into competing family groups. Cook’s report depicted the island in most derogatory and condescending terms.
Easter Island recovered somewhat over the next twelve years following Cook’s departure for, when French admiral J. F. G. de la Perouse set anchor there, he found it flourishing once more with highly adequate farms. Though some semblance of order had been recouped, Perouse noted that no ruling class or social structure beyond family groups existed; and the latter acted no more than quarrelsome neighbors at worst.
Throughout sporadic visits by ships from various countries, Easter Island remained fairly much the same with whatever remained of its original culture merging with that of Polynesia. Tahitian sailors renamed the island Rapa Nui or Big Rapa for it somehow reminded them of Rapa Iti, Small Rapa, an island closer to their own. Easter Islanders adopted the name.
Starting about 1805, slave traders descended on Rapa Nui (Easter Island), carting off hundreds to Peru and decimating the local population. Missionaries followed in their wake but initially made little headway in their effort to convert the few remaining inhabitants to the Christian faith. However, they did manage to stop the slave raids.
An oppressive sheep rancher followed the missionaries, bringing his flocks to graze on the island slopes and commandeering the local population to tend his sheep. The former French sea captain Dutroux-Bornier settled on the island after purchasing the most fertile land for a few pieces of cloth. He managed to separate the remaining families, pitting them against each other and provoking a new civil war. One day while drunk, the natives murdered the rancher and his wife but, through the intercession of an older inhabitant, his children were spared. The natives once more were on their own with a few imported horses, rabbits and several thousand sheep.
Finally in 1877, Alexander P. Salmon, a part-Tahitian sheep ranger and representative of Maison Brandier, a farmer and rancher, arrived at Rapanui. He had learned to speak the native language from slaves working on Barndier’s plantation, some of who returned to Rapa Nui with him. Over the next few years, Salmon managed to gather and record many of the island’s oral legends, which by that time were highly influenced by involved contact with the rest of Polynesia. Little of the old Rapa Nui culture remained intact, and missionaries in the intervening years had coerced the natives into destroying most of their preserved boards of hieroglyphic script.
From early on, almost every native of Rapa Nui seemed to have a different story to tell. Some said their ancestors originally came from the west, indicating Polynesia. Others claimed theirs arrived from the opposite direction, pointing eastward toward the coast of South America. Curiously, some inhabitants professed that, at one time, they traveled to Sala y Gomez, a small islet barely above water they called Motu Matiro Hiva (“place in front of Hiva”), to gather bird eggs and young birds for food, sailing a distance of about 260 miles toward Chile. The feat has never been confirmed.
After communication had been established, legends ran rampant on Rapa Nui, spanning the spectrum from the commonplace to the absurd. Some appeared to be post-western acquisitions, Polynesian in tenure, appropriated by a people who seemed almost desperate to establish an identity of their own. Even more confusing was their hieroglyphic script carved on a host of wooden tablets which the natives called rongo-rongo but which no one seemed able to read. One who professed literacy merely turned the tablet about and recited a chant from memory that apparently had no bearing upon the carved hieroglyphs. Until and if the native rongo-rongo script is translated, we have nothing that can be considered an unchallengeable history, merely the various oral legends that, for the most part, are contradictory when taken as a whole. However, certain specific elements have proven correct. For example, the Rapa Nui legends almost universally state that the huge megalithic statues “walked” from the quarries to where they now stood. Thor Heyerdahl and Pavel Pavel, a Czechoslovakian engineer, with the help of the local inhabitants established this as fact. Using only ropes and about fifteen men, they moved a 10 ton statue several hundred feet in the same manner one “walks” a heavy refrigerator across the kitchen floor. According to Pavel, the statue’s design was ingenious, allowing it to tip or tilt up to 60° without toppling over. Thus, by tipping it from side to side while inching it forward, a handful of men could move a megalith about 100 yards in a day. Moreover, natives of Rapa Nui also demonstrated how the megaliths were set upon their platforms using a couple of large levers and hundreds of various sized stones. Photographic proof of these accomplishments was rendered in Easter Island: The Mystery Solved by Thor Heyerdahl. The feats emphasize that aspects of the Rapa Nui legends are based soundly on fact.
Extrapolating from the many legends accumulated on Rapa Nui over the intervening years, a somewhat cohesive history of the island can be derived. A few elements appear to remain consistent within the various tales.
