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Customer Review

on April 5, 2008
If you are still debating, which of the two 1998 Hollywood flicks, "Deep Impact" or "Armageddon", is the better comet catastrophe movie, you will get delivered from this nagging question by reading this 1995 book: none of the above. I am amazed that Hollywood DIDN'T exploit the in reality much more gloomy scenarios of a comet impact's chain reactions leading to the effacement of the human habitat by multiple means.

The book starts out with the realization process of modern human society that comets are one of the biggest threats. Actually, the author thinks that comet awareness hasn't sharpened sufficiently yet and sets out to change that, successfully so for anyone who reads this book. From the discovery of solar system planetory impacts to the ongoing search for the remains of Earth' comet craters and the quest of mapping space in search for the villains of iron and ice, the author lets us know the high probability of global killers. In the process thwarting the current easy-going negligence, caused by what he terms 6-10,000 years of freak climate stability on Earth (equaling relatively comet-free times), responsible for the possibility of the emergence of human civilization and the population boom. Concluding with 10 random computer probability simulation scenarios of how the 20th century could have looked like in parallel universes. In between filling the book with the ugly comet consequences BEYOND cratering, shock wave, mega tsunami and dust-induced perennial nightly winter, I had never heard of before.

Some of my questions from reading other books got solved, most of all the so-called mystery of the Libyan desert glass (in Egypt), which is vitrified sand over a large circular area. The yellowpress book Technology of the Gods: The Incredible Sciences of the Ancients mused about ancient nuclear warfare (I am not kidding), since this isn't a crater (yet mentioning nuclear cratering in another chapter). Whereas already half a decade before, this book had explained the effects of both nuclear and cometory explosions on the ground or in the air, causing either cratering or intense burning. (It is called a meteor, if it doesn't survive Earth' atmosphere and a meteorite, if it reaches the ground.)

The book may be dusted already, after all human knowledge currently doubles every five years. It becomes evident that it was written before September 11th, 2001 and the 2004 Christmas tsunami. Yet both deep impacts on the human psyche are explained in principle in this book: Unusual events eclipsing more deadly continuities. The average earth quake saving more lives by interrupting traffic (accidents) than killing others. More US-Americans killed in post-invasion Iraq than on September 11th. A neo-colonial induced economic tsunami sweeping Africa several times a year. So even on the level of reasoning about human perceptions, this book is worth the read and even some of the obviously dusted parts are translateable to an update of mind.

Actually, there has been an 1997 paperback update of three pages: More historic evidence found including a 580 A.D. match of one of the fictitious simulations about France's Orleans. The most scary part, I may say. Also the 1996 1st time confirmation of one of the theories extrapolated in the first edition of the book a year earlier: Earth "capturing" cometary debris, i.e. forcing it into temporary orbit.

In 1999, a more unorthodox book was first published - referencing this book - suggesting that human civilization had already lived through at least two such global killers - which merged into the flood stories. It suggests, megalithic structures on the Irish/British Isles were used to train people from far away places how to detect future comets and how to rebuild civilization after the strike - with Biblical Enoch and Noah being the ones in the position to apply that training. The book avers much higher tsunamis than "Rain of Iron and Ice", but it is fascinating reading: Uriel's Machine: Uncovering the Secrets of Stonehenge, Noah's Flood and the Dawn of Civilization. In Voyages of the Pyramid Builders: The True Origins of the Pyramids from Lost Egypt to Ancient America a similar historic scenario is described for Sundaland (once dry land of today's south-east Asian island nations world of Indonesia etc.).
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