Simon Haslett and Ted Bryant

2 Sep 2011

Simon Haslett of the University of Wales, Newport, in coalition with Ted Bryant (see story a few days ago on 1014AD tsunami) had there research published a few years ago. They were also the subject of a BBC2 Timewatch programme in 2008 - mainly focusing on the Bristol Channel event in 1607. The story can still be accessed at, and it seems there were a lot of tsunamis or storm surges to strike Britain and Ireland over the last 1000 years. The most famous one is that of 1607, a tsunami wave that drove up the Bristol Channel causing widespread flooding both sides and drowning many people. However, in 1755 the Lisbon earthquake caused a tsunami wave or seiche to rush through the English Channel. At a cove in Cornwall huge slabs of rock were dragged off the sea bed and tossed up on the beach. In 1884 the so called 'Great British Earthquake' triggered a gain wave that swamped the Essex coast while in 1929 a hige wave, estimated at 6m high, ran up the Channel once again - said to be the result of an unusual squall. In 1580 an earthquake hit Kent and caused a seiche in the Channel. This actually involved the grounding of ships in the sea as the water rushed out and then came back in again. However, the big one is that of 1014ad - and this coincides with a low growth tree ring event described by Mike Baillie at an SIS meeting. Now, he could have said a lot more - but Haslett and Bryant make up for that as they think an impact in the North Atlantic was responsible. The unusual storm surge affected the Irish Sea, from Cornwall to Cumbria, and it seems the Viking colonies in Ireland, near Dublin for example, were caught out. The repercussion of this was that the Irish took advantage of the devastation to mount an attack on the Viking colonists, defeating them in a famous battle forever remembered in folktale and song. 

At there is a section on the Valkyries, or the raging one. In the Njals-saga, just before the battle of Clontarf in 1014, a Viking chief had a vision in which he saw 12 Valyries (messengers of doom and disaster) riding through the sky - while blood dropped from the sky (a red rain episode perhaps?). However, this was bound up with the idea of fate. 

Elsewhere, another book for sale on catastrophism - not sure what it involves but the author has a strong sales pitch - can be found at www.theimpactandexitevent/com/index.html and is said to be pretty well comprehensive - which might mean its hocup pocus. For example it is said to put to rights geology, plate tectonics, the origin of the Moon, the scars on Mars, the sudden emergence of oceans, etc.