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Essential Reading for Columbus Day

Essential Reading for Columbus Day

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

October 12, 1492 is traditionally understood to be the day that Columbus and his companions first set foot in the "New" World. 

The day is officially remembered as Columbus Day in the United States and as Indigenous Peoples' Day, Discovery Day, Discoverers' Day, Native American Day, Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity, Day of the Americas, and other variations in different states and countries.

The number of different names and perspectives on this day reflected in the short list above (and there are others, including Day of Indigenous Resistance) indicates the complexity of the issues raised by the landing of Columbus and his ships on October 12, 1492 . . . and the deep and abiding anguish remaining to this day due to the destruction and slaughter of the American Indians and the wholesale attack on their various cultures and civilizations that subsequently followed in the wake of that landing.

In order to better understand the significance of Christopher Columbus himself, and some of the issues evoked by this historic day, the following books might be considered essential reading for Columbus Day.

This is information that absolutely concerns everyone living on this planet -- and which deserves careful and serious contemplation:

  • Thrice Great Hermetica and the Janus Age: Hermetic Cosmology, Finance, Politics and Culture in the Middle Ages through the Late Renaissance, by Joseph P. Farrell (2014). On a list of books billed as "essential reading" regarding Columbus Day, this one is rated "absolutely essential," especially from the standpoint of Columbus himself and the European side of events leading up to October 12, 1492. The information presented in this most-recent contribution from Joseph P. Farrell will forever change the way you understand Christopher Columbus and his voyages. Dr. Farrell's essential text argues that: "The voyage of Columbus, viewed against the large conceptual canvas and backdrop painted above, thus takes on crucial significance in the huge operational complex that has been unfolding, of the struggle between international papal and ecclesiastical power, and the international financial and 'hermetic' order represented by the militant Orders and the Italian city-states and banking centers of Genoa and Venice" (324). He also presents compelling evidence to suggest that October 12, 1492 may not have been the very first time that Columbus set foot in the "New" World! If that isn't enough to convince you to read this book (and it should be), trust me when I say that there is so much more in this book of tremendous significance that this revolutionary possibility is only one of many such astounding, conventional-history-confounding incendiary devices that Dr. Farrell sets off in this volume (all of them backed up by serious analysis, compelling evidence, and his signature "high-octane speculation" when appropriate).
  • Christopher Columbus, the Last Templar, by Ruggero Marino (2005, first US edition 2007). Referred to in Joseph Farrell's Thrice Great Hermetica, and one of the sources contributing to his analysis of the significance of Christopher Columbus, this book explores connections between the "Admiral of the Ocean Sea" and the mysterious Knights Templar (who also feature heavily in Dr. Farrell's book). Some of the important symbology employed by the Knights Templar can in fact be shown to contain clear connections to the vitally important institution of Sol Invictus Mithras which features prominently in the "Judaic priestly bloodline" thesis of  Flavio Barbiero which is discussed in depth in The Undying Stars, by which the Roman Empire was taken over and its power used (among other things) to initiate a "War on Consciousness" and the institution of oppressive systems of control which featured a centuries-long suppression of the shamanic worldview wherever it could be found. Regarding the possible connection of Columbus to the Templars, note the depiction of the red crosses on white backgrounds (one of the distinctive dress codes of the Knights Templar) on the sails of Columbus' three ships on the cover of Ruggero Marino's book -- and in the painting above by Albert Bierstadt dated 1893. In discussing another of Ruggero Marino's important insights, Dr. Farrell writes in Thrice Great Hermetica of a block quotation from Marino regarding the famous 13th century Venetian merchant and adventurer Marco Polo: "In other words, Marco Polo, if one is actually attentive to what he says, made it to the New World across the Pacific, most likely during a Chinese voyage" (145). This hypothesis later received a huge boost from news released in September of this year (well after the publication of both Marino's and Farrell's books) that a map had surfaced drawn by Polo himself which -- if authentic -- could go a long ways towards "confirming" such a possibility. Here is Dr. Farrell's own commentary on the significance of this recent "find."
  • Maps of the Ancient Sea-Kings: Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age, by Charles Hapgood (originally published in 1966). Examines the beautiful and sophisticated "portolan" maps which appear to indicate sophisticated ancient understanding of the geography of our planet, including the Americas and even Antarctica, and presents evidence that Columbus may have had in his possession a portolan map which guided him on his voyages. Previous posts have discussed the important and ground-breaking work of Charles Hapgood, and of the portolan maps such as the Piri Re'is map, including "The sub-glacial fjords in Antarctica," "Copernicus, Proclus, and the Lost Knowledge of the Ancients," "Earth's Big Roll," and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."
  • Yucatan Before and After the Conquest, by Diego de Landa (first written in the 1560s, and translated by Wm Gates into English in 1937). One of the first accounts of the absolutely brutal and inhuman atrocities perpetrated on the peoples of the Americas in the decades following the 1492 "discovery." It will turn your stomach. The account given by Diego de Landa is discussed in Graham Hancock's landmark Fingerprints of the Gods. The deliberate and genocidal campaigns to wipe out the civilizations of Central and South America are discussed (with references to the Diego de Landa texts) in the previous blog post entitled "450 Years," which I published back on December 15, 2012.
  • Hidden No Longer: Genocide in Canada, Past and Present, by Kevin Annett (2010). Presents horrifying evidence of a sustained and deliberate campaign of oppression, brutalization, severe medical neglect and even murder against Native Americans (or First Nations) peoples, specifically focusing on the institution of mandatory "residential schools" run by the government and religious institutions of Canada right up through the end of the twentieth century. In this book and in the related (and equally essential documentary, Unrepentant), Kevin Annett presents arguments connecting certain doctrines and interpretations found in some aspects of literalist Christianity to the crimes which he finds evidence to believe did indeed take place on a staggering scale and duration. He also presents evidence that the criminal neglect in the residential schools fits into a larger narrative stretching back centuries and including deliberate efforts to transmit smallpox to tribe members by representatives of the colonialist governments.
  • The previous blog post entitled "A November 11 meditation, 2013" detailing just some of the long string of broken treaties and deceptive and criminal behavior by the US government in its dealings with the American Indians, as well as some discussion of the lack of outrage at these violations by the people who made that government's actions possible. Further discussion of this history of criminal behavior by the government against the Native peoples can be found in this previous post about the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
  • The previous blog post entitled "Columba, the Dove," published on January 26 of this year, which describes the constellation of Columba and presents arguments that this constellation was anciently known, and anciently associated with sailing ships (since it is located right next to the constellation Argo Navis). The discussion in that post and the related discussion in The Undying Stars demonstrate that the constellation of Columba features prominently in the ancient myths of Jason and the Argonauts, and Noah and the Ark, among others which also feature a ship and a dove. This fact, combined with some of the astonishing revelations offered by Joseph Farrell in Thrice Great Hermetica, raises the possibility that "Columbus" was not actually Christopher Columbus' birth name, but that he may have either chosen that name or been given that name based upon a preserved stream of esoteric knowledge regarding the connection between the stars and the myths, and the role he was chosen to play as the "Admiral of the Ocean Sea." Columba can be seen early in the morning from many latitudes right now, in the hours before sunrise, when the "Pre-dawn lineup of the Golden Age" are all currently high in the sky in the hours before daybreak, including Orion and Canis Major; look below Canis Major and Lepus to find Argo Navis and Columba using the instructions contained in the linked post above entitled "Columba, the Dove."

