The smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed a Middle Bronze Age city — or two — in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea 3,600 years ago:

We present evidence that in ~1650 BCE (~3,600 years ago) a cosmic airburst destroyed Tall El-Hammom, a Middle-Bronze-Age city in the southern Jordan Valley northeast of the Dead Sea. The proposed airburst was larger than the 1908 explosion over Tunguska, Russia, where a ~50-m-wide bolide detonated with ~1,000x more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.


  1. Buckethead says:

    *cough* Velikovsky.

  2. Goober says:


    While I agree that Velikovsky is a compelling and interesting read, there issue is that there is literally zero proof of any of the things he suggests, and if those things had occurred, such proof would not be difficult to find. While those things could be explanations for certain phenomena, and would likely cause effects similar to what he suggests, there’s just no evidence that any of those things happened.

    The global flood, for instance, would have left very clear evidence in the geological record, and there just isn’t any such evidence. The only evidence that we have of the flood — literally the ONLY evidence — is it’s recurrence in human mythology throughout the globe (although not even remotely close to universally as is often suggested). There is one simple explanation for that, which I think is enough: civilizations generally started in river valleys, for practical reasons, and so floods were a part of everyday life. It’s logical to think that flood myths would arise in such areas, in the form of a reproducible meme as was suggested by Dawkins in The Selfish Gene.

    And you don’t need a proto-Saturn going supernova, or proximity to Mercury, to explain an airburst meteor event like what is discussed in the article. Those happen pretty regularly without planets wandering out of their orbital paths (without explanation as to how). Hell, we’ve got multiple angles of dashcam video of one that happened just a few years back (although thankfully a mostly non-destructive one).

    I put Velikovsky in the same category as people like Schoch, von Daniken, and Hancock — fun to read, fun to consider, but totally scientifically baseless.

  3. Harper’s Notes says:

    Velikovsky hijacks the thread. Ah well, some historical context then. Psychoanalysis was the hot new science that many hoped would solve many mysteries and rapidly become used or involved in many other areas outside of what we think of as psychology. Freud was one of the prime instigators of this with many writings including books like Civilization and Its Discontents and Moses and Monotheism, trying to use psychoanalytic methods to interpret old myths an legends including legends about physical phenomena. This over-reach tendency might be considered in light of today’s Silicon Valley mindset and their version of hippie-roots libertarianism/corporate-authoritarianism naivete, but I digress.

    Velikovsky’s first major work was Oedipus and Akhenaton, very much in this manner of historical interpretation. Late in life he insisted it be considered separate from his work that followed on interpreting astronomical myths and legends using psychoanalysis. All of his work viewed from what we know today is wildly wrong or “not even wrong,” though Oedipus and Akhenaton was in some ways perhaps a little less wrong than the contemporary thinking back in Velikovsky’s time and posed some questions that are still mostly open today. His astronomical interpretations, if you like that kind of science fiction, enjoy. But be aware modern astronomy is a great ocean of knowledge compared to a tiny puddle of that time.

  4. Harry Jones says:

    Let’s get this out of the way:

    This stuff’s fun to talk about so long as you leave theodicy out of it.

  5. Goober says:

    Thanks, Mr. Jones, I was waiting for someone to come in and start claiming that this proved the Bible.

    It doesn’t.

    I recall reading about this a while back and literally nothing lines up for the Sodom tale.

    I think that maybe an argument could be made that this instance may have provided inspiration to the person who wrote the Sodom myth in Genesis. But it is not the literal telling of this historical incident. Not even close.

  6. Buckethead says:

    Was joking about Velikovsky, but Isegoria left out what was perhaps the most interesting line of the abstract:

    “An airburst-related influx of salt (~4 wt.%) produced hypersalinity, inhibited agriculture, and caused a ~300-600-year-long abandonment of ~120 regional settlements within a > 25km radius.”

    I’m no expert on biblical chronology, but ‘airburst-related influx of salt’ doesn’t sound like a normal or common byproduct of meteor impacts.

  7. Jim says:

    Goober: “The global flood, for instance, would have left very clear evidence in the geological record, and there just isn’t any such evidence.”

    Randall Carlson would like to have a word with you.

  8. Harry Jones says:

    Goober, proof is subjective. This is why so many debates can never end in both sides coming to agreement. Two movies, one screen.

