Newly Discovered Recent Impact Crater In Greenland

Map with insert Greenland
Map via Gizmodo Australia
University of Kansas

About 10 years ago a group of researchers from various fields proposed a theory. This theory set out to explain the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) episode of our current interglacial period. Their theory proposed a huge impact event as the trigger for the YD episode. Their comprehensive claims included a 4km wide impact object, massive continent wide wild fires across the Northern Hemisphere, and extensive global flooding. Of course their evidence was ruthlessly debunked by their critics, most of which was valid due to the extravagance of their claims. (4)

Before and since the question of what caused the Younger Dryas episode has remained largely unanswered. Since the end of the last Ice Age (~3 – 2.5 million YAG) climatologists have concluded that the Earth has experienced approximately 25 brief cooling periods or cycles, referred to as Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events. One argument of critics against any impact triggering theory is that they consider the Younger Dryas as nothing more than another one of the D-O cycles. This is in spite of the fact that known and accepted data singles out the Younger Drays as the most significant climate period in recent history, up to our own time. The Younger Dryas returned climate to almost ice age norms, with average global temps dropping 8ᵒC. The extreme of the Younger Dryas from climatological norms implies that there is more to the story than just another D-O cyclonic event.

Diagram of Current Hiawatha Crater
The Ice Layers over the suspected impact crater.
Graphic: C. Bikel/Science via science.sciencemag.org

Fast-forward to 3 years ago, when researchers from University of Copenhagen noticed an anomaly about 19 miles wide and 1000ft deep on images from NASA’s Operation Icebridge. (1) They wondered if it might be a 31km wide crater, that could have been created when an iron object up to 1.5km wide slammed into Greenland within recent history, geologically speaking.(4) The last 3 years have been spent seeking the cause of the anomaly. This was done using a more specialized German research plane equipped with special radar, as well as, putting boots on the ground to make field observations and collect runoff samples.(1)

So what did their 3 years of subsequent research yield?

The ice is perfectly layered over the past 11,700 years, then it becomes disturbed during a range consistent with the Younger Dryas period. The collected samples contained “shocked quartz” and ‘glass’ that was forged at temps higher than those found in volcanic activity.(4) The collected “shocked quartz” samples’ profiles identified an enrichment of rhodium and palladium along with a depletion of platinum, usually associated with impacts of unique iron objects. The signatures are similar to the iron meteorite fragments previously recovered from various locations in the region, collectively known as the Cape York fragments, which are dated to 10,000 YAG.(2)

The Cape York fragments include “Agpalilik” (Inuit for “the man”) a 20 ton piece of iron meteorite on display in the courtyard of the National Museum of Natural History in Copenhagen. The American Natural History Museum states their “Ahnighto” fragment, which is 34 tons, and also part of the Cape York impact, struck Earth approximately 10,000 YAG. Their display information goes on to state that the piece was either a break away part of a larger object or part of a collection of multiple objects impacting simultaneously.

Ahnighito Meteorite Fragment Amer Nat His Mus
“Ahnighto” fragment via ANHM website.
In addition, the German research plane, collected images from their specialized radar that can penetrate ice sheets and map the terrain beneath. The images were studied and revealed the probable existence of a circular formation with 1000ft rim and central upwellings in the floor suggesting the anomaly being the result of an impact event.(1)

From the above data, the logical theory suggests that a significant object between 1/2 and 1 mile across impacted Greenland within the last 100,00 years  releasing 700megatons of energy and creating the Hiawatha crater. (1,4)

“The impact would have been a spectacle for anyone within 500 kilometers. A white fireball four times larger and three times brighter than the Sun would have streaked across the sky. If the object struck an ice sheet, it would have tunneled through to the bedrock, vaporizing water and stone alike in a flash. The resulting explosion packed the energy of 700 1-megaton nuclear warheads, and even an observer hundreds of kilometers away would have experienced a buffeting shock wave, a monstrous thunder-clap, and hurricane-force winds. Later, rock debris might have rained down on North America and Europe, and the released steam, a greenhouse gas, could have locally warmed Greenland, melting even more ice.” (4)

Due to the nature of glacial ice the logical conclusion would be that the impact would have to date closer to 12,000 YAG than to the 3million year mark. “The crater is exceptionally well-preserved, and that is surprising, because glacier ice is an incredibly efficient erosive agent that would have quickly removed traces of the impact,” Kurt H Kjær (1)

