View Full Version : First ever evidence of a comet striking Earth

9th October 2013, 16:46
First ever evidence of a comet striking Earth

The first ever evidence of a comet entering Earth’s atmosphere and exploding, raining down a shock wave of fire which obliterated every life form in its path, has been discovered by a team of South African scientists and international collaborators, and will be presented at a public lecture on Thursday.

The discovery has not only provided the first definitive proof of a comet striking Earth, millions of years ago, but it could also help us to unlock, in the future, the secrets of the formation of our solar system.

“Comets always visit our skies – they’re these dirty snowballs of ice mixed with dust – but never before in history has material from a comet ever been found on Earth,” says Professor David Block of Wits University.

The comet entered Earth’s atmosphere above Egypt about 28 million years ago. As it entered the atmosphere, it exploded, heating up the sand beneath it to a temperature of about 2 000 degrees Celsius, and resulting in the formation of a huge amount of yellow silica glass which lies scattered over a 6 000 square kilometer area in the Sahara. A magnificent specimen of the glass, polished by ancient jewellers, is found in Tutankhamun's brooch with its striking yellow-brown scarab.

Left: Tutankhamun's brooch (no copyright)

The research, which will be published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, was conducted by a collaboration of geoscientists, physicists and astronomers including Block, lead author Professor Jan Kramers of the University of Johannesburg, Dr Marco Andreoli of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation, and Chris Harris of the University of Cape Town.

At the centre of the attention of this team was a mysterious black pebble found years earlier by an Egyptian geologist in the area of the silica glass. After conducting highly sophisticated chemical analyses on this pebble, the authors came to the inescapable conclusion that it represented the very first known hand specimen of a comet nucleus, rather than simply an unusual type of meteorite.

Kramers describes this as a moment of career defining elation. “It’s a typical scientific euphoria when you eliminate all other options and come to the realisation of what it must be,” he said.

The impact of the explosion also produced microscopic diamonds. “Diamonds are produced from carbon bearing material. Normally they form deep in the earth, where the pressure is high, but you can also generate very high pressure with shock. Part of the comet impacted and the shock of the impact produced the diamonds,” says Kramers.

The team have named the diamond-bearing pebble “Hypatia” in honour of the first well known female mathematician, astronomer and philosopher, Hypatia of Alexandria.

Comet material is very elusive. Comet fragments have not been found on Earth before except as microscopic sized dust particles in the upper atmosphere and some carbon-rich dust in the Antarctic ice. Space agencies have spent billions to secure the smallest amounts of pristine comet matter.

“NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) spend billions of dollars collecting a few micrograms of comet material and bringing it back to Earth, and now we’ve got a radical new approach of studying this material, without spending billions of dollars collecting it,” says Kramers.

The study of Hypatia has grown into an international collaborative research programme, coordinated by Andreoli, which involves a growing number of scientists drawn from a variety of disciplines. Dr Mario di Martino of Turin's Astrophysical Observatory has led several expeditions to the desert glass area.

“Comets contain the very secrets to unlocking the formation of our solar system and this discovery gives us an unprecedented opportunity to study comet material first hand,” says Block.

Online paper:

An online version of the scientific journal article can be accessed at:


9th October 2013, 16:58
THE LIST: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls

10,000 - 11,000 B.C. (10,700) - The earliest disaster we know of from our historical or mythic records is, of course, the legendary Deluge of Atlantis. The description of the end of Atlantis given by Plato in the "Timaeus" and "Critias" dialogues bears striking resemblance to what many scientists are now agreed would be the inevitable result of an oceanic impact by a disintegrating comet or large asteroid. The resultant 'tsunami', or tidal waves, would easily reach 2000 ft. high as they approached land, wiping out any and all coastal settlements. The deluge traditions, of which there are literally hundreds worldwide, appear in this light to be variations on Plato's account, and could even be actual observation-based tales, eye-witness accounts of the same, or similar, events. This is very likely the event discussed by Firestone, West and Warwick-Smith in The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: How a Stone-Age Comet Changed the Course of World Culture. As I have discussed in my book, The Secret History of the World, the North and South American continents in the Western Hemisphere fit all the descriptions of "Atlantis," and it is very likely that the event that led to the extinction of about 30 species of large mammals about 12,000 years ago was the source of the legends of Atlantis and probably the legends of a global deluge: Noah's Flood. Let's look at some descriptions of what such an event can do.

Back in the 1940s Dr. Frank C. Hibben, Prof. of Archeology at the University of New Mexico led an expedition to Alaska to look for human remains. He didn't find human remains; he found miles and miles of icy muck just packed with mammoths, mastodons, and several kinds of bison, horses, wolves, bears and lions. Just north of Fairbanks, Alaska, the members of the expedition watched in horror as bulldozers pushed the half-melted muck into sluice boxes for the extraction of gold. Animal tusks and bones rolled up in front of the blades "like shavings before a giant plane". The carcasses were found in all attitudes of death, most of them "pulled apart by some unexplainable prehistoric catastrophic disturbance."[Hibben, Frank, The Lost Americans (New York: Thomas & Crowell Co. 1946)]

The killing fields stretched for literally hundreds of miles in every direction.[ibid.] There were trees and animals, layers of peat and moss, twisted and tangled and mangled together as though some Cosmic mixmaster sucked them all in circa 12000 years ago, and then froze them instantly into a solid mass. [Sanderson, Ivan T., "Riddle of the Frozen Giants", Saturday Evening Post, No. 39, January 16, 1960.]

