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Often this involves the collision of planets or near misses between planets and Earth. In the case of Velikovsky, in order to get his theory to work at all, the entire human race had to suffer traumatic repression of the memories of the catastrophic collisions or near collisions with Venus, which were subsequently sublimated into myth. He described Venus as a comet that erupted out of Jupiter and made several passes at the Earth and Mars as it crossed their orbits in near collisions before finally settling into an orbit between Earth and Mercury.

Of course, Venus is a planet whose size and mass is near that of the earth, as opposed to being one of those comparatively small bodies made up mainly of dirty ice that we commonly call comets. As a rocky planet it would not have likely erupted out of a gas giant like Jupiter. As it turns out, it is testable. As part of his near-collisions-with-Venus-as-cause-of-everything scenario, Velikovsky said that during one of its passes with Earth the two planets exchanged atmospheric gases.

Since the atmosphere of Venus was mainly made up of hydrocarbons as we would expect of a body ejected from Jupiter , when these were mixed into our atmosphere they reacted with oxygen to form carbohydrates. These precipitated out of the atmosphere and fell as manna from heaven, sustaining the Israelites in their flight from Egypt see Exodus — In fact, the atmosphere of Venus is made up mainly of carbon dioxide — carbon in its oxidized form — along with clouds of sulfuric acid. Less extreme than theories of planetary collisions are attempts to attribute the plagues of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and the collapse of the walls of Jericho, to a single natural cause: the eruption of the volcano on Thera, one of the islands of a group collectively called Santorini, lying in the Aegean northwest of Crete.

In this conjecture, the eruption of Thera not only destroyed Knossos on Crete by generating a tidal wave and earthquake, but also set off a train of events recorded as miracles in the book of Exodus. Iron in volcanic ash settling in the Nile turned it blood-red, poisoning the water in the process the Nile turned to blood.

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This drove frogs out of the river the second plague. They died, and their rotting corpses provided homes for maggots, causing a population explosion among flies, gnats and other insect vectors. In addition, the cloud of volcanic ash covered the land plague of darkness , generating a brief period of intense cold, causing hail to fall in Egypt and destroy the crops; and insect populations were disrupted, causing a plague of locusts to descend on Egypt. The Israelites, living in the area of Goshen, just east of the delta, were far enough removed from it to avoid many of the plagues.

As the children of Israel were leaving Egypt they used the towering volcanic plume — the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night — as a directional sighting guide. Ongoing eruptions and earthquakes caused the water at the end of the Gulf of Suez to retreat long enough to allow the Israelites to cross the sea bottom dry-shod. This was just the first phase of a tsunami, however, and the returning tidal wave swept away the chariots of the Egyptian pursuers as they attempted to cross the seabed.

While somewhat less extravagant than repeated planetary near-collisions as single causes of everything, there is implicit in the Thera scenario the neat tying up of everything more common in fiction than in the messy complications of real life. The Thera eruption happened long before the traditional dating of the biblical events. Nor is there any archaeological record of widespread sacking of the cities of Canaan, as related in Joshua, at any strata that relate to the biblical time frame of the Exodus and conquest.

This has resulted in apologists for the historicity of the Exodus proposing a host of radical redatings of various events in an attempt to shoehorn the Bible into history and history into the Bible. Graham Hancock, author of the popular book, Fingerprints of the Gods , seeks to redate the sphinx and the Great Pyramid of Giza into the ice age, claiming that the weathering of the Sphinx shows signs of water erosion rather than that done by wind and sand.

He dates the Sphinx at ca. Since Hancock also believes that the face on Mars originally seen as flanked by pyramids was built by ancient Martians, his theory has ties to both lost civilizations and ancient astronauts. Graham Hancock is not the only amateur theorist to attempt to redate the origins of civilization into the ice age.

One book that is referred to so reverently by New Age theorists that it might as well be scripture is Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings by Charles Hapgood, published in Hapgood further asserted that this ancient civilization flourished during the last glaciation, some 35, years ago. Its remains were lost, but evidence of its worldwide extent is to be found in pre-Columbian maps showing the eastern coastline of South America, as well as the continent of Antarctica.

All of these maps are either Arabic or Turkish.

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Since there is no indication that either the Ptolemies or any of their contemporaries sailed to the western hemisphere, much less circumnavigated Antarctica, Hapgood speculated that the originals of these maps were made by a civilization that was more ancient than those of either the Greeks or the Phoenicians. The Piri Ries map, dating from ca. However, the Oronteus Finaeus maps, dating from , show Antarctica as a separate continent.