There are, of course, many more . . . but the above list should begin to give a fuller picture of the importance of Christopher Columbus, and of the crucial date of October 12, 1492, and of the complexity of the issues raised, and of the scope of the tragedy which followed the "discovery" of what came to be called "The New World."

Immature dinosaur fossil from the Alaskan Arctic further evidence for earth's "Big Roll"

Another special thank-you goes out to Mr. TRB of California, who noticed this story entitled "Juvenile Dinosaur Found in Alaskan Arctic" and immediately realized the importance of such a find to the subjects regularly discussed on this blog.

The article reports the recent discovery of a skull believed to belong to an immature pachyrhinosaurus, a plant-eating dinosaur of the Ceratopsidae family of horn-shaped dinosaurs (other members of this family include Styracosaurus, Monoclonius, and the famous Triceratops).

The full research article about the find was published on June 19th of this year in the journal PLOS One, and is entitled "An Immature Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum (Dinosauria: Ceratopsidae) Nasal Reveals Unexpected Complexity of Craniofacial Ontogeny and Integument in Pachyrhinosaurus," by Anthony R. Fiorillo and Ronald S. Tykoski. 

As shown in the map above, the fossil discussed was discovered well north of the Arctic Circle, in northern Alaska south of Prudhoe Bay, in the vicinity of the Kikak-Tegoseak Dinosaur Quarry.  Numerous other fossils have been found in this same quarry in the past -- including a tyrannosaur, other pachyrhinosaurs, and even insects, according to this list from the Smithsonian's ETE (evolution of terrestrial ecosystems) paleobiology website.

The discovery of so many dinosaur fossils in a quarry so far north of the Arctic circle is remarkable in and of itself, and raises questions as to how they found food to sustain their massive bulk so far to the north, especially the plant-eaters such as Pachyrhinosaurus.  Scientists generally believed that dinosaurs ranging so far were probably migratory adults, who would head back south during the long, cold, Arctic winter (above the Arctic circle, there are days during the winter in which the sun never emerges above the horizon). However, this newly-discovered skull of a young Pachyrhinosaurus in the same formation appears to upend that theory, causing scientists to conclude that the dinosaurs perhaps lived there year-round, and even had offspring there.

Here is a description of the region from the original research article announcing and discussing the find:
The Kikak-Tegoseak Quarry is a monodominant bonebed deposit [13] with a minimum of eleven individuals represented in the quarry, based upon the number of occipital condyles currently known from the site (including that in the nearly complete skull DMNH 22558). The specimen was collected as a float block found within a meter of the main Kikak-Tegoseak Quarry edge. We are confident that the new specimen can be referred to P. perotorum and that it does not represent a second ceratopsid taxon from the site. The specimen is notable because it comes from a smaller, relatively immature individual, contrary to previous published statements about the individuals from the quarry all being of similar ‘adult’ ontogenetic stage [13] and therefore expands the known age profile of this taxon from the site.
As discussed in previous posts, the discovery of any fossils at all, anywhere on the planet, should raise questions as to how those bones were preserved and petrified, because under normal conditions the bones of animals that die in the wild are decomposed by microbes and other factors long before they can turn to stone.  Special conditions, such as rapid burial under thick mud, are probably required for the creation of most fossils.  The fact that there are so many fossils around the world points to the possibility of some sort of cataclysm or cataclysms that created such special conditions in the ancient past.  

Further, this fossil bed contains numerous fossils of the same species, as well as of a few other species, as mentioned in the article and in the list of taxa linked previously.  Could this concentration of fossils represent numerous individuals who fell victim to a single catastrophic event?  

Finally, the fact that these fossils are found so far to the north -- and include the remains of an immature Pachyrhinosaurus -- is perhaps the most puzzling aspect of all.  Are we really to believe that these were all representatives of a species of "polar dinosaur," who spent their year at such extreme northern latitudes, near the northern coast of Alaska, and even bore their young there?  These are reptiles, not warm-blooded caribou.

