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The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: How a Stone-Age Comet Changed the Course of World Culture Paperback – June 5, 2006


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The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: How a Stone-Age Comet Changed the Course of World Culture + Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate + Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Bear & Company (June 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591430615
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591430612
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes tells a fascinating, remarkable, and scientifically convincing story that will change how we look at our world. The important conclusion that catastrophes like this could happen again at any time should inspire a united global effort to confront this serious danger to Earth.” (Prof. Anders Nilsson, Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, Stanford University, and the Department of P)

“Reads like a mystery novel while presenting hard evidence for a cosmic catastrophe 13,000 years ago that rendered mammoths and many other large North American animals extinct. This is serious research presented in an easy-to-read style.” (Bob Kobres, Carolina Bay Archivist, University of Georgia Libraries)

". . . possibly, the most concise picture of our planet's history ever presented." (Henry Reed, Venture Inward, Jan 2007)

"This well-written book reads like a captivating detective story and, in my view, is the best available popular account of the great ice-age calamity that significantly shaped humanity’s cultural evolution."  (Georg Feuerstein, Traditional Yoga Studies, Oct 2006)

"This is a memorable reading experience with much information to consider. This book is a page-turner." (Lee Prosser, Ghostvillage.com, July 21, 2006)

"The Cycle of Cosmic Catastophes is not a book for the faint of heart; it is true to its title. In an easy to read manner, three vetted scientists bring ancient myths and geological facts into, possibly, the most concise picture of our planet's history ever presented." (The Intuitive Connections Network, Jan 25, 2007)

"This is a book to get excited about. It's riveting, suspenseful, factual, and thoroughly science based. The authors are certainly not shallow armchair couch potatoes spinning tall tales as they have solid credentials and backgrounds in science and have traveled extensively to numerous archeological sites all over the North American continent to literally unearth and to piece together numerous scattered and startling clues." (Brent Raynes, Alternate Perceptions Magazine, Dec 2007)

"The authors, through their own research around the world provide a new explanation about the puzzling mysteries of cosmic catastrophes, especially one 13,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age that is chronicled in rich oral traditions." (Nancy Pearlman, editor, The Compendium Newsletter, Nov/Dec 2007)

From the Back Cover

NEW SCIENCE / EARTH CHANGES

“The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes tells a fascinating, remarkable, and scientifically convincing story that will change how we look at our world. The important conclusion that catastrophes like this could happen again at any time should inspire a united global effort to confront this serious danger to Earth.”
--Professor Anders Nilsson, Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, Stanford University, and the Department of Physics, Stockholm University, Sweden

“Reads like a mystery novel while presenting hard evidence for a cosmic catastrophe 13,000 years ago that rendered mammoths and many other large North American animals extinct. This is serious research presented in an easy-to-read style.”
--Bob Kobres, Carolina Bay Archivist, University of Georgia Libraries

There are a number of puzzling mysteries in the history of the earth that have yet to be satisfactorily explained by mainstream science: the extinction of the mammoths and saber-toothed tigers, the vanishing of ancient Indian tribes, the formation of the mysterious Carolina Bays, the wild temperature swings at the end of the Ice Age, and the cause of huge underwater landslides that sent massive tsunamis racing across the oceans millennia ago. Eyewitness accounts of these events are chronicled in rich oral traditions handed down through generations of native peoples. The authors’ recent scientific discoveries link all these events to a single cause.

In The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes Richard Firestone, Allen West, and Simon Warwick-Smith present new scientific evidence about a series of prehistoric cosmic events at the end of the Ice Age. Their findings validate the ubiquitous legends and myths of floods, fires, and weather extremes passed down by our ancestors and show how these legendary events relate to each other. Their findings also support the idea that we are entering a thousand-year cycle of increasing danger and possibly a new cycle of extinctions.

RICHARD FIRESTONE holds a Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry and has been part of the Isotopes Project at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 1979. ALLEN WEST, Ph.D., was the owner and CEO of an international scientific consulting company. SIMON WARWICK-SMITH was a field exploration geologist and mining geologist in Australia and now heads Warwick Associates, a book consulting and publicity firm. Richard Firestone and Simon Warwick-Smith live in California and Allen West lives in Arizona.

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Customer Reviews

I found this book fascinating and I recommend iit highly.
Harold F. Boulette
It is well known that there are other major extinctions and the cycle is not ONLY every 62 million years!
Laura Knight-Jadczyk
The book is very well written and has many very useful and interesting photographs.
Mark K. Mcdonough

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 118 people found the following review helpful By Donald B. Siano on August 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book has the most deceptive cover that I've ever seen applied to a scholarly work. It looks like something you'd see on a book of Nostradamas predictions, or perhaps as an ad for a grade B horror flick. And the title is wrong too. There is nothing in the book about a "cycle" of "cosmic" "catastrophes" in the "history" of civilization". It is about the cause of the extinction event in North America that killed about 30 species of large mammals about 13,000 years ago. Whoever is responsible for this should be fired and go to work for The National Enquirer. I only decided to buy it after I leafed through it to discover lots of graphs in it.

