Reviewed by Maurice A. Williams
Cataclysm! Compelling Evidence of a Cosmic Catastrophe in 9500 B.C.
D. S. Allan and J. B. Delair
1997, ISBN: 1-879181-42-8, Bear & Company
$22.00, 372 pages
Many people view the solar system as a stable formation of planets and moons surrounding our sun, looking very much today as it has for millions of years. Ancient civilizations, not only Greece and Rome, but also civilizations worldwide, viewed it differently. They wrote about the planets being gods and fighting in the sky. We all know that the planets are not gods, so these ancient stories have been dismissed as myth, pure fiction invented by superstitious people searching for some evidence of God.
In the 1940s, a very well educated psychoanalyst, Immaneul Velikovsky, from his own studies of the human mind, felt these ancient myths weren’t 100% fictional after all. They had some similarity to what he was hearing from some of his patients who had suffered from overpowering fear. He studied and compared myths from cultures all over the world, Middle East, Mediterranean, Chinese, Mayan, Aztec, Inca, and others. They all seem to describe the same events. Velikovsky, therefore, thought the planetary orbits had been disturbed during historical times, causing havoc on earth and frightening people who, not knowing better, thought the planets were gods. After much study of mythology, astronomy, history, and geology, Velikovsky published a series of books proposing his thoughts, starting with the best seller Worlds in Collision in 1950. I remember reading it at the time and being fascinated by it.
In 1997, D.S. Allan and J.B. Delair published Cataclysm!: Compelling evidence of a cosmic catastrophe in 9500 B.C. They re-examined the evidence that was available to Velikovsky plus newer evidence. Their book starts out with a detailed comparison of ancient myths, worldwide, and a discussion of geological deposits all over the world comprised of shattered skeletal remains of animals mixed with shattered trees. The animal remains are of many species from different habitats. The deposits look very much like one would expect from giant tidal waves. This is similar to the conclusion Velikovsky drew. Velikovsky thought ancient people saw Venus break away from Jupiter and careen on an unstable orbit, almost colliding with Earth, disrupting the Earth’s orbit, and then almost colliding with Mars, causing Mars to almost collide with the Earth. Then all three planets settled into the stable orbits we see today.
Allan and Delair, having more evidence to examine and better diagnostic tools to use, propose an even more spectacular disruption. They believe the supernova, Vega, threw off a planet-sized fragment that entered the solar system in 9500 B.C., terrifying those early peoples who were watching the skies. It passed close to Neptune, causing one of Neptune’s moons to become the planet Pluto. The ancient Babylonians named the new planet Marduk. The Romans knew it as Phaeton. Phaeton-Marduk then passed close to Saturn, pulling one of Saturn’s moons “Chiron” into a planetary orbit around the sun. Chiron wasn’t discovered until 1976.
Phaeton-Marduk then demolished a no-longer existing planet the Middle East observers called Tiamat, and the Greeks called Electra. Tiamat lost its moon, Kingu, to Phaeton-Marduk then disintegrated into the present-day asteroid belt. This must have been a spectacular and frightening sight for ancient observers. Phaeton-Marduk headed toward Earth, losing its newly acquired moon, which collided with the Earth causing the Deluge. Phaeton-Marduk then passed by Venus, flipping it over, causing Venus to be the only planet that rotates backwards compared to the other planets. Finally Phaeton-Marduk plunged into the sun.
Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? If Velikovsky hadn’t introduced me to the possibility in 1950, I would have a difficult time giving “Cataclysm!” serious thought. Velikovsky hoped to write a book explaining his thought on how the Deluge occurred. He never did, much to my disappointment. Cataclysm! is a fresh new approach to a fascinating subject. The extensive research of Allan and Delair is presented in the book along with many revealing photographs and diagrams. You will like this book.
About the reviewer: Maurice A. Williams is an author of inspirational articles and poems and has published a book: Revelation, Fall of Judea, Rise of the Church. Prior to his retirement, he was Director of Research and Development for a firm that did business all over the world. He has traveled to many countries himself. He is also author of technical articles in scientific journals and chapters in technical books. He has four children and six grandchildren, and lives at home with his wife. You can visit his Web Sites http://www.mauriceawilliams.com