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Biblical Plagues and Parting of Red Sea caused by Volcano
News.telegraph.co.uk ^ | 11/11/02 | John Petre

Posted on 11/11/2002 12:44:06 PM PST by Betty Jane

Biblical plagues and parting of Red Sea 'caused by volcano'

By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

(Filed: 11/11/2002)

Fresh evidence that the Biblical plagues and the parting of the Red Sea were natural events rather than myths or miracles is to be presented in a new BBC documentary.

Moses, which will be broadcast next month, will suggest that much of the Bible story can be explained by a single natural disaster, a huge volcanic eruption on the Greek island of Santorini in the 16th century BC.

Using computer-generated imagery pioneered in Walking With Dinosaurs, the programme tells the story of how Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt after a series of plagues had devastated the country. But it also uses new scientific research to argue that many of the events surrounding the exodus could have been triggered by the eruption, which would have been a thousand times more powerful than a nuclear bomb.

Dr Daniel Stanley, an oceanographer who has found volcanic shards in Egypt that he believes are linked to the explosion, tells the programme: "I think it would have been a frightening experience. It would have been heard. The blast ash would have been felt."

Computer simulations by Mike Rampino, a climate modeller from New York University, show that the resulting ash cloud could have plunged the area into darkness, as well as generating lightning and hail, two of the 10 plagues.

The cloud could have also reduced the rainfall, causing a drought. If the Nile had then been poisoned by the effects of the eruption, pollution could have turned it red, as happened in a recent environmental disaster in America.

The same pollution could have driven millions of frogs on to the land, the second plague. On land the frogs would die, removing the only obstacle to an explosion of flies and lice - the third and fourth plagues.

The flies could have transmitted fatal diseases to cattle (the fifth plague) and boils and blisters to humans (the sixth plague).

The hour-long documentary argues that even the story of the parting of the Red Sea, which allowed Moses to lead the Hebrews to safety while the pursuing Egyptian army was drowned, may have its origins in the eruption.

It repeats the theory that "Red Sea" is a mistranslation of the Sea of Reeds, a much shallower swamp.

Computer simulations show that the Santorini eruption could have triggered a 600ft-high tidal wave, travelling at about 400 miles an hour, which would have been 6ft high and a hundred miles long when it reached the Egyptian delta.

Such an event would have been remembered for generations, and may have provided the inspiration for the story.

Jean-Claude Bragard, the director, said: "Sifting through the latest historical research and utilising new archaeological tools, we have been able to find a surprising amount of circumstantial evidence for the Biblical tales."

Moses, which is presented by Jeremy Bowen, the former Middle East correspondent, will be broadcast on BBC1 on Dec 1.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2002.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: archaeology; boble; catastrophism; exodus; exodusdecoded; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; greece; history; jamescameron; letshavejerusalem; mikerampino; miracles; mycenaeans; redsea; simchajacobovici; thera; velikovsky; volcano
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If what happened the Lord said it would happen that is a miracle. God has control over all of nature.
1 posted on 11/11/2002 12:44:06 PM PST by Betty Jane
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To: blam
bump
2 posted on 11/11/2002 12:45:37 PM PST by Hanging Chad
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To: Betty Jane
The Lord often uses whatever is at hand to get the job done.
3 posted on 11/11/2002 12:46:13 PM PST by Junior
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To: Betty Jane
The cloud could have also reduced the rainfall, causing a drought. If the Nile had then been poisoned by the effects of the eruption, pollution could have turned it red, as happened in a recent environmental disaster in America.

Anyone know what this is a reference to?

4 posted on 11/11/2002 12:47:25 PM PST by per loin
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To: Junior
If all this devistation was noticed in Egypt, wouldn't it have been noticed closer to the source?
5 posted on 11/11/2002 12:50:49 PM PST by js1138
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To: per loin
I think he is referring to when Moses stuck his staff in the river and turned it to blood.
6 posted on 11/11/2002 12:51:56 PM PST by Betty Jane
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To: Betty Jane
I can't wait to hear how they explain that Moses et al heard a blast that was a thousand times more powerful than a nuclear bomb, and didn't make mention of it as such.
7 posted on 11/11/2002 12:54:23 PM PST by L.N. Smithee
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To: Betty Jane
Reminds me of the claim a number of years ago by a skeptic that the Red Sea (or "Sea of Reeds") may at times recede to a depth of a couple of inches, thereby allowing the people of Israel to cross it and only get their feet wet. This prompted another to proclaim: "The whole Egyptian army drown in two inches of water?! It's a miracle!"
8 posted on 11/11/2002 12:54:35 PM PST by My2Cents
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To: js1138
Well... It did wipe out the Minoan civilization, so I guess the answer would be "yes." {;^)>
9 posted on 11/11/2002 12:55:34 PM PST by Junior
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To: Betty Jane
What is most important is that science continues to confim the truthfulness of the Bible. In the 1850s the Bible was proclaimed to be all myth and science put more stock in Homer than the Bible. Around 1950 scientists started using the Bible as a source and set to see if what was in it could be confirmed. It has been the source of the discovery of many civilizations/tribes that were once thought not to have existed. So this is just one more confirmation.
10 posted on 11/11/2002 12:57:37 PM PST by KeyWest
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To: Betty Jane
It gets better.