This book is a serious work, written by serious scientists who have a fascinating story to tell. They tell the story in a rather unconventional way, though it served to hook me pretty good. I couldn't put it down. The heart of the story is how they discovered clues to the extinction event, which were all new to me. The first was to closely examine the soil along a vertical line running through the Clovis layer at several archeological sites in North America. They applied a strong magnet to samples of the soil to recover magnetic grains and magnetic spherules. The concentration of these in the soil clearly peaked in the Clovis layer at all the sites they looked at, and show lots of graphs of their data. They argue that they are clues to an impact event.

Then they go over the Carolina Bays story, which is a wonderful story in itself. These thousands of shallow craters predominantly on the Eastern Seaboard, they persuasively argue, were formed in a comet strike at about the time of the extinction event.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Wayne A. VINE VOICE on March 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
Gad I love/hate books like this. I think these guys are 75% clearly onto something but the book is not the best-written (my guess as to one reason why it ended up with a dinky New-Age-ish publisher), some of the linking ideas are a bit muddy, and I'm not thrilled with the logic of supernova radiation bath (OK), followed by supernova debris wave (OK), followed by (a stretch to me) comet impacts.

Much better linkage needed to be established between the supernova and the comet appearances other than "they were knocked out of orbit" by the supernova--that's kitchen table physics; the kind of thinking about how the "out there" physical world works based on small scale home observation. If that was in fact the case, then the comet(s) could have come from nearly any direction, but the authors make minor hay of the idea that the comet(s) came from the same direction in the sky as the alleged supernova. The physics of orbital dynamics is not the same thing as the physics of making shots in a game of pool (meaning if you get your pool cue, the moon, and the Earth all in a line, and tap the orbiting moon with your cue, it's not going to sail straight at the Earth).

Oddly, the book by a certified expert in orbital dynamics, astronomer Tom Van Flandern ("Dark Matter, Missing Planets, and New Comets" from another metaphysical rinky-dink press) maintains that the comets are debris produced by the explosion of a gas-giant planet within our solar system. All comet orbits, he claims, roughly trace back to a single point of origin. His is yet another frustrating book full of stupendous insights and appalling credibility-blowing observations (he doesn't rule out the possibility that aliens blew up the planet!). Do some of these writers intentionally sabotage their own work?
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on August 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
In this book the authors attempt to prove that a cosmic chain of events began some 41,000 years ago and was the cause of a major global catastrophe 28,000 years later killing off the mammoths, other animals, and some indian tribes.

There is no question that the earth has been subject to several mass extinctions during its history. There is a pretty general consenus that the dinosaur extinction some 65 millian years ago was caused by the impact of something from out there. There is also little question that there have been other mass extinctions from time to time in the history of the planet.

In this book the authors combine the input from several oral traditional histories, observation and experiment to say that the 13,000 year ago extinction was also caused by extra-terrestrial events. The evidence they present is certainly indicitive of such an origin, but not what I'd call proof beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Could they be right? Certainly!

Could it happen in the future? Absolutely!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By In2west on December 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
"The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes" is a must-read for any thinking and aware person. First, the evidence amassed is overwhelming that an ET/ELE (extraterrestrial/extinction level event) took place at some point in the past, culminating in a massive event at about 12,500 yrs BP. The authors of the book, most specifically Allen West and Richard Firestone, and I all totally agree something happened that was cosmic, catastrophic, and sudden. Firestone and I do not disagree, but rather are dealing with different levels of causality. For instance, whatever happened started with the Big Bang. Much later in time, there is no question but that supernovae did take place relatively near our solar system and those supernovae, or even one, must have had some effect on our sun ranging from ~ 0.1% to X%. I am focused on the immediate causation for what happened at about 12,500 yrs BP, and personally I see no way out of concluding that that event involved a massive and lethal neutron event, as you can read on a paper entitled, "Response to Comments" on Bob Kobres website, which makes the evidence clear.

Considering all of the available evidence that involves a massive neutron event, inverse radiocarbon resets from 14C being produced in situ, and the worldwide pattern as noted in the piece above, my own conviction is that only a giant solar flare could have done or caused all that happened, and it was over in one very, very bad day. If readers take some time to investigate giant solar flares, they will find the necessary conditions: antimatter to obliterate much of the atmosphere, entrapped neutrons in the flare's magnetic field, and a relatively short time span of less than one earth day which fits the evidence completely.
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