Article - Laura Knight-Jadczyk
When we look at some of the other bodies of the solar system, including even our moon, we see that they are pocked with scars and impact craters. Why isn't the earth? Well, according to quite a number of researchers, the earth is littered with impact craters; only we don't notice them so much because of the effects of the shifting of the lithosphere due to plate tectonics, and the additional "healing" of such scars effected by weather, vegetation, and all the things that earth has that are absent on the other bodies. Also, according to some, many of these impact craters soon fill with water and we see them as lakes. There are many known comet impact craters on the earth today and spacecraft orbital imagery has helped to identify structures in more remote locations for further investigation.
Nevertheless, even if we have an idea that comets may strike the earth more often than we care to consider, they are clearly not comets on the order of what Velikovsky suggested - a cometary Venus engaging in battles in the sky with Mars or the earth. Indeed, something of the magnitude suggested by Velikovsky could trigger a pole shift. But, it is hardly likely that ordinary, run of the mill comets would have so great an impact on the earth in terms of its axial orientation, orbital speed or position, and so on. Experts are presently calculating the effects of cometary impacts on the earth. Their work suggests that it would take the impact of a comet at least ten KM in diameter to produce a mass extinction. But a comet as small as two KM in diameter could cause global climate disruption. A major event might require a hundred or more years for recovery, a smaller one, only decades, perhaps. And this does seem to be evident in the archaeological record as periodic "dark periods," or dynastic disruptions that exactly fit such a pattern.
For thousands of years, comets have been associated with disaster and misfortune. They are harbingers of plagues, earthquakes, floods, natural disasters and wars. In fact, the passing of a comet followed by war has been so frequent as to earn for comets the soubriquet "The Swords of Heaven." Tradition has assigned responsibility to comets for death and destructions, disease and decay, defeat and dissolution, the deaths of kings, and the fall of empires. It could be said that no celestial phenomenon is so widely and generally feared. Velikovsky believed that this fear had a foundation in fact: it was a sort of global subconscious memory of actual encounters between the earth and other cosmic bodies that were so devastating that the fearful reality of the event was suppressed into the collective subconscious, and only a "comet phobia" remained in evidence.
Zecharia Sitchin, in his wildly popular book The 12th Planet, analyzed the myths of the Sumerians, concluding that they referred to a massive unseen planet, and further, that all of the stories point to a cyclical return at intervals of 3600 years. The book does not have a single footnote nor are any of the numerous line drawings which are used as proof of his statements identified as to their provenance or source. A list of books and titles of journals (but no specific articles or volumes) consulted is given at the end of the book as the sole documentation. When we investigated these sources, we discovered that most of the journal articles cited as "proof" were by Zecharia Sitchin himself published in a journal edited also by Sitchin.
Some of Sitchin's key claims are that: The unstable solar system was made up of sun, moon + nine planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Tiamat, Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, Uranus, Neptune). It was invaded by and trapped a large comet-like planet from outerspace (Marduk). Satellites from Marduk first hit Tiamat and subsequently Marduk hit Tiamat converting it into the asteroid belt and Earth. Earth's moon was previously Tiamat's satellite. [p.221-229] On p. 238: The [12th] "planet," Marduk has an elliptical orbit like a comet around the sun. At perigee the orbit is between Mars and Venus and the apogee is in deep space. On p. 247. Sitchin claims astronomers today don't know Marduk is there because it is too deep in space. However, he says the Babylonians expected period to be 3600 years.
Sitchin also asserts that the Sumerians knew that "neptune is a watery planet." This is a pretty peculiar way to describe nitrogen and methane at cryogenic temperatures. Note also that the Anunnaki home planet's 3600 year orbital period puts the planet so far from the sun that its average temperature would be significantly less than that of Neptune - yet the Anunnaki are biochemically identical to humans, a fact which allows them to walk around in earth's atmosphere and surface temperatures according to the claims of Sitchin.
