Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fire, Brimstone, and Bombs Oh My!

Last night I was watching a documentary on the National Geographic channel that was trying to figure out what caused green glass to form way out in the Sahara in Egypt. The scientists knew that intense heat causes sand to fuse into glass, but they weren't sure what could have caused so much heat on such a massive scale in ancient Egypt. They compared it to the mysterious Tunguska event of 1908, where 80 million trees were knocked over in an area covering about 830 square miles by some sort of shockwave. It's unknown what caused the shockwave, but a couple of the most popular theories are an asteroid exploding about 3-5 miles above the surface, or a small comet vaporizing in the atmosphere. Other theories include anti-matter reaction of some sort, a UFO crash, or an experiment gone wrong (or right?). Another interesting thing about the Tunguska event is that glowing skies were observed throughout Europe for several nights after the event. The explosion is estimated to have been 1000 times stronger the atom bomb that exploded at Hiroshima. Whatever it was...it was powerful.

But anyways, back to the green glass in Egypt. The scientists interviewed in the documentary seemed to have been fans of the exploding asteroid over Tunguska theory and attributed the green glass in the Sahara to an exploding asteroid too. There is no crater at either location, so if it was an asteroid, it had to have exploded in the air. Although the asteroid theory seems to be a plausible answer, I don't feel it answers all the questions. For one, I would think even if it exploded in the air, there would be some traces of it remaining to be found somewhere. And what caused it to explode? Typically asteroids just burn up in the atmosphere....so what kind of composition would an asteroid have to have to actually explode on a scale much greater than the atom bomb at Hiroshima?

The green glass is what I really found to be interesting though. Finding ancient green glass (the research into the source of the glass was inspired by green glass found in a piece of jewelry from King Tut's tomb) in Egypt reminded me of another place where green glass was found...except it wasn't formed in ancient times. It was created in New Mexico in 1945. It was created by the test of the first atomic bomb. The heat emitted from it was so intense, it fused the sand together into green glass. The glass covered an area around 600 yards wide. Interestingly though, the Egyptian glass covers an area thousands of times larger. All of this reminded me of an excerpt from a poem I had heard before:


"...a single projectile
Charged with all the power of the Universe.
An incandescent column of smoke and flame
As bright as the thousand suns
Rose in all its splendour...
a perpendicular explosion
with its billowing smoke clouds...
...the cloud of smoke
rising after its first explosion
formed into expanding round circles
like the opening of giant parasols...
..it was an unknown weapon,
An iron thunderbolt,
A gigantic messenger of death,
Which reduced to ashes
The entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.
...The corpses were so burned
As to be unrecognisable.
The hair and nails fell out;
Pottery broke without apparent cause,
And the birds turned white.
After a few hours
All foodstuffs were infected...
...to escape from this fire
The soldiers threw themselves in streams
To wash themselves and their equipment."

Although that sounds like a description of a nuclear explosion, its actually supposed to be a description of an event that occurred during an Indian war variously dated to have occurred from around 2800 years ago to around 8000 years ago, depending on who you ask. Those verses are said to come from the Hindu epic the Mahabharata (I've never actually read the Mahabharata myself though), which is one of the longest epics ever written...much longer than some of the more famous epics like the Illiad and the Odyssey. But, J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the lead scientists on the Manhattan Project (that built the first atomic bomb), must have read it or at least read part of it, because he quoted it once when describing how he felt after the first atomic bomb was tested. He said:

"Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."


When the ancient towns of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa in India were excavated, they were found to have come to a sudden and abrupt end. Many of the skeletons found there were said to be holding hands and unburied, indicating the demise of the towns and their people seemingly came instantly...possibly by some type of blast. I've often heard that the skeletons found in these locations were radioactive, by I haven't been able to find what I would consider to be a good source to corroborate those claims. If you do a google search for the topic, most the sources for radioactive skeletons that come up are websites claiming alien involvement or advanced people from Atlantis or something like that....so you have to wonder if those claims aren't just the claims of somebody's overactive imagination that have gotten repeated over and over. While I think Atlantis probably did exist, I don't think its people were dropping nukes in India. But Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa aren't the only places in India that supposedly had some sort of radioactive blast. I remembered an article I had saved years ago that had originally been printed in the World Island Review in 1992. The article described construction being halted on a housing development in an area that supposedly still had high levels of radiation. The validity of the article may be questionable, but I figured I would mention it anyways.

But Hindu epics and claims of radioactive skeletons aren't the only evidence of powerful explosions in the ancient past. In the book of Genesis in the Bible, we have the tale of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God destroyed these cities by raining fire and brimstone down on them. It's uncertain where the exact location of Sodom and Gomorrah was - they would have been in ruins already when Genesis was written - but the most likely locations are the ruins of what is now known as Bab Edh-Drah and Numeira. They were "cities of the plain" and seem to match the description we have of Sodom and Gomorrah...all the way down to their demise. The two ruined cities seemed to have met their fate at the same time. They had collapsed walls, walls tilted at 50 degree angles, debris, and skeletons that weren't buried. So whatever the fate of the two cities was, it seemed to have come instantly. Typically, the sudden destruction of a city can be attributed to an earthquake or volcanic eruption, but this doesn't appear to be the case with these cities. For one, there is no volcano in the area, so it certainly wasn't a volcanic eruption. The possibility of an earthquake can't necessarily be ruled out entirely, but the evidence doesn't necessarily indicate an earthquake either. There is evidence of incineration though. So the evidence seems to suggest that the cities may very well have had fire and brimstone rained down on them. It should also be pointed out that it is a very salty area...and in the Genesis story, Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt during the destruction of the cities.

While I wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of aliens being involved in ancient warfare that may have included massive explosions, I doubt that that is the case. I doubt the theory that it was Atlanteans even more. But what can't be denied is that heat intense enough to fuse sand into glass has occurred in the ancient past. We also know that a shockwave that leveled trees over an 830 mile radius occurred many years before an atomic bomb was ever built. And ancient texts have described events that sound like explosions from high in the air. So while man made nuclear bombs may not have come on the scene until the mid twentieth century...its apparent that some type of massive explosions had already happened long before the modern man made ones occurred..


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