Nibiru and the Younger Dryas Boundary
I’m really enjoying Graham Hancock’s new book “Magicians of the Gods” (1), which is a rather belated sequel to his bestseller “Fingerprints of the Gods” (2) – a book which steered my interest in the direction of ancient cataclysms and their impact on Ice Age peoples and their (possible) lost civilisations. The incredibly ancient site of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey strongly indicates how far humanity had already come as the Ice Age drew to a close, and other (often submerged) archaeological sites offer similar tantalizing evidence of Ice Age civilizations.
Those interested in archaeo-astronomy have been quick to discern sky markers to constellations at Göbekli Tepe, perhaps indicating that these ancient post-Ice Age folk were trying to tell us something about what had taken place. The famous Pillar 43, for example, seems to clearly show the constellation of Scorpius, with an enigmatic central disk lying within the non-zodiacal constellation of Cygnus (represented here by a vulture) (3,4). The central belt of Orion also seems to feature heavily in the monument’s ancient alignments (3).
As Hancock points out, the academic geological community has a gradualist approach towards the formation of geophysical surface features, and does not take kindly to catastrophist arguments pertaining to eras featuring modern humans. Clearly, the vast majority of the 100,000 years or so when modern humans have lived, toiled and built communities together took place during Ice Age conditions. Much of the North American and European continents were covered in ice caps, and conditions elsewhere were arid. As so much of the Earth’s water was part of these enormous ice caps and glaciers, the world’s sea levels were significantly lower than they are now. As humans tend to favour coastal communities, then any vestiges of Ice Age villages, towns – even cities – would inevitably have been entirely inundated by rising sea levels as the Ice Age (which had lasted 4 million years) drew to a close. Evidence of Ice Age epoch stone structures or monuments would have been consumed by the seas, lying below hundreds of feet of water.
One of the central questions about this alteration in our climate, and the effect it had on modern humans, is how rapid the change was. Centuries, decades, years, months, days? Opinions differ as to whether this was a gradual change, seeing the melting of ice caps over time, and the inevitable migration of peoples as sea levels gradually rose; or whether there were geophysical events triggering sudden disastrous Earth-changes. Hancock argues for the later, leaning towards some kind of underlying reality behind the ancient Atlantis myths whereby a catastrophic melting of the northern ice caps inundated coastal Ice Age civilisations practically overnight.
Of course, this is a rather romantic construct, born of ancient myth offered by the great Greek philosopher Plato. But whether or not a whole continent somewhere west of Europe actually disappeared under the seas or not, there could well be some truth to the concept that Ice Age civilisation, in whatever form it took, was destroyed in a cataclysm which brought the Ice Age to a sudden and devastating end.
The arguments for a catastrophic end to the Ice Age (which itself was not a static phase lasting 4 million years, but rather a steep, jagged roller-coaster of glacial and warmer inter-glacial periods) concentrate on events argued to have taken place at the so-called Younger-Dryas boundary. This marked a transition into a particularly cold period across the northern hemisphere known as the Younger-Dryas, which lasted from about 12,900 to around 11,700 years ago. In the thousands of years running up to 12,900 B.P. (Before Present), there had been a gradual warming of the world. At this point, the northern hemisphere was suddenly plunged back into the freezer.
Many have advocated a sudden, catastrophic event causing this unexpected change in the global climate, at the forefront of which is the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis involving the alleged airburst or impact of cometary fragments above or into the extensive northern ice cap (5). In his new book, Hancock logs the growing body of scientific papers presented in support of an extinction-level cosmic event ~12,900 B.P. (1), beginning with the 2007 paper by Firestone, Kennett and West which first proposed the ‘Clovis Comet’ (6). He also outlines the rearguard action of the gradualists to contain or debunk this hypothesis, and how this increasingly tired fight-back continues to lose ground.
