Recent Younger Dryas impact paper misses one vitally important effect, the worldwide flood; here is my correspondence with its authors, many from the Comet Research Group

The papers, “Extraordinary Biomass-Burning Episode and Impact Winter Triggered by the Younger Dryas Cosmic Impact ~12,800 Years Ago” (Part I. Ice Cores and Glaciers; and Part II. Lake, Marine, and Terrestrial Sediments), were both recently published by The Journal of Geography. The papers, discussed in this news article, show that a massive impact 12,800 years before present led to massive wildfires and a short glacial period, among other effects. Many of the papers’ authors are from the Comet Research Group.

The paper fails to identify the impact site, as well as its most important and lasting effect, the worldwide flood. I saw this as an opportunity to convey my findings and begin correcting geology’s profound, “no flood, ever” error. So I sent to the authors the following email and attachment (caveat – as many authors as possible, since several email addresses were either outdated or inaccessible):

Here is my introductory email to the authors:

“Congratulations on your latest publications. It is wonderful work.

However, one wonders: where are the remnants of the massive impact? I answer that question, and I identfiy another important effect caused by the impact, in the attached .pdf

I respectfully request an opportunity to address the Comet Research Group about the attachment, as well as another Earth-transforming event that took place ~65 million ybp.


Michael Jaye, PhD”

The contents of the email’s .pdf attachment (Letter to YD Impact authors 24Feb2018.pdf) follow:

Your recent publications conclude that a massive impact 12,800 ybp created the Younger Dryas ecosystem changes, among other effects. However, your paper does not identify the impact site, something accomplished immediately, below. In addition, I identify a major impact-induced effect not mentioned in your papers.

The remnants of the impacting object (IO) are found in the Southern Ocean southeast of South Africa, north of Antarctica, and south of Madagascar; the impact center is in the vicinity of 57°S, 53°E. Figure 1 shows the impact site.

Impact site with diameterFigure 1. YD impact site in Southern Ocean with superimposed diameter measuring ~2500 km.

In addition, Figure 2 displays three views of the impact site from a common, fixed perspective roughly 8,000 km above sea level: the standard Google Earth map image (top), a bathymetry overlay (middle), and a magnetic anomaly overlay (bottom, Korhonen et al. 2007).

Impact site three viewsFigure 2. Identical perspectives of the impact site include: (top) standard Google Earth view with a superimposed diameter measuring 2,500 km; (middle) a bathymetry map depicting raised regions of IO-borne deposits with a superimposed circle identifying nucleus remnants; and (bottom) overlay of magnetic anomalies, from Korhonen et al. (2007), that were created by the impact and its deposited minerals. Magnetic anomalies extend approximately 1,500 km to the northeast through the “crescent” gap.

The central trough and the impact crescent indicate that the IO had a dense, solid core that was surrounded by a porous and fragile outer layer as depicted on Figure 3.  Having formed in the Oort Cloud, far from gravitational effects from our Sun and other stars, the IO was loosely packed (as are its fragments that we call comets) due to small gravitational accelerations induced by its dense nucleus. The IO’s outer layer was consistent with known comet composition: porous, mostly open space, “unbelievably fragile,” and “less strong than a snowbank.” (A’Hearn et al. 2005)

IO schematicFigure 3. The IO had a solid core that attracted and amassed ice, rocks, and other minerals from the Oort Cloud.

Entry effects that broke off portions of the fragile IO account for the gap in the center of the crater’s crescent. Some minerals with positive magnetic susceptibility introduced by the IO were projected nearly 1,500 km to the north and northeast through the crescent gap by impact velocities and associated forces (Figure 2, bottom).  What appear to be parallel central scrapes emanating from the impact center (Figures 2, top and middle) are actually the sides of a trough measuring 1,000 km in length that was carved by the dense nucleus as it skidded northward. This trough corresponds to a band of intense magnetic anomalies (red stripe on Figure 2, bottom) created from materials worn from the nucleus during its immediate, post-impact transit. At the end of the trough are the IO’s nucleus materials (circled region on Figure 2, middle) that served as the gravitational sink needed to attract and aggregate the outer ice and debris layers in the Oort Cloud where the IO is likely to have formed.  Raised regions interior to the crescent are deposit mounds (yellow, orange, and red regions on Figure 2, middle), remnants from the melted mineral-ice complex that comprised the IO’s outer layer. These mounds also correspond to regions of intense magnetic anomalies (Figure 2, bottom).

Some geologists presume that some comet struck an ice sheet somewhere in North America and projected ice chunks several hundred to more than a thousand miles thereby creating the Carolina Bays and other craters found in North America (e.g. Zamora 2017). Interestingly, but as yet unrecognized by geologists, thousands of similar impact craters are found along the entire length of South America – we can identify them on Google Earth. Some are shown on Figure 4; a list of example craters found in North America and South America is listed in the Appendix.

SA impact cratersFigure 4. Several hundred IO fragment-created craters of various sizes are shown in this map of coastal Argentina. The long axes of the larger craters measures several km whereas the smaller craters are rougly one-tenth that size.

Clearly, the South American impacts could not have been created by an ice sheet impact in North America. Instead, the impact craters in North America (e.g. Carolina Bays) and South America were created by IO ice fragments that rained down along the IO’s path just prior to impact. Note the NNW to SSE orientation in most of the SA craters – it indicates the overflight direction of the IO immediately prior to impact.

I knew to look for ice chunk-created impact craters in South America because I back-propagated the parallel central scrapes (sides of a lengthy trough carved by the IO’s solid nucleus). Thus, the IO overflew North America, South America, and Antarctica immediately prior to impact. Its approximate path is shown on Figure 5.

IO impact pathFigure 5. Back-propagating the impact trough’s parallel central scrapes indicates the IO’s pre-impact flight footprint, shown by the white arrow.

It is likely that the IO was displaced by a binary star system that passed through the Oort Cloud roughly 70,000 years before present (Mamajek et al. 2015), was eventually captured by our sun’s gravitational field, and was then brought into Earth’s path. Upon impact, collisions and interactions between energetic IO-borne minerals and terrestrial materials created the YD nano-diamond layer, placing the impact approximately 13,000 years before present (Firestone et al. 2007, Kennett et al. 2015, Kinzie et al. 2014). The timing and planet-changing consequences of the event have been preserved in the human oral tradition (the last 200 years notwithstanding – more on the matter, below).

With a diameter of 2,500 km, the IO occupied a volume of 5.58 * 109 km3. Given that it was composed as Tempel 1, that is, 75% open space, 2/3 of its mass pure water ice (A’Hearn et al. 2005; Kerr 2005; Sunshine et al. 2007), then 1/6 of the sphere’s volume would be ice. But that ice melted, so we must account for the slight volumetric difference between ice and its melted form; thus, the IO’s equivalent water volume was 1.29 * 109 km3. To approximate the equivalent depth of water delivered, the volume can be divided by the present oceans’ surface area. Since the earth’s oceans are reported to cover 3.62 * 108 km2the IO delivered an average ocean water depth of 3.57 km (more than two miles).

The IO’s waters flooded the planet, and they did so from the abyss upward – they did not inundate presently exposed landscapes. This is a critical observation, for it explains the following map images where, in each of Figure 6(a)-(d), the white arrows identify submerged river systems:

Monterey coast w arrowsFigure 6(a). A Google Earth image of the bathymetry off Monterey, CA.
Alaska w arrowsFigure 6(b). A Google Earth image of the bathymetry off the Gulf of Alaska. Note how the former river in the lower right wove between two submerged volcanoes.
Celtic Sea w arrowsFigure 6(c). A Google Earth image of the Celtic Sea.
Western Med w arrowsFigure 6(d). A Google Earth image of the Western Mediterranean Sea bathymetry

Geologists believe that these structures were carved by subsurface processes because their science holds that there was never a worldwide flood. Their “no flood, ever” paradigm has a history that is unknown to most modern geologists. It goes like this:

In his 1831 president’s address to the Geological Society of London, Adam Sedgwick renounced his belief in a worldwide flood. He stated, in part:

“The vast masses of diluvial gravel … do not belong to one violent and transitory period. It was indeed a most unwarranted conclusion when we assumed the contemporaneity of all the superficial gravel on the earth…. Having been myself a believer [in a worldwide flood], and, to the best of my power, a propagator of what I now regard as a philosophic heresy, … I think it right … thus publicly to read my recantation.” (Sedgwick 1831)

It was a celebrated pronouncement, for Sedgwick was not only the Society’s president, but he was also a Cambridge University professor as well as a clergyman in the Church of England. Sedgwick’s recantation had lasting effect: to this day, all of science accepts that there was never a worldwide flood.

Unfortunately, Sedgwick’s ‘no flood, ever’ conclusion is indisputably wrong. From the evidence, Sedgwick instead should have concluded: presently exposed landscapes were never submerged by a common flood. It is undeniably true that where we are now was never flooded by a common event, but that is not equivalent to the claim that there was never a worldwide flood. Sedgwick mistakenly passed judgment on vast, submerged landscapes that could not be observed until only recently. By assuming that all of Earth’s waters have been with us since the beginning, Sedgwick’s error precluded the possibility that now-submerged landscapes might once have been exposed and then flooded, which is exactly what happened at the Younger-Dryas boundary. Henceforth, the worldwide flood and the YD event are synonymous. In addition, the event ushered in a new geologic era that will eventually be accepted and known as the Post-Diluvian.

It is interesting to consider pre-flood Earth, a model for which is shown on Figure 7. It was created in ArcGIS by removing an estimated average depth of two miles from the present sea level. Humans evolved in the dark tan regions; we are not out of Africa.

Figure6 blogFigure 7. With more than 3 km of water graphically removed, a model of land and sea distributions in pre-flood Earth shows previously exposed but now-submerged landscapes (tan), presently exposed landscapes (beige), and former oceans and seas (blue).

The removal of so much water affords the annotation on Figure 8 of the Monterey Canyon map presented earlier. What is now California would have been continuously inundated by rains induced by winds uplifted by the nearly vertical and formerly exposed continental margin. Eventually those rainwaters would be energized by the more than 3 km fall down the shelf, and their scouring interactions would eventually create Monterey Canyon. Identical processes account for the many well-preserved river drainage systems found submerged all over the planet, examples of which are on Figure 6.

Monterey coast annotatedFigure 8. This map displays former drainage systems that are now submerged off the coast of Monterey, CA, in more than three km (two miles) of water.

The combined Monterey Canyon and Big Sur drainages eventually flowed into a collection basin near the system’s terminus approximately 250 km southwest of what is now Moss Landing, California (located very close to Monterey Canyon’s source and just north of the Salinas River’s terminus). After its fall down the shelf, and as it neared the abyssal plain, the Salinas River system carved a prominent oxbow that is 8 km in diameter and located approximately 80 km from the present shoreline.

The straight trail left by a massive landslide caused by the collapse of the oxbow’s southwestern wall is also evident. The collapse was caused by rising ocean waters impinging on the riverbank that had become weakened as the river swelled with rainfall resulting from the cosmic impact. We note that the turbidity flow fell straight down the gravitational gradient and that it did not attempt to organize itself into other pre-existing flows in the area; in addition, its remnants lack any semblance to the other submerged riverbeds in the region. Finally, we note that the region to the left side of Figure 9 is in the abyssal plain where geologists’ presumed gravity currents or persistent turbidity flows could not exist due to the absence of sufficiently steep gradients.

The confluence region depicted on Figure 8 appears somewhat ambiguous or smeared as a consequence of river-borne sediments being deposited into rising floodwaters much like the formation of river deltas. Other river-borne materials that were deposited into the rising ocean waters account for the region’s sediment-filled channels (Fildani and Normark 2004).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has obtained core samples from this confluence region. NOAA reports that the primary composition of the cores’ materials is terrigenous sands, and the secondary composition is terrigenous gravel deposits. In other words, the sediments taken from the confluence region located more than 80 km from shore (and now in more than 3 km of water) are derived from terrestrial environments, not marine environments. Indeed, they were: the sediments were carried and deposited by the pre-flood subaerially flowing river, and they were deposited when its waters met the newly introduced, rising ocean level.

The more northern of the two tributaries indicated on the right side of Figure 8 drained what is now the Big Sur region westward and then to the north of what is now a seamount. This river’s course through abyssal region is somewhat difficult for us to discern on the map because, like the confluence, it is filled with sediments. Since this is a relatively flat region (there was only a 120 m elevation drop over the 40 km it traveled from the shelf toward the confluence), the riverbed is smeared or ambiguous on the map because the abyssal plane through which it flowed became filled by river-borne sediments deposited into newly rising ocean waters.

The quick inundation preserved the former drainages that the new maps reveal. Coupled with the vast new waters and ensuing changes to weather patterns, the IO induced irreversible ecosystem and climatic changes that are known as the YD event. For instance, vast, forested regions would become desiccated by the changes, and they would burn soon after the event.

Imagine how the IO appeared to the ancients as it neared Earth. At 10,000 times the surface area of Halley’s comet and 1,000,000 times its volume, the IO would have had a fiery appearance and an incredibly lengthy tail. It would have dominated the sky, particularly as it neared impact. To the ancients, the illumination from the nucleus and its tail as it approached Earth must have been frightening and memorable, particularly since the flood ensued nearly immediately after its disappearance. Therefore, it is no surprise that we find recollections of the IO in ubiquitous, ancient oral traditions. It is known by names such as Phaeton, Typhon, Set, Ta-vi, and Satan.

Pliny the Elder described Phaeton’s approach: “A terrible comet was seen by the people of Ethiopia and Egypt. It had a fiery appearance and was twisted like a coil, and it was very grim to behold; it was not really a star so much as what might be called a ball of fire.” (Rackham, 1938) According to Allan and Delair (1995), Phaeton “was anciently regarded as a generally round, brilliantly fiery body of appreciable size, and much more star-like or sun-like than conventional comets: and it was held to have in some way caused the Deluge.” The fiery comet-like appearance of the IO as it neared Earth impact and the irreversible changes induced by its flood likely account for the long-held notion that comets are harbingers of change. In addition, the Chinese New Year dragon, a glowing, fiery serpent depicted above the clouds with water emanating from its mouth, shown on Figure 9, is a commemoration and memorialization of the IO’s frightening appearance and effects.

Chinese dragonFigure 9. The Chinese New Year dragon, a fiery serpent above the clouds with water emanating from its mouth, commemorates the IO.

That the worldwide flood and the YD event are synonymous is corroborated by a recent finding in archaeoastronomy wherein an analysis of pillar carvings at Göbekli Tepe “provide evidence that the famous ‘Vulture Stone’ is a date stamp for 10950 BC ± 250 yrs, which corresponds closely to the proposed Younger Dryas event.” (Sweatman and Tsikirsis, 2017) The study also notes that the people of Göbekli Tepe remained interested in the event several thousand years afterward, suggesting that “it had a significant impact on their cultural development.”

Indeed: similar flood accounts are found in cultures throughout the planet because it wholly transformed the planet; we struggle to survive because we are ill-adapted to the post-flood ecosystem.

Yet we know none of this because of geology’s error.

But there is hope: your work supports correcting geology’s “no flood, ever” paradigm, the most profound error in the history of science – the blunder adversely affects anthropology, geology, and our understanding of Earth and human history…. It is no small mistake.

The task then: how to break the news of such an error to the scientific community?


Listed on the table, below, are latitude-longitude coordinates for some ice fragment impact craters along the IO approach path. The list is not intended to be exhaustive; rather, it is meant to illustrate the multitude of craters created by IO ejecta. The latitude-longitude pairs are provided so that you might discover them – and others – using Google Earth. The term “eye” refers to the suggested altitude from which to begin crater investigation. The “Comments” describe locations and some features intended to pique interest. The progression of impacts listed on the table moves the viewer from north to south.

Impact CoordinatesEyeComments

Northern Latitudes

40.6341N 98.0162W      7,800   ft            Nebraska; might be difficult to discern among crop circles

40.4670N 98.0381W      17,000 ft            Nebraska

39.1658N 75.8462W      3,500    ft            Maryland

34.8719N 79.0371W      46,600  ft            South Carolina, swarm of elliptical craters

34.8370N 79.1854W      20.3       mi          South Carolina, elliptical craters

32.8604N 82.0342W      12.5       mi          Georgia

33.4013N 104.0641W    40,600 ft            New Mexico

34.6756N 103.9874W    37,500  ft            New Mexico, swarm

34.8448N 104.1021W    45,000  ft            New Mexico, swarm

32.2140N 102.4217W    30,600  ft            Texas, swarm with one crater in someone’s backyard

32.5304N 100.6679W    17.5       mi          Texas

26.3530N 97.7112W      28,300  ft            Mexico

25.7206N 97.3893W      23.7       mi          Mexico

20.3999N 87.4530W      37,800  ft            Mexico; impact string visible at large view scale, running SW-NE

20.0234N 87.5228W      40          mi          Mexico, swarm of large impact craters; some carved shoreline

19.1279N 87.8039W      16          mi          Mexico, swarm

18.3340N 88.2799W      13          mi          Mexico

14.4011N 83.3440W      13,000  ft            Mexico


Southern Latitudes

6.1710S  80.7380W       28,500  ft            Peru; equatorial latitude impact crater

10.6985S 76.3237W       28.0       mi          Peru; two elongated impacts in mountainous region

22.8193S 66.8091W       47,000  ft            Argentina; swarm

34.8117S 61.6309W       20          mi          Argentina

35.0281S 62.4160W       31,000  ft            Argentina

35.8648S 62.3402W       32,000  ft            Argentina; impact swarm

37.4198S 58.1596W       16,000  ft            Argentina

37.6990S 61.0177W       18          mi          Argentina; swarm

41.2603S 68.0857W       13.5       mi          Argentina; check out the drainage runoff patterns from ice melt

41.3549S 67.7267W       16          mi          Argentina; swarm

45.1512S 70.6540W       24          mi          Argentina; small swarm, some drainages observable

47.8645S 71.4748W       25          mi          Argentina; impact crater now a lake; swarm in vicinity

50.5908S 70.3878W       37          mi          Argentina; large swarm

51.5756S 70.0404W       30          mi          Argentina; large swarm

51.9179S 70.0099W       30          mi          Argentina (barely); large swarm

51.7803S 59.1534W       28,000  ft            Falkland Islands

53.6401S 68.2996W       40          mi          Argentina; swarm of large craters

55.8726S 67.8791W       7000      ft            Tierra del Fuego; swarm


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Fildani, A. and W.R. Normark. 2004. Late Quaternary evolution of channel and lobe complexes of Monterey Fan. Marine Geology 206 (1–4): 199–223.

Firestone, R.B., A. West, J.P. Kennett, L. Becker, T.E. Bunch, Z.S. Revay, P.H. Schultz, T. Belgya, D.J. Kennett, J.M. Erlandson, O.J. Dickenson, A.C. Goodyear, R.S. Harris, G.A. Howard, J.B. Kloosterman, P.Lechler, P.A. Mayewski, J. Montgomery, R. Poreda, T. Darrah, S.S. Que Hee, A.R. Smith, A. Stich, W.Topping, J.H. Wittke, W.S. Wolbach. 2007. Evidence for an extraterrestrial impact 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions of the Younger Dryas cooling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104:16016-16021.

Kennett J.P., D.J. Kennett, B.J. Culleton, J.E.A. Tortosa, J.L. Bischoff, T.E. Bunch, I.R. Daniel Jr., J.M. Erlandson, D. Ferraro, R.B. Firestone, A.C. Goodyear, I. Israde-Alcántara, J.R. Johnson, J.F. Jordá Pardo, D.R. Kimbel, M.A. LeCompte, N.H. Lopinot, W.C. Mahaney, A.M.T. Moore, C.R. Moore, J.H. Ray, T.W. Stafford Jr., K.B. Tankersley, J.H. Wittke, W.S. Wolbach, and A. West. 2015. Bayesian chronological analyses consistent with synchronous age of 12,835–12,735 Cal B.P. for Younger Dryas boundary on four continents. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesof the United States of America 112 (32): E4344–E4353.

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Kennett, and W.S. Wolbach. 2014. Nanodiamond-rich layer across three continents consistent with major cosmic impact at 12,800 Cal BP. The Journal of Geology 122 (5):

Korhonen J.V., J.D. Fairhead, M. Hamoudi, K. Hemant, V. Lesur, M. Mandea, S. Maus, M. Purucker, D. Ravat, T. Sazonova, and E. Thebault. 2007. Magnetic Anomaly Map of the World,  1st ed., Commission for the Geological Map of the World, Paris, France.

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Sweatman S.B., D. Tsikritsis. 2017. Decoding Göbekli Tepe with archaeoastronomy: What does the fox say? Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 17(1): 233-250.

Zamora, A. 2017. A model for the geomorphology of the Carolina Bays. Geomorphology 282:209-216.


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