Just north of Siberia entire islands are formed of the bones of Pleistocene animals swept northward from the continent into the freezing Arctic Ocean. One estimate suggests that some ten million animals may be buried along the rivers of northern Siberia. Thousands upon thousands of tusks created a massive ivory trade for the master carvers of China, all from the frozen mammoths and mastodons of Siberia. The famous Beresovka mammoth first drew attention to the preserving properties of being quick-frozen when buttercups were found in its mouth.

What kind of terrible event overtook these millions of creatures in a single day? The evidence suggests an enormous tsunami raging across the land, tumbling animals and vegetation together, to be finally quick-frozen for the next 12000 years. But the extinction was not limited to the Arctic, even if the freezing at colder locations preserved the evidence of Nature's rage.

Paleontologist George G. Simpson considers the extinction of the Pleistocene horse in North America to be one of the most mysterious episodes in zoological history, confessing, "no one knows the answer." He is also honest enough to admit that there is the larger problem of the extinction of many other species in America at the same time. [Simpson, George G., Horses, New York: Oxford University Press) 1961] The horse, giant tortoises living in the Caribbean, the giant sloth, the saber-toothed tiger, the glyptodont and toxodon. These were all tropical animals. These creatures didn't die because of the "gradual onset" of an ice age, "unless one is willing to postulate freezing temperatures across the equator, such an explanation clearly begs the question." [Martin, P. S. & Guilday, J. E., "Bestiary for Pleistocene Biologists", Pleistocene Extinction, Yale University, 1967]

Massive piles of mastodon and saber-toothed tiger bones were discovered in Florida. [Valentine, quoted by Berlitz, Charles, The Mystery of Atlantis (New York, 1969)] Mastodons, toxodons, giant sloths and other animals were found in Venezuela quick-frozen in mountain glaciers. Woolly rhinoceros, giant armadillos, giant beavers, giant jaguars, ground sloths, antelopes and scores of other entire species were all totally wiped out at the same time, at the end of the Pleistocene, approximately 12000 years ago.

This event was global. The mammoths of Siberia became extinct at the same time as the giant rhinoceros of Europe; the mastodons of Alaska, the bison of Siberia, the Asian elephants and the American camels. It is obvious that the cause of these extinctions must be common to both hemispheres, and that it was not gradual. A "uniformitarian glaciation" would not have caused extinctions because the various animals would have simply migrated to better pasture. What is seen is a surprising event of uncontrolled violence. [Leonard, R. Cedric, Appendix A in "A Geological Study of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge", Special Paper No. 1 ( Bethany: Cowen Publishing 1979)] In other words, 12000 years ago, something terrible happened - so terrible that life on earth was nearly wiped out in a single day.

Harold P. Lippman admits that the magnitude of fossils and tusks encased in the Siberian permafrost present an "insuperable difficulty" to the theory of uniformitarianism, since no gradual process can result in the preservation of tens of thousands of tusks and whole individuals, "even if they died in winter." [Lippman, Harold E., "Frozen Mammoths", Physical Geology, (New York 1969)] Especially when many of these individuals have undigested grasses and leaves in their belly. Pleistocene geologist William R. Farrand of the Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, who is opposed to catastrophism in any form, states: "Sudden death is indicated by the robust condition of the animals and their full stomachs ... the animals were robust and healthy when they died." [Farrand, William R., "Frozen Mammoths and Modern Geology", Science, Vol.133, No. 3455, March 17, 1961] Unfortunately, in spite of this admission, this poor guy seems to have been incapable of facing the reality of worldwide catastrophe represented by the millions of bones deposited all over this planet right at the end of the Pleistocene. Hibben sums up the situation in a single statement: "The Pleistocene period ended in death. This was no ordinary extinction of a vague geological period, which fizzled to an uncertain end. This death was catastrophic and all inclusive." [Hibben, op. cit.] [Quoted from The Secret History of The World]
Firestone, West and Warwick-Smith write:
"Until recently, the astronomical mainstream was highly critical of Clube and Napier's giant comet hypothesis. However, the crash of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter in 1994 has led to a change in attitudes. The comet, watched by the world's observatories, was seen split into 20 pieces and slammed into different parts of the planet over a period of several days. A similar impact on Earth, it hardly needs saying, would have been devastating."

The Carolina Bays date to this time. The Carolina bays are mysterious land features often filled with bay trees and other wetland vegetation. Because of their oval shape and consistent orientation, they are considered by some authorities to be the result of a vast meteor shower that occurred approximately 12,000 years ago. What is most astonishing is the number of them. There are over 500,000 of these shallow basins dotting the coastal plain from Georgia to Delaware. That is a frightening figure.

Let me repeat: there are over 500,000 of these shallow basins.


much more (long article): http://www.sott.net/article/151954-Meteorites-Asteroids-and-Comets-Damages-Disasters-Injuries-Deaths-and-Very-Close-Calls

9th October 2013, 17:11
Hi Calz

Is the above from Laura Knight Jadczyk's book?

9th October 2013, 17:17
Hi Calz

Is the above from Laura Knight Jadczyk's book?

She wrote the article.

She wrote many books (most of which I have). I don't remember if that exact information was included in any of them but certainly the "flavor" was as that has long been one of her main contentions.

Look around ... notice the uptick in meteor/comet sightings lately???


9th October 2013, 23:45
Those 'bays' make you think! I had never heard of them before. The story of the jewel in the pharaoh's crown is interesting too. It seems that the more we search the more we find out, which I suppose is not so incredible, but there is just SO MUCH information and research still to be discovered. I think it is all really interesting and fascinating.