Weekly World News reports Three More Commandments Found.

11 posted on 11/11/2002 12:59:59 PM PST by billorites
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To: Junior
One should always be suspicious when the sea recedes suddenly.

One of the most unlikely-to-be-useful of the worst case scenerio survival tips is to start running if you are near a shoreline and this happens.

12 posted on 11/11/2002 1:00:37 PM PST by js1138
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To: Betty Jane
presented in a new BBC documentary.

Do they have film and some good interviews.
13 posted on 11/11/2002 1:03:20 PM PST by aardvark1
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To: Betty Jane
So instead of attributing the event to God, we're supposed to just believe the Israelites and Moses just had really incredible timing.

Funny the article didn't offer any explanation about the death of the firstborn, or any of the other plagues that only afflicted the Egyptians, despite the Israelites living within their midst.

14 posted on 11/11/2002 1:06:36 PM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: js1138
One should always be suspicious when the sea recedes suddenly.

Or when it decides to pile up unnaturally like dirt, and leave a dry path in front of you.

One should be even more suspicious when the last Israelite's feet leave the riverbed in front of you.

15 posted on 11/11/2002 1:10:35 PM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Betty Jane
Besides...this "explanation" is not new, it is at least 50 years old, and I expect much older than that. Anyone who has seen "The Ten Commandments" with Charlton Heston should remember the part where Pharoah Ramses II (played by Yul Brenner) put forth the same exact "explanation" to explain away the waters being turned to blood...unfortunately this does not explain the water in their barrels and vessels turning to blood (Exodus 7:19)

"Let God be true and every man a liar..."

16 posted on 11/11/2002 1:13:15 PM PST by Preech1
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To: Betty Jane
I was wondering about the reference to the river in America.
17 posted on 11/11/2002 1:17:01 PM PST by per loin
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To: Betty Jane
So he made a computer animation? The computer said so, then it must be true?

It's one thing to be sceptical, but this is just plain silly.

Nowhere near as amusing as Velikovsky's theory that the Exodus were caused by the planet Venus erupting from Jupiter and passing close to the Earth.

That one "explains" the manna as well. Carbohyrates condensed from the Venusian atmosphere, of course.

18 posted on 11/11/2002 1:18:57 PM PST by Salman
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To: Betty Jane
The dates don't coorrespond. Also, the location for the Red Sea crossing was likely in a much different location than the Bitter Lakes... more likely the Gulf of Aqaba, which was considered part of the "Yam Suph" or Red Sea. Check out the BASE institute's website for a different perspective.
19 posted on 11/11/2002 1:21:06 PM PST by Guyin4Os
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To: Hanging Chad; L.N. Smithee; My2Cents; Junior; Betty Jane; LostTribe; RightWhale
I have been working on this idea myself (idea originated with Mike Baillie) for the last few years trying to connect 'tidbits' of information to this Exodus event. The 1628BC explosion of Santorini/akatori/Thera, in my opinion, provided all the fireworks for the Exodus saga.
Freeper LostTribe and I have been fussing about the 1628BC date for the Exodus for a couple of years now. He subscribes to a less ancient date.

1. The ash from Santorini has been found all over Egypt.

2. The Red Sea was landlocked during the Ice Age, go here and see that it is so and that the Persian Gulf was completely dry, another 'flood story?'
Earthquakes or tidal waves from Santorini could have breached the dam seperating the Red Sea from the world's oceans and swept the Egyptians away.The Red Sea was reconnected at some point, why not then?

3. One account has Santorini erupting due to an asteroid/comet impact

4. The bibical 'staff by day, torch by night' quote could be from the erupting plume of Santorini. The plume would need to be thirty miles high to be seen in Egypt. The recent Pinatubo volcano was 26 miles high.