There’s a pecking order within the arena of intellectual debate. That hierarchy is very structured and formalised within academia. Free-thinkers like Graham Hancock generate great book sales through their easy-to-access writing styles and exciting out-of-left-field ideas, but barely register within the ivory tower circles that count (at least in terms of the educational dissemination of knowledge). So, academics interested in such matters as these might highlight their work to researchers like Hancock, knowing that it fans the flame of the broader publicity they might seek, but don’t necessarily seek his approval. This theme is also a trademark of the book. That self-same pecking order exists outside academia – in the little-leagues, as it were. So, what I might suggest here won’t necessarily meet the approval of Mr Hancock (indeed, it most certainly will not), but I think it’s pertinent nonetheless. That’s because my ideas about cosmic catastrophism within the solar system centre around (but are not necessarily exclusive to) Planet X, Nibiru… call it what you will.
When I read the date 12,900 B.P., my eyes likely widened a little.
That dating (actually 13,000 B.P. here) was mooted by Zecharia Sitchin back in 1976, for the Deluge which catastrophically ended the last Ice Age (7). At the time of writing, Sitchin was particularly intrigued by the possibility that the Flood had been caused by a catastrophic slippage of part, or all, of the Antarctic ice sheet. The resultant tsunami would have swept around the world, causing devastating flooding, raising sea-levels instantly, and burying fauna. This particular idea had been proposed by Dr John T. Hollin, as outlined in this New York Times article (which also mentions J Bretz, much discussed by Graham Hancock):
“In 1972, John T. Hollin, a British graduate student at Princeton University, proposed that an Antarctic slippage might be sudden enough to cause sudden global flooding. He cited the “London brickearth,” a deep clay deposit used to make bricks for London’s old buildings. During the last century the remains of “elephants,” generally assumed to have been victims of the Biblical flood, were found in this clay. The swifter animals, it was said, avoided drowning “by escaping to the hills.” The “elephants” are now believed to have been ice age mastodons. The idea of sudden flooding is not widely accepted.
“A generation ago J. (sic) Harlen Bretz of the University of Chicago proposed that the coulees and “scablands” of central Washington had been eroded into the bedrock by a catastrophic flood at the end of the ice age. He was ridiculed but later proven right.” (8)
Sitchin considered it possible that a close passage of Nibiru might have triggered this sudden collapse of the Antarctic ice sheet, creating the Biblical Flood, the narrative origin of which lay in the original Sumerian tales of the Deluge hero Ziusudra, as well as the Mesopotamian Flood hero Utnapishtim (who featured in the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh). Although this mechanism of sudden collapse is almost certainly incorrect, there was a significant loss of the Antarctic ice shelf into the sea during the global warming which followed the Younger Dryas period:
“…Around 10,000 years ago, as the ice age ended, a huge number of icebergs broke off from the shelf and pushed themselves out to sea. As this happened, the remaining part of the shelf retreated back onto the land as the warmer and more acidic sea eroded its exposed front.” (9)
Zecharia Sitchin’s interest in this date of 13,000 B.P. remains of great interest, however, as it coincides neatly with the catastrophic event which occurred at the Younger Dryas boundary.
Indeed, the probable cause of this sudden cataclysmic melting of extensive parts of the northern ice sheet more closely insinuates a Planet X-style event than Hollin’s Antarctic ice sheet slippage. That’s because the event not only coincides with Sitchin’s original timing for the return of Nibiru, but also brings with it a possible swarm of cometary fragments. Here’s Sitchin on the pre-historic timings of Nibiru, which the reader will note offer little support to more recent arguments for a current impending inter-planetary catastrophe:
“Not only the presence of the Nefilim but also the periodic arrivals of the Twelfth Planet in Earth’s vicinity seem to lie behind the three crucial phases of Man’s post-Diluvial civilisation: agriculture, circa 11,000 B.C., the Neolithic culture, circa 7500 B.C., and the sudden civilisation of 3800 B.C. took place at intervals of 3,600 years.” (7)
The Clovis Comet may well be connected to Nibiru, then; perhaps as part of a predictable comet swarm that the Earth would be subjected to on this particular perihelion passage. I’m sure that if he were alive today, Zecharia would have seen the Clovis Comet hypothesis as a more likely successor to Hollin’s Antarctic slippage. But the result was the same – huge amount of glacial waters suddenly being dumped into the seas.