In its prehistory, the rising ocean encroached upon Rapa Nui and other surrounding islands. A few of the original inhabitants were there when other refugees arrived. This catastrophic beginning is reflected in many different versions on how the culture of Rapa Nui evolved. According to the most explicit tale, a supernatural being named Uoke in a fit of anger rampaged about the Pacific prying up and sinking islands with a long pole. When he arrived at a much larger Rapa Nui, he began tearing off pieces, sinking most of the island before his pole splintered and snapped on the hardened rocks of the present shores. The substance of this legend is of particular importance. It explains how the inhabitants of Rapa Nui became so isolated from the rest of the world.
Thus far, the earliest traces of human occupation on Rapa Nui has been carbon-dated at about 380 BCE but other ruins recently discovered appear to be much older still, implying a human presence at least as early as 1000 BCE. Deeper layers of the island are yet to be explored. The era of the existing refined megaliths was preceded by a period during which the statues were a bit cruder and smaller. Both these earlier and later sculptures are attributed to the migrants who sought refuge when the sea overcame their homelands. Legends speak of a scattering of people and of stone-paved roads existing when the migrants sought sanctuary on the isle. At this point, the prehistoric name of Rapa Nui was changed from Te Pito 0 Te Henua (“the navel or center of the world”) to Te Pito 0 Te Kainga (“the end or last of the world”). No specific reason was given for either the earlier or later name. Beyond the obvious isolation of the island, there appears to be no current relevance to either name. However, these names acquire new meaning if the island had been settled much earlier than presently allowed, possibly by a prehistoric culture more typical of South America than Polynesia, a culture not yet given to erecting the megaliths that later evolved.
The undersea topography that extends along the Sala y Gomez submarine mountain range and along the Nazca submarine rift from Rapanui to the coast of Peru suggests the possible past existence of a chain of intervening islands. Rapanui itself rises from a submarine base about 165 to 200 feet below sea level that extends from 10 to 18 miles off its shores. If most of this base was above water, the island would more than triple in size, expanding from its present 63 square miles to between 200 and 675 square miles. If we lend credence to the old legend, this base would be the part of Rapa Nui that the mythical Uoke broke off and submerged. In this context, the seemingly bizarre legend seems to make sense.
Prior to the last crust displacement described in the previous section with regard to the Andes and Peru, Rapa Nui and the Sala y Gomez submarine mountain range would have rested at or near the Equator, on the equatorial bulge. It would have had islands nearby and to either side. Hence the name Te Pito O Te Henua – the navel of the world – would have been apropos. The Great Celestial River (the Milky Way) would have crisscrossed overhead during the year. For the celestial navigator, Rapa Nui indeed would be at the center or navel of the world. Following the crust shift and the loss of neighboring islands, it would have become Te Pito 0 Te Kainga – the end or last of the world – to all who fled the surrounding islands that were submerged. Thus the legend of Uoke arose to explain the cataclysmic demise of the other islands and most of Rapa Nui. Survivors came from both directions to create the hodgepodge of ethnicities that westerners found when they arrived. These groups remained segregated, most likely by different languages and customs, until a common basis for existence evolved. Their legends were varied and distorted by a global catastrophe no one could comprehend or explain. In time, Rapa Nui became a small expanse of real estate the rest of the world forgot.
For a good portion of the less sophisticated cultures, long distance travel based on celestial navigation became a lost art for the heavens and terrain radically changed. The Pacific lost many of its smaller islands as a result of a crust displacement and the melting of glacier ice; and those that remained above water were not in their familiar places according to the stars. Sailors who ventured far became lost, unable to locate traditional landmarks and sites. This lent a randomness to Pacific migration wherein ethnic groups and cultures intermingled and conflicted over the available terrain. Since most Pacific islanders lived close to Nature in dwellings made of thatch and utilized implements made of shell, wood and bone, little was left by way of recoverable artifacts. The ocean destroyed the bulk of the cultures that it submerged. However, the more advanced civilizations left their mark upon the world as they did at Rapa Nui. Ruins of their settlements and cities are being rediscovered annually over the course of the last few years.
Throughout the Pacific, megalithic structures and lost cities of stone have been found. Tall stone columns with hemispherical capstones, each weighing about 30 tons, stand on the island of Tinian in the Marianas. Other structures made of stone, each weighing up to 50 tons, grace a sunken city in the Caroline Islands at Ponape. Tongatapu in the Tonga Islands has a three-piece archway that collectively weighs about 60 tons. The same can be said about the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia and many other sites in Polynesia and Micronesia; some officially dated back as early as 2000 BCE. In each case, there is little known about its history, only vague legends like those of Rapa Nui. Could these have been the vestiges of a greater civilization violently displaced?
