An open letter to the man who first thought of the Younger-Dryas Impact Event

[The following is an email that I sent to a friend, Ed Grondine, who was the first person to theorize that the Younger-Dryas Impact Event was the demise of the mammoths worldwide and for all the megafauna (large animals) in North America.  In the last four years this theory has taken off as the probable reason the mammoths died, though there is still some controversy.  The theory that Clovis people killed them all still has backers, and they are not going gently into that good night.

Ed wrote a book Man and Impact in the Americas which can be bought straight from him (see the link), in which he ties Native American passed down stories with some of the latest thinking on comets.

Ed has been very active in the effort, in an unofficial capacity, to develop means by which our astronomers and NASA could discover and track all the near-Earth objects in space – and then (and most importantly)  to arrive at a realistic method of dealing with them.  He is a man I admire, especially when we get into our discussions in this area: he is a tremendous fount of knowledge, of the basics and the state of the art both.  (I imagine that even though he seems to enjoy our interchanges, he most likely thinks I have a screw loose.  I hope he is right.)]

How anyone thinks that a few thousand hunters with spears and atlatls could in a few years even FIND every mammoth and sabre-toothed tiger and American horse and giant sloth – and then kill them – is patently absurd.  It is a testament to the silliness of scientists not only that someone proposed it, but that others actually thought it was valid.  There is no way the Clovis people could have made a dent in the population of those animals.

For example, look at Africa.  The population of Africa as of the year 1800 in the areas where elephants live was probably a thousand times the number of Clovis people at their peak – yet elephants in Africa at the time were not an endangered species.  The Africans easily had more capacity at that time than Clovis people had in their time.

If even ONE scientist ever ran though the numbers – even as just an intellectual exercise – I have never heard any numbers (and I am pretty sure I would have run across it).  Someone just threw it out and the others pretty much just shrugged and said, “Yeah, that sounds as good as anything we can come up with, so go with it.  What else is on the agenda, guys?”


The email follows:

Ed –

In the WISE article on, this is quoted:

“…In its first six weeks of observations, it [the WISE space telescope] has discovered 16 previously unknown asteroids with orbits close to Earth’s. Of these, 55 per cent reflect less than one-tenth of the sunlight that falls on them, which makes them difficult to spot with visible-light telescopes. One of these objects is as dark as fresh asphalt, reflecting less than 5 per cent of the light it receives. Many of these dark asteroids have orbits that are steeply tilted relative to the plane in which all the planets and most asteroids orbit. This means telescopes surveying for asteroids may be missing many other objects with tilted orbits, because they spend most of their time looking in this plane.”

This is one of the things I was trying to get at.  If a planet/planetoid/large in the present asteroid belt was destroyed (by impact or by explosion), creating the asteroids, a LOT of the material would have gone up and out of the plane of the planets.  And if the NEO searchers aren’t looking for them “up there”, too, then they are leaving us wide open.

Based on what I know of the Younger-Dryas’ (Y-D) impact, it came from over the pole, meaning it came from out of the plane of the planets.

And the impactor at Rio Cuarto seems like it did, too.  With a path at 212º (toward the SSW) and skimming the surface, it came from just east of the North Pole and darn near straight down.

This is a scary concept – that possibly the last two major impactors came from an area no one is even looking in!

One more point I haven’t even gotten to in our conversations is this – and it is my major direction:

  • According to Dr. Charles Hapgood, the last North Pole was at Hudson Bay (on the west side about 60N 83W)
  • I think that Y-D may have been the Atlantis killer
  • Charles Hapgood (writing after Velikovsky in Path of the Pole) did not have a mechanism for his crustal shift hypothesis
    • So he tried showing that the Antarctic ice might have enough “throw” to it
    • While I think it has merit, I am persuaded that it probably was not enough
  • Y-D’s path to Lake Michigan from out of the North would have passed about 8º west of the North Pole
  • It would have impacted going almost directly southward, and certainly almost tangential
  • I hypothesize that it had enough impact to crustal shift the pole southward 30º, thus providing Hapgood’s force and Velikovsky’s “vise” – both of them pipe dreams (as my idea may be, too), but ones they thought out as well as possible, given the information available at the time
  • I further hypothesize that the evidence of the Ice Ages is actually being misread
    • The ice sheet was over the Great Lakes and the Northern US and pretty much ALL of Canada because that is where the pole was before Y-D
    • The evidence that is read as ice action in the US and Canada IS mostly ice action
    • But the evidence being read as ice action in Europe and Russia is actually water action
      • This is the water that could not move with the crust fast enough and thus the land moved under the water, at hundreds of miles per hour
      • This water came down most of Europe as far as Agassiz’ Jura Alps
      • This water carried erratic boulders south from Scandavia (a fact) and set them on top of the Alps
    • The combined two readings – in the WH of ice and in the EH of water – gave the impression of a huge ice sheet covering the entire region from the Alps to the US Midwest
      • I propose that is a misreading of two different actions, but two that were part of the same moment in history
  • Was this force adequate to do that?  Of course I realize it a a huge amount of force.  That is what I want to try to find out.
    • The splash pattern from Y-D should be able to be worked out as to how much force it hit with and at what angle
      • I believe they already have some numbers on this
        • But they are not considering a crustal displacement
          • Not considering it, they wouldn’t be able to find it
            • This is just like pre-Agassiz (Louis Agassiz, the person who invented the Ice Ages), when no one was thinking ice – only when someone actually began to consider it did it seem to make sense.  Prior to him everyone assuimed the evidence all around them was from water.
              • I postulate that it WAS water, after all, and that Agassiz was wrong (I am not the first to think this)
    • Although it is probable that Y-D hit the ice cap over Lake Michigan, it may not have been ice at all
      • It may have carved out Lake Michigan
      • Its crater is very shallow, relative to its diameter – just like the Carolina Bays
      • Lake Michigan may be the impact crater, as they say, but possibly more than they think
      • Lake Michigan’s shape may be like Rio Cuarto, but extended backward due to the pre-existing shape of the land
    • A tangential impact would certainly have a lot of tangential force it is applying as it hits, and very little of it is downward, toward the center of the Earth
    • Does anyone  have any idea how much adhesion there is between the mantle and the underlying magma?
      • I will have to re-read Hapgood to see what he says (but won’t rely on it)
      • They must have some idea, since plate tectonics is driven by the sideways thrust of the magma
        • Only a portion of the sideways magma thrust drives the magma
        • The slippage between the two is what DOES NOT drive plate tectonics
        • How much is that slippage?  It should indicate how much “grip” has to be overcome
        • The slippage tells us what force is needed to cause a slippage
        • The reality is that if current theory is correct, then continents are ALWAYS slipping over the magma
        • But can one [plate cause ALL the plates to move with it (more or less)?
  • Other evidence that suggests this might have happened
    • Follow a Great Circle arc over the North Pole and it aligns perfectly with the most severe crustal impact of the Himalayas on the Asian plate, in the eastern Himalayas, a bit east of Mt Everest
      • Look at the distortion there
        • It is thought this happened very gradually
        • I posit that it happened in one fell swoop
    • Paleomagnetism does put the pole at Hudson Bay as the last location of the North Pole (according to Hapgood – I will verify)
    • I believe the slippage (misalignment) between Baja California and mainland California occurred at this time (I need to find out much more), in one movement
      • If the North American plate was driven south, its boundaries would have been severely stressed, so this seems a likely outcome
    • The Sierra Madre mountains of the Mexico are in the region where the Nazca plate and the North American plate would have collided.  There is a very active ocean trench there, which I posit is due to this event.
      • There is much lava lying on the coastline, far, far from any volcanoes, which confused me why it is there
      • Yes, this lava could have been ejected from inland ones (there ARE volcanoes 50 miles inland).  I do not think any of them have a history of ejecting lava 50 miles or more – but I could be wrong.  (Something else to verify.)
      • I suggest this lava might have been from the Y-D event (this argument I consider weaker than the other ones).  First it would have to be shown that it did not come from Colima Volcano or from the volcanic field across the center of Mexico.
    • The Great Rift Valley straddles the Equator roughly equally, for over 6,000 miles total – 1/4 of the circumference of the planet.  It is in an area that would not have moved as much as North America or the Himalayas, but in moving more or less northward (by Lake Michigan and the NA plate being driven southward) to its present position, it would have been put into East-West tension, because of the larger circumference of the Earth at the Equator
      • Others have suggested it was some sort of tension that pulled it apart
        • Establishment geology says it happened over millions of years – this is possible, but not certain
          • When conclusions are drawn for a phenomenon that agrees with orthodoxy, even though other explanations are out there, one must challenge if the mind set dictates the conclusion
        • Some say it was in one crustal shift
          • This I have tended to think had merit, if only because scientific orthodoxy has so often been overthrown in the past
  • I look at orthodoxy as only a taking off place – a place that I know is wrong; it is just finding out how
    • What is to tell us that THIS phenomenon is the exception?
      • If it is wrong, in what WAY is it going to be shown to be wrong?
    • Orthodoxy assumes gradualism, not only in the facts of science, but the progress of science
      • History shows this is not true, yet orthodoxy blinds itself in its belief not only in its rightness about facts but about its history
      • Punctuated gradualism is most likely true
        • It has its parallels and in the Y-D event and Xicxalub:
          • Things are more or less stable (maybe even stagnant) until some event throws everything for a loop

Ed, I will find more and more things to add to this.  I do not expect you to agree with me.  But it is great throwing my own thoughts at you and seeing what reactions you have and what information you bring to the table.