All of the difficult problems listed above, however, are explained by the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown.  That theory proposes that there is substantial evidence to support the possibility that a catastrophic world-wide flood once erupted with great violence and covered the earth, accompanied by massive amounts of sediments which would have rapidly buried and fossilized many animals and plants.  

Even more importantly for the understanding of how so many seemingly incongruous fossils are found at latitudes so far to the north (and so far to the south as well), Dr. Brown's theory discusses why the principles of physics would have caused the entire earth to undergo a "Big Roll" in the aftermath of that flood event, a roll which would have brought latitudes that were formerly further south "up" towards the Arctic, as well as (on the other side of the earth) latitudes that were formerly in more temperate climates "down" into the Antarctic as well.  

You can envision this event by taking a basketball between two hands and looking down at it, imagining that the point on the ball that you are looking down on represents the north pole, and then rotating the ball forwards using the rotation of both of your wrists -- bringing "latitudes" on the ball that were formerly further south up into the "north pole" area that you are looking at from above.  Acknowledgement goes out to Rand Flem-Ath for this basketball metaphor, which he used in an interview in 2009 (for the record, this mention is not intended to suggest that Mr. Flem-Ath supports the hydroplate theory; he appears to believe something different, although he also believes that the conventional theories generally taught as undisputed fact have serious problems and probably are not correct).

Of course, when you rolled that basketball, you moved a lot of fossils that had been buried at more temperate latitudes on the ball up towards the "Arctic" part of the ball, and on the other side you rolled fossils from more temperate latitudes down towards the "Antarctic" part of the ball.  So, those animals did not need to actually live in those latitudes before they were buried and before the earth experienced its "Big Roll."  According to Dr. Brown's theory, events that took place after the rapid burial of plants and animals led to the physics that caused the roll of the earth.

Previous posts have discussed the many fossil findings which have surfaced over the years in both the Arctic and the Antarctic that support the idea of a "Big Roll."  These include:
This discovery of the immature Pachyrhinosaurus would appear to join this list of evidence pointing to the earth's Big Roll at some point in the ancient past (and there are other pieces of evidence, not found in the Arctic or Antarctic, which also support the Big Roll conclusion).

More evidence for Dr. Brown's theory continues to show up around the world.

Nabta Playa, Karnak, George Dodwell, and Antarctica

In the previous post, we saw a video in which archaeoastronomer and physicist Dr. Thomas G. Brophy analyzed the layout of stones at the ancient stone circle located in the Nabta Playa in a desolate corner of southwestern Egypt.  

Among other conclusions (some of them quite startling and all of them completely devastating to the conventional timeline of mankind's ancient past -- as well as to the assertions of conventional plate tectonic theory, as I argued), Dr. Brophy argues that the six stones inside the circle indicate the positions of the three stars of Orion's belt as it appears during the epoch in which Orion is most upright in the sky as he transits the meridian, as well as the three stars of Orion's head and shoulders during the epoch in which Orion is most tilted to the meridian.

One of the startling aspects of Dr. Brophy's analysis is the fact that calculations of the rate of tilt in Orion, caused by precession, means that the stones representing the belt stars are correct for the period from about 6500 BC up until about 4900 BC, while the stones representing the head and shoulders of the constellation are correct for a much older period, centered on 16,500 BC!

While it is certainly possible that the site's ancient designers were able to calculate the precessional tilt for a period around 16,500 BC, and encode that in the site (especially given the other very advanced skills and knowledge of astronomy that the other aspects of Nabta Playa's monuments appear to demonstrate), it is also possible that archaeoastronomers are mistaken in their calculation of the number of years we would have to go back in order to get Orion to tilt as much as is depicted by the head-and-shoulders stones at Nabta Playa.

The reason their calculation may be off is the assumption inherent in their calculation, that the rate of change of tilt has been fairly constant throughout the vast procession of millennia stretching back to 4900 BC and (even further) to 16,500 BC.  If the rate of change was more rapid during some portion of the time between today and those ancient epochs, then calculations based on a fairly steady rate of change would yield an artificially earlier date than calculations that started with assumptions of (for example) an increasing rate of tilt the farther back in history one goes.

There is independent evidence, however, that the tilt of earth's axis relative to the plane of the ecliptic was once violently disturbed, after which its tilt recovered, and that the rate of recovery was faster immediately after the violent ancient disturbance, and has slowed down since then.  If this scenario is correct, then Nabta Playa, while still of extreme antiquity, might represent time periods slightly more recent than those calculated using formulas that do not take into account the more-extreme axial tilt of the earth in ancient times.

In his book presenting the hydroplate theory (the 9th edition of which is now available in its entirety for viewing online here), Dr. Walt Brown discusses the evidence compiled by professional astronomer George F. Dodwell over the course of his career.  In the chapter of his book entitled "The Hydroplate Theory: An Overview," Dr. Brown has a subsection entitled "Changing Axis Tilt" (located near the bottom of this page on his website) which explains:
George F. Dodwell served as the Government Astronomer for South Australia from 1909 to 1952. In the mid-1930s, he became interested in past changes in the tilt of the earth’s axis. He collected almost 100 astronomical measurements made over a 4,000-year period. Those measurements show that the tilt of the earth’s axis smoothly decayed from 25°10' to its present value of 23°27'. Based on the shape of the decay curve, Dodwell estimated that this axis shift began in about 2345 B.C.28 
George Dodwell's own manuscript discussing the extensive evidence he collected from history documenting this conclusion can be found online here, on the website of  Barry and Helen Setterfield.  It is fascinating reading, full of details from ancient records of the obliquity of earth's tilt with respect to the ecliptic plane, including records and monuments from ancient China, ancient Egypt, and from classical astronomers from ancient Greece up through the Middle Ages and into the modern period.  