Traditional archeologists and historians almost have a fetish for placing Pacific culture within the current era, dating the bulk of it slightly before Europeans happened on the scene. To support this stance, they point to the current topography of the Pacific and to an absence of ancient artifacts. On the other hand, they have no plausible explanation for the presence of megalithic structures throughout the region that were abandoned in eons past. Obviously these megaliths were not constructed by the quaint native cultures they thus far have proposed.
Modern science has dissolved the myth that the Pacific was settled and populated after the dawn of the current era, shortly before the Europeans arrived. Almost everywhere archeologists dig they find traces of human existence stretching back as far as 30,000 years. In Australia, thermoluminescence dating suggests human occupation between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago. Similar data have been derived throughout the southwest Pacific, extending from the Solomon Islands on the north to Fiji and Tonga on the west. French Polynesia also has yielded era dates of over 3500 years. Obviously the ocean going skills of early Pacific islanders have been grossly underestimated as the journeys of the Hokule’a and Hawai’iloa detailed earlier have shown. Moreover, most experts in anthropology, human genetics and linguistics now agree that Thor Heyerdahl’s suggestion of a South American connection in the settlement of Polynesia is not without foundation. Incidents of similarities between languages, customs and culture are too numerous to be credited to pure coincidence or chance.
When taken as a whole, it appears that, in the very distant past, the entire Pacific region was dispersed with its surviving population scrambling to establish new homes. Setting sail in huge raft-like double canoes like the vaca poepoe (legendary split raft ships) of Rapa Nui that could carry up to 400 people, groups resettled and fought bloody battles over a smaller portion of available land, decimating their numbers and in the process losing track of their pasts. New mixed cultures eventually emerged but lacking the skills of their ancient predecessors, in essence starting over again from scratch. This is our destiny when history repeats itself.
Civilizations Lost: Imperial Atlantis
Despite the volumes of literature on the subject, there are only two historical sources that deal directly with the lost kingdom of Atlantis: Timaeus and the unfinished Critias, both authored by Plato about 330 BCE. The rest of the literature is speculative at best and to a large extent relatively bizarre. Authors have professed to have found Atlantis in almost every part of the world; each citing a myriad of so-called proofs and a host of extraneous facts to support his or her claim. It makes one wonder if anyone has read the texts written by Plato without a preconceived notion as to what and where this lost kingdom was. Plato adequately explained both in the course of his dialogues by direct explicit statements and, by summarizing those statements, we can permit Plato to clarify the matter in his own words. His statements in this section are rendered in quotes, with no other author cited and with Timaeus and Critias as the only sources for those quotes.
The existence of Atlantis is based upon a conversation between Solon, a Greek statesman, and an Egyptian priest in the ancient city of Cais that Plato either quotes or paraphrases in both Timaeus and Critias, speaking through the title subjects. In other words, in Timaeus, Timaeus relates a part of the story to Socrates and his companions and, in Critias, Critias carries on from where Timaeus left off. However, Plato never finished the latter narrative, ending it abruptly before fully explaining the reason for the demise of Atlantis. Thus, the story remained incomplete and passed into obscurity until it gained a new notoriety during the Middle Ages. Still, despite the volumes of literature on the subject in the 20th century, we have no more than Plato’s words. He was and remains the sole authority on Atlantis.