In addition, in an attempt to disprove the YD Impact Theory, mentioned in the first paragraph, which is connected to the new research out of the University of Copenhagen, that this article focuses on, there was a study of ice core samples in 2013 that did not succeed. This study actually gives indirect supporting evidence to the new research being an impact crater. The 2013 study revealed a similar platinum spike as the crater samples. That being said, ‘significant’ multiple samples have been lacking.(4)
Crater diameter Paris
Paris fits inside the crater. NASA imaging
via Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Consideration should be given to Brandon Johnson, Brown University, who leads research using iSALE model to study the impact event on icy moons and objects. The iSALE model suggests that an impact occurring when the ice is 1.5 ~ 2km thick would significantly inhibit the typical debris eruption showers seen in wholly terrestrial impacts.(4) Thus it could be supposed that the lack of ‘significant’ multiple supporting or confirming ice core samples could be the result of a smaller debris field that while being ice could be vaporized and melted into flash run off carrying the evidence with it into other areas and or dispersing it in unnoticeable remnants in unrelated or non-local areas.

Retired geophysicist, Allen West, explains that an ice sheet impact could result in significant (immediate) climate issues. These could include increased rainfall due to vaporization and change in ocean temps due to disturbance discharge in the forms of ice cleavage and runoff.(3) In addition, Dr. Mathieu Morlighem (UC-Irvine) explains that impact craters could be hidden under current ice sheets. This possibility would make locating and dating challenging, not to mention that the erosive actions of glacial movement would erase their presence before their discoveries as well.(2)

The new research has many critics, such as Ludovic Ferriere (Natural History Museum in Vienna) who told National Geographic, it could just be a natural depression and he would want ultimate proof in the form of crater floor sediment samples.(1) Similarly, J. Severinghaus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, cites lack of supporting evidence in other ice core samples dating to 100,000YAG for doubting the research conclusions stating, “You really ought to see something.”(4) However, just because you do not see something you think you ought to see, does not mean that it does not exist.

Then J. Melosh, Purdue Univeristy, doubts that if the crater is an impact event, that it could be from the 12,000~100,000YAG time range based solely on a statistical belief that large impacts ONLY occur every few millions of years. Melosh goes on to imply that Science‘s reporting on this is reckless, “You’re aware you’re going to set off a firestorm?”(4)

66million YAG an object hit Earth creating the 200km Chicxulub crater; then 35.5million YAG another object struck the Chesapeake Bay area leaving a 85km scar; now there is evidence suggesting that between 100,000 and 12,000YAG a smaller, but still significant object struck Greenland giving us the 31km Hiawatha crater. Based on these stated examples and taking into account the hypothesis that as the Universe has aged the chaos regarding debris impact risks has lessened, the possibility of the accuracy of the Hiawatha impact theory increases to probability.

Once again we see the same problem occurring; when someone makes up their mind that something completely is or isn’t it is virtually impossible to change their opinion, not matter the truth. This trait is especially detrimental to science! The reality is that some even when provided with a preponderance of evidence, in some cases the very evidence that they demanded needed as proof, they will still deny the logical conclusion and demand even more proof. Fulfilling their demands is of course futile as their demands will only become absurd. The tragedy is when these obtuse individuals hold positions of respect and authority (ex. tenure) on such level as to suppress new information from being openly and intelligently discussed and analyzed and judged on its own factual merit alone.

If the Hiawatha impact crater can be accepted by the science community, it would be one of the 25 largest impacts known.(1)

References:

1. @jasondaley608, F. and Daley, J. (2018). Massive Impact Crater Found Under Greenland’s Ice. [online] Smithsonian. Available at: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/massive-impact-crater-found-under-greenlands-ice-180970829/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
2. Amos, J. (2018). Greenland ice hides huge ‘impact crater’. [online] BBC News. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46181450 [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
3. Groves, A. (2018). Impact crater beneath Greenland could help explain Ice Age. [online] Astronomy.com. Available at: http://www.astronomy.com/news/2018/11/massive-impact-crater-beneath-greenland-could-explain-ice-age-climate-swing [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
4. Voosen, P. (2018). Massive crater under Greenland’s ice points to climate-altering impact in the time of humans. [online] Science | AAAS. Available at: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/11/massive-crater-under-greenland-s-ice-points-climate-altering-impact-time-humans [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
5. YouTube. (2018). Younger Dryas Impact Crater Discovered in Greenland? | Ancient Architects. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvkD-sQe-nc [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
6. Kjær, K., Larsen, N., Binder, T., Bjørk, A., Eisen, O., Fahnestock, M., Funder, S., Garde, A., Haack, H., Helm, V., Houmark-Nielsen, M., Kjeldsen, K., Khan, S., Machguth, H., McDonald, I., Morlighem, M., Mouginot, J., Paden, J., Waight, T., Weikusat, C., Willerslev, E. and MacGregor, J. (2018). A large impact crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland. [online] Science Advances. Available at: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/11/eaar8173/tab-pdf [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].
7. Johnson, B., Silber, E., Bjonnes, E., Kjaer, K., Wiggins, S., MacGregor, J. and Larsen, N. (2018). Formation of terrestrial craters on thick ice sheets. [online] AGU – AGU Fall Meeting 2018. Available at: https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm18/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/448365 [Accessed 18 Nov. 2018].
8. Lpi.usra.edu. (1963). The Meteoritical Bulletin No 28.. [online] Available at: https://www.lpi.usra.edu/meteor/docs/mb28.pdf [Accessed 18 Nov. 2018].
9. En.wikipedia.org. (2018). Cape York meteorite. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_York_meteorite [Accessed 18 Nov. 2018].

Decrypting A Mayan Mystery

William Gadoury via CSA
William Gadoury via CSA

In the last few days there has been talk about the discovery of a new Mayan city by a schoolboy from Canada. William Gadoury has been interested in all things Maya for most of his young life. He has taken his interest seriously and used his curiosity and creativity to look for more understanding of the culture that stirs his imagination.

It has long been pondered about how the Maya chose the sites for some of their greatest cities. They are not near water sources. They are not along coasts. They are not along trade routes. They are not on grid patterns. They are not in open plains. They are not strategically impressive. Thus a question has plagued scholars for years; Why build cities in the middle of the jungle away from natural resources, especially water, and seeming to ignore all other logical rationale for human settlement? In most cases Mayan cities remained hidden and undisturbed of hundreds of years, due in part to the jungle having so completely reclaimed them. This adds another factor to the seeming illogical, irrational methods employed by a very intellectual culture in this area.

maya civilization-nwsisdmrc wordpress
via nwsisdmrc.wordpress.com

If we allow that the Mayans created their own calendar system, then they were incredibly intelligent and logical and rational, based on the mathematical skill required to create a calendar system that rivals our computer aided time-keeping in its accuracy. If we also allow that they and they alone built their cities, they were also incredibly skilled engineers and masons and artisans. Yet, between all these intelligent and skilled individuals their city locations seem beneath them based on logic and reason. It seems highly improbable that they did not see the need to have natural resources available for the masses, nor that they missed the need for defenses from regional enemies. Thus, it seems that one needs to look for some other more important reason for why their cities are placed in such unusual places.

Enter our young schoolboy from Canada. Mr. Gadoury studied the Madrid Codex and located 23 constellations that held enough importance to the Maya to be recorded. His theory was that the stars had great importance for the Maya, maybe even extreme importance. What William Gadoury decided to try was logically creative. He took the constellation maps and laid them over the area of Central America that was the Land of the Mayans and he found that the stars and cities matched.

maya-city-discovery-canada
via Canadian Space Agency

While, this in and of itself is significant in understanding the values and mental state of the Mayan elite, the best part was found in the 23rd constellation, which has 3 bright stars in its make up. When matching this constellation with known sites only 2 of the 3 stars has known complimentary sites. So Gadoury then used Google Earth to look at the area that matched the 3rd star without a matching known site. WOW! He found an area of the jungle canopy that was more uniform in shape than one would expect, unless it was covering something man-made.

As of yet, the site has not publicly been the object of a LiDAR search. So, while, Armand LaRocque, an honorary research associate at the University of New Brunswick, and the Canada Space Agency have supported and assisted Gadoury in his research and even claimed that in addition to the pyramid an additional 30 buildings have been located, it will not be accepted until a physical on-site discovery is documented.