  9. McChuck says:

    There are the remains of ancient villages under the North Sea. Boulder drag marks show that they were destroyed by rapid flooding.

    There are the remains of ancient villages under the Black Sea. Boulder drag marks show that they were destroyed by rapid flooding.

  10. Goober says:


    Randall Carlson is another perfect example of a Hancock, Von Daniken type. Don’t get me wrong, I really LIKE Randall. He’s a genuinely good dude, and extremely eloquent and tells a very compelling story. However, his main points of “proof” are all localized floods that geology already knows about and understands very well. The Missoula and Bonneville floods were grand, catastrophic, large-scale floods, but they were localized to the Columbia River drainage. I’m very well versed in both of those floods, about which he goes into massive detail, while suggesting that they were mroe than they actually were.

    In fact, I’d argue that those floods are absolutely perfect examples of WHY the global flood didn’t happen, because those floods happened MUCH, MUCH further in the past than the Genesis flood was purported to have occurred, and the geologic evidence for them is absolutely incontrovertible.

    For there to be literally zero geologic evidence for a globe-spanning flood (as well as there simply not being enough water on the planet for that to have occurred), but so MUCH evidence for those much smaller, localized floods that are circa twice as old…. Well, I don’t have any other explanation than to say that the global flood never happened. So, apparently, do all the scientists.

    Harry Jones,

    Agreed, but when there is no proof at all, as is the case in this situation, that’s hardly subjective. Believing in something for which there is no proof is just faith, and faith has no place in science.


    Yes. Sea levels rose after the last ice age. Lots of ancient villages are under water, because lots of ancient villages, much like today, were built on the coasts (which are now 400 feet higher than they were during the ice ages). This is well understood and is not evidence of the floods in Genesis. In places like the North and Black seas, the inundation would have very reasonably been quite rapid. Again, these are evidence of localized flooding with well understood causes, known to science. They are not evidence of the flood of Genesis (which, again, would have been around 6 or 7 thousand years more recent than the inundations of the areas that you’re discussing, anyway, which would have been more along the lines of 13,000 years BPE, as opposed to the 6,000 BPE that the genesis flood is supposed to have happened.)

  11. Goober says:

    As an aside, I do find one very compelling point made by Randall Carlson, that I think may have some merit, which is his theory that an asteroid or comet impact may have caused the Younger Dryas event.

    This was widely dismissed for years, until very recently, an impact crater was discovered under the ice in Greenland, which may very well coincide with the timing of the onset of the Younger Dryas.

    I would definitely give that hypothesis some merit, given those recent discoveries, and I’m very excited to see how this all pans out.

    Additionally, Graham Hancock, I think, has the opinion that the Americas were inhabited by humans much, much earlier than we’d originally expected, and I actually agree with him on that point. More and more archaeological sites are being found that are pushing the origin date back from 10,000 BP to much earlier dates. Monte Verde in Patagonia seems to be reliably and repeatedly dating to 14,000 BP, and if the Beringia migration hypothesis holds out, that means people would have almost necessarily have had to be here sooner thant hat, since the idea that humans would migrate from Alaska to modern day southern Chile in only a few tens of years seems crazy to me. I think there’s a site in Peru that they’re dating to 20,000 BP, and some arguing going on about a mammoth “kill” in California that dates to 130,000 BP (although that one is still hotly debated).

    So don’t think I’m just dismissing Hancock, Carlson, etc whole-cloth. I’m not. I just disagree with the things they’ve said relating specifically to the topics at hand.

  12. Wang Wei Lin says:

    As to a worldwide flood, I recall from an article I can’t locate at the moment…

    If the terrain of the Earth were leveled, and the current volume of water were in place, the depth would be over 1 km.

  13. Goober says:

    “If the terrain of the Earth were leveled…”

    That's a pretty massive "if". One massive enough that there would be sufficient evidence for it in the geologic column that we'd all see it and recognize it, and it would be scientific fact at this point. The fact that it isn't considered scientific fact at this point is pretty much undeniable proof that this did not happen.

    At the time suggested for the flood in Genesis, the global topography would have been close enough to what it is today that we can dismiss any differences as irrelevant. Given that – there isn't enough water on planet Earth to allow for a flood of the magnitude described in Genesis.

    The global flood just didn't happen.

    1.) The "Flood Myths" that proponents claim are "universal" to every ancient civilization are FAR from universal. The vast majority of ancient cultures do not have a flood myth. Flood myths are common, world wide, granted, but that isn't surprising considering most civilizations started in river valleys where floods would have been common.

