by Andy Lloyd

December 2004


Mankind has an amazing propensity for self-inflicted wounds, but our appetite for destruction sometimes pales into insignificance when placed against the kind of disasters unleashed by Nature. My heart goes out to those caught up by that wall of watery death unleashed by an 8.9 earthquake on Boxing Day, 2004, in the Indian Ocean. The death toll is truly staggering, the suffering of the survivors hard to imagine.

Yet the cause of this tragedy is also a reminder of the fragility of our life on this planet, and how close we may all be to potential disaster. For decades Catastrophists have argued the case for there having been repeated devastation of our world in pre-historical times. That our emergence from caves to civilization may not have been the smooth and relatively recent transition alluded to in the history textbooks. Many have wondered whether our progress has been less graduated, more stop/start; that our human predecessors may have repeatedly fallen foul of natural disasters that have affected our planet and environment.

This latest disaster affected coastal areas peripheral to the epicenter of the sub-oceanic earthquake. A collapse of the sea bed caused a ripple effect across the Indian Ocean that culminated in 30 foot waves in shallow waters; these waves then crashed into islands and coastal areas causing devastation. It seems difficult to imagine a worse scenario. Yet, similar events in recorded history have seen tsunamis substantially higher, culminating in the movement of oceanic waters deeper into land areas.

It is a fact that human settlements have always preferred coastal areas to inhabit. Such areas are richer in good soils and wildlife, and generally enjoy less extreme climates than more inland, continental lands. But the risk attached to a substantial fraction of the human population living near coastal areas is that the sea might one day unleash devastation commonly affecting them all.

Many have wondered; is it possible that a worldwide disaster might have been caused by a global tsunami? It would have to be a very substantial wave indeed, one that originated from a devastating catastrophe in oceanic waters. Not only that, but the epicenter of such an event would have to have been positioned in such a way that the wave was able to access all oceans and seas without having its momentum broken by a substantial landmasses. This could only have taken place, then, if the epicenter was in the Southern Oceans in the vicinity of Antarctica.

And the most likely source of such an event would be an oceanic comet strike.

The tragic events of this week underline the potential catastrophe we all face. There are many, many Flood myths from around the globe. The Biblical account of Noah is not just a story popular in the Levant, but one whose telling spanned the ancient world. But scholars seem unwilling to give any credence to the idea that a world-wide catastrophe of this nature may actually have occurred in pre-historical times, leading to the extinction of many species. Yet it is such a common myth across disparate cultures that there is surely some truth to it. Scholars counter that such an event could not have occurred across the whole face of the planet without some kind of evidence being left behind. Yet, it is the very nature of sudden flooding that little trace of the devastation remains long after the event. The damage is literally washed away, or left buried in a chaotic state.

The period towards the end of the last Ice Age seems a particularly likely time for a massive tsunami to have occurred. The human population would have been living in a relatively small band of habitable land around the globe, pressed in from the poles by the glacial ice. They would have lived in low-lying areas, as peoples have always done historically, particularly given the extreme cold of continental weather during the Ice Age. If a comet struck the ocean near to Antarctica, unleashing a huge turbulence in the world’s oceans, then many, many low-lying land areas across the globe would have been devastated by massive tsunamis. In fact, it might even have been an extinction event for many species of large mammals, and may have triggered the sudden 50-year melt. Evidence of such a catastrophe exists, and is well documented by many authors.

It would take a whole book to cover the extent of known anomalies pointing in this direction, and many have been written.

Furthermore, it is a fact that some of these Flood myths describe prior celestial appearances of unusual stars and the like. The observation of seven stars is a feature of some, perhaps alluding to a series of in-coming comets (similar to Shoemaker-Levy 9, perhaps), providing the inhabitants of the earth with a grim portent of the destruction to come, and perhaps encouraging some to prepare...

The seven stars might also have been indicative of a more rare phenomenon; the re-appearance of Nibiru. The perihelion of the Dark Star might have brought with it a barrage of in-coming objects. But one must be cautious in such a claim; if the earth was subject to a regular beating in this way then one would expect the Moon’s surface to be pock-marked by relatively young craters too. Yet its surface depicts generally older scarring. Comet-strikes seem to be rare, even if they might be caused by some external influence like Nibiru.

Sitchin argued that a global tsunami might have been caused by the Antarctic ice Sheet becoming unstable over time and toppling into the Sea catastrophically. Perhaps there may be some truth to this; maybe in the form of a chain reaction of Ice Pack break-up and glacial collapse. But a comet strike seems to me to be more likely.

Others speculate about the so-called Lost Continent of Atlantis. Could such a catastrophe account for the destruction of a whole continent? It seems unlikely given the lack of evidence of such a fallen land-mass in the Atlantic ocean itself. But one can imagine how the myths about Atlantis may have been derived from the same source as that of the Flood; that a whole civilization might have been literally swept away by a towering, relentless wall of water.

Either way, the destruction seen in South East Asia shows what can happen when a large earthquake happens out at sea, and how fragile coastal communities are when faced with the consequences. Our species as a whole is not under extinction threat from such an event because we are now spread out throughout the entire globe. But that was not always the case.

If one imagines us more closely packed in clement, low-lying climes during an Ice Age, and imagine a much greater catastrophe unleashed by Nature, then the Earths’ population of humans was far more vulnerable. The mountain-dwelling survivors would remember such an event through oral traditions for many, many generations.

How long will our amnesia-prone modern civilization remember this latest catastrophe, and learn from it, I wonder?