One example given by Mr. Dodwell is the famous Temple at Karnak in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes (a portion of which is pictured in the image above), where the rays of the rising sun would enter the long Hypostele Hall of the Temple of Amun-Ra once per year at the summer solstice.  The sun does not go far enough north in its annual migration between the solstice rising points to shine along the original axis of this hall today, and calculations based on a constant rate of change due to precession yield a date of initial design and construction that appears to be earlier than the epoch in which archaeologists believe the temple was designed and built.  Mr. Dodwell explains, however, that calculations which take into account the more extreme tilt and the rate of decay he found from ancient records and monument around the globe would yield a more consistent date.

The upshot of all his careful examination is the irresistible conclusion that the earth's tilt was much greater the further back in time one looks, such that the line of the tropics (the Tropic of Cancer and of Capricorn) came further north and further south of the equator in ancient times, and the northernmost and southernmost risings of the sun on the summer and winter solstices were further north and south along the eastern horizon than they are today.  A curve drawn through a graphing of the obliquity measurements throughout the centuries shows a decay curve indicating a massive force imparted an unusual and excessive tilt to earth's axis, which has been correcting since that time, with the rate of correction much faster in the centuries immediately after the catastrophe (whatever it was) and the rate of correction slowly and asymptotically approaching the current angle of tilt.  

In other words, if we project back in time without taking this curve into account, we will be unaware of the much more rapid rates of change that took place in ancient times, and our calculations will be in error.  This possibility is something that analysts of Nabta Playa should consider.  Nevertheless, Dr. Brophy is certainly to be commended for his incredible analysis of this relatively recently-discovered archaeological site, and the possibility that the site encodes knowledge of axial tilt that may have been made more severe and may have changed more rapidly due to an ancient catastrophe does nothing to take away from the amazing implications of the monuments in the desert at Nabta Playa.  In fact, the possibility only adds to its significance, in my opinion.

While George Dodwell believes that an ancient asteroid impact with earth might have been the violent force that knocked earth's axis out of kilter and from which the axis has been recovering ever since, Dr. Brown provides cogent arguments to reach a different conclusion.  Among Dr. Brown's arguments are problems with the asteroid theory, and the argument that if the hydroplate theory is correct, then the events surrounding the flood would have rapidly altered the balance of the earth (principally through the rapid pushing up of the earth's major mountain ranges, and especially the Himalayas).  

The rapid formation of the Himalayas, according to the principles of physics, would have led to "Earth's Big Roll," an event for which there appears to be extensive evidence around the world, including in the continent of Antarctica, in certain features under the Indian Ocean, and in areas of the far north in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (among other places on earth).  To review some of this amazing evidence please visit some of the previous posts on that topic, including:

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

(mobile readers please scroll down to read the post)

In the previous post, we looked at evidence which indicates that bottlenose dolphins give themselves distinctive individual names, and the implications of that startling revelation.  In particular, the recent studies indicating individual self-awareness in dolphins may cause us to consider in a new light the violence done to animals every day:
Thinking about the fact that dolphins appear to "give themselves names," it seems that doing violence against dolphins really highlights what Simone Weil wrote in her treatise against violence, that it "turns anybody who is subjected to it into a thing."  It turns, as she says, a "somebody" into "nobody" -- it robs its victims (and ultimately its perpetrators as well) of their personhood -- the very thing that an individual name represents!  
This subject appears to resonate strongly with the themes explored in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's famous poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (first published in 1798 and revised slightly by Coleridge throughout his life -- here is an online edition of the 1834 version).  The poem describes the aftermath of the mariner's unthinking and callous killing of an albatross, which has reverberations which reach into the supernatural world.

Readers who are unfamiliar with the poem should read it in its entirety -- it really deserves several close readings in order to perceive the layers of detail and meaning woven into the poem by the artist.

The first appearance of the Albatross is framed in the poem in a manner which hints at the theme at hand:
At length did cross an Albatross,

Thorough the fog it came;

As if it had been a Christian soul,

We hailed it in God's name.

In light of the fact that we now have scientific evidence of animals giving themselves personal names, this is a very interesting commentary by Coleridge.  He has the Mariner describe the Albatross "As if it had been a Christian soul," a phrase which hints at the truth and yet -- by the inclusion of the framing words "as if" -- shows that the Mariner and his fellows deny that level of "personhood" to the bird.

Note that in English culture, individual names are linked to the possession of an immortal soul, and in previous generations were often referred to as one's "Christian name." 

In an act of senseless violence, of which he repents later, the Mariner shoots and kills the Albatross.  The act itself is not described at all -- the Mariner only blurts out the confession that he did it, without giving any description of his motives or frame of mind.  Prior to his confession of guilt, the listener in the poem (the Wedding-Guest) elicits the confession by noting the visibly evident anguish that comes over the Mariner as he describes the daily visits of the cheerful bird, which visits the ship "for food or play," forming a close bond with the crew:
'God save thee, ancient Mariner!

From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—

Why look'st thou so?'—With my cross-bow

I shot the ALBATROSS.

Just prior to this, the Mariner was describing the role the bird seemed to play in guiding the ship through the ice at the South Pole (more on this in a moment), and in bringing "a good south wind" to propel the voyagers past the pole and into the Pacific Ocean on the other side.  By detailing these images, and giving no extended description of the shooting itself, the reader receives an even more powerful impression of the thoughtlessness of the killing of the friendly Albatross.