5. The rubble from the destruction of Jerico is appropriately dated (charred wheat) just above the Santorini ash layer.

There are other 'tidbits' that I cannot remember presently but will add later on to the thread if/as I remember them.

20 posted on 11/11/2002 2:03:51 PM PST by blam
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To: Betty Jane
God will be so glad to know this! Thank you for sharing.
21 posted on 11/11/2002 2:06:10 PM PST by Sophie
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To: Betty Jane
What a bunch of pseudoscientific nonsense. Has anybody seen a plague of frogs or a plague of locusts accompany any volcanic eruption in the past five hundred years? Or staffs turn into serpents? What morons these secular sons of the Enlightenment can be.
22 posted on 11/11/2002 2:08:08 PM PST by Cicero
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To: Betty Jane
It repeats the theory that "Red Sea" is a mistranslation of the Sea of Reeds, a much shallower swamp.

Well, that part at least is correct; the Hebrew is yam suf, the sea of reeds; "Red Sea" originally appeared in English not as a mistranslation, but simply as a typo for "Reed Sea."

23 posted on 11/11/2002 2:10:48 PM PST by Lurking Libertarian
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To: Guyin4Os
"The dates don't coorrespond. Also, the location for the Red Sea crossing was likely in a much different location than the Bitter Lakes... more likely the Gulf of Aqaba."

What dates? Do you have 'proven' dates for the Exodus?

Also, my opinion is that the Jews took a right turn after crossing the Red Sea and traveled along the edge of the Red Sea and eventually crossed the Gulf Of Aqaba into Saudia Arabia, which is where I also think Mount Sini(sp) is located.

24 posted on 11/11/2002 2:11:49 PM PST by blam
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To: Cicero
Well, there are bushes in the desert there that will spontaneously combust, so... (They've seen a burning bush)
25 posted on 11/11/2002 2:14:26 PM PST by blam
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To: Betty Jane
Exd 14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go [back] by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry [land], and the waters were divided.

Exd 14:22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry [ground]: and the waters [were] a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

A volcano causes walls of water to the right and left side for hours. Sure, happens all the time.

26 posted on 11/11/2002 2:20:03 PM PST by #3Fan
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To: Betty Jane
It repeats the theory that "Red Sea" is a mistranslation of the Sea of Reeds, a much shallower swamp.

What a miracle! Praise The Lord!

The Egyptian Army drowned in a foot of water!

27 posted on 11/11/2002 2:25:02 PM PST by N. Theknow
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To: blam
020913.gifDear Cecil:

I'm sure I remember hearing from a reliable source, i.e., a science program, that certain species of trees (or shrubs) will spontaneously combust in order to ensure the survival of the species. I'm being mercilessly teased about this, so I'd appreciate any information you can dig up. --Donna Rose, Washington, D.C. Cecil replies:

No offense, Donna, but this is a pretty dull way of putting it. A more interesting way is: Could the biblical burning bush that spoke to Moses have been a spontaneously combusting desert shrub? Answer: Maybe. Some claim there's a plant in desert regions that every so often bursts into flame for no apparent reason. And here your idea of plant-based excitement was watching the leaves turn colors. Then again, I suppose if you were a desert home owner observing the spectacle of random ignition on the lawn some night, you might also think: Cheezit, couldn't I just have crabgrass?

But first the question you asked, as opposed to the one I feel like answering. The science program you heard likely was speaking of pyrophytes, plants that have adapted to fire in various ways. The cones of several species of pine, for example, are serotinous--that is, they open only when exposed to extremely high temperature, making fire an essential part of the reproductive process. (Bruce Springsteen once wrote a song about this.) The fire has to be of external origin, though--the pines don't torch themselves.

It's possible some other plants eliminate the middleman. The leading candidate is Dictamnus albus, a flowering shrub that grows to a height of about two feet. Native to a wide swath of Europe and Asia, including Israel, it's commonly called "fraxinella," "dittany," and, more pertinently for our story, "gas plant" and "burning bush." On warm days D. albus exudes vapor that readily ignites if you hold a match to it, and some say it ignites all by itself if the sun is hot enough. But--here's where things start to get biblical--the vapor burns so quickly that it doesn't consume or even damage the plant. This naturally brings to mind Exodus 3:2: "And the angel of the Lord appeared unto [Moses] in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed."