Considering that the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan died during his circumnavigation of the globe in — meaning that the Piri Ries map was made before the discovery of the Straits of Magellan — its inaccurate depiction failing to show the separation of South America from Antarctica is perfectly reasonable. However, since the Moslem Turks and the Christian Portuguese were enemies, it would have been unlikely that either the Portuguese or the Spaniards would have shared the discoveries of Columbus and Magellan with the Ottoman Empire.

How, then, did Piri Ries know how to map, even with inaccuracies, the Atlantic coastlines of South America and Antarctica? One possible answer to that question is that maps made during that last glaciation showed the two continents joined by an ice shelf. That is, these maps were indeed the heritage the lost ancient civilization, as Hapgood asserted.

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What Hapgood apparently failed to consider was that Arab seamen might well have reached the Americas before the Spaniards and Portuguese. There are two pieces of evidence to support this possibility. One of these is a collection of coins found off the coast of Venezuela. Most of these were Roman coins, dating from the time of Augustus to the fourth century. However, Cyrus Gordon pointed out that two of the coins were Arabic, probably dating from the ninth century.

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He sees the coins as coming from a Moorish or Arab ship ca. Unfortunately, while Gordon reported that the coins were then in the possession of the Smithsonian Institution, nothing further seems to have been published about them. It is possible that a lack of proper provenance makes them dubious as evidence of a Moorish shipwreck. However, much firmer evidence of Arabic pre-Columbian voyages to the Americas is given by Dr. The fact that maize entered China from the west suggests early transatlantic rather than transpacific contacts. Jeffries also points out that maize, originating in the western hemisphere, first entered Europe from Asia Minor ca.

The failure of the Islamic powers to colonize the Americas left them open for the Spanish and Portuguese, as well as leaving the Islamic voyages of discovery out of the history books. Thus, the Piri Ries map is not the great enigma theorists of the new paradigm claim it to be. Another theory proposed as an alternative to conventional views of history and enthusiastically endorsed by New Age theorists, rises out of the corruption of culture hero myths with a noxious compound of extreme diffusionist ideology, bad archaeology, cultural arrogance, and racism.

This is the theory that the Native-American civilizations were actually kick-started by Caucasian colonists from across the Atlantic Ocean. In mythology, culture heroes are divine or semi-divine beings who are great benefactors of the people, giving them fire and teaching them the arts of civilization. Thus, if they were white and came from the east, this indicates, so the reasoning goes, a mythologized version of what actually happened.

European or Mediterranean peoples came from across the Atlantic and enlightened the crude, uncultured American Indians. In particular, they taught the Andean and Mesoamerican tribes writing, how to build pyramids, and other civilized arts. It occurred to me that the reason culture heroes often came from the east is that they were symbolized by the dawn — they came from the east just as the sun rises in the east. Just as naturally, they returned to the east once their work was done and would, of course, return some day from the east.

Of course, I am far from the first to see the white gods from the east in this way. Writing back in , Daniel G. Brinton said of the Andean culture hero Viracocha: 5. All these sentiments were linked to the dawn. Language itself is proof of it. Many Algonkin words for east, morning, day, light, as we have already seen, are derived from a radical [i.

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Or we can take a tongue in nowise related, the Quiche [the language of the Incas and other Andean peoples], and find its words for east, dawn, morning, light, bright, glorious, happy, noble, all derived from zak , white. This work was written in the Quiche language though in European characters, by a 17th century Christianized Maya of Guatemala. The Quiche were a division of the Maya, whose name is only coincidentally spelled the same as the common language of the Andean peoples; and the Popul Vuh , though written by a Christian convert, related a considerable amount of their mythology.

The stories are all similar.

The people started eastward sic across the Atlantic and came to the Americas. Their kingdom was founded by a great eastern ruler named Votan. The Maya equivalent of Quetzalcoatl was Kukulkan. His cult appears late in the Maya civilization and may have been imported into Maya areas by Toltecs acting as mercenary soldiers for the Maya city-states.


In fact, the name Votan was derived by a mistranslation of Mayan hieroglyphics by a fanatical Spanish monk named Diego de Landa. After burning many of the priceless books of the Maya, Landa compounded his assault on the Mayan culture by becoming interested in their system of writing.

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In fact, the reasons archaeologist Alana Cordy-Collins suggested that the nobles found in the tomb may have suffered from Marfan syndrome is that the skeletal remains indicate that all of them were between 18 and 22 years of age and all seem to have died within a month of each other. An isolated find of a few tall men who died at what was, even for ancient peoples, an early age, suggests a genetic disorder rather than three representatives of the great white gods. When I wrote to Dr. Cordy-Collins asking for information about the Moche giants, she responded that the remains were not mummified, but were skeletal.

The only tissue other than bone that survived were a bit of desiccated skin and brain matter and a few wisps of black hair. Now all we have are a few men of unusual height.