The deed, of course, has fateful consequences.  As Simone Weil wrote in her famous 1940 essay, "The Iliad, or the Poem of Force" (available in its entirety online here, translated into English from the original French by Mary McCarthy) the use of force reduces both its object and its perpetrator from a being possessed of a soul into "a thing":
Such is the nature of force.  Its power of converting a man into a thing is a double one, and in its application double-edged.  To the same degree, though in different fashions, those who use it and those who endure it are turned to stone.  22.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem extends this concept to the animals around us and, by extension, to the natural world and in fact the entire universe.  This idea is a hallmark theme of the Romantic movement, of which The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is often considered an opening work of art.

The extension of the pain inflicted by the Mariner's thoughtless shooting of the Albatross to the extended universe, by the way, is present in the poem.  In a "waking dream" state (described by the Mariner as a "fit" he has fallen into), the Mariner hears two spirits discussing his guilty deed:
'Is it he?' quoth one, 'Is this the man?

By him who died on cross,

With his cruel bow he laid full low

The harmless Albatross.

The spirit who bideth by himself

In the land of mist and snow,

He loved the bird that loved the man

Who shot him with his bow.'
The "spirit who bideth by himself" had been perceived by the crew earlier as the being who "nine fathom deep beneath the keel" was impelling the ship along the seas on its strange journey.  Thus, the Mariner eventually grows to understand the full import of his deed -- not only was he wrong in denying a "soul" to the bird, but his senseless destruction of the friendly creature brought pain not only to the bird but to the Spirit of the world of ice who also delighted in the Albatross.

Later, the Mariner receives an absolution of sorts when he, without even knowing why he does so, perceives the beauty in the sea creatures swimming in the wake of the vessel, and blesses them:
Within the shadow of the ship

I watched their rich attire:

Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,

They coiled and swam; and every track

Was a flash of golden fire.

O happy living things! no tongue

Their beauty might declare:

A spring of love gushed from my heart,

And I blessèd them unaware:

Sure my kind saint took pity on me,

And I blessed them unaware.
This marks a major change from his initial description of the Albatross (marked by the words "as if") and shows us that he now believes the animals around him -- and the natural world that they inhabit -- are worthy of being blessed (a word, of course, which carries obvious spiritual implications).  To underscore the significance of this change in the Mariner, he tells us that at that moment he is able to pray again, and the body of the Albatross, which had been hung around his neck like "a cross" falls off of him:
The self-same moment I could pray;

And from my neck so free

The Albatross fell off, and sank

Like lead into the sea.
Above is an illustration of an 1870 edition of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Gustave Dore, who provided 43 fantastic illustrations for the poem.  It depicts the Albatross leading the ship through the towering ice as it crosses through the southern regions.  The voyage is described as going south (the ship sails with the rising sun to the left) and then through the ice into the Pacific, after which the ship goes to the north (with the rising sun to the right).  In other words, on this amazing journey, the vessel appears to sail right through Antarctica as if it were all ocean and no land!

The reason the ship is able to pass through the pole without any mention of land, only mighty bergs, is significant.   The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was first written in 1798.  As Graham Hancock demonstrates in Fingerprints of the Gods, the continent was only "discovered" again in 1818, although it had clearly been known in previous ages and appeared on some Renaissance maps.  Thus, it is not surprising that a poem first penned in 1798 would treat the ocean at the South Pole as if it were essentially like the ice-bound ocean we find at the North Pole.

Interestingly enough, Professor Charles H. Hapgood proves in his landmark work Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings: Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age (first published in 1966) that ancient maps, following cartographic conventions of some lost civilization, depict extremely accurate renditions of Antarctica, some even appearing to demonstrate knowledge of the Antarctic coastline before it was bound in ice as it is today.  This information actually appears to support the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown (see discussion in this previous blog post on the topic).

Finally, it is also noteworthy that the evocative illustration by Gustave Dore depicted above appears to incorporate clear parallels to the images of the Orion Nebula which scientific instruments would not be capable of recording for another hundred years!  Readers of Danny Wilten's amazing work on the Orion Nebula and art (including the frescoes of Michelangelo) will immediately recognize in the Gustave Dore illustration above many of the elements that these works have in common with each other and with the Orion Nebula.  For a previous blog post on the subject, see "Danny Wilten and the Orion Nebula."  

In particular, in the Dore illustration from the poem, there is an arch, as well as a "glory."  In his e-book, Mr. Wilten demonstrates that a bird is sometimes present in the glory, such as in the Adoration of the Trinity from around 1647 - 1649, a work of art which Mr. Wilten discusses:

(mobile readers continue to scroll down to read the rest of the post)

We can also see parallels to the details of modern satellite telescope imagery of the Orion Nebula in other works by Gustave Dore.  Below is a comparison of Gustave Dore's Creation of Light (circa 1866) to the imagery of the Orion Nebula (taken in 2006 with the Hubble Telescope):

Readers of Mr. Wilten's e-book will notice the obvious presence of the "crescent moon" motif in the correct position of Dore's engraving (the "9-o'clock" position), found in all of the art discussed in Mr. Wilten's e-book (beginning on page 27; he does not discuss Gustave Dore specifically but gives so many other very clear examples that this phenomenon cannot be dismissed as coincidence).

This resonance between art and universe is really quite incredible.  In conjunction with the theme of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, it can perhaps only be interpreted as further confirmation of the message of the poem.  In other words, not only are the animals and birds around us, and even the icy waters of the Antarctic infused with "spirit," but the rest of the universe as well!

What was this large ancient river fish doing in Ellesmere Island?

A year ago, paleontologists Jason Downs, Ted Daeschler, Farish Jenkins and Neil Shubin published a study of a previously-unknown species of ancient fish, dubbed Laccognathus embryi ("laccognathus" means "pitted jaw").  

This article from National Geographic describes the fish as measuring up to six feet in length, with powerful jaws and sharp 1.5-inch teeth, and includes an artist's depiction of the beast lying in wait near a tree growing out of a shallow stream, as the fossil remains indicate its eye position and facial structure probably disposed Laccognathus to such a mode of ambushing its prey.

