In The News

Welcome to our "In the News" page, featuring summaries of Internet news, relevant to Catastrophism and Ancient History.

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12 Jun 2019
Solar Minimum and Noctilucent Clouds

Two interesting posts on noctilucent clouds and the solar minimum - we are currently at the end of one solar cycle and just entering another. It seems that during solar minimum the atmosphere shrinks and this is why this year, last year, and next year will have lots of noctilucent clouds (just after sunset). In the two links below, 2018 and 2019, there is each a video of the phenomenon, created by meteor smoke and water crystals high in the upper atmosphere.

13 Jun 2019
Large Boulders Shape Canyons

At https://phys.org/news/2019-06-large-boulders-huge-canyons.html ... river valleys in hilly or mountainous country have the remnants of water surges in them, discarded rocks of various shape and size. In the UK these can be seen even in small streams. A good example might be the river bed between Lynton (up high) and Lynmouth (down below), just a short distance but jammed with rocks and boulders. Some of these originate from a storm surge in 1953 when the lower town was flooded by a swollen river Lyn.

13 Jun 2019
Volcanic Dome on Ceres

At https://phys.org/news/2019-06-gravitational-dawn-dome-ceres-volcanic.html ... gravitational data beamed back by the Dawn mission suggests the dome on Ceres is a mud volcano - a mix of salty brine and solids. Volcanism is perhaps the key to understanding this but it was thought, until now, that volcanism was absent on such a small planet as Ceres (or is it a large asteroid). Not only that but they think the dome may be of recent date. It is in fact a mountain, or volcano, 4km in height and 17 km across.

14 Jun 2019
Muck and Hancock

At https://grahamhancock.com/hancockg18/ ... Muck, Mammoths and Extinctions. Was Alaska the scene of a great cataclysm at the end of the Ice Age. This comes from Graham Hancock's web site. He says the evidence of a cataclysm first began to take shape in the 1930s and 1940s and derives primarily from the work of Frank Hibben and Froelich Rainey (both cited extensively by Velikvosky in Earth in Upheaval).

16 Jun 2019
Crannogs

At https://phys.org/news/2019-06-evidence-scottish-crannogs-thousands.html ... a research article in the upmarket archaeological journal Antiquity (June 2019) DOI:10.15184/aqy2019.41 ... archaeologists with the University of Reading and the University of Southampton (the latter specialises in under water locations) claim there is evidence crannogs (which occur in Scotland, Wales and Ireland), small artificial islands located in lakes and in areas prone to flooding, were actually first built during the Neolithic period (in the 4th millennium BC).

16 Jun 2019
Giant Trilobites

At https://phys.org/news/2019-06-king-fossils-kangaroo-island.html ... fossils of a long extinct group of sea creatures known as the trilobites have been found on Kangaroo Island which lies off the coast of South Australia. Presumably this is part of the Australian continental shelf system and formerly land that has been flooded post Pleistocene. In any event it is remarkable that marine fossils are found on what is still land - albeit an island. Not only that but the trilobites are described as having been smashed or crushed.

17 Jun 2019
The Maunder Minimum

At https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2019/06/17/maunder-minimum-and-the-comet... ... the Maunder Minimum (a very cold episode supposedly associated with a lack of sun spots) is under scrutiny by Tim Cullen. A volcanic event is visible in Alpine ice cores. However, cometary dust may have prolonged the Minimum - the takeway part of the post. The Great Comet of 1744, naked eye visible for several months, displayed an unusual feature - a fan of six tails. This has vexed astronomers as to why it might have happened.

19 Jun 2019
Awesome Shigir Idol

The fascinating Shigir idol is back in the news - or at least at https://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/features/the-awesome-shigir-... ... the tall idol goes back to the early Holocene period and is thought to represent an ancient spirit god. Guesswork of course and somebody like Martin Sweatman might say it was perhaps a representation of a sky god.

19 Jun 2019
North Sea Marine Investigations

The first artefacts to emerge from the depths of the North Sea in the current research into what the sediments on the sea bed might be hiding. Not particularly exciting by themselves as they consist of flakes of flint and a splinter from a hammer stone. It is thought they come from a Mesolithic tool making site and must date prior to 6200BC (when the southern basin of the North Sea was drowned). See for example https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/06/first-archaeological... ...

21 Jun 2019
Crocodiles and Climate

At https://phys.org/news/2019-06-crocs-climate-clock-ancient-reveal.html ... the ancient distribution of crocodiles could be used to reveal information about past climate. On the other hand, they may reveal more about earth changes. It seems some crocodilians are sensitive to changes in temperature - but other kinds of crocodile are not. Or that is the theory been promulgated. Mapping the distribution of the different species of crocodilia (ostensibly using fossilised remains) may reveal more about 'global' climate millions of years ago.