By Michael H. Brown
In the 530s A.D., something very mysterious occurred.
Entire civilizations were disrupted – or disappeared.
In geologic time, that’s yesterday. Some posit there was a massive North Atlantic tsunami caused by two comet or asteroid strikes that left North America’s south-Atlantic coast permanently altered, and led in Europe to the spread of famine, plague, and, indirectly — along with attacks by Barbarians — the fall of Rome.
Hundreds of Muskogean Indian communities on the East Coast of the U.S. may have been wiped off the face of the earth… if we buy such renditions. Survivors, it seems, headed for the mountains. Why?
The Byzantine historian Procopius, in a report on the wars with the Barbarians, said of 536 A.D., “during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness… and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.”
Large shooting stars were seen in China, and in 532 those in the Mediterranean reported a great meteor shower.
From Sweden to Chile, something occurred that all but halted tree growth, and there were savage storms. In Britain, hundreds died in an awful storm in 548 A.D. and hail like chicken (or “pullet’s”) eggs fell in Scotland two years later.
So severe were the winters that birds and other wildlife allowed themselves to be taken by hand.
It snowed in southern Europe. It snowed during summer in China. The southern part of the U.S. was battered by maelstroms that according to one researcher I interviewed, Dr. Kam-biu Liu of Louisiana State University, were mega-cyclones (more powerful than category-five hurricanes).
The question, obviously, is what stoked all this. Some speculate a large volcano blasted through its cap in Indonesia, darkening skies. From 536 to 543 trees in the western part of America stopped growing and yellow dust fell in Asia. Add to this epic flooding in Korea.
It all was driven to a peak when as one expert, Dr. David Keys, noted, “mankind was hit by one of the greatest natural disasters ever to occur. It blotted out much of the light and heat of the sun for eighteen months and the climate of the entire planet began to spin out of control. The result, direct or indirect, was climatic chaos, famine, migration, war, and massive political change on virtually every continent.”
If it wasn’t a volcano, or something with the earth’s tilt, it was from space — perhaps a long train of what astronomers call bolides, objects from space.
Last I saw scientists thus far have identified 185 craters on land – but not the oceans, which constitute seventy percent of the planet.
Might it be that major asteroid strikes occur as often as every one thousand years? In the 530s (or thereabouts), an asteroid on the East Coast may have caused river flooding in Georgia for tens of miles inland. It may have been one in a stream of such intruders.
There is plenty of reason to believe that while modern times have been free of them, the not-so-distant past was not.
One time ages ago, the Aztecs populated the west coast of South America… and then disappeared from there. Was it due to a tsunami? Or a series of storms? What mystery does the long-gone past hold?
Were they Divine Chastisements? And if so, what might they portend?
Nearly five thousand years ago, legends have it there were hurricane-force winds and darkness during another global disruption. Something altered weather worldwide. Many believe it may have been a mega-tsunami… caused by a comet or asteroid, its airborne particulates dimming the sun.
At Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, Bruce Masse, an environmental archaeologist, believes he can peg an exact date – May 10, 2807 B.C. — based on a review of flood legends around the world, some of which mention a total solar eclipse or a certain alignment of bright planets (according to Hindu legend) in conjunction with a comet or series of them.
Around the world are sandy wedge-shaped shore formations that sometimes contain telltale molten-glass particles (tektites) along with shattered rock, indicating as astronomical incident. Some theorize an asteroid from a southeastern trajectory hit just offshore of what is now Cape Canaveral.
Others such as Dr. Dallas Abbott of Columbia University found evidence of a bolide striking near Australia. She told me that the triangular shoreline formations, called “chevrons,” point in many cases toward a part of the Indian Ocean where as she puts it — “there was an explosion in the ocean.”
An intruder from space, hitting the water at many times the speed of a bullet, would cause six-hundred-foot walls of water along national coastlines.
It is not a thought that will cure insomnia.
I also spoke to a professor in Belfast named Mike Baillie who studies ancient tree rings and found indications of severe environmental downturns around 2354 B.C. and 540 A.D. – roughly matching the mysterious time tables.
All the Swift Creek culture villages were abandoned on the South Atlantic plain.
There was a dense, dry fog in Europe and the Middle East.
There was the spread – abetted by wet weather – of bacteria.
It was enough to make a pope called Gregory the Great wonder if such “unusual” signs portended the Final Judgment.
There were unusually low temperatures in China.
Huge El Niños.
“A failure of bread in the year 536 AD” – said the Annals of Ulster…
No question, something occurred around 536 A.D. and also around 2800 B.C., events that affected the entire world, and could again.
[resources: Lying Wonders, Strangest Things]