    2.) There is literally zero evidence of this flood in the geologic column

    3.) There isn't enough water on the planet to facilitate this flood

    4.) There is AMPLE evidence of MULTIPLE regional, historic floods that were MUCH SMALLER in scale than a world wide cataclysm, and the evidence in the geologic column is myriad, well established, and clear. These floods are almost all MUCH OLDER than the Genesis flood is purported to be, as well. So for there to be no evidence of the world wide flood, half as old as much smaller floods where we DO have evidence… well, draw the conclusion.

    Furthermore, and finally… were I Christian, I'd be somewhat relieved to find out that my God is not the genocidal maniac that the Bible portrays him to be. I'd find the conclusion that He never flooded the planet, murdering men, women, children, infants, and every animal, to be reassuring and calming, not something to be disputed and evidence "made up" to prove. It's like Christians actually WANT the genocidal maniac God for some reason.

  14. Harry Jones says:

    Goober, I had hoped to leave theodicy out of it. But that ship has sailed, so…

    Gnon is a genocidal maniac, by our standards. And Gnon doesn’t answer to us, so it really doesn’t matter.

    Besides, who is man to judge?

  15. Sam J. says:

    Goober says, “Randall Carlson is another perfect example of a Hancock, Von Daniken type.”

    No he’s right.

    “…his main points of “proof” are all localized floods that geology already knows about and understands very well…”

    This is not true and you are either lying or do not know what you are talking about. There’s floods all over. Randall has shown flooding all over. We also have large, very large areas of mixed fish bones, vegetation and mud in the Arctic. We have almost unbelievable amount of woolly Mammoths that were flash frozen in Siberia. They mined their tusk for hundreds of years and are still digging them up. They have one preserved in the St. Petersburg museum. The best evidence is that a comet hit Greenland, where there’s a corresponding depression found, melted the Ice Age ice sheet and threw up a vast quantity of water, shutting out the Sun and depositing a large amount of snow freezing all those Mammoths. You can not in any way deny these Mammoths. It’s a fact that anyone can look up.

    You can not deny the Carolina bays. It’s a fact and you have no other explanation. You are doing nothing but blowing smoke up our asses, a common occurrence with you.

    “…I’m very well versed in both of those floods…”


    “…global flood didn’t happen, because those floods happened MUCH, MUCH further in the past than the Genesis flood was…”

    So if the Bile says there’s a flood and it doesn’t correspond to when you say, I repeat, you say, the Bible says it happened then it didn’t happen??? For someone who says he doesn’t want to go by the Bible using it to determine what is true or not is…retarded.

    “…literally zero geologic evidence for a globe-spanning flood…”

    “…there is no proof at all…”

    A lie or stupidity. One or the other.

    As for humans in the Americas at earlier time periods a stone spear head was found embedded in a Mammoth off the eastern Atlantic coast with the bone tested to, I think it was, 40,000 years ago. Even more interesting is that the manufacture of this particular type spear point was only manufactured the same way in France in the stone age. So it’s likely that they, “came from France”, as the coneheads would say.

  16. Sam J. says:

    Goober says, “So don’t think I’m just dismissing Hancock, Carlson, etc. whole-cloth. I’m not.”

    Of course because you are unable too. You’re not capable of doing so. All of your “missives” are just saying “well this is so and that is so” you never provide much if any evidence. This is a typical tactic of psychopaths, Jews and other gas-lighting semi-human animals that constantly lie and bullshit about most anything they talk about.

  17. Sam J. says:

    Goober says, “As an aside, I do find one very compelling point made by Randall Carlson, that I think may have some merit, which is his theory that an asteroid or comet impact may have caused the Younger Dryas event.”

    I missed that before my last comment, so, my bad.

  18. Goober says:

    Harry Jones:

    Who is man to judge?

    Well, I’m not asking for anyone’s permission. Much less the permission of an imaginary sky magician from Bronze age middle-eastern mythology.

    I reserve the right to judge whatever and whomever I please.

  19. Harry Jones says:

    Not sure how you’re gonna enforce the verdict, Goober.

    The world is full of people I’d like to see in jail, but it’s not up to me.

    It all comes down to power in the end. And manipulation. Prayer is an attempt to manipulate God. And New Atheism is a kind of tantrum.

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