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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 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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The principal authors of this book perpetrate a "new theory" that there was an extra-terrestrial megadisaster, caused by a comet-impact (called the Event in this book). Indeed, this book has been already written several years before my review that I am presenting to you; and since this book's original publication, numerous "old theorists" have done anything possible to fight this "new theory" tooth and nail, while numerous "new theorists" have done independent researches to advance this very plausible theory. As a "new theorist" myself, I find this comet-impact theory to be the answer to what occurred at the end of the Pleistocene epoch. So, let us start.
In this book, there was much discussion on the Carolina Bays, which are not naturally forming, but were elliptically shaped creaters. Some Carolina Bay rims date to c.13000BP, which add support that these are all ejecta creaters from the Pleistocene-ending comet impact. Other elliptical features in the western US (rainwater basins) along with bays as far north in the East as New Jersey also perpetrate the notion that these were also ejecta creaters from the Event. Tracings of the elliptical major axes point to two major origin areas--Lake Michigan (US) and Hudson Bay (Canada), where two major craters are found. These craters are wide but shallow, which indicate that two comet fragments impacted through the ice sheets to the land below. The impacts caused a lot of meltwater from the North American glaciers to cause a lot of runoff into the Atlantic Ocean, which then disrupted the warm-air currents, which then caused a major freezing period thereafter for a few millennia (now known as the Younger-Dryas). Also, dating in ground layers to c.13500BP, isotope Helium-3 (common in comets but not on Earth) is found in a peak amount along with a peak of iridium to 13000BP in some areas; and iridium is very rare on Earth. Magnetic grains, glasslike carbon along with magnetic and carbon spherules also peak at the end of the Clovis layers and at the start of the Black Mat in many areas. These all support the notion of immense heat that created these "leftovers" after impact strikes on vegetation, soil and rock minerals (later research shows that one of the origins of the magnetic grains and spherules was magnetite). The carbon-rich Black Mat is resultant of firestorm soot and charcoal that occurred from impact-related forest-fires along with remains of algae that bloomed in large amounts afterwards. Some areas in Europe and South America also share some of the strong impact evidence for this timeframe, so this is all not restricted to North America. Lake Saimaa in Finland also has evidence of being a third major impact crater from the same timeframe, and this is just one example. Furthermore, the authors also speak of a likely supernova, which occurred nearby Earth (hundreds of light-years away, but that is close in astronomical standards). The isotope potassium-40 is rich in the terrestrial layers of Clovis-era times, which originate from supernovae; and this isotope came to Earth from the supernova's blast wave. This supernova may well have been the original culprit for the upcoming extraterrestrial megadisaster, which likely occurred c.41000BP, and which produced a blast wave that reached Earth c.16000BP and which had offset a comet to go on course with Earth c.13000BP. What is now known as the Geminga Pulsar in the constellation Gemini, may have been the supernova that caused this whole fiasco.
Another interesting angle that the authors undertook to support this new theory is that they looked at some oral traditions of various nations. The authors mentioned that oral traditions have been not meant to be history lessons but more for entertainment and lessons in life, but outlines of oral traditions have actually been meaning to reflect actual history. (This can be applied to any oral tradition from around the world). Several oral traditions from the Ojibwes, the Mattamuskeets, and the Iroquois all speak of a fiery disaster coming from the sky, which also comply with the comet-impact theory. Furthermore, longtime worldwide oral traditions from the Asian-Indians, the Greeks the Navajos, the Pawnees, the Persians and the Pilagas (of South America) all speak of an immense, sudden environmental catastrophe that once took place. The Atayals (a tribe of Taiwan) also have an oral tradition, which relate to the supernova.
The authors definitely wrote the book so that a layperson could read it, and they did a fine job. The authors teach us a little about archaeology, geology and astronomy to ensure that pretty much everyone can understand their theory. They also presented the early chapters as like publishing a personal log. This was all to assist us the readers to see what they stumbled upon to lead to this striking new theory. So to sum it up, the principal authors did a wonderful job, and again, I believe their theory and it will only be a matter of time till it becomes fully mainstream within academic archaeology.
I had never heard of the Carolina Bays before reading this, so that was great. And I found a lot of information about the Clovis people very interesting. Also I was previously unaware of the problems with carbon dating for the Clovis period, among others, so that was great, too.
The legends from native Americans the authors used to support their theories were interesting, although some were stretching the point.
The book's cover did make it look more like a scifi novel, so I expect some readers were disappointed, but that's why Amazon lets you get a free sample.
As far as the supernova goes, I need a more convincing argument than was put forth, but it could be true. The comet / asteroid theory seems very solid.
I hope more information will be found to prove these theories.
The primary theory of the book is that a major extinction event started on earth approximately 41,000 years ago and was caused by a supernova that occured about 200 light years away. This resulted in the earth being bombarded very quickly with dangerous radiation, than the shock wave hit the planet thousands of years later, and then about thirteen thousand years ago the Earth was bombarded with debree from the exploding star as well as space dust and comets that were pushed toward us by the shock wave. The authors provide very convincing evidence of this series of events that resulted in the extinction of many species including the mammoth and the saber tooth.
I found this book fascinating and I recommend iit highly.
Their evidence is compelling.
I found the book very interesting, although the many chapters containing graphs and illustrations became somewhat tedious after awhile.
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EASY TO UNDERSTAND AND WITH MANY FACTS RELATED