This article from the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where Dr. Downs and Dr. Daeschler work, notes that the skull of the Laccognathus was found in a fossil-rich site on Canada's remote Ellesmere Island, in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, near the fossils of other ancient lobe-finned fish such as Tiktaalic roseae.

The actual publication of their findings in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology in September 2011 explains that while the taxon Laccognathus had been discovered previously, its fossils had only been found in Latvia and Lithuania before the fossils on Ellesmere Island.  These are the first ever found in North America, and some distinctive features (which they discuss) merit the designation of a new species of Laccognathus, L. embryi (in honor of Canadian geologist Dr. Ashton Embry, born 1946, who first did field work in the Canadian Arctic islands in 1969 and who has continued to study them and to publish numerous studies regarding their geology since then).

Using the conventional framework of geology and biology, the fossil Laccognathus was declared to have lived a staggering 350 million years ago.  The National Geographic article above says that it belongs to the family of lobed-fin fishes whose only surviving members today are lungfish and the coelacanth.  The Drexel University article linked above notes that the presence of Laccognathus fossils in North America and in Latvia and Russia "confirms that North America and Europe were part of the same large landmass during the Devonian."

According to the conventional model, the "supercontinent" of Pangaea had not even formed 350 million years ago, but was slowly coming together out of the pieces of the previous supercontinent, called "Rodinia."  You can read the storyline of these drifting ancient supercontinents here (among many other places), full of declarative pronouncements about the movements of fancifully-named landmasses such as "Baltica" and "Avalonia" and ancient oceans with names like "the Iapetus Ocean" and "the Rheic Ocean."  These proposed movements represent one possible theory to explain the evidence that scientists and paleontologists have found on our planet over the years, but this theory is by no means the only way to explain the evidence, nor is it necessarily the best one.

In fact, the abundance of Laccognathus fossils on Ellesmere Island (the published article by the paleontologists reports that the skull specimen they pieced together was composed of the bones of about 22 different individuals) fits quite well with a completely different theory of earth's ancient past, the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown.   

The presence of so many river-dwelling fish on the frozen northern island of Ellesmere clearly requires some mechanism of movement, and perhaps by positing 350 million years one could convince people that the island drifted to its current northern latitude over that time period.  However, there is a problem with this explanation.  As discussed in a previous blog post, Ellesmere is home to an astonishing variety of fossils, including fossils of flowering plants!  The conventional theorists do not admit that flowering plants could have existed 350 million years ago (the very earliest are thought to have appeared 140 million years ago, according to the conventional model).

However, the hydroplate theory proposes that the earth underwent a "big roll" which was caused by the rapid thickening of the Asian continent, particularly in the region of the Himalayas, during the violent events that surrounded a single cataclysmic flood event in the ancient past.  There is extensive evidence to support this "big roll" explanation, including the recent discovery of buried palm trees beneath miles of ice in Antarctica, as well as the discovery of other fossils in Antarctica and of wood there that is not fossilized but can be thawed out and used for fuel for fires!

The existence of Lake Vostok and other deep and still-liquid lakes on Antarctica also defies conventional explanations but accords well with the hydroplate theory.

These newly-discovered Laccognathus fossils on Ellesmere seem to be an additional piece of evidence that could support the hydroplate explanation.  Further, the hydroplate theory posits that the flood event originated with a violent rupture along the line that today forms the mid-Atlantic Ridge -- such a rupture would clearly sever the territory where Laccognathus fossils have been found in Latvia and Lithuania and the territory where these more recently-reported Laccognathus fossils were found in Ellesmere.  

Also, the preponderance of fossils buried in stone that was once thick wet silt (as was the case with the Laccognathus and the Tiktaalic fossils of Ellsemere) accords well with the expectations of the hydroplate theory, which argues that almost all fossils were formed by rapid burial during the catastrophic conditions surrounding that flood event -- an event in which tons of sediments were released into the floodwaters and which were later stratified by the process of liquefaction.  

In fact, this previous post discusses the stratigraphy that conventional geology interprets as having been laid down successively over periods of millions of years each, but which the hydroplate theory proposes may have been laid down much more rapidly.  Interestingly enough, that particular post (which was published in June of 2011, prior to the publication of the discovery of the new Ellesmere Laccognathus) discusses the coelacanth, a lobed-finned fish long declared to have lived (and died out) about 70 million years ago.  The discovery in 1938 of the first modern coelacanth -- which somehow stayed the same during all those millions of years, a period of time supposedly sufficient for dinosaurs to evolve into modern chickens and other birds -- should cause some reconsideration of the conventional assumptions underlying the confident declarations of  when various fossils must have lived.

In short, the hydroplate theory would argue that the Laccognathus fossils were produced by rapid burial during a flood event, following a rupture in which what is today northern Europe (where the previous Laccognathus fossils were found) and what is today northern Canada (where the more recently-discovered Laccognathus fossils were found) were separated, previously having been much closer together.  In the aftermath of that event, the earth rolled such that Ellesmere Island was carried much further north, and Antarctica much further south, not by tectonic drifting over a long period of time but relatively rapidly.  Some coelacanths survived this event, and today look just like their fossil brethren, even though those fossil coelacanths supposedly lived 70 million years ago.

Perhaps somewhere a modern line of the Laccognathus family survived as well, and perhaps one is lying in wait in a shallow river somewhere right now, waiting to sink its wicked fangs into some unfortunate creature.

Palm trees discovered in Antarctica!

Scientists drilling through thick ice in Wilkes Land, in East Antarctica (the part of Antarctica facing towards Australia) have reported evidence of "the growth of highly diverse, near-tropical forests characterized by mesothermal to megathermal floral elements including palms and Bombacoideae [a subfamily of the mallow plant or malva]" according to an article published earlier this month in the science journal Nature.  Here's another description of the discovery.