According to the ancient Mesopotamian myths, the gods anticipated the Flood, and decided to leave humanity to its fate. In a way, this may have been similar to the plot of a modern Hollywood movie, like ‘Deep Impact’, where there is a forewarning of an in-coming object on collision course for Earth. In the Anunnaki’s case, it meant heading for the exit, pronto. Only the god Enki stuck his neck out to save a remnant of humanity from the impending catastrophe. This makes far more sense than a gravitational tug from the relatively distant excursion of Nibiru through its perihelion zone (which Sitchin maintained reached its closest point somewhere between Mars and Jupiter).
Other researchers, like Barry Warmkessel, might argue that such in-coming comet swarms need not be accompanying debris of a cometary Planet X, like Sitchin’s Nibiru, but rather a regular resonant function of a Dark Star (which he names Vulcan) lurking beyond the Kuiper Belt. He has accumulated a mass of information on comet-related catastrophism (10). I would concur with such a concept, wondering whether Sitchin’s attachment to the sexagessimal ‘Sar’ of 3,600 is at all convincing for a Planet X object of any great size (11). But even if this numerical connection proves wide of the mark, I think that Sitchin was absolutely right to link Nibiru to a catastrophe which occurred ~12,900 B.P.. Hancock et al’s arguments about a cosmic catastrophe at the Younger Dryas boundary seem persuasive enough.
Given the current evidence for ‘Planet Nine’ (12), a Planet X elliptical orbit of the order of 25,000 years could place an object currently at its furthest location firmly in the red zone 13,000 years ago. At this closest point in its passage, a resultant cometary impact on Earth could have melted much of the northern ice cap, bringing calamity upon Ice Age civilisations, swept beneath the rising seas. Contemporaneous monuments like Göbekli Tepe might well provide celestial clues to the disaster which had reigned down from the heavens with such devastating impact.
26th May 2016
1) Graham Hancock “Magicians of the Gods” Coronet 2015
2) Graham Hancock “Fingerprints of the Gods” William Heinemann Ltd 1995
3) Andrew Coliins “Göbekli Tepe: It’s Cosmic Blueprint Revealed” http://www.andrewcollins.com/page/articles/Gobekli.htm
4) Vachagan Vahradyan & Marine Vahradyan “About the Astronomical Role of “Qarahunge” Monument” http://www.anunner.com/vachagan.vahradyan/About_the_Astronomical_Role_of__%E2%80%9CQarahunge%E2%80%9D_Monument_by_Vachagan_Vahradyan,_Marine_Vahradyan
5) Younger Dryas impact hypothesis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas_impact_hypothesis
6) R. B. Firestone et al “Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling” 2007, PNAS, vol. 104, no. 41, 16016–16021, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0706977104, http://www.pnas.org/content/104/41/16016.abstract
7) Zecharia Sitchin “The Twelfth Planet” Avon, 1976, p402, p415
8) Walter Sullivan “New Theory on Ice Sheet Catastrophe Is the Direst One Yet” 2nd May 1995, http://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/02/science/new-theory-on-ice-sheet-catastrophe-is-the-direst-one-yet.html?pagewanted=all
9) Robin Andrews “Colossal Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapsed At End Of Last Ice Age” 22nd February 2016 http://www.iflscience.com/environment/colossal-antarctic-ice-shelf-collapsed-end-last-ice-age
10) Barry Warmkessel “Vulcan and Comets Related Sites” http://www.barry.warmkessel.com/4related.html
11) Andy Lloyd “Dark Star Symbolism in the Zohar” 7th March 2016 http://www.andylloyd.org/darkstarblog36.htm
12) K. Batygin & M. Brown “Evidence for a Distant Giant Planet in the Solar System” 20th January 2016, The Astronomical Journal, Volume 151, Number 2, http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/0004-6256/151/2/22