A fundamental argument against the authenticity of Atlantis traditionally has been based upon the cited ages of both the Atlantean and Egyptian civilizations. The Egyptian priest quoted states that “the duration of our [Egyptian] civilization as set down in our sacred writings is 8000 years” and that Attica (Athens) was “first by a space of a thousand years”. In the past, historians have argued that these spans are over 4000 years too long. However, archeological discoveries since 1974 have substantiated the words of the priest. The Attica [Athens] region was occupied for about 18,000 years with cultivation and fishing (indicators of permanent settlement) existing from at least 8500 BCE. (Per discoveries at the Franchthi Cave in the Argive Peninsula, the Seidi Cave, and the Lerna and Elateia sites.) Recent archeological research also has dated settlement in the Nile Delta of Egypt a comparative but slightly lesser number of years. Understandably, advanced cultures in both regions were not zapped into being but slowly evolved over an extended period. Sophisticated societies, architecture, technologies and language skills were products of continuous settlement in both locales, accelerated by communication and trade between the prevailing cultures of the era. In Egypt, their oral traditions eventually found their way into their historical texts once writing was established and the origins of their own and of contemporary civilizations invariably were backdated as they were for many other ancient cultures. For example, the nation of Israel claimed a beginning eons before that heritage was committed to the written word. Thus the statements of the Egyptian priest regarding the birth of his and the Greek civilizations are entirely plausible, more so in light of the archeological evidence cited above. Moreover, the dates given by the priest have no bearing on the demise of either the ancient Athenian or Atlantean civilizations. If we read further in Plato’s texts, we find that both existed for an extended period during which Atlantis systematically evolved from humble beginnings, presumably as did the Greeks. The Atlantean kings “themselves and their descendants, dwelt for many generations” before the kingdom’s demise, and the domain evolved through “the labors of many kings which extended over many years”. The empire was founded at a time when “neither ships nor sailing were as yet in existence” and thereafter it slowly transformed. In Critias, Plato details a part of that transformation. With regard to the Atlantean capital city, he states that “as each king received it from his predecessors, he added to its adornment and did all he could to surpass the king before him”. Similar statements also defined the evolution of the empire as a whole. Thus, Atlantis did not pop into existence in a fortnight. It began as a nominal settlement and slowly grew to world prominence over the course of many years, as did the civilizations of Egypt and Greece. Therefore, the account recorded by Plato is entirely plausible and consistent with present day fact. Accordingly, we shall continue to rely upon that account.
As defined by Plato, Atlantis was an imperialistic oligarchy of sorts, “a confederation of ten kings”, which “made an attempt at one time to enslave” all of the Mediterranean. Atlantis “ruled over Libya [North Africa] as far as Egypt, and over Europe as far as Tuscany [Italy]”. Thus, it was one of the first world-class empires, subjugating many smaller cultures across a broad segment of the globe. As was the case with many ancient empires, its founder was deemed to be a god who wedded a local inhabitant of the island and produced ten sons. The eldest son was named Atlas “after which the whole island was called and the sea spoken of as the Atlantic”. He was designated the regent of the royal city and, with some restrictions, “appointed to be king over the rest”. His father “divided the island of Atlantis into ten portions”, granting to each of his ten sons “the rule over many men and a large tract of the country”. These ten autocrats “ruled over many men and most of the laws in his portion and throughout his own city, punishing and putting to death whomever he willed”. However, “the authority over one another and their mutual relations were governed by the precepts” set forth by their father “and handed down to them by law” as “inscribed by the first princes on a pillar of orichalcum” in the temple of Poseidon located in the capital city. Thus, the Atlantean domain consisted of ten semi-autonomous cities, each ruled by an autocrat subject to a constitution drawn up by the founder and his ten sons. It was a literate nation, governed by specific laws, and a hereditary patriarchy wherein “the eldest, who, as king, always passed the sceptre to the eldest of his sons”.
In Critias, the Atlantis Plato described in minute detail was a Bronze or Bronze-Iron Age culture whose palaces and walls were built of quarried stone. Plato was very specific in this regard, describing the metals used, the construction materials, and the architectural design. Metals were described as “both the hard kind and the fusible kind” and “also that kind which is now known only by name” and was called “orichalcum”. The “hard kind” could be read as iron and the “fusible kind” as alloys such as bronze (copper and tin). Orichalcum is described only as being “the most precious of metals then known, except gold” but it was not a miraculous substance for the walls, pillars and floors of their temple were “covered with orichalcum”, which “sparkled like fire”. Brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, is mentioned specifically and was used for the same purpose. Thus, orichalcum (literally “mountain copper or bronze”) may have been a similar alloy. It could have been a brass having a different texture or tone. In early times, copper often was combined with impure zinc ores containing cadmium or calamine. The resulting brass erroneously was regarded as containing gold and considered a precious metal. However, beyond this questionable metal, Atlantis was a typical Bronze Age culture in every way, very conventional and mundane. The country was populated by herdsmen and farmers from whose ranks the military was conscripted. Again, Plato provides precise details as to how many men and the type of armament each of the ten kings was obliged to provide the empire. That armament consisted of bows, slings, swords, lances and horse-drawn chariots. No magic crystals or other mysterious or marvelous weaponry or technology was mentioned in the texts, only the usual social refinements such as baths, statues and activities common to the more advanced cultures of the Bronze era. Considering the approximate age of the empire, Atlantis may have been amongst the first to domesticate horses and use chariots in warfare, but Plato makes no statement, direct or otherwise, in this regard. His portrayal of the Atlantean military was typical of that of the later Middle East. In fact, when the Atlanteans attempted an incursion into the Mediterranean region, the combined forces of that region, led by the ancient Athenians, “defeated the invaders” and after a protracted war “saved from slavery such as were not enslaved”. From what we know for certain about the early cultures of the era, the war between the Atlanteans and the inhabitants of the Mediterranean was no different from the many battles fought in the region where strategy and sheer numbers of skilled warriors usually prevailed. Unlike his other works, Plato made no mention of gods or an intervention of any sort of divine in that regional war. His narrative was mundane and thoroughly matter of fact, precisely a historian’s description of a war with a bit of underlying bias for his Athenian side.