The astonishing aspect of this story is that the evidence of these ancient palms and mallows and other near-tropical flora was discovered by drilling through ice sheets ranging from 1.9 miles to 2.5 miles thick!  

That's quite a contrast in climates!  The article published in Nature by the scientists asserts that these near-tropical forests once grew on this continent that is today covered in ice and characterized by temperatures that drop well below 100° below zero (Fahrenheit -- that's colder than Celsius, which pegs its zero at 32° Fahrenheit) because somehow the global climate back then was a "greenhouse world" and "winters were extremely mild (warmer than 10° C) and essentially frost-free despite polar darkness."

They do acknowledge that this assertion about the ancient climate may require some adjustments to "climate models." 

Let's pause to think about that again.  Antarctica is so cold that no month of the year has an average temperature above 0° F.  It is located so far south that the tilt of the earth's axis plunges it into sunlessness for long months.  It is one of the driest places on earth today, with extremely low levels of precipitation (the coastlines get only 8 inches of precipitation per year, and further inland the precipitation levels are even less, with some areas receiving essentially no precipitation for thousands of years, according to scientists).  And yet scientists have discovered ancient palm trees and mallow plants under two miles of ice.

One explanation is that the world was so warm back then that Antarctica was like a tropical island, so hospitable that luxuriant forests could survive there even through sunless winter months.  This appears to be the only option discussed in the recent article.

However, this certainly is not the only explanation -- nor is it a particularly good one.  However, because most scientists are wedded to the tectonic theory, they are pretty much stuck with it, because explaining how Antarctica could have "drifted" to its current location poses some other problems, as discussed in previous posts on this topic (such as this one). 

If all of Antarctica were on a single tectonic plate, it could perhaps have drifted from a more temperate climate.  However, it would still be difficult to explain why all the palm trees and mallow plants did not decompose and rot away during such a proposed tectonic drift from the tropics (unless it was on a really fast tectonic plate that did not give the mallows time to disappear). 

The hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown does not have difficulty explaining this fossil discovery -- in fact, this newest finding of sub-tropical fossils under miles of Antarctic ice accords perfectly with the timeline of events proposed by the hydroplate theory. 

According to that theory, which explains the geological evidence of our planet by a catastrophic mechanism rather than by the gradual mechanism favored by conventional tectonic theory, the continents slid one time in the distant past, as part of the events surrounding a global flood.  The violent buckling these continents underwent at the end of that rapid drifting created huge mountains and in places great thickening of the continents.  

The region of the highest mountains and greatest thickening is now the part of our planet with the highest elevations -- the Himalayas (home of Mount Everest and numerous other peaks, all the highest in the world).  The sudden creation of this region caused a major roll of the entire planet, in accordance with the known principles of physics.  Earth continued to rotate upon its axis, but the entire orientation of the planet was altered dramatically by this past event.  The roll caused by the Himalayas moved the regions of the planet that were at the poles by as much as 35° to 45°, and at the same time it moved regions down to the Antarctic and up to the Arctic that had not previously been Arctic or Antarctic at all.

Further, the aftermath of this event was characterized by very warm oceans and much colder continents than we have today, creating the conditions for heavy precipitation, much of it falling in the form of snow and creating great sheets of ice.  This was the Ice Age, which later retreated as the oceans cooled and the continents sank into the mantle in the centuries after the cataclysm.  However, the very different weather patterns following the flood could explain why Antarctica, which today receives so little precipitation, has such massive ice sheets.  The "Big Roll" of the planet also explains why scientists continue to find the remains of near-tropical flora in such an unlikely location as Wilkes Land.

Previous posts have discussed this "Big Roll" of our globe in greater detail (see "Earth's Big Roll" and "90° East Ridge" for example).  

This most recent discovery of palm trees and mallows is by no means the only discovery of distinctively non-Antarctic remains that have been found under the ice either.  Previous posts have discussed the discovery of the remains of turtles and marsupials in Antarctica, as well as the remains of Titanosaurs -- huge plant-eating dinosaurs that weighed up to 100 tons!  

The hydroplate theory may strike some as extreme, but you can decide for yourself if you believe it is more likely than the conventional arguments that want you to believe that a rainforest once grew and all these near-tropical animals (and enormous dinosaurs) once cavorted upon a warm Antarctica with mild frost-free winters.  

If an extreme event such as the "Big Roll" really did take place (and there is extensive evidence to support the conclusion that it did), then the hydroplate theory is not extreme at all, but rather the best way to understand the discovery of palm trees in Antarctica.

The mysterious Baltic Sea Object (objects)

You may have been following the fascinating case of the "Baltic Sea Object," reported by the Ocean X team of Sweden earlier this year.

Ocean X Team is a deep-sea "treasure-hunting" outfit created by Peter Lindberg and Dennis Åsberg of Sweden, which searches for shipwrecks which contain salvageable items that they can recover and sell. In 1997 the team recovered champagne from a 1916 wreck which they report being able to sell for record prices through Christie's of London.

Earlier this year, Ocean X released images and descriptions of an object they discovered in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden which has captured the imaginations of viewers around the globe. The team actually took the original imagery in June of 2011 but only noticed the anomaly later on when reviewing the footage. Sonar images appear to show a nearly circular object, as well as what may be a long "track" along the sea-floor stretching away from the object in one direction. The team reports that the object is approximately 60 meters (close to 200 feet) in diameter.

