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The Evidence Continues To Mount

I remember when I first started blogging, over six years ago, it was considered quite controversial to state that being hit by extraterrestrial objects was a legitimate concern, and one in which we should invest resources to prevent. But over the past few years, evidence continues to accumulate that there have been significant events within historical times that, had the occurred today, could cause millions of casualties. For example, some researchers are now quite confident that if God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, He did it with an asteroid.

On the other hand, a half-mile-wide object would make a hell of a bang that should be pretty obvious from orbit today, so one has to be a little skeptical. I'd like to see how they arrived at that diameter.


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Fuloydo wrote:

About one million sq kilometers (386,000 sq miles) would have been devastated and the impact would have been equivalent to more than 1,000 tons of TNT exploding.

1,000 tons of TNT seems a bit light for the explosion they are postulating.

rickl wrote:

I saw this article earlier today, which is quite a bit different from the Fox article. It downplays the impact itself and suggests that the extremely low angle of approach is what did most of the damage, because the heat from the object's passage would have scorched the surface of the earth along its path.

Anonymous wrote:

The evidence for historic impacts is mounting, and in fact is becoming somewhat distressing.

rickl wrote:

Oops! That last Anonymous was me. I forgot to enter my name.

David Ross wrote:

Meteorite impacts happen. Another one struck the kingdom / confederacy of Arzawa right when Mursili II of the Hittites was about to conquer the place. Bad luck for the Arzawans...

This difference is that Mursili saw this event, and wrote it himself; and he didn't bother relating it to the celestial map. Given how nuts the 700s-era Babylonians were over astrology, I'm suspicious that this is a true copy of a true 3100s-era document. Not to mention that literacy barely existed in 3123 BC. The tablet has almost certainly been mistranslated, again.

I think the reporter and researchers may be springing a little April surprise on us...

Paul Milenkovic wrote:

Asteroid impact, feh!

The big 5 disasters threatening the U.S. are

1. The Big One that slides LA into the ocean.

2. The Big One that slides Seattle into the ocean.

3. The Big One that slides Memphis into the river.

4. The tsunami that washes out East Florida.

5. And finally, the Yellowstone Volcano that buries the whole Eastern part of the U.S.

I am considering taking seismic preparation for #3 -- I don't expect serious house damage up in the Northern Midwest, but I have a friend who talked about the mess left by the Northridge Earthquake in LA, and I am thinking of bolting bookshelves to the studs and putting catch locks on the kitchen cabinets.

Fletcher Christian wrote:

Mr. Milenkovic, you missed one, #6; the Big One that vapourises Manhattan Island. Just about as inevitable as #4 and #5, but on a rather shorter timescale. Also the only one that something could be done to prevent.

There is also #7, the BIG one (Cumbre Veija, spelling?), the landslide and subsequent tsunami that submerges the entire coastline of the Atlantic.

Tom Matula wrote:

Hi Rand,

Actually this is indeed more evidence for an impact event in the Middle East around 2200 B.C.

Comets, Meteors & Myth: New Evidence for Toppled Civilizations and Biblical Tales

By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
posted: 07:00 am ET
13 November 2001

[[[And a newly found 2-mile-wide crater in Iraq, spotted serendipitously in a perusal of satellite images, could provide a smoking gun. The crater's discovery, which was announced in a recent issue of the journal Meteoritics & Planetary Science, is a preliminary finding. Scientists stress that a ground expedition is needed to determine if the landform was actually carved out by an impact.]]]

The article goes on to list the evidence of an impact in the region resulted in the decline of a number of civilization and formed the basis of a number of legends. Hopefully the area where this crater is located is secure enough for an expedition to determine if it is an impact crater and date it properly.

Just a thought but I wonder if this crater could be found on Google Earth.


Ilya wrote:

Mr. Milenkovic, you missed one, #6; the Big One that vapourises Manhattan Island. Just about as inevitable as #4 and #5, but on a rather shorter timescale.

Do I understand correctly that your "inevitable #6" involves someone shouting "Allah akbar"?

Mac wrote:

Thanks for the article rickl. That was a good read.

Chicken Little wrote:

I read the article so I doubt that this is an April Fools joke. But, my what a cheery bunch you are.

Jay Manifold wrote:

Reading the article, it looks like quite a bit got lost in translation from science to journalism-ese. In any case, extrapolating from an account of an impact event in the 4th millenium BC to an account of some destructive event in the 2nd millenium BC is both implausible and unnecessary.

God has lots of ammo, especially of small caliber. Asteroids follow a power-law distribution such that a decrease in diameter by a factor of ten corresponds to an increase in object count by a factor of two hundred. We now know that hundred-kiloton explosions happen in the upper atmosphere nearly every year somewhere on Earth. Fortunately, most impactors are sufficiently porous and volatile that they vaporize at high altitude. But for every kilometer-size object, there are forty thousand 10-meter ones, and some of them are bound to be dense enough to penetrate at least to the troposphere. Result: Tunguska.

And following the logic of the power law, there ought to be lots and lots of mini-Tunguskas, which would be even more dangerous by virtue of looking much more like man-made nuclear explosions in the tens-of-kilotons, rather than tens-of-megatons, range. Also much more difficult to spot, and with much less warning time, before they hit. The real risk to be managed is geopolitical.

Perhaps someone should begin compiling a database of known impacts and correlating it with oral accounts of destroyed cities, etc. I suspect there have already been quite a few. The principal difference between ourselves and our ancestors may turn out to be that they didn't have nukes in launch-on-warning status.

Habitat Hermit wrote:

Jay Manifold wrote:
"God has lots of ammo, especially of small caliber."

That makes for a nice quotation, going to remember that one ^_^

Karl Hallowell wrote:

My impression is that significant earthquakes (7+ magnitude) along the US West coast are fairly likely in a human lifetime. You'd see at least one. As I dimly recall, a Mississippi valley earthquake occurs with a far lower frequency. Maybe once every 500-1000 years or longer. I don't think Memphis will get hit in the next century at least.

More likely is a big earthquake in the Yellowstone area. For example, the Grand Tetons are due (by "due" I mean here that in my humble opinion, the chances of an earthquake are well above what you'd expect given the long term frequency of earthquakes).

The destruction of New York City by nuclear weapon isn't inevitable, but in addition to the possibility of a nuclear war, I see a number of ideologies that could rationalize a nuclear attack on urban areas of the developed world. Maybe they'll be Islamic terrorists or maybe they'll be upset over recycling policy or those extra-terrestrials wearing the British Crown.

Sounds like Mr. Milenkovic has read the book We Are the Earthquake Generation. Note the US map on the book cover.

Fletcher Christian wrote:


Yup. Of course this one will be the trigger for an even bigger disaster, one that kills approximately 17% of the world's population and seriously affects the lives of everyone else.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 31, 2008 10:55 AM.

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