Atlantis was a seagoing nation with a standing navy consisting of “twelve hundred ships”. It traded heavily with other parts of the world as evidenced by Plato’s vivid description of its principal port wherein he states “the seaway and largest harbor were filled with ships and merchants coming from all quarters [the four corners of the earth] which by reason of their multitude caused a clamor and tumult of every description and an increasing din night and day”. Moreover, this seagoing empire elicited “a large supply of imports from abroad”. These statements portray an extensive contact with many other cultures with whom, more than likely, the native tongue of Atlantis was the language of trade. The empire’s contact with Europe and North Africa was stated specifically and, being based in the Atlantic and at odds with Egypt and ancient Greece, it presumably sought trade with other parts of the world, possibly with eastern Asia and the Americas, regions accessible to its ships. This was the Atlantis that, through Timaeus, Plato described as “a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent” of Western Asia (Europe). At that time, apart from the Hellenic city-states and Egypt, “numerous barbaric tribes” existed in the region over which Atlantis obviously ruled. The above description also implies that the empire controlled the entire northern Atlantic from the Canary Islands to Scandinavia, potentially into western Russia, prior to its demise.
The confusion over the demise of Atlantis arises from an obvious oversight in past readings of the two dialogues relating to that empire. There was not one but two entities called Atlantis: Atlantis, the royal capital city situated on a man made island, and Atlantis, the greater natural island domain. Plato was quite specific in this regard. Atlantis, the greater natural island domain, was “larger than Libya and Asia Minor together”, an island about the length and breadth of the Mediterranean encompassing about 850,000 square miles. On the other hand, Atlantis, the royal capital city, was situated on a considerably smaller artificial island within that greater domain. According to Plato’s account, “this island, wherein stood the royal palace, was five stades [3000 feet] in diameter”. It was located “fifty stades [30,000 feet or about 5.7 miles] from the sea at the foot of a plain that was “rectangular in shape, being 3000 stades [1,800,000 feet or 340.9 miles] long on either side and 2000 stades [1,200,000 feet or 227.3 miles] wide at its centre, reckoning upwards from the sea”. Obviously, the natural island domain was immensely larger than the capital city of Atlantis. That capital city was an artificial island located inland on a river that was redirected “so that the water that came off the mountains reached the city on both sides and then flowed out to sea”. The founder “broke it off on all sides” and “made circular belts of sea and land enclosing one another alternatively, some greater, some smaller, two being land and three being sea, which he carved as it were out of the middle of the island”. In other words, the founder of Atlantis chose a low-lying hill near a river and the ocean and encircled it with broad moats at that prehistoric time when “neither ships nor sailing were as yet in existence”. This hill became his citadel whereupon the capital city of Atlantis arose. Later, “the labors of many kings … over many generations” channeled the river’s waters through those moats and out to sea, creating a large harbor and erecting defensive walls on all three moats and along the oceanfront.
Plato reaffirmed the distinction between the artificial island capital city and the greater natural island domain when, after describing the former in detail, he states, “we must endeavor next to repeat the account of the rest of the country”. He went on to say that “the number of men in the mountains and in the rest of the country was countless” and that the balance of the greater island domain was protected naturally for its coastline “rose sheer out of the sea at great height”. With several other juxtaposed references, Plato clearly established the existence of two separate entities: Atlantis, the royal city, and Atlantis, the greater island domain. No other interpretation of his texts is possible for he gave the dimensions of each in precise, specific detail.
Ascribing the name of a principal city to an empire was a common practice in early history. The Roman Empire encompassed many cities and territories; yet, it was referred to as Rome and its citizens as Romans. However, Rome was its capital city and no more. The destruction of that city would have been synonymous with the destruction of its domain. Thus when Atlantis, the royal capital city, fell to ruin, Atlantis, the empire, was said to have been destroyed.