So D. albus is Moses's burning bush, right? Many biblical commentators think so (or at least they think the bush was a spontaneously combusting plant). But I'm not staking my King James on it. Straight Dope research assistant Bibliophage has turned up an apparent case of spontaneous combustion involving a cactus (www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_567529.html), but nobody in a position to speak authoritatively, e.g., a botanist in Israel, could confirm that such things happen on a regular basis. What's more, the seemingly miraculous biblical story is put in a somewhat Martha Stewart-ish light if we assume burning ornamentals are a commonplace feature of Mount Sinai life: "And behold, the angel of the Lord spoke unto Moses from a lovely spread of flaming fraxinella." All of which means we'd be jumping the gun to conclude that Dictamnus albus, or any other plant, spontaneously combusts in order to perpetuate the species.

28 posted on 11/11/2002 2:49:08 PM PST by gcruse
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To: gcruse
Yup. Something along that line, thanks.
29 posted on 11/11/2002 2:57:18 PM PST by blam
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To: Betty Jane
Doesn't it say "the lord caused an east wind to blow"? Doesn't sound like a volcano to me.
30 posted on 11/11/2002 2:59:09 PM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: N. Theknow
Possibly stuck in the mud when a tide rolled in on them. Mud can be like glue at times.
31 posted on 11/11/2002 3:03:12 PM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: Betty Jane
I did a term paper for a theology course in 1964 in which I argued that all of the events on Moses's journey could have been caused by that volcanic eruption. It's just fascinating; in my mind the timing proved that a greater being must have had a hand in creating a situation which made the biblical events possible.

The professor gave me a "D" for the paper, for being outside accepted thought patterns for religion class. I thought it was pretty funny, since it was actually a research project I enjoyed and learned something from!

There are theories around that the island that was destroyed by the volcano was the basis for Atlantis legends, and its eruption caused the migration of Mediterranean seafaring people all over the world.

32 posted on 11/11/2002 3:06:00 PM PST by grania
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To: grania
"There are theories around that the island that was destroyed by the volcano was the basis for Atlantis legends, and its eruption caused the migration of Mediterranean seafaring people all over the world."

My thoughts are that Atlantis was thousands of years before this 1628BC event....and maybe on another continent?

33 posted on 11/11/2002 3:33:45 PM PST by blam
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To: sheik yerbouty
"Doesn't it say "the lord caused an east wind to blow"?"

What is the signifance of the direction of the wind? Why is an east wind important to this story?

34 posted on 11/11/2002 4:06:48 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
My thoughts are that Atlantis was thousands of years before this 1628BC event....and maybe on another continent?

Unbelievable...I found my son's HS term paper from March 1985. In it, he cited John Victor Luce LOST ATLANTIS: NEW LIGHT ON AN OLD LEGEND (McGrawHill, 1969).

He wrote "the only possible volcano which could have destroyed Crete was Santorini. When this occurred, argonauts from Crete were confronted with huge tsunamis and a "large bronze giant who hurled stones". The surviving Argonauts then went north from Crete, and, according to Appolonius, the Cretans "helplessly entrusted their safe return to the sea, to carry them where it would".

This story of the Cretan argonauts is remarkably similar to that of the Atlantean argonauts...(All quotes cite Luce).

This is just one of many theories. If you'd like, I'll go through the whole paper tomorrow and get more sources and theories he developed.

35 posted on 11/11/2002 4:34:09 PM PST by grania
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To: Betty Jane
>... the Biblical plagues and the parting of the Red Sea were natural events...

Sure they were. Whatever works...

36 posted on 11/11/2002 4:50:44 PM PST by LostTribe
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To: blam
Only because it is in the Book.
37 posted on 11/11/2002 6:38:08 PM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: Alex Murphy
Funny the article didn't offer any explanation about the death of the firstborn, or any of the other plagues that only afflicted the Egyptians, despite the Israelites living within their midst.

There are advantages to a Kosher (Clean in Hebrew) lifestyle...

38 posted on 11/11/2002 6:41:40 PM PST by null and void
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To: KeyWest
Exactly, you are right on the mark
39 posted on 11/11/2002 6:45:01 PM PST by mel
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To: blam
Even though historical evidence gives credence to Biblical accounts, there are a large number of people who are disposed to deny any "natural" explanation.

I think that's interesting.

40 posted on 11/11/2002 6:49:04 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: grania
"This is just one of many theories. If you'd like, I'll go through the whole paper tomorrow and get more sources and theories he developed."

Great. That would be interesting.