Regardless what establishment scientists would think of my ideas, I am not an idiot.  The catastrophists have been at least as correct as the orthodoxy has been.  Since Shoemaker-Levy, those who denied catastrophic events happened have been shaken awake, and they are trying to incorporate catastrophism into their orthodoxy.  That only works for a little while, and then they have to be willing to give up their old way of thinking.  Mostly this is not something they do easily, and in many cases, not at all.

I don’t give a shit what their difficulties are.  They had wrong concepts before and sneered at those who even mildly suggested catastrophes happen any time in the time of man.  They are coming late to the game, and though they bring some – maybe much – expertise, they bring antiquated ideas and a desire to hang onto as much of the old ideas as possible.

But like Copernicus and Galileo battling against the church, there isn’t a lot of middle ground; it is black or white – either the Sun is at the center or the Earth.  You can’t have both.

And if they have been proven wrong on catastrophes in general and – like the guy in the Nova episode who clutched at straws to deny that something new could be correct – why should I bend to their concepts?

The Y-D impact group – they are part of a parallel movement similar to the era in Physics of deBroglie and Heisenberg and Dirac and Gamov and Bohr.  That era in physics simply took off on their own, finding new ideas around every corner – something science hasn’t seen since.

Perhaps, since Shoemaker-Levy, the Earth sciences are going through that kind of quantum leap now.

But if so, where does it land?  What conclusions, what realities, will be standing at the end of the revolution?

The “new” facts seem to be more and more showing that outsiders’ ideas of 20 years ago (and more) are increasingly correct, while the gradualism ideas of the 19th century are being shown to be less and less correct.  It would seem sensible that one would attach less and less acceptance of the old ideas and be open to the new (while vetting every new idea, too, of course, as much as possible).

Thiniking the old ideas are correct simply because they are the ones we have been taught – that has always held scientific back.

So many BIG ideas in science came about because of accidents.  And for so many of those it was only one person with the ability to observe in a new light who was able to be open to the new insights afforded and follow them to their conclusion.

Just as the Clovis First theory was holding back anthropology and archeology, anti-catastrophy ideas held back astronomy and geology.

Where does it go from here?  What more correct ideas are out there?

Ed, your Younger-Dryas ideas are now becoming more and more likely to hold up.  Two things about that:

Do you think you got the whole story right and complete? Of course not.  But you put it on the right track.

If it doesn’t stop there, then where does it end up?

From the beginning of the trail, only the first curve or two can be seen.  How many curves are there?

My ideas may not be correct, but I want to pursue them to find out if they are dead ends or not.  I think they will have things to teach me, in any event.



One response to “An open letter to the man who first thought of the Younger-Dryas Impact Event

  1. Ed Grondine is very definately on the right track. And a very compelling, almost conclusive case, can be made that the Taurid progenitor described by astronomers Victor Clube, and Bill Napier, was the giant, fragmented comet of the YD impact events. And that devastating multiple airbust impact storms from the Taurid Complex may have been annual event for centuries after the main event. This event gets even more astounding when you realize that we shoudn’t be looking for craters. But that isn’t to say that it didn’t produce any planetary scarring.

    The comet was completely broken up before it hit. Imagine a giant stream of very high velocity comet fragments ranging from dust mote size, up to fragments as much as a half mile wide. Almost all of the kinetic energy was translated into heat in the atmosphere. And only those fragments at the leading edge fell into cold atmosphere. The rest fell into already superheated impact plasma. And just added to the heat, and pressure.

    Instead of a single bolide, ballistic/kinetic, ground impact that produced a crater, think multiple airburst, thermal atmospheric, geo-ablative impact event.

    The planetary scarring is there all right. And without exception, all of the blast effected materials of the event have been mis-defined as volcanogenic. And the age of those still perfectly pristine materials has been over estimated by orders of magnitude.

    It can be shown conclusively that the event was more violent than anyone has ever imagined. Not even in their most violent nightmares of catastrope, and devastation.

    Please see:

    Dennis Cox

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