The team has conducted two further expeditions to the site this year. Due to the visibility conditions of the Baltic Sea, which can be quite limited, visual images of the object (which rests on the seafloor at a depth of approximately 275 feet) had to be taken from quite close on these expeditions, and the team also reported electronic difficulties and equipment problems. However, divers passing close above the object photographed what appears to be a circle or ring of about 25 to 30 stones on one side of the circular object.

A photograph of that circle can be seen in this article by Linda Moulton Howe on her Earthfiles website. That site also discusses a secondary object or formation seen in the Ocean X side-scan sonar about 600 feet from the circular object. Ocean X reports that closer examination of this other formation revealed numerous right angles, as well as what appear to be large "stairs" leading up to it from the ocean floor.

Ocean X reports that both objects are elevated from the sea-floor itself, the circular object by as much as 50 meters (164 feet) and the angular object by about 10 meters (almost 33 feet).

Below is an interview with Peter Lindberg of Ocean X on Red Ice Radio in which he describes the two objects and some of the theories that have been put forth so far by various people in reaction to the findings:

That interview is conducted by Henrik Palmgren of Red Ice, an excellent interviewer who has a great talent for adapting his interview questions to his guest and allowing the guest to tell his or her story, while offering insightful questions that help to bring out some of the most interesting aspects of the subject at hand.

One possibility discussed in the interview is the possibility that the formations might be volcanic or the remnants of an ancient volcanic flow or eruption. At about 16:30 in the interview above, Peter Lindberg notes that geologists have been quite skeptical of this possible explanation, as it does not accord with the tectonic paradigm which currently dominates most geological analysis.

Other possible explanations which have been put forward include some kind of military project from the Second World War, perhaps the wreck of an advanced experimental German "saucer"-shaped aircraft, or some kind of an anchor for a large anti-submarine net that would have been affixed to the bottom of the sea to prevent submarine incursions into the Baltic during that war.

However, in the interview (around 34:00), Peter Lindberg points out that there are some problems with explaining it as a human construction from any recent century. For one thing, if that circle of stones on top of the circular formation was created by humans rather than being a random arrangement of stones (and it certainly appears to be deliberate), then the object must have been there for a very long time, from a time when its current location was not below the level of the sea.

When was the sea so much lower that a point that is now lying beneath 275 feet of seawater was dry land? The answer one gives to that question depends on the geological paradigm one uses, but in any case it was a very long time ago -- certainly prior to World War II. Of course, one could argue that someone went down in more recent years and placed the stone ring there, but since it was only discovered recently, that explanation seems to be unlikely (unless Ocean X is being less than truthful about the entire object). If Ocean X is not pulling an elaborate hoax, then it would seem that the object has been there for a very long time -- and if it is indeed man-made then it would argue for a quite remote date of construction for what appears to be a fairly advanced structure (certainly not what those operating within the paradigm of conventional history would expect human beings to be building at that time).

Another "non-human construction" explanation has been that the objects are large meteorites. Peter Lindberg points out that there does not appear to be any sort of crater around the objects on the sea-floor, but does say that if the meteorites hit during the Ice Age and struck a thick layer of ice, they might have made a huge crater in the ice and then later settled to their current location when the ice melted.

And of course there is the most sensational explanation, that the object (especially the circular one) is related to extraterrestrial activity -- based on its "spaceship-like shape" it has invited the description of "Baltic Sea UFO." In the interview above, Peter Lindberg points out: "I should say we never have said it was a UFO" (at about 12:00), and later on he reiterates: "we don't know what it is." Ocean X has taken samples from the site to Stockholm University and are currently awaiting results from their analysis, and they have expressed interest in conducting another expedition this year before weather conditions become too difficult later this fall, and hoping "to have some real scientists" from various disciplines accompany them to help guide the search for clues. In other words, it does not appear that Ocean X is pushing a sensational interpretation of the object's origin -- far from it. In fact, it appears that they are sincerely interested in getting opinions and analysis from those who can honestly help to come up with the explanation that best fits the evidence.

The UFO theory that dominates much of the coverage of this story does not seem like a necessary conclusion based upon what has been found so far, but for further discussion of possible evidence of extraterrestrial contact with ancient humans, see for example the previous post "Supernatural or Extraterrestrial." So far, it seems difficult to definitively argue that the object or objects must represent alien technology and could not have been built by ancient humans -- if indeed they are not natural geological formations of some sort.

More interesting in light of the subject matter discussed on this blog is the question of when the oceans would have been low enough to allow the possibility that these objects (or at least the stone ring, if it was put there by humans) were built by people when the area was dry land. Because they are at a depth of 275 feet, conventional theories can explain possible human construction by noting that the end of the Ice Age could explain sea-level rise of up to 300 feet.

As discussed in numerous previous posts (such as this one), the hydroplate theory of Dr. Walt Brown also provides an explanation for greatly lowered sea levels and higher continents as well -- conditions which were intimately connected to the causative mechanism for the Ice Age (see also this post for more discussion of that concept). The hydroplate theory, in fact, appears to explain some of the other "anomalous" sea-level-related evidence around the world (including other undersea structures that may also be man-made, and the alleged Antarctic contours shown on the Piri Re'is map) far better than conventional theories do. Thus, the ongoing examination of the Baltic Sea Object(s) is of great interest for any clues it may offer that could shed light on the explanatory powers of the hydroplate theory versus other theories.

The Baltic Sea Object (or objects) thus offers yet another example of the need for good critical, but open-minded, analysis. So far, it would appear that these structures may well invite explanations that are outside of the conventional tectonic geological paradigm, as well as outside of the conventional paradigm of ancient human history. Like a "Scooby Doo mystery" (or a Sherlock Holmes story), it would appear wise to keep an open mind in this case, and investigate all the possible explanations carefully before rejecting any of them.

We wish Ocean X and all those involved in the analysis the very best with their continuing efforts in the Baltic Sea.