41 posted on 11/11/2002 7:36:49 PM PST by blam
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To: Dog Gone
"Even though historical evidence gives credence to Biblical accounts, there are a large number of people who are disposed to deny any "natural" explanation. "

I've never understood it, God controls nature.

42 posted on 11/11/2002 7:43:23 PM PST by blam
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To: null and void
There are advantages to a Kosher (Clean in Hebrew) lifestyle...

When I was *very* young, I had no idea what "kosher" meant. I knew about Catholics, about holy water, about how holy water is "created", and about what Hollywood says holy water can do. And about the only "kosher" food I ever noticed in grocery stores was kosher salt. And somehow, I got the Catholic and Jewish ideas mixed up in my head as a young boy. It went something like this...

Imagine a food manufacturing / distributing plant. All types of food rolling along on conveyer belts, preparing for packaging and shipment to all points. Exact same food as what gets shipped to other, gentile grocers. Only at the end of these conveyer belts stood a very Woody Allen-esque Jewish rabbi, saying yiddish prayers and sprinking salt over the food as it rolled by, thus making it kosher.

No lie, that's how I used to think Kosher food was made.

43 posted on 11/11/2002 8:45:09 PM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: gcruse
All this talk about how a bush might spontaneously burn reminds me of the elephant in the room which nobody seems to want to acknowledge. In other words, burning bushes are a dime-a-dozen. What was special about 'The Burning Bush' is that it talked with the voice of God. So just merely coming up with a way to explain away a burning bush doesn't even begin to adress the real miracle of Moses' encounter.
44 posted on 11/11/2002 8:49:30 PM PST by pjd
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To: blam
I read that old high school term paper my son wrote in 1985 (his writing was really good, but that's a mom's opinion). The possible locations he found back then:

Azores: The theory was that the islands are the mountain peaks of a sunken Atlantis. However, the islands are rising, not sinking.

Bimini in the Bahamas: Evidence of a huge ancient port has been found underwater there. However, it is on the wrong side of the Atlantic and there is no evidence of a catastrophe there.

Tartessus on the south coast of Spain has been considered and discounted.

A location midway between Asia and Libya, which would put it near Crete.

Plato might have misinterpreted the numbers he read when he wrote about Atlantis. He or Solon might have inadvertantly multiplied how long before their time the eruption occurred by 10. That would bring it pretty close to the time of the eruption on Crete and Moses' journey.

A lot of significant things happened after the eruption of Thera...The development of pre-Columbian civilization in the Americas, Etruria, ancient Rome, ancient Greece, and the journey of Moses and the rise of the Hebrew civilization.

UNEARTHING ATLANTIS by Charles Pellegrino (Random House, 1991) is a more recent source, connects the journey of Moses with the eruption, and does a pretty convincing job of connecting the eruption on Crete with Atlantis.

A agree totally with you concerning the scientific evidence, blam. It seems to offer evidence of the existense of a higher being which controls events with broad strokes and then leaves some of the outcomes to man.

45 posted on 11/12/2002 5:22:18 AM PST by grania
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To: grania
Thanks, I'm familiar with all those Atlantis stories.

My sense is that the more ancient something is, the less that is known about it. That would make Atlantis very ancient, I'm thinking at the end of the Ice Age 8-15,000 years ago. Here's a 'take' on Atlantis that you may not have seen:

Jim Allen's Historic Atlantis In Bolivia

46 posted on 11/12/2002 6:17:43 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
Thanks for that source, blam. I'm bookmarking it for a real careful reading later.
47 posted on 11/12/2002 7:33:37 AM PST by grania
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To: grania
(another)

Search For "Lost" Atlantis Centers On Strait Of Gibraltar

48 posted on 11/12/2002 7:41:05 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
I've scanned your sources and don't doubt that there were unexplained happenings in the past in a lot of areas, many of which are considered as possible sources of the Atlantis legends. It still seems that the best fit for timing, location, and likely outcomes is the eruption of Thera. It also gives historical basis for the journey of Moses. The other theories, although intriguing, don't seem to fit these particular outcomes.
49 posted on 11/13/2002 10:26:32 AM PST by grania
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To: L.N. Smithee
I can't wait to hear how they explain that Moses et al heard a blast that was a thousand times more powerful than a nuclear bomb, and didn't make mention of it as such.

Not to mention the death of the first born male Egyptians, but not the Hebrews...

50 posted on 11/13/2002 10:28:53 AM PST by Corin Stormhands
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