However, considering the stance of several ‘experts’ in the various connected fields that 1) use of maps is a modern Western invention and thus cannot be used to locate ancient sites (I do not understand this conclusion on any level) and 2) that the Maya did not use stars to place cities (yet, I have heard of no sound and logical explanation of their unique site placement), it seems highly unlikely that even if a significant site is discovered in the proposed location due credit or even serious consideration will be given to the theory presented by Mr. William Gadoury.

Meeting the Ancient Egyptians

Part 3

220px-Imhotep-Louvre via wikipediaWe have looked at the design location of some of the structures of the Necropolis and we have looked at some of the numbers in the building of the Pyramids. Now lets look at the ‘men’ responsible for such wonders. In this approach we will look at the ‘men’ that are truly responsible for the structures that have totally perplexed our reason and logic up to this point. It is time to know the ‘men’ in a general way, before we become totally confounded by our next question in this journey. If we look at what seems to have been the focal point for all peoples and hence most religions then we need only look up.

Ancient peoples were obsessed by the heavens and all the happenings in the skies. So complete was this obsession that the first things that we seem to have been students of were the stars. Their rituals and beliefs very much focused on the skies. They measured the movement of the Sun, the Moon, and the constellations. They were aware of eclipses and even comets and asteroids that visited our skies. If it was above it was studied.

Using this information we see aspects of society that were advanced beyond ours in many ways. The Maya had one of the most precise calendars in history, comparably more precise than our atomic clock today. The Egyptians had multiple calendars in use to follow to compensate for the variance between solar and lunar years. The Jewish traditional calendar adds ‘days’ to realign itself on a regular basis. Stonehenge is believed by most to be based on celestial alignment, as are many other megalith sites and other neolithic structures. There are stones scattered across Australia that in most likelihood are star maps.

The connections were not limited to following the movement of the stars. The Inca’s gods came from the Stars. Most Native American tribes have legends of Sky People. The Sumerians have the Anunnaki, or “from the stars”. Many stories in the Vedas refer to the Stars or gods and others from the Stars.  The Egyptians believed that their gods created and came from the skies and that upon death the souls, especially of their important leaders ascended to the heavens to live among their gods. All these examples show that for our ancient ancestors what was above was of utmost importance.

2020-03-28 20.01.17 cassisrandomthoughts.blogspot.com 309455b9d47dThis extreme importance was not just identifying heavenly bodies, but measuring their paths through the night sky over millennia. It was also knowing the patterns of the paths so as to know the cycle of the seasons and the universe. The very important task of mastering the heavens fell to the priest classes of the various societies. For us, now, this focus is on the Egyptian priests and magi. It is believed that Heliopolis was the learning place of these highly skilled and learned keepers of time for the Egyptians.

In the ancient times the Priests and Priestesses were some of the most learned and valued members of society. They were the go betweens between the people and the gods. They were the ones that predicted the future, knew if it was a good day to go to war, or the right day to sign treaties or enter into contracts and if the season would be blessed or not and were to correct or make amends for any injury caused to the gods so as to appease the wrath of said god or to invoke favor from the god, thus increasing the blessings from that same said god. In some societies you were born into your place in society and your training began basically from birth. As with the priests/priestesses and magi there was much to learn before being able to lead the people and advise the ruler in one’s own right.

Egyptian Wall Art Metropolitan_Museum1915 via commonswikipediaIn the time of ancient Egypt the priests were in effect “jacks of many learned trades”. They were students not only of the scared texts, but also masters of astronomy, geometry, medicine, and mathematics. They were master builders and adept politicians. They were leaders and manipulators; they were advisers and confidants; they were clever and deceiving. Their roles were so vast and encompassing that they were some of the most influential individuals of their time. By some measure, they could be, at present, referred to as the first enlightened persons that we know of.

There is belief that their knowledge was not all of their own, that it was passed down from more ancient ones, ones they referred to as gods, or teachers and civilizers send by the gods; yet, the ‘experts’ only give these claims the title of legends, lore, myths, stories. On the other hand, the ‘experts’ have no real answers as to how the priests acquired so much knowledge that literally went well beyond the existence of their civilization.

The ‘experts’ gloss over the fact that historically or evolutionarily speaking the people of the Nile went from being hunter gatherers to a full fledged civilization with all the components virtually overnight. There are, as of yet, no finds that show these people learning writing or experimenting with buildings, or evolving a more complex religion. Suddenly, all these things were there and well documented; except of course the specific building plans and administrative records of the Giza plateau during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. I guess there is the hope that one day we will find those artifacts and the mainstream experts can be vindicated, I just hope none of them are holding their breath for it.

 

Meeting the Ancient Egyptians

Part 1

giza necropolisWe have visited the Pyramids and the Sphinx, but before we leave the Giza Necropolis there are other questions to ponder. These are questions that not only span the skies, but delve into the sands beneath the structures on the plaza. We have discussed the Pyramids, as well as, the Sphinx independently. Now we will look at the plaza as a whole. We will take into account the idea that is the basis for Egyptian beliefs, duality; as it is above so it is below. We will wonder about their fascination with the heavens. We will ponder the importance and mystique of the priest/priestess class. Thus we will attempt to attain a greater understanding of the beginnings of one of the most glorified and romanticized societies in human history.  Our goal is to attempt to understand what was Egypt and thus what was an Egyptian.

Beginning with their concept of duality, we will attempt to understand just how the Egyptian saw thyself in relation to their culture and their world. Their religion was a part of every aspect of their everyday lives. It is in the religious practices and belief that we can find an illustration of their concept of duality. In simple terms, the Egyptians believed that all things on Earth were reflection of things in the sky. The Egyptians also believe in an afterlife, not only was that afterlife in the skies, it was almost more important than life on Earth.

When understanding their concept of duality, several aspects of their culture and beliefs illustrate clearly for us their thinking. In understanding their funerary rituals, we see that they believed that the body was needed again in the afterlife. This is supported by the fact that Egyptians preserved their bodies as completely as possible in death, including preserving the organs removed in the mummification process, apparently to be returned to the body for the journey to the afterlife. It was also common for burial to include everyday items that would be needed in the afterlife, such as food, clothes, brushes, furniture and even, based on the wealth and or position of the individual, pets, concubines, and in some cases chariots. The Egyptians also believe that what you did in your life on Earth would carry over, or at least the consequences, to the afterlife. There were trials or judgments that the dead had to pass in order to enter the afterlife. In life the Pharaohs were considered as either Gods or demi-gods or descended from the Gods and in the afterlife they were to ascend to the Stars and live with the Gods as gods in their own right.

What does all this have to do with the Giza Necropolis? It is believed by some to be a physical interpretation of the trails or judgments and the journey to the afterlife. It is also believed by some to be the physical representation of an exact moment in time by mirroring the sky as it was in a specific time in the ancient past.

2020-03-28 18.35.10 cassisrandomthoughts.blogspot.com 07e0be427d70Orion-in-Oct-1024x805

In looking at the map of the plaza above and the picture of the constellation Orion to the right you can see a similarity between the 3 Pyramids and the 3 starts that make up the belt of the hunter. The observer can see that the first 2 larger pyramids can be bisected by a straight line as can the 2 brighter stars of the hunter’s belt. If you continue the line it will strike the northwest corner of the smaller third pyramid, which is the exact same placement as the smaller or dimmer third star in Orion’s belt.

2014-dec-3-orions-belt-aldebaran-siriusWhy would the ancients possibly use the belt of Orion for the placement of their pyramids? One could say that such an alignment would serve to remind them of their origins. As there are several references to the Gods coming from and returning to their own world, a world that is located within the constellation. Another theory is that the line actually points to the star Sirus. Sirus is also a star that is referenced in ancient lore as the location for the origins of the Gods. This star chart shows more clearly the alignment of the 3 pyramids found on the plaza. Thus showing how the smaller third star is offset slightly. Is this just coincidence, or was this planned? It seems to be almost too perfect of a match for that to be the case. If you look a little further afar from the alignment of the pyramids you find the Nile flowing from its mountains head to the delta in the north. While keeping in mind the heavens in the time of the ancients, the Nile resembles the heavenly river of life, the Milky Way.

In looking very briefly at the Egyptian concept of  duality we have seen that Egyptians were great students of the heavens. And held that humanity had a great connection to the heavens in order to have connection to their Gods and their afterlife. There are many other illustrations of their concepts of duality, including their attitudes regarding genders. But those are for you to explore on your own, at least for the time being.