The theories about Nibiru do not take into account many of the literary reports from the ancients regarding these great bombardments of comets. Velikovsky tried to account for this by suggesting that a cometary Venus was hauling around a tail of rocks. It seems that Velikovsky and his supporters, and Sitchin and his supporters, although recognizing serious worldwide catastrophes, have failed to recognize the true nature of such events which is obviously more in line with the scientific theories of the Oort cloud. Velikovsky proposed that Venus out of orbit was a more or less one-time event rather than a symptom of a long term cycle. Sitchin came closer with his understanding of the cycle, but he failed to consider all the variables in his solution. What is more, once he settled on his idea as the one and only solution, his efforts to make the mythical elements fit the hypothesis became almost as absurd as the efforts of mainstream science to avoid them!
I am unable to fully ascertain exactly why Zecharia Sitchin claimed that the planetary body that he calls Nibiru, makes a 3600 year orbit around the sun. The chain of evidence and his sequence of deductions can't really be located in his writings. He makes so many assumptions and wild leaps of conjecture that it is like trying to pick up mercury to isolate a single idea associated with its own specific proofs in any of his works. Yet, this idea of a 3600 year orbit of something or other came out of his speculations and it has certainly lead to some interesting discoveries of hard fact. As it happens, the scientific evidence for a 3,600 year cycle of disaster is growing stronger every day. It is strong for 8,800 BC, 12,400 BC, 16,000 BC, and 19,000 BC. It is less strong, but still quite impressive for 1,600 BC and 5,200 BC.
While searching for the answers to this mysterious event, cores of coral were drilled from the ocean in order to determine the rates of growth on a year by year basis going back 20 thousand years. Apparently, ice melt affects the rate of coral growth. The results of these cores showed that there was a huge spurt of ice-melt around 12,500 BC. The meltwater from this event was enormous. It filled up dozens of lakes that no longer exist - lakes formed by the sag in the Earth's crust caused by the weight of the huge ice dome. Immediately following this melt, the ice age returned for a brief period called the Younger Dryas.
This rather dramatic description from the back of Otto Muck's book may put off many mainstream scientists, but the fact is, Muck's ideas are among the most interesting I have ever read. Are they true? I can't say. I can tell the reader that Otto Muck was a physicist, engineer and inventor and that he was a member of the Peenemunde Rocket Research team. At the time of his death, he held over 2000 patents and that certainly says something about his ability to deal with the world in a "hands-on" kind of way.
Basing his ideas on a causal relationship between isotherms and favorable climate in northwestern Europe, and the unobstructed flow of the Gulf Streeam across the Atlantic, Muck certainly makes a reasonable case fo the prior existence of a large body of land in the Atlantic whose subsidence changed the ocean currents and warmed the British Isles about 10,500 years ago, give or take a day or two. Based on a varied and interesting collection of hard data, Muck suggests that the submarine massif of the Azores was once above water and could have blocked and deflected the Gulf Stream, preventing the circulation of the warmer waters, and thus contributing to the freezing temperatures of the British Isles. He further suggests that this was Atlantis. Muck writes:
Essentially, what Muck has done is to use scientific observations about climate and its effect upon flora and fauna to support the idea of an ancient island in the Atlantic. Of course, the obvious conclusion he draws is that it was Atlantis. And from that he assumes that if Plato was right about the existence of the great island, then maybe he was also right about the civilization that had its home base there. And I am certainly not disposed to argue with that part of his conclusions. I still think his book is one of the better ones on the subject even if I don't necessarily agree that there was a big island that "sank beneath the Atlantic." There are other solutions to the problem of the isotherms including the idea that the lithosphere of the globe has slipped a bit dropping Antarctica about 2, 500 miles further south. While we don't deny that it's possible for such severe lithospheric disruption as Muck suggests to occur, and we aren't playing soft with the idea of mass destruction of species, it just seems that an event that would produce the sinking of so vast a body of land so completely would be an event from which absolutely nothing on the earth would survive.
Nevertheless, Otto Muck draws our attention to the meteor craters in the Carolinas. The Carolina bays are mysterious land features often filled with bay trees and other wetland vegetation. Because of their oval shape and consistent orientation, they are considered by some authorities to be the result of a vast meteor shower that occurred thousands of years ago. What is most astonishing is the number of them. There are over 500,000 of these shallow basins dotting the coastal plain from Georgia to Delaware. That is a frightening figure.
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