The Egyptian priest quoted by Plato gave few details regarding the demise of Atlantis except to say that “there occurred portentous earthquakes and floods, and one grievous night and day befell them, when the whole body of your [Athenian] warriors was swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner was swallowed up by the sea and vanished”. The latter part of that statement evoked the confusion over the demise of the domain. Taken out of context, almost every historian assumed it meant that the 800,000-plus square mile island suddenly sank out of sight. However, as explained earlier, two separate islands were referred to as Atlantis. Only the man made island and the empire’s capital city were “swallowed up by the sea”. The greater natural island domain survived the destruction of its empire and still remains where it has existed since prehistoric times.
According to the Egyptian priest quoted by Plato, the demise of Atlantis and their Greek counterparts was attributed to “the occurrence of a shifting of the bodies of the heavens”, a natural terrestrial view of a displacement of Earth’s crust as previously explained. From physical evidence gathered throughout the Aegean, a massive mudslide most likely doomed the ancient Athenians while a collapse of a section of crust and a rise in sea level accounted for the Atlantean demise. Not much more can be gleaned from Plato’s dialogues for Critias ended abruptly at a point where it appears that details on the demise of Atlantis were about to be revealed. However, in keeping with the hypothesis set forth by Charles Hapgood, we now can establish where Atlantis was located, where the greater natural island still exists.
The Egyptian priest quoted by Plato estimated the overall island domain of Atlantis to be approximately 850,000 square miles in size. It existed “in front of the mouth” of the “Pillars of Heracles [the Strait of Gibraltar] at a distant point in the Atlantic”. From this huge island, “it was possible for travellers of that time to cross from it to other islands, and from the islands to the whole continent against them”. Further, of the first set of twins born to the founder of Atlantis, the younger son, Gadeirus, “received as his portion the cape of the island facing the Pillars of Heracles, opposite of what is now called Gadeira [the Iberian Peninsula]”. Thus the Egyptian priest not only gave a detailed description of the island but also told us exactly where it was. Atlantis was an extremely large island, approximately 850,000 square miles in size, located some distance from the continent of Western Asia (Europe) which, as a whole, did not have a distinctive name in early times. It was separated from Western Asia (Europe) by intervening islands and its cape faced the Strait of Gibraltar. If we check a world map, we discover that only one landmass in the Atlantic matches that description: Greenland, the world’s largest island, encompassing 736,518 square miles. It is some distance from North Africa and Europe with the intervening islands cited by the Egyptian priest. Moreover, it would be the only feasible site for an empire that controlled Europe as far as Italy and North Africa to the borders of Egypt, and which sought to extend its domain throughout the Mediterranean. Given the era and the logistics of transportation at the time, Greenland was the only logical site from which to launch and supply an army during a protracted war with the Egyptians and Greeks. Finally, no other comparable landmass in the stated vicinity exists either partially above water or lying submerged on the ocean floor that could have sustained all that Plato ascribed to the Atlantean domain. Indeed, Greenland is the only feasible site.
In the past, seekers of Atlantis have ignored Greenland because the bulk of the island has rested beneath an icecap up to two miles deep and was thought to have remained as such for millions of years. However, recent core samplings in the northern part of the island have proven otherwise. Temperate zone vegetation was extracted from far beneath the present glacier establishing that Greenland once thrived in a much warmer locale at the time when the bulk of Antarctica also was free of ice. The surviving maps cited earlier showing the actual contours of Antarctica also attest to the fact that Greenland was a habitable island in the not too distant past.
Prior to the last crust displacement, Greenland was situated in a warmer zone. With the Hudson Bay region of North America at the North Pole, the present eastern coast of the large island then faced south. Its present western coast faced the old North Pole before the last crust with only a portion of this extreme near or within the fringe of the Arctic Circle. The present northern portion of the island extended even further toward the old Equator, well into a temperate zone. In other words, the overall climate in the better part of Greenland before the last shift, at worst, was similar to the southern portion of present day Sweden or Finland, and “was protected from the northern blasts” by “mountains which surrounded it”. The island then had an extensive fertile plain that served as the breadbasket of Atlantis where farmers and herdsmen thrived. It was a broad land consisting of “many rich villages of country folk, and streams and lakes and meadows”. In fact, “it contained a very large stock of elephants [mammoths], for there was an ample food supply not only for all the other animals which haunt the marshes and lakes and rivers, or the mountains or the plains, but likewise for this animal, which of its nature is the largest and most voracious”. Clearly Plato portrayed an island environment of immense size that, as in northern Siberia, the glacial drift in North America destroyed.
When the Earth’s crust slid toward the Equator, Greenland was thrust northward into the Arctic Circle. As it moved toward the new North Pole, the land beneath it subsided, immersing its upper plain and submerging its capital city. As for the inhabitants, those who remained inland, like the mammoths of northern Siberia, simply froze. Possibly a few along the present western fringe of Greenland managed to survive and were the ancient ancestors of the native Eskimos. Their legends tell of a day when the world turned over and others moved south to escape the cold.
Considering the former compass orientation of the island empire, the royal capital city of Atlantis was situated somewhere along Greenland’s present eastern or northeastern coast, possibly within an area whose coordinates roughly are 68 degrees North Latitude, 17 degrees West Longitude and 78 degrees North Latitude, 29 degrees West Longitude. An underwater survey of the most likely locations within these coordinates or elsewhere along the present north-northeastern coast might provide evidence of this civilization lost. The other nine cities, inland structures, now are buried beneath an almost impenetrable sheet of ice. Modern technology yet may provide a means of detecting these.
In reviewing the underwater topography between Greenland and Iceland, it appears possible that the present southeastern portion of Greenland (lower King Christian IX Land) stretched further into the Atlantic as a peninsula, extending southwest of Iceland. This too could have been the site upon which the capital of Atlantis was built and subsequently sank when the region moved closer to the present North Pole. It sits at the upper end of the great Mid-Atlantic Rift, a severely distorted area that almost cleaved Iceland in two. Convulsions along the Rift could have affected dramatic changes along Greenland’s present eastern coast. Thus, at the moment, we only can speculate as to the exact location of the royal city of Atlantis. At some future date, further research in the region specifically directed at discovering this lost city may provide us with more definitive clues.
The story of Atlantis related by Plato is a factual account of an empire and civilization that once existed off Europe’s shores. His description of the origins of Athens, Egypt and Atlantis obviously was based upon oral traditions, as he put it, from a time “when neither ships nor sailing was yet in existence”. Such traditions glorified the founders of great cities, elevating them to the status of gods. However after a brief excursion into the founding of Atlantis, Plato presents a geographer’s account of the empire and its capital in painstaking minute detail with no further references to legends or divines. Considering the precise description of the capital city of Atlantis, its detailed military might and its fortifications, the original version cited by the Egyptian priest may well have been extracted from the report of a spy assessing the strength of a potential enemy. It could have been recorded before or during the war between Atlantis and the cities of the Mediterranean for the account is rendered in almost tedious detail. It is such a departure from the other works of Plato that many believe it truly was extracted from a document written by someone else as Plato himself professed. If given credence by scholars, Timaeus and Critias might broaden the present myopic focus on the Aegean and the Middle East and acknowledge the greater contribution made by this lost civilization of the west.
Atlantis extended its empire across Europe and North Africa at a time when the Mediterranean was little more than a vastly oversized pond. Its ships undoubtedly sailed the Atlantic and around the former North Pole to a more hospitable northern Siberia, moving through Scandinavia and possibly south along the Central American shores. Moreover, Atlantean may have been a sort of prototype language, the tongue of international trade at that time. This would account for the many similarities in languages throughout Europe, India and the Middle East. After the destruction of their homeland, Atlanteans abroad would have resettled, preserving their culture as best they could. These Atlantean expatriates could have been the source of those civilizations that somehow mysteriously appeared in several regions with no apparent roots. These, of course, are speculations for Plato made only a single specific reference to the language of Atlantis by stating that the second son of the founder was called Eumelus in Greek but “in the native tongue, Gadeirus” from which the ancient name of Spain “Gadeira” was derived. The endings of those two presumed Atlantean words imply a relationship to the Indo-European linguistic family to which the later languages of Europe, Greece, the Aryan Indians and regions of Asia Minor appear to belong. If we presume a span of existence for Atlantis comparable to that of ancient Egypt, this lost island empire well may have been the birthplace of the cultured civilization from which later civilizations of central Europe, India and the Mediterranean evolved. However, beyond Plato’s account, we only can speculate on the impact Atlantis had on its contemporary world. All we can say for certain is that, given the evidence supporting Charles Hapgood’s hypothesis, the mystery of Atlantis finally has been resolved.
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Websites of Interest:
1. Mayans, , select Topics, select Native American, select Maya, select Yucatan before and After the Conquest or Popol Vuh.
2. Incas, , select Topics, select Native American, select Inca. Other regions and cultures also available at site.
3. Ancient Civilizations by region, articles and pictures, , select Articles Index, select culture and/or locale i.e. Asia, South America, et cetera.
4. Jacobs, James Q., Early Monumental Architecture on the Peruvian Coast, 2002 ,[Net ebook and pictorial],
5. Mosaic of Antarctica: Imagery download and documentation, Digital media Link:
6. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Occurrences Global
7. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Washington D.C. website:
8. Polynesian Voyaging Society http://pvs.kcc.hawaii.edu/L2canoebuild.html [Complete information on Native Pacific Double Canoes or Catamarans]
9. NASA Earth Observatory [Melting of Earth glaciers other than Greenland and Antarctica]
[. Accessed February 6, 2004]
About the Author
I was born Anthony Dias Souza (aka Leroy Dumont) in 1935 at Ahualoa, Hamakua, Hawaii at the foot of Mauna Kea, the tallest mountain in the world (measured from the ocean floor). I attended Honokaa Elementary School on the Island of Hawaii, Saint Patrick’s School, at Kaimuki, Oahu, Hawaii, graduated Saint Louis College, Kaimuki, Oahu, Hawaii (now called Chaminade College). Later, spent two and a half years in an ordinance battalion blowing up various parts of the planet’s terrain. After which I attended Yale University Institute of Far Eastern Studies courtesy of the United States Government and served in U.S. intelligence service in the Pacific/Far East theater for three years. Upon returning stateside, I joined a friend in the formation of an outlaw biker club and also organized and staged rock concerts in the region including the calamitous California Music Fair. After I almost killed myself in a motorcycle accident, I gave my skoot to a friend and settled down a bit, deciding to further pursue my education in southern California during which time served as special liaison for Los Angeles area congressman and, later, as area coordinator for the mayor of Los Angeles. During this period, I served as editor and publisher of The Harbor Alternative – a Los Angeles Harbor region bi-monthly community newspaper and as a partner in a public relations firm, primarily geared to political campaigns. Now retired, I reside in Santa Cruz, California and devote my time to research, writing, and my many grandchildren. My hobbies extend into several fields of endeavors, primarily Ancient Middle Eastern History, Archeology, Geophysics and Quantum Physics.
Welcome to Doomsday The world will end shortly - well almost. With luck, a fourth of the human race will survive. At least about that percentage did the last time. Back then, an indeterminate number of living beings ranging in the hundreds of millions died. The physical evidence is there. Remains of carcasses litter the Earth - more than 40 million in North America alone. Elsewhere in the world, on every continent, skeletons have been found buried beneath up to a hundred feet of solidified mud or huddled in caves where they sought refuge in vain. In the latter case, totally incompatible species, predators and prey alike, died catastrophically, their limbs and bodies violently torn apart. This took place in the past over 6000 years ago, and it is about to happen again. Conditions are building toward another worldwide cataclysm and time is growing short. Still the pending disaster receives little publicity and, although the renowned Albert Einstein stated the matter "deserves serious attention", governments across the globe have failed to respond. The looming holocaust has not been broached by the United Nations where this threat to civilization is not even being discussed. Beyond an occasional mention in the pages of a few isolated scientific journals, it is as if no one really gives a damn. As will be explained later, there soon will be a radical worldwide upheaval so volatile it will reshape the contours of the Earth. The results will be so horrendous they will exceed the most negative assessment of the aftermath of a global nuclear war. Operating on the erroneous assumption that this coming cataclysm will not take place within the next few thousand years, the scientific establishment ignores the problem, opting to leave it for future generations to resolve. However, the process leading to universal destruction began about 6000 years ago and is rapidly approaching critical mass. With the suddenness of an earthquake (which we still cannot predict), civilization will self-destruct as our planet distorts and rearranges itself as it has done repeatedly in the past. A 6000 year old yesterday is about to become a violent tomorrow with more than three billion people dead and another hundred million or more on the brink of starvation, plagued by universal chaos and rampant disease. If the above has managed to capture your attention, read on but be forewarned that, while the possibility of forestalling the approaching cataclysm exists, we shall be bucking the odds. If our technology cannot interrupt and reverse this process leading to a global upheaval, it at least may try to limit the casualties and see that the better part of our progress manages to survive. The time to act is now. Tomorrow may be too little, too late.