Letter to the Editors, Journal of Geology

Editors, The Journal of Geology                                                                            2 March 2018
University of Chicago Department of Geophysical Sciences
Henry Hinds Laboratory
5734 S. Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

To the editors:

Your journal recently published “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), which concluded that there was a massive impact 12,800 ybp.  However, the papers fail to identify the most important impact-induced effect, as well as the impact site itself. Each shortcoming is discussed, below (impact site first, followed by the major effect).

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 with its diameter superimposed. Note that the diameter is perpendicular to two parallel scrapes interior to the impact crescent.

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

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.

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 very small gravitational accelerations induced by its dense, solid 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) Thus, the IO’s constitution accounts for the impact crescent and its gap, and it likens its Earth impact to that of a snowball (with a rock in the middle) hitting a brick wall. All comets we observe would be fragments from the class objects such as the IO.

The impact remnants (central trough, broken crescent) indicate that the IO had a dense, solid core that was surrounded by a porous and fragile outer layer, modeled on Figure 3.

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).

Geologists presume that a comet struck an ice sheet 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 using 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. 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. Note the NNE-SSW orientation of the craters.

Clearly, the South American craters could not have been created by an ice sheet impact in North America. The phantom NA comet-on-ice sheet impact would have been H2O on H2O – so, rhetorically, how would carbon-based nanodiamonds have formed?

The correct explanation: the massive and energetic IO-Earth impact created the nanodiamonds. In addition, craters in both 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 example SA craters shown on Figure 4. 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, the 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 heat sink presented by such a volume of ice as delivered by the IO accounts for the sudden, post-impact temperature drop cited in your recent work. Furthermore, 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. This is fitting data (submerged structures) to theory (“no flood”), which exemplifies anti-science. This realization inspired me to investigate the history of geology’s “no flood, ever” paradigm, and it is summarized as follows:

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. Whereas it is undeniably true that where we are now was never flooded by a common event, 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.

An immediate and unfortunate consequence of the historic error: all subsequent geology is potentially (and likely) flawed.

We begin correcting the error by considering 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).

Vast, pre-flood forested regions would become desiccated by the flood-induced ecosystem changes, and they would burn soon after, likely within decades afterward. Possible fire starters include volcanic activity resulting from the impact, lightning, or survivors’ fires.

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.

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.

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.”

[For Barbara Silversten (whose email I could not locate): that the IO was known as Satan makes the Adam and Eve legend but another flood survivor story. Our surviving ancestors were naked because they were adapted to the pre-flood abyssal ecosystem; survival endeavors initiated by the serpent (IO) changed human nature.]

Indeed: similar flood accounts are found in cultures throughout the planet because it wholly transformed the planet and nearly killed our species (the number of human survivors was in the thousands, a number derived from population growth models and pre-industrial age population estimates). Flood accounts passed on from eye witnesses corroborate the science, and they support the simple yet universally overlooked observation: humans are ill-adapted to the post-flood ecosystem, hence our need for clothing, shelter, and warmth.

To summarize:

  • A massive impact 12,800 ybp in what is now the Southern Ocean accounts for the evidence cited in your recent publications.
  • The most important YD impact effect, not included in your paper, is that the IO delivered the worldwide flood waters.
  • The massive IO impact would have created the ubiquitous nanodiamond layer.
  • The massive IO impact would have created an incredible dust cloud.
  • Melting the IO-introduced ice would have been the proximate cause of the temperature drop 12,800 ybp.
  • Irreversible ecosystem changes induced by floodwaters transformed vast, ancient forests into desiccated regions that would have burned not long after the event.
  • The worldwide flood and the YD event are synonymous.
  • The worldwide flood ushered in a new geologic era, the Post-Diluvian.
  • Ice impact craters in NA and SA were created by IO fragments raining down during its Earth impact approach. [Fitting observations to theory (a.k.a. anti-science, or fantasy): the belief that the NA craters were caused by a phantom comet impact on some ice sheet.]
  • Ubiquitous, submerged river systems and associated canyons were carved by well-known subaerial processes. They became well-preserved in the bathymetry with the quick introduction of the IO’s melt waters. [Gravity (or turbidity) flows as their cause is yet another example of fitting observations to theory. Worse, the theory is erroneous.]
  • Materials recovered from IO-created deposit mounds and its central core nucleus would inform our understanding of the universe and its origin.
  • We humans are among surviving species. We find ourselves ill-adapted for the post-flood ecosystem that we encounter.
  • Surviving as a maladapted, sentient species necessitates environmental abuse.
  • Anthropology is fundamentally and adversely affected by geology’s erroneous “no flood, ever” paradigm.
  • Humans are not out of Africa. The belief that we are is another fiction resulting from Sedgwick’s error.
  • Geology’s “no flood, ever” paradigm rests on a logical error. Its persistence and effects render it the most profound error in the history of science, for it adversely affects all of anthropology, most of geology, and matters concerning Earth and human history.

Yet science knows none of this, which is simply stunning in the context of all that we have accomplished in our post-flood survival endeavors and understandings.

Nonetheless, I believe that your recent publications could initiate a movement to correct geology and related fields.

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


